FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 09 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 BRINDA OBJECTS TO NHRC CLOSING MOB LYNCHING CASE 35,237.68 +245.77 WEATHER NIFTY 10,598.40 +68.40 MAN UNITED STUN JUVENTUS P12 P7 P4 SENSEX BRITAIN SEEKS TO SOOTHE BREXIT TENSIONS NAIDU MEETS GOWDA FOR JOINT FRONT AGAINST BJP ` vs $ 72.44 GOLD 31,773 SILVER +34.00 P15 38,205 -167.00 BRENT OIL (IN $) 71.47 0.50 War of words on 2 years of DeMo Clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 29 and 13 degrees Celsius respectively. Rahul claims it cost 1.5 mn jobs, 1% GDP; Jaitley hits back at Opposition, says note ban has widened tax base RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 8 NOVEMBER Max.95% Min. 30% Max: 26.6°C (-3) SUN RISES 06:39 hrs MOON RISES 08:55 hrs Min: 15.5°C (-3) SUN SETS 17:31 hrs MOON SETS 19:00 hrs TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS Immersion of an idol of Goddess Kali in HooghBISWAJIT GHOSHAL ly, Kolkata, on Thursday. Alok Verma meets CVC, refutes corruption charges levelled against him by Asthana: CBI Director Alok Verma on Thursday met Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary and denied corruption charges levelled against him by his deputy and special director in the probe agency Rakesh Asthana. Verma came to the CVC office in the late afternoon and stayed there for about two hours. White House suspends scribe: In an unprecedented move, the White House has suspended the credentials of a senior CNN journalist for his “disgusting and outrageous” behaviour, hours after he had a testy exchange with President Donald Trump during a marathon news conference. The move came just hours after CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta drew the ire of Trump by persisting with questions about his views on a caravan of Central American P12 migrants making its way to the US border. What has happened to prophets of doom who said India's GDP will decline by at least 2 per cent? For the fifth year running India will be the fastest growing (large) economy in the world. It is continuing to happen. T he principal Opposition Congress and the Narendra Modi government today exchanged fireworks on the occasion of second anniversary of demonetisation, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and ex-PM Manmohan Singh describing PM Modi's demonetisation drive as a "monumental blunder", "tragedy", and "disaster" whose "devastating" impact, they maintained, was still convulsing people and their jobs and businesses. Hitting back, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley staunchly defended the demonetisation move, reportedly saying that "prophets of doom" were proved wrong as figures of last two years showed an increase in tax base, greater formalisation of the economy and India retaining the fastest growing economy tag for the consecutive fifth year. Describing the Modi government's sudden 8 November 2016 bid to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes ~ 86% of India's currency ~ in one stroke as "ill-fated and illthought-out", ex-PM Singh said: "The havoc that it unleashed on the Indian economy and society is now evident to ever yone. Notebandi impacted every single person, regardless of age, gender, religion, occupation or creed." Singh, a noted economist, asserted that "The scars and wounds of ARUN JAITLEY UNION FINANCE MINISTER demonetisation are only getting more visible with time. Beyond the steep drop in headline GDP growth numbers after demonetisation, the deeper ramifications of notebandi are still unravelling". He said, "Small and medium businesses that are the cornerstone of India’s economy are yet to recover from the demonetisation shock. This has had a direct impact on employment as the economy continues to struggle to create enough new jobs for our youth." Noting that the "financial markets are volatile as the liquidity crisis wrought by demonetisation is taking its eventual toll on infrastructure lenders and non-bank financial services firms", the veteran Congress leader said, "With a depreciating currency and rising global oil prices, macro-economic headwinds are also starting to blow now." Underlining that "It is therefore prudent to not resort to further unorthodox, short-term economic measures that can cause any more uncertainty in the economy and finan- Gunman kills 12 at California bar PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES, 8 NOVEMBER A US Marine veteran dressed in black sprayed bullets inside a crowded dance bar popular with college studentsWednesday night, killing at least 12 people, including a police officer, in Thousand Oaks city in California, in one of the “horrific” mass shooting incidents in the US. The gunman, who also injured nearly two dozen others, was found dead inside the Borderline Bar and Grill on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean identified the gunman as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a retired Marine who served in Afghanistan. The suspect used a .45 caliber Glock handgun during the shooting, Dean said. Long, who shot himself, was dead when officers made entry into the bar, Dean said as he described the shooting incident as “horrific.” “It's a horrific scene in there, there is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that,” he said. He said the motive of the shooter is still unclear. He was known to authorities for minor crimes. The shooter was on active duty with the US Marine Corps from August 2008 to March 2013, according to Department of Defense records. He also served in Afghanistan from November 2010 to June 2011. Authorities had “minor” run-ins with Long in the past, Dean said, citing few incidents. “We have had several contacts with Long over the years, minor events, a traffic collision,” Dean said, adding that deputies were called to his house for a disturbance in April this year and“felt he might be suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” Twenty-one people wounded in the shooting were treated and released from area hospitals, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. President Donald Trump said that he has been “fully briefed on the terrible shooting in California.” In memory of victims, President Trump in a proclamation ordered that the flag of the US shall be flown at halfstaff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds. Ventura County Sheriff's Department Sgt Ron Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer entered the bar first and were met with gunfire from the suspect, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing officials. Helus was shot several times and succumbed to his injuries at a hospital. cial markets", Singh added: "Today is a day to remember how economic misadventures can roil the nation for a long time." Firing salvos at PM Modi for his "unilateral" bid to "unleash the tyranny of demonetisation on the nation", Rahul Gandhi said: "Demonetisation is unique in the history of our tragedies because it was a self-inflicted, suicidal attack that destroyed millions of lives and ruined thousands of India's small businesses. The worst hit by demonetisation were the poorest of the poor, forced to queue for days to exchange their meagre savings." The Congress president highlighted that "More than 120 Indians died in those queues....Millions of small and medium businesses were smashed and the entire informal sector devastated." Gandhi also pointed out that "Since 2016, economists around the world have analysed the crippling impact of demonetisation, concluding that demonetisation was an unmitigated disaster that didn't meet a single of its stated objectives", listing these "unfulfilled evergrowing objectives" as ‘Modi govt trying to capture RBI’ SNS & PTI KOLKATA, 8 NOVEMBER Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday accused the Narendra Modi government of trying to capture the Reserve Bank of India to tide over its fiscal crisis, warning that any such move would be catastrophic. “The government stares at a fiscal-deficit crisis. The government wants to step up the expenditure in an election year. Finding all avenues closed, in desperation, the government has demanded Rs 1 lakh crore from the reserves of RBI,” the former Union finance minister said at a press conference here. If RBI Governor Urjit Patel stands his ground, the Centre is planning to issue a direction under Section 7 of the RBI Act, 1934, directing the apex bank to transfer Rs 1 lakh crore to the government's account, he claimed. Section 7 of the RBI Act gives special powers to the government to issue directions to the RBI governor on issues of public inter"from a war against counterfeit currency and terrorism, to permanently removing the scourge of black money; from increasing savings to forcing a shift to digital transactions". "Modi's demonetisation cost India over one and a half million jobs and wiped out at least 1% from our GDP....the gov- grace,” he added. The RBI and the government have not been on the same page on different issues for some months now. The disagreements came out in open when RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya, in a hard-hitting speech, said failure to defend the central bank's independence would “incur the wrath of the financial markets”. It later emerged that the government had invoked a never-beforeused provision of the law, Section 7 of the RBI Act, to ease NPA norms so that banks can kickstart lending and support growth, and transfer more dividend to boost liquidity, issues which the central bank thinks cannot be relented. ernment’s spin-doctors, including our incompetent Finance Minister, have the unenviable task of defending an indefensible, criminal policy," Gandhi alleged, charging that "India will (eventually) discover...that demonetisation wasn’t just an ill-conceived and poorly executed economic policy...but a carefully planned, criminal financial scam." Rising in the government's defence, Jaitley said the demonetisation move was a "key step in a chain of important decisions taken by the government to formalise the economy". NEW DELHI, 8 NOVEMBER A thick haze engulfed Delhi Thursday as it recorded its worst air quality of the year on the morning after Diwali, with the pollution level entering the “severe-plus emergency” category, or 11 times the permissible limit, due to rampant bursting of toxic firecrackers in violation of a Supreme Court order, authorities said. As Delhi's government's transport department banned the entry of heavy vehicles in the city from 11 pm on Thursday to 11 pm on Sunday, the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) said it was monitoring the situation and will take emergency measures if the pollution level increases. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ees, including those on contract. “Some AIATSL employees at the Mumbai airport are on strike since WednesdayThursday (intervening) night over non-payment of Diwali Bonus and reinstatement of est. Chidambaram alleged that the government had packed the central bank's board with handpicked nominees and was making every attempt to push through its proposals at the RBI board meeting on 19 November. “If the RBI either defies the government or the RBI governor resigns, in either events, the consequence will be catastrophic,” he said. In this situation, the senior Congress leader said, there were only two options for Patel: either resign or transfer the amount to the government. “...whichever option is taken by the governor, it will damage the credibility and image of the RBI. It also means capture of RBI. One more crucial institution will fall from PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 8 NOVEMBER company, he said. AIATSL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national carrier, provides ground handling services to Air India across airports in the country. It has about 5,000 employ- RAHUL GANDHI CONGRESS CHIEF SEE ALSO PAGE 7 It is often said that time is a great healer. But unfortunately, in the case of demonetisation, the scars and wounds of demonetisation are only getting more visible with time MANMOHAN SINGH FORMER PRIME MINISTER The economy is now totally depressed, business is now ... oppressed and common people are completely suppressed. The value of rupee has gone down MAMATA BANERJEE BENGAL CHIEF MINISTER It is not a dark day, but marked day when terror funding was stopped and the backbone of black money and antinational (activities) financing was broken MUKHTAR ABBAS NAQVI UNION MINISTER TURN TO PAGE 7 Delhi records year's worst air quality, post Diwali Hazy weather witnessed after Deepavali in the Capital on RAVI SHARMA Thursday The emergency measures include odd-even rationing of private vehicles. A report by research group Urban Emissions said close to 50 lakh kgs of firecrackers 37 flights delayed as AI staff go on strike As many as 37 Air India flights, including some international ones, were affected on Thursday after a section of employees of the national carrier's ground handling subsidiary, AIATSL, went on a flash strike against non-payment of Diwali bonus and other issues, an official said. The employees of the Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) struck work at the Mumbai airport from the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday, demanding payment of Diwali bonus and reinstatement of three of their colleagues whose contracts were not renewed by the India will discover, no matter how the government tries to hide it, that demonetisation wasn't just an ill-conceived and poorly executed economic policy with 'innocent intent', but a carefully planned, criminal financial scam the services of some of their former colleagues. This standoff has resulted in flight operations getting hampered,” the official said. He said around 37 flights, including international ones, were delayed by 2.5 hours-3 hours till 1500 hours Thursday. However, no flight has been cancelled so far, he added. Air India has pressed into service its permanent employees to handle the ground handling operations at the Mumbai airport, the official said. “The company has already paid the bonus after negotiations but the employees are now insisting that the services of three of their colleagues, whose contracts were not renewed last month, be restored,” he said. “Negotiations are going on between the striking employees and the AIATSL management to resolve the issue,” the official added. were burnt in Delhi this year, the same amount of firecrackers burnt last year which equated to 1,50,000 kgs of mass of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres). The government-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) warned that Delhi's air quality is likely to remain “severe” over the next two days as smoke from firecrackers has slowed down the process of pollutant dispersion. Many residents and green activists voiced helplessness and expressed anguish at the violation of the top court's 8-10 pm time limit for bursting firecrackers. Doctors advised people to stay indoors, use N-99 masks, that can filter up to 99 per cent of the particulate matter in the air. Many others said the ceaseless bursting of firecrackers on Diwali night in violation of the court directive has highlighted the difficulties faced by govern- ment agencies in enforcing orders when laws are routinely flouted and accentuated the “large gap” between the law and the capacity to enforce it. Besides fire-related injuries, the national capital Thursday saw cases of allergy and respiratory complications. More than 250 cases of burn injuries were reported in the national capital this Diwali. Partly as a result of smoke from firecrackers, the overall AQI (Air Quality Index) in Delhi jumped to 642 which falls in the “severe-plus emergency” category, according to the data by SAFAR. “The Delhi AQI is 500+ at present. Early morning at 1 am, smoke layer became thick and started to trap pollutants near the surface rapidly. TURN TO PAGE 7 Four civilians, one CISF jawan killed in IED blast in Chh’garh PRESS TRUST OF INDIA RAIPUR, 8 NOVEMBER Four civilians and a CISF jawan were killed when suspected Maoists blew up a bus with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district on Thursday, four days ahead of the first phase of Assembly polls in the state, police said. Two personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were also injured in the explosion, the third Naxal attack in 15 days in the pollbound state. The attack comes before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit on Friday to Jagdalpur district, about 100 km from Dantewada, to campaign for the BJP . The IED explosion took place in a hilly area in Bacheli, about 450 km from here, when the CISF personnel, belonging to 502nd battalion, were returning to their camp in Akashnagar area after purchasing groceries from a local market, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava said. The Naxals triggered a powerful IED blast near curve no.6 on the hills, he said. Those killed in the blast were identified as CISF Head Constable D Mukhopadhyay, bus driver Ramesh Patkar, helpers Roshan Kumar Sahu and Johan Nayak, and a truck driver, Sushil Banjare, the SP said. The truck driver had taken lift in the bus, another police official said. Two CISF constables, Pathare Satish and Pishal Suresh, were injured in the attack, Pallava said. Reinforcements were rushed to the spot and the injured personnel and bodies of the deceased shifted to a local hospital, he said. Security forces have launched a combing operation in the area to trace the ultras.
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