SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 02 DECEMBER 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 A GREAT METAMORPHOSIS OF ORDINARY MEN INTO LEGENDARY CHARACTERS THROUGH A TRADITIONAL MASK DANCE WHICH IS PERFORMED FOR THREE DAYS A POLO MATCH CELEBRATES ONE OF THE MOST ASTOUNDINGLY DANGEROUS AND EXHILARATING DISPLAYS OF FINESSE, COURAGE AND TEAMWORK WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Max and min temp to be around 29/19 degrees Celsius, resp. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.88% TEMPERATURE Lawyer of key accused in US $2 billion PNB fraud tells PMLA court judge Min. 40% PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Max: 29.3°C (+1) Min: 19.6°C (+3) SUN SETS SUN RISES 16:51 hrs 06:01 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 01:07 hrs 13:37 hrs Next quarter of moon on 4 December THUMBNAILS Call for bank strike on 26 December: Bank unions on Saturday called for a nationwide strike on 26 December to protest the proposed merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank. The government had in September approved the merger of the three public sector lenders. The strike will be organised by the United Forum of Bank Unions , an umbrella body of nine employee and officer unions. The government and the concerned banks were moving ahead with the merger and hence the strike, AIBEA secretary said. P8 GST collection drops: Goods and Services (GST) collection in Nov dropped to Rs 97,637 crore, lower than Rs 1 lakh crore collected previous month. The total number of GSTR 3B returns filed for October up to November 30, 2018, is 69.6 lakh, the finance ministry said in a statement. Compensation released to states for August-September stood at Rs 11,922 crore. Of the Rs 97,637 crore collected, central GST (CGST) collection is Rs 16,812 crore, state GST (SGST) is Rs 23,070 crore, integrated P8 GST (IGST) is Rs 49,726 crore. Bush senior passes away at 94 ‘Nirav can’t return to India, fears lynching’ MUMBAI, 1 DECEMBER ugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, a key accused in the USD 2 billion PNB fraud case, cannot return to India as he is afraid of “getting lynched” and is being compared to demon 'Ravan' , his lawyer told a special court on Saturday, but ED dismissed the claim saying if he felt there were “security threats”, he should have filed a police complaint. Nirav Modi's lawyer Vijay Agarwal stated this while arguing before Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court Judge MS Azmi against the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) application to declare Modi a fugitive under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. Countering the ED plea, Nirav Modi also said through his lawyer that he had no record or data with him about his finances. Referring to Nirav Modi's claims of “security threats” in India, the ED said these points are “irrelevant” to the case. The ED has claimed that Nirav Modi had refused F to join the probe despite acknowledging mails and summons issued to him and that he doesn't want to return to India. Agarwal, however, said the diamond trader had responded to the emails sent by the investigating agencies and expressed his inability to return due to “security threats”. “In a letter addressed to both the CBI and the ED, Modi had stated that he was not able to join the probe because of security threats (in India) from private persons, the families of those who have been detained (in the PNB case), landlords, the creditors who have not been paid and the customers whose jewellery was taken away by the ED,” he said. “My (Modi's) 50ft tall effigy was burnt in Irregularities in storing EVMs after polling in M.P. alleged STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BHOPAL, 1 DECEMBER HOUSTON, 1 DECEMBER George H W Bush, the 41st president of the US who led America during the dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union and engineered the defeat of an audacious Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, died here on Friday. He was 94. His death, which was announced by his office, came less than eight months after that of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush. “Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” George Bush Jr, 43rd US president, said in a statement. President Donald Trump will attend the state funeral of the ex-president, the White House said Saturday. Trump has cancelled G20 press meet 'out of respect' to the Bush P10 family. AFP Almost half-a-dozen incidents of alleged mishandling or irregularities in storing the Electronic Voting Machines from various districts of Madhya Pradesh within three days after polling on 28 November have raised questions on the safety and security of the EVMs and triggered protests and allegations of a ‘large conspiracy’ from Opposition parties including Congress, AAP and others. Incidents like power cut in the strong room holding EVMs in Bhopal, election officials depositing EVMs in Sagar district after 48 hours of polling, alleged entry of some unauthorized persons into the EVM strong room in Satna and similar complaints of alleged irregularities from Shujalpur, Sagar and some other places have led to a major post-poll controversy in the state. MP Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) V L Kantha Rao held an emergency meeting with officials concerned at the EC office in Bhopal on Saturday to review the situation. Meanwhile, the Congress has approached the Election Commission (EC) over the matter while the AAP leaders have alleged that all this is part of a major controversy by the ruling BJP Congress MP and . state party chief Kamal Nath has tweeted that the Congress is certain to form the government in MP and so there is a strong possibility of some mischief with the EVMs. He has also asked all Congress workers in all places where the EVMs have been stored across the state to keep round the clock vigil outside the strong room till 11 December, the day when the results would be announced. Nath has also appealed to the officials involved in EVM storage and security to respect the spirit of democracy and Rahul questions Modi’s religion, BJP hits back PRESS TRUST OF INDIA JAIPUR, 1 DECEMBER Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi what kind of Hindu he is as he “does not understand” the foundation of Hinduism, prompting a strong retort from senior BJP leaders. “What is the essence of Hinduism? What does the Gita say? That knowledge is with everybody... Knowledge is all around you. Every living being has knowledge,” he said at an interactive session at Udaipur in Rajasthan. “Our prime minister says he is a Hindu, but he doesn't understand (the) foundation of Hinduism. What kind of a Hindu is he,” the Congress chief went on to say. Hitting back, BJP president Amit Shah said, “The India. There was evidence of a mob lynching (against me) and I (Modi) was being compared with 'Ravan'. I have been projected as evil and being made the poster boy of the bank fraud,” said Agarwal. He also claimed that Modi cannot be declared a fugitive as various legal requirements stipulated by the Fugitive Economic Offenders (FEO) Act have not been met by the investigating agency. “The main reason the ED is seeking to declare Nirav Modi a fugitive is that he left India under suspicious circumstances on January 1, 2018. However, there was no criminal case (against him) when he had left the country,” Agarwal said. “They cannot just say that he left the country under suspicious circumstances. They need to specify what those suspicions were. Also there is no material on record to say that he is refusing to return to India,” he said. Unlike liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Modi had no Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) when he left the country, Agarwal argued. Congress is now preaching us about Hinduism... They are giving us lessons of Gita.” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also reacted sharply saying she wishes the day won't come when people have to learn the meaning of Hinduism from Gandhi. She said the Congress president himself and the party are confused about his religion and caste. “The Congress claimed that Rahul Gandhi is a Hindu who wears a Brahminical thread, but I did not know he is so rich in knowledge that now he will teach us the meaning of Hinduism. I wish the day won't come when we have to learn the meaning of being a Hindu from Rahul Gandhi,” she told reporters here. Rahul Gandhi held Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies responsible for unemployment. Addressing a public meeting at Bhilwara in poll-bound Rajasthan, he claimed that the decisions to implement demonetisation and the GST had left lakhs of Indians unemployed. perform their duties with utmost honesty. In Bhopal, where 2265 EVMs from seven Assembly constituencies have been stored in the Old Jail premises, power supply to the strong room CCTV cameras and LED Screens was cut twice on Friday for more than an hour. It triggered protests from leaders and workers of Congress and AAP Reacting . to the development, AAP MP and party president Alok Agarwal alleged that it was “part of a larger conspiracy.” CEO Kantha Rao said a report had been sought from the district election officer. Similarly, in Sagar district, the election officials of Khurai area entrusted with the responsibility to deposit EVMs at the district headquarters at Sagar allegedly reached with 50 EVMs almost 48 hours after polling. The distance between Khurai and Sagar is merely 51 kilometres and it takes about an hour and half by road. The district collector said the EVMs were being verified at the Collectorate and a report on the slack officers had been forwarded to the Election Commission. Charge sheet filed against Hooda and Vora NEW DELHI, 1 DECEMBER The CBI filed a charge sheet against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Congress leader Motilal Vora on Saturday in connection with the alleged irregularities in the re-allotment of an institutional plot in Panchkula, Haryana to the Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which is allegedly controlled by Congress leaders. The central agency, which filed the charge sheet in a special court, has alleged that the reallotment of the plot, C-17, has caused a loss of Rs 67 lakh to the exchequer. CBI has charged Hooda, Vora, and the company under the IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and the provisions of the Prevention PTI of Corruption Act. India’s agenda to deal with econ offenders BUENOS AIRES, 1 DEC India on Friday presented a nine-point agenda to G20 member nations calling for strong and active cooperation among them to deal with fugitive economic offenders. The agenda was presented by PM Modi in the second session of the G20 Summit on international trade, international financial and tax systems. “Cooperation in legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of the offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined,” the agenda read. India also called for efforts by G-20 countries to form a mechanism that denies entry and safe havens to fugitive economic offenders. AGENCIES Indo-Pacific to be a region for shared prosperity: PM AGENCIES BUENOS AIRES, 1 DECEMBER India, Japan and the US have agreed that a “free, open, inclusive and rules based” order is essential for the Indo-Pacific's peace and prosperity as the leaders from the three countries held a trilateral meeting for the first time, amidst China flexing its muscles in the strategic region. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a “very good” and “friendly” meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit on Friday, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said. “JAI (Japan, America, India) trilateral marks the coming together of three friendly nations. Today's historic JAI meeting was a great beginning. PM @AbeShinzo, @POTUS and I held fruitful talks aimed at furthering connectivity, maritime cooperation and a stable Indo-Pacific,” Modi tweeted after the meeting. Asserting that India will “continue to work together on shared values,” he said, “When you look at the acronym of our three countries -- Japan, America, and India -- it is 'JAI', which stands for success in Hindi.” (L to R) Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, US President Donald Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. AFP The prime minister said the 'JAI' meeting was a convergence of vision between the three nations. “This is a very good occasion for the three countries -- countries which have shared values, democratic values...We will continue to play a big role together for world peace, prosperity and stability,” he said. Modi underscored India's firm commitment to make the Indo Pacific a region for shared economic growth and common prosperity. The prime minister articulated five action points that would serve the common interest of promoting peace and prosperity in the Indo- Pacific region. He assured all countries of the inclusiveness and openness of this framework and highlighted the importance of working jointly in areas such as connectivity, sustainable development, disaster relief, maritime security and unfettered mobility. Modi also underlined the importance of building consensus on an architecture in the Indo-Pacific region based on principles of mutual benefit and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. Foreign Secretary Gokhale later told reporters that the three leaders exchanged views on the (SEE P 10 ) Indo-Pacific.
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