CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 27 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 SENSEX 35,973.71 -239.67 P10 NIFTY 10,835.30 -44.80 ` vs $ 71.07 WHY REAL MADRID AREN’T SCARED OF BARCA BIG BOY P9 -10 PAISE GOLD 32,110 -45.00 P11 SILVER 40,350 -250.00 BRENT (OIL IN $) $ 65.11 +0.35 India strikes JeM terror camp in Pak WEATHER Cloudy sky with spells of rain/thundershower with lightning and gusty winds. Max-min temp 26-20 degree cels, resp RAINFALL: 35.1 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.96% Min. 77% Max: 25.1°C (-6.3) SUN RISES 05:59 hrs MOON RISES 00.26 hrs Min: 20.1°C (+0.3) SUN SETS 17:39 hrs MOON SETS 11:42 hrs TEMPERATURE NUKE DEAL: IRAN’S FOREIGN MINISTER QUITS MANAFORT ASKS FOR LENIENCY IN MUELLER CASE MULAYAM SEETHES AS SON BUCKLES Next moon quarter on 4 March THUMBNAILS ABVP activists celebrating the Indian Air Force strike on Jaish e Mohammed’s camps in PoK. In Kolkata on Tuesday. BISWAJIT GHOSHAL Pak drone shot down near Gujarat border: A Pakistani unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was on Tuesday shot down near the International Border in Kutch district of Gujarat, police sources said. Debris of the UAV was seen near Nanghatad village in Abdasa taluka of Kutch, they said. Jayasuriya banned: Sri Lanka batsman Sanath Jayasuriya was on Tuesday banned for two years after admitting to obstructing an anticorruption probe by “destroying” the phones which were sought as proof by the ICC. Jayasuriya admitted breaching the anti-corruption P12 unit (ACU) code. RBI curbs: Seeking to curb excessive salary payout practices, RBI has proposed strict compensation norms for senior officials of private as well as foreign banks. RBI has also proposed that variable pay of CEO and whole-time directors, among other key personnel, should be P8 “capped at 200 per cent of fixed pay”. SC to hear Rafale pleas in open court More than 300 terrorists reportedly killed as IAF combat jets hit the biggest training camp of the JeM at Balakot STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 FEBRUARY n an unprecedented intelligence-led predawn operation twelve days after the Pulwama terror attack, the Indian Air Force (IAF) combat jets early today hit the biggest training camp of the terror outfit Jaish-eMohammed (JeM) in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, reportedly killing more than 300 terrorists, senior commanders and trainers who were being prepared for “fidayeen” or suicide action. The JeM facility in Balakot was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghouri, the brotherin-law of JeM chief Masood Azhar, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale announced here, hours after the IAF carried out what New Delhi described as a ‘non-military pre-emptive’ action specifically targeted at the JeM camp. The JeM, a UN-proscribed outfit, had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. At a media briefing shortly after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which reviewed the IAF's operation, Gokhale made it clear that the Government of India was firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism. The selection of the target, he said, was also conditioned by New Delhi’s desire to avoid civilian casualties. The JeM terror camp, he said, was located in thick forest on a hilltop far away from any civilian presence. I The government did not immediately release the details of the operation carried out by the IAF How. ever, it is learnt that in a 21minute offensive, 12 French Mirage 2000 jets carried out the strike at around 0330 hrs and dropped 1000 kg bombs on the terror camp deep inside Pakistan, completely destroying it. More than 300 terrorists are believed to have been killed, although the government did not confirm the number of casualties. The entire operation was meticulously planned on the lines of the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army on terrorists camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in September 2016. The strike by the IAF was in a way confirmed by Pakistan much before India announced the action. “IAF violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back. Details to follow,” Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, Director General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Press Relations (ISPR) tweeted early in the morning. Later, he tweeted that IAF aircraft released payload in haste while escaping, which fell near Balakot. The retaliatory action by the IAF sent a wave of jubilation across the country. Following the operation, the IAF has been put on high alert across all air defence systems along the International Border and LoC. Pak vows to respond ‘at the time and place of its choosing’ MEA briefs foreign envoys on IAF operations STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 FEBRUARY India today briefed envoys of foreign nations on the action taken by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to destroy a Jaish-eMohammed (JeM) camp in Balakot in Pakistan. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and other secretaries of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) called the envoys to the Foreign Office and briefed them on why it had become “absolutely necessary” to act against terror camps in Pakistan. They were told that the JeM-trained terrorists were planning more attacks in India. The country is in safe hands. I will never allow my motherland to be wiped out or bow down to anyone. The envoys were told in no uncertain manner that the Indian action was carefully planned to avoid civilian or military casualties across the border. Those who visited the Foreign Office for the briefing included the envoys of the USA, UK, China, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan. Frank Hans Dannen- I salute the IAF for carrying out air strikes in Pakistan. IAF also means India’s Amazing Fighters. Jai Hind. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 FEBRUARY SEE ALSO PAGE 3 I salute the pilots of the Indian Air Force for carrying out air strikes on a terrorist camp in Pakistan and for keeping Indians safe. NARENDRA MODI MAMATA BANERJEE RAHUL GANDHI PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA CHIEF MINISTER OF WEST BENGAL CONGRESS PRESIDENT Leaders laud IAF, vow to back govt in anti-terror ops SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 26 FEBRUARY NEW DELHI, 26 FEBRUARY The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear in open court the petitions seeking review of its December verdict that dismissed pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, in its chamber hearing, allowed the prayer of former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie as also activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan that the review pleas be heard in open court. PTI berg, envoy of the Dominican Republic and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in India, who also attended the meetings, said the Indian officials informed them that the IAF action was directed to prevent further terror strikes in India. “We are very satisfied with the quick and organised manner in which the External Affairs Ministry briefed all Heads of Missions (HoMs) accredited in Delhi.'’ Meanwhile, China urged India and Pakistan to “exercise restraint” after the Indian Air Force (IAF) hit the biggest Jaish-eMohammed (JeM) terror camp inside Pakistan. Speaking with one voice, leaders of various political parties on Tuesday congratulated the Indian Air Force for its “clean” pre-dawn operation against a terror camp in Pakistan and assured the government of their support on any anti-terror action by it. The leaders were speaking at an all-party meeting convened by the government, where External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj briefed them about the operation that destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed's terror training camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Swaraj later said she was happy that representatives of all parties lauded the Indian Air Force action and extended support to the government by rising above politics. “I am happy that all representatives of political parties in one voice first congratulated the Indian Air Force and also assured the government of their complete support always on any action taken by us against terrorism and displayed unity by rising above politics without distinguishing between the ruling or the Opposition sides,” the minister said after the meeting. Swaraj said she had convened the all-party meeting to brief the Opposition parties where Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Goel were also present. The Minister also told the leaders that she is in touch with the foreign ministers of various countries on the issue and she will be travelling to China soon where she will meet the Chinese and Russian Foreign ministers and discuss the operation. The Congress, which was represented at the meeting by the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, said it will extend its support to the government on any action it takes to eradicate terrorism from the country. Azad said after the meeting that political parties lauded the IAF strikes to destroy terror camps in a “neat and clean” operation as there were no civilian casualties. He also said the leaders appreciated the efforts of the forces. a special meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) tomorPakistan today rejected row. India’s claim of targeting a He has also directed JeM terror camp in Balakot, that elements of national saying New Delhi has power, including the armed resorted to a “self-serving, forces and the people of reckless and fictitious claim” Pakistan, should remain in the midst of “election “prepared for all eventuenvironment”. Pakistan, alities”. He decided to however, acknowledged engage with global leadthe “violation of the Line ership to expose the “irreof Control (LoC) by India”, sponsible Indian policy” in describing it as “uncalled the region. for aggression” to which PM Khan appreciated Islamabad would respond timely and effective resat the “time and place of ponse of the Pakistan Air its choosing”. Force to “repulse the IndiA special meeting of an attempt without any Pakistan’s National Secu- loss of life or property”. rity Committee, chaired Pak summons Indiby Prime Minan Actg HC: ister Imran Pakistan rejected Pakistan Khan, was India’s claim of summoned held in Islamthe Indian Actabad this targeting a JeM ing High Comafternoon. The terror camp while missioner to meeting was acknowledging the Foreign attended by the “violation of Office in Pakistan’s Islamabad the LoC by India”, Ministers of and strongly describing it as Foreign condemned “uncalled for agg- the Indian vioAffairs, ression” to which lation of PakDefence, Finance, istan’s soverIslamabad would Chairman eignty and terrespond at the Joint Chiefs of ritorial integriStaff Commit- “time and place of ty. The Indian tee and other its choosing”. diplomat was civil and miltold that at itary officials. about 0254 hours, eight A statement issued later Indian aircraft were effecsaid the meeting strongly tively intercepted by Pakrejected Indian claim of tar- istani Air Force jets and geting an alleged terrorist forced to scuttle back, while camp near Balakot result- randomly releasing their ing in heavy casualties. ordnance which landed The statement said the in an “uninhabited remote claimed area of strike was area”, the Pakistan Foreign open for the world to see. Office said in a statement. For this, domestic and OIC condemns attack: international media was Reacting to India’s air strikes being taken to the impact on a terrorist camp in Paksite. The statement said istan, the General Secrethat to take the nation on tariat of the Organisation board, the government has of Islamic Cooperation decided to requisition a (OIC) today condemned the joint session of Parliament. action against a founding PM Khan has summoned member of the grouping. Ayodhya case: SC wants mediation for a permanent solution SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 26 FEBRUARY The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the contending parties in the politically sensitive Ram JanambhoomiBabari Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya to seriously consider mediation for a permanent solution even if there is “one per cent chance” of success. Observing it was looking at the possibility of “healing relations” between the parties, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also said it would pass an order on March 6 on whether to refer the dispute to a court-appointed mediator. The suggestion for another round of mediation, however, drew a mixed response from the parties to the decades-old dispute. The proposal was mooted by one of the judges, Justice S A Bobde, during the hearing when both the Hindu and the Muslim litigants were sparring over the veracity of documents related to the case which were translated by the Uttar Pradesh government and filed with the apex court registry. “We are considering it (mediation) very seriously. You all (parties) have used the word that this matter is not adversarial. We would like to give a chance to mediation even if there is one per cent chance,” said the Bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer. “We would like to know your (both parties) views on it. We do not want any third party to make a comment to jeopardise the entire process.” “This, we have done keeping in mind that the period of eight weeks that we have allowed to the parties to go through the translations of the oral and documentary evidence could be effectively utilised to try and resolve the issues in the manner indicated above,” the Bench said. “We have suggested to the parties that during the interregnum a court appointed and court monitored mediation with utmost confidentiality could be initiated to bring a permanent solution to the issues raised in the cases,” it observed. The Bench noted in its order that lawyers representing the legal heirs of original litigants M Siddiq and Mohd Hashim and Nirmohi Akhara are “in broad agreement” with the suggestion of the court about mediation while counsel appearing for Sri Ram Lalla Virajman, Mahant Suresh Das and Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha have “not con- curred” with it. “Do you seriously think that the entire dispute for so many years is for property? We can only decide property rights but we are considering the possibility of healing relations,” it said. “Keeping in mind that the mediation suggested by the court is in terms of the mandate under section 89 of the CPC and in an appropriate case it will always be open for the court to invoke its power, we deem it proper to observe that the mediation suggested is only to effectively utilize the time of eight weeks that would be taken to make the cases ready for hearing,” the Bench said in its written order. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for M Siddiq, said they were agreeable to the “very important suggestion” of mediation but said the court should fix a time frame for mediation as the dispute was a “knotty issue”. “We will also have to fix the time frame after talking to the mediator,” the Bench said. Senior advocate C S CMYK Vaidyanathan, appearing for Ram Lalla Virajman, said they did not agree for “another round of mediation” as such attempts have failed in the past. “In the earlier mediation, it was accepted that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya but not at this (disputed) site. Mediation has been tried not once but several times,” he said. Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for one of the parties, said things have not worked during earlier round of mediation and “everybody wants that the matter should be decided by the Supreme Court”. “Mediation is not possible so this court should decide the matter,” Kumar said. Dhavan referred to the mediation held between 1991-93 and said, “In the larger interest, this court is saying do it (mediation) again. From our side, we are agreeable”. At the outset, the apex court said it can proceed with the hearing if there is consensus among the parties with regard to the veracity of the translated documents. The Bench referred to a report filed by the secretary general of the apex court on the status of documents pertaining to the case which said that “the record consists of 38,147 pages of which 12,814 pages are in Hindi, 18,607 pages are in English, 501 pages are in Urdu, 97 pages are in Gurmukhi, 21 pages are in Sanskrit, 86 pages are in other language scripts, 14 pages contain images and 1,729 pages are in combination of more than one language script”. The report, which was shared with the parties in the court, said 11,479 pages were required to be translated and if all eight official translators of the apex court are asked to do the job, it is likely to take about 120 working days to make the case ready for hearing. Vaidyanathan, however, said the exercise of translation has already been conducted and the parties had raised no objections with regard to their veracity earlier. Nearly 11,500 documents in Ayodhya land dispute matter need to be translated in English from 16 languages for the case to be ready for hearing - a task that would take around 120 days and involve eight official translators, the Supreme Court was informed Tuesday. The court had earlier directed the registry to physically inspect the records which are lying under lock and key and make an assessment of the time that will be taken to make the cases ready for hearing by engaging, if required, official translators of the requisite number and give a report thereof to the court.
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