MONDAY 08 MAY 2023 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC www.thestatesman.com KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘BJP'S DOUBLE ENGINE GOVT INDULGED IN DOUBLE LOOT’ A‘RETURN HORSE-TRADING MONEY TO SHAH’ P5 WEATHER PARTLY CLOUDY SKY.STRONG SURFACE WINDS(SPEED 30-40 KMPH). THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 38 AND 23 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: Trace RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 82% P4 P10 Min: 21.4°C (-4) SUN SETS 19:00 hrs MOON SETS 08:15 hrs Modi accuses Cong of inflating ‘balloons of lies’ during campaigning itting out at the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the grand old party is so “scared” ahead of the Karnataka Assembly polls that they are forced to bring people for campaigning so that they can put blame on each other. Addressing a rally in Shivamogga in Karnataka, Mr Modi accused the Congress of inflating “balloons of lies”, and said irrespective of what the party does, they won’t be getting any benefit and the BJP will form the government with full majority. The Prime Minister said, “Congress is so scared ahead of the polls that they are forced to bring people for campaigning so that they can put off the whole blame on each other. Congress has created an ecosystem to peddle its lies. These blatant lies have no truth at the ground level. But, the people know about the truth of the party. So, irrespective of how large a balloon they create, there won’t be any benefit.” Mr Modi said the party had started today’s roadshow earlier than scheduled because of the NEET exam on Sunday. “We conducted the roadshow early as there was a NEET exam today. No political party dares to conduct or address any rally or public meeting so H THUMBNAILS A painted stork and a great white pelican seen at a pond inside their enclosure at Alipore Zoological Garden, in Kolkata on Sunday. ANI Unable to land in Lahore due to bad weather, PIA plane enters Indian airspace: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK248 entered Indian Airspace after failing to land in Lahore airport due to bad weather. According to an Indian aviation official, "The PIA aircraft entered Indian airspace for about 11 minutes after failing to land at Lahore airport due to heavy rain." The incident was reported to Delhi Flight Information Region (FIR) on May 4 at around 08:10 pm while the PIA plane was returning from Muscat to Lahore. SABALENKA TOPPLES SWIATEK TO CLINCH MADRID OPEN TITLE P12 several Manipur Congress 'scared' Tension still insecretary removed districts, chief ahead of polls: PM STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 MAY Min. 37% TEMPERATURE Max: 37.4°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:35 hrs MOON RISES 22:04 hrs YOON SAYS HE FEELS RESPONSIBILITY TO IMPROVE SK-JAPAN TIES Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting in Shivamogga, Karnataka on Sunday. ANI early. I received a lot of love today from the public of Bengaluru,” PM Modi said. He further said the politics and development of the Congress party are only "on paper", and they can never develop the state of Karnataka. “The women of Karnataka were completely neglected by the Congress government in the past. They have done no development work for the farmers. BJP has worked for the farmers of the state. Now all the lies of Congress are fully exposed and BJP will form the government with full majority,” he said. Mr Modi added: “The education of girls and women's empowerment were pushed back during the Congress rule. The girls used to drop out of school because Congress did not make separate toilets for girls. But the BJP campaigned to remove the injustice done to girls and today more and more girls are going to school.” The Prime Minister also mentioned that the Russia-Ukraine crisis led to record increase in fertilizer prices, but still, the burden was not allowed to fall on the nation's farmers. “Through the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, we provided facilities to the farmers. In the name of loan waiver, Congress used to fill middlemen and its coffers. We made a direct transfer of Rs 80,000 crore from the Kisan Samman Nidhi to the farmers’ accounts. We have provided 2,000 new types of seeds to farmers in 9 years. Despite crises, we have never allowed any shortage of fertilizers in the country,” he said. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE IMPHAL, 7 MAY Even as tension continued to prevail in several Manipur districts and the Army and central para-military forces continued their vigil in the strife-torn areas, the state administration saw a major shakeup as the state chief secretary, Dr. Rajesh Kumar, who was on extended service was replaced. In Dr Kumar’s place, Vineet Joshi, who was holding the post of Director General of the National Testing Agency, New Delhi has been made the new chief secretary. Mr Joshi has arrived in Imphal and has assumed office, according to official sources. On Sunday, the administration in the most volatile Indian Army with Assam Rifles personnel conduct rescue operation in Manipur, on Sunday. ANI Churachandpur district relaxed the curfew for three hours from 10 a.m. Churachandpur District Magistrate Sharath Chandra Arroju in a notification said the subsequent relaxations will be reviewed and notified based on the assessment of the prevailing law and order situation. Curfew was also lifted for a few hours in other affected areas of the state to enable citizens to buy essential commodities. A defence release on Sunday said: “(A) ray of hope due to efforts of 120125 Army and Assam Rifles columns, who are working tirelessly for the past 96 hours to rescue civilians across all communities, curb violence and restore normalcy, has emerged with no major violence being reported, and curfew, therefore being relaxed from 7-10 a.m. on Sunday in Churachandpur followed by flag march by security forces immediately thereafter.” Governor Anusuiya Uikey on Sunday convened a security review meeting at Imphal over the violence in the state. Reports, meanwhile said intermittent firing has been continuing in the peripheral areas of the valley. SC to hear pleas on Manipur violence today SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 7 MAY The Supreme Court will on Monday hear a batch of pleas on the Manipur situation including one by a ruling BJP MLA challenging the high court order on the issue of Scheduled Tribe status to the Meitei community and a PIL by a tribal outfit for an SIT probe into the violence that rocked the northeastern state last week. A Bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narashima and JB Pardiwala is scheduled to hear the matter. The clashes between Meiteis and tribals started in Churachandpur district last Wednesday. The tribals are opposing reservation to the Meiteis following the 27 March Manipur High Court order that asked the state government to send a recommendation to the Centre within four weeks on the demand for ST status by the Meitei community. Dinganglung Gangmei, BJP MLA and chairman of the Hills Area Committee (HAC) of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, in his appeal contended that the "proceedings before the High Court were vitiated on account of not making the HAC a party" and the HC order created tension and led to violence between the two communities. “Even if directions were to be given they could not have been given without notice to the HAC and hearing the HAC," said the MLA who challenged various orders, including contempt notices, by the high court related to the issue. He said that the HC order led to tension between both communities and violent clashes erupted across the state. Farmers, khapsat Jantar Mantar in support of wrestlers ‘I CONTAIN MULTITUDES’ ‘I will hang myself if allegations proved’ AGENCIES Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh, accused of sexual harassment and intimidation by women wrestlers, has said that he would "hang himself if even a single allegation against him was proved". In a video message released on Sunday, Singh said, "I will hang myself even if a single allegation against me is proved. The matter is with the Delhi Police, so I won't be able to speak much in detail on the matter. I have been saying this from the first day if these wrestlers have any video evidence against me. You should ask anyone who is associated with wrestling. Is Brij Bhushan Ravana?" Singh said that he was recording the video message on the way to his home in Gonda from Delhi. He further said, "Except these wrestlers (who are protesting), ask anyone if I have done anything wrong. I have given 11 years of my life to wrestling, to this country." The wrestlers have alleged that there has been a delay from the government in releasing the report of the committee that was formed to look into the allegations against Brij Bhushan Singh. The protesting wrestlers also want the WFI chief to be stripped of his portfolio. we have given 10 days time to take action against Singh and if this does not happen, then we will meet again and the protest will be on a larger scale," Surendra Solanki, the President of Palam khap in Delhi, told a news agency. The wrestlers will spearhead the protest while receiving support from the khaps and farmers' unions, he said. "Every day, one khap and its members will participate in a peaceful sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar. The course of action will be determined by the wrestlers, and we will follow their instructions," said Solanki. Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, Arab Singh Ahlawat, Joginder Singh, and others, joined the gathering at Jantar Mantar to show their support for the ongoing protest by wrestlers. Earlier on Sunday, Delhi Police granted permission to certain Khap leaders to travel from the Delhi borders to Jantar Mantar using their private vehicles. However, it did not allow the khap leaders to ride into the National Capital on tractors. LUCKNOW, 7 MAY Bharatiya Kisan Union national Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait addressing the media along with Sangeeta Phogat, and Sakshi Malik at Jantar Mantar on Sunday. ANI STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 MAY Artistes perform during the Yoga Conclave organised by Patanjali University, at Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex, in New Delhi on Sunday. ANI In a show of solidarity, farmers and khaps on Sunday gathered at Delhi's Jantar Mantar to extend their support to the wrestlers who have been protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh accusing him of sexual harassment. The protesting wrestlers, with the backing of several khap panchayats, on Sunday issued a 10-day ultimatum to the Central government, demanding action be taken against the WFI chief regarding the allegations of sexual harassment against him. Representatives of around 250 khaps from Haryana, Rajasthan, and western Uttar Pradesh, along with hundreds of farmers, gathered at Jantar Mantar in support of the protesting wrestlers. “In today's (Sunday's) meeting between khaps, wrestlers and farmers unions, Panjwar’s is 3rd suspicious death of a Khalistani in Pak SHAMSHER CHANDEL CHANDIGARH, 7 MAY Khalistan Commando Force chief Paramjit Singh Panjwar’s killing is the third suspicious killing on Pakistani soil. Before this, Khalistan Liberation Force leader Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD was killed in 2020 in Lahore. Last year, Harwinder Singh Rinda died in a Lahore hospital allegedly of a drug overdose though many say that he is alive and that the news of his death was to mislead the Indian government. In May 2013, Sarbjeet Singh, who was in a Lahore jail was killed in the prison premises by fellow inmates. Mohammad Khalid, a keen watcher of Punjab affairs calls it “Use and throw of unwanted men. They are only given undeclared asylum. The state uses them and then discards them as and when they find them to be of no use.” Sixty-three-year-old Panjwar headed the Khalistan Commando Force-Panjwar faction. Sources say Panjwar was instrumental in promoting fake Indian currency in India through drug smugglers. Post 2010, Panjwar ventured into drug smuggling and started living under the alias of Gulzar Singh with the complicity of the state, sources say. Of late, the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI was planning to revive militancy in Punjab with the help of Panjwar. After Panjwar’s death, three other Khalistani leaders— Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale‘s nephew Lakhbir Singh Rode, Wadhawa Singh, and Gajinder Singh are still in Pakistan. Gajinder is accused of hijacking an Indian Airliner to Lahore in 1981 while Rode is chief of the banned ISYF International Sikh Youth Federation and along with Panjwar was complicit in the drug smuggling into Indian Punjab. Speaking to The Statesman, Panjwar’s elder brother Taran Tarn-based Baldev Singh said, “It was our daughter-in-law who was watching the news and first came to know about Paramjit’s killing.” On KCF's alleged role in Gen A S Vaidya’s assassination of which Panjwar was a part, his elder brother Baldev Singh said: ”This is all media creation. I was in the Indian Army and was in the personal security of Gen AS Vaidya for three months in Tezpur. How can one suspect Paramjit of being part of the conspiracy to kill Gen Vaidya.” He added that Paramjit Singh Panjwar was a bank employee. “But because we were related to Labh Singh (accused of firing at former Punjab DGP Julio Francis Ribeiro and involvement in the largest bank robbery in Ludhiana) he also came under the police’s scanner and the police started troubling him,” says Baldev. That is when Panjwar did a vanishing act. “Subsequently, our house was brought down and we became shelterless and literally were out on the streets,” he added. The family did try to convince him to surrender but Paramjit said that now he was at a point of no return, his brother Baldev said. “Now all that we want is his body so that we could carry out the last rites respectfully as per the Sikh tradition.” Former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Chander Shekhar says: “Probably these men (Harmeet Singh Harvinder Singh Rinda & Paramjit Panjwar) were of no more utility to Pakistan and they were consigned to the bullets. And this had to happen sooner or later...if you live by the gun you die by the gun and that’s what happened yesterday.” ‘Women officers of Territorial Army to be posted along LoC’ SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 7 MAY The women officers of the Territorial Army (TA) with Engineer Regiments of the TA will be posted along the Line of Control (LoC), an official said on Sunday. Following approval by defence minister Rajnath Singh, women officers will also be posted as staff officers at TA Group Headquarters, Directorate General of Territorial Army in Delhi, as per organisational requirements. The Defence Ministry said that this progressive policy measure is aimed at enhancing the scope of employment of women officers as well as meeting their professional aspirations. They will now serve and train under the same conditions as their male counterparts in a wider range of units and appointments. The Territorial Army had commenced commissioning women Officers since 2019, in Ecological Task Force Units, TA Oil sector units and TA Rail- way Engineer Regiment. Based on the experience gained during this period, it has been decided to extend the scope of further employment for women officers in TA, a Defence Ministry official said. The Territorial Army is based on a Citizen Soldiers' army concept and officers undergo annual training on basic military skills while remaining gainfully employed in civilian life. Significantly, the armed forces have taken several measures, including assigning command roles to women, grooming them for future leadership roles and allowing them to join artillery regiments, to promote gender equality.
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