CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 FEBRUARY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 SENSEX 33,844.86 +141.27 WEATHER Mainly clear sky, fog in morning. Maximum and minimum temperature will be around 32 and 21 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.94% Max: 32.1°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:03 hrs MOON RISES 10.20 hrs P9 NIFTY 10,397.45 +37.05 Min: 20.3°C (+2) SUN SETS 17:37 hrs MOON SETS 23:32 hrs Moon first quarter 23 February THUMBNAILS Donald Trump Junior, son of US President Donald Trump, speaks during a promotional event Pune on Wednesday. AFP EPF rate: Retirement fund body EPFO has lowered the rate of interest on employees provident fund to 8.55 per cent for its over 6-crore subscribers for 2017-18, from 8.65 per cent in the previous fiscal. “It is difficult to evaluate about future in view of present economic scenario. We paid 8.65 per cent last fiscal, which left a surplus of Rs 695 crore. This year, we have decided to recommend 8.55 per cent for 2017-18, which will leave a surplus of Rs 586 crore,” Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar told reporters after the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's (EPFO) trustees meet. PM announces defence production corridor: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced a Rs 20,000-crore defence industrial corridor in Bundelkhand for development of one of the most backward regions of Uttar Pradesh. “Of one of the two defence industrial corridors mentioned in the budget, one is proposed in the Bundelkhand region of the state which will bring an investment of Rs 20,000 crore and generate employment avenues for 2.5 lakh people,” the PM said after inaugurating the UP Investors Summit 2018. Pak court blow for Sharif: Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday disqualified the ousted prime minister as the chief of his own party and struck down all decisions taken by him as the party head. Sharif, 68, was disqualified as the prime minister by the apex court in the Panama Papers case in July last year under Article 62 for failing to declare a receivable salary as an asset. The ruling is seen as a major blow to the political career of Sharif, who leads Pakistan's most powerful political family. ` vs $ 64.76 +3.00 PAISE GOLD 29,375.00 -170.00 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 FEBRUARY elhi Police on Wednesday arrested Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan a day after an FIR was lodged against him and other leaders of AAP for allegedly assaulting chief secretary Anshu Prakash. Later, he was produced at the Tiz Hazari court and has been sent to a day's judicial custody. Khan surrendered at Jamia Nagar police station early on Wednesday morning and thereafter was detained. Later, he was handed over to the Civil Lines police station where the FIR was lodged against him. Meanwhile, the medical report of the Chief Secretary confirmed allegations of assault on him. A police officer told The Statesman: "Before producing him in court, Khan was thoroughly interrogated at Civil Lines police station. He was asked to share the names of other MLAs who were present at the CM's residence on Monday night. He was also asked to state a reason for being missing from his house the night before." However, Khan evaded most of the questions, said the police officer. D AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan being produced at Tees Hazari Court in the capital on Wednesday. AMAN KUMAR Another AAP MLA from Devli constituency, Prakash Jerwal, was arrested on Tuesday night from South Delhi for his alleged involvement in the clash with the chief secretary. A police officer said: "After the arrest of Jerwal, a team of police reached Khan's residence in Jamia Nagar but he was found missing from his house. His family was questioned about his whereabouts but they denied knowing anything." On Tuesday, Delhi Police registered two separate FIRs on the basis of complaints received from the chief secretary and later from the Delhi environment minister Imran Husaain. In his complaint, Prakash alleged that he was beat- en up and assaulted by Amanatullah Khan and others during a discussion over releasing of TV commercials with the chief minister, deputy chief minister and other MLAs at the CM's residence. Hours after the Chief Secretary submitted his complaint, Imran Hussain lodged an FIR at Central Delhi's IP Estate police station alleging that he was assaulted and dragged from the lift by a mob at Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), meanwhile, said the arrest of its two legislators on charges of assaulting chief secretary Anshu Prakash is a "conspiracy" to "malign" the party's MESSI MAKES BARCA’S DAY WITH A GOAL P11 SILVER 38,400.00 -200.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 65.19 -0.06 Modi an instrument of corruption: Rahul Gandhi Delhi CS assault: AAP cries conspiracy AGENCIES With the Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi scandals we know that this is a government that not only cannot remove corruption but is actively participating in it SHILLONG, 21 FEBRUARY image and claimed the two were arrested as they belong to minority communities. Addressing a press conference, senior AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said without any inquiry and just on the basis of a complaint by the chief secretary the police arrested the two AAP lawmakers. On the other hand, Singh said, the police has taken no action on the alleged assault on Delhi cabinet minister Imran Hussain and Delhi Dialogue Commission's (DDC) vice-chairman Ashish Khetan at the Delhi Secretariat, despite having video evidence of the attack. "The words of CS were treated as if they have come from Ramayan or Geeta. And without being given a chance to be heard our MLAs were arrested," Singh said, adding that it is a "conspiracy" against the party. Singh acknowledged that there was a heated argument between the AAP legislators and the Chief Secretary but rejected the allegation of any assault on him. "The discussion was only about the delay in the supply of rations. If he was actually assaulted, then why didn't he call the police after the incident," Singh said. Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “instrument of corruption”, while he was addressing the mediapersons on the sidelines of a public rally in Shillong. Rahul Gandhi, who is on two-day visit to poll-bound Meghalaya state, had said, “Modi is not against corruption, he is an instrument of corruption”. According to agency reports, Rahul said, “Just because the BJP can buy a few MLAs, including Congress MLA, you cannot buy the church. You cannot take away our music just because you like Mohan Bhagwat or Modi’s songs.” Rahul Gandhi took another jibe at the Prime Minister earlier in the day over issues regarding Nirav Modi-PNB scam and Rafale fighter aircraft deal. He attacked the PM Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on Twitter, saying, “Why ask for ideas when in your heart you know what every Indian wants to hear you speak about?” After suggesting “Nirav Modi’s 22,000 Cr. Loot & Scoot” and the “58,000 Cr. RAFALE scam” as topics for the programme, he further added that he is looking forward to “your (Pm Modi’s) sermon”. RAHUL GANDHI CONGRESS PRESIDENT With the PNB fraud case getting murkier each day, the Congress has sharpened its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “continued silence” on issues critical to the country. Slamming the PM, Rahul asked where the “country’s watchman” was when jeweller Nirav Modi fled the country like liquor baron Vijay Mallya did. Gandhi was referring to the Prime Minister’s refrain during poll rallies that he would act as a watchman for the country, and cited his “na khaoonga, na khaane doonga” (will neither do nor allow anyone to do corruption) statement. “First Lalit (Modi) and then (Vijay) Mallya, now Nirav (Modi) also fled the country. Where is the country’s watchman who claimed ‘na khaoonga, na khaane doonga’ (Will neither do nor allow anyone to do corruption)? The public is longing to know the reason of ‘saheb’s’ SC stays police cases against Priya Varrier PNB scam: TMC opposes call for JPC probe STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 FEBRUARY Fissures surfaced in the opposition ranks, with Trinamul Congress on Wednesday rejecting the idea of a probe into Rs 11,300crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) as mooted by the Congress and the CPI-M. "There should be a thorough probe into the Punjab National Bank scam. It's a big case of corruption. But, we think JPC is not the solution," Trinamool leader Derek O'Brien said here. "The reason why we think so is that eight major JPCs have been set up since Independence - in Bofors (1987), Harshad Mehta case (1992), Ketan Parekh share market scam (2001), soft drinks pesticide issue (2003), 2G spectrum issue (2010), VVIP chopper scam (2013), land acquisition (2015) and The Supreme Court on Wednesday put on hold all police cases against Malayalam teen actor Priya Prakash Varrier over a song in her upcoming film. The court also issued notices to the states of Telangana and Maharashtra, where the cases were filed. Varrier's lawyer Harris Beeran said the court has said that no case is to be filed in any state based on this song. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud also extended relief to the director of the Malayalam movie Oru Adaar Love, who had also been named in the complaints. The song "Manikya Malaraya Poovi" has run into Haasan launches party, Makkal Needhi Mayyam PRESS TRUST OF INDIA controversy and Hyderabad police filed a case against the actor last week following a complaint from a group of young men. The men said the song has a reference to the wife of Prophet Muhammad, which they find objectionable. A Hyderabad-based seminary also issued fatwa against the song and demanded that it be removed from the film. Another case was filed in Maharashtra. On Monday, Varrier appealed to the apex court against the FIR. In the petition, the 18-year-old said the song is a traditional one sung by Muslims in Kerala's Malabar region. It describes and praises the love between the Prophet Mohammed and his first wife Khadeeja and "this has been misunderstood by the complainants". INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 FEBRUARY CHANDIGARH, 21 FEBRUARY responsibility and they had to be pioneers. “I am not a leader to give advice. I am a worker to listen to your advice,” Haasan said. Besides Kejriwal, senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Somnath Bharti, farmers' leader P R Pandian were among those who were on the dais for the launch event. In his address, Arvind Kejriwal described Haasan as a real life hero who is honest and has a vision and praised him for starting a new party as a political alternative. CBI seals Nirav Modi farmhouse in Alibaug PRESS TRUST OF INDIA The CBI today sealed a luxury property of billionaire Nirav Modi in Alibaug area near Mumbai, officials said. The 1.5 acre farm house in the uber rich neighbourhood at a stone's throw distance from the Arabian sea was purchased by Modi in 2004 for Rs 32 crore for hosting special parties for his clientele to show case his precious jewellery collection, they said. The expansive farm house, located about 100 km by road from Mumbai in Raigad district also has a 12,000 sq ft bungalow with five bedrooms, a large swimming pool, a movie theatre and a library, they said. The agency had detected the property by analysing the documents recovered by it and had started searches yesterday. The CBI today sealed it. The CBI said it has no information about reports of Modi having two passports “illegally”. The agency presented six persons arrested yesterday before a special CBI court in Mumbai which remanded them in custody till 5 March. The CBI last night took into custody Rajesh Jindal, PNB’s general manager (credit), posted at the bank's head office. FRDI Bill (2017). But, has any of these JPCs yielded any concrete results? Some reports are still awaited, some have not been fully implemented and action in some is still awaited. So, we are against a JPC probe into the PNB scam," he added. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Wednesday backed the demand for a JPC probe into the banking fraud. "This case needs to be probed thoroughly. In the previous instances of financial frauds of Harshad Mehta or Ketan Parikh, Joint Parliamentary Committees were constituted and the then Finance Ministers had deposed before them and put in place corrective measures," the CPI-M said. "In the instant case also a JPC should be constituted and the current Finance Minister must be made to answer all relevant questions." NEW DELHI, 21 FEBRUARY Canada does not support any separatist movement: Trudeau STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE MADURAI, 21 FEBRUARY Amid fanfare, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in attendance, actor Kamal Haasan today launched his political party, christening it “Makkal Needhi Mayyam,” and unfurled its flag that symbolises the strength of unity. “I am not your leader, I am your tool.. this gathering is full of leaders,” he said moments before announcing the party's name that roughly translates to “Centre for People's Justice.” “This is a party made for you, for the people,...,” he said to thunderous applause. The top actor told his supporters that they have a duty, reminding them that this was not a “one day event” “This is going to become a way of life for us, let us remember that.” He asked his followers to realise that they have a big P10 One MLA arrested, another surrenders; medical exam confirms assault Min. 47% TEMPERATURE TRUMP BUCKS GUN LOBBY, BACKS BAN ON BUMP STOCKS ‘INDIA SHOULD NOT WORRY ABOUT SINO-BANGLA TIES’ US, NORTH KOREA MEETING PLANNED, THEN SCRAPPED Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday assured Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh that his country does not support any separatist movement in India or elsewhere. The categorical assurance from Trudeau came when Amarinder sought the Canadian Prime Minister’s cooperation in cracking down on separatism and hate crimes by a fringe element, constituting a miniscule percentage of Canada’s population. Citing the separatist movement in Quebec, Trudeau said he had dealt with such threats all his life and was fully aware of the dangers of violence, which he had always pushed back with all his might, the CM's media advisor, Raveen Thukral, said after the meeting. During a 40-minute long meeting here, the Punjab CM handed over to Trudeau a list of nine Category `A’ Canada-based extremists alleged to be involved in hate crimes in Punjab by financing and supplying weapons for terrorist activities, and also engaged in trying to radicalise youth and children here. At the meeting, at which Canadian defence minister Harjit Sajjan and Punjab local government minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu, were also present, the CM raised the issue of Indo-Canadians believed to be involved in targeted killings in Punjab, urging him to take cognisance of the same and initiate stern action against such elements. Though freedom of speech was enshrined in the Indian Constitution, separatists and hardliners as well as those propagating violence, had lost any such rights as they had been rejected outright by the people of Punjab, said Amarinder. The CM pointed out that people fighting elections on the plank of a separate Sikh state ended up losing their security deposits, said Thukral, adding that Amarinder thanked Trudeau for his explicit stand on a united India. The Canadian PM assured Amarinder he would address all concerns raised by the latter, saying he looked forward to closer ties with India, particularly with Punjab. Amarinder called for cooperation between India and Canada on the issues of terrorism, crime and drugs, while seeking CMYK greater sharing of relevant information, in the interest of national and international security. Responding to concerns raised in some quarters on reports of Human Rights violations, the CM said any aberrations were always dealt with strictly, with even policemen being sent to jail by the courts in such cases. Pointing out that trade and commerce relations between the two were very low at the moment, the CM urged the PM to push investment by Canadian businesses in Punjab. The two leaders agreed to collaborate through joint projects aimed at facilitating progress of both, Canada and India. Amarinder identified higher education, scientific research and technology, innovation and start ups, as well as skill development as some of the areas in which Canada could contribute to the development of Punjab. silence. His silence screams out loud who is he loyal to?” the Congress chief asked in a tweet in Hindi. Speaking at an election rally at Jowai in poll-bound Meghalaya, Rahul went on to say Narendra Modi is a “great magician” who can make even democracy “disappear'. “The prime minister is living up to this wonderful image of a great magician who can make thing appear and disappear at the snap of a finger. He has made many things appear and disappear effortlessly. “Scamsters like Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi and Nirav Modi magically disappeared from India and reappeared in foreign lands out of the reach of Indian law. Modiji's magic can even make democracy disappear from India very soon,” he said. Polling for the 60-seat Meghalaya Assembly will be held on February 27. The Congress has been in power in the state for three consecutive terms, and is eyeing a fourth under chief minister Mukul Sangma. Pakistani helicopter violate LoC JAMMU, 21 FEBRUARY Violating international norms, Pakistan Army helicopters were on Wednesday seen flying just across the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch sector of Jammu division. A senior Army officer confirmed that Pakistan army helicopters were today seen flying very close to the LoC in Poonch sector. However, they did not violate Indian airspace. According to established norms, rotary wing aircraft should not come within 1 km of the LoC and fixed wing aircraft not within 10 kms of the LoC. However, these helicopters flew within 300 metres of the LoC. The officer said the helicopters flew within their airspace and did SNS not cross the LoC. After full shirts, shoes banned for Bihar exam STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE PATNA, 21 FEBRUARY Around two lakh students headed for examination centres today in flip-flops as the education department had banned shoes and socks for the matriculation examination which began today. Officials say the intent is to curb cheating in the examination. Although the authorities had adopted various measures in the past in a bid to curb cheating in the examination ~ last year, wearing of full-sleeved shirts was banned ~ the ban on shoes and socks was imposed for the first time. The result was that those who had come to exam centres in shoes had to remove them outside and enter the exam hall barefoot to write their papers. Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) chairman Anand Kishore finds nothing unusual in banning shoes in the examination, saying similar practice has already been adopted in some competitive exams. Weighing in, Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav said: “Instead of torturing students in the name of cheating, the authorities should have focused on ensuring proper teaching in schools so that the students come well prepared to the exam halls.” Former education minister and Congress leader Ashok Chaudhary also disapproved of this idea. He said officials should not burden the examination candidates with unnecessary impositions. More than 17.70 lakh students are appearing at the matriculation exam that began at 1426 examination centres across the state today.
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