CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 JANUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR SEAT BELT WARNING AS STORM CLOUDS LOOM IN HISTORIC FIRST, MALAYSIA’S KING ABDICATES P9 WEATHER Mainly clear sky with mist/fog in the morning. Maximum-minimum temperature 2614 degree Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P7 Min. 35% Max: 26.7°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:08 hrs MOON RISES 07.06 hrs Min: 12.8°C (-1) SUN RISES 06:18 hrs MOON SETS 18:15 hrs Moon phase: Next quarter on 16 Jan THUMBNAILS India's Sunil Chhetri (L) in action during an Asian Cup football game against Thailand in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. India prevailed 4-1 in their first Asian Cup win since 1964, while Chhetri struck twice to take his international goal tally to 67, passing Argentina’s Lionel Messi to become the second highest international goal scorer among active players, behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. P12 SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 6 JANUARY he war of words between the Congress and the BJP heated up afresh after president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday alleged that defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman “lied” in Parliament that government orders worth Rs 1 lakh crore were provided to HAL, and Sitharaman hit back, saying Gandhi was misleading the country without understanding the issue. Gandhi's attack came after a media report claimed that “not a single rupee of the said Rs 1 lakh crore has come to HAL, since not a single order, as claimed, has been signed till now”. The media report cited senior HAL management officials. “When you tell one lie, you need to keep spinning out more lies, to cover up the first one. In her eagerness to defend the PM's Rafale lie, the RM lied to Parliament,” Gandhi tweeted. “Tomorrow, RM must place before Parliament documents showing 1 Lakh crore of Govt orders to T STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HAL. Or resign,” he said. Suggesting that Gandhi jumped the gun while making the charges on the basis of a media report, Sitharaman's office tweeted that Gandhi should “start from ABCs” and read the complete report before commenting on it. “It's a shame that the president of @INCIndia is misleading the nation. HAL has signed contracts worth Rs 26570.8 Cr (Between 2014 and 2018) and contracts worth Rs 73000 Cr are in the pipeline. Will @RahulGandhi apologise to the country from the floor of the house?,” Sitharaman tweeted from the defence minister's official handle. She also tweeted details Reliable sources said that chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who had been angry with Maharathy since the day he had made the statement, had asked him to resign on Saturday night. BHUBANESWAR, 6 JANUARY of contracts awarded to HAL since 2014 when BJP came to power. According to her, the Rs 49,797 crore contract to HAL for supply of 83 light combat aircraft Tejas to the Indian Air Force was at the stage of technical evaluation stage. Another contract, whose tentative size is Rs 20,000 crore, for supply of a batch of Kamov Ka 226 T helicopters was also in the similar stage. Sitharaman also pointed out that the media report said that “LS (Lok Sabha) record shows” that she did not claim the orders were signed and mentioned that they were in the works. Sitharaman made the remarks about HAL during he won in 2014, he was once again made a minister. Effectively Maharathy has had to resign twice on the same case. Yesterday, PM Narendra Modi, during the course of his speech at Baripada , said the government had failed to ensure justice for the victim. Reliable sources said CM Naveen Patnaik, who was angry with Maharathy since the day he had made the statement, had asked him to resign last night. Maharathy however told media persons today that he had done so on his own accord as he did not want the party to be under pressure. He also noted that earlier, he had apologised if his statement had hurt anybody. The victim belongs to my constituency from where I have been blessed by the people for five terms, he added. The Opposition Congress and BJP did not relent even after the resignation of the minister. Today, Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan went to Pipili and met the parents of the victim who said they want justice. The resignation is meaningless, the culprits should be caught and hanged, they told Pradhan. Pradhan said Naveen Patnaik should order a CBI probe to the case and apologise for the botched up investigation that led to acquittal of the arrested persons. Shockingly, Pradhan was subjected to abuse alleged by supporters of Maharathy right in the presence of police. He had drawn attention of the DGP to the incident. The Congress said the entire investigation was rigged as witnesses who are BJD activists gave contradictory statements. A 19-year-old Dalit girl was raped in November 2011 and died in June 2012 after remaining in a semi-comatose state, sparking a state-wide furore. It was alleged that the accused in the case had been sheltered by Maharathy. On 24 December 2018, the court of additional district judge in Bhubaneswar had acquitted the two persons arrested in the case. Reacting to the court judgement, Maharathy had said, “I welcome the court judgment. It is victory of truth. The victim girl got justice.” China passes law to make Islam compatible with socialism INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE China has come under heavy international criticism for reportedly detaining over 1 million Muslim Uighurs in indoctrination camps in Xinjiang. BEIJING, 6 JANUARY China has passed a law that seeks to "Sinicize" Islam within five years and might do that with other four religions in the country, according to the state media. Under the all-powerful Chinese President Xi Jinping, China has heavily cracked down on religion, especially Islam practised by most Uighurs in the country's Xinjiang province who Beijing suspects of having separatist and extremist tendencies. “China passed a five-year plan to Sinicize Islam at a meeting on Saturday with representatives from China's eight Islamic associations," said a report in the Global Times. “During the meeting, participants agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion. This is China's important act to explore ways of governing P12 Sitharaman lied in Parliament on HAL contracts, says Rahul Maharathy quits after remarks ruckus Odisha agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy who was in the eye of a storm after making an unsavoury statement in the context of a rape case, resigned today. The rape incident had occurred in Maharathy’s constituency of Pipili in 2011 and recently the two accused persons, Susant Pradhan and Prasant Pradhanm had been acquitted. Maharathy had remarked that truth has prevailed and justice done. This led to outrage and the women’s wings of the Congress and BJP staged protests on a daily basis mounting pressure on chief minister Naveen Patnaik to sack Maharathy and order a CBI probe. It is pertinent to note that Maharathy had resigned as minister in 2012 when there was a uproar over the incident. The chief minister, however, gave him the party ticket and after P4 ‘PUJARA WORTHY OF PRIVILEGES UNDER KOHLI’ Defence minister hits back, says Gandhi misleading country without understanding issue Max.94% TEMPERATURE MODI MOCKS CHANDRABABU NAIDU’S ‘PM DREAM’ religion in modern countries," the report said. There are over 20 million Muslims in the country. Islam is one of the five officially recognised religions in atheist China. The other four are Taoism, Buddhism, Catholicism, and Protestantism. The top officials in the Chinese government have often likened the religion to "mental disease" that "needs to be cured." China has come under heavy international criticism for reportedly detaining over 1 million Muslim Uighurs in indoctrination camps in Xinjiang. In the past, Beijing has adopted heavy-handed measures with the authorities confiscating copies of the Quran, issuing diktats to Muslims not to grow beards, and not choose names for their wards which sound "too Islamic." Defending the "Sinicization" of Islam move, the Glob- al Times in an opinionated report, said: "Generally speaking, modern countries are secular and diverse in a globalized world. But the revival and spread of religion have somewhat impacted secular society. Fundamentalism has caused more religious violence and religious nationalism is threatening countries' legitimate governments and leading to social instability." "Governing religion is a common challenge faced by all modern countries. The main purpose of China's fiveyear plan to sinicize Islam is to seek governance that tallies with Chinese practice, and it is not only limited to Islam." CMYK her reply to the debate on Rafale deal in Lok Sabha on Friday. The Congress has been targeting the government, alleging that it denied the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) an offset contract under the Rafale fighter jets deal with France, a charge the government has denied. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has accused the Congress of not supporting HAL during its rule and asserted that the government is now strengthening the defence public sector undertaking. Gandhi had on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “weakening” HAL to help his “suit-boot” friend. Gandhi's attack had come over a media report which claimed that HAL, grappling with low finances, was forced to borrow Rs 1,000 crore to pay salaries to its employees for the first time in years. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the Congress will press for Sitharaman's resignation in case she fails to substantiate her claim in Parliament that HAL was given contracts worth Rs 1 lakh crore. Tewari said Sitharaman will have to make a statement on the floor of Parliament. If the government is claiming that they have given contracts worth crores to HAL then why does that the PSU have to borrow in order to pay their staff, Tewari said. It just does not add up, he said. Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala earlier on Sunday tweeted: “The Lying Defence Minister's Lies Get Exposed! Defence Minister claimed that procurement orders worth Rs 1 Lakh Crore provided to HAL! HAL says Not a SINGLE PAISA has come, as Not a SINGLE ORDER has been signed!” “For the first time, HAL forced to take a loan of Rs 1000 Cr to pay salaries!,” he added. Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma accused the defence minister of putting up a “theatrical performance” in the Lok Sabha. The defence minister “who put up a theatrical performance in the LS, is presenting a pathetic picture by reducing her office into an apologist for Shri @narendramodi, who is personally complicit in the #RafaleScam,” he tweeted. Panel set up to examine Assam accord implementtion NEW DELHI, 6 JANUARY Amidst widespread protests in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam against the Centre’s citizenship amendment initiative, the government has notified the High Level Committee headed by retired Indian Administrative Service officer M P Bezbaruah to look into the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985. The committee which includes eminent Assamese personalities from various fields will submit its report within six months. The notification comes days after the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to set up a high-level committee to look into the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985, relating to safeguards “to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people”. The committee is expected to look at reservation for Assamese people in the state legislative Assembly and other local bodies. It would also look into the need for making reservation for them in governSNS ment jobs. Details on Page 3
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