SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 APRIL 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 | `5 |LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR COEXISTENCE BETWEEN HUMANS AND WILDLIFE IS NOT EASY, BUT THE MAASAI OF KENYA HAVE BEEN WORKING AMAZINGLY TO KEEP THEMSELVES AND WILDLIFE ROAMING FREE DHRUBA NARAYAN KUNDU HAS TURNED HIS HERITAGE RESIDENCE, ITACHUNA RAJBARI, INTO A MODEST ‘HERITAGE HOMESTAY’, WHICH EXUDES SIMPLE RUSTIC CHARM P1 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of very light rain/dust storm/thunderstorm accompanied with moderate squall (speed 40-50) KMPH. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 37 and 22 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.70% Min. 25% Max: 38.7°C (+4) SUN RISES 06:04 hrs MOON RISES 08:02 hrs Min: 22.4°C (+3) SUN SETS 18:42 hrs MOON SETS 20:34 hrs TEMPERATURE ED, Michel seek charge sheet ‘leak’ inquiry Former vice-chief of Army Sarath Chand joins c BJP: Ex-vice chief of army staff Lieutenant General (rtd) Sarath Chand joined the BJP on Saturday in presence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Sarath Chand was commissioned into the Garhwal Rifles in June 1979 and P3 retired as vice chief on June 1 last year. DRDO dismisses missile debris threat: With the successful anti-satellite missile test, India is capable of hitting a target at a range of over 1,000 km in space and a lower orbit was chosen for the mission to avoid threat of debris to global space assets, DRDO Chairman G P4 Satheesh Reddy said on Saturday. CBI wants custodial interrogation of Kolkata ex-top cop: The CBI will move the Supreme t Court seeking removal of the “no coercive action” clause against former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar as it wants his custodial interrogation in connection with the P6 Saradha chit fund scam, an official said. Pakistan opens air route for India: Pakistan has opened one of its 11 air routes for westbound flights from India and Air India has started using it, said a government official on Saturday. “Pakistan has been opening its airspace in tranches. On Thursday, it opened one of the 11 routes for west-bound flights.” CLOSE ENCOUNTER Court urged to issue show-cause notice to a news body PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 6 APRIL T THUMBNAILS P 10 he Enforcement Directorate (ED) and British-national Christian Michel, alleged middleman arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, on Saturday sought before a Delhi court an inquiry into the purported leakage of the supplementary charge sheet filed in the case to media. The ED urged the court to issue a notice to a news organisation asking it to explain how it accessed the documents, whereas Michel supported the demand for a probe while accusing the agency of politicising the matter. ED's special public prosecutors D P Singh and N K Matta claimed that the matter was “serious”. “The charge sheet's copy is yet to be supplied to the accused persons. However, Michel's lawyers came to know what we have written in it and filed an application on that behalf. This is a very serious matter and an enquiry must be ordered to ascertain how the copy of the charge sheet was leaked,” the ED said. Special judge Arvind Kumar issued notice to the agency and directed it to file a reply on Michel's plea, which had stated that he had not named anybody in connection with the deal during investigation by the ED and that even though the court has not taken cognisance of the documents, in order to make the entire case a sensation again in the media, the agency had leaked the charge sheet. The court will take up ED's plea related to leakage of the charge sheet copy on April 11. Meanwhile, the court issued summons to Michel's business partner and middleman David Nigel John Syms as an accused in the case. Syms, named as accused in the charge sheet, is asked to appear before court on May 9. The court also summoned two firms -- Global Services FZE and Global Traders -- as accused in the case. Michel and Syms are directors of the two firms. The court directed to keep the copy the charge sheet in a sealed cover until further orders. It also extended by two days the custodial interrogation of Sushen Mohan Gupta, an alleged defence agent arrested by the agency in the case. It further sought a reply from the agency on Gupta's bail application by April 9. Gupta was arrested by the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The probe agency had said Gupta's role in the case came to light on the basis of disclosures made by Rajiv Saxena, who has turned approver in the case after he was deported from the UAE and arrested by the agency here. Michel's counsel Aljo K Joseph on Friday moved an application before the court, saying, “Michel has not named anyone in his statement before the agency which is being leaked to media. This is only to make the matter sensational and prejudice the case against my client.” He claimed the copy of the charge sheet was provided to the media before it was provided to Michel. Michel was arrested by the ED on December 22 last year after his extradition from Dubai. He is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the chopper scam by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI. The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa. The agency had earlier told the court that Michel received 24.25 million euros and 1,60,96,245 pounds from the AgustaWestland deal. The ED told the court that it had identified Michel's properties purchased with the proceeds of the crime. The ED, in its charge sheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he had received 30 million euros (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland. The CBI, in its charge sheet, has alleged an estimated loss of 398.21 million euros (about Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of VVIP choppers worth 556.262 million euros. At Srirampur station in West Bengal after a local train hit an inspection car on Saturday. Eight rail staff were hurt in (P 6 ) the incident. PRASANTA MALLICK ‘Congress plans to dilute armed forces’ powers, break middle class backbone’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA SUNDARGARH/SONEPUR (ODISHA), 6 APRIL Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that past governments did not have the courage to cross the border and kill terrorists, and hit out at the Congress saying while the “chowkidar” showed guts to hit terrorist safe havens inside Pakistan, the grand old party wants to dilute powers of the armed forces. He also accused the Congress of always using poverty as a major political weapon and said the best remedy to eradicate poverty was to do away with that party. With Odisha all set to witness state poll with the general election in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29, Modi also made a scathing attack on the BJD government charging it with lacking “sahi niti & sahi niyat” (right policies or intention) for the development and urged people to elect a BJP government in the state for faster growth through double engine. The PM NEW DELHI, 6 APRIL Ending his decades-long association with the BJP, Shatrughan Sinha today joined the Congress party, which quickly named him later in the day as its candidate from his existing Patna Sahib constituency in Bihar for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In Patna Sahib, Shatrughan will take on senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, which is set to be a fierce encounter. The 73-year-old actorturned-politician and exUnion minister, Shatrughan had emerged as a major dissident BJP leader in recent months. Maintaining that he was quitting the BJP on its foundation day today with “heavy heart and immense pain", Shatrughan, while addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters here, fired salvos at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah as he repeatedly accused them, without mentioning their names, of allegedly turning the BJP dispensation into "one-man show and twomen army". He blasted PM Modi for his alleged bid to turn India's democracy into autocracy. Actor and MP Shatrughan Sinha gestures while joining the Congress at the AICC headquarters in SUBRATA DUTTA the Capital on Saturday. Citing the alleged victimisation and marginalisation of BJP stalwarts ~ including L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, and Arun Shourie ~ under the Modi-Shah leadership, Shatrughan charged that there was no place left in the ruling party for discussions and dialogue anymore and that its current high com- mand treated its veterans with contempt and viewed its political opponents as “enemies”. “If speaking the truth is rebellion, then I am a rebel,” he said, adding that the BJP dispensation dispatched all t h e p a r t y v e t e ra n s t o "Margdarshak Mandal" which did not hold even a single meeting over the last five years. Keeping his guns trained on PM Modi, he alleged that everything was controlled by the Prime Minister's Office and that the Union ministers could not do anything freely. Shatrughan described PM Modi's demonetisation exercise as “probably the world's biggest scam”. He said the country would have transformed if the money BJD rule and on several occasions saffron party leaders have claimed to repeat Tripura in Odisha. BJP had ended 25 years of uninterrupted CPI(M) regime in Tripura last year and set up its own government. Coming down heavily on Congress, Modi accused the grand old party of using poverty as a tool for politics and hatching a conspiracy to break the backbone of middle-class in the country by burdening them with heavy taxes through schemes proposed in its manifesto. “I want to tell you about another conspiracy of Congress to rob the assistance meant for the poor. Congress wants to imple- Mamata dubs Modi a liar, slams EC for removing 2 top cops Shatrughan joins Cong, calls BJP ‘one-man show, two-men army’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE addressed election rallies in Sundargarh and Sonepur in western Odisha where voting for simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha polls will take place in second phase on April 18.With a total of 21 Lok Sabha constituencies,Odisha holds importance in the ongoing Parliamentary election. Modi himself is leading the saffron party to corner maximum number of seats in the state, from where BJP had in 2014 managed only one seat of Union Minister Jual Oram from Sundargarh while BJD had bagged the rest 20. The BJP is also making efforts to gain power in Odisha ending 19 years of ment such policies which will double the prices of essential items including rice and wheat available through PDS,” Modi said. “Will it be good for the country to break the backbone of the middle class by burdening them with taxes,” Modi said. “The Congress has all along been reaping political benefits by employing poverty as a major weapon. Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the Congress exists,” he said. Giving a call for“Congress hathao”, he said poverty will disappear on its own if the Congress is removed. Noting that the Congress only gave slogans for eradication of poverty for generations but never took any step to ensure it, Modi said poor people have turned poorer and their leaders and ministers became richer. The Congress as well as the BJD used poverty for politics for which a major part of the country and Odisha was in immense poverty for decades. SNS & PTI ALIPURDUAR/JALPAIGURI, 6 APRIL "splurged" by the BJP dispensation on its publicity campaign was spent on development. Shatrughan showered praises on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, describing him as "very dynamic, able, tried, tested and successful face of today and tomorrow's India". He had met Gandhi on 28 March when decks were cleared for his move to join the Congress party. Shatrughan lauded the Congress's promised minimum income guarantee ( Ny a y ) s c h e m e a s a n "unprecedented" public welfare measure. He hailed the Congress as a “party of great nationbuilders and luminaries like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and many others” and exuded confidence that the grand alliance in Bihar would emerge victorious. He also praised RJD president Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi's leadership. At the press conference, Shatrughan was flanked by senior Congress leaders, including its general secretary K C Venugopal, chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, and AICC in-charge for Bihar affairs Shaktisinh Gohil, who welcomed him into their party fold. Venugopal said Shatrughan was "earlier with the wrong party”. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “liar”, who has been blabbering lies in the last five years and not fulfilling a single promise made during the last general election in 2014. Banerjee also mocked Modi's 56-inch chest rhetoric and wryly said even Ravan (demon king) had a big chest does that mean we would support “Ravan raj” in the country. She criticised the Election Comission over removal of police officers in Bengal and challenged the poll panel to remove her first. Sharpening attack at PM, who early this week had made a scathing attack at the TMC supremo describing her a “speedbreaker” in the path of development of the state and also who wants poverty to stay so her “politics of poverty” can flourish,Banerjee launched no holds barred attack on Modi. Banerjee wondered how a person who didn't look after his wife would look after the citizens of the country, taking an apparent dig at Modi. She further accused the BJP of trying to turn legal citizens of the country into foreigners in the name of NRC and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Banerjee, who has emerged as an important leader of the anti-BJP bloc, said addressing a rally at Barobisha area of Alipurduar district,”TMC will lead the formation of the new government at the Centre. Bengal will show the way.” West Bengal with 42 Lok Sabha seats, third highest after Uttar Pradesh's 80 and Maharashtra 48, is witnessing a fierce political fight between Trinamul Congress and the saffron party, buoyed after good performance in last year rural election and a few bypolls. “We welcome the central forces, but they must work hand in hand with the state forces for proper and smooth voting. They have changed good police officials, but that will not affect us. Whoever you bring as replacement is our officer, it won't affect us. If you can, replace me first,” Banerjee said. Her comments come in the backdrop of Election Commission of India (ECI) decision to remove four IPS officers, including Kolkata and Bidhannagar Police Commissioners. Banerjee has also written a letter to the EC protesting against the decision. “Let me warn you, if the BJP wins, the independence of the country and its people will be at stake. Freedom of religion, what to eat, what to wear will all be dictated to you”, she said and gave a clarion call to oust the “anti-Bengali, anti-minority” BJP . Hitting out at BJP over NRC and Citizenship (Ammendment) Bill, Banerjee said it is another ploy to turn legal citizens of this country into refugees. NRC is being imposed by the BJP in Assam. They are excluding Bengalis, even Hindus. Chasing away Bengalis is not that easy. We will not allow it. Citizen Amendment Bill - they are saying will give citizenship after six months of stay. But what will families do during that time? How will they access day to day necessities?, she questioned. The Trinamul supremo and Bengal CM said: “Modi during his 2014 election rallies had promised reopening of closed tea gardens in Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri. But he has not opened a single one.’’ He used to call himself a “chaiwala” (tea seller). Now the chaiwala after failing to fullfill his promises has turned into a “Chowkidar” (watchman), the TMC supremo mocked. Questioning the credentials of John Barla, BJP's candidate in Alipurduar Lok Sabha seat, the TMC boss said Barla was one of the main accussed in the riots that took place a few years back bewteen the Gorkhas and Adivasis in the region. “It is quite obvious that a party like BJP could not find a better candidate.’’
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