WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 14 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 P6 WEATHER Clear sky. Mist in the evening. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be around 23 and 8 degrees Celsius respectively RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 97% Min. 52% Max: 23.5°C (+1) SUN RISES 07:00 hrs MOON RISES 06:35 hrs Min: 09.0°C (-1) SUN SETS 18:10 hrs MOON SETS 16:53 hrs TEMPERATURE P7 7.40 lakh assault rifles for troops on shopping list PRESS TRUST OF INDIA I 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 SNS of Eastern Ladakh. NEET made mandatory for medical courses in foreign varsities too: The Union health ministry on Tuesday made the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET) mandatory for even those who wish to pursue medical courses in foreign universities. NEET was introduced in 2016 for admission to government and private medical colleges in P5 India. n a major decision, the defence ministry on Tuesday 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 Ac q u i s i t i o n Co u n c i l (DAC), the defence ministry's highest decisionmaking body on procurement. The approval to the proposals come amid increasing hostilities by Pakistan along the Line of Control in Jammu and Ka s h m i r a s w e l l a s China's aggressive posturing in several sectors along the nearly 4,000km-long 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 t h e D AC a c c o rd e d 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 state-run 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 D AC 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. 5 killed in blast on ONGC ship STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOCHI, 13 FEBRUARY 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 hol- iday 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 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. JOHANNESBURG, 13 FEBRUARY Two terrorists killed, Srinagar gunfight ends PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 13 FEBRUARY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 13 FEBRUARY The Supreme Court on Tuesday 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 the 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?” the Bench, also comprising of Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, asked. The Bench, hearing pleas challenging the constitutional 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 the citizens must have the choice to prove their identity. 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 on Tuesday. 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 Jammu-Akhnoor road and fired shots at the sentr y on the gate. The attempt has come four days after JeM terrorists Man 'beaten to death' by hospital staff NEW DELHI, 13 FEBRUARY A 32-year-old man was allegedly thrashed to death by hospital staff in RaoTula Ram Hospital in Jaffarpur Kalan area in the national capital. Family members of 32year-old Sonu Kumar approached police claiming that doctors of Rao Tula Ram Memorial Hospital thrashed him inside hospital premises on Sunday evening after which his health detoriated which finally led to his death on Monday. The body was sent for post-mortem. The police said they have received a complaint from the family, but they would register a case only after receiving the post-mortem report. Medical superintendent of the hospital, Sangeeta Basu, reportedly denied the family's (MORE ON PAGE 2) allegations. SNS South Africa's ruling ANC party on Tuesday "recalled" scandal-tainted 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" 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 onWednesday, 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 committee 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. P16 ‘Is govt not entitled to seek citizens' ID proof?’ S Africa's ANC recalls Zuma from presidency AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE INDIA BEAT PROTEAS TO CLINCH MAIDEN ODI SERIES IN SA P13 MoD clears mega small arms purchase NEW DELHI, 13 FEBRUARY THUMBNAILS LANKA'S UNP IN CRISIS AFTER RAJAPAKSA WIN ‘PEOPLE SHOULD GET BENEFITS EVEN WITHOUT AADHAAR’ ‘RSS MEN PLANTED IN EVERY MINISTRY’ "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. 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 morning 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.
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