CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 14 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 P4 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temparture will be around 30 and 17 degree Celsius respectively RAINFALL: NIl RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 75% Min. 33% TEMPERATURE Max: 29.2°C (N) SUN SETS TODAY 17:33 hrs MOON RISES 04.58 hrs Min: 18.3°C (+1) SUN RISES TOMORROW 06:09 hrs MOON SETS 16:17 hrs P10 Indian and Chinese military personnel meet on the occasion of “Chinese Spring Festival’’ on Tuesday at Moldo garrison of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Chushul sector of Eastern Ladakh. SNS US Pak assistance: US President Donald Trump has proposed $256 million in civilian and $80 million in military aid to Pakistan, down about $10 million, in the annual budget, but linked the defence assistance to Islamabad's action against terror safe havens on its soil. The proposed aid is part of a $4 trillion annual budget for the fiscal 2019 beginning 1 October. P9 7.40 lakh assault rifles for troops on shopping list PRESS TRUST OF INDIA n a major decision, the defence ministry today approved capital acquisition proposals worth Rs 15,935 crore which included purchase of 7.40 lakh assault rifles, 5,719 sniper rifles and light machine guns to bolster the strength of the armed forces. The long-pending proposals were cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the defence ministry's highest decision-making body on procurement. The approval to the proposals come amid increasing hostilities by Pakistan along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir as well as China's aggressive posturing in several sectors along the nearly 4,000-kmlong Sino-India border. The defence ministry said the DAC chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared capital acquisition proposals which were valued at Rs 15,935 crore. It said the DAC accorded approval for procurement of 7.4 lakh assault rifles for the three services at an estimated cost of Rs 12,280 crore. The rifles will be pro- NEEDED TEETH The assault rifles will be produced in India under the Buy and Make (Indian) category through both state-run Ordnance Factory Board and private sector To enhance the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of the Navy, the DAC also cleared acquisition of Advanced Torpedo Decoy Systems. duced in India under the 'Buy and Make (Indian)' category through both staterun Ordnance Factory Board and private sector. In a statement, the ministry said “essential quantity” of Light Machine Guns (LMGs) will be through the “fast track” route at an estimated cost of over Rs 1,819 crore, primarily to meet the operational requirement of the troops deployed on the borders. “A concurrent proposal is being processed for the balance quantity to be procured under the 'Buy and Make (Indian)' categorisation,” the ministry said. In the last one month, the DAC has fast tracked procurement of rifles, carbines and LMGs to equip the soldiers on the border with modern and more effective equipment. The DAC also approved procurement of 5,719 sniper rifles for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force at an estimated cost of Rs 982 crore, the ministry said. The sniper rifles will be bought under the 'Buy Global' category; the ammunition for these weapons will be initially procured and subsequently manufactured in India. The ministry said to enhance the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of the Navy, the DAC also approved the procurement of Advanced Torpedo Decoy Systems at a cost of Rs 850 crore. The 'Mareech' system has been developed indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation and has successfully completed extensive trial evaluations. “The 'Mareech' systems will be produced by Bharat Electronics Limited at an estimated cost of Rs 850 crore,” the ministry said. ‘Is govt not entitled to seek ID proof from citizens?’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 13 FEBRUARY The Supreme Court today posed the question whether the government was not entitled to seek proof of identity from citizens if their entitlement to certain benefits were dependent upon their identities. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also said that idea behind the Aadhaar scheme could be the reason that people should have one ID card. “If your entitlement depends on who you are, then can the government not require proof on that count? Is it not a reasonable condition?” a bench, which also comprised Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, asked. The bench, hearing pleas challenging the constitutional Earlier, the court had said that issues like denial of benefits to citizens for either want of Aadhaar or due to its non-authentication may not be a ground for holding the law as “unconstitutional” validity of the Aadhaar scheme and the enabling 2016 law, said, “even if entitlement is beyond dispute, there has to be minimal way of proving who you are”. “A condition is unconstitutional if it requires you to relinquish a constitutional right,” the bench said. The observations came after it was argued that the primary status of a person is that of a citizen and not an Aadhaar card holder. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for theWest Bengal government, said the proof of identity has to be linked with the status of the person which entitles him or her for the benefit and moreover, the citizens must have the choice to prove their identity. He then referred to the example of a woman entitled for widow pension, and said it was her status which enabled her to get the benefit and not the identity, and the State cannot insist that the identity has to be proved through Aadhaar only. “I can have different ways of proving my identity as a citizen. There are various ways of establishing identity. Aadhaar does not establish my status,” Sibal said, adding that the biggest identity is the identity as the citizens. On the issue of some people having multiple passports and ration cards, the senior advocate said there were laws to deal with law-breakers and it does not mean that the State will make a statute having unconstitutional provisions to deal with law abiding citizens. Sibal termed the Aadhaar case as “the most important case since independence” as it would decide the future course to be adopted by the nation. “The judgement in this case will decide the course that this country takes.Will we live in a country where there is choice - or do we live in a country where the State is the arbiter of choice,” he said, adding that what the court will decide would relate to “me, my children, my grand children and their unborn children”. Earlier, he said in advanced countries, the government takes the citizens' information for 10 years only and then all database are deleted. And this data is used for limited purposes. Five persons were killed and several others injured in a blast and subsequent fire inside an Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) drill ship at the Cochin Shipyard here on Tuesday. The deceased have been identified as Kottayam native Gavin, Vypin native Ramshad, Kochi native Unnikrishnan, Eroor native Kannan and Alappuzha native Jain. Abhilash, Sachu, Jaison, Sreerup, Christie, Tintu and Rajeev are the ones who sustained injuries. All of the injured are under treatment at the Medical Trust Hospital, Kochi. The condition of one of the injured is stated to be critical. Police said the blast took place inside a ballast tank of Sagar Bhushan, a drill vessel (photo) owned by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), which was undergoing repair at the Cochin Shipyard. However, the cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained. Tuesday was a holiday AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE JOHANNESBURG, 13 FEBRUARY the head of state, but the process is a party-level instruction and Zuma is under no constitutional obligation to obey. Zuma is expected to respond to the recall on Wednesday, and could be ousted in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence if he clings to office. The power struggle over Zuma's departure has put him at loggerheads with Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor, who is the new head of the African National Congress. The ANC's leadership com- mittee met for 13 hours at a hotel outside Pretoria, and decided in the early hours of Tuesday to "recall" Zuma from his post. A committee member confirmed to AFP that the president had asked for three more months in office, and described the request as "hogwash". "We just felt he meant three months of looting," the member said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Local media reported that Zuma was pushing for an exit deal that included covering his potentially ruinous legal fees from prolonged court battles against multiple criminal charges. One case relates to 783 payments he allegedly received linked to an arms deal before he came to power. He is also reportedly seeking legal protection for his family and other associates involved in controversial deals. Ben Payton of the Londonbased Maplecroft risk consultancy said the recall was "a political death sentence" for the president. "If Ramaphosa had agreed to help protect Zuma from prosecution in any way, his leadership would have been tainted ~ perhaps fatally," he added. The impasse has plunged South Africa ~ the continent's most developed economy ~into confusion over who is running the country, with national events cancelled last week including the annual State of the Nation Address to parliament. CMYK for the shipyard on account of Maha Shivaratri, but the maintenance section was reportedly open with a few workers. The casualties could have been more, had today not been a holiday. As many as 200 workers could have been victims of the mishap if it had not been Two terrorists killed, Srinagar gunfight ends STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 13 FEBRUARY While both terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) who vainly tried to barge into a CRPF camp in Srinagar on Monday were killed on Tuesday after 30 hours encounter, security forces foiled another attempt of terrorists who fired gunshots in a bid to force their entry into another Army camp at Domana in Jammu in the wee hours today. Meanwhile, the death toll of the terror attack in the Army camp at Sunjwan in Jammu increased to ten today as body of another soldier was recovered during clearing operations at the site of the four days long encounter between the security forces and JeM terrorists, said Lt-Col Devender Anand, spokesman of the Army. Six soldiers, a civilian and three terrorists were killed in Sunjwan. The soldier whose body was recovered today has been identified as Havaldar Rakesh Chandra of 6 Mahar who belongs to Paurigarhwal in Uttrakhand. His body was flown to his native place after military honors at the Jammu airport. Security forces this morning launched a massive search operation to track the terrorists who came on a motorcycle outside the Army camp at Domana on the strategic "We know you want this matter to be finalised," Ramaphosa, 65, told a party rally in Cape Town on Sunday. "We know you want closure... Because our people want this matter to be finalised, the NEC will be doing precisely that." South African opposition parties have called for early elections as the ANC's slow-motion transfer of power to Ramaphosa grinds on. An opposition request for a no-confidence vote against Zuma, 75, this week was still being considered by the parliamentary speaker. Zuma's presidency has been marred by corruption scandals, slow economic growth and record unemployment that have fuelled public anger. He was scheduled to stand down next year after serving the maximum two terms after coming to power in 2009. In 2008, Zuma's supporters pushed out then-president Thabo Mbeki via a similar "recall" over allegations of abuse of power. a holiday. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari expressed shock over the loss of lives in the blast. "Shocked by the unfortunate blast at Cochin Shipyard where four people have died. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved families," Gadkari tweeted. The minister also ordered an inquiry into the incident. The blast could have been due to “gas consolidation (inside the tank)” ,CSL chairman and Managing Director Madhu S Nair said, citing the immediate reason for the blast. He, however, said that the exact reasons would be known only after a detailed investigation. Pak amends anti-terror law, JuD likely to be affected ISLAMABAD, 13 FEBRUARY Jammu-Akhnoor road and fired shots at the sentry on the gate. The attempt has come four days after JeM terrorists entered the Sunjwan camp where six Army personnel and father of a jawan were killed. "An attack (on a camp) was averted and the terrorists fled away," Lt-Col Anand said. Police said two motorcycle-borne terrorists are believed to have approached the main gate of the camp at Domana around 4.30 am and fired on the sentry post after security officials signaled them to stop, prompting retaliation. The J&K DGP SP Vaid said that both terrorists who tried to barge into a CRPF camp in Srinagar were killed today and arms and ammunition recovered from them. A CRPF jawan was killed during the encounter and a policeman injured. After an overnight lull, security forces this morn- S Africa's ANC recalls Zuma from presidency South Africa's ruling ANC party on Tuesday "recalled" scandaltainted President Jacob Zuma from office but set no deadline for him to step down, pitching the country into further uncertainty. ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told reporters that Zuma had "agreed in principle to resign" and had proposed leaving in three to six months ~ a delay that the party rejected. Magashule said there was no date for Zuma to stand down, and added that there would be "continuing interaction" between ANC officials and Zuma. "The NEC (National Executive Committee) decided... to recall its deployee Jacob Zuma," Magashule told reporters, saying the move "was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country". The ANC party can "recall" P11 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOCHI, 13 FEBRUARY I THUMBNAILS FEDERER PLOTS RETURN TO TOP IN ROTTERDAM 5 killed in blast on ONGC ship MoD clears mega small arms purchase NEW DELHI, 13 FEBRUARY New moon on 15 February LANKA'S UNP IN CRISIS AFTER RAJAPAKSA WIN N KOREA HOLDS KEY AFTER US SHIFTS POLICY ON TALKS ‘RSS MEN PLANTED IN EVERY MINISTRY’ In local polls in 2016, the ANC recorded its worst electoral result since coming to power in 1994 with Nelson Mandela at the helm as white-minority rule fell. Ramaphosa, the deputy president, must revive the economy and crack down on what he has admitted is rampant government corruption if he is to boost the party's tarnished reputation before a tricky election next year. He is a former trade unionist and Mandela ally who led talks to end apartheid in the early 1990s and then became a multi-millionaire businessman before returning to politics. Zuma's hold over the ANC was shaken in December when his chosen successor ~ his former wife Nkosazana DlaminiZuma ~ narrowly lost to Ramaphosa in a vote to be the new party leader. The ANC has insisted there will be no delay to the budget speech, which is due on February 21. ing launched a final assault on the terrorists holed up in an under construction building in Karan Nagar and eliminated them. In another incident last evening, terrorists shot dead a former commander of Hizbul Momineen outfit Mohammad Yousuf Rather in the Budgam district of Kashmir. The former terrorist was employed in the power development department of the J&K government. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti visited the Jammu airport and laid wreaths on bodies of the Army personnel killed during the terror attack at Sunjwan. Top officers of local Army formations and police officers were present there. Except one, all six soldiers and a civilian belonged to J&K. The CRPF paid respect to constable Mohammad Mojahid Khan who despite being hit by bullets chased away the two terrorists who tried to barge into the Srinagar camp. Keen to avert international sanctions, Pakistan has quietly amended its anti-terror laws to include Hafiz Saeed-linked Jamaatud-Dawa and Falah-iInsaniat Foundation and other militant outfits on the list of UN proscribed groups, a media report said today. A major impact of a new ordinance promulgated by Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain would be the proscription of Saeed-linked JuD and FIF along with the UN listed outfits of Al Akhtar Trust and Al Rashid Trust, Dawn newspaper reported. Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, heads the charity JuD, believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group. The move to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 ends an old discrepancy between the UN sanctions list and the national listing of terrorist groups and individuals, the report said. It has come ahead of the crucial Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris, scheduled to be held from February 18 to 23. The US and India are spearheading an effort to get Pakistan included in the watchdog's international money-laundering and terror-financing 'grey PTI list', the paper said. Govt proposes allowing premature PPF closure INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 FEBRUARY The government on Tuesday proposed to allow premature closure of Public Provident Fund (PPF) accounts and permit opening of small savings accounts in the name of minors, according to a Finance Ministry statement here. These changes are part of the proposed merger of the separate acts on small savings, PPF and government savings banks. "The government has proposed merger of Government Savings Certificates Act, 1959, and Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 with the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873," the statement said. "With a single act, relevant provisions of the Government Savings Certificates (NSC) Act, 1959, and the Public Provident Fund Act, 1968, would stand subsumed in the new amended Act without compromising on any of the functional provision of the existing Act." The changes proposed are aimed at adding flexibility in the operations of under the Small Savings Schemes, it added. All existing protections have been retained while consolidating the PPF Act under the proposed Government Savings Promotion Act, the Ministry said. Besides, benefits of premature closure of Small Savings Schemes would be introduced to deal with medical emergencies and higher education needs among others. The bill also proposes permitting depositor to close a PPF account before five years in exigencies. At present, such accounts cannot be closed prematurely before completion of five years.
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