29122022-TT-01.qxd 12/28/2022 11:11 PM Page 1 13 CHANDIGARH | GURUGRAM | JALANDHAR | BATHINDA | VOL. 142 NO. 359 | 12 PAGES | ~5.00 | REGD. NO. CHD/0006/2021-2023 ESTABLISHED IN 1881 HIMACHAL PRADESH ALARMING: UNSC SLAMS AF CURBS ON WOMEN WORLD /thetribunechd SHEELA FOAM TO ACQUIRE KURLON FOR ~2,000 CR BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT AGAIN ON NEED FOR VEHICLE SCANNERS J&K RUSSIAN MP PAVEL DIED OF ‘INTERNAL INJURIES’ AFTER FALL BACK PAGE thursday | 29 december 2022 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com 4 heavily armed ultras travelling in truck killed in Jammu encounter India isolates BF.7, studies begin onvaxeffect,needfor2ndbooster Vehicle intercepted on Srinagar highway |Intense firing for 45 minutes New Delhi, December 28 In a major breakthrough, Indian scientists have isolated BF the subvariant of Omi.7, cron, and embarked on studies to generate evidence on the need for an additional booster. Top sources said BF cur.7, rently driving the Covid-19 surge in China and some other nations, had been isolated. “Studies have started to determine how well Indian vaccines and drugs work on BF .7,” sources said, adding the government was expecting a surge and was ready for any eventuality. The government is taking January 2023 as a “very critical month” when cases could rise significantly. “BF has a .7 Arjun Sharma Jammu, December 28 Four heavily armed terrorists hiding in a truck covered with straw were eliminated by security forces in an early morning “chance encounter” near Jammu and a huge quantity of arms and ammunition was recovered. The encounter broke out around 7.25 am when a team of the police and Army, already on high alert due to Republic Day, tried to stop a 12-wheel truck at the Sidhra intersection near Tawi Bridge on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. The Sidhra intersection has one road leading to Kashmir and the other to the old Jammu city areas. As soon as the security forces stopped the truck and asked the driver to come out, he escaped on the pretext of attending the call of nature. When security personnel began to search the truck, ultras hiding with AK rifles started firing and an encounter ensued. Both the police and Army sent reinforcements, including Para SF commandos along with their dog squad, to eliminate the terrorists. The intense firing between the two sides lasted for over 45 minutes. Senior Army and police officials, including Security personnel during an encounter with terrorists near Tawi Bridge at the Sidhra area in Jammu. PTI ‘CHANCE ENCOUNTER’ IN MORNING ■ Gunfight takes place around ■ Truck driver escapes on pre- 7.30 am amid intense fog near Tawi Bridge on JammuSrinagar highway ■ Police get suspicious on noticing a truck heading towards Kashmir, as most trucks come around noon text of attending call of nature ■ On searching truck, forces come under heavy fire from militants hiding in straw-laden truck ■ An encounter results during which truck catches fire, and the terrorists get killed AMMUNITION RECOVERED ■ Seven AK-47 rifles, 3 pistols and one M4 rifle recovered as the encounter ended ■ 14 grenades, bullets, AK magazines, chocolates, biscuits, nutrition drinks, medicines and ~50,000 in 500 denomination of Indian currency notes also recovered ADGP Mukesh Singh and Jammu SSP Chandan Kohli, reached the encounter site and coordinated the operation. Mukesh Singh said, “Trucks generally come in the area around noon, but this truck came early in the morning, trig- DISMANTLE ECOSYSTEM THAT ABETS TERROR: SHAH Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a review meet with MHA and J&K officials to discuss security situation in UT. Officials said Shah reviewed steps taken to deal with Pak-backed terrorists. Shah asked officials to completely dismantle the terror ecosystem, comprising elements that aid, abet and sustain the terrorist-separatist campaign. INSIDE gering suspicion. A search operation has been launched to apprehend the driver.” Due to continued on page 9 Drone incursions on Punjab border up 4 times in a year BITING COLD Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service FROZEN DAL LAKE: Women walk on a bridge over partially frozen waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar. PTI BATHINDA SHIVERS AT 1°C | AMRITSAR 2.8°C ■ Thick blanket of fog enveloped parts of Punjab and Haryana, reducing visibility ■ In Punjab, Bathinda shivered at 1 degree Celsius; Amritsar 2.8 degrees Celsius and Ludhiana 6.4 degrees Celsius ■ Fourteen trains to Delhi were reported running late due to dense to very dense fog in other areas CITY FARIDKOT NARNAUL HISAR GURDASPUR LUDHIANA KARNAL PATIALA PATHANKOT MIN TEMP 3.5° C 4° C 4.3° C 4.7° C 6.4° C 6.7° C 6.8° C 7.1° C CROPS HIT IN KANGRA Farmers in the lower belts of Himachal’s Kangra district are a worried lot as the prolonged dry spell has started affecting their rabi crops such as wheat, barley and mustard. Fruit growers are fearing damage to their citrus fruit crops. Wheat is sown on 92,000 hectares in Kangra. Chandigarh, December 28 The Punjab frontier remained the most active sector in 2022 among the four states that share the International Border with Pakistan, with a nearly four-fold rise in hostile drone activity being reported. The spike has prompted the BSF to initiate counter measures such as setting up of a special centre to train personnel in dealing with the threat from drones, establishing operational protocols and upgrading technical capability. From January 1 to December 28, there have been 254 drone activities in Punjab compared to 67 in 2021, said sources in the BSF . This includes 221 activities detected inside Indian territory and 22 inside Pakistan. The activity in Punjab accounts for about 84 per cent continued on page 9 ‘Wrong’ info, Speaker wants staff punished GLARING MISMATCH ■ INLD’s Abhay Chautala, HARYANA SESSION Geetanjali Gayatri Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 28 Haryana Government officials responsible for providing halfbaked or incomplete information in the Vidhan Sabha during the three-day winter session that concluded today will have to face the music as a number of MLAs have complained about such instances of “misinformation”. In one such case of “wrong information that caused embarrassment” to Education Minister Kanwarpal Guj- JJP’s Naina Chautala and Congress’ Neeraj Sharma have alleged furnishing of wrong information ■ Chautala sought details on deaths due to spurious liquor ■ Naina put up a query on the shortage of teachers in her home constituency Badhra GIAN CHAND GUPTA ■ Sharma raised a question on the number of deaths due to sewer cleaning, open drains and damaged roads TWO OF EDUCATION DEPT SUSPENDED jar, the School Education Department suspended an assistant and deputy superintendent while another assistant and assistant director may be issued a chargesheet. The action follows directions by Speaker Gian Chand Gupta to ministers to act against “erring” officials. Replying to a question raised by JJP MLA Naina Chautala on the shortage of teachers in her home constituency Badhra (Bhi- wani) in general and eight schools in particular, Gujjar gave a detailed reply in the House. Disagreeing with him, Naina said there was only a principal at the school in Hansawas Kalan while others posts were vacant. “I visited the school, there are no teachers. The entire academic year of the students will be wasted. A few days ago, the villagers even staged a protest and locked the school gate. This information is wrong,” she insisted even as the minister tried to convince her that “his report had come from the field”. Naina dug in her heels, prompting the Speaker to direct the continued on page 9 Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service GOVT SAYS JANUARY ‘VERY CRITICAL MONTH’ -VE REPORT FOR CHINA ARRIVALS MULLED ■ The government Workers at Gurugram oxygen plant. PTI reproductive value of 16, making it extremely transmissible. Evidence from past waves tells us that it takes 30 is expected to make negative RTPCR reports mandatory for arrivals from five Covidaffected countries and Hong Kong from next week ■ Sources said RTPCR negative reports 72 hours prior to arrival in India would be required from the next week for arrivals from China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore days since detection of cases in China for us to encounter a continued on page 9 edit: Futility of lockdowns India-Oz trade pact in force from today Sandeep Dikshit Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 28 India’s first deal with a developed economy in a decade, the Australia India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA), will come into effect from Thursday. As a result, bilateral trade is expected to cross $45-50 billion in five years from the existing IN BRIEF DUTY-FREE ACCESS ■ Bilateral trade may cross $45-50 bn in five years from existing $31 bn ■ Will provide duty-free access to the Australian market for 6,000 broad sectors $31 billion. It will help in providing duty-free access to the Australian market for over 6,000 broad sectors, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery and machinery. AI-ECTA is an ‘early harvest’ agreement before a full Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) to pursue future liberalisation, market access and investment opportunities. On the other hand, Australians expect their continued on page 9 PM Modi’s mother hospitalised, stable NEW DELHI: PM Narendra Modi’s mother Hiraben (99) was on Wednesday admitted to a hospital in Ahmedabad. Her condition is stable, officials said. TNS Maha former minister Deshmukh out of jail MUMBAI: A year after his arrest in an alleged corruption case, Maharashtra former minister Anil Deshmukh was released on bail on Wednesday. PTI Chandigarh, 10 other cities get Jio 5G services CHANDIGARH: Reliance Jio has announced launch of 5G services in 11 cities, including Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, Kharar, Zirakpur & Derabassi. INSIDE ARSHDEEP IN ICC AWARD SHORTLIST Pacer shortlisted for ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year Award 6 months after debut Took 33 wickets in 21 T20Is, averaging 18.12
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).