CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 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 P10 SENSEX 36,975.23 +358.42 WEATHER Mainly clear sky with mist or fog likely in the morning. Max-min temp will be around 30-16 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P6 NIFTY 11,062.45 +128.10 P3 ` vs $ 71.56 +1 PAISA GOLD 32,070.00 00.00 Min. 36% Max: 28.6°C (+0.6) SUN RISES 06:13 hrs MOON RISES 07.47 hrs Min: 15.4°C (-1.4) SUN SETS 17:29 hrs MOON SETS 19:34 hrs Next moon quarter on 16 February THUMBNAILS GSAT-31 launched: India's latest communica3 tion satellite GSAT-31 was successfully put into orbit in the early hours of Wednesday by an European rocket from French Guiana, in a mission that is expected to enhance connectivity for ATMs and provide for uninterrupted DTH services. GSAT-31 is the country's 40th communication satellite to be built by the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) and will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites. Second Trump-Kim Summit in Vietnam on Feb K 27-28: US President Donald Trump will hold a 2 second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam on February 27 and 28 to jump-start a diplomatic effort to dismantle the reclusive nation's nuclear and missile programmes. The announcement about the meeting came during Trump's second State of the Union address. Kim and Trump met in Singapore last year, marking the first bilateral P10 meeting between the two leaders. India lose: India slumped to their worst ever defeat in T20 Internationals as New Zealand outclassed the visitors in all departments to win the first match of the series by a 80-run margin on Wednesday. Batting first, keeperbatsman Tim Seifert took the Indian bowling apart blasting 84 off 43 balls as NZ posted a commanding 219 for six. With the opening pair of skipper Rohit Sharma (1) and Shikhar Dhawan (29) departing within the Powerplay P12 overs, the chase became a difficult one. J&K terror group banned: The Tehreek-ulMujahideen, which has been fighting for “liberation of Kashmir” and involved in a series of terror acts, has been banned by the government, the Home Ministry said. The ministry said the central government believes that the Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TuM) is involved in terrorism as it has committed and participated in various acts of terrorism in India and its members are getting financial and logistic support from their handlers based abroad. P12 SILVER 40,450.00 00.00 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 FEBRUARY he Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking review of its 28 September 2018, judgement that allowed women of all age groups to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala even as the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), that runs the historic hill shrine, took a U-turn on the issue of the entry of women of all ages. As many as 64 petitions including review plea have been filed before the apex court. As a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi heard submissions on behalf of parties including the Kerala government, TDB, Nair Service Society and said that it would pronounce its order as to whether to review the judgment or not, the board controlling Kerala's Sabarimala temple said it supports the entry of women of all ages at the famous hill shrine. The Board, which also comprises state government nominees, told the five-judge Constitution Bench that it is high time that a particular class not be discriminated on the ground of "biological attributes". The board is controlled by the state's Leftled government, which has opposed any review of the Appearing for women who want to enter the temple, senior advocate Indira Jaising said: “Gods accept all, don’t discriminate...Concept of purification hurt women’’ T top court's September order that opened the temple doors to women between the ages of 10 and 50 and created a huge backlash in the state after two women of “menstruating age” gained entry in the Lord Ayyappa temple. The Kerala government submitted before the court that it was in agreement with the 28 September 2018 verdict and had urged dismissal of petitions seeking review of the verdict. The Kerala government, TDB and two women who had entered the shrine have opposed the review petitions, including those filed by Nair Service Society saying "Article 25 (1) equally entitles all persons to practice religion." "Women cannot be excluded from any walk of life on biological attributes... Equality is the dominant theme of the Constitution", said senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for TDB and added that people should gracefully accept the apex court verdict. The apex court is hearing a batch of petitions seeking review of the verdict allowing the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine. On 28 September, a fivejudge Constitution Bench, headed by the then CJI Dipak Misra, in a 4:1 verdict had paved the way for entry of women of all ages into the shrine, saying the ban amounted to gender discrimination. On Justice Indu Malhotra's question that it was a complete change of its stand, the Board said, "We have taken a decision to respect the judgment of the court". During the morning's hearing, the Left-led Kerala government told the court that there was no need to review the September verdict that lifted the traditional ban."Customs are subject to fundamental rights. If religious practice is in conflict with the Constitution, it has to go," the government told the court. Appearing for women who want to enter the temple, senior advocate Indira Jaising said, "Gods accept all, don't discriminate... Concept of purification hurt women". However, most other petitioners have argued in favour of the exclusion of young women from the shrine on the ground that the celibate nature of the presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, supports exclusionary practices. "Devotees going to Sabarimala can't question the customs and have to accept it," the petitioner said. The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress have supported the traditional view of exclusion of women, arguing that it was not for courts to interfere in religious practices. The Travancore Devaswom Board on Wednesday said its decision in the Supreme Court to back women's entry into the Ayyappa shrine at Sabariamala was not due to any pressure following the CPI(M)-led LDF govern- ment's stand on the issue. The board, which administers the Sabarimala temple, had taken a U-turn onWednesday in the apex court by supporting the September 28 verdict, allowing women of all age groups to enter the shrine. The Board had told a five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, that it was high time that a particular class not be discriminated on the ground of “biological attributes”. Asked if the board's changed stance was out of pressure from the state government, TDB President A Padmakumar told reporters in Kerala that the temple body had not given a review petition, but sought time to implement the September 28 decision. “The board's decision was not on the basis of the government stand. We were asked if the board accepts the September 28 decision of the court and we said we accept it, which is natural. There should be no discrimination to anyone in offering prayers, that is the stand we have taken,” he said. Asked if the board's volte face was due to pressure from the LDF government, Padmakumar said “not at all. The Board does not have to take a decision under pressure following the government stand on the verdict”, he said. ‘Cong stands by rights of tribals, farmers & poor’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE ROURKELA, BHAWANIPATNA, 6 FEBRUARY Projecting the Congress as one which stands by the rights of the tribals over forests, water, land as well as farmers and the poor, AICC president Rahul Gandhi said the BJP and BJD are parties which snatch away all such rights to gift it to ‘ their corporate friends’ . Taking a dig at the Narendra Modi government , he said , all the table thumping over a ‘historic’ ( Rs 6000 per year to farmers) decision actually amounts to only RS 17 per family per day whereas the Congress is committed to provide a minimum income guarantee to the poor. He asserted “ we will implement it , come what may” and pointed out that the Congress does what it says while the BJP only makes false promises. We said we will waive farm loan and we did it in two days time in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, MP The . MSP in Chattisgarh is Rs 2500 per quintal as promised . Land for industrial use is to be taken with consent of tribals and at four times the market price. If it remains unused for five years, it will be restored back to the land owner, he said adding that in Chhattisgarh this was being done in the case of land acquired by the TATA company. The BJP governments had ruled there for 15 years and had dispensed with the provision to return land to rightful owners, he added. Addressing public meetings in Kalahandi district and Rourkela , he hammered home the point that it was the Congress which gave MGNREGA which was destroyed by the Modi gov- ernment. The Congress provided forest rights, land rights , RTI , RTE because it is wedded to the poor and backward. In contrast the BJP and BJD are busy helping 15 to 20 corporates at the expense of the poor- you have no rights all of it has been BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 61.91 -0.07 Vadra grilled by ED in money laundering probe Sabarimala TDB takes a U-turn on women’s entry Land, seaplane, crocodiles kick up row at Patel statue in Gujarat taken away to benefit these corporates, he charged. “We provided MGNREGA and will implement the minimum income guarantee to the poor”, he asserted. The Congress understood the tribals and needs of people of backward regions like Kalahandi and introduced the KBK plan , the Backward Region Grant Fund as special attention was required to there areas. But all of this was scrapped by the Modi government, noted the AICC chief . At Bhawanipatna, the district headquarter of Kalahandi, Rahul Gandhi evoked a sentimental card saying he was there as a family member of the tribals and not as a politician. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 6 FEBRUARY Robert Vadra, the brotherin-law of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, wasWednesday questioned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) here for over four hours in its money laundering probe into alleged possession of illegal foreign assets, days after he was directed by a city court to appear before the central probe agency. Vadra's wife Priyanka Gandhi accompanied him in a white Toyota Land Cruiser and dropped him outside the ED's office in Jamnagar House, in a move seen as sending a political message to Congress' opponents ahead of Lok Sabha polls. Shortly after, Priyanka took charge as AICC general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East, a fortnight after her formal induction into the Congress party on January 23. “He is my husband, he is my family...I support my family,” Priyanka said in a show of support to Vadra, who returned from London earlier in the day. Priyanka was asked by newsmen at the All India Congress Committee(AICC) headquarters whether she was sending any message by dropping her husband at the ED office for questioning. Asked if it was a political vendetta, she said everyone knows why this is being done. On the day of Priyanka's appointment, Vadra had sent an emotional message to her. “Congratulations P... always by your side in every phase of your life. Give it your best, Vadra said in a Facebook post. It is for the the first time that Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, is appearing before any probe agency in connection with alleged criminal charges of dubious financial dealings. After jostling with a AHMEDABAD, 6 FEBRUARY the acquisition of more land for offering to various state governments to construct their ‘Bhawans’ in the area and a proposed airport at Rajpipla. While more than 1,500 tribals gathered at Rajpipla on Monday to lodge their protest against forcible acquisition of their land for the airport and state ‘Bhawans’, environmentalists are up in arms about the relocation of crocodiles for facilitating the landing of seaplanes. Preparing the nearby water bodies for landing of seaplanes is part of the State Government’s idea of development ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken off from the Sabarmati river here during his campaign for the Assembly elections in December 2017. While there is no estimate of how many people would come to the ‘Statue of Unity’ by seaplane route, the number of crocodiles to be relocated for their safety is also unknown. “The reported number of crocodiles varies between 300 and 500 as no cen- sus has been done”, Rohit Prajapati of Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti told The Statesman on Wednesday. The Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti has sent a legal notice to the State Government questioning the wisdom behind the move to shift the crocodiles, a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. A helicopter service to give an aerial view of the 182-metre ‘Statue of Unity’ has already started while the authorities are increasing the visiting hours in view of the heavy rush of people the site is receiving. PTI adds: Around 800 farmers, hiit by the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train project, held a protest march demanding better compensation. CMYK posse of assembled media persons, Vadra entered the ED office at around 3:47 pm, minutes after a team of his lawyers reached the premises. He then signed the attendance register before being taken in for questioning. Vadra has denied allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch hunt against him. Vadra has alleged he was being “hounded and harassed” to subserve political ends. Ahead of the questioning by a team of 3 ED officials, official sources said Vadra will be put through a dozen questions on transactions, purchase and possession of certain immovable assets in London and his statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Vadra was directed by a Delhi court on February 2 to cooperate with the investigation being carried out by the ED after he knocked at its door seeking anticipatory bail in the money laundering case. The court directed him to appear before the ED on Wednesday on his return from London. The BJP seized on the questioning of Vadra to attack the Congress and allege he got kickbacks from a petroleum and defence deals took place during the UPA regime. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged at a news conference that Vadra bought 8 to 9 properties in London from the money he got as kickbacks from a petroleum and a defence deal which took place in 2008-09 when the UPA was in power. Patra did not provide any evidence to back up his claim. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi claimed that the charges against Vadra are “fickle, superficial, non-existent, non-substantive”. WB govt yet to get MHA letter asking for action against CP STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 6 FEBRUARY RATHIN DAS Just three months into existence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project the 182-metre ‘Statue of Unity’ is fast becoming a centre of controversies for multiple reasons. Inaugurated on Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary last year (31 Oct) amidst protests by people of 72 villages adversely affected by the project, the ‘Statue of Unity’ is now courting controversies for evacuation of crocodiles from nearby water bodies to facilitate landing of seaplanes bringing in VVIP tourists to the site. Tribals of Narmada district are also protesting against ‘PLAYING TESTS WITH WHITE-BALL HABITS LET ENGLAND DOWN’ SC reserves verdict on a bunch of petitions, TDB chief denies Kerala govt pressure Max.95% TEMPERATURE NO NEED TO TAKE MEHBOOBA MUFTI SERIOUSLY: GUV DIASPORIC EUPHORIA REJECT POLITICS OF REVENGE, TRUMP TO DEMS A day after the sit-in by chief minister Mamata Banerjee in protest against the CBI’s attempt to enter Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence for interrogation had ended, the state government was today yet to get the letter from the Union home ministry asking it to begin disciplinary action against the CP for “violation of service rules.” "State chief secretary Moloy De informed me that he did not receive the letter till today afternoon. We will send our reply as soon as we get it," she said while leaving Nabanna this evening. The MHA's letter was, however, being circulated in the electronic media since last evening. “Rajeev Kumar flouted provisions of the Rules 3(1), 5(1) and 7 of the AIS (Conduct) Rules, 1968,” the MHA’s purported letter stated. Miss Banerjee had yesterday said that the complaint was "motivated" and a “blatant lie”. “It is the duty of the police commissioner to give protection to the chief minister. Mr Kumar did not come to attend the ‘Save India dharna mancha’ but he came only to meet me," she had then said. The CBI, however, is working overtime and going full throttle to chalk out its strategy on how to quiz the CP . Sources said the agency at its Delhi headquarters is in the process of forming a Special Investigation Team to interrogate the top cop of Kolkata police. The Enforcement Directorate( ED) too seeking to put further pressure on the city cops sent notices during the day to two Deputy Commissioners ( DCs)of Kolkata police ~ Mr Murlidhar, DC STF (Special Task Force) and Mr Kalyan Mukherjee, DC SED ( South East Division) ~ in connection with the Rose Valley scam. A senior officer in Lalbazar however, said that documents pertaining to the case had already been (TURN TO P 5) sent to the ED.
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