31122021-TT-01.qxd 30-12-2021 23:18 Page 1 13 CHANDIGARH | GURUGRAM | JALANDHAR | BATHINDA | VOL. 141 NO. 361 | 16 PAGES | ~5.00 | REGD. NO. CHD/0006/2021-2023 ESTABLISHED IN 1881 HIMACHAL PRADESH INDIA BEAT S AFRICA BY 113 RUNS IN FIRST TEST SPORT /thetribunechd NUMBER OF ACTIVE ULTRAS NOW BELOW 200: ARMY J&K AHUJA’S APPOINTMENT AS RBL BANK MD GETS RBI NOD BUSINESS IN U’KHAND, PM ACCUSES PREVIOUS GOVTS OF LOOTING STATE BACK PAGE friday | 31 december 2021 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com All parties want UP polls as per schedule CEC concludes three-day visit to state I Says concerns raised about hate speeches & ‘biased’ officials Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 30 Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra today said the representatives of all recognised political parties demanded that the Assembly polls in the state should be held according to schedule while ensuring the Covid protocol. During the poll panel’s deliberations with the state officials, the CEC said he had impressed upon them to step up the vaccination drive. The number of polling booths would be increased and the voting time enhanced by an hour, he said, adding that polling officials would be vaccinated and those eligible would be China ‘renames’ Arunachal sites; it doesn’t change status,says MEA Sandeep Dikshit Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 30 India today said assigning of "invented names" by China to places in Arunachal Pradesh did not alter the fact that the state was an integral part of India. The reaction by the Ministry of External Affairs came after China said it had renamed some places in Arunachal Pradesh in Mandarin. ❝ ■ 1-hour additional voting time ■ At least 800 polling stations to be managed by women ■ Eligible polling officials to be given booster dose NEW CHIEF SECRETARY ASSURES FAIR POLL Newly appointed UP Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra has promised to the EC that free and fair poll will be held in the state while observing Covid-19 protocol given a booster dose. Chandra said some parties had expressed concern over “hate speeches”, paid news and “biased” officials. The poll panel has been on Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra with Election Commissioners Rajeev Kumar (L) and Anoop Chandra Pandey (R) in Lucknow. PTI a three-day visit to Lucknow to review preparations for the elections, slated before mid-March. Chandra along with two commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey held a series of meetings with representatives of political parties as well as state and district-level officials. The Allahabad High Court had on December 23 suggested that the Union government should consider postponing the UP Assembly elections due to a possible Omicron-led third Covid UNDER-19 ASIA CUP INDIA THRASH B’DESH, IN FINAL Sharjah: India thrashed Bangladesh by 103 runs here on Thursday & set up a summit clash with Sri Lanka in the Under-19 Asia Cup. INSIDE New Delhi, December 30 The country’s R-naught (R0) value, which indicates the spread of Covid-19, is 1.22, the government today said, warning that the cases were increasing. It said Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Karnataka and Gujarat were emerging as states and UTs of concern on the basis of weekly infections and positivity rate. Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Agarwal stressed the need for heightened vigil given the sharp increase in the infections. Agarwal said eight districts in India were reporting more than 10 per cent Covid-19 weekly positivity, while 14 districts were reporting a weekly positivity between 5 Tribune News Service CS Channi Navjot Sidhu UNDECIDED ON... ■ Batala, Banga, Phagwara, Sunam, Sanaur, Mansa, Maur, Guruharsahai, Ferozepur (Rural), Bathinda (Rural), Kartarpur, Phillaur, Sujanpur, Khadoor Sahib and Majitha FACTORS AT PLAY COVAXIN SAFE FOR 2-18 AGE GROUP: STUDY New Delhi: Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) on Thursday announced that BBV152 (Covaxin), its wholevirion inactivated Covid-19 vaccine candidate, has proven to be safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic in paediatric subjects in phase II/III study. TNS << Crowded Lajpat Nagar Market in New Delhi. MANAS RANJAN BHUI VAX PROTECTION CAN LAST NINE MONTHS, SAYS ICMR The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said the per cent and 10 per cent. Addressing a press conference, NITI Aayog Member (Health) VK Paul said there had been an uptick in Covid19 cases for the last few days. duration of the protection against Covid-19 provided by India recorded the highest single-day rise in Omicron infections with 180 fresh cases, taking the total tally to 961 on Thursday. Delhi recorded the maxi- natural infection or vaccination could last up to 9 months. TNS mum number of cases (263) followed by Maharashtra at 252, Gujarat 97, Rajasthan 69, Kerala 65 and Telangana 62. The daily rise in Covid-19 continued on page 12 6 ultras, jawan die in two encounters Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 30 Security forces killed six Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, including two Pakistani nationals involved in the December 13 attack on a police bus on the outskirts of the city, in twin encounters in south Kashmir that also left an Army jawan dead, officials in the J&K Police said today. The officials said three of them were killed in an overnight encounter in Anantnag district of J&K, while three others died in the gunfight that took place in Kulgam district on Wednesday evening. Two jawans and a policeman were injured during the Anantnag operation, they added. Two of six militants were Pak nationals involved in Dec 13 attack on police bus The encounters took place after the forces launched cordon and search operations in the Nowgam Shahabad area of Anantnag district and Mirhama area of Kulgam — both in south Kashmir — after specific inputs about the presence of militants in these areas on Wednesday evening. “In the last five days, security forces have carried out multiple operations across the Valley resulting in 11 hardcore terrorists being neutralised,” General officer Commanding of Army’s 15 Corps Lt Gen DP Pandey said. The GoC was addressing a joint press conference along with Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar at Qazigund in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. He said during the operation Sepoy Jasbir Singh lost his life. “As the operation was conducted in a heavily built-up area, two Army and one JKP personnel suffered gunshot wounds while evacuating civilians. They are all stable, as of now,” the GoC said. The IGP Kashmir, said the , JeM group was involved in the December 13 attack on a police bus in the Zewan area on the outskirts of Srinagar in which three policemen were killed. Nagaland amid ‘recall’ demand Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 30 Days after the Centre constituted a panel to review the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act (AFSPA) amid growing clamour for its withdrawal following the death of 14 civilians in Nagaland, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today issued an order declaring the entire state as “disturbed area” under the Act for another six months claiming the condition was still “dangerous”. The MHA said the “disturbed area” tag under AFSPA had been extended for six months from December 30 to June 30. The state has been under AFSPA since 1958. The MHA Terror-funding: Hurriyat leader chargesheeted Srinagar, December 30 The Special Investigation Agency (SIA) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police filed its first chargesheet against nine persons, including a Hurriyat leader, in a case related to "selling" of MBBS seats in Pakistan colleges to Kashmiri students. The money so collected was used to support and fund terrorism, officials said on Thursday. The authorities filed the chargesheet in a court against accused, including Mohammad Akbar Bhat, alias Zaffar Akbar Bhat, chairman of the Salvation Movement, a constituent of hardline Hurriyat Conference. INSIDE PTI FILE Maha, WB, TN, Delhi, Guj states of concern | Daily surge crosses 13,000-mark 27 segments ‘tricky’ , Congress poll panel to next meet on Jan 2 Chandigarh, December 30 Even as Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and PPCC Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu have been supporting different candidates at public rallies, the AICCappointed screening committee is yet to impart clarity on at least two dozen Assembly segments. In these segments, the main factors at play are the availability of multiple candidates or the sitting MLAs performing poorly in winnability surveys. The screening panel has learnt to have reached a consensus on 90 of the 117 seats. During the discussions held yesterday, the panel decided on names of most of the ministers as well as sitting MLAs. While it has been learnt that the proposed rally of Rahul Gandhi at Moga on January 3 has been postponed, another meeting on the selection of candidates has been called by the AICC on January 2. Meanwhile, the tussle between CM Channi and Navjot Sidhu goes on over the CM face of the party even as Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Choudhary has already clarified that the CM face would not be declared before the elections. Sidhu has been openly ■ Polling booths’ count to go up wave. “I have been told that 86 per cent of the people in the state have got the first dose and 49 per cent the second shot of Covid vaccine. We have been assured that in 15 to 20 days, all eligible people will get their first dose,” Chandra told reporters on the last day of the visit today. The CEC said some of the parties had expressed concern over hate speeches, paid news and the election rallies being held without following the coronavirus protocol. Apart from this, some parties complained about the “biased” attitude of some in the administration and police. The CEC said the commission was committed to making the voting process continued on page 12 SEEK DATA FROM MODI GOVT: CONG Instead of acting like a toothless tiger, the Election Commission should ask for data from the Modi government, share it with all parties, consult health experts and take an independent decision. Constitutional responsibility of elections lies solely with the ECI. Uptick in cases, over 10% positivity rate in 8 dists AFSPA extended for 6 mths in MAP NOT TO SCALE "We have seen such reports. This is not the first time China has attempted such a renaming of places in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. China had also sought to assign such names in April 2017," said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. The 15 "renamed" places include eight townships, four mountains, two rivers and a mountain pass in Arunachal Pradesh. In 2017, China had Sinicised the names of six places in Arunachal Pradesh. continued on page 12 POLLING PLAN FOR STATE ENTIRE STATE ‘DISTURBED AREA’: MHA The Centre is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that armed forces’ use in the aid of civil power is necessary notification comes three days after the Centre constituted a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Secretary-level officer in the ministry Vivek Joshi with Additional Secretary (North-East) Piyush Goyal as its Member-Secretary. continued on page 12 IN BRIEF Hearing of Majithia’s bail plea adjourned to Jan 5 CHANDIGARH: The hearing of Bikram Singh Majithia's anticipatory bail petition was on Thursday adjourned to January 5. His counsel, Mukul Rohatgi, was not available for a physical hearing. TNS 23 injured in clash over old rivalry at Shamli SHAMLI: Twentythree persons were injured in a clash over old politi- cal rivalry at a village here. The clash took place after confrontation between Khuhanjapura village head Nasir and his rival Irfan. TNS C’garh cops arrest Kalicharan Maharaj from MP RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh Police arrested Hindu religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj from Madhya Pradesh on Thursday over his alleged derogatory remarks against Mahatma Gandhi. PTI Delhi HC to conduct virtual hearings from Jan 3 NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday decided to shift to the virtual system of hearings from January 3 in view of rise in Covid-19 cases and subsequent “yellow alert” in the national capital. PTI Subsidised food for homeless, shelterless soon NEW DELHI: The Centre is in final stages of developing a system to compile data on homeless and destitute with no ration cards so that they can be provided subsidised foodgrain, the Food Secretary said. TNS ■ Availability of multiple candi- dates for various segments ■ Sitting MLAs perform poorly in winnability surveys demanding an announcement on the CM face, while Channi has been seeking “another opportunity” to serve people at rallies. Sources said after Navjot Sidhu stepped up pressure on the party leadership to announce the CM face ahead of the polls, the top brass was keeping a close watch on his political activities. “If the PPCC chief and CM are not seen on same page in the coming days, it would damage the party. The high command must sort out the differences between the two,” said a senior party leader. HP sends dossier to J&K Hry CID chief’s letter exposes graft in Panipat MC over Padri Jot in Chamba Mukesh Tandon Tribune News Service Pratibha Chauhan Tribune News Service Shimla, December 30 A boundary dispute has once again erupted between Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir over the Padri Jot area bordering Chamba and Doda. Himachal has sent a dossier in support of its claim over the area falling in Salooni subdivision of Chamba district. The issue will now be raised at the inter-state council meeting as the Jammu THE CONTROVERSY ■ The issue arose in 2016 when the Doda authorities started constructing a road in the area ■ Himachal objected to the construction of road saying the area is part of Salooni subdivision in Chamba district and Kashmir has reportedly encroached upon around 8-9 km into Himachal’s territory. continued on page 12 Panipat, December 30 The Haryana Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief has written a letter, exposing corruption in the Panipat Municipal Corporation (MC). He said some employees and agents were taking bribe in lieu of clearing property ID files. Alok Mittal, ADGP CID, , has even disclosed the names of active agents, including MC officials, in the letter, which went viral on social media. According to sources, Mittal had sent a Says employees, agents take bribe in lieu of clearing property ID files secret letter (a copy of which is with The Tribune) to the Director, Urban Local Bodies (ULB); Commissioner, Karnal range; and the Panipat DC on corruption in the Panipat MC, seeking action against those involved. The CID chief in his letter has mentioned that it has come to know from reliable sources that a diary dispatch clerk posted in the MC (an outsourced employee), Sumit Kumar, in connivance with other employees was allegedly taking bribe in lieu of making property IDs of city residents. He also connived with some agents active in the MC, the letter reads. “The employees put out oral objections on applicants’ files so that they bring files through these active agents. It has also come to knowledge that these agents allegedly take Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 from applicants,” the letter says. Other employees, including Sumit’s brother, were also allegedly involved in the corrupt practices along with Sumit and two programmers, Tushar and Deepika, the letter says, adding that the programmers also took bribe to update files in MC records. The CID chief mentioned names of agents with their addresses and phone numbers. Senior Deputy Mayor Dushyant Bhatt said not only agents, but a mafia was working in the MC which was directly continued on page 12
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