SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 FEBRUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 | `5 |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 P10 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 P1 WEATHER Dense to very dense fog in the morning. Mainly clear sky and haze/smoke thereafter. Tomorrow’s maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 19 and 7 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY RAJIB CHAKRABORTY & DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY Max.100% Min. 80% Max: 17.9°C (-4) SUN RISES 07:08 hrs MOON RISES 06.45 hrs Min: 8.0 °C (0) SUN SETS 18:02 hrs MOON SETS 16:45 hrs TEMPERATURE Didi, what are you scared of, asks Narendra Modi 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 P3 the investigation. Russia too to quit INF treaty: Following in the footsteps of the US, 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 P7 Saturday. Chargesheet against Marans: Giving trouble to 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 P5 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 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 for evading 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 middle-class 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 Prime Minister said. Yesterday’s Interim Budget of the Centre, he said was a reflection of the BJP government's policy of 'Saabka Saath SaabkaVikas'. 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 entry of Central Modi has blood on his hands, says Mamata Laundering case against Kochhar STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Bureau of Investigation (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 for allegations of riots because he had no fear. He questioned why Miss Banerjee had stopped CBI entry into her state if she hadn’t committed any wrong. The Nehru stadium in Durgapur Steel Township was jampacked. Without 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. (PHOTO: DURGADAS KARMAKAR) R K Shukla gets CBI chief’s post Kharge objects, claims criterion of selection diluted STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY F ormer Madhya Pradesh Police chief Rishi Kumar Shukla was on Saturday appointed CBI director for a fixed tenure of two years, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel. He succeeds Alok Kumar Verma, who was removed from the post on 10 January. Shukla is a 1983-batch IPS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, and is at present chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Police Housing Corporation. Shukla was removed as DGP of Madhya Pradesh only three days ago by the new Congress government in the state. He will take over charge of the investigation agency from its interim chief M Nageswara Rao, who was appointed after CBI director Alok Verma was shunted out. The post was vacant since the exit of Verma, who had been engaged in a bitter fight with his deputy Rakesh Asthana over corruption allegations. Shukla’s selection has been made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modiled committee which includes leader of Congress, the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge and Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, as its members. The appointment comes following two meeting of the selection committee held on January 24 and February 1. Shukla's name was shortlisted during the second meeting of the selection committee held on Friday. The Supreme Court had earlier said on Friday that it was “averse” to the arrangement of an interim CBI Director and the Centre should “immediately” appoint a regular chief of the probe agency. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, meanwhile, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing his dissent on the appointment of the new CBI Director, alleging that the officer did not have experience in handling anti-corruption cases and the criterion for selection was diluted in violation of law and Supreme Court judgements. Kharge sent a two-page dissent note to the prime minister this evening. Kharge in his note said the three-member panel, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in which he is a member along with Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, has violated the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE) that governs the CBI and the Supreme Court judgements. Kharge said the criterion in selecting the CBI Director has been diluted to include investigation experience only and not experience in investigating anti-corruption cases. “By including officers who do not have experience in investigating anti-corruption cases, committee is in violation of DSPE Act and Supreme Court judgements guiding CBI Director's appointment,” he said. WAR OF WORDS, PAGE 6 NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY 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 sayng 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 Behari Vajpayee) 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. Referring to 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 framed. “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 Rafael 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 BJPled government's departure.” 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 14 Court disallows activist’s arrest PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PUNE, 2 FEBRUARY Within hours of Dalit scholar AnandTeltumbde'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 February 11 so that he could approach the“competent authority” for appropriate legal relief. The competent authority includes high court as well as the Supreme Court, it 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 rejectedTeltumbde'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 ElgarParishadconclaveheldhere on December 31, 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. FollowingTeltumbde'sarrest, 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 3.30am” was a contempt of the order of the Supreme Court. The Pune court, while rejecting Teltumbde's bail plea, had observedFridaythatinvestigating officers had collected sufficient materialtoshowhisinvolvement 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. FULL BLOOM Tulips in bloom at the Mughal Gardens at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the Capital on Saturday. The Mughal Gardens will be opened SNS for public visit from 6 February to 10 March. India issues demarche to US Embassy PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON, 2 FEBRUARY India on Saturday issued a demarche to the American Embassy in New Delhi, expressing concern over the detention of 129 Indian students in the US, and sought immediate consular access to them. The External Affairs Ministry said India continues to closely monitor and take proactive measures to address the situation arising out of the detention of several Indian students in connection with their enrolment in a “fraudulent university in the US”. As many as 129 Indians are among the 130 foreign students arrested on Wednesday by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for enrolling at a fake university, allegedly to remain in the US. “Our concern over the dignity and well-being of the detained students and the need for immediate consular access for Indian officials to the detainees was reiterated,” the MEA said. The ministry underlined to the US Embassy that the students, who may have been duped into enrolling in the 'university', should be treated differently from those recruiters who have duped them. “We have urged the US side to share full details and regular updates of the students with the government, to release them from detention at the earliest and not to resort to deportation against their will,” the ministry said. The Indian mission and consulates have visited several detention centres throughout the US to extend consular assistance to the detained students, the MEA said. “So far, about 30 Indian students have been contacted by our consular officers. Efforts to contact the remaining Indian students are continuing,” it said. A spokesperson from the American Embassy said, “We can confirm that the embassy received a demarche from the Ministry of External Affairs about the Indian citizens detained in the United States this week.” The MEA said a 24/7 helpline has been established in the Indian Embassy inWashington for assistance and queries related to the detention of Indian students. The helpline numbers are: +1-202-322-1190 and +1-202340-2590 and the email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. The ministry said the Indian government and the Indian Embassy and consulates in the US attach the highest priority to the welfare of the detained students and will continue to work with the American authorities and other stakeholders to address the issue. The Indian Embassy has also appointed a nodal officer to handleandcoordinateallissuesrelated to helping Indian students affected by the busting of the “pay-and-stay” racket run by a group of Indians that has put some 600 students under trouble. The ICE, till Thursday, had arrested 130 students from the fake Farmington University in Greater Detroit area. The ICE officials said 129 of them are Indian nationals. The fake university was opened by Homeland Security Investigations to trap those involved in illegal student visa racket. It has now been closed. The arrest of such a large number of students has created panic among the Indian students. Federal investigators say the students who took admission in the university knew that the university programme was illegal. US Officials said all of them face deportation, besides being put under detention. A number of students have been put under some kind of house arrest with tracking device on their ankle, that prohibits them from moving out of a designated area in their neighbourhood.
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