THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 30 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 P7 P6 SENSEX 38,722.93 -173.70 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. RAINFALL: 11.6 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 100% 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 Silver medallist India's Dutee Chand celebrates during the victory ceremony for the women's 100m athletics event during the 2018 Asian P16 Games in Jakarta on Wednesday. AFP Rupee sinks 49 paise: The rupee on Wednesday crashed by 49 paise or 0.70 per cent to close at a historic low of 70.59 against the US currency due to strong month-end dollar demand from oil importers and foreign fund outflows. It was the biggest single-day crash since August 13 when the unit crumbled 110 paise or 1.6 per cent. The rupee previously had closed at a record low of 70.16 on Monday. The slide was triggered by factors like P11 crude prices hitting multi-month highs. Woman TV journalist hacked to death in Bangladesh: A woman journalist of a television channel in Bangladesh has been hacked to death with a sharp-edged weapon by some unidentified assailants at her home, media reports said. Subarna Akter Nodi, 32, was a correspondent of private news channel Ananda TV and also worked for the Daily Jagroto Bangla newspaper, bdnews24.com reported. She lived in Radhanagar area of Pabna district, P13 some 150 kms from Dhaka. NIFTY READY TO ABANDON NUCLEAR DEAL IF NEED BE: KHAMENEI SHIVPAL YADAV ANNOUNCES NEW FRONT LALU SAYS ‘INDIA MOVING TOWARDS EMERGENCY’ 11,691.90 -46.60 ` vs $ 70.22 Cong wants PM apology on DeMo GOLD 30,048 -49.00 SILVER 37,039 NEW DELHI, 29 AUGUST The Gujarat cadre IPS officer, who had arrested three accused IPS officers in the sensational Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, has finally resigned from service. Rajnish Rai’s departure from police service comes after several years of vengeance against him during which he was hounded by the BJP-led Gujarat Government in various ways including denial of permission for an academic stint. Probing the 2005 fake encounter under the BRENT OIL (IN $) 68.77 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 AUGUST The RBI, after an awfully long period of counting of returned bank notes, said today that as much as 99.3 per cent of the junked notes have returned to the banking system. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said Modi should have resigned on moral grounds for this “monumental failure”. He should at least apologise to the country for carrying out this “surgical strike” on the country's economy, Tewari said. The Congress leader said, “We would like to ask the prime minister about who is responsible for all this. The prime minister should take moral responsibility for this.” “Had it been any other country, the prime minister would have resigned. Prime Minister Modi should also have resigned from his post on moral grounds, but expecting that from him would be too much. “The prime minister should at least apologise to the country for the manner in which he conducted surgical strikes on the country's economy,”Tewari told reporters at an AICC briefing. In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said every rupee of the Rs 15.42 lakh crore - barring a small sum of Ra 13,000 crore - has come back to the RBI. “Remember who had said that Rs 3 lakh crore will not come back and that will be a gain for the government?” he said, taking a dig at Modi. I n a major relief to five human rights activists and lawyers, arrested by the Maharashtra police in a controversial multi-state operation yesterday over the 1 January Koregaon Bhima violence, the Supreme Court today ordered that they will be kept under house arrest at their respective homes till 6 September, asserting that dissent is the "safety valve" of democracy. Hearing an urgent plea by five leading academics and intellectuals ~ including historian Romila Thapar, economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain, sociology professor Satish Deshpandey, and human rights lawyer Maja Daruwala ~ the apex court granted relief to the five arrested activists ~ Varavara Rao, Arun Farreira, Vernon Gonzalves, Sudha Bhardwaj and Gautam Navalakha ~ and issued notice to the Maharashtra government and its police on the plea against these arrests. The plea has sought immediate release of activists and an independent probe into their arrests. The Maharashtra police had yesterday raided the homes of leading Left-wing activists and human rights lawyers in multiple states and arrested five of them for alleged Maoist links, sparking condemnation and outrage among civil rights activists and groups. The raids were carried out by the Pune police as Lawyers Vrinda Grover (L) and Prashant Bhushan (R) talking to media persons after the hearing in the Supreme Court on the arrests of five civil rights activists by the MahaSNS rashra police. In the Capital on Wednesday. part of its probe into violent clashes between a section of Dalits and upper caste people at Koregaon Bhima near Pune on 1 January 2018, which had followed in the wake of a public meeting, called "Elgar Parishad", on 31 December 2017 there. Police claimed that the speeches made at this meeting was a trigger for the Koregaon Bhima violence. The apex court gave its interim order today, ignoring the Maharastra government's vehement opposition. The BJP-ruled Maharashtra had challenged the petitioners' locus in the case, dubbing them as "strangers". A Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, reportedly ques- tioned the state police's move to arrest these activists 9 months after the Koregaon Bhima incident, saying all of them were reputed citizens and that“stifling the dissent” was not good. “Dissent is the safety valve of democracy and if you don't allow these safety valves, it (democracy) will burst,” the Bench, also comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud, said. Simultaneous raids were yesterday conducted by the Maharashtra police 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 GOLDEN EDGE -0.10 Faridabad, and civil liberties activist and former secretary of People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) Gautam Navlakha in New Delhi, among other activists in other cities. Subsequently, Rao, Bhardwaj, Farreira, Gonzalves and Navalakha were arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their alleged Maoist links. The apex court noted that "This is a wider issue. Their (petitioners') problem is quelling dissent". The Bench said it would like to know the allegations and material against the accused persons. It asked the state government to respond to the petition and gave liberty to the petitioners to file rejoinders, posting the matter for hearing on 6 September. The Bench considered the submission of senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the petitioners, that the five arrested activists be kept in house arrest. Singhvi said two of them, Navalakha and Sudha, were currently under house arrest in New Delhi and Faridabad respectively following the orders passed by the Delhi High Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court in their cases while the three others ~ Rao, Gonsalves and Ferreira ~ were on transit remand to be produced in a Pune court. Singhvi said as an interim measure, all five arrested persons be kept under “house arrest in their own homes”. This was accepted by the Bench which, however, said that all contentions of the parties would be kept open. The petitioners have urged the top court to thoroughly scrutinise and investigate the alleged false charges slapped against the human right activists, charging that such arrests was a bid to muzzle dissent. A number of other top lawyers ~ including Rajeev Dhavan, Dushyant Dave, Indira Jaising, Prashant Bhushan andVrinda Grover ~ appeared for petitioners and opposed the crackdown on human rights activists. Addl Solicitor Gen Tushar Mehta and the Maharashtra govt counsel opposed the petitioners. SEE ALSO PAGES 2, 6 Arrest govt ploy to target dissent, says Navlakha PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 29 AUGUST Gold medallist Swapna Barman celebrates during the victory ceremony for the women's 800m heptathlon athletics event and (right) Arpinder Singh (REPORTS P 16 ) with his gold medal for the men's triple jump athletics event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on Wednesday. AFP 4 cops, 2 Hizb ultras killed Gujarat IPS officer who probed fake encounter quits service STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE AHMEDABAD, 29 AUGUST -436.00 Says dissent ‘safety valve’ of democracy, issues notice to Maharashtra govt on arrests NTR son Harikrishna dies in car crash : Actorpolitician Nandamuri Harikrishna, son of Telugu cinema giant and thrice chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh N T Ramarao, died in a car crash in Telengana's Nalgonda district on Wednesday, police and hospital officials said. He was 62. Harikrishna was apparently speeding and not wearing the seat belt, Nalagonda Superintendent of Police A V Ranganath said. Two others who were in the car with Harikrishna escaped with minor injuries. Central DA hike: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved additional 2 per cent hike in Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR), a move that will benefit about 1.1 crore central government employees and pensioners, an official release said. The impact on the exchequer on account of both DA and DR would be Rs 6,112.20 crore per annum and Rs 4,074.80 crore in the financial year 2018-19 (8 months from July, 2018 to February, 2019). The hike will be effective from July 1, 2018. P15 P12 Relief to activists: SC orders their house arrest till 6 Sept SNS & PTI The Congress today demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly lying to the country, after the RBI said almost all the 500 and 1,000 currency notes demonetised in November 2016 returned to the banking system. The party said the return of almost all the junked notes meant that the government had failed to unearth any black money, check terror financing and eradicate fake currency as promised by Modi while announcing noteban. Hitting out at the Centre, the opposition party said India had to pay a “huge price” for demonetising a bulk of currency, announced suddenly by Modi on November 8, 2016. Former finance minister P Chidambaram claimed that more than 100 lives were lost and lakhs of jobs were destroyed due to closure of businesses after demonetisation. The Indian economy lost 1.5 per cent of GDP growth that accounted for a loss of Rs 2.25 lakh crore a year, he said. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the prime minister in his 2017 Independence Day speech had claimed that over Rs 3 lakh crore unaccounted money will come back to the system.“Modiji, will you apologise for that lie now? (The) RBI report again proves that demonetisation was a 'Modi-made disaster' of epic proportions. 99.30 pc of demonetised money returns,” he said. CHANCE FOR INDIA TO GET EVEN WITH ENGLAND orders of the Supreme Court, Rajnish Rai had arrested Gujarat’s ‘encounter specialist’ IPS D G Vanzara, his associate R K Pandian, IPS, and Rajasthan cadre IPS officer Dinesh M N on 27 April 2007. Humiliation faced by the Gujarat cadre IPS officer for nailing the ‘encounter’ cops included being caught ‘copying’ during his LLB examination though the incriminating material he was found ‘using’ turned out to be his six-year-old son’s plastic foot rule which had some alphabets and numerals inscribed on it. Rajnish Rai’s departure from police service comes after years of vengeance against him by the BJP govt of Gujarat Later, RajnishRai was not allowed to join as faculty member at the newly set up Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Udaipur but he was sent on a posting with theCRPF at Shillong. Cur- rently, he is in Andhra Pradesh as IG of CRPF. Rajnish Rai’s exit from service completes the series of departures of all senior IPS officers who stood by the Constitution and rule book since the 2002 Gujarat riots, the subsequent fake encounters after 2004 Lok Sabha polls and proceedings of the various inquiry commissions. Earlier, the then SP Rahul Sharma, who was admonished for protecting a‘madrasa’ from being torched in Bhavnagar, had quit the service to take up a career as a human rights lawyer. SRINAGAR, 29 AUGUST IPS officer Sanjib Bhatt, who testified that the then Chief Minister did instruct the police to let the rioters have their way for 72 hours, was harassed andarrested, finally leading to his departure. Satish Verma, another IPS officer whose preliminary probe submitted to Gujarat High Court said that the encounter of college girl Ishrat Jahan was indeed ‘fake’, is on a postingto the north-east but his daughter staying back at the government quarter inside an enclosure for senior IAS and IPS officers had to deal with an intruder who went scot free. On a day of mixed fortunes, terrorists shot four policemen dead in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir barely hours after two dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including the Valley's oldest surviving terrorist, were gunned down by security forces in neighbouring Anantnag. “Terrorists fired indiscriminately upon a police party at Arhama in district Shopian,” a police spokesman said. The four ill-fated policemen were caught unaware as they were repairing their vehicle, he added. Pools of blood were seen at several spots at the site where militants carried out the PTI attack. Civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha, arrested for suspected links with Maoists, today alleged that the case against him was a “political ploy” of the government to target dissent. Navlakha was arrested by the Maharashtra Police yesterday along with four other Left-wing activists for alleged unlawful activities. The five human rights activists -- Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonzalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Navlakha -- who were arrested after the pan India crackdown yesterday will not be sent to jail but be under house arrest until September 6, the Supreme Court ruled today. “The entire case is a political ploy against political dissent by this vindictive and cowardly government, which is bent upon shielding the real culprits of Bhima Koregaon and thus divert attention from its own scams and failures which stretch from Kashmir to Kerala,” Navlakha said in a statement issued by the civil rights group People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) of which he is a part. “A political trial must be fought politically and I welcome this opportunity. I have to do nothing. It is for the Maharashtra police, working at the behest of their political masters, to prove their case against me, and my comrades who too have been arrested,” he said. He said PUDR has col- lectively and fearlessly fought for more than 40 years for the cause of democratic rights and he has covered many such trials as part of the organisation. “Now, I myself will be a witness to a political trial with a ringside view,” Navlakha said and also tagged a revolutionary song, “Tu zinda hai toh zindagi ki jeet par yakeen kar...”, often sung by Leftists. Telugu poet Varavara Rao and activists Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj and Navlakha were arrested yesterday after multi-city searches. The near simultaneous raids against the five as well as four others were carried out as part of a probe into the violence between Dalits and the upper caste Peshwas at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on December 31 last year. Provocative speeches were made at the Elgar Parishad event, which triggered the violence, according to an FIR filedat theVishrambaug PS in Pune after the event. Rao, Bhardwaj, Ferreira, Gonzalves and Navalakha were arrested under IPC Section 153 (A), which relates to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.
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