FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 02 NOVEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P4 SENSEX 34,431.97 -010.08 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 P5 NIFTY 10,380.45 -006.15 Min. 41% Max: 31.1°C (+1) SUN RISES 06:34 hrs MOON RISES 00:50 hrs Min: 16.0°C (0) SUN SETS 17:36 hrs MOON SETS 15:05 hrs ` vs $ 73.45 +50 PAISE THUMBNAILS Officials look at the flight data recorder, part of the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610's black box, after it was recovered from the Java Sea, durP12 ing search operations on Thursday. J&K BJP leader shot dead: A senior BJP leader and his brother were shot dead by militants in the communally-sensitive Kishtwar district Thursday night, prompting the Jammu and Kashmir administration to impose curfew and call out the Army as people staged angry protests and started manhandling senior police personnel, officials said. BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet were returning home from their shop when they were fired upon from close range at a dark, P10 narrow lane. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER I Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu address media persons outside the former's residence in the Capital on Thursday. SNS IT department and even the Supreme Court, which, he alleged, were being undermined by the Modi dispensation. Explaining his meeting with his Congress counterpart, Naidu said it was the "democratic coumpulsion" of all Opposition parties to close their ranks in a bid to take on the BJP collectively in the "interest of the nation". He underlined that Gandhi was the leader of the principal Opposition party. Naidu said all Opposition parties would meet on a common platform in order to work out common strategies and pro- grammes in the run-up to the 2019 general elections. To a reporters' question about the "face" of their anti-BJP alliance, Naidu maintained that the Opposition parties would first sit together on a common platform and then hammer out a common programme. “You are interested in candidates, we are interested in the nation,” he said. Dismissing such queries as "bid for sensationalism", Gandhi said these were "secondary matters". "We have agreed that the principle idea here is Five killed by ultras in Assam Incriminating material against Asthana: CBI KHERONIBARI (ASSAM), 1 NOVEMBER PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Three members of a family were among five people shot dead by suspected ULFA (Independent) gunmen while two others were injured at Kheroni in Assam's Tinsukia district tonight, police said. A group of assailants with sophisticated weapons came to this village near DholaSadiya bridge and called out five-six people from their house around 8 pm, they said. They then opened indiscriminate fire upon those people before fleeing under the cover of darkness. Police suspect the gunmen belonged to the ULFA (Independent) faction. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condemned the killings. “Strong action will be taken against the perpetrators of this dastardly violence," he PTI said. The Delhi High Court on Thursday extended till 14 November its order directing the CBI to maintain status quo on proceedings against special director Rakesh Asthana, allegedly involved in a bribery case even as the agency said that the complaint against him and others “clearly discloses the cognisable offences”. “The interim order to continue till the next date of hearing, that is, 14 November,” said Justice Najmi Waziri before whom the CBI opposed Asthana’s plea seeking quashing of the FIR, stating that there was incriminating material against the special director in the case, the investigation of which was at the nascent stage. In reply to the petitions by Asthana and deputy SP NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER Devender Kumar who was on Wednesday granted bail by a trial court, the CBI said it was “handicapped” in its probe against them as the case files and documents have been sent to the CVC for scrutiny following the Supreme Court's order directing the vigilance body to complete an inquiry against CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma by 12 November. Kumar, earlier the investigating officer in a case involving meat exporter Google staff walk out over women’s treatment PRESS TRUST OF INDIA SINGAPORE/NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER Hundreds of employees at Google offices around the world, including in India, Thursday staged an unprecedented series of walkouts in protest at the company's treatment of women and lenient treatment of top executives accused of sexual misconduct. The demonstrations, dubbed “GoogleWalkout,” follow an outcry over a New York Timesinvestigation that detailed years of sexual harassment allegations, multimillion-dollar severance packages for accused executives, and a lack of transparency over the cases. The employees are demanding several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the Internet giant, including a call to end forced arbitration, a move which would make it possible for victims to sue. GOLD 30,620.00 +010.00 Google staff stage a walkout at the company's UK headAFP quarters in London. Forced arbitration, a common contract clause for Silicon Valley employees, demands any disputes are dealt with internally rather than through other methods such as the courts. Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has told staff he supports their right to protest. “Yesterday, we let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for Thursday and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate,” the Indian-American top executive said. Demonstrations at the company's offices around the world began at 11:10 a.m. in Tokyo and took place at the same time in other time zones. A photo from the Singapore hub showed at least 100 staff protesting. When contacted a Google spokesperson confirmed to PTI that 150 employees participated in the walkout in India. The employees were from Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Mumbai offices. Overall, Google has about 2,000 people across four offices in India (Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Bangalore). A Google spokesman in Singapore said he could not provide details on how many people took part in the walkouts at those two offices, which each have more than 1,000 employees. In Europe, a small group of Google employees walked out at the company’s London headquarters. A larger protest was reported in Zurich, Switzerland. Moin Qureshi, was arrested on the allegations of forgery in recording the statement of businessman Sathish Babu Sana who had alleged to have paid bribe to get relief in the case. The CBI, Asthana, Kumar and the Centre opposed in the high court the plea of Additional Superintendent of Police S S Gurm to be heard in the matter. Gurm has been transferred from Delhi to Jabalpur in the wake of a feud between Verma and Asthana. The court was hearing separate pleas of Asthana and Kumar seeking quashing of CBI’s FIR against them in the bribery case. The proceedings also witnessed a controversy when there was a verbal spat between two advocates as to who will represent the Central Bureau of Investigation in the matter. to defeat the BJP and to defend the country's democracy and institutions. All other ideas will be discussed later. Everybody is going to work together," Gandhi said. He also said the questions relating to the "past" of the Congress-TDP relations was no longer relevant as "it is about the present and the future now". He listed unemployment, corruption, Rafale deal "scam", farmers' distress and the protection of the country's people, democracy, institutions and the Constitution as the key issues for the entire Opposition against the Modi regime. The Congress has already entered into an alliance with the TDP in the upcoming Assembly elections in Telagana. Earlier in the day, Naidu met NCP chief Sharad Pawar and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah here. Pawar reportedly said non-BJP parties will come out with a common minimum programme to take on the Modi dispensation, adding Naidu will take the initiative and rally Opposition parties in this regard. P16 SILVER 38,400.00 (NO CHANGE) Opp will together defeat BJP, defend India: Rahul n an unprecedented political development, TDP president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu met Congress president Rahul Gandhi at his residence here today to ramp up the Opposition's efforts to form a "grand alliance" against the ruling BJP-led NDA in the coming Lok Sabha elections. This is the first time that the TDP chief, known to be a fierce rival of the Congress, has called on his Congress counterpart in a bid to create a non-BJP front of all major Opposition parties in the country. After their meeting, both Gandhi and Naidu held an impromptu press briefing, telling reporters that all the Opposition parties will have to come together to "protect the country, its future, its institutions and democracy", which, they charged, have been facing severe threats from the Narendra Modi government. Naidu cited instances of the country's major institutions such as the RBI, CBI, ED, PEEVED AUSTRALIANS FORCE PEEVER INTO CALLING IT QUITS P13 Andhra CM meets Cong prez to discuss need to save nation, institutions & democracy Max. 94% TEMPERATURE CONFUSION OVER RECONVENING OF LANKAN PARLIAMENT CHIDAMBARAM’S ANTI-ARREST SHIELD EXTENDED DELHI POLLUTION DUE TO STUBBLE BURNING IN PUNJAB: KEJRIWAL BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 74.65 +0.39 SC extends Assam NRC deadline, okays use of more ID docs BJP setback as candidate quits BENGALURU,1 NOVEMBER The BJP was left redfaced two days before the Ramanagara Assembly bypoll after its candidate against Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy’s wife quit the contest on Thursday and went back to the Congress. Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha Kumaraswamy is expected to sail through following the withdrawal of BJP’s L Chandrash-ekhar from the candidat-ure for 3 November polls. Announcing his decision to return to the Congress, Chandrashe-khar accused BJP of “abandoning” him after giving him the ticket, reports PTI. “After welcoming me to the BJP by giving party flag, Yeddyurappa (state BJP chief) or any other leaders did not join me for campaigning. They neglected Ramanagara,” SNS he said. SEE PAGE 7 TURN TO PAGE 10 HOWZAT Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the fifth ODI cricket match between India and West Indies at the Greenfield Internation(P16) al Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. AFP PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the use of five more documents by claimants for the draft Assam NRC, saying the premise “better to exclude genuine person than to include a wrongful person” can't be accepted. It over-ruled the objections of state NRC coordinator that the documents to be relied upon to stake claim such as refugee registration certificate and ration card can be forged. The claimants for draft Assam NRC can now stake claim with the help of total 15 documents provided in List-A of the claim form. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman also extended to 15 December, the earlier deadline of 25 November, for filing of claims and objections for draft NRC. The five new documents allowed by the bench to prove the legacy for the claimants include extract of names in NRC, 1951; extract/certified copy of Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of March 24, 1971 and Citizenship Certificate and refugee certificate issued by competent authority (up to March 24, 1971 midnight). The other two legacy documents include Certified copies of pre-1971 Electoral Roll, particularly, those issued from Tripura and the ration card. Rejecting the contention of Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela, the bench said, “your contention that refugees registration certificate, certified electoral rolls and ration card can be forged to stake claim cannot be sustained”. It further said: “Your contention that it's better to exclude the genuine person than to include a wrongful person cannot be accepted. We don't agree with you”. The bench noted that Hajela in its report filed in the court on October 4, had objected to the use of any one of the five documents saying that during the process of verification for inclusion of names in the draft NRC large number of forged documents were filed. “It is our considered view that the mere possibility of filing of forged documents or that such documents were filed in the earlier exercise cannot be a ground to exclude the same from the impending process of filing of claims and objections,” the bench said. It added that all such documents must be subjected to a thorough process of verification and would be accepted only after due and complete satisfaction of the genuineness of the same. The Assam government in its response has sought inclusion of these five documents for claiming the status in draft NRC saying that the apprehension of forgery of documents can be taken care of by adopting some different means. The Centre has also taken a similar stand as that of the Assam government and said that these five documents could be allowed to be use for staking claim in draft NRC. “In this regard, we permit Hajela to undertake through his team a vigorous process of verification and have additional layers of such verification to ensure that only and only eligible persons are included in the final NRC,” it said. The court also accepted the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) prepared by Centre and fixed the time line for various stage in publication of draft final NRC. The bench said that after the December 15, deadline for filing of claims, January 15, 2019 will be the deadline for issuance of notices by the competent authority to the claimants to accord them hearings and February 1, 2019 will be the deadline for commencement of the verification process. It said that further details of the time schedule will follow at the appropriate time. Airfares shoot up as festive bells ring ABHIJEET ANAND NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER This festive season has given airlines an opportunity to charge unimaginably high airfares. In the absence of any control, the airfares are going over the roof and touching almost Rs 80,000 on some sectors. All the full service carriers including Jet Airways and Air Vistara are charging more than Rs 20,000 for long-haul flights on Mumbai-Delhi, Chennai-Delhi, BengaluruDelhi and Bengaluru-Patna sectors. The prices are only going northwards as time ticks. Low cost carriers like IndiGo and GoAir are also not far behind as this festive season has offered them also a good opportunity to earn revenue from passengers. Passengers wanting to be with the family are likely spend extra amount. According to Cleartrip.com, a travel portal, an economy ticket from Bangalore to Delhi via Mumbai will cost a pas- senger Rs 79,000 for a 5.45 p.m. flight tomorrow. Fare of a direct flight from Bangalore to Delhi on the low cost carrier, IndiGo and full service carrier, Vistara tomorrow is almost at par, around Rs 28,000. Due to festive season all the flights from Bangalore and Mumbai to Delhi and Patna are likely to be fully booked. They could also be overbooked and owing to this they may be charging exorbitantly for offering a seat to a needy passenger. “There is no transparency. Airlines do not tell whether the flight is fully booked or overbooked,” said a travel agency operator. The airfares are on the higher side as this is a weekend and next week several festive occasions are lined up. A travel consultant, Anil Bhandari, said that the price of the tickets depend on the load factor. However, he said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) should have some control on the airlines. Sanjeev Joshi, an inbound tour operator, said that tourist booking has witnessed a sharp decline due to exorbitant prices charged by airlines. Joshi said that a ticket from Shimla to Delhi which normally costs somebody Rs 4000 if he does a booking in February, now costs the passengers Rs 18,900. Interestingly, Air Alliance is operating on the Shimla-Delhi route on UDAN scheme which promises passengers travel at affordable cost. “These fares are ridiculous. What airlines tell is that they are bleeding but this is hardly credible,” said senior vice-president, Nivalink Tour and Travels, K R Krishnan. Krishnan said that because of the festive season, they are charging exorbitantly as this is the time they can make money. This is what they call revenue management, said Krishnan. At non-peak hours the passenger can get a better bargain during this festive season. But one will have to be prepared to board a flight late into the night or at the break of dawn. Frequent flyers can earn miles and get seat preference depending on the policy of the airline. But if you don’t you will have to shell out more. CCI probing airfare issue NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER The Competition Commission is looking at algorithms used by airlines to determine fares, as part of a detailed probe into alleged fixing of air ticket prices, according to its chief Sudhir Mital. Currently, the fair trade regulator is investigating allegations of similar pricing as well as simultaneous increase in ticket prices by the airlines. The cases pertain to steep fluctuations in airfares during the Jat agitation in Haryana and floods in Chennai, among other instances, in the last few years. The Competition Commission of India is waiting for a report from the Director General, its investigaPTI tion arm. DETAILS ON PAGE 11
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