THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 MAY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |` 3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P5 SENSEX 35,176.42 +16.06 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with possibility of thundery development. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 36 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.66% Min. 38% TEMPERATURE Max: 38.3°C (0) SUN RISES 06:39 hrs MOON RISES 22.01 hrs Min: 27°C (+2) SUN SETS 18:57 hrs MOON SETS 08:49 hrs ABBAS UNDER FIRE OVER 'ANTI-SEMITIC' COMMENTS NO CAKEWALK FOR SIDDHARAMAIAH MODI UNLIKELY TO AGREE TO SAARC MEET IN ISLAMABAD P7 NIFTY 10,718.05 -21.30 P13 ` vs $ 66.66 00 PAISE GOLD 29,845.00 -75.00 Stone pelters attack school bus; child hurt Petrol bomb hurled at PDP MLA’s home STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 2 MAY A THUMBNAILS Squall and dust storm followed by heavy rains swept through the national capital and adjoining areas on Wednesday evening, offering respite to denizens from the heat while also causing traffic snarls and poor visibility in some areas. Fifteen flights were reportedly (P 3) diverted due to this weather. AFP Violence at AMU over Jinnah portrait: Violence broke out at the Aligarh Muslim University campus Wednesday as the row over Muhammad Ali Jinnah's portrait on the campus triggered a right-wing protest and sparring between BJP leaders. At least six people were injured when the police lobbed teargas shells to disperse AMU students, demanding the arrest of protesters who had earlier barged P7 into the campus shouting slogans. Minor immolates herself after harassment: A 17-year-old girl died on Wednesday after an immolation bid over repeated stalking and harassment by a local youth in Nagrota Surian area of Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, P4 around 220 km from Dharamshala. class II schoolboy suffered head injuries on Wednesday when the school bus carrying students of a local school was targeted by stone-pelters in the Zavoora area of Shopian district of South Kashmir. Two students were injured as the stones smashed windowpanes of the bus and hit the students. The attack on the school bus came a day after stone-pelters targeted a bus carrying tourists from Kerala and injured seven of them in Anantnag district. Police identified the injured student as Rehan Gorsai, who was rushed to the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar for specialised treatment. The traumatised father of Rehan, while condemning the attack, said, “Today it is my son and tomorrow it can be someone else’s. Such acts are against humanity.” The J&K DGP SP Vaid warned: “These criminals will face the law.” “Miscreants pelted stones on school bus of Rainbow School, Shopian, resulted in injuries to class 2 student Rehan.He has been shifted to SKIMS for treatment with head injury. Complete madness how stone pelters are targeting young school children”, he said. The bus was carrying about 50 students when it came under attack of the stone pelting mob. Some of the students were of the age group of 4 years. They started screaming as the stones smashed the windowpane and hit them. The driver of the bus said that the vehicle was surrounded by stone-pelters and there was no place to escape. Police registered a FIR and have started hunt for the miscreants. The incident evoked sharp reactions from across society. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who had recently granted amnesty and withdrawn police cases against nearly 10,000 stone-pel- ters, tweeted “Shocked & angered to hear of the attack on a school bus in Shopian. The perpetrators of this senseless & cowardly act will be brought to justice”. Former CM and National Conference leader, Omar Abdullah, said in his tweet; “The amnesty granted to stone-pelters was meant to encourage more reasonable behaviour but some of these goons are determined to use the opportunity given to them to just pelt more stones”. In the evening, Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Alishah Geelani issued a statement expressing dismay over the incident. "Our strength lies in discipline and we should keep strict vigil over those involved in these incidents," he said in the statement. Soon after the stone pelting incident, a petrol bomb was hurled at the house of a PDP MLA, Mohammad Yusuf Bhat,in Shopian. Bhat and other members of his family were away at Srinagar when the attack came at his residence in the Memander locality. The upper storey of the house caught fire, but there were no casualties. Separately, a civilian was injured in the crossfire between security forces and terrorists in an encounter that broke out at Turkwangam, also in Shopian district. Stone pelting mobs assembled at the spot and tried to disrupt the operation of the security forces. Several people were injured as police fired teargas shells to disperse them. SC takes cognisance of Kasauli killing STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/SHIMLA, 2 MAY The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the firing incident in Kasauli where a woman government official was shot dead allegedly by a hotel owner after she had gone to seal an unauthorised construction in his property on the apex court's direction. A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta termed the incident as extremely serious, saying the government officials had gone there to comply with the court's direction to seal unauthorised constructions. Assistant Town and Country Planner Shailbala Sharma had on 1 May gone to seal unauthorised constructions in Kasauli's Narayani guest house where its owner Vijay Singh The incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon when the officer along with police and district administration officials had gone to demolish Narayani Guest House at Mandudhar on the Dharampur-Kasauli road allegedly shot at her. She later succumbed to injuries. "We might stop passing any orders if you are going to kill people," the bench observed after the issue was mentioned before it. The bench, while taking suo motu cognizance of the incident, said the matter be placed before Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra for assigning it before an appropriate bench on Thursday. The apex court also questioned as to what the police team, which had accompanied government officials during the sealing drive was doing when the hotel owner allegedly shot at the woman The counsel representing Himachal Pradesh informed the bench that the accused had fled from the spot after opening fire at government officials and besides the deceased, an official of the Public Works Department was also injured in the incident. Meanwhile, a day after the murder of the 51year-old Shail Bala Sharma, the demolition of unauthorized structures of hotels and resorts in Kasauli continued on Wednesday. Superintendent of Police, Law and Order Khushal Sharma said the demolitions of authorized constructions continued for the second day today as per the TWO-GOAL BENZEMA SWINGS IT REAL’S WAY AT BERNABEU orders of Supreme Court of India. “A hunt is on to nab the accused,Vijay Singh who had fired upon officials while they carrying out SC orders and had resulted in the death of Shail Bala while another official sustained serious injuries,” he said. Police officials said the demolitions began amid tight security today and police personnel from Junga Battalion have been deployed to thwart any untoward incident. Meanwhile, the mother of the accused, Narayani Devi (70) told media that her son was disturbed since the last few days and they did everything what the authorities had told them to. However, she denied any knowledge as to who opened fire at the officials that resulted in the death of the Town and Country Planning department (TCP) official. P15 SILVER 39,200.00 -100.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 72.91 -0.22 Chhota Rajan, eight others get life terms for scribe’s murder STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, 2 MAY A special court here on Wednesday sentenced gangster Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chota Rajan and eight others to life imprisonment for conspiring and killing veteran crime reporter Jyotirmoy Dey of the Mid-Day eveninger on 11 June 2011 in the city. The judge, however, acquitted Ms JignaVora also a crime reporter then with Asian Age and Rajan's man Paulson Joseph for want of evidence. The CBI had filed a separate chargesheet against Ms Vora accusing her of instigating Rajan to allegedly eliminate her professional rival J Dey. After upholding the charges of conspiracy and murder under applicable sections of the Indian Penal Code and Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act or MCOCA, the special court judge Sameer Adkar awarded life imprisonment to the nine convicts. A fine of Rs 25 lakhs was also imposed on each of the convicts. Rajan who is lodged in Tihar Jail in Delhi ~ where he is serving seven years in a fake passport case ~ was "present" in the court via video-conferencing. Rajan who was deported after his arrest in Bali, Indonesia in November 2015, faces about 70 cases in Mumbai, The prosecution has conclusively established that Rajan did order Dey's killing and had paid Rs 5 lakh to four killers Satish Kalya, Anil Waghmode, Arun Dake SC Collegium defers decision on Justice Joseph’s elevation STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 MAY Amid a raging controversy over the Centre's bid to reject Justice K M Joseph's elevation, the Supreme Court Collegium held a meetingWednesday to discuss it, but deferred a decision on the matter. The row erupted on 26 April when the central government returned to the Collegium its recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph to the Supreme Court, even as the government, while segregating the Collegium's recommendations, accepted its another recommendation to elevate advocate Indu Malhotra to the apex court. Malhotra was sworn in as a judge of the top court on 27 April. The Collegium had sent its recommendations to the Centre for elevating both Justice Joseph and Malhotra to the top court on 10 January this year. The five-member Collegium ~ comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph ~ met after the apex court's working hours this afternoon, but the topmost judicial body did not take any decision. Apart from Justice Joseph issue, the Collegium was supposed to deliberate on the names of some judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh High Courts for elevation to the top court. The resolution of their meeting, uploaded on the apex court's website, stated: "The Collegium met to consider the following agenda: 'To reconsider the case of Mr Justice K M Joseph...pursuant to letters dated 26th & 30th April, 2018 received from Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India and also to consider the names of Judges from Calcutta, Rajasthan, and Telangana & Andhra Pradesh High Courts for elevation as Judges of the Supreme Court, in view of the concept of fair representation.' Deferred." Justice Chelameswar, who had not attended the court today, reportedly came for the Collegium's meeting. It was not immediately known when the Collegium will meet again. A number of top former judges and legal luminaries have expressed serious concerns over CJI Misra's leadership and his handling of the crisis. Even members of the Collegium have continued to express their concerns. Ex-CJI Justice R M Lodha has reportedly asserted that the government's "segregation" move in Justice Joseph case has struck at the heart of the judiciary's independence. Former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice A P Shah has also been scathing in his criticism of the Centre as well as CJI Misra over Justice Joseph's case. Justice Joseph had headed the Uttarakhand High Court Bench that had quashed the Narendra Modi government's decision to impose President's rule in the then Congressruled state in 2016. While returning to Collegium its recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in his letter to CJI Misra, had claimed that his nomination was not in accordance with the top court's parameters, questioning his seniority and that the parent high court of Justice Joseph, the Kerala High Court, has already adequate representation in the higher judiciary. Justice Joseph has reportedly been Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice since July 2014. He was appointed a permanent judge of the Kerala High Court on 14 October 2004. While recommending Justice Joseph's elevation, the Collegium had said that he is “more deserving and suitable in all respects than other chief justices and senior puisne judges of high courts for being appointed as judge of the Supreme Court of India”. The Collegium noted it had taken into consideration combined seniority on all-Indiabasisofchiefjustices and senior puisne judges of high courts, apart from their merit and integrity. and Mangesh Agavane who came on two bikes to kill the scribe on a rainy afternoon of 11 June 2011. The four are among those convicted. The case was initially handled by the Crime Branch of Mumbai police but was later transferred to CBI considering its sensitive. Ms Vora was arrested by Mumbai police three months after the murder, alleging her complicity in the conspiracy and its execution. She was accused of being in contact with Rajan. A transcript of her alleged conversation with the gandster ~ then holed up in Indonesia ~ was submitted as evidence to substantiate charges against Ms Vora. But the judge dismissed the case against her and ordered her acquittal. Govt seeks to sweeten deal for cane farmers PTI NEW DELHI, 2 MAY Ahead of elections in Karnataka, the Union gove r n m e n t We d n e s d a y decided to directly pay sugarcane farmers about Rs 1,540 crore to clear less than a tenth of the outstanding that sugar mills owe to them. Sugarcane farmers, who have not been paid full amount by sugar mills, will get Rs 5.5 per quintal (of cane crushed) directly in their bank accounts from the central government that is keen to prevent an agrarian crisis developing in sugar producing states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The move would provide much-needed relief to mills that are facing a loss of Rs 8-9 per kg in sugar sales because of record production, resulting in a huge cane arrear of about Rs 20,000 crore and out of that over Rs 8,000 crore pertains to UP and about Rs 3,000 crore each to Maharashtra and Karnataka. “The Cabinet Comm i t t e e o n Ec o n o m i c Affairs has given approval to provide financial assistance of Rs 5.50 per quintal of cane crushed in sugar season 2017-18 to sugar mills to offset the cost of cane, in order to help the mills clear cane dues of farmers,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters. 14 of world’s 20 most polluted cities in India: WHO AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 2 MAY Delhi and Varanasi are among the 14 Indian cities that figured in a list of 20 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM2.5 levels in 2016, data released by the WHO showed on Wednesday. The WHO data also said nine out of 10 people in the world breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Other Indian cities that registered very high levels of PM2.5 pollutants were Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur followed by Ali Subah Al-Salem in Kuwait and a few cities in China and Mongolia. In terms of PM10 levels, 13 cities in India figured among the 20 most-polluted cities of the world in 2016. The World Health Organisation has called upon member-countries in its Southeast Asia Region to aggressively address the double burden of household and ambient (outdoor) air pollution, saying the region, which comprises India, accounts for 34 pc or 2.4 million of the seven million premature deaths caused by household and ambient air pollution together globally every year. Of the 3.8 million deaths caused by household air pollution globally, the region accounts for 1.5 million or 40 per cent deaths, and of the 4.2 million global deaths due to ambient air pollution, 1.3 million or 30 per cent are reported from the region, it said. The PM2.5 includes pollutants like sulfate, nitrate and black carbon, which pose the greatest risk to human health. WHO's global urban air pollution database measured the levels of fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) from more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries, according to which ambient air pollution alone caused some 4.2 million deaths in 2016, while household air pollution from cooking with polluting fuels and technologies caused an estimated 3.8 million deaths in the same period. Since 2016, over 1,000 additional cities have been added to WHO's database, which shows more countries are measuring and taking action to reduce air pollution than ever before. “WHO estimates that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia,” the report said. According to the report, more than 90 per cent of air pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (including India), mainly in Asia and Africa, followed by low- and middle-income coun- tries of the Eastern Mediterranean region, Europe and the Americas. “Around 3 billion people more than 40 per cent of the world's population still do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies in their homes, the main source of household air pollution,” it said. It said theWHO recognises air pollution is a critical risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), causing an estimated 24 per cent of all adult deaths from heart disease, 25 per cent from stroke, 43 per cent from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 29 per cent from lung cancer. The report, however, stated that countries are making efforts and taking measures and in this context, referred to India's Pradhan Mantri UjjwalaYojana, which it said, in just two years, has provided 37 million women living below the poverty line with free LPG connections to support them to switch to clean household energy use. India targets to reach 80 million households by 2020. All countries in the region are making efforts to expand availability of clean fuels and technologies, however, over 60 per cent population do not have clean fuel. The combined effects of household air pollution and ambient air pollution become increasingly hard to address if not tackled early, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO Southeast Asia, said. “Air pollution needs to be brought under control with urgent and effective action. Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of deaths globally and in the region, and air pollution contributes significantly to NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and lung cancer. “Cleaning up the air we breathe will help prevent NCDs, particularly among women and vulnerable groups such as children, those already ill and the elderly,” Singh said. “Many of the world's megacities exceed WHO's guideline levels for air quality by more than 5 times, representing a major risk to people's health,” Maria Neira, director of the Department of Public Health, Social and Environmental Determinants of Health at WHO, said, adding, there is an acceleration of political interest to deal with this global public health challenge.
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