CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 MARCH 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P7 SENSEX 36,636.10 +193.56 P6 NIFTY 11,053.00 +65.55 ` vs $ 70.28 +21 PAISE P4 GOLD 31,055.00 +50.00 HOW EUROPE’S BOY WONDER HAS ECLIPSED HIS IDOL P11 SILVER 38,400.00 +50.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 65.63 -0.23 Govt tells SC: ‘Rafale documents stolen’ WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Maximum-minimum temp likely to be around 30-21 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.95% Min. 47% Max: 30.1°C (+2) SUN RISES 05:53 hrs MOON RISES 06.22 hrs Min: 21.6°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:43 hrs MOON SETS 18:20 hrs TEMPERATURE PM SLAMS RULING JDS-CONG COMBINE IN KARNATAKA ARMS RACE AGAIN ARDH KUMBH SUCCESS TO GIVE BJP POLL BOOST Next moon quarter on 16 March THUMBNAILS FM on Ayushman Bharat: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (Ayushman Bharat) is on its way to become the world's largest free healthcare scheme in just over five months of launch. Billed as the world's largest government healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat is funded with 60 per cent contribution coming from the Centre and remaining from the states. The central government aims to cover around 50 crore poor people under this scheme. Pakistan national held in Rann of Kutch: : A 30-year-old Pakistani national was nabbed Wednesday by the Border Security Force (BSF) from the Rann of Kutch area along the IndoPak border in Gujarat, an official said. He was identified as Manhaar Sota, a resident of Umerkot district of the Sindh province in Pakistan, a BSF official said. Sota was nabbed at 2.40 am by a BSF patrol party when he was trying to enter India after crossing the IndoPak land border near the pillar number 1050, the official said. Convicted Congress MLA disqualified on eve of CWC meet: A week before the rescheduled meeting of the CWC to be held in Ahmedabad, the grand old party suffered a jolt with the disqualification of one of its legislators following his conviction in a two-decade old illegal mining case. Congress MLA from Talala in Gir Somnath district, Bhagwanbhai Barad was last week convicted in an illegal mining case of1994. He has been sentenced to two-andhalf years’ imprisonment for stealing limestone worth Rs 2.83 crore. Telangana SIT to probe data theft case: The Telangana government Wednesday set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged data theft case involving an IT firm here even as a Look out Circular (LOC) has been issued against the owner of the company. The nine-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted as it was necessary for the probe which required expertise in cyber crime and extended to several places other than Cyberabad Commissionerate limits, P4 official sources said. Threatens The Hindu with the Official Secrets Act, Hindu Group chairman unruffled by Centre’s stand on Rafale issue STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 MARCH n a strange turn of events, the Centre on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that confidential documents related to Rafale aircraft deal that have appeared in the media and cited for seeking a recall of the December 14 ruling on the purchase of 36 fighter jets were privileged documents and were stolen from the Defence Ministry. Attorney General K K Venugopal told the apex court that the petitioners seeking a review of the verdict delivered by the SC dismissing all pleas against the purchase of Rafale are relying upon the stolen documents. The AG was referring to an article in The Hindu by its former Editor N Ram related to the note by the three members of the INT and said that it was being investigated. The Centre told the bench that the documents related to the Rafale fighter jet deal have been stolen from the Defence Ministry and threatened The Hindu newspaper with the Official Secrets Act for publishing articles based on them. Those who put documents on the Rafale deal in the public domain are guilty under the Act as also contempt of court, Attorney General K K Venugopal said. Referring to the dissent note by the three members of India Negotiating Team (INT) in the eight-page note, Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and I K M Joseph that it was being probed if they were stolen by former or present employees. At this, CJI Gogoi wanted to know that if what had been published in two write-ups were based on "unauthorized" documents, what action the government had taken in the first instance when the story appeared on Feb 8. The apex court asked the Attorney General to apprise it of the steps taken vis-avis the documents allegedly stolen from the Defence Ministry. Buttressing his arguments, AG said "Rafale fighter jets are needed, although MIG-21 of the 1960s performed beautifully against the F-16. "Because of the urgency, negotiations started for Rafale. The first batch is to be supplied in September and 52 pilots are to be sent to France for two-three months training. It is to protect the security of the country. But we are attacked," said the Attorney General. He said two squadrons of Rafale fighter jets were arriving in flyaway condition and added: "It is not for the court to Images show madrasa run by JeM unaffected INDO ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 MARCH The madrasa run by Jaishe-Mohammed ( JeM) at the Balakot site hit by the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter planes appears to be still standing with no visible damage, as per high-resolution satellite images of the site, says a news agency. It says at least six buildings were visible on the site on March 4, six days after the air strike, and that the image was virtually identical to an April 2018 satellite photo of the facility. The satellite images from San Francisco-based private satellite operator Planet Labs Inc are the first high-resolution satellite images publicly available and show details as small as 72 cm. "There are no discernible holes in the roofs of buildings, no signs of scorching, blown-out walls, displaced trees around the madrasa or other signs of an aerial attack. The images cast further doubt on statements made over the last eight days by the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the raids, early on Feb 26, had hit all the intended targets at the madrasa site near Jaba village and the town of Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province," the report said. ‘You (read govt) may call it stolen documents...we are not concerned. We got it from confidential sources and we are committed to protecting these sources’. N RAM HINDU PUBLISHING GROUP CHIEF intervene. Does Supreme Court know how many fighter planes we have?" To this, Justice Joseph replied, "Suppose great crime is committed, are you going to take shelter under national security?" Attorney General sought dismissal of both the review petitions and the application for perjury proceedings against the officials who misled the court and suppressed material information. In the open court hearing, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had jointly filed the petition, accused the Centre of hiding important facts when the batch of PILs against the Rafale deal was dismissed by the top court in December. When Bhushan referred to the article published in The Hindu newspaper, Venugopal opposed it saying the article was based on stolen documents and a probe in this matter is already on. The first article published on February 8 and also a story in Wednesday's edition, the AG said was aimed at influencing the proceedings and that amounts to contempt of court. The AG also informed the SC that the fresh documents brought by the petitioners were marked secret and classified, and therefore, are in violation of Official Secrets Act.. The apex court then asked AG Venugopal to apprise the court about the whole development related to the stealing of the documents. PTI adds: It is for the first time in CAG's history that it has given redacted pricing to Parliament in the Rafale fighter jet deal, former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan told the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The government itself has disclosed the price of the Rafale deal thrice in Parliament, Bhushan told a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph. “The government itself disclosed thrice in the Parliament the price of Rafale fighter jet deal. They even gave price of up-gradation of Mirage fighter aircraft. This is the first time in the history of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that redacted pricing of fighter jet deal were given. This is astonishing. This was done on the insistence of government,” said Bhushan arguing on behalf of Sinha and Shourie as also himself. He said the government knew before hand that CAG report will contain redacted pricing of Rafale fighter jets. “This is contrary to the CAG Act. They cannot table redacted pricing details before the Parliament and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). This is the first time it has been done and the government knew about it,” Bhushan added. After Bhushan, the bench gave opportunity to Shourie to make submission and he said there was need for reviewing the judgement as the Centre suppressed the material facts. SC reserves order on Ayodhya title suit pleas STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 MARCH The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on the issue of referring Ram JanmabhoomiBabri Masjid title dispute case to court-appointed and monitored mediation for a “permanent solution”. The apex court has pressed for a compromise on the Ayodhya title suits dispute. A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the parties concerned to suggest the name of a mediator or panel of mediators. Responding to petitions, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi The SC said that primarily the issue is not about 1,500 sq ft land, but about religious sentiments said, "We intend to pass the order soon." The bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer heard submissions from various Hindu and Muslim bodies involved in the matter. Earlier the bench had on February 26 suggested an amicable resolution in the case through mediation and reserved its order for March 6. Emphasising for medi- ation in the matter, Justice Bobde said, “Even if there is only one per cent chance, it should be explored" as the case is about “sentiments, religion and faith.” We are conscious of the gravity of the dispute, he said. "There need not be one mediator but a panel of mediators. When the mediation is on, it should not be reported on. It may not be a gag, but no motive should be attributed to anyone when the mediation process is on," Justice Bobde said. "We have no control over what happened in the past. We are concerned only about resolving the dispute,” he said. V K Singh invokes Israel to attack Oppn PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 6 MARCH Union minister V K Singh on Wednesday said people want India to emulate Israel in targeting terrorists but it cannot happen because the Opposition in that country, unlike India, does not question and “insult” their army when it carries out tasks like 'Operation Munich'. In a sweeping Facebook post, he attacked government critics, including opposition members, students leaders, activists and media, and called for a “surgical strike” within India, claiming if it does not happen, then the “robbers are ready to loot”. The former Army chief called student leaders accused of involvement in “anti-India” protests as “jonk” (leeches) and took aim at the media for referring to terrorists as “militants”, claiming such things do not happen in Israel. It is high time that the country followed Israel, he said. He wrote the post amid a fierce slugfest between the government and opposition parties following the Balakot air strikes with the latter seeking proof that a high number of terrorists were killed, as claimed by ruling combine leaders including BJP president Amit Shah. The BJP has in turn accused its rivals of lowering the morale of armed forces and speaking the language of Pakistan.In a tweet, Singh also used a mosquito metaphor to refer to the debate on casualty figures of terrorists, asking if he was expected to sit and count how many he killed at night or “sleep in comfort”. “There were a lot of mos- quitoes at 3:30 am at night. So, I used Hit (mosquito repellent) on them. Now, should I sit and count how many mosquitoes I killed or sleep in comfort,” Singh tweeted. The Union minister headliend his Facebook post as “Why India does not become Isreal?”. People want revenge and expect that Modi would enter Pakistan in a tank and finish off all Pakistanis, he said. “We want to be in Israel mode overnight. No, it won't happen. If Modi is there, I have expectation and faith that revenge will be taken. It will be fierce and 100 times more intense. But India cannot be Israel and will not be Israel,” he said in the post written in Hindi. He counted multiple reasons why he thinks India cannot become Israel. Because there is no JNU in Israel where youngsters can raise slogans in support of breaking the country, he said, in an apparent reference to the alleged anti-national protests in the university in February 2016. Because no courts are opened for terrorists at 2 am in night and nor does journalists there “cry” for human rights of terrorists, he went on.“Because when Israel carries out Operation Munich, the opposition there does not insult the country or armed forces by seeking proof,” Singh said. CMYK ‘Should I count how many mosquitoes I killed?’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 6 MARCH Union minister V K Singh on Wednesday used a mosquito metaphor to address the debate on casualty figures in the Balakot air strikes, asking if he was expected to sit and count how many he killed at night or “sleep in comfort”. The tweet from the minister of state for external affairs came a day after he slammed the Congress for demanding the data and said it was not a “game of marbles” where an exact score can be kept. “There were a lot of mosquitoes at 3:30 am at night. So, I used Hit (mosquito repellent) on them. Now, should I sit and count how many mosquitoes I killed or sleep in comfort,” Singh tweeted on Wednesday in an apparent reference to Congress demands from the government on proof of casualty figures in the air-strikes. On Tuesday, Haryana minister AnilVij had tweeted a similar comment. “The next time there is a strike on Pakistanbased terrorists, then one of mahagathbandhan leaders should be made to stand there so that they can count the bodies,” he said. PTI Time to lodge FIR against PM, says Cong on Rafale SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 6 MARCH The Congress on Wednesday alleged corruption and malfeasance in the Rafale fighter jet deal and said the time has come to lodge an FIR against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The corruption and malfeasance in Rafale deal is out in the open. PM Modi misused his office to give benefits to Dassault Aviation and caused loss to the public exchequer,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters. ”It is now crystal clear that blatant and massive corruption has taken place in the Rafale deal. It is undoubtedly established that Modi misused his office as Prime Minister to grant undue benefit to Dassault Aviation and caused a loss to public exchequer. “This is a clear cut case under Section 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and different provisions of Indian Penal Code. Time has now come to register an FIR against PM Modi and every other individual so that a time-bound investigation takes place in this entire sage of Rafale corruption reaching the highest echelons of power,” he said. Citing a report of the Indian Negotiation Team (INT ), now in public domain, he said it is now crystal clear that Modi “misled Parliament and duped the country to cover up the murky dealings and blatant corruption, besides, squandering away national security interests”. The Congress leader alleged that after documents that have come out in the open, the responsibility now lies at the door steps of Modi and a case be registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act. “This conspiracy has now been uncovered,” he said, alleging that Modi did away with the 'bank guarantee' condition to cause a loss to the public exchequer and neither was the cost of India-specific enhancements included and nor was the cost of transfer of technology added. Surjewala alleged that the country will now pay Euro 10,300 million for 36 Rafale aircraft under PM Modi's deal. He also alleged that bypassing the INT, Modi held “direct negotiations” to buy 36 Rafale aircraft. Pak takes over seminaries, assets of JuD, FIF AGENCIES ISLAMABAD, 6 MARCH Pakistan on Wednesday intensified its ongoing crackdown against the banned organisations and took control of several seminaries and assets belonging to Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-udDawa and its wing Falahe-Insaniat Foundation. The confiscation of properties of Jamaat-udDawa (JuD) and Falah-eInsaniat Foundation (FIF) comes after Pakistan formally placed the proscribed organisations in the list of banned organisations on Tuesday. According to Pakistan's National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) list, which was updated on Tuesday, the JuD and FIF were among 70 organisations proscribed by the Ministry of Interior under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. At least two seminaries and property belonging to proscribed JuD and FIF were taken over by the government in a fresh crackdown launched by the law enforcement agencies under the National Action Plan (NAP) on Tuesday, the Dawn newspaper reported. SNS adds: Amid the current Indo-Pak tension, India has agreed to hold a meeting with Pakistan on 14 March to finalise the draft agreement for the Kartarpur Saheb Corridor in keeping with its decision to operationalise the corridor. However, the meet- ing would be held on the Indian side of the AttariWagah crossing point and not in New Delhi as was announced by Islamabad on Tuesday. India shares dossier of terror from Pak with other nations: In a bid to seek support of the global community in getting Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN, India has sent excerpts of the dossier shared with Pakistan to all its missions across the globe for sharing the same with their host governments. Sources said they were not surprised over the fact that Pakistan has rejected the Indian dossier which gives concrete and irrefutable evidence of the JeM’s involvement in the Pulwama terror attack. India warns Pakistan: The Indian Army today warned the Pakistan Army "not to target civilian areas", asserting that any further provocation or misadventure by the neighbouring country would be responded in a befitting manner. In a statement, the Army said though the situation along the LoC was relatively calm, the Pakistan Army had resorted to intense and unprovoked firing in the last 24 hours.
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