FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 08 FEBRUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 P8 SENSEX 36,971.09 -4.14 NIFTY 11,069.40 +6.95 WEATHER Shallow and moderate fog in morning. Generally clear sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 19 and 10 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 03.2 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.100% TEMPERATURE Max: 19.41°C (-4) SUN RISES 07:05 hrs MOON RISES 09.43 hrs UK AND EU TO HOLD FURTHER BREXIT TALKS VIJAYAN SEEKS COMPENSATION FOR NH PROJECTS STATE OF THE US ` vs $ 71.45 +11 PAISE Min: 15°C (+6) SUN SETS 18:06 hrs MOON SETS 21:07 hrs THUMBNAILS During hailstorm and rain at Noida near Delhi (P3) on Thursday. SNS RBI dividend: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said it is legitimate for the government to demand an interim dividend from RBI as it's part of the statutes and use it the way it wants. Das was replying to a question on the impact of the Rs 6000-per annum cash payout to around 120 million farmer households on the fiscal numbers. Noida hospital fire: A fire broke out at the Metro Hospitals and Heart Institute in Noida Thursday, trapping several people inside the multistoreyed building but no casualty was reported. A magisterial level probe was ordered into the incident by Gautam Buddh Nagar district magistrate B N Singh, who said over 40 patients had P3 to be shifted to Metro's another hospital. GOLD 31,845.00 -225.00 SILVER 40,150.00 -250.00 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 FEBRUARY T he Supreme Court on Thursday pulled up the Central Bureau of Investigation for transferring out of the agency its former Joint Director A K Sharma in violation of the apex court orders as he was probing a sensitive case involving the sexual abuse of children at a state-run shelter home and also directed the then CBI interim chief M Nageswara Rao to personally appear before it on 12 February even as it transferred the Muzaffarpur shelter home case to Delhi's Saket POCSO court. During his tenure as the interim chief, Rao and the in-charge of Director Prosecution, had transferred A K Sharma, who was probing Bihar's shelter homes cases. Taking serious note of the violation of two earlier orders of the apex court, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued contempt notice to Rao for transferring Sharma to the CRPF on 17 January without taking prior permission from the court. "How can he be transferred by the Centre when the Supreme Court said he must not be shifted?" the furious Chief Justice had questioned. “God help you, never play with our order. We are going to take it very very seriously. You have played with the order of Supreme Court of India,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told the CBI counsel. Issuing a contempt notice to Rao, the apex court asked him to appear before it on 12 February and also directed the probe agency to give names of other officers who were part of the process of transferring Sharma. Earlier in the day, the apex court transferred the Muzaffarpur shelter home case to Delhi's Saket POCSO court. Slamming the Bihar government for dragging its heels regarding details on shelter homes in the state, the apex court shifted the Muzaffarpur shelter home case from Patna to Delhi and gave six months for the trial to be completed. It made clear that no further extension should be sought. "Enough is enough. We will ask Bihar Chief Secretary to appear before us. Get someone here who is conversant to what is happening in the state. You can’t let your officers to treat unfortunate children like this. Spare the children," the CJI said while also asking CBI to explain why the probing officer was transferred despite its previous order not to transfer any officer. The bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, directed CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla to give the names of officers who were part of the process in transferring Sharma out of the probe agency. Pointing out that the transfer was made despite its "embargo", the court questioned whether its directions were passed on to the appropriate authorities in charge of transfers. The case pertains to alleged sexual exploitation of girls at the Muzaffarpur shelter home which first came to light in the report of a social audit conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, which was submitted to the state social welfare department in April last year. More than 40 girls were lodged at the shelter home and medical reports suggest that over half of them may have been allegedly raped and sexually exploited at some point of time. While transferring the cases to CBI, the top court had dismissed the state government's request not to do so. The top court, while directing CBI to probe into the allegations of physical and sexual abuse of inmates in 16 shelter homes in Bihar, had taken note of the report of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) which had highlighted rampant sexual and physical abuse of inmates in several shelter homes in the state. On the TISS report, the apex court had said it raises grave concern about 17 shelter homes in Bihar and the CBI must look into all of them. Of these, the Muzaffarpur case is already being looked into by the CBI. In the Muzaffarpur shelter home case, an FIR was lodged on May 31, 2018 against 11 people following the TISS report. The probe was later taken over by the CBI and so far, 17 people have been arrested. The amicus curiae had also told the court that there were 1,028 shelter homes across India where instances of sexual and physical abuse have been reported. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, 7 FEBRUARY The Reserve Bank of India's six-member monetary policy committee or MPC in a four to two split vote lowered the policy interest rate or repo rate by 25 basis points from 6.5 per cent to 6.25 and softened the credit and monetary policy stance from "Calibrated tightening" to "Neutral" after a gap of six months or three bi-monthly policy statements. The RBI move may make home and other loans cheaper. Delivering his first policy details, Governor Mr Shaktikanta Das candidly affirmed that the change in policy stance to dovish : NeutraL" was in consonance with the measures announced by the Union government to boost economy and GDP but cited steady easing in consumer price index linked or CPI inflation over the past several months as technical ground to go for delivering double-relief--- cut in repurchasing or repo rate at which the central bank lends to banks and reverting to :Neutral stance---as top considerations in working out policy statement. Policy statement that came in line with currency and equity markets and India Ince triggered speculation whether the central bank with its dovish stance has started a cycle of further rate cuts in com- PM launches all-out attack on Cong PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 7 FEBRUARY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 FEBRUARY agenda while Beijing sent its army to Doklam, a reference to the China-India border standoff in 2017. Modi folded his hands before China, the Congress chief claimed, adding that China realised within two months that “leave alone 56 inches, he doesn't even have a four-inch chest”. “I know his (Modi) character after fighting him for five years...I say to BJP leaders... make Narendra Modi stand with me on stage for five minutes and debate on national security, Rafale,” Gandhi said in his speech in Hindi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday set the tone and tenor of his government’s narrative ~ 55 months of Modi government’s ‘sewa bhav (resolve to serve)’ versus 55 years of Congress’ ‘satta bhog (enjoyment of power)’ - for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. Replying to the debate on motion of thanks to the President’s address in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister said though some Opposition members had leveled baseless allegations against his government he could very well imagine their ‘compulsion’ in an election year. He thanked members of the House for participating in the discussion, Modi said all the members would have to account for their actions in the last five years before the people ~ ‘Janata ko hisaab dena hain’. He attrib- uted his government’s image of being a pro-poor, anticorruption fast-track development-oriented one to ‘imandari (honesty)’. He wished the members ‘healthy competition’ in the coming elections. The Prime Minister rejected the Opposition allegation of corruption against his government. He held the Congress party responsible for corruption in defence deals while it was in power at the Centre. He said this had hit India’s defence preparedness. Modi came with an elaborate rebuttal of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s allegations against the BJPled NDA government on job creation, agricultural distress and farmers’ plight, and corruption fronts and for denying the Congress credit for its contribution to nation building, to name just a few. Describing Kharge as a ‘decent’ person who often ‘dissents’, Modi said the Congress leader had recounted the works of the Congress and UPA governments since 1947 in BC (Before Congress) and AD (After Dynasty) terms and compared them with the 55 months of his government. Enlisting his government’s achievements in the field of development, FDI, agriculture, job creation through schemes like Mudra, Start-up India and Stand-up India, Modi said it was important for the Opposition to criticise the government’s functioning in a democracy. He said in the process of criticising the BJP and Modi, however, the Congress starts hurting the country. “This should not be done,” he said in an implicit reference to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s press conference in London. Continuing his attack on the Congress, Modi said the root of the problem for the Opposition party is a person who has risen from poverty to challenge the ‘sultanate’. He alleged the Congress party TURN TO PAGE 7 Suicide rate falls by a third globally, shows data AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE PARIS, 6 FEBRUARY Suicides have fallen globally by more than a third since 1990, according to a far-reaching analysis released on Thursday that highlighted profound differences in the number of men and women taking their own lives. The World Health Organisation lists suicide as a critical public health issue and estimates at least 800,000 people kill themselves every year. Although reporting of deaths from self-harm varies between nations, data models devised by the team behind the Global Burden of Disease -- which tracks all known causes of death by country -- show a clear downward trend in global suicide rates. In results published in the BMJ journal, the study esti- BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 62.33 -0.36 SC raps CBI for shifting RBI cuts repo rate, loans may be cheaper home probe official Rahul dares PM to 5-min Rafale debate m Mounting a fresh offensive on Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Thursday called the prime minister a “darpok” (coward) and dared him to a five minute face-toface debate on issues such as the controversial Rafale jet deal and national security. Addressing the Congress' minority department convention here, a combative Gandhi also alleged that the RSS was trying to capture the institutions of the country and said his party's governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh will remove the organisation's loyalists from the system. In his speech covering a range of topics, Gandhi slammed Modi for his China policy, saying the prime minister flew to the country and held a summit without an P16 P12 ‘God help you, never play with our order’: CJI; Nageswara summoned Min. 89% SARWATE LEADING LIGHT IN VIDARBHA SUCCESS STORY mated that 817,000 people killed themselves in 2016 -- a slight increase of 6.7 per cent since 1990. However, as the global population has boomed over the last three decades, the team found that the rate of suicide adjusted for age and population size fell from 16.6 to 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people -- a plunge of 32.7 per cent. “Suicide is considered a preventable cause of death and this study shows that we should continue in our efforts towards suicide prevention,” said Heather Orpana, research scientist with the Public Health Agency of Canada and a collaborator on the study. “With further efforts we could take further reductions in suicide mortality.” The Global Burden of Disease analysis, conducted each year by the Institute for Health and Metrics Evaluation, a think- While welcoming the overall downward trend, the research team warned that in several regions of the world suicide was still among the leading causes of years of lives lost. Mortality rates were generally higher for men tank partly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, estimates mortality by cause, location, age and gender extrapolated from hundreds of data sources. While welcoming the overall downwards trend, the team behind Thursday's paper warned that in several regions of the world suicide was still among the leading causes of years of lives lost. In 2016, 34.6 million years of life were lost globally from suicide -- that is, the age when suicide deaths occur compared with average life expectancy in a given region or nation. In addition, men were still more likely to kill themselves than women in all regions and age groups, apart from 15-19 year-olds, though the analysis did not speculate why. “Mortality rates were generally higher for men but there was considerable variability between men and women depending on the age, and even the country,” Orpana told AFP Globally, men hugely out. paced women for suicides, suffering 15.6 deaths per 100,000 compared with 7.0 for women. The study found that the overall global mortality rate, including all causes of deaths, had fallen by more than 30 percent since 1990, something often attributed to having fewer people living in absolute poverty and better access to healthcare. Orpana said the fact that both suicide deaths and overall mortality fell in close proximity suggested that suicide might be better tackled if treated as just another illness. “Sometimes we might look at suicide as a different kind of health outcome than, say, cardiovascular disease or cancer, which are considered more traditional,” she said. “But what the similar rate (fall) may be telling us is that suicide may be similar to other health outcomes and in some ways may be driven by similar factors.” The WHO has targeted a 10 per cent cut in global suicide rates by 2020. But the study authors highlighted huge variations in suicide trends on a country-by-country basis. Whereas in China the average rate of suicide deaths fell 64.1 percent since 1990, in places such as Zimbabwe the rate had almost doubled in the same time-span. “We are seeing what is an important reduction in global suicide mortality. But those reductions have not been consistent across regions, countries, sex or ages,” said Orpana. ing bi-monthly policies. This assumption has been strongly backed by cut in CPI inflation in the next fiscal. The RBI-MPC claimed that the recent interim budget that raised the risk of fiscal slippage as the deficit gap has increased from 3.3 per cent to 3.4 per cent was discussed and taken into consideration while framing the bimonthly statement. The dent in the government's discipline, economists said, would make foreign investors more cautious. They may also raise questions about the central bank compromising its autonomy. But markets believe at least one more repo rate cut coming soon. The policy relaxation is likely to mitigate volatility in debt market with most analysts expecting 10- year benchmark yields between 7.30 per cent to 7.50 per cent that may attract foreign funds. The RBI-MPC also lowered CPI inflation for Q4 ( January-March) to 2.8 per cent. For Hi ( April-September 2019-20) the consumer inflation project is between 3.2 per cent to 3.4 per cent while for Q3 of the next fiscal it will be 3.9 per cent. The Governor Mr Das said lower food prices and moderation in crude oil prices provided enough headroom for cutting RBI's inflation projects with "risk evenly balanced." The long-term inflation range --or benchmark-- stays capped at 4 per cent with 2 per cent upside or downside. GDP growth for 2019-20 projected at 7.4 per cent. For H1 at 7.1per cent to 7.4 per cent and 7.5 per cent in Q3. SEE ALSO PAGE 11 Centre plans action against Bengal top cops STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 FEBRUARY The Centre is likely to take punitive action against five senior police officers of West Bengal, including DGP Virendra Kumar, for taking part in the dharna of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, officials said. This may include stripping off meritorious awards and removing the officers from the list of seniority. A similar action is also expected against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. The Union Home Ministry has sought action against Rajeev Kumar for sitting at the dharna of Banerjee. The central government has taken a dim view of serving officers of uniformed forces allegedly taking part in sit-in protests and dharnas of the chief minister in Kolkata on February 4, a home ministry official said. Besides DGP Virendra Kumar, the four other officers under the radar of the ministry are ADG-Security Vineet Kumar Goyal, ADGLaw and Order Anuj Sharma, Commissioner of Police (Bidhan Nagar) Gyanwant Singh, Additional Commissioner of Kolkata Police Supratim Sarkar. The action which the central government is contemplating against the “delinquent” five officers include CBI to grill CP on 9 February NEW DELHI, 7 FEBRUARY Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar will be questioned by CBI in Shillong on 9 February in connection with the multicrore Saradha chit-fund scam, officials said on Thursday, two days after the Supreme Court directed him to “faithfully” cooperate in the investigation. Kunal Ghosh, an accused in the Saradha scam, was also summoned to join the probe in ShilSNS long on Sunday. SEE PAGE 7 withdrawing medals or decorations which were conferred on them for meritorious services and removal from their names from empanelled (seniority) list and banning them for certain period from serving in the central government, the official said. The home ministry is also believed to have asked the Bengal government to take action against them for alleged violation of All India Service Rules. The Centre may ask all states to ensure that officers of uniformed forces adhere to the code of conduct.
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