SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 01 APRIL 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 THE GURUSADAY MUSEUM NEAR JOKA, NAMED AFTER THE BRILLIANT GURUSADAY DUTT, IS ON THE VERGE OF CLOSING DOWN WITH TIME, APRIL FOOLS’ DAY HAS THROWN UP SOME MEMORABLE PRANKS -A FEW NOTABLE ONES WEATHER Cloudy sky. Rain/thundershower accompanied by gusty wind likely. Max and min temp to be 30/25 deg cels, resp RAINFALL: Trace RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.87% TEMPERATURE Centre, TN move SC on Cauvery HOMECOMING Centre seeks 3 months’ time to implement SC order Min. 36% PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Max: 30.5°C (-4) Min: 26.1°C (+2) SUN SETS SUN RISES 17:52 hrs 05:29 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 18:44 hrs 06:06 hrs Third quarter of moon on 11 April THUMBNAILS Cloudy sky in Kolkata on Saturday. There were traces of rainfall in the city areas. DILIP DUTTA GST e-way bill system to take off: As the GST w e-way bill system is set to take off from 1 April, many businesses and transporters are waiting with bated breath to see a smooth rollout of the scheme. Earlier, the e-way bill portal created by Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), the firm handling the backbone of the GST regime, collapsed on the very first day of its introduction on 1 February, when only 4,80,000 bills were generated. To avoid a repeat, the load has been increased to 7.5 million this time. The system is aimed to curb tax evasion and boost GST revenues, which had P8 declined for over two months in a row. Three-phase Bengal panchayat polls in May: p Bengal panchayat elections will be held in three phases on 1, 3 and 5 May across 20 districts. The counting will be held on 8 May and the entire poll process will be completed by 15 May, said Mr AK Singh, commissioner, State Election Commission. The commission, however, did not clarify as to whether central forces would be requisitioned for conducting the polls but sources said that it had asked the state government as to how many armed police personnel can be spared for the three phase polls. A total of 12 districts will go for the rural polls in the first phase on 1 May. ‘No CWG wrongdoing’: An Indian official denied any wrongdoing after syringes were found near their accommodation at the Commonwealth Games Village, prompting the authorities to probe the matter. It has been reported that syringes were discovered near the accommodation where a few Indian athletes are putting up. However it was still unclear who they belonged to. Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief executive David Grevemberg has said that a staff at the athletes' village told them about the syringes and the matter will now be probed. "The syringes were not found in the Indian athletes' rooms.’’ NEW DELHI, 31 MAR CH he Centre and Tamil Nadu today moved the Supreme Court on the issue of constitution and composition of the Cauvery Management Board in compliance with the February 16 apex court verdict on the decades-old river watersharing dispute. The Centre sought threemonths time to implement the apex court order due to the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections. Besides extension of time, the Centre asked for clarification on various issues for formulation of a “scheme” for implementing the decision of the top court. Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, sought contempt action against the Centre for “failure” to frame the scheme for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee within six weeks as directed by the apex court on February 16. The Centre, in its petition, said that since there were divergent views between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on the constitution of the CMB, the apex court should clarify whether “it is open to the central government to frame the scheme under 6A at variance with the rec- T Besides seeking time due to the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls the Centre asked for clarifications ommendations contained in the report of the CWDT (Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal) regarding the Cauvery Management Board”. Karnataka has opposed constitution of the CMB and sought some alternative mechanism in place of any such board for complying with the scheme to implement the verdict. The Union government also said considering overall sensitivity of the issues involved, the apex court may also clarify whether it has any flexibility in modifying the composition of the CMB to “a mixture of administrative and technical body” and “not purely a technical body” as recommended by the CWDT for effective conduct of the business of the board. It also wanted clarification on whether the board framed by the central government under Inter-State River Water Dis- putes (ISRWD) Act, 1956 can have functions different from the ones recommended for Cauvery Management Board by the CWDT in its report. The Centre told the apex court that the Cauvery issue is “very emotive” in Karnataka and since the Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced the schedule for Assembly elections to Karnataka on March 27, the constitution of the CMB may result in serious law and order situation. “If the central government is to constitute a scheme under 6A of the ISWRD Act, 1956 and notify it during the state Vidhan Sabha election process, the central government fears that it would lead to a massive public outrage, vitiate the election processand cause serious law and order problem,” it said. Tamil Nadu, in its contempt plea, said that the central government was bound to give effect to the judgment by framing a scheme so that the authorities -- Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee -- are put in place within six weeks. It said that the authorities need to be in place so that the decisions of the tribunal as modified by the apex court are implemented in accordance with the time schedule prescribed therein. Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai during her hometown visit to the Swat Valley where (REPORT P 10 ) she survived a near fatal attack by Taliban in 2012 for advocating girls’ education. On Saturday. AFP ICICI Bank issue: CBI grills officials PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 31 MARCH The CBI has questioned a few ICICI Bank officials as part of a preliminary enquiry to find if any quid pro quo was involved in the bank issuing a Rs 3,250 crore loan to the Videocon Group in 2012. Agency officials said they are also studying relevant documents of the transaction and if they come across any evidence that indicates wrongdoing, ICICI bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar along with others could be summoned for detailed questioning. Deepak Kochhar They said the statements of nodal officers of the ICICI, who were part of processing the loan of about Rs 3,250 crore, have been recorded as part of the PE registered six weeks back. The PE has named Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot, Deepak Kochhar and unknown others, they said. A PE is a precursor before the agency lodges an FIR to probe criminal charges on the basis of evidence collected during the former exercise. The deal recently made news after reports questioned the loan and linked it to a possible quid pro quo that Dhoot allegedly had with NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Deepak Russia to expel more UK envoys Bengal Governor visits Asansol STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE ASANSOL, 31 MARCH The Governor, Mr Kesharinath Tripathi, visited trouble-torn Asansol today and said,"Whatever incidents have occurred in Asansol are unfortunate and he will take up the issue with the state government after returning to Kolkata. Briefing reporters at Asansol circuit house this afternoon, Mr Tripathi said, “I have come here with the message of peace and communal harmony”. “I have visited the affected areas in Asansol North and feel that peace should be paramount and people should respect each other”, the Governor said. He ,however, did not say anything whether the measures taken by the state government and state police are adequateor not. Venugopal Dhoot AGENCIES MOSCOW, 31 MARCH Governor of West Bengal Mr K. N. Tripathi visiting the Asansol violence site in Paschim Burdwan on Saturday. Sitaram Mukherjee Earlier in the day at about 11 a.m, the Governor came directly by road to Asansol circuit house and held a closed door meeting with Shasank Shetty, DM of West Burdwan, Police Commissioner of Asansol -Durgapore police, Lakshmi Narayan Meena, IGP Western zone, Rajib Mishra, Sub Magistrate Praolay Roy Choudury ,etc Talking to The Statesman, police commissioner Meena said the district administration has provided necessary information to the Governor. “So far we have arrested about 100 people, out of which 46 are from Asansol, 21 in Ranigunj and detained other 14 people. Russia has told Britain a total of more than 50 of its diplomats will have to leave, amid a deepening row over the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK. Moscow initially expelled 23 British diplomats after 23 Russian diplomats were ordered out by London. But now the Russians are insisting that even more UK diplomats should leave. It says the UK and Russian diplomatic missions should be the same size in each country. In practice that would mean at least another 27 UK officials being sent home, the BBC's Paul Adams reports from Moscow. But it is also possible that some of the additional reduction could be made up by laying off local staff. The British government blames Russia for the nerve agent attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury in southern England on 4 March. Moscow denies it. Mr Skripal remains in a critical but stable condition. Yulia's condition is said to be improving. The Russian Embassy in Britain has complained about the alleged search of a Russian airliner that landed at London's Heathrow Airport. The embassy said British Border Forces and Customs officers searched an Aeroflot flight in violation of international rules. India deploys more troops near China border PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Military officials said apart from stepping up patrolling, India is strengthening its surveillance mechanism to keep an eye on Chinese activities along the borders in the strategically sensitive Tibetan region and has even been regularly deploying choppers to carry out recce. KIBITHU (ARUNACHAL PRADESH), 31 MARCH India has deployed more troops and significantly increased patrolling in the mountainous terrains of Dibang, Dau-Delai and Lohit valleys along the borders with China in the Tibetan region in Arunachal sector following the Doklam face-off, the most tense military confrontations between the two countries in decades. Military officials said India is also strengthening its surveillance mechanism to keep an eye on Chinese activities along the borders in the strategically sensitive Tibetan region and has even been regularly deploying choppers to carry out recce. They said India has been focusing on dominating the treacherous terrains which include snow-clad mountains at an altitude of over 17,000 feet, and river passes, as part of a strategy to counter China's rising assertiveness along the border in Dibang, Dau-Delai and Lohit valleys. Post Doklam, we have increased our activities manifold. We are fully prepared to deal with any challenge, said an army officer posted in Kibithu, the eastern most village on India's border with China's Tibetan region. The official said the Army has been enhancing its Long Range Patrols (LRPs) where troops in small groups go for patrols for 15-30 days as part of an overall approach to maintain the sanctity of the Line of Actual Control, the de-facto border between India and China. Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam from June 16 last year after the Indian side stopped building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. The face-off ended on August 28. We have increased our deployment of troops while focusing on all the strategically important areas including a trijunction among India, China and Myanmar, said the official who wished not to be quoted as he is not authorised to speak to the media. The official said China has been ramping up its infrastructure development along India's border, particularly in the Tibetan region and there was a need for India to enhance its road network for quick movements of troops. The Army uses a foot suspension bridge to carry its military supplies to its Kibithu post, considered very important from operational point of view, as the only road connecting the East bank of Lohit river with West bank remains closed due to landslides for most part of the year. However, a senior official of the Border Roads Organi- sation said a number of roads including one to connect the Dibang Valley with Lohit Valley has been finalised which will improve the inter-valley connectivity in Arunachal. China has been laying new roads and improving its overall infrastructure along the nearly 4,000 km long border with India. Earlier this month, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said China has undertaken construction of helipads, sentry posts and trenches for its army personnel near Doklam. Sources said China has been keeping its troops in north Doklam and significantly ramping up its infrastructure in the disputed area. In January, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat had said the time had come for India to shift its focus from borders with Pakistan to the frontier with China, indicating the seriousness of the situation. PTI adds from Dharamsala: BJP general secretary Ram Madhav today said India appreciates the desire of the Tibetansin-exile to return to their motherland, and that they should not consider themselves refugees in “their second home”. The Tibetan governmentin-exile today kicked off yearlong celebrations under the “Thank You India” campaign to mark 60 years of the Dalai Lama's arrival in India. “India has always welcomed people in problem with open arms. Many people came to India as refugees, and found love and shelter here. The life of a refugee is very tough and full of struggles, but the Tibetans should not consider themselves refugees as they are living in their second home,” Madhav said at an event in McLeodganj. Kochchar. Earlier this week, the ICICI Bank board came out in support of Chanda Kochhar, saying it has full faith and confidence in her and described certain reports against her regarding credit disbursement to Videocon group as “malicious and unfounded rumours”. The board had also reviewed the banks internal processes for credit approval and found them robust, the private sector lender had said in a statement. With regard to loans to the Videocon group, it said the banks current exposure is part of a syndicated consortium arrangement. SpiceJet crew accuse airline of stripsearch; charge denied NEW DELHI, 31 MARCH A video showing an angry bunch of SpiceJet air hostesses accusing the airline of strip searching them at Chennai airport has gone viral, with the airline denying the claims. The crew alleged that they were searched after de-boarding on the suspicion that they were swindling cash collected from the sale of food and other items on-board. While SpiceJet confirmed that their security teams undertook “random pat down searches” at a few of the stations on the night of March 28 and March 29 as part of security and safety standard operating procedures (SOP), the airline rejected the allegation that the crew was strip searched. The budget carrier said the allegations regarding deviation from SOPs were being investigated and strict action would be taken if anybody was found guilty. One of the objectives of this search is to ensure that there is no pilferage of company money/goods, smuggling or any illegal activity that an employee may be lured into. This also ensures security and safety of our passengers, employees and assets. This search is essentially the same as what any passenger goes through at any of the Indian airports, said a SpiceJet spokesperson. He said the searches were conducted as per the laid down procedures in closed rooms by welltrained employees of the PTI same gender.
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