SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 14 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 THE OLDEST DURGA PUJA OF BISHNUPUR IS AS OLD AS THE CAPITAL TOWN DO YOU WANT TO HAVE A SUPERFOOD THAT’S NOT ONLY GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTH? LOOK NO FURTHER THAN P1 TO THE SPLENDID SEAWEED WEATHER Clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 33 and 16 degrees Celsius respectively. Max. 88% TEMPERATURE Max: 31.2°C (-2) SUN RISES 06:22 hrs MOON RISES 11:59 hrs Sitharaman lying over Akbar returns today, Rafale deal: Rahul BJP mulls options STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY BENGALURU, 13 OCTOBER Min. 32% Min: 16.6°C (-3) SUN SETS 17:53 hrs MOON SETS 21:54 hrs THUMBNAILS Annapurna Devi dead: Annapurna Devi, doyenne of classical Hindustani music, died at at Breach Candy hospital in Mumbai early Saturday. She was 92. She was suffering from age related issues for the past few years, a spokesperson of Annapurna Devi Foundation, Mumbai said. She was declared dead at 3.51 am, hospital officials said. She was a recipient of the Padma Bhushan award. 'Ma', as she was popularly addressed, was born in Madhya Pradesh's Maihar town to Ustad 'Baba' AllaudP4 din Khan and Madina Begum. Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, said today that defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman was lying when she claimed that the Modi government had nothing to do with who Dassault, the manufacturer of Rafale combat aircraft, picked as its offset partner. The Congress leader who was in the IT capital to interact with a section of former employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, told newsmen on the sidelines of the meeting that the ex-President of France, N Hollande, had clearly said that Mr Narendra Modi and the government of India wanted the offset contract to be given to Anil Ambani's company. Now documents from Dassault were also showing how the deal was actually worked out. Responding to queries he said that corruption had taken place in the Rafale deal and that Rs 30,000 crore business had been given to Anil Ambani's firm even as the HAL, with over 70 years of experience in making aircraft including MiGs, Jaguar and the Sukhois, had been left high and dry. In this connection, 13 dead in Titli-related landslide in Odisha STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE PARALAKHEMUNDI , 13 OCTOBER Thirteen people who had climbed up a hill to save themselves from the cyclonic storm on Wednesday were killed in a landslide while three others were injured , according to delayed reports reaching here. Shockingly, the district administration and the state government had no information about the tragedy till date even as it persisted with its claim of “ zero casualty”. A few media persons managed to trek eight km uphill to reach the spot which is inaccessible after getting information of the deaths from a villager of the area who had managed to reach a village in bordering Andhra Pradesh. The heart wrenching scenes were staring at the face of the media persons as bodies were strewn – decomposed as gushing waters had swept them to a distance. The rocks had crushed them to death. Nobody had forewarned us of the cyclonic storm Titli. The wind and heavy downpour blew our houses away and many of us climbed up the hill to save ourselves, said the wailing women folk. They had taken shelter under a cave like structure when the killer landslide due to heavy rains took place and swept 16 of them. The Nagabali river cut them off from reaching other safer areas. They belonged to Gangabada panchayat under Raigad block of Gajapati district. The villagers of the panchayat depend on bordering area of Andhra Pradesh – less than 20 km away for their needs. “ We have heard of the deaths, but cannot confirm till our team which left the district headquarter reaches the place and gives us a report” said a district officer here. SEE ALSO PAGE 4 he charged that the defence minister's quick visit to France this week was to cover up the illegalities in the Rafale deal. The purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft by the Indian government has become controversial following claims that industrialist, Anil Ambani's firm had been favoured by the Indian government as Dassault's offset partner. The Modi government has been accused of depriving the state-owned HAL of the much needed orders while favouring Ambani's company which did not have any experience in the business. Mr Gandhi chose to duck questions on the fate of the Rafale deal in PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 13 OCTOBER deliberations on various security challenges facing the country including along the borders with China and Pakistan. Officials said commanders decided to implement the reform measures with specific time-lines while agreeing to carry out “360 degrees evaluation” of various steps and, if required, going for coursecorrections. The Army headquarters had instituted four studies with an overall aim to enhance the operational and functional efficiency of the force, optimise budget expenditure, facilitate modernisation and address aspirations. Army spokesperson Col Aman Anand said the commanders' conference has concluded that “the studies will be the event the Congress party came to power. Answering a query in this connection, he said, “The main issue was that the contract was being given to Anil Ambani's firm which simply had no experience at the expense of HAL. We are committed to defending the public sector. But the question that remains is why a public sector unit like HAL is being destroyed? ” He interacted with some former employees of HAL even as a few of them raised concern over the plight of the organisation where they had worked for several years and which was known to have delivered on its promises. Questioning the government's decision to favour an unknown and inexperienced firm over HAL , the former workers were unanimous in expressing their fear that at this rate it would not take long in driving the once renowned public sector into its grave. Earlier, HAL had issued a circular cautioning its employees against participating in any political activity. The Congress was keen to involve the active workers of HAL in the meeting with Rahul Gandhi. BCCI CoA seeks explanation from CEO Johri over #MeToo allegation PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 13 OCTOBER A mid an increasing clamour for Union minister M J Akbar's resignation, the BJP is likely to take a clear stand on the allegations of sexual harassment against him once he explains his position upon his scheduled return to India on Sunday. The junior foreign minister, who has been on an official trip abroad, has so far not responded to the charges.While the Bharatiya Janata Party has maintained a studied silence on the matter so far, party sources have said the charges against him are serious, and his continuance as a minister is no longer guaranteed. A final call will be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they said. Multiple women in the last few days have offered their accounts of alleged sexual harassment by Akbar as the #MeToo movement swept social media. While the BJP has kept mum, some woman ministers have lent their support to the #MeToo move- ment without taking a stand on the charges against Akbar. Meanwhile, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Saturday sought an explanation from BCCI CEO Rahul Johri after an anonymous account of alleged sexual harassment by him was shared on social media. Author Harnidh Kaur posted the allegations by an unnamed victim, who claimed to be an ex-colleague of Johri at the Discovery Channel. Johri worked in various positions with the channel from 2001 to 2016 before taking over as the BCCI CEO. Mass rally against Sabarimala verdict PTI Shiv Sena threatens mass suicide T'PURAM, 13 OCTOBER Thousands of Lord Ayyappa devotees on Saturday took to the streets in Kochi against the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all age groups into Sabarimala temple, even as activist Trupti Desai announced plans to visit the hill shrine soon. The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, which decided to implement the ruling, held a meeting here to evaluate the preparations carried out for pilgrims arriving at the temple which will open for monthly poojas on October 17 evening. Though the government has not reacted to Desai's planned trip to the temple yet, it has evoked sharp reactions from Ayyappa devotees and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is campaigning against the entry of women into the hill shrine. Padalam royal family mem- Army clears mega reform plan Top commanders of the Army have approved a mega plan to usher in transformative reforms in the 1.3 million-strong force which will include restructuring its officer cadre, bringing down age of key commands, arresting rising revenue expenditure and “right-sizing” the force. The decision to go ahead with the long-pending reforms initiative and make the force operationally versatile was taken at the ongoing Army Commanders' Conference (ACC), an apex level biannual conclave which deliberates on key policy initiatives and operational matters, officials said. Army sources said the reform measures will be implemented in a “phased manner and with a sense of urgency”. The week-long conference, being chaired by Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, began on 9 October. Besides operational and internal administrative issues, it held wide-ranging P10 implemented progressively in a phased manner”. “The phases will comprise requisite refinements of the studies making them pragmatic for implementation. It has also been decided that all operational aspects of the studies will be validated through test bedding them in exercises,” he said. The first study on re-organisation and right-sizing of the Indian Army was focused on the operational structures to make the force efficient and future-ready by taking into account the operational situation on western and northern borders, the spokesperson said. The second study was on re-organisation of the Army headquarters with an aim to bring in “integration and preclude the redundancies”. Col Anand said the commanders' conference has comprehensively deliberated on all aspects of extant security dynamics, emerging security scenarios and enhancement of combat edge over potential adversaries. T’PURAM, 13 OCTOBER ber, Sasikumar Varma criticised Desai and urged the social activist to refrain from making any "provocative' move. He also asked the Left government to take steps to prevent any law and order situation. Desai, the 'Bhumata Brigade' leader, said in Mumbai that she along with a group of women would visit the temple "shortly" to offer prayers. "We will visit Sabarimala shortly. The ongoing agitation by devotees is the violation of The Kerala unit of the Shiv Sena on Saturday warned of mass suicide if young women dared to enter the Sabarimala Temple. "Our women activists will gather near the Pambariver on October 17 and 18 as part of a suicide group. If any young woman tries to enter Sabarimala, our activists will commit suicide," PeringammalaAji, a member of Sena, was quot- ed as saying by the news agency ANI Ever since the verdict, Kerala has witnessed massive protests across the state, with devotee including women demanding that the state government file a review petition against the verdict. Various Hindu organisations.Pandalam royal family,which is believed to be related to Lord Ayyappa,Congress and BJP have also taken to the streets against the verSNS dict. the Supreme Court verdict. I appeal the agitating devotees to welcome those women who come for worship at the hill shrine," she told Malayalam TV channels. "I want to ask the Congress and the BJP whether they are against the the fundamental rights of women. The parties should also explain their stand on this," Desai said. Holding placards bearing pictures of Lord Ayyappa and chanting his hymns, the protesters marched through the busy roads of Kochi, the state's commercial hub, after launching the stir from the famed Shiva temple there. The faithful, a large number of them women, urged both the Central and the state governments to intervene in the matter to protect the sanctity of the centuries-old rituals and traditions of the hill shrine. “had emails sent about a BUNCH of head honchos in media. survivor has asked to not put out all the names. Rahul Johari, your #timesup #metoo,” read the tweet by Kaur. Reacting to the post, the Supreme Court-appointed CoA sought an explanation from Johri without specifying any timeline for its course of action. “Though, the said allegations do not pertain to his employment with the BCCI, the Committee of Administrators of the BCCI has deemed it appropriate to seek an explanation from Mr Johri in relation to the allegations. He has been asked to submit his explanation within a week. Future course of action will be considered on receipt of his explanation,” the CoA said in a statement. Meanwhile, a group of journalists (photo) Saturday held a protest in Delhi expressing solidarity with their women colleagues who have come out and demanded proper implementation of the prevention of sexual harassment act to ensure dignity at workplace. The protesting journalists also sought immediate action against those facing allegations of sexual misconduct. They also demanded the removal of (SEE ALSO PAGE 5) Akbar. Judge's wife, son shot at by his security guard AGENCIES GURGAON, 13 OCTOBER The wife and teenaged son of a judge were allegedly shot at by his personal security guard in a crowded market area in sector-49 here Saturday leaving them critically injured, police said. DCP-East Sulochna Gajraj said the two have been rushed to a city hospital where they are in“critical” condition. Police said the incident occurred around 3.30 pm when Additional Sessions Judge Krishan Kant's wife RituandsonDhruv(18)hadgone for shopping in the Arcadia market. They were accompanied by the judge's guard, Mahipal.“Some locals informed the police about gunshots being fired outside the Arcadia market.When a police team reached the spot, they found Ritu and Dhruv lying in a pool of blood,” Gajraj said. ShesaidRituhassufferedbullet injury in her chest, while Dhruv in his head. “They were taken to the Medanta Hospital where they are undergoing treatment but their condition is critical,” the officer said. Gajraj said the police team could not find Mahipal there. “He was later arrested from Faridabad.” Gurgaon police PRO Subhash Bokan said Mahipal was being interrogated to ascertain why he opened fire. According to police officials, Mahipal, a Haryana police head constable, had been serving as the judge's personal security guard for the past two years. He had been demanding leave to go home for the past few days unsuccessfully.This might have depressed him.“The judge also used to scold him often,” one of the interrogating officers said. On Saturday also, the judge's wife scolded him inside the car when they were going to the market, the officer said. “He had a grudge against the judge.” In video footage of the incident recorded by a witness, Mahipal is seen with the gun in his hand.
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