CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 24 DECEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR TURKISH TROOPS MASS NEAR KURD-HELD TOWN ‘REMOVE GANDHI NAMES FROM AIRPORTS, SCHEMES’ P9 P5 WEATHER Morning mist/fog, later mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature likely be around 25-13 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 46% Max: 24.7°C (-2) SUN SETS 16:59 hrs MOON RISES 18.48 hrs Min: 12.6°C (-2) SUN RISES 06:14 hrs MOON SETS 07:32 hrs Moon phase: Next quarter on 29 Dec THUMBNAILS This video grab shows a French police biker (L) drawing his firearm as he and other police bikers are assaulted by demonstrators during "yellow vest” protests in Paris. AFP Rath Yatra: The BJP on Sunday said the party will move the Supreme Court to seek permission for its proposed 'rath yatra' programme in West Bengal. The party's ambitious roadshow had hit a roadblock again on Friday, with a division bench of Calcutta High Court quashing a single bench order that had given it a go-ahead. ‘PERTH PITCH NOT AVERAGE’ P12 P2 222 dead as tsunami hits Indonesia Hundreds more injured, hundreds of homes destroyed as rare volcano-triggered tsunami slams into coastline AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE Tsunami rips through stage as band performs CARITA, 23 DECEMBER Max. 92% TEMPERATURE REMARKS TWISTED, MODI TO LEAD BJP IN POLLS: GADKARI volcano-triggered tsunami has left at least 222 people dead and hundreds more injured after slamming without warning into beaches around Indonesia's Sunda Strait, officials said Sunday, voicing fears that the toll would rise further. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9:30 pm (1430 GMT) on Saturday after a volcano known as the “child” of Krakatoa erupted, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. Dramatic video posted on social media showed a wall of water suddenly crashing into a concert by pop group “Seventeen” -hurling band members off the stage and then flooding into the audience. Search and rescue teams were scouring rubble for survivors, with 222 people confirmed dead, 843 people injured and 28 missing, Nugroho said. Tsunamis triggered by volcanic eruptions are relatively rare, caused by the sudden displacement of water or “slope failure“, A CARITA, 23 DECEMBER Rescuers and residents look for survivors along the coast in South Lampung on South Sumatra on December 23, 2018, after the area was hit by a tsunami on Saturday night following an eruption of the Anak Krakatoa volcano. AFP according to the International Tsunami Information Centre. Unlike those triggered by earthquakes, they give authorities no time to warn residents of the impending threat. The destructive wave left a trail of uprooted trees and debris strewn across beaches. A tangled mess of corrugated steel roofing, timber and rubble was dragged inland at Carita beach, a popular spot for day-trippers on the west coast of Java. Asep Perangkat said he was with his family when the wave surged through Carita, carving a swathe of destruction. “Cars were dragged about 10 metres and so were containers,” Perangkat told AFP . “Buildings on the edge of the beach were destroyed, trees and electric poles fell to the ground. In Lampung province, on the other side of the strait, Lutfi Al Rasyid said he fled the beach in Kalianda city, fearing for his life. “I could not start my motorbike so I left it and I ran... I just prayed and ran as far as I could,” the 23-yearold told AFP. Kathy Mueller from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the toll was likely to rise as the conditions on the ground became clearer. “The situation, and the death toll, will remain fluid over the next days and even weeks,” she told AFP . Teams of aid workers were helping to evacuate the injured and bring in clean water, tarpaulins and provide shelter, she added, Dramatic video posted online showed the tsunami that struck Indonesia smashing into an openair concert, hurling members of a pop band from the stage and slamming into the audience. Riefian Fajarsyah, lead vocalist of the band "Seventeen" later posted an emotional video to his 260,000 Instagram followers in which he said the group's bassist and road manager were killed. The band were playing Saturday night to a large crowd in a marquee at the Tanjung Lesung Beach Resort on the western tip of Java when the wall of water hit. On the video, fans can be seen clapping and cheering before a wave saying the group was preparing for the possibility of diseases breaking out in the tsunami zone. Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java rips under the stage, sending the band members and their equipment crashing into the men and women dancing at the front. The shocking video then suddenly stops. Fighting back tears and wiping his eyes, Fajarsyah said two more band members, a crew member and his wife were still missing. "We lost our bassist Bani and our road manager Oki," he said in the video, in which he is wearing a green shirt with the band's Seventeen logo stitched into the chest. "Andi (drummer) and Herman (guitar) and Ujang (crew) have not been found. Please pray so that my wife Dylan (Dylan Sahara) will be AFP found soon.” and Sumatra, emerged around 1928 in the crater left by Krakatoa, which erupted in 1883 killing at least 36,000 people. “The cause of the undersea landslide was due to vol- canic activity of Anak Krakatoa, which coincided with a high tide due to the full moon,” Nugroho told reporters in Yogyakarta. He also said the death toll would likely increase. Indonesian authorities initially claimed the wave was not a tsunami, but instead a tidal surge and urged the public not to panic. Nugroho later apologised for the mistake on Twitter, saying because there was no earthquake it had been difficult to ascertain the cause of the incident early on. “If there is an initial error we’re sorry,” he wrote. The wave swamped parts of the coast around the Sunda Strait, leaving at least 164 people dead in worst affected Pandeglang district on Java’s western tip. Large numbers of casualties were recorded at two hotels in the area. Eleven people died further north in Serang, while 48 were killed in South Lampung, on Sumatra island. “This number is predicted to increase because not all victims have been successfully evacuated, not all health centres have reported victims and not all locations have got complete data,” Nugroho said. Court martial orders NDA seals Bihar seat-share deal dismissal of Mj-Gen for sexual harassment ‘Mahagathbandhan incoherent alliance INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 23 DECEMBER CHANDIGARH, 23 DECEMBER A serving Major General of the Indian Army has been ordered to be dismissed by general court martial (GCM) on Sunday following allegations of sexual harassment of a young woman officer. The GCM verdict came early on Sunday. The court was held in the jurisdiction of the Western Command. The verdict of the GCM is subject to confirmation by the Chief of the Army Staff, sources said. The senior Army officer, who has denied the charges levelled against him and has claimed that he has been made a victim of of the Army's factional feud at the top level, has the right to appeal against the order. The Major General was charged under Section 69 of the Army Act read with Section 354 (outraging modesty of a woman by criminal force or assault) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for conduct unbecoming of an officer. The officer was posted in the North-East sector (Assam Rifles in Nagaland) with the Eastern Command when he was accused of sexual harassment, through a written complaint, by the Captain-rank woman officer of the Judge Advocate General branch of the Army. The court proceedings against him started in June this year. The officer was attached to an Army formation in Ambala for disciplinary proceedings. Sources said that lawyers of the Major General will appeal against the GCM verdict. Sealing the seat-sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha elections with Bihar allies, BJP president Amit Shah Sunday announced that his party and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) will contest 17 seats each, while Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP will fight on the remaining six. Paswan will be sent to the Rajya Sabha at the earliest opportunity, he told reporters here, following a brief meeting with Kumar and the Lok Janshakti Party chief, who is also a cabinet minister in the Modi government. The deal suggests a victory of sorts for the LJP, which had adopted an aggressive stand seeking a better bargain from the BJP after the exit of Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP from the ruling alliance. Kumar too has managed to underline his importance for the saffron party, which will now contest on fewer num- ber of seats than it had contested in 2014 and won 22 of them. The BJP will now have to let go of at least five of its winning seats. The JD(U), which had fought the 2014 polls independently, and the LJP which , was a BJP ally, had won two and six seats respectively. Shah said all allies will soon decide on distribution of Lok Sabha constituencies among them for fielding their candidates in 2019. Paswan, whose son Chirag had created a flutter with his comments seen as critical of the BJP and the central government, claimed Sunday there was never a problem in the alliance as he has nurtured the “NDA tree” for five years under Modi's leadership. A government under Modi will be formed again, he said. The Dalit leader also thanked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who played a role in brokering peace between his party and the BJP . In his comments, the Bihar chief minister, who enjoys good equations with Paswan, noted that the NDA had won 32 of the 40 seats in Bihar in 2009 even though results across the country had gone against it. “This time we will do better than that,” he said. He was a BJP ally in 2009 before parting ways with it in 2013. He joined the NDA again in 2017. Commenting on the decision to send Paswan, presently a Lok Sabha member from Hajipur in Bihar, to the Rajya Sabha, Kumar said it is a recognition to his long service to the country and also thanked the BJP for the decision. Paswan is a nine-term member of the Lok Sabha and the decision means that the 72-year-old leader is unlikely to contest any more popular election and will be handing over the reins of the party to his son, who was also present during the announcement, in the near future. Sabarimala-bound women chased away STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE THIRUVANANTHAPURAM. 23 DECEMBER The members of the women’s team, below the traditionally barred age of 50 years, belonging to Chennai-based women's forum, Manithi, who attempted to offer prayers at the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple on Sunday, were forced to retreat in the face of stiff protests by devotees. The Sabarimala base camp at Pampa witnessed high drama on Sunday after the team of women from Chennai reached there around 3 a.m. and devotees and members of the Sabarimala Karma Samithi launched protests. After eight hours of massive protests, the police used force to arrest and remove a section of protesters and cleared the way for women activists to proceed to the shrine trekking the hills. However, the police had to rush the women back to the guard room and then to the police control room at Pampa in the next few minutes as they Police personnel escort women activists as they return after being surrounded by devotees to stop their attempt to reach the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple on Sunday. AFP faced stiff resistance from another group of belligerent protesters who blocked their entry to Neelimala. Accompanied by police personnel, the members of the Chennai-based women empowerment outfit could barely move a hundred metres through the traditional forest path towards the temple when hundreds of devotees rushed down to the valley to chase them away. The women took to their heels and crossed river Pampa seeking security from the police control room there as they faced vehement opposition from the mob. Before returning, Selvi, the co-coordinator of the outfit, told reporters here that the police had forced them to abandon their plan to visit the hill shrine and return. However, rejecting the charge, the police said that the activists had cime back on their own due to security issues, adding that two cases were registered against the protesters based on the complaint lodged by Manithi members. Apart from the women from Chennai, a Kerala-based Scheduled Tribe activist, Ammini, also returned from Sabarimala without performing darshan at the temple in the face of protests by devotees. She has earlier said that if the protesters blocked her, she would stage an indefinite hunger strike at Pamba With the retreat of the 11 Chennai women and Ammini from Kerala, Sabarimala continued to remain out of bound for the women in the traditionally restricted age group, though the Supreme Court in a landmark verdict on 28 September had lifted the curb imposed on women in the age group of10-50 from entering the shrine Earlier, around 15 women in the age group of 10-50 had attempted to perform darshan at the hill shrine in the period since the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on 28 September, allowing women of all age group to enter into the hill shrine, but they could not make it to the shrine in the face of stiff opposition from devotees. Meanwhile, BJP workers and Sabarimala Karma Samithi staged protests in different parts of the state in protest against the Manithi team's visit to Sabarimala. A protest was also held near chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan's official residence, Cliff House, in Thiruvananthapuram. BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai has alleged that the 'Manithi' group members came to visit Sabarimala as directed by the chief minister. He also alleged that the government is attempting to sabotage the customs and rituals at Sabarimala with support from atheists. "The CPI-M is trying to transform Sabarimala into a battlefield. This drama was created by the government as part of their strategy to sabotage CMYK the peaceful atmosphere of Sabarimala. The members of this group are not even Hindus,” Sreedharan Pillai told media persons in Kottayam. He also sought a probe into the matter by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and announced that his party will observe a daylong protest in the state on Monday. Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan government was attempting to destroy the Ayyappa temple. Joining the attack, the Pandalam royal family, attached to the Ayyappa temple, accused the left government of taking “activist women” to the hill shrine with police escort . Refuting the charges, senior minister E P Jayarajan told reporters that “the government is committed to protect the belief of devotees. We want peace at Sabarimala.” Meanwhile, heavy rush of devotees continued to pour in at the Sabarimala temple with the auspicious Mandalapuja being just four days away. CHENNAI, 23 DECEMBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday lashed out at the proposed mega party coalition or a mahagathbandhan to take on the ruling BJP at the Centre, terming it an “unholy alliance” of various political parties for 'personal survival.' People will see through the 'incoherent alliance' of 'rich dynasties,' Modi said during his interaction with booth workers from Chennai Central, Chennai North, Madurai, Tiruchirappally and Tiruvallur constituencies in Tamil Nadu. The Prime Minister said the key constituent of the mega alliance ~ Telugu Desam Party ~ was formed against the very 'high-handedness' of the Congress by the veteran, late chief minister N T Ramarao, but the party was now keen to join hands with Congress. Further, some parties in the mahagathbandhan claimed to be inspired by the socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia, but the veteran himself opposed Congress and its ideologies, Modi said. “Today several leaders are talking about a grand alliance or a mahagathbandhan. This alliance is for personal survival, not idealogy-based support. This alliance is for power, not for the people. This alliance is for personal ambitions, not people's aspirations,” he charged. He recalled Lohia as saying that Congress is a 'compromise party' which has made compromises on many ideological issues and national interest issues. Further, many leaders in the coalition were “arrested and tortured” during the Emergency, the Prime Minister said, without referring to anyone. DMK president MK Stalin, who had recently proposed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as opposition's Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, was one of the leaders incarcerated during the Emergency. “Corrupt and criminal elements are supreme when these parties govern. It is common knowledge how the Congress harassed Mulayamji (SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav) with cases. Have these parties done justice to the ideals of Dr Lohia?” he asked, adding the answer was a 'resounding' no. Further, the Congress and its 'ecosystem' spared none, Modi said, and pointed to the dismissal of the AIADMK government of the late chief minister M G Ramachandran in 1980. Recalling the past rivalry between Congress and its southern ally DMK, Modi said no one had forgotten where the two parties stood on the Jain Commission. “That time Congress said either it is DMK or it is us. But today they are together. If not opportunism, what explains their alliance,” he asked. Taking on BJP's former ally Telugu Desam Party, helmed by Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, he said it was floated by the veteran N T Rama Rao “who faced the anger and high-handedness of the Congress.” “He formed a party for the pride and respect of the Telugus at a time when the Congress humiliated a chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. Yet today the party of NTR wants to ally with the Congress. How can people of Andhra Pradesh accept this?” he said. Taking a swipe at the Left parties, he said while they were passing resolutions against Congress “not long ago,” calling it “pro-imperialist”, responsible for price rise, agriculture crisis and much more, now they were praising each other.
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