CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 FEBRUARY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR RBI MAY GO FOR STATUS QUO PENCE HEADS FOR OLYMPICS P10 SENSEX 34,195.94 -561.22 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Mist/fog likely. Max and min temp will be around 30 and 19 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.94% Min. 34% Max: 30.1°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:13 hrs MOON RISES 23.10 hrs Min: 19.4°C (+3) SUN SETS 17:29 hrs MOON SETS 10:59 hrs TEMPERATURE First moon quarter on 10 February P8 NIFTY 10,498.25 -168.30 P7 ` vs $ 64.24 -17 PAISE GOLD 29,410.00 +145.00 LeT man flees J&K hospital, 2 cops killed P12 SILVER 39,000.00 +100.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 67.05 -0.57 FOLK TALE Hospital attacked in bid to free hardcore terrorist SNS & PTI SRINAGAR, 6 FEBRUARY Pakistani terrorist in custody today staged a daring escape from the SMHS hospital here, killing two policemen with a pistol handed to him by his LeT accomplices who ambushed the police team escorting him, police said. The attack by the LeT to free “hardcore” Lashkar-eTaiyyaba terrorist Mohammed Naveed Jhatt took place around 11.35 am inside the busy SMHS hospital complex in a high security area of Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital. It ended with Head Constable Mushtaq Ahmad and Constable Babar Ahmad Khan being killed and the terrorists escaping into the narrow lanes of downtown Srinagar, a police officer said. Jhatt, the 22-year-old LeT militant from Pakistan who was caught at Kulgam in south Kashmir in 2014, escaped with the assailants, police said. “It's a very unfortunate incident and the terrorists managed to free one of their hardcore accomplices. We have sounded a red alert to nab all those involved in this crime,” said Director General of Police S P Vaid. Senior officials said Srinagar had not witnessed such a getaway since 2001 when “dreaded terrorist” A THUMBNAILS Agni-1 testfired: India on Tuesday successfully 1 test-fired its short-range nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-1 with a strike range of over 700 km from a test range off the Odisha coast, Defence sources said adding that all the mission objectives were met. Sugar import duty doubled to 100 per cent: The government on Tuesday doubled import duty on sugar to 100 per cent and raised duty on chana to 40 per cent to protect domestic farmers. At present, customs duty or import P8 tax on sugar is 50 per cent. No I-T notice for minor filing mismatch: From T now on, the taxman will not issue demand notice to taxpayers in case there is a minor mismatch between their income tax return (ITR) and the tax credit data collected from banks and other financial institutions. After the Srinagar hospital attack in which two policemen were killed in firing. The Lashkar attack on a police party at a hospital in Srinagar is an act of cowardice which ought to be condemned by one and all. MEHBOOBA MUFTI CHIEF MINISTER, JAMMU & KASHMIR General Abdullah managed to give a slip to his police guards and escaped by jumping from the first floor of SMHS hospital. Piecing together eyewitness accounts and CCTV footage to ascertain what had happened today, police said two militants were lying in wait in the parking lot of the Out Patient Department hospital for the prison vehicle, carrying Jhatt and five others for treatment. As soon as the vehicle drove in, a pheranclad youth handed a pistol to Jhatt, alias Abu Hanzala, who pumped bullets into Mushtaq Ahmad's chest. Babar Ahmad, who was accompanying the team, attempted to retaliate and was also fired at by Jhatt and the terrorist who had handed over the pistol, a senior official said. As the firing started, the five other jail inmates, who had been referred by the jail doctor to the hospital, were seen lying flat on the ground to escape the bullets, he said. Mushtaq Ahmad died almost immediately after the attack that took place in the busy pre-lunch hour when the 70-year hospital, Srinagar's main health care facility, is crowded with patients. Babar Ahmad succumbed to his injuries a few hours later. Jammu and Kashmir DG Prisons S K Mishra said he had ordered an inquiry. Opp boycotts RS proceedings, says voices being ‘muzzled’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 FEBRUARY Going after Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, Opposition parties led by the Congress on Tuesday boycotted the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha, charging that their voices were being "muzzled". A group of Opposition parties ~ including the Congress, TMC, NCP DMK, SP CPI-M, CPI and , , AAP ~ boycotted the proceedings of the Upper House in the afternoon when it resumed the debate on the motion of thanks on the President's address following two adjournments earlier in the day. "The voice of the Opposition is being muzzled outside the House and we do not want this to happen with the Opposition INDIANS CALLING THE SHOTS IN ROLE REVERSAL WELL-RESEARCHED MAIDEN SPEECH parties inside the House. Which is why we wanted to raise this issue since morning and which is why we have boycotted the House for the whole day," Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters. Flanked by other Opposition leaders, Azad said the rules and norms of the House stipulate that members should be allowed to raise current burning issues during Zero Hour, but it was allegedly not being allowed in the House by resorting to abrupt long adjournments. They were protesting against the adjournment of the Upper House by the Chairman straight till 2 p.m. minutes after it had assembled at 11 a.m. Naidu on Tuesday adjourned the proceedings till 2 p.m. amid TMC members' protest over an issue they wanted to raise through an adjournment motion under rule 267. The entire Zero Hour and the Question Hour were thus washed out. Later in the day, Naidu told the House that his intention behind long adjournments was to promote a sense of collective responsibility among members to minimise forced disruptions. The Chairman said he was committed to allow all members to raise any issue in accordance with rules and procedures and "none should have any misgiving about that". Kenneth I. Juster, US ambassador to India, being presented a folk art memento during his maiden visit to Kolkata on Tuesday. DILIP DUTTA Maldives top court revokes SC on Aadhaar: ‘Fear of misuse order to free prisoners no ground for AGENCIES COLOMBO/MALE, 6 FEB Maldives' Supreme Court tonight revoked an order to release nine high-profile political prisoners, hours after former president Mohamed Nasheed sought India's military intervention to resolve the ongoing political crisis in his country following declaration of emergency by President Abdulla Yameen and arrest of two top judges. Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested after President Yameen declared a state of emergency yesterday. In a late night development, the remaining three judges of the Supreme Court amended an order to release nine high- profile political prisoners. In a statement, the judges said they were revoking the order to release the prisoners “in light of the concerns raised by the President”. The amendment to the ruling by the Supreme Court on February 1 also omits the part that says the case against the Supreme Court judges was not received by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). Earlier today, President Yameen accused the detained judges of plotting to overthrow him. “I had to declare a national emergency because there was no other way to investigate these judges,” Yameen said in a televised address to the nation. “We had to find out how thick the plot or coup was,” he said, adding that the chief justice was trying to illegally impeach him and sack the attorney general. Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has allied himself with the Opposition, was also detained at his home. Concerned over political turmoil in Mal- dives, India, which is monitoring the situation very “closely”, today said it was “disturbed” on the declaration of the emergency by the Maldivian government and described as a matter of “concern” the arrests of the chief justice and political figures there. “We are disturbed by the declaration of a State of Emergency in the Maldives following the refusal of the government to abide by the unanimous ruling of the full bench of the Supreme Court on February 1, and also by the suspension of constitutional rights of the people of Maldives,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement in New Delhi. “The arrest of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and political figures are also reasons for concern,” it added. India yesterday asked its nationals not to undertake non- essential travels to the island nation until further notice. Nasheed, whose Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) functions from Colombo, appealed for India's help. “We would like the Indian government to send an envoy, backed by its military, to free the judges and the political detainees, including former president Gayoom, from detention and to bring them to their homes,’’ he added. EARLIER REPORT ON PAGE 10 Global stock markets crash following heavy sell-offs JOSIE COX LONDON, 6 FEBRUARY The FTSE 100 fell sharply on Tuesday morning, following dramatic sell-offs across the US and Asia, sparked by inflation fears after strong US jobs data triggered a surge in bond yields. The UK’s benchmark stock index tumbled 3.5 per cent shortly after the market opened before recovering slightly, mirroring similar losses across France, Germany and other European markets. Mid-morning, the FTSE was around 2 per cent lower. Earlier on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended the day down 4.7 per cent - its worst one-day fall since November 2016 - and taking it to a fourmonth low. The US benchmark S&P 500 fell by more than 4 per cent on Monday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 4.6 per cent. Those represented the largest percentage drops in a single day since August 2011. Traders agreed that the primary trigger for the global stock rout was a sharp rise in US bond yields after data out of the US on Friday showed wages increasing at the fastest pace since 2009. That, in turn, raised the prospect of higher inflation and, as a result, the possibility of higher interest rates. Markets have been propped up by massive central bank stimulus for years sending stocks to record highs on a regular basis. Some experts said that investors could also be jittery as a result of a change of leadership at the US Federal Reserve and the uncertainty this might introduce. Jerome Powell succeeded Janet Yellen earlier this month. But over the longer run, strategists and analysts agreed Virtual bloodbath on BSE and NSE MUMBAI, 6 FEBRUARY that the sell-off was unlikely to lead to a major crash. “The rise in bond yields reflects a return to normal for economic growth and inflation," said Holger Schmieding and Kallum Pickering, economists at Berenberg bank. They said that the softer equity markets, for now at least reflect "no more than a cor- rection of the little excess on the upside in recent months". "[This] need not change the economic or central banking calculus much,” they said. James Bateman, chief investment officer for the multi-asset business at fund manager Fidelity International, agreed that "in the long span of financial histo- Overnight panic sell-off in US equity markets triggered a virtual bloodbath across all global exchanges from Asia in the morning to Europe in the afternoon today. In Dalal Street within seconds of opening bell nearly Rs 6 lakh crore were wiped out from investors' wealth in one of the worst-ever bear hammering. The 30-share Sensitive Index of Bombay Stock Exchange crashed 1,274.35 points to 33,482.81 ry, this is not news”. “Yet in a world where the concept of a 'correction' almost feels alien and where equities felt like an CMYK points. The broader market's 50-scrip Nifty of National Stock Exchange plunged to 10,276.30 (-390.25) points. Early warning of imminent collapse came from Singapore Stock Exchange where Nifty futures fell sharply by over 330 points. The panic button was pressed right in advance, say analysts. These indices staged a strong comeback in late trade, wiping out two-third of the day's losses. Comparatively, Indian market emerged as a better performer among trying unstoppable one-way bet for a while, the normality of a setback can feel more painful,” he added. The dollar, con- conditions among all its peers. With investors confidence at its lowest, market experts are yet not sure about how long the rising sovereign bond yields spreading from the US to other developed and emerging market economies or EMEs would continue to take its toll on capital markets that have been enjoying a prolonged bullish run for seven years without suffering a confidence-sapping correction SNS of such magnitude. DETAILS ON PAGE 8 sidered to be relatively safe during times of market upheaval, was steady. THE INDEPENDENT nullifying law’ NEW DELHI, 6 FEBRUARY No law can be declared unconstitutional just because it could be misused, said a Supreme Court judge on Tuesday during the hearing in the crucial Aadhaar case. A five-judge Constitution Bench is hearing the petition challenging the validity of Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometric data-based Unique Identification number that has been made mandatory by the government for welfare schemes and financial institutions. Justice DY Chandrachud, one of the five judges, said there was a long line of judgments of the apex court that "mere possibility of misuse will not lead to striking down a legislation". Kapil Sibal’s argument that the Aadhaar law is an exception to these rulings because the law was already being misused or abused, failed to convince the judge. "The power of misuse is no ground to declare a law unconstitutional," Justice Chandrachud said. For the court to strike down a law, "you must say (establish) that it is a colourable legislation", he said. SNS Mamata back in Hills for first time after stir DARJEELING, 6 FEBRUARY Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today arrived in Darjeeling amid much fanfare and greetings, which was in sharp contrast to the last visit she made here in June 2017 when the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) greeted her with black flags, protests and violence. Today’s scenario was totally different, with people, mostly Morcha supporters of the Binoy Tamang faction, lining the roads from Sukna to Darjeeling armed with the traditional khada (scarf) and party flags. Earlier, at a ceremony at Simulbari, the chief minister renamed Rohini Road as Subash Ghisingh Marg as a tribute to the late GNLF SNS founder/leader. Details on page 13
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