SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 23 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 FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT ~ THIS IS WHAT IT WAS LIKE GROWING UP QUEER IN INDIA WHEN HOMOSEXUALITY WAS ILLEGAL P10 BEAR GRYLLS TALKS ABOUT SHARK WEEK, CONSERVATION OF WILDLIFE, HIS FEARS AND THE DEATH-DEFYING SITUATIONS HE’S HAD TO FACE P1 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with a few speslls of light to moderate rain/thundershower. Max and min temp to be around 28/23 degrees Celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: 26.8 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Rahul mounts no-holds-barred attack on PM Modi, asks him to come clean, seeks JPC probe Max.92% Min. 67% Max: 27.6°C (-6) SUN SETS 18:17 hrs MOON RISES 17:33 hrs Min: 22.2°C (-2) SUN RISES 06:10 hrs MOON SETS 05:13 hrs TEMPERATURE Rafale row spirals as India, France deny any offset role THUMBNAILS Hailing his team's “clinical performance” against Bangladesh, India skipper Rohit Sharma says they would look to replicate the show in Sunday's match against Pakistan in Dubai. (P16) Village Rockstars India’s Oscar entry: Rima i r Das' National Award-winning Assamese feature “Village Rockstars” has been chosen to represent India in the Best Foreign Language category at the 91st Academy Awards next year, the Film Federation of India said. P4 BJP calls 12-hour Bangla bandh: A 12-hour h long Bangla Bandh has been called by state BJP on Wednesday in protest against the deaths of two youths in firing at Darivit in north Bengal. Away on an overseas tour, CM Mamata Banerjee trained her guns on BJP. P6 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 22 SEPTEMBER T he row over the multi-billion dollar India-France Rafale aircraft deal has spiralled into a fullblown international controversy in the wake of the former French President Francois Hollande's explosive remarks on the deal's offset aspect, with both the French and the Indian governments today distancing themselves from the selection of Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence as the Rafale aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation's partner. Ex-French President Hollande's reported statement made to the online French investigative and opinion journal, Mediapart ~ that the Indian government proposed Anil Ambani's firm as Dassault's offset partner in the deal and that France did not have a choice in it ~ made waves in both the countries, even as a political firestorm raged in India. Seizing on Hollande's remarks, Congress president Rahul Gandhi gunned for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of being "corrupt" by allegedly swinging the Rs 30,000 crore offset contract of the Rafale deal in favour of his "industrialist friend" Anil Ambani. Highlighting that the agreement for the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal was clinched between PM Modi and then President Hollande, Gandhi said Hollande's "revelations" could not be brushed aside lightly, even as he demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the matter and asked Modi to come clean on it. Mediapart reportedly quoted Hollande as saying, “It was the Indian government that proposed this service group (Reliance Defence), and Dassault which negotiated with Ambani. We had no choice, we took the interlocutor who was given to us.” The Modi government brushed aside the row sparked by Hollande's remarks, with the defence ministry terming it as "unnecessary controversies". Making a statement giving "clarification on offset policy", the defence ministry said, "The Government...reiterates that it had no role in the selection of Reliance Defence as the Offset partner." "As per Defence Offset Guidelines, the foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is free to select any Indian compa- ny as its offset partner. It has been reported that a JV between Reliance Defence and Dassault Aviation came into being in February 2017. This is a purely commercial arrangement between two private companies," the defence ministry said. It also sought to put a question mark over Hollande's statement, saying it should be seen in context as the "French media has raised issues of conflict of interest involving persons close to the former President." This referred to the point that Hollande has also been facing allegations of crony capitalism in his country. Two days before he came to New Delhi as the chief guest in India's Republic Day function in 2016 and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PM Modi for delivering 36 Rafale aircraft, Anil Ambani's Reliance Entertainment had reportedly entered into a deal to Day 2: Imran slams ‘arrogant’ India STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 22 SEPTEMBER Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday expressed disappointment over the ''arrogant and negative'' response by India to his call for the resumption of peace dialogue between the two countries. ''However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big office who do not have the vision to see the larger picture," he tweeted while taking an indirect jibe at the top Indian leadership. This comes a day after India called off a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly next week following the brutal killings of Indian security personnel by Pakistan-based entities. India had used some harsh words against Khan while announcing the cancellation of the talks with External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar saying the 'true face' of the new Prime Minister of Pakistan had been revealed to the world in his first few months in office. The Pakistan foreign office had on Friday night expressed disappointment over the cancellation of talks, saying the reasons cited by India were "entirely unconvincing". Foreign Minister Qureshi said he was deeply saddened by how India first accepted and later backtracked from the New York meeting. He said it was Pakistan's understand- ing that the meeting would be beneficial for the entire region and help the two countries resolve outstanding issues. This is not the first occasion when a crucial meeting between India and Pakistan has been called off by New Delhi under the NDA regime. In August 2014, India cancelled then Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh's visit to Pakistan for the foreign secretary-level talks as it was upset over Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit's meeting with separatist Kashmiri leaders on the eve of the talks. Observers say India and Pakistan are unlikely to make another attempt to resume the stalled dialogue at least for a year now in view of the coming Lok Sabha elections in India. The ruling BJP on Saturday lashed out at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan saying he is in the chair on the directions of his country's army and India will not hold talks with the neighbour till its soldiers are being killed. The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) remarks came after Khan hit out at India for cancelling a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York this month. “..all my life, I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture,” Khan tweeted earlier on Saturday. Senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked what else can be expected from a “person who is sitting in the position of prime minister at the directions of his country's army”. “There will be no talks with Pakistan till our soldiers keep getting killed,” the senior party leader said at a press conference here. produce a film with Hollande's partner and actor, Julie Gayet. The defence ministry maintained that the "Government of India has no role in the selection of Indian Offset partner which is a commercial decision of the OEM (Dassault)". The French government also said it was in no way involved in the choice of Indian industrial offset partners for the Rafale fighter jet deal. French aerospace giant Dassault also claimed that the decision to partner with Reliance for the offset contract was its own. "The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies,” the French government said. "The inter-governmental agreement signed on 23 September 2016 between the French and Indian governments for JHARSUGUDA/ TALCHER 22 SEPTEMBER Exuding confidence of returning to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said people of Odisha were also looking forward to oust the "corrupt" Naveen Patnaik government. In an unprecedented direct attack , PM Modi dubbed the Patnaik government as "corrupt and inefficient" which has hindered development in the state. Addressing two public meetings ~ at Talcher and Jharsuguda ~ the PM said he will be back in Talcher to inaugurate the Talcher Fertilizer plant, the foundation stone for which he laid today, after 36 months. The fertilizer plant at Talcher symbolises the failures of the previous governments who did not live up to the expectations of farmers and youth and it was shut down. The foundation stone for its revival shows his government's success and intent to PM Modi addressing a public meeting at Jharsuguda in Odisha on Saturday. SNS commission it in 36 months, he said. He lambasted the Congress too. In the last four years the pace of development, he claimed, has been much more than all previous governments put together ~ be it in the road sector, opening of Jan Dhan accounts, the Mudra scheme loans, LPG connections or increase in number of medical colleges, health care like the Ayushnman scheme to be launched tomorrow. The BJP-led NDA government accorded constitutional status to the OBC Commission and promulgated ordinance to protect Muslim women from instant triple talaq, he said. Turning the heat on the Pat- TURN TO PAGE 5 (Above): Iranians seeking cover at the scene of an attack on a military parade. (Left) President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during the parade on Saturday. AFP AGENCIES TEHRAN, 22 SEPTEMBER Militants shot dead at least 29 people including women and children in an attack on Saturday on an Iranian military parade claimed by the Islamic State group, as Tehran accused a US ally in the region of the assault. The attack in the southwestern city of Ahvaz came as the country marked the anniversary of the start of its 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and prompted President Hassan Rouhani to warn of a “crushing response”. “The response of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the smallest threat will be crushing”, Rouhani said on his official website. “Those who give intelligence and propaganda support to these terrorists must answer for it.” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet that the attack near the Iraqi border was carried out by “terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime”. “Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks.” 13 killed in Himachal road mishap Bishop sent to 2-day police custody d SHIMLA, 22 SEPTEMBER A Kerala court today rejected the bail application of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, arrested on charges of repeatedly raping and All 13 people lost their lives after the Trax vehicle they were travelling in veered off the road in Himachal Pradesh's Shimla district and rolled down into the gorge in Jubbal area on Saturday. The accident happened at Sanail, three kilometres from Kuddu, on Tiyuni Road. Shimla Superintendent of Police Omapati Jamwal confirmed the number of deaths. The vehicle was on its way to Tiyuni from Hatkoti in Shimla district. The deceased were residents of the Nandla village in Ransar valley in Rohru subdivision in Shimla. While 10 people died on the spot, three were rushed to the hospital in Rohru where they succumbed to SNS injuries later. Modi dubs Patnaik govt as ‘corrupt’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE supplying India with 36 Rafale aircraft concerns the obligations of the French government solely with regard to ensuring the delivery and quality of this equipment,'' a statement issued by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said. The statement was posted by the French Embassy on its website this morning. The French government said: "In accordance with India's acquisition procedure, French companies have the full freedom to choose the Indian partner companies that they consider to be the most relevant, then present for the Indian government's approval the offsets projects that they wish to execute in India with these local partners so as to fulfil their obligations in this regard." Hollande's comments fuelled the political firestorm, with Opposition parties sharpening their attacks on the Modi government over alleged massive irregularities in the Rafale deal and its alleged bid to benefit Reliance Defence over the State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) even though Anil Ambani's company did not have any experience in the aerospace sector. 29 shot dead in IS attack on Iran military parade naik dispensation, the PM charged that development has bypassed Odisha because the state government was "callous, inefficient and corrupt" and that he had to wake this government up on various matters. He wondered why Chief Minister Patnaik was refusing the join the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The PM sharpened his attack on the BJD government at the Jharsuguda meeting where he accused the state of corruption in all sectors. It is a “PC” government, he alleged. Unless bribe in terms of percentage of the project cost (PC) is given beneficiaries do not get their entitled house or toilet, he charged. Naveen hits back: CM Patnaik countered PM Modi’s charge of corruption, saying the central government should be concerned about the alleged Skill Mission and Ujjwala scams and the record rocketing prices of fuel. SNS & PTI KOCHI, 22 SEPTEMBER sexually assaulting a nun, and sent him to a two-day police custody. The police said the nun was subjected to alleged rape andunnaturalsexbytheaccused at the guest house of St Francis Mission Home 13 times between 2014 and 2016. They saidhisbodyfluidandDNAsampleswererequiredtobecollected as part of the probe. Recording the remand submission, the magistrate granted the police two-day custody of the Bishop.
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