CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 24 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 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature will be around 29 and 18 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.94% P10 Sikhs among 32 killed in Pak market explosion Min. 31% Max: 29.9°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:56 hrs MOON RISES 18.03 hrs Min: 17.9°C (0) SUN SETS 16:51 hrs MOON SETS 06:42 hrs TEMPERATURE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PESHAWAR, 23 NOVEMBER At least 32 people, including three Pakistani-Sikhs, were killed and more than 40 others injured on Friday when a suicide bomber triggered a powerful bomb blast at a busy market outside a religious seminary in the country's restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, police said. According to initial investigation, an improvised explosive device was planted in a bike that was used for transporting vegetables to the popular Friday Market (Juma Bazar) near an imambargah, a Shia religious place, in Orakzai tribal district's Kalaya area, bordering Afghanistan. “This is a Friday bazaar, where hundreds of people had gathered for groceries,” Deputy Commissioner Khalid Iqbal said. “The ground is then used for Friday prayers as well,” he Afghan mosque blast kills 27 soldiers, injures 57 AGENCIES KABUL, 23 NOVEMBER An explosion ripped through a mosque inside an Afghan army base in the country's volatile eastern Khost province as Friday prayers were drawing to a close, killing 27 soldiers and wounding 57, the military said. The blast may have been set off by a suicide bomber or a remotely detonated bomb but nothing was officially confirmed and details were sketchy. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion. It was the latest in a relentless, near-daily onslaughts in Afghanistan, where the Taliban regularly target Afghan military and police forces throughout the country. “There were soldiers lying everywhere and the smoke Terror attack on Chinese consulate in Pak foiled 4 people, including 2 cops, killed Woman police officer saves staff BLA claims hand Indian govt condemns attack hree heavily-armed suicide bombers on Friday stormed the Chinese consulate in Pakistan's largest city of Karachi, killing four people including two policemen before being shot dead by security forces which foiled the daring attack in the high-security zone, police said. The attack was soon claimed by the outlawed Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) which said it would not tolerate “any Chinese military expansionist endeavours on Baloch soil”. Resource-rich Balochistan is at the heart of ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Three suspected suicide bombers were killed by security forces before they could enter the consulate, located in the posh Clifton area, Karachi Police Chief Amir Shaikh said. A fearless woman officer of Karachi Police, who was once abandoned by relatives in her village for joining a private school, on Friday saved the lives of many Chinese diplomatic staff when heavily-armed terrorists stormed the mission in the Pakistani city. Senior Superintendent Police Suhai Aziz Talpur led the security operation that foiled the brazen attack by members of the Baloch Liberation Army, or BLA, in Karachi. She ensured the terrorists, armed with nine hand-grenades, assault rifles, magazines and explo- was so thick, it was difficult to see,” said Abdullah, a spokesman at the base. Like most Afghans, he uses only one name. He spoke to The Associated Press over the phone from the base. The dead and wounded were rushed to a clinic within the army base, while the more seriously wounded were taken to a nearby hospital. Sakhi Sardar, head of the hospital in Khost said most of the wounded were being treated for devastating shrapnel wounds. The explosion came just days after a suicide bomber killed 55 religious scholars gathered in the Afghan capital, Kabul, to celebrate the holiday marking the birth of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. The Taliban denied involvement in that bombing, which also wounded 94 people. added. At least 32 people were killed while more than 40 others injured, Dawn news quoted district administration officials as saying. “Three Sikh traders and three children were also among the dead in the Orakzai blast,” Iqbal told PTI. The minority Sikh community in the area was previously displaced by the Taliban that controlled the region prior to the military operation in 2010, Samaa TV reported. Officials said that most of the victims were minority Shia Muslims, who in the past were also targeted in the area. “Three children were among those killed. The remote-controlled bomb was attached to a motorcycle,” officials said. “I was buying vegetables at a distance from bomb site,” Karam Khan, who accompanied an injured person to the hospital in Kohat, said. NEW DELHI, 23 NOVEMBER Pakistani security personnel stand next to burned out vehicles in front of the Chinese consulate after an attack in Karachi on Friday. At least two policemen were killed when unidentified gunmen stormed the Chinese consulate in Karachi, officials said. AFP sives, did not reach the diplomatic staff inside the consulate building. Police said the terrorists were carrying food supplies and medicines, suggesting they had planned to take hostages. Nine hand grenades, Kalashnikov assault rifles, magazines and explosives were recovered from the possession of the terrorists, Geo News reported. “Food supplies and medicines were also recovered from their possession,” officials said. “We have received two dead bodies of policemen and an injured Chinese security guard who is under treatment,” said Seemi Jamali, the executive director at the Jinnah Hospital. Two civilians, a father and his son were also killed, officials said. The Sindh government and the Pakistan Army ‘Bid to undermine CPEC’ KARACHI, 23 NOVEMBER Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and ordered an inquiry into the incident. Speaking at a cabinet meeting, the premier said the security forces had "reached quickly and neutralised the attackers". "It could have been worse if they [the terrorists] had gone inside," he said. "The failed attack against the Chinese Consulate was clearly a reac- tion to the unprecedented trade agreements that resulted from our trip to China. The attack was intended to scare Chinese investors and undermine the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. These terrorists will not succeed," he added. DAWN confirmed that three terrorists were killed in the operation. The heavily-guarded EStreet neighbourhood, which is considered a red zone, is home to a number of upscale restaurants, diplomatic missions and schools. The Bilawal House of Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also in the area. Schools and eateries have been locked down. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 23 NOVEMBER India on Friday lodged a strong protest with Islamabad over the humiliation of Indian High Commission officials and denial of access to them to Indian pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Nankana Sahib and Gurdwara Sacha Sauda in Pakistan on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. As a result of such harassment over the past two days, the officials were compelled to return to Islamabad without performing their diplomatic and consular duties vis-a-vis Indian pilgrims, New Delhi said. This came a day after the two countries gave the green signal to the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, raising hopes of a breakthrough in bilateral ties. In a statement, the Exter- nal Affairs Ministry said India had pointed out to Pakistan that this was the third consecutive visit of the Indian Sikh pilgrims when Pakistan has prevented the high commission officials from meeting the visiting Indian nationals on the pretext of security in order to deflect attention from Islamabad’s violation of the international legal instruments and conventions like the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963. The MEA said Pakistan’s action was also in breach of the letter and spirit of the 1974 Bilateral Protocol on visit to religious shrines and the Code of Conduct for the treatment of diplomatic/consular personnel in India and Pakistan, 1992. India said Islamabad has been reminded that this was in contrast to the treatment meted out to the Pakistan High Commissioner in India and Consular officials in New Delhi who have been provided full access to meet the Pakistani pilgrims who were currently in India on pilgrimage to Kalyar Sharif . "We have also expressed grave concern at the reports of attempts being made during the ongoing visit of the Indian pilgrims to Pakistan, to incite communal disharmony and intolerance and pro- mote secessionist tendencies with the objective of undermining India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Pakistan has been called upon to take all measures to not allow its territory to be used for any hostile propaganda and support for secessionist tendencies against India in keeping with the commitments made under the Simla Agreement, 1972 and endorsed in the Lahore Declaration, 1999,’’ the government said. Pakistan was also told that SNS & PTI Amid the stand-off over entry of women of menstrual age into the Lord Ayyappa temple, the Kerala government on Friday informed the High Court that two days could be set apart for women pilgrims of all ages to offer prayers at the Sabarimala hill shrine. The suggestion was made when the court was hearing a petition moved by four women devotees seeking protection for women of all age groups to offer prayers at the shrine besides facilities for smooth pilgrimage in the wake of the recent Supreme Court judgement. In their PIL, the four women, in their 20s and 30s, suggested devoting two to three days exclu- sively to women of all ages “who are desirous to go to Sabarimala after ridding the shrine, its premises and nearby towns from the goons and henchmen” opposing entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine. The petition, filed by Reshma Nishanth, Shanila Sajeesh, Dhanya V S and Surya M, came up before a division bench, comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar. During the hearing, the state government, in line with the suggestion made by the women, informed the court that two days could be set apart for women of all age groups to offer prayers at the shrine during the pilgrimage season. The petitioners said they India on Friday strongly condemned the terror attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi that claimed the lives of at least six people. "India strongly condemns the terrorist attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi this morning," the External Affairs Ministry said in statement. "We condole the loss of lives in this dastardly attack," it said. Stating that there could be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism, the statement said: "The perpetrators of this heinous attack should be brought to justice expeditiously. Such terrorist attacks only strengthens the resolve of the international community to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations." Two policemen and three suspected militants were killed on Friday in an exchange of fire between a security guard and unidentified assailants near the Chinese Consulate in Karachi, police said. Pakistan assured China on Friday of “robust security” to Chinese nationals in the country and thoroughly probe the terror attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi that killed PTI several people. India protests Pak denial of access to Sikh pilgrims Govt in HC: ‘Set aside 2 days for women’ KOCHI, 23 NOVEMBER P12 T Pakistani paramedics transport an injured bomb blast victim to a hospital after the bombing at a market in Kohat on Friday. At least 31 people were killed and 50 wounded when a bomb hidden in a carton of vegetables ripped through a crowded marketplace in Pakistan's restive northwestern tribal region, officials said. AFP Rajapaksa’s opponents win control of parliament panel: Ousted Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickeremesinghe's alliance on Friday won control of a powerful panel in Parliament, dealing a blow to President Maithripala Sirisena and his PM appointee Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sirisena's party members walked out of Parliament, which resumed its session on Friday after being adjourned on Monday, protesting against the Speaker's move to appoint five members of the UPFA which is led by the President. P3 KARACHI, 23 NOVEMBER THUMBNAILS Sonia joins Mary Kom in final: Unheralded Sonia Chahal stormed into the finals of Women's World Boxing Championships by outclassing her North Korean opponent Jo Son Hwa but Simranjit Kaur had to settle for a bronze after losing the semifinal bout here Friday. The 21-year-old Sonia registered a unanimous 5-0 win over her North Korean opponent, a silver medallist in the Jakarta Asian Games, in the 57kg semifinals to reach the final in her P11 debut World Championships. INDIA NOSEDIVE AS MITHALI RAJ GETS DROPPED DAWN/ANN & PTI Next quarter of moon on 4 December Parashnath rally during Kartick Purnima in Kolkata on Friday. DILIP DUTTA DOVAL IN CHINA FOR BORDER TALKS GIBRALTAR ROCKS FINAL EXIT STAGES ‘I BELIEVE IN FIGHTING IT OUT’ were ardent devotees of Lord Ayyappa and have been observing the customary “vritham” (the mandatory austerities for visiting Sabarimala) adorning the ritual chain and wearing black dresses after the Supreme Court pro- nounced its judgement opening the hill temple to all women irrespective of age. The petitioners said they CMYK very much wanted to go and pray at the shrine. But due to the protests by some people with the support of leaders of the BJP, the Congress and temple head priest, they could not enter the shrine, they alleged. They sought a directive to the government to ensure facilities and arrangements for smooth pilgrimage for all women and to provide adequate and sufficient protection to them for entering the temple fearlessly and freely in compliance with the apex court judgment. Meanwhile, another division bench Friday ordered the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the shrine, not to divert funds to the state government without permission. such actions were not in consonance with the stated intentions of Pakistan to facilitate the visits of Indian Sikh pilgrims, especially when the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak was being celebrated. PTI adds: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday launched year-long celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, and called upon people to set aside their religious and political differences to join his government in making it memorable. Addressing a large gathering in Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district, where Nanak Dev spent over 14 years of his early life, Singh exhorted the people to reconnect with his teachings, principles and ideals. Greeting people on the occasion of 'Gurpurab', he invited people from across the world to participate in the celebrations. As part of the celebrations, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore inaugurated an exhibition, 'From Rabab to Nagara', curated by historian Mohinder Singh, the director of Delhi-based National Institute of Punjab Studies. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and many senior Congress leaders, including Asha Kumari and Sunil Jakhar, were present on the occasion. Manmohan Singh, Badnore and the chief minister laid the foundation stones of 26 development projects worth Rs 150 crore on the occasion. The projects included upgrade of infrastructure in the historic towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Dera Baba Nanak and Batala. Bukhari ‘murderer’, 5 other terrorists killed SNS & PTI SRINAGAR, 23 NOVEMBER In a blow to Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, six militants, including a terrorist involved in planning journalist Shujaat Bukhari's murder and three commanders, were killed in an early morning encounter at Bijbehara in South Kashmir, police said. The security forces had launched an operation in the foothills of Wagahama Suktipora Thursday night following information about the presence of militants in a hideout there, they said. The police said there was firing from a house and the six militants were killed when they were trying to escape under the cover of darkness in the ensuing encounter. “It was a swift operation based on intelligence inputs provided from the ground,” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Swayam Prakash Pani said here after the encounter ended. The terrorists were identified by the police as Azad Ahmad Malik of Arwani in Bijbehara, Unais Shafi of Takiya Maqbool Shah, Bijbehara, Basit Ishtiyaq of Pushwara Anantnag, Atif Najar of Waghama Bijbehara, Firdous Ahmad of Muchpuna Pulwama and Shahid Bashir of Kawni Awantipora. “It was a combined group of Hizbul Mujahideen and LeT ultras.’’
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