WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 FEBRUARY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P9 SENSEX 34,195.94 -561.22 Mainly clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be around 23 and 8 degrees Celsius respectively RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 91% Min. 32% Max: 22.7°C (-1) SUN RISES 07:05 hrs MOON RISES 00:57 hrs Min: 11.6°C (+2) SUN SETS 18:05 hrs MOON SETS 11:39 hrs TEMPERATURE P11 NIFTY 10,498.25 -168.30 WEATHER PENCE HEADS FOR OLYMPICS RBI MAY GO FOR STATUS QUO WELL-RESEARCHED MAIDEN SPEECH ` vs $ 64.24 -17PAISE INDIA EYE HISTORIC LEAD AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA P12 GOLD 29,410.00 +145.00 LeT man flees J&K hospital, 2 cops killed P16 SILVER 39,000.00 +100.00 ‘Disturbed by declaration of emergency in Maldives’ Attack on hospital to free hardcore terrorist SNS & PTI SRINAGAR, 6 FEBRUARY THUMBNAILS A Agni-1 testfired: India on Tuesday successfulg 1 ly 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 P11 tax on sugar is 50 per cent. Quack infects 46 with HIV: At least 46 people have become infected with HIV in a tehsil in Unnao in the last 10 months, allegedly after a quack used a common syringe to administer injections, an official said on Tuesday. A case has been registered against the quack at Bangarmau police station, the chief medical officer P10 said. Pakistani terrorist in custody on Tuesday 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” Lashkare-Taiba 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 official said. Jhatt, the 22year-old LeT militant from Pakistan who was caught in 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 PVaid. Senior officials said Srinagar had not witnessed such a getaway since 2001 when “dreaded terrorist” ASHOK TUTEJA NEW DELHI, 6 FEBRUARY 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 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 67.05 -0.57 in, a pheran-clad 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. India on Tuesday said it was 'disturbed' by the declaration of emergency in the Maldives following the refusal of the government to abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court to release political prisoners and also by the suspension of the constitutional rights of the Maldivian people. ''The arrest of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and political figures are also reasons for concern. Government continues to carefully monitor the situation,'' the External Affairs Ministry said. The brief statement came as the Indian Ocean archipelago descended into chaos following the arrests of the serving Chief Justice and former President M A Gayoom. It is understood that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on the developments in the Maldives. Senior officials in the PMO and the External Affairs Ministry held meetings on Tuesday to review the situation in the neighbouring country where the influence of China and Saudi Arabia has increased considerably in recent years much at the cost of India. As of now, India does not seem to have too many options in the ongoing crisis directly or indirectly although there are many in the Maldivian Opposition who have been clamouring for decisive action by New Delhi in the tiny nation. The island country has been put under emergency rule by President Abdulla Yameen, who suspended civil rights and arrested the top judiciary after an adverse decision by the apex court to release all political prisoners. Meanwhile, former President Mohamed Nasheed, who was the first democratically elected leader of Maldives but was later sentenced under anti-terror laws, has urged India to directly intervene in his country. “On behalf of Maldivian people, we humbly request: 1. India to send envoy, backed by its military, to release judges & pol. detainees inc. Prez. Gayoom. We request a physical presence. 2. The US to stop all financial transactions of Maldives regime leaders going through US banks,” Nasheed tweeted. He himself is one of the political prisoners whose release has been ordered by the Maldives Supreme Court. He is currently in exile in Sri Lanka. India is also concerned about the safety of Indian nationals in the Maldives. India had asked the Maldives on Friday to abide by the Supreme Court verdict. On Monday night, New Delhi issued an advisory asking Indian nationals to avoid travelling to the island nation. Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday reportedly urged the government of the Maldives to lift the state of emergency and guarantee safety for its citizens, “including members of the judiciary.” PTI adds: With Maldives in turmoil following a face off between the government and its Supreme Court, India is expected to follow a standard operating procedure (SOP) that includes keeping the troops in readiness, government sources indicated Tuesday. Sources said troop movement has been seen at a key air-base in Southern India. According to the SOP , the troops are kept ready to meet any eventuality, crisis or requirement for help, sources said, adding there is nothing unusual about such SOPs. SC on Aadhaar: Fear of misuse no ground for nullifying law SNS & PTI 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 contentious 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, who is 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 totheserulingsofthetopcourt because the law was already being misused or abused. "It is happening everyday", failed to convince the judge. "The power of misuse is no ground to declare a law unconstitutional. Striking down a legislation is a problem for us," Justice Chandrachud shot back. For the courttostrikedownalaw,"you must say (establish) that it is a colourable legislation", he said. A colourable legislation is one where the legislature has enacted a law which it wasn't really competent to enact but yet deals with it, indirectly. Meanwhile, the UIDAI today cautioned the public againstgoingforplasticorlaminated Aadhaar smart cards saying their unauthorised printing could render the QRcodedysfunctionaloreven expose personal data without an individual's informed consent. TDP MPs disrupt Parl over 'raw deal' to AP Oppn boycotts RS, says voices being ‘muzzled’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 FEBRUARY Amid strain in their ties, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a key ally of the ruling BJP, on Tuesday disrupted the proceedings of the Lok Sabha with its members protesting vigorously against Andhra Pradesh being given "raw deal" by the Union Budget presented last week in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Demanding a fair deal and special package for the TDP-ruled AP, the TDP MPs stormed the Well of the Lok Sabha, forcing repeated adjournment of the Lower House during the day. They were joined in the Well by the members of their state rival party YSR Congress. They raised slogans and held placards with slogans such as "Save AP save democ, racy", "Follow alliance dharma now", and "We demand special status for AP state". TDP MPs raised slogans like "We want justice", "Understand the pain of Andhra Pradesh", and "Announce railway zone now". Speaker Sumitra Mahajan repeatedly asked the protesting members to go back to their seats, while decrying their "unruly behaviour", but in vain. The Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP leaders have publicly expressed their "severe disappointment" that the Union Budget has not addressed the AP's concerns and the demands for adequate allocation of funds for the state and its various projects. The AP MPs have been pressing for proper implementation of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, asking the Centre to “honour its commitments” at the time of bifurcation of the undivided AP. Urging the agitating AP MPs to allow discussion on the motion of thanks in the Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said, "Their (MPs) demands are very sensitive. The Prime Minister and the government of India are sensitive about development of Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, the matter they are raising will be looked into." In the Rajya Sabha, some TDP members also trooped into the Well of the House raising slogans over their demands following which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sought to assuage their concerns and told them that a formula will soon be worked out to release funds under a special package to AP. TURN TO PAGE 6 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 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 Oppo- sition 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 Global stock markets crash following heavy sell-offs o 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 open 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 four-month 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 that the sell- Investors become poorer by Rs 10 L cr PTI NEW DELHI, 6 FEBRUARY off was unlikely to lead 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 thanacorrectionofthelittleexcess 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 As markets extended losses for the sixth successive session, investors became poorer by nearly Rs 10 lakh crore, with Rs 2.7 lakh crore of wealth being wiped out inTuesday's session only amid sell-off in world stocks. The BSE Sensex cracked below the 34,000-mark by plunging about 1,275 points or 3.6 per cent in opening trade today. It later managed to recover some of the lost ground and finally ended at 34,195.94, of financial history, this is not news”. “Yet in a world where the concept of a 'correction' almost feels alien and where down 561.22 points or 1.61 per cent. The Sensex slumped 309.59 points, or 0.88 per cent, to end at 34,757.16 yesterday. The index had crashed 839.91 points, or 2.34 per cent, on Friday. Extending its falling streak for the sixth straight session, the 30-share index plunged 2,087.31 points. Post the Union Budget on February 1, the 30-share index has plummeted by 1,710.72 points. Led by a continuous sell-off, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies plummeted by Rs 9,90,476.93 crore to Rs 1,45,22,830 crore in six trading sessions. “Global sell-off due to spike in global bond yield resulted in a knee-jerk reaction in the domestic market. We are seeing an extended impact in the domestic market post the LTCG and fiscal deficit turmoil. However, towards close, market recouped some losses led by value buying on account of earnings growth expectations,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd. equities felt like an unstoppable one-way bet for a while, the normality of a setback can feel more painful,” he added. The dollar, considered to be relatively safe during times of market upheaval, was steady. THE INDEPENDENT SEE PAGE 11 it was allegedly not being allowed in the House by resorting to abrupt long adjournment. 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. Faced with the Opposition members' uproar, Naidu had similarly adjourned the House till 2 p.m on Monday. TURN TO PAGE 6 Hotel collapses in Taiwan quake TAIPEI, 6 FEBRUARY A hotel on the east coast ofTaiwan has collapsed after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake, with other buildings toppled or damaged, the national fire agency said, with reports people are trapped inside. Images on local television showed the Marshal Hotel in Hualien slanted on its side, partially crumpled into the ground. Media reports said there were 30 people trapped inside with others crawling to safety. The fire agency said at least four buildings including another hotel had toppled or been damaged, with televison images showing roads strewn with rubble and cracks in highways. PremierWilliam Lai said two people had died in the quake in Hualien and 114 were injured, some seriously. AFP
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