CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 NOVEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P7 SENSEX 35,011.65 +579.68 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature will be around 31 and 23 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.95% P10 NIFTY 10,553.00 +172.55 Min: 23.4°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:43 hrs MOON SETS 14:14 hrs ` vs $ 72.45 +100 PAISE GOLD 30,485.00 -135.00 Dassault Aviation paid kickbacks: Cong New moon on 7 November THUMBNAILS Army personnel stage a flag march in Kishtwar town of Jammu amidst tension following the killing of a senior BJP leader on Thursday night. SNS Rupee logs biggest gain in 5 years, up 100 paise vs dollar: The Indian rupee today clocked its biggest single-day gain in over five years, surging by 100 paise to close at 72.45 against the US dollar on easing crude oil prices and possibility that the US might grant waivers to India from sanctions on Iranian oil imports. Besides, a bullish trend in the equity market and fresh foreign fund inflows provided support to the domestic currency, which has witnessed a massive 150 paise rise in the last two trading sessions. The domestic currency had on Thursday gained 50 paise. At the Forex market, the rupee Friday opened on a higher note at 73.14, then gained further ground and touched an intra-day high of 72.43, a jump of 102 paise. It, however, closed at P8 72.45 against the greenback. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 NOVEMBER eeping his guns trained at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the alleged Rafale jet scam, Congress president Rahul Gandhi today alleged that there was "enough material" in the public domain to "nail Modi in this scam" and that PM Modi would "not survive" an inquiry into it. Addressing a news conference, Gandhi charged that CBI director AlokVerma was recently removed because Verma had also been going through such material. "CBI chief has been removed because he has such information and he wants to start an enquiry and the Prime Minister is terrified," Gandhi said. The Congress chief accused the Rafale fighter jets' manufacturer and French defence major, Dassault Aviation, of allegedly paying "kickbacks" to Anil Ambani-led Reliance group to secure the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal from India. Gandhi charged that Dassault invested Rs 284 crore in a "loss-making" Reliance group company with a valuation of merely Rs 8.30 lakh to enable the Anil Ambani firm to purchase land for their joint venture in Nagpur that was created in the wake of the latter bagging the offset contract related to the Rafale K During a Congress protest in New Delhi. SNS deal from Dassault. "Dassault CEO (Eric Trappier) had claimed his company chose the Reliance firm and not the State-run HAL as its offset partner because the Reliance firm had land. But now it has been revealed that the land was bought by the money that was given by Dassault itself," Gandhi said, referring to some media reports. "The CEO is lying. The big question is why Dassault would invest Rs 284 crore in a loss-making company with a capital of just over Rs 8 lakh? It is clear cut that this (investment) is the first instalment of kickbacks given by Dassault to Anil Ambani's firm," the Congress president charged. He said Trappier was "lying" to "save" PM Modi who, he alleged, had a "partnership" with Anil Ambani in the deal. "If an inquiry starts on this, Modi is not going to survive it, guaranteed," Gandhi claimed, giving two reasons for it. "One, because of corruption. Two, because it is very clear who the sole decision-maker was... Nobody would be able to say that some top officer in the Air Force or the Defence Minister or some bureaucrat from the Defence Ministry was involved. It was a deal done by Narendra Modi to give Anil Ambani Rs 30,000 crore in offset contract from Dassault," the Congress chief alleged. He said PM Modi had unilaterally scrapped the decade-long procurement process undertaken by the previous Congress-led UPA government, to announce the inter-governmental deal with France to buy 36 Rafale jets in April 2015 MJ Akbar denies rape allegation PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI, 2 NOVEMBER Pallavi Gogoi, a US-based editor, has accused M J Akbar of raping her while working under the journalist in India, an allegation denied by the former Union minister who claimed that he had a “consensual relationship” spanning several months with her but it ended “perhaps not on the best note”. Akbar (67) who recently resigned as junior foreign minister after multiple women came out with accounts of alleged sexual harassment, has filed a criminal defamation case against one of them amid the raging #MeToo campaign in India. “Somewhere around 1994, Ms Pallavi Gogoi and I entered into a consensual relationship that spanned several months,” Akbar said in a state- ment in New Delhi after her article appeared in The Washington Post. In a separate statement, his wife Mallika Akbar also dismissed Gogoi's accusations as a “lie”. Gogoi, the chief business editor of the Washingtonbased National Public Radio (NPR), has detailed the “most painful memories” of her life in the Post article. She said that Akbar, the editor-in-chief of the Asian Age newspaper at that time, was a “brilliant journalist but used his position to prey” on her. Gogoi said she was 22 when she joined the Asian Age. She was star-struck working under Akbar. At 23, Gogoi became the editor of the op-ed page which was a big responsibility at a young age, she said. “But I would soon pay a very big price for doing a job I loved. It must have been late spring or summer of 1994, and I had gone into his officehis door was often closed. I went to show him the op-ed page I had created... He applauded my effort and suddenly lunged to kiss me. I reeled. I emerged from the office, red-faced, confused, ashamed, destroyed,” she alleged. The second incident was a few months later when she was summoned to Mumbai to help launch a magazine, she claimed. “He called me to his room at the fancy Taj hotel, again to see the layouts. When he again came close to me to kiss me, I fought him and pushed him away. He scratched my face as I ran away, tears streaming down,” she wrote. When she got back to Delhi, Akbar threatened to kick her out of the job if she resisted him again. But she didn't quit the paper, she said. While she was in Rajasthan on an assignment, Akbar said she could come to discuss the story in his hotel in Jaipur, she claimed. “In his hotel room, even though I fought him, he was physically more powerful. He ripped off my clothes and raped me,” she alleged, adding that instead of reporting him to the police, she was filled with shame. Gogoi claimed Akbar's grip over her got tighter. For a few months, he continued to defile her sexually, verbally, emotionally... “I died a little every day,” she said. after "bypassing" the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and in "complete violation" of defence procurement policies. "If the Prime Minister was not involved, he would have said 'let there be an inquiry by the CBI or the Supreme Court'. But he is silent. He is having sleepless nights because he knows he will be caught," Gandhi claimed. He alleged that besides the removal of the CBI chief the recent visit of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to France was also part of a "cover-up" allegedly mounted by the Modi dispensation in the Rafale affair. Dismissing the government's stand that the price of the Rafale jets could not be made public due to "secrecy clause" in the India-France deal, Gandhi said Dassault's annual report itself has revealed the pricing aspect. During a meeting in the course of his India visit, French President Emmanuel Macron had told him that there was no secrecy clause about the price factor in the Rafale deal, Gandhi claimed again. Today, the Reliance group again rubbished Gandhi's allegations, charging that the company and its chief were continuously being dragged into a political battle in view of the coming state and general elections. Four new SC judges take oath NEW DELHI, 2 NOVEMBER Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Friday administered oath to four new judges as apex court here, taking the strength of the Supreme Court judges to 28 ~ only three short of the sanctioned strength of 31. The government cleared within two days the names of the judges recommended by the SC collegium for elevation to the top court. The new SC judges, Justice Hemant Gupta, Justice R Subhash Reddy, Justice Mukesh Kumar Rasikbhai Shah and Justice Ajay Rastogi, were the Chief Justices of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Patna and Tripura high courts, respectively, before their elevation to the apex SNS court. Quick loans, labour law relaxation for MSMEs PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 2 NOVEMBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday announced 59-minute loan sanctions, relaxation in labour laws, easier compliance with environmental rules and changes in company laws for small and medium enterprises to give a boost to the nation's second-biggest employing sector. Announcing a slew of measures for the sector, he said GST-registered micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be sanctioned a loan of Rs 1 crore in just 59 minutes through a new portal. Also, GST-registered MSMEs will get 2 per cent subvention or rebate on incremental new loans of up to Rs 1 crore, he said, adding interest subvention on pre- and post-shipment credit for exports by MSMEs has been increased from 3 per cent to 5 per cent. To rid the sector of inspector raj, Modi announced that inspections of factories in the sector will be sanctioned only through a computerised random allotment and inspectors will have to upload reports on portal within 48 hours. “No inspector can now go any- where. He will be asked why he went to a factory,” he said. Easing compliance with environmental rules, MSMEs will need single air and water clearance and just one consent to establish a factory. MSMEs will have to file just one annual return on eight labour laws and 10 central rules, he said, adding that an ordinance has been promulgated to simplify levy of penalties for minor offences under the Companies Act. Modi termed the 12 new measures “historic” that will make Deepawali brighter for the sector and its millions of entrepreneurs and employees. Public sector companies, which were mandated to source 20 per cent of their annual procurement from MSMEs, will now source at least a quarter of their requirement (25 per cent) from the sector, he said, adding 3 per cent of sourcing by PSUs would have to be done from MSMEs run by women. Also, all central public sector enterprises will have to take membership of the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to facilitate online procurement of common use goods and services by various government departments and organisations. GREATEST SPRINTER NOT REALLY A FOOTBALL GODSEND P10 Reliance Group denies Rahul Gandhi’s allegation Min. 60% TEMPERATURE Max: 30.7°C (N) SUN SETS 16:58 hrs MOON RISES 01.14 hrs POLICE PROBE INTO ANTI-SEMITISM IN UK LABOUR PARTY IRAN SANCTIONS: USA TO EXEMPT EIGHT NATIONS ‘NO QUESTION OF ALLIANCE WITH AAP’ Modi announced Rs 6,000 crore for creation of 20 hubs and 100 tool rooms for technology upgradation. Clusters for MSMEs in pharma sector will be created to boost production in the sector, he said. All companies with turnover of more than Rs 500 crore would have to now come on Trade Receivables e-Discounting System (TReDS) platform so that there is no cash flow problem for MSMEs. Talking of India jumping 23 places on the World Bank's latest 'Ease of Doing Business' ranking, Modi said in four years his government has achieved what many did not believe and what no other nation has done -- leaping from 142nd rank in 2014 to 77th position. Breaking into top 50 rank is not far away, he added. Reform of processes will help MSMEs, Modi said. CMYK P11 SILVER 38,700.00 +300.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 72.99 +0.10 Trainee police personnel go on the rampage in Patna STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE PATNA, NOVEMBER 2 In a display of utter lawlessness, hundreds of trainee police personnel today went on the rampage on Patna streets, assaulting senior police officials, damaging police vehicles and vandalising the official residence of the seniors as the government stood by helpless for about an hour. The situation could be brought under control only after additional forces were rushed to the spot and senior officials promised to look into the agitating personnel’s grievances. The chief minister Nitish Kumar has sought a detailed report from the police department. The trainee personnel went berserk shortly after a traffic policewoman died of dengue for want of alleged proper medical treatment. The protesters alleged that the victim identified as Savita Pathak from Siwan district was not granted leave to get proper treatment as a result of which she died. Once the news of her death reached them, the personnel went out of control and began assaulting their seniors as they vented their ire. Of them, the sergeant major was brutally assaulted after giving him a hot chase. The mob also barged into the official residence of a deputy SP-rank police officer and ransacked it. TV footage showed the agitating personnel hitting police vehicles with bam- One of the cars damaged by the rampaging mob. AGENCIES boo sticks or heavy logs, overturning them and shouting slogans against the government. Witnesses said the officials were helpless in the face of the mutiny and at one point of time, even the Patna SSP Manu Maharaj didn’t dare to go near them. “The female constables are being excessively exploited by the police department. We have been forced to do duty for long hours without food,” said a woman constable, part of the mob that was shouting “Murdabad, Murdabad”. She alleged their colleague died owing to proper medical treatment as her leave petition was rejected despite repeated requests. “Would the heavens have fallen if she had been granted leave?” she asked. The state government while taking the matter seriously has asked the zonal IG Nair Hasnain Khan to investigate the case and submit the report soon. “The incident is really serious and punitive action will be taken against the erring personnel for break- Combing ops on; ULFA(I) says not involved in killings PRESS TRUST OF INDIA GUWAHATI, 2 NOVEMBER Assam police Friday launched a “massive combing operation” to nab those involved in the killing of five people, including three members of a family, in Tinsukia district. Police suspect the gunmen belonged to the ULFA (Independent) faction as they were dressed in battle fatigue, but the outfit has denied its involvement in the attack. A group of assailants had called out six people at Kheronibari village ~ three from their home and as many from a local shop ~ around 8 p.m. on Thursday. They then took them to the edge of Dhola-Sadiya bridge in the area and opened indiscriminate fire, killing five of them on the spot. One of them fell off the bridge and survived the firing. Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia and Additional DGP Mukesh rushed to Tinsukia to review the law and order situation. Talking to media in Guwahati, Saikia said, “A massive combing operation has been launched to nab the accused. No one involved in the incident will be allowed to escape. Since last night (Thursday), we have started several operations to nab the culprits.” Asked about the involvement of ULFA factions in the killings, he said, “It isn't about taking random names. We will take action as per law.” The lone survivor in the incident, identified as Sahadeb Namasudra, told reporters Friday morning he had a “providential escape” as he fell off the edge of the bridge, where the gunmen had lined up the six persons and shot five of them dead. Though he did not sustain injuries, he fell unconscious The lone survivor in the incident, identified as Sahadeb Namasudra, said he had a “providential escape” as he fell off the edge of the bridge, where the gunmen had lined up the six persons and shot five of them dead out of fear and nervousness. On regaining consciousness, he found one of the five persons still alive beside him, Namasudra claimed, adding that the man died before any arrangement for help could be made. Publicity Department member of the ULFA(I) Romel Asom, in a statement e-mailed to PTI here, said, “The ULFA (I) would like to make it clear to all authorities concerned that our organisation does not have any involvement in the firing incident last night.” In view of Thursday night's attack, security has been beefed up in the state with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal directing all deputy commissioners and superintendents of police to remain alert. “Strong action will be taken against the perpetrators of this dastardly violence. We will not tolerate such cowardly act,” Sonowal said. Water Resource Minister Keshav Mahanta and Minister of State for Power Tapan Gogoi have reached Tinsukia. Political parties and organisations across the state have condemned the killings and demanded that the culprits be immediately nabbed. A bandh, called by All Assam Bengali Federation, was being observed on Friday in the district, in protest against the attack. ing discipline but this also highlights the trust deficit between the other ranks and officers,” state’s additional director general of police SK Singhal said today. The opposition parties launched a blistering attacks on the government over the incident, saying law and order has collapsed in the state. “It’s total anarchy in Bihar as even the police are revolting now,” Congress spokesperson Premchandra Mishra said, adding the revolt recalls the 1857 sepoy uprising. He said the chief minister being in charge of the home department must give an explanation to the people of Bihar, asking him to take responsibility for the incident. The RJD termed it as the “total collapse of law and order situation” in the state. “There appears to be civil war-like situation in Bihar where the police personnel are launching agitation against their own department. Nitish Kumar should answer to the people, where is the rule of law?” asked RJD spokesperson Bhai Birendra. SC ‘no’ to CBI plea on Bofors pay-off case NEW DELHI, 2 NOVEMBER The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the CBI's appeal against the 2005 Delhi High Court verdict discharging all the accused, including Hinduja brothers, in Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case, on the grounds of delay in filing the appeal. Rejecting the CBI plea seeking condonation of the 13 year delay in filing the appeal against the 2005 judgement, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it was not convinced with the grounds of the CBI to condone over 4,500 days' delay in filing the appeal. The apex court, however, said the CBI can raise all grounds in the appeal against the same high court verdict filed by advocate Ajay Agrawal who has also challenged the judgement. The high court in its 2005 judgement had quashed all charges against the three Hinduja brothers -- S P Hinduja, G P Hinduja and P P Hinduja ~ and others under the Prevention of Corruption Act. After lot of deliberation, the CBI this year filed an appeal in the apex court on 2 February stating that further investigation was necessary in view of "some important documents and evidence" to challenge the high court order. The case involved Rs 1,437crore deal between India and Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 units of 155 mm Howitzer guns for the Indian Army in 1986. The CBI on January 22, 1990, had registered the FIR for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then president of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and the HinduPTI ja brothers.
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