TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 4 SEPTEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P6 SENSEX 38,312.52 -332.55 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with possibility of light to moderate rain/thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 30 and 25 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 41.6 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 85% Max: 29.5°C (-5) SUN RISES 06:01 hrs MOON RISES 00:57 hrs Min: 25.6°C (0) SUN SETS 18:39 hrs MOON SETS 14:04 hrs THUMBNAILS Virat Kohli maintained his top spot in the latest ICC rankings of Test batsmen, while pacer Mohammed Shami climbed up three places to return to the top 20 in the bowlers' table. P16 PM to felicitate teachers: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will felicitate national awardwinning teachers on Tuesday, ahead of Teachers' Day celebrated on September 5. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will confer National Awards for 2017 on the teachers on Sept 5. Two reporters jailed for 7 years in Myanmar: Two Reuters journalists accused of breaching Myanmar's state secrets law while reporting on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims were jailed for seven years Monday, fuelling further international outrage a week after the army was accused of genocide. Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, who have been held in Yangon's Insein prison since their arrest in December, were charged with violating the Official Secrets P13 Act, a draconian British colonial-era law. NIFTY 11,582.35 -98.15 BENGALURU, 3 SEPTEMBER Karnataka's ruling coalition partner the Congress won majority of the seats across 10 of 22 districts during vote count for 105 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) on Monday, the State Election Commission (SEC) said. In the civic body polls held on 31 August, the Congress has won 982 seats out of the total 2,662 seats, with a majority in 10 districts including Ballari, Bidar, Gadag, Mysuru, Uttara Kannada and Raichur, the SEC said in its website. On the other hand, the Congress' leading ally in the state government, Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), trailed behind winning 375 seats and a majority in its strongholds of Hassan, Mandya and Tumakuru districts. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 929 seats, with majority in seven ` vs $ 71.21 -21 PAISE GOLD 29,130.00 +55.00 SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 3 SEPTEMBER P etrol and diesel prices in the country touched their highest levels Monday mainly due to dramatic fall in rupee and a sharp rise in crude oil rates. Petrol price in Delhi rose to a record Rs 79.15 a litre and diesel climbed to a fresh high of Rs 71.15, according to price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. Todays petrol price in Kolkata reached Rs 82.15 and diesel reached Rs. 74.08. Rates have breached the previous high of Rs 78.43 a litre hit on May 28. On that day, the rate in Mumbai was Rs 86.24 per litre. A litre of petrol in Mumbai costs Rs 86.56 on Monday. Prices in Delhi are the cheapest in all metros and most state capitals due to lower sales tax or VAT. Diesel rates on Monday were hiked by 39 paise a litre, the steepest increase since the daily revision in prices was introduced in mid-june 2017. Diesel now costs Rs 75.54 per litre in Mumbai. Since August 16, petrol prices have risen by over Rs 2 per litre. Diesel prices on the other districts including the coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada. Independents won 329 seats across the 22 districts, while other fringe parties and regional outfits won another 34. Cong candidate injured in suspected acid attack A Congress candidate and his nine supporters were injured in a suspected acid attack on Monday during a march to celebrate his victory in the Karnataka urban local body elections. Inayatullah Khan, who won the election from ward No. 16 in Tumakuru -- around 70 km from Bengaluru, was taking out the procession in the morning when an unidentified person sprayed some liquid on the crowd and fled the scene, police said. Around 10 people felt a burning sensation and were rushed to a nearby hospital. hand have risen by Rs 2.42 a litre during this period. Diesel rates had hit Rs 69.31 a litre on May 28, b u t t h i s re c o rd w a s breached on August 27 and on Monday they hit a fresh high. Fuel prices vary from state to state due to local levies. Officials said the s p i k e i n ra t e s i s o n account of exchange rate falling to a record Rs 71 to a dollar, depreciating by Rs 2.5 in a month. Also, crude oil has gained USD 7 a barrel in a fortnight, driven by fears that the US sanctions on Iran will likely contract supplies. The appreciation of dollar against rupee has also pushed up rates for compressed natural gas (CNG) as well as piped natural gas (PNG) since the price of gas procured by city distributors is mostly dollardenominated. Indraprastha Gas Ltd, which retails gas in the national capital, on Sunday raised the prices of CNG by 63 paise per kg and by Rs 1.11 per standard cubic meter for piped natural gas supplied to households for cooking purposes. CNG now costs Rs. 42.60 per kg in Delhi and Rs 49.30 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. The consumer price of PNG to the households in Delhi has been increased to Rs 28.25 per scm, while same in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad would be Rs 30.10 per scm, which has been increased by Rs 1.26 per scm. T h e In d i a n r u p e e Monday crashed to yet another historic low of 71.21, losing 21 paise at the close against the US dollar as nagging concerns over rising crude oil prices and trade war tensions continued to hurt forex market sentiment. SEE ALSO PAGE 11 ‘NPAs, not note ban led to slowdown’ P16 SILVER 37,200.00 +50.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 78.21 +0.57 Museum in flames NEW DELHI, 3 SEPTEMBER NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Monday said the slowdown in India's GDP growth rate is not solely due to demonetisation but because of the exponential rise in the nonperforming assets (NPAs) which began way before the note-ban announcement. He also dismissed reports of him blaming former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan for the declining growth rate beginning FY 201617. "GDP growth peaked at 9.2 per cent in January to March 2016 but declined successively for six quarters. NPAs rose exponentially to Rs 10.5 lakh crore ~ for loans given out during 2010-11 to 2013-14 ~ and commercial banks virtually stopped lending to industry. Medium and small industry was particularly hit," Kumar tweeted. The NITI Aayog Vice Chairman said: "My views on GDP's decline being unrelated to solely demonetisation and having begun way before with stricter norms of NPA by RBI under Mr Rajan are fact-based and self-explanatory, but some misleading headlines have coerced me to reiterate that the discussion is on policies IANS not people." People watch as a massive fire engulfs the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, one of (REPORT ON PAGE 12) Brazil's oldest, on September 2, 2018. AFP Chouhan’s vehicle attacked, Scindia receives death threat STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BHOPAL, 3 SEPTEMBER Top politicians in Madhya Pradesh are facing challenging times, as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's vehicle became the target of stone pelting while MP Congress election campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia has allegedly received a threat to his life on social media from the son of a ruling BJP MLA. Stones were pelted at Chouhan's vehicle during his ongoing "Jan Ashirwad Yatra" in the Churhat assembly constituency of Sidhi district of the state on 2 September night. Though Chouhan, present in the vehicle, escaped unhurt, the windshield and the outside rearview mirror of his vehicle were damaged in the attack. On the same day, Jyotiraditya Scindia allegedly received COOK ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AFTER 5TH TEST P12 Fuel prices hit a high on ` woes Congress wins majority in Karnataka civic polls IANS P10 Rupee crashes to historic low of 71.21 against US $ Max. 100% TEMPERATURE JOHNSON HAS NO NEW IDEAS ON BREXIT: MAY ‘GIRL ABANDONED IN SPAIN MUST BE BROUGHT BACK’ ALAGIRI BRINGS HIS FIGHT TO CHENNAI Shivraj Singh Chouhan Jyotiraditya Scindia a threat to his life on Facebook allegedly from the son of a sitting BJP MLA. The accused Princedeep Lalchand Khatik is the son of MLA Uma Devi Khatik who represents Hatta assembly seat. MP Home Minister Bhupendra Singh has ordered an inquiry into the grave security lapse concerning the stone pelting on the CM's vehicle. The police have detained more than a dozen persons in connection with the incident and they are being inter- rogated. Bhupendra Singh later said that eight Congress workers have been arrested in the case. Churhat being the assembly constituency of MP Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh, the ruling BJP has alleged that the stone pelters were Congress activists. The Congress, including Ajay Singh and MP Congress president Kamal Nath, has denied the allegations while condemning the attack and asking the state gov- ernment to conduct a free and fair inquiry into the incident and punish those found guilty. Meanwhile, a post on the Facebook wall of the son of a sitting BJP MLA threatened Jyotiraditya Scindia's life. The post that became viral on Sunday was removed after sometime but not before it was shared among many social media users. The controversial post threatened Scindia of life if he entered Hata. Scindia is scheduled to address a "Parivartan rally" at Hata in the Damoh district of the state on 5 September. The police later arrested Princedeep. "The FIR was lodged by some Congress leaders after they came across the post allegedly posted by Princedeep on Facebook, following which he was arrested,” Hata police station incharge Dharmendra Singh reportedly said. Kerala in the grip of ‘rat fever’ post floods PRESS TRUST OF INDIA T'PURAM, 3 SEPTEMBER With water receding from most parts of rain-battered Kerala, the state is facing a challenge from different types of fever including leptospirosis which has claimed 9 lives since August 29. Two persons died of leptospirosis (rat fever) Monday, one each at Palakkad and Kozhikode, according to the Directorate of Health Services. A total of 71 people tested positive for rat fever in various hospitals in the state while 123 people approached hospitals with suspected symptoms of the disease. More than 13,800 people took treatment for various types of fever across the state Monday, officials said. Eleven confirmed and 21 suspected cases of dengue were also reported in the state. Talking to reporters after a meeting to review the fever-situation, Health Minister K K Shy- laja said the government was ready with a plan to check the spread of different types of fever including leptospirosis. People, who had engaged in cleaning operations in the flood-affected areas, have been asked to take preventive medicines for leptospirosis, she said. District authorities have been asked to ensure proper waste management and mosquito control to check dengue fever. Meanwhile, a cleaning drive was held at Kuttanad in Alappuzha district where state ministers G Sudhakaran and T M Thomas Isaac participated. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and former chief minister Oommen Chandy also took part in a drive organised by Kerala PCC in Alappuzha, one of the worst flood affected areas. Flood water is yet to recede from some parts of Alappuzha especially from Kuttanad. HC frowns at cops' briefing on arrested activists A division bench of the Bombay High Court asks how could the Maharashtra police read out documents in a sub-judice case PTI MUMBAI, 3 SEPTEMBER The Bombay High Court raised questions Monday over Maharashtra police's media briefing on its case against some prominent activists arrested for their alleged links with Maoists. State Additional Director General (Law and Order) Parambir Singh along with the Pune police had addressed the media on the case on Friday. During the press conference, Singh had read out letters purportedly exchanged between the activists. He claimed that the police had "conclusive proof" to link Left-wing activists arrested in June and last week to Maoists. A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and Mridula Bhatkar questioned how the police could read out such documents which may be used as evidence in the case. "How can the police do this? The matter is sub judice. The Supreme Court is seized of the matter. In such cases, revealing information pertaining to the case is wrong," Justice Bhatkar said. Public prosecutor Deepak Thakare said he would speak to the police officials concerned and seek their response. The bench was hearing a petition filed on Friday by one Satish Gaikwad, who claims to be a victim of the Koregaon Govts are toppled by people, not Maoists, says Shiv Sena PTI The Shiv Sena has dubbed as "stupid" the Maharashtra police's claim that the five arrested Left-wing activists were involved in an alleged Maoist plot to overthrow the Modi administration. The BJP's carping ally said the police assertion about security threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Maoists was just a "conspiracy theory". The Uddhav Thackerayled party said Modi's security remains robust and there is no need to worry on that front. "The government should stop stating that these so called Maoists could potentially topple the sitting government at the Centre. This is a stupid statement," the Sena said. Gaikwad urged the high court to restrain the Pune police from further probing the case, and stay the inves- MUMBAI, 3 SEPTEMBER Bhima violence. He sought a probe by the National Inves- tigation Agency (NIA) in the case. tigation. The bench posted the petition for further hearing on September 7. Gaikwad in his petition also alleged that the Pune police were investigating the case unfairly and with malafide intentions. "It is unfortunate that the Pune police have arrested intellectual persons of society, who are social rights activists, advocates, human rights activists, poets, writers and other respectable persons," he said in the petition. Since provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act have been invoked in the case, it would be appropriate for the NIA to probe it, the petitioner said. Police had arrested activists Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut in June while probing the alleged Maoist connection with the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31 last year. Inflammatory speeches at the event led to violence at Koregaon Bhima near Pune on the next day, police had alleged. Last Tuesday, police arrested five more Left-wing activists -- Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navalakha -- from different places in the country. The Supreme Court later ordered that the five be kept under house arrest till September 6.
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