MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 02 JULY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR SHAH HOLDS POLL STRATEGY TALKS WITH ODISHA BJP LEADERS MOMENT OF TRUTH FOR MERKEL P6 P12 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with light rain likely to occur in some areas. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 37 and 28 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 85% Min. 55% Max: 36.4°C (0) SUN RISES 05:28 hrs MOON RISES 22:19 hrs Min: 29.0°C (+1) SUN SETS 19:23 hrs MOON SETS 09:42 hrs TEMPERATURE P13 RUSSIA 1(4) Afghanistan blast: A suicide bomber blew himself up in a city in eastern Afghanistan where President Ashraf Ghani was visiting, killing at least 19 people, many of them Sikhs, officials said on Sunday, in the latest violence to rock the country. The attacker struck a market located hundreds of metres from the provincial governor’s compound where Ghani was holding meetings, governor spokesman P13 Attaullah Khogyani said. Mandsaur rape case probe: The DNA samples of the two people arrested on charges of abducting and raping a minor girl in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur were sent for examination and a special investigation team had been formed to speed up the probe, police said. The SIT will be headed by City Superintendent of Police Rakesh Mohan Shukla and will also include a legal adviser. Shukla said 70 per cent of the investigation had been comP6 pleted. French jailbreak: A jailed gangster in France escaped prison after being picked up by helicopter. Three armed accomplices extracted Redoine Faid from the Seine-et-Marne prison, near Paris, late on Sunday morning. They landed in Gonesse, a northeastern suburb of the French capital, before continuing their escape by car. Authorities later found a burnt out black Renault suspected of being the getaway car in Aulnay-sous-Bois, another P12 suburb. Maharashtra lynching: Five people were lynched by a mob in Maharashtra's Dhule district on Sunday over suspicion that they were part of a gang of “child lifters”, police said. The five, along with a few others, were seen getting down from a state transport bus in the tribal-dominated Rainpada hamlet, police said. When one of them tried to speak to a child, the villagers, who had gathered for the weekly market, pounced on them, P5 they said. SPAIN 1(3) AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE MOSCOW, 1 JULY Crime branch to probe; ritual suicide a possibility PRESS TRUST OF INDIA E An Afghan victim receives treatment at an hospital following a suicide attack in Jalalabad AFP on Sunday. leven members of a family, including seven women, were found dead under mysterious circumstances at their residence in north Delhi's Burari today, police said, sending shock waves through the area. Ten of those dead were found hanging from an iron-mesh ceiling used for ventilation, while the body of a 77-year-old woman was lying on the floor in another room of the house. Two of the deceased were children - both aged 15. The eyes and mouth of those found hanging were covered with cloth and taped. The woman found dead on the floor was not blindfolded. The hands and feet of the children were tied, police said. While a murder case has been registered, police suspect the deaths to be a case of suicide pact. Some hand-written notes were found during a search of the house, which suggest the family might have committed ritual suicide. A police officer said the notes indicate a “religious or spiritual angle” to the deaths. “We have found handwritten notes detailing how hands and legs are to be tied and are quite similar to the manner in which Police and people outside the street leading to the house, where 11 members of a family were found dead, RITIK JAIN in Burari in the Capital on Sunday the bodies of 10 persons were found. They are exhaustive notes and we are studying them,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar. Another officer said the notes talk about how one can overcome fear by covering one's eyes and mouth, how one can attain salvation and how the human body is temporary but the soul continues to live on. According to the police, they were informed by a neighbour that six to seven people have committed suicide. Upon reaching the spot, they found that 11 people have died. The deceased were identified as Narayan Devi, who was found dead on the floor, her daughter Pratibha (57), her two sons Bhavnesh (50), Lalit Bhatia (45), Bhavnesh's wife Savita (48) and their three chil- dren - Meenu (23) and Nidhi (25), and Dhruv, aged 15. Lalit Bhatia's wife Tina (42) and their 15-year-old son Shivam were also among those found dead. Pratibha's daughter Priyanka (33), who was engaged last month and would have married by the end of this year, was also found hanging.A police official said the crime branch will investigate the case. Police would be probing all angles and the possibility of foul play is not ruled out. Other members of the family alleged that they had been killed. “I can't believe that they committed suicide. Everyone was so happy. Someone has killed my family and the police have to find them,” Sujata, one of Narayan Devi's daughters, who lives in Panipat with her family, said. Russia captain Igor Akinfeev saved two penalties in a dramatic shootout as theWorld Cup hosts dumped title contenders Spain out in the last 16 following a 1-1 draw. Veteran Russia centreback Sergei Ignashevich gifted Spain the opening goal on 12 minutes in Moscow when he unwittingly turned into his own net after grappling with Sergio Ramos. Russia hit back just before the interval as Artem Dzyuba nervelessly converted a penalty awarded for a handball by Gerard Pique. Spain controlled the game as expected but struggled to create genuine chances, with Akinfeev sharp on the few occasions they did before saving from Koke and Iago Aspas to seal a 4-3 win on penalties. “We are having a fantastic World Cup,” said Akinfeev. Russia will meet either Croatia or Denmark for a place in the semifinals, as Spain's rotten run against hosts nation at major tournaments continued. Fernando Hierro made the bold decision to drop Andres Iniesta for Koke in central midfield, with Marco Asensio handed his first start of the competition. Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov left out leading scorer Denis Cheryshev, opting for three central defenders in a conservative 5-3-2 formation. It was Nacho, in for Dani Carvajal at right-back, who won the free-kick that led to Spain taking the lead as he was caught by Yury Zhi- LONDON, 1 JULY Britain's Defence Minister Gavin Williamson is reportedly under fire from within the UK Cabinet for turning down a bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman, according to a media report which she dismissed as a “baseless story”. The meeting was requested over a month ago by Indian officials, and at least two British ministers including foreign secretary Boris Johnson reportedly sought to convince Williamson of the importance of finding time in the diary for Sitharaman. Williamson, UK Secretary of State for defence, declined to meet Sitharaman's three-day window of bilateral talks on security cooperation and defence procurement between June 20 and 22, according to The Sunday Times. Sitharaman took to Twitter Russia's goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev stops a shot by Spain's forward Iago Aspas during the penalty shootout of the 2018 World Cup round of 16 match between Spain and AFP Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday. rkov to the right of the penalty area. Spain dominated the first 30 minutes, pressing Russia heavily as the hosts struggled to advance beyond the halfway line in humid conditions. Aleksandr Golovin carved out their first chance of note, starting a move with a jinking run before bending just wide of David de Gea's left-hand post. Isco produced a series of regal touches with Spain's King Felipe VI among those in the crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium, but Russia equalised shortly before half-time. A deep corner was met by Dzyuba, whose header struck the outstretched arm of Pique, with referee Bjorn Kuipers contemplating his decision before pointing to the spot. Dzyuba calmly sent De Gea the wrong way with his penalty to join Cheryshev on a team-leading three goals. TODAY’S MATCHES BRAZIL MEXICO (7.30 p.m.) BELGIUM JAPAN (11.30 p.m.) Akinfeev snuffed out an opening for Diego Costa on the stroke of half-time as the Spain striker tried to latch onto a through ball. The Russia goalkeeper was again involved early in the second half, flying to his left to pluck a spinning Jordi Alba effort from the air. Cherchesov introduced Cheryshev for Alexander Samedov on the hour, a move greeted by a deafening roar from the home support. Iniesta replaced David Silva, while Costa was withdrawn for Aspas, and the two substitutes went close to winning it late in regulation Mercedes and milk cannot have same tax: Modi PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 1 JULY Prime Minister Narendra Modi today ruled out a single tax rate under the GST, saying Mercedes car and milk cannot be taxed at the same rate and accepting Congress party' demand for a uniform 18 per cent rate would lead to a spike in food and essential items' taxation. Modi said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has within one year of its launch led to over 70 per cent jump in indirect taxpayer base, demolished check-posts and merged 17 taxes and 23 cesses into one single tax. The new tax regime, which subsumed central levies like excise duty and service tax and state taxes like VAT, is aimed at making indirect taxation “simple” while eliminating the Inspector Raj, he said, adding the GST is an evolving system which is calibrated based on feedback from state governments, trades and other stakeholders. “It would have been very simple to have just one slab but it would have meant we could not have food items at zero per cent tax rate. Can we have milk and Mercedes at the same rate? So, when our friends in Congress say that they will have just one GST rate, they are effectively saying they will tax food items and commodities, which are currently at zero or 5 per cent, at 18 per cent,” he said in an interview to 'Swarajya' magazine. So, when our friends in Congress say that they will have just one GST rate, they are effectively saying they will tax food items and commodities, which are currently at zero or 5 per cent, at 18 per cent NARENDRA MODI PRIME MINISTER Modi, according to a part-transcript of the 45 minute interview posted by Swarajya on its website, said against a total of 66 lakh indirect taxpayers registered since independence, 48 lakh new enterprises have registered since the launch of the GST on July 1, 2017. “Around 350 crore invoic- es were processed and 11 crore returns were filed. Would we be looking at such numbers, if GST were indeed very complex?” he asked. “Check-posts across the country have been abolished and there are no more queues at state borders. Not only are truck drivers saving precious time but also the logistics sector is getting ‘UK def min under fire for Sitharaman snub’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA P16 11 members of Russia stun Spain on penalties family found dead in N Delhi NEW DELHI, 1 JULY THUMBNAILS FRENCH PRODIGY MBAPPE CONTINUES HIS STEADY RISE KIM HIGHLIGHTS CHINA TIES WITH BORDER VISIT to express her disappointment over the “baseless story”. “Disappointed, Sunday Times (UK). Baseless story, to say the least. The UK & India have a robust relationship. A mutually convenient date is being worked out for meeting & I look forward to it,” she said. The newspaper quoted a UK government source as saying that “People are spitting blood about this.” “India has one of the fastestgrowing defence budgets in the world, spending something like USD 50 billion a year. It feels like another ill-judged move by Williamson,” the source said. The report said that Williamson has been accused of angering one of the world's largest emerging economies by snubbing his Indian counterpart. Manoj Ladwa, the Founder of UK-India Week organised in London and Buckinghamshire between June 18 and 22, said: “It would of course have been really good if Williamson could have spared some time, but let's also not kid ourselves that the Indians will have lost too much sleep over it”. The event, which included a two-day conclave and UK-India Awards, attracted a battery of senior political and business figures, including Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Foreign Office Minister Mark Field and Liberal Demo- crat Leader Vince Cable and the opposition Labour party representatives like Barry Gardiner. From the Indian side, Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar was joined by finance and railways minister Piyush Goyal via live video link from New Delhi. Sitharaman had been expected as the senior-most Indian attendee but the visit was put off as a meeting with Williamson did not work out. Ladwa CEO of UKbased media house India Inc. said as Brexit looms, the UK needs to be doing everything possible to engage with “special partners like India”. “The UK and India have shared concerns about global and regional security. The opportunity for the UK to collaborate with India in defence matters has never been greater. “It is therefore only right that so many senior UK lead- ers from across the political spectrum took the opportunity of UK-India Week to underline the importance of ties with India, across sectors and issues,” he said. In his address during UKIndia Week, India's High Commissioner to the UK YK Sinha had highlighted that both countries are “on the same page” on a large number of issues but a lot more can be done to enhance trade ties. “India is the UK's 17th largest trading partner and the UK is India's 15th largest trading partner. Our total trade last year was slightly over 16 billion pounds... It's good but it's certainly not good enough. We need to do much more,” said Sinha. With the Indian Air Force (IAF) kick-starting the process of acquiring around 110 new fighter jets from global vendors in April, the UK would be keen to be among the countries in the running for the lucrative deal. a boost and thereby increasing the productivity of our country. Would this be happening if GST was complex?” To a query on criticism of GST implementation, he said the new tax regime was a massive change, requiring a complete reset of one of the world's largest economic systems. “The reform merged 17 taxes, 23 cesses into one single tax. When it was finally introduced, it was our endeavour to make it simple and ensure sensitivity of the system. There are often teething troubles seen when a reform of this magnitude is carried out, but these issues were not only identified but also addressed in real time,” he said. The GST, he said, has seen Indian cooperative federalism at its best. “We consolidated the states and developed proactively a consensus, where earlier governments had failed.” The Prime Minister said earlier many taxes were hidden and under the GST, “what you see is what you pay.” “The government has reduced taxes on nearly 400 groups of items. Around 150 groups of items have zero per cent tax rate. If you look at the rates, for most of the day-to-day commodities, the rate has actually come down. Be it rice, wheat, sugar, spices, etc, total tax levied has been reduced in most cases. Large number of items of daily usage are either exempted or in 5 per cent slab. Some 95 per cent items fall in/below the 18 per cent slab,” he said. Swaraj hits back at trolls with poll PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 1 JULY Facing online abuse over a passport row involving an interfaith couple, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has initiated a poll on Twitter asking users whether they approve such trolling. Till Sunday evening, over 110,000 people had taken part in the poll, with 57 per cent respondents backing her and as much as 43 per cent supporting the trolls. After days of trolling, matters came to a head yesterday when Swaraj's husband, Swaraj Kausal, tweeted a screenshot of a post by a Twitter user who asked him to beat her up and teach her not to do Muslim appeasement. Swaraj, who has been retweeting some of the offensive tweets directed at her over the transfer of Passport Seva Kendra official Vikas Mishra in Lucknow for allegedly humiliating the interfaith couple, began a Twitter poll last night asking people whether such trolling was fine. “Friends: I have liked some tweets. This is happening for the last few days. Do you approve of such tweets? Please RT,” she tweeted. Swaraj's husband, who had posted a screenshot of the tweet accusing his wife of appeasing Muslims, today responded to the person who had posted it saying such words had given his family unbearable pain. time. A low 20-yard drive was palmed away by Akinfeev at full stretch, with the angled follow-up from Aspas also pushed to safety. Aspas nearly picked out Carvajal with a cut-back seconds into the start of extra time, which saw Aleksandr Erokhin come on as Russia's fourth substitute. Spain followed suit as Rodrigo replaced Asensio, and the former went closest to ending the impasse, sprinting towards goal after a clever dummy only for Akinfeev to claw his shot away before the rebound from Koke was blocked. 48 killed as bus falls into gorge in Uttarakhand DEHRADUN, 1 JULY A private bus fell into a deep gorge in Uttarakhand's Pauri district this morning killing at least 48 people and injuring 10 others, police said. The “overloaded” bus was carrying 58 passengers, they said. “The accident occurred near Gween village, close to Dhumakot, when the bus on way to Ramnagar fell into a 200 metre deep gorge killing 45 persons on the spot and leaving 13 injured,” Pauri SP Jagat Ram Joshi told PTI on the phone. The accident took place at around 8.30 a.m, he said. Three more succumbed to injuries later during the day at the PHC, Dhumakot, where the injured were rushed after rescue teams reached the spot, Joshi said. Two critically injured were referred to Ramnagar while eight were under treatment at Dhumakot, the SP said. Though the exact cause of the accident was not yet known, the bus was carrying passengers much beyond its capacity, he said. One of the possibilities is that the bus fell into the gorge when the driver was trying to negotiate a big waterlogged pothole in the middle of the road, the official said referring to initial inputs. The plunge was so forceful that the upper part of the bus separated exposing the seats in the lower part, the SP said. All bodies were recovered and the injured rescued from the mangled remains of the vehicle. PTI (MORE ON PAGE 5)
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