CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 02 APRIL 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 P4 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with rain or thundershower in some areas. Max-min temperature to be 34-25 degree celsius, resp RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.89% Max: 32.1°C (-3) SUN RISES 05:28 hrs MOON RISES 03.47 hrs Min: 24.1°C (-1) SUN SETS 17:52 hrs MOON SETS 15:25 hrs P10 FB removes 687 pages, accounts linked to Congress Min. 56% TEMPERATURE New moon on 5 April PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 1 APRIL THUMBNAILS India launches EMISAT, 28 foreign satellites: India scripted history by succesfully launching EMISAT, a military satellite, and 28 foreign nano satellites on-board its polar rocket from here Monday, in a complex mission which marked many a first for ISRO. The 28 co-passenger satellites belong to Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland and the US. Hardik moves SC: Congress leader Hardik Patel on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Gujarat High Court order rejecting his plea to stay his conviction in the 2015 Vispur rioting case. His petition is likely to be mentioned on Tuesday for urgent hearing and his lawyers would seek stay of the March 29 HC order. Plea to stay Modi biopic dismissed: Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking stay on the 5 April release of PM Modi's biopic till the general election results are out. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani refused to entertain the PIL which had also urged the ECI to act against the alleged violation of MCC. MULAYAM FILES NOMINATION REIWA- A NEW IMPERIAL NAME AFTER ABDICATION ‘COALITION GOVTS HAVE DONE BETTER THAN MODI SHOW’ Social media giant Facebook on Monday said it has removed 687 pages and accounts linked to individuals associated with an IT Cell of the Congress party as it cracks down on fake accounts and spam. These accounts, it said, were part of a coordinated networks and were removed not based on content or fake news but for “inauthentic behaviour” and for pushing spam. Besides, Facebook has also removed 103 pages, groups and accounts on its platform and Instagram for engaging in similar behaviour as part of a network that originated in Pakistan. Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Policy Nathaniel Gleicher told reporters that Facebook has removed 687 Facebook Pages and accounts - the majority of which had already been detected and suspended by its automated systems - that engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” in India and were linked to individuals associated with an IT Cell of the Indian National Congress (INC). “When we remove one of these networks, the reason we remove them is because of their coordinated inauthentic behaviour, that they are using network of fake accounts to conceal their identity....to mislead who's behind them. That's the basic reason for removal,” he told reporters. He asserted that the removal was not based on the content that was shared by these pages and groups. “We are constantly working to detect and stop coordinated inauthentic behaviour because we don't want our services to be used to manipulate people. We're taking down these pages and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted,” he said. No immediate comments could be obtained from the Congress. Facebook, which has been facing flak globally for instances of user data breach, has been ramping up efforts to ensure that its platforms (that includes WhatsApp and Instagram) aren't misused to spread misinformation, especially ahead of polls in India. It has recently started providing details of political ads on its platform in a bid to enhance transparency. It is also strengthening its team of fact checkers and deploying technology tools to flag fake news. P2 EC affidavit on VVPAT: SC asks Opp to reply NEW DELHI, 1 APRIL The Supreme Court on Monday expressed unhappiness over several thousand declared foreign nationals absconding and amalgamating with local population in Assam, and summoned the state's chief secretary to appear before it on April 8. Accusing Assam government of “playing with the court”, the apex court also termed the reply filed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as an “exercise in futility” and sought to know as to how the persons, declared foreigners by the tribunal, have amalgamated with the local population. “What is your government planning to do to trace those people who have merged with the local population,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. “You (Assam government) are saying that the declared foreigners have gone untraceable. How do you intend to identify them and deport them,” the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the state government. The top court was hearing a PIL filed by activist Harsh Mander, through advocate Prashant Bhushan, on the plight of foreigners in detention centres. The plea alleged that they are kept in detention indefinitely just because they are not Indians and are treated as “illegal aliens”. At the outset, the China attacks US move for taking the matter directly to UNSC PRESS TRUST OF INDIA BEIJING, 1 APRIL hina on Monday claimed that “positive progress” has been made on designating Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a 'global terrorist' by the UN and accused the US of scuttling its efforts by taking the matter directly to the Security Council, setting a “bad example”. Two weeks after China put a hold on a French proposal to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council, the US on March 27 circulated a draft resolution to the powerful 15-nation Council to blacklist Azhar and subject him to a travel ban, an assets freeze and an arms embargo. China last week defended its repeated attempts to block the listing of the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief as a global terrorist and refuted the US allegation that Beijing's action amounted to protecting violent Islamic groups from sanctions. “After the application for designation of Azhar was proposed (in the 1267 committee), China is in close communication and coordination with various parties and made positive progress. The US knows that very well,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng C NEW DELHI, 1 APRIL The Supreme Court on Monday asked 21 opposition leaders to file within a week their reply on the Election Commission's affidavit on their plea seeking counting of at least 50 per cent of VVPAT slips in Lok Sabha and assembly polls. In its affidavit EC has said that any further increase in the sample size of verification from the existing norm of one polling booth per assembly segment would lead to very negligible gain in the confidence level, which is way above 99.99 per cent. It has said that 50 per cent VVPAT slip verification as sought by opposition leaders in each assembly segment of a Parliamentary or Assembly Constituency on an average shall enlarge the time required for counting to about six days. The 21 Opposition leaders had sought that VVPAT slips of at least 50 per cent of voting machines in each assembly constituency be checked randomly during Lok Sabha polls. PTI bench referred to the figure provided by the government that about 91,609 people have been declared as illegal foreigners by tribunals and out of them, 72,486 were absconding and around 900 persons are in kept in detention centres presently. “You have given the figure as to how many have been declared foreigners and how many are there in the (detention) centre. Where are the rest. You say that they have amalgamated with the local population,” the bench asked, adding that it was the reason for which it wanted the chief secretary to appear. The bench told Mehta that it had asked the top officer to remain present and asked, “who exempted him from personal appearance. We will issue contempt notice”. The court, which hinted that it may issue warrants against the chief secretary, later took note of the undertaking by Mehta that the top officer would appear as and when asked and fixed the case for hearing on April 8. “Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General, undertakes that the Chief Secretary of the state of Assam will be personally present in the court on the next date fixed and will remain present in the court until required. ’’ Modi attacks Pawar, NCP hits back STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, 1 APRIL Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi opened his election campaign for National Democratic Alliance or NDA with a scathing attack on Mr Sharad Pawar saying the Nationalist Congress Party president has opted out of contest because he read the writings on the wall accurately that odds are heavily stacked against him. In his first rally in Maharashtra' Wardha city, Mr Modi said once the Maratha strongman was now unable to hold his party together.NCP is fast losing from his control as his nephew and other satraps are trying to assume the control. The party is beset with internal feuds, alleged Mr Modi who was often cheered by a huge audience. He was accompanied by Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union minister and chief minister Mr Devendra Fadnavis. After NCP the PM targeted Congress. For the first time he he hit back at the main Opposition Congress for raising the "bogey " of Hindu or saffron terrorism which he asserted never existed and was invented by Congress as a vote bank ploy. "Today Congress fears of fielding its nominees in Hindu dominated constituencies", he added. Mr Pawar ostensibly withdrew from contest saying he would prefer his grandson Parth to fight in his place. Parth is son of Mr Ajit Pawar who is keen on stepping into his uncle's shoes. NCP pres- ident has been consistently speaking about fighting from Madha in Sholapur district. BJP-Shiv Sena alliance today received a head start with PM launching its campaign 2019 for 48 Parliament seats. They won 42 in 2014. Maharashtra will vote in four phases. Mumbai with six seats will go to hustings on 29 April. Analysts say voters look forward to a rally in the city that will see Mr Modi and Shiv Sena chief Mr Uddhav Thackeray addressing from the same platform. Mr Thackeray has not only mellowed but often praises the PM in his Saamna paper. Recently he wrote an edit "Modi hai to mumkin hai". That is with Modi around everything is possible. On the other hand NCPCongress are yet to finalise nominees for key seats such as Pune which is the home district of Pawars. The seat has gone to Congress which with P11 Azhar: China claims 'positive progress' SC irked over absconding foreigners, summons Assam Chief Secretary SNS & PTI WHEN MBAPPE GETS GOING, HIS RIVALS GET THE JITTERS ally NCP organised a roadshow with thousands of workers raising anti-Modi slogans. They marched on Pune streets without the candidate who is yet to be declared by the Congress leadership in Delhi. PTI adds: Responding to Modi's remarks, the NCP hit back, saying the party knew how to respect elders in its fold unlike Modi's BJP which unceremoniously dropped someone as senior as party patriarch L K Advani. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said Modi attacked Pawar out of frustration after seeing what he claimed was an empty rally ground at Wardha. “And on top of that, Pawar saheb is president of the (NCP) party. People are seeing what treatment you (Modi) have meted to your leader Advani saheb, who brought you into politics, made you chief minister, made you a leader,” Malik said. Yogi’s remark ‘Modi ji ki sena’ triggers row GHAZIABAD, 1 APRIL Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath described the Indian Army as “Modi ji ki sena” (Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Army) during an election campaign for the BJP here. Hitting out at Opposition parties over a host of governance issues Sunday, Adityanath said what was “impossible” for the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the BSP is possible under the BJP rule. The UP CM’s remark calling Indian Army Modiji ki sena triggered a controversy drawing flak from Opposition PTI parties. CMYK Shuang told a media briefing here on Monday. Asked to clarify whether the progress he meant was to resolve the vexed issue of listing Azhar, Geng said, “Yes. The US knows that very well”. However, he did not elaborate. China has so far blocked the move four times in recent years. On March 13, it blocked a proposal by France and backed by the US and the UK, in the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, saying Beijing wanted more time to study the case. A hold on the proposal would also provided time and space for the relevant parties to hold talks after the Pulwama terrorist attack, the Chinese foreign ministry said. Following this, the US directly moved a resolution in the UN Security Council on March 27 to blacklist Azhar which China said amounted to undermining the 1267 Committee. India handed over a dossier to the Acting High Commission- Anticipatory bail for Vadra er of Pakistan in New Delhi on February 27 with specific details of Pakistanbased terror group JeM's complicity in the Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel on February 14 and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan. Pakistan has already said that it has not found any link between the JeM and the Pulwama terror attack and demanded more information/evidence from India. Monday's comments by the spokesman was the first time Beijing spoke of progress to resolve the Azhar issue. “We believe under the current circumstances forcing a draft resolution at the Security Council is not a constructive move and set a bad example,” Geng said. Lashing out at the US for taking the Azhar issue to the UNSC from the 1267 Committee which also functioned under UNSC framework, Geng claimed sup- Erdogan’s party suffers jolt in polls NEW DELHI, 1 APRIL AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE A Delhi court on Monday granted anticipatory bail to Robert Vadra in a money laundering case. Special Judge Arvind Kumar granted the relief to Vadra on furnishing a personal bond of Rs five lakh and a surety of like amount. The court said Vadra will not leave the country without prior permission. It also imposed certain conditions on him and said he shall not tamper with any evidence, influence any witness in the case. Vadra, brother-inlaw of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, is facing allegations of money laundering in purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million PTI pounds. ISTANBUL, 1 APRIL Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday his ruling AKP would “correct its shortcomings” after the party appeared set to lose power in the capital Ankara and faced a dead heat over Istanbul in local elections. “If there are any shortcomings, it is our duty to correct them,” Erdogan told thousands of supporters in Ankara. “Starting tomorrow morning, we will begin our work to identify our shortcomings and make up for them.” The Turkish leader did not directly mention the full election results there or in Istanbul. But said if his party had lost in Istanbul, they would still control the local dis- Congress hits back at Modi and Yogi STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 APRIL The Congress today blasted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks at his Wardha rally that charged its "scared" leader with "fleeing away" to a constituency not dominated by the majority Hindu community. Without taking his name, PM Modi was referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi's bid to contest from a second Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad in Kerala besides Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress accused PM Modi of allegedly undermining democracy and the Constitution by resorting to such divisive and polarising comments. “It is unfortunate that the PM has spoken such words. Unlike PM Modi, who sees the citizens of the country in terms of their port from majority of UNSC members to China's stand that the issue should be resolved by the 1267 Committee. “We hope various parties will meet each other half way and continue to properly solve this issue under the 1267 Committee framework. Last Friday, UNSC members exchanged views on the US proposed draft resolution. The majority believes that efforts should be made to solve the issues under 1267 Committee framework,” he said. “They are not in favour of forcing the draft resolution. China has been working with various parties and is making progress. The US knows that very well and yet, it insists on pushing the Security Council to adopt the draft resolution,” he said. “This cannot be justified and is not in accordance with the rules and practices of the Security Council. It is setting a bad example that will only complicate the matter. It is also not conducive for peace and stability in South Asia. China is opposed to this,” he said. To another question about criticism that the US is making hasty efforts to list Azhar by bypassing procedures to benefit BJP in India's General Elections, Geng said the US' stand is not conducive to peace and stability in South Asia. communities and not as citizens of India, the Congress sees each of the 135 crore citizens as Indians....By trying to segment the Indian democracy in terms of castes and communities, the PM has insulted our democracy," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said. Hitting out at PM Modi, Tewari rejected his claim as "lies" that the Congress had coined the phrase “Hindu terror”. The Congress joined other Opposition parties in condemning UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath's comment dubbing the armed forces as “Modi ji ki sena’’. trict councils even if the opposition held the mayor's office. His candidate for Istanbul, former premier Binali Yildirim earlier claimed he had won, but his opponent Ekrem Imamoglu said it was premature, with final results still being counted. The AKP candidate had 48.71 percent of the votes with the opposition at 48.65 percent, according to Anadolu state news agency. Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have won every vote since the party first came to power in 2002. Wayanad: Rahul v Vellapally THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 1 APRIL Thushar Vellappally, chief of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a constituent of the BJP-led NDA in Kerala, will take on Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad constituency in Kerala. BJP president Amit Shah announced on Monday that BDJS chief Thushar Vallappally would be the National Democratic Alliance’s candidate(NDA) from Wayanad constituency. “I proudly announce Shri Thushar Vellappally, President of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena as NDA candidate from Wayanad,” Shah tweeted. Shah said, “A vibrant and dynamic youth leader, he represents our commitment towards development and social justice.’’ The LF would make all efforts to defeat the Congress chief, CPI general Secretary S SudSNS hakar Reddy said.
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