CMYK www.thestatesman.com MONDAY FIND US ONLINE 26 NOVEMBER 2018 Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P3 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. The maximum and minimum temperature will be around 29 and 18 degrees celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.89% TEMPERATURE Max: 28.2°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:57 hrs MOON RISES 20.01 hrs ‘NO INTERFERENCE IN PROBES AGAINST RAJAPAKSA’ STILL POPULAR, BUT QUESTIONS BEING ASKED ‘MODI NOT PRIME MINISTERIAL IN CAMPAIGN’ P7 P9 Saffron strength show in temple push 3 lakh crowd claimed in largest Ram bhakt gathering in Ayodhya since ’92 Min. 49% Min: 17.5°C (-1) SUN SETS 16:51 hrs MOON SETS 08:47 hrs Moon phase: Next quarter on 4 Dec THUMBNAILS People hold a placard reading "Green tide" (Marea verde) during a demonstration under the slogan to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Barcelona on Sunday. AFP India win third T201: Skipper Virat Kohli (61 not out) scored a sparkling half-century to guide India to a six-wicket victory over Australia and level the three-match rubber 1-1 at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday. The visitors were in a must-win situation as Australia had won the first T201 at Brisbane while the second game was washed out at Melbourne. Syria ‘chemical’ attack: Russia on Sunday said it had launched strikes on Syrian “terrorist” groups it accused of carrying out a chlorine attack on the city of Aleppo. Around 100 Syrians were hospitalised with breathing difficulties in Aleppo, state media said Sunday, after allegations rebels fired “toxic gas” on the P9 regime-held city the previous day. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA AYODHYA, 25 NOVEMBER housands of devotees thronged the temple town of Ayodhya on Sunday to attend VHP's marathon 'Dharam Sabha' for discussing construction of a Ram Temple there, with a senior religious leader asserting the dates for the same would be announced early next year. Addressing the sabha after the inauguration marked by chanting of mantras at the Badey Bhaktmaal ki Bagia, Ramji Das of Nirmohi Akhara said: “The date for construction of the Ram temple will be declared in the 2019 Kumbh which will be held in Prayagraj.” “It is only a matter of a few days, and I request you all to show some patience,” the seer remarked. The venue wore a festive look with placards, saffron flags and buntings carried by enthusiastic Ram devotees seen all over. While bhajans of Lord Ram played at different places all along the route, the involvement of some Muslims led by member of Ayodhya Zila Panchayat, Babloo Khan, who has been linked to the movement since the past three years, emphasised the composite culture of the town. I have been associated with the Ram temple movement for last 3 years, and I feel that even the Muslims of Ayodhya want a Ram T Sadhus attend the 'Dharam Sabha' congregation held to call for the construction of a grand temple of Lord Rama, in Ayodhya on Sunday. SNS temple should be built. I am a Muslim, and I am welcoming the Ram devotees,” Khan told PTI. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad said over 3 lakh people attended the congregation as devotees from all walks of life descended here to discuss the way forward for building the temple. VHP leader Champat Rai declared that no formula dividing the disputed land will be acceptable for temple construction at Ayodhya. “We want the entire land for temple construction...no formula dividing the land is acceptable,” he told the Dharam Sabha. Though Rai did not spell out the details, his assertions are considered to be in reference to the Allahabad High court verdict dividing the land into three parts. Nritya Gopaldas, the president of the Ram Janmbhoomi Nyas said, “such a large attendance shows that how much people from different walks of life are attached to the Ram temple. “We respect the courts. We have great hopes from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP chief ministerYogi Adityanath. I request Adityanath to pave the way for construction of Ram temple,” he said. The religious congregation which lasted for nearly five hours saw around 50 seers from different ashrams and akhadas taking part in the religious meeting. Seers from Haridwar, Hrisikesh, Ujjain, Chitraoot, Prayagraj and Lucknow attended the congregation, said Mahant Ramdas of Nirmohi Akhada of Ayodhya. Slogans of ‘har ghar pe bhagwa chhayegaa, ram rajya phir aayegaa' and ‘tel lagaao dabur kaa, naam mittaao Babar kaa' could be heard from various corners of the programme venue and also on the stretch of the road leading to it. Senior religous leader Ram Bhadracharya claimed he had met a senior minister on Friday with regard to construction of the temple. “On 23 November I had called a senior union minister who assured that after the model code of conduct comes to an end on 11 December, the Prime Minister is likely to sit with them and take such a decision so that Ram temple could be built,” he told the gathering. “... Once Ram temple is built it will become a ghoshit Hindu raashtra,” he added. Large size hoardings of Mahant Avaidyanath (guru of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath), Mahant Ramchandra Das and VHP stalwart Ashok Singhal dotted the place. A model of the proposed Ram temple was also displayed at the venue. The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, an umbrella body of more than a dozen Muslim religious and social organisations, has written to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his urgent intervention into the developments in Ayodhya. The VHP's Dharam Sabha is being touted as the largest congregation of 'Ram bhakts' in Ayodhya since the 1992 'kar seva' and takes place less than two weeks ahead of the 26th anniversary of the demolition of the Babari Mosque, that had triggered unrest in the town and riots in other parts of India. UN selects Noida for GSC 2025 plan Cong threatened SC judges who tried to hear Ayodhya cases: Modi PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NOIDA, 25 NOVEMBER The United Nations has selected Uttar Pradesh's Noida and Greater Noida to participate in its Global Sustainable Cities 2025 initiative, officials said. The twin cities, adjoining the national capital, have been selected in the “University City” category ahead of Mumbai and Bengaluru as the only invitee from India, a senior UN official said. Overall, 25 cities across the world have been selected in five categories by the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals cities initiative, senior UN advisor and CEO UN Global Sustainability Index Institute Roland Schatz said. Schatz formally extended Noida-Greater Noida will be competing with cities such as Cambridge, Palo Alto and Heidelberg. the invitation Sunday to Gautam Buddh Nagar District Magistrate Brajesh Narain Singh in the presence of Shubhro Sen, the principal advisor, India, SDG Initiative. The SDGs, otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. In the “University City” category, NoidaGreater Noida will be competing with cities such as Cambridge, Palo Alto and Heidelberg. ALWAR, 25 NOVEMBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged Sunday that the Congress threatened Supreme Court judges with impeachment when they tried hear the Ayodhya dispute cases earlier this year. Without naming anyone, Modi claimed that Congress party's Rajya Sabha members, who are also lawyers, had tried to scare away the apex court judges to ensure the hearing in the cases is delayed until after the 2019 Lok Sabha election. In an unprecedented move, seven opposition parties led by the Congress had moved a notice for the impeachment of then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in April this year, accusing him of “misbehaviour” and “misuse” of authority. Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu rejected the notice, saying the case against the then CJI was based on “suspicion and conjectures”. At the political rally in Rajasthan's Alwar district, Modi said the Congress has no faith in democracy and judiciary. “It does not hold dialogue and stall proceedings in Parliament, but the new game they are playing now is dangerous and this must be debated for a bright future of the country.” “If a Supreme Court judge does not prepare the timetable (for hearing cases) as per their (Congress's) political intentions and wants to hear all to deliver justice on a serious and sensitive issue, such as Ayodhya, then the party's lawyers, who are Rajya Sabha members, start the game of scaring the judges in the name of impeachment,” Modi said. He urged intellectuals to analyse this “dangerous game” of the Congress in the interest of the country. “They are working to scare judiciary on the ground of their numbers in Rajya Sabha. But we will not let this 'kaala kaarnama' happen in the temple of democracy,” he said. The prime minister said the opposition party has “no courage” to talk about development and hence “they ask about the caste of Modi.” BJP vs Rest narrative missing in Telangana ANINDITA CHOWDHURY HYDERABAD, 25 NOVEMBER Among the five poll-bound states, Telangana stands apart simply because the usual election narratives of BJP versus Congress and Narendra Modi against the rest of the political parties are missing. So are the usual issues of increasing fuel prices, rise of prices of essential commodities or farm distress that plague the rest of the country even thoughVAT on fuel is one of the highest in Telangana, as is the number of farmer suicides, but it is the issue of unemployment that might turn out to be an Achille’s heel for the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi. The usual election narrative is missing since as a party BJP occupies very little space in Telangana politics, and without its partner TDP it has lost its position of prominence in the entire state, save in some pockets in Hyderabad city. Instead of being Narendra Modi versus the rest, in the case of Telangana it is K Chandrasekhar Rao against all other parties, including the Congress, a shrinkingTelugu Desam Party and CPI and a new entity, Telangana Jana Samithi which is so weak that even alliance partner Congress considers it to be a pushover enough to have friendly fights in the seats it had left to TJS. Development or the lack of it, depending on which side you are on, seems to be sole poll issue in the youngest state of the country and has clearly drawn the battle lines. Initially catching the Opposition napping, the TRS, burgeoned by their citizen-friendly schemes, most of which come with a monetary incentive, had thought it will get a walkover. The bumbling seat sharing negotiations by alliance partners fortified its notions further but there have been quite a few cases where sitting MLAs of the TRS had to face some unpleasant questions. In other words, unpopular candidates might cost TRS in some seats such as Dharmapuri, said a former professor of law, who preferred to remain anonymous. In rural areas, TRS may get the benefits of investing heavily in irrigation schemes. Since the Telangana statehood movement was fought on issues like rightful share of water and its natural resources, the commencement of irrigation projects are definitely bringing some votes. So does the successful implementation of Mission Kakatiya, according to civil society activist Padmanabha Reddy. However, unemployment remains a problem area. As a course correction,TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao is seen harping on the KOM NAMED BEST BOXER OF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP employment opportunities such as auto park or food processing unit in his visits to the constituencies, even while bashing TDP’s N Chandrababu Naidu for entering Telangana through back door, i.e. the Congress. In some cases failure of the schemes like 2 BHK houses for the poor might be a sore point for voters. But as TRS minister Jagadish Reddy admitted to voters quite frankly, “We have not fulfilled all promises but do consider what we have been able to achieve in this four years.” However, voters from Seemandhra settled in Telangana have been won over by KCR with improving urban infrastructure and moreover by accommodating MLAs who had won previously on TDP tickets. “Actually, everything has remained the same, contractors and politicians from Seemandhra have been accommodated,” said Padmanabha Reddy. CMYK P12 Militants wanted for civilian killings among 6 shot dead STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 25 NOVEMBER In another major success within two days for the security forces, six terrorists, including top commanders of the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), were on Sunday morning killed in an encounter at Batagund in Shopian district of South Kashmir. A Pakistani terrorist was also among those killed. One of the slain terrorists, Mohammad Abbas Bhat, was involved in the killing of a young Kashmiri Army officer, Lieutenant Omar Fayaz, who was abducted from his house and brutally killed by terrorists, said police. An Army soldier was also killed, while another was injured during the encounter. A youth was also killed, reportedly in the crossfire, when a mob indulged in stone pelting at the security forces that were engaged in the encounter. The soldier killed was a local Kashmiri, identified as Nazir Ahmad of 162 battalion of Territorial Army. He belonged to Kulgam in South Kashmir. Another soldier, Sunil of 34 RR, was injured. Army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia, said that the bodies of six terrorists have been recovered and arms and ammunition recovered from the encounter spot. The security forces had on 23 November also killed six terrorists, of whom three were top commanders of Hizbul Mujahedeen (HM) and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT). Today's encounter broke out in the wee hours when a joint team of the Army's Kashmiri villagers look on from a rooftop during a funeral procession for top militant commander Majid Ganai in Kulgam district, south of Srinagar, on Sunday. AFP 34RR, CRPF and SOG of J&K Police launched a cordon and search operation in Batagund following credible reports of presence of terrorists. Forty-four terrorists of various outfits have been killed in Shopian during the current year. Police have identified the local slain terrorists as Umar Majid Ganai alias Hanzullah (HM commander),WaseemWagay, Abbas Sheikh, Mushtaq Ahmad Mir and Khalid Farooq Malik of Alyalpora, Shopian. They were involved in the killing of several policemen, civilians and bank guards. Umar Majid Ganai has escaped a few months ago during a shootout in Batamalo area of Srinagar that left an SOG man dead. A picture of Ganai showing him in Srinagar's Lal Chowk had gone viral on social media last week. According to police, the Pakistani militant, codenamed Kafeel, was involved in the killing of a civilian who was kidnapped from Amarinder declines, Sidhu accepts Pak Kartarpur invite Indian school girls take a selfie after offering prayers towards the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, in Pakistan, at Dera Baba Nanak on the outskirts of Amritsar on Sunday. AFP PRESS TRUST OF INDIA CHANDIGARH, 25 NOVEMBER Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh Sunday declined Pakistan's invite to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor on the other side of the border, even as his cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu accepted the request “with unalloyed joy”. In a letter to Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Singh said it is a historic occasion, but regretted his inability to be present, citing terror attacks in his state and killings of Indian soldiers by Pakistan troops as the reason. “Firstly, not a day passes when Indian soldiers are not killed or wounded on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Rather than moving towards normalcy, these incidents are escalating,” he said. Secondly, the chief minister claimed, Pakistan's InterServices Intelligence (ISI) has started its nefarious activities in Punjab. “Since March 2017, the state has neutralised 19 ISI-armed and controlled modules, apprehended 81 terrorists and seized 79 weapons,” the chief minister claimed. The last attack took place in Amritsar a few days ago, on a peaceful religious congregation in a village leaving three people, Singh noted. “I hope that the (Pakistan) prime minister will understand the circumstances... It will not be possible for me to be present in Pakistan on this historic occasion, despite the fact that paying my respects at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib has always been my cherished dream,” he said. State cabinet minister Sidhu, who had been advocating a corridor connecting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in Punjab's Gurdaspur, on Sunday wrote to Qureshi, accepting his invitation for the ground-breaking ceremony, where Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will also be present. “It is with great honour and unalloyed joy that I accept your invitation to attend the ground-breaking ceremony at Kartarpur Sahib on November 28. I look forward to meeting you on this historic occasion,” Sidhu wrote to Qureshi. Shopian and his throat was slit. The video of this gruesome act was uploaded on social media. Mohammad Abbas Bhat is also said to have been involved in the decapitation of 19-yearold Huzaif Ashraf. A 17-year-old youth, Nouman Ashraf, was killed and four others injured in clashes with security forces at the encounter spot. Police burst teargas shells to chase away the stone-pelters but they did not relent. Another Pakistani terrorist, code name Waseem, was killed in the Khrew area near Srinagar. He belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit. Police said that on a credible input about the presence of terrorists, a swift search operation was launched jointly by Police and security forces at Bathien area of Khrew in Awantipora. As the searches were going on, the security forces were fired upon by the terrorist, leading to a brief exchange of gunfire in which the terrorist was killed. EU leaders back May’s Brexit deal BRUSSELS, 25 NOVEMBER The 27 EU national leaders have agreed to endorse Theresa May's Brexit deal at a meeting in Brussels. The heads of state and government backed the treaty after meeting for around half an hour ~with the real work having been done by negotiators during the preceding 18 months. The European Council released a statement on Sunday morning saying it had approved the the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration on the future relationship. But despite the sign-off in Brussels the accord still faces formidable opposition in Westminster and Britain at large, with all opposition parties, and a large chunk of the governing Conservative party totally set against it. Arriving at the summit, Europe’s top brass urged the British parliament, which will now get a vote on the agreement, to also back it. Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the agreement was “This is the best deal possible. I’m inviting those who have to ratify this deal in the House of Commons to take this into consideration. This is the best deal for the UK, the best deal for Europe, this is the only deal possible,” Juncker said and that the EU would not change its “fundamental position” in any attempt to renegotiate it. Meanwhile European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier insisted he has always “negotiated with the UK, never against” it. What will happen once the deal is most likely rejected by the House of Commons remains unclear. THE INDEPENDENT Details on Page 10
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