CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 08 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 P6 SENSEX 38,389.82 +147.01 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with rain/thundershower likely. Max-min temperatures likely to be around 33-27 degree celsius, respectively RAINFALL: 41.3 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY P10 NIFTY 11,589.10 +52.20 SERENA JUST ONE WIN AWAY FROM COURT’S RECORD P7 ` vs $ 71.73 +26 PAISE GOLD 29,390.00 -95.00 P12 SILVER 36,850.00 -250.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 76.12 -0.38 Bridge collapses near Siliguri Lynchings: SC as Majerhat memories haunt irked over state non-compliance SANKHA GHOSH MANGACH (PHANSIDEWA) Max.95% Min. 65% Max: 32.8°C (+01) SUN RISES 05:22 hrs MOON RISES 03.33 hrs Min: 24.7°C (-01) SUN SETS 17:48 hrs MOON SETS 16:54 hrs TEMPERATURE ‘EVMS HAVE STOOD TEST OF TIME’ MATTIS ON A VISIT TO AFGHANISTAN RESURGENT KERALA New moon on 9 September Observes that only 9 states and 2 UTs followed order STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 SEPTEMBER he Supreme Court today took a serious view of the point that only 9 of the 29 states and 2 of the 7 Union Territories (UTs) have so far complied with its 17 July verdict giving them a slew of directions to curb cow vigilantism and mob lynching incidents across the country. A Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra gave one more week to the remaining 20 states and 5 UTs to comply with its order, warning them that any default would be viewed sternly. “We direct the remaining states and UTs to file the compliance reports in a week. If the reports are not filed, the home secretaries of the defaulting states will have to appear personally,” the Bench, also comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, reportedly asserted. Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, informed the Bench that in pursuance of the top court verdict, an empowered Group of Ministers (GoM) has been set up to consider framing a law on mob violence and lynch- T THUMBNAILS India filled with cautious hope on Pakistan: Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria on Friday said the new government there under Prime Minister Imran Khan has opened a political window and India is “filled with cautious hope”. He also said that India is pushing hard on humanitarian grounds for the release of prisoners of the two countries in each other's jails. “Bilateral relations received a setback after terrorist attacks on Pathankot and Uri. But after the new government came in Pakistan, a new political window opened up’’. Rupee recovers: The rupee on Friday staged a turnaround to close higher by 26 paise at 71.73 against the US dollar, snapping its seven-session losing streak after heavy intervention by the Reserve Bank of India. Weighed down by trade concerns and rising crude prices, the Indian currency breached the 72 mark to trade at 72.04 to the dollar in morning trade. However, heavy intervention by the RBI predominantly resisted the rupee's sharp depreciation and helped it rebound from P8 record low levels. ing. The apex court also directed the Rajasthan government to file a report within a week giving details of its action in the lynching of a 28-year-old dairy farmer Rakbar Khan by an alleged group of cow vigilantes at Lalwandi village of Ramgarh district on 20 July. Earlier, the top court had issued notice to the Rajasthan government on the plea of a Congress member Tehseen Poonawala seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against state officials, including the chief secretary and the police chief, for alleged violation of the court's 17 July verdict. The apex court today again asked the Centre and states to give wide publicity on radio, television and other official websites and media platforms that mob violence and lynching of any kind will "invite serious consequence under the law". On 17 July, the Bench, while asserting that "horrendous acts of mobocracy" cannot be allowed to subvert the law of the land, had urged Parliament to consider enacting a special law to effectively deal with cow vigilantism and mob lynching. The apex court made it clear that such recurrent incidents of mob violence cannot be allowed to become "the new normal". The Bench had then also issued a number of directions to the government, the Centre as well as states, to ensure “preventive, remedial and punitive measures” to deal with offences of mob violence like cow vigilantism and other lynching incidents. The Bench had asked the state governments to designate a senior police officer, not below the SP rank, as nodal officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching. The top court made the Centre and the state governments accountable for mob violence and lynching, asking them to take steps to curb and stop dissemination of irresponsible and explosive messages and videos on social media platforms which incite such incidents. Three days after the collapse of Majerhat bridge in Kolkata killing three persons and injuring 25 others a bridge today collapsed at Mangach in Phansidewa, 27 km away from Siliguri. It happened at a time when the spotlight is on the state of health of bridges and flyovers across the state. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had yesterday identified 20 bridges and flyovers as “weak:. The 30-meter-long Phansidewa bridge collapsed when a brick-laden lorry was crossing it. The driver was injured. North Bengal Development Department (NBDD) minister Rabindranath Ghosh said an inquiry would be conducted. The incident triggered a political blame game after state tourism minister Gautam Deb said that the Left Front-run Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (SMP) did not pay attention to repair plans and estimate made regarding the bridge by the administration two years ago. The bridge was constructed in 2002. Experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Kolkata, examined the bridge and collected samples. The Phansidewa block development office had put up a board mentioning the bridge was unsafe and had banned the movement of heavy vehicles on USIBC target: $500 b in bilateral trade it. Local residents said the iron piers of the iron joists had been gathering rust for the past few year. The BDO’s order is hardly followed and vehicles ply on the bridge with impunity, according to them. The bridge connects Rakhalgach village with Mangach, Fakirgach and a BSF camp, over a canal called Gaur Pichla. A local resident, Dorothy Tirkey, said she heard a loud thud around 7 a.m. and found the bridge had collapsed forming a ‘V’ shape. Bricks were later unloaded from the lorry that got stuck in the middle, while the vehicle was pulled to safety by a recovery van. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 7 SEPTEMBER The board members of the United States India Business Council (USIBC) Friday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which they expressed their desire to prepare a roadmap to achieve the target of USD 500 billion in bilateral trade, a statement issued by the PMO said. They also briefed the prime minister on the outcomes of the India Idea Forum held in Mumbai earlier this week, it said. “The business leaders expressed their desire to prepare a roadmap to achieve the target of USD 500 billion in bilateral trade and expand meaningfully their CSR activities in India,” it said. Interacting with the members, the PM mentioned various reforms undertaken by his government. KOLKATA, 7 SEPTEMBER The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to investigate into the alleged complicity of unknown persons in the Majherhat bridge collapse, so far recorded statements of 70 persons. Informing this , Praveen Tripathi, Jt CP ( crime), who is heading a 16 member SIT said, “ Statements of as many as 70 persons, including the workers of the Metro Rail, onlookers, and those J&K cops disguise as stone pelters to catch real culprits SRINAGAR, 7 SEPTEMBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the members of the United States India Business Council in Delhi on Friday. SNS Majerhat: SIT records statements of 70 were present there on the collapse day, have been recorded. Some meterials had been seized. As the debris of Majerhat bridge, which collapsed three days ago, is being removed, locals are wondering how they will make up the income deficit which stares them in the face after the bridge collapsed. As long as it stood on the girders, the structure was a platform providing sources of income to many who lived nearby. SNS SEE ALSO INSIDE PAGE SNS & PTI Death sentence for rape-murder convict: A m court in Nagaon (Assam) Friday awarded death penalty to Zakir Hussain, the prime accused in the gangrape and murder of an 11year-old girl in Assam's Nagaon district in March. District and Session Judge Rita Kar sentenced Hussain (19) to death for the murder and to life imprisonment for raping the minor girl under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Two other minor accused were found guilty and sent to a correctional home for three years. EC team to visit Telangana: A day after the dissolution of the Telangana Assembly in the wake of such a recommendation by the ruling TRS government several months before the end of its term, the Election Commission of India (ECI) Friday decided to send a team of its officials to Hyderabad on 11 September for an assessment of the poll preparedness in the state. This decision was reportedly taken at a full meeting of the EC. The TRS leader and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has sought early election in the state. The bridge which collapsed at Phansidewa, 27 km from Siliguri. SNS On a day IPS Dilbag Singh took over as the new DGP of Jammu and Kashmir the state police on Friday adopted a fresh strategy of nabbing stone pelters by planting its men among them at historic Jama Masjid downtown to arrest the real culprits in action. After the Friday prayers today, a mob started pelting stones at police and CRPF personnel but there was no retaliation this time and not even a single teargas shell was lobbed or baton charge initiated by the law enforcing force. As the crowd swelled to over 100 people and two chronic stone pelters started leading the agitation, the first tear gas shell was lobbed at the mob dispersing them. However, to the surprise of the two stone pelters, who were leading the mob, they were grabbed by policemen, covertly placed in the crowd, and whisked away in waiting vehicles. The policemen, who disguised as stone pelters, brandished toy guns to scare others while the duo were taken to the police station. Perplexed by the development, the stone pelters ended the protest early today as they were caught unaware of the police strategy. This strategy was earlier executed in 2010 when scores of policemen were deployed in the mob to identify and arrested stone pelters in the area. Immediately after taking over as the new DGP , Singh, a 1987-batch IPS officer from the state, said his priority was to stamp out terrorism. Apex court notice to govt on SC, ST law NEW DELHI, 7 SEPTEMBER The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Centre's response on a batch of pleas seeking to declare ultra vires the fresh amendments to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act made by Parliament. A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan issued notice to the Centre and sought its reply within six weeks. The petitioners have alleged Parliament had "arbitrarily" decided to amend the law and restored previous provisions in such a manner so that an innocent cannot avail the right of anticipatory bail. Parliament had on 9 August passed a bill to overturn the SC order concerning safeguards against arrest. SNS Steep increase in fuel rates, FM mum on excise duty cut PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 7 SEPTEMBER Petrol and diesel price were on Friday hiked by about 50 paisa per litre each - the steepest increase in rates since daily price revision came into effect over 14 months back - to push rates to their highest ever. Petrol price was hiked by 48 paisa per litre and diesel by 47 a litre, according to price notification issued by state fuel retailers. A litre of petrol in Delhi now costs Rs 79.99 - a record high. It costs Rs 87.39 in Mumbai. Diesel is now priced at Rs 72.07 a litre in Delhi and Rs 76.51 per litre in Mumbai. Opposition parties have announced nationwide strikes and protests next week over record-high fuel prices which they blame on high taxes. On Wednesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley remained non-committal on cutting excise duty to cushion spiralling petrol and diesel prices, saying international oil prices are volatile and have not shown any linear movement. Since mid-August, petrol price has risen by Rs 2.85 a litre and diesel by Rs 3.3 per litre as rupee hit record low against the US dollar, making imports costlier. Opposition Congress has demanded that the Centre cut excise duty as was done by previous governments, which cut rates whenever international oil prices shot up. Almost half of the retail selling price of the two fuel is made up of central and state taxes. Prices have been on fire WB govt wants bandh attendance At a petrol pump on a day when petrol price crossed Rs 80 per letter at Noida on Friday. SUBRATA DUTTA since mid-August, rising almost every day due to a combination of a drop in rupee value and rise in crude oil rates. On Tuesday, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had stated that the “Relentless rise in prices of petrol and diesel is not inevitable. Because the price is built up by excessive Kolkata, 7 Sept: The West Bengal government today directed its employees to report for work on 10 September in view of the sixhour ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by the Congress on the day protesting against rising fuel prices. No casual leave for either in the first or second half of the day nor any other leave shall be granted to the employees, state government said in a notification taxes on petrol and diesel. If taxes are cut, prices will decline significantly”. The Centre currently levies a total of Rs 19.48 per litre of CMYK issued today. “In view of the call given by some political parties for a bandh from 9 am to 3 pm on 10 September, it has been decided that all state government offices will remain open and all employees will report for duty. Employees who are on leave on 7 September will have to report for duty and no extension of leave shall be allowed,” read the notification. SNS excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. On top of this, states levy Value Added Tax (VAT) - the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where a 6 per cent sales tax is charged on both the fuel. Mumbai has the highestVAT of 39.12 per cent on petrol, while Telangana levies the highest VAT of 26 per cent on diesel. Delhi charges a VAT of 27 per cent on petrol and 17.24 per cent on diesel. The central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in nine installments between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre. This led to its excise collections from petro goods more than doubling in last four years - from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,29,019 crore in 2017-18. States saw their VAT revenue from petro goods rise from Rs 1,37,157 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,84,091 crore in 2017-18. Prices in Delhi are the cheapest in all metros and most state capitals due to lower sales tax or VAT. Fuel price hike in the country is due to international factors and it has now become essential to bring petrol and diesel under the purview of Goods and Services Tax (GST), Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Friday. The unusual surge in fuel price is due to the political and economic situations at the international level and the Centre has been vigilant about it, he told newsmen here at the sidelines of a function. SEE ALSO INSIDE PAGE
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