CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 10 OCTOBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 WEATHER A few spells of rain and thundershowers likely. Temperature will be in the range of 31-25 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P2 Max: 34.1°C (+2) SUN SETS 17:16 hrs MOON RISES 06.24 hrs Min: 26.0°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:32 hrs MOON SETS 18:23 hrs Moon phase: First quarter on 16 October THUMBNAILS Former US vice president Al Gore gestures as he speaks during the Global Steering Group impact summit in New Delhi on Tuesday. AFP Sabarimala verdict plea: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused an early hearing of petitions seeking review of a Constitution Bench judgment that opened entry of women in the age group of 10 to 50 years into the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala. The petitions are to be heard after Dussehra. Rupee hits fresh low: The rupee fell 33 paise Tuesday to finish at a fresh lifetime low of 74.39 against the US dollar on high crude oil prices, strengthening of the greenback and unabated foreign fund outflows. In early trade, the rupee had made a cautious recovery of 18 paise to 73.88 against the US dollar. Bhilai Steel Plant blaze kills SC orders jail nine; 14 critically injured time for Amrapali brass Real estate group playing ‘hide and seek’, says court STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 9 OCTOBER The Supreme Court on Tuesday sent three directors of the Amrapali real estate group to police custody for not submitting documents for audit, even as it ordered them to hand over all the documents of the 46 companies of the group to forensic auditors. “You are playing hide and seek. You are trying to mislead the court,” said a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit. “You are playing with the dignity of this court. You are not complying with this court's earlier orders as far as the forensic audits… You are deliberately attempting not to comply with the court's orders,” the bench said. The three directors ~ Anil Kumar Sharma (photo), Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar ~ will remain in police custody till they hand over all the documents, it said. The apex court's order came on a batch of petitions filed by home buyers who are seeking possession of around 42,000 flats. “What is this happening? Why this hide and seek and blatant violation of the orders of this court?” the bench told the counsel appearing for the group. The apex court observed that account books of the group were finalised by their internal and statutory auditors only till 2015 and there were apparently no records of account books from then on till now. The two auditors ~ Ravi Bhatia and Pawan Kumar Aggarwal ~ appointed by the court to conduct forensic audit of the Amrapali Group, said they have not yet received all the documents. The bench termed it as “gross violation” of the court's order. The bench noted that as per the two auditors, documents of only two out of 46 firms ~ Amrapali Zodiac and Amrapali Princely Estates ~ were handed over to them despite the order to provide all documents. Directing the Delhi police to seize all the documents of the Amrapali group, the apex court asked it to hand them over to forensic auditors, saying not a single document of these companies should remain in the custody of the group. The court also directed that other directors of the firm shall surrender their passport to the police and not leave the country. The court had, in its hearing last month, asked for a list of debt-free assets of the company's directors. It had also ordered a forensic audit of the real estate firm and its promoters to gauge the extent of financial wrongdoing. Anil Kumar Sharma, the group’s chairman and managing director, had come under court scrutiny after he declared a wealth of Rs 67 crore against Rs 847 crore in his affidavit filed during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when he had unsuccessfully contested as a Janata Dal (United) candidate from Bihar's Jehanabad constituency. The court had earlier allowed National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd to float tenders for selecting a builder to complete the stalled projects of the Amrapali Group and asked it to prepare a detailed project report for pending projects within 60 days. The court fixed 24 October for the next hearing. Gujarat exodus on; migrants demand probe STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE If the Congress President is against the violence in Gujarat, he needs to take action against its own members who incited violence against the migrants in Gujarat. Tweeting is not the solution, taking action is! But will he act? AHMEDABAD, 9 OCTOBER VIJAY RUPANI GUJARAT CHIEF MINISTER Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Thakore, who spearheaded the initial protest against the rape, announced that he would start a ‘Sadbhavna’ fast to reassure Hindi-speaking people that people of Gujarat have no grudge against them. Many Hindi-speaking people today marched to the District Collector’s office in protest against the threats towards them. In a memorandum, the Mazoor Adhikar Manch demanded an impartial judicial or CBI investigation into the ‘conspiracy’ against the migrants. Manch general secretary Ramesh Shrivastava told The Statesman that Gujarat’s factory owners employ migrants because they can be easily ex- ploited with 12-hour shifts for low payments. Such practices are not tolerated by local youths and thus they remain jobless, he said, explaining the ‘economics’ behind the anger against the migrant workers. He said the exodus is still continuing and estimated that at least one lakh workers and their families have left by Tuesday afternoon. On the other hand, Alpesh Thakore claimed that many people are leaving for Bihar to celebrate Chhat Puja, an event still 36 days away. Reports have also trickled in that policemen have visited some localities of migrant labourers and asked them to leave for their own safety. We may not be able to protect you in case of any attacks, police reportedly told migrants near some construction sites in posh western Ahmedabad. Already reeling under several infrastructural and financial woes, Bhilai Steel Plant today suffered a major blow when a devastating fire broke out at a gas pipeline in a coke oven battery, killing 9 persons and injuring 14 others this morning, sources said. The blaze engulfed the entire coke oven battery complex No. 11 after what was described as an explosion in a gas pipeline during a regular maintenance exercise. A similar mishap had also claimed the lives of six people while 30 others were seriously injured in a major blast in a furnace in June 2014. Claiming that the situation is under control now, SNS & AGENCIES MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, 9 OCTOBER accused him of sexual misconduct on micro-blogging site Twitter in the wake of the ‘MeToo’ campaign in India. Swaraj evaded the media when a woman journalist asked her on the sidelines of a function organised by her ministry whether she would order a probe into the allegations against Akbar. Sources, meanwhile, said that since the accusations against Akbar, who is currently in Nigeria, were personal in nature and date back to before he became a minister, either he in his personal capacity or the BJP leadership should be asked to respond. As the debate around what constitutes sexual harassment and concerns over due process intensified across newsrooms, drawing rooms and social media platforms, several senior journalists joined the list of those “named and shamed” by women. Expressing its gratitude and solidarity towards women journalists for their courage, the Editors Guild said in a statement that it is committed to ensuring that the legal rights the victims and the accused are not violated. “The Guild extends its total support to all women journalists, who suffered a disadvantage in their careers, physical or mental trauma, as a result of any sex- ual predation,” it said. Perhaps the most harrowing experience to be shared was by writer-producer Vinta Nanda, who accused the “most Sanskaari person”, as actor Alok Nath is known, of raping her more than once 19 years ago. The Cine and TV Artists Association Tuesday said it would send Nath a show-cause notice. Nanda, best known for the TV show Tara, gave a detailed account of the alleged assaults in a lengthy Facebook post Monday night, the latest expose in the #MeToo movement sweeping India which started last fortnight with Tanushree Dutta alleging that she was harassed by veteran actor Nana Patekar during a film shoot in 2008. Nanda did not name Nath but referred to her attacker as “the most Sanskaari (cultured) person”, a sobriquet att- STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHENNAI, 9 OCTOBER High drama prevailed in Chennai on Tuesday with the morning arrest of senior journalist R R Gopal, popularly known as Nakkheeran Gopal, editor of Tamil weekly Nakkheeranand his release in the evening after the rejection by a lower court of a police demand to take him on remand. Gopal was arrested by the city police at Chennai airport on charges of publishing defamatory content against Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit. The editor was produced before the XIII Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in Haley quits as US envoy to UN WASHINGTON, 9 OCTOBER Indian-American US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley resigned Tuesday, becoming the latest casualty in the dysfunctional Trump administration just weeks ahead of the crucial mid-term elections. President Donald Trump, who met Haley in the Oval Office Tuesday, said that she had done a “fantastic job” and would leave at the end of the year. “She told me probably six months ago,” Trump told reporters, “‘I want to take a little time off.’” Haley, considered as a moderate Republican alternative to Trump, said that she is not going to run for president in 2020 and will camPTI paign for Trump. ached with the actor courtesy his on-screen image of playing the goody-goody father, uncle and grandfather. She alleged that Nath sexually assaulted her on more than one occasion after he was fired from the 1993 show for misbehaving with its lead actor, Navneet Nishan. Confirming that she was indeed talking about him, Nanda told PTI later in the day, “It has been the nucleus of my every situation. I lost my confidence as a writer and as a human being. It changed me fundamentally.” Reacting to the allegations, Nath told ABP News, “Neither I am denying this nor do I agree with it. It (rape) must have happened, but someone else would have done it. Well, I do not want to talk much about it as for the matter if it has come out, it will be stretched.” CMYK Vijay Mairal, public relation officer of Bhilai Steel Plant, said fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the blaze while 14 grievously injured people were rushed to the BSP hospital’s burn unit. Meanwhile, the district administration and police rushed to the spot to take control of the situation. Police faced a tough job of controlling impatient rel- atives of the deceased and those injured in the incident. Chief minister Dr. Raman Singh expressed his deep condolences over the tragedy, adding that adequate measures need to be taken to avoid loss of lives in industrial mishaps. “In an unfortunate incident at around 10.30 a.m, today in SAIL Bhilai Steel Plant, there was a fire in gas pipeline of Coke Oven Bat- Nakkheeran Gopal arrested, released Alok Nath, MJ Akbar singed in #MeToo fire The #MeToo fire raged on Tuesday, charring carefully built up reputations as more women narrated their experiences in the wide spectrum of sexual misconduct with Union minister M J Akbar and character actor Alok Nath (photo) amongst those named for their alleged actions. While external affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj refused to answer a question on the allegations against her junior minister, a journalist-turnedpolitician, the ripples of the movement to call out those who had allegedly sexually harassed women were felt across the media and entertainment industry. Akbar has come under the media spotlight after many of his former women colleagues P11 RAIPUR, 9 OCTOBER Min. 38% The exodus of Hindi-speaking migrant labourers from Gujarat following threats by local jobless youths took a new twist on Tuesday with different people making disparate claims about the situation. While deputy chief minister Nitin Patel demanded that the Congress must take action against Thakore Sena leader AlpeshThakore for bringing disrepute to Gujarat, the Congress MLA from Radhanpur denied that he has ever asked anyone to attack the migrants as retaliation for the rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district last month. On the other hand, Hindispeaking migrants continued to flee Gujarat in packed buses and trains for destinations in P10 KYRGIOS LETTING HIMSELF DOWN BY PLAYING UP STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Max.92% TEMPERATURE SKRIPALS POISONING SUSPECT ‘DECORATED BY PUTIN’ MODI BLOWS 2019 POLL BUGLE MISSING SCRIBE: TURKEY TO COMB SAUDI CONSULATE Allikulam campus, where the police’s remand request was rejected. In the meantime, journalist forums of the state and several others from outside demanded his immediate release while MDMK leader Vaiko was arrested when he protested in front of Chindadripet police station where Gopal had been brought. Gopal was arrested at the airport when he was about to leave to Pune; the episode was like a scene from a movie, with two deputy commissioners and eight police inspectors forcibly bundled him into a vehicle and whisked him away. According to sources the action was taken based on an article published in the issue dated April 20-22, 2018 of Nakkheeran. The story, according to police, linked the office of the Governor with lecturer Nirmala Devi who was arrested recently for luring college girls for favours in Virudhunagar. Gopal was arrested on charges of sedition, inciting violence and spreading misinformation. tery Complex No 11 during a scheduled maintenance job. Some persons working at the site sustained burn injury. Injured persons were immediately rushed to the BSP hospital for medical care and aid. Meanwhile, the fire has been controlled. So far, 9 persons have lost their lives and 14 are undergoing medical treatment. All resources have been mobilised to provide adequate care to the injured,” a statement by the SAIL, the Maharatna company which runs BSP said. , Bhilai Steel Plant which is often considered as the crown of the Steel Authority of India’s giant steel units, is trying to ascertain the identity of the deceased even as top officials rushed to Bhilai this evening. (Photo from Twitter) China to sell military drones to Pak NEW DELHI, 9 OCTOBER On the heels of India signing the S-400 missile defence system agreement with Russia, China has decided to sell 48 high-end military drones to its ally Pakistan in what is said to be the largest arms deal of its kind, Chinese media reported. The Wing Loong II, a high-end reconnaissance, strike and multi-role endurance unmanned aircraft system, is a highly sophisticated multi-role endurance unmanned airSNS craft. Details on Page 9
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