CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 31 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 KIM VOWS MORE SUMMITS WITH SOUTH NEXT YEAR SHUTDOWN: TRUMP’S TWITTER BARBS AT DEMOCRATS P10 WEATHER Mainly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature will be around 24-13 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.85% Min. 39% Max: 23.9°C (-2) SUN RISES 06:16 hrs MOON RISES 00.56 hrs Min: 11.9°C (-2) SUN SETS 17:03 hrs MOON SETS 12:56 hrs TEMPERATURE P9 Pak border build-up: At a time when moderniu sation of the India Army's armored corp is moving at a “snail's pace”, Pakistan has drawn up an ambitious plan to procure close to 600 battle tanks including T-90 tanks from Russia, primarily to bolster its combat prowess along the border with India, military and intelligence sources said on Sunday. Most of the tanks Pakistan was procuring will be able to hit targets at a range of 3 to 4 km. 'Excellent PM': Rahul Gandhi has all the right qualities to make an “excellent” PM, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, even as he emphasised that the PM candidate is likely to be decided after the 2019 polls “collectively” by the party and allies. Tharoor said the recent Assembly elections have made it clear that the Congress remains the only alternative party with a pan-India presence, and would be the “natural fulcrum” for any national alliance. Govt appoints four new Information Commissioners: The Centre has appointed four new Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission, a government order said. The RTI body now has three Information Commissioners as against the strength of 11, including the Chief Information Commissioner. President Ram Nath Kovind has cleared the appointment of Yashwardhan Kumar Sinha, Vanaja N Sarna, Neeraj Kumar Gupta and Suresh Chandra as information commissioners. India’s cricket fraternity, led by Sachin Tendulkar, on Sunday hailed the team's victory over Australia in the 3rd Test, terming it an incredible effort and one to be cherished. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PORT BLAIR, 30 DECEMBER rime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced renaming of three islands of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep, Modi said during a speech amidst thunderous applause from the audience here. The three islands are major tourist spots. Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister inaugurated a slew of development projects and laid foundation stones of several others related to energy, connectivity, education, tourism and health sectors. Donning the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) cap, he addressed a public meeting at Netaji Stadium on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the Tricolour by Bose here. “When it comes P to heroes of the freedom struggle, we take the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with pride. The first Prime Minister of the Azad Hind government Subhas Babu had made India's independence resolution on the soil of Andaman,” he said. “The country draws inspiration from Andaman. That is why the government has issued a notification and I am proudly announcing that henceforth, Ross Island will be known as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep. The Neil Island will be known as Shahid Dweep and Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep,” he said. On this day in 1943, Bose had suggested that Andaman and Nicobar Islands be renamed as Shahid and Swaraj Dweep respectively. During the World War II, the Japanese had captured the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Netaji came here as the Azad Hind Fauz led by him was an ally of the Japanese force. “The historical event of 30th December 1943 has been completed today after 75 years,” he said. Modi began his speech by asking the people in the ground to switch on the flashlights of their mobile phones to honour Bose. Thousands of mobile flash lights were then switched on providing a visual delight. At the stadium, the PM also released a commemorative stamp, its first-day cover and a Rs75 coin on this special day. He also announced setting up of a deemed university named after Bose. The cells of the Cellular Jail where great freedom fighters such as Veer Savarkar, Baba Bhan Singh, Indu Bhushan Roy were tortured for years by the British are no less than temples, the Prime Minister said. Before this event, the Prime Minister visited the Cellular Jail and paid homage to those who were exiled and hanged as political prisoners in colonial India. On reaching the jail premises, Modi laid a wreath at the Martyrs’Column before proceeding towards a cell, where Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar spent his days in captivity. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, a political leader and practitioner of Hindu philosophy, was imprisoned by the Britishers and moved to the Cellular Jail in 1911. The PM sat down on the floor of the cell, in front of Veer Savarkar's photograph, with his eyes closed and hands folded for some time. After stepping out of the cell, he went to the central tower of the prison, and stopped before a marble plaque, where names of jail inmates are inscribed. India's captain Virat Kohli (L) celebrates the wicket of Australia's Pat Cummins (R) on the final day of the third cricket Test match between Australia and India in Melbourne on December 30, 2018. India won the match by 137 runs to take a (MATCH REPORT ON PAGE 12 ) 2-1 series lead. The fourth and final Test starts in Sydney on 3 January. AFP Hasina wins by landslide in Gopalganj-3; 17 killed in election-related violence THE DAILY STAR/ANN AND AGENCIES DHAKA, 30 DECEMBER Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emerged as the frontrunner in Bangladesh's general election on Sunday as she aims for a record fourth term in office with her Awami League gaining a big lead in early results following a tense vote that saw at least 17 people killed in poll-related violence. Sheikh Hasina was elected virtually unopposed from the Gopalganj-3 constituency as she won by a landslide, bagging 229,539 votes while her main BNP opponent could manage just 123. The Election Commission officially announced Hasina's win in the evening. She did not face much competition from her rivals as Bangladesh Nationalist Party's S M Jilani secured only 123 votes, Islami Andolan Bangladesh candidate Maruf Sheikh got 71, while the rest of the candidates received a mere 14 votes. According to the EC, a total of 229,747 votes were cast. Voting ended earlier in the day to choose a new government amid the Opposition's allegations of manipulation by the Awami League. Some reports said 20 of the ruling party's candidates have already won compared to just one from main Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party of jailed ex-premier Khaleda Zia. Election offi- Cong hits back on ED’s ‘Mrs Gandhi’ claim, BJP accuses Opp party of defending Michel Triple talaq Bill in RS today PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks to the media after casting her vote at a polling station in Dhaka on Sunday. AFP cials said Awami League candidates are leading in 62 seats while BNP contenders were leading in two constituencies. Former president H M Ershad's Jatiya Party, which is a partner of Awami League-led Grand Alliance, won one seat while Oppo- sition National Unity Front (NUF), with BNP as its partner, is yet to win a seat. BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who steered the party in Zia's absence, however won in his northeastern Thakurgaon constituency, officials said. The Election Commission has so far confirmed the complete result of only one constituency in southwestern Gopalganj from where Hasina won . The EC said 1,848 candidates are contesting for 299 out of 300 Parliament seats. The polls are being held at 40,183 polling stations. Voting was suspended in one seat due to the death of a candidate. The voting started at 8 am and ended at 4 pm. P10 NEW DELHI, 30 DECEMBER NEW DELHI, 30 DECEMBER Terming the Enforcement Directorate an “embarrassing disaster” under the NDA, the Congress Sunday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government were a 'protector, benefactor and promoter' of AgustaWestland and said it will probe their “collusion” with the choppermaking company if it came to power in 2019. Using the barb that 'chowkidaar dagdaar hai' (watchman is tainted) against Modi, the opposition party said that after the BJP came to power at the Centre, the Defence Ministry lifted the ban on AgustaWestland imposed during the UPA rule and even allowed it to bid for 100 naval utility helicopters. “The ED may save the Modi government today, but when it is voted out of power in 2019, we are committed to fully investigate PM Modi and his government's collusion with AgustaWestland,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters. He added, “Under Modi, the ED has become an embarrassing disaster.” ”Modi government is on its way out. A panic-stricken Modi government and its puppet ED will not be able to change the exit date and fate' of a government and PM, already rejected by the people. The Congress is committed to order an investigation to examine the role of PM Modi and his government into the sordid saga of Agusta Westland,” he said. The attack came a day after the probe agency, investigat- ing the AgustaWestland case for corruption in the Rs 3,600 crore deal, told a court that accused middleman Christian Michel has made a reference to “Mrs Gandhi”. Surjewala said the government was pressuring Michel to make a “false” statement against the Gandhi family and dared it to place in the public domain any such evidence it has against the Congress leadership. The BJP accused the Congress of “defending” Michel and asked why it was “scared” of probe. The partycondemned the Congress for allegedly giving a political colour to the issue. The contentious triple talaq bill that seeks to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among Muslims is set to be taken up in the Rajya Sabha Monday, with the Congress and other opposition parties gearing up to send it to a select committee. The Congress and the BJP have issued whips to their members to be present in the House Monday and other parties have also asked their MPs to be present in full strength when the bill is taken up. The Congress has convened a meeting PTI of its MPs. Petrol prices cut to its lowest level in 2018 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA International oil prices have been falling and rupee has also appreciated, resulting in a decline in retail rates Industry sources said the retail prices of petrol and diesel may reign easy in the next few days NEW DELHI, 30 DECEMBER Petrol price on Sunday was cut by 22 paise per litre to its lowest level in 2018 while diesel rates were reduced by 23 paise to a nine-month low. Petrol price in Delhi was cut to Rs 69.04 per litre from Rs 69.26 while diesel rates came down to Rs 63.09 from Rs 63.32 a litre, according to the price notification of stateowned oil firms. Petrol prices, which have been on a decline since October 18 except for one day, are at their lowest level of 2018. Diesel rates are at their lowest since March-end. In all, petrol price has fallen by Rs 13.79 per litre since P12 PM inaugurates a slew of development projects THUMBNAILS Divers fail to reach bottom of mine pit: The multi-agency operation launched on Sunday to rescue the 15 miners trapped in a 370-footdeep coal mine in Meghalaya did not yield much results as the divers from the Indian Navy and NDRF could not reach the bottom of the pit, officials said. “Six divers from the Indian Navy and NDRF went down the shaft of the mine and reached a depth of about 80 feet from the surface of the water’’. P6 Modi renames India win, take 2-1 series lead A&N Islands as tribute to Bose New moon on 5 January No blanket power on snooping: The Central government has not given “blanket power” to any agency to intercept information from any computer and they have to strictly adhere to the existing rules and stick to the book while carrying out such action, a senior Home Ministry official said. There is no new law, no new rules, no new procedure, no new agency, no blanket powers, no blanket authorisation and it is the same law, same rule, he said. A ‘FIRST-CLASS’ RESPONSE TO O’KEEFE HELPING BHUTAN October 18, more than negating all of the hike that was witnessed in the two-month period beginning mid-August. Diesel prices have declined by? Rs 12.06 per litre in two and half months. Petrol price had touched a record high of Rs 84 per litre in Delhi and Rs 91.34 in Mumbai on October 4. Diesel on that day had peaked to Rs 75.45 a litre in Delhi and Rs 80.10 in Mumbai. Prices had started to climb from August 16. Petrol in Delhi was priced at Rs 77.14 and in Mumbai at Rs 84.58 per litre on August 15. Diesel on that day was priced at Rs 68.72 per litre in Delhi and Rs 72.96 in Mumbai. Between August 16 and October 4, petrol price was hiked by Rs 6.86 per litre and diesel by Rs 6.73. On that day, the govern- ment decided to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre each and asked stateowned fuel retailers to subsidise the price by another Re 1 a litre by reducing their margins. Subsequent to this, the petrol price moderated to Rs 81.50 per litre in Delhi and diesel to Rs 72.95 a litre on October 5. In Mumbai, rates fell to Rs 86.97 per litre for petrol and Rs 77.45 in case of diesel. As the international oil prices continued to rise, price of petrol and diesel in Delhi increased to Rs 82.83 and Rs 75.69 on October 17. In Mumbai, rates touched Rs 88.29 a litre for petrol and Rs 79.35 for diesel. But since then, international oil prices have been falling and CMYK rupee has also appreciated, resulting in a decline in retail rates. During the last two and half months, petrol price rose on just one day -- by 10 paise on December 18. Diesel rates rose on December 17 and 18 by 9 paise and 7 paise respectively. Industry sources said as per the assessment, the retail prices of petrol and diesel may reign easy in the next few days. The retail selling price of petrol and diesel is dependent on the international prices of benchmark fuel and the rupeeUS dollar exchange rate. This is because a large proportion of the country's requirement is met through imports. Mrinal Sen passes away at 95 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 30 DECEMBER Dadasaheb Phalke awardwinning film director Mrinal Sen, the last of the triumvirate of directing icons, Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, passed away on Sunday. He was 95. Sen breathed his last at his residence at 10.30 am after a prolonged battle with age-related ailments, a family source said. “Sen passed away today around 10.30 am due to age-related ailments,” a family member said. At around 2:45pm Sen's mortal remains were taken from his residence at Padmapukur in Bhawanipore area to Peace World mortuary. According to a source close to the family, the last rites of the filmmaker will be performed tomorrow after his son Kunal Sen, who lives in the US, arrives in India. The family wants to keep the cremation a low key affair, the source added. Sen, who has won multiple national awards, was known for his artistic depiction of social reality. The auteur, who started the “new wave of Indian cinema” with Bhuvan Shome, was one of the most acclaimed filmmakers to bring recognition to country's film industry on international platforms. His 1982 Bengali film Kharijwon the jury prize at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival. In a tribute to Sen, the Cannes Festival in 2010 screened his restored masterpiece Kandahar (The Ruins) in their 'Cannes Classic' section, after it was restored frame by frame at the National Film Archives at Pune. In a career spanning more than six decades, Sen was one of the greatest ambassadors of parallel cinema directing films in both Bengali and Hindi. His trilogy Interview, Calcutta 71 and Padatik- is considered a masterpiece for depicting the social and political upheaval in Kolkata in the '70s. The President, Prime Minister, West Bengal Governor and CM Mamata Banerjee mourned Sen’s death. Former Naxalite leaders remembered Sen as a director who had the courage to speak the truth against state oppression and portray the Naxalite movement through his films. P5
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