SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 10 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 TRINITY SAIOO, A SCHOOL MISTRESS SPEARHEADS A TURMERIC FARMING MOVEMENT IN MEGHALAYA AND DILIGENTLY TENDS TO HER FARMS OF THE “GOLDEN SPICE” WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with rain/thundershower. Max and min temp to be around 32/20 degrees Celsius, resp. TEMPERATURE Max: 32.0°C (-1) SUN SETS 17:44 hrs MOON RISES 08:07 hrs Min: 19.1°C (-3) SUN RISES 05:50 hrs MOON SETS 20:53 hrs First quarter of moon on 16 March THUMBNAILS Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging off the Noida City Centre-Noida Electronic City Section of the Metro. The UP CM is also seen. SNS Congress turncoat made Gujarat minister: Within less than 24 hours of declaring that he is not joining the ruling BJP with any ‘greed for ministerial berth’, Congress turncoat Jawahar Chavda was on Saturday sworn in as a Cabinet minister in the Vijay Rupani ministry. He was a Congress legislator from Manavadar till Friday morning. Mexico nightclub shooting leaves 15 dead: At least 15 men have died following a shooting at a nightclub in central Mexico, prosecutors said. Another four people, three men and a woman, suffered injuries, public prosecutor's office spokesman Juan Jose Martinez told AFP by telephone. The nightclub is in Guanajuato state where a crackdown has been launched. KOLKATA, 9 MARCH Officers of the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police have arrested two persons in connection with the seizure of an explosives-laden van at Tala Bridge in north Kolkata on Friday night. Twenty seven sacks packed with 1000 kg of explosives were seized from them. STF sources said that acting on a specific intelligence input, they had laid a trap and intercepted a van with an Odisha number plate on BT Road near Chitpore police station on Friday night. The explosives were likely to be potassium nitrate, a senior STF officer said. The driver of the van, Indrajit Bhuina and helper Padmalochan De, have been SNS arrested. DETAILS ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, 9 MARCH UK daily says Nirav Modi is living in an 8-m pound apartment in London Min. 25% Van seized with 1000-kg explosives India taking steps for ‘Uncanny similarity Nirav extradition: MEA between two Modis’ SNS & PTI RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.90% WE HAVE SEEN FILMS, READ ARTICLES AND KNOW THE STATISTICS ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. WE FEEL AT RISK BECAUSE WE ARE SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 9 MARCH he government is taking all steps to extradite PNB scam accused Nirav Modi from the UK, the External Affairs Ministry said on Saturday, asserting that the extradition request made to that country shows that India was aware he is there. It also said the UK was considering India's request to extradite Modi, a diamantaire accused in the USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank scam. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, at a media briefing, said the fact that “we requested the UK government for extradition of Nirav Modi, means that we were aware that he is in UK, otherwise we would not have made the request”. “Just because he has been spotted doesn't mean he can be immediately brought back to India as there is a process in place. We have made a request for extradition, it is for the UK government now to consider our request and respond to the demand of the CBI and ED for extradition,” he said. The government is taking all necessary steps for his extradition, Kumar said. Responding to a question on the extradition request, the MEA T spokesperson said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had forwarded the request for his extradition in early August, which was given to the UK side. There was also a separate request from the CBI, which was forwarded to the UK side by the end of August, Kumar said. “What we have been told is that both these requests are under the consideration of the British government,” he said, asserting that at repeated intervals requests for expediting the process have been made. According to report in a British daily on Saturday, Modi is living in a swanky 8-million pound apartment in London's West End and is now involved in a new diamond business. Modi, 48, is currently living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, where the rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month, The Telegraph reported. The revelation comes a day after Modi's 30,000 sq ft seaside mansion at Kihim beach in Maharashtra was demolished by the authorities using explosives. Despite his bank accounts being frozen by the Indian authorities and an Interpol red notice being issued for his arrest, Modi, a diamond jeweller whose designs have been worn by Hollywood stars, is now involved in a new diamond business based in London, the report said. In a video posted by the newspaper, Modi can be seen sporting a handlebar moustache and wearing an Ostrich Hide jacket, estimated to cost 10,000 pounds. When journalists from the paper questioned him on various issues, including whether he has urged Britain to grant him asylum, Modi ducked them by saying, “Sorry, no comments”. A source told the the UK daily that Modi had been given a national insurance number by the Department for Work and Pensions, meaning he can legally work in Britain, and has used British bank accounts. The United Kingdom's home secretary has recently referred India's request for extraditing PNB scam accused Nirav Modi to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the diamantaire, the Enforcement Directorate said on Saturday. “Request for extradition of Nirav Modi to India was sent in July 2018 to the UK. The UK Central Authority of Home Office has confirmed that the extradition request has been sent to the Westminster Magistrate Court for the district judge for further proceedings,” the agency said in a statement. Sources in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said they had been officially informed about UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid's move to forward the case to a London court about two days back. The move takes the process of extraditing and bringing back Nirav Modi to face the law in India to the next stage, the sources said. Soon, they said, a joint team of the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would travel to the UK to apprise the lawyers of the Indian case and evidence against Nirav Modi, in a similar fashion that was done in the case of another absconding bank-fraud accused, Vijay Mallya. The Enforcement Directorate had chargesheeted Nirav Modi and others under the PMLA in May last year and subsequently moved a court to get him declared absconder under the newly-enacted Fugitive Economic Offenders Act in July last year. ‘Naya Pakistan’ must take new action against terror: India STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 9 MARCH Turning the heat on Pakistan over its duplicity and inaction in tackling terror, India on Saturday made it clear to Islamabad that it would have to move beyond words and take verifiable action against the terror factory operating on the Pakistani soil and not merely issue gazette notifications to proscribe terror outfits. ''Pakistan will (now) be judged not by the words it speaks but by credible, verifiable and sustained action it takes,'' External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said while expressing scepticism about Islamabad's purported crackdown on terror groups in the country. At a media briefing here, he said if Pakistan claimed to be a "naya Pakistan with nayi soch (new Pakistan with new thinking)", it should demonstrate "naya (new) action" against terror outfits operating with impunity on the Pakistani territory. The spokesperson said India remained resolute in its determination to persuade the international community of the necessity of compelling Pakistan to act against terror. India, on its part, would continue to act with responsibility and maturity. ''Our armed forces continue to maintain strict vigil and will remain determined in the defence of the nation and its citizens'', he added. He also talked about Pakistan's 'doublespeak' by highlighting how Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi acknowledged that JeM chief Masood Azhar was in Pakistan while the Pakistan Army spokesperson denied his presence in the country. Asked to comment on reports that Pakistan has refused to allow the media to visit Balakot, where India claims to have struck the biggest JeM terrorist training camp on 26 February, he said, ''the fact that Pakistan has denied access to journalists shows that it has plenty to hide...the initial bravado has disappeared.'' The spokesperson emphasised that the upcoming talks between India and Pakistan on the Kartarpur Saheb Corridor could not be in any way termed as the resumption of dialogue. These talks were being held keeping in mind the emotions and sentiments of the Sikh community. He said India's ''non-military counter-terrorism strike'' at Balakot attack achieved the objective. The Indian spokesperson iterated that on 27 February Pakistan, instead of taking action against terrorist groups on its soil, chose to escalate through an act of aggression by violating Indian air space. The Congress and the BJP traded barbs on Saturday over a media report that PNB scam accused Nirav Modi was living in a swanky apartment in the UK, with the Opposition alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was running a “fraudster settlement yojana” and the ruling party accusing the UPA of allowing the banks to be “looted” under its watch. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, taking to Twitter, took a swipe at Prime Minister Modi saying that the recent video of Nirav Modi in the UK shows an “uncanny similarity” between the two as both “believe they are above the law”. The Congress also alleged that fugitives had looted Rs 1 lakh crore from Indian banks but not even one of them had been caught during the five years of the Modi government. “The video of fugitive #NiravModi in London shows an uncanny similarity between him & his bhai, PM Modi. Both have looted India and are called Modi. Both refuse to answer any questions. Both believe they are above the law. Both will face justice,” the Congress chief tweeted. The BJP hit back saying “profound argument from a man who himself has a stolen surname”. “BTW, is it not true that in Sept 2013, you visited Pak wants ICC ‘action’ KARACHI, 9 MARCH Pakistan has demanded that the ICC take note of Indian cricketers wearing camouflage military caps during the third ODI against Australia, accusing Virat Kohli team's of politicising the game. As a mark of respect to the CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Pulawama terrorist attack, Indian cricketers sported the Army cap and also donated their match fee for the welfare of the families of the martyrs. Taking exception to the gesture, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the International Cricket Council must do something about it. “The world saw that the Indian cricket team wore military caps instead of their own, did ICC not see this?’’ PTI (DETAILS ON PAGE 12 ) Rajnath talks of 3 cross-border strikes in past 5 years, but evasive on the third STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BENGALURU, 9 MARCH In a startling revelation today, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that in the past five years India had conducted not two but three cross-border operations against terrorists. He, however, declined to give any details about the third strike adding that he did not want to talk about it. Addressing a largely attended public rally in Mangalore today, he slipped in the point about the third strike while talking about India’s response following the Uri attack by the terrorists in addition to the one they had carried out in Pulwama on 14 February in which over 40 CRPF jawans were martyred. The jawans were the victims of a suicide bomber’s attack. Indian forces had carried out a surgical strike first against the terrorists immediately after the Uri incident and then followed it up with the recent hits at their hideout and training centre across the border in Balakot. Jaishe-Mohammed, the terrorist organisation, with its training centre in that area had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror strike. In the same vein, the home minister was quick to add that while India would not provoke anyone but in the event Pakistan continued to promote and shelter terrorists, then inevitably it would have to pay heavily. Likewise, he said the recent airstrike was nothing but a targeted mission following the specific intelligence that had Singh said govt had given a strong message to Pakistan after the Pulwama attack. The Union home minister said Pakistan will pay a heavy price if it shelters terrorists been received. He also took pains to emphasise that the government was determined to protect the Kashmiri students who had faced attacks recently by unruly elements. In this context, he said the government had issued appropriate instructions to all the states to ensure that Kashmiri students were not troubled. Further, he said the union government had already asked all state governments to take necessary steps to safeguard the interests of Kashmiri students. PTI adds from Mangalore: Singh said the BJP had risen to heights from a party having only two seats in Parliament way back in the eighties. It could attain a clear majority in the 2014 elections. Singh also said that India would become one of the top three nations in the world in the next 10 years. “America, Russia and China are now the top three powerful countries. India will join the league of top three by the year 2028,” he said. Stating that BJP was the largest political party in the world with its membership strength, Singh said India could retaliate against the terrorist strikes only because a strong party was in power. The country has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world in recent years, he said. He said state governments and party units in states had been asked to protect Kashmiri students studying at various institutions in the country from attacks after the Pulwama terror strike. Singh expressed the hope that the BJP would win all the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka. The Congress-JD(S) coalition is weak in the state and has not been successful in delivering its promises, he said. BJP state president and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, Nalin Kumar Kateel, Shobha Karandlaje MPs and other leaders were present. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Polali Shree Rajarajeshwari temple and offered prayers on Saturday. Singh was accompanied by Nalin Kumar Kateel MP Rajesh , Naik MLA, and other BJP leaders. The visit was during the celebration of 'Brahmakalashotsava' at the temple. Earlier in the day, state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa also visited the temple along with his son B Y Raghavendra MP . Nirav Modi's bridal jewellery exhibition in Delhi and the very next day Allahabad Bank approved loan to him, despite opposition from bank's director?” the party said in a tweet. Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday held the Congress responsible for the alleged financial frauds involving Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi, asserting that all such fugitives will be extradited to India under the Modi government. “After Nirav Modi was spotted in London, Congress people are happy that he is spending good time there, but the Modi government will bring back all the fugitives. They (fugitives) as well as those who helped them will be punished,” he said at a press conference in Jaipur. “They were allowed to loot banks. The then prime minister Manmohan Singh had also said Kingfisher airlines (owned by Vijay Mallya) should be helped. It was the Congress government which allowed them to take away depositors' money,” he alleged. The Congress-led Unit- ed Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power at the Centre from 2004 to 2014 after which the Narendra Modi dispensation assumed office. “Many of these who cheated India during the UPA government have been brought back and are in custody. Others will follow. They are living the life of fugitives and refugees,” the BJP tweeted. Targeting the BJP Con, gress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said: “Fugitive Nirav Modi has been seen enjoying (life) in London, living in a Rs 75 crore flat and wearing a 10,000 pound jacket.” “First loot Rs 23,000 crore from banks, then run away from the country without any checks, mock the CBI and the ED, and then make a comfortable home in a Rs 75 crore flat. Modi is there, so it is possible,” he claimed. “Fugitives looted Rs 1 lakh crore from Indian banks but you have not even caught one in the last five years,” he claimed. Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said it is another instance in which the Modi government has proved that “their slogan 'Modi hai toh mumkin hai' (It's possible if there is Modi) is correct for fraudsters.’’ Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the Modi government allowed economic offenders Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya to flee the country. Rahul asks Modi to tell nation who released Azhar from Indian jail SNS & PTI HAVERI (KARNATAKA), 9 MARCH Stepping up the attack on the Narendra Modi government over the Pulwama terror strike, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asked the Prime Minister to explain to the nation why the then NDA dispensation had released Masood Azhar, the chief of the JeM terror outfit, from an Indian jail. Raking up the release of Azhar by the Vajpayee dispensation in 1999 in exchange for passengers of a hijacked Indian Airlines plane, he said Modi should tell the country “how Masood Azhar was sent back (to Pakistan), who sent and which government sent him (back)”. He also asserted that the Congress would not bow down to terror. Gandhi's attack on the Modi government on national security comes amid an escalating war of words between the BJP and the Congress over India's air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan after a suicide bomber attack on a CRPF convoy killed 40 jawans in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, with each accusing the other of politicising the issue. In a fierce attack on the Opposition, Modi had called them “poster boys of Pakistan” for seeking proof of the IAF's action on a terror camp in Balakot in Pakistan and asked them to stop appeasing Pakistan. “Some days ago CRPF people were killed in Pulwama. I have a small question to the Prime Minister. Who killed these CRPF jawans? What is the name of the chief of Jaishe-Mohammed?...Masood Azhar,” Gandhi said at a rally here in north Karnataka, where he sounded the party's bugle for the Lok Sabha polls. The Congress chief said, “Modiji, make me understand who sent Masood Azhar from India's jail to Pakistan. Didn't the BJP government send this person from India's jail to Pakistan? ”Didn't you send (then Union minister) Jaswant Singh and your National Security Adviser (Ajit Doval) on the same flight? Did you forget that your (party's) government sent this person from India's jail to Kandahar(in Afghanistan)?” “Why are you not speaking about it in your speeches? Why are you not saying that the person who carried out the bomb blast on CRPF, who killed CRPF jawans was sent back to Pakistan by the BJP government?” Gandhi asked. He told the crowd, “Go to the internet, you can see the photo of Ajit Doval who is the National Security Adviser of Narendra Modi along with Masood Azhar at Kandahar airport.” “Modi ji we are not like you, we won't bow in front of terrorism,” he said. Azhar was released by the Vajpayee government in exchange for passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in 1999. The Kathmandu-New Delhi plane was hijacked and taken to Kandahar by Masood Azhar's men. The JeM chief was freed along with Omar Sheikh and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar alias 'Latram' after negotiations with hijackers, in which Doval was involved, failed. The then external affairs minister Jaswant Singh took the three terrorists to Kandahar in a special plane to ensure the release of the passengers of the hijacked plane.
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