CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 SEPTEMBER 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 P3 SENSEX 32,158.66 +276.50 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Rain or thundershower likely in some areas. Temperature in the range 35-27 degree celsius RAINFALL: 6.4 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 92% TEMPERATURE MAY’S BREXIT BILL CLEARS FIRST PARLIAMENT TEST RAHUL’S DYNASTY REMARKS SPARK POLITICAL SPAT BELARUS PRESIDENT ARRIVES ON INDIA TRIP P3 NIFTY 10,093.05 +87.00 P9 ` vs $ 64.04 -11 PAISE GOLD 28,860.00 -170.00 Third quarter today THUMBNAILS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Cooling off period not mandatory, says SC : The Supreme Court on Tuesday held that the minimum cooling period of six months for granting the decree of divorce under the Hindu law can be waived by a trial court if there was no possibility of cohabitation between an estranged couple. The 1955 Hindu Marriage Act provides for a statutory cooling period of six months between the first and the last motion for seeking divorce by mutual consent to explore the possibility of settlement and cohabitation. Directors of shell companies to be disqualified: More than 1.06 lakh directors will be disqualified for their association with shell companies, according to the government. The latest move comes close on the heels of the corporate affairs ministry cancelling the registration of 2.09 lakh companies that have not been carrying out business activities for a long period. The ministry has “identified 1,06,578 directors for disqualification under Section 164(2)(a) of the Companies Act, 2013 as on September 12, 2017,” an official P8 release said. DA hike: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved release of additional 1 per cent Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners over the existing four per cent of basic pay and pension with effect from 1 July. This will benefit about 49.26 lakh Central Government employees and 61.17 lakh pensioners. The Cabinet also approved the introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Parliament, which will increase the maximum limit of gratuity for employees in the private sector and in PSUs to Rs 20 lakh. ising vegetable prices have pushed the consumer inflation rate to a fivemonth high of 3.36 per cent in August, while factory output remained sluggish, according to Central government data released on Tuesday. Inflation rose to 2.36 per cent in July, after falling for three straight months. Growth in industrial production also slipped to 1.2 per cent in July as compared to 4.5 per cent a year ago, indicating that the economy will take time to recover from the huge shock of demonetisation. The August inflation number is the highest since March 2017, when it was recorded at 3.89 per cent. Overall food inflation in August also moved up, reversing the deflationary trend, to 1.52 per cent, the R (Base: 2012=100) Retail Inflation NEW DELHI, 12 SEPTEMBER 6 5 5.05 4.39 4 % Based on Consumer Price Index 4.20 3 3.65 3.89 3.63 3.41 3.17 3.36 2.99 2.36 2.18 2 1.46 1 0 Aug S ep Oct Nov Dec Jan 2016 Feb Mar Apr May Jun J uly Aug 2017 Source: Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation data showed. Daily consumables like fruits and vegetables turned costlier during the month with inflation at 5.29 per cent and 6.16 per cent, respectively as against 2.83 per cent and (-)3.57 per cent in July. Even among core inflation categories, which are not exposed to seasonal volatility, price pressures rose compared to a month ago. For instance, inflation in the housing category KBK Infographics rose to 5.6 per cent compared to 5 per cent last month. Prices of clothing and footwear increased 4.6 per cent year-on-year compared to 4.2 per cent last month. Some of this increase could be linked to price adjustments following the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July. However, the rise in inflation for two straight months has reduced the chan- STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 SEPTEMBER A priest from Kerala, who was kidnapped in Yemen last year, has been rescued, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted Tuesday. Father Tom Uzhunnalil was abducted by ISIS in March 2016 following an attack on an old people's home run by missionaries in the southern port city of Aden. Gunmen, posing as relatives of one of the res- idents at the home, stormed into it, killing 16 people, including four Indian nuns. The priest was rescued after efforts by the Omani authorities. He was currently in Muscat and would return to Kerala soon. A statement released by Oman’s official news agency said that Omani authorities “coordinated with Yemeni parties” to free Uzhunnalil, described as a “Vatican employee”, at the request of the sultan. Oman's news agency released a picture of Uzhunnalil wearing local traditional dress and with a flowing but tidy white beard grown while in captivity. In a video released in May on a local news website, Father Tom pleaded for help. “They are treating me well to the extent they are able,” he said. “My health condition is deteriorating quickly and I require hospitalisation as early as possible.” The date April 15, 2017 was written on a cardboard held before him. Rohingyas: India hits back over UN rap STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 SEPTEMBER New Delhi on Tuesday took exception to UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein’s remarks that India was attempting to deport Rohingya refugees to Myanmar in violation of their human rights, saying enforcing laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion. “Like many other nations, India is concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenges,’’ India’s Permanent Representative to the UN office in Geneva, Rajiv K Mr Chander said tendentious judgments are being made on the basis of selective and inaccurate reports Chander said at the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council. His comments came a day after Mr al-Hussein said India was taking measures against Rohingyas at a time when the community was facing forced eviction and cleansing on its home turf in Myanmar. Mr Chander said there appeared to be inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that were guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy that had been built under challenging conditions. ‘’Tendentious judgments made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society,’’ he added. Mr Chander expressed surprise over the references made by Mr alHussein to the murder of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh and killings in the name of cow protection. Individual incidents were being ‘extrapolated’ to suggest a broader societal situation. “India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights,’’ he added. A more informed view would have not only recognised this but also noted for example that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself condemned the violence in the name of cow protection. ‘’India does not condone any actions in violation of law and imputations to the contrary are not justified.’’ He noted that the issue of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir had also been raised, saying, ‘’it is a matter of regret that the central role of terrorism is once again being overlooked.’’ Mamata proposes, Bimal disposes STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE SILIGURI, 12 SEPTEMBER Though Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today claimed that the second meeting with five political parties of the Hills at Uttarkanya here was ‘fruitful,’ the chief of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) Bimal Gurung quickly announced that the indefinite shutdown in the Hills would go on. In the meeting, also attended by the Gurung faction of the GJMM, no resolution was adopted to call off the indefinite shutdown that has been in place in the Hills for the past 90 days. Even as the CM agreed to “consider” the several demands tabled by rebel GJMM leader Binay Tamang, she was against the idea of a tripartite meeting involving the Centre. Mr Gurung said the strike CHENNAI, 12 SEPTEMBER ces of another rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which has a moderate inflation target of 4 per cent. Last month, the RBI cut its main policy rate by 25 basis points to 6 per cent, the lowest since 2010, while keeping its policy stance at “neutral”. The monetary policy committee of the central bank had warned prices could start accelerating soon, reflecting caution, despite pressure to cut more aggressively after consumer inflation remained below its target since October. Also, the growth in manufacturing output remained flat with introduction of GST which continued to disrupt production networks. According to the data, IIP grew at 1.2 per cent in July from a contraction of 0.2 per cent a month ago. Mining and electricity sectors however grew at a robust 4.8 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively in July. Kerala priest abducted in Yemen rescued Activist Medha takes part in a rally held in memory of murdered journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bangalore on Tuesday. AFP BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 54.29 +0.45 Retail inflation hits AIADMK sacks Sasikala, rejigs party structure 5-mth high of 3.36% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Max: 34.7°C (+3) Min: 25.3°C (-2) SUN SETS TODAY SUN RISES TOMORROW 17:42 hrs 05:23 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 23.22 hrs 11:59 hrs P11 SILVER 40,800.00 -200.00 Growth in manufacturing output sluggish post GST roll-out Min. 59% BACH FACES THE MUSIC AS RIO STINK SPREADS would go on as the meeting today did not discuss Gorkhaland, while no decision was taken for tripartite talks. Mr Tamang and his team, two MLAs from Darjeeling and Kalimpong belonging to the GJMM’s Bimal faction, All India Gorkha League (AIGL) president Bharati Tamang, a Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) team led by president Mann Ghishing and Jan Andolan Party (JAP) president Dr Harka Bahadur Chettri were present in the meeting, as were Hill Trinamul leaders. The chief minister announced that the third bipartite meeting will be held at Nabanna on 16 October and appealed to Hill leaders to call off the strike before the festivals so that people from both Hills and plains can get some relief. Briefing reporters, Miss Banerjee said the state would not make arrangements for a tripartite meeting “right now.” “As the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) is not functioning properly and it is under the control of the administrator, it is not possible to make arrangements for the tripartite meeting under the provisions of the GTA,” she said, adding, “But, following requests from political parties, I will study whether there is any constitutional provision to call such a tripartite meeting in the future.” Mr Tamang said: “The GJMM would like to demand that the tripartite talks on Gorkhaland must be initiated by the West Bengal government at the earliest.” JAP president Dr Chettri said that the proposal for tripartite meeting was for discussion of a separate state. “The pro- posal for the tripartite meeting was not for the GTA,” he said. Mr Tamang, who has been expelled from the party but still claims that he was the chief coordinator of the GJMM, said he would appeal to the people again to call off the strike. On the other hand, Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai, who discussed the Hill problems and how people suffered during the indefinite strike, said he would discuss with his party members about calling off the shutdown. In the meeting, Miss Banerjee also assured that she would look into the issues mentioned in the 17-point memorandum submitted by Mr Tamang and said that the state government has agreed to consider a high-level inquiry into the deaths caused by alleged police firing and compensation and other issues. CMYK V K Sasikala, the jailed interim general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), was today removed from the post by an unanimous decision of the party’s general council. The general council, which met today in Chennai, also decided to abolish the post of general secretary as it has been found that there was nobody in the party who has the stature and charisma of party founder MGR or former chief minister Jayalalithaa. An 11-member high power steering committee with O Panneerselvam as chairman and Palaniswami as deputy chairman would be looking after the affairs of the party in future. More than 2100 out of the 2300-odd members of the AIADMK general council attended today’s meeting. With the decision to remove Sasikala from the post of general secretary of the party, all appointments made by her in that capacity too have been declared null and void. The council also decided to remove TTV Dinakaran from the post of deputy general secretary of the party. But Dinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew, dismissed the decisions made by the general council. calling it illegal and said that steps to remove the EPS government have been initiated. “It was not a general council meeting. It was just a gathering of some persons and was an illegal meeting. Madras High Court itself has ruled that the decisions taken at the meeting are not binding on the party.” said Dinakaran. Madras High Court had given its nod for the meeting yesterday, but asked the EPS-OPS faction to come to the court with the decisions taken in the council meeting. Speaking to journalists at Madurai, Dinakaran reiterated his decision to oust the Palaniswamy government in the trust vote to be held at any time. He said he is waiting for the Governor to take appropriate steps and if that is not happening he would initiate democratic and legal steps to oust the EPS government. This prompted M K Stalin, leader of the Opposition, to approach Madras High Court with a plea to order a floor test in the Tamil Nadu assembly. The court has decided to hear his petition on 10 October. Dinakaran who had been ousted from the party by late Jayalalithaa in December 2011 was readmitted to the AIADMK by his aunt Sasikala in February 2017 and was appointed as deputy general secretary as she had to surrender to the Bengaluru court following her conviction in the disproportionate asset case. “The appointments made by TTV Dinakaran, whose activities have brought a bad name to Jayalalithaa's legacy and to the party have been annulled,” said one of the resolutions. The bylaws of the party Gurgaon schoolboy not sexually assaulted: Autopsy report PRESS TRUST OF INDIA GURGAON, 12 SEPTEMBER The seven-year-old boy, found murdered inside his school, was not sexually assaulted and died of excessive bleeding, the doctor who conducted the post-mortem said today. In a related development, the Bombay High Court granted interim protection from arrest to Ryan International Group's founding chairman Augustine Pinto and his wife and managing director Grace till tomorrow in connection with the murder. The school, where the boy studied, is run by the group in Gurgaon. Group CEO Ryan Pinto filed an anticipatory bail application in the high court this evening, their lawyer said. Dr Deepak Mathur, who conducted the post mortem, also said there were two cuts on the boy's body and a nerve was slashed due to which he could not cry for help when he was attacked. The second point that came out in the report is that the child died due to excessive bleeding. There was no sexual assault on the minor and no semen marks were found on his school dress,” he said. A fact-finding three member committee, constituted by the Gurgaon district administration, submitted its report to District Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh. “The committee has detected lapses on the part of the school such as broken window, ill-equipped fire extinguishers, common toilets, no police verification of conductors and drivers and other ground staff, broken boundary wall and low quality CCTV without having wide-angle facilities, students' toilets without guard,” Singh told PTI. Meanwhile, police recorded statements of two students in connection with the murder of their schoolmate. “The SIT recorded statements of two students who went to change their Taekwondo dress inside the toilet at the time of the crime. The team is also questioning the suspended school principal Neerja Batra and two other female teachers,” a senior police officer said. Schoolbus conductor Ashok Kumar, who allegedly tried to sexually assault the class II student in a toilet and slit his throat with a knife when he resisted last Friday last, was sent to judicial custody till September 17. As police are working to crack the case, Subhash Garg, a businessman, claimed the conductor carried the injured boy to a car to be shifted to a hospital. Garg said he had gone to deposit his son's fees on Friday and was standing at the main reception in the school when he heard a commotion. “I saw two female teachers and two students were following an injured student who was being carried by Ashok Kumar. One of the teachers was weeping. She or-dered Kumar to place him at the rear seat of the car,” Garg said. “There were also blood stains spread all over the place in a small toilet at the ground floor of the school building. There were blood stains on Kumar's shirt which may be due to the fact that he was carrying the boy,” he said. have been amended to legalise the removal of Sasikala and Dinakaran from party posts and the abolition of the general secretary post. It was on 29 December 2016 that Sasikala was appointed unanimously as the general secretary of the party by the general council, attended by both Pannerselvam and Palaniswami. Though there was speculation that Sasikala would be expelled from the primary membership of the party, the general council was silent on the status of Sasikala and Dinakaran. The main demand of the OPS faction to facilitate a merger with the EPS faction was the complete ouster of Sasikala and her family, often called the Mannargudi clan, from the party. While adopting another resolution to fight for the retrieval of the Two Leaves symbol of the party, the council also said that there was only one AIADMK and that was the one led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam. The Dinakaran camp had earlier tried to prevent the general council from taking place, petitioning a single bench of Madras high court and approaching a city court in Bengaluru. Madras High Court in a late night order on Monday ruled that the meeting could not be stopped. US-made howitzer explodes in firing trials NEW DELHI, 12 SEPTEMBER The Army's new longrange ultra-light (ULH) howitzer M-777 was damaged during a field trial in Pokhran firing range and a probe has been ordered into the incident, Army sources said here. The sources said the barrel of the US-manufactured gun exploded when it was firing Indian ammunition on 2 September. India had received two M-777 ultra-light howitzers in May, each worth around Rs 35 crore, after a gap of 30 years since the Bofors scandal broke out, and the accident took place in one of them. The field trials of the 155 mm, 39-calibre guns manufactured by BAE systems were being carried out at Pokhran in Rajasthan with an aim to collate and determine various critical data like trajectory, speed and frequency. “During the firing, the projectile which was fifth of the series, exited the barrel in multiple pieces, causing the accident,” an army source said. There was no injury to anyone. “The barrel of the gun has been damaged, extent of which is being assessed by Joint Investigation Team,” the source said. A spokesperson of BAE systems said the company was aware of an “irregularity” recorded during routine field firing of the M777. “We are working closely with the Indian Army and the US government to explore the incident,” the PTI spokesperson said.
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