CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 12 JANUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P6 SENSEX 36,009.84 -96.66 WEATHER Mainly clear sky with max and min temperatures likely to be around 26 degree celsius and 12 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P7 NIFTY 10,794.95 -26.65 MANCUNIANS SEEK POGBA BOOST FOR SPURS SHOWDOWN P4 ` vs $ 70.49 -8 PAISE GOLD 30,990.00 00.00 P11 SILVER 39,300.00 -100.00 Min. 33% Max: 25.6°C (0) SUN RISES 06:19 hrs MOON RISES 10.21 hrs Min: 12.6°C (-2) SUN SETS 17:11 hrs MOON SETS 22:27 hrs Next quarter of moon on 17 January THUMBNAILS Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paying tribute to Swami Vivekananda on the eve of his birthday. At the Gangasagar pilgrims’ camp near Babughat in Kolkata on Friday. DILIP DUTTA US to make major changes in H-1B visa pro1 gramme: US President Donald Trump on Friday assured H-1B visa holders, a majority of whom are Indian IT professionals, that his administration will soon bring changes that will give them certainty to stay in America and a “potential path to citizenship”. Trump tweeted that US is planning an overhaul of policies on H-1B visa and will encourage talented and highly-skilled people to pursue career options. Petrol and diesel prices hiked: Petrol price was hiked on Friday by 19 paise per litre and diesel by 28 paise, the second increase in rates in as many days on firming input cost. Petrol in Delhi now costs Rs 69.07 per litre - the highest this month - up from Rs 68.88 per litre rate of Thursday, according to the price notification issued by state-owned oil firms. A litre of diesel in Delhi is now priced at Rs 62.81 as compared to Rs 62.53 on Thursday. Army Major, soldier killed in IED blast: An Army Major and a soldier were killed in an IED blast along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district on Friday, officials said. An improvised explosive device was planted by suspected militants in foot-track along the LoC to target Army soldiers patrolling the borderline in Laam belt of Nowshera sector of Rajouri district, they said. The blast resulted in injuries to two soldiers, including a Major. CBI charge sheet against Nalini: The CBI has filed a charge sheet against Nalini Chidambaram, the wife of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, alleging she had received Rs 1.4 crore from the Saradha group of companies, embroiled in a chit fund scam, officials said on Friday. It is alleged she entered into a criminal conspiracy with Sudipta Sen, the proprietor of the Saradha group. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 11 JANUARY ormer CBI chief Alok Verma submitted his resignation from service on Friday, a day after he was removed from his post by a high power committee. Verma said in his resignation letter, accessed by PTI, that it was a moment of “collective introspection”. “Also, it may be noted that the undersigned already superannuated as on July 31, 2017 and was only serving Government as Director, CBI till January 31, 2019, as the same was fixed tenure role. The undersigned is no longer Director, CBI and has already crossed the superannuation age for DG Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guards. Accordingly, the undersigned may be deemed as superannuated with effect from today,” Verma said in his letter to Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training Friday. Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer from AGMUT cadre, was transferred from the position of CBI Director to Director General, Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guards under the home ministry on Thursday. The move came after a high-power selection F committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Justice A K Sikri and leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, in a split verdict, decided to transfer him 21 days ahead of the completion of his tenure. Senior Indian Information Service officer Nitin Wakankar will be the new Chief Information Officer and spokesperson of the CBI, replacing Abhishek Dayal who has been transferred to the Publications Division, officials said. The change in the agency comes close on the heels of the removal of Alok Verma as the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation by a high power selection committee, they said. ADG (M and C) in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry Wakankar has served in Rashtrapati Bhavan, Defence Ministry, headed Mumbai region in various capacities during his career. Dayal, also an IIS officer, who headed the information wing of the CBI through the most severe crisis of the agency during the last four months has been shifted to the Publications Division, they said. He was transferred to the CBI for a period of three years in 2017. He had earlier served in the Prime Minister's Office, Home Ministry, as AIR correspondent in Colombo before being deputed to the CBI. During his tenure, he tried hard in maintaining careful balance in dissemination of information for the organisation as the then CBI director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana fought a bitter battle with each other and leaks from each camp becoming a regular feature in the media. The interim CBI Director Nageshwar Rao has also ordered transfer of about four officials at the Joint Director level. Joint Director Lucknow G K Goswami has been given charge of Anti CorruptionI, while Joint Director Banking Securities and Frauds cell (BSF and C) Sharad Agarwal has been sent to Lucknow. Agarwal will continue to monitor SIT (Manipur fake encounter cases), they said. Joint Director Chennai, Praveen Sinha has been brought to Delhi with additional charge of the Border Security Force and C unit, they said. Joint Director Mumbai Amrit Mohan Prasad has been given additional charge of Joint Director Chennai, they said. The Congress accused the government of undermining the CBI as an institution and said it was firing “political bullets” from the shoulders of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), which it dubbed as a “collaborator in violating the Constitution”.Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi alleged that the CVC adopted double standards and condemned its action of ousting Alok Verma basing its report on “conjectures, premises and unsubstantiated” evidence, while it was not acting in the Rafale case where a number of documents have been provided to it. BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 61.68 00.00 Dera chief held guilty of killing journalist Ousted CBI chief Verma resigns from service Axed official tells govt to treat him as 'deemed superannuated' Max.92% TEMPERATURE STALIN SAYS MODI IS NOT VAJPAYEE, SO NO DEAL WITH BJP ‘GOVT SCHOOLS DOING BETTER IN DELHI’ JOLT FOR MRS MAY HC refuses to quash FIR against Asthana NEW DELHI,11 JANUARY In a big setback to CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, Delhi High Court on Friday refused to quash the FIR lodged against him on bribery allegations and set a 10week deadline to complete the investigations. Holding that permission for prior sanction to prosecute Asthana was not required considering the facts of the case, the court vacated its interim order that granted the CBI's No. 2 protection against criminal proceedings which in effect meant there is no bar on his arrest. Asthana is likely to challenge the High Court verdict. Justice Najmi Waziri also refused to quash the FIR lodged against CBI DSP Devender Kumar and alleged middleman Manoj Prasad. The judge further said that the allegation of “mala fide” raised against the then CBI Director Alok Verma has not been made out. PTI PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PANCHKULA, 11 JANUARY A CBI court on Friday convicted religious guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and three others for the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati 16 years ago. The quantum of sentence for the Dera Sacha Sauda chief and the others will be pronounced by the special CBI court Judge Jagdeep Singh on January 17. The 51-year-old sect head appeared before the court through video conference from Sunaria jail in Rohtak, where he is already serving a 20-year sentence for raping two of his followers. The journalist was killed in Haryana's Sirsa in 2002 after his newspaper published a letter alleging sexual exploitation of women by the religious guru. After the conviction in the murder case, he now faces a minimum sentence of life, lawyers said. The other three accused Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal appeared in person at the Panchkula court. After the verdict, they were taken to Ambala jail following a medical examination. All the four accused have been convicted under section 302 (murder) and 120 B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, CBI counsel H P S Verma said. Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal have also been convicted under the Arms Act, he said. Security was tight outside the Panchkula court complex with the Haryana police putting up barricades on roads leading to it. It was also stepped up in the rest of the state and parts of Punjab. The situation remained peaceful. Chhatrapati was shot outside his house in October 2002. Pandya, Rahul suspended ‘LS polls to be battle of ideologies’ IIP falls to 17-month low NEW DELHI, 11 JANUARY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 11 JANUARY NEW DELHI, 11 JANUARY Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul were on Friday suspended pending an inquiry into their outrage-evoking comments on women during a TV show, and will be sent back home from Australia. The cricketers, who have been in the eye of a storm following their sexist remarks on 'Koffee with Karan', will be sent back on the first available flight. They were omitted from the line-up for the opening match in Sydney but now it seems they won't be in the mix even for the limited-overs tour of New Zealand, beginning January 23. “Both Pandya and Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry,” the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai said. PTI Dismissing the Opposition's proposed "grand alliance" or "mahagathbandhan" as a "sham", BJP president Amit Shah today called upon his party rank and file to work to ensure Prime Minister Narendra Modi's return to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, which he projected as a "clash of ideologies". In his inaugural address at the BJP National Council meeting, Shah sounded the bugle for the battle of the 2019 general elections, exhorting the party leaders and workers to work for a "big victory" for Modi in the polls. The twoday BJP National Council meeting began at Ramlila Grounds here with the slogan ~ “Abki baar phir Modi Prime Minister Modi with BJP president Amit Shah,along with senior leaders and ministers at the party meet. SNS sarkar” ~ during which top party leaders including PM Modi and Shah are expected to give party leaders and workers from across the country a blueprint for the party's campaign, strategy and agenda for the general elections due in few months. Apart from top BJP leaders, Union ministers, other functionaries and party activists numbering over 12,000 are taking part in this conclave being held in the national capital after a gap of about 32 years. Shah reportedly projected the Lok Sabha polls as a clash of ideologies and likened it to the third battle of Panipat between Marathas and Afghans, claiming that the results of these polls would be equally significant for the country. Highlighting the "achievements" of the Modi government, especially granting of 10 per cent reservation for poor among the upper castes, the BJP president said its aim was to build the India of Swami Vivekananda’s vision. “We have assembled here to install a Modi-led government at the Centre in 2019,” he said. Terming the Modi government's bid to give 10 per cent reservation to the upper caste poor as a "historic decision", Shah claimed it had opened the doors of development for crores of Indian youths. He said exempting traders with an annual income of Rs 40 lakh from the GST was a "significant" decision of the Modi government. The BJP National Council meeting comes on heels of the defeat of the party in the recent Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan ~ the states where it had been in power. The BJP chief, however, said the party was preparing to enter the electoral battlefield of 2019 by virtue of its strength in 16 states under its rule. Shah said from two seats in the Lok Sabha the party was currently in power in 16 states. He claimed that the BJP was all set to capture power in West Bengal too. Shah called the Opposition's "mahagathbandhan" a "sham", saying the BJP had defeated all the leaders of the Opposition front in 2014 and would do the same in 2019 as well. Industrial output growth dropped to a 17-month low of 0.5 per cent in November on account of contraction in manufacturing sector, particularly consumer and capital goods. Factory output as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had grown by 8.5 per cent in November 2017, as per data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Friday. The previous low was in June 2017, when IIP growth contracted by 0.3 per cent. The growth for October 2018 was revised upwards to 8.4 per cent from 8.1 per cent. During April-November period, industrial output grew 5 per cent as compared to 3.2 per cent in the same period of PTI the previous fiscal. The Accidental Prime Minister comes amid protests STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BARASAT/KOLKATA, 11 JANUARY If “The Accidental Prime Ministercomes, can the “Disastrous Prime Minister” be far behind ? This is the question chief minister Mamata Banerjee posed today when the controversial film on former PM Manmohan Singh was released throughout the country triggering reactions from political parties cutting across ideologies. The show was cancelled at two halls in the city following demonstrations by some Congress supporters. The authorities of the halls said they had to do so considering the safety of the patrons. Questioning the timing of the release of the film ahead of the general elections, the CM said such films were often made by twisting facts. All are accidental prime ministers. If people are making such films, then there would also be films like The Disastrous PM.I have come to know that some people are staging political plays. Just before the LS election, they have released this film. I did not get the meaning of this (accidental PM),” Miss Banerjee said. She said though she had ideological differences with the Congress, she believed making such films was “unethical”. “I don’t do politics with the Congress and we have (ideological) differences. I have come out of the Congress and formed the Trinamul Congress with your blessings. But I believe what is being done by twisting facts is unethical. If we can have The Accidental Prime Minister, then we must have a film on 'The Disastrous Prime Minister',” she said. Miss Banerjee asked stage artistes to choose more plots based on politics and deal with realistic subjects depict- Youth Congress activists during an agitation in front of Hind cinema, protesting against the release of Hindi film The Accidental Prime Minister, in Kolkata on Friday. DILIP DUTTA ing social causes. “I am not asking you to stage any political drama. Choose plots which are realistic, highlighting social causes and showing the youth, girls and women of the state,” she said. Without naming PM Modi, the TMC chief compared him with the film Sholay's “Gabbar Singh” and said people would soon teach him a lesson. She said the common people were scared of him because of his attitude. “The common people will not let you (Modi) go scot-free. Always remember that you (Modi) will see what you will show. Look CMYK in the mirror and see your own image. You do not know how to smile and how to talk politely. People are scared seeing you and they think of you as Gabbar Singh,” Miss Banerjee said. “ I'm in politics for many years, but I have never seen such a thing. It is horrible," said Miss Banerjee while leaving Nabanna this evening. Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya said it was an unfortunate state of affairs that an economist of international stature was being insulted by “some ignorant people”. “ These people think they will be able to grab media attention, but the people of the country will give a fitting reply to them and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the coming LS polls,” he said. CPI-M politburo member and MP Muhammad Selim said the film was a blatant act of the BJP-led NDA government to campaign for the LS poll. “Now Songs, TV serials and films all are sponsored by some political parties to draw the attention of the voters before the polls. The protest of the Trinamul chief lacks cred- ibility. It was she who once insulted the former PM with her infamous remark ~ should I beat him up. She never used such words against Mr Modi,” Mr Selim said. BJP state general secretary Pratap Banerjee said Miss Banerjee’s allegation that it was a propaganda film in which PM Modi had a role was baseless. “The people of the country know who the accidental Prime Minister and Mr Modi has nothing to do with it,” Mr Banerjee said. PTI adds from Ludhiana: The screening of Bollywood film The Accidental Prime Minister was stopped at a mall in this city of Punjab on Friday following protests by Congress activists. The Congress workers forced the management not to screen the movie. They also raised slogans against the BJP, accusing it of lowering the image of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with the movie.
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