SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 FEBRUARY 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 THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF THE APEEJAY KOLKATA LITERARY FESTIVAL HELD RECENTLY IN KOLKATA WAS THE HUB OF STIMULATING CONVERSATIONS AND EAGER LISTENERS BIPLAB HAZRA SHARES HIS JOURNEY OF BECOMING A WILDLIFE CONSERVATIONIST AFTER BEING A WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER AND OF CAPTURING POIGNANT MOMENTS IN HIS CAMERA WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Temperature will be in the range of 29-14 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.91% TEMPERATURE Didi, what are you scared of, asks Narendra Modi RAJIB CHAKRABORTY & DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY Min. 30% Max: 29.3°C (+2) Min: 14.1°C (-2) SUN SETS SUN RISES 17:26 hrs 06:15 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 05:03 hrs 16:11 hrs New moon on 4 February THUMBNAILS Interim bail for Robert Vadra: A Delhi court Saturday granted interim bail till February 16 to Robert Vadra, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law, in a money-laundering case and asked him to appear before the Enforcement Directorate and cooperate in P5 the investigation. Russia too to quit INF treaty: Following in the footsteps of the USA, Russia will abandon the centerpiece Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty but will only deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles if Washington does so, President Vladimir Putin said P10 Saturday. Chargesheet against Marans: In more trouble for opposition DMK in a poll-bound year, a special court in Chennai framed a charge sheet against party leader and former Union communication minister Dayanidhi Maran and his business baron brother Kalanidhi Maran in the illegal telephone exchange case investigated P9 by the Central Bureau of Investigation. THAKURNAGAR/DURGAPUR, 2 FEBRUARY Prime Minister Narendra Modi today kick-started the election campaign in West Bengal, launching a scathing attack on chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the Opposition alliance, asserting that his fight against black money had scared many political leaders. In the same breath, he said yesterday’s Central interim Budget was ‘historic’ for farmers and the middle class and pitched for the Citizenship Amendment Bill, urging the ruling Trinamul Congress to support the contentious Bill in the Rajya Sabha. “The only reason that I am abused is because I work against black money and will not let them get away. Didi (Mamata Banerjee), what are you scared of?” Mr Modi asked. Addressing a huge gathering of the All India Matua Mahasangha at Thakurnagar, Mr Modi said the country had been cleansed of black money and corruption. “Even members of the most influential family of this country are hav- ing to knock on court doors as they evaded taxes. Those who fled are being brought back one by one,” he added. Taking a dig at the Trinamul Congress, Mr Modi accused it of destroying the aspirations of the middleclass people in West Bengal and said the ruling party in West Bengal is known for "triple T ~ Trinamul Tolabaji (extortion) Tax". He charged that Miss Banerjee was attempting to trample on democracy. “She should know it did not work then and it will not work now,” he said. “The TMC is destroying the people's aspirations, but the Centre under the NDA will fulfil their (people's) dreams," the PM said. Yesterday’s Interim Bud- Modi has blood on his hands, says Mamata STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 2 FEBRUARY Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today ruled out her party’s support to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill sought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day and demanded that the BJP-led government at the Centre withdraw the contentious legislation. “The Centre will have to withdraw the Citizenship Bill. There is no question of supporting it. We will oppose it. We will not let him (Modi) succeed,” Miss Banerjee said, while rebutting the charges Mr Modi had levelled against her and her government at his rallies in the state earlier in the day. Describing Mr Modi as “diabolic and arrogant”, Miss Banerjee said the Prime Minister had “blood in his hands” and was incapable of ruling the country. “He can ensure riots, dish out lies to the people and run syndicates, including the Centre’s different investigating wings, to harass and heckle his opponents,” she said. “The report card of the NDA regime over the past five years is one of riots, pitting Hindus against Muslims, evicting sons of the soil from their hearth and home. Mr Modi has no political career apart from overseeing the Godhra riots, similar incidents of violence in Gujarat in 2001-02 and the mysterious fate of his erstwhile Cabinet colleague Harin Pandya. He can’t reconcile himself to his government's imminent departure. If the Prime Minister is saying that he was once interrogated by the CBI for nine hours, then it must be that the probe agency had reasons to do so,” she said. “This is not the politics that Atalji (Atal BehariVajpayee) practised. The Prime Minister does not even respect his own chair, being ignorant of what to say and avoid while occupying that august seat.” Miss Banerjee said. On the criticism of her government by Union home minister Rajnath Singh at a rally in north Bengal during the day, Miss Banerjee wondered what else he could say when his son had been named in an FIR. “It seems that the thief's mother protests the loudest (chorer mayer boro gola),” the chief minister said when it was pointed out that the Prime Minister had referred to Saradha chit fund scam and Narada sting operation. “What about the scams in the name of demonetisation and the Rafale deal,” she hit back. Lakhs of Bengali Hindus and Muslims are sought to be driven out of Assam by the BJP the , she said. “Plans are afoot to dislocate many Nepalis, Biharis and people from UP but we will , prevent it by ensuring the BJPled government's departure.” get of the Centre, he said, was a reflection of the BJP government's policy of 'Saabka Saath Saabka Vikas'. He spoke of the income tax rebate, TDS for bank term deposits, earnings from second property, among other Budgetary provisions which, according to him, would benefit the middle class. Ridiculing the Opposition’s grand alliance, Mr Modi said: “Those who assembled in Kolkata had a frightened look on their faces because of this chowkidar. Those who were at each other's throats four years ago are now embracing each other.” He said he hadn’t stopped the entry of the Central Bureau of Investigation Laundering case against Kochhar NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a criminal case of money laundering against former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot and others to probe alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning of Rs 1,875-crore loans by the bank to the corporate group, officials said Saturday. They said the central probe agency filed an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, taking cognisance of a CBI complaint filed on the matter last month. An ECIR is the ED's equivalent of a police FIR. The officials said the agency would probe if alleged kickbacks generated in the loan deal were laundered to create tainted assets. PTI Details on Page 8 Court disallows activist’s arrest PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PUNE, 2 FEBRUARY Within hours of Dalit scholar Anand Teltumbde's arrest in the Elgar Parishad case Saturday, a local court held Pune Police's action had violated the Supreme Court's order and he should be released immediately. Teltumbde (photo), a professor at the Goa Institute of Management, was arrested at the Mumbai airport in early hours after he arrived from Kerala. Additional Sessions Judge Kishor Vadane said the apex court, while rejecting Teltumbde's plea seeking to quash the FIR against him earlier, had given him protection from arrest till 11 February so that he could approach the “competent authority” for appropriate legal relief. The competent authority includes high court as well as the Supreme Court, he said. Therefore, arresting him before the protection period ended was “illegal” and also amounted to contempt of the Supreme Court's order and he should be released immediately, the court said. The sessions court had Friday rejected Teltumbde's anticipatory bail application. “Since his pre-arrest bail plea was rejected, we decided to arrest him,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar, who is investigating the case, had said. According to Pune Police, Maoists had supported the Elgar Parishad conclave held here on 31 December 2017, and the inflammatory speeches there led to violent clashes at the Koregaon Bhima war memorial the next day. They also claimed to have seized, during the probe, letters linking Teltumbde and some other Left-wing activists to Maoists. Following Teltumbde's arrest, his lawyer Rohan Nahar again moved the Pune court. Teltumbde was produced before judge Vadane in heavy police security. Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar was also present in the courtroom. “The entire police exercise of arresting my client is illegal and it is a contempt of the SC order,” Nahar said. Public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar said the apex court had said “when the accused approached this court, the interim protection extinguished and therefore police action is justified”. After the court denied him bail Friday, he should have sought time to move a higher court, which he did not, she said. But the court did not accept this argument and ordered Teltumbde's release. Earlier in the day, senior advocate Indira Jaising took to Twitter, saying his arrest “at 3.30 a.m.” was a contempt of the order of the Supreme Court. The Pune court, while rejecting Teltumbde's bail plea, had observed Friday that investigating officers had collected sufficient material to show his involvement in “alleged commission of the offence”. Talking to reporters outside the court, Teltumbde said he would now approach the high court or the apex court. “I thought there is a rule of law in the country and we can question authorities. But in the present condition, whoever has the authority, they do not have accountability,” he said. (CBI) into Gujarat during the UPA regime when he used to sit for about nine hours at a stretch in the office for grilling by the sleuths over allegations of riots because he had no fear. He questioned why Miss Banerjee had stopped the CBI’s entry into her state if she hadn’t committed any wrong. The Nehru stadium in Durgapur Steel Township was jampacked. Without specifically naming the Trinamul chief, the PM said from chit fund to paintings, everything had been reaching one particular place. He alleged the state had failed to spend Rs.90,000 crores given for various infrastructure projects, including health, waterways, road, railways, petroleum and coal sectors. “The TMC government only encourages syndicate raj in the state and in every sector including education sector. This government hasn’t been allowing helicopters to land,” he alleged. Mr Modi visited the residence of nonagenarian “Boro Maa” Binapani Devi (matriarch of the Matua community) and sought her blessings. More reports on Pg 3 (PHOTO:DURGADASKARMAKAR) R K Shukla gets CBI chief’s post Kharge objects, claims criterion of selection diluted PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY he government on Saturday appointed former Madhya Pradesh Police chief Rishi Kumar Shukla as the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), weeks after the controversial removal of Alok Kumar Verma from the post. The appointment came even as Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who was part of the three-member selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, raised objection. Shukla, a 1983 batch IPS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, will have a fixed tenure of two years, an order issued by Personnel Ministry said. He is at present working as the chairman of Madhya Pradesh Police Housing Corporation in Bhopal after being removed from the post of director general of Madhya Pradesh Police a few days ago by the new Congress government in the state. Shukla will take charge from M Nageshwara Rao, who is working as the inter- T im chief of the probe agency following the ouster of Verma. Shukla has never worked in the CBI. The appointment triggered a fresh war of words between the government and the opposition party. Kharge sent a dissent note to the prime minister, alleging that the selection criterion was diluted in violation of law and Supreme Court judgments. However, Union minister Jitendra Singh claimed that Kharge tried to “manipulate” the criteria with the ulterior motive of accommodating some of his preferred officers. Kharge also accused the government of diluting the selection criteria mentioned in the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, that governs the functioning of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Speaking to PTI, Singh rubbished Kharge's charges, saying that Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who is also a member of the committee, fully endorsed the objective criteria applied for selecting the head of the CBI. Singh, whose Personnel Ministry is the nodal department for the CBI, said the selection was made in the objective criteria based on seniority, service record and experience in anti-corruption/investigation areas. Shukla's name was shortlisted during the second meeting of the selection committee held on Friday. The panel's first meeting on 24 January had remained inconclusive. The Supreme Court had on Friday said it was “averse” to the arrangement of an interim CBI director and the Centre should “immediately” appoint a regular chief of the probe agency. Verma was removed after being engaged in a bitter fight with Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana, who was then working as the special director in the probe agency, over corruption charges. Another report on P4
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