SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 01 SEPTEMBER 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 P9 SENSEX 38,645.07 -45.03 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with possibility of light rain/thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 32 and 27 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P10 NIFTY 11,680.50 +3.70 ` vs $ 71.00 -26 PAISE Min. 61% Max: 34°C (0) SUN RISES 06:00 hrs MOON RISES 22:31 hrs Min: 28°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:43 hrs MOON SETS 12:01 hrs GOLD 29,200.00 +145.00 ‘Activist spoke of Rajiv-like event’ l THUMBNAILS Cheteshwar Pujara avoids a bouncer during the second day of the fourth Test cricket match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, southwest Eng(P15) land on Friday. AFP SC defers Art 35A hearing till Jan 2019: The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution as the Central government urged the court to take up the matter after Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir. The directions to defer the hearing till January were issued by a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud after Attorney General K K Venugopal urged it to do so saying the matter is sensitive and may have a bearing on the Panchayat polls. AG said the hearing could affect efforts to organise local body polls. P7 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Police said an email between arrested activist Rona Wilson and a Maoist leader speaks of ending ‘Modi-raj’ with a Rajiv Gandhi type incident MUMBAI, 31 AUGUST P olice today claimed they have “conclusive proof” to link Left-wing activists arrested in June and this week to Maoists, saying one of them spoke of a “Rajiv Gandhi-type event to end Modi-raj”. An email between Rona Wilson, one of the arrested activists, and a Maoist leader, speaks of ending “Modi-raj” with a 'Rajiv Gandhi-type incident', Additional Director General (law and order) Parambir Singh told reporters here. Wilson was arrested in Delhi in June in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence in Maharashtra in January. Police have seized “thousands of letters” exchanged between the overground and underground of Maoists, he said. Pune police had on August 28 raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in several states and arrested five of them - Varavara Rao in Hyderabad,Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Sudha Bharadwaj in Faridabad and Gautam Navalakha in Delhi. The raids were carried out as part of a probe into the Elgaar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31 last year, which allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima in the district the next day. The Supreme Court has ordered that the five should be kept under house arrest till September 6. In June, Pune police had arrested Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai, activist Rona Wilson from Delhi and lawyer Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen and Adivasi rights activist Mahesh Raut from Nagpur. “The letter written by Rona to Maoist leader “Comrade Prakash” said:We have received your last letter regarding current situation here. Arun (Ferreira), Vernon (Gonsalves) and others are equally concerned about the urban front struggle,” he said. The letter also spoke of requirement of Rs 8 crore for supply of rifles, grenade launchers and four lakh rounds (of ammunition),” he said. The letter asked Prakash to convey his decision, Singh said. “Comrade Kishen and a few other comrades have proposed concrete steps to end the Modi raj. We are thinking along the lines of another Rajiv Gandhi (assassination)-like incident,” Singh quoted the letter as saying. Some of the letters exchanged between the arrested activists spoke of planning “some big action” which would attract attention, Singh said. Delhi University professor G N Saibaba was arrested in 2014 on basis of similar evidence, including letters, he said. “Police only moved to take action against these people (activists) when we were confident that clear links have been established between these overground activists and underground Maoists,” Singh said. “The evidence in our possession clearly establishes their links with Maoists, he said. Information obtained after seizure of such letters and other items shows the involvement of “overground” Maoist cadres in planning subversive acts, he said. The central committee of Maoists communicated with these activists through password protected messages sent via courier, he said. After the Elgaar Parishad at Pune on December 31, a case was registered by police on January 8 about the event where hate speeches were delivered, he said. Most of them (who allegedly delivered the hate speeches) were associated with Kabir Kala Manch, he said. “Our investigation revealed that a big conspiracy was being plotted by Maoist organisations and the accused were helping them to take their goals forward,” Singh said. On April 17, raids were conducted at six places, based on the information available, he said. The raids were videographed and there was proper “panchnama”, he added. On May 17, sections under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were evoked against the activists, he said. Meanwhile, activists from Dalit and socialist organisations held a protest rally outside the suburban District Collectors office in Mumbai today, demanding the release of writer Sudhir Dhawale and four other activists arrested by Pune police in June. Activists from these organisations held simultaneous rallies in Pune, Nagpur and Gadchiroli districts, to protest the polices claims that the five people arrested are top urban Maoists who incited the Koregaon-Bhima violence. P15 SILVER 37,400.00 +150.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 77.42 -0.35 GDP growth hits 8.2 per cent in Q1; `dips PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST India's economy grew at 2year high of 8.2 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2018-19 on strong performance of manufacturing and agriculture sectors, increasing its lead over China to remain the world's fastest growing major economy. The development comes on a day when the rupee slumped 26 paise to breach the 71 level against the US dollar for the first time in history. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant prices (2011-12) had grown at 5.6 per cent in the AprilJune quarter of last fiscal, according to government data released Friday. The size of the GDP in the first quarter of 2018-19 was estimated at Rs 33.74 lakh crore, as against Rs 31.18 lakh crore in Q1 of 2017-18, a growth rate of 8.2 per cent, as per the statement of the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The previous high in quarterly GDP growth was recorded in the JanuaryMarch quarter of 2015-16 at 9.3 per cent. The Chinese economy had expanded at the rate of 6.7 per cent in the April-June period this year. India's Gross Value Added (GVA) for the quarter under consideration has been estimated at 8 per cent, up from 5.6 per cent in the year-ago period. The quarterly GVA at constant (2011-2012) prices for Q1 of 2018-19 has been estimated at Rs 31.63 lakh crore, as against Rs 29.29 lakh crore in Q1 of 201718, showing a growth rate of 8 per cent over the yearago period. The CSO said that manufacturing activities expand at the rate of 13.5 per cent in the quarter under review. The sector had witnessed a decline of 1.8 per cent in similar period last year. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a tweet that the growth represents the potential of new India. “Reforms and fiscal prudence are serving us well. India is witnessing an expansion of the Census 2021 to collect OBCs data PRESS TRUST OF INDIA SNS SRINAGAR, 31 AUGUST Hong Kong's Annie Au Wing-chi (in pink) competes against India's Joshna Chinappa (in blue) during the women's pool (P 16 ) B squash team event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on Thursday. India qualified for the final. AFP Terrorists have released the relatives of policemen whom they had abducted from various places in south Kashmir, official sources said today. At least eight people, whose relatives were working in the Jammu and Kashmir Police, were abducted last night by terrorists. The sources said all those abducted had been released. However, a senior police official said they had to check whether those abducted had returned home. Unconfirmed reports said the total number of kidnapped kin of policemen was 11. Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah had condemned the abductions. Officials said at least eight people were picked up by militants from Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag and Awantipora. ”Some incidents of abduction have come to the notice of police in South Kashmir. We are ascertaining details and circumstances. In due course it shall be placed in public domain,” a police spokesman had earlier said. The militants' action came on a day when the NIA arrested the second son of globally wanted terrorist Syed Salahuddin. SEE ALSO PAGE 7 India, Nepal ink MoU on railway line as PMs meet PRESS TRUST OF INDIA KATHMANDU, 31 AUGUST India and Nepal today exchanged an MoU to build a strategic railway line connecting Bihar's Raxaul city to Kathmandu after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks on all aspects of the bilateral ties with his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli. This was the third meeting between Modi and Oli this year. They met earlier during Oli's visit to India in April and the subsequent visit of Prime Minister Modi to Nepal in May. “Our deliberations were wide-ranging, covering multiple aspects of India-Nepal relations,” Prime Minister Modi said after the meeting on the sidelines of the 4th BIMSTEC Summit here. “We discussed ways to further deepen our economic, neo middle class.” Niti AayogVice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar in a tweet said: “Excellent news of GDP hitting a 9-quarter high at 8.2 per cent”. Diesel at record Rs 70 a litre, LPG price up: 70 Domestic cooking gas (LPG) price was today hiked by Rs 1.49 per cylinder while diesel rates crossed Rs 70 a litre mark for the first time ever on drop in rupee value. Subsidised LPG with effect from midnight tonight will cost Rs 499.51 per cylinder in Delhi. Abducted kin of Kashmir cops freed FINAL BERTH Double stabbing at Amsterdam station: A knife attacker Friday stabbed two people at Amsterdam's Central Station before being shot by police, Dutch police said. Witnesses described scenes of panic as gunshots rang out and thousands of commuters and tourists were evacuated from the rail terminus shortly after midday. The Amsterdam police spokesman Rob van der Veen said terrorism was not being ruled out by investigators. He said the two victims were wounded and that the attacker's condition was not serious. Idea, Vodafone complete merger: Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone Plc on Friday announced completion of the $23.2 billion (approximately Rs1.6 lakh crore) merger of their India operations to create the country's largest telecom operator to take on competition from Reliance Jio. The merged entity, called Vodafone Idea Ltd, will have a subscriber base of over 40.8 crore and a market share of over 35 per cent, overtaking Bharti Airtel to take numero uno spot, the two firms said in a joint P 11 statement. CAN'T TAKE 5-6 WICKETS EVERY SESSION: BUMRAH P12 Mumbai Police claim to have conclusive proof of activists’ Maoist links Max. 85% TEMPERATURE TRUMP THREATENS TO PULL UNITED STATES OUT OF WTO SC QUASHES CASE AGAINST VARRIER ‘NATURAL WISDOM CAN SAVE AGRICULTURE’ trade and cultural ties. Enhancing connectivity between our nations was discussed as well,” he added. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the two leaders held a detailed review on all aspects of the bilateral relationship. They had a “warm meeting”, Kumar added. “Following the talks, PM @narendramodi and PM of Nepal K.P Sharma Oli wit. nessed the exchange of an MoU between the Government of India & the Government of Nepal regarding preliminary engineering-cumtraffic survey of the broad gauge line between Raxaul (India) & Kathmandu (Nepal),” Kumar tweeted. The MoU was signed by Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, Madhusudan Adhikari, from Nepali side and Manjiv Singh Puri from the Indian side. In consultation with the Government of Nepal, India's Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. will be conducting a preliminary engineering-cum-traffic survey of the new rail line. The Raxaul-Kathmandu rail line is expected to expand connectivity by enhancing people-to-people linkages between the two countries and promoting economic growth and development, said Indian Embassy in a press release. The signing of the MoU comes two years after China agreed to construct a strategic railway link with Nepal through Tibet with an apparent aim of reducing the Himalayan nation's dependence on India. It also comes in the backdrop of recent Chinese link- ages with Nepal as it took on building three highways to be completed by 2020. The two countries have recently also signed a transit treaty. This agreement also comes years after a sense of mistrust had prevailed when certain sections in Nepal blamed India for the 135-day blockade in 2015 - 2016 that had crippled Nepal's economy. There are three other railway projects in the pipeline - New Jalpaiguri-Kakarbhitta, Nautanwa-Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj Road-Nepalgunj. Earlier, Prime Minister Modi had a series of bilateral meetings, including discussions with his counterparts from Thailand and Bangladesh, on the sidelines of the 4th BIMSTEC Summit here. He also held talks with presidents of Sri Lanka and Myanmar. (L to R) Myanmar’s first lady Cho Cho, Nepal's first lady Radhika Shakya, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, Myanmar President Win Myint, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bhutan's chief justice and adviser of the interim government, Dasho Tshering Wangchuk and Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and AFP Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit in Kathmandu on Friday. NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST For the first time since Independence, the data on Other Backward Classes (OBCs) will be collected as part of the Census 2021. This was announced by the Union home ministry today. It was perceived to be the BJP dispensation's politically-significant move in the run-up to the 2019 general elections, given that a number of OBC leaders and parties have been demanding for it for a long time. The OBCs comprise the socially and educationally backward castes, as identified by the government. The V P Singh government had announced 27 per cent reservation for OBCs based on the Mandal Commission's recommendation, which was said to have been prepared broadly on the basis of the country's last castes data collected in the 1931 Census during the then colonial British rule. The Centre's disclosure of the decision to collect the OBCs data came after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the preparation for the Census 2021. “It is also envisaged to collect data on OBCs for the first time,” a home ministry statement said. The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation had reportedly announced a sample survey report on the country's population in 2006 and noted that the OBCs population was about 41 per cent of the country's total population. The NSSO had enumerated 79,306 households in rural areas and 45,374 in urban regions. TURN TO PAGE 6
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