WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 27 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 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Light rain/thunderstorm with possibility of hailstorm, lightning and strong surface wind during forenoon and lightning likely in some areas. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 20 and 10 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 002.4 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.97% Min. 53% Max: 21.0°C (-5) SUN RISES 06:48 hrs MOON RISES 02:18 hrs Min: 10.3°C (-2) SUN SETS 18:19 hrs MOON SETS 12:16 hrs TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia poses with CM Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday before heading to the Delhi Assembly to present the SNS Budget for 2019-20. AAP govt presents Rs 60,000 cr Budget: The Arvind Kejriwal government Tuesday presented a Rs 60,000 crore Budget for 2019-20, its last Budget, in the Delhi Assembly, which focused on education, health and transport sectors. The AAP government said it is “two times more” P3 than its first Budget for 2014-15. 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, P7 they said. RBI curbs: Seeking to curb excessive salary payout practices, RBI has proposed strict compensation norms for senior officials of private P11 as well as foreign banks. SC to hear Rafale pleas in open court India strikes JeM terror camp in Pak More than 300 terrorists reportedly killed as IAF combat jets hit the biggest training camp of the JeM in Balakot STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 FEBRUARY I 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-e-Mohammed (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 brother-in-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 UNproscribed 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. The government did not immediately release the details of the operation carried out by the IAF Howev. er, 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 Septeber 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 release 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 US, 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 PAGES 5, 7 , 10 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 onTuesdayagreedtohearinopencourt 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 ministersYashwantSinhaandArun Shourie as also activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan that the review pleas be heard in open (SEE PAGE10 ) court. PTI berg, the envoy of 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 for 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-eMohammed's terror training camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pak- istan. 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 con- vened 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 vari- ous 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 Leader of Opposition in 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. world to see. For this, domestic and international media was being Pakistan today rejected taken to the impact site. India’s claim of target- The statement said that ing a JeM terror camp in to take the nation on Balakot, saying New Delhi board, the government has resorted to a “self-serv- has decided to requisition ing, reckless and ficti- a joint session of Parliatious claim” in the midst ment. PM Khan has sumof “election environment”. moned a special meeting Pakistan, however, of the National Comacknowledged the “vio- mand Authority (NCA) lation of the Line of Con- tomorrow. trol (LoC) by India”, He has also directed describing it as “uncalled that elements of nationfor aggression” to which al power, including the Islamabad would respond armed forces and the at the “time and place of people of Pakistan, should its choosing”. remain “prepared for all A special meeting of eventualities”. He decidPakistan’s National Secu- ed to engage with global rity Committee, chaired leadership to expose the by Prime “irresponsiMinister Pakistan rejected ble Indian Imran Khan, India’s claim of policy” in the was held in region. targeting a JeM Islamabad PM Khan this after- terror camp while appreciated noon. The acknowledging timely and meeting was the “violation of effective attended by the LoC by India”, response of Pakistan’s the Pakistan describing it as Ministers of Air Force to “uncalled for agg- “repulse the Foreign ression” to which Indian Affairs, Defence, attempt Islamabad would Finance, without any respond at the Chairman loss of life or Joint Chiefs “time and place of property”. of Staff Com- its choosing”. Pakistan's mittee and Foreign Minother civil and military ister Shah Mahmood officials. Qureshi said on Tuesday A statement issued that he has spoken to his later said the meeting UAE counterpart and strongly rejected Indian “expressed reservations” claim of targeting an about invitation to India's alleged terrorist camp External Affairs Minister near Balakot resulting in Sushma Swaraj to attend heavy casualties. “Once the OIC meeting schedagain Indian government uled later this week. In a has resorted to a self- strategically significant serving, reckless and fic- development, India has titious claim. This action been invited to the inauhas been done for domes- gural plenary of the fortic consumption being eign ministers' conclave in election environment, of the Organisation of putting regional peace Islamic Cooperation and stability at grave risk,” (OIC), a powerful groupit added. The statement ing of Muslim majority said the claimed area of nations, in Abu Dhabi strike was open for the from March 1 to 2. 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 Janambhoomi-Babari 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 courtappointed 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 keep- ing 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 concurred” 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 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 199193 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 com- bination 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 Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.