SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 09 MARCH 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P6 SENSEX 36,671.43 -53.99 WEATHER Mist in the morning and mainly clear sky thereafter. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 26 and 11 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.95% Min. 43% Max: 26.5°C (-2) SUN RISES 06:37 hrs MOON RISES 08:50 hrs Min: 10.8°C (-3) SUN SETS 18:26 hrs MOON SETS 20:49 hrs TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS FM Arun Jaitley during the launch of the compilation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's SNS speeches in the Capital on Friday. Those seeking air strike proof appeasing Pak, says PM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday accused the Opposition of “appeasing” Pakistan by seeking proof of the IAF's Balakot air strike, saying the “trust” of the country's people in him was the evidence. “Will you (people) do anything that appeases Pakistan or makes Pakistan clap? But some of our Opposition leaders have been doing the same for the past 10 days," he told a public meeting in Ghaziabad. Army jawan goes missing from Kashmir, abduction suspected: An Army jawan was reported missing from central Kashmir's Budgam district Friday evening with police suspecting he could have been abducted by a terror group, officials said. The family of Mohammad Yaseen, posted with J&K Light Infantry Regiment, informed police that some people came to their house and took him away. Yaseen had come home on a vacation. Efforts are on to trace him. Contempt case: Meghalaya High Court sentenced The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shoba Chaudhuri to sit in the corner of the court room till the rising of the court besides imposing a fine of Rs 2 lakh each in a contempt case. Case relates to an article on perks and facilities for retired judges and families. HC warned if they failed to deposit the amount they will be jailed for 6 P10 months and the paper will be banned. INS slams govt threat to use Official Secrets Act: The Indian Newspaper Society, in a press release, has expressed its shock and outrage at the reported threat of action under the draconian Official Secrets Act against ‘The Hindu’. The threat made in the Supreme Court by the Attorney General, who had appeared on behalf of the Government in the Rafale case hearing, is unconscionable and utterly unacceptable in a democracy. FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHIEF JAILED FOR FRAUD ‘LITERATURE CAN’T BE HELD HOSTAGE TO TIME’ GOVERNOR MALIK BLAMES PARTIES FOR MILITANCY P9 NIFTY 11,035.40 -22.80 KOHLI’S TON GOES IN VAIN AS OZ BEAT INDIA P12 ` vs $ 70.14 -14 PAISE GOLD 31,000.00 +145.00 P15 SILVER 38,150.00 +50.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 65.03 -1.27 SC orders mediation in Ayodhya case Former apex court judge Justice (retd) FM Kallifulla to head panel of mediators, SC directs in-camera proceedings of mediation STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 8 MARCH HIGHLIGHTS T he Supreme Court on Friday ordered mediation by a three-member panel to settle the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babari Masjid Ayodhya title dispute case but prohibited media reporting of the proceedings till final outcome. The apex court ordered mediation despite objections from petitioners including the UP government as it said the case was not merely a title suit but involved “mind, heart and healing if possible”. Ordering the mediation, a five-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said the panel will be headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice F M I Kallifulla with Art of Living founder, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and a senior advocate Shriram Panchu as its members. The apex court, however barred both the print and visual media from reporting on the mediation proceedings and also barred those participating in the proceedings from speaking to the media.The step, it said, was being taken to maintain “utmost confidentiality” of the matter. The in-camera mediation proceedings, to be held at Faizabad, would of Sri Sri 1 The 3-member panel will also consistPanchu Ravi Shankar and advocate Shriram held 2 The in-camera proceedings, to beFriday at Faizabad, will commence from next panel has to submit a progress 3 The proceedings within four weeks report of the ‘The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babari Masjid case is not merely a title suit but involved mind, heart and healing if possible.’ SC CONSTITUTION BENCH commence from next Friday. The panel has to submit a progress report of the proceedings within four weeks and complete the process within eight weeks The Constitution Bench refrained from laying down any specific guidelines, leaving it to the mediators to take a call, and said that mediators could take any legal assistance that may be necessary. The panel of mediators can co-opt more members in the team, it said. In case of any difficulty, the chairman will inform the apex court registry about it, the bench added. The court has ordered the mediation to use the time available before the regular hearing of the matter during which all the parties to the dispute have been asked to complete the paperwork relating to the dispute. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. The Congress on Friday said it respects the decision of the Supreme Court to refer the politically-sensi- MIG-21 crashes in Bikaner, pilot ejects safely PRESS TRUST OF INDIA JAIPUR, 8 MARCH A MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in Rajasthan's Bikaner district on Friday with the pilot ejecting safely, officials said. The aircraft took off from the from the Nal air base for a routine mission and crashed at Shobhasar ki Dhani area, 12 km from Bikaner city, the officials said. IAF spokesperson Group Captain Anupam Banerjee said initial inputs indicated the likely cause as bird hit after take off. The pilot of the MiG-21 aircraft ejected safely, he said, adding that a court of inquiry would investigate the cause of the accident. Bikaner Superintendent of Police Pradeep Policemen and officials stand near the remains of an Indian Air Force MiG-21 fighter jet after it crashed near BikanAFP er's Shoba Sar ki Dhani area in Rajasthan on Friday. Mohan Sharma said police teams had been rushed to the spot and no loss of life has been reported. Prime Minister Modi Friday inaugurated the new civil enclave at Hindon airport from where commercial flights would be operated to various places, including Shimla and Kannur. nHindon airport belongs to the IAF and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has developed the civil enclave there. tive Ram JanmabhoomiBabri Masjid land dispute case for mediation, and added that it should be final and binding on all parties. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP of politicising the “faithbased issue for political gains for the past 27 years”. “Since 1992, BJP has kept the issue alive so as to be used in every election for political vote garnering and relegate the Ram Mandir issue to the annals of history post-election -to be revived again in the next election. We sincerely hope that people of India will see through the duplicity and doublespeak of BJP he said. ,” In a statement, Surjewala said, “The Congress has unequivocally maintained that the decision of the Supreme Court in the Ram Mandir case should be final & binding on all parties.We respect the decision to constitute a mediation panel.” BJP leaders made it clear Friday that building Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya is the only way out of the impasse, soon after the Supreme Court ordered a timebound mediation to resolve the long-pending issue. BSP leader Mayawati called the move “appreciable”. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said the previous mediation efforts had failed to yield results but this time, the Supreme Court is monitoring it. ‘Will take every step to resolve issue amicably’ Justice (rtd) F M I Kallifulla PRESS TRUST OF INDIA CHENNAI/BENGALURU, 8 MARCH The Supreme Courtappointed mediation team on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babari Masjid land dispute case on Friday said it has been given a serious responsibility and will take all steps to resolve the issue “amicably”. Retired Supreme Court judge F M I Kallifulla will head the mediation team which also has spiritual teacher Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Shriram Panchu as its other members. “For the present, I can only say that if the committee has been constituted, we will take every step to resolve the dispute amicably,” Kallifulla said. A native of Tamil Nadu, Kallifulla had earlier served as a judge of Madras High Court. While Sri Sri said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Shriram Panchu everybody must move together to end long-standing conflicts, Panchu said the court has given a “serious” responsibility and he will do his best. A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, referred the politically sensitive case for mediation on Friday and appointed the three-member panel for the purpose, asking it to complete the process within eight weeks. Sri Sri, founder of The Art of Living foundation based in Bengaluru, said, “We must all move together towards ending longstanding conflicts happily by maintaining harmony in society. “Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society - we must all move together towards these goals. #ayodhyamediation,” he tweeted. Panchu, a senior advocate of Madras High Court, said the court had given him “a serious” responsibility and he would do his best. “It is a very serious responsibility given to me by the Honourable Supreme Court. I will do my best,” he said in a brief statement here. Panchu is regarded as a pioneer in the mediation movement. Founder of the country's first court-annexed mediation centre -- The Mediation Chambers -- in the Madras High Court in 2005, he has authored books on mediation, including a comprehensive manual - Mediation: Practice and Law. Panchu has mediated a number of cases, including the one involving the boundary dispute between Assam and Nagaland. Nirav Modi’s house demolished PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 8 MARCH A few seconds was all it took to bring down the 30,000 sq ft seaside mansion of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, at Kihim beach in Maharashtra Friday. The bungalow was demolished using controlled blasting, Raigad district collector Vijay Suryawanshi told PTI from the site, around 90 km from here. A large amount of dust was seen coming from the structure as it collapsed during the controlled blasts. The sprawling mansion of Modi, accused in the USD 2 billion PNB fraud case, was worth around Rs 40 crore, another official said. Suryawanshi issued the demolition orders after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) handed over the property. On Tuesday, exca- The remains of the structure of Nirav Modi's mansion are AFP seen in Alibaug, off Mumbai coast on Friday. vators were used to open up the pillars of the 'Roopanya' bungalow, to make space for fixing the detonators, the senior IAS official said. Maharashtra government last year wrote to the ED, which had sealed the bungalow, seeking a nod to demolish the property. The fixtures from the bungalow will be up for auc- tion. Three items, a jacuzzi, a chandelier, and a Buddha statue, have been kept aside for handing over to the ED, the official said. The estimated cost of the jacuzzi is Rs 15 lakh, the chandelier is worth Rs 20 lakh and the Buddha statue cost may be around Rs 10 lakh, a senior district administration official told PTI. On January 25, district officials began the demolition work using bulldozers, but found it time-consuming due to the RCC construction. On January 27, structural engineers from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technical University conducted a survey. The experts suggested that the district officers carry out the demolition with the help of controlled blasting. Modi's bungalow was attached by the ED following his involvement in the Punjab National Bank fraud case. It was handed over to the collector's office on January 24, after the ED seized two trucks full of valuables from the building. The demolition of Nirav Modi's bungalow will set the stage for a similar fate of three other bungalows in the coastal area. India, Pakistan should turn the page for peace: Wang PRESS TRUST OF INDIA BEIJING, 8 MARCH India and Pakistan should quickly turn the page after the Pulwama terror attack, meet each other halfway and transform the present crisis into an opportunity for a long term and fundamental improvement in their bilateral relations, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday. He also said that after the historic Wuhan Summit between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April last year, China wants to develop closer ties with India and forge ahead like the “Yangtze and Ganges” rivers despite Beijing's all weather ties with Pakistan. Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistanbased Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF person- nel in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district in February 14. India launched a counterterror operation in Balakot on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1. “China hopes Pakistan and India will transform the crisis into opportunity and meet each other halfway,” Wang said at his annual press conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress, China's Parliament. He was replying to questions on the present India-Pakistan tensions following the Pulwama terror attack and how China plans to carry forward the spirit of last year's Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi. “We advise both the parties to quickly turn the page and seek fundamental, long term improvement in their relations. When confrontation gives way to dialogue and disagreement are settled, we can create a better future through cooperation,” Wang said. Recent events in South Asia focussed international attention on the India-Pakistan relations, he said stating that China played a constructive role to resolve the tensions between the two neighbours. “China has stressed from the beginning the need to exercise restraint prevent an escalation, find out what has happened and resolve the matter through dialogue,” he said adding that Beijing tried to play a mediatory role. “In the meantime, country's sovereignty and territorial integrity should fully respected. China followed these principle in its mediation and played a constructive role in defusing the tension”, he said. China recently dispatched its Vice Foreign Minister Kong Kong Xuanyou to Pakistan where he held talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, besides Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, on ways to ease the India-Pakistan tensions. His visit coincided with the US, the UK and French application in the 1267 counter terrorism committee of the UNSC to declare JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. If listed by the committee, Azhar would face a global travel ban and asset freeze. the JeM has already been banned by the UN. While China blocked India's previ- ous attempts to declare Azhar as a global terrorist, expectations are high that this time Beijing may take a different stand considering JeM has admitted its role in the Pulwama terror attack. “In the last couple of days both Pakistan and India indicated a desire to de-escalate the situation and start talks. We welcome this. Pakistan and India are neighbours and always have to live with each other,” Wang said. “Both countries face important opportunities to realise stability, development and prosperity. China hopes the two countries will get along and progress together,” he said. Asked how China plans to develop its relations with India in the light of challenges and Beijing's close ties with Pakistan, the foreign minister said that 2018 was an “year of great significance for China and India relations”. Pak FIR against IAF pilots ISLAMABAD, 8 MARCH Pakistan on Friday lodged an FIR against “unidentified pilots” of the Indian Air Force (IAF) for bombing and destroying 19 trees in the Balakot area, according to a media report, days after New Delhi launched a preemptive strike against the Jaish-eMohammed's largest training camp in the country. The First Information Report was filed by the forestry department on Friday against pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) for bombing and destroying trees in the Balakot area, the Express News reported. The FIR, registered against “unidentified IAF pilots”, also details the dam- age suffered by 19 trees after the Indian fighter jets “hastily dropped their payload”, it says. On March 26, India said IAF jets, in the face of imminent danger, launched a preemptive strike on Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. “In an intelligence led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said in a statement AGENCIES in New Delhi.
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