CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 15 MAY 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 P6 SENSEX 35,556.71 +20.92 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Rain/thundershower with gusty winds. Max and min temp OUTREACH OVERRULED ZAWAHIRI CALLS FOR JIHAD OVER US EMBASSY MOVE A DEAL ABROGATED CATALANS COLLAPSE DESPITE COUTINHO TRIPLE STRIKE P10 NIFTY 10,806.60 00 P6 ` vs $ 67.51 -16 PAISE GOLD 30,320.00 -15.00 P11 SILVER 40,300.00 -100.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 77.46 +0.34 Violence mars rural polls, 6 dead 35 and 25 degree celsius, respectively. Unofficial sources put death toll at 13 West Bengal Governor expresses concern Opposition says ‘murder of democracy’ RAINFALL: Trace RELATIVE HUMIDITY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 14 MAY Max.92% TEMPERATURE Max: 33.3°C (-2) SUN RISES 04:56 hrs MOON RISES 04.50 hrs Centre seeks report on WB election violence Min. 56% Min: 22.1°C (-4) SUN SETS 18:09 hrs MOON SETS 18:03 hrs New moon on 15 May THUMBNAILS Bengal girl also tops ISC exam: Girls have yet again outperformed boys though the eastern region (comprising schools of Kolkata) lagged behind the southern and western regions in both the ICSE and ISC examinations, the results of which were declared on Monday. Koushiki Dasgupta Chaudhuri (pic) (99.50%) of St Xavier's Institution, Panihati bagged the allIndia first position with six other students in P5, 13 ISC examinations. Cauvery scheme: The Centre, which faced flak over delaying the filing of the draft Cauvery management scheme, on Monday submitted it for approval in the Supreme Court to ensure smooth water distribution among the four southern riparian states. A bench headed by the CJI, which on 8 May had summoned the Union Water Resources secretary to bring with him the draft scheme, said it would examine the scheme on 16 May. t least 13 persons were killed and 50 others injured today in widespread violence, arson and booth capturing in different districts during the panchayat poll. The state administration sought to downplay the scale of violence with the claim that it didn’t assume the proportions of previous rural polls putting the death toll at six, while the state election commission remained tight-lipped about the extent of alleged booth capturing and attacks. About 78 per cent votes were cast till 5 p.m.in about 31,790 gram panchayat seats. Governor KN Tripathi expressed serious concern over the violence that he “saw throughout day on television” and told The Statesman he would seek a report from the state and then decide on his course of action. The Division Bench presided over by Chief Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya of Calcutta High Court granted leave to move an application on the violence during the poll. Scenes of violence recorded in mobile phone via internet were placed before the court and it was submitted that the state home secretary Atri Bhattacharya and WBSEC commissioner Mr A K Singh be called by the court. Director general of police Surajit Kar Purakayastha said six people died in poll-related violence. Compared to the A STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 14 MAY A voter being beaten up during the panchayat election 2018 at Amdanga in North 24 Parganas. (R) Ballot boxes being burnt during the election violence at Baduria in the district. On Monday. SOUVIK DAS previous panchayat polls, violence and death toll are lower this time, he said. "Barring a few stray incidents, the rural polls were overall peaceful. The polls were held in a single phase in the state after many years. We provided security arrangement as assured to the WBSEC and in some cases we provided more forces," said Mr Purakayastha at a press conference along with ADG (law and order) Anuj Sharma at Nabanna in the evening. Around 60 to 70 persons have been arrested till now and three police personnel had been injured, he said. According to Mr Purakayastha, a confusing death figure of 12 is being publicised. But only six persons died in connection with poll related violence while the rest of the deaths were due to some other reasons, he said. The six persons who died due to poll violence are Arif Ali (of Trinamul Congress) in Kultali, Sanjeev Pramanik (of Trinamul Congress) in Shantipur, Bhola Tafadar (of Trinamul Congress) in Nakashipara, Appu Manna and Jogeswar Ghosh (of CPI-M) in Nandigram, Biswanath Tudu (of JDP) in Kushmundi. The remaining six persons who died for reasons other than poll violence, as claimed by the administration, were Tapan Mondol in Beldanga, Sayeen Sheikh in Naoda, Tahirul Islam (of CPI-M) in Amdanga who died in explosion while carrying bombs, Keshto Biswas in Tehatta was injured on 13 May and Deb Prasad Das and Usha Das in Kakdwip died due to electrical short circuit. "Any death is unfortunate. We wanted the polls to be peaceful with a zero death toll. But if you see the previous panchayat poll Tharoor chargesheeted in Sunanda case STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI,14 MAY More than four years after Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a hotel in the national capital, Delhi Police Monday charged Tharoor with allegedly abetting her "suicide", telling a court here that he should be summoned as an accused in the case as there was sufficient evidence to proceed against him. The nearly 3,000-page charge sheet in the mysterious death of Pushkar was filed before Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmendra Singh, who will consider it on 24 May. In the charge sheet, Delhi Police reportedly named Tharoor, the high-profile Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram and a former UN diplomat, as the only accused, concluding that it was a case of suicide and not murder. It is another matter that an FIR was registered by Delhi Police on 1 January 2015 against unknown persons under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. In its charge sheet, the police also alleged that Tharoor had subjected his wife to cruelty. The couple's domestic servant Narayan Singh has been named one of the key witnesses in the case. Tharoor has been charged under Sections 498 A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC. While Section 498 A entails maximum punishment of 3 years in prison, Section 306 stipulates a maximum jail term of 10 years. Dalits attacked in Gujarat for adding ‘sinh’ as name suffix STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE AHMEDABAD, 14 MAY The upper caste people in BJPruled Gujarat has added yet another item in the long list of reasons for which Dalits can be bashed up in the state. This time it is addition of the salutation ‘sinh’ as suffix to the names of children in the invitation card of a Dalit youth in Banaskantha district of north Gujarat. As the upper caste Durbars consider adding ‘sinh’, meaning lion, to their names a privilege for themselves, the Dalit family was initially threatened and later prevented from performing the postwedding rituals at the village temple. The groom was injured in stone pelting by the upper caste Durbars. Apart from the infamous public flogging of a Dalit fam- Another reason for Dalit bashing in Gujarat is addition of the salutation ‘sinh’ as suffix to the names of children in cards ily at Una in July 2016, the lower caste people in Gujarat have earlier been bashed up for various other reasons like sporting a moustache or twirling it, riding horse during a wedding procession or were denied access to village wells and temples or even a haircut at the saloon. Incidentally, the upper caste attack on the Dalit family during their wedding came on the same day Bhavnagar police denied any caste atrocity angle in the killing of the youth allegedly for riding a horse in March this year. Despite the victim’s father naming some upper caste people for the murder, the police have arrested a sharecropper of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) who has reportedly confessed to the crime as a revenge for the Dalit youth harassing his wife. In Golagam village of Banaskantha, the Dalit family had to conduct the wedding under police protection following which the upper caste Durbars pelted stones when the newly-weds arrived at the village temple for some rituals. The groom was injured in the stone pelting. All these attacks happened simply because the Dalit family had added the half name ‘sinh’ behind the names of the siblings in the wedding invitation. Two Durbars have been arrested while others are absconding. then it can be observed that the violence and death toll had been much less. In comparison to around 46,000 polling booths where elections were held the number of incidents is very less. We are hopeful that the remaining poll procedure including the counting of votes would be completed in a peaceful manner," said Mr Purakayastha. The Left Front workers led by the front chairman Mr Biman Bose staged a demonstration in front of the WBSEC office on Rowdon Street for more than two and a half hours from 4 pm to protest against the commission’s failure to conduct peaceful polls in the state. But, the commissioner declined to meet the delegation. The Left leaders alleged the ‘spineless’ commissioner was sitting idle to take prompt action even when rigging and arson 55 killed as US embassy opens Tharoor dismissed as "preposterous" Delhi Police's charge sheet, questioning its "methods" as well as "motivations". The Congress also rejected the charge against Tharoor, calling it "politically-motivated". Noting that Delhi Police reports to the Centre, the Congress alleged that the charge against Tharoor was a "conspiracy" hatched by the ruling BJP and the Narendra Modi government to target him. Tharoor tweeted: "I have taken note of the filing of this preposterous charge sheet & intend to contest it vigorously. No one who knew Sunanda believes she would ever have committed suicide, let alone abetment on my part.’’ GAZA CITY, 14 MAY Israeli soldiers shot and killed at least 55 Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border today. It was the deadliest day there since a devastating 2014 crossborder war and cast a shadow over Israel's festive inauguration of the new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem. In a show of anger fuelled by the embassy move, protesters set tyres on fire, sending plumes of black smoke into the air, and hurled firebombs and stones toward Israeli troops across the border. Later today, Israeli forces fired from tanks, sending protesters fleeing to take cover. AGENCIES DETAILS ON PAGE 10 sponsored by Trinamul goons took place throughout the day. “Trinamul burnt our party workers Debu Das and his wife Uma Das to death by pouring kerosene on them at their Kakdwip residence in South 24 Pargan as. Local police refused to take complaints initially and did not even take our phone calls,” alleged Mr Samik Bhattacharya, CPIM district secretary of South 24 Parganas. CPI-M general secretary Mr Sitaram Yechury called today’s violence an ‘open, naked murder of democracy. It’s a constitutional breakdown rather than law and order breakdown.” Trinamul secretary general Partha Chatterjee asserted that the Opposition parties unnecessarily exaggerated the scale of violence and number of casualties. The Centre has sought a report from the West Bengal government on Monday's violence in panchayat polls in the state in which six persons were killed and 43 injured. A Home Ministry official said the state government has been told to provide a detailed report on the circumstances leading to the violence and the steps taken to restore peace and punish those involved in the violence. Widespread violence marred the panchayat polls inWest Bengal. Clashes between the supporters of the ruling Trinamul Congress and the Opposition parties occurred in many parts of the state including North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur districts. More than 60,000 security personnel from West Bengal and neighbouring states were deployed for the panchayat polls, it was stated. Accusing the ruling Trinamul Congress of unleashing a reign of terror during the panchayat polls today, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury dismissed the TMC's remarks that violence occurred during the Left rule too, saying had it been true, Mamata Banerjee would never have come to power in the state. He was reacting after TMC leader Derek O'Brien said that panchayat elections in state have a history of violence and that the percentage of violence has come down compared to the Left rule. “This itself shows that they are defensive and guilty. Media is showing what is happening. If this was happening during Left Front rule, then the TMC government would never have come in Bengal and the chief minister would not have been the chief minister of Bengal,” the CPI(M) general secretary told reporters. Condemning the violence, Yechury said that it is a “naked attack on democracy” and that the party would fight back through people's involvement for which the process has already begun. “First they didn't allow people to file nominations. Secondly, after filing nominations, TMC started threatening the candidates to withdraw. The people who didn't withdraw were attacked.’’ Irani removed from I&B, Goyal gets additional charge of finance STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 14 MAY In a limited but significant reshuffle of the Union Council of Ministers, undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday night, Smriti Zubin Irani was divested of her Information and Broadcasting portfolio, while Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was given additional charge of Finance Ministry in view of Arun Jaitley’s indisposition. Jaitley underwent a kidney transplant today and is recovering. Irani continues to retain the Cabinet rank as Textile Minister while her deputy in the I&B Ministry, Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, has been given Independent charge of the I & B portfolio as Minister of State. The change in the I&B Ministry has come weeks before the Modi government is due to celebrate its four years in office, and is preparing to unveil an extensive narrative on its achievements. Under Irani’s charge, the I&B Ministry earlier this month got involved in a controversy relating to National Film Awards distribution over which the President’s Office had expressed unhappiness to the PMO. Sixty of the award winners boycotted the function over being denied presentation of the awards by President Kovind personally. S S Ahluwalia, MoS, has been relieved of the charge of Drinking Water & Sanitation and made MoS Electronics & Information Technology. Alphons Kannanthanam has been relieved of the charge of MoS Electronics & Information Technology. He continues as MoS for Tourism. Polls over, fuel prices up Caution PM, Singh tells President NEW DELHI, 14 MAY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 14 MAY After holding fuel prices for 19 days due to the elections in Karnataka, the government has allowed oil marketing companies to increase the prices of petrol and diesel. Petrol and diesel prices have been raised by 17 paise and 21 paise per litre respectively. Petrol price in Delhi was hiked to Rs 74.80 per litre from Rs 74.63 while diesel rates were increased to Rs 66.14 a litre from Rs 65.93. With this, diesel prices have touched a record high while petrol is at a 56-month peak. Oil PSUs, which had kept rates unchanged for nearly three weeks before Karnataka went to polls despite input cost spiking, reverted to daily revision in prices no sooner had the state voted to elect a new government on Saturday. Social media was quick SNS to react with anger. The Congress top brass, led by ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has complained to President Ram Nath Kovind against PM Narendra Modi's alleged use of "menacing, threatening and intimidating" language against their party and leaders. In a letter to President Kovind Sunday, they have urged the President to "caution" the Prime Minister against "using such unwarranted, threatening and intimidating language against leaders of the Congress party or any other party or person as it does not behove the position of the Prime Minister". The Congress leaders referred to PM Modi's speech on 6 May at Hubli during his Karnataka election campaign in which he reportedly said, "Congress ke neta kaan kholkar sun lijiye, agar CMYK seemaon ko paar karoge,to yeh Modi hai, lene ke dene pad jayenge (Congress leaders should listen, if you cross limits, then this is Modi and you will have to pay a price)". Their letter ~ signed by Manmohan Singh, Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress's Lok Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge, A K Antony, Ahmed Patel, P Chidambaram, Ashok Gehlot, Karan Singh, Ambika Soni, Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma, Motilal Vora, Digvijay Singh and Mukul Wasnik ~ also enclosed a video clip of PM Modi's Hubli speech and its link. "The threat held out by the Prime Minister to the INC(Indian National Congress)'s leadership deserves to be condemned. This cannot be the language of the Prime Minister of a constitutionally governed democratic country of 1.3 billion people. Such discourse whether in public or private is unacceptable conduct. The words used are menacing and intimidating with intent to insult and provoke breach of peace,” the Congress top brass's letter told President Kovind. The letter stated that the PM is "not expected to use menacing language even in the course of an election cam- paign" as that would be tantamount to "using his powers and privileges as the PM to settle personal and political scores". Quoting the PM's oath of office, it said all PMs of India in the past have maintained "immense dignity and decorum in discharge of public or private functions/actions". The Congress leaders said, "It is unthinkable that in our democratic polity, the PM as head of the government would utter words which are threatening, intimidating in content and a public warning to the leaders and members of the main Opposition party i.e.INC.
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