THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 11 OCTOBER 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 P7 SENSEX 34, 760.89 +461.42 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 23 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P12 10, 482, 35 +159.05 Min. 50% Max: 34.6°C (+1) SUN RISES 06:20 hrs MOON RISES 09:15 hrs Min: 23.0°C (+2) SUN SETS 17:56 hrs MOON SETS 19:44 hrs THUMBNAILS Hurricane Michael, one of the worst storms, batters the beachfront homes in the Florida Panhandle community of Shell Point Beach, (P12) Florida, on Wednesday. AFP New Solicitor General: Senior advocate Tushar Mehta was on Wednesday appointed the Solicitor General of India, the second highest ranking law officer, almost a year after the post fell vacant, according to an official order. Mehta is at present the Additional Solicitor General. IT raids against Delhi minister: The Income Tax Department Wednesday raided multiple premises linked to Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot in connection with a tax evasion case and seized about Rs 35 lakh. The ruling AAP termed the raids as “political vendetta” while Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's apology to people for “constantly troubling” his government. P2 GOLD 30,740 +40 SILVER How did you decide on Rafale: SC to govt STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 OCTOBER 41000 -300.00 BRENT OIL (IN $) 84.98 +1.3 Five killed as New Farakka Express derails in UP T he Supreme Court today directed the Centre to provide in sealed covers the "details of the steps in the decision-making process" leading to the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France, even as the central government sought the dismissal of PILs on the matter calling them “political petitions”. The apex court made it clear that that the information it sought from the Union government would "not cover the issue of pricing or the question of technical suitability of the equipment for purposes of the requirement of the Indian Air Force”. Terming the claims made in the petitions as “grossly inadequate”, a Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, asserted that the court was not issuing notice on the two PILs, but wanted to satisfy itself about legitimacy of the decision-making process in the Rafale deal. “However, we would like to be apprised by the Government of India of the details of the steps in the decision making process leading to the award of the order for the defence equipment in Govt manipulated deal process: Congress NEW DELHI, 10 OCTOBER It's quite simple really... The PM decided. The processes to justify his decision are yet to be invented. But work has begun. Ps. In this connection, Raksha Mantri is leaving for France tonight The Congress on Wednesday accused the Modi government of “manipulating” the process of Rafale fighter jet agreement by “punishing” bureaucrats who raised objections to the deal and rewarding “obliging officials”. The opposition party also reiterated its demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe. Congress spokesperson S Jaipal Reddy said defence deals of this magnitude are first examined by departments, approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security and then sealed. He alleged that in 2016, the then joint secretary was overruled by the Director General (acquisition) for the go-ahead to the deal, after a new officer was brought in the post, in place of a person question i.e. Rafale JetFighters (36 in number),” ordered the Bench comprising also Justice S K Kaul and Justice K M Joseph. “We also make it clear that while requiring the Government of India to act in the above terms we have not taken into account any of the averments made in the writ petitions which appear to be inadequate and deficient. Our above order is only for the purpose of satisfying ourselves in the matter,” the Bench said. The top court asked BHUBANESWAR, 10 OCTOBER toward Vijayanagaram have also been cancelled. Very heavy rainfall in coastal Odisha districts over the next two days may cause floods, warned official sources. The Navy, Coast Guard and Army have been put in readiness, said officials here. At least three lakh people have been evacuated by late in the evening, officials said. Titlihas a striking similarity who had the reputation of being unbending. “To manage this process, bureaucrats were bulldozed, bullied, punished, promoted, the whole process of ratification was fabricated, stage-managed, and manipulated,” Reddy alleged, claiming that “obliging officers” were “rewarded” later. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, posting on Twitter, also raised questions on defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman's France visit, alleging that work has begun to justify the prime minister's decision to buy Rafale PTI fighter aircraft. the Centre to provide the information it sought by 29 October in three separate sealed covers with its Secretary General instead of the registry, fixing the hearing on the PILs, filed by lawyers Vineet Dhanda and M L Sharma, for 31 October. As the hearing started, the Bench reportedly asked Attorney General K K Venugopal, “Suppose we ask you (the Centre) to give the details of the decisionmaking process only to the judges, how will you react.” Venugopal said it STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE RAHUL GANDHI AICC PRESIDENT to Phailin, the cyclonic storm that had hit Gopalpur on 13 October 2013. This time the cyclone has come two days earlier and the intensity is only marginally less; Phailin had a wind speed of over 200kmph. The other aspects – landfall, districts to be affected (13), very heavy rainfall, floods and damage are predicted on the same lines. The Odisha government had earned inter- national accolades for its successful handling of Phailinand in evacuating lakhs of people. Today, chief minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed preparedness and asked the collectors of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Kendrapara and Jagtsinghpur districts to evacuate people in the low-laying areas in the coastal belt. Chief secretary A P Padhi said the district administrations of Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara have already started evacuating people. Padhi said immediate evacuation was being launched in view of the India Meteorological Department forecast of a tidal surge of about 1 m during landfall of the cyclone. He said National Disaster Response Force and Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force personnel have been positioned in vulnerable districts. cannot be shown to anyone in the interest of national security and other issues involved in the defence procurement process. The Bench also asked, “What if we ask you to give details without technical details of aircraft?”The AG claimed that the petitions have not raised any public interests concerning the poor and rather they are “political interest petitions” and that the petitioners have selectively quoted the questions answered in Parliament. TURN TO PAGE 5 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 OCTOBER M J Akbar. AFP FILE PHOTO about the decisions of the Union Cabinet this afternoon, refused to answer any question relating to Akbar's alleged sexual misconduct as well as the #MeToo campaign. "Today the issue is Cabinet decisions, please concentrate on that," Prasad told reporters when asked about allegations against Akbar. "The issue is Cabinet decisions," Prasad repeated when reporters pressed for an answer on the matter. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had yesterday not answered reporters' persistent queries about serious allegations against her junior minister. The Congress today asserted that Akbar must either offer a "satisfactory explanation" on the allegations or resign immediately. The party has also demanded an inquiry into the charges against him. Congress spokesman S Jaipal Reddy told a press conference that "I think Mr M J Akbar must either offer a satisfactory explanation or resign forthwith. How can he be in the ministry with serious allegations being levelled against him by responsible journalists who worked with him. Let there be an inquiry into it. We demand an inquiry into M J Akbar's conduct.” Reddy also questioned Swaraj's silence on the issue, accusing her of "evading responsibility" over the trauma suffered by Akbar's junior women colleagues over a long period. “It is an extremely serious matter and the minister concerned needs to speak up. Silence cannot be a way out. This matter should be investigated. We would like to hear from both the minister in question and the Prime Minister on this issue,” another Congress spokesman Manish Tewari had told reporters yesterday. Like the government, however, the ruling BJP has also maintained a silence on the allegations engulfing Akbar. Amid the snowballing outrage on the matter, it is being perceived in various quarters that Akbar's position in STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE LUCKNOW, 10 OCTOBER At least five persons were killed and several others injured when the engine and eight bogies of 14003 Malda Town-Delhi New Farakka Express derailed near Harchandpur railway station in Rae Bareli onWednesday. The accident took place at around 6.05 a.m. when the ill-fated train was approaching Harchandpur railway station on its journey towards Delhi. The exact cause of the accident is not officially known; an inquiry has been instituted by the railways ministry. Railways minister Piyush Goyal has ordered that the inquiry will be conducted by the commissioner, railway safety, northern circle. The accident occurred when most of the passengers were asleep but were The derailment is the second major rail accident this year, which has so far registered the best safety figures in the past five years, according to official data. jolted from their slumber when the engine and eight bogeys derailed. While the engine and three general compartments overturned, five sleeper coaches derailed. Over three dozen people are reported to have been injured.They have been admitted to the Rae Bareli district hospital. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and railways minister Piyush Goyal condoled the loss of lives in the mishap. The railways minister SC orders sealing of nine properties of Amrapali Group PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 10 OCTOBER The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the sealing of nine properties of embattled real estate company Amrapali after its three directors, who are in police custody, said that the documents related to the group's 46 firms were stored there. The three directors moved an application before a bench comprising Justices U U Lalit and D Y Chandrachud stating that they were willing to hand over all the documents but the police was unaware about which one needed to be seized. The court's order came a day after three directors of the group ~ Anil Kumar Sharma, Shiv Pria and Ajay Kumar ~were ordered to be taken into police custody and the firm #MeToo: Cong seeks Akbar's resignation Amid growing allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault against Union minister of state for external affairs, M J Akbar, the Narendra Modi government today continued to keep mum on these serious charges ~ levelled so far by at least seven women journalists against Akbar relating to his stint as a newspaper editor ~ even as the principal Opposition Congress sought a probe into the allegations and Akbar's resignation. As the #MeToo campaign intensifies in India, a number of women journalists have come out and spoken up about their ordeals, accusing Akbar of sexually harassing or even assaulting them when he worked as their boss and editor. Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who briefed reporters P15 P13 ` vs $ 74.21 Titli: Odisha begins evacuating people Coastal Odisha districts, particularly Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur were put on red alert and evacuation of people from low-lying areas initiated as cyclonic storm Titli, formed over the Bay of Bengal, intensified into a very severe cyclone and approached the Gopalpur-Kalingapatnam coast. The landfall at Gopalpur will take place around 5.30 a.m. tomorrow. Red colour messages were sent out by the IMD with the forecast stating that the wind speed will touch 145 to 165 kmph. Tidal waves are likely to rise to one metre and inundate low-lying areas. Flights from Bhubaneswar have been cancelled. Train services on the southern section PV SINDHU WELCOMES #METOO MOVEMENT Court directs govt to provide details of decision-making process Max. 93% TEMPERATURE NIFTY CHINA LAUNCHES ANTI-HALAL CRACKDOWN IVANKA WOULD BE DYNAMITE AS UN ENVOY: TRUMP HC RELIEF FOR TMC ON PUJA PANDAL GRANTS the Union ministry has become "untenable". Given the #MeToo movement's global spread and resonance, Akbar's role as India's junior foreign minister might turn out to be a liability for New Delhi abroad. Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi has said the allegations of sexual harassment against anybody should be taken seriously and that action should be taken in every such allegation. “Men who are in positions of power often do this. And it applies to the media as well as to politics or senior personnel in companies,” Gandhi reportedly said. “Women are scared to speak out because they think people would make fun of them and doubt their character but now when they are speaking out we should take action in each and every allegation,” she added. was castigated for playing “hide and seek” with the court by not complying with its orders to hand over all the documents to the forensic auditors. The directors told the bench that documents related to Amrapali's 46 group companies were kept in seven locations at Noida and Greater Noida and two premises ~ Rajgir and Buxar districts ~ in Bihar. “We direct the concerned police, Superintendent of Police of Noida and Greater Noida to seal all the seven premises in the presence of these directors,” the bench said. The bench also made it clear that only the courtappointed forensic auditors ~ Ravi Bhatia and Pawan Kumar Aggarwal ~ and persons authorised by them would enter these premises after they were sealed. The three directors also asked the bench that they be kept at police station and not in the lock up. “If the entire exercise of sealing of these seven premises at Noida and Greater Noida is completed today, the presence of these three applicants will not be insisted upon by police,” the bench said. “If the exercise is not completed, the present status will continue,” it said and asked Delhi Police to keep these three directors at the police station but not in the lock up. Govt orders probe into segregation of students AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 10 OCTOBER The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) today suspended an in-charge of its school over “segregation” of HinduandMuslimsstudentsinto different sections as the Delhi governmentorderedaprobeand the HRD ministry sought a report in the matter. A section of teachers employed by the NDMC had alleged that a primary school in Wazirabad was segregating Hindu and Muslim students in different sections. The BJP-led NDMC in its initial probe found the allegations to be true. It ordered suspension of the school in-charge while denouncing the move as "unimaginable" and “unpardonable”. North Delhi Mayor Adesh Gupta said the school incharge was “found to be guilty in preliminary investigation”. The Delhi Commission for ProtectionofChildRightsissued a notice to the NDMC-run school, questioning the segregation of students on the basis of their religion. The Commission said such a segregation could have an adverse impact on students' holistic learning and developmentaswellasthecountry'ssocial fabric. Expressing serious concern, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said: “The matterisveryserious.Itmaydamage the country's social fabric. This is a plot against the Constitution. I have asked the Education Department director to enquire into the matter and submit the report by Friday.” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “We haven't received any complaint yet but have read about it in media reports.Ihaveaskedforareport” . has sanctioned an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased, Rs. 1 lakh to the seriously injured persons and Rs. 50,000 to those with minor injuries. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the district police and administrative officials to speed up relief and rehabilitation measures at the accident site. The chief minister has sanctioned Rs. 2 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 each to the injured persons. Following the early morning mishap , which has hampered the movement of trains on one of the busiest rail routes in Uttar Pradesh five trains have either been fully or partially cancelled by Northern Railway. The routes of nine other trains have been diverted. Khaleda’s son gets life term for Hasina kill bid; death for 19 DHAKA, 10 OCTOBER Opposition BNP chief KhaledaZia'sfugitivesonand political heirTarique Rahman was sentenced to life and 19 others,includingaformerhomeminister,weregivendeath penalty by a Bangladesh courtWednesdayfortheirrole in a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2004. An attack on an Awami LeaguerallyonAugust21,2004 targeted Hasina, the then opposition leader, when she was about to finish a speech in front of thousands of supporters. While Hasina survived the attack with a partial hearing loss, her party's women front chief and former president Zillur Rahman's wife Ivy Rahman was killed in the blasts.SpecialcourtJudgeShahed Nuruddin awarded the death penalty to 19 people includingformerjuniorhome minister Lutfuzzaman Babar, ex-deputy education minister Abdus Salam Pintu and several former army intelligence officers. Rahman and 18 others were sentenced to life. Eleven others were jailed for differentterms.“They(whoaresentenced to death) will be hanged by neck until they are dead,” Justice Nuruddin said. Thirty-one of the 49 convicts were present in the court while others including 51-year-old Rahman, now the acting BNP chairman as his mother is serving a fiveyear imprisonment in a graft case, are on the run abroad to evade justice. Rahman was tried in absentiawiththecourtdeclaring him a “fugitive”. He now lives in London where he is believed to have sought asylumthoughtheBritishauthorities have declined to reveal his immigration status. PTI DETAILS ON PAGE 13
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