CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 17 APRIL 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 SENSEX 34,305.43 +112.78 Sultry weather. Rain/thundershower in Sikkim, Darj, Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong and Cooch Behar. Max-Min temp38-28 deg cel RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.87% Min. 36% Max: 37.5°C (+2.1) SUN RISES 05:15 hrs MOON RISES 06.14 hrs Min: 26.5°C (+0.9) SUN SETS 17:58 hrs MOON SETS 19:17hrs TEMPERATURE First quarter of moon on 23 April THUMBNAILS KKR’s Robin Uthappa plays a shot as Delhi Daredevils wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant looks on during the 2018 IPL Twenty20 cricket match at the Eden Gardens on Monday. AFP World Bank forecasts 7.3 per cent growth for India this year: The World Bank on Monday forecast a growth rate of 7.3 per cent for India this year and 7.5 per cent for 2019 and 2020, and noted that the country's economy has recovered from the effects of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax. COACH TAKING IT OUT ON PLAYERS WHEN ALL IS LOST P4 ` vs $ 65.49 -29 PAISE GOLD 29,955.00 -40.00 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE AHMEDABAD, 16 APRIL Even as the Surat police are groping in dark about identity of the body of a young girl found in the bushes a week back, Gujarat’s Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja gave a new twist to the rape and murder mystery by suggesting that the victim was probably from Odisha. The mutilated body of an estimated 11-year-old girl, allegedly raped and tortured, has caused a sensation in the state with women’s groups and civil rights organisations hitting the streets with massive protests. The Minister, however, gave no reasoning behind his loud thinking or how does the victim being from Odisha make the crime any different. “The comment by the Minister (the Odisha link) makes no sense. It is only meant to shirk their responsibility to grab the culprits”, state convenor of All India Mahila Sanskritik Sangathan (AIMSS) Ms Meenakshi Joshi told The Statesman on Monday. AIMSS is one of the dozen-odd organisations which are holding a protest demonstration near the Jhansi Ki Rani statue in western part of the city this evening. The Minister of State for Home said that the Gujarat Government has contacted the Director General of Police (DGP) of Odisha about the matter and also STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 APRIL SILVER 38,950 -100.00 Editor at Delhi before taking over as Editor at Kolkata in 1975. He helmed The Statesman during a critical period when Indira Gandhi declared Emergency in the country and launched a crackdown on the media. The Statesman was known for its bold and independent stand and a large measure of the credit must go to Nihal Singh. For his efforts, Nihal Singh was recognised as International Editor of the Year by Atlas World Press, New York in 1978. He received the Raja Ram Mohun Roy award for his contributions to journalism in 2016. His autobiography, Ink in My Veins, was published in 2011. The mutilated body of an estimated 11year-old girl, allegedly raped and tortured, has caused a sensationin Gujarat. Rights activists staged protests on streets KOLKATA, 16 APRIL The ruling Trinamul Congress today suffered a setback when the Division Bench of Justice Biswanath Somaddar and Justice Arindam Mukherjee of Calcutta High Court directed that petitions filed by it and the State Election Commission (SEC) would be heard by the Single Bench that had stayed the rural poll process. The Trinamul had challenged the Single Bench order and appealed against it before the Division Bench. The Single Bench, which was to hear the case during the day, extended its interim stay on the rural polls, scheduled to begin BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 71.99 -0.59 checked more than 8,000 pictures of missing children all over. Posters of the victim’s photo have also been displayed all over the city, the Minister said adding that CCTV recordings of vehicular movements and mobile call records of the area are also being checked to close in on the perpetrators of the crime. In Surat and many other cities, several people have held candle light marches on Sunday while protests are being held in Ahmedabad and other places today. PTI adds from Bhubaneswar: Suspecting that an unidentified girl, whose body was found in Surat 10 days ago with signs of rape and torture, could be from Odisha, all the superintendents of police (SPs) in the state were today asked to collect information on the missing girls in their jurisdictions. The basis of the suspicion was that a large number of people migrated from Odisha to Surat, Director General of Police (DGP) R P Sharma told reporters in Bhubaneswar. to protect victim’s kin, others Orders security for the families of the victim and the lawyer; lawyer ‘facing social boycott’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 APRIL he Supreme Court on Monday ordered as an interim measure adequate security for the Kathua rape victim's family, their lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat and others even as it issued notice seeking Jammu and Kashmir government's response to a plea for the transfer of the trial of the case to Chandigarh. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud directed the state to provide adequate security also to Rajawat's family as well as Talib Hussain, a member of the Bakerwal community who is helping the victim's family. As an interim measure, the court directed that Jammu and Kashmir government "shall keep the security to the family members of the victim and provide security to Deepika Singh Rajawat and her family members; and that protection shall be provided to Mr Talib Hussain, who is assisting the victim's family in prosecution of the grievance by remaining present in the Court or engaging counsel to assist the public prosecutor". The court said that the security so provided would be in plainclothes. The apex court directions came on the plea of T Deepika Singh Rajawat, lawyer of the Kathua rape case victim, speaks to the media after filing a petition in the Supreme Court. In the Capital on Monday. AMARJEET SINGH Accused plead not guilty KATHUA, 16 APRIL The eight people accused of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl pleaded not guilty and asked the judge for a narco analysis test as the trial in the case began here today. Seven of the eight accused were produced before District and Sessions Judge Sanjeev Gupta, who asked the state Crime Branch to give them copies of the chargesheet and fixed April 28 as the next date of hearing. minor victim’s father who sought transfer of the trial in the case from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir to Chandigarh and protection to the family in the face The eighth accused is a juvenile who moved a bail application before the chief judicial magistrate. The matter was posted for April 26. The child from a minority nomadic community was allegedly held in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua for a week in January this year during which she was kept sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to PTI death. of threats. Rajawat alleged that she was labelled 'antiHindu' and was facing a social boycott for taking up the case of the child rape victim, who was kidnapped Eye on poll, Centre caps oil prices PRASHANT MUKHERJEE NEW DELHI, 16 APRIL Since a steep hike in petrol and diesel prices could have an adverse fallout for the BJP ahead of elections, the Centre has asked oil marketing companies to ensure that the retail price of petrol does not exceed Rs 75 a litre in the national capital and in other states as well, according to sources. Senior government officials said they have not issued any formal letter to this effect to the oil marketing companies, but since the government holds the largest stake in the companies it has exercised its right to control the prices. Hence, the companies have been asked to hold back prices even if global crude prices continue to spiral upwards. Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had earlier stated that the government is not going to review duties on petrol and diesel as of now. A senior official said the Finance Ministry in order to meet its fiscal deficit and revenue targets is not going to touch duties at all. But since global crude prices are increasing and this is affecting consumers the decision to cap the retail product price would be the best solution, he added. The government has asked the OMCs to bear the losses for the time being, if crude prices soar. Officials, however, added that they hope crude prices come down providing the needed cushion to OMCs and these controls will then no longer be imposed. The price of petrol stood at Rs 73.83 per litre while diesel was priced at Rs 64.69 a litre in the national capital on Monday. Crude oil prices have been rising for the past month with Brent crude soaring to above $70 per barrel level. Reports of Western military action in Syria and falling global oil invento- ries have further supported the crude rally. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has already linked his expectation of higher oil prices of $80 with the timing of the initial public offering of the world’s largest oil company Saudi Aramco later this year. Also, OPEC struck a deal to curb production as a way to reduce oil supplies and support prices. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also urged oil producing nations to adopt “responsible pricing”. “We need to move towards responsible pricing that will balance the interests of producers and consumers,” Modi said in his inaugural address at the 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) in New Delhi last week. Transparent pricing of oil and gas was necessary to serve humanity, as a large number of people still had no access to energy, he said, adding that artificially distorting the price was selfdefeating. The oil retailers switched to daily price revision from a fortnightly pricing system in June last year as the government sought to further the pricing reforms in the sector when prices remained subdued. But the system itself has created bigger problems for the government as constant increase in global prices is pushing up retail petrol and diesel prices daily. Last week, Dharmendra Pradhan, Oil and Gas Minister, said, “The Centre and states bank on tax revenues to meet developmental needs. Forty two per cent of collections from excise duty (on petrol and diesel) go to states and the remaining 60 per cent is used to fund the Centre’s share in development schemes in states.” The government raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre. PTI adds: Three major public sector oil companies today announced that they would be distributing 70,000 LPG connections in Gujarat on April 20 to households living Below Poverty Line (BPL). HC refers panchayat case back to single bench STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE P11 ‘Surat rape victim Kathua rape: SC asks J&K govt was from Odisha’ Nihal Singh passes away at 88 Veteran journalist and former Editor of The Statesman Surendra Nihal Singh passed away here on Monday following prolonged illness, his family members said. He was 88. Nihal Singh, who was suffering from kidney-related ailments, died at the National Heart Institute in New Delhi. He is survived by four sisters. His condition turned critical last week, according to his sister-in-law Indu Nihal Singh. He will be cremated at the Lodi Road crematorium here at noon on Tuesday. After leaving The Statesman in 1979, the veteran journalist edited the Indian Express, the now-defunct Indian Post and Khaleej Times. At The Statesman, he started off as a reporter and was later sent as the newspaper's correspondent to London and Moscow. He also did stints as the paper's political correspondent and Resident P9 NIFTY 10,528.35 +47.75 WEATHER V-P RUES LOSS OF MORAL VALUES AIRING OF SHARIF’S ANTI-JUDICIARY SPEECHES BANNED ‘TRUMP MORALLY UNFIT TO BE US PRESIDENT’ on 1 May, till tomorrow . "While we are not unmindful of the duration of pendancy of panchayat expiring in August, nevertheless we do not wish to interfere in the matter. We do not want to make any observation on the point of maintainability" the Division Bench observed. "On the point of maintainability of the petition, we request the Single Bench to dispose of the matter expeditiously.In the light of the Supreme Court order, it may even conduct day to day hearing" it was further requested. The petitions by the Opposition parties ~ the Congress and the CPI-M ~ supporting the order extending the period of nomination and by trade unions seeking direction to change the poll schedule will be heard tomorrow . The SEC submitted a report before the Single Bench on the panchayat poll situation as directed earlier. The state BJP also submitted a receipt of Rs 5 lakh it had deposited as directed earlier. Opposing the Single Bench order Trinamul Kalyan Banerjee had earlier submitted once the poll process was set in motion, the court was not to interfere in it and the SEC was to consider the grievances of political parties and independent candidates. The Division Bench asked the Trinamul lawyer what prevented him from going back to the Single Bench. “ The Single Bench has not shut you out. After all, the matter is pending before the Single Bench and is scheduled to be heard today. Why don't you go back to the Single Bench and if necessary come back to us,” it was observed. Bandyopadhya argued he couldn’t do so as he couldn’t submit again on the point of maintainability which had to be decided by the Division Bench. Appearing for the CPI-M Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya submitted how the SEC order extending the last date of filing nomination could be recalled. State BJP secretary, Pratap Banerjee appearing in person made the plea before the court of saving democracy. Ruing that the existing legal battle over panchayat polls has brought uncertainty and slowing down Bengal's progress, chief minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the Congress and CMYK CPI-M for teaming up with the BJP in the state while seeking her support against the saffron party in Delhi. "I wont comment on the court. But if you (read Opposition parties) believe in people then you should go for polls as voting is a democratic right. Instead of opting for polls, they are delaying the voting process by raising political questions. As a result of which Bengal's development and work is getting hampered," she said. Meanwhile, the state units of the Congress and the Left Front organised two separate demonstrations in Kolkata today in protest against the alleged pre-poll violence. in January from Rasana village in Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua and was later found murdered. Expressing satisfaction over the investigation in the case, senior counsel Indira Jaising, representing the girl's father, told the apex court that they wanted the transfer of the trial to ensure that it was fair. She told the court that a charge-sheet has been filed and there was a possibility of filing of a supplementary charge-sheet. All eight accused in the Kathua rape-murder case were presented before Kathua Chief Judicial Magistrate A S Langeh as the trial began. The eight include Sanji Ram, a former revenue official and the alleged mastermind of the heinous crime. The trial court is to hear the matter on 28 April. The minor girl, who belonged to the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community, had disappeared from near her home in the forests next to Rasana village in Kathua, 90 km from here, on 10 January. A week later, her body was found in the same area, and medical examination pointed towards sexual assault. The bar associations have been opposing the action against the accused, alleging that the minority Dogras were being targeted. The apex court directed the next hearing on 27 April. 2 minors in UP ‘raped’ MEERUT, 16 APRIL In separate incidents, two minor girls have been allegedly raped in Bulandshahr and Pilakhuwa in Hapur districts. Cases have been registered and police is on the look out for the accused. A 10-year-old girl was drugged and allegedly raped in a locality of Nagar Kotwali in Bulandshahr diistrict on Saturday . SP ( city) of Bulandshahr Dr Praveen Ranjan said that a case has been registered against unidentified accused and the girl has been sent for medical examination. He said that investigation has been started and soon the accused would be identified as the girl was confined somewhere in her neighbourhood. The girl was reported missing when she was playing outside her home on Saturday evening. Late in the night she was found near her house. The family members alleged she was drugged. SNS Mecca Masjid blast case: Aseemanand, 4 others acquitted Judge quits HYDERABAD, 16 APRIL SNS & PTI HYDERABAD, 16 APRIL A special anti-terror court today acquitted Hindutva preacher Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, holding that the prosecution failed to prove “even a single allegation” against them, lawyers said. A powerful blast, triggered by remote control, had ripped through the over four centuries-old mosque here during an assembly of devotees on May 18, 2007 when they had gathered for Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58. “Prosecution (NIA) could not prove even a single allegation against any of the accused and all of them stand acquitted,” J P Sharma, the counsel for Assemanand, told reporters quoting special judge for NIA cases K Ravinder Reddy who delivered the verdict amid tight security. Media was barred entry in the courtroom during the pronouncement of the judgement in the highprofile case, dubbed as one of “Hindu terror”, a term that riled the BJP and saffron organisations no end. Aseemanand was acquitted last year in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah terror attack. He is an accused in The special NIA court judge of Hyderabad K Ravinder Reddy today resigned, barely hours after acquitting the five accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, a senior judicial officer said. Reddy handed over his resignation to the Metropolitan Sessions Judge. Reddy cited personal reasons for his resignation, and said it had nothing to do with today's judgement. In fact, he said, he was considering resigning for quite some time, the PTI official told PTI. the 2007 Samjhauta blasts case. Apart from him, those acquitted are -- Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary. Though there were 10 accused in the case, only these five were tried. Two other accused -- Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra -- were absconding, while Sunil Joshi was murdered. Investigation is continuing against two others. The bomb had exploded in an area of the mosque where devotees performed ablutions. Two more Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were later found and defused by the police.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.