THURSDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2018 www.thestatesman.com FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P5 SENSEX 37,717.96 +304.83 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of thundery development. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 35 and 27 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 89% TEMPERATURE Max: 33.5°C (0) SUN RISES 06:05 hrs MOON RISES 10:31 hrs Min. 60% Min: 26.5°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:29 hrs MOON SETS 21:12 hrs THUMBNAILS Sardar Singh retires: Former India hockey captain Sardar Singh (in photo) on Wednesday decided to call time on his illustrious career, saying he had played enough in the past 12 years and now it was time for youngsters to take over. Singh said that he had made the decision after a disappointing Asian Games where India failed to defend their title, managing only the bronze medal. With age and, therefore, speed not on his side, Singh's perforP12 mance in the Games came in for criticism. HC refuses to interfere on plea over fuel price: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to interfere in a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the sale of petrol and diesel at reasonable prices instead of letting oil companies increase the rates exorbitantly. P3 PM to launch another cleanliness drive: Four years after the launch of Swacch Bharat Mission, Prime Minister Modi plans to embark on another cleanliness drive 'Swacchta Hi Seva (Cleanliness is true Service) movement' on 15 September. The movement will be kicked off by the PM to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The PM described the Swacchta Hi Seva as a 'historic mass movement aimed at fulfilling Bapu's dream'. P5 Boost to railways: In a major boost to railways, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) , chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the proposal for 100 per cent electrification of the remaining un-electrified broad gauge routes of Indian Railways (IR) comprising 108 sections covering 13,675 route kilometres (16,540 track kilometers) at a cost of Rs.12,134.50 crore which is likely to be completed by 2021-22. Death toll in Telangana bus accident rises to 61: The death toll in the Telangana bus tragedy rose to 61 with three passengers succumbing to their injuries on Wednesday. Altogether 58 people were killed when an overcrowded state-owned bus plunged into a gorge near Kondagattu on Tuesday. NIFTY SUSPECTS IN SKRIPAL POISONING CIVILIANS, NOT CRIMINALS: PUTIN TELANGANA POLL MAY NOT BE HELD WITH 4 STATES: CEC BJP LIKELY TO DENY TICKETS TO MANY BIHAR MPs P6 11,369.90 +82.40 P7 ` vs $ 72.64 GOLD KOCHI/KOTTAYAM (KERALA) 12 SEPTEMBER The Kerala Police on Wednesday sent a notice to controversial Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar, asking him to appear before them on September 19. A Kerala nun has accused him of repeated sexual abuse between 2014 and 2016. "We reviewed the entire case today (Wednesday) and there are contradictions in the statements of the victim, the accused and the witnesses. So, we have asked the bishop to appear before us on September 19, when the Investigation Officer would question him. "The contradictions in the statements have to be cleared, or else there could be issues," Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Sakhre told the media in Kochi soon after a review meeting on the case. "Security to the complainant and the witnessess is there and we have registered cases against the death threats that the nuns have allegedly received," added Sakhre. State Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, deputising for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is off to the United States for treatment, told the media in the state capital that the government is with the victim. "No one needs to be worried for anything and it's unfortunate that nuns have had to stage protests.We all know that the probe has been going on for a while now, but since it has to be submitted to the court, there just can't be any errors," said Jayarajan. On Wednesday, a daylong protest before the state secretariat in Kochi was organised by the Joint Christian Council, whose indefinite relay fast at in the state capital entered its 5th day. In the state capital, joining the protesters was former state Congress President V.M. Sudheeran, who said the protests should not be mistaken as one against the Christian community. "The police itself said that all the evidences are there with them in the case, then why are they hesitant to go forward? The state police chief is unable to go forward in this case and it's most unfortunate," said Sudheeran. In Kochi, Wednesday SC extends house arrest of 5 activists till 17 Sept STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 SEPTEMBER The Supreme Court today extended the house arrest of five human right activists, arrested by the Maharashtra police for their alleged links with the Naxals, till 17 September. Extending its interim order putting them under house arrest, a Bench ~ headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and also comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud ~ adjourned the hearingonthepetition~filed by five eminent citizens including historian RomilaThapar, economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain, sociology professor Satish Deshpandey, and human rights lawyer Maja Daruwala ~ to 17 September. The top court was hearing the petition filed against thearrestoffiveleadingrights activists and lawyers ~ including Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira,Vernon Gon- salves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha ~ in the case.The apex court was reportedly informed that the wifeofSurinderGadling,one of the activists arrested earlier, had filed an intervention application on their behalf challenging their arrests. A plea was made that the top court may treat her intervention application as a writ petition. The Maharashtra police had arrested the five activists on 28 August after multi-city raids on their premises in connection with an FIR lodged following a public meeting, Elgaar Parishad, held on 31 December last year in Pune that was alleged to have led to violence at Koregaon-Bhima village between Dalits and upper caste people on 1 January this year. Thearrests of the activists triggered widespread anguish and outrage among civil society, human rights and civil liberties groups. 30,478 SILVER -127.00 36,547 Even as a political battle rages over purchase of fourth generation French fighter aircraft Rafale to strengthen the country’s air power, the Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa came out strongly supporting the purchase, saying that they were essential to fight "grave threats" India faces from Pakistan and China. Speaking at a seminar here on Wednesday, the Air Chief said that by acquiring the French fighters, the IAF would also be able to strengthen its depleting fleet of fighters at a time when India's neighbours were "not sitting idle" and continuously mod- ernising their air warfare capabilities. He said the Russian-made S-400 Triumf advanced air defence systems to be bought from Moscow would also enhance the capability of the air force. "By providing the Rafale and the S-400 (anti-missile system), the government Air Chief said that by acquiring Rafale, the IAF would be able to strengthen its depleting fleet of fighters is strengthening the IAF to counter the shortfall of our depleting numbers of aircraft," he said. "The hi-tech fighters like Rafale are needed because medium-tech fighters like -135.00 BRENT OIL (IN $) 68.77 saw more and more leaders -- political and otherwise -- visiting to the protest venue. They included top political leaders from various parties, civil society members and film personalities. Coming to the defence of Mulakkal was his own diocese, who in a statement said that this is nothing but a conspiracy hatched against the bishop. "This is just an allegation... The bishop had visited the nun's home for a function and she looked very happy also. According to her complaint, the previous day the bishop had abused her. If that were the case, could she be happy? Moreover, all the complaints surfaced after a lady came with a complaint against the nun," says the statement. Popular Malayalam film personality Joy Mathew led a protest in Kozhikode against the callousness of the authorities in the case as the nun is yet to get justice. Incidentally, the Kerala High Court will onThursday look into an affidavit that it asked the state government to file detailing the steps taken on the complaint of a nun alleging that a bishop sexually abused her for three years. "All the details in the case would be presented before the high court on Thursday in the affidavit," said Kottayam SP. Jaitley rejects Mallya’s claim, FM says he never met him IANS NEW DELHI, 12 SEPTEMBER IANS LONDON, 12 SEPTEMBER F ugitive business tycoonVijay Mallya, wanted in India for his alleged role in a multi-crore bank loan fraud case, claimed on Wednesday that he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving India in 2016. "I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. I met the Finance Minister before I left... repeated my offer to settle with the banks. That is the truth," he told reporters outside a Westminster Magistrate court where he is fighting an extradition case filed by Indian authorities. Mallya, who left India on March 2, 2016, also claimed that he was disliked by both the major parties in India -- the BJP and Congress. "I am a political football... As far as I am concerned, I have made a comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court. I hope the honourable judges will Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday rejected Vijay Mallya's claim that the fugitive businessman met him before he left India two years ago. "My attention has been drawn to a statement made to the media by Vijay Mallya on having met me with an offer of settlement. The statement is factually false inasmuch as it does not reflect truth," he said in a Facebook post shortly after the fugitive businessman made the claim outside a London court where he is facing extradition trial. Jaitley said he had never given Mallya any appointment to meet him since 2014 and "the question of his having met me does not arise". "However, since he was a Member of Rajya Sabha and he occasionally attended the House, he misused that privilege on one occasion while I was walking out of the House to go to my room. "He paced up to catch up with me and while walking uttered a sentence that 'I am making an offer of settlement'," the Minister said. Jaitley said having been fully briefed about his earlier "bluff offers", without allowing him to pro- ceed with the conversation, "I curtly told him 'there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers'. I did not even receive the papers that he was holding in his hand." The Minister said besides this one-sentence exchange where he misused his privilege as a Rajya Sabha Member in order to further his commercial interest as a bank debtor, he never gave Mallya any appointment to meet hi consider it favourably." Asked if he could settle his dues, Mallya, who headed the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines and the United Breweries, said: "Obviously. That is why a settlement offer has been made." Mallya, who faces charges of defrauding banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, said he did not file any clemency plea in the Karnataka High Court where he was ready to settle all dues. "I put almost Rs 15,000 crore offer on the table of the Karnataka High Court. I feel like a scapegoat. Both political parties don't like me," he said, adding that the banks had rejected his settlement offers. SC seeks details of cases against MPs, MLAs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 SEPTEMBER The Supreme Court today asked 25 states and Union Territories (UTs) as well as the high courts across the country to place before it "full and complete updated information" about the status of criminal cases pending against MPs and MLAs. The top court also asked these states/UTs and Registrars General of all high courts to place before it the "precise number" of such pending cases required to be transferred to the special courts meant to deal exclusively with cases involving lawmakers. It has sought these details by the next date of hearing on 10 October. A Bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Navin Sinha reportedly noted that 12 special courts have already been constituted in 11 states. The apex court also noted that 25 states and UTs ~ including Gujarat, Tejas alone cannot do," he said, adding the IAF was already down with only 31 squadrons from the sanctioned strength of 42. "Even when we do have 42 (squadrons), we will be below the combined strength of our two adversaries," he said, adding that the gap was being "partially fulfilled" by getting the hi-tech aircraft. "The question that is asked very often in public domain is why 42 squadrons when older aircraft like MiG-21s are being replaced by more capable aircraft. There are reasons (for that) because our neighbours are not sitting idle. Pakistan has upgraded F-16s and made them 4.5 generation as far as avionic electronics goes and is inducting -0.10 Mallya also claimed that he was disliked by both the BJP and Congress Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Punjab and Chandigarh ~ have not provided any information in pursuance to its orders of 1 November 2017 and 21 August 2018. "We direct the chief secretaries of the above mentioned (25) states and Union Territories as well as the Registrars General of the High Courts in each of the states and Union Territories to lay before us full and complete updated information as required in terms of our order dated November 1, 2017 and August 21, 2018," the Bench ordered. "We specifically direct the two authorities, namely the chief secretaries of the states and the registrars general of the High Courts, to lay before us the precise number of cases which are presently pending and required to be transferred to the special courts; whether the 12 special courts set up are functional and whether in view of the volume of cases that would be required to be transferred to the special courts, there is the necessity of setting up of additional courts," the Bench said. Referring to the affidavit filed by the Department of Justice, senior counsel Sajan Poovayya, appearing for petitioner and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, said 12 special courts have been set up in 11 states but there was no information as to how many of the pending criminal cases against lawmakers there have been transferred to these courts. According to the government's affidavit, the total number of cases transferred, disposed of and pending in these special Air Chief bats for Rafale jets, cites ‘grave threats’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 SEPTEMBER P12 Mallya says he met FM before leaving India Controversial bishop asked to appear before Kerala Police IANS MASSIVE COURSE CORRECTION NOT REQUIRED: KOHLI JF-17 (from China) in large numbers,” he said. The Air Chief said that China was rapidly replacing its 2nd and 3rd generation fighters with 4th generation fighters and is developing 5th generation fighter which is likely to be deployed very soon. He said very few countries were facing challenges like India, which is surrounded by "two nucleararmed neighbours". "We have to match neighbours Pakistan and China to tackle a two-front war. Intentions of our adversaries can change overnight. We need to match force level of our adversaries," he said. The IAF chief's comments come a day after former BJP ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "personal culpability" in the Rafale deal which they dubbed as the country's "biggest defence scam". The procurement of 36 Rafale fighters from France's Dassault Aviation has come under fire from the Congress, alleging that the Modi government had compromised national security and bought the bombers at a higher price than what the UPA had negotiated with the French government. Earlier this month, IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal S B Deo too endorsed the Rafale, saying the aircraft will give India "unprecedented combat capabilities". courts are reportedly1233, 136 and 1,097 respectively. Poovayya pointed out that the apex court had noted in its 1 November 2017 order that there were 1,581 cases involving MPs and MLAs, as declared at the time of filing of the election nomination papers in 2014, but the number of cases against them might have increased this year. In its November 2017 order the top court had also sought details about any further criminal cases lodged against any existing or former MPs and MLAs during 2014-2017. The Centre's affidavit has stated that one special court each has been set up in states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Two such courts have been set up in Delhi, with the affidavit adding that information from the remaining states and high courts have not been received so far. Rahul demands Jaitley's resignation NEW DELHI, 12 SEPTEMBER Barely a few hours after fugitive businessmanVijay Mallya said in London that he had met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving India two years ago, Congress president Rahul Gandhi tonight demanded Jaitley's resignation. Gandhi demanded that PM Modi should institute an independent inquiry into Mallya's claim. He tweeted: "Given Vijay Mallya’s extremely serious allegations in London today, the PM should immediately order an independent probe into the matter. Arun Jaitley should step down as Finance Minister while this probe is underway." Jaitley rejected Mallya's claim as false. SNS Earthquake hits Assam, Bengal, Bihar & N-E KOLKATA, 12 SEPTEMBER An earthquake of magnitude 5.5 Richter Scale hit Assam, Bengal, Bihar and other north eastern parts of the country today at around 10.20am. The tremors felt in parts of West Bengal and more strongly in Assam, triggered fear in the people of the city. Being the early hours of the day, a large number working people had just signed in their offices. School children were either inside their schools, or were heading towards their institutes. According to Babita Kumari, employee of a call centre in Salt Lake, the sudden shake in the floor and fans caused panic among her colleagues in the office. "Within few minutes, our entire office was on the ground floor," said the 21year-old BPO employee. "The after-shock tremors were so frightening that we did not even wait for the office authorities and came down running through the stairs," added Babita. Similar crowd was observed in several parts of the city with groups of people standing outside multi-storied residential buildings. Sulagna Das, resident of Salt Lake said, "Residents of our entire complex were in the compound as soon as the first tremors were felt. However, as several children from our complex, including mine, were at school, we were worried for them." SNS
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