CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 06 APRIL 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 P10 SENSEX 38,862.23 +177.00 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Rain or thundershower with gusty winds. Max and min temp likely to be 32 and 21 deg cels, resp RAINFALL: 8.0 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY P10 NIFTY 11,665.95 +68.00 ` vs $ 69.23 -6 PAISE Min. 64% Max: 32.7°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:25 hrs MOON RISES 06.08 hrs Min: 26.5°C (+2) SUN SETS 17:54 hrs MOON SETS 18:48 hrs Next moon quarter on 16 April THUMBNAILS RCB captain Virat Kohli (in photo) plays a shot during the IPL match against KKR at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday. Knight Riders won the match by five wickets. AFP (SEE P 12 ) SC refuses to grant interim stay on electoral bonds: Refusing to grant an interim stay on the operation of electoral bonds scheme, the Supreme Court on Friday asked an NGO to file an appropriate application for it. A bench headed by CJI said the issue requires detailed hearing and it will be taken up on 10 April. SC stays Delhi HC order in Herald case: The publisher of the Congress-linked newspaper won't be evicted from its office in the National Herald House in the Capital as the Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Delhi High Court order asking the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) to vacate the building here. P7 GOLD 30,470.00 +10.00 P12 SILVER 37,650.00 +250.00 BJP-Cong fireworks over ED chargesheet in AW case STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 5 APRIL he ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress camps today traded fireworks over the Enforcement Directorate (ED)'s supplementary charge sheet in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case, which has allegedly made references to senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel and a "family", even as the alleged middleman Christian Michel claimed before a court here that he has not named anyone during investigation. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi seized on the ED's charge sheet to train his guns on the Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi family at his election rallies, senior BJP leader and Union finance minister, Arun Jaitley, launched a scathing attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his "silence" on this charge sheet against Michel. Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Jaitley said the Congress should answer as to who were purportedly referred to as "AP", "FAM", and "RG" in documents cited by the ED. "When no reply is given to such serious allegations then the country is entitled to presume that no reply can be given,” Jaitley said, ask- T ing “Are RG, AP FAM imag, inary persons?” Referring to Gandhi, he said, "The right to silence is available to an accused, not to a Prime Ministerial aspirant.” On the Congress party's charge that the ED's charge sheet was "rehashed insinuations, lies, and cheap election stunt", Jaitley claimed that the evidence in the case was "overwhelming". "The needle of suspicion is clear and if no answer is given, it means there is no answer that can be offered,” the FM said. Hitting back, Ahmed Patel mounted a counterattack, dismissing the above allegations as "baseless and laughable" which, he added, have been "raining" due to the current "election season". Patel also accused the ED of being allegedly a "key constituent" of the BJP-led NDA. In a series of tweets in Hindi, Patel said: "We have full faith in the judiciary. Approach HC, SC tells Aadhaar ordinance petitioners: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear a plea challenging the Aadhaar Ordinance and asked the petitioners to approach the High Court first for relief. A bench of Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer said they are not going into the merits of the case and would like to have the High Court’s views. IIT graduate tops UPSC civil services exam: Kanishak Kataria, a B.Tech from IIT Bombay, has topped the civil services final examination 2018, results of which were announced by the UPSC on Friday, while Srushti Jayant Deshmukh is the topper among women. The UPSC said 759 candidates (577 men & 182 women) have been recommended for appointment. Truth cannot be suppressed, it will come out." Attacking PM Modi, Patel ~ while hinting at Gandhi's "chowkidar chor hai" charge against the PM ~ said, "Chowkidar (watchman) and his followers have targeted a wrong place without evidence. The middlemen of demonetisation and Rafale scams will not be able to go scot-free. People will teach them a lesson. A chor (thief ) sees chor in everyone." Patel also said, "Such diversionary tactics are not going to work as the Modi dispensation cannot escape from real public issues. It will have to answer questions like why youths are not getting jobs, why farmers are in agony and why traders are in distress." He claimed that such "activities" of the Modi government betrayed its "frustration due to impending election defeat". Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked Gand- hi family and their close friends by making the Enforcement Directorate charge sheet on Agusta Westland VVIP Chopper scam a ground at the Dehradun rally on Friday. Using his usual style, Modi asked the crowd,” AP stands for Ahmed Patel and FAM stands for family. Ahmed Patel is close to which family?” With the public shouting Gandhi…Gandhi, Modi added, “So this information has reached you.” Narendra Modi did not stop here and added more fire by saying that Congress president Rahul Gandhi was interacting with media and when they began asking about the Agusta Westland and the charge sheet he ran away making rough reaction. Claiming that members of one family used to receive VVIP airport, their luggage was never frisked and security and other staff used to salute them. Now the family is struggling. Hitting the Gandhi family, Modi said, “Many members are out on bail and the family who used to consider themselves makers of India is using different tricks for avoiding going to jail.” Congress president Rahul Gandhi had addressed a public rally in Dehradun last month and made mimicry of Modi posing for camera at Corbett park- after the Phul- Kumaraswamy lashes out at Cong, others for queering son’s poll pitch PRESS TRUST OF INDIA BENGALURU, 5 APRIL Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday accused coalition partner Congress and others of hatching a 'chakravyuha', a deadly formation in epic Mahabharata, to defeat his son and JDS nominee Nikhil in Mandya Lok Sabha seat. Bringing to the fore again deep fissures in the ruling front, the JDS leader lashed out at Congress and others for 'colluding' with Independent candidate and multi-lingual film actress Sumalatha, wife of late Congress leader and actor Ambareesh, in Mandya, instead of working for Nikhil. “There are developments that have gone out of hand in Mandya. The Independent candidate has got widespread support. She may appear as an Independent but she has got the support of Congress, BJP and Raita Sangha (farmers' association). All of them have joined hands to trample JD(S),” he told reporters in Chikkamagalur. He was replying to queries on JD(S) supremo and his father H D Deve Gowda's remarks that things have gone out of hand in Mandya, which goes to polls on April 18, and even former CM Siddaramaiah cannot reverse it.Kumaraswamy said “He (Gowda) has only uttered the facts...Somewhere some Chakravyuha has been hatched but the people of Mandya, those toiling populace, have already taken a decision (to elect Nikhil),” the chief minister said. ‘Chakravyuha' is a deadly battle formation narrated in the epic Mahabharata in which Arjuna's son Abhimanyu was trapped and killed by the Kauravas. Reacting to Kumaraswamy's outbursts, Sumalatha said Congress “workers are indeed with me”. Seeking to turn the tables onthe CM for his 'Chakravyuha' attack, she said what he would call “activities of the entire government machinery, ministers and MLAs” allegedly aimed at defeating her.“Which Vyuha is that?. They (JD-S) are playing dirty tricks.’’ None of Pakistan's F-16 fighter jets is missing after US count: Report SNS & AGENCIES WASHINGTON, 5 APRIL A US count of the F-16s with Pakistan has found that none of them is missing, contradicting India's claim that one of its fighter jets shot down a Pakistani F-16 during an aerial dogfight on February 27, a leading American magazine reported on Thursday. Two senior US defence officials with direct knowledge of the situation told the Foreign Policy magazine that American personnel recently counted Islamabad's F-16s and found none of the planes missing. “The findings directly contradict the account of Indian Air Force officials, who said that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman managed to shoot down a Pakistani F-16 before his own plane was downed by a Pakistani missile,” the report said. “It is possible that in the heat of combat, Varthaman, flying a vintage MiG-21 Bison, got a lock ‘QUEERED’ PITCH IS BLAMED ON GROUND STAFF BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 69.61 +0.21 Sumitra Mahajan opts out, says BJP free to choose its candidate Michel claims no name mentioned, PM attacks Congress, Jaitley questions Rahul’s silence Max.89% TEMPERATURE ‘USING SOLDIERS’ PHOTOS IS ABOMINABLE’ ‘US, CHINA CLOSE TO STRIKING MONUMENTAL DEAL’ MAY SEEKS FURTHER BREXIT EXTENSION UNTIL 30 JUNE on the Pakistani F-16, fired, and genuinely believed he scored a hit,” the report said. The report said that evidence also suggests that Pakistan's F-16s were involved in the aerial battle with the Indian Air Force and only the F-16 can shoot a US-made AIM-120 air-to-air missile. When the incident occurred, India asked the US government to investigate whether Pakistan's use of the F-16 against India violated the terms of the foreign military sale agree- ments. The Indian Air Force on February 28 displayed pieces of the AMRAAM missile, fired by a Pakistani F-16, as evidence to “conclusively” prove that Pakistan deployed US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets during an aerial raid targeting Indian military installations in Kashmir. According to the magazine, Pakistan invited the US to physically count its F-16 planes after the incident as part of an end-user agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalised. Some of the aircraft were not immediately available for inspection due to the conflict, so it took US personnel several weeks to account for all of the jets, one US official said. But now the count has been completed, and “all aircraft were present and accounted for,” the official said. “A US count of Pakistan's F16 fleet has found that all the jets are present and accounted for, a direct contradiction to India's claim that it shot down one of the fighter jets during a February clash,” Lara Seligman of the magazine reported on Thursday. The count of the F-16 fighter planes in Pakistan has been completed, and “all aircraft were present and accounted for,” an unnamed defence official was quoted as saying by the report. The US Department of Defence did not immediately respond to a question on its count of F-16 fighter jets in Pakistan. The US State Department CMYK and the Indian and Pakistani embassies declined to comment, the report said. Pakistan had categorically said that no F-16 fighter jets were used and denied that one of its planes had been downed by the IAF But on April 1, Pakistan mil. itary spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor for the first time indicated that F-16s might have been used to hit Indian fighter jets during the aerial combat on February 27. In a statement, he said Pakistan had the right to use “anything and everything” in its self defence. He further said: “Even if F16 have been used as at that point in time complete PAF was airborne including F16s, the fact remains that Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian jets in self defence.” The report said the remnants of a US-made AIM-120 air-to-air missile was found near the site; out of all the aircraft involved, only the F-16 can fire such a weapon. wama terrorist attack. Using the development after ED submitted charge sheet in the court, Modi mocked by saying that Rahul now creates drama and comes to interact with media with high courage. Modi said, “Today when media approached Rahul Gandhi and asked him the Agusta Westland and charge sheet question he fled misbehaving with media.” Alleging close link of Congress with corruption he said, “During Congress government corruption is on accelerator and development is in ventilator.” Touching the migration problem of the hills, Modi said, “Congress linked hills with migration and BJP is connecting hills with tourism.” The political rally of Narendra Modi annoyed many Uttarakhand BJP leaders and some failed to find seat on the stage. After addressing public in Ruderpur on 28 March, Modi interacted with public in Uttarakhand for the second time on Friday. BJP leader and Union minister Smriti Irani on Friday sought to corner Congress president Rahul Gandhi over the AgustaWestland VVIP choppers case, latching onto an Enforcement Directorate charge sheet which has reference to senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel and 'family'. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 5 APRIL Senior BJP leader and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has in a letter to the party top leadership here said that she will not contest the coming Lok Sabha election from Indore in Madhya Pradesh. Born in 1943, Sumitra Mahajan has been elected to the Lok Sabha for a record eight terms, a feat achieved by only a few other members. Mahajan today said she had taken note of the matter that the party seemed to be in a dilemma over fielding her for the ensuing elections on account of her age. The BJP leader said with the date of polling drawing close and no decision taken about the party candidate for Indore Lok Sabha seat she had willfully decided to free the party from any kind of dilemma over her candidature. Let the party decide on a candidate so that poll preparations could get underway soon, Mahajan also popularly known as 'Tai', soon to turn 76, said. "The Bharatiya Janata Party has not announced its candidate from Indore till date. Why is this indecision? It is possible the party is hesitant taking a call…Therefore, I announce that I will not contest the Lok Sabha elections. The party should take a decision with free heart, without any hesitation,” Mahajan said. The party had earlier denied senior BJP leader and one of the party's founders L K Advani a ticket for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Veteran leader MM Joshi was also not given a ticket. Earlier this week, Mahajan had reportedly said that she had not asked for ticket even in 1989. "I did not seek ticket from the Indore seat in 1989 when I first contested the Lok Sabha elections. The party on its own made me its candidate. I have never demanded my nomination," she was quoted as saying by media. PTI adds: Senior BJP leader MM Joshi met Advani at his residence, a day after Advani said his party has never regarded those who disagreed with it as “anti-nationals”. IOC halts fuel supply to Jet Airways, resumes later EC shifts CPs of Kolkata, Bidhannagar PRESS TRUST OF INDIA KOLKATA, 5 APRIL MUMBAI, 5 APRIL A major crisis was averted at the cash-starved Jet Airways after national oil marketing major Indian Oil resumed fuel supplies to the airline, which was halted earlier in the day due to the non-payments, sources said on Friday. The supply, which was stopped around noon was restored at around 5 pm after the airline assured the oil firm of payment of dues, sources told PTI. “Indian Oil Corporation has resumed supply of aviation turbine fuel to Jet Airways following assur- ance of payments by the airline,” said a source. Earlier in the day, Jet Airways faced operational disruptions across major airports when IOC refused to refuel its planes without clearing the outstanding amount. A Jet spokesperson did not comment on halting of fuel supplies. A State Bank-led consortium of banks will soon take over the management of the airline. The Election Commission of India tonight removed the police commissioners of Kolkata and Bidhannagar with immediate effect. The SPs of Birbhum and Diamond Harbour police districts have also been removed. Mr Rajesh Kumar, ADG in the State Pollution Control Board, has been made the new commissioner of Kolkata Police, replacing Anuj Sharma while Mr N Ramesh Babu, ADG (operations) in the state police, has been appointed as Bidhannagar CP replac, ing Gyanwant Singh. SNS Pak F-16 shot down during Feb 27 dogfight, says IAF; rejects US report PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 5 APRIL The Indian Air Force on Friday asserted that it shot down an F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan during the February 27 dogfight, refuting a leading US news magazine report contradicting India's claim. Issuing a statement after the American magazine Foreign Policy reported that a US count of the F16s with Pakistan has found that none of these jets are missing, the IAF said, “during the aerial engagement, one MiG 21 Bison of the IAF shot down an F-16 in Nowshera sector.” IAF sources also said it has conclusive “circumstantial evidence” including wireless intercepts, signals and graphic captures from airborne warning and control system (AWACS) and electronic signatures to conclude that the F-16 jet was shot down during the aerial combat. In its report, the US magazine said two senior US defence officials with direct knowledge of the situation told it that American personnel recently counted Islamabad's F-16s and found none of the planes missing. The report contradicted the claim made by New Delhi that during in an aerial duel on February 27, a day after India carried out air strikes in Pakistan's Balakot to target a terror camp, Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman had engaged with one of the Pakistani F-16s and shot it down before his Mig-21 Bison was downed. Varthaman was captured by Pakistan and was released after spending nearly 60 hours in Pakistani custody. “The Indian Forces have confirmed sighting ejections at two different places on that day. The two sightings were at places separated by at least 8-10 km,” the IAF said in the statement. The Pakistan military on Friday called on India to “speak the truth” about the “actual losses” in the aerial dogfight between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
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