CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 30 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 P10 WEATHER Rain/thundershowers with gusty winds likely in some areas. Temperature in the range of 35-26 degrees Celsius RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.87% P2 P10 NEW DELHI, 29 APRIL Full moon today THUMBNAILS Kolkata Knight Riders cricketer Robin Uthappa plays a shot during the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket match against Kings XI Punjab at The Eden Gardens in Kolkata. AFP J&K rape charge: Three CRPF personnel were suspended and an FIR registered after a 24year-old woman alleged she was wrongfully confined and raped by one of them inside a camp in Jammu. The woman alleged that accused filmed the sexual assault and threatened to release the video on social media if she disclosed the incident to police or someone else, officials said. The woman, from Poonch district, lodged a complaint on Saturday alleging she was taken inside the camp by three CRPF men, and raped by one of them on 10 March. Syria clashes: Rare clashes broke out Sunday between Syrian regime forces and a USbacked alliance in the east of the country, killing six alliance fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. State news agency SANA said the army seized control of four villages from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in Deir Ezzor province, where the Kurdish-led alliance has been fighting the Islamic State jihadist group. The SDF and Russian-backed Syrian government forces are conducting parallel but separate offensives against IS in the oil-rich province. Deb summoned: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has summoned Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb over his controversial statements. A senior BJP leader said Deb has been summoned to meet Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on 2 May in Delhi. Deb, who took charge of Tripura last month, has made several remarks which have triggered widespread criticism, saying, among others, that Internet and satellite communication existed during the Mahabharata era and questioning the crowning of Diana Hayden as Miss World in 1997. NEW DELHI, 29 APRIL Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi,Congress president Rahul Gandhi sunday along with top party leaders including his predecessor and mother Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hit out at the silence by nation's “chowkidar”, as he described the prime minister, on issues of graft and weakening of institutions. Addressing his party's 'Jan Aakrosh' rally, Gandhi scion said the prime minister also did not speak on the case of the death of judge BH Loya and agrarian distress. “Modi ji did not speak a single word on Doklam during his visit to China. What kind of prime minister is he?” asked Gandhi at the rally held at Ramilia Maidan here. Further targeting the prime minister, Gandhi sought to compare the performance of the governments led by his party with that of the Modi dispensation at the Centre. “Prime Minister Modi gave unemployment, 'Gabbar Singh Tax' (the term the Congress coined for the Goods and Services Tax to target the government), BJP MLA inflicted atrocities on women (Unnao rape case) in his tenure,” Gandhi said. Gandhi claimed the Con- gress united all sections of society and spread love in 70 years unlike the BJP, which allegedly attacked Dalits and minorities. Gandhi charged that farmers were under stress, but their loans were not written off by the government, which, he added, waived of debts of corporate houses. “I met him on the agrarian issues. But he did not listen to us,” he charged. Gandhi exuded confidence that his party will emerge victorious in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly polls and defeat the BJP in the 2019 general elections. He said that the Congress will respect veteran and young leaders of the party alike and that it will allow different views to emerge. He was apparently referring to the remarks of senior party leader Salman Khurshid, who had recently said that Congress had the blood of Muslims on its hands. The party had distanced itself from Khurshid's views. Gandhi also hailed Congress workers, saying they have laid down their lives for “truth and the country” and described them as “sher ka bachha” (lion cubs). Accusing the Modi government of “betraying” the people by not keeping its promises and alleging that corruption had taken “deeper roots” since it came to power, UPA chairperson Mrs Sonia Gandhi said the government has left no stone unturned in undermining institutions and targeting political rivals by misusing central agencies. She also made a reference to the “serious crisis” that had gripped the top judiciary, saying it had never happened before. Sonia Gandhi claimed all sections of the society were unhappy and angry with the government as none of the promises made to them were fulfilled. In her 10-minute address, she said unlike truth prevailing in the past, today falsehood, hatred and violence were ruling the roost. She cautioned the people to remain alert in the “sensitive” phase that the country was passing through. “What happened to Modiji's slogan 'Na khaunga, na khane dunga' (would not take bribes, nor let anyone do so) as the roots of corruption have become deeper under his watch,” she said. Sonia Gandhi charged the government with muzzling dissenting voices and dividing communities with an eye on electoral gains. Blast at India-developed project in Nepal ahead of Modi inauguration Pakistani 26/11 lawyer removed PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Pakistan's Interior Ministry has abruptly removed the chief prosecutor from the Mumbai terror attack case for “not taking the government line”, an official said today, in a major setback to India's efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar, who had been representing as chief of prosecution in the Mumbai attack case since 2009, from the high-profile case, an official of the FIA said. Azhar developed differences with the government over the “manner” the case was being pursued, the official said. PTI Details on page 9 KATHMANDU, 29 APRIL A bomb exploded today at the office of a hydroelectricity project being developed with Indian assistance in eastern Nepal, an official said, weeks before its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The compound wall of the 900 MW Arun III Hydroelectric Power Plant's office in Tumlingtar area, nearly 500 km from here, was damaged in the explosion, said Siva Raj Joshi, Chief District Officer of the Sankhuwasabha district. An unidentified group was behind the explosion targeting Arun III office situated at Tumlingtar, according to Chief District Officer Shivaraj Joshi. Joshi informed that the explosion caused minor damaged to the office. However, no one was injured in the incident. Joshi has informed that further investigation into the incident is underway and extensive search is on for the perpetrators. Following the incident, security has been stepped up in the area. The blast comes at a time when preparations were going on for laying foundation stone of the project by Modi during his official visit to Nepal on May 11. The project is slated to come into operation by 2020. A Project Development Agreement (PDA) for Arun III was signed with India's state-owned Satluj JalVidyut Nigam (SJVN) on November 25, 2014 in the presence of the then Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and visiting Prime Minister Modi. Meanwhile, the Indian embassy here has discussed the matter with the Nepal foreign affairs ministry here, an official at the embassy said. The foreign minister of Nepal said they had asked the ministry of home affairs to investigate the matter. Nepal is currently facing shortage of power and the production of hydropower from the project will mainly serve its domestic needs. The project is expected to bring in USD 1.5 billion foreign direct investment into Nepal and create jobs for thousands of people. LAHORE, 29 APRIL All villages in India have now been connected with electricity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Sunday. On Saturday evening, Leisang village in Manipur's Senapati district became the last village to be connected to the national power grid. As per official data, there were 18,452 villages without electricity in the country at the time of Modi's taking office in May 2014. "Electricity reached all Indian villages on Saturday," Modi said in a tweet. "Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be transformed forever!," he said in another tweet. The work of bringing power to India's nearly 6 lakh villages had been undertaken under the government's Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. The government has set the next target of providing electricity connections to over 4 crore rural and urban households by March 2019 under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) initiative. But just because all villages are connected to the grid does not mean all Indians have access to power. The government considers a village electrified if it has basic electrical infrastructure and 10% of its households and public places including schools, local administrative offices SEOUL, 29 APRIL North Korea promised to close its atomic test site next month and invite US weapons experts to the country, Seoul said today, as US President Donald Trump expressed optimism about securing a nuclear deal with the secretive regime. The reported pledge from Kim Jong Un follows weeks of whirlwind diplomacy that saw the leaders of North and South Korea agree to pursue the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula during a historic summit between Kim and the South's President Moon Jae-in on Friday. “Kim said, during the summit with President Moon, that he would carry out the closing of the nuclear test site in May, and would soon invite experts of South Korea and the US as well as journalists to disclose the process to the international community with transparency,” Seoul's presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said. “Kim said 'the US feels repulsive about us, but once we talk, they will realise that I am not a person who will fire a nuclear weapon to the South or the US or target the US,” according to Yoon. “If we meet often (with the US), build trust, end the war and eventually are promised no invasion, why would we live with the nuclear weapons?'” The remarks are likely to be seen as a sweetener ahead of Trump's own planned summit with Kim, which the US leader said would take place “in the next three or four weeks”. Trump vowed to do “the world a big favour” by achieving a nuclear deal with the regime at a campaign-style rally in Michigan to cheers and chants of “Nobel! Nobel!”. Trump has been eager to play up his role in achieving a breakthrough with Pyongyang through what the White House has called a “Maximum Pres- sure Campaign” consisting of tough rhetoric, strengthened global sanctions and diplomatic efforts to further isolate the authoritarian regime. “If we would have said where we are today from three or four months -- months ago, do you remember what they were saying? 'He's going to get us into nuclear war, they said,'” Trump told supporters in Washington Township, north of Detroit. He added: “No, strength is going to keep us out of nuclear war, not going to get us in!” But he also sounded a note of caution, saying he was prepared to walk away if US demands for North Korea to relinquish its atomic arsenal were not met. His remarks came as extracts from an interview with his new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were released. Washington's chief diplomat told ABC News he had a “good conversation” with Kim during his secret visit to Pyongyang over the Easter weekend, adding that the North Korean leader was “prepared to... lay out a map that would help us achieve” denuclearisation. Trump held phone calls yesterday with both Moon and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, declaring “things are going very well”, as CBS News reported that Mongolia and Singapore are the final two sites under consideration for his meeting with Kim. It was unclear whether North Korea would host US experts at its Punggye-ri underground testing site before or after the summit. Kim slammed speculation during his meeting with Moon that the test site was already unusable after Pyongyang conducted its largest ever nuclear test there last September. “Some people are saying that we are terminating a test site that is already useless, but, as they will see once they visit, there are two more tunnels (in the CMYK The government considers a village electrified if it has basic electrical infrastructure and 10% of its households and public places including schools, local administrative offices and health centres have power. and health centres have power. Some, however, said on Twitter their villages had yet to be electrified despite the government's claim. “No. Not every village yet,” said Twitter user Dilip Gupta, identifying his village in a district of Uttar Pradesh. “Over the course of years my native place has been expecting electricity every year, but it hasn't arrived yet.” Asia's third-largest economy has been held back for years by a power shortage, with industries Photograph tweeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of workers carrying power equipment to Leishang village in Manipur having to cope with blackouts and hospitals forced to rely on diesel-run generators for backup. The World Bank said in a report last year that globally 1.06 billion people had no electricity, with India and Nigeria topping the list of most power-deficient countries. Reacting to the Prime Minister’s claims, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that it was Congress that electrified 97 per cent of villages in the country but “did not boast”. “On 26th May, 2014; only 18,452 villages were without electrification. BJP Govt took 46 months to complete this at at an average of 4,813 villages per year. This is – ‘celebrating inefficiencies’ & taking ‘fake credit’ for Congress work,” he said on Twitter. Suspect meat: State govt may form SIT STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 29 APRIL With nine persons in the police net so far and many more under the lens in connection with the alleged racket of supplying the meat of discarded animal carcasses and dead chicken to various eateries in the city and districts, the state government is said to be contemplating to set a up a "Special Investigation Team" (SIT) to investigate the racket. Meanwhile, sources at city police headquarters at Lalbazar said that the officers investigating what has been dubbed “vat meatgate" had found the names of five suspected "linkmen", N Korea to shut N-test site, invite US experts AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE P12 INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Min: 26.6°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:03 hrs MOON SETS 05:21 hrs RESURGENT DAREDEVILS FACE SUPER KINGS TEST All India’s village on power map, says Modi Rahul tears into Modi at Cong rally Predicts Congress win in Karnataka polls, return to power in 2019 Min. 42% TEMPERATURE Max: 35.0°C (N) SUN RISES 05:05 hrs MOON RISES 18.24 hrs TRUMP FLEES SWAMP TO ANOTHER WASHINGTON WILL BE KING, NOT KINGMAKER: KUMARASWAMY POMPEO IN SAUDI ARABIA, TALKS IRAN, GULF DISPUTE test site) that are even bigger... and they are in good condition,” he said, according to the South's presidential spokesman. Last year, Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test and launched missiles capable of reaching the US mainland. Its actions sent tensions soaring as Kim and Trump traded personal insults and threats of war. Washington is pressing for the North to give up its weapons in a complete, verifiable and irreversible way. Pyongyang is demanding as yet unspecified security guarantees to discuss its arsenal. On Saturday North Korea described its summit with the South as a “historic meeting” that paved the way for the start of a new era. The official KCNA news agency carried the text of the leaders' Panmunjom Declaration in full and said the encounter opened the way “for national reconciliation and unity, peace and prosperity.” who they claimed to have direct connect with the owners of various departmental stores and prominent city hotels and restaurants for the supply of the meat. An officer said that the names of five suspected linkmen be surfaced following interrogation of the nine people who had been arrested so far. A senior police officer, who is coordinating with the South 24-Parganas police in the raid to bust the meat racket said on condition of anonymity that the linkmen, who were instrumental in chalking out ways in which to route the stale meat to various hotels and restaurants were found have worked out arrangments with the owners of these eateries to supply the suspect meat at a throwaway prices. The officer also claimed that the five used to work from Kasba,Tangra, and Narkeldanga. Police said the mastermind of the racket, identified as Bishu, would rake in Rs 5 -6 lakhs by supplying the stale meat procured from animal carcasses discarded in dumping grounds. The police, meanwhile, today unearthed an ice mill at Narkeldanga, where the meat was said to be stored and routed to various hotels and restaurants. Indian, Pak troops in joint exercise for first time STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 APRIL In probably for the first time ever since they achieved independence, troops from India and Pakistan will be part of a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in Russia in September, which will also be joined by China and several other countries. The military exercise is being held under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which is viewed largely as a counter to NATO, officials said. They said the military drill will be held in the Ural mountains of Russia and almost all SCO member countries will be part of it. They said the main aim of the exercise, Peace Mission, will be to enhance counter-terror cooperation among the eight SCO member countries. The officials said India's participation at the exercise was confirmed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a meeting of SCO Defence Ministers meeting in Beijing last week. It will be for the first time since Independence that India and Pakistan will both be part of a military exercise, though the armies of the two nations have worked together in UN peace keeping missions, they said. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were admitted as observers of the grouping in 2005. Both the countries were admitted as full members of the bloc last year.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.