TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 06 MARCH 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 SENSEX 33,746.78 -300.16 Mainly clear sky. Mist in the morning. Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 30 and 15 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE Max: 28.8°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:40 hrs MOON RISES 22:46 hrs P11 NIFTY 10,358.85 -99.50 LEANDER PAES RETURNS TO TOP-50 IN DOUBLES P12 ` vs $ 65.12 +5 PAISE GOLD 29,450.00 00 P15 SILVER 38,750.00 -50.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 64.24 -0.13 Min. 26% Min: 14.5°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:24 hrs MOON SETS 10:12 hrs THUMBNAILS West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a meeting in Purulia on Monday. AMJAD KAZI CIC upholds PMO decision on Aadhaar: The Central Information Commission has upheld the decision of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) that the Aadhaar and voter ID details of Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot be disclosed as they have personal information. The case pertains to an RTI application filed by Soni S Eramath, who had demanded from the PMO, as answer to whether the “President of India has administered the oath of office to the Prime Minister of India in the name of Mr. Narendra Modi.” CBI questions PNB GM in Nirav Modi case: The CBI on Monday questioned a general manager of Punjab National Bank, who handles the treasury section, in connection with the alleged Rs 12,636-crore fraud perpetrated by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, officials said. The questioning came a day after the CBI arrested four people and a director of Gitanjali Group of Companies. “PNB GM (Treasury) S K Chand is being questioned by the CBI in the bank fraud case,” an agency official said. CBI probe ordered into SSC paper leak: The government has ordered a CBI probe into the alleged paper leak in one of the tests of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) held last month, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday. The order came a day after the SSC, which conducts examination for subordinate services, recommended an inquiry by the CBI into the allegations of a leak of questions of the Combined Graduate Level (Tier-II) Examination 2017 held from 17 P6 to 22 February. SC to hear Karti plea today: The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a fresh plea from Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union minister P Chidambaram, seeking quashing of the Enforcement Directorate's summons against him in the INX Media corruption case. In his fresh writ petition, Karti Chidambaram has challenged the summons on the ground that the ED has no jurisdiction to issue such notices based on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s FIR. The plea was mentioned by his counsel before a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y ChanP10 drachud. Apex court stalls probe against Major Aditya Parliament rocked by PNB scam, other issues SNS & PTI WEATHER Max.85% TRUMP DISCUSSES SYRIA SITUATION WITH AL SISI RBI FINES AXIS AND INDIAN OVERSEAS BANKS MEGHALAYA GUV INVITES CONRAD TO FORM GOVT Both Houses adjourned for the day after noisy protests by Opposition NEW DELHI, 5 MARCH The Supreme Court on Monday halted further investigation in the January 27 Shopian firing incident involving a senior army officer, accused of leading an army convoy, even as the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government were at loggerheads over lodging of FIR. Observing that Major Aditya“is an army officer and not an ordinary criminal”, the top court directed the state government that no further investigation shall take place in the case till April 24, when the final hearing in the matter would take place. The Centre contended that the state government cannot lodge an FIR against army personnel under section 7 of the Jammu and Kashmir AFSPA for the job done in discharge of their duty, as no prior sanction was taken from the Union of India. The state government, on other hand, argued that the army officials do not respond to the communications sent by investigating officer and think that “they are above law”. It said that army personnel do not have “any license to kill” and the state government has the “right STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 5 MARCH to investigate any cognizable offence and deaths of its own people”. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said “let the matter be listed for final disposal on April 24. In the meantime, there shall be no further investigation on the basis of FIR till then.” Three civilians were killed when Army personnel fired at a stonepelting mob in Ganovpora village of Shopian on January 27 this year. All those killed in the shootout in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district were linked to militancy and the soldiers acted in selfdefence, the Army said today. Recounting the events of the shootout, in which six people, including two militants, were killed last night, a defence spokesperson said soldiers deployed at the mobile vehicle check post (MVCP) in Trenz-Pinjoora road near Pahnoo village were fired upon by occupants in two speeding vehicles. T he Rs 12,700 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud involving fugitive diamantaires, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, among other issues rocked both the Houses of Parliament on Monday ~ the first day of the second phase of the current Budget Session ~ as the Congress-led Opposition sought to turn up the heat on the Narendra Modi government over the PNB scam. The slogan-shouting members of the Opposition parties ~ and even the ruling BJP's ally TDP MPs demanding special status and "justice" for Andhra Pradesh ~ repeatedly stormed the Well of the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha, forcing their multiple adjournments. The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day immediately after noon in the midst of unrelenting protests by the Congress-led Opposition members over the State-run PNB scam, dubbed the country's biggest bank fraud, and the TDP MPs' demands for a special package for Andhra Pradesh as promised by the Centre during the state's bifurca- J & K firing: Mehbooba says civilians among 6 killed STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 5 MARCH Sporadic violence erupted in south Kashmir as the death toll in Sunday night’s exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists in Shopian rose to six with the recovery of two more bodies on Monday. The situation in Shopian, Budgam and Anantnag districts was stated to be tense asmobspeltedstonesatsecurity forces. Two bodies of terrorists and four other bodies have been recovered. Two weapons have also been recovered from the dead terrorists, said state’s director general of police SPVaid. An Army spokesman on Sunday night had said a terrorist and three "overground workers" were killed as the Army retaliated when its "mobile vehicle checkpost" (MVCP) was fired upon by the ultras at Pahnoo in Shopian. Three of those killed have beenidentifiedbythe villagers as Suhail Khaleel Wagay of Pinjoora, Mohammad Shahid Khan of Malikgund, Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay of Trenz (all from Shopian). Police said on Monday morning that bullet-ridden bodies of Ashiq Hussain Bhat, a suspected Lashkare-Taiba (LeT) militant and a civilian Gowhar Ahmed Lone of Chitragam village were found in the area. A police officer said an MVCP near Pahnoo had signaled a car to stop, but it did not.The Army men were fired upon and they retaliated. Expressing anguish over the incident, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, Govt attacks Manmohan, PC “Deeply distressed by more deaths of civilians caught in the crossfire in Shopian. My heartfelt condolences to the deceased’s families.” Ruling People’s Democratic Party MLA from Shopian, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, condemned the killing of "civilians" and demanded a judicial probe into it. A shutdown was observed in the Valley on Monday on a call given by the separatists, who accused the security forces of having killed civilians. Separatist Yasin Malik was taken into custody when he tried to take out a procession. Strict restrictions were enforced to prevent untoward incidents. SMS and internet services were suspended in the area and the rail service also did not operate. Schools and other education institutes, which were to open on Monday after a two-month winter break, remained closed as a precautionary measure in the Valley. NEW DELHI, 5 MARCH Prime Minister Narendra Modi with senior BJP leaders and Ministers at the Parliament House complex in New Delhi on Monday following the BJP's recent electoral victory in SNS Northeastern states. tion four years ago. As the two Houses met following the recess period of the Budget Session, both witnessed uproarious scenes and repeated disruptions that led to their premature adjournments for the day. The Lok Sabha witnessed ruckus as members from the Congress, Trinamul, TDP , TRS and AIADMK trooped into the Well over their various issues. Their protests disrupted the Question Hour and forced Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn BJP usurping power through proxy: Rahul NEW DELHI, 5 MARCH Breaking his silence on his party's electoral debacle in Northeastern states, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the party respected the mandate of the people of Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya and was "committed to strengthening it across the Northeast and to winning back the trust of the people". Training his guns on the BJP Rahul accused it , of "usurping" power in Meghalaya through "proxy" by using "big money". Using the hashtag "DemocracyDemonetised", Rahul tweeted: "With just 2 seats, the BJP has usurped power in Meghalaya, through a proxy. Like in Manipur & Goa, showing utter disregard for the mandate of the people. Obsessed instead with grabbing power, using big money to create an opportunisSNS tic alliance." the House till 12 noon. As the House reassembled, the Congress members trooped into the Well with placards demanding a reply from PM Modi on Nirav Modi's whereabouts.TheTrinamul members were also raising this issue. The TDP MPs pressed for special package for Andhra Pradesh while the TRS members demanded increase in reservation quota in Telangana. The Speaker thereafter adjourned the House for the day. The Rajya Sabha witnessed similar protests and disruptions over the PNB scam and other issues, forcing Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to first adjourn the proceedings for a brief while and then subsequently till 1400 hours. The members from the TMC, Congress, AIADMK, DMK, and TDP repeatedly trooped into the Well of the Upper House, raising slogans on their respective issues. The BJP on Monday sought to corner former finance minister P Chidambaram, alleging that he granted seven private firms, including scamaccused Gitanjali Gems, gold import benefits on the day of counting of 2014 Lok Sabha poll votes and asked the Congress how much “cut” was given to whom for the decision. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad targeted the Congress, ex-PM Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram, whose son Karti Chidambaram has been arrested by the CBI in a corruption case, at a press conference which was described by the BJP as an “expose on the politics of lies and deceit” of the opposiPTI tion party. TURN TO PAGE 7 I am not MGR, but can give pro-poor rule like him: Rajini PRESS TRUST OF INDIA CHENNAI, 5 MARCH Short of announcing his political party today, superstar Rajinikanth on Monday invoked the legacy of late AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran, saying he was confident of giving a good administration like the yesteryear matinee idol. Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, is often referred to as the benchmark of success in politics, especially for an actor, with many other cinema professionals trying to emulate him by taking the political plunge in Tamil Nadu. “Nobody can match MGR even in 1,000 years and that includes me,” he said referring to criticism, especially from the ruling AIADMK, that not all can emulate Ramachandran's success in politics. In his speech, which gave an insight into his political ideology and his pri- orities of his yet-to-be launched party, Rajinikanth acknowledged he was “not MGR” and“If someone says he will be (like) MGR, he will only be a crazy man.” “But I am confident that I can give a rule like him, that will benefit the poor and the common man,” he said amidst loud cheers from the gathering at the ACS Medical College and Hospital where he unveiled a statue of MGR. However, in view of the current “political vacuum I am confident I will be able to give a 'good' administration and 'spiritual' governance. In his first political remarks since Decem- ber 31 last when he announced he will enter politics, Rajinikanth, who has a large fan following, said there was a “vaccuum for a good leader” in the state politics currently. This was following the demise of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and illhealth of 93-year old DMK President M Karunanidhi who has become inactive politically of late, he said. The road leading to the function venue was dotted with banners and posters hailing and welcoming the actor. Rajinikanth gave away awards to some students on the occasion. His event today comes days after contemporary Kamal Haasan launched his political party Makkal Needhi Maiam. Rajinikanth today unveiled a statue of late Chief Minister M G Ramachandran at a private medical college here in the presence of a huge crowd. The Shape of Water triumphs in Oscar best picture race SK envoys meet Kim THE INDEPENDENT AND AGENCIES SEOUL, 5 MARCH LOS ANGELES, 5 MARCH The Shape of Water, a fantasy drama about a mute cleaning lady who falls for a sea creature, turned out to be the big winner at the politically-charged 90th Academy Awards, bagging four trophies, including Best Picture and Best Director for Guillermo del Toro. In a tight best picture race, the inter-species romance triumphed over award season favourites “Get Out” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.The film also won Best Original Score for Alexandre Desplat and Best Production Design. Del Toro's double win as director and producer once again underscored the domi- nation of Mexican filmmakers at the Academy Awards. His win is the fourth time a Mexican has taken home the prize in the last five years, after Alfonso Cuaron won in 2014 for “Gravity” and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu in 2015 and 2016 for “The Birdman” and “The Revenant”. Del Toro acknowledged as much in his acceptance speech while taking a potshot at President Donald Trump's comments about building a wall between Mexico and the US. “I am an immigrant like Alfonso and Alejandro, my compadres. Like Gael (Garcia Bernal), like Salma (Hayek) and like many, many of you... “Because I think that the greatest thing our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand.We should con- tinue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper,” he said. The activism of the post-Harvey Weinstein era, which led to celebrities making a statement through wearing black or “Time's Up” pins at award shows this season, shifted to the Oscar stage on Sunday. Host Jimmy Kimmel, returning for the second time, as well as winners and presenters addressed the seismic shift in Hollywood's race and gender politics. Best Actress winner Frances McDormand, who bagged the award for “Three Billboards...”, emphasised the need for good roles for women and asked “all the female nominees in every category” to stand with her in the room with a special shoutout to fellow nominee Meryl Streep. “Okay, look around everybody. Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.” “I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider,” she said. She explained backstage that while negotiating a contract one can demand an “inclusion rider which means that you can ask for and/or demand at least 50 percent diversity in not only the casting, but also the crew”. In a break from tradition, the Best Actress award was given not by last year's Best Actor winner Casey Affleck but Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster. Old timers Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren teamed up to present the Best Actor award. Kimmel kept his hosting light and fun-filled except for the opening monologue where he targeted disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, while lauding the Time's Up and Me Too movements. “What happened with Harvey and what's happening all over was long overdue. We can't let bad behaviour slide away. The world is watching us and we need to set an example here. And the truth that if we are successful here, we can work together to stop sexual harassment at workplace,” he said. Gary Oldman won the Best Actor Oscar for drastically transforming himself to play Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”. The Joe Wright-directed period drama also won the Make Up and Hairstyling Oscar. The Best Supporting Actor went to McDormand's co-star Sam Rockwell for his role of a racist-yet-redeemable cop in “Three Billboards...”. Allison Janney bagged the Best Supporting Actress for playing an unforgiving mother in “I, Tonya”. Though there was visible support for women-led stories, Greta Gerwig missed out in the Best Director and Best Original Screenplay categories for her critically-lauded “Lady Bird”. Steven Spielberg's “The Post” also had to leave emptyhanded. The most senior South Koreans to travel to North Korea for more than a decade met leader Kim Jong Un Monday, a Seoul official said, the latest step in an Olympics-driven rapprochement on the divided peninsula. The delegation, representing the South's President Moon Jae-in, is pushing for talks between the nuclear-armed regime and the United States, after Kim sent his sister Kim Yo Jong to theWinter Games in the South.“Chairman Kim Jong Un is currently hosting a dinner for the special envoys,” Moon's spokesman told a press briefing on Monday. AGENCIES (SEE PAGE 13)
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