SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 02 SEPTEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 | `5.00 |LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR THE STORYTELLER KNOWS FOR CERTAIN THAT MERE PREACHING IS NOT TEACHING AND THAT LEARNING STEMS FROM THE CURIOSITY CREATED MUSICAL BRILLIANCE ~ IT’S NOT ALWAYS THE CONCERT HALL STALWARTS THAT DAZZLE. BUSKERS HAVE THEIR OWN SAGAS TO SING WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with 1/2 spells of rain/thundershower. Max and min temp to be around 33/27 deg Celsius, resp. RAINFALL: 6.6 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.92% TEMPERATURE Min. 65% Max: 32.6°C (+1) Min: 26.8°C (+3) SUN SETS SUN RISES 17:53 hrs 05:20 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 22:37 hrs 11:07 hrs Third quarter of moon tomorrow PM blames Cong ‘phone-a-loan’ for NPA crisis Modi launches India Post Payments Bank SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER rime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the Congress for leaving the economy on a 'landmine' by its indiscriminate lending, saying loans were handed out to select businessmen after phone calls were made by 'namdars' (dynasts). He blamed 'phone-aloan' scam of the previous UPA regime where money was lent by banks to select rich businessmen close to a particular family for mounting non-performing assets (NPA) or bad loans but vowed to recover every penny from defaulters. None of the 12 biggest defaulters, who between them account for over Rs 1.75 lakh crore of NPAs, was given loan by the present government, Modi said at the launch of payments bank of the Indian postal department. He said while the previous UPA government hid the bad loans, his government has properly recognised them and brought P THUMBNAILS Ferrari's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen celebrates winning the pole position after the qualifying session at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 1, 2018 ahead P11 of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix. AFP Assam lynching: Charge sheet against 48: The Assam Police on Saturday filed a 844-page charge sheet against 48 people in the sensational mob lynching case of two youths in Karbi Anglong district in June this year. “It is a major achievement by the Assam Police that we could file the charge sheet within 90 days. It is filed against 48 persons accused of lynching two youths at Dokmoka in Karbi Anglong on June 8,” Assam DGP said at a press meet. P9 Amit Panghal (49kg) on Saturday became the eighth Indian boxer ever to claim a gold medal at the Asian Games with a stunning tactical win over reigning Olympic and Asian champion Hasanboy Dusmatov in the summit clash in (REPORT ON PAGE 12) Jakarta. tough laws to deal with defaults and recovery money. The Prime Minister said the country was cheated when the last government put such loan amount at Rs 2-2.5 lakh crore when it actually was Rs 9 lakh crore. This comes days after Congress president Rahul Gandhi's attack on the government for NPAs jumping to Rs 12.5 lakh crore under the BJP rule from Rs 2.5 lakh crore under the previous UPA regime. Modi said when his government came to power in 2014 it noticed that public-sector banks had been plundered. Loans of banks jumped to Rs 52 lakh crore from 2008 to 2014 from just Rs 18 lakh crore in the previous six decades. Loans were given without any due diligence and keeping aside all rules and norms, he said, adding defaulters were given further funds in the name of loan restructuring. “How were these loans given? One phone call from the namdars would get the rich loans,” he said alleging a 'phone-a-loan' scam under the UPA government. “This phone banking of Congress and its namdars caused a lot of damage to the country,” he said, adding banks obliged namdars because top executives were appointed by the same namdars. “Despite knowing that the loans would not be returned, banks lent money.” And when these borrowers started defaulting, pressure was mounted on banks to give more time and then restructure these loans by giving more funds. “In 2014, after our government was formed we realised that the Congress and namdaars had put India's economy on a landmine,” he said. The economy would have been damaged by the explosion of that landmine but the government worked not just to detect the ailment but also took steps to uproot the disease, he said. (Above) Defending champions India beat Pakistan 2-1 in a keenly-contested match to bag a consolation bronze medal in the men's hockey competition at the 18th Asian Games on Saturday. The Indians scored through a field goal from Akashdeep Singh (3rd minute) and a penalty corner conversion by Harmanpreet Singh (50th). Pakistan's lone goal was scored by Muhammad Atiq. AFP (Right): Gold medallists India's Pranab Bardhan (L) and Shibhnath Sarkar during the awards ceremony for the men's pairs bridge event at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta on Saturday. Both Bardhan and Sarkar are from West Bengal. AFP ‘Police evidence on activists fabricated’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI/MUMBAI/HYDERABAD, 1 SEPTEMBER Govt seeks report on AI passenger’s allegation: The civil aviation ministry has sought a report from Air India on an alleged incident where an international passenger is alleged to have urinated on a seat where a woman passenger was sitting. The alleged incident occurred on 30 August. Air India, in a statement, “strongly” condemned the incident on its flight and apologised to the passengers. P5 INDIA WIN Lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj and families of other activists arrested in the recent raids have dismissed the evidence produced by Maharashtra Police to link them with Maoists as fabricated. Bharadwaj, one of the five activists arrested by Maharashtra Police, said a purported letter implicating her was “totally concocted” to criminalise her and human rights organisations. The police had claimed yesterday that Faridabadbased Bharadwaj had written to one “Com Prakash”. Reacting to this in a handwritten statement, Bharadwaj said the “fabricated letter” had not been brought before the Pune Court or the Faridabad Chief Judicial Magistrate while seeking to “whisk” her to Pune. In a media briefing in Mumbai, the police had released details of seized letters allegedly linking the arrested activists to the violence in KoregaonBhima in January. On Tuesday, the police arrested Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Bharadwaj in Faridabad and Gautam Navalakha in Delhi. The family of Vernon Gonsalves also said the charges were “fabricated”. I was present when searches and raids were conducted at our home and I know what the police have seized,” his son Sagar Gonsalves said Saturday. “I could not stop laughing when the police were levelling false charges with the so called letters,” he said, referring to the police press conference. The activist's lawyer wife Susan Abraham called the arrests a ploy to divert attention from the real culprits behind the KoregaonBhima violence. “The letters read out by the police during the media briefing are manufactured. None of these letters were filed or submitted to the court,” she said. She accused the police of not following the set procedure for carrying out such probes. “The police have not followed the procedure established by the cyber laws for the seizure of electronic data, she said. In Hyderabad, Telugu poet Varavara Rao's nephew Venugopal said the evidence presented by Maharashtra Police to link the arrested activists to Maoists was “cooked up”. “All this was said in June. It is nothing new, he told PTI today. He termed the police press conference contempt of court, saying the matter was sub judice and the Supreme Court had asked the evidence to be submitted on September 6. The Supreme Court has ordered that the five activists be kept under house arrest till then. “This police officer does not have a right to hold a press conference,” Venugopal said, referring to Maharashtra's Additional Director General of Police (law and Order) Parambir Singh. The police have 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”. This threat allegedly figured in an email exchanged between Rona Wilson, an activist arrested in June, and a Maoist leader. The Maharashtra Police raids were carried out as part of a probe into the Elgaar Parishad', an event organised in Pune on December 31, 2017, which allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in the district the next day. Also on Saturday, human rights activist Anand Teltumbde refuted the Maharashtra police claim that he attended a convention in Paris allegedly funded by Maoists. Teltumbde, a Dalit writer who teaches at a management institute in Goa, was among the activists and lawyers whose homes were raided by the Pune police on August 28. “I keep going abroad for academic conferences. It is all on official invitations and everything is well documented,” he told PTI. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Lucknow on Saturday allayed fears of any curb on democratic rights in the wake of the recent arrest of activists. SC judge: ‘Attempt made to influence me’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER Supreme Court judge Justice Indira Banerjee has revealed in an open court that an effort was made to influence her in a case related to Hotel Royal Plaza. A bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and Banerjee was hearing the matter on August 30 in court number 8 when the revelation was made. Justice Mishra said that the attempt to influence the judge amounted to contempt of court. Senior lawyer Shyam Divan requested Justice Banerjee not to recuse herself from the hearing as it might be used by others as well to ensure recusal of judges from hearing cases. Justice Banerjee also said during the hearing that sometimes even senior members of the bar start talking about pending cases after customary meetings. She said that any attempt to influence the court will be viewed seriously, while hinting that somebody had telephoned her for the same. However, there was no clarity on whether there was a telephone call or who made it. The bench then heard the matter and reserved its verdict. Justice Banerjee, who was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court has recently been elevated to the apex court. Besides her, Justices Vineet Saran and K M Joseph have been elevated to the apex court as judges. CJI on rule of law: The implementation of rule of law in a nation depends on the quality of legal education in a country, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said on Saturday. Justice Misra, while deliv- All women Bench on Sep5 NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER ering his inaugural speech at the 10th Law Teachers' Day award function in Delhi, said law schools are the hatcheries supplying legal professionals who act as sentinels for the implementation of rule of law. He also said legal education is a science which inculcates in law students a sense of maturity and understanding of the society and moulds them to emerge as protectors of cit- izenry liberties. The CJI inaugurated the symposium on 'Role of legal education on nation building' in the event organised by Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) and Menon Institute of Legal Advocacy Training (MILAT). “The implementation of rule of law in a nation depends on the quality of legal education in a country’’, the CJI observed. The Supreme Court will repeat history this week as an all-women bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and Indira Banerjee will hold court on Sept 5. The apex court had seen a women alone bench for the first time in 2013 when Justices Gyan Sudha Misra and Ranjana Prakash Desai sat together for hearing a case. With the swearing-in of Justice Banerjee in August, the Supreme Court for the first time in its history has three sitting women judges. She is the eighth woman judge in the apex court since Independence. Among the three sit- ting women judges, Justice Banumathi is the senior-most and was elevated to SC on Aug 13, 2014. Justice Fathima Beevi was the first ever woman judge in the SC. Her appointment was followed by those of Justices Sujatha Manohar, Ruma Pal, Gyan Sudha Misra, Ranjana Prakash Desai, R Banumathi, Indu Malhotra and the latest addition to the lot, Indira Banerjee. Out of these, Justices Beevi, Manohar and Pal served their entire tenure in the Supreme Court as sole women judges. It was only in 2011 with the elevation of Justice Desai that the SC witnessed two sitting women judges. PTI Jolt for PDP, BJP in Ladakh council poll SP SHARMA JAMMU, 1 SEPTEMBER The results of the election for the 26 member Kargil’s Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) have come as a severe jolt for the BJP that won only one seat despite the high-profile campaign. It was an equally embarrassing position for the PDP that managed to get only two seats in the prestigious LAHDC. The election has come as a shot in the arm of the National Conference (NC) and Congress that won 10 and 8 seats respectively despite the BJP sharing 6 seats with an influential Shia Muslim sitting MLA Bakir Rizvi in a bid to capture power in the cold desert region. The independents got 5 seats. Counting of votes of the LAHDC that began on Friday was completed in the wee hours of Saturday. Polling was held on 27 August when out of the total electorate of 83844, 75 percent votes were cast. There were 99 candidates in the fray for the 26 seats. The BJP has won the lone seat of Cha with a very thin margin of 30 votes although the Prime Minister Narendera Modi had recently laid foundation of the Rs.6809 crore Zojila tunnel project to provide round the year road connectivity to Kargil. Express- ing satisfaction over the performance of the NC, the party chief and MP Farooq Abdullah, while talking to this correspondent, thanked the electorate of Kargil and said that the “divide and rule policy of BJP” had failed to work there. The NC would leave no stone unturned for development of Kargil, he added. Political observers believe that the Kargil LAHDC election might be a turning point as the BJP had for the first time won the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat in the last election although with a thin margin of votes. The PDP and BJP that broke their alliance couple of days before polling for the LAHDC performed very badly in Kargil. A section of BJP was expressing satisfaction of having won the single seat to open its account in the Council. The BJP that had lost the Shey-Thiksey seat of Leh’s LAHDC in the byelection for the seat earlier this year had aligned with the sitting MLA of Kargil district and other influential figures to capture the Kargil LAHDC. A civil society group in Srinagar appealed to all political parties in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday to boycott the upcoming local bodies and panchayat polls till the Supreme Court dismisses a petition challenging Article 35A of the Constitution.
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