SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 04 AUGUST 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR SHELTER HOME OUTRAGE: NITISH BREAKS SILENCE ‘NO-TRUST DEBATE WAS POINTLESS’ P9 SENSEX 37,556.16 +391.00 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 28 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 75% Min. 57% Max: 33.8.0°C (0) SUN RISES 05:45 hrs MOON RISES 23:52 hrs Min: 28.2°C (+1) SUN SETS 19:10 hrs MOON SETS 13:09 hrs TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS Afghan mosque attacked: Burqa-clad suicide bombers struck a Shi’ite mosque in eastern Afghanistan on Friday as it was crowded with worshippers for weekly prayers, killing at least 29 people and wounding more than 80 in the latest attack on the minority. Officials said they feared the death toll could rise after the assault, the latest targeting civilians who have borne the brunt of the violence in Afghanistan's long conflict. “Two suicide explosions happened during Friday prayers in the Khwaja Hasan area of Gardez,” said Abdullah Hasrat, spokesman for Paktia province near the Pakistan border. He told AFP the toll had risen to 29 killed and 81 wounded, with children among P13 the victims. 10 killed in Andhra quarry blast: At least 10 workers were killed in a powerful explosion in a stone quarry in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district on Friday night, police said. All the victims are said to be hailing from Odisha. The explosion occurred when regular quarrying work was continuing, an officer said. “At least 20 workers were said to be at the spot when the gelatine sticks used for blasting the quarry exploded. The sudden explosion trapped the workers, causing the fatalities,” he said. Imran Khan summoned by anti-graft body: g Imran Khan, Pakistan's prime minister-in-waiting has been summoned by the country's anti-graft body on August 7 in connection with the misuse of official helicopters which caused Rs 2.17 million loss to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, an official said. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned 65-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf chairman on August 7. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Khan's party has led the provincial government since 2013. The NAB is investigating the cricketer-turnedpolitician for causing Rs 2.17 million loss to the provincial exchequer by using the government's helicopter for over 72 hours. P13 Pak schools burnt down: Twelve schools, half of them ‘all-girls', have been burnt down by unidentified assailants in coordinated attacks in Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan, triggering protest by local residents who sought safety for educational institutions which are often attacked by militants, officials said. The schools in Chilas town, about 130-kilometre from Gilgit, were targeted Thursday night by the militants who set them on fire and damaged school property across Diamer district, police said on the attack in the relativelypeaceful region. Superintendent of Police Diamer Roy Ajmal told media that 12 schools, half of them girls' school, were targeted by P13 rebels who fled after the attack. Sindhu beats Okuhara, enters semi-finals: f P V Sindhu beat Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in straight games to cruise into the semifinals and assure herself of a medal in the World Championships in Nanjing (China) on Friday. Sindhu defeated Okuhara 21-17 21-19 in a 58-minute quarterfinal match to set up a semifinal clash against World No. 2 and another Japanese Akane Yamaguchi on Saturday (today). The World No. 3 Indian produced a dominant display against her World No. 6 rival as she avenged her defeat in the last edition summit clash. Okuhara led initially but Sindhu was able to come back to take the honours. Sindhu’s win meant the headto-head record between the two is now levP15 elled at 6-6. ` vs $ 68.60 +10 PAISE Social media hub policy withdrawn, AG submits in SC NEW DELHI, 3 AUGUST The Centre today told the Supreme Court that it will undertake a complete review of social media policy and has withdrawn its notification proposing a social media hub for the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra considered the submission of Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, that the proposed decision has been withdrawn and decided to dispose of the petition that had alleged that it was a tool to monitor online activities of citizens. The government, in its request for proposal (RFP), had invited bids and proposals for selecting an agency to set up a “Social Media Communication Hub' by the I&B Ministry. At the outset, Venugopal submitted that the plea has been rendered infructuous as the government has withdrawn its decision and would undertake a “complete review” of the matter. The bench was hearing a petition filed by TMC MLA Mahua Moitra alleging that the Centre's social media hub policy was to be used as a tool to mon- The AG submitted that the plea has been rendered infructuous as govt has withdrawn its decision and would undertake a review itor social media activities of citizens and should be quashed. On July 13, the apex court had asked the government whether its move to create such a hub was to tap people's WhatsApp messages, and observed that it will be like creating a “surveillance state”. TheTMC legislator from West Bengal had asked whether the government wants to tap citizens' messages onWhatsApp or other social media platforms. Moitra had said the government had issued a RFP. The tender will be opened on August 20 for a software which would do 360 degree monitoring on all social media platforms such WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram and track email contents, she said. On June 18, the SC refused an urgent hearing on the plea seeking to stay the ministry's move to set up the social media hub that would collect and analyse digital and social media content. GOLD 28,425.00 -130.00 Justice Joseph elevated Amid the controversial exclusion of 4,00,7007 residents of Assam from the state's draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), the central government today accused certain elements and "vested interests" of creating an "atmosphere of fear and misapprehension" and mounting a bid on social media to "internationalise" the matter and "disrupt communal harmony" on the draft NRC issue, asserting that the NRC process was "fair, objective and nondiscriminatory". Replying this morning, in the Rajya Sabha, to the 31 July discussion on the ‘Cases’ against Sonowal KOLKATA, 3 AUG: Two police complaints were lodged against Assam CM Sonowal in the city today over alleged “manhandling” and “illegal detention” of TMC delegates at Silchar airport yesterday by Assam police officers, TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said. One complaint was filed at airport PS and another at SNS Alipore PS. draft NRC issue, Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured that that there SILVER 37,900.00 -100.00 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ‘Indian agencies which did a background check on Choksi before granting him citizenship said there was no adverse info’ NEW DELHI, 3 AUGUST NEW DELHI, 3 AUGUST Putting an end to all controversy, the Centre has cleared the Supreme Court Collegium recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph to the top court. The government has also given its nod to appoint Madras High Court CJ Indira Banerjee and Orissa High Court Chief JusticeVineet Saran to the Supreme Court, sources said. They said their warrants of appointment are likely to be issued by Monday. The number of judges in the top court after the appointments would go up to 25. There would still be six vacancies. Earlier the government had objected to Justice Joseph's elevation and sent back his file to a panel of senior judges. The government's questioning of Justice Joseph's elevation had set the stage for its face-off with the country's highest SNS court. will be no "coercive action" against anyone excluded from Assam's draft NRC and that the names of no Indian citizen will be left out of it. Some Opposition parties, especially the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamul Congress ( TMC), have been up in arms against this NRC exercise and the exclusion of over 4 million people from the final draft of Assam's NRC, alleging that it betrayed the ruling BJP's "divide-and-rule agenda" in the country in the runup to the 2019 general elections. The agitated Trinamul members continued their protests on it ~ and over yesterday's detention of TURN TO PAGE 6 A ntigua has claimed it was told by Indian agencies that there was no adverse information against Mehul Choksi when it did a background check on the fugitive billionaire before granting him citizenship in 2017, a local media report in the Caribbean nation has said. While the Antiguan authority responsible for grant of investment-linked citizenship named the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) as one of the Indian agency to have given such a clearance in case of Choksi, the Indian capital markets regulator rejected the claim saying it neither received any such request, nor provided any such information to the concerned department in Antigua. Choksi's application for citizenship in Antigua in May 2017 was accompanied with clearance from the local police as required by norms, Antiguan newspaper the Daily Observer reported, citing a statement from the Citizenship by Investment Unit of Antigua and Barbuda (CIU). Choksi is one of the alleged masterminds of the USD 2 billion scam in state-run Punjab National Bank and uncle of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi. “The said police clearance certificate from the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs Regional Passport Office, Mumbai, certified that there was no adverse information against Mr Mehul Chinubbhai Choksi which would render him ineligible for grant of travel facilities including visa for Antigua and Barbuda,” the report said. The authorities in the island country did a thorough check on Choksi from open source global agencies, including the Interpol, that there was “no instance” of any derogatory information against him, it added. The Antiguan authorities, as part of their own checks, found two When she lost her husband at the age of 23, just two years after her marriage, life rose up like a mountain before her. Unable to face the orthodox societal mores of the hills which still demean a young widow, she even thought of ending her life, once. But that was not to be. Thirty years on, matriculate Nirmal Chandel from Sathmala village (Gopalpur) in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh has transformed her life and turned out to be a selfless champion for other such single women in the rural state. Leading the over 16,000member strong Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan (ENSS-single women forum) now, Chandel strives for the dignified living of poor, illiterate and unaware widows, divorced, deserted and unmarried women. She helps them gain confidence and has over the years influenced government policies to their benefit, making it a movement of sorts. “It was difficult. When my husband died, I was made to sit in a dark corner of the house, not allowed to go out for one year. My parents too expressed helplessness. In this depression, a friend in the village showed me the way. I left home to escape hostility and joined Social Uplift Through Rural Action (SUTRA), an NGO based in Jagjitnagar in Kasauli. That turned my life around,” Chandel told The Statesman. In 1990, Chandel started working with the NGO as an accountant on a meagre Rs 350 a month, which she said, was instances of Sebi action against Choksi's firms in 2014 and 2017 and sought more information on them, the report further said. It further quoted CIU as claiming that Sebi had told authorities in Antigua that one case was “satisfactorily closed” and there was “insufficient evidence” to pursue the second matter. However, the Indian regulator issued a statement today denying these claims. “Sebi has neither received any request from the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) of Antigua for updates on any investigation nor provided any such information to CIU,” the regulator said. As per the Antiguan media report, the CIU has said if there was a warrant against Choksi when his application of citizenship was being processed, Interpol should have been informed about it and it INDIA REJOICES should have been part of national criminal database. Choksi had fled India on January 4 this year and took oath of allegiance in Antigua on January 15. His citizenship was cleared in November 2017. On January 16, this year, the USD 2 billion scam was detected by Brady House branch of Punjab National Bank, making it the biggest banking scam in the country. On July 29, 2016, Bengaluru resident Hari Prasad had informed the Prime Minister's Office about alleged nefarious activities of Choksi and his companies. In a recent response to a question by Congress leader Kapil Sibal, the Finance Ministry said in the Rajya Sabha that the PMO was “intimated” about the complaints regarding the PNB fraud in 2016 and the matter was referred to it. “Ministry of Finance, vide Office Memorandum dated 1.3.2018, apprised PMO of action taken regarding the frauulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking in PNB,” it said. The reply, however, did not make it clear whether it referred to Prasad's specific complaint against Choksi. UIDAI clears air on number NEW DELHI, 3 AUGUST India's Ishant Sharma (C) celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Jos Buttler during the third day of the first Test cricket match between England and India at EdgAFP (MATCH REPORT ON PAGE 16 ) baston in Birmingham, central England on Friday. her first step towards empowerment. It was here that she gained courage to face the world. (SUTRA works to promote democratic rights of people, with focus on women). In 2005, SUTRA Director Subhash Mendhapurkar motivated Chandel to work on a single women forum on the lines of a project in Rajasthan. “For a while, it pinched me that he picked me up for this because I was a widow. Then I realised that it was an opportunity to help women fight back. What I suffered, others should not,” she said. Chandel formed a forum – ENSS - with a dozen widows and divorcees that year. The number went to 120 in one year, with even octogenarians coming forward. The efforts crystallised in 2008, when some 3,000 single women, young and old, The UIDAI today said it has notaskedanydevicemaker or service provider to include its toll free number on mobile phones, and clarified that the number 1800-300-1947 appearing in the contact list of Android phones is an “outdated and invalid” helpline number. Distancing itself from the backlash it faced on social media over the default inclusion of '1800300-1947' in contact list of Android phones, the Unique Identification Authority of India said in a statement that,“...the said 18003001947 is not a valid UIDAI toll free number and some vested interests are trying to create unwarranted confusion in the PTI public”. WHO: Nirmal Chandel Beginning today, The Statesman profiles Good Samaritans around the country – persons (or institutions) who have worked selflessly to make their world a better place. KASAULI (HP) BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 73.42 -0.03 Antigua: No adverse info given on Choksi Moving mountains in Himachal ARCHANA PHULL P15 SEBI denies Antiguan charge of providing info or giving any clearance Rajnath seeks to dispel fear over NRC, Trinamul fumes STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 3 AUGUST INDIA CAPTAIN CHHETRI NAMED 'ASIAN ICON' BY AFC P12 P10 NIFTY 11,360.80 +116.10 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MNANGAGWA WINS FIRST POST-MUGABE POLLS IN ZIMBABWE WHERE: Himachal Pradesh WHAT SHE DOES: Helps widows and abandoned women walked 30 kilometres from Dhami to Shimla to press for their status, moving the then Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal address them outside the vidhan sabha. The ENSS, of which Chandel is a convener, is now spread in ten out of the state’s 12 districts and spiritedly battles for social, financial and emotional security for single women in villages. The small interventions by Chandel’s team that range from helping such women get social security pension, processing of ration cards, availing benefits of state schemes and above all, building their capacity, have yielded results. The divorced women and women whose husbands went missing, were included for social security pension (Rs 750 a month) and the government even started giving financial aid to children of widows or divorced women for education till 18 years of age. The single women are given preference in jobs in anganwaris, as water carriers in schools and at other institutions for self-sustenance. The ENSS also identifies separated women, who don’t have access to justice or are victims of delayed justice and helps them. “These may appear to be small things, but they are an uphill task for village women, who are denied all rights and are often left to their fate with children,” Chandel said. The ENSS won an international award of Rs 22 lakh from Ashoka Foundation in 2011 for its concept of new sasural (inlaws) for poor widows, deserted and divorced women. It has saved the award money, with a plan to start small ventures for single women in groups and is waiting for government to grant some land on lease. Chandel is not only recognized as a ‘game changer’ for single women in Himachal, her model is becoming a subject of study for social work students from India and abroad. She was invited by the University in Edinburgh in UK few years ago to share her ‘motivating journey’ but could not make it for some reasons. “The real success is that single women are opening up and communicating their problems not to gain sympathy, but dignity. They are not taken lightly in official circles and are now treated as a separate entity in Himachal in many government policies,” she said.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.