THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 NOVEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P3 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 29 and 13 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P12 Min. 44% Max: 28.2°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:50 hrs MOON RISES 17:03 hrs Min: 12.4°C (0) SUN SETS 17:25 hrs MOON SETS 06:35 hrs THUMBNAILS Mary Kom during a practice for her next match in AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships (P15) in the Capital on Wednesday. SNS Punjab police cracks Amritsar attack case: Three days after a grenade attack on a Nirankari sect congregation in Amritsar, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said the state police has cracked the case with the arrest of one accused and the attack was part of Pakistan ISI’s plan to create disturbance in border states. Addressing a Press conference, the CM said ISI-backed Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) was behind the “terror attack” in Amritsar. Ruling out a communal angle, the P10 CM said this is a clear case of terrorism. BCCI CEO Johri cleared: The sexual harassment allegations against BCCI CEO Rahul Johri were rejected as “mischievous and fabricated” by a three-member probe panel on Wednesday but the Committee of Administrators was divided on him resuming office with Diana Edulji iterating her demand for his resignation. Johri was on forced leave for three weeks but can now resume office even though one member of the probe committee recommended “gender sensitivity counselling” for him. The 2P16 member CoA was divided on the issue. Chhattisgarh poll: Voter turnout of 76.35 per cent was recorded in the Chhattisgarh Assembly election which concluded on Tuesday, poll authorities said. It was a little less than the previous 2013 polls when 77.40 per cent of voters had exercised their franchise. The election to the 90-member Assembly was held in two phases -- November 12 and 20. The incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power for the past 15 years. “An average 76.35 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the twophased election,” CEO said at a press meet. Farmers march: Demanding compensation for drought and the transfer of forest rights to tribals, thousands of farmers and tribals began a two-day march from Thane to Mumbai on Wednesday, eight months after a similar protest that started from Nashik. Magsaysay award winner Dr Rajendra Singh, also known as Waterman of India, is among P7 the marchers. AUSTRALIA BEAT INDIA IN FIRST T20 P12 P16 Governor dissolves J&K Assembly Raj Bhavan cites horse trading and instability as reasons for decision PDP, PC stake claim NC, Cong support PDP BJP backs Lone SNS & PTI JAMMU/SRINAGAR, 21 NOV Max.93% TEMPERATURE DAD DEFENDS IVANKA TRUMP OVER PERSONAL E-MAILS INTERPOL PICKS SOUTH KOREAN OVER RUSSIAN RIVAL 'BJP WANTS KEJRIWAL ELIMINATED’ T he Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was abruptly dissolved by the Governor on Wednesday night hours after the PDP staked claim to form a government with the backing of rival National Conference and the Congress, followed by another bid from the twomember People's Conference which claimed the support of the BJP and 18 legislators from other parties. The dissolution was announced by Governor Satya Pal Malik in a communique released by Raj Bhavan. In another late-night communique, the Governor cited four main reasons for dissolving the Assembly with immediate effect, including “extensive horsetrading and possible exchange of money” and the “impossibility” of forming a stable government by parties with “opposing political ideologies”. Malik also raised “serious doubts” about the longevity of any such arrangement where there are competing claims of majority and highlighted “fragile security scenario” and the need for “a supportive environment” for security forces. The dissolution of the Assembly, which was in suspended animation since June 19, marked the culmination of a day-long high-voltage political drama in which People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti wrote to the Governor that her party, which has 29 MLAs, backed by the National Conference and the Congress with 15 and 12 legislators, respectively, intended to stake claim for formation of the government. The collective strength of the three parties was 56, well above the required number of 44 for a majority in the 87-member Assembly, Mehbooba, a former chief minister, said. Things moved swiftly thereafter with Sajad Lone, leader of the People's Conference, which has one MLA besides him, also sending a WhatsApp communication to Malik from midair staking his claim for government formation with the support of the 25-member BJP and “more than 18 other elected members” whose names he did not provide. The Governor, who had declared days ago that the Assembly would not be dissolved, then lost no time in going for dissolution invoking the relevant sections of the state Constitution. The dissolution paves the way for fresh elections in the state amid speculation that it could be held with the Lok Sabha polls due early next year. The six-month tenure of the Governor's rule ends on December 18 which will be followed by President's rule. The state Assembly's tenure was till October 2020. Governor's rule was clamped in the state on June 19 for a 6-month period following the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition gov- ernment headed by Mehbooba Mufti after the saffron party withdrew support. In a series of tweets, Mehbooba said since the past five months, regardless of political affiliations, “we shared the view that the state Assembly be dissolved immediately to avert horse trading and defections. “Oddly enough our pleas fell on deaf ears. But who would have thought that the very idea of a grand coalition would give such jitters”. She also said in a lighter vein that “In today's age of technology, it is very strange that the fax machine at the Governor's residence didn't receive our fax but swiftly issued one regarding the Assembly dissolution.” Senior Congress leader ‘Corruption peaking in Modi govt’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA INDORE, 21 NOVEMBER Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the credibility of institutions like Parliament and the CBI has been systematically denigrated in the Narendra Modi-led regime, which he said is making a “careful, well-thought-out calibrated effort” to weaken democracy. Addressing a press conference ahead of the November 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, Singh said corruption was peaking in the Modi government. “The country has witnessed credibility of institutions like Parliament and CBI systematically denigrated. There is a careful, well-thought-out and calibrated effort to weaken democracy,” he said. “The rule of law is under attack. history shall never forgive our present gener- Manmohan Singh said the relationship between the RBI and Finance Ministry has hit a low. There is need for harmony and coordination. ation if the situation is not changed,” he said. In a veiled reference to developments in the RBI and the CBI, Singh said the Modi government is trying to prevail over big institutions, adding this was detrimental to democracy and the law of the land. “The relationship between the RBI and Finance Ministry has hit a low,” the former Union finance minister said, adding there is a need for “harmony and coordination”. “The RBI governor and finance minister have a delicate relationship. Both have to work together. Even though the job of running the country rests with the government, specific responsibility is given to the RBI governor by the RBI Act. There is a need to recognise inter dependence of the two entities and work in harmony,” he said. “I am happy with the efforts being made to bring reconciliation. Both need to work in harmony with each other,” he said. He termed demonetisation as“organised loot and legalised plunder”. “This is a done act and can't be reverted. It is up to the people to get rid of the government which brought them on this disastrous path,” he said. The note ban and the “flawed” Goods and Services Tax (GST) of the NDA government have caused a “great damage” to the unorganised sector, Singh said. The note ban failed to achieve its goal, he added. Asked about his 2014 comments that Modi as PM would be a disaster to the country, he said he did not want to comment on his earlier remarks. “I used harsh words which I should not have. Now people will make the decision,” he added. Singh accused Modi of misusing the Prime Minister's post. “It does not befit the PM to abuse political opponents,” he said, adding Modi was using “unparliamentary words” against the Opposition. The BJP rejected Manmohan Singh's charge against the government while the Prime Minister's Office(PMO) did not react. Ghulam Nabi Azad said while the talks for formation of a popular government were in infancy stage, the BJP government at the Centre was so worried that they dissolved the state assembly. “It is clear that BJP's policy is either we or nobody,” Azad told PTI. Reacting to the development, the BJP said the best option in Jammu and Kashmir is to have fresh Assembly polls at the earliest as it slammed the proposed alliance of Opposition parties as a “combination of terror-friendly parties”. “The best option in such a scenario is to go in for a fresh election at the earliest. This Assembly cannot produce a stable government,” it added. Jammu and Kashmir needs a firm administration to deal with terrorism and not a combination of terror-friendly parties, it added. National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah tweeted “JKNC has been pressing for Assembly dissolution for 5 months now. It can't be a coincidence that within minutes of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba letter staking claim, the order to dissolve the Assembly suddenly appears.” In a letter to the Governor, Mehbooba staked the claim to form a government with the support of the Congress and the National Conference after the three parties put behind their differences in an apparent bid New alliance not acceptable: BJP STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 21 NOVEMBER Reacting to the move of the Congress-NC-PDP to form an alliance to form a government in J&K, the BJP on Wednesday said that the alliance of convenience for their own political survival will not be acceptable to the people of the state. In a statement, state spokesman of the BJP, Brigadier Anil Gupta, said that the single region unholy alliance supported by opportunistic Congress is likely to lead to the trifurcation of the state and push the state into an inter-regional turmoil. In view of the prevailing political environment in the state, a third front in Jaamu and Kashmir is necessary to safeguard democracy. The so called main stream regional political parties have failed to uphold the virtues of democracy in the state by boycotting the biggest democratic exercise undertaken by the state after the lapse of a decade. Rather than encouraging the people to participate in the municipal and panchayat elections to strengthen grass root level The unholy alliance supported by the Congress is likely to lead to the trifurcation of the state and push it into an inter-regional turmoil. Cong-NC-PDP have been rejected by the people. BRIGADIER ANIL GUPTA SPOKESMAN OF THE BJP IN J&K democracy in the state, those political parties tried all the tricks in their bag to scuttle the process to promote their agenda of dynastic and separatist politics. The successful conduct of these elections without any violence and large scale participation by the people has not only sent shock waves across the leadership of the parties but has also sent a strong message to them that the people of this state have firm faith in democracy. These parties have not only been rejected by the people, which was evident by a large number of their cadres contesting the elections despite a party diktat to the contrary, but have also lost much political space and their acceptance across the state. American national killed by tribespeople in Andamans PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PORT BLAIR/NEW DELHI, 21 NOVEMBER An American national was killed by members of a protected and reclusive tribe in the Andamans, possibly with arrows, when he tried to enter the North Sentinel Island, police said on Wednesday. John Allen Chau, 27, was killed by the Sentinelese Tribes on November 17, they said. “His body was most probably buried in the sands last week,” SP (Headquarters) and PRO of Andaman and Nicobar Police, Jatin Narwal, told PTI. “His death was caused by traditional weapons but we cannot specifically say whether he was killed by arrows or spears.The details will come out in course of detail investigation,” he said.When the US Embassy here was reached for a response, its spokesperson said, “We are aware of reports concerning a US citizen in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The welfare and safety of US citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the US Department of State.” “When a US citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment,” the spokesperson said in the email response.The Sentinelese people are among the tribes that survived the tsunami of 2004 without any help from the outside world. For the 2011 Census, enumerators could locate only 15 Sentinelese people - 12 men and three women. However, their numbers could be anything between 40 and 400, according to experts. P C Joshi, professor of Department of Anthropology at Delhi University, said the tribe has remained completely isolated from the outside world and despite efforts of the Anthropological Society of India which has tried to contact them indirectly by leaving bananas, coconuts for them, they have failed to make contact. “We have tried but the tribe has not shown any interest. They are aggressive and are known to attack outsiders with arrows and stones.’’ Trump under fire for backing Saudi prince on Khashoggi PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON, 21 NOVEMBER President Donald Trump has defended his decision not to hold Saudi rulers accountable in the brutal killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying maintaining strategic ties with Riyadh and keeping the global oil prices down were in the best interests of the US and the world, a stand criticised as a “betrayal of American values.” The murder of Khashoggi, a one-time insider-turned critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and a resident of the US, in the Saudi consulate in Turkey and dismembering of his body has spurred a wave of international anger against Saudi Arabia and its rulers. The US last week imposed sanctions on 17 individuals of Saudi Arabia for serious human rights abuse resulting from their roles in the killing of 59year-old Khashoggi at the kingdom's Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Saudi Arabia has blamed Khashoggi's death on rogue agents but denied claims that the crown prince had knowledge of the operation. Trump essentially argued that although the murder of Khashoggi was “terrible” and could not be condoned, it did not merit the disruption of a strategic relationship he has elevated to extraordinary levels. “We're not going to give up hundreds of millions of dollars in orders and let Russia and China have them ... it's a very simple equation for me. I'm about to make America great again,” Trump told reporters.“King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Khashoggi. “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event maybe he did and maybe he didn't!” Trump earlier said in a statement that immediately drew sharp criticism from his political opponents and the media. Reacting to the president's comments, Republican Senator Bob Corker and Democrat Bob Menendez issued a statement on behalf of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The two called on Trump to focus a second investigation specifically on the crown prince so as to “determine whether a foreign person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing, torture or other gross violation” of human rights. The Washington Post, where Khashoggi was a contributor, said President Trump's latest statement on the dissident journalist was a “betrayal of American values.” “President Trump on Tuesday confirmed what his administration has been signalling all along: It will stand behind Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman even if he ordered the brutal murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the Editorial Board of the Post said in a stinging editorial. “Mr. Trump has betrayed American values in service to what already was a bad bet on the 33-year-old prince,” it said while terming his statement as “crude”. Responding to questions from reporters at the White House before leaving for Florida to spend his Thanksgiving holidays, Trump said his decision was all about America first. “We're not going to give up hundreds of billions of dollars in orders and let Russia, China and everybody else have them. It's all about -- for me -- very simple, it's America first,” he said. “Saudi Arabia, if we broke with them, I think your oil prices would go through the roof. I've kept them down. They've helped me keep them down. Right now, we have low oil prices, or relatively I'd like to see it go down even lower.’’ Zarif mocks US president’s statement on Saudi prince AGENCIES TEHERAN, 21 NOVEMBER Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has issued a mocking response to President Donald Trump's announcement that he would stick by Saudi Arabia despite the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “Mr Trump bizarrely devotes the FIRST paragraph of his shameful statement on Saudi atrocities to accuse IRAN of every sort of malfeasance he can think of,” Zarif wrote on Twitter late Tuesday. Trump's statement on Saudi Arabia did indeed open with a litany of complaints against Iran, which he used to justify his continued backing of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. “Perhaps we're also responsible for the California fires, because we didn't help rake the forests,” Zarif added. This was a reference to the recent mockery of Trump for his claim that forest fires could be prevented with “more raking and cleaning and doing things”.
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