CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 APRIL 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘IT COULD HAVE BEEN IN UK’S INTEREST’ NK OUT OF THE CLOISTER P6 WEATHER Partly cloudy night. Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 32 and 22 degree celsius, resp. RAINFALL: 4.3 mm in past 24 hours RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.98% TEMPERATURE Max: 30.4°C (-5) SUN RISES 05:27 hrs MOON RISES 20.34hrs Min. 45% Min: 19.6°C (-5) SUN SETS 17:53 hrs MOON SETS 07:27 hrs Third quarter of moon on 11 April THUMBNAILS Troubled Indian pacer Mohammad Shami on Monday finally joined the Delhi Daredevils training ahead of the Indian Premier League, P11 starting April 7. Indian CWG team in trouble: The Indian Commonwealth Games contingent could be in trouble amid speculation that their boxers possessed syringes in violation of the event's "no-needle policy," despite claims by people close to the camp that they still steered clear of any doping embarrassment. Commonwealth Games Federation CEO David Grevemberg, at a Press conference, said that the CGF had initiated an investigation into the matter but did not name India as the target of the probe. Grevemberg said the CGF was in talks with the Commonwealth Games association. Dr Asish Ghosh passes away: Dr Asish K. Ghosh, Founder-Director for Center for Environment and Development, Kolkata, and a former Director of the Zoological Survey of India passed away in Kolkata on Monday morning after months of illness. His death caused profound grief among research students academics, environmental scientists and scholars in Kolkata and abroad. A bachelor, Dr Ghosh had his education at the University of Calcutta and later at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. A Fulbright scholar and Rockefeller Foundation grantee, Dr Ghosh was recipient of several international visitorships. Life imprisonment: Former Trinamul Congress councillor, Sambhunath Kow and six others who were convicted by Alipre court on charges of murder of another leader of the same party, Adhir Maity were sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday. The convicted persons would have to serve six months of rigorous imprisonment if they do not pay a fine of Rs 5,000 which the court imposed on them. Kow and six others facing different charges in connection with the death of another Trinamul leader, Adhir Maiti, were convicted by ninth additional district judge Sujoy Sengupta of Alipore Court on 28 March. ARMY COMPELLED TO RE-PRIORITISE P9 Govt seeks apex court review, differs on Act SNS & PTI A PORTRAIT OF THE COACH AS A TRAPEZE ARTIST P7 P12 Violence marks Dalit protests over SC/ST Act Bharat bandh against alleged dilution of Act; 6 killed in cross-firing in MP, 2 in UP, Rajasthan SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 2 APRIL Centre monitoring situation NEW DELHI/BHOPAL,2 APRIL As Dalit protests turned violent, the Centre today moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its recent verdict on scheduled castes and tribes, saying it has led to “dilution” of some stringent provisions of law to prevent atrocities against them. Separately, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government “differs” with the reasoning given by the apex court judgement “virtually redoing the entire architecture of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act”. The apex court, however, declined urgent hearing on a writ petition filed by All India Federation of SC/ST Organisations against the verdict claiming that the entire nation has witnessed large-scale violence during today's 'Bharat Bandh'. The court said the plea would be listed and heard in due course. At least seven persons were killed and many injured in violence as Dalit protesters blocked trains, clashed with police and set fire to vehicles across several states during a nationwide bandh called to protest against the court verdict. In a bid to protect honest public servants discharging bonafide duties from being blackmailed with false cases under the SC/ST Act, the apex court on March 20 diluted its stringent provisions mandating immediate arrest under the law. The union government, t least eight persons were killed and many injured in violence today as Dalit protesters blocked trains, clashed with police and set fire to vehicles across several states during a nationwide bandh against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, officials said. While six were killed in cross-firing in Madhya Pradesh alone, one each died in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, according to officials there. Curfew was imposed in several places and hundreds were detained. The Army and paramilitary forces were also put on standby in Punjab. Transport, mobile and internet services were hit in many states with over 100 trains getting affected due to protests, even as the Centre moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its recent judgement on the SC/ST Act, maintaining that the verdict will violate constitutional rights of these communities. While some states had ordered closure of educational institutions as a precautionary measure, incidents of arson, firing and vandalism were reported from MP, UP, Rajasthan, Bihar and Punjab, among other places. In Madhya Pradesh, Inspector General of Police (IGP) for Law and Order, Makrand Deuskar said that Rakesh Jatav, Deepak Jatav A in its review petition, said the verdict has “wide ramification and implication resulting in dilution of the stringent provisions of law enacted under the 1989 enactment. “It(the verdict) adversely affects a substantial portion of the population of India being the members of SC/ST. It is also contrary to the legislative policy of Parliament as reflected in the Prevention Of Atrocities Act 1989”. Highly placed sources in the government, meanwhile, said Attorney General K K Venugopal would mention the review petition in the top court tomorrow for an early hearing. Seeking an open court hearing of the review petition, it said that “oral arguments are essential in the present matter in order to assist the court. Further, it would be in the interest of justice that oral arguments be entertained by this court”. Justifying the petition, the Centre said that despite various measures to improve the socio-economic conditions of the SCs and STs, they still remained vulnerable. “They are denied a number of civil rights. They are subjected to various offences’’. NEW DELHI, 2 APRIL (Above) Members of the Dalit community stage a protest during the countrywide Bharat Bandh against the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes Act,in the Capital on Monday. (Right) Activists of the community block a railway track near Prayag Station during the strike on the same issue. In Allahabad on Monday. Several trains were held up as a result of the blockade. NEW DELHI, 2 APRIL Union Minister Arun Jaitley and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today moved joint pleas before the Delhi High Court and the trial court to “settle” their over two-year long litigation regarding alleged defamatory statements made against the BJP leader after the AAP supremo apologised for his remarks. The move by Kejriwal came as no surprise as he has already apologised to some others, including Union Minister Nitin Gad- kari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal's lawyer son Amit, who had filed defamation suits and complaints against him. While in the high court, Jaitley had filed a civil defamation suit in December 2015 claiming Rs 10 crore as damages, he had also lodged a crim- inal defamation case against Kejriwal for his remarks relating to alleged largescale financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) during his tenure as the president of the cricket body. Along with Kejriwal, five other AAP leaders -- SNS SNS/AFP and Vimal Boudh died in Gwalior town while Mahavir Rajawat and Akash Jatav were killed in Bhind and Rahul Pathak died in Morena town. The IG said that all the six deceased had sustained gunshot wounds. He added that the death toll could rise, as some of the injured were in critical conditions. In UP one person was , killed in Muzaffarnagar and nearly 75 persons including 40 policemen Kejriwal apologises to Jaitley PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Widespread violence in northern states on Monday over “dilution” of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act forced the Ministry of Home Affairs to get in touch with several state governments and offer Central forces’ reinforcements. The violence erupted during the Bharat Bandh organised to protest against the weakening of the law to protect SCs and STs in the wake of the Supreme Court judgement. The government announced in the Lok Sabha that it had filed a review petition on the judgement before the Supreme Court. Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh, Deepak Bajpai and Kumar Vishwas were facing proceedings in both the high court and the trial court. While all those facing these proceedings tendered unconditional apology, Vishwas has not yet done so and hence, the proceedings shall continue against him. Both the high court and the trial court have listed the matters for hearing tomorrow. Apart from Kejriwal, other AAP leaders have tendered an “unqualified” apology for their statements. were injured in violent protests in various parts of the state. Police has detained nearly 450 people there. In Rajasthan, one person was killed and 26 others, including nine policemen, were injured in Alwar. Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed for peace, while Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government was not a party to the Supreme Court decision on the SC/ST Act and “respectfully” did not agree with its reasoning behind the verdict. Prasad also said the government has filed a very comprehensive review petition in the matter. Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, a prominent Dalit leader and head of NDA constituent LJP appre, ciated the government's quick decision. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that incidents of atrocities on Dalits and minorities have increased in the SC to hear TN plea on Cauvery STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 APRIL The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a contempt plea of the Tamil Nadu government against the Centre for not constituting the Cauvery Management Board (CMB). A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud posted the matter for 9 April. "We understand Tamil Nadu's difficulty of not getting water. We will resolve the issue. List the matter for April 9," the bench said. Tamil Nadu had sought contempt action against the Centre for "failure" to frame the scheme for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee within six weeks, as directed by the apex court on 16 February. Tamil Nadu said the Centre was bound to give effect to the judgement by framing a scheme so that the authorities are put in place within six weeks. Bodies of Indians killed in Iraq brought back PRESS TRUST OF INDIA AMRITSAR/KOLKATA, 2 APRIL The mortal remains of 38 of the 39 Indians killed in war-torn Iraq were brought back today in a special aircraft and handed over to their relatives. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, who brought back the bodies from Baghdad, told reporters in Amritsar that Indian embassy did not have any record of the 40 Indians captured by the terror group ISIS in Iraq in 2014 as they had gone there through illegal travel agents. The minister said that had the government had any information about these people being in danger, it would have rescued them as it had done in case of over 45 nurses in 2014. Thirty-nine of the 40 Indian labourers were killed by the terror group, while one of them managed to escape posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh. Out of the 39 killed, 27 hailed from Punjab, four from Himachal Pradesh, six from Bihar and two from West Bengal. The special aircraft carrying the mortal remains of 38 Indians in caskets landed at the Amritsar international airport around 2:30 pm. The presumed remains of one of those killed were yet to be positively identified. As the aircraft carrying the coffins landed in Amritsar, an air of gloom descended as distraught families looked at the caskets. The remains of the 31 men belonging to Punjab and Himachal Pradesh were received by their relatives at the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport in Amritsar. The special flight proceeded to Kolkata, where the mortal remains of two men hailing from Nadia district were handed over to their families. The aircraft then left for Patna for handing over the bodies of six men hailing from Bihar to their families. Relatives Seema (2R) and her brother in-law Yuvraj (R) grieve near the coffin of her husband Sonu, who was killed in Iraq, at the International Airport in Amritsar on Monday. AFP Authorities helped the families to take the bodies to their native places. Talking to reporters in Amritsar, Singh, who had gone to Iraq yesterday to bring back the bodies, said it was not possible to ascertain when they were killed. “But we were told that it could be about one year (ago). But it is very difficult to say whether it is more than a year CMYK or less than a year,” he said. To a question, Singh said that the Iraq-based Martyrs Foundation had advised against opening of caskets. “The Martyrs Foundation has told us that the way toxic contents were found (from where the mortal remains were taken out) and the way all this was done (embalming of bodies) when you open the casket it may pose danger and that is why they said it is better not to open it,” he said. Asked how they were killed, Singh, a former army chief, said that some of the persons were killed by bullets. “When tests were conducted (on mortal remains) it was found that some persons were killed by bullets and however, in some cases, it is very difficult to say as to how they were killed,” he said. “The external affairs ministry started a campaign in 2014 in which we say that one must not go through an illegal agent. There was no record of these 40 persons in any embassy. They migrated through illegal agents. When you go through illegal agents then it is difficult to find where one has gone,” the minister told reporters and called for strict action against fake travel agents. To a query, he said that had they got any clue about the Indian men, they could have been saved like nurses were saved in Iraq in 2014. “Do you know about Indian nurses case? We knew about their condition and we asked them to get out of their place (in Iraq in 2014). Initially, they refused to leave the place, saying they were not in danger. But after four days, they told us their hospital was damaged. Then we rescued them. Had there been any information that these persons (40 Indian men) were in crisis at a particular location, we would have rescued them,” he said. Singh emphasised that both the state and the centre should work together. country since the NDA came to power in 2014, while AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal extended his support to the protesting groups. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appealed for peace and urged the people not to vitiate law and order, as violence was reported from many districts including Azamgarh where protesters torched two state-run buses, injuring several passengers. Govt rules out review of duties on petrol, diesel NEW DELHI, 2 APRIL Despite skyrocketing fuel prices putting severe pressure on consumers' pockets, the Central government is not considering providing any relief to them by reducing duties on fuel. Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia on Monday said “the government is not going to review the duties on petrol and diesel now”. The price of petrol stood at Rs 73.83 per litre while diesel was priced at Rs 64.69 a litre in the national capital on Monday, which marks a fouryear high. The surge in petrol prices also comes close to RBI monetary policy review meeting. The fuel price hike will reduce headroom for the RBI to cut interest rates to spur economic growth. The RBI monetary policy committee will begin their meeting on 4 April. Echoing the Finance Ministry, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said, “When crude oil prices rise, naturally consumer feels a pinch. We are concerned (about the impact on consumers). We are keeping a close eye on the developing international oil scenario.” He did not offer any hint of a government SNS intervention.
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