CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 26 FEBRUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P7 WEATHER Cloudy sky with spells of thundershoweraccompanied by gusty winds. Maxmin temp to be 26-18 deg celsius, resp RAINFALL: 22.9 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.97% Min. 37% Max: 24.1°C (-7) SUN RISES 06:00 hrs MOON RISES 00.00 hrs Min: 16.8°C (-3) SUN SETS 17:39 hrs MOON SETS 10:56 hrs TEMPERATURE P9 Maruti Eeco used in terror attack was bought 10 days before strike: NIA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Next moon quarter on 4 March THUMBNAILS Trees uprooted by the nor'wester in Kolkata on Monday. SNS Nor’westers kill 3 in Bengal: Two nor’westers that hit West Bengal on Sunday have claimed the lives of three persons in West Midnapore district when they were struck by lightning while a heavy squall accompanied by strong winds hit Kolkata, leading to uprooting of several trees. Train services remained disrupted in Hooghly district due to fallen trees on the track and an under-construction building colP13 lapsed in the strong winds. CJI recuses: CJI Ranjan Gogoi recused himself from hearing a plea of a lawyers' body which has sought abolition of designation of advocates as seniors on the ground that it leads to an “elite class” consisting of kith and kin. A bench headed by Justice Gogoi on Oct 12, 2017 had delivered a judgement on guidelines for the SC and 24 High Courts to govern the exercise of designating lawyers as seniors. SC to hear Ayodhya case today: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Tuesday the Ram-Janmabhoomi Babari Masjid land dispute matter. It will be heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer. SC on Jan 27 cancelled the Jan 29 hearing as Justice Bobde was not available that day. Weightlifting gold: Commonwealth Games champion weightlifter Punam Yadav claimed a gold medal on the 4th day of the 71st Men and 34th Women Sr National championship in Visakhapatnam on Monday. Railway's Punam, who had clinched the gold medal at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 63kg last year, lifted a total of 220kg (snatch 99 Kgs and P11 clean & jerk 121kgs) to win the gold. OMAR WARNS CENTRE OVER ARTICLE 35 A TRUMP TO DELAY CHINA TARIFF HIKE DESPITE REVOLT, MAY’S STAR RISES NEW DELHI, 25 FEBRUARY A Maruti Eeco minivan was used in the Pulwama terror attack and it was bought by a Jaish-eMohammed operative just 10 days before the February 14 strike that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said on Monday. The JeM operative, identified as Sajjad Bhat, a resident of Bijbehara in south Kashmir, has since been on the run and is believed to have become an active militant now, an NIA spokesman said. The spokesman termed this as a “significant breakthrough” in the investigation into the terror attack. Piecing together remnants of the vehicle recovered from the scene of the blast, the NIA investigators, with the support of forensic and automobile experts, have been able to identify the vehicle as a Maruti Eeco having chassis number MA3ERLF1SOO183735 and engine number G12BN164140, the spokesman said. The vehicle was sold to Mohammed Jaleel Ahmed Haqani, a resident of Heaven Colony in Anantnag in 2011, and subsequently it changed hands seven times and finally reached Sajjad Bhat, ‘Shaheed’ delay: Rahul criticises PM a student of Siraj-ul-Uloom, Shopian. The vehicle was purchased by Sajjad Bhat on February 4, the spokesman said. Raids were conducted by a team of NIA and police at his house on Saturday but Sajjad was not present. He has reportedly joined Jaish-eMohammed and his photograph also appeared on social media where he is seen holding weapons. The NIA, a Central agency established by the government to combat terror, took over the probe into the Pulwama attack from the Jammu and Kashmir Police on February 20 and re-registered the case. NIA Director General Y C Modi, accompanied by senior officers of the agency, has visited the site of the attack, 33 km from Srinagar, where he was briefed by the police and the CRPF . The state police had registered a case at the Awantipora police station on February 14 after a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle. P3 P11 PM attacks Cong for ‘ignoring soldiers’ Mamata slams Modi govt over Pulwama NEW DELHI, 25 FEBRUARY Says Centre did not act despite having Intelligence inputs, BJP hits back Addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen ahead of the inauguration of the National War Memorial (NWM) here today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress party for allegedly turning a blind eye to the requirements of armed forces in its eagerness to promote its "first (NehruGandhi) family" during its long tenure at the Centre. PM Modi's comments came amid pressure from the Opposition on his government over its alleged 'faulty' policy to deal with Pakistan and the menace of terrorism in Kashmir besides the mounting pressure to act against the perpetrators of Pulwama terror attack. The PM asked the gathering how the previous Congress dispensations had treated them, adding rhetorically "Is it the country or the family that comes first?" "Earlier, how soldiers were treated...you know better than I do ~ from Bofors to helicopter, all investigations end at the same family. This says a lot...Now, these people are working with all their might to make sure the Rafale deal falls through...But the country will soon have its first Rafale notwithstanding their conspiracies." SNS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 25 FEBRUARY hief Minister Mamata Banerjee today accused the Narendra Modigovernment of deliberately doing nothing even after it had intelligence inputs about the Pulwama terrorist attack on 14 February because its intent was to “play politics over the dead bodies of jawans” and whip up a “war hysteria” before the Lok Sabha polls to reap political dividends. Addressing the Trinamul Congress' extended core committee meeting , Miss Banerjee directed a series of questions to the Prime Minister to buttress her charge that the Modi-government had “allowed the tragedy to happen for electoral gain.” “What were you doing Modi babu when the Pulwama attack took place ? The Centre was aware that such an attack could take place, there were intelligence inputs. Then why didn't the government take action to protect our jawans ? The government allowed them to die so that they can do politics over their dead bodies in the elections,” she said. “Why did they not sanitise the road taken by the C CRPF jawans ? They want to create a war hysteria ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. They want to create an atmosphere of war and gain politically,” she further alleged condemning the attacks. Miss Banerjee said during the last four-and-ahalf years, the BJP along with , the Sangh Parivar ~the VHP and the RSS ~ has tried to divide the country on religious lines by injecting the “poison of hatred and communalism into the masses”. Describing the BJPled NDA-government as one run by two brothers (Modi and BJP president Amit Shah), “who have the blood of the innocent on their hands”, Miss Banerjee said the Centre was functioning “in a peculiar way and Union ministers are not aware of important decisions.” Accusing the Modi-government of pursuing vendetta politics, she said whenever any Opposition party tried to speak up against the government, Central agencies such as the CBI and the ED had been used to harass them. Miss Banerjee had sat on a dharna for three days recently over a CBI action against outgoing Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha chit fund scam. Criticising those who have been taking out bike rallies with national flags in the middle of the night in the state over the Pulwama attack and “beating up” people in the name of nationalism, the Trinamul supremo said action would be taken against such elements as only “criminals and dacoits take out their bikes at midnight." “We have to remove this dictator Narendra Modi and Amit Shah from power to save the country,” she said. The TMC supremo, who had organised a conclave of over two dozen antiBJP parties at the Brigade Parade Ground here on January 19, is all set to attend a crucial meeting of the Opposition parties in Delhi on February 27. “Those who claim to be leaders on their own are not leaders. A person who is respected, loved and appointed as leader by others is the real leader,” Miss Banerjee said, taking a veiled dig at Mr Modi and Mr Shah for frequently alleging that the Opposition alliance doesn't have a leader. Setting a target of winning all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Miss Banerjee asked party workers not to pay heed to the proposed alliance between the CPI(M) and the Congress in the state and said both the parties were likely to have a covert understanding with the BJP to fight the TMC in Bengal. “Don't get bothered with what the Congress is doing at the state level or the CPI(M) is doing here. We have earlier also seen them forging alliances. In some places, they might also join hands with the BJP to stop us, but rest assured that people are with us and we will win all the 42 seats,” she said. Reacting to Banerjee's comments, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh criticised her and said she is making baseless allegations about Pulwama terror attack with an intent to politicise the issue. “Is this the first time that such a terror attack has taken place in Kashmir?She should stop making such allegations just for scoring political brownie points,” he said. BSP& SP announce alliance in MP, Uttarakhand PRESS TRUST OF INDIA LUCKNOW, 25 FEBRUARY NEW DELHI, 25 FEBRUARY Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday trained his guns on Narendra Modi, alleging that the Prime Minister's ego is not allowing him to meet his demand for granting “shaheed” (martyr) status to personnel of CRPF and other paramilitary forces killed in action. He hoped that the PM would act on the Supreme Court's order for better pay to paramilitary forces personnel. “We must recognise the sacrifices of our paramilitary forces, like the CRPF & award their martyrs the title of 'Shaheed'. Even if the PM's ego will not allow him to act on my request, I hope he will act on the SC's order for better pay to the Paramilitary,” PTI he tweeted. GARETH BALEFUL AFTER NETTING MATCH-WINNER The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party on Monday announced they will fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The two parties are already alliance partners in Uttar Pradesh for the general elections. A statement signed jointly by Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati here said, “Both have together decided to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in alliance in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.” Under this alliance, the Samajwadi Party will contest three seats in Madhya Pradesh -- Balaghat, Tikamgarh and Khajraho and one in Uttarakhand- Gadhwal (Pauri), while the BSP will contest on all the remaining seats, the statement released by the BSP said.While Madhya Pradesh sends 29 members to the Lok Sabha, Uttarakhand accounts for 5 seats in the Lower House of Parliament. Both the parties have joined hands for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh where the BSP will contest 38 seats while the SP will be vying for 37 seats. Uttar Pradesh accounts for 80 LS seats. In a huge setback to the anti-BJP alliance, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) headed by Miss Mayawati has decided to contest all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. The development comes shortly after the BSP kept the Congress out from the alliance it stitched with the Samajwadi Party to contest the upcoming LS polls in Uttar Pradesh. The incident has come as a shocker to the RJD which The BSP chief said the people will never forgive the BJP for making their lives miserable through demonetisation and GST was trying hard to include the BSP in the Grand Alliance to give a concerted fight to the BJP . The intention of the BSP to go it alone became clear after party’s Bihar unit in-charge Lalji Medhkar asked the party workers to prepare for all LS seats in the state. “The BSP chief has issued necessary instructions in connection with the upcoming LS polls. The party will contest all the 40 seats with all might in the next LS polls,” Medhkar said in a press statement. According to him, the BSP chief has convened a meet- ing of the party’s Bihar officials in Delhi on 28 February to decide over the next course of action. State party chief Bharat Bind too said the party had almost made up its mind to go it alone in the upcoming polls adding the idea was aimed at strengthening BSP’s organizational base. “We have been told by party’s central leadership to focus on villages and make the masses aware of the BSP’s policies,” Bind added. According to him, if everything went on expected lines, the names of the candidates will also be announced at the Delhi meeting. BSP chief Mayawati on Monday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his holy dip in the waters of the Sangam, saying it will not help “wash sins”. The PM on Sunday took a holy dip at the Sangam -- the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati -- in Allahabad and interacted with sanitation workers.The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief alleged that people will never forgive the BJP for making their lives miserable through demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). “Will 'SHAHI' dip in Sangam by PM Modi be able to wash sins of reneging poll promises, treachery & other state wrongs? Not possible for people to forgive BJP easily for making their life miserable through deeds of Notebandi, GST,Vengeance, Casteism, Communal & Authoritarian rule,” Mayawati tweeted. Meanwhile, UP minister and SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar Monday said he will take a decision on his party's continuation in the saffron party-led alliance after meeting BJP chief Amit Shah. Rajbhar, who earlier threatened to part ways with the BJP if recommendations of the Social Justice Committee were not implemented by Feb 24, said a meeting has been scheduled with BJP chief forTuesday (February 26). ‘Green Book’ is Best Picture winner at Oscar 2019 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA LOS ANGELES, 25 FEBRUARY Biographical drama “Green Book”, the story of an unlikely friendship across racial divides, upstaged Alfonso Cuaron's “Roma” to bag Best Picture Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards, which spread its four top awards across four different films. Cuaron bagged the Oscar for Best Director while Olivia Colman got the Best Actress win for “The Favourite” and Rami Malek Best Actor for his turn as Queen musician Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The glittering ceremony, which went hostless for only the second time since 1989, began on a predictable note here on Sunday evening but the Best Picture and Best Actress awards proved that anything can happen at the Oscars. The India connect came with “Period. End of Sentence”, set in a village in western Uttar Pradesh's Hapur district, walking away with Documentary Short win. The year's best film “Green Book”, about the relationship between a black musician and his white driver, is backed by Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Entertainment's Amblin Entertainment. It also won Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali and Best Original Screenplay. “This is about loving each other despite our differences and finding out about the truth of who we are, we are the same people,” director-producer Peter Farrelly said in his speech. British actor Colman edged out frontrunner Glenn Close (“TheWife”) with her portrayal of temperamental Queen Anne in “The Favourite”. She was gracious in her shining moment and acknowledged Close in her speech. “...And to be in this category with these extraordinary women. And Glenn Close, Producers of Best Picture nominee "Green Book" Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga accept the award for Best Picture with the whole crew on stage during the 91st Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 24, 2019. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) you've been my idol for so long and this is not how I wanted it to be. And I think you're amazing and I love you very much,” she said. In a heart- felt speech, Best Actor Malek spoke about reconnecting with rock legend Mercury over their shared immigrant roots - his from Egypt and Mer- cury's from India. “We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself. And the fact that I'm cel- CMYK ebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we're longing for stories like this,” Malek said. In a year where the awards were distributed to diverse films, “Bohemian Rhapsody” emerged champion with maximum four wins, including Film Editing, Sound Editing and Mixing. It was one of the biggest hits of the year, despite poor reviews and the drama surrounding the firing of its director Bryan Singer before the completion of the film. “Roma” may have missed on the top prize but prevailed in other categories. Cuaron won Best Director Oscar after accepting awards in the Foreign Language and Cinematography categories for the Netflix-produced Spanish film. The Mexican helmer also became the first person to receive four nominations the same year and the first to win both Best Director and Cinematography honours. Cuaron, who went up to the stage thrice, joked, “Being here doesn't get old.” He expressed his gratitude towards 70 million working class women, who never occupy the centrestage in stories. “As artists our job is to look where others don't. This responsibility becomes much more important in times when we are being encouraged to look away,” he said. Documentary Short win of “Period. End of Sentence” made India proud. The film depicts how rural women learned to produce low-cost sanitary pads. It is directed by Rayka Zehtabchi and Indian producer Guneet Monga has backed it. “Guneet Monga, know that you have been empowering women all over the world fight for menstrual equality,” the Iranian American director said in her speech. Regina King won Best Supporting Actress for her role as a protective mother in Barry Jenkins' “If Beale Street Could Talk”. “Black Panther”, the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture in Oscars' history, won awards for Production Design, Costume Design and Original Score. Ali, who won his career's second Best Supporting honour, said, “Trying to capture Dr Shirley's essence pushed me to my ends. “Green Book” has been criticised as inaccurate by Shirley's family. Other controversies related to the film include Farrelly's past of exposing himself to actors and producer-writer Nick Vallelonga's old anti-Muslim tweets. Its win over “Roma”, “Black Panther”, “The Favourite” and “BlacKkKlansman”, sparked angry reactions from celebrities as well as from social media users. The announcement drew sharp reactions from filmmakers Spike Lee and Scott Derrickson.
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