CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 AUGUST 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 P06 SENSEX 38,896.63 +202.52 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with 1/2 spells of rain/thundershower. Max-min temp will be around 33-27 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: 1.3 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY P07 NIFTY 11,738.50 +46.55 IN PRO SOCCER, BOLT IS SLOW ON THE UPTAKE P04 ` vs $ 70.10 +6 PAISE GOLD 29,055.00 +240.00 P11 SILVER 37,700.00 +350.00 Multi-state crackdown for alleged Maoist links BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 76.71 +0.50 Delhi HC restrains cops from taking away Navlakha till morning Maharashtra police raids on Left activists spark outrage among human rights groups Max.94% Min. 69% Max: 32.8°C (0) SUN RISES 05:19 hrs MOON RISES 19.55 hrs Min: 27.0°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:57 hrs MOON SETS 07:29 hrs TEMPERATURE STALIN ELECTED DMK PRESIDENT UNOPPOSED SIDHU WINS FRIENDS... IN PAKISTAN AN UNNERVING CREASE Third moon quarter on 3 September THUMBNAILS Olympic medallist PV Sindhu yet again finished second-best but grabbed a historic individual silver medal at the Asian Games after losing to world number one Tai Tzu-Ying in Jakarta. P12 Ruchi Ghanashyam named India’s envoy to UK: Ruchi Ghanashyam, a 1982-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, was on Tuesday appointed as India's next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Ghanashyam, who is currently Secretary (West) in the ministry, is expected to take up the assignment shortly, the MEA said. She will replace Y K Sinha in London.. Petrol crosses Rs 78, diesel at new high: Petrol prices on Tuesday crossed the Rs 78 per litre mark in Delhi for the first time in more than two-and-half-months, while diesel continued to scale new highs. Petrol price was hiked by 14 paise and diesel by 15 paise, according to price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. Isro’s man mission to space: Isro’s man mission will comprise three crew members and reach the lower orbit of the Earth in just 16 minutes after the launch and stay in the space for five to seven days, ISRO chairman K Sivan said. Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to be launched in January next year after experts suggested changes to avert failure, Sivan said. SNS & AGENCIES PUNE / NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST n a controversial countrywide operation, the Maharashtra police today raided the homes of leading Leftwing activists and human rights advocates in multiple states and arrested at least five of them for alleged Maoist links, setting off a chorus of protests and outrage from civil liberties activists, intellectuals and civil society groups. The raids were carried out by the Pune police as part of its probe into violent clashes between a section of Dalits and upper caste people at KoregaonBhima near Pune on 1 January 2018, which had followed in the wake of a conclave, Elgar Parishad, on 31 December 2017 there. Police claimed that the speeches made at this conclave was a trigger for the Koregaon-Bhima violence. Simultaneous raids were conducted on the premises of prominent Telugu poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Farreira in Mumbai, trade union activist and human rights lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj in Faridabad, and civil liberties activist and former secretary of People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Gautam Navlakha, in New Delhi, a senior police official said. Subsequently, Rao, Bhardwaj, Farreira, Gonzalves and Navalakha were arrested. They were arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their alleged Naxal links. The multi-city raids and crackdown on promi- I SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST Sudha Bhardwaj Varavara Rao nent human and civil rights activists sparked widespread condemnation, anguish and outrage among civil liberties activists, intellectuals, academics and writers, with some condemning the BJP-ruled state's operation across the country as "chilling", "dracaonian" and "tantamount to a virtual declaration of Emergency". The internationally-renowned writer Arundhati Roy reportedly said such an "absolutely perilous" development was a "dangerous sign of a government that fears it is losing its mandate and is falling into panic". "That lawyers, poets, writers, Dalit rights activists and intellectuals are being arrested on ludicrous charges... while those who make up lynch mobs and threaten and murder people in broad daylight roam free, tells us very clearly where India is headed,” Roy said. She charged that murderers were being honoured and protected and anybody who spoke up for justice or against Hindu majoritarianism was being made into a criminal. "In the run up to elections, this is an attempted coup against the Indian Constitution and all the freedoms that we cherish,” she said. "It is in preparation for the coming elections. We can- Vernon Gonzalves The BJP has unleashed “undeclared emergency'’ in the country. The emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi is nothing compared to present one. MAMATA BANERJEE Arun Farreira Police raids on Left-wing activists are a brazen attack on democratic rights of the people. This is a very dangerous trend for our democracy. SITARAM YECHURY WEST BENGAL CM & TMC CHIEF not allow this to happen. We have to all come together. Otherwise we will lose every freedom that we cherish. It is as close to a declaration of an Emergency as we are going to get," Roy reportedly added. Amnesty International India condemned the development, saying "India is witnessing a massive crackdown on lawyers, journalists, activists and human rights defenders, who have been critical of the state". The nationwide crackdown on activists, advocates and human rights defenders is disturbing and threatens core human-rights values, Amnesty India and Oxfam India said in a joint statement. The noted historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted: "This is absolutely chilling. The Supreme Court must intervene to stop this persecution and CPI-M GENERAL SECRETARY harassment of independent voices. Sudha Bharadwaj is as far from violence and illegality as Amit Shah is close to those things." The leading civil rights lawyer Prashant Bhushan condemned the raids and arrests of those "among the finest human rights activists and dissenting voices" in the country. "Fascist fangs are now openly bared," he alleged. The premises of Father Stan Swamy, a tribal leader in Jharkhand, too were searched but he was not detained, a police official said. According to unconfirmed reports, others whose residences were raided included Susan Abraham, Kranthi Tekula and Anand Teltumbde in Goa. Today's crackdown followed simultaneous raids conducted in June when five activists were arrested for their alleged Maoist links. Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale was then arrested from his home in Mumbai, while lawyer Surendra Gadling, activist Mahesh Raut and Shoma Sen were picked up from Nagpur and Rona Wilson was arrested from Delhi. Rao's name had figured in a letter which the Pune police claimed to have seized during searches at the premises of one of the five people arrested in June in connection with the Elgar Parishad. Rao was arrested from his residence in Hyderabad by a Pune police team, which earlier searched the residences of his two daughters and some journalists. “During our investigation in connection with the Elgar Parishad event, some evidence came to light about members of a proscribed organisation, following which the police carried out raids in Chhattisgarh, Mumbai and Hyderabad today," a police official claimed. The searches were conducted at homes of people having Maoist links and those directly or indirectly connected with the five arrested people, the official said. Police claimed to have recovered “some incriminating documents” during the searches. “We are checking the financial transactions of these people’’ Delhi High Court today directed that rights activist Gautam Navlakha, arrested by Maharashtra police for alleged Maoist links, should not be taken away from the national capital till it hears the matter tomorrow morning. A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel said Navlakha will remain at his residence under police guard and be allowed to meet only his lawyers. The court also said this will be the first matter to be considered by it tomorrow morning. The high court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of Navlakha by his advocate Warisha Farasat after he was picked up from his Delhi home this afternoon by the Maharashtra police in connection with the December 31 last year violence at Koregaon-Bhima village. A habeas corpus petition is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure his or her release. Left-wing activists, including Varavara Rao and Sudha Bhardwaj, were also arrested today as the Maharashtra police carried out searches at multiple places in several states, including Delhi, on the residences of people suspected to have Maoist links. The raids were carried out as part of a probe into the violence at Maharashtra's Koregaon-Bhima village, triggered by an event called 'Elgar Parishad' (conclave) held in Pune on December 31 last year. Outrage over multi-city raids, arrests of rights activists The arrests of prominent civil rights activists and multicity searches of their homes triggered outrage and condemnation by several lawyers, academics and authors today, some who termed the move “absolutely chilling” and others saying it amounted to a “virtual declaration of emergency”. What is happening is absolutely perilous, said author and Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy after the raids, whichwere carried out as part of a probe into the violence at Maharashtra's Koregaon-Bhima village, triggered by 'Elgar Parishad' event in Pune on December 31 last year. Searches were carried out at the residences of poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj in Faridabad and Chhattisgarh and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha in Delhi, a police official in Pune said. The official said Rao and Bhardwaj were arrested. There were unconfirmed reports about arrests of several other activists in the raids. “The simultaneous statewide arrests are a dangerous sign of a government that fears it is losing its mandate and is falling into panic. That lawyers, poets, writers, Dalit rights activists and intellectuals are being arrested on ludicrous charges... while those who make up lynch mobs and threaten and murder people in broad daylight roam free, tells us very clearly where India is headed,” Roy told PTI in a message. Social justice, nat’l security & welfare BJP’s key poll planks sc orders re-verification of 10% NRC-excluded people in Assam SNS & PTI INDIA'S FIRST GOLD IN 800M SINCE 1982 ASIAD STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST Gold medallist India's Manjit Singh celebrates during the victory ceremony for the men's 800m athletics event during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on Tuesday. AFP The issues of social justice with an eye on Dalits and backward castes, national security, especially NRC, and welfare schemes of the Modi government emerged as the main poll planks for the BJP as it held a meeting of its chief ministers here to strategise for upcoming elections to state assemblies and Lok Sabha. At the day-long meeting of BJP chief ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi listed a number of decisions and legislations effected by his government benefiting all sections of society, particu- larly Dalits, Other Backward Communities, the poor and farmers. Briefing reporters on the meeting attended by 14 of the 15 BJP chief ministers, several Union ministers and party president Amit Shah, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said party leaders discussed preparations in every state for the parliamentary elections and also upcoming assembly polls in three states. “We have taken a pledge that we will win the Lok Sabha polls with a majority bigger than the one we had in the 2014 polls. We will also ensure our victory in three state polls,” he said. NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued directions for reverification of 10 per cent of the people in Assam who were excluded from draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) published recently. Deferring the scheduled date of 30 August for receipt of claims and objections to the draft NRC, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said the re-verification of those excluded from NRC was a "sample survey" for the satisfaction of the court and its schedule would be decided later. The apex court also pointed out certain contradictions in the Centre's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for filing the claims. It also raised doubts over the Centre's proposal to allow a claimant to change his legacy document for inclusion in the draft. The second draft NRC list was published on 30 July in which out of 3.29 crore people, the names of 2.89 crore were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold. On 31 July, the apex court had made it clear that there will be no coercive action by authorities against over 40 lakh people, whose names do not figure in the NRC while observing that it was merely a draft. Earlier, the apex court had asked the Assam NRC coordinator to place before it the data of district-wise percentage of population excluded from the draft in the state. Violence continues over formation of Bengal panchayat boards STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE RAIGANJ/SILIGURI/PURULIA, 28 AUGUST On the second consecutive day today violence broke out over the formation of panchayat boards in the state and one person was killed and about 50 others, including policemen, were injured in clashes at Daspara in Chopra and Itahar, both in North Dinajpur district. Yesterday, two BJP supporters had been killed in firing at Ghagra gram panchayat in Jaypur, Purulia. The district magistrate Alokesh Prosad Roy today postponed the formation of 33 gram panchay- at boards. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged BJP activists, in connivance with goons who had earlier served the CPI(M), were behind the violence in several panchayat areas. Armed with guns, bows and arrows and bombs, Trinamul Congress and BJP activists clashed at Itahar, leaving at least 30 persons, including two police officers and some civic volunteers, injured. Bombs and stones were freely used, while a police car was torched. A 9 MM pistol and several bows and arrows were seized from the spot. The BJP had won 11 of the 25 seats in the last panchayat elections in the Itahar Gram Panchayat, while the TMC had bagged seven, Left Front 3, Congress 2 and IND 2. Two Congress members today supported the BJP and the Left Front and Independent candidates supported the TMC. As such, BJP had 13 and TMC 12 seats today. Ashok Barman of the BJP was made the Pradhan of the panchayat while Firoja Bibi of the Congress was made the UpaPradhan. “However, as soon as news of the board formation spread, TMC and BJP activists started to fight among themselves. Both groups also started detonating bombs and started firing from their guns at each other, while some used bows and arrows. Police had to resort to lathi- charge to disperse the mob,” sources said. The President of the North Dinajpur BJP committee, Shankar Chakraborty, said “TMC-backed miscre- CMYK ants and the police” attacked their cadres. “Around 15 members of ours were injured in the attack,” he said. A TMC leader of Itahar, Musaraf Hossain, however, said that BJP members started attacking TMC members after the board was formed. “Ten of our supporters were injured,” he said. At Daspara in Chopra, around 20 persons were injured when Congress and CPI-M members clashed with the police. Six Congress members received bullet injuries, while two policemen were also injured in the clash. The injured were taken to the Islampur Sub-divisional hospital, while some of them wre later taken to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) in Siliguri. North Dinajpur SP Anup , Jaiswal, said, five persons were arrested in connection with the clash at Itahar. He also denied that the police opened fire during the clash in Chopra. Meanwhile , the inspector general of police (western Zone), Rajiv Mishra visited Joypur today and held a meeting with the SP of Purulia, Akash Magharia and other senior officials. In a tweet state police blamed the violence on outsiders. The bodies reached Ghaghra village in Joypur block after post mortem and BJP leaders garlanded them at the village. Several thousands of people gathered and there was tension. EFR jawans have been taking part in route marches in area domination drive and police picket posted in the village. Senior cops have been guarding the area and panchayat offices. The sub divisional magistrate of Jhaldah, Sandip Tudu issued a notification stating that within 200 metres from the panchayat offices not more than 5 people would be allowed to assemble.
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