www.thestatesman.com FRIDAY FIND US ONLINE 28 DECEMBER 2018 Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P9 SENSEX 35,807.28 +157.34 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Moderate fog in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 21 and 04 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.100% P10 NIFTY 10,779.80 +49.95 ` vs $ 70.35 -29 PAISE PUJARA'S TON PUTS INDIA IN COMMAND GOLD 30,440.00 +85.00 LS passes triple talaq bill, Opp walks out PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Min: 03.4°C (-3) SUN SETS 17:33 hrs MOON SETS 12:24 hrs THUMBNAILS School children on their way to school on a cold winter morning, in the Capital on ThursRITIK JAIN day 5 killed in Mumbai high-rise fire: Five people, r including four senior citizens, were killed and two others injured in a major fire that broke out in a high-rise residential building in Mumbai on Thursday evening, a civic official said. The 16-storey building is located in suburban Tilak Nagar, where search and rescue operation by Mumbai Fire Brigade is underway, said the official from the Disaster Management Unit of the Brihanmumbai Municipal CorporaP10 tion (BMC) overs. 2 Navy personnel killed in freak mishap: In a freak mishap, two Navy personnel were killed Thursday when a door of an aircraft hangar collapsed at the naval basein Kochi, the Navy said. The two, sailors attached to the aviation electrical branch, were “tragically killed when one of the hangar doors of the Indian Naval Air Squadron 322 collapsed at INS Garuda,” a defence statement said. Capital infusion in PSBs soon: The government is likely to infuse Rs 28,615 crore into seven public sector banks (PSBs) through recapitalisation bonds by the end of this month, sources said on Thursday. The amount infused will help the banks meet regulatory capital requirement, and its disbursement might take place before December 31, sources said. BoI is likely to get the highest of Rs 10,086 crore. P11 ISIS suspects in NIA custody: A Delhi court on Thursday allowed 12-day custodial interrogation by NIA of 10 people arrested on the suspicion of being members of an ISIS-inspired group who were allegedly planning suicide attacks and serial blasts, targeting politicians as also government installations, in Delhi and other parts of north India. The court also permitted the agency to handcuff them while P7 taking them to various places. SILVER 37,850.00 +600.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 53.55 -0.92 Opponents are scared of chowkidar, says PM BJP & Cong trade barbs NEW DELHI, 27 DECEMBER F or the second time in less than one year, the contentious triple talaq bill criminalising instant divorce by Muslim men was passed by Lok Sabha after a heated debate on Thursday, with the government projecting it as a matter of “Insaaniyat aur insaaf” for Muslim women, and rejecting the contention that it was aimed at targeting a particular community. The Opposition, including the Congress, objected to many of its provisions as “unconstitutional” and claimed that its real purpose was not to empower Muslim women but to penalise Muslim men, as it demanded the revised legislation to be sent to a joint select committee of Parliament for greater scrutiny. With the government rejecting their demand, the bill was put to vote and passed after an over fivehour debate with 245 members voting in its favour and 11 against it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not present during the debate. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was passed by LS in December 28 last year but got stuck in the Upper House amid protest by opposition parties. The government had then cleared some amendments, including introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable. However, as the bill continued to face resistance in the Rajya Sabha, the gov- NEW DELHI, 27 DECEMBER ernment issued an ordinance in September, incorporating the amendments. The fresh Bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 17 to replace the ordinance. Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband. Key Opposition parties, including the Congress and Trinamool Congress as also AIADMK, which has often been an ally of the government in Parliament, staged a walkout soon after Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad concluded his reply. The BJP is set to use today's passage of the bill as a major talking point ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The saffron party and its ideological affiliates, including the RSS, have long railed against the practice of instant divorce, projecting it as an evidence of its Congress-led “secular” rivals' vote bank politics. However, the bill's fate remains uncertain as it will now go to Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks numbers and it can- not become a law unless passed by both Houses. Piloting the bill, Prasad rejected the contention of some opposition members that it was aimed at targeting any community. It is about “insaaniyat aur insaaf” (humanity and justice), he said, adding that it should not be weighed on the scales of politics. Over 20 Islamic countries have also barred the practice, he said, adding that over 477 cases of triple talaq have been reported since January 2017. It has continued despite the Supreme Court declaring the practise “unconstitutional”, he added. Leader of Congress Party in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge said the bill was against the spirit of the Constitution and has violated several articles dealing with the rights of individuals. Congress MP Sushmita Dev said the real purpose of the bill was not to empower Muslim women but to “penalise” Muslim men. Demanding that the bill be referred to the Parliamentary panel, Dev said criminalisation of triple talaq goes against the Supreme Court verdict. The BJP and the Congress traded barbs on Thursday over the passage of the triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha, with the ruling party demanding its rival's apology for “decades of injustice” towards Muslim women and the opposition party alleging that the legislation was passed in haste keeping in mind the 2019 polls. The government rejecting the contention that it was aimed at targeting a particular community. The Opposition, including the Congress, which had been demanding that the bill be referred to a 'joint select committee', staged a walkout when its demand was rejected by the government. Soon after the bill was passed in Lok Sabha, BJP president Amit Shah hailed it as a historic step to ensure equality and dignity of Muslim women, and demanded an apology from the Congress for “decades of injustice”. In a series of tweets, Shah congratulated PM and the government for successfully passing the bill in Lok Sabha. “This is a historic step ensuring equality and dignity for the Muslim women”, he PTI said. In a bizarre response to allegations of corruption, the Gujarat Government has decided to shoot the messenger rather than take note of the message. After a nine-minute audio clip of a Government officer admitting corruption went viral, the weekly Cabinet meeting discussed the issue and decided to take strict action against the official. Deputy CM Nitin Patel told newspersons after the Cabinet meeting that strict action would be taken against officers who ille- gally leak government information with ulterior motives. The audio clip purported to the conversation of an officerAnilPatel,formerSecretary of the Gujarat PavitraYatradham Vikas Board (GPYVB), telling an RTI activist about corruption in some projects at Pavagadh, a pilgrimage site atop a hill in central Gujarat. Mr Patel, currently Additional Secretary, Rural Devel- opment, is also heard saying in the audio clip that there had been corruption and poor quality of work at Dwarka, Bahucharji, Surat and Dangs, the places where pilgrimage centres have been built by the GPYVB set by the BJP government when it came to power first time in 1995. He also disclosed during the same conversation with RTI activist Kishor Nathwani that he had written to the authorities pointing out the corruption issues during his tenure in the GPYVB. “I have also faced inquiries for my stand on corruption issues”, the officer told the RTI activist in the audio clip DHARAMSHALA, 27 DECEMBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his opponents are scared of him because the ‘chowkidar does not sleep’. “Unhey chowkidar sey darr lagta hai. chowkidar choron ko chhodney ko tayaar nahin” (They are scared of the chowkidar. The chowkidar is not prepared to spare the thieves),” Modi said in his 50 minute address at a rally here to mark one year of the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh. The Prime Minister said there were six crore fake beneficiaries of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in the country earlier. "These were the people who never took birth, and existed only on paper in different categories. A huge amount of Rs 90,000 crore was going somewhere else. There must be some people who may have been pocketing it. I checked PTI MEERUT, 27 DECEMBER gone viral. This embarrassing audio clipping has gone viral just a week after video clippings in the social media had shown concrete bridge portions coming off with a little push of bare feet and newly tarred roads being peeled off with bare hand. The Deputy CM said it was ‘improper’ for the officers to make false allegations after getting side-lined postings. The GPYVB said in a press release that it has received a representation by RTI activist Kishor Nathwani and the quality of work at the pilgrim centre would be assessed. AGENCIES tressed. Whose achche din [good times] have come, we don’t know. But most certainly, achche din have not come for the common man, for the poor and the unem- ployed. I have myself seen engineering diploma holder youth doing menial jobs. What have you given them?” she said. She also took on Mr Goyal, saying the claims that milk is arranged for babies and doctors attend to the sick travelling on trains if they just tweet their needs seemed to be merely a “publicity stunt”. “We have been dialling railway helplines 138 and 139 and sending you [Mr. Goyal] emails but there is no one out there to listen to our woes. There is no food on this train, the seats are broken, toilet seats this and stopped this theft,” he said. Modi sad just because he stopped the ‘loot’, those who have been hit are calling him ‘thief’. “But I am not going to leave the fight.” The Prime Minister accused Congress of fooling the farmers by making false promises of farm loan wavier only for elections. “They have not kept their promise in Punjab. In Karnataka, a few hundred farmers were benefitted with a token amount. Earlier they deceived the army jawans and are now trying to do the same to farmers,” he said. He referred to the issue of One Rank One Pension for ex-servicemen, which was announced by the previous UPA government just ahead of polls. “They kept a budget of Rs 500 crore for that. On coming to power, when I looked into the file, the amount required for One Rank One Pension was Rs 12000 crore. We disbursed the amount in four installments,” he said. Modi alleged that in 2008 the Congress had promised to waive off farm loans. “The total farm loans were to the tune of 6 lakh crore, of which a waiver of Rs 60,000 was announced. In actual fact, loans worth Rs 5200 crore were waived,” he claimed. “Why do they make promises they can’t fulfil?” he asked. Appreciating the Himachal government slogan “Imaandaar Prayas Ka, Ek Saal Vikas Ka”, Modi said his government is also putting in honest efforts in different sectors for overall growth of the nation. The Prime Minister said India is fast emerging as an attraction for tourists across the world. He said the figure of 70 lakh foreign tourists in India in 2013 rose to one lakh in 2017, and similarly the money TURN TO PAGE 10 Bulandshahr: Man who shot inspector held Gujarat govt to take action against official ‘leaking’ corruption STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE AHMEDABAD, 27 DECEMBER ARCHANA PHULL The police claimed to have arrested on Thursday the man who allegedly shot an inspector dead during the Bulandshahr mob violence early this month. The arrest of Prashant Nat, around 26, in connection with the killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh during the violence in Siyana area of Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district on December 3, takes the total number of accused held in this case to 29, police said. “During interrogation, he has confessed to his involvement in the violence and also admitted Forget about bullet train: BJP veteran Former Punjab Minister and BJP leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla has rapped Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for the alleged apathy towards the common man and urged them to forget about the “bullet” train. In a video that went viral on Wednesday, Ms. Chawla is seen aboard a train, appealing to the Modi government to “have mercy on the common man”. “I am on board the Saryu Yamuna Express for 24 plus eight hours. This train is running nine hours behind schedule. For God’s sake, forget about bullet train, focus on the trains that are already running,” she said in the video. “Modiji, the public is dis- P16 P12 Govt says bill not aimed to target particular community Min. 45% TEMPERATURE Max: 22.0°C (+1) SUN RISES 07:13 hrs MOON RISES 23:46 hrs ‘AMERICA CANNOT BE WORLD’S POLICEMAN’ PROPOSED STEEL PLANT IN AP BONE OF CONTENTION NEPAL’S ELECTIVE DICTATORSHIP are dirty and doors have to be opened with a lot of difficulty,” she said. She asked the Railway Minister to travel sometimes like a commoner in a train to see the hardships the traveller faces. “What if Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains are good? These are for rich people. What about trains like this one in which the labourers, farmers, soldiers and their families travel? Hundreds are sleeping in the open at railway stations in this bitter cold for want of waiting rooms,” she said. Train 18, India's fastest train, will begin operations in January 2019 at a speed of 130 kmph, sources said on Thursday. Train 18, which is set to replace the Shatabdi series, has the potential to run between 160 kmph to 200 kmph. that he had shot the bullet which killed the inspector,” said Atul Kumar Srivastava, additional superintendent of police (ASP), Bulandhshahr city. “We are interrogating him further to elicit other details and expect other information to emerge during the probe. Based on that information, we will move ahead with the probe in the case,” the ASP said. A police official said Nat, a resident of Chingrawathi village of Siyana, was held from Sikandrabad. He works part time as a driver in Delhi and nearby areas and, at other times, he works locally as a labourer. Five people were arrested on December 18 for their alleged roles in the mob violence and the cow-slaughtering cases. Three of them ~ Nadeem, Raees and Kaala ~ were arrested for their alleged involvement in the cow-slaughtering case, while two accused were nabbed by the state special task force (STF) for the subsequent violence after cow carcasses were found in a field. The inspector and a youth had died during the violence. One of the main suspectsamong the 27 named in the FIR, local Bajrang Dal leader Yogesh Raj, is still at large, while an Army jawan, Jitendra Malik, has been arrested and remanded in custody. Indian-origin police officer shot dead in US AGENCIES NEW YORK, 27 DECEMBER An Indian-origin police officer was shot and killed by an unidentified gunman while he was conducting a traffic stop in the US state of California. Corporal Ronil Singh, 33, of the Newman Police Department was shot and killed during a traffic stop just before 1:00 AM (local time) on December 26. Singh had called off on a traffic stop in Newman and a few moments later he called out “shots fired” over the radio. Multiple agencies responded to assist and Singh was found at the scene with gunshot wounds, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department said in a Facebook post. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, it said. It said the suspect had fled the scene in his vehicle before the police arrived. The department is leading the investigation and have released surveillance photographs of the suspect, asking for any information on the identity of the attacker. Police recovered the suspect's vehicle but had not positively identified the man by Wednesday night. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) described him as Hispanic. “Suspect is considered armed and dangerous and may be in possession of a firearm,” it said. Singh was a more than 7-year veteran of the Newman Police Department.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.