SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 04 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 VARIOUS POINTS OF DISAGREEMENT WITH TAGORE’S JUXTAPOSITION OF KALIDASA’S ABHIJYAN SAKUNTALAM AND SHAKESPEARE’S TEMPEST AVNI OR T1, HAD CREATED TERROR IN PANDARKHAWA IN MAHARASHTRA BUT SHE WAS NOT A MAN-EATER ‘Divesting CBI chief of powers illegal’ VISUAL TREAT WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Temperature to be in the range of 33-24 degree Celcius. RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.95% TEMPERATURE Congress leader Kharge moves SC against CVC’s and DOPT’s orders Min. 50% PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Max: 33.5°C (+2) Min: 23.6°C (+2) SUN SETS SUN RISES 16:58 hrs 05:43 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 02:14 hrs 14:56 hrs New moon on 7 November NEW DELHI, 3 NOVEMBER C THUMBNAILS 67% polling in Karnataka bypolls: An estimated 67 per cent voter turnout was recorded in three Lok Sabha and two assembly constituencies in Karnataka that went to the by-polls Saturday. The by-elections are seen as a popularity test for the ruling Congress-JDS coalition. P9 JNMML appointments: The Centre has appointed journalist Arnab Goswami, former foreign secretary S Jaishankar, BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and IGNCA chairman Ram Bahadur Rai as members of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society, in place of four ‘disP5 senters’. Shiromani Akali Dal members stage a protest rally demanding justice for the families of those killed in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, outside 10 Janpath, in the Capital on Saturday. SNS A rangoli created by visually-impaired students from various NGOs, ahead of the Diwali festival, at India Gate in the Capital on Saturday. AMARJEET SINGH Defamation suit against me frivolous, says Tharoor STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 3 NOVEMBER Congress MP from Thiruvantapuram, Shashi Tharoor, today dimissed as “frivolous” the criminal defamation complaint filed by the BJP against him in a Delhi court, and alleged that it was an attempt to “throttle the freedom of expression”. The complaint is against Tharoor’s alleged “scorpion” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which, the BJP said, hurt religious sentiments. Tharoor had stoked controversy while speaking at Bangalore Literature Festival, claiming that an unnamed RSS leader had compared Modi to “a scorpion sitting on a Shivling”. The BJP alleged that the statement was an “intolerable abuse” and “absolute vilification” of the faith of millions of people. Attending an interactive session organised by Interanational Chamber of Busi- Pallavi Gogoi: Relationship with Akbar not consensual PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON, 3 NOVEMBER US-based journalist Pallavi Gogoi, who has accused M J Akbar of raping her while working under him in India, has dismissed his claims that it was a “consensual relationship”, saying a relationship based on “coercion and abuse of power” is not consensual. Gogoi, the chief business editor of National Public Radio (NPR), a Washington-based American media organisation, took to Twitter and said she stands by every word in her published account in The Washington Post. She said that she would continue to speak her truth so that other women, who have been sexually assaulted by him, know it is okay for them to come forward and speak their truth too. Akbar, 67, who recently resigned as junior foreign minister following a spate of #MeToo allegations, on Friday denied accusations of rape by Gogoi who, in her article, recounted the “most painful memories” of her life and said she was in “shreds, emotionally, physically, mentally”. In a statement, he said: “Somewhere around 1994, Ms Pallavi Gogoi and I entered into a consensual relationship that spanned several months”. “This relationship (with Gogoi) gave rise to talk and would later cause significant strife in my home life as well. This consensual relationship ended, perhaps not on the best note,” Akbar said. In a separate statement, his wife Mallika Akbar also dismissed Gogoi's accusations, made in a Washington Post article Friday, as a “lie”. Malli- ka admitted she knew about the relationship between Akbar and Pallavi and the relationship caused unhappiness and discord in her family. Responding to Akbar's claims, Gogoi said: “yesterday, The Washington Post published my first-hand account of being physically, verbally and sexually assaulted by M.J. Akbar. I was in my early 20s, an aspiring journalist, and an employee at the newspaper he led”. She said that rather than taking responsibility, “Akbar has insisted just like other infamous serial sexual abusers of women that the relationship was consensual. It was not”. “A relationship that is based on coercion, and abuse of power, is not consensual. I stand by every word in my published account. I will continue to speak my truth so that other women who have been sexually assaulted by him know it is okay for them to come forward,” Gogoi said. ness and Commerce in the city, Tharoor said, “If we start to stifle the right of the people to quote published material then where would our democracy head ?” Tharoor said he had quoted an article published in a magazine in 2012 in which a comment of an unnamed RSS leader had been mentioned. “So why has this defamation suit been filed against me now?” he said. Details on Page 4 Chouhan’s kin joins Congress BHOPAL, 3 NOVEMBER In major personal setback to Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his wife’s real brother Sanjay Singh Masani today joined the Congress and accused the BJP of promoting favouritism for family members in ticket distribution for the upcoming state Assembly polls. Masani joined the Congress in the presence of MP Congress chief Kamal Nath and election campaign head Jyotiraditya Scindia at a press conference in New Delhi today. Masani accused Chouhan of not being able to justify his 13 years as the chief minister of MP in terms of development of the state. Masani is learnt to be unhappy with his brotherin-law Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the BJP for not giving him an election ticket for the Assembly polls from Waraseoni constituency. SNS Criticism soars as ‘man-eater’ shot dead in Maharashtra AGENCIES MUMBAI, 3 NOVEMBER Tigress Avni, believed to have been responsible for the deaths of 13 people in Maharashtra in the past two years, was shot dead in Yavatmal district of the state as part of an operation, police said Saturday. The tigress, T1, as she was known officially, was killed Friday night, they said. “Avni was shot dead by sharp-shooter Asgar Ali, son of famous sharp-shooter Nawab Shafat Ali, at compartment no 149 of Borati forest under the jurisdiction of the Ralegaon police station,” a police official said. In September this year, the Supreme Court had said Avni could be shot at sight, which prompted a flurry of online petitions seeking pardon for the tigress. For more than three ongress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday told the Supreme Court that divesting CBI director Alok Verma of his statutory powers and functions is “completely illegal and arbitrary”. In an interlocutory application filed in the pending petition, Kharge, who is also a member of the three-member selection committee which appoints the CBI director, said, “As a concerned stakeholder he brings to the attention of the court the brazen and illegal actions” of the political executive in interfering with the independent functioning of the CBI director. The selection committee comprises the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, and the leader of the opposition party/ the single largest opposition party. “The entire action of the central vigilance commission (CVC) vide its order 23 October and the DOPT vide order 23 October seeking to divest CBI director Alok Verma of his statuto- This handout photo released by the Maharashtra Forest Department on Saturday shows the dead body of Avni. AFP months, Forest Department officials were planning to catch her with the help of latest technology. Trained sniffer dogs, trap cameras, drones and a hang-glider, expert trackers, sharp-shooters and around 200 ground personnel were roped in for the task, he said. “The forest officials ini- tially tried to nab her alive. However, due to dense forest and darkness, they were unable to do so and finally a bullet was fired in which the tigress fell on the spot,” he said. “After she became motionless, forest officials went closer to her and later rushed her to a hospital in Nagpur, where she was declared dead,” the official said. The post-mortem was in progress, he said. Wildlife activist and medico Jerryl A. Banait, who has filed a public interest litigation jointly with NGO Earth Brigade Foundation (EBF), said the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)'s rules have been grossly violated in the killing of Avni. “Such an operation can be carried out only between sunrise and sunset. There were no vets present during the killing early today. Nor were there any police, as per the NTCA’s guidelines. In the night, it is almost impossible to even identify the gender of any tiger, let alone a specific target like Avni,” said Banait. Note:The article ‘Hunter and the Hunted’ in this Sunday’s Evolve supplement was written before the tigress Avni was shot dead. ry powers and functions is completely illegal, arbitrary, punitive and without jurisdiction...,” Kharge said. Kharge, who is the leader of single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, said the provisions of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE Act) clearly say that the tenure and terms of CBI director is protected and even the transfer cannot be effected without the consent of the committee. Kharge, who claimed to have written a letter on 25 October to place on record that no meeting of the selection committee was convened to deliberate the issue, said, “It was also pointed out that the de facto transfer/ divesting of the authority of the CBI director is illegal and mala fide.” In his petition settled by senior advocate Kapil Sibal and filed through advocate Devadatt Kamat, Kharge said CVC’s order of 23 October is “completely without jurisdiction” as neither the DSPE Act nor the CVC Act, 2003 confers and empowers to divest the CBI director of his powers and duties. Similarly, the Central government cannot exercise any power under the DSPE Act which is in the derogation of the powers of the selection committee, Kharge said. The veteran Congress leader said that he was neither consulted despite being a member of the selection committee nor was he part of any meeting or privy to any decision to divest Verma of his powers as the CBI director. He sought quashing of CVC’s and DOPT’s 23 October orders. Observing that the crisis in the CBI sparked by the internal feud should not linger on in national interest, the Supreme Court had on 26 October set a twoweek deadline for the CVC to complete its ongoing inquiry against CBI chief Verma and said a retired apex court judge will monitor the probe. Middleman denied bail NEW DELHI, 3 NOVEMBER A Delhi court on Saturday dismissed the bail application of Manoj Prasad, an alleged middleman arrested in connection with bribery allegations involving the agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana. Special CBI judge Santosh Snehi Mann denied bail to Prasad saying it was not a fit stage to grant him relief. The agency had opposed the application saying that the accused was an influential person and if released on bail, he may tamper with the ongoing probe and flee from justice. In his bail application, Manoj Prasad had said he was not required for the custodial interrogation and no purpose will be served by keeping him in further PTI custody.
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