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wednesday, july 10, 2019 wednesday, july 10, 2019 Monsoon heading for a ‘break’ after July 15: Skymet wednesday, july 10, 2019 Monsoon heading for a ‘break’ after July 15: Skymet
Monsoon heading for a ‘break’ after July 15: Skymet page 9

Monsoon heading for a ‘break’ after July 15: Skymet

page 9

Farmer suicides have gone up since UPA era loan write­off: Rupala page 12

Farmer suicides have gone up since UPA era loan write­off: Rupala

page 12

gone up since UPA era loan write­off: Rupala page 12 Serena overcomes Riske's challenge; Halep cruises
Serena overcomes Riske's challenge; Halep cruises past Zhang page 21

Serena overcomes Riske's challenge; Halep cruises past Zhang

page 21


City Edition

22 pages ₹ 10.00

21 D e l h i City Edition 22 pages ₹ 10.00 Rain stops Kiwis at

Rain stops Kiwis at 211­5 in 46.1 overs against India, play to resume today

page 20

Printed at











































. Malappuram . Mumbai . Tirupati . lucknow . cuttack . patna NEARBY Seven more held


. Mumbai . Tirupati . lucknow . cuttack . patna NEARBY Seven more held for Cong.

Seven more held for Cong. leader’s murder


Seven more persons have been arrested in connection with the murder of Congress leader Vikas Chaudhary last month, the police said on Tuesday. Four persons were arrested earlier and more arrests are likely, they said. Those arrested have been identified as Atul, Saurabh, Sunil alias Monu, Amardeep alias Honey, Dharamjeet, Naveen and Sooraj.



Accused jumps from fifth floor of court, dies


A 23­year­old man died after allegedly jumping off the fifth floor of a Saket court in south Delhi on Tuesday, the police said. He was arrested on Monday for alleged involvement in two cases of snatching. He was taken on one­day remand which expired on Tuesday, the police said.





8 letters not in order, says Karnataka Speaker

MLAs wanting to quit can send them again: Ramesh Kumar

Special Correspondent


The political crisis in Karna­ taka is likely to spill over into the legislature session sche­ duled to start on Friday, with Speaker K. Ramesh Ku­ mar stating on Tuesday that the resignation letters of on­ ly five of the 13 legislators from the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) were in order. “These five [letters] are [those] of Anand Singh, Na­ rayana Gowda, Pratap Gou­ da Patil, Gopalaiah and Ra­ malinga Reddy,” he said. “Since the other resigna­ tion letters were not in the prescribed format, we have sent them a reminder let­


if you wish, you can

submit your resignations properly,” he added. These eight legislators, many of whom are not in Bengaluru, are expected to return on Wednesday to re­ tender their resignations in the right format.

Baig also quits Even as the Speaker ruled on

the resignations tendered by the MLAs of the ruling coali­ tion, veteran politician and suspended Congress legisla­ tor R. Roshan Baig submit­ ted his resignation, taking the total to 14 (three JD(S), 11 Congress and two Independents).

total to 14 (three JD(S), 11 Congress and two Independents). United front: Congress MLAs staging a

United front: Congress MLAs staging a protest in front of the Gandhi statue in Bengaluru on Tuesday.


“Despite the [Assembly] session starting on Friday, I have asked Narayana Gow­ da, Prathapgouda Patil and Anand Singh to come for a personal hearing, while Go­ palaiah and Ramalinga Red­ dy have been asked to ap­ pear on July 15 [Monday],” said the Speaker. Mr. Ramesh Kumar said Mr. Baig’s resignation was being examined. The Speaker said he would hold a public hearing

in the light of complaints from the public against the resignations. (With inputs from PTI)



Protests disrupt Parliament

The Rajya Sabha witnessed its first adjournment on Tuesday, the inaugural session of the second term of the Narendra Modi government, over the Karnataka crisis. The issue rocked the Lok Sabha too, with Congress members walking out. Rahul Gandhi raised slogans against the BJP. DMK members also walked out. Protests by members of the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the CPI and the CPI(M) erupted as soon as the Rajya Sabha reconvened at 2 p.m. following two

adjournments. PAGE 12

SC to decide if illegal migrants can be given the status of refugees

Centre’s question came on petition by two Rohingya men who face deportation

Krishnadas Rajagopal

New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Tues­ day agreed to examine a “substantial question” from the Union government on whether illegal immigrants could even be considered for ‘refugee’ status. A Bench, led by Chief Jus­ tice of India Ranjan Gogoi, was hearing petitions filed by two Rohingya men against the government’s proposal to deport their 40,000­strong community to their native land of Myan­ mar, where “discrimination and possibly summary exe­ cutions await them”. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the primary prayers made in the peti­

Tushar Mehta said the primary prayers made in the peti­ tions were to stop any pro­

tions were to stop any pro­

posed deportation and allow the community rights under the international law. “But first decide whether


they are refugees

illegal immigrants can even be allowed the status of refu­


This is the substantial

question here,” Mr. Mehta submitted. The court said it

would examine the issue and asked the parties and inter­ venors to complete plead­ ings by the next hearing. The Rohingya, who fled to India after violence in the State of Rakhine in Myan­ mar, are settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi­NCR and Ra­ jasthan. The petitions said

the Centre’s move violated the constitutional guarantee that the Indian State should “protect the life and liberty of every human being, whether citizen or not”. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had also issued notice to the government on the pro­ posed deportation. Panic struck the refugee community following media reports of a statement made by the then Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ki­ ren Rijiju, in Parliament that the Centre had directed the States to identify and deport illegal immigrants, including the Rohingya.


CPCB pulls up 52 firms over handling of waste

Jacob Koshy


The Central Pollution Con­ trol Board (CPCB) has pulled up 52 companies — including Amazon, Flipkart, Danone Foods and Beverages and Pa­ tanjali Ayurved Limited — for not specifying a time line or a plan to collect the plastic waste that results from their business activities. The Plastic Waste Manage­ ment Rules, 2016, (which was amended in 2018), pre­ scribed by the Union Envi­

ronment Ministry, says com­ panies that use plastic in their processes — packaging and production — have a res­ ponsibility to ensure that any resulting plastic waste is safely disposed of.

Time line for process Under this system — called the Extended Producers Res­ ponsibility (EPR) — compa­ nies have to specify collec­ tion targets as well as a time line for this process within a year of the rules coming into

effect on March 2016. The plastic waste can be collect­ ed by the company or out­ sourced to an intermediary. The Rules also mandate the responsibilities of local bodies, gram panchayats, waste generators and retail­ ers to manage such waste. A notice posted on the website of the CPCB, an En­ vironment Ministry body, said these 52 companies hadn’t yet registered at the online portal and disclosed their disposal plans.

“Failing to do so would in­ vite action against the de­ faulters,” the notice warned. This action can include fines or imprisonment under pro­ visions of the Environment Protection Act.

Little progress The companies were to have registered more than a year ago. In spite of these laws, In­ dia has made little progress in managing its plastic waste.


Saravana Bhavan owner comes to court in ambulance, surrenders

Case pertains to murder of his employee 18 years ago

Special Correspondent

Chennai/New Delhi

Nearly 18 years after Sarava­ na Bhavan hotel staffer Prince Santhakumar was kidnapped and murdered, the owner of the chain of ho­ tels P. Rajagopal, the main offender in the case, surren­ dered in a city court on Tuesday. He was brought in an ambulance as he was not keeping well. Rajagopal, now 73, was cited as accused number 1 in the kidnap and murder of Santhakumar, who was his employee, in 2001. When the trial court gave a lower punishment to the convicts in 2004, the State preferred an appeal before the Madras High Court. In 2009, the Madras High Court sentenced him and five others to life imprison­ ment. Three others were

and five others to life imprison­ ment. Three others were No option left: P. Rajagopal arrives

No option left: P. Rajagopal arrives in ambulance to surrender before a court in Chennai on Tuesday.


sentenced to three years’ im­ prisonment and two more to two years’ imprisonment. In March, the Supreme Court confirmed the order of the Madras High Court and gave time till July 7 to the convicts for surrender­ ing to serve prison terms. Rajagopal’s last­ditch ef­

fort to skip incarceration was rejected by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Following the rejection of his plea, he was brought in an ambu­ lance by his staff to the city civil court complex on the Madras High Court campus.


Jet founder Goyal can’t leave country, says HC

Told to deposit ₹18,000 crore

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to allow Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal to leave India observ­ ing that he should first depo­ sit ₹18,000 crore the cash­ strapped airlines owes to its lenders if he wants to go abroad. Justice Suresh Kait, ho­ wever, sought the Centre’s response on Mr. Goyal’s plea challenging a look­out circu­ lar issued against him. “I won’t name but some people are sitting outside

and India is not able to bring them back. What you [Mr. Goyal] are asking today it is ”

the judge re­

not possible

marked, denying any interim relief to Mr. Goyal, even as his counsel pleaded that he has to go abroad to retain his Non­Resident Indian status. Mr. Goyal and his wife

were offloaded from a flight to Dubai on May 25 based on a LOC issued in his name. Re­ portedly, the circular was is­ sued by the Home Ministry at the request of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).

Insolvency proceedings Jet Airways, which was forced to ground its fleet in April due to cash crunch, has since been dragged into in­ solvency proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai. Additional Solicitor Gener­ al Maninder Acharya told the HC that “investigation by the SFIO is going on and it is a se­ rious fraud of ₹18,000 crore.” Mr. Goyal contended that he had scheduled meetings in the last week of May 2019 with foreign investors, who had shown interest in infus­ ing funds into Jet Airways.

Court’s nod sought to probe Pehlu Khan case

Special Correspondent


After facing embarrassment over a chargesheet filed in a court in Alwar district nam­ ing dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, allegedly lynched by cow vigilantes in 2017, as “an

accused who [had] died”, the Rajasthan police have sought the court’s permis­ sion to further investigate the cow smuggling case against his two sons and owner of the pick­up truck. According to the char­

gesheet filed on May 24, Peh­ lu Khan’s sons, Irshad and Aarif, and truck owner Khan Mohammed were accused of illegally transporting cows out of the State


transporting cows out of the State DETAILS ON PAGE 5


Can producers take film reviewers to court?

Industry body threatens legal action against critics crossing limits, indulging in personal attacks

Pradeep Kumar


Late on Monday, a statement released by members of the ad hoc committee governing the affairs of the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) ruffled some feathers in the media industry. It listed three problem points for film producers concerning their relationship with various media platforms. Out of the three, two dealt with the ‘expenses’ producers incur during press shows (and related film promotional events). The third problem area listed was critics reviewing films. The statement read:

“In the guise of film criticism, any person who

attacks films, actors, directors and producers, and crosses all limits, will attract legal action, and will be uninvited from Tamil film­related events."

No swipe at journalists Diamond Babu, a senior PRO in the film industry, clarified: “It is not a swipe at print journalists. But these days, every Tom, Dick and Harry is doing a film review, and they're wounding people with their comments. They say things like, ‘this person doesn’t know what film­making is.’ It is a review of the film. So, don’t insult the individuals.” Mr. Babu added that YouTube reviewers are the actual problem for Tamil film producers.

reviewers are the actual problem for Tamil film producers. While print reviews are ‘polished’, according to

While print reviews are ‘polished’, according to him, reviewers on the video sharing platform do not deliver the message in quite the same way to their subscribers.


And it is a problem because of the huge reach YouTube reviewers seem to enjoy. For instance, Blue Sattai Maran, who hosts the channel Tamil Talkies, is

edging closer to one million subscribers on his channel.

A source in TFPC indicated

that the statement was primarily intended as a

response to Mr. Maran due

to his style of reviewing

films. Mr. Maran was unreachable for comment. “It [legal challenge] is a bit far­fetched, if you ask me,” said Prashanth Rangaswamy, a YouTube reviewer, who hosts Tamil Cinema Review. “Movie is a public product. It is not private property if I’m paying my money for the tickets.” He pointed out that while one section of producers objects to the reviews, there is another that uses the YouTube review platforms to advertise films.



of producers objects to the reviews, there is another that uses the YouTube review platforms to







DSCSC asked to shift its liquor shop


The Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation has been asked to shift its liquor shop from Hans Bhawan in ITO complex after receiving complaints about people drinking openly and creating nuisance. PTI

about people drinking openly and creating nuisance. P T I DELHI TODAY Talk: Seminar on “Internet



Talk: Seminar on “Internet Gov- ernance - Background, Development and the Asian Perspective” by Samiran Gupta, the Head of India for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) at Seminar Rooms, Institute of Chinese Studies, Civil Lines, 3 p.m. Book Launch: K . Satchidanandan, eminent poet and critic will release the book ‘Colours of Loneliness and other stories’ authored by Paramita Satpathy. Followed by, noted novel- ist Chandrahas Choudhury will be conversation with the author at Lec- ture Room-2, India International Centre (IIC), 6.30 p.m. Exhibition: “Vriksha”, an exhibition featuring the work of 30 artists cel- ebrating the eternal power of trees – painting, photographs, drawings, sculptures and ceramics, curated by Uma Nair at Main Art Gallery, Kamaladevi Complex, IIC, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Exhibition: “Delhi Evolution through Flora and Time”, a solo show by Vidur Sodhani at Delhi O Delhi Foyer, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (Mail your listings for this column at

61% DU freshers from unreserved category

About 3% admissions each under ST, EWS categories so far

Sidharth Ravi

New Delhi

Among the students admit­ ted to the UG courses at Delhi University, as of Monday, more than 60% belong to the unreserved category, analy­ sis of university data showed. Compared to this, only about 3% students each have been admitted under the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Economic Weaker Sections (EWS) categories for which a reservation of 7.5% and 10% have been allotted, according to the university’s bulletin of information. Among Scheduled Caste students, while 15% reserva­ tion has been allotted, only 10.94% students have been given admission. On the oth­ er hand, for Other Backward Castes (OBC), for whom 27% has been allotted, 20.96% students have been admitted. According to data shared by DU, 42,621 students were admitted to colleges under various categories, including supernumerary quotas such as Persons with Disabilities (PwD), Kashmiri migrants (KM), Defence category (CW). Reservations under these categories are extend­ ed over and above the allot­ ted seats in each course and have been excluded from the

ted seats in each course and have been excluded from the present calculation. It should also

present calculation. It should also be noted that SC and ST students who qualify under the cut­offs for unreserved category are not included in the reserved quota.

Ratio likely to change With the third cut­off list re­ leased on Monday, admis­ sions to several courses un­ der different categories remained open and are likely to effect the ratio. The ratio of admissions under different categories follows a similar distribution in final registra­ tions as well. Among the 2,58,388 applicants to DU’s courses, the ST and EWS ca­

tegories were about 3%, the UR category had 59% appli­ cants, OBC category 21% OBCs and SCs about 14%. Dean of Students’ Welfare Rajeev Gupta, commenting on the lack of ST students, said that despite efforts, stu­ dents from different parts of the country chose different universities and professional courses which might lead to lower numbers. With regard to the low levels of admission under the EWS category, he said that problems with ob­ taining income certificates and the fact that it is a new category is likely to have ef­ fected the turnout.

is a new category is likely to have ef­ fected the turnout. Withdrawals, fresh admissions continue

Withdrawals, fresh admissions continue

A day after third cut­off list was released

Nidhi Mishra

New Delhi

With the release of the third cut­off list for merit­based undergraduate courses at Delhi University, colleges witnessed admission with­ drawals and new applica­ tions once again on Tuesday. Up to 2,732 admission cancellations took place on Tuesday alone, a university official said. With several popular courses still open for admissions, including B.Com (Hons.) at Shri Ram College of Commerce under the unreserved category, openings under reserved ca­ tegories and several colleges reopening admissions as well, many students are still deciding where to pursue their higher education.

Easy switch? Ishita Rana who had se­ cured admission at Jesus And Mary College under the second list decided to mi­ grate to Hansraj College af­ ter the release of the third list. “North Campus has

more opportunities as it is sort of a closed campus with many colleges in the vicinity and hence, one can have more exposure on academic as well as extracurricular fronts,” she said. But an easy switch is not available to everyone. For Ishita Issac, for instance, who wanted to join St. Ste­ phen’s College because of which she didn’t apply to JMC under the first list, col­ lege authorities refused to admit her under the third list as she exceeded the se­ cond cut­off. With no op­ tions left she has decided to take admission at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College.

Fourth list on July 15 In North Campus, several students were making rounds of campuses trying to find courses they were eligible for. Students applying to col­ leges under the third list are required to complete admis­ sion formalities by Thurs­ day. The fourth list will be released on July 15.

Ambedkar University releases first cut­off list

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

Cut­offs for the merit­based undergraduate programmes at Ambedkar University Del­ hi were released on its web­ site on Tuesday.

Steep differences The university, which is funded by the Delhi govern­ ment, extends 85% reserva­ tion for students from the National Capital Territory (NCT) while 15% seats are re­ served for others.

This reflects the steep dif­ ference in cut­offs for stu­ dents from Delhi under va­ rious categories The highest cut­off has been announced for 12 seats under the unreserved cate­ gory for B.A. (Honours) psy­ chology 98.5%, however, for students from NCT the cut off is 97.75%. One of the lowest cut­offs was offered for B.A. in sus­ tainable urbanism at 85.5% for unreserved students from NCT and 90.50% for

non­NCT students. While the university also extends reser­ vations under various consti­ tutionally mandated quotas, as in previous years, no seats are made available for stu­ dents outside of the NCT, un­ der the OBC category. Other courses offered by AUD include B.A. (Honours) in economics, English, histo­ ry, sociology, psychology, and social science and hu­ manities at its Kashmere Gate Campus. The second campus in Ka­

rampura offers B.A. in law and politics, social sciences and humanities and in sus­ tainable urbanism. The un­ iversity also offers masters programmes in various disci­ plines.

Six cut­offs Admissions under the first cut­off will take place on Wednesday and Thursday and the next cut­off will be released on July 12. The un­ iversity is scheduled to re­ lease six cut­offs as of now.

BJP leaders call for unity within party

Discuss strategy for Assembly polls

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

The BJP convened a meeting

to discuss its strategy for the

upcoming Delhi Assembly elections at its State head­ quarters here on Monday. According to insiders, it was also an exercise in “reducing differences” between senior members of its local leadership. The meeting was chaired by national organisational secretary Ramlal.

Detailed road map Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said a detailed road map re­ garding the party’s cam­ paign for the ensuing elec­ tions had been prepared,

stress was laid on working in

a united manner to unseat

the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

from power and ensure the formation of a BJP govern­ ment, party insiders

claimed. “Some leaders who at­ tended the meeting, includ­ ing Mr. Tiwari, suggested that leaders should voice dif­ ferences within the party in­ stead of airing them through the media as was happen­ ing,” said a party source. In a video message re­ garding the meeting, Mr. Ti­ wari said, “We will work in a united way to bring back the BJP to power in Delhi.” According to sources, there was an agreement among the participants re­

garding the fact that it would be “difficult to defeat the AAP” if the entire leadership

“is not on the same page ov­

er common issues”.

CM failed to keep promise on power charges: BJP

To present plea on tariffs at DERC meet

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

The BJP on Tuesday accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejri­ wal of “failing” to keep his promise to provide relief on fixed electricity charges to the Capital’s residents and announced it would take up the matter at a public hear­ ing here. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Vijender Gupta said he would pre­ sent his petition on tariffs for 2017­18 and 2019­20 at a public hearing of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Com­ mission (DERC) scheduled to be held on Wednesday. “The Chief Minister on Sep­ tember 3, 2018, had assured that he would provide relief from the fixed charges on

he failed to

provide any relief,” Mr. Gup­ ta alleged.

Subsequently, on June 2 this year, Mr. Kejriwal had claimed that the fixed charge component of power tariffs was raised by the DERC last year “without consulting the Delhi govern­ ment” and again promised



to provide relief on the fixed charges, the BJP leader said. “But he has so far failed to provide any relief due to connivance with discoms. In the petition to the DERC,

I will insist that the fixed

charges, power purchase adjustment charges [PPAC] and surcharge and pension trust surcharge must be im­ mediately rolled back,”he said.







IN BRIEF Man held for creating fake govt. identity NEW DELHI


Man held for creating fake govt. identity


A 21-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly creating fake ID of Pay and Accounts Officer in the government’s Public Financial Management System. DCP (Cyber Crime) Anyesh Roy said Noor Mohd Ali pretended to be one Lalit Dagar and claimed to be the newly appointed Pay and Accounts Officer. He had requested for approval from the concerned department but after scrutiny by the Accounts Department, no such person was found.

HC curb on online shopping sites


The Delhi HC has restrained e-commerce companies from selling health and beauty products of direct sellers, Amway, Modicare and Oriflame, without their consent. It gave the interim order on the pleas of these three sellers alleging that products under their brands were being sold on the e- commerce platforms at cheaper rates.

7 more held for Cong. leader’s murder

More arrests likely in the June 27 killing, say police; two pistols, car seized

Special correspondent


Seven more persons have been arrested in connection with the murder of Con­ gress leader Vikas Chaud­ hary last month, the police said on Tuesday. Four persons have been arrested earlier in this con­ nection and more arrests are likely, they said. The arrested have been identified as Atul, Saurabh, Sunil alias Monu, Amardeep alias Honey, Dharamjeet, Naveen and Sooraj. While Atul, Saurabh, Mo­ nu and Honey were present outside the gym at the time of the murder, the remain­ ing three had provided shel­ ter and logistics to those who fired shots at Chaud­ hary, said Faridabad Police Commissioner Sanjay Ku­ mar on Tuesday. Saurabh and Atul had al­ so carried out the recce of Chaudhary’s house and gym at the instance of one Sachin before the murder.

and gym at the instance of one Sachin before the murder. The arrested persons in police

The arrested persons in police custody. * SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Gangster Kaushal’s wife Roshni, his servant Naresh alias Chand, Harender and Manjesh were earlier arrest­ ed in this connection and the name of these seven ac­ cused had come up during their interrogation.

Nabbed after a tip­off Crime Branch Sector 30 had got a tip­off after which a trap was laid on Tigaon Road and Saurabh and Atul were arrested. Two pistols

and six cartridges were seized from them. The rest four were arrest­ ed by DLF Crime Branch team in Surajkund and their car was seized. Saurabh told the police that as per the plan they had reached outside the gym in two separate cars on June 27 morning. Five persons in a sedan parked their car outside the gym and two of them shot Chaudhary. They then sped

off in the car which was dri­ ven by Sachin. They abandoned the car in Sector 76 and drove away in another car. Saurabh and his three as­ sociates, armed with wea­ pons, were seated in a car parked around 100 m away from the murder spot to give back­up. Saurabh, Atul, Dharam­ jeet, Sunil and Naveen hold previous criminal record with cases of murder, rob­ bery, causing hurt and car­ rying illegal weapons regis­ tered against them, said Mr. Kumar. He added that ef­ forts were being made to ar­ rest the remaining accused. Chaudhary was hit by multiple bullets in Sector 9 at 9.30 a.m. when he came out of the gym.

Sharp criticism The broad­daylight murder had evoked sharp criticism against the ruling BJP­led government by Congress leaders.

Wife and son arrested for murder of govt. employee

Another man held; one still on the run: police

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

Three days after a Central go­ vernment employee was found murdered at his resi­ dence, his wife and minor son along with an associate have been nabbed in connec­ tion with the case, the police said on Tuesday. Deputy Commissioner of Police (South­East) Chinmoy Biswal said the accused in­ cluded the victim’s wife, their 16­year­old son and a neighbour, Rishabh (20). On July 6, at 5 a.m., the police received a PCR call re­ garding a murder after which they reached the spot and found the employee of Direc­ torate General of Audit Cen­ tral Expenditure lying dead with stab wounds on his back. During interrogation, his wife allegedly told the police that her husband used to come home by 7.30 p.m. but

police that her husband used to come home by 7.30 p.m. but One of the accused,

One of the accused, Rishabh.


on the night of the incident, he came at 11.30 p.m. She al­ so said the doors of the house were open at the time. “She said she woke up at 3 a.m. to go to the washroom when she saw her husband lying dead and ₹1.5lakh was missing,” Mr. Biswal said.

Motive behind murder During examination, the pol­ ice said there were contradic­ tions found in the versions of wife and her son. On sus­ tained questioning, Sunita confessed to the murder.

“She said her husband was an alcoholic and used to ill­ treat her and children. She then along with her son con­ spired to kill him,” the DCP said.

Promised ₹1.5 lakh The duo contacted the mi­ nor’s friend whom they pro­ mised to give ₹1.5 lakh if he helped. The friend then roped in Rishabh. “On the night of the inci­ dent when the victim re­ turned home drunk and slept off, his wife and their son sig­ naled the friend and Rishabh to enter the house. The duo then stabbed the victim to death while the mother­son kept guard,” the officer said, adding that his wife had con­ cocted the story about the money to stage it like a rob­ bery. The police are conducting raids to arrest the minor’s friend.

Two arrested for Model Town, New Friends Colony robberies

Manhunt on for their accomplice; stolen items recovered

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

Two criminals have been ar­ rested for their alleged in­ volvements in several armed robberies here, the police said on Tuesday. Deputy Commissioner of Police (North­East) Atul Tha­ kur said both Saffan alias Af­ fan (23) and Chand (22) are from Uttar Pradesh’s Murad Nagar. “A countrymade pistol, six live cartridges, a stolen motorcycle and a robbed scooty, have been recovered from their possession,” the officer said. On Monday, the police said they received a tip­off regarding the robbers com­ ing to Jyoti Nagar after which a trap on Loni Road and the two were nabbed. During interrogation, the accused allegedly told the police about their involve­ ment in two recent armed robberies in which the CCTV footages had gone vi­ ral. The accused had robbed a businessman, Varun Behl, at gunpoint in the parking

robbed a businessman, Varun Behl, at gunpoint in the parking The accused in police custody. *

The accused in police custody. * SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

lot inside his house in the small hours of July 30. While fleeing via Adarsh Nagar, the accused had also fired at policemen who tried to stop them on account of suspicion. The accused had also allegedly robbed a che­ mist shop in Sarai Jullena on July 2 and fled with nearly ₹1 lakh.

Modus operandi The accused used to take an autorickshaw from Murad­ nagar to secluded roads in Delhi where they would rob or steal two­wheelers and use it further for committing armed robberies, the officer said.

“They were earlier arrest­ ed and were released in May after which they regrouped in Bijnor and decided to commit robberies. They wear caps during the act and would head back to Mu­ radnagar after committing the crimes,” Mr. Thakur said. Saffan is a Class V pass out and used to earlier work in a bakery while Chand worked as a tailor. With their arrest, the police claim to have solved 18 cases of robbery so far. The police are looking for the accused’s third accom­ plice, who also has a pre­ vious criminal history.

Auto driver,


killed in




Two persons, including an auto driver, were killed and three passengers in­ jured when the autorick­ shaw rammed a stationary vehicle on an outer road in Jahangirpuri on Tuesday. It seems that the auto driver, Sukhvinder, lost balance as he had dozed off, the police said. There was no alcohol found in the driver’s body. After the police reached the spot, they rescued the injured persons and rushed them to a hospital. One passenger, Rahul, was declared brought dead. “The three other pas­ sengers have received se­ rious injuries but their condition is stable,” said a police officer. He confirmed that a case under Indian Penal Code sections of rash driv­ ing and the fatal accident has been registered at Ja­ hangirpuri police station.

Man arrested for plotting attack on mother to blackmail relative

Accused wanted to reclaim mortgaged property: police


New Delhi

A man has been arrested

for allegedly conspiring to implicate three persons in a murder case as he wanted

to reclaim a mortgaged pro­

perty from his distant rela­ tive, in south­west Delhi’s Sagarpur, the police said on Tuesday.

‘Marriage expenses’ Prakash hired three per­

sons to shoot at his mother

to make it look like “an at­

tempt to murder”, they said. He also roped in his niece, Mohini, in the con­ spiracy by “promising to bear all expenses for her marriage if she helped”, the police added. On June 21, a PCR call was received that a woman was shot at outside a tem­ ple in Sagarpur. A team reached the spot and took the injured, Mahendri, to a nearby hospital. She had sustained a bul­ let injury in the stomach, the police said. “Mohini said she was

with Mahendri during the incident and named three

persons — Saman, Anil and Kuldeep — as accused,” said an officer. Mohini, who is also an

eyewitness in a murder case of her paternal grand­ mother that happened in 2014 in Meerut, said the same accused tried to kill Mahendri. The three ac­ cused are out on bail now, the police said. During the investigation,

the police scanned CCTV footage of the area and also sent a team to Meerut to check the whereabouts of three persons. In the footage, the sus­ pects seen did not match the descriptions of the three accused named by Mohini and the police got suspicious. “Even the mo­ bile location of all of them did not corroborate their presence in Delhi. We then questioned Mohini again,” the officer said. She confessed to her in­ volvement in the conspira­ cy hatched by her maternal

uncle. Following this, Pra­ kash was nabbed and dur­ ing interrogation, he said he roped in his two broth­ ers­in­law and a man in the plan. In 2004, his parents had taken a loan against the agricultural land from a dis­ tant relative in Meerut for his marriage. When he wanted to get the land back, the two sides got into a fight and the three ac­ cused shot Prakash’s mother­in­law.

False charges “He wanted to implicate the three accused of ‘at­ tempt to murder’ [of his mother] and then get them arrested. He wanted to blackmail them into releas­ ing the land,” said an offic­ er. Deputy Commissioner of Police (South­West) De­ vender Arya said Prakash and three others have been arrested under sections of attempt to murder and planning a conspiracy. Mo­ hini has turned an approv­ er, he added.

Accused jumps from fifth floor of court, dies

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

A 23­year­old man died af­ ter allegedly jumping off the fifth floor of Saket court in south Delhi on Tuesday, the police said. He was arrested on Monday in connection with his involvement in two cases of snatching. He was taken on one­day re­ mand which expired on Tuesday, the police said. The incident was re­ ported at 4.36 p.m. inside the court premises when he was being produced in room number 508 by an investigation officer and two constables, said De­ puty Commissioner of Police (South) Vijay Ku­ mar. He was rushed to the AIIMS Trauma Centre where he was declared brought dead. Suicide prevention hel- pline: Sanjivni, Society for Mental Health, Telephone:

011-4076 9002, Monday- Saturday, 10 a.m. -7.30 p.m.

prevention hel- pline: Sanjivni, Society for Mental Health, Telephone: 011-4076 9002, Monday- Saturday, 10 a.m. -7.30






Judiciary can’t direct govt. to frame laws on marital

Judiciary can’t direct govt. to frame laws on marital rape: HC

Court rejects petition seeking guidelines to make rape a ground for divorce

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined a plea seeking direction to the Centre to frame guidelines for registration of FIR for marital rape and laws to

make it a ground for divorce.

A Bench of Chief Justice

D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar said the court can­ not direct the government to frame laws as it is the do­ main of the legislature and not the judiciary. It said the issue of marital rape has to be dealt by the legislature and not the judiciary. The High Court was hear­ ing a plea filed by advocate Anuja Kapur who also sought that there should be a clear guideline for registra­ tion of cases related to mari­ tal rape under framed guide­

of cases related to mari­ tal rape under framed guide­ lines and laws, so that accountability,

lines and laws, so that accountability, responsibili­ ty and liability of the author­ ities concerned can be fixed. Earlier, the Supreme Court had refused to enter­ tain a petition filed by Ms. Kapur on the issue, and asked her to approach the High Court for relief. “As marital rape is not a ground for a divorce in Hin­ du Marriage Act, 1955, Mus­

lim Personal Law [Shariat] Application Act, 1937 and Special Marriage Act, 1954, it cannot be used as a ground for divorce and cruelty against husband,” her plea had said.

Petitioner’s contention She contended that there was a lot of confusion over the law under which an FIR or case related to marital rape can be registered. “There should be a clear guideline for registration of the case of marital rape un­ der framed guidelines and laws,” the plea said. Ms. Kapur said since mar­ ital rape is not a crime, there is no FIR registered by a wife against her husband, rather, it is being compromised by the police “to maintain the sanctity of the marriage bet­







Cites survey report Her plea also cited a report of National Family Health Survey which said that nine out of every 100 men across India agreed that a husband is justified in beating his wife if she refuses to have sex with him. “The survey also reported that 15 out of every 100 men in India do not agree to the fact that a wife is justified in refusing to have sex with her husband when she is tired or not in the mood,” the plea said. “Five out of every 100 women in India reported that their husband had phys­ ically forced them to have sexual intercourse with him even when they didn’t want it,” she added.

‘Ordinance on Aadhaar use doesn’t survive as House has cleared Bill’

Centre tells High Court; case listed for hearing on Oct. 22

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

The Centre told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that

a petition challenging the

constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Ordinance “does not survive” as Parliament

has passed the Aadhaar Amendment Bill for volun­ tary use of the biometric ID

in private sector.

The Centre made the sub­ mission before a Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and

Justice C. Hari Shankar which was hearing a plea challenging the Ordinance on the ground that it was brought to “overturn” the Supreme Court decision re­ garding the use of Aadhaar by private sector. President Ram Nath Ko­ vind had in March given his assent to the Aadhaar Ordi­ nance that allowed volun­

his assent to the Aadhaar Ordi­ nance that allowed volun­ tary use of Aadhaar as ID

tary use of Aadhaar as ID proof for obtaining mobile SIM cards and opening bank accounts. Subsequently, on June 24, the government intro­ duced the Aadhaar and Oth­ er Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to replace the Ordi­ nance. On July 4, the Lok Sabha passed the bill and on July 8 the Rajya Sabha passed it by a voice vote.

The High Court has listed

the case for further hearing on October 22.

A five­judge Constitution

Bench of the apex court had in September last year de­ clared the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as consti­ tutionally valid but struck down some of its provi­ sions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions. According to the petition­ ers, Reepak Kansal and Ya­ dunandan Bansal, the Ordi­ nance allowed private sector to use the Aadhaar infrastructure through the back door by amending the Indian Telegraph Act. The petition has said that the Ordinance amends the Telegraph Act to provide for voluntary use of Aadhaar for identity verification.

Pleas seeking quashing of NEET result dismissed

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected several

petitions which had sought quashing of result of the National Eligibility­cum­ Entrance Test (NEET) 2019 claiming several questions had more than one correct answer. Justice Anu Malhotra noted that Judges cannot take the role of experts in academic matters unless the candidates demon­ strate that the key answers are patently wrong on the face of it. The Judge also re­ marked that experts of va­ rious subjects had taken in­ to account all aspects which needed to be consi­ dered for arriving at the correct answer. The HC passed the com­ mon judgment on four sep­ arate petitions.

HC tells Railways to spell out steps taken to ensure clean drinking water

Order came on plea seeking probe into water quality

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response of the Railways on the steps it

has taken and proposes to take to ensure availability of clean and safe drinking wa­ ter on its trains as well as stations.

A Bench of Chief Justice

D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar issued the direc­ tion after the Railways said it

has set up chlorination plants to treat the water it was getting from several sources. The Railways said it was also periodically sending samples of water collected

from its stations to accredit­ ed laboratories for testing for the presence of bacteria like E.coli. The HC then asked the la­ wyer for the Railways to file an affidavit indicating the steps it has taken and pro­ poses to take in future for ensuring clean drinking wa­

ter on its trains and stations. The HC was hearing a pe­ tition by NGO, Centre for Pu­ blic Interest Litigation, seek­ ing “an independent and preferably court­monitored probe into the neglect of the quality of the drinking water supply and the manipula­ tions in the award of con­ tracts for supply of chlorina­

tion plants for past several years”. The NGO said the Rail­ ways was neither adhering to the standards laid down for drinking water by the Bureau of Indian Standards nor following the Indian Railway Medical Manual. It said that water being provided on stations and trains ought to be tested at reputed laboratories as not all accredited labs have the facilities to properly test the water samples. The plea has claimed that “the water treatment infrastructure for disinfection of water by chlorination has almost completely collapsed.”


Vicious cycle

Vicious cycle A family in search of potable water on a humid Tuesday

A family in search of potable water on a humid Tuesday afternoon in New Delhi. * V.V. KRISHNAN


₹17 lakh compensation to kin of accident victim

Was killed after being hit by car in 2015

Nirnimesh Kumar

New Delhi

A Motor Accident Claims

Tribunal has awarded a compensation of ₹17 lakh to the family of a man who was

killed after being hit by a car

in north Delhi’s Samaypur

Badli in 2015. Presiding Officer of the tribunal, Devender Kumar Jangala, directed the owner­ cum­driver of the car to pay the compensation as the court declared as fake his claim that the vehicle was insured with HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company. According to the com­ plaint, the car, which was coming from the wrong side, hit the victim who was

riding his motorcycle with a pillion rider on it. The eye­

witness account by the pil­ lion rider later proved cru­ cial in establishing that the car was being driven in a rash and negligent manner.

The tribunal passed the compensation order ex­ parte as the car owner pre­ ferred not to oppose the claim petition. Since the petitioners could not produce any pap­ er in support of their claim that the victim was earning ₹25,000 per month when he met with the accident, the tribunal fixed his monthly income at ₹8,632, equal to the minimum wage of an unskilled worker at the time of the accident.

wage of an unskilled worker at the time of the accident. Court awards 1 year jail

Court awards 1 year jail for two power thieves

Imposes fine of ₹20 lakh each on duo

Nirnimesh Kumar

New Delhi

A Delhi court has sen­

tenced two power thieves

to one­year simple impri­

sonment each, holding them guilty of drawing power illegally to recharge e­rickshaws in East Delhi’s Trilokpuri in 2017. Additional Sessions Judge Devendra Kumar Sharma at the Karkardoo­ ma courts also imposed a fine of ₹20 lakh each on the two accused They were found steal­ ing power in a raid by a team of BSES Yamuna Power Limited officers in their premises. Holding accused Hafiz and Rakesh guilty in the case, the Judge said: “It is clearly proved beyond any doubt by the complainant that the accused Rakesh and Hafiz were present at the spot. There was no me­ ter found installed at the

inspected premises. Also, there was direct theft of

electricity using supply il­ legally through wire con­

nected from BSES feeder pillar. Further, the said di­ rect supply was being used for non­domestic purpose i.e. e­rickshaw charging.” “Accordingly, both the accused namely Hafiz and Rakesh are held guilty and convicted for the offence punishable under Section 135 of the Electricity Act and are also held liable for the civil liabilities for using electricity illegally for non­ domestic purpose under Section 154 (5) of the Elec­ tricity Act”, the Judge further said. The court further direct­ ed the convicts to pay a fine of ₹20,08,06 each to compensate the company. However, the court grant­ ed bail to both the accused to file appeals against their conviction.

Power discoms issue monsoon advisory

Press Trust of India

New Delhi

Power discoms have issued

a ‘monsoon advisory’ for

its consumers to ensure their safety and prevent ac­ cidents and outages during the rainy season. A BSES spokesperson said the monsoon action

plan of BYPL and BRPL are

in place.

Referring to the adviso­ ry, the spokesperson said people should stay away

from electrical installation and stop children from playing near them. The main switch should be turned off in case of water­ logging, and earth leakage circuit breaker should be installed, he said. Helpline numbers 19123,

399 99 707 ( South & West

Delhi) and 19122, 399 99

808 (East & Central Delhi)

areas have been set up for

consumers to report bro­ ken cables, poles or ex­ posed wiring, he added.

‘AAP waits for report to decide on Haryana polls’

MLA Alka retweeted a news article on this

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party is waiting for an internal re­ port from its Haryana unit to take a decision on fighting the State Assembly election due later this year, a party leader who was part of the AAP Political Affairs Com­

mittee (PAC) meeting on Tuesday evening said. “We are waiting for the report from Haryana and af­ ter that we will take a deci­ sion on fighting the elec­ tion,” the party leader told The Hindu. Earlier in the day, AAP MLA Alka Lamba, who has been vocal about her opi­ nions against the party, had retweeted a news article that AAP will not be be con­ testing Haryana Assembly election due this year. “What role does Haryana has in AAP now? AAP’s use and throw attitude conti­ nues,” she said in her tweet.

AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj, said, “Alka Lamba is an attention seeker and we refuse to comment on her statement.” When reached out, Ms. Lamba said that she has not been in touch with the party since December and the party has not been calling her for meetings. She added that she came to know about the party’s decision through media reports.

‘Focus on Delhi’ Another AAP MLA said that the party’s focus is now to win the Delhi Assembly election. “It is too early to tell about the Haryana elec­ tion now,” he added. The AAP­JJP alliance lost all 10 seats it contested in Lok Sabha election in Ha­ ryana earlier this year. In Delhi, AAP lost all the seven seats.

‘BJP opposed land allotment for mohalla clinics again’

Staff Reporter

New Delhi

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) member and Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti on Tues­ day said that BJP represen­ tatives in the DDA again op­ posed land allotment for mohalla clinics during a board meeting without any “concrete basis”. Mr. Bharti said that dur­ ing a meeting chaired by Lieutenant­Governor Anil Bajpai, he raised the issue of “unjustified denial” of land by the DDA for con­ struction of mohalla clinics in Delhi. “The L­G referred the matter to the DDA and asked it to have a relook in­ to it. Interestingly, the BJP representatives in the DDA again opposed the land al­ lotment in the meeting without any concrete ba­ sis”, Mr. Bharti said.

meeting without any concrete ba­ sis”, Mr. Bharti said. Communal harmony on show at idol installation

Communal harmony on show at idol installation ceremony

Days after Hauz Qazi incident, members from minority community distribute food, water to devotees

Staff Reporter


Over a week after a temple was vandalised in Central Delhi’s Hauz Qazi area, hun­ dreds of people descended on the street for installation of idols in Durga Mandir on Tuesday. The procession was car­ ried out by several Hindu groups from across the Capi­ tal and was attended by members of the minority community as well, who also distributed food, water and other edibles to the devo­ tees.

Police deployment “Whatever happened was done by fools. The police should take strict action

was done by fools. The police should take strict action Members from the Muslim community welcoming

Members from the Muslim community welcoming the Shobha Yatra at Hauz Qazi area in Old Delhi on Tuesday.



against the culprits. We all live here in peace and we have participated in the pro­ cession with our Hindu brothers to make it a suc­

cess,” said a resident who identified himself as Ashraf Qureshi. The procession began around 11 a.m. from Durga

Mandir street with devotees chanting slogans such as ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. The procession went through Katra Baniyan, Naya Bas, Khari Baoli, Vivekanand Chowk, Fatehpuri Mosque and back to Durga Mandir street amid heavy police de­ ployment. The temple priest, along with a few others, then in­ stalled the idols and per­ formed the rituals.

A resident who identified

himself as Haji Sarfraz said, “It was a small parking mat­ ter which turned into a com­ munal issue. Whether it’s a

Shobha Yatra or a Moharram procession, people from Old Delhi participate in everyth­ ing. We attended this to give

a message of peace to the en­ tire country.” Meanwhile, shopkeepers decided to keep their esta­ blishments shut for a while. The shops were reopened by late afternoon. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Ti­ wari who was present at the procession said, “There has been brotherhood prevalent between the Hindus and Muslims for years. A few bad elements have damaged the

temple premises and affect­ ed the brotherhood preva­ lent over here since ages.” On June 30, a scuffle over parking between one Aas Mohd. and Sanjeev Gupta took a communal turn after which the area remained tense for two days.

between one Aas Mohd. and Sanjeev Gupta took a communal turn after which the area remained








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Police seek court’s nod to probe Pehlu Khan case

Chargesheet names his sons, truck owner for transport of cows

Special Correspondent


After facing embarrassment over a chargesheet filed in a court in Alwar district nam­ ing dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, allegedly lynched by cow vigilantes in 2017, as “an accused who [had] died”, the Rajasthan police have sought the court’s permis­ sion to further investigate the cow smuggling case against his two sons and owner of the pick­up truck. According to the char­ gesheet filed on May 24, Peh­ lu Khan’s sons, Irshad and Aarif, and truck owner Khan Mohammed were accused of illegally transporting cows out of the State. In a fresh application filed in the court of Behror Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, the pol­ ice have expressed their in­ tent to further probe “cer­ tain aspects” of the case. Chief Minister Ashok Geh­ lot had tried to control the damage by declaring that the investigation was done

the damage by declaring that the investigation was done Pehlu Khan’s son Irshad. FILE PHOTO *

Pehlu Khan’s son Irshad.



by the previous BJP regime and his government would reinvestigate the case if any discrepancies were found. “Our government will see if the probe was done with predetermined intentions. The Congress is ideological­ ly committed against any kind of lynching,” he had said. The police will probe into the claims made by the ac­ cused that they were taking the cattle to Alwar district’s Tapukara village, contrary to earlier reports that the cows were being transport­

ed to their home town Nuh in Haryana. The truck owner has also claimed that he had sold the vehicle before the incident took place. Pehlu Khan, 55, and his sons were transporting cows, after purchasing them at a cattle fair in Jaipur on April 1, 2017, when they were waylaid near Behror on the Jaipur­Delhi National High­ way by a mob of self­styled cow vigilantes and beaten up. Pehlu Khan succumbed to his injuries in a hospital after two days. A case was registered against Pehlu Khan, his sons and others on April 2, accus­ ing them of transporting cows out of the State without getting a valid permit from the competent authority un­ der the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Ex­ port) Act. The police had seized six vehicles with 36 bovine animals during the incident.

Top cop probing Kathua case transferred

It was IGP Mujtaba’s work that resulted in conviction of six of seven accused

Peerzada Ashiq


Crime Branch Inspector General of Police Syed Afa­ dul Mujtaba, who became the face of the Kathua rape­ and­murder probe, was on Tuesday transferred to a lesser significant post by the administration. According to the govern­ ment order, IGP Mujataba “is transferred and posted as managing director of the Police Housing Corporation against an available vacan­ cy”. The State Home De­ partment, governing all the security wings in J&K, comes directly under Gover­ nor Satya Pal Malik. Mr. Mujtaba and his team of officers had received both

bouquets and brickbats for the 13­month­long investiga­ tion into the murder­and­ rape of an eight­year­old girl in Kathua in January last year. It was the Crime Branch investigation that resulted in the conviction of six of the seven accused, including four policemen, in the case in June this year. Mr. Mujtaba joined the J&K Police in 1984. He served the State as top offic­ er in capital Srinagar during challenging times such as the 2008 Amarnath row and the Shopian case. In his recent interviews, he said that the Kathua case became a tough case “in the wake of destruction of evi­ dence, streets protests and polarisation”. The officer had also called for filing an appeal against the seventh accused and “enhancing the quan­ tum of punishment for six others”.

Give certificate, security to cow transporters: Yogi

To prevent incidents like mob lynching

Special Correspondent


Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has in­ structed the Gau Seva Ayog to provide certificates to those transporting cows and take responsibility for their security, government sourc­ es said on Tuesday. This would prevent “inci­ dents like mob lynching”, said the sources after a meeting of the U.P. Gau Seva Ayog. Mr. Adityanath also in­ structed the GSA to check cattle smuggling or opera­ tion of illegal slaughterhous­ es, a government spokes­ person said quoting the CM.

Details not known The details of the certificate and the logistics of the se­ curity are not known. State Minister for Animal Husbandry Jai Prakash Nish­ ad said he could not provide

the details as he did not at­ tend the meeting. The CM has reportedly in­ structed the GSA to create “public awareness” about the protection, conserva­ tion and promotion of cow progeny. The GSA chairper­ son and vice­chairperson have also been asked to visit districts to monitor cow protection and conserva­ tion, a spokesperson said. The district police head and the magistrate would have to compulsorily attend these meetings, implying a proper protocol, he added.

Pilot project In a bid to check abandon­ ment of old, infirm or un­ productive cattle, the CM al­ so directed officials to provide ₹30 daily per cattle head to the farmers or NGOs to rear them. It would be started as a pilot project in Bundelkhand.

Activist couple held for ‘Naxal links’

Were living in Bhopal using fake documents: U.P. ATS chief

Omar Rashid


The Uttar Pradesh Anti­Ter­ ror Squad on Tuesday ar­ rested an activist couple from Bhopal in Madhya Pra­ desh for their alleged links with Naxal ideology.

‘Translators’ Dismissing the allegations, the arrested couple’s family members said that both were “professional transla­ tors” with a record of acti­ vism and academics. Manish Srivastava and An­ ita Srivastava were arrested from their present residence in the Shahpur area of Bho­ pal, U.P. ATS chief Aseem Arun said. The two are accused of living in Bhopal using false identities and fake

documents. “For now they are booked for forgery,” said Mr. Arun. Further action will be ta­ ken against the duo after an examination of the reco­ vered “literature” and “digi­ tal media”, said the officer, without providing details. The Srivastavas belong to Machlishahr in Jaunpur dis­ trict of eastern Uttar Pra­ desh. The ATS said it made the arrests after it got inputs that some people with “Naxal ideology” were engaging in “anti­national activities”. The ATS also picked up six others from three loca­ tions in Deoria and Kanpur but released them after questioning. Their laptops, pen drives and mobile phones were seized and will

be subject to data extrac­ tion, the police said. The six mostly included activists, said sources: Bri­ jesh of the Mazdoor Kisan Ekta Manch of Deoria and his wife Prabha, who is from the Savitri Bai Phule San­ garsh Samiti; Kripa Shankar, who runs an anti­fascist front, and his wife Vrinda, a teacher in a private school.

‘State oppression’ Mr. Srivastava’s sister Seema Azad dismissed the allega­ tions against the couple. Ms. Azad said that the arrests were another “false story” concocted as part of “State oppression”. She added that the couple were political and social activists with a re­ cord of translation and writ­ ing work.

‘File progress report on crop burning issue’

Press Trust of India

New Delhi

The National Green Tribu­ nal has asked Punjab, Ha­ ryana and Uttar Pradesh how they intend to tackle the problem of crop burn­ ing, a major contributor to air pollution in Delhi, this year. A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel asked the three States to file progress reports indicating the “strategies and proposed action plan” to tackle the problem. The NGT direction came following news reports on deaths in the National Cap­ ital due to air pollution and crop burning leading to poor air quality.

news reports on deaths in the National Cap­ ital due to air pollution and crop burning



Downloaded from:




BJP left red-faced as eight councillors return to Trinamool

Special Correspondent


Eight councillors of Halisahar Municipality, who had re­ cently switched allegiance from the Trinamool Congress and joined the BJP in New Delhi, returned to the TMC on Tuesday, leaving the saf­

fron party red­faced. Thirteen councillors of the 23­member municipality lo­ cated in North 24 Parganas district joined the BJP on May 28, five days after the results of the Lok Sabha election were declared. On Tuesday, eight of those 13, led by Ansu­

man Roy, the chairperson of the civic body, came to the West Bengal Assembly and met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to announce their return to the TMC. State’s Urban Develop­ ment Minister Firhad Hakim held a press conference in the

presence of the councillors and said that a section of the BJP leadership was in a hurry to “engineer defections with­ in the TMC to score brownie points with the party leader­ ship”. “The BJP had threa­ tened these councillors and forced them to switch sides,

but they cannot take away the love for Mamata Banerjee from their hearts,” Mr. Hakim said. The Trinamool leader blamed BJP leader Mukul Roy and MP Arjun Singh for “engi­ neering the defections”. BJP general secretary in­ charge of West Bengal Kailash

Vijayvargiya said he was not aware of the development. He said that a “screening pro­ cess” was in place for a back­ ground check on TMC leaders joining the BJP. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has also raised objections to “indis­ criminate induction of dis­

senters from the TMC”. On July 7, at a meeting of senior BJP functionaries in West Bengal, Mr. Vijayvargiya had said that several TMC leaders were in touch with the BJP but the party will not take anyone who is accused of financial wrongdoings.

Student dies after falling from classroom window


A Class IX student, Rishab Arya, died and his batchmate, Hrithik Kumar Singh, was injured after they fell through an open window of their classroom on the second floor of the school at Fulbari near here. Principal T. Rajni Prasad said the students fell while pushing each other during lunch break on Monday. PTI







IN BRIEF Rane to be in judicial custody till July 23 MUMBAI


IN BRIEF Rane to be in judicial custody till July 23 MUMBAI A court

Rane to be in judicial custody till July 23


A court in Sindhudurg district

on Tuesday remanded Congress MLA Nitesh Rane

and 17 of his supporters in judicial custody till July 23 in connection with last week’s assault on a deputy engineer

of the NHAI. Mr. Rane and

others were produced before

the court in Kankavali town this afternoon.PTI

Karnataka duo, accused of murder, held in Goa


Goa Police on Tuesday arrested a man and a woman who were on the run after allegedly killing a senior

citizen in Udupi, in Karnataka.

A team of Old Goa Police

station led by inspector Jivba Dalvi arrested the couple from St Cruz village near Panaji.PTI

NCP MLA Pandurang Warora resigns


Pandurang Warora, the NCP MLA from Shahapur

constituency resigned as MLA on Tuesday. Mr. Warora was accompanied by Shiv Sena leader and PWD minister Eknath Shinde when he went to Assembly to meet the speaker Haribhau Bagade

to hand over his resignation

letter, according to sources. With this the strength of the Sharad Pawar­led party has come down to 39. PTI

Cabinet clears sops for port operators

Benefits extended to 50 years for greenfield ports

Sharad Vyas


The Maharashtra govern­ ment has unveiled a number of sops for private port oper­ ators months before the As­ sembly elections. The Cabi­

net on Tuesday cleared changes to the Maharashtra Port Policy — 2016, allowing major concessions in whar­ fage charges (reducing them to half from three times), ex­ tending benefits to ‘green­ field’ ports and multimodal jetties up to 50 years from 35 years, and extending the pe­ riod of concessions for shi­ pyards to 30 years from 10 years. The changes were

made based on the repre­ sentation made by the In­ dian National Shipowners Association, Association of Multimodal Transport Oper­ ators of India (AMTOI) and other stakeholders last month, officials said. The Hindu had reported last week that several con­ cessions were in the offing for around 500 private and pubic ports across the State, including an assurance from the government to recom­ mend to the Goods and Ser­ vices Tax (GST) Council a cut in levy to 5% from the exist­

ing 12% for “multimodal” transport operators in Maha­ rashtra. The Cabinet also cleared the use of the jetties of the Maharashtra Maritime

cleared the use of the jetties of the Maharashtra Maritime As per the new recommendations, shipyards

As per the new recommendations, shipyards will get concessions for 30 years.


Board for a proposed Ro­Ro service, tourism and other training purposes. The Cabi­ net approved new measure­ ment rates for the foreshore land — a land string that mar­ gins a water body — for which development charges will have to be paid upfront as per ready reckoner rates. Senior officials said the 5% GST levy on road tran­ sport operators is far less than that imposed on multi­ modal operators, who have to pay 12%. AMTOI had re­ quested the government to ensure a reduction in this duty. The government has promised to take up the is­

sue with the Centre once AMTOI provides the relevant data to back its claims. The new Cabinet changes will al­ so reduce the current rebate given on inter­ and intra­ State movement in ports and jetties, officials said. The amendments will also address concerns around the security of the State’s ports. Recently, Chief Minis­ ter Devendra Fadnavis had, along with the Indian Navy, declared 20 ports in Raigad alone — of the 591 ports in Maharashtra — as “sensi­ tive”, and made the informa­ tion public in the Legislative Assembly.

Now learn of RSS role in ‘nation-building’

University in Nagpur introduces RSS history for second year B.A. (History) students

Press Trust of India


The history of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its role in ‘nation­build­ ing’ have been included in the syllabus of a university based in Nagpur, where the Sangh has its headquarters. The Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University has included RSS history in the syllabus for its second year B.A. (History) course. While the third section of the syllabus has details about the role of RSS in na­ tion­building, the first sec­ tion speaks about the esta­

blishment of the Congress party and the rise of Jawa­ harlal Nehru, and the se­ cond section dwells on is­ sues like the civil disobedience movement. A source close to the de­ velopment said the move is part of efforts to make stu­ dents aware about ‘new trends’ in history. Satish Chafle, a member of the Board of Studies of the university, said on Tuesday that a chapter on the Sangh’s role in nation­building has been introduced in the His­ tory of India (1885­1947) un­ it, which is part of the fourth

semester for the second year of Bachelor of Arts (His­ tory). The university syllabus had a chapter on “introduc­ tion to RSS” for the M.A. (History) course in


“This year, we have intro­ duced the contribution of the RSS in the nation build­ ing for the students of histo­ ry so that they can know about new trends that take place in history. New trends like Marxism, new Marxism or new modernism have be­ come a part of history as new trends,” he said.

Justifying the move, Mr. Chafle said rewriting of his­ tory brings new facts before the society. The induction of a chap­ ter on the RSS has created a flutter. Maharashtra Con­ gress spokesperson Sachin Sawant tweeted, “Where would Nagpur University find reference of RSS & Na­ tion Building? It is most divi­ sive force which collaborat­ ed with British, opposed freedom movement, didn’t hoist Tricolor for 52 yrs call­ ing it inauspicious, wanted Manusmriti in lieu of consti­ tution, spreads Hatred.”

Goa airport scene irks authorities, netizens

Need quality tourists who will come, spend and enjoy Goa, says GFP leader

Press Trust of India


A picture of several passen­ gers sleeping on floor near the Goa airport’s departure gate has gone viral on social media, prompting the auth­ orities to issue instructions that such incidents should not recur. The Goa airport is part of the Navy’s INS Hansa base, which is home to several fighter squadrons, including MiG 29K. In the picture that went vi­ ral, several passengers who arrived in Goa on Sunday night were purportedly seen sleeping on floor near the airport’s departure gate with their footwear scattered

the airport’s departure gate with their footwear scattered This picture that went viral shows several passengers

This picture that went viral shows several passengers who arrived in Goa on Sunday night sleeping on the floor near departure gate of the Goa airport. * TWITTER

around, making it look like a scene at a railway station. Several netizens, includ­ ing the ruling ally Goa For­ ward Party’s vice president Durgadas Kamat, expressed their concern over the way the airport was being turned

into a railway station. “Scene @aaigoaairport. Do we need such cheap tou­ rist in Goa? @aaigoaairport should act on this. We don’t need scum like these to visit Goa. We need quality tou­ rists, who will come, spend

and enjoy Goa and its beau­ t y. #BrandGoa cannot be compromised at any cost,” Mr. Kamat said in a tweet. A Goa­based journalist in a tweet said such a sight was embarrassing and that it was time to take tourism more seriously in the State. Responding to the tweets, Goa airport director Gagan Malik said he has asked the officials concerned to ensure such incidents do not recur. “We share your concern. This is one of the kind inci­ dent and noted with due concern. The instructions to concerned have been issued to be more watchful and en­ sure no repeat,” Mr. Malik tweeted.

Protesting farmers sowed banned HTBt cotton, says lab report

Press Trust of India


A laboratory report has con­ firmed that farmers in Akola indeed sowed banned Her­ bicide Tolerant Bt (HTBT) cotton by way of protest last month, a State government official said on Tuesday. The farmers, under the banner of Shetkari Sanghat­ na, had sown HTBt cotton seeds openly, demanding that the ban on these seeds be lifted. The District Collector had collected samples of the seeds and sent them to a Nagpur­based laboratory. The laboratory informed on Monday that the samples tested positive for HTBt cot­ ton, an agriculture depart­ ment official said. The department has now asked officials of the Akot and Hiwarkhed police sta­ tions to initiate action

against the farmers, he said. Shetkari Sanghatna con­ ducted a ‘satyagraha’ on June 10 against the Union government­imposed ban on HTBt cotton by sowing the banned varieties. The farmers were booked under the Environ­ ment Protection Act and the Seeds Act, apart from provi­ sions of the Indian Penal Code for defying govern­ ment orders. The Shetkari Sanghatna, founded by late Sharad Joshi, is rooting for HTBt cotton saying that it can re­ sist weeds, thus saving on herbicide costs. “The governments, both at the Centre and the Sstate, have not conducted a prop­ er study about the impact of HTBt cotton. Therefore the ban conti­ nues,” said a senior State go­ vernment official.


Saying it with crustaceans

Saying it with crustaceans Unique protest: Workers of the Nationalist Congress Party

Unique protest: Workers of the Nationalist Congress Party throw crabs outside the residence of Maharashtra minister Tanaji Sawant on Tuesday to protest over a statement by him holding the crabs responsible for last week’s breach in the Tiware dam in coastal Ratnagiri in which over 20 people lost their lives.




Footage from ‘lost’ Marathi film classic makes its way to NFAI vaults

35­minute footage rekindles hopes that the complete film Vande Mataram may be recovered

Shoumojit Banerjee


Aficionados of Marathi cinema and fans of iconic Marathi litterateur P.L. Deshpande — affectionately known as ‘Pu La’ — have reason to cheer about as the city­based National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has acquired rare footage from a ‘lost’ Marathi film classic of the 1940s which starred Deshpande. The film Vande Mataram (1948) directed by Ram Gabale, is a much sought­ after memorabilia item high on the lists of Marathi film collectors and devotees of Pu La’s work. This was the first time that the multi­faceted Deshpande, who starred alongside his wife Sunita, played the lead role following minor appearances in earlier films, Kuber (1947) and Bhagyaresha (1948). “The 35­minute footage that we have received has rekindled hopes that the complete film may yet be discovered. The footage, in form of a VHS tape, was given to us by Dinesh Thakur

(Sunita Deshpande’s nephew) and film historian Satish Jakatdar along with U­matic tapes which contain previously unseen footage of Pu La playing the harmonium,” said Prakash Magdum, Director, NFAI. While the sound quality was all right, he said there was dire need to enhance the picture quality of the footage. Vande Mataram, made immediately after Independence, but set during the freedom struggle, was a heady confluence of the most formidable talents to grace Marathi cinema during its heyday in the late


The film, shot in Kolhapur, was written by yet another legendary Marathi literary figure, the famed poet­writer Gajanan Digambar Madgulkar who also provided the lyrics, while the music was composed by renowned singer Sudhir Phadke. It was edited by Raja Thakur (who later became a director in his own right), helmed by the talented Gabale, a Prabhat Studios

own right), helmed by the talented Gabale, a Prabhat Studios Directed by Ram Gabale, Vande Mataram

Directed by Ram Gabale, Vande Mataram is a much sought­ after memorabilia item.


regular, and was produced by the maverick P.R. Bhide. The film, with its memorable music and songs, focuses of the patriotism of ordinary folks and is laced with gentle humour.

Vande Mataram is indeed remarkable for the dazzling array of talent associated with it as Madgulkar, Pu La and Phadke constituted the veritable trinity of Marathi cinema during its golden age

in the late 1940s and 50s. Its ‘lost film’ status has lent it a certain aura. The film was very dear to its composer, Sudhir Phadke, who had in fact visited Mr. Thakur’s residence in Mumbai following Pu La’s death in 2000 to search if the latter had preserved it in his collection,” Mr. Magdum told The Hindu. He said that the footage featured a couple of songs and has Pu La singing a powada (ballad). “In particular, one song from this film, Ved Mantrahun Vandya, became a huge hit and endures in its popularity even till this day,” said Mr. Magdum. He further said that the acquisition was doubly delightful as by a happy coincidence this year happens to be the birth centenary of P.L. Deshpande, G.D. Madgulkar and Sudhir Phadke. Incidentally 2018 was the birth centenary of the film’s producer, P.R. Bhide. “Bhide was an interesting character who dabbled in a number of things including the cinema. Besides Vande

Mataram, the other notable film he produced was Lalat (1947) where his auteurist tendencies were in full display in his highly innovative experiment of using 16 mm film to record sound instead of film,” Mr. Magdum said, adding that that Bhide later exited cinema to become a spiritual godman, establishing the Manashakti Center in Lonavla and assuming the name of Swami Vijnananand. Of the other memorabilia acquired by NFAI, one of the two hour­long U­matic cassettes showcase the considerable harmonium skills of the versatile Deshpande and were recorded sometime in Mumbai in the 1980s. The other cassette has his inimitable recitation of some of his beloved characters from his literary ouvre. In December 2015, the NFAI had received another rare Pu La memorabilia in the form of Deshpande’s original handwritten script of the enduring 1953 Marathi classic Gulacha Ganpati which was later digitised



classic Gulacha Ganpati which was later digitised C M Y K Nimbalkar murder case: Hazare deposes

Nimbalkar murder case: Hazare deposes before Mumbai court

Press Trust of India


Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday deposed before

a special court in Mumbai as

a prosecution witness in the

2006 murder case of Con­ gress leader Pawanraje Nim­ balkar. Former Lok Sabha MP Padamsinh Patil is the key accused in the case. Mr. Hazare, in his deposi­ tion before the court of Judge Anand Yawalkar, said he knew Mr. Patil as an elected representative. “There were allegations of corruption against him, for which I did an agitation and after that the government formed a commission under retired Supreme Court judge P.B. Sawant to inquire into the matter,” Mr. Hazare told the court. “I learnt about the mur­

der of Nimbalkar through media. I also came to know

through a media report that

a contract was given to the

shooters to kill me, following which I registered a case in

shooters to kill me, following which I registered a case in Anna Hazare arrives at a

Anna Hazare arrives at a Mumbai court on Tuesday.


this connection at Parner police station (in Ahmedna­ gar district),” the anti­cor­ ruption crusader said. Mr. Hazare said that be­ fore filing the compliant, he wrote a letter to the govern­ ment, but no action was ta­ ken. His deposition came af­ ter the Supreme Court, setting aside a Bombay High Court order, recently direct­

ed the CBI to make Mr. Ha­ zare a prosecution witness in the case.






IN BRIEF Stranded vessel towed ashore in Vizag VISAKHAPATNAM


IN BRIEF Stranded vessel towed ashore in Vizag VISAKHAPATNAM The

Stranded vessel towed ashore in Vizag


The Coast Guard on Monday rescued seven fisherman stuck on the fishing boat ‘Yallama Devi', which was

stranded in rough seas after

it ventured out on a fishing

trip on Sunday. The boat was anchored in a dangerous position near a merchant vessel and the rough tides were pushing the boat towards the vessel. The Coast Guard ship ‘Atulya’ towed the boat till the Vizag fishing harbour.

Decks cleared for Kerala NRI’s convention centre


The convention centre at Bakkalam built by Sajan Parayil, the NRI businessman who took his life last month, has been finally granted an occupancy certificate. When contacted, municipal secretary M. Sureshan said the certificate was issued on Tuesday subject to the condition that an issue of building rules violation relating to the location of a water tank would be rectified. Most of the other violations cited by the municipality had been rectified.

A.P. tobacco farmers see a ray of hope


The market sentiment in the traditional tobacco growing areas in Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh has improved for the better as the traders offered premium rates for

different grades of flue cured Virginia tobacco, including F1 and F2 varieties, on Tuesday.

A high price of ₹202 per kg

was offered for a bright grade variety in Kandukur reviving hopes among farmers to at least break even now given the lacklustre market condition prevailing till a fortnight ago.

Congress seeks disqualification of rebel MLAs in Karnataka

20 abstain from CLP meet; party not to act against Ramalinga Reddy

Special Correspondent


In a stern message to rebel legislators of the party, the Congress on Tuesday sub­ mitted a petition to Karnata­ ka Assembly Speaker K.R.

Ramesh Kumar seeking dis­ qualification of MLAs who have resigned from the membership of the Assemb­ ly, except seven­time MLA Ramalinga Reddy, under the anti­defection law. With the Speaker an­ nouncing that only five of the 13 resignations submit­ ted are in order and others have to appear before him again, the party seems to have got a reprieve. Sources in the party said they have decided not to act against Mr. Reddy, four­time Minister and MLA represent­ ing BTM Layout in Bengalu­ ru, since he has not indulged in anti­party activities. Meanwhile, a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party chaired by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

Party chaired by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Taking stock: The Congress Legislature Party meeting in

Taking stock: The Congress Legislature Party meeting in progress in Bengaluru on Tuesday.


has requested all 12 MLAs,

including R. Shankar, who is attached to the party, to withdraw their resignations.

A total of 20 MLAs, includ­

ing those who have resigned,

abstained from the CLP meeting. While seven MLAs had ob­ tained permission to skip the meeting, Mr. Reddy was marked “absent”.

It is being speculated that

some of those who skipped the meeting might switch sides in the coming days. In the petition, the party

had urged that the MLAs be disqualified under the anti­ defection law. This would prohibit them from contest­ ing elections for six years, he said. “I hope the Speaker will act according to the pro­ visions of the Constitution,”

Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

MLAs waiting for Speaker’s decision

Press Trust of India


Fourteen MLAs of Karnata­ ka’s ruling coalition are camping about 90 km from Pune and will wait for the Speaker’s decision on their resignations before taking a call on proceeding to Goa or returning to Bengaluru, sources said on Tuesday. The 14 MLAs were stay­ ing at a luxury hotel in Mumbai and left on Mon­ day evening for Goa. But la­ ter they moved to their pre­ sent location, sources said. If their resignations are accepted, they might re­ turn to Bengaluru, they ad­ ded. The MLAs were accom­ panied by Mumbai BJP Yu­ va Morcha president Mohit Bhartiya, sources added.

Landlord unwittingly safeguarded IEDs: police

Raids conducted in Bengaluru by NIA

Special Correspondent


A man who had rented a

portion of his house last year to Jamaat­ul­Mujahi­ deen terror suspect Habibur Rehman and his associates had unwittingly safeguard­ ed improvised explosive devices (IED) left behind by the tenants for a year. Arpan Saha, investigating officer of the National Inves­ tigation Agency (NIA), reco­ vered the IEDs and other material on Sunday based on information provided by Rehman. They included five hand grenades, a timer, three electric circuits and components for making IEDs/rockets. Rehman was arrested in June at Dodda­ ballapur for his alleged in­ volvement in the blasts in Burdwan in 2014. Sen and his team escort­ ed Rehman to a house in Mustan Sab Garden, Old Railway Station Road, Chik­ kabanavara, where he had stayed as a tenant for two months from May 2018 with his associates. The landlord, Samiulla was puzzled when

with his associates. The landlord, Samiulla was puzzled when Habibur Rehman. ARRANGEMENT * SPECIAL NIA officials,

Habibur Rehman.



NIA officials, accompanied by the local police and Reh­ man, knocked on his door. They found the materials in

a locked room. After staying there for about two months, the te­ nants had disappeared in Ju­ ly. Samiulla stored the mate­ rial they left behind in another room. According to officials, he was shocked to learn that the items were IEDs. NIA officials, who questioned Samiulla, gave him a clean chit after being convinced that he had not been aware of the identities of his tenants or linked to any terror outfit.

Minor raped by 5 persons in Mangaluru

Special Correspondent


A 17­year­old girl from Vitla

in Dakshina Kannada dis­ trict was allegedly sexually assaulted by five persons between December 2018 and March this year. The incident came to light when the girl was ad­ mitted to a government hospital on Monday and found to be pregnant. Of the five persons, Krishna Naik, 38, gram panchayat bill collector, Dhanush Naik, 23, autorickshaw driver, and the victim’s 29­ year­old relative have been arrested, the police said.

In her complaint the girl

has also mentioned that

she was sexually assaulted by Krishnappa, a resident

of her village. The other ac­

cused is Puneet. The accused reportedly threatened her against tell­ ing anyone about the assault. The accused have been charged under Section 376 and 506 of IPC, Section 3(1) (W)(1)(11) of the SC/ST (Pre­ vention of Atrocities) Act, and Section 4 of POCSO.

Orthodox church turns down govt. call for talks



The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church on Tuesday turned down a call from the Kerala government to work out a consensus with the Ja­ cobite faction, citing legal barriers in attending such

discussions. In a statement on Tues­ day, church secretary Biju Oommen said the Supreme Court order of July 2, 2019 directed that the dispute should be settled only on the basis of its earlier order

of July 3, 2017, which had stated that the State and all parties involved ‘cannot solve the matter in any man­ ner different from the judg­ ment passed by this court.’ He also warned the Jacobite faction of stern legal action against its alleged attempts to sabotage the SC order in the cover of the burial issue. Meanwhile, the Jacobite faction of the church has reiterated that the differenc­ es between the two groups could be settled only through negotiations.

Flood at Polavaram dam site sets alarm bells ringing

Concern over safety of coffer dam, which is being built

G. Venkataramana Rao


The flood in the Godavari riv­ er at the Polavaram dam site, which led to the inundation of the road leading to the un­ der­construction coffer dam cutting it off from the bank, has created a flutter. Though around 30,000 cusecs of water is recorded at the dam site, the level had been steadily rising in the

at the dam site, the level had been steadily rising in the Safety concerns: Flood water

Safety concerns: Flood water at the Polavaram dam site flowing through the gap in the cofferdam. * A.V.G. PRASAD

past three days. Engineers said the river was 2,400 metres (2.4 km)

wide at the dam site. The coffer dam had been built to a certain height for a length

of 1,800 metres and there was a gap of 600 metres to facilitate passage of the flood water.

Temporary dam Ideally, coffer dam should be constructed only after com­ pletion of the spillway so that the entire flood water could be released through it. But in the case of Polavaram, it was built to protect the Earth­ Cum­Rock­Filled (ECRF) dam. It was dubbed a tem­ porary dam that could be used to divert flood water in­ to the east and west main ca­ nals by gravity ahead of the

completion of the project. Former Superintending En­ gineer K. Haranath told The Hindu that there would be considerable damage to the coffer dam where the flood water overflows. Fortunate­ ly, the inflows at the dam site were considerably less be­ cause of the Kaleshwaram project that was drawing wa­ ter from the river, he said. A.P. irrigation officials are worried as release of water for Godavari delta farmers has been delayed because of the coffer dam and the pumping of water by Telangana.

DRDO gets clearance for missile test facility in A.P.

Defence Ministry says it is a strategic requirement

T. Appala Naidu


The Ministry of Environ­ ment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has grant­ ed environment and Coastal Regulatory Zone clearances for setting up Missile Testing Launch Facility on the Bay of Bengal coast and Technical Facility at Gullalamoda vil­ lage in Krishna district. With this, all necessary clearances to begin the con­ struction work have been obtained by the Defence Re­ search and Development Or­ ganisation (DRDO). The Hindu has access to a copy of the EC and CRZ clea­ rance that was communicat­ ed by MoEFCC to K. Radhak­ rishna, Chief Construction Engineer (R&D)­S, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Secundera­ bad, on July 3.

The EC and CRZ clea­ rance document says:

“There is confirmation from Secretary, Ministry of De­ fence, that this project is a strategic requirement and of national importance and cannot be located anywhere else. It is thus exempted from the public hearing as per EIA notification 2016.” The Environmental Ap­ praisal Committee of the MoEFCC appraised the DRDO’s EC and CRZ applica­ tions during its 34th meeting in August 2018.

Technical studies IIT­Madras and WAPCOS have done the key technical studies required for the pro­ ject. The MoEFCC has also placed 11 conditions, includ­ ing preparation of Oil con­ tingency management plan

and disaster management plan, before the commence­ ment of the construction of the project. The DRDO has proposed to set up the project on 154.4 hectares in the Krishna Wil­ dlife Sanctuary in Krishna district.

Robust plan The technical facility will be developed on 130.15 hec­ tares, while the test facility will come up on the 6.07 hectares, according to the project design. “The DRDO has already prepared a robust plan to commence the construction work. All the necessary pro­ cedures to begin the con­ struction work have been completed,” sources asso­ ciated with the project told The Hindu on condition of anonymity.


Rain cover

Rain cover Braving the elements: Karnataka Primary School Teachers

Braving the elements: Karnataka Primary School Teachers Association members protesting amidst rain in Mangaluru on Tuesday. They were opposing the recent changes in the Cadre and Recruitment Rules 2017, which restricted primary school teachers appointed before 2014 to teach only from Classes 1 to 5. * SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


Move HC for MBBS fee fixation: SC

Legal Correspondent


The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked an associa­ tion of private self­financ­ ing medical colleges in Ker­ ala to approach the High Court to challenge the fixa­ tion of annual MBBS course fees for them.

A Bench, led by Justice

S.A. Bobde, orally ob­ served that their cause might be valid, but asked the managements to move the High Court first. The colleges said the fee usually charged was about ₹18 lakh in order to cover costs. But the Admission

Supervisory Committee for Professional Colleges fixed

a fee nearly ₹50,000 more

than that in the previous years, and ranging from ₹5.85 lakh to ₹7.19 lakh. The managements said the decision was taken without the actual cost of running the colleges considered.

Full rehearsal for Chandrayaan­2 conducted

It is designed to place a lander and a robotic rover near the lunar south pole

Special Correspondent


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said it conducted a dry run till late on Monday of all operations related to the Chandrayaan­2 lunar mission, scheduled for launch next week. The full­dress rehearsal was conducted at ISRO’s launch centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, a week before the launch of India’s second lunar mission in 11 years. Chandrayaan­2 is de­ signed to place a lander and a robotic rover near the lu­ nar south pole, a site that has not been explored by any country yet. Only Russia, the U.S. and China have soft­landed on moon so far. Chandrayaan­2 will take

have soft­landed on moon so far. Chandrayaan­2 will take A file pic of ISRO scientists working

A file pic of ISRO scientists working on the orbiter vehicle and lander of Chandrayaan­2 in Bengaluru. * K. MURALI KUMAR

off at 2.51 a.m. on July 15. The spacecraft is due to land on the moon on September 6. Soon after the launch, the

spacecraft — the orbiter car­ rying the lander­rover com­ bine must complete five orbit­raising manoeuvres

around the earth. It will leave the planet’s atmosph­ ere 16 days later, around ear­ ly August.

Five-day journey The journey to the moon, some 3.84 lakh kilometres away from the earth, will take five days. However, once it goes near the moon, the space­ craft will do another round of manoeuvres and orbit the moon for 27 days before the lander separates to touch down on the lunar surface. ISRO is using its heavy lift launcher, the GSLV­MkIII, to launch the ₹978­crore Chan­


The spacecraft weighs 3,840 kg. The previous orbi­ ter­only mission was launched on the PSLV in Oc­ tober 2008.

Steps to vacate BRKR Bhavan begins

Telangana Secretariat all set to be shifted there

M. Rajeev


The State Secretariat, the nerve centre of the Telanga­ na administration, is all set to be shifted to the Burgula Ramakrishna Rao Bhavan (BRKR) located in the same neighbourhood. Efforts have been intensi­ fied to vacate the BRKR Bha­ van, housing several govern­ ment departments, including the Technical Edu­ cation wing and the Telanga­ na State Technology Servic­ es, to pave the way for shifting the Secretariat de­ partments there. Shifting of the Technical Education and other departments from the BRKR Bhavan to the offices of their respective heads of

the BRKR Bhavan to the offices of their respective heads of State Technical Education Department staff

State Technical Education Department staff getting ready to shift to their new office in Hyderabad.


departments began on Tues­ day and the process is likely

to continue for the next few


Facilities inspected Secretary in the Chief Minis­ ter’s Office Adhar Sinha along with a team of senior R&B officials inspected the BRKR Bhavan premises and

the facilities available in the complex for housing the Se­

cretariat departments. The development comes in the light of the govern­ ment’s decision to construct

a state­of­the­art Secretariat

complex in place of the exist­

ing complex which had sev­ eral shortcomings, including the absence of fire safety

measures in some blocks and the scarcity of provi­ sions for holding major conferences. The government has ac­ cordingly decided to shift the existing offices in the old complex for the time being so that the construction of the new complex could com­ mence as early as possible. Accordingly, the offices of the Chief Minister, including that of the Chief Adviser and CMO secretaries, Chief Se­ cretary and Ministers as well as General Administration, Finance, Home and other departments will be relocat­ ed in the BRKR Bhavan. Going by the tentative plans, the CMO is likely to be located on the top floor of

the D block in the BRKR Bha­ van in a combined built up area of around 10,000 sq.ft housing the CMO as well as offices of his secretaries.



a combined built up area of around 10,000 sq.ft housing the CMO as well as offices


a combined built up area of around 10,000 sq.ft housing the CMO as well as offices







IN BRIEF Case filed against Honey Singh over vulgar lyrics


IN BRIEF Case filed against Honey Singh over vulgar lyrics

Case filed against Honey Singh over vulgar lyrics


The Punjab police have registered a case against singer Honey Singh over allegedly using objectionable and vulgar lyrics against women in his latest song titled Makhna.

Ahmedabad court issues summons to Rahul


A local court in Ahmedabad

on Tuesday re­issued summons to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, asking him to

appear before it on August 9

in a defamation case filed

against him by a BJP municipal councillor for a remark against BJP president Amit Shah. Mr. Gandhi had referred to Mr. Shah as a “murder accused”.

CBI searches 110 locations in 19 States


In a countrywide operation,

the CBI carried out searches

at 110 locations in 19 States in

connection with fresh cases related to alleged corruption, arms smuggling and criminal misconduct, officials said on Tuesday. The agency has registered 30 fresh cases. PTI

Drug addiction among Army recruits in Shillong


The Army has taken steps to

check drug addiction among its recruits at a training centre

in Shillong. Addiction among

Army personnel came to light after 15 people were arrested on July 4 for possessing 58 g of heroin.

DGCA notices to Chennai, Ahmedabad airports


The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has served showcause notices to the Chennai and Ahmedabad airports over concrete slabs, bitumen waste, open trenches and drains on the runway. The DGCA inspected various airports after at least six runway related mishaps.

Over 70 discrimination cases reported in 2017­18


Over 70 cases of caste­based discrimination in universities and colleges across the country were reported to the University Grants Commission during 2017­18, the HRD Ministry said on Tuesday. The UGC had in June asked universities and higher educational institutions to desist from discriminating against SC/ST students.

Monsoon heading for ‘a break’ after July 15

A routine occurrence, heavy rain will be confined to the foothills of the Himalayas



The southwest monsoon, which has seen a vigorous phase over parts of central

India, the western coast and eastern India, will likely take a break after July 15, private weather agency Skymet Weather said.

“ The country is now

heading towards break­mon­


soon conditions

goes weak over most parts of the country and heavy rains

are only confined to the foothills of Himalayas, right

from Uttarakhand to north­ east India. This is exactly how conditions will be, July

15 onward,” Jatin Singh, Ma­ naging Director, Skymet,

15 onward,” Jatin Singh, Ma­ naging Director, Skymet, Youth soak in the rain in Patna on

Youth soak in the rain in Patna on Tuesday. * RANJEET KUMAR

said in a company blog post on Tuesday. The break, which is a rou­ tine occurrence during the monsoon in July, will be trig­ gered as a low­pressure sys­ tem hovering over Uttar Pra­ desh and adjoining Madhya Pradesh starts to fade away,

resulting in a drastic de­ crease in the rains over the central parts of the country. Moreover, a trough now passing through the Indo­ Gangetic plains would also shift north towards the foothills of the Himalayas, leading to increased rain.

Leak of confidential letter unfortunate: Matondkar

Missive highlighted failure of party leadership at local level

Press Trust of India


Actress­turned­politician Ur­ mila Matondkar, who had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North seat as a Con­ gress candidate, on Tuesday took a dim view of her letter criticising close aides of se­ nior party leader Sanjay Ni­ rupam getting ‘leaked’.

In the letter addressed to the party leadership, Ms. Matondkar had criticised the conduct of Sandesh Kondvil­ kar and Bhushan Patil, close associates of Mr. Nirupam during the campaigning. The letter, dated May 16, a week before the Lok Sabha election results were an­ nounced, is addressed to Mi­ lind Deora, the then Mumbai Regional Congress Commit­ tee chief. Mr. Deora, who

Mumbai Regional Congress Commit­ tee chief. Mr. Deora, who Urmila Matondkar had succeeded Mr. Nirupam as

Urmila Matondkar

had succeeded Mr. Nirupam as the president of the Mum­ bai Congress, announced his resignation from the post on Sunday, taking moral res­ ponsibility for the party’s defeat in the elections.

‘No personal agenda’ “It’s extremely unfortunate that a confidential letter con­ taining privileged communi­ cation was made public,” Ms. Matondkar said in a

statement. She also said ev­ ery political party has issues and she had joined the Con­ gress with no personal agen­ da, but to serve the country. She said, “I had addressed this letter to the Mumbai Congress president with the sole intention to bring about betterment in the party. It is extremely significant to note that this letter was written way before the election re­ sults were announced and even before the exit polls.” In the missive, she had highlighted the failure of the party leadership at local­le­ vel coordination, mobilising workers at grassroots and failure to provide proper re­ sources to her by the two campaign coordinators. Ms. Matondkar had lost to BJP veteran Gopal Shetty by a margin of over 4 lakh votes.

July rains have so far been much better than the rains in June, which saw a deficit of nearly 33%. As of July 8, the overall monsoon shortfall ( June 1­July 8) has fallen to 19%. In central India, a key region given the quantity of kharif crop sown, the deficit has fallen to 2%. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on its part hasn’t warned of a break but warns of a forthcoming lull. “Widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls likely over Western Hi­ malayan Region, foothills of the Himalayas and north­

scattered to

fairly widespread rainfall likely along the West coast

eastern states

and isolated to scattered rainfall over rest of the coun­ try,” its outlook on the even­ ing of July 8 noted.

July critical July rainfall is critical to the fate of the monsoon. The IMD says that it is sticking to its May forecast that rainfall for the month will be 5% less than usual. On the other hand, as The Hindu reported last week, a senior official in the Union Earth Sciences Ministry had indicated the likeliness of “more rain than anticipated” given that weather models indicated build­up of several meteorological factors fa­ vourable to monsoon.

AI ban on bringing holy water from Mecca goes

Flyers need to adhere to baggage limit



Air India on Tuesday with­ drew its ban restricting pil­ grims from carrying Zam­ zam or holy water from Mecca on its flights and said passengers would only be required to adhere to the baggage limit laid down by the airline. Last week, the airline had issued a circular barring passengers from carrying Zamzam on its Jeddah­Hyd­ erabad­Mumbai and Jeddah –Kochi flights till September 15, which are commercial flights operated by the air­ line apart from the char­ tered flights it operates on a subsidy by the Centre. The water from the Zam­ zam well in the holy city of Mecca is considered sacred by Muslims. “Baggage allowance on all commercial flights oper­

ating out of Saudi Arabia [UAE] is uniformly 40 kg. Special 5 kg allowance is gi­ ven to those passengers who may carry Zamzam [holy water]. This special allo­ wance can’t be converted into baggage allowance,” Air India said in a statement.

Circular withdrawn An airline official added that the old circular was being withdrawn and that it was issued due to some “confusion.” The airline operates two commercial flights and se­ ven chartered flights to Jed­ dah every day during Haj, an annual pilgrimage to Mecca. The chartered outbound flights this year are operat­ ing between July 4 and Au­ gust 5 and the return flights are scheduled between Au­ gust 16 and September 14.

Weather Watch Rainfall, temperature & air quality in select metros yesterday Temperature Data: IMD, Pollution
Weather Watch
Rainfall, temperature & air quality in select metros yesterday
Temperature Data: IMD, Pollution Data: CPCB, Map: INSAT/IMD (Taken at 17.00 Hrs)
Forecast for Wednesday: Heavy to very heavy rainfall likely at
isolated places over Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Sub­Himalayan
West Bengal & Sikkim, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Ma­
nipur, Mizoram & Tripura, Coastal Karnataka, Konkan & Goa, East
Madhya Pradesh and Madhya Maharashtra.
New Delhi
Port Blair
(Rainfall data in mm; temperature in Celsius)
Pollutants in the air you are breathing
In observation made at
4.00 p.m., Ballabgarh,
Haryana, recorded an
overall air quality index
(AQI) score of 233,
indicating an unhealthy
level of pollution. In
contrast, Singrauli,
Madhya Pradesh, recorded
a healthy AQI score of 26.
Air Quality Code: * Poor * Moderate * Good (Readings indicate average AQI)
SO2: Sulphur Dioxide. Short-term exposure can harm the respiratory system,
making breathing difficult. It can affect visibility by reacting with other air
particles to form haze and stain culturally important objects such as statues
and monuments.
NO2: Nitrogen Dioxide. Aggravates respiratory illness, causes haze to form by
reacting with other air particles, causes acid rain, pollutes coastal waters.
CO: Carbon monoxide. High concentration in air reduces oxygen supply to
critical organs like the heart and brain. At very high levels, it can cause
dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness and even death.
PM2.5 & PM10: Particulate matter pollution can cause irritation of the eyes,
nose and throat, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, reduced
lung function, irregular heartbeat, asthma attacks, heart attacks and
premature death in people with heart or lung disease

Born in Silchar in 1943, this Assam man is tagged a foreigner

in Silchar in 1943, this Assam man is tagged a foreigner Sunirmal Bagchi Official attributes it

Sunirmal Bagchi

Official attributes it to clerical error; sons, family members are included in the draft National Register of Citizens



The birth register of the municipality in southern As­ sam’s Silchar town says Su­ nirmal Bagchi was born on September 21, 1943. This did not prevent the 76­year­old from being marked a ‘fo­ reigner’ during the process of updating the National Re­

gister of Citizens (NRC) that had taken March 24, 1971 as the cut­off date for determin­ ing citizenship. Mr. Bagchi’s name figured in the draft list of NRC pu­ blished in July 2018. The list contained the names of 2.89 crore out of 3.29 crore appli­ cants. But his name was struck off the draft NRC and

included in the additional ex­ clusion list of 1.02 lakh peo­ ple published on June 26. On July 1, a notice he received from the local NRC office told him why — he had been de­ clared a foreigner. Four days later, Mr. Bagchi went for a hearing at a pan­ chayat office serving as a temporary NRC centre. The

officer assigned to deal with his case found his papers in order and told him the mat­ ter would be taken up with the local in­charge of the NRC updating process. Anis Rasool Majumdar, the NRC’s Nodal Officer in Silchar, attributed Mr. Bag­ chi’s case to a clerical error. “It is easy for officials to

blame it on some mistake or the other. Will they compen­ sate for the harassment and mental torture I went through?” Mr. Bagchi told The Hindu from Silchar, the headquarters of the Cachar district. The septuagenarian, a contractor by profession, failed to fathom how he

could be deemed a foreigner when his sons — Samrat and Subharaj — have been found to be genuine citizens using his legacy data. Every other member of his family is in the draft NRC. After receiv­ ing the notice, Mr. Bagchi went to the police, who found that its border wing had no case against him.


Honour for ‘Plan Bee’ that helped save jumbos

Amplifying system imitating buzz earns NFR award

Rahul Karmakar


Plan Bee, an amplifying system imitating the buzz of a swarm of honey bees to keep wild elephants away from railway tracks, on Tuesday earned the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) the best innovation award in Indian Railways for the 2018­19 fiscal. The first prize comprises a citation along with a cash award of ₹3 lakh. There are 29 earmarked elephant corridors with the operating zone of NFR spread across the north­eastern states and parts of Bihar and West Bengal. Trains are required to slow down at these corridors and adhere to speed specified on signs. “But elephants have ventured into the path of trains even in non­corridor areas, often leading to accidents resulting in elephant deaths. NFR’s Rangiya Division and Forest Department field officials worked on certain deterrents and provide a solution to the problem,” NFR spokesperson Pranav Jyoti Sharma said. The desperation to find an “elephant repellent” was triggered by 67 pachyderms being knocked down by trains from 2013 to June 2019. Most of these cases were reported from Assam and northern West Bengal. Headed by Ravilesh Kumar, the

and northern West Bengal. Headed by Ravilesh Kumar, the A Plan Bee amplifier at a railway

A Plan Bee amplifier at a railway crossing.


former Divisional Railway Manager of Rangiya Division, a team tested the honey bee buzz on a domestic elephant in north­ eastern Assam’s Rangapara. The second test at a tea estate under Rangiya Division proved successful on a herd of wild elephants. A device was subsequently designed to generate the amplified sound of honey bees audible from 700­800 metres. The first instrument was installed at a level crossing west of Guwahati on a track adjoining the Rani Reserve Forest, an elephant habitat. NFR now has 46 such devices installed at vulnerable points.

9 sculptures stolen since 2016: Ministry

Special Correspondent


Nine stone sculptures were stolen across the country

in the past three years from

monuments, sites or mu­ seums run by the Archaeo­ logical Survey of India, ac­

cording to the Ministry of Culture. Prahlad Singh Patel, the Minister of State (indepen­ dent charge) for Culture and Tourism, was answer­ ing a question by BJP MP Devusinh Jesingbhai Chau­ han in the Lok Sabha. Mr. Patel said that an FIR is

lodged and a look­out not­ ice is issued whenever such cases are reported. In 2016 alone, eight sculptures were stolen from various States. While five were stolen in Febru­ ary from Rajasthan’s Udai­ pur district and Chhattis­ garh’s Dantewada district,

a Nandi and a Ganesha

sculpture were stolen from Andhra Pradesh and Kar­ nataka, respectively, in No­ vember the same year. In November 2017, a Nandi statue was stolen from a temple in Andhra Pra­ desh’s Chittoor district. None of these antiqui­ ties have been recovered yet, Mr. Patel said. Only in one case, a stone sculpture of Nandi stolen from the Veerabhadra Temple in Andhra Pra­ desh’s Prakasam district was recovered by police.



of Nandi stolen from the Veerabhadra Temple in Andhra Pra­ desh’s Prakasam district was recovered by
of Nandi stolen from the Veerabhadra Temple in Andhra Pra­ desh’s Prakasam district was recovered by
of Nandi stolen from the Veerabhadra Temple in Andhra Pra­ desh’s Prakasam district was recovered by







Going electric The budgetary measures can speed up India’s plans to switch to electric vehicles
Going electric
The budgetary measures can speed up
India’s plans to switch to electric vehicles
T he Union Budget has announced a bold move to
make a transition to electric vehicles, and offered
a tax incentive for the early adopters. Its stated vi­
sion to leapfrog into an era of electric mobility and
domestic vehicle manufacturing, led by public tran­
sport and commercial vehicles, is forward­looking. It is
also inevitable because poor air quality and noise pollu­
tion have sharply affected the quality of life, and pose a
serious public health challenge. As the NITI Aayog has
stated, the goal of shifting to electric vehicles cannot
make progress without deadlines, and a market­driven
approach sought by some sections of the automotive in­
dustry will leave India’s capabilities and infrastructure
for e­mobility trailing others, notably China. With 2030
as the outer limit, the imperative is to fix a realistic time­
frame by which scooters, motorcycles, three­wheel car­
riages and, later, all new vehicles will be battery po­
wered. An additional income tax deduction of ₹1.5 lakh
is now offered on interest paid on loans to purchase
electric vehicles, and the GST Council has been moved
to cut the tax on e­vehicles to 5% from 12%. Both de­
mands were made by the industry earlier. There is a sig­
nificant outlay under the second iteration of the Faster
Adoption and Manufacturing (of Hybrid and) Electric
Vehicles (FAME) plan of ₹10,000 crore, to give a fillip to
commercial vehicles and to set up charging stations.
The budgetary measures will have an immediate im­
pact on the pricing of electric vehicles and bring in
more models, but it will take a sustained effort by the
Centre, in partnership with State governments, to ena­
ble a fast rollout of charging infrastructure. The Minis­
try of Power issued guidelines and standards for this in
December last year, setting technical parameters for
public charging stations that can enable normal and
fast charging. With price competition, a speedy spread
of electric two­wheelers can be expected, given that ov­
er 80% of conventional vehicles sold in India come un­
der that category. Affordable charging will make these
vehicles and commercial three­wheelers attractive be­
cause operating costs are a fraction of petrol and diesel
equivalents. Yet, longer range travel will require more
than a charge­at­home facility, and this would have to
be in the form of fast charging at parking lots, retrofit­
ted fuel outlets, new public charging stations, hotels, of­
fices and so on. Swapping the battery at convenient lo­
cations with one that is pre­charged, especially for
commercial vehicles that run longer and need a quick
turnaround, is worth considering. A longer­term policy
priority has to be the setting up of lithium battery pro­
duction and solar charging infrastructure of a scale that
matches the ambition. The Centre has accepted some
of the demands of the auto industry to popularise EVs.
Losing steam
Markets react negatively to the Budget’s
populism and inability to force reforms
M any investors who were hoping for business­
friendly reforms were not too impressed by
the maiden Budget of the second Narendra
Modi government. After a moderate negative reaction
when the Budget was presented in Parliament on Fri­
day, both the Sensex and the Nifty witnessed their big­
gest fall in over two years on Monday. The Sensex in­
curred a huge loss of 792.82 points while the Nifty shed
about 250 points. Sectors such as banking, automobiles
and power were the worst­hit, each witnessing a loss of
over 3%. Investors were spooked by a variety of propo­
sals made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that
are expected to increase the tax burden on them. These
include the proposal to increase long term capital gains
tax on foreign portfolio investors and to tax the buy­
back of shares by companies at 20%. The negative sig­
nal sent by the increased surcharge on people earning
over ₹2 crore a year also weighed on markets. This tax
on the “super­rich” is unlikely to make much of a diffe­
rence to the government’s fiscal position. However, it
does damage the image of the present government as a
pro­business one and can affect fund flow into the
country if the wealthy prefer to move to other coun­
tries. The proposal to raise minimum public sharehold­
ing in listed companies from 25% to 35% is also seen as
an unnecessary intervention in markets. Global factors
like strong jobs data coming from the United States
which lowers the chances of an interest rate cut by the
Federal Reserve, and the potential systemic risk posed
by the troubles faced by Deutsche Bank may have also
weighed on the markets. However, the losses expe­
rienced by western markets on Monday were nowhere
as heavy as the losses faced by the Indian markets.
All these aside, the larger issue bothering the Indian
investor may be the Budget’s supposed tilt towards po­
pulism as the government expands the size of its wel­
fare projects instead of taking steps to revive private in­
vestment in the slowing economy. Apart from a few
words from the Finance Minister on simplifying labour
laws and relieving start­up investors from the regressive
“angel tax”, the Budget was largely bereft of any major
structural reforms that could instil confidence among
investors. The trajectory of markets in the coming
months will depend on the kind of reforms the govern­
ment manages to push through, and on the actions of
central banks across the globe. While the Reserve Bank
of India looks to be easing its policy, any global liquidity
tightening can affect foreign fund inflows. Despite lack­
lustre company earnings and other fundamental is­
sues, markets in the past have been pushed up aggres­
sively by the ample liquidity provided by central banks.
But without enough reforms to strengthen the funda­
mentals that can back lofty valuations, it may be only a
matter of time before markets begin to lose steam.

The growing power of the lumpen

The national bar against hate crime has been lowered, but resolute corrective action is possible

has been lowered, but resolute corrective action is possible Radha Kumar O nce again, the first
has been lowered, but resolute corrective action is possible Radha Kumar O nce again, the first

Radha Kumar

O nce again, the first weeks of

the Narendra Modi admi­

nistration have been

marked by hate crimes — two Mus­ lim men beaten by mobs in Jhark­ hand and Mumbai, demanding they shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’, one so mercilessly that he died. Another man, a tribal, lynched in Tripura on suspicion of being a cattle thief. Most recently, 24 men accused of being cattle smugglers, beaten and made to shout ‘Gau Mata ki Jai’, in Rajasthan. This time, however, there is a rising tide of concern, both dom­ estically and internationally. Dom­ estically, there have been a num­ ber of editorials, OpEds and talk shows calling for action; interna­ tionally, India has begun to feature prominently on a growing list of countries marked by hate crime, including hate speech in electoral


A rising graph Studies of hate crimes in India show that they have steadily risen over the past five years. Amnesty International India documented 721 such incidents between 2015 and 2018. Last year alone, it tracked 218 hate crimes, 142 of which were against Dalits, 50 against Muslims, 40 against wo­ men, and eight each against Chris­ tians, Adivasis, and transgenders. The more common hate crimes, they found, were honour killings — that have sadly occurred for de­ cades — and ‘cow­related vio­ lence’, that was rare earlier but has become more frequent over

the past five years. According to Hate Crime Watch, crimes based on religious identity were in single digits until 2014, when they surged from nine in 2013 to 92 in 2018. Of the 291 inci­ dents mentioned by the website, 152 occurred in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)­ruled States, 40 in Con­ gress­ruled States and the rest in States ruled by regional parties or coalitions. Rarely, if ever, did bys­ tanders attempt to stop the vio­ lence or police arrive on time to do so. In both studies, Uttar Pradesh topped the list of States with the largest number of hate crimes for the third year, followed by Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. These facts are striking enough to concern any government. The Prime Minister expressed pain at the sickening murder of Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand, but clearly far more is required. The Rajas­ than administration is introducing a Bill prohibiting cow vigilantism, but that deals with only one hate crime. An omnibus act against all hate crimes, including hate speech, is required across India and should be a priority of the 17th Lok Sabha. Germany, for example, amended Section 46 of its Crimi­ nal Procedure Code, dealing with sentencing in violent crime, to say the sentence must be based on consideration of ‘the motives and aims of the offender, particularly where they are of a racist or xeno­ phobic nature or where they show contempt for human dignity’. We have a number of sections in the Indian Penal Code that can be used to punish or even prevent hate crime, but they are disparate and few policemen are aware of them. Those that are, fear to use them in areas whose political lead­ ers mobilise through hate speech. Though some Indian analysts de­ bate whether there is a correlation between hate speech and hate


crime, worldwide data show that hate speech encourages or legiti­ mises acts of violence and a cli­ mate of impunity. France has a a draft Bill to prohibit hate speech, and Germany has already enacted one. According to a study by NDTV there are at least 45 politicians in our newly elected union legisla­ ture who have indulged in hate speech over the past five years; 35 of them belong to the BJP. No ac­ tion has been taken as yet by the party, though it is in such a posi­ tion of strength electorally that it would lose little by acting against them.

Court directives In 2018, the Supreme Court direct­ ed Central and State governments to make it widely known that lynching and mob violence would ‘invite serious consequence under the law’ (Tehseen S. Poonawalla v. Union of India & Ors). Then Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Parlia­ ment that the government had formed a panel to suggest mea­ sures to tackle mob violence, and would enact a law if necessary. The panel’s recommendations are not in the public domain, and acts of hate crime do not appear to have diminished in the year since Mr. Singh’s promise. In a May 2019 report, Human Rights Watch India pointed out

that only some States had com­ plied with the Supreme Court’s or­ ders to designate a senior police officer in every district to prevent incidents of mob violence and en­ sure that the police take prompt action, including safety for wit­ nesses; set up fast­track courts in such cases; and take action against policemen or officials who failed to comply. Those State govern­ ments that did comply, the report commented, did so only partially. In several instances, the police ac­ tually obstructed investigations, even filing charges against the victims. Whether it is political hate speech or police bias on the ground, there is little doubt that the national bar against hate crime has been lowered. On television, we see replays of hate speech and videos of lynching. Though the ac­ companying commentary is criti­ cal, repeated iterations normalise the hateful. Indeed, anchors them­ selves resort to invective far more often than before — note how Kashmiris are routinely heckled and abused on talk shows. The print media too is failing. Several newspapers now publish trium­ phalist opinion articles, including comments to articles that are hate speech by any definition. Criticism of blatantly communal govern­ ment actions such as extension of refuge and citizenship on religious identity has grown increasingly muted.

Key steps needed One of the policy issues that is high on the Modi administration’s

list is dealing with incitement to violence through social media. But the focus is on hate in relation to terrorism, and it is unclear wheth­ er government policy will extend to cover hate crime. Important as

it is to do so, the digital media is

not the only offender. In fact,

there are several obvious steps which would be easier to take and yield more immediate results than regulation of the digital media. Parliament could enact an omni­ bus act against hate crime, and the Home Minister could set bench­ marks for policemen and adminis­ trators to deal with hate crime. The legislature and political par­ ties could suspend or dismiss members who are implicated in hate crimes or practise hate speech. The electronic and print media could stop showing or pu­ blishing hateful comments and threats. Priests could preach the values of tolerance and respect that are common to all religions and schools could revitalise cours­ es on the directive principles of our Constitution. For Mr. Modi, there is an addi­ tional challenge. He has twice spo­ ken out against hate crime, but his words of pain have not been backed by action, either by his party or by BJP­led administra­ tions. Does he have so little in­ fluence over his own? We have to hope not. For a demographically diverse country such as India, hate crimes — including crimes of contempt — are a disaster. Each of our religious and caste communities number in the millions, and crimes that are directed against any of these groups could result in a magnitude of disaffection that impels vio­ lence, even terrorism. Far less di­ verse countries than India are al­ ready suffering the result of hate ‘moving into the mainstream’, as UN Secretary General António Gu­ terres recently highlighted. We can still contain its spread if we act resolutely. Or else our political leaders might find the lumpen tail wagging their dog.

Radha Kumar is a writer and policy analyst

More appeasement than justice

Maratha reservation borders on class legislation rather than signifying reasonable classification

rather than signifying reasonable classification Faizan Mustafa U nder Prime Minister Naren­ dra Modi, the
rather than signifying reasonable classification Faizan Mustafa U nder Prime Minister Naren­ dra Modi, the

Faizan Mustafa

U nder Prime Minister Naren­

dra Modi, the Bharatiya Ja­

nata Party (BJP), once con­

sidered to be just a party of upper caste Hindus, is beginning to ex­ pand its social base. And a party that has consistently criticised the Indian National Congress for its so­ called appeasement policies in­ cluding sub­quotas for minorities within Other Backward Classes (OBC) and reservation for OBC Muslims is no longer hesitant in extending reservation to newer castes. In keeping with this line, one has seen it introduce reservation for politically dominant castes such as the Gujjars in Rajasthan, Patidars in Gujarat and the Ma­ rathas in Maharashtra. The BJP go­ vernment in Uttar Pradesh has in­ cluded 17 OBC castes in the Scheduled Castes list. Even the judiciary that has so far been quite concerned about the ‘merit’, ‘effi­ ciency in administration’ and in­ terests of ‘general candidates’, has sent out mixed signals on invoking the strict scrutiny test in examin­ ing the constitutionality of a reser­

vation policy. The Supreme Court has refused to stay the Central go­ vernment’s decision to grant 10% quota in jobs and education to the economically­weaker sections and the Bombay High Court has now upheld reservation for the Ma­ ratha community.

Influential reach Anyone familiar with Maharashtra will know that the Maratha com­ munity is an influential and politi­ cally dominant caste which has not faced any systematic social dis­ crimination or exclusion. Most of the State’s Chief Ministers have been Marathas. While the Mandal Commission identified Marathas to be a ‘forward’ community, two State Backward Class Commis­ sions, namely the Khatri Commis­ sion (1995) and Bapat Commission (2008), recommended not to in­ clude them within the OBC catego­ ry. After the High Court had stayed the 16% reservation made on the basis of the recommendations of non­statutory Narayan Rane Com­ mission (2015), the matter was re­ ferred to the M.G. Gaikwad Com­ mission in 2017, which submitted its report in 2018. The Bill was passed and brought into force in less than two weeks. The Mandal Commission had 11 yardsticks to determine backward­ ness. On certain parameters, the Gaikwad Commission did go beyond Mandal; some of the yard­

Gaikwad Commission did go beyond Mandal; some of the yard­ sticks it adopted were controver­ sial.

sticks it adopted were controver­ sial. For example, the Commission noted that of the total farmer sui­ cides of 13,368) 2,152 Maratha farmers had ended their lives. It ig­ nored the fact that these were not due to backwardness but because of agrarian crises. The Commis­ sion also attached great impor­ tance to its finding that while 69% Maratha families sought medical treatment for jaundice, 9.65% sought treatment from tantriks while 0.54% left it ‘to the mercy of god’; superstition, and ‘blind vows’ were factored in as proof of backwardness though such irra­ tional practices or beliefs are pre­ valent even among the higher castes as well. The Commission al­ so found that a large number of Marathas in Mumbai are engaged in the business of dabbawallas. Ac­ ceptance of food from them shows that people do not consider them low caste. The finding of 71% Ma­ rathas owning land of less than 2.5 acres was considered a sign of backwardness but such small holdings are due to fragmentation

of land as a result of inheritance laws rather than it being a sign of backwardness. The Maratha share of 19.5% in government jobs too cannot satisfy the constitutional requirement of inadequacy of re­ presentation; even the finding that Marathas constitute 30% of the State’s population is suspect as the Commission excluded Muslims, Jains, Sikhs and unreserved cate­ gories in its population count. In fact on most parameters, Marathas are on a par with other forward castes and the OBCs. Singling them out for reservation is ap­ peasement and not justice. More­ over, the Commission had recom­ mended 12% to 13% reservation which the BJP government en­ hanced to 16%. The sample size was too small and it considered just 950 urban families; it also ex­ cluded Mumbai.

On classification After all, social and educational backwardness are but an aspect of backwardness and must therefore fall within the OBC classification. Even conceding that Marathas are backward and need reservation, they should have ideally been in­ cluded within the OBC. But the High Court upheld the creation of

a distinct class of socially and edu­

cationally backward class with just one caste (Marathas) included un­ der it. The issue of Gujjar reserva­ tion was struck down in Captain

Gurvinder Singh (2016) though along with Gujjars, four other castes were also given the benefit. Jat reservation, in Ram Singh (2015), was declared unconstitu­ tional because only one caste was favoured. Maratha reservation thus borders on class legislation rather than reasonable classifica­ tion. Article 14 prohibits class legislation. Since the National Commission for Backward Classes was not con­ sulted, the constitutionality of Ma­ ratha reservation is suspect but the High Court observed that the NBCC had in no way taken away the powers of the State commis­ sion. Similarly, the Uttar Pradesh government has ignored the Na­ tional Commission for Scheduled Castes in according SC status to 17 castes. The weakest part of the judg­ ment is ignoring the 50% upper li­ mit of reservation by relying on the small window of exception permitted in Indra Sawhney, i.e. the factor of remote or far flung areas and an absence from nation­ al main stream. None is available to the Marathas. Let the BJP not deviate from its stated policy on appeasement and do justice to all including Marathas

and Muslims.

Faizan Mustafa is Vice-Chancellor, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. The views expressed are personal


Letters emailed to must carry the full postal address and the full name or the name with initials.

Karnataka crisis

The political charade in Karnataka has come to such

a pass that the Bharatiya

Janata Party that had unsuccessfully formed the first government after the election is at government formation again by trial and error and subverting the will of the people of Karnataka (Editorial, “The visible hand”, July 9). Both the party and its State party president and former Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, have a yen to wrest power even if they lose elections. Consequently, the party with a difference has metamorphised into a party of defectors and the MLAs who are raring to cross over have betrayed the trust of the people. If the JD(S) and the Congress give rebel MLAs ministerial

berths, it will be a surefire way for others to rebel. This

is a vicious circle. Even if

the BJP manages to form a

government with floating MLAs, its longevity will be suspect again. This will give

rise to a piquant situation. One can safely conclude that democracy in Karnataka is at the mercy of power­hungry politicians.

Abdul Assis P.A.,

Kandassankadavu, Thrissur, Kerala

Even if the BJP forms the government through the back door, it would not the government of, for and by the people, but of, for and by defectors. The party leadership in Delhi may claim that it has nothing to do with the the crisis but the acts of their State leaders make it crystal clear that these cannot be without clearance from Delhi. Perhaps the time has come to dissolve the House and let voters decide who they want.

N. Nagarajan,


If the party leadership somehow succeeds in

appeasing the disgruntled MLAs they can never be trusted. Amidst political uncertainty the administration will be in a state of inertia. Parties must think about dealing with horse trading and shifting allegiance in a serious manner. Existing anti­ defection laws are ineffective

and law­makers find out ample loopholes to escape disqualification. Those who vitiate democratic credibility must be debarred from accessing all benefits as elected representatives.

Dr. George Vareekal,

Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh

Quota and caste

The assertion in the article, “Reinforcing caste hierarchies” (Editorial page, July 9) is that “reservation is not the real answer” though in the context of its latest avatar, the Maratha quota, is a good enough reason to

revisit the time when it was first introduced. At that time,

this short­term special measure was intended to bring the ‘backward’ sections to a level that was on a par with others. That it continues and expands is an indication of the failure of the scheme. Instead of there being a scientific assessment, the issue has been treated politically. To perpetuate the short­term plan and to expand it in all directions are the hallmarks of vote­bank politics. How it reduces the ‘merit’ element in education, the bureaucracy, legislature and other sections is a governance issue. This is the reason why caste hierarchies continue and are reinforced. Only proper Constitutional amendments to delete discriminatory provisions can help progress.

P.R.V. Raja,

Pandalam, Kerala

The objective of reservation was to uplift the ‘downtrodden’ and not to encourage indiscriminate

profiteering at the expense of deserving candidates. The system today not only strengthens the caste divide but also creates resentment in communities unable to reap the benefits of reservation. It may not be an exaggeration to say that ‘brain drain’ is a consequence of the reservation system. Capable students prefer to move abroad where their work and capabilities are rewarded.

Kshitij Mani Tripathi,

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Road safety

Though the human factor is often cited in fatal road accidents, one cannot

overlook poor road infrastructure as another major cause. Data from the Public Works Department last year, on Delhi’s roads, showed an average of 2,000 potholes along the main roads. There were also broken footpaths, dislocated kerb stones and trees affecting traffic. India ranks very high in road accidents if one accesses data from the International Road Federation, Geneva. In a review of accident prevention, there has to be a holistic view of all factors.

Tushar Anand,

Patna, Bihar

more letters online:

corrections & clarifications:

The report headlined “Shutdown in Valley on Wani’s death an­ niversary” ( July 9, 2019) referred to Burhan Wani’s killing on June 8, 2016. It should have been July 8, 2016. Also, it talked about slow­ ing down of internet speeds on Tuesday. It should have been Monday. An Editorial page article titled “A shot at economic logic” ( July 9, 2019) talked about the creation of an African common market with a GDP of $3.4 billion. It should have been $3.4 trillion.

The Readers’ Editor’s office can be contacted by Telephone: +91-44-28418297/28576300;



office can be contacted by Telephone: +91-44-28418297/28576300 ; C M Y K A ND-NDE


office can be contacted by Telephone: +91-44-28418297/28576300 ; C M Y K A ND-NDE









The malaise of malnutrition India needs to double yearly

The malaise of malnutrition

India needs to double yearly rate of fall in stunting cases to achieve its 2022 target

rate of fall in stunting cases to achieve its 2022 target Thomas Abraham A new report,
rate of fall in stunting cases to achieve its 2022 target Thomas Abraham A new report,

Thomas Abraham

A new report, ‘Food and Nutrition Se­

curity Analysis, India, 2019’, authored

by the Government of India and the Un­ ited Nations World Food Programme, paints a picture of hunger and malnu­ trition amongst children in large pock­ ets of India. This punctures the image

of a nation marching towards prosperi­

t y. It raises moral and ethical questions

about the nature of a state and society that, after 70 years of independence, still condemns hundreds of millions of its poorest and vulnerable citizens to lives of hunger and desperation. And it once again forces us to ask why despite rapid economic growth, declining le­ vels of poverty, enough food to export, and a multiplicity of government pro­ grammes, malnutrition amongst the poorest remains high.

A trap of poverty, malnutrition The report shows the poorest sections of society caught in a trap of poverty and malnutrition, which is being passed on from generation to genera­ tion. Mothers who are hungry and mal­ nourished produce children who are stunted, underweight and unlikely to develop to achieve their full human potential. The effects of malnourishment in a small child are not merely physical. A developing brain that is deprived of nu­ trients does not reach its full mental po­ tential. A study in the Lancet notes, “Undernutrition can affect cognitive development by causing direct structu­ ral damage to the brain and by impair­ ing infant motor development.” This in turn affects the child’s ability to learn at school, leading to a lifetime of poverty and lack of opportunity. Another study in the Lancet ob­ serves, “These disadvantaged children are likely to do poorly in school and subsequently have low incomes, high fertility, and provide poor care for their children, thus contributing to the inter­ generational transmission of poverty.” In other words, today’s poor hungry children are likely to be tomorrow’s hungry, unemployed and undereducat­ ed adults. The findings in the report are not new: many studies over the last five

in the report are not new: many studies over the last five years have exposed the

years have exposed the failure of the In­

dian state to ensure that its most vulner­ able citizens are provided adequate nu­ trition in their early years. India has long been home to the largest number of malnourished children in the world. Some progress has been made in reduc­ ing the extent of malnutrition. The pro­ portion of children with chronic malnu­ trition decreased from 48% percent in 2005­06 to 38.4% in 2015­16. The per­ centage of underweight children de­ creased from 42.5% to 35.7% over the same period. Anaemia in young chil­ dren decreased from 69.5% to 58.5% during this period. But this progress is small.

An ambitious target The government’s National Nutrition Mission (renamed as Poshan Abhiyaan) aims to reduce stunting (a measure of malnutrition that is defined as height that is significantly below the norm for age) by 2% a year, bringing down the proportion of stunted children in the population to 25% by 2022. But even this modest target will require doubling the current annual rate of reduction in stunting. The minutes of recent meetings of the Executive Committee of Poshan Ab­ hiyaan do not inspire much confidence about whether this can be achieved. A year after it was launched, State and Union Territory governments have only used 16% of the funds allocated to them. Fortified rice and milk were to be introduced in one district per State by March this year. But the minutes of a March 29 meeting showed that this had not been done, and officials in charge of public distribution had not yet got their act together. Or, as the minutes put it, “The matter is under active considera­ tion of the Ministry of Consumer Af­ fairs, Food and Public Distribution”. Anganwadis are key to the distribution of services to mothers and children. But many States, including Bihar and Od­

isha, which have large vulnerable popu­ lations, are struggling to set up func­ tioning anganwadis, and recruit staff. The key to ending the tragedy of child nutrition lies with a handful of State governments: the highest levels of stunted and underweight children are found in Jharkand, Bihar, Madhya Pra­

desh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Malnu­ trition is a reflection of age­old patterns of social and economic exclusion. Over 40% of children from Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes are stunted. Close to 40% of children from the Other Backward Classes are stunted. The lack of nutrition in their childhood years can reduce their mental as well as phys­ ical development and condemn them to a life in the margins of society. Stunting and malnourishment starts not with the child, but with the mother. An adolescent girl who is malnourished and anaemic tends to be a mother who

is malnourished and anaemic. This in

turn increased the chances of her child being stunted.

The problem is access to food As Amartya Sen noted, famines are caused not by shortages of food, but by inadequate access to food. And for the poor and marginalised, access to food is impeded by social, administrative and economic barriers. In the case of children and their mothers, this could be anything from non­functioning or

neglectful governments at the State, district and local levels to entrenched social attitudes that see the poor and marginalised as less than equal citizens who are meant to be an underclass and are undeserving of government efforts to provide them food and lift them out

of poverty.

A lot of attention has focussed on the government’s aim of turning India into

a $5 trillion economy in the next five

years. Whether this will achieved is a matter for debate. But these declara­ tions only serve to obscure a larger real­ ity. There is a large section of society, the poorest two­fifths of the country’s population, that is still largely un­ touched by the modern economy which the rest of the country inhabits. As one part of the country lives in a 21st century economy, ordering exotic cui­ sines over apps, another part struggles with the most ancient of realities: find­ ing enough to eat to tide them over till the next day.

Thomas Abraham is a Bengaluru-based writer on social issues. He is the author of ‘Polio: The Odyssey of Eradication’

A pre-election strike on Iran?

Why a purportedly ‘limited’ attack by the U.S. is likely — and worrying

‘limited’ attack by the U.S. is likely — and worrying Tabish Khair Is Iran being set
‘limited’ attack by the U.S. is likely — and worrying Tabish Khair Is Iran being set

Tabish Khair

Is Iran being set up for a ‘limited scale conflict’ just before the U.S. presiden­ tial election? This is a suspicion that might be far from the minds of North and West European leaders, hailing from countries that, since World War II, have been sceptical of war, especial­ ly in their own neighbourhoods. But Iran is not really in their neighbour­ hood. Will countries like Germany, France or Brexiting­U.K. have the con­ viction or coherence to stand up for Iran, which has been pushed into a cor­ ner by the one­sided withdrawal of Do­ nald Trump’s U.S. from the internation­ al nuclear deal brokered under former U.S. President Barack Obama? It re­ mains one of the great ironies of polit­ ics today that Mr. Trump is such good friends with North Korea, which seems to have no intention of abandoning its nuclear weapons, and so belligerent to­ wards Iran, which did sign an interna­ tional nuclear deal! Liberal Europe might have trouble imagining the effect of a ‘limited scale conflict’ on a national electorate just before elections, but surely we Indians have larger imaginations? I am not say­ ing that Mr. Trump and his publicity troops are planning a ‘hot’, instead of the currently ‘cold’, conflict with Iran. What I am saying is that there are very good ‘factors’ which may lead to it.

Demonstration of ‘greatness’ Mr. Trump needs a ‘patriotic’ surge to be certain of victory in the coming pre­ sidential election, and he is a politician not averse to chest­thumping heroics at the cost of other people’s sons. Not sur­ prisingly, this year marked the first 4th of July celebration in recent memory that was highly politicised and in which the U.S. armed forces were clearly in­ serted into the current Republican slo­ gan of ‘Make America Great Again’. It was also a far more military show than in the past. This overlap of the ‘great­ ness’ of the American military — U.S. military expenditure in 2018 was around $650 billion (China was second with $250 billion, and Saudi Arabia and India, hurrah, were third and fourth with about $67 billion each) — with the political rhetoric of ‘greatness’ pursued

— with the political rhetoric of ‘greatness’ pursued by Mr. Trump’s Republicans can lead to a

by Mr. Trump’s Republicans can lead to

a ‘demonstration’ of ‘greatness’ on

Iran. Such a ‘demonstration’ is likely in other ways too. For instance, the U.S.’s two best friends — Saudi Arabia and Is­ rael — clearly want Iran dismantled as much as possible. The rhetoric of ‘Isla­ mist terror’ can be used to effect this, particularly because most Americans cannot distinguish between Shia and Sunni Muslims, and hence do not know that the hated Islamic State and al Qae­

da are Sunni, while Iran is Shia.

To this will be added a certain sec­ tion of the liberal voice in the ‘free’ West: people who have good reasons to

dislike the clerical regime in Iran, peo­ ple who would like to see Iran become democratic. While their reasons are good, many of them are too idealistic

or too removed from Iran to think of

what might happen once the conflict begins — and escalates. Perhaps I am being pessimistic, but I have seen a number of countries go to pieces under

the flag of ‘freedom’ in recent years:

Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan. In every case, there was hope and many good argu­ ments for a change of regime. In every case, the hopes have been belied and, looking back, the earlier status quo seems to have been a relative mercy. Moreover, North and West European states are bogged down in a post­Brexit situation, have highly developed but stagnant economies, and pacifist but increasingly parochial electorates. They would not be willing to do much

to stop a conflict. Given the fact that the

two biggest industries in the world — weapons and oil — might have vested

interests in a ‘limited conflict’ in Iran, and these industries are not voiceless

in Europe either, one can also expect

the worst. Finally, the ‘national ethos’ of Iran

will contribute to it too. Iran is one of the major nations of the world, the core

of an ancient civilisation. Many Ira­

nians would be too proud to eat hum­

ble pie in the face of American might. They are likely to be encouraged into war­like sentiments by the more radical Iranian mullahs, with their own Islamic suspicion of the U.S. and the West. The ability of the religious to believe that God will intervene on their behalf is not a reassuring element either.

A different matter The likelihood of a staged conflict just before the U.S. presidential election getting out of hand ought to worry In­ dia. A conflict between the U.S. and Iran would not be like a conflict bet­ ween India and Pakistan, which are neighbours. They can inflict some dam­ age on each other. And the only likeli­ hood — victory by India, which is the

greater military power — would leave matters unresolved for the victor: India will not only have to control much of hostile captured territory but still be exposed to ‘Islamist’ attacks from other Muslim countries, because even beyond Pakistan there lie other Muslim nations and regions. Incidentally, these other neighbours do not desire major trouble between India and Pakistan; they prefer the current status quo. There will also be no ‘global’ or ‘liberal’ cheerleading for either India or Pakis­ tan in the case of a conflict. But a purportedly ‘limited’ attack by the U.S. on Iran is a different matter:

the U.S. would remain largely unaffect­ ed, because it is too far away and far too

strong. Iran has neighbours — not just Saudi Arabia and Israel — who would love to see it bombed a few decades back into the past. And there will even be a degree of ‘global’ and ‘liberal’

cheerleading for a presumed ‘return to democracy’ in Iran. The prospects, to say the least, are worrying.

Tabish Khair is an Indian novelist and academic

who works in Denmark

Global problem, local solutions

Forest dwellers and farmers are the best hope to preserve biodiversity and ensure food security

best hope to preserve biodiversity and ensure food security





JULY 10, 1969

P.M. wants selective bank take-over

The Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, sprung a major surprise to­night [July 9] by sending a note to the Congress Working Committee – through a special messenger from Delhi – more or less associating herself with the Leftist demand for bank nationali­ sation. When the Working Committee was discussing the draft on economic policy, prepared by Mr. C. Subramaniam and Mr. Sadiq Ali, the Prime Minister’s note was re­ ceived spelling out her broad approach to problems of agriculture, industry and finan­ cial institutions. Mrs. Gandhi did not plead for bank nationalisation as such but ex­ pressed the view that the suggestion for se­ lective nationalisation of some of the major banks was worth considering in the context of the larger economic objectives of the Con­ gress Party. The Prime Minister’s note was not considered in detail by the Working Committee since there was not enough time before the members adjourned for the din­ ner given in their honour by the Mysore Pra­ desh Congress Reception Committee. But it will be discussed at length in Mrs. Gandhi’s presence when the Working Committee meets again to­morrow night.


JULY 10, 1919.

German Gold for Indian Sedition.

The mail papers from England bring the sen­ sational news that Mrs. [Annie] Besant in in­ terviews to the Press has made the definite statement that, to her own certain know­ ledge, German gold energised sedition and unrest in India. Speaking to an interviewer of the London ‘Times’ she declared that “the revolutionary party in India was supported largely by German money, which had been used for many years in the effort to cause un­ rest. Even before the war, money had been spent freely on German propaganda work, which was carried on largely by German missionaries who taught children to ‘call for the German Kaiser’, instead of for our own King­Emperor. The first results of German propaganda were the revolutionary move­ ments in Punjab and Bengal. Impatience at the slow progress made towards freedom by the old peaceful methods had caused the younger men in India, particularly the stu­ dent class, to despair of those methods ever proving successful. Their participation in re­ volution was an act of despair, but the num­ ber of this class associated with the purely revolutionary movement, who wanted sepa­ ration, was small.”


Soumya Sarkar

The Dongria Kondh tribe of Niyamgi­

ri Hills are among the best conserva­

tionists in the world. Known for the spirited defence of their forested habitat against short­sighted indus­ trialisation, they have through mil­ lennia evolved a lifestyle that is in perfect harmony with nature. Across India, there are scores of indi­ genous people who have managed to lead mea­ ningful lives without wanton destruction of natural ecosystems. These tribes, along with marginalised com­ munities living on the fringes of for­ ests and millions of smallholder farmers, are the best hope that India has to preserve biodiversity and en­ sure food security. At a time when na­ ture faces the threat of another mass extinction of species, their impor­ tance cannot be emphasised enough because they offer us solutions to av­ ert an imminent meltdown. The first global assessment of bio­ diversity by a UN­backed panel, which released its report in May, held humans squarely responsible for the looming mass extinction of species. Without radical efforts towards con­ servation, the rate of species extinc­ tion will only gather momentum. The red flag comes close on the heels of a February report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). A loss in biodiversity simply means that plants and animals are more vulnera­ ble to pests and diseases, and it puts food security and nutrition at risk, the FAO said.

At a higher risk Although biodiversity loss is a global problem, it can be countered only with local solutions. There’s no one­ size­fits­all approach. A solution that has succeeded in a temperate, wealthy nation may not be suitable for a country like India. Our tropical homeland is rich in biodiversity, but the imperatives of relentless econom­ ic growth, urbanisation, deforesta­ tion and overpopulation place it at risk more than many other places. Nothing can be achieved without



the active participation of communi­ ties that live close to nature — farmers and forest dwellers. It is now obvious

that intensive agriculture, exploita­ tive forestry and overfishing are the main threats to biodiversity in India and the world. In their prognosis, UN agencies are unanimous that the best way to correct the present course is to heed the accumulated wisdom of indigenous pe­ oples, fishers and farmers. The situation with our forests is even more dire. Instead of evicting forest dwellers from their homes, we should be en­ couraging them to con­ serve and nurture their habitats. Pressure from industrialisation does not care too much about conserva­ tion and biodiversity. The same holds true for the overexploitation of our rivers and seas. For solutions one has to just look at the growing movement of zero­ budget natural farming in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, or the com­ munity­driven forest conservation in­ itiatives in Odisha and the Northeast, to realise that there is hope for the natural ecosystem, if only we act on the advice of local communities.

No silver bullet There is no silver bullet to solve the problem of crop and biodiversity loss at the national level. The natural farming movement in Andhra Pra­ desh may not be suitable for, say, Punjab. Fortunately, India’s farmers and tribes are nothing if not innova­ tive and they do have local solutions. Loss of biodiversity and the threat of species extinction along with the alarming changes wrought by global warming are the primary concerns of our times. Our best bet for survival depends on how well we address these issues. We can do that only if we put people at the centre of our ac­ tions. If we continue to ride rough­ shod over the people who are essen­ tial to revitalising nature, we do so only at our peril.

Soumya Sarkar is Managing Editor of

tial to revitalising nature, we do so only at our peril. Soumya Sarkar is Managing Editor
tial to revitalising nature, we do so only at our peril. Soumya Sarkar is Managing Editor
tial to revitalising nature, we do so only at our peril. Soumya Sarkar is Managing Editor






FROM PAGE ONE 8 letters not in order, says Karnataka Speaker


8 letters not in order, says Karnataka Speaker

The Speaker said he would go by the book and consult seniors about the developments. “I have to make a con­ scious decision. Every step I take will become history, so I can’t be committing a mis­ take. Future generations should not look at me like an accused,” Mr. Kumar added. Asked whether the resig­ nations submitted to his of­ fice were acceptable, Mr. Kumar earlier hinted that the MLAs might have to per­ sonally hand them over, say­ ing ‘“if everything can hap­ pen through postal correspondence, I am not required at all”. The Speaker’s decision could prove a reprieve for the beleaguered coalition partners — Congress and JD (S) — who have stepped up efforts to salvage the govern­ ment by seeking disqualifi­ cation of “rebel” legislators. Soon after the Congress Legislature Party meeting — which 20 legislators did not

attend — earlier in the day, a delegation led by CLP leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao submitted a petition to the Speaker seeking the dis­ qualification of 12 “rebel” le­ gislators, excluding seven time MLA Ramalinga Reddy. The party also resurrect­ ed an old disqualification case pending since Febru­ ary against Ramesh Jarkiho­ li, Mahesh Kumathalli and B. Nagendra against for vio­ lating a party whip. Mr. Ramesh Kumar said he would restart the dis­ qualification hearing from July 11 (Thursday) and has asked the Congress to pro­ vide evidence against the three. The opposition BJP is set to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala on Wednesday to seek his intervention to end the political. Meanwhile, the Congress plans to continue its protest against the BJP in Bengaluru. Veteran party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad will joins the protest.

Saravana Bhavan owner surrenders in court

Another co­accused Janard­ hanan was also brought in another ambulance. Their advocates went to the IV Ad­ ditional Sessions Court lo­ cated on the third floor and asked Judge G. Thanendran to accept the surrender of Rajagopal and Janardhanan. They said since they were bed­ridden and on stretch­ ers, they could not bring them to the third floor. But the prosecution and the Velachery inspector of police opposed this plea. They wanted the court to re­ ject surrender petitions and to issue warrants straighta­ way. The inspector told the court that when a police of­ ficer visited Rajagopal re­ cently, he was sitting in a chair. After a brief argu­ ment, the Judge ordered them brought to the court. Rajagopal alighted from the ambulance. Seven staff­ ers carried him on a stretch­ er on the narrow staircases to the third floor. When the court staff asked his name and about identification marks, he responded. Judge Thanendran or­

dered the police to take cus­ tody of the two and lodge them in Central Prison. Ho­ wever Rajagopal was admit­ ted to the Intermediate Care Unit of Government Stanley Medical College Hospital on

Tuesday evening. Hospital authorities said doctors were examining him as he had complaints of cardiac ailments, hypertension and diabetes. Earlier the Supreme Court refused to intervene in a plea by Rajagopal, seek­ ing a direction to the State of Tamil Nadu to admit him in any of three Chennai hospi­ tals of his choice for medical treatment “during the pe­ riod of his duress.” “If he was so ill, why did he not choose to indicate it during the hearing of his ap­ peal,” Justice N.V. Ramana asked senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared for Ra­ jagopal, on Tuesday. “You ask the authorities


ments from now,” Justice

Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, on the Bench, observed orally.



SC to consider refugee status for illegal migrants

The petitions, filed in the Supreme Court, submitted that the 40,000­odd Rohin­ gya were registered and re­ cognised by the UNHCR in 2016 and granted refugee identity cards. The pleas said their de­ portation would violate In­ dia’s commitment to inter­ national conventions that recognise the ‘Principle of Non­Refoulement’. This principle of customary in­ ternational law prohibits the deportation of refugees to a country where they face a threat to their lives. During the hearing, Jus­ tice Aniruddha Bose, on the Bench, asked if there were any formal guidelines, legal norms or policy decisions to

determine a refugee. Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, for the petition­ ers, said the UNHCR con­ ducted intensive question­ ing of the immigrants to determine whether they had fled persecution or if they had crossed across for sheer economic interests. If the former, they were grant­ ed refugee status. “Sixty to seventy per cent of Rohingya have got to be refugees,” Mr. Gonsalves submitted. The UNHRC re­ port of 2016 on rights viola­ tions and abuses against Rohingya Muslims and oth­ er minorities in Myanmar had noted successive pat­ terns of serious rights viola­ tions.

CPCB pulls up 52 firms over handling waste

According to CPCB esti­ mates in 2015, Indian cities generate about 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste per day and about 70% of the plastic produced in the country ends up as waste. Nearly 40% of the plastic waste is neither collected nor recycled and ends up polluting the land and water. Plastic packaging has been singled out as one of the key contributors to plas­ tic waste though there isn’t

any number on its relative contribution. However like the companies, States too have come in the CPCB’s fir­ ing line. The National Green Tri­ bunal earlier this year hauled up 25 States and Un­ ion Territories for not fol­ lowing its orders on submit­ ting a plan by April 30, 2019, on how they would comply with the Plastic Waste Man­ agement Rules of 2016. They stand to potentially pay a fine of ₹1 crore.

Protests over Karnataka crisis disrupt Parliament

Opposition members raise slogans and walk out of the Lok Sabha; Rajya Sabha adjourned amidst the ruckus

Special Correspondent

New Delhi

The Rajya Sabha witnessed its first adjournment on Tuesday in the inaugural ses­ sion of the second term of Narendra Modi government over the Karnataka political crisis. The issue rocked the Lok Sabha also, with Congress MPs staging a walkout after accusing the BJP of indulging in a “politics of poaching”. Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi raised slogans against the ruling party. MPs of the DMK also walked out. There was uproar in the Upper House, with Congress members storming the Well of the House and raising slo­ gans, leading to an adjourn­ ment for the day. Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said he had received a notice under Rule 267 to suspend Ques­

tion Hour to discuss the Kar­ nataka crisis but he was dis­ allowing it. “I have received two notic­ es for suspension of Ques­ tion Hour…one is from B.K. Hariprasad and others, and, the other is from Ms. Dola Sen (Trinamool Congress) and others. Of the two notic­ es, one is connected with

Karnataka, I am not allowing it; but if the Members wish, I can allow it during Zero Hour,” Mr Naidu said. “As far as the issue men­ tioned by Ms. Sen is con­ cerned, the same issue has been discussed in Zero Hour on the very first day of this Session. The same issue has been discussed on the June

per the Rules, you can­


not discuss the same issue twice in the same Session, and, that is why, I have not allowed it,” Mr. Naidu said.


that is why, I have not allowed it,” Mr. Naidu said. As Youth Congress members protesting

Youth Congress members protesting in Delhi over the alleged bid to topple Karnataka government.


Ms. Sen had raised the issue of divestment of 42 Public Sector Units. Protests in the Rajya Sab­

ha by members of the Con­ gress, TMC, CPI and CPI(M) erupted as soon as it recon­ vened at 2 p.m. following two adjournments earlier in

the day. The House was ad­ journed within three mi­ nutes as the ruckus conti­ nued.

Rajnath intervenes The Congress had tried to raise the issue in the Lok Sab­ ha during the Zero Hour, but

was disallowed by Speaker Om Birla, who said the mat­ ter had been discussed in the House on Monday with a res­ ponse from Deputy Leader of House Rajnath Singh. Mr Birla said the Congress had given an adjournment motion to discuss the Karna­ taka issue, which he has disallowed. With the Speaker refusing to relent, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said the BJP was targeting the Karnataka government, which is on a brink of col­ lapse after the Congress, JD (S) and some independent MLAs tendered their resignations. Hitting back, Mr Rajnath Singh reiterated that the Kar­ nataka issue was an internal matter of the Congress. “The Congress cannot get its

House in order and is dis­ rupting the Lower House,” he said. Earlier, Congress mem­ bers entered the Well and raised slogans, accusing the BJP of throttling democracy. Mr. Chowdhury said, “The politics of poaching should be stopped. The politics of targeting should be stopped. Today it is Karnataka and to­ morrow it will be Madhya Pradesh.” “You (the ruling party) say you have no role in (destabi­ lising government) in Karna­ taka. But when an MLA comes out of Raj Bhavan, there is a car ready for him, when he is at the airport,

there is an aircraft ready for

an exasperated Mr


Chowdhury said and staged a walkout along with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Gandhi.


Rising healthcare costs bankrupt families: Minister

‘Children have to stop education in some extreme cases’


New Delhi

The Central government has admitted that 75 lakh fami­ lies fall below the poverty line annually due to the ris­ ing cost of health care in In­ dia. Replying to a question on the availability and price control on generic drugs Mansukh L. Mandaviya, MoS, Chemical and Fertiliz­ ers said: “Annually we are seeing families slipping be­ low the poverty line because of the escalating costs of health care and medicines in India. Conditions are so poor that children have to stop their education in some extreme cases. It is vital that this fall is netted immediately.’’ He informed the House

this fall is netted immediately.’’ He informed the House Mansukh L. Mandaviya that the Central government

Mansukh L. Mandaviya

that the Central government is providing generic medi­ cines under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) which are normally cheaper by 50­ 90% of average price of the top three brands. “A total 5,028 PMBJP Ken­ dras have been opened across the country, where 714 of the 900 medicines in

the product basket of PMBJP is currently available,’’ said the Minister. He explained that the pro­ duct basket of PMBJP now comprises 900 medicines and 154 surgicals and con­ sumable items. Of this, 714 medicines and 53 surgicals are now available for sale at PMBJP Kendras. “The purchase orders for procurement of 24 medi­ cines and 90 surgical items have already been issued and these medicines/surgi­ cals will be available for sale at PMBJP Kendras in the next two months. For 162 medi­ cines and 11 surgical items, no bids were received in the last two tenders. Floating tenders for required medi­ cines is an ongoing process,” he said.

Govt. questioned over mob lynchings

BSP MP Danish Ali raises issue in LS

Special Correspondent


Kunwar Danish Ali, leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party in the Lok Sabha, on Tues­ day raised the issue of mob lynching in various parts of the country, specifically mentioning the case of Ta­ brez Ansari who was killed in Jharkhand. During Zero Hour, he demanded to know what the government was doing in terms of fram­ ing a law against mob lynch­ ing. Mr. Ali, a first­term MP from Amroha, said the inci­ dents of mob lynching were “an assault on democracy”. “Even after a clear direction from the Supreme Court in 2018 that there should be a law against mob lynching, I want to ask the government, with the Deputy Leader of

I want to ask the government, with the Deputy Leader of Kunwar Danish Ali the House

Kunwar Danish Ali

the House present, whether any such law is on the anvil,” he said. There were distur­ bances during the submis­ sion and it was cut short. A Supreme Court Bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra said “people must realise that mob vio­ lence and taking of law into their hands will invite the wrath of the law.”

‘Farmer suicides went up after 2008 loan waiver’

Agriculture Minister blames UPA


New Delhi

Suicides by farmers went up after the United Progressive Alliance government’s ₹70,000­crore loan waiver announcement in 2008, Mi­ nister of State for Agricul­ ture Parshottam Rupala said on Tuesday in the Lok Sabha. He also said that, accord­ ing to an audit, people who were not farmers were also given waivers under the scheme. To a question on whether the Supreme Court had sug­ gested that the government bring out a national policy to control farmers’ suicides, Agriculture Minister Naren­ dra Singh Tomar said the court, in its order on July 6, 2017, stated that an issue like this could not be dealt with overnight, and it was justi­ fied for the Attorney Gener­ al to seek time to work out schemes appropriately. The court also stated that it would be for the Centre to determine whether and

that it would be for the Centre to determine whether and Parshottam Rupala what course should

Parshottam Rupala

what course should be adopted for this purpose. Mr. Tomar said that agri­ culture being a State sub­ ject, the States undertook the development of per­ spective plans and ensured effective implementation of programmes and schemes. The Union government supplemented their efforts, he said. It had been reo­ rienting the agriculture sec­ tor by focussing on an in­ come­centric approach as against the earlier produc­ tion­centric policy. This fo­ cused on reducing the cost of cultivation and providing remunerative prices for pro­ duce, he said.

26 appeals in SC against grant of disability pension: Rajnath

Defence Ministry criticised for litigation against soldiers

Special Correspondent


There are 26 appeals pend­ ing in the Supreme Court against the grant of disability pension, the government in­ formed the Parliament on Tuesday. The Ministry of Defence withdrew 60 civil appeals in the apex court last year. “As tweeted on February 20, 2019, regarding withdra­ wal of 60 civil appeals filed by the Government of India in the Supreme Court, all these civil appeals have been processed for withdrawal from the Supreme Court,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in a written reply to questions from MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Monday. He was referring to the tweet by former Defence Mi­ nister Nirmala Sitharaman, who had said several pend­ ing appeals would be with­ drawn by the Ministry. Of the 60 civil appeals, 17 are related to disability pension,

the 60 civil appeals, 17 are related to disability pension, At risk: Soldiers are vulnerable to

At risk: Soldiers are vulnerable to injuries during war and regular operational service. * FILE PHOTO

he added. Mr. Singh replied in the negative to a question on whether the government was considering all appeals filed against grant of disabil­ ity benefits against soldiers. The Ministry of Defence files civil appeals in the Su­ preme Court against the or­ ders of Armed Forces Tribu­ nals (AFTs) in consultation with LA (Defence) and Minis­ try of Law and Justice, in cas­ es where orders of AFTs are

against the existing govern­ ment policies/rules and in­ volve huge financial implica­ tions, he said. He added, “In cases where Supreme Court has settled the law, no civil appeal is generally filed in the Apex Court.” The De­ fence Ministry has often faced criticism for spending money on lawyers to appeal against soldiers who ap­ proached AFTs for disability benefits or pension.


proached AFTs for disability benefits or pension. IN BRIEF Modi thanks UAE for ‘Order of Zayed’

Modi thanks UAE for ‘Order of Zayed’ honour


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked the United Arab Emirates for conferring on him the ‘Order of Zayed’ in April, the highest honour of the nation. According to a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. Modi thanked the Gulf government during his meeting with the UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who visited India from July 7 to 9. India said that the visit of the Foreign Minister gave an opportunity for the two nations to “constructively build on the vision of comprehensive strategic partnership”.

2019 polls were most unfair: Trinamool


Terming the recent Lok Sabha polls the most “unfair” and “unconstitutional” in the country’s history, the Trinamool Congress on Tuesday said the issue of electoral reforms raised by it in Parliament was significant because people were dealing with the “world’s most corrupt party”. The Opposition has sought sweeping electoral reforms, including a collegium for appointing the Election Commissioner and the reintroduction of paper ballot. Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien said, “The polls were run by an unfair and unjust Election Commission.” PTI

Budget has failed in its purpose, says DMK’s Raja


Stating that the Union Budget has failed in its purpose, DMK member A. Raja told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, “For the first time, the Budget speech does not disclose total revenue, total expenditure. I am not really able to respect the Budget.” He also questioned the government on slowdown in growth and rising unemployment and said that despite India’s agrarian- oriented economy, the BJP government relied on foreign investment and believed that the real wealth creators were corporate firms.

‘Rahul must put formal process in place’

Congress veteran questions credibility of informal panel to select new chief

Special Correspondent

New Delhi

The continuing uncertainty over choosing the next Con­ gress president prompted a couple of party veterans to speak out on Tuesday. Former Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi questioned the credibility of the process of short­listing the possible contenders and asked Rahul Gandhi, who has quit as party chief, to set up a formal mechanism, and former Law Minister Ashwa­ ni Kumar said the process should involve the widest possible consultation with­

should involve the widest possible consultation with­ Janardan Dwivedi out ‘intrigue and manipulation’. In an

Janardan Dwivedi

out ‘intrigue and manipulation’. In an informal interaction with journalists, Mr. Dwivedi lauded Mr. Gandhi’s decision to step down and called it ideal. Every Congress leader should follow it, he said. He expressed surprise

that while some office­bear­ ers had resigned, many oth­ ers continued in their posts. Mr. Dwivedi, who has been an office­bearer for al­ most four decades and han­ dled the party’s organisa­ tional matters, said the credibility of a panel holding informal discussions on choosing the new chief would have been better if it was formally set up. “There was a gap as Ra­ hulji should have set up a pa­ nel of leaders.” “What kind of a commit­ tee is this where A.K. Antony had not participated? If

there was a formal composi­ tion, it would be more credi­ ble,” said Mr. Dwivedi, who was removed as CWC mem­ ber when Mr. Gandhi took over as party chief in Decem­ ber 2017. Mr. Ashwani Kumar said, “It does not matter whether the president is young or a veteran. What matters is the leader’s ability to catch the imagination of the people around a refreshing narra­ tive of national renewal. For this, it is necessary to en­ courage a culture of mea­ ningful debate and delibera­ tion at all levels.”

Congress MPs told to improve floor strategy

Sobhana K. Nair

New Delhi

Outgoing Congress presi­ dent Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in a 40­minute­long meeting with the Congress Parlia­ mentary Party on Tuesday told the party’s MPs that they should not let the Trea­ sury Benches dominate the debate on national security. “On the pretext of nation­ al security, the BJP govern­ ment is trying to bring in many legislations through the backdoor. Both Rahulji and Soniaji told us to watch out for such Bills and to

maintain an aggressive stance on the issue,” a Con­ gress MP said. Sources said the meeting was called after confusion prevailed in the Lok Sabha with key UPA ally DMK and the Congress raising two dif­ ferent issues in the House on Monday. The Congress Parliamentary Party is keen on a better floor strategy and a more robust commu­ nication mechanism with its allies. It was also decided that the Congress Parliamentary Party will now meet every morning.



with its allies. It was also decided that the Congress Parliamentary Party will now meet every


with its allies. It was also decided that the Congress Parliamentary Party will now meet every








IN BRIEF Bengal Congress chief Somen Mitra quits KOLKATA West Bengal

Bengal Congress chief Somen Mitra quits


West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) president Somen Mitra resigned on Tuesday, accepting moral responsibility for the party's debacle in the State in recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. Mr. Mitra was appointed WBPCC chief in September 2018.

Security breach at Ministry of Housing


The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has detected a “compromise” of security information and asked all officials to follow the cybersecurity rules laid down by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. In an internal memorandum issued on June 25, the Ministry said that “some malware and vulnerable issues” had been noticed in which “security of information appeared to be compromised”.

Journalist shot at in Shahjahanpur


A television journalist was

injured after he was shot at by three persons here, police said on Tuesday. Ankit Sharma was shot at on Monday and admitted to a hospital, Superintendent of Police (City) Dinesh Tripathi said. The police suspect personal enmity behind the incident.

Panel set up to review W.B. textbooks’ content


Amid a controversy over history textbook in State-run schools describing a section of the freedom fighters as “extremists”, the West Bengal government on Tuesday announced formation of a committee to review the contents of such books. Headed by educationist Jiban Mukhopadhyay, the “textbook review committee” comprises headmasters and senior school teachers, Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said in the Assembly.Panel set up to review W.B. textbooks’ content KOLKATA Tribal girl raped inside bus in Puri

Tribal girl raped inside bus in Puri


A teenaged tribal girl was

allegedly raped inside a stationary bus in Puri, a senior police officer said on Tuesday. The 15-year-old girl, a resident of Keonjhar district, was rescued after locals spotted her crying near a temple here, the Puri SP said.

‘Infiltration down after Balakot strike’

Govt. claims a 43% dip after Feb. 26

‘UN report backs India’s stand on Pak.­based militant groups’

Human rights activists urge New Delhi not to reject findings entirely

SC deadline

on judicial


Legal Correspondent


The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave a deadline of 20 days for the States, Un­ ion Territories and respec­ tive High Courts to provide it information on the status of filling up of judicial va­ cancies in the district and subordinate judicial servic­ es across the country. “Regarding the issue of filling up of the vacancies in different cadres of the district and subordinate judicial services of the States and Union Territo­ ries, the concerned author­ ity of the State Govern­ ments/Union Territories and also the Registrar Gen­ erals of the jurisdictional High Courts shall inform the Secretary General of this court the position with regard to filling up of the vacancies in the judicial service(s) in each State,” a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi or­ dered. The next hearing is sche­ duled for July 30.

Special Correspondent

New Delhi

The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed an improvement and the net infiltration from across the border has re­ duced by 43% after the Fe­ bruary 26 last air strike on a terror camp at Balakot in Pa­ kistan, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Mr. Rai's remarks came in response to a written ques­ tion on whether cross­bor­ der infiltration in the State has abated after Balakot. “The security situation in the State has witnessed an improvement in the first half of this year over the cor­ responding period of 2018. Net infiltration has reduced by 43 %,” he said. The Central government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards cross­bor­ der infiltration. It’s multi­ pronged approach to con­ tain infiltration includes

pronged approach to con­ tain infiltration includes Soldiers near the Line of Control in Poonch. *

Soldiers near the Line of Control in Poonch. * PTI

multi­tiered deployment along the International Bor­ der and the Line of Control (LoC), border fencing, im­ proved intelligence and op­ erational coordination, and pro­active action against infiltrators. Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy told the House separately that “terrorist initiated incidents [in J&K] saw a decline of 28%, net infiltration re­ duced by 43% and local re­ cruitment declined by 40% and neutralization of terro­ rists has increased by 22%.”

Suhasini Haidar


While India has rejected the ‘Update’ of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) re­ port on Jammu and Kashmir, human rights activists have pointed out that it includes several unprecedented refe­ rences to rights violations and constitutional changes undertaken by Pakistani authorities and militant groups, that actually support India’s narrative. Urging India not to reject the ‘Update’ in its entirety, the activists have urged it to “engage” with the OHCHR’s findings released on Monday.

‘Take first step’ “The govt should engage with this process to acknow­ ledge the violations, take steps towards accountabili­ t y, and call for Pakistan to ensure an end to militant

t y, and call for Pakistan to ensure an end to militant abuses [as well]. Often

abuses [as well]. Often upholding rights is the first step towards ending the cy­ cle of violence,” said Human Rights Watch South Asia Di­ rector Meenakshi Ganguly. She added that the go­ vernment’s “knee jerk de­ nial” of all the UN findings ran counter to the fact that official Indian inquiries “have flagged violations and made recommendations si­ milar to those by OHCHR.” The MEA maintains that its objections to the OHCHR report are based on human rights violations the report

has accused India of. “We are only concerned with those baseless allegations that pertain to us,” an official said, declining to comment on the other references to Pakistan. Other activists point out that the OHCHR report in­ cludes certain new referenc­ es to human rights violations by militant groups that should be welcomed by New Delhi. “It is important to note, that for the first time, the UN is taking note of child sol­ diers being used by militant

Kartarpur corridor to be fast­tracked

Kallol Bhattacherjee


India on Tuesday asserted that the construction work on the Kartarpur corridor, which will allow its pil­ grims to access the famed Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, will be complet­ ed expeditiously. Giving a detailed de­ scription of the work un­ der way, sources said a pas­ senger terminal building, a four­lane highway and oth­ er amenities were being built at a fast pace. The res­ ponse came after The Tri- bune newspaper carried a report suggesting that In­ dia was lagging behind, when Pakistan had com­ pleted 70% of the work. “A four­lane highway connecting zero point of the Kartarpur corridor up to National Highway 354 is being constructed by the National Highways Author­ ity of India. Nearly 45% of the work has been com­ pleted. The road is sche­ duled to be completed by September 2019, 30,” said a source. The facilities on both sides of the international border could be ready by the time celebrations begin in November in Kartarpur on the 550 th birth anniver­ sary of Guru Nanak Dev.

groups, for example. The re­ port also remarks that Kash­ miri groups have been charged with sedition and arrested in both Pakistan oc­ cupied Kashmir (PoK) and Is­ lamabad,” pointed out peace activist Sushobha Barve, who works in Jammu and Kashmir as a part of the Centre for Dialogue and Re­ conciliation. The OHCHR report re­ leased on July 8, that cata­ logued alleged violations on both sides of the Line of Con­ trol and International boun­ dary in Jammu and Kashmir from 2018­2019, said that Jaish­e­Mohammad, Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar­e­ Taiba had all been “accused of recruiting and deploying child soldiers in Indian­Ad­ ministered Kashmir”. It also mentioned strictures passed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) against Pakis­ tan for not curbing terror fi­ nancing by these groups.

88 manual scavenging deaths in 3 years

T.N., Gujarat lead list; toll could be higher as many States do not report incidents

Damini Nath

New Delhi

The number of deaths of sanitation workers while cleaning septic tanks and sewers has risen, despite a ban on manual scavenging, with 620 cases reported since 1993, of which 88 oc­ curred in the past three years, according to the So­ cial Justice and Empower­ ment Ministry. To a question by MPs Asaduddin Owaisi and Syed Imtiaz Jaleel on Tuesday, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister of State Ramdas Athawale told the Lok Sabha that compen­ sation had been given in 445

cases, partial settlement in 58 cases, while 117 cases were pending. In 445 cases the full amount had been paid, while partial compensation had been given in 58 cases, the reply said. Of the 15

States and Union Territories that submitted details to the Ministry, Tamil Nadu had the highest number of sewer deaths with 144 cases, fol­ lowed by Gujarat with 131. Of the 88 cases reported in 2017, 2018 and 2019, till June

Of the 88 cases reported in 2017, 2018 and 2019, till June The Prime Minister told

The Prime Minister told MPs that 150 groups should be formed in each constituency for the walk. * PTI

Modi also asked Rajya Sabha members to visit constituen­ cies where the party’s organ­ isation was weak.

“Prime Minister Modi told MPs that everyone should carry out a 150­km padaya- tra in their constituencies

14, compensation was pend­ ing in 52 cases. The MPs had questioned the government over
14, compensation was pend­
ing in 52 cases.
The MPs had questioned
the government over wheth­
er it planned on amending
the Prohibition of Employ­
ment as Manual Scavengers
and their Rehabilitation Act,
2013 in order to make it man­
datory for States to report
such cases. In response, the
Minister said the Act had laid
down a mechanism of moni­
toring its implementation
through vigilance commit­
tees and monitoring com­
mittees at different levels, so
there was “no proposal” to
amend it as of now. On the
data of 15 States and Union
Territories, a senior official
said “some States had not re­
ported and some had report­
ed nil”, leading to the possi­
bility of the actual deaths
from manual scavenging be­
ing higher.

during the period starting from October 2, the birth an­ niversary of Mahatma Gand­ hi, to October 31, the birth anniversary of Sardar Val­ labhbhai Patel,” Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pral­ had Joshi said after the meeting. Sharing details of the pro­ posed programme, Minister of State for Parliamentary Af­ fairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said Mr. Modi underlined that these padayatras should focus on villages and reaching out to public. “Modiji told MPs that 150

groups should be formed in each constituency which will cover 150 kms and the party MPs will be part of these groups. The idea is to reach out to the public and seek their feedback on the go­ vernment’s work and their expectations from us,” he said.

Gandhian thought Mr. Meghwal said the Prime Minister underlined that Ma­ hatma Gandhi and villages will be the focus and MPs should discuss Gandhian thoughts with the people.

Ayodhya: SC agrees to hear petition

Mediation process not moving: plea

Krishnadas Rajagopal


process not moving: plea Krishnadas Rajagopal NEW DELHI The petioner asked the court to list the

The petioner asked the court to list the Ayodhya appeals for hearing “at the earliest.”

conducted by an apex court­ appointed panel of media­ tors, including former top court judge, Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla, as Chairman; spiri­ tual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shan­ kar and senior advocate Sri­ ram Panchu, a pioneer in alternative dispute resolu­ tion mechanisms in the country. “Despite initial reluc­ tance, the applicant herein wholeheartedly participat­ ed in the mediation pro­ ceedings conducted by the three eminent persons ap­ pointed by the court. Ho­ wever, in the three meetings

participated during five months, neither any con­ crete proposal has come from anyone nor any head­ way is likely to be made,” the application said.

The Supreme Court on

Tuesday agreed to examine

a plea of a claimant to the

disputed Ramjanmabhoo­ mi­Babri Masjid land that the mediation proceedings triggered by the court to heal hearts and minds is making no headway. In an urgent mentioning before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, the claimant asked the court to instead list the Ayodhya appeals for hear­ ing “at the earliest.” The application was made by Rajendra Singh, survivor of Gopal Singh Visharad who first ap­ proached the court in 1950

for a declaration that “he is entitled to offer worship without any obstruction ac­ cording to the rites and te­ nets of his religion at the birthplace of Lord Shri Ram Chandra.s” Visharad had al­ so sought a “permanent prohibitory injunction against the removal of the idols of Lord Ram situated

at the place of birth.”

Appearing for him, se­ nior advocate P.S. Narasim­ ha claimed that “not much

progress” had been made in the mediation proceedings

Honour Mahatma Gandhi with village walks, Modi tells MPs

Seek feedback on government, PM advises cadre

Special Correspondent

NEW delhi

BJP MPs on Tuesday were asked by Prime Minister Na­ rendra Modi to undertake a padayatra (walking tour) of their constituencies between October 2 and 31, the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhb­ hai Patel respectively. Addressing a BJP parlia­ mentary party meeting, Mr.

NC refreshes its focus for State elections

special correspondent


J&K’s main regional party, the National Conference, has decided to reframe its narrative for its cadre and voters, reflecting a har­ dened stand on the polit­ ics of identity and region­ al aspirations ahead of the Assembly polls. NC leader Tanvir Sa­ diq, who is also political adviser of the party vice­ president Omar Abdul­ lah, on Sunday stressed on its workers at Srina­ gar’s Zadibal “to focus on the discourse bordering the Muslim identity of J&K and the discrimina­ tion meted out to locals by the Centre”.

Speaking to The Hin- du, Mr. Sadiq said the party has renewed its fo­ cus on “uniting and de­ feating all the forces which want to divide Muslims and Kashmiris” in the State. Top NC leaders said that the Centre was “pushing regional parties to the wall” and squeez­ ing “spaces to express as­ pirations of the Muslims”. “From governance issues, we are pushed to focus on the identity politics now onwards,” said another NC leader on condition of anonymity. The State is headed for Assembly polls either later this year or earlier next year.



on condition of anonymity. The State is headed for Assembly polls either later this year or
on condition of anonymity. The State is headed for Assembly polls either later this year or
on condition of anonymity. The State is headed for Assembly polls either later this year or






Trump calls U.K. envoy ‘very stupid’

President says the U.S. govt. will no longer deal with Ambassador Kim Darroch, who termed him ‘inept’

Sriram Lakshman


A diplomatic kerfuffle bet­

ween the U.S. and the U.K.

over the weekend looked like

it was turning into a full­

blown stand­off by Tuesday after President Donald Trump criticised British Prime Minister Theresa May, welcoming her imminent de­

Prime Minister Theresa May, welcoming her imminent de­ “I told @theresa_may how to do that deal,

“I told @theresa_may how

to do that deal, but she went

her own foolish way — was unable to get it done. A disas­

ter! I don’t know the Ambas­ sador but have been told he

is a pompous fool. Tell him