WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 AUGUST 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16|`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P3 SENSEX 38,896.63 +202.52 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with possibility of light to moderate rain/thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 32 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. BLOW FOR FRENCH PREZ AS STAR MINISTER QUITS STALIN ELECTED DMK PRESIDENT UNOPPOSED SISODIA GETS NOD FOR MOSCOW VISIT P6 NIFTY 11,738.50 +46.55 NADAL THROUGH TO 2ND ROUND IN US OPEN P15 P12 ` vs $ 70.10 +6 PAISE GOLD 29,055.00 +240.00 SILVER 37,700.00 +350.00 Multi-state crackdown s for alleged Maoist links RAINFALL: 11.6 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Delhi HC restrains cops from taking away Navlakha till morning Maharashtra police raids on Left activists spark outrage among human rights groups Max. 100% BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 76.71 +0.50 SNS & AGENCIES Min. 82% TEMPERATURE Max: 31.8°C (-3) SUN RISES 05:58 hrs MOON RISES 20:41 hrs Min: 26°C (0) SUN SETS 18:46 hrs MOON SETS 09:08 hrs 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. P16 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 stateowned 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 P7 said. PUNE / NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST I 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- SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST Varavara Rao Sudha Bhardwaj There is only place for one NGO in India and it’s called the RSS. Shut down all other NGOs. Jail all activists and shoot those that complain. Welcome to the new India. Vernon Gonzalves The BJP has unleashed “undeclared emergency'’ in the country. The emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi is nothing compared to present one. Police raids on Leftwing activists are a brazen attack on democratic rights of the people. This is a very dangerous trend for our democracy. RAHUL GANDHI MAMATA BANERJEE CONGRESS PRESIDENT WEST BENGAL CM & TMC CHIEF CPI-M GENERAL SECRETARY 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 cannot 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 mas- sive 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 humanrights 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 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 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 internationallyrenowned 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 SITARAM YECHURY Arun Farreira voices" in the country. "Fascist fangs are now openly bared," he alleged. Slamming the BJP dispensation, the Congress party president Rahul Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "new India" as well as the RSS, the BJP's ideological fountainhead. "There is only place for one NGO in India and it's called the RSS. Shut down all other NGOs. Jail all activists and shoot those that complain. Welcome to the new India. #BhimaKoregaon," Gandhi tweeted. 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. TURN TO PAGE 10 The 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 others arrested today by the Maharashtra police from several cities following searches at the 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 pm 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. Meanwhile, the Punjab and Haryana High Court also stayed the transit remand of activist Sudha Bhardwaj, who was arrested from Faridabad after the Maharashtra police raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in several states. Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan heard the habeas corpus writ petition, advocate Ankit Agarwal said. “It is directed that in case the detenue is produced before the Ilaqa Magistrate/Duty Magistrate/Chief Judicial Magistrate, Faridabad, the orders granting transit remand will be passed after going through the contents of the FIR and recording a finding that the provision of Sections 41 and 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code have been complied with,” the high court said. “Till then, the detenue, Sudha Bhardwaj, shall be kept at the place, that is her home at Badarpur in Haryana, from where she was arrested under the supervision of Police Station Surajkund,” it said. The next date of hearing has been fixed for August 30, Agarwal said. Social justice, nat’l security & welfare BJP’s key poll planks SC considers re-verification of 10% v NRC-included people in Assam i SNS & PTI INDIA'S FIRST GOLD IN 800M SINCE 1982 ASIAD PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST Gold medallist India's Manjit Singh celebrates during the victory ceremony for the men's 800m (P15) 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 sec- tions of society, particularly 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 reverification 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) for filing them. Atishi drops ‘Marlena’ from her name Punjab to form SIT to probe sacrilege cases AGENCIES STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST Senior AAP leader Atishi Marlena, party's probable east Delhi Lok Sabha candidate, has dropped her last name, which was apparently after Communist icons, Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. The party has rejected reports that it forced the AAP leader to change her last name because it was “Christian-sounding”. It said that Marlena is not her surname and that her surname was Singh, adding the second name (Marlena) was given by her parents. “She has decided to use just Atishi for her Lok Sabha election campaign,” an AAP leader said. As part of the change, Atishi's Twitter account is now “@AtishiAAP” from the earlier "@Atishimarlena". The AAP leader's profile in the party's official website has also been changed. Campaign leaflets, posters also carry her first name only. The AAP is yet to officially declare its candidates for the Lok Sabha polls scheduled for early 2019. However, they have named Atishi (East Delhi), Raghav Chadha (South Delhi), Pankaj Gupta (Chandni Chowk), Dilip Pandey (Northeast Delhi) and Ghuggan Singh (Northwest Delhi) as Lok Sabha constituency in-charge. They are expected to be declared as the AAP's Lok Sabha candidates. CHANDIGARH, 28 AUGUST The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday passed a unanimous resolution for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe all sacrilege cases in the state in a timebound manner. Replying to a discussion on the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on the 2015 desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and the subsequent firing in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the investigation of the sacrilege cases will be withdrawn from the Central Bureau of Investigation and will be conducted by the Punjab Police through the SIT. With the commisison report holding former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal responsible for the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and the subsequent firing in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan, Con- gress and Aam Aadmi Party legislators sought exemplary punishment for the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and his son Sukhbir Badal, the then home minister. During a discussion on the report, that was tabled in the House on Monday, Congress leg- islator Harminder Singh Gill said former CM Badal and police officers involved in the firing should be given exemplary punishment to prevent such incidents from recurring. Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said SAD president Sukhbir Badal should be given life imprisonment for his involvement in the sacrilege cases in order to divert public attention months ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls. He said then CM Badal and Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini should also be booked for the firing incident in which two antisacrilege Sikh protestors were killed. Former BJP member and Congress minister Navjot Singh Sidhu lashed out at former state deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and compared him to British officer General Dyer who had ordered the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Sidhu also claimed that Badal had finalised a Rs 100 crore deal in Mumbai to facilitate the release of nformer Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s film. Sidhu said the sacrilege cases were part of political conspiracy by the SAD to polarise the votes ahead of Assembly polls and it was CM Badal who ordered firing on the peaceful protestors.
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