TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 25 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 P10 SENSEX 36,305.02 -536.58 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with a few spells of light to moderate rain/thundershowers. One and two spells may be intense. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 30 and 24 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 8.8mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 100% Min. 71% Max: 27.8°C (-6) SUN RISES 06:11 hrs MOON RISES 18:41 hrs Min: 24.0°C (0) SUN SETS 18:14 hrs MOON SETS 07:03 hrs TEMPERATURE P11 NIFTY 10,967.40 -175.70 Tribals blocked the railway track in support of their demands at Balichack in West Midnapur in West Bengal on Monday. RANAJIT GHARA Rupee dives 43 paise, Sensex tanks 537 points: The rupee struggled to make headway after a two-day climb and backtracked to end sharply lower by 43 paise to 72.63 against the US dollar after crude prices soared ahead of impending US sanctions on Iran. The 30-share Sensex tanked 536.58 points or 1.46 per cent to settle at a two-month low of 36,305.02, logging its biggest single-day loss since February 6. P11 Second NK summit soon, says Trump: President Donald Trump says a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is likely to take place “quite soon.” Speaking at the United Nations, Trump says the relationship with the country whose leader he branded last year as “Little Rocket Man” is much improved. He said Monday: “It was a different world. That was a dangerous time. This is one P12 year later, a much different time.” Parrikar drops two ailing ministers from Goa Cabinet: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday dropped from his Cabinet two ailing ministers, who would be replaced with new faces, a senior official in the CMO said. Both the BJP ministers -- Francis D'Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar -are currently admitted at hospitals. D'Souza was heading the urban development department, and P6 Madkaikar was the power minister. GOLD 29,620.00 +85.00 Rafale row continues to be on the boil P15 SILVER 37,450.00 +250.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 80.53 +1.73 FLOOD HAVOC Cong-BJP war of words rages, Oppn for CVC probe STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 SEPTEMBER ith the raging row over the Rs 59,000 crore IndiaFrance Rafale fighter jet deal continuing to be on the boil, the principal Opposition Congress and the ruling BJP have remained locked in a war of words, exchanging fire over what has now snowballed into an international controversy. A high-level Congress delegation today met the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K V Chowdary to demand a probe into alleged corruption in the Rafale deal. This meeting took place days after a Congress delegation met the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to press for its audit report on alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal and its tabling in Parliament. The Congress delegation submitted a detailed memorandum to the CVC, accusing the Narendra Modi government of allegedly causing loss to the public exchequer and endangering national security by bypassing the State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for offset contract in favour of industrialist “friends” without any experience of manufacturing aircraft. “Rafale scam has now emerged as India's biggest defence scam. Tracks of corruption are getting unravelled by the day with repeated disclosures getting no answers from the defence ministry of the government of the day," the Congress memorandum reportedly charged. “The government is bound to disclose the price of 36 (Rafale) aircraft to scrutiny by CVC in light of the serious allegations of corruption and loss of money to public exchequer. We, therefore, request the CVC to undertake its statutory duty by examining record threadbare, so that corruption, crony capitalism, violation of law and procedure, and loss to public exchequer is brought out as the earliest,” the memorandum stated. The delegation comprised of senior Congress leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, and Randeep Surjewala among others. Speaking to reporters, Anand Sharma alleged: "Rafale scam was an arbitrary decision of PM Modi, who without any mandate from the Cabinet Committee on Security decided to do away with the three important things of the original tender for purchase of 126 planes: (a) transfer of technology, (b) HAL as a partner of Dassault to manfucture 108 planes, and (c) the approved price of Rs 526 crore per aircraft that went up to Rs 1,670 crore." A French aerospace giant Dassault is the manufacturer of Rafale aircraft. The Rafale controversy has snowballed in the wake of former French President Francois Hollande's recent explosive statement on the deal's offset aspect, reportedly made to the French investigative website Mediapart that the Indian government proposed Anil Ambani's firm Reliance Defence as Dassault's offset partner in the Rafale deal and that France did not have a choice in it. Both the Indian and French governments have however distanced themselves from the selection of Anil Ambani's firm as Dassault's partner, claiming that it was Dassault's commercial decision. Dassault has also stated that the decision to partner with Reliance was its own. Hitting back, the BJP gunned for Congress president Rahul Gandhi, alleging that Gandhi was involved in an "international conspiracy" in a nexus with Hollande to "sabotage" the Rafale deal and that the Congress chief wanted it to be scrapped to help a firm linked to his businessman brother-in-law Robert Vadra. The BJP also raked up the Pakistan role in this "conspiracy". TURN TO PAGE 5 Kullu-Manali highway washed away during the flood in Beas River in Kullu district. Incessant rains triggered flash floods and landslides in northern India, with at least 11 people killed in J&K,Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. SNS LUCKNOW, 24 SEPTEMBER The government is ready for dialogue with“everyone” on Kashmir issue, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday, days after India cancelled a foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan. Singh, however, asserted that terrorism in Kashmir Valley is “Pakistansponsored”. “I think the (Kashmir) matter will be resolved.We are ready to talk to everyone,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the Central Zonal Council here. The home minister said as far as terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, all security agencies are working in coordination. “Terrorism in Kashmir is Pakistan-sponsored,” he said. India on Friday had called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries in New York, barely 24 hours after agree- ing to the engagement, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps“glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani. AgenciesaddfromWashington: Despite India's reluctance to hold talks with Pakistan, Islamabad will not close doors on its efforts to (P5) Modi congratulates Solih on poll victory, leaders to work together STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 SEPTEMBER Within hours of Abdulla Yameen, the pro-China President of the Maldives, suffering a humiliating defeat in the elections in the archipelago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and congratulated him on his victory in the hustings. The PM conveyed his good wishes for the strengthening of democracy, peace and prosperity in the Maldives under Solih’s leadership, the External Affairs Ministry said. Kashmir talks: India ready, Pak for peace PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Daler Mehndi singing at a Sufi concert to pay tribute to late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and for help of Kerala flood victims, organised by HOOOK, at Siri Fort Auditorium in the Capital SNS on Sunday night. TIGER IS FINALLY OUT OF THE WOODS, ROARS TO THE TOP P12 ` vs $ 72.63 -43 PAISE W THUMBNAILS KAVANAUGH FACES SECOND ASSAULT ALLEGATION JAITLEY TO MEET CHIEFS OF PSU BANKS TODAY PM INAUGURATES SIKKIM'S FIRST AIRPORT promote peace in the region, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said. Addressing a news conference Sunday, Qureshi said India used incidents that happened in July to cancel peace talks that it agreed to in September. “India is reluctant, we will not close our doors,” Qureshi said. “Hiding away from issues will not make them disappear. It will not improve the situation in Kashmir,” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper. He said he was unable to understand India's refusal to participate in peace talks with Pakistan. Solih thanked Modi for his greetings and good wishes. The two leaders agreed to work closely together to further strengthen the close, friendly and good neighbourly relations between the two countries. Earlier on Monday, India said the election results reflected the Maldives commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law. New Delhi also hoped the Maldivian Election Commission would officially confirm the result at the earliest. The final results in the election would be announced on 30 September. “We welcome the successful completion of the third presidential election process in the Maldives which, according to preliminary information, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. “We heartily congratulate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his victory and hope that the Election Commission will officially confirm the result at the earliest,” it said. Reports from Male said Solih won the election, defeating Yameen, who had become a major source of irritation for India because of relentlessly pursuing Beijing’s agenda in the island nation. He borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from China for controversial infrastructure projects in his country, much to the discomfiture of India. Yameen often faced strident criticism, especially from India, for jailing his opponents. India’s ties with the Maldives came under strain after President Yameen declared Emergency on 5 February SEE ALSO PAGE 13 Trump to Swaraj: I love India, give my regards to friend Modi Const Bench to hear FGM case PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 24 SEPTEMBER UNHQ, 24 SEPTEMBER “I love India, give my regards to my friend PM (Narendra) Modi,” US President Donald Trump told External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as they exchanged pleasantries during a highlevel event on counter-narcotics here on Monday. As Trump left the podium at the conclusion of the event hosted by him at the United Nations, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warmly hugged Swaraj and intro- duced her to the president. When India’s External Affairs minister Swaraj told the American president that she has brought greetings from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump responded: “I love India, give my regards to my friend PM Modi, Indian diplomatic sources told PTI. Swaraj attended the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem chaired by Trump as the high-level week of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly began here. The Supreme Court today referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench a plea challenging the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) among the Dawoodi Bohra Muslims. A Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, considered the Dawoodi Bohra Women Association for Religious Freedom (DBWRF)'s submission that the validity of the female circumcision should be examined by a larger Bench. SNS (MORE ON PAGE10) Navy sailor rescued 3 days after being injured in Ocean PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI/KOCHI, 24 SEPTEMBER Indian Navy sailor Abhilash Tomy was rescued from the Indian Ocean near Australia in a multi-nation operation on Monday, three days after he suffered a grievous back injury when a powerful storm hit his boat while he was on a solo race around the world, Navy officials said. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the commander is “conscious and doing okay” after his ordeal. Tomy, 39, who was sailing as part of the Golden Globe Race (GGR) - a solo sailboat race around the world -- drifted in the sea for three days before he was rescued by French fishing vessel Osiris, officials said. His boat Thuriya was hit by a deadly storm, about 1,900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia, on Friday. The main mast of his boat was ripped off by around 15metre high waves, they said. Navy spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said French fishing vessel Osris, assisted by Indian Navy's P8I surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, reached close to Thuriya around 1130 hrs (IST) and carried out a successful rescue operation using a small boat. “Cdr Tomy was rescued by a boat and rescue team from Osiris. The rescue team shifted Cdr Tomy in a stretcher from Thuriya to Osiris using their Gemini boat. He has been reported to be conscious and has been provided with initial medical care,” he said. Capt Sharma said Osiris proceeded to rescue a second sailor whose boat was also damaged in the storm. Thereafter, the French vessel will move to take shelter at Ile Amsterdam, about 100 nautical miles north of the rescue position. The island has a small hospital. Indian Naval ship Satpura has been sent to bring the commander, a Kirti Chakra awardee, back to India. The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra coordinated the rescue mission in cooperation with many agencies, including the Australian Defence Depart- ment and the Indian Navy. According to rescue officer Phil Gaden in Australia, Tomy had a severely injured back. “We believe that he's very severely restricted in his ability to manoeuvre, his mobility is affected, Gaden said. Tomy was in the third position in the race and sailed over 10,500 nautical miles in the last 84 days, since July 1 when the competition began.On Sunday, he managed to get in touch with the organisers of the race in France through messages and requested for help as he could not move on his own. “A sense of relief to know that naval officer @abhilashtomy is rescued by the French fishing vessel. He's conscious and doing okay. The vessel will shift him to a nearby island (I'lle Amsterdam) by evening. INS Satpura will take him to Mauritius for medical attention,” Sitharaman tweeted. He represented India in the 2011 Cape Town to Rio Race, the Spanish Copa del Rey Race in 2014 and the Korea Cup for two years in succession. He has been awarded the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award, the Kirti Chakra for valour and courageous action and Mac Gregor medal. According to GGR, ahead of commencing his voyage, Tomy had said, “This event recreates in the closest way possible way, the magic of the original race. “The emphasis is not on technology and its management, but on seamanship and a direct experience of sea. This spartan philosophy is in keeping with my own view that a lot can be achieved with very little,” he was quoted as saying. Abhilash will return to adventure sport: Father KOCHI, 24 SEPTEMBER Three days of tension gave way to joy for the Keralabased family of Naval officer Abhilash Tomy as he was rescued from Indian Ocean Monday after being hit by a storm during a solo sailboat race, with his father saying his son's grit will see him come back to adventure sport. “Praise the Lord. I am so happy...,” V C Tomy, a retired Naval personnel himself, told mediapersons near here after his son's evacu- ation by a French fishing vessel near Australia in a multination operation three days after he suffered a grievous back injury. Abhilash Tomy, 39, who was sailing his boat as part of the Golden Globe Race (GGR), drifted in the seas for three days after his boat was hit by a deadly storm, about 1,900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia, on Friday. His father said he was confident that his son would make a come back to advenPTI ture sports.
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