MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 OCTOBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘OPP ALLIANCE MUST NOT BE AIMED AT CONTAINING CONG’ GUV FAVOURS FRESH ASSEMBLY POLLS IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR P10 P5 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 31 and 17 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 81% TEMPERATURE Max: 31.0°C (-1) SUN RISES 06:27 hrs MOON RISES 16:40 hrs Min: 17.0°C (-1) SUN SETS 17:45 hrs MOON SETS 04:52 hrs THUMBNAILS Feud in probe agency’s top ranks escalates; CBI special director accused of taking bribe from accused in a Moin Qureshi-linked case PRESS TRUST OF INDIA I n an unprecedented step, the CBI has booked its Special Director Rakesh Asthana (photo) for allegedly accepting bribes to give relief to a businessman being probed by him in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, officials said. The CBI action comes two months after Asthana, the second-in-command in the CBI, wrote to the Cabinet Secretary alleging that the businessman had paid CBI director Alok Verma Rs 2 crore to get relief in the case. The matter was referred to the Central Vigilance Commission which is looking into the allegations. As the feud in its top echelons escalated, the agency booked Asthana under charges of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct in a firstof-its-kind case. Besides Asthana, the agency has booked Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, and Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad, the purported middlemen, and other unknown officials. They have been booked under Section 7 (public servant taking illegal gratification) and Section 13 (2) read with Section 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct) of Prevention of Corruption Act. They have also been slapped with the amended Section 7-A of the PCA (taking undue advantage to influence public servant by corrupt or illegal means or by exercise of per- sonal influence). The FIR was registered by the Anti-corruption unit of the CBI based on claims made in the complaint given by Sathish Babu Sana, a Hyderabad-based businessman, who had narrated his meetings with various middlemen in New Delhi as well as Dubai before a magistrate. He has alleged that an investment banker, Manoj Prasad, had assured him that he would get relief from CBI summons if he agrees to pay Rs 5 crore as bribe, the complaint, now part of the FIR, alleged. Sana has also alleged that he was told by Prasad A Honduran migrant holds a baby as he takes part in a caravan heading to the USA, on the road linking Ciudad Hidalgo and Tapachula, AFP Chiapas state, Mexico on Sunday. This CNA handout picture taken on Sunday shows a derailed train in Yian, eastern Taiwan. At least 22 people have died AFP after a train derailed and flipped over in Taiwan, authorities said. Six women prevented Amritsar tragedy: Cop injured in clash from reaching with protesters; rail services resume Sabarimala temple PRESS TRUST OF INDIA AMRITSAR, 21 OCTOBER Six women were prevented from the entering the Sabarimala temple Sunday by a large number of devotees of Lord Ayyappa as the stand-off over entry of women of menstrual age into the hill shrine continued for the fifth day. Amid high drama, the devotees, up in arms against implementation of the Supreme Court order lifting ban on entry of women in 10-50 age group, chanting Ayyappa mantras blocked the six, all Telugu-speaking women, from reaching the famed shrine. Sunday is the fifth day since the temple gates were opened for the monthly puja after the apex court last month lifted the centuries-old ban. A heavy flow of pilgrims was witnessed at the temple despite intermittent downpour lashing the hills and Pamba. Though attempts had been made by some young women, including an activist, to enter the temple of the 'Naishtik Brahmachari', the eternally celibate deity, since Wednesday, the devotees backed by priests have stood their ground, saying they would not allow the tradition to be breached. and two tranche of 25,000 Dirham and 3,000 Dirhan on 14 October 2018. The agency claims it has details of file movements and periodic relief given to Sana on the payment of each installment of bribe which show a pattern of favours to the businessman. The CBI claims that it has corroborated the alleged payment with phone intercepts and WhatsApp messages recovered from the phone of middleman Manoj. The complaint filed by Sana mentioned that one of the middlemen made him listen to a voice and later told him that it was Asthana. However, there was no men- tion of a direct meeting between Sana and Asthana in the statement. Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Asthana is heading the Special Investigating Team handling crucial cases such as AgustaWestland chopper scam and loan fraud by business tycoon Vijay Mallya. The team is also probing the Moin Qureshi case. Asthana in an exhaustive letter to the Cabinet Secretary on 24 August had given a list of 10 instances of alleged corruption by Verma in which it was alleged that Sana paid the CBI chief Rs 2 crore to get a clean chit in the case, government sources said. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 21 OCTOBER Petrol, CNG pumps in Delhi to remain shut today: All 400-odd petrol pumps along with linked CNG dispensing units in the national capital will remain shut on Monday in protest against Delhi government's refusal to reduce VAT on fuels, the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA) said in a statement. P2 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PAMBA (KER), 21 OCTOBER that his brother Somesh manages Asthana’s investments in London and was in touch with two other senior officers of various agencies. Sana had recorded a statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code before a magistrate on 4 and 16 October. Prasad was arrested by the agency on 16 October, when he was returning from Dubai to allegedly collect an installment of the bribe. According to the CBI, it has detected five alleged payments to middlemen by Sana ~ Rs 1 crore on 10 December 2017, Rs 1.95 crore on 13 December 2017, Rs 25 lakh on 10 October 2018 Blast at J&K encounter site kills seven civilians DEATH TRAIL Tiwari last rites: The last rites of veteran Congress leader Narayan Dutt Tiwari were performed with full state honours Sunday at the Chitrashila Ghat in Uttarakhand's Nainital district. His son, Rohit Shekhar Tiwari, lit the funeral pyre at the Chitrashila Ghat on the banks of Gola river in Haldwani. P6 P15 P12 CBI books Asthana on bribery charges NEW DELHI, 21 OCTOBER Min. 37% SAINA LOSES DENMARK OPEN FINAL US WILL PULL OUT OF N-DEAL WITH RUSSIA: TRUMP By all available indications, not a single woman in the age group of 10 and 50 has so far reached the temple which will close Monday at the end of the monthly puja. According to police sources here, 12 women in the 10-50 age group have so far been prevented from offering worship at the temple, since it opened for the monthly pooja. BJP demanded a special assembly session to seek the Centre's intervention, while the Congress sought an ordinance by the NDA government. The Pandalam royal family, the traditional custodian of the Sabarimala temple, alleged the CPI(M)led LDF government was trying to destroy sanctity of the shrine of the “Naishtik Brahmachari” by taking women in the menstrual age group there. On Sunday, a 47-year old woman reached up to the 'Nadappandhal' close to the sanctum sanctorum, but was prevented by the devotees chanting “Swamiye Saranam Ayyapa” while five others were stopped enroute to the hills. The woman, who complained of uneasiness, was brought to a hospital here by the police. Earlier, the protesters prevented two women, in their 40s, at the foothills itself. A police commando and a photojournalist were injured Sunday when protesters pelted stones and clashed with security personnel who removed them from a rail track where 59 Dussehra revellers were mowed down by a train, officials said, adding traffic was restored on the route. The agitated protesters blocking the track were removed and train services resumed this afternoon, 40 hours after the horrific accident, a railway spokesperson said. The first goods train started from Manawala to Amritsar at 1416 hours, Northern Railways spokesperson Deepak Kumar said, adding this is being followed by mail/ express trains. The railways got the clearance from local authorities at 12:30 p.m. to restore services, the railway spokesperson said. Earlier in the day, the Punjab Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel walk while they clear the railway tracks to resume rail trafAFP fic, in Amritsar on Sunday. Police cleared the track off the protesters who were staging a sit-in. They resorted to stone-pelting and clashed with security personnel after being removed, officials said. A punjab police commando and a photojournalist were injured during the clash, they said. Meanwhile, chief minister Amarinder Singh directed the Amritsar administration to prepare detailed socio-economic profiles of victims. The senior Congress leader announced that a proper system would be worked out to ensure that survivors were rehabilitated by the state at the earliest. He also directed that ration, clothing, medicines etc be provided to the families of the victims as most were from the economically weaker sections of the society. Singh reviewed the relief and rehabilitation work with the Crisis Management Group of ministers headed by state Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, and directed them to take immediate steps for early disbursement of the compensation. All steps should be taken for the effective rehabilitation of the survivors and families of the victims, he added. The Crisis Management Group was set up by the state government on Friday, immediately after the disaster struck. Seven civilians, three soldiers and five terrorists were killed onSunday during two separate encounters in Jammu and Kashmir. The civilians died when a live shell exploded at the site of one of the encounters, in Laroo area of Kulgam in South Kashmir following the killing of three terrorists by security forces. Among the civilians killed at Laroo was a 10-yearold boy. Two Army soldiers were injured in the encounter. About 40 stone-pelters were also injured in clashes with security forces following the killing of the terrorists. Reports said that the seven civilians died due to the explosion of a shell that was lying at the place of encounter. These civilians rushed to the encounter spot even before the security forces had scanned the area and cleared it of explosives. Five of these injured succumbed in the hospital where they were rushed for treatment. The house in which the terrorists were hiding was destroyed due to fire. The encounter began early in the morning when a joint team of Army, CRPF and J&K Police cordoned the area after receiving credible inputs about the presence of terrorists in the area. The identities of the terrorists killed were being ascertained. The incident comes two days after the killing of five terrorists, three of them Pakistanis, in the valley. The explosion at the site of the encounter in Laroo vilSNS lage of Kulgam district on Sunday. Clashes erupted as a large number of people gathered around the encounter spot and started pelting stones at the security forces. Police burst teargas shells to disperse the miscreants. Five of the dead civilians have been identified as Masroor Ahmad (10 years), Ubaid Laway, Irshad Ahmad, Tajamul Ahmad and Saqib Maqbool.The terrorists killed have been identified as Shahid-ulIslam, Yazil Makroo and Zubair Lone. A police spokesman said that ignoring the advice of the security forces not to go near the encounter spot till the flames were doused and explosives removed, the civilians rushed to the encounter site immediately after the security forces withdrew in the wake of the operation and some explosive substance went off. Chairman of the Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has called a shutdown tomorrow in the Valley to protest against the incident. Soon after the encounter, terrorists opened fire at a patrol party of the 55 Rashtriya Rifles near Malangpura in the Pulwama district of South Kashmir. This resulted in an exchange of fire. Further details were awaited. Separately, three soldiers died and two heavily armed Pakistani terrorists were killed in a separate encounter just near the Line of Control (LoC) at Sunderbani in the Rajouri district of Jammu. Army spokesman, Lt. Colonel Devender Anand, said that one soldier critically injured during the encounter with infiltrators has been airlifted to the military command hospital at Udhampur for treatment. He said that at about 1.45 pm the Indian Army patrol killed two terrorists near the LoC and thereafter troops cordoned off the area and search operation has been launched. Warlike stores, including two AK-47 rifles have been recovered. CPIM MLA MohammadYousuf Tarigami, who represents Kulgam in the state assembly, demanded an immediate end to the civilian killings in the Valley. PM vows bold decisions on India’s security PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 21 OCTOBER India never eyes anyone else’s territory but will hit back with “double the force” if its sovereignty is ever challenged, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday at an event to mark the 75th anniversary of proclamation of the Azad Hind government by Subhas Chandra Bose. He also said his government is working towards providing the armed fores with better technology and latest weapons even as efforts are underway to make the lives of soldiers easier by giving them better facilities. “We are heading towards building an army which was once envisioned by Netaji (Bose),” PM said. Modi said his government took decisions such as carrying out surgical strikes across the Line of Control and providing benefits of ‘one rank, one pension’ to ex-servicemen. The Prime Minister hoisted the National Flag at the historic Red Fort to mark the event. Donning the cap of the Indian National Army presented to him by one of the close aides of Bose, Modi said it has been the Indian tradition not to eye someone else’s territory, “but when our sovereignty is challenged, we will hit back with double the force”. The Prime Minister said India will continue to use its military might “only for self defence”. He also cautioned people against forces inside and outside India which are working against the country by tar- Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a gathering at a function to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the formaAFP tion of the Azad Hind Government, at Red Fort on Sunday. geting its independence, unity and constitution. “It is the duty of every Indian to fight and defeat such forces,” he said, adding that a feeling of nationalism and “Indianness” is must to counter such designs. Referring to the opposition faced by Bose when he decided to establish the Rani Jhansi Regiment, an all women unit of the INA, Modi said the regiment would complete 75 years of its establishment on Monday. He said the present government is trying to fulfil the dreams of Bose even as he recalled the decision to allow women in the Army to opt for permanent com mission from short service commission following a transparent procedure. The Prime Minister said the air force is set to have the first batch of women fighter pilots. “Today, India has Nirmala Sitharaman as its first woman defence minster,” he pointed out. He said arrears worth Rs 11,000 crore have been released for ex-servicemen under the 'one rank, one pension' (OROP) scheme. OROP, coupled by recommendations of the seventh pay commission, has given “double bonanza” to former servicemen, he said. Modi also said the work on the National War Memorial is in its last stages. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday questioned the delay and “indifference” shown by past governments in erecting a national memorial for police personnel who laid down their lives in the line of duty since Independence. Inaugurating a refurbished national police memorial and a museum here on the National Police Commemoration Day, Modi said previous governments at the Centre let dust gather on the files of this subject.
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