TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 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 P4 SENSEX 33,917.94 +610.80 WEATHER Clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 35 and 17 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY MAY SAYS ‘HIGHLY LIKELY’ RUSSIA BEHIND POISONING OF EX-SPY MEHBOOBA SACKS DRABU OVER HIS KASHMIR REMARKS SHARAD PAWAR, ANNA HAZARE FLAY BJP NIFTY 10,421.40 +194.55 P5 ` vs $ 65.04 +13 PAISE Min. 21% GOLD 29,215.00 -115.00 Min: 16.4°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:28 hrs MOON SETS 14:45 hrs SILVER 38,550.00 -300.00 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, 12 MARCH AGENCIES TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS Brigitte Macron, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron at Lodhi Art District in New IANS Delhi on Monday. SC on 2G: The Supreme Court on Monday set a deadline of six months for CBI and ED to complete the probe in the 2G spectrum allocation cases and the alleged irregularities in FIPB approval to the Aircel-Maxis deal in which former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti has been questioned by the agencies. The issue of FIPB clearance in the Aircel-Maxis deal had surfaced during the probe into the 2G spectrum related P5 cases. SP leader joins BJP: Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agrawal on Monday sparked a furore minutes after joining the BJP with comments belittling actor-politician Jaya Bachchan as someone “who used to dance in films”, remarks dubbed “unacceptable” by senior leader Sushma Swaraj. Agrawal switched to the BJP after losing out to Jaya in the SP race for re-nomiP7 nation to the Upper House. KATHMANDU, 12 MARCH A US-Bangla Airlines aircraft crashed and burst into flames on Monday while landing at Nepal's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) here, killing at least 50 people, officials said. The Dhaka to Kathmandu flight, with 67 passengers and four crew members on board, caught fire after it careened off the runway and ploughed into a football ground near the airport, TIA spokesperson Prem Nath Thakur said. Nepal army spokesman Brigadier General Gokul Bhandari said 50 people had died and the fate of the others was unknown. There were 33 Nepalese nationals on board flight UBG 211, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400. Others include 32 Bangladeshis, one Chinese and one Maldivian. Bombardier is a twinengine, medium-range and turboprop aircraft. “We are carrying out rescue work. We are collecting details,” TIA General Manager Raj Kumar Chhetri said. The black box of the aircraft was recovered from the spot, Chhetri said. The condition of over two dozen people who were admitted to the hospital in Kathmandu is said to be serious. According to SSP Bishwaraj Pokharel, spokesperson at Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range Office, 49 were confirmed dead in the crash. Plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the football ground where the plane crashed. The 17 years aircraft took off from Dhaka and landed at the airport at 2:20 pm (local time). “The plane shot off the runway while it was about to crash into the hanger and immediately caught fire,” an airport official was quoted as saying by the Himalayan Times. The officials, however, have said a technical glitch could be the cause of the accident. “The aircraft was permitted to land from the Southern side of the runway over Koteshwor but it landed from the Northern side,” Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) Sanjiv Gautam was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post. He said the plane was out of control when it attempted to land on the runway. “We are yet to ascertain the reason behind the unusual landing,” he said suspecting the aircraft might have sustained some technical glitches. Basanta Bohora, a Nepalese and one of the few passengers to escape with injuries in the deadly plane crash, said he is lucky to be alive. “All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang afterwards,” he said. “I was seated near the window and was able to break out of the window,” he said. “I have received injuries to my head and legs but I am fortunate that I survived the ordeal.” All the flights to and from TIA have been halted after the crash. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa and Defense Minister Ishwar Pokharel have reached the airport to take stock of the accident. The Dhaka-based USBangla Airlines is a private carrier that launched in July 2014 with the motto “Fly Fast Fly Safe”. Nepal has witnessed a number of accidents involving aircraft in recent years. In February, 2016, Tara Air's Twin Otter 400 crashed in Rupse of Myagdi, killing 23 people. BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 64.81 -0.68 Maha govt accepts farmers’ demands HOLY TRIP Black box recovered, technical glitch may be cause Max: 34.4°C (+5) SUN RISES 06:32 hrs MOON RISES 04.32 hrs P15 P12 Nepal plane crash kills 50 Max.88% DJOKOVIC LOSES TO QUALIFIER AT INDIAN WELLS French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive by a boat in Varanasi on AFP Monday. The BJP-led Maharashtra government on Monday not only agreed to meet all demands of agitating farmers, who are mostly from the state’s tribal belt, but also gave a written assurance to do so within six months. The 30,000 odd distressed farmers who walked for five days from Nashik to Mumbai with a plan of laying a siege of the state Vidhan Sabha at Nariman Point, returned satisfied in the evening on board two special trains from the city's main Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Bhusaval. Announcing the accord, cooperation minister Cahndrakant Patil said the tribals’ main demand that their ownership of forest land must be regularised would be complied with after examining the records. The conditions for loan waiver would be relaxed for tribal farmers and they willbegivennewrationcards within six months.The government which was under attack from all parties including Shiv Sena, who backed the farmers rally, also announced that the accord with Bharatiya Kisan Sabha will be placed in the state Assembly tomorrow. MORE ON PAGE 4 PNB scam: Rahul salvo at FM STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 MARCH Training his guns at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the Rs12,700 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud involving fugitive diamantaires Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi,Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that Jaitley has been "silent" over this scam as he sought to "protect his lawyer daughter" whose law firm was reportedly paid a "retainer amount" by Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Choksi's tainted firm, just before the scam came to light. Firing salvos at Jaitley, Rahul tweeted, "It's now revealed that our FM's silence on the PNB SCAM was to protect his lawyer daughter, who was paid a large retainer by the accused just a month before the SCAM became public. When other law firms of the accused have been raided by the CBI, why not hers?", adding the hashtag "#ModiRobsIndia". The Congress chief also tagged an article by The Wire, a multimedia news portal, in this regard. According to this arti- cle, the law firm owned by Jaitley's daughter and son-in-law, Jaitley & Bakshi, was made a retainer by Geetanjali Gems barely a month before the PNB scam hit the national headlines. However, the firm terminated their retainership and refunded the entire amount to the company after reports about the latter's alleged involvement in the PNB scam surfaced. Rahul was referring to a point made by the article that in the wake of the PNB scam, various law firms associated with the accused Nirav-Choksi companies have come under scanner and that CBI had in February raided the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, which had taken up an assignment barely few weeks before the scam was exposed, as part of its investigations into the scam. The Congress president has been gunning for Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the PNB scam since it became public by end of January, repeatedly questioning the PM's "silence" over what is dubbed as the "country's largest-ever banking fraud".
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