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 Indian shuttler Sindhu, who won a silver at the Asian Games on Tuesday. In men’s hockey, defending champions India mauled Lanka 20-0. P12 India face Malaysia in the semi-finals. 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 UK. Ghanashyam, who is currently Secretary (West) in the ministry, is expected to take up the assignment shortly, the MEA said. She will P3 replace Y K Sinha in London. Petrol crosses Rs 78, diesel at a 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 the price notification of stateowned fuel retailers. Isro’s manned mission to space: Isro’s manned mission will comprise three crew members and reach the lower Earth orbit in just 16 minutes after the launch and stay in 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 P5 changes to avert failure, he added. 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 peo(SEE P2 & P5) ple’’. Delhi High Court today directed that rights activist Gautam Navlakha, arrested by Maharashtra police for alleged unlawful activities, should not be taken away from here till it hears the matter tomorrow morning, since the specific allegations against him were unclear. A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel said it was “not possible to make out” from the documents, which were in Marathi, what the case was against Navlakha, who is amongst several people arrested today by the Maharashtra police from several cities following searches at their residences on suspicion of Maoist links. The court also questioned why the witnesses were brought from Pune to authenticate Navlakha's arrest, pointing out that under the law, the witnesses are supposed to be locals from the area where an individual is being arrested. “What is the specific allegation against him”, the bench asked, to which there was no reply from the Maharashtra police officers present in the courtroom. The bench also said it was informed at 4 p.m. that a transit remand order was issued by a district court in Saket to take the petitioner to Pune. It ordered that since it is “not possible to make out from the transit remand application (and other documents) what precisely is the case against the petitioner, he will not be taken away from Delhi”. The court said it will hear the plea as the first matter tomorrow morning and till then Navlakha will be confined to his residence here under the guard of Delhi Police officers and he will be allowed to only meet or speak to his lawyers. The bench also directed that translated copies of the FIR and other documents, which are in Marathi, be placed before it tomorrow. The Maharashtra police wanted to take Navlakha to Pune in connection with an FIR lodged there following an event -- 'Elgar Parishad' (conclave) -- held there on December 31 last year that triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in the state. Several penal provisions under the IPC, including promoting enmity between classes, as well as provisions of terrorist acts, conspiracy and being part of a terror group under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act have been invoked against Navlakha. The standing counsel for Delhi Police, Rahul Mehra, told the court that the UAPA provisions were added during the course of investigation. During the brief hearing, advocate Nithya Ramakrishnan, appearing for the rights activist, said he was not present at the event in question and the search at his residence here had not yielded any objectionable material. She also contended that the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code regarding search and arrest were not followed as the warrants were in Marathi, which Navlakha could not understand, and the grounds for the action were not given in writing. Social justice, nat’l security & welfare BJP’s key poll planks SC considers re-verification of 10% of names recently included in NRC SNS & PTI INDIA'S FIRST GOLD IN 800M SINCE 1982 ASIAD PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST Gold medallist 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 legislation 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 today said it could consider a re-verification of 10 per cent of the people who were recently included in Assam's draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), an exercise that could be carried out by an independent team. The top court termed the issue as “human problem with great magnitude” and asked the state NRC coordinator to submit a report in a sealed cover on the ramification of allowing the claimants to file new sets of legacy documents. In a bid to satisfy itself that the NRC exercise is error free, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said the re-verification of the population included in the draft NRC will be like a sample survey, which may be done by a team of officials of NRC Seva Kendras (NSK) who will be from the adjoining districts. “We are of the view that the Court should consider the necessity of carrying out the sample re-verification of at least 10 per cent of the names included in the final draft NRC, if required, by a team of NSK Personnel from a neighbouring district,” the bench said. The bench also deferred the scheduled date of August 30 for receipt of claims and objections to the draft NRC, as it pointed out certain contradictions in the Centre's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). The court asked State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela to submit a report and the possible time frame when such an exercise can begin and end, if ordered. 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 were 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 five people would be allowed to assemble.
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