CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 14 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 37,752.17 +216.00 WEATHER Partly cl sky with 1 or 2 spells of rain or thundershower likely. Max-min temp to be around 33-25 deg celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P10 NIFTY 11,341.70 +40.00 HOW RONALDO CAUGHT UP WITH MESSI P8 ` vs $ 69.54 +17 PAISE GOLD 31,125.00 +195.00 P11 SILVER 38,700.00 +100.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 67.09 +0.42 ‘R-papers used in plea China again blocks UN bid for Azhar terror tag sensitive to security’ AGENCIES Affidavit filed by ministry of defence urges SC to reject review petitions Max.93% Min. 48% Max: 34.2°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:46 hrs MOON RISES 10.56 hrs Min: 25.1°C (+3) SUN SETS 17:46 hrs MOON SETS 00:00 hrs TEMPERATURE NCLAT RESERVES ORDER ON RCOM PLEA MAY’S BREXIT DEAL CRUSHED AGAIN BY MPS HOW MODI CHANGED THE PMO Next moon quarter on 16 March THUMBNAILS The Ambassador-designate of Nepal, Mr Nilamber Acharya, presenting his credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in the Capital on Wednesday. SNS BJP delegation meets CEC, wants WB as ‘super-sensitive zone’: A BJP delegation on s Wednesday called on the Chief Election Commissioner in Delhi and apprised the commission of its apprehensions about free and fair elections to the Lok Sabha in West Bengal. The delegation comprising Union ministers JP Nadda and Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded that the state be declared a 'Super-sensitive Zone' in view of the alleged attempts at intimidation of rivals and misuse of police force by the ruling Trinamul Congress in the state. P5 AGP returns to NDA fold: The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) will fight the Lok Sabha election in Assam in alliance with the BJP, two months after severing ties with the saffron party over the contentious citizenship bill. The alliance was finalised in a meeting among BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, AGP president Atul Bora and others that ended post midnight. “After discussion, BJP and AGP have decided to work together in the coming Parliament election in Assam to defeat Congress,” Madhav, the BJP's in-charge of Northeast, tweeted early on Wednesday. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 MARCH n an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the Centre said the documents attached in the review petitions in the Rafale deal are sensitive to national security.. The Ministry of Defence filed an affidavit in the apex court saying the documents submitted by the petitioners in the Rafale review case are sensitive to national security as they are related to war capacity of French-made combat aircraft. The affidavit, filed by the ministry of defence, asks the court to reject the petitions and states that leakage of documents on the fighter jet deal from the ministry through photocopying amounted to theft. The government said the review plea filed by former union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie as also activist advocate Prashant Bhushan has been widely circulated and is available to the country's enemy and adversaries. "This puts the national security in jeopardy. Without consent, permission or acquiescence of the Central Government, those who have conspired in making the photocopy of these sensitive documents and annexing it to the review petition/ mis- I cellaneous application and thereby committing theft by unauthorized photocopying of such documents...have adversely affected the sovereignty, security and friendly relations with the foreign countries," the affidavit said. On March 6, the Centre had opposed the review petitions and asked the apex court to dismiss them as they were based on documents “stolen” from the ministry of defence. “It’s a criminal act on the part of petitioners to bring these documents with them. They have come with unclean hands,” Attorney General KK Venugopal had said. However, the government made a U-turn two days later as the Attorney General said the documents were not stolen, but the petitioners were using “photocopies of the original” papers. Earlier, Venugopal had informed the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi-led bench on March 6 that documents cited by The Hindu newspaper in its reports on the Ayodhya litigants appear before mediation panel PRESS TRUST OF INDIA India lose series: India's quest to find right combinations for the upcoming World Cup ended with a 35-run defeat in the decisive fifth ODI against Australia as they lost the series 2-3 in New Delhi on Wednesday. In what was their last game before the showpiece event in UK, the Indian innings folded for 237, while chasing a 273-run target. Australia had put on board 272 for nine, built around Usman Khawaja's (100) second hundred of the series. It was India's first ODI series defeat at home since losing to South Africa in 2015. Twenty-five litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babari Masjid land case on Wednesday appeared before a Supreme Courtappointed panel as it began an attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation, officials said. The litigants and their counsels altogether over 50 people met the threemember mediation panel on the Avadh University premises here. The Supreme Court has given the panel, led by former apex court judge F M I Kalifulla, eight weeks to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement over the disputed site in Ayodhya. The panel members, who also include Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu arrived in Faizabad Tuesday and 10 killed in Brazil school shooting In yet another setback to India's bid to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, China on Wednesday put a technical hold on a proposal in the UN Security Council to ban him following the Pulwama terror attack. A diplomat at the UN told PTI that China put a “technical hold”. The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaida Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 44 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan. The Al Qaida Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. The no-objection period deadline was scheduled to end at 3 pm local time (New York) Wednesday, (12:30 AM IST Thursday). Just before the close of the deadline, China put a hold on the proposal. The diplomat said China asked for “more time to examine” the proposal. The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist. The Committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members. All eyes were on China, which has in the past blocked India's bids to get Azhar listed as a UN-designated global terrorist thrice. According to the listing rules of the Al Qaida Sanctions Committee, if no objection is received by the end of the no-objection period, the decision will be deemed adopted. As it has done in the past, Beijing put a technical hold on the proposal just as the deadline was about to end. An inkling of China's stand on the issue came during Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's press conferences on Monday and Wednesday in Beijing when he was asked about the proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UNSC. “The UN Security Council and its subsidiary bodies are run on strict rules. We already stressed China's position on the listing of terrorist organisations and individuals in the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on many occasions,” Lu said on Monday. “China will continue to adopt responsible attitude and participate in the delib- SUZANO (BRAZIL) 13 MARCH are expected to spend three days here. Swami Avimukteshwaranand of the Ram Janmabhoomi Punruddhar Samiti, said the meeting began at 10 am with over 50 participants. Nirmohi Akhara's Mahant Dinendra Das, Triloki Nath Pandey who is representing Ram Lalla Virajman, Mahant Dharam Das appearing for Ram Abhiram Das and Mahant Suresh Das of the Digambar Akhara were among the participants. Litigants Iqbal Ansari, Mohammad Umar and Haji Mahboob attended the meeting, where Maulana Ashhad Rashidi represented Jamiat Ulemae-Hind. Two armed men wearing face masks entered a Brazilian elementary school on Wednesday and shot and killed at least six children who were on their snack breaks, as well as two school officials, before fatally turning their guns on themselves, police said. Ten people, including the gunmen, were killed in total, Sao Paulo police said. The unidentified gunmen, who appeared to be between 20 and 25 years of age, shot and killed a worker at a nearby car wash before their attack at the Raul Brasil school, police said. More than 1,000 children aged between 11 and 15 attend classes (SEE P 9) there. AGENCIES erations in the UNSC 1267 Committee,” Lu said on Wednesday. On the issue of listing Azhar, he said, “I want to say that China always adopts a responsible attitude, engage in consultations with various parties and properly deal with this issue.” “The discussions, I want to say must follow the rules and procedures of the relevant bodies and only the solution that is acceptable to all sides is conducive for resolving the issue,” he said, indicating that Beijing may again block the move to list Azhar as a global terrorist. According to sources, the statement of the case of the latest proposal by France mentioned that JeM had taken responsibility for the Pulwama suicide attack on February 14 in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed. The statement also noted that Azhar is a former leader of the terrorist group Harakat al-Mujahadin and he had given a call to volunteers to join the fight in Afghanistan against Western forces. India tonight expressed its disappointment after China blocked yet another move at the UN to designate Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”. In its reaction, the External Affairs Ministry said India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that leaders of terror groups involved in heinous attacks on Indian citizens are brought to justice. ‘Probe Vadra, but also Modi’ SNS & PTI CHENNAI, 13 MARCH FAIZABAD (UP), 13 MARCH Karnataka Congress-JDS seat adjustment: J The Congress will contest 20 seats and JDS eight in the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka under a deal finalised by the two ruling coalition partners on Wednesday, the JDS said. The seat sharing was hammered out at a meeting betweenCongress president Rahul Gandhi and JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali at Kochi in Kerala on Wednesday evening, party sources said. JD(S) will contest in Uttara Kannada, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Tumkur, Hassan, Mandya, Bengaluru North and Vijayapura, according to the sources. controversial Rafale deal were stolen and cannot be shown in court as it would affect national security. The government had also warned The Hindu with a case under Official Secrets Act for publishing articles based on these documents. PTI adds: The Congress on Wednesday hit back at the BJP for levelling graft allegations against Rahul Gandhi, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Smriti Irani were making “completely baseless” charges to divert attention from real issues such as “rampant joblessness” and “agrarian crisis”. The BJP dragged Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into alleged corruption involving land deals, claiming the opposition party known for “institutionalising” graft has now come to define “family corruption”. Responding to the allegation, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked if there was wrongdoing in the deals then why had the BJP not probed them in the last five years. He claimed that facing “imminent defeat in the 2019 general elections, and finding no answer to the rampant joblessness, agrarian crisis, economic slowdown, all-pervading corruption and social unrest, a frustrated Modi government and its perpetually peeved Union ministers like Smriti Irani, have lost their balance and equilibrium”. “The prime minister and his favourite minister Smriti Irani are resorting to levelling completely baseless and false allegations,” the Congress leader said. Surjewala alleged that the BJP wants to divert people's attention from real issues. “Smriti ji has got so blinded by her desire for revenge against Rahul Gandhi along with her mentor Narendra Modi that she is resorting to fake and false allegations as a diversionary tactic to give cover fire to the prime minister. But they are never going to succeed,” he said. Referring to a media report, Irani claimed that Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra purchased land in a deal involving H L Pahwa, who was raided by the Enforcement Directorate, and Mahesh Kumar Nagar, who also had a role in land transaction involving Robert Vadra. UNHQ, 13 MARCH Asserting that law must not be applied selectively, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said if his brother-in-law Robert Vadra can be probed so can Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his alleged role in the Rafale deal. He also said economic growth is directly related to the mood of the nation and one cannot expect it to happen in a negative and fearful atmosphere. The Congress will change the mood of the country and make people feel happy and empowered, the Congress chief said while addressing women students at a college here. Gandhi, who asked students to refer to him as Rahul, said the law must apply to everybody and not be applied selectively. He said this in response to a question on Vadra, who is being probed in connection with a money laundering case related to purchase of assets abroad and a land case in Rajasthan's Bikaner dis- trict. During his informal interaction with the students, he also brought up the issue of the Rafale deal and reiterated his allegations about the pricing of the aircraft and the process. “I will be the first person to say it... Investigate Robert Vadra but also investigate Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said. Modi is a “corrupt” man, he bypassed negotiations and ran parallel negotiations on the Rafale deal, Gandhi alleged while responding to the question. The Congress chief said the prime minister should have the guts to face the media and asked why Modi was “hiding”. The BJP and the government have repeatedly rejected the Congress's allegation of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal. He also alleged that the BJP's idea is to capture every institution of the country and run them from Nagpur, the RSS headquarters. Gandhi said the Congress would pass the women's reservation bill if it comes to power. ‘SpiceJet most affected by grounding of 737 Max 8 aircraft’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 13 MARCH All Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft being operated by Indian airlines have been grounded and around 35 flights of SpiceJet would be cancelled on Thursday consequently, Civil Aviation Secretary P S Kharola said Wednesday. He said Thursday will be a “challenging” day as “out of 520 odd flights that SpiceJet flies every day, about 30-35 flights will have to be cancelled”. SpiceJet has been most affected by the grounding of 737 Max 8 aircraft as it has 12 of them in its fleet. Jet Airways has not been affected as its five 737 Max 8 aircraft have already been grounded - even before the grounding decision of the government -- due to non-payment of dues to lessors. As the Ethiopian Airlines' 737 Max 8 crashed near Addis Ababa killing all 157 people onboard on Sunday, Indian aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Tuesday night announced that the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft would be “immediately” grounded. “Tomorrow is going to be a real challenging day because today the ban has come into effect only from the second half of the day... SpiceJet has assured us that they have taken up multiple plans. They have increased the utilisation of existing aircraft, so that the cancellations get limited,” Kharola said. “As of now, all aircraft of B737 Max have been grounded. The last flight (aircraft) to be grounded was today around 2.30 pm. The deadline was 4 pm and before that all aircraft have been grounded,” he said. On Wednesday morning, the DGCA issued a statement stating no Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft would be allowed to fly in Indian airspace from 4 pm. “We had a discussion with airlines as to how they would plan to overcome the situation. The airlines have assured that the grounding of 12 aircraft would not significantly impact the passengers and they would draw up a very elaborate plan,” the secretary said. “Today, SpiceJet has just cancelled 14 flights... They have been able to accommodate the passengers affected by cancellation of 14 flights within their own system,” he added. Kharola emphasised that the SpiceJet has been told that cancellations of flights should happen on those sectors that have multiple flights. He added that SpiceJet has assured that if the airport has only its flights, it will not go “unserviced” due to aircraft ban. He said added that SpiceJet would be setting up spe- CMYK cial cell to deal with passenger complaints and ensure that the passengers are informed well in time about cancellations or any other adjustments. He added that the ministry has requested SpiceJet that in case it is not able to adjust or accommodate, other airlines should come forward and they should carry these passengers based on their existing agreements with SpiceJet. Operators have also agreed not to indulge in “predatory pricing”, the secretary said. DGCA chief B S Bhullar said that lifting the ban on the 737 Max 8 aircraft will be based on inputs from various agencies and it will not happen soon. He added that other airlines - apart from SpiceJet - have been requested to keep fares at a reasonable level and the DGCA will monitor fare levels regularly. In a statement Wednesday evening, SpiceJet said,”SpiceJet is rationalizing & optimizing the use of its Boeing 737 NG and Bombardier Q400 aircraft to address the current situation and minimize inconvenience to its passengers.” “We are evaluating options for augmenting capacity in the coming days through a mix of additional flights & aircraft inductions. We are sure that our operations will be normal very soon,” it said. The airline said that a majority of passengers affected as a result of these cancellations have been accommodated on alternate flights. The budget carrier said it is offering passengers the option of “a full refund, changing the flight/date of travel, or even change of destination (to nearest alternate airport); all this without any cancellation charges or any fare difference”. While European Union and most countries across the world have decided to ban the use of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, the US has refused to do it as yet. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates aviation industry in the US, said in a tweet Wednesday that it “continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX”. SPICEJET SHARES HIT, PAGE 8
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.
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