CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 23 JULY 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 P3 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. A few spells of rain likely. Temperature will be in the range of 32-26 degrees Celsius RAINFALL: 18.5 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.95% TEMPERATURE Max: 29.1°C (-3) SUN RISES 05:05 hrs MOON RISES 14.47 hrs GST RATE SLASH DONE WITH EYE ON ELECTIONS: PC AIRPORT SUICIDE ATTACK MARKS DOSTUM RETURN NRC DRAFT ONLY A DRAFT, SAYS HOME MINISTER P10 RICH PACE POOL IS INDIA’S TRUMP CARD P10 Rahul Gandhi authorised by CWC to forge alliance Sonia attacks Modi govt, says dangerous regime compromising democracy Min. 87% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Min: 26.6°C (0) SUN SETS 18:22 hrs MOON SETS 01:21 hrs Moon phase: First quarter on 24 July THUMBNAILS Lakshya Sen poses on the podium after winning the men’s singles gold medal at the Asian Junior Championship in Jakarta on Sunday. BADMINTON ASSOCIATION OF INDIA/TWITTER Lakshya feat: Lakshya Sen on Sunday became only the third Indian shuttler to secure a gold medal at the Asia Junior Championships after defeating reigning world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in straight games in the finals at Jakarta. The sixth seeded Indian from Uttarakhand, who had won a bronze medal in the last edition of the competition, notched up 21-19, 21-18 upset win over Vitidsarn in the summit clash that clocked 46 minutes. Lakshya has been sensational in the tournament as he stunned second seed Chinese Li Shifeng, fourth seed Indonesian Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay in the semifinals and top seed Vitidsarn in the final. Pak suicide bombing: A former provincial minister and senior leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up near his car in the troubled Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, police said. kramullah Gandapur, a candidate for the provincial assembly seat from PK-99 constituency, was on his way to an election meeting when the bomber targeted his vehicle in Dera Ismail Khan district. Gandapur had sustained critical wounds in the suicide blast and was rushed to a Peshawar hospital by helicopter, but succumbed to his injuries during treatment. Cong on triple talaq bill: The chief of the Congress women's wing has said the party would support the instant triple talaq bill if the Centre includes a provision of alimony in it. All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party government was trying to strike a quid pro quo with the passing of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill and the women's reservation bill. “We were never against the instant triple talaq bill. But the bill, in its present form, would be harmful to the interests of the Muslim women. It should have a provision of alimony for the victim,” Dev said. NEW DELHI, 22 JULY s the Congress gears up for the Lok Sabha polls slated for next year, the extended Congress Working Committee on Sunday authorised Congress president Rahul Gandhi to forge an alliance with like-minded parties to take on the BJP . The decision was taken at a meeting of the newlyconstituted CWC, Pradesh Congress Committee chiefs and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) members from various states. The party also authorised Gandhi to constitute a committee to work with various national and regional parties to form a grand national alliance. Thirty-five to 40 leaders spoke at Sunday's meeting where they stressed that the Congress should play a lead role in forging an antiBJP front. Some leaders said Gandhi being the leader of the principal opposition party should be the face of the national alliance. Asked about this, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said, “Naturally, he (Rahul) is the leader of the main national (opposition) party and we would want our leader to be the face of A the opposition alliance.” Senior party leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram gave a detailed presentation on how the party could be strengthened with the help of allies in various states. Sources said that Chidambaram highlighted that the Congress is strong in 12 states and with the help of its allies, it can forge a formidable front for the next general election. During the meeting, Congress leaders spearheaded by Gandhi kept up the attack on the NDA government, reminding partymen of the role of the Congress as the voice of India as also its responsibility of present and future and charging that BJP attacks institutions, Dalits, tribals, backwards, minorities and the poor. Rahul described the revamped CWC as a bridge between the past, present and future and asked party workers to rise up and fight for India’s oppressed. Chairing the first meeting of the revamped CWC after becoming president of the party at the end of December, he said it was an institution comprising experience and energy. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address, told Rahul Gandhi that he and all other Congressmen will help him in the task of restoring India’s social harmony and economic development. “I assure Rahul Gandhiji that we will fully support him in his onerous task of restoring India’s social harmony and economic develop- Terrorists involved in cop’s murder killed in encounter STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 22 JULY All three Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists involved in yesterday’s kidnapping and torture to death of a J&K Police constable, Mohammad Saleem Shah, were on Sunday killed in an encounter with security forces in Khudwani area of Kulgam in south Kashmir. One of the three terrorists was a Pakistani national, Muawiya, who was involved in several civilian killings in Kashmir. The other two were local Kashmiris, identified as school dropout Suhail Dar and Mudassar, belonging to Kulgam district. Saleem was kidnapped on Friday night from his home in Mutalhama village Saleem was kidnapped on Friday night from his home in Mutalhama in Kulgam and his mutilated body with severe torture marks was found Saturday near Redwani Payeen in Kulgam and his mutilated body with severe torture marks was yesterday recovered from a nursery near village Redwani Payeen of the district. Saleem had joined the police in 2016 and was posted in the police lines at Pulwama. He was a member of a security force team that had some time ago killed Adil Pathan, a Pakistani commander of Jaish- e-Mohammad. He was the sole breadwinner of his family of six, said senior police officers. Police said that security forces in the wee hours launched searches at Redwani area in Kulgam following credible inputs about presence of the terrorists in a cluster of houses. As the security forces advanced, the hiding terrorists fired, resulting in a brief encounter in which the terrorists were killed. The kidnapping and killing of Saleem occurred a few days after another policeman, Javed Dar, was abducted and killed while home on leave, and nearly a month after an Indian Army soldier, Aurengzeb, was similarly kidnapped and killed in Shopian district. ment,” he said, rejecting what he called Narendra Modi’s culture of constant ‘self-praise and jumlas (gimmicks)’, as against solid policy framework for driving the engine of growth. Singh said the government’s claim of doubling farm income by 2022 will require an agricultural growth rate of 14%, which is nowhere in sight. Hitting out at the Modi government, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said the people of the country have to be rescued from a “dangerous regime” that is “compromising” India’s democracy. In her address to the newly-constituted CWC, she cautioned the people about the “reign of despair and fear” unleashed upon India’s deprived and poor. She said the rhetoric of Narendra Modi shows his “desperation”, reflecting that the “reverse countdown” of the Modi government has begun. “We are committed to make alliances work and we are all with Congress President Rahul Gandhi in this endeavour. We have to rescue our people from a dangerous regime that is compromising with the democracy of India,” she said. She further pointed out that “rhetoric of Prime Min- ister Modi shows his desperation, reflecting that reverse countdown of Modi government had begun”. According to Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "rejected culture of constant self praise and jumlas of Prime Minister Modi as against solid policy framework for driving engine of growth". Last week, Rahul Gandhi had constituted the new extended Congress Working Committee, with 23 members, 19 permanent invitees and nine special invitees. Senior leaders like Digvijaya Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Kamal Nath, Sushilkumar Shinde and Karan Singh were dropped from the list. However, the Congress president retained veterans like AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma and Kumari Selja in the party's highest decision-making body. Besides Rahul, former party chief Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former Congress chief ministers Ashok Gehlot, Oomen Chandy, Tarun Gogoi, Siddharamaiah and Harish Rawat have also been included. P12 Rahul doubles down on Rafale deal scam charge PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 22 JULY Congress president Rahul Gandhi today alleged the controversial Rafale jet deal “smells like a scam” and accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of doing a “flip-flop” on the secrecy clause. Gandhi also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue, alleging he “squirms” when asked about the prices of the fighter aircraft. “Our Defence Minister said she would, but now she won't. She flip flops between it's-not-a-secret & it's-a-BIG-secret. The PM squirms when asked about the price of RAFALE and refuses to look me in the eye. Sure smells like a scam. #RAFALEscam (sic),” he tweeted. Gandhi's fresh attack on the government over the deal comes two days after he told Parliament during the debate on no-confidence motion that the French president had conveyed to him that there was no problem in sharing details relating to the Rafale deal, contrary to what the government has been saying. “The Defence Minister has clearly spoken an untruth,” he had said. Referring to Prime Min- ister Modi, he had said, “I can see him smiling. There is a touch of nervousness. He is looking away, not looking into my eyes.” The truth is that Modi is not a “chowkidar” (guard) but a “bhagidaar” (collaborator) in the wrong-doings, the Congress chief had said. “I personally met the French president and asked him if there is such a pact between the French and Indian governments. The French president told me that there is no such pact between the French and Indian governments,” Gandhi had said. “This is the truth, and he told me that I have no objection to it (details of Rafale deal) being made public, you can tell it to entire India.” Prime Minister Modi had called these charges as “distortion of truth”. After Gandhi's claims, the French government had issued a statement, saying a security agreement it concluded with India in 2008 legally binds the two countries to protect the classified information relating to operational capabilities of defence equipment. However, it did not clarify whether the provisions of the pact restrict the Indian government from disclosing price details of the Rafale deal. HOMEWARD BOUND During the Ulta Rath Yatra in Puri on Sunday. SNS India reaches out to Africa with PM’s 3-nation trip Ghastly murder sends STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 22 JULY Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday on begins a five-day, three-nation tour of Africa to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa which will see India reaching out first bilaterally and then multilaterally under the BRICS umbrella to the continent. "The visit to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa will further strengthen our relations with the African continent," the external affairs ministry said in a statement. Over the last few years, there has been significant engagement in various fields with African countries. There have been 23 visits to Africa by the President, Vice President and Prime Minister in the last four years. "Africa has been the top priority of India's foreign policy," the statement said. Cooperation in defence and agriculture will be Modi's priorities during his bilateral visits to Rwanda and Uganda before he goes to South Africa for the annual Brazil, Russia, India China, South Africa (BRICS) Summit. This will be Modi's second visit to mainland Africa after he visited Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya in 2016. Modi will reach Rwanda on July 23 in what will be the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to the East African nation. India elevated its ties with Rwanda, seen as an important gateway to eastern Africa, to that of a Strategic Partnership in January last year. Briefing the media, T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry, said India will open its first mission in Rwanda very soon. India's current High Commissioner to Rwanda has residence in Kampala, Uganda. Rwanda is also a recipient of Indian lines of credit of nearly $400 million and of Indian training and scholarship programmes. During Modi's visit, two more lines of credit are expected to be signed ~ one of $100 million for industrial parks and a similar amount for agriculture and irrigation. "We expect agreements to be concluded in the areas of defence, dairy cooperation, leather, agriculture and culture," Tirumurti said. In Rwanda, Modi will visit Rweru model village to gift 200 cows as part of a programme overseen by President Kagame wherein the poorest families get dairy cows from the government and the first female calf born of the cow is gifted to a neighbour to promote brotherhood. From Rwanda, Modi will reach Uganda on July 24 in what will be the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister in 21 years. Tirumurti said training and capacity building had been the focus of defence cooperation between India and Uganda. India has an Indian military training team stationed in Jinja since 2010. Apart from calling on Ugandan President Yowei Museveni and holding delegation-level talks, Modi will take part in an India-Uganda joint business event and address the Ugandan parliament, the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister. He will also address members of the Indian community in Uganda. "We expect to extend two lines of credit for the first time to Uganda of $141 million regarding electricity lines and sub-stations and $64 million for agriculture and dairy production," Tirumurti said. From Uganda, Modi will travel to South Africa on July 25 on the third and last leg of his visit. Besides the BRICS Summit, Modi will also hold a bilateral meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa, who assumed office in February. CMYK South Africa is organising the 10th BRICS leaders' Summit under the theme "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration with Developing Countries for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution". The Prime Minister, along with other BRICS leaders, will participate in the restricted session, plenary session, leaders' retreat, outreach with leaders from Africa and outreach with leaders from the global South. In the BRICS-Africa outreach, those invited include Rwanda, Uganda, Togo, Zambia, Namibia, Senegal, Gabon, Ethiopia, Angola and the African Union Chair. In the BRICS-plus outreach, the invited countries of the global South include Argentina, Turkey, Indonesia, Jamaica and Egypt. On the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. This will be the third meeting between the two leaders this year. shockwaves in Siliguri SANKHA GHOSH BAGDOGRA, 22 JULY The gruesome murder of a married couple at Bagdogra sent shockwaves across Siliguri today. Forty-year-old Ajay Khushuwa and his wife Mina were sleeping in separate rooms on the first floor of a three-storey building at Pradhannagar under the Upper Bagdogra gram panchayat, when they were hacked to death at night. Their bodies were recovered by police this morning. Ajay owned a catering business, and provided waiters and waitresses to hotels and functions. “Khushuwa was found lying on a single bed of the dining hall. It appeared that the killer hit him on the back of his head. Mina, 35, was in the bedroom with her two children. She was also murdered with a sharp weapon, while her face was disfigured later and made beyond recognition. Her four-year-old son Vivan and three-month-old daughter were sleeping with her. They were found sleeping in a pool of blood on the bed," a police officer said. A pall of gloom descended on the entire area. It is learnt that an employee working under Khushuwa, Uday Pradhan, first found the bodies. "We had an assignment at a hotel last evening, and after its completion, we went to his house. I called him on his phone several times, but it went unanswered. I then went to the first floor and found them murdered," Mr Pradhan said. Sources said Ajay hails from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and had been staying in the area for the past few years. Details on Page 13
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