CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 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 SAUDI STORY EVOKES SCEPTICISM US WILL PULL OUT OF N-PACT WITH RUSSIA: TRUMP P10 P10 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 34°C and 23°C respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 35% Max: 34.3°C (+2) SUN SETS 17:06 hrs MOON RISES 15.53 hrs Min: 23.6°C (0) SUN RISES 05:37 hrs MOON SETS 03:14 hrs TEMPERATURE Full moon on 24 October THUMBNAILS Feud in probe agency’s top ranks flares up; CBI special director accused of taking bribe from accused in a Moin Qureshi-linked case PRESS TRUST OF INDIA 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. The action comes two months after Asthana, the number two officer 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 I 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. The agency also booked CBI Deputy Superintendent Devender Kumar, and Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad, the purported middlemen, and other unknown officials. 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 mid- dlemen in New Delhi and in Dubai in a statement made before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CRPC. 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, according to the complaint, now part of the FIR. Sana also stated that he was told by Prasad that his brother Somesh manages Asthana’s investments in London and was in touch with two other senior officers of various agencies. 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 and two 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, Chiapas state, Mexico. Thousands of migrants whose journey toward the USA has triggered a series of tirades from Donald Trump resumed their march Sunday after crossing a river into Mexico, overwhelming the Mexican govern(P10) ment’s attempts to stop them. AFP 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 the 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 the ban on entry of women in the 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 centuriesold 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. 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. Asthana, in a 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. Asthana also alleged thatVerma delayed his team's request to arrest Sana. A CBI spokesperson said late tonight that the contention that Verma tried to stop Sana's arrest is false and malicious. “The allegation has been made to deflect the charge of receipt of bribe money by CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana and the other public servant named in the FIR,” he said. The feud between the two top officers has raged for several months with Verma allegedly seeking to block Asthana's elevation as special director on the ground that the latter was being probed in some cases. The Central Vigilance Commission, however, brushed aside the objection, saying that the charges against Asthana were not substantial, a decision which was later upheld by the Supreme Court. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 21 OCTOBER This CNA handout picture taken on Sunday shows a derailed train in Yian, eastern Taiwan. At least 22 people have died after a train derailed and flipped over in Taiwan, authorities said. AFP Six women prevented from reaching Sabarimala temple SNS & AGENCIES PAMBA, 21 OCTOBER tranches of 25,000 and 3,000 Dirhams 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 Prasad’s phone. The complaint filed by Sana says that one of the middlemen made him listen to a voice and later told him that it was Asthana. But there was no mention of a direct meeting between Sana and Asthana in the statement. Blast at J&K encounter site kills seven civilians DEATH TRAIL India take lead in ODIs: Skipper Virat Kohli and deputy Rohit Sharma hit up centuries as India's domination over the West Indies continued with an eight-wicket win in the first One-day International in Guwahati on Sunday. Chasing a 323-run target, the home team cantered to the win with 7.5 overs to spare. Kohli pounded the Caribbean bowlers with 21 fours and two sixes to raise his 36th ODI century and now needs just 81 runs to join the ranks of cricketers who have amassed 10,000 runs in the format. (P12) P12 P5 CBI slaps bribery charges on Asthana NEW DELHI, 21 OCTOBER Max.91% LET'S GET BACK TO THE GAME’S BASICS: LANGER ‘OPP ALLIANCE MUST NOT BE AIMED AT CONTAINING CONG’ 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 puja. The 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 the sanctity of the shrine of the “Naishtik Brahmachari” by allowing 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 en route to the hills. The woman, who complained of uneasiness, was brought to a hospital here by the police. Earlier, the protesters stopped two women, in their 40s, in the foothills itself. Amritsar tragedy: Cop injured in clash with protesters; rail services resume PRESS TRUST OF INDIA AMRITSAR, 21 OCTOBER 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 on Friday. The agitated protesters blocking the track were removed and train services resumed this afternoon after getting clearance from local authorities with the movement of a goods train, 40 hours after the accident. The first passenger train Amritsar-Gorakhpur express started at 7 p.m, Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar said. On Friday evening, a gathering of more than 300 people were on the tracks to watch the burning of a Ravana effigy when the speeding train struck, leaving 59 dead and scores injured. Meanwhile, the Congress questioned the railways over the deci- Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel walk while they clear the railway tracks for resuming rail traffic, in Amritsar on Sunday. AFP sion not to initiate a probe into the Amritsar train accident. At a press conference, party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said while his party's first concern remained the rehabilitation and relief of those injured and those who had lost their loved ones, it was “cruel” of the railways to reject an inquiry into the incident. Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha had ruled out an inquiry into the incident on Saturday. “There was a curve. The driver couldn't have seen it. What should we order an inquiry about? Trains travel at speed only,” Sinha had said. In a Facebook post on Sunday, Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani iterated the Indian Railways' stand on the matter. “Today we called a spade a spade. If IR is not at fault why beat about the bush. If our staff have done no wrong why hang them. We have to come out of our shells if the organisation has to flourish...,” he said. Earlier in the day, the Punjab Police cleared the track off the protesters who were staging a sit-in. The protesters 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. More reports on Page 5 Seven civilians, three soldiers and five terrorists were killed on Sunday 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-year-old boy. Two Army soldiers were injured in the encounter. About 40 stonepelters 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. 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 The explosion at the site of the encounter in Laroo village of Kulgam district on Sunday. SNS Masroor Ahmad (10 years), Ubaid Laway, Irshad Ahmad, Tajamul Ahmad and Saqib Maqbool. The terrorists killed have been identified as Shahid-ul-Islam, 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 Laroo incident, terrorists opened fire at a patrol party of the 55 Rashtriya Rifles near Malangpura in the Pulwama district. This resulted in an exchange of fire. Separately, three soldiers died and two heavily armed Pakistani terrorists were killed in another encounter near the Line of Control (LoC) at Sunderbani in the Rajouri district of Jammu. Army spokesman Lt. Colonel Devender Anand said at about 1.45 p.m. an 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. CPI-M MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, who represents Kulgam in the state assembly, while expressing solidarity with the bereaved families, demanded an immediate end to the civilian killings in the Valley and a magisterial enquiry into today's "unfortunate and painful" incident. Reacting to the death of civilians, former chief minister and National Conference leader, Omar Abdullah, tweeted; "Terrible news coming out of Kulgam. May the deceased find place in Jannat. Alienating the people in the fight against militancy is a sure fire recipe for losing the fight. How long can we go on ignoring the ground realities & living in denial about how bad things are in Kashmir?" 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 the 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 target- Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a gathering at a function to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Azad Hind Government, at Red Fort on Sunday. AFP ing its independence, unity and constitution. “It is the duty of every Indian to fight and defeat such forces,” he said, adding that a CMYK feeling of nationalism and “Indianness” is a 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 commission 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. Police memorial Prime Minister Modi on Sunday also 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 had let dust gather on the files on this subject.
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