MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 04 MARCH 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P6 WEATHER Shallow fog in the morning. Partly cloudy sky with very light rain/thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 22 and 11 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 09.6 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY P7 BARCELONA BEATS REAL MADRID P12 P15 PM Modi himself questioning air strike: Cong PM: Made-in-Amethi rifles i A to help jawans in shootouts AK-203 Kalashnikov, to be made at Korba ordnance factory, will replace INSAS Max.100% Min. 71% Max: 22.7°C (-4) SUN RISES 06:42 hrs MOON RISES 06:03 hrs Min: 11.5°C (-2) SUN SETS 18:22 hrs MOON SETS 16:25 hrs TEMPERATURE TRUMP SLAMS DEMOCRATS, VOWS 2020 WIN ‘OPPN REMARKS HURTING INDIA’S NATIONAL INTEREST’ WILL NOT BE RIGID IN SEAT SHARING, SAYS DEVE GOWDA THUMBNAILS Devotees at a temple on the eve of the ‘Maha AFP Shivratri’ festival in Amritsar on Sunday. 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 P10 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. American missile award for top Indian scientist: State-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman G. Satheesh Reddy is the joint winner of the 2019 Missile Systems Award given by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the US, said the Virginia-based aerospace technical society on Sunday. Parrikar has advanced-stage cancer, says s Goa minister: Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is suffering from an advanced-stage cancer, senior state cabinet minister Vijai Sardesai said in Panaji on Sunday. Sardesai, who heads BJP ally Goa Forward Party, is the second member of the cabinet after health minister Vishwajit Rane to talk about the exact nature of Parrikar's illness. P10 Omar asks govt to review ban on Jamaat: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Sunday said the ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami “is having a major social impact” in Kashmir and appealed to the government to “urgently review” its decision to seal schools and mosques run by it. “The politico-religious role of the JeI is one aspect but there is also the social aspect. The recent ban is having a major social impact which isn't being taken into consideration,” Omar wrote on Twitter. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA P 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 negotiations. Modi had on Saturday hit out at the opposition for doubting the armed forces on the antiterror air strike in Pakistan and said the country was feeling the absence of Rafale fighter jets as the results could have AMETHI, 3 MARCH 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 India a high-tariff nation, says Trump 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 Air strike’s aim was not to kill: Ahluwalia KOLKATA, 3 MARCH AGENCIES 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 Ac t i o n Co n f e re n c e (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 wideranging 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- NEW DELHI, 3 MARCH 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 AK-203 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 joint venture...these rifles will be known as 'made in Amethi' and will help PRESS TRUST OF INDIA 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 Ho u s e event to announce his support for reciprocal tax, Trump had said he was satisfied with the Indian decision to reduce import tariff on Harley-Davidson 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' re q u i re m e n t f o r 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 Mo d i i n Ut t a r Pradesh's Amethi where he laid the foundation stone of a manufacturing unit for the AK-203 assault rifles. the 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 launched a blistering attack on the Congressled Opposition accusing it of focusing solely on trying to “finish” him off AGENCIES while he is working to quell terrorism’’. 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 international media’’. The minister of state for electronics and information technology said the intention of the strike was to send out a message that India is capable of destruction in Pakistan's own backyard if needed. We didn't want any human PTI casualty, he said. 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 legislations. 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 alternate and viable means of identification and will not deny any service to them for refusing to, or being unable to undergo authentication. The changes entail a civil penalty of up to Rs 1 crore on entities that violate the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, with an additional fine of up to Rs 10 lakh per day in case of continuous non-compliance. Unauthorised use of identity information by a requesting entity or offline verification seeking entity would be punishable with imprisonment of up to three years with a fine that may extend to Rs 10,000 or in case of a company with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh. The ordinance will omit the Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act relating to the use of Aadhaar by private entities. The changes have been brought about through amendments in Aadhaar Act, the IndianTelegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. 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. “Dear PM, Have you no shame at all?YOU stole 30,000 Crore and gave it to your friend Anil. YOU are solely responsible for the delay in the arrival of the RAFALE jets.YOU are WHY brave IAF pilots like Wing Cdr. Abhinandan, are risking their lives flying outdated jets (sic),” Gandhi had said on Twitter. Intel bodies try to confirm Azhar’s death NEW DELHI, 3 MARCH Intelligence agencies were trying to ascertain reports on the social media about the death of Jaish-eMohammed terror group chief Masood Azhar in Pakistan, officials said on Sunday. The officials said they had no information other than that Azhar was undergoing treatment at an army hospital after suffering renal failure. A resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan's Punjab province, Azhar formed the JeM in 2000. Azhar, who was released by the NDA government in 1999 in exchange of hostages of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814, has been accused of being the mastermind of the 2001 ParPTI liament attack. 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 militar y 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 contin- ued for the second day at a military 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 AttariWagah border late 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 MiG21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani Abhinandan Varthaman to be 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 Sunday. jets during an aerial combat. He downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan before his plane was hit. Varthaman arrived in the national capital by an IAF flight at around 11:45 pm 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 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 general. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa met Varthaman separately on Saturday during which he apprised them about the mental trauma he was subjected to during his captivity in Pakistan. During 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. meeting, the defence minister commended him on his valour and expressed the nation's gratitude for his selfless service. The officials said Varthaman 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 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, he 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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