CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 02 NOVEMBER 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 P9 SENSEX 34,431.97 -010.08 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature likely to be around 32 and 23 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 93% P3 NIFTY 10,380.45 -006.15 Min: 22.6°C (0) SUN RISES 05:42 hrs MOON SETS 13:30 hrs New moon on 7 November 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, during search operations on Thursday. P 10 Kashmir BJP leader shot dead: The Army was called out and curfew was imposed in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir amidst protests after a senior BJP leader and his brother were shot dead by suspected militants Thursday night. State secretary of BJP Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet were returning from their shop in Kishtwar when they were fired upon from close range at a dark, P3 narrow lane leading to their house. ` vs $ 73.45 +50 PAISE GOLD 30,620.00 +010.00 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER n an unprecedented 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. The TDP leader was in the past a fierce rival of the Congress. After their meeting, 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 said, 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, I-T department and even the Supreme Court, being, according to him, undermined by the Modi dispensation. Explaining his meeting with Gandhi, Naidu said it was the "democratic I Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu address the media at Tughlak Road in New Delhi on Thursday. SNS compulsion" 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 programmes in the run-up to the 2019 general elections. Asked about the “face” of their alliance, Naidu said 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 a “bid for sensationalism”, Gandhi said these were "secondary matters". “We have agreed that the principle idea here is 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 questions relating to the "past" of Congress-TDP relations were no longer relevant as "it is about the present and the future now". He listed unemployment, PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER 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 Moin Qureshi, was arrested on the allegations of forgery in record- ing 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. Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, who present for the first time since the matter came up for hearing in the high court on 23 October, said he has been 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 “Google Walkout,” follow an outcry over a NewYork 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. Google staff stage a walkout at the company's UK headquarters in London. AFP 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. 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 Opposition against the Modi regime. The Congress has already entered into an alliance with the TDP in the upcoming Assembly elections in Telangana. Earlier today, Naidu, who has offered to play the role of a “facilitator” in forging a "credible alternative" to the NDA, met NCP chief Sharad Pawar and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. Pawar reportedly said nonBJP parties will come out with a common minimum programme to take on the NDA, adding Naidu will take the initiative and rally Opposition parties in this regard. This was Naidu's second visit to Delhi in less than a week. During his visit here last week, he had met BSP chief Mayawati, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and ex-BJP leader Yashwant Sinha. Today, Naidu also met SP president Akhilesh Yadav, SP stalwart Mulayam Singh, RLD chief Ajit Singh and ex-Union minister Arun Shourie. P12 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 74.65 +0.39 SC extends NRC deadline, OKs use of more documents 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 Chandrashekhar from the candidature for the 3 November polls. Announcing his decision to return to the Congress, Chandrashekhar 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. HOWZAT instructed to appear for the CBI. Advocate K Raghavacharyulu, who has been appearing for the CBI, opposed the appearance of Banerjee, contending that he has been appointed by the agency to represent it from the beginning when the petition was filed by Asthana. “I have been appointed as the special public prosecutor in the case,” Raghavacharyulu submitted before the court which did not comment on the issue. Later, Banerjee said he will seek instructions from the competent authority and make it clear for the high court as to who among the two will appear on behalf of the probe agency. When the judge, after some time, took up the similar quashing petition of middleman Manoj Prasad, the ASG was not present in the hearing, which invited the attention of the court. PEEVED AUSTRALIANS FORCE PEEVER INTO CALLING IT QUITS SILVER 38,400.00 (NO CHANGE) Naidu meets Rahul to push for 'grand alliance' Incriminating material against Asthana: CBI 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 Devender Kumar who was on Wednesday granted bail by a P2 Leaders stress on Opp front against BJP to 'protect country, institutions, democracy' Min. 54% TEMPERATURE Max: 31.5°C (0) SUN SETS 16:59 hrs MOON RISES 00:13 hrs SHIVPAL YADAV READY FOR SHOW OF STRENGTH CHIDAMBARAM’S ANTI-ARREST SHIELD EXTENDED CONFUSION OVER RECONVENING OF LANKAN PARLIAMENT Rohit Sharma bats during the fifth ODI against the West Indies in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday as India executed a ninewicket demolition of the Caribbeans. AFP (MATCH REPORT ON P12) 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 a genuine person than to include a wrongful person” can't be accepted. It over-ruled the objections of the 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 4 October, 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 numbers 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. “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,” the court said. The court also accepted the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) prepared by Centre and fixed the time line for various stages in publication of the draft final NRC. The bench said that after the 15 December deadline for filing of claims, 15 January 2019 will be the deadline for issue of notices by the competent authority to the claimants to accord them hearings and 1 February 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. Five shot in Assam Three members of a family were among five people shot dead by suspected ULFA (Independent) while two others were injured at Kheroni in Assam's Tinsukia district Thursday night, police said. (P5) 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 through 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 on. 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. People wanting to be with their family are likely not to balk at spending the extra amount. According to Cleartrip.com, a travel portal, an economy ticket from Bangalore to Delhi via Mumbai will cost a passenger Rs 79,000 for a 5.45 p.m. flight tomorrow. Fares for a direct flight from Bangalore to Delhi on the low cost carrier, IndiGo and full service carrier, Vistara tomorrow are almost at par, around Rs 28,000. Due to the 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 say whether the flight is CMYK 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 depends 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 a traveller Rs 4000 if he does a booking in February, now costs him 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 claim is that they are bleeding but this is hardly credible,” said senior vicepresident, Nivalink Tour and Travels, K R Krishnan. Krishnan said that because of the festive season, airlines 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 9
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.