CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 MAY 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 P9 SENSEX 35,176.42 +16.06 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Rain/thundershower with gusty winds very likely. Temperature in the range 34-25 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P3 NIFTY 10,718.05 -21.30 ` vs $ 66.66 00 PAISE P4 GOLD 29,845.00 -75.00 Max: 34.6°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:03 hrs MOON RISES 21.03 hrs Min: 25.8°C (N) SUN SETS 18:04 hrs MOON SETS 07:29 hrs Moon phase: Third quarter on 8 May THUMBNAILS Former finance minister in the Left Front government in West Bengal, Ashok Mitra, passed away on Tuesday in a city hospital. He was 90 and his wife had passed away 10 years ago. A well-known economist and writer, Mitra was admitted to the hospital almost a month back with complaints of diarrhoea and later developed respiratory problems. He was appointed as the finance minister in the Left Front government in Bengal in 1977 and held the portfolio till 1987. Prior to that, he was the Chief Economic Adviser to the Central government from 1970 to 1972. SNS Armenia protests: Armenian protesters blocked roads in and around the capital on Wednesday, responding to a call from opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan for a campaign of civil disobedience to force the ruling elite to relinquish its grip on power. Ex-Soviet Armenia is locked in a political crisis after the ruling party, severely weakened after days of protests that forced its nominee for prime minister to quit, dug in its heels and refused to back Pashinyan to replace him. Meanwhile, Armenia's parliament will convene for an extraordinary session on 8 May to elect a prime minister, the parliament speaker said. 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 allegedly shot at her. Incident evokes widespread condemnation STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 2 MAY class II schoolboy suffered head injuries onWednesday 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 stonepelters 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 A 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 stonepelters, 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 in an encounter between security forces and terrorists that broke out at Turkwangam, also in Shopian district. Stone pelting mobs assembled and tried to disrupt the operation of the security forces. At least one person is reported to have died in the ensuing confrontation with the forces. 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 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 51-year-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 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. A special court here today 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 Jigna Vora 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 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 72.91 -0.22 AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 2 MAY The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved these decisions today, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters today. The CCEA approved the continuation of the "Green Revolution - Krishonnati Scheme" beyond the 12th Plan till 201920 with a central share of Rs 33,269.976 crore. It aims to bring under one umbrella 11 agricultural schemes, besides their effective monitoring. There has been widespread concern about unremunerative prices to farmers for farm produce and inadequate access to loans and insurance. The scheme, launched last year, will get a central share of Rs 33,279 crore for three fiscals ~ 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. "In order to fulfil the promise of doubling farmers' income, our government has taken the decision to club 11 schemes into one umbrella scheme. It is a historic decision," Mr Prasad said. “The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given approval to provide financial assistance of Rs 5.50 per quintal of cane crushed in sugar season 201718 to sugar mills to offset the cost of cane, in order to help the mills clear cane dues of farmers,” Mr Prasad said. The assistance would be paid directly to the farmers on behalf of the mills, he said, adding the total subsidy outgo is estimated at Rs 1,540 crore. In other decisions, the Union Cabinet decided to double the investment limit to Rs 15 lakh under the PMVVY pension scheme and extended the sub- CMYK Chhota Rajan after his arrest by Indonesian police. AFP 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 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 MsVora. But the judge dismissed the case against her and ordered her acquittal. Collegium defers decision on Justice Joseph's elevation Fresh uncertainty over panchayat elections date STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 MAY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 2 MAY Amid the controversy over the Centre's opposition to Justice K M Joseph's elevation to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court collegium held a meeting on Wednesday 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, while accepting its other 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 body did not take any decision. Apart from the 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 Centre sweetens deal for farmers Keen to woo farmers ahead of the crucial electoral battles this year and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP-led government on Wednesday approved an extension by two more years of a scheme that aims to double farmers' income by 2022. The government also decided to directly pay sugarcane farmers about Rs 1,540 crore to clear some 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. SILVER 39,200.00 -100.00 Stone pelters Chhota Rajan, eight others get attack school life terms for scribe’s murder bus; child hurt SC takes cognisance of Kasauli killing NEW DELHI/SHIMLA, 2 MAY P11 MUMBAI, 2 MAY Min. 37% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE TWO-GOAL BENZEMA SWINGS IT REAL’S WAY AT BERNABEU STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Max.89% TEMPERATURE NO CAKEWALK FOR SIDDHARAMAIAH MODI UNLIKELY TO AGREE TO SAARC MEET IN ISLAMABAD ABBAS UNDER FIRE OVER ‘HOLOCAUST DENIAL’ scription period, which was to end tomorrow, by two years. The Pradhan Mantri Vaya VandanYojana is for citizens aged 60 years and above. It was opened for subscription from May 4, 2017 to May 3, 2018. It has now been extended to March 31, 2020. The scheme provides an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8 per cent per annum for ten years, with an option to opt for pension on a monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annual basis. Mr Prasad said the Cabinet has approved increasing the investment limit from Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh as well as the extension of subscription period for PMVVY as part of the government's commitment to financial inclusion and social security. The move will enable up to Rs 10,000 pension per month for senior citizens, he added. On 26 April, the Centre returned to the Collegium its recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph to the SC, while accepting its other recommendation to elevate advocate Indu Malhotra 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." 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 gripping the apex court. Members of the Collegium too have continued to express their concerns in this regard. Uncertainty looms over the date of the panchayat elections, 14 May, set by the State Election Commission (SEC) after Justice Subrata Talukdar of Calcutta High Court asked the commission counsel yesterday whether the date set for the rural polls is a proposed one. The report on the security arrangements of the election is yet to be placed before the Division Bench presided over by Chief Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya. The Single Bench directed the commission to place the report before the Chief Justice's Division Bench on 4 May, when the date of the panchayat elections will be decided. Last week, the SEC had notified 14 May as the rural poll date. But Justice Talukdar noted the SEC's "homework" on security arrangements was “unsatisfactory”. As of now, 14 May can only be a "proposed poll date"and not final, it was observed. The role of the commission has not been appropriate and "blinkers" have been sought to be placed, the Bench observed. Earlier, the counsel representing the commission submitted that the SEC had acted according to the court's order and done everything legally required. Submitting that the 2013 rural polls had been held in five phases and the earlier schedule for this year as announced by the SEC was for three phases, the BJP state secretary Pratap Banerjee asked why it was rescheduled for a single phase poll. CPI-M leader Rabin Deb said the court had directed "meaningful" discussions be held between Opposition parties and the SEC. But the talks had been perfunctory, he claimed. “The opposition wanted polls on May 14 to be cancelled or stayed,” Trinamul Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee who had appeared in person said. "But their wish has not been fulfilled and the poll date is subject to the court's approval," he said. OnWednesday, the Division Bench of Justice Biswanath Somaddar and Justice Arindam Mukherjee directed CPI-M counsel Shamim Ahmed to place a comprehensive list of candidates who had tried to file their nominations in time but after being prevented tried filing by electronic mode and were refused by the commission. The matter will come up for hearing on Monday. Yesterday, the Division Bench had reserved its judgment on a petition by the Congress seeking direction to set aside the rural polls schedule. The state government insisted that polls be held before Ramzan following which the SEC announced May 14 as polling date. Cambridge Analytica files for insolvency, to cease operations THE INDEPENDENT SAN FRANCISCO, 2 MAY Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm at the centre of a storm around misuse of Facebook user data, is shutting down and has filed for bankruptcy “The company is immediately ceasing all operations” and has filed applications to begin insolvency proceedings in the UK, Cambridge Analytica said in a statement. The statement also pushed back against widespread allegations that the firm had improperly obtained Facebook user data to craft targeted advertisements, saying it “has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and, despite its efforts to correct the record, has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas”. This decision "was extremely painful" for the company and its employees, "who learned today that they likely would be losing their jobs," the statement added. The firm, which was retained by Donald Trump's presidential campaign, came under immense pressure after it was revealed to have obtained data associated with up to 87m Facebook users. Seeking to contain a spiralling crisis, Facebook executives have repeatedly faulted Cambridge Analytica and researcher Aleksander Kogan for the data transfer. The company says Mr Kogan harvested data from a survey app and then passed it along to Cambridge Analytica, which did not destroy the data despite having claimed to do so. Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica soon after reports revealed the firm had obtained a vast repository of user data. That same week, auditors retained by Facebook stood down as officers from UK’s information regulator raided Cambridge Analytica’s London offices.
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