FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 08 DECEMBER 2017 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P4 SENSEX 32,949.21 +352.03 WEATHER Clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be around 25 and 11 degrees Celsius respectively RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P10 NIFTY 10,166.70 +122.60 Min. 26% Max: 25.2°C (+1) SUN RISES 07:02 hrs MOON RISES 22:37 hrs Min: 13.2°C (+4) SUN SETS 17:25 hrs MOON SETS 12:00 hrs THUMBNAILS Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a record-equalling fifth Ballon d'Or, but the Real Madrid star is not the only Portuguese footballer to be crowned the best in the world. Ricardinho and Madjer have dominated their respective disciplines of futsal, an indoor five-a-side version of football, and beach soccer. 11 ex-MPs put on trial in 2005 cash for query M scam: A Delhi court on Thursday framed graft and criminal conspiracy charges against 11 former parliamentarians in the 2005 cash-forquery scam. Trial will begin on Jan 12. The ex MPs are Y G Mahajan (BJP), Chhatarpal Singh Lodha (BJP), Anna Saheb M K Patil (BJP), Manoj Kumar (RJD), CP Singh (BJP), RS Singh (Cong), NK Kushwaha (BSP), P Gandhi (BJP), Suresh Chandel P10 (BJP), LC Kol (BSP) and R Rampal (BSP). UNESCO recognises Kumbh Mela as India’s cultural heritage: India's Kumbh Mela has been recognised by UNESCO as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity”, a tweet posted by the body said. The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage under the UN body inscribed Kumbh Mela on the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” at its 12th session in Jeju, South Korea. Pandher, Koli held guilty for rape, murder: A CBI court in Ghaziabad on Thursday pronounced businessman Maninder Singh Pandher and his aide Surendra Koli guilty for the rape and murder of housemaid Anjali in 2006. The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment in the ninth case of what has come to be known as Nithari killings on Friday, P10 prosecution lawyer JP Sharma said. 3 dead in US school shooting: Two students were killed when a gunman opened fire at a northern New Mexico high school on Thursday morning, law enforcement officials said. A spokesman for the New Mexico State Police told Fox News the suspected gunman was also killed. It's unclear how the gunman died. Law enforcement said Aztec High School, which is located in the Four Corners region and near the Navajo Nation, has been evacuated after it went into lockdown. NEW DELHI, 7 DECEMBER India reacted cautiously to US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, asserting it would take an independent stand on the issue. "India's position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday. His statement, however, did not specifically address the issue of future Jerusalem as the American-recognised capital of Israel. New Delhi in recent months has avoided P16 P12 ` vs $ 64.57 -5.00 PAISE GOLD 27,790.00 -185 SILVER 37,300.00 -500.00 Cong suspends Aiyar for his jibe at Modi STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 DECEMBER T he outspoken Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday again sparked a row when he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi" (vile man), drawing fire from PM Modi who dubbed it as a "casteist" slur against him and an "insult" to Gujarat besides being a reflection of his rival camp's "Mughal mentality". Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi strongly disapproved of Aiyar's remarks, called it "wrong" and asserted that both he and the party expected the senior leader to apologise. Following Rahul's statement, Aiyar tendered an apology, but the Congress was not satisfied and subsequently cracking the whip tonight suspended him from the primary membership of the party while issuing a show-cause notice to him. Aiyar said he apologised for his controversial phrase in Hindi if it was understood to mean "lowborn" which, he insisted, was not the intended sense of his jibe "meaning low person". His controversial remark however heated up the political scene as it came on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of the Gujarat assembly polls ~ scheduled for 9 Campaigning ends for Guj poll phase 1 AHMEDABAD, 7 DECEMBER A vituperative campaign for the first phase of the crucial Gujarat Assembly polls that saw emotive issues of religion and caste competing with that of development as the main rivals, BJP and Congress, launched no-holds-barred attacks on each other ended on Thursday evening. The sparring between the two parties while canvassing for the polls, dubbed as a prestige battle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of soon- to-be Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, con- tinued till the very end with Manishankar Aiyar's “neech aadmi” jibe at Modi triggering a controversy. A total of 89 seats ~ out of 182 ~ spanning the Saurashtra and south Gujarat regions, are up for grabs in the first phase with 977 candidates in the fray, including CM Rupani. Polling will be held on Saturday. Gujarat CEO B B Swain said 2.12 crore of the 4.35 crore voters were expected to exercise their franchise on Saturday. The EC earlier announced Gujarat would be the second state after Goa where the VVPAT system would PTI be used. December ~ where the ruling BJP faces a spirited challenge from the Opposition Congress. "He (Modi) is 'neech kism ka aadmi' (vile man) who has no 'sabhyata' (civility)," Aiyar, who has often triggered contro- versies with his jibes and comments, said while attacking PM Modi after the latter charged the Congress with seeking votes in B R Ambedkar's name but erasing his contribution to building India. The PM, while inaugurating the NGT holds AoL responsible for damaging Yamuna bed BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 61.63 +0.31 ACHHE DIN? SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 7 DECEMBER In a setback to the Art of Living (AoL) Foundation of spiritual leader Ravi Shankar, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday held it responsible for causing damage and environmental degradation of theYamuna flood plains by holding a three-day cultural extravaganza in 2016. While refusing to impose an additional environment fine on the AoL, which has already deposited Rs 5 crore, the NGT ordered the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to use this amount to restore the floodplains. Stung by the order, the AoL called it "erroneous and untenable", saying they would SNS & PTI JAIPUR / MALDA, 7 DECEMBER challenge it in the Supreme Court. Ruling that theYamuna riverbed should not be used to hold any cultural activity of this kind in future, the NGT directed the DDA to assess the damage caused on floodplains and compute cost of restoration. The AoL had organised the World Culture Festival during 11-13 March 2016 on theYamuna floodplains and constructed an oval-shaped stage over an area of seven (MORE ON PAGE 2) acres. direct mention of Jerusalem in its comments on the Palestine issue. This was apparent also during the UNESCO vote on Jerusalem. India had supported the resolution sponsored by Arab countries which endorsed the Palestinian stand on Jerusalem in April 2016. However, in October 2016 and May 2017, India abstained when the resolution came up again. With Wednesday's announcement by Trump, the US became the first country to recognise Israel's sovereignty over entire Jerusalem. Observers feel Trump's decision is a major setback to the two-nation theory with Israel and Palestine living side by side. The decision would further complicate the Middle East peace process. India enjoys close ties with both Israel and Palestine. Only last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a letter to the UN on the occasion of Palestine Solidarity Day, said India hoped for the early realisation of a sovereign, independent and united Palestinian state coexisting peacefully with Israel. New Delhi has traditionally supported the Palestinian cause even as it opened diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992. Even at the height of tensions in the Middle East, India balanced ties with Arab countries where it has a sizeable diaspora presence and commercial interests. Ambedkar International Centre in the national capital earlier today, had reportedly slammed the Congress in this regard, saying he would not be wrong in saying that "more people are still influenced by his (Ambedkar's) ideas than the family for which such efforts (to erase his contribution) were made". Reacting sharply to the PM's attack on the Congress and Nehru-Gandhi family, Aiyar said Ambedkar and his principles have always been supported by the Congress camp, asking Modi, "What is the need for doing dirty politics on such an occasion?" Seizing on Aiyar's barb while campaigning in Gujarat, his home turf, PM Modi claimed that he was targeted over his caste. Addressing an election rally in Surat, PM Modi reportedly said, "Shriman (Mr) Mani Shankar Aiyar today said that Modi is of 'neech' (lower) caste and is 'neech' (vile). Is this not an insult to Gujarat?" "This is Mughal mentality which hates people who even wear good clothes,” the PM said in an apparent reference to Rahul Gandhi's "suit-boot ki sarkar" barb against him. He asked BJP workers and supporters not to respond to Aiyar's remarks, even as senior BJP leaders, including Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, blasted Aiyar, Rahul and the Congress party. TURN TO PAGE 6 Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee during a review of Indo-Bangladesh border issues at Nabanna near Kolkata on Thursday. SNS (PG 7) Will extend Aadhaar deadline, Govt tells SC SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 7 DECEMBER The deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services and welfare schemes would shortly be extended till March 31 next year, the Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court. The statement was made by the Centre before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which said it may set up a five-judge Constitution bench next week to hear several pleas seeking an interim stay on the decision of mandatory linking of Aadhaar. Attorney General K KVenugopal vehemently opposed before the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khan- wilkar and D Y Chandrachud, the plea of senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for those opposing the Aadhaar scheme, that the ongoing Aadhaar enrolment process be stayed. “There cannot be a stay on the Aadhaar scheme which has gone on for years,” Venugopal said, adding that the current deadline of December 31 will be extended and a notification to this effect may be issued tomorrow itself. Venugopal said he was ready and willing to argue Man sets Muslim labourer ablaze, raves against ‘love jihad’ in viral video A Muslim labourer was hacked and burnt to death in Rajasthan's Rajsamand, leading the police on Thursday to arrest the killer, seen raving against "love jihad" while torching Mohammad Afrazul of West Bengal's Malda district in videos shared on social media. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and her Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee closed ranks across the political divide to condemn the gruesome Wednesday attack on the 48-year-old labourer. The accused, identified as Sham- India: Our position on Palestine not determined by third country ASHOK TUTEJA KOHLI REACHES SECOND POSITION IN TEST RANKINGS Rahul Gandhi disapproves of Cong leader’s barb seized by PM for Guj poll Max.67% TEMPERATURE ‘NO SUPPORT TO TRUMP'S DECISION ON JERUSALEM’ RAHUL WILL ATTRACT PARTIES TO FIGHT BJP: VEERAPPA MOILY CAPT TO EXPAND CABINET AFTER GUJ, HP POLL RESULTS However, since the NDA government assumed office in May 2014, India-Israel ties have gone from strength to strength, with PM Modi paying a stand-alone visit to the Jewish nation in July this year. But India made sure that its ties with the Arab world remain unaffected by hosting Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas and reaffirming its commitment to the Palestinian cause. The US announcement has come at a time when India is gearing up for a high-profile visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to this country in January, marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The Arab world will obviously keep a close eye on the visit. bu Lal Raigar, is seen in the video ranting against "love jihad", a term used by sections of Hindu activists to describe marriages between Hindu women and Muslim men. Police said Raigar was arrested from Rajsamand Thursday. "He is seen shouting against 'love jihad' in the video and why he did so is under investigation," DGP O P Galhotra said in Jaipur. Galhotra said Raigar's minor nephew shot the video and has been detained. His minor daughter, who Galhotra said was suffering from a mental disorder, was with Raigar when he was arrested. In the video, which went viral today, a man in a pair of white trousers, a red shirt and white muffler is seen ranting against "love jihad". He is also seen leading Afrazul to a deserted spot and then attacking him. The internet has been suspended in Rajsamand to stop the videos from being shared on social media sites. Sources said there were fears the clips could lead to communal tension. Raje described the killing as deplorable, directing that the accused be prosecuted at the earliest. "We strongly condemn the heinous killing of a labourer from Bengal in Rajasthan. How can people be so inhuman. Sad," Banerjee tweeted. SP Rajsamand Manoj Kumar said the accused attacked Afrazul with a sharp-edged weapon, poured kerosene over him and then torched him. This is among the rarest of rare cases and at the end of a trial, we will seek death for him, the DGP said. Afrazul's relatives, who described him as the family's sole earning member, demanded strict action against Raigar. “We want a thorough investigation to be conducted into the incident and the culprit to be punished,” a relative of Afrazul told reporters in Malda. “We don't know the real reason behind his killing. He was the sole bread winner of the family. We came to know that the person who killed him had called him on the pretext of giving him work.” the case finally and no interim stay should be granted in such an important matter. The bench also made it clear that only a larger bench would decide on the plea for grant of interim stay on the Aadhaar scheme. The top court said that the constitution bench would also fix the date for the final hearing and disposal of the petitions challenging the biometric identification scheme. The UIDAI, the authority which issues Aadhaar, today said that the notifications for verifying bank accounts, PAN cards and mobile SIM cards with the biometric ID are valid and there is no change in them. WA decides to admit India NEW DELHI, 7 DECEMBER Elite export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) on Thursday decided to admit India as its new member, which is expected to raise New Delhi's stature in the field of nonproliferation besides helping it acquire critical technologies.The decision was taken at the group’s Vienna meet. “Wassenaar Arrangement participating states reviewed the progress of a number of current membership applications and agreed at the plenary meeting to admit India which will become the Arrangement's 42nd participating state as soon as the necessary procedural arrangements for joining the WA are completed," it PTI said. Jallianwala: UK sidesteps apology demand PTI LONDON, 7 DECEMBER The UK has sidestepped London mayor Sadiq Khan's call for an official apology on the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, saying the government has “rightly condemned” the “deeply shameful act” in British history in the past. The UK Foreign Office statement comes after Khan during his visit to Amritsar on Wednesday said the British government should apologise for the mass killing. “I'm clear that the Government should now apologise, especially as we reach the centenary of the massacre.This is about properly acknowledging what happened here and giving the people of Amritsar and India the closure they need through a formal apology,” Pakistani-origin Khan said during his ongoing trade mission to India and Pakistan. He described the massacre as one of the most horrific events in India's history. The Foreign Office invoked former British Prime Minister David Cameron's views on the issue after Khan asked for an apology. “As the former Prime Minister said when he visited the Jallianwala Bagh in 2013, the massacre was a deeply shameful act in British history and one that we should never forget. It is right that we pay respect to those who lost their lives and remember what happened. The British Government rightly condemned the events at the time,” it said in a statement. The UK's Conservative party-led government had last fallen short of a formal apology for the massacre dur- During his Indian trade mission in February 2013, former British PM David Cameron had said it would be wrong to “reach back into history” and apologise for the wrongs of British colonialism. ing a visit to Amritsar by Cameron. During his Indian trade mission in February 2013, Cameron had said it would be wrong to “reach back into history” and apologise for the wrongs of British colonialism. Meanwhile, a veteran UK-Indian MP has revived his petition calling for an apology by Britian for the massacre after Khan's demand. Virendra Sharma, a fellow Opposition Labour Party member like Khan, had launched the petition on the UK Parliament's website earlier this year but it has attracted just over 1,778 signatures. At 10,000 signatures, the UK government would have to respond to the petition and at 100,000 it has to be considered for a House of Commons debate. “In 1919 Colonel Dyer ordered his men to fire, and maybe 1,000 peaceful protesters were left dead. At the time Winston Churchill proclaimed the massacre 'monstrous' and the British Government condemned Dyer for his actions, but no apology has since been forthcoming. It is now time to apologise,” the petition reads. Punjabiorigin Sharma has been campaigning for an apology over the years.
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