TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 APRIL 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR KHATTAR DOUBLES ALLOWANCES FOR CHOWKIDARS 33,255.36 +286.68 NIFTY 10,211.80 +98.10 ` vs $ 65.11 PRESSURE BACK AS REAL FACE ZIDANE’S FORMER CLUB P15 P12 P7 P5 SENSEX PRESIDENT TRUMP SUGGESTS NO DEAL ON DACA SHIV SENA BATS FOR RSS CHIEF BHAGWAT GOLD 30,532 -98.00 SILVER 38,167 -158.00 BRENT (OIL IN $) 64.73 -0.52 RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Govt seeks apex court review, differs on Act Violence marks Dalit protests over SC/ST Act SNS & PTI Max.72% Min. 37% NEW DELHI, 2 APRIL Bharat bandh against alleged dilution of Act; 6 killed in MP, 2 in UP, 1 in Rajasthan Max: 38.5°C (+4) SUN RISES 06:08 hrs MOON RISES 21.29 hrs Min: 22.4°C (+4) SUN SETS 18:40 hrs MOON SETS 08:45 hrs As Dalit protests turned violent, the Centre on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its recent verdict on Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act, 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. WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of development of thunder lightning.The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 39 and 22 degrees Celsius respectively. TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS Troubled Indian pacer Mohammad Shami on Monday finally joined the Delhi Daredevils training ahead of the Indian Premier League, P16 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 Calcuttaand later at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. CBSE's new system delays exams at some centres: The CBSE exam started late at a few centres in the national capital on Monday as many of them expressed inability to follow the new system of printing encrypted question papers, e-mailed to them, at the school itself. The Board officials, however, assured that the students would be given extra time to ensure the P2 delay doesn't cause them any loss. GSAT-6A satellite could become space debris 6 if link not established: Indian communication satellite GSAT-6A would become a space debris if the Indian space agency does not re-establish communication link with it, said experts. They also said Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) ability to link up again with the `270 crore GSAT-6A satellite seemed to be remote as it was more than 48 hours since the communication got snapped. SNS & PTI Centre monitoring situation NEW DELHI/BHOPAL,2 APRIL A The union government, 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’’. t least nine persons were killed and many injured in violence on Monday 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, two died in Uttar Pradesh and one in Rajasthan, according to officials there. The CBSE postponed Class 12 and Class 10 examinations scheduled to be held today in Punjab. 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, 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 SNS/AFP the blockade. Inspector General of Police (IGP) for Law and Order, Makrand Deuskar said that Rakesh Jatav, Deepak Jatav 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. Kejriwal apologises to Jaitley now STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 APRIL Continuing with his apology spree, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has tendered a written unconditional apology to senior BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the former's allegations relating to "large-scale financial irregularities" in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) during Jaitley's long tenure as DDCA pres- ident. Other AAP leaders ~ including Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh and Deepak Bajpai ~ have also tendered apologies to Jaitley in the matter. Jaitley has accepted the apologies of Kejriwal and his party colleagues. Following the AAP leaders' apologies, both sides on Monday reportedly moved joint pleas before the Delhi High Court as well as a local trial court to "settle" their over two-year long litigation in the 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 SNS Court. In UP one person each , was killed in Muzaffarnagar and Meerut and nearly 75 persons including 40 policemen 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. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that incidents of atrocities on Dalits and minorities have increased in the 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 staterun buses, injuring sever- SC to hear TN plea on Cauvery defamation case filed by Jaitley against them. Both courts will hear their pleas tomorrow, which is expected to result in withdrawal of Jaitley's defamation cases against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders. In his apology letter dated 1 April to the FM, Kejriwal stated that the allegations he made in December 2015 against Jaitley were based on information that turned out to be "unfounded and unwarranted" and that he was "clearly misinformed". TURN TO PAGE 10 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. Mortal remains arrive from Iraq, families advised against opening caskets STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, 2 APRIL After an agonising four-year wait, it was nothing short of a nightmare for the family members of 27 men killed in Iraq's Mosul by Islamic State (IS) terrorists, when the special plane carrying their mortal remains arrived at Amritsar airport on Monday afternoon. Having waited anxiously for the mortal remains for the past 13 days ever since their death was confirmed, family members were advised against opening the caskets and getting a glimpse of their loved ones as it could be dangerous for them. Addressing a Press conference in Amritsar after bringing the mortal remains of 38 men from Iraq in a special plane, Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh (retd) said as toxins have been used at the site where the dead bodies were found buried, mortal remains may emanate toxic gases which would be dangerous for those opening the caskets and going near it. Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was present at the airport to receive the coffins along with officials of the other states to which the victims belonged. He, however, said it was just a suggestion and it was for the families concerned to decide if they want to open the caskets. "Once the casket is home, families can decide what to do (open casket or not)," he said. The families of most men from Punjab maintained that they will not perform the last rites without having a last look at their loves ones. Gen V K Singh had gone in a special IAF aircraft to Iraq on Sunday and accompanied the mortal remains. “We are thankful to the authorities in Iraq for the help (they rendered) to locate the victims and exhume the mortal remains. The govern- Relatives Seema (2R) and her brother in-law Yuvraj (R) grieve near the coffin of her husband Sonu, AFP who was killed in Iraq, at the International Airport in Amritsar on Monday. ment of India did its best to know about the missing Indians,” Singh said. He said while the identity of 38 of the 39 missing Indians has been ascertained through DNA testing and the one remaining body, of a man from Bihar, was not brought back as its identification is still pending. Thirty-nine of the 40 Indian labourers were killed by the IS, while one of them managed to escape posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh. Singh reportedly told media persons that the Indian embassy did not have any record of the 40 Indians captured by the IS in Iraq in 2014 as they had gone there through illegal travel agents. He said if the government had any information about these people being in danger, it would have rescued them as it had done in the case of over 45 nurses in Iraq in 2014. "The External Affairs Ministry started a campaign in 2014 in which we say that one must not go through an illegal agent...When you go through illegal agents then it is difficult to find where one has gone," the Minister said, calling for strict action against fake travel agents. He 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 or less than a year," he added. Asked how they were killed, Singh, an ex-Army chief, said : "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." While the coffins of 31 victims ~ 27 from Punjab and 4 from Himachal Pradesh ~ were handed over to the respective authorities at the Amritsar airport here, seven coffins were shifted to another aircraft to be flown to West Bengal (3) and Bihar (4). Meanwhile, the Punjab government has announced Rs 5 lakh compensation and government jobs to family members of the victims. Sidhu said till the jobs are given as per educational qualifications, the state government would continue to pay monthly pension of Rs 20,000 to each of the victim families. al passengers. Expressing her party's support to protests, BSP supremo Mayawati alleged that some antisocial elements instigated violence leading to loss of lives and damage to property. Life was disrupted in various parts of Gujarat today as protests by Dalits against alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act turned violent and police resorted to teargas-shelling and lathicharge at some places, said officials. (SEE ALSO PAGE 10) 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 intervention. SNS
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