CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 04 MARCH 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 P9 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with 1/2 spells of rain or thundershower. Max-min temperature will be around 27-19 degree celsius, resp RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P4 Min. 39% Max: 28.9°C (-3) SUN RISES 05:55 hrs MOON RISES 04.29 hrs Min: 16.0°C (-5) SUN SETS 17:42 hrs MOON SETS 15:49 hrs New moon on 6 March THUMBNAILS Punia wins gold: India's star wrestler Bajrang Punia has won the gold medal at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament in Ruse, Bulgaria and dedicated the victory to IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. “Varthaman has inspired me. I want to meet him one day and also shake hands with him,” P11 Punia tweeted after his victory. CRPF officer among 5 cops killed in encounter: Two militants, five security forces' personnel, including a CRPF officer, and a civilian were killed in a 56-hour encounter in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Sunday. A police spokesman said the operation at Babagund area of Kupwara took time as it posed difficulties to the security forces. White House security chief defends TrumpKim summit: US national security adviser John Bolton denied on Sunday that last week's nuclear summit with North Korea was a failure, despite President Donald Trump coming home empty-handed. A high-stakes second meeting to strike a nuclear disarmament deal between North's leader Kim Jong Un and Trump broke up in disarray on Thursday. EAST BENGAL A STEP AWAY FROM MAIDEN I-LEAGUE GLORY P4 P12 PM: ‘Made-in-Amethi’ rifles PM Modi himself questioning to help jawans in shootouts air strike: Cong AK-203 Kalashnikov rifles, to be made at Korba ordnance factory, will replace INSAS rifles Max.91% TEMPERATURE JAI RAM SAYS MODI ACKNOWLEDGED AS WORLD LEADER WILL NOT BE RIGID IN SEAT SHARING, SAYS DEVE GOWDA TRUMP SLAMS DEMS, VOWS 2020 WIN PRESS TRUST OF INDIA AK-203s: Putin hopeful AMETHI (UP), 3 MARCH rime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed his first rally in Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, since coming to power in 2014 and inaugurated a manufacturing unit for AK203 rifles, an India-Russia joint venture. The PM, who announced development projects worth Rs 538 crore for the constituency, said Amethi will get a new identity now and be known by the new venture of AK-203 Kalashnikov rifles which will be made at the Korba ordnance factory here. The AK-203 will replace the INSAS rifles being used by the Army and other forces. The immediate target is to produce 7,00,000 AK-203 rifles in the facility, official sources said. “The AK-203 rifles will be manufactured in Amethi under Russia-India P AMETHI, 3 MARCH joint venture...these rifles will be known as 'made in Amethi' and will help our jawans in encounters with naxals and terrorists,” Modi said. Modi, who landed in Amethi after addressing a rally some 350 km away in Bihar's Patna, said Amethi, which has traditionally been loyal to the Gandhi family, was the best example of his 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' (together with all, development for all) motto and his government has done full justice to the constituency in terms of the development. “We were not able to win elections the last time (2014) but won your hearts. Smritiji worked for the development here and did more work than that done by the one who (Rahul Gandhi) has won from here,” he said, referring to Union minister Smriti Irani who unsuccessfully contested the last election from Amethi. “Those who voted for us and those who did not, all are ours...This is the India a high-tariff nation, says Trump Air strike aim was not to kill: Ahluwalia AGENCIES KOLKATA, 3 MARCH WASHINGTON, 3 MARCH Describing India has a “very-high tariff nation,” US President Donald Trump has told his supporters that he now wants a “reciprocal tax” or at least “some kind of tax” on goods entering America. In his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in the Maryland suburb of Washington DC on Saturday that lasted over two hours, the longest in his presidency, Trump lashed out at his detractors in a wide-ranging speech. “India is a very high-tariff nation. They charge us a lot,” the president said, amidst a temporary truce between the US and China over tariffs. In his speech, Trump touched a wide range of issues including domestic, global and bilateral relationship with countries like India. Referring to his often-cited example of the Harley-Davidson motorcycles, he said, “When we send a motorcycle to India, it's a hundred per cent tariff. They charge 100 per cent when India sends a motorcycle to us, we brilliantly charge them nothing.” “So, I want a reciprocal tax or at least, I want to charge a tax. It's called the mirror tax, but it's reciprocal,” Trump asserted. Early this year, at a White House event to announce his support for reciprocal tax, Trump had said he was satisfied with the Indian decision to reduce import tariff on HarleyDavidson motorcycles. The new joint venture between India and Russia to manufacture the Kalashnikov assault rifles' 203 series will be able to fulfil Indian security agencies' requirement for small arms, Russian President Vladmir Putin said in a message read out by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here on Sunday. Sitharaman read out the message during an event of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi where he laid the foundation stone of a manufacturing unit for the AK-203 assault AGENCIES rifles. mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas',” Modi said. The Congress president has been alleging that his constituency was receiving step-motherly treatment from the Centre since the BJP-led government came to power. PTI adds from Patna: Prime MinisterModi at a rally in Patna launched a blistering attack on the Congress-led Opposition accusing it of focusing solely on trying to “finish” him off while he is “working to quell terrorism’’. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 3 MARCH The Congress on Sunday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself “questioned” the recent antiterror air strike in Pakistan by his remarks that the country is feeling the absence of Rafale fighter jets as the results could have been different if India had these aircraft. The party also said it had neither sought proof of such strike earlier nor is it asking for it now. “The Prime Minister has himself questioned the air strike. He said had the Rafale jets been there (with the IAF), the results would have been different. What is the meaning of this?” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari posed during a press conference here. Asserting that the Prime Minister should himself explain what would have been different with Rafale jets, he held Modi responsible for the delay in induction of the French-made fighter jets into the IAF by “cancelling” the earlier negotia- President’s nod to Ord for voluntary use of Aadhaar PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Amid the Opposition's demand for proof on the Centre's claims of terror camp strikes in Pakistan, Union Minister S S Ahluwalia has said the purpose of the strike was not to cause human casualty but to send out the message that India is capable of hitting deep inside enemy lines. Ahluwalia said neither PM Modi nor any government spokesperson had given any figure on casualty of air strikes. Rather, it was the Indian media and social media where the unconfirmed figures of terrorist killed were being circulated, he said. “I have seen reports in Indian media and interPTI national media’’. NEW DELHI, 3 MARCH President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to an ordinance that allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as ID proof for obtaining mobile SIM cards and opening bank accounts. The ordinance -- necessitated because the Rajya Sabha could not approve a Bill after its passage by the Lok Sabha -- was promulgated on Saturday. Last week, the Cabinet approved the promulgation of an ordinance to give effect to changes proposed in Aadhaar and two others legislation. The amendments provide for stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and violation of privacy. It bans storing of core biometric information as well as Aadhaar number by service providers in cases of individuals who have voluntarily offered the national ID as a means of authentication. The ordinance gives effect to the changes in the Aadhaar Act such as giving a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age. The amendments make it clear that anyone not offering Aadhaar cannot be denied any service, be it opening of a bank account or obtaining a mobile phone SIM card. The changes also lay down the procedure for offline verification of an Aadhaar number holder, and confers enhanced regulator-like power on the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to give directions as it may consider necessary to any entity in the Aadhaar ecosystem. Every requesting entity to whom an authentication request is made will have to inform the Aadhaar number holder of alternative and viable means of identification and will not deny any service to them for refusing to, or being unable to undergo authentication. tions. Modi had on Saturday hit out at the Opposition for doubting the armed forces on the anti-terror air strike in Pakistan and said the country was feeling the absence of Rafale fighter jets as the results could have been different if India had these aircraft. “India is feeling the absence of Rafale. The entire country is saying in one voice today, if we had Rafale probably the result would have been different. The country has suffered a lot due to selfish interests earlier and now politics over Rafale,” he had said at the India Today Conclave. Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused the Prime Minister of being “solely responsible” for the delay in arrival of Rafale jets. Azhar is ‘alive’, says Pak media LAHORE/DELHI, 3 MARCH India's most wanted terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is “alive”, a Pakistani media report said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources close to his family. The media reports claiming that the JeM leader is dead are false, Geo Urdu News reported. Quoting unnamed sources close to his family, the channel said Azhar is “alive”, without elaborating on his health. The Pakistan government in order to de-escalate tensions with India, has decided to launch a crackdown on Azhar, according to a government source while a media report said Islamabad may withdraw its opposition to the move to list him as a global terrorist in the United Nations PTI Security Council. IAF pilot Varthaman wants to return to cockpit at the earliest SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 3 MARCH Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who became the face of the tense military confrontation between India and Pakistan, conveyed to the IAF brass that he wants to return to the cockpit as soon as possible, officials said on Sunday. For the last two days, the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot has been undergoing medical treatment at a military hospital here. Varthaman told senior IAF commanders and doctors treating him that he wants to start flying at the earliest, the officials told PTI. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Sunday underwent debriefings by security agencies even as his medical check up continued for the second day at a mil- itary hospital here, officials said. A number of senior Indian Air Force (IAF) officials also met Varthaman who was brought to Delhi after he returned to India from Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah border late on Friday night. Wing Commander Varthaman was debriefed by the security agencies and it will continue for the next couple of days. He also underwent several medical tests as part of a cooling down process, the officials said. “The efforts have been to ensure that he returns to the cockpit soon,” a military official said. The IAF pilot was captured by the Pakistani Army on Wednesday after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during an aerial combat. He downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan before his plane was Abhinandan to be the first recipient of ‘Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar’ NASHIK, 3 MARCH Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be the first recipient of the 'Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar' instituted by the Akhil Bharatiya Digambar Jain Mahasamiti, a functionary of the organisation said on Sunday. hit. Varthaman arrived in the national capital by an IAF flight at around 11:45 pm on Friday, nearly two-and-half hours after he crossed over to India through the AttariWagah border. The IAF pilot was first taken to the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), a compact and specialised medical evaluation centre for aircrew of all the three services. Later he was brought to the Army's Research and Referral hospital. After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and people in general. Defence Minister Nirmala CMYK Varthaman, piloting a Mig-21 Bison, shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 with an R-73 air-to-air missile in a dogfight on February 27 before his aircraft took a hit and he had to eject. He was captured by Pakistan forces soon after and was released on March 1. The award for the fighter pilot was announced in Sitharaman and Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa met Varthaman separately on Saturday during which he apprised them of the mental trauma he was subjected to during his captivity in Pakistan. During the meeting, the New Delhi by the organisation's chairperson Manidra Jain, said its Maharashtra chapter convener Paras Lohade here. The award, instituted this year, carries a cash prize of Rs 2.51 lakh, a memento and a citation and will be presented to Varthaman on April 17, coinciding with Mahavir JayanPTI ti, Lohade said. defence minister commended him on his valour and expressed the nation's gratitude for his selfless service. The officials saidVarthaman has been in high spirits despite the harassment he suffered in Pakistan. Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e Mohammed’s biggest training camp near Balakot, deep inside Pakistan early on Tuesday. Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations on Wednesday. However, the IAF thwarted their plans. The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers. On Wednesday, Varthaman became the first IAF pilot to shoot down an F-16 fighter jet during an aerial combat with the Pakistani Air Force. Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army after his MiG-21 Bison jet was hit in a fierce dogfight.
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