CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 AUGUST 2017 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P6 SENSEX 31,750.82 +154.76 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Rain/thundershower in some areas likely. Max & min temp 33/27 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: 12.2 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY P2 NIFTY 9,912.80 +55.75 Min. 79% Max: 31.6°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:19 hrs MOON RISES 11.51 hrs Min: 26.4°C (0) SUN SETS 17:57 hrs MOON SETS 23:15 hrs ` vs $ 63.91 +13 PAISE GOLD 28,160.00 +65.00 First quarter of moon 2 Sept THUMBNAILS Justice Dipak Misra (R) was on Monday sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India. Justice Misra, 63, has become the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court following the retirement of the CJI Justice J S Khehar on Sunday. He will remain in office till 2 October 2018. SNS SC refuses to direct BCCI to e-auction IPL a media rights: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to direct the BCCI to conduct e-auctioning for awarding media rights relating to the IPL matches. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chadrachud did not consider the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy that the ongoing tendering process for awarding media rights for the IPL events be stayed and e-auctioning directed. IPL matches may be held in April’ 18. Hill talks at Nabanna today: As Nabanna readies to hold talks on the protracted Hill impasse on Tuesday (today), leaders of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM), Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), TMC and Jan Andolan Party (JAP) left for Kolkata. The meeting called by chief minister Mamata Banerjee will be attended by five leaders of the GJMM, five of the Jan Andolan Party and three from the Hill TMC. The GNLF was undecided until late in the evening on the leaders who would attend. Air India not to be sold to foreign carrier: The Commerce Ministry released its latest report of consolidated FDI incorporating all the changes in rules and procedures notified by the government. The updated version of the consolidated FDI policy effective 28 August 2017 was unveiled with an objective for attracting and promoting foreign investment. Government said Air India will not be sold to any other foreign carrier and the rule allowing foreign carriers to own up to 49 per cent in P8 Indian carriers does not apply to AI. NTPC divestment: Government will sell five per cent stake in the country's largest power producer NTPC at Rs 168 per share to raise about Rs 7,000 crore. The share sale through an offer for sale (OFS) will happen over two days beginning today, an official said. NTPC P8 shares closed 2.5 per cent higher on BSE. ROHTAK(HAR), 28 AUGUST special CBI court today sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years in jail for rape of his two followers, holding he acted like a “wild beast” who did not even spare his own “pious” female disciples. The court also said that Ram Rahim, 50, committed breach of gravest nature by sexually assaulting “such gullible and blind followers” and that he did not deserve any leniency. Judge Jagdeep Singh in his 9-page order pronounced two sentences of 10 years rigorous imprisonment in each of the two rapes that date back to 2002, three days after the conviction of the Dera chief that sparked violence leaving 38 dead and scores injured in Haryana. Defence lawyer S K Garg Narwana told reporters that both the sentences will run “consecutively” for a total of 20 years in jail for the dera chief, who has millions of followers and counts politicians as well as celebrities as his friends. He said the orders will be challenged. The judge also fined D-DAY A AAP retains Bawana in crucial bypoll NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST Staging a comeback, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday won the crucial bypoll in the Bawana assembly constituency in Delhi, defeating the BJP resoundingly in an election dubbed as a litmus test of popularity of the ruling party and its leader ~ Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ~ in the national capital. The AAP retained the Bawana constituency by a huge margin, with the BJP and the Congress finishing off distantly at number two and number three positions respectively. The AAP's candidate Ram Chander won the Scheduled Caste-reserved Bawana seat by a margin of 24,052 votes, even as he garnered 59,886 votes that accounted for 45.39 per cent of the total votes polled. Manohar Parrikar won the Goa bypoll. SNS CBI judge fined the guilty Rs 15 lakh in each of the two cases, of which Rs 14 lakh each would go to the 2 victims who were coerced into having sex. The judge was brought to Rohtak by a helicopter from Chandigarh and landed at a helipad near the jail. Defence lawyer said orders will be challenged. the 50-year-old flamboyant guru Rs 15 lakh in each of the two offences, of which Rs 14 lakh each would go to the two victims who were part of his sect and were allegedly coerced into having sex with him. “Having due regard to the peculiar fact and circumstances of the case, the court is of the view that if acts of the convict in sexually exploiting his own female disciples and intimidating them of dire consequences is taken note of, then such kind of persons does not deserve any kind of leniency from the court,” he said. “Both the victims put the accused on the pedestal of God and revered him like that only. Such criminal act of a particular individual/convict who is stated to be heading a religious organisation known as Dera Sachha Sauda is bound to shatter images of pious and sacred spiritual social cultural and religous institutions existing in the country since time immemorial,” judge said. CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal also said that Ram Rahim will undergo a 10-year sentence in each of the two rape cases. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST The Supreme Court on Monday questioned the Gujarat government over the slow pace of trial in the rape case involving selfstyled godman Asaram Bapu. A bench of Justices N V Ramanna and Amitava Roy asked the state government why the victim has not been examined till now. It asked the state government to file an affidavit in this regard and posted the matter for further hearing after Diwali. The apex court had on 12 April asked the trial court in Gujarat to expedite the recording of evidence of prosecution witnesses in a sexual assault case lodged by two Surat-based sisters against the self-styled godman. The court had asked the Surat trial court to record the testimonies of 46 remaining prosecution witnesses, including the alleged rape victims. Earlier, the apex court had refused to grant bail to Asaram on various grounds, including his poor health in two separate sexual assault cases lodged in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape and illegal confinement, among other charges.The elder India, China stand-off at Doklam ends; disengagement almost complete NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST The 70-day tense standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at the Doklam plateau ended peacefully on Monday with the two sides almost completing disengagement ‘under verification’, paving the way for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen for the BRICS Summit from 3-5 September. The prolonged faceoff, which threatened to escalate into a full-blown war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, ended after weeks of diplomatic parleys. A brief statement put out by the External Affairs Ministry said, ’’In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam. During the communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests. On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going.’’ In response to repeated queries from the media on the broad contours of the understanding reached with China, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar issued another statement in the evening, saying the process of disengagement had almost been completed under verification. ‘’India has always maintained that it is only through diplomatic channels that differences on such matters can be addressed. Our principled position is that agreements and understandings reached on boundary issues must be scrupulously respected.’’ The spokesperson said New Delhi’s policy remained guided by the belief that peace and tranquility in the border areas was an essential prerequisite for further development of IndiaChina relations. It recalled that the two countries had also agreed during a meeting between PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of the SCO Summit in Astana in early June that differences should not be allowed to become disputes and that bilateral ties must remain stable. ‘’We look forward to continuing engagements with the Chinese side on this basis,’’ it added. In Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry sought to give its own spin to the understanding reached. Mamata slams BJP over Ram Rahim... UDAY BASU AND SOMA MOOKHERJEE KOLKATA, 28 AUGUST Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today slammed the BJPled governments at the Centre and in Haryana for the depravity of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and said the saffron party “can't tackle one Ram Rahim , yet it is trying to instigate trouble in West Bengal in the name of religion.” The BJP has been projecting itself as “such a champion of Hindutva as if God has taken its party membership,” Miss Banerjee said. On the other hand both Trinamul and Congress leaders castigated the Prime Minister for his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ yesterday in which he “only obliquely” referred to the vio- lence unleashed by Dera supporters at Panchkula after the conviction of Ram Rahim for raping his followers. “Why did the PM beat about the bush and what prevented him from mentioning the name of the Dera chief in his address even after he had been convicted ?” said these leaders. They questioned why Mr Modi had lauded Ram Rahim in a tweet on 29 October, 2014 for his Swachh Bharat campaign. How could the PM say in the same tweet that “Ram Rahim and his team will motivate people across India to join Swachh Bharat Mission” when the CBI had been investigating cases against him ordered by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee ? they asked. These leaders also said if Trinamul leaders and ministers can be questioned by Central investigating agencies for their alleged association with Saradha chief Sudipto Sen, why investigation can’t be started against Mr Modi, the Haryana chief minister ML Khattar and other BJP ministers for extending official patronage to Ram Rahim when the CBI had already been probing charges against the Dera chief. Again, Miss Banerjee said the Modi-government had provided 40 companies of central forces in Haryana to tackle supporters of Ram Rahim in a manner that they were kept mere bystanders while the Dera supporters ran amok. “Look at the double standard. When I asked for Central forces in Darjeeling, the Centre delayed inordinately and deployed only four companies and that too after Calcutta High Court ordered it,” Miss Banerjee said. “This shows how the BJP deals with non- BJP state governments. The BJP wants to divide people on religious lines. They are trying the same trick in West Bengal, but the people of the state are alert and we will never allow it to achieve its end,” she said. ”Ram never fought Rahim, Ram fought Ravan. Fake Ram is coming from Delhi and is trying to incite communal passion in Bengal,” she said. Miss Banerjee said the people of Bengal and her government will “foil all attempts by the BJP to instigate com- CMYK BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 52.59 +0.18 SC pulls up Gujarat over slow trial in Asaram case The sentences will run consecutively and the total jail term is 20 years, he said in Delhi. In another case of criminal intimidation (section 506 of IPC) the Dera chief has been sentenced to two years of imprisonment, Narwana said. “In section 506 of IPC, his term will run concurrently,” he said. Defence counsel sought leniency while submitting that Dera chief was 50 years old and suffering from hyper-tension, acute diabetes and sever back-ache problem for last eight years. He also said that his client is into social work. CBI counsel told the court that the Dera chief had projected himself as a godman and took undue advantage of his position and committed the rapes. “This is not an ordinary case but rarest of rare case which has larger implications for the entire society and accordingly the convict deserves maximum punishment,” counsel said. Media reports said Ram Rahim broke down and begged for forgiveness with folded hands when the first sentence was passed. Curfew will be relaxed from 7 am to 7 pm tomorrow at Sirsa, said officials. ASHOK TUTEJA P11 SILVER 39,400.00 +300.00 Dera chief gets 20 yrs jail for rapes SNS & PTI ‘NEHWAL LOST AS TELEVISION CALLED THE SHOTS’ P10 Accused convicted in 2 rape cases, sentences to run consecutively Max.94% TEMPERATURE TRUMP TO VISIT AREAS DEVASTATED BY HURRICANE GUJJARS POSE NEW CHALLENGE FOR YOGI RESTRICTING RESTRICTIONS munal trouble in Bengal through nefarious propaganda and ensure communal harmony and peace aren’t disturbed. She said some pro-BJP TV channels were falsely propagating that her government was appeasing the minorities by not allowing Durga idol immersion on the day of Muharram. Miss Banerjee also alleged the Centre was trying to infringe on the right to privacy by “imposing Aadhaar on everything and everybody.” “The Modi-government is hell bent on linking Aadhaar card with bank accounts even after the SC has pronounced its judgment on the right to privacy. Can the Centre guarantee that bank accounts won’t be hacked and compensate account holders if they are defrauded this way ?” Miss Banerjee asked. sister, in her complaint against Asaram, had accused him of repeated sexual assault between 2001 and 2006 when she was staying at his ashram near Ahmedabad. In the case in Rajasthan, a teenage girl had accused him of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. The girl, who belonged to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was a student living in the ashram. Asaram was arrested by Jodhpur Police on 31 August 2013 and has been in jail since then. PTI adds from Ahmedabad: It is up to the court to take a decision on fasttracking the rape case against Asaram, and the Gujarat government has no role in it, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today said, after the Supreme Court questioned the state over the tardy pace of progress in the case involving the selfstyled godman. “Trial is going on in the court, which is independent. It is for the court to take a decision (on expediting the trial). The government has no role in the matter,” Rupani told reporters while replying to queries on the sidelines of a function in Rajkot. He rejected the Congress' allegations that the ruling party was trying “shield the accused”. “The Congress is only seeking to take mileage by making false political allegations against the government. People will teach it a lesson in the upcoming assembly elections,” the chief minister said. Senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil welcome the Supreme Court's observations and voiced hope that the BJP government will act to ensure that the guilty are punished. “Law and order is a state subject. This is not the first time it has happened. Ever since the BJP came to power, it had to repeatedly face the ire of the Supreme Court,” he said. “It's the government's responsibility to ensure the accused get punished as early as possible. We welcome what the Supreme Court said and hope this will make the government act.” Earlier in the day, the apex court asked the state government to file a progress report. It directed the government to explain why the victim in the case has not yet been examined. Hurricane Harvey wreaks havoc in Texas, 200 Indian students being evacuated PTI AND SNS HOUSTON/DELHI, 28 AUGUST At least 200 Indian students stranded at the University of Houston due to “catastrophic” flooding after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas were being evacuated to safer places, authorities said today. The students were being provided food and other supplies by the Indian-American community in the area. India's Consul-General in Houston Anupam Ray has been in touch with the students and monitoring the evacuation process. In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said two Indian students, Shalini and Nikhil Bhatia, have been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). “@CGHoust has informed me that 200 Indian students at University of Houston are marooned. They are surrounded by neck deep water,” she tweeted. The Indian side made efforts to deliver food but the US Coast Guard did not allow them as boats were required for rescue operations, Swaraj said in a series of tweets. She said the MEA was ensuring that the relatives of the hospitalised students reach the health facility at the earliest. “Mr Anupam Ray our CG (Consul General) Houston is organising the rescue operations,” she tweeted. Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to hit the US in 13 years, has left a trail of destruction as it swept through Texas after making landfall on Saturday, pummelling the region with heavy rains and claiming at least five lives. The National Weather Service of the US has called the flooding in Texas “unprecedented”. “Catastrophic flooding is now underway and expected to continue for days,” the service said in a statement. Sewa International Houston - along with several other Indian-American community organisations - have teamed up to provide food and shelter to the affected people. Major Indian organisations such as the India Cultural Centre, the India House, the Indo-American Charity Foundation and the IndoAmerican Political Action Committee have decided to coordinate their relief efforts through Sewa International. Indian businesses and places of worship were providing shelter to displaced families. Indian restaurants were giving food packets to the people hit by the catastrophic flooding. Gitesh Desai, Sewa International's president, said Houston residents were “staying strong through the crisis”.
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