Raipur - The Pioneer

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Raipur - The Pioneer
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RNI Regn. No. CHHENG/2012/42718,
Postal Reg. No. - RYP DN/34/2013-2015
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I
n his first reaction to
AgustaWestland deal, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi on
Friday asserted that those
found guilty in the helicopter
scam would not be spared.
“My Government’s only
objective is to help the poor
and downtrodden in the country to lead a good life. It is their
money which has been looted
by a cartel of people and they
have to be punished. Don’t you
want them to be punished?”
asked the Prime Minister to the
audience at an election rally in
Hossur. The answer was an
overwhelming “Yes”.
“I don’t have any relations
and friends in Italy. I do not
know anybody in Italy. But a
court in Italy rules that some
people in the previous
Government has taken money
as bribe in the helicopter deal,”
Modi said.
“What have I got to do with
the verdict? Some people who
are shocked with the court
verdict have mounted an attack
on me. What have I to do with
this court ruling?” asked the
Prime Minister again. He
asserted that his fight against
corruption and nepotism
would continue in spite of the
attacks launched by certain
parties on him,” Modi added.
Modi, who launched his
campaign in the Tamil Nadu
Assembly elections from
Hossur on Friday, pleaded with
the people of the State to elect
the BJP candidates to usher in
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a golden era for the State.
He listed before the electorate the steps initiated by the
NDA Government at the
Centre for addressing the problems and issues faced by the
poor, downtrodden, farmers
and Dalits in the country.
“For the first time in the
history of independent India,
we have a Government exclusively for the poor and the
oppressed classes. We are sorting out the issues faced by the
poor classes one by one. Some
of the major achievements of
this Government are in helping
the poor farmers to surmount
the urea shortage which has
been haunting them for years,”
said Modi.
Modi said immediately
after his swearing in as Prime
Minister, he daily received letters s from Chief Ministers of
States and farmers about the
severe shortage of urea. “Urea
was being sold in the black
market and farmers had to
bribe officials to get their
quota of urea. My Government
put an end to the practice of
corruption in the sale of urea.
We have started distributing
neem coated urea which
helped farmers to bring down
their cost of production as well
as quantity of chemicals used
in farm operations,” said the
Prime Minister.
He told the audience how
his Government gave up the
practice of holding personal
interviews to select applicants for
class three and four categories in
the Government service.
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sserting that the Congress
A
side was the beneficiary of
kickbacks
in
the
AgustaWestland, Defence
Minister Manohar Parrikar
on Friday maintained that the
VVIP chopper contract was
kicked off in 1994 during the
Congress regime and his
Government would do everything to trace out the final
recipients of the bribery in the
case. He asserted the case
would not meet the fate of
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New Delhi: The Supreme
Court on Friday has sought the
response of the Centre and CBI
on a PIL that sought FIR in the
AgustaWestland helicopter
scam against all named by an
Italian court. The PIL pleaded
the court to appoint a special
investigation team to conduct
a court-monitored probe.
The PIL, filed by advocate
Manohar Lal Sharma, sought
FIR against political leaders,
including UPA chairperson
Sonia Gandhi and former
Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, whose names figure in
the Italian court’s judgment of
April 7.
PNS
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Bofors scam which could
not be reached to its logical
conclusion.
In a heated debate in the
Lok Sabha where Congress
leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said
the Italian court judge has said
that there was no evidence
against Congress president
Sonia Gandhi but spoken about
“the family of Tyagi and not
Gandhi Parivar”. The Congress
members, including Sonia and
Rahul, staged a walkout,
demanding a Supreme Courtmonitored probe into the
C3,600-crore cancelled deal for
12 VVIP helicopters.
Leading the Congress
attack, Scindia said the BJP
was telling “baseless lies”
“Mayajal bunne ki koshih ke
hain, ham us Mayajal ko
dwasth karenge “ (It is the habit
of BJP to level wrong and base-
less allegations and create an
illusion through that but we
will break through it), he said.
Scindia said the deal was started during the NDA regime.
Strongly contradicting
Scindia’s claim that the deal was
initiated in 1999 during the
NDA rule, Parrikar quoted
from files to say that the
AgustaWestland contract negotiations were started in 1994
and maintained that it was the
Congress government that
raised the clause relating to the
cabin height of chopper at 1.8
metre apparently to fit-in the
AgustaWestland choppers.
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T
he Supreme Court on Friday
ordered ousted Uttarakhand
Chief Minister Harish Rawat to
take a floor test at a speciallyconvened session of the
Assembly on Tuesday in which
the nine disqualified rebel
Congress MLAs would not be
allowed to take part.
The interim ruling by the
apex court came after the
Centre agreed to a floor test
even as the State is under
President’s Rule. Attorney
General Mukul Rohatgi
informed the court that the
Centre was open to having a
floor test by Rawat, provided
that the nine rebel MLAs also
participate in the voting that
may be supervised by an independent observer.
The suggestion met
with stiff opposition from the
Congress’ legal stalwarts
Abhishek Manu Singhvi and
Kapil Sibal. They pointed out
that allowing disqualified
MLAs to vote will amount to
“short-circuiting”
the
Constitutional process under
the Tenth Schedule by which
they stand disqualified.
The court noted in its order, “As
long as disqualification
remains,
this
court
cannot allow the nine members
to vote.”
However, it added that the
remark will not “prejudice”
the challenge to their disqualification pending before the
Uttarakhand High Court. This
possibly could pave way for the
rebel MLAs to secure an order
to vote before Tuesday.
On the question of an
independent observer, both
Sibal and Singhvi were
opposed to the AG’s suggestion of having a former
Election Commissioner or
?=BQ =4F34;78
tate Government colleges
SNational
could get exemption from
Eligibility and Entrance
even a Constitutional expert
such as Subhash Kashyap to
independently oversee the
voting process. This will
amount to interference of an
outsider in the legislative business of the House, they
argued.
Working a way out, the
Bench of Justices Dipak Misra
and Shiva Kirti Singh directed
the Principal Secretary of the
Legislative Assembly to be
present during the special session to be convened on
Tuesday from 11 am to 1 pm
just to conduct the voting and
no other business.
Test (NEET) this year after the
Medical Council of India (MCI)
on Friday proposed that States
may be allowed, as an exception
this year, to fill MBBS/BDS
seats in Government colleges
through their Common
Entrance Test (CET).
The Supreme Court will
take a final call on granting this
exemption on Monday as the
Centre informed the court that
the Health Ministry is meeting
State representatives on the
issue over the weekend.
Appearing for the Centre,
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar
said that a meeting is scheduled
to be held in the next two days
between Health Ministry officials and representatives from
States as several States have
conveyed their reservations on
implementing NEET this year.
States had argued that most
of them had already made
preparations for the CET this
year while some had even conducted it. Moreover, the switch
from CET to NEET will cause
tremendous hardship to students who are trained in the
State syllabus and face language
barrier since NEET is to be
conducted only in English and
Hindi this year.
The MCI through senior
advocate Vikas Singh informed
the Bench that a decision has
been taken to exempt State
CETs this year considering the
problems faced by States.
However, NEET will apply to
private medical colleges without exception.
The Bench of Justices AR
Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and
Adarsh K Goel gave time to the
Centre to come up with its
decision on allowing State
CETs. As far as private medical
colleges are concerned, the
Bench reiterated, “prima facie
it is also our view that private
colleges will not be allowed to
have their exam. There shall be
NEET for private colleges, association of private colleges and
deemed colleges. As far as
States CET are concerned, S-G
will take instructions.”
Meanwhile, the court hinted that those students who
failed to appear in the first phase
of NEET on May 1 could be
held eligible for the next phase
on July 24. But this concession
may not be available for those
students who have already taken
NEET, the Bench added.
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op brains currently being
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nurtured in the country's
premier business and technol-
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T
here seems to be no end to
the woes of NMDC Ltdthe country largest iron ore
producer and exporter which
continues to be saddled with
havoc played by the Maoists at
its facilities in Bastar region of
Chhattisgarh for the past several years.
While, just two days back,
Maoists stormed the company's
Bacheli iron ore mines facility
in Dantewada district and set
afire a conveyor belt after triggering a blast on Wednesday,
the insurgents were back again
late on Thursday night -this
time at a mine located in
Kirandul region of Dantewada
district and set afire drill and
shovel machines stationed
there, police said here on Friday.
The CISF troopers and
Maoists also had a light exchange
of fire, after which, the insurgents
ran away from the mine area, a
police officer said. "The incident
was reported around Post
Number 11 in mine area where
CISF jawans had exchange of fire
with Naxals late on Thursday
night," Superintendent of Police
(SP) Dantewada, Kamlochan
Kashyap said.
Meanwhile,
sources
informed that armed Naxals
had set afire machiner y
involved in mining work and
the cost of damaged machines
could be running into crores
of rupees.
ogy schools will soon get
assignments to prepare urban
development plans for civic
bodies in Chhattisgarh, officials
stated.
The Chhattisgarh Urban
Administration
and
Development Department has
decided to invite interns comprising mainly students and
researchers from renowned
institutions like IITs and IIMs
who would help in preparing
better plans for management
of water supply, low cost
housing, sewerage management, solid waste management, poverty eradication,
study of various State and
Central schemes related to
vehicular traffic management
in urban areas.
As per official information
released on Friday, under the
AMRUT Mission the nine
municipal corporations-
Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Bhilai,
Korba, Rajnandgaon, Raigarh,
Jagdalpur and Ambikapurhave been selected wherein
'Shahar Sandhan Yojna' (City
Research Scheme) will be
launched.
The scheme is aimed at utilizing the educational knowledge of students and
researchers in better development of cities, officials said.
The
State
Urban
Administration
and
Development Authority has
already issued directives to all
nine Municipal Corporations
in this regard.
The students in final year
of graduation or post graduation studying Engineering,
Management, Town Planning,
Environment, Technology or
Social Studies will be eligible
for carrying out the studies.
The research scholars can also
take part in the studies in various municipal corporations of
the State.
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ombating a direct attack on
C
the top leadership of her
party, including herself on the
AgustaWestland
issue,
Congress president Sonia
Gandhi on Friday hit back at
the Modi Government, saying
it should “not try to frighten”
her party.
“Do not make the mistake
of thinking that the Congress
party is weak. We will not allow
democratic institutions to be
weakened or destroyed,” Sonia
said at a ‘Save Democracy’
rally held by the party at Jantar
Mantar, before they tried to
march to Parliament. Former
PM Manmohan Singh,
Congress Vice President Rahul
Gandhi and other top party
leaders also courted arrest after
they were stopped from marching to Parliament. They were
released after a short while.
“Today those who do not
agree with them are harassed,”
she said, addressing the rally,
and warned “Inke din ab poore
ho gaye hai” (Their days are
over now). People can teach
them a lesson if they continue
to indulge in it.” Targeting
RSS, Sonia said, “We have to
send a message so strong that
people sitting in Raisina Hill
and Nagpur sit up and listen.”
Referring to the political
crisis in Arunachal and
Uttarakhand, Sonia accused
the Modi Government of dislodging democratically-elected
Congress Governments “with
the use of money power”.
Former Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh accused the
Modi Government of trying to
dislodge
Congress
Governments in the States.
“Since BJP has come to power
they have only one mission
‘Congress-mukt Bharat’. They
say this wherever they go. I
want to tell the Modi
Government that Congress is
India’s soul,” Singh said.
Rahul Gandhi said only
two people’s writ runs in the
country and those who stand
against them are targeted with
“false allegations”. “Only two
people’s writ runs in the coun-
try. That is Mohan Bhagwat ji
and Narendra Modi ji. And
those who stand against them,
speak against them face false
allegations,” he said.
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s the Congress took to the
streets, the BJP staged its
A
own protest against the
Opposition party on the
Parliament premises on the
AgustaWestland issue.
Describing the ‘Save
Democracy’ rally held by the
Congress as “ridiculous”, Union
Minister Venkaiah Naidu on
Friday said the Opposition party
is resorting to such tactics only
to divert public attention from
the AugustaWestland chopper
case.
“Today Congress is demonstrating outside the Parliament
and levelling allegations against
us. This is ridiculous and they
have no moral right to say this
(allegation against the NDA
Government),” Naidu told
reporters on the sidelines of an
event in Mumbai.
The BJP protested at the
Gandhi statue in Parliament
over the Congress’ involvement
in the VVIP chopper scam
besides the march. Central BJP
ministers, veteran party leaders
and MPs were seen holding
placards criticizing alleged diversionary tactics of the opposition
party.
Addressing a Press conference later, Union Minister Ravi
Shankar Prasad said it has been
a practice with the Congress that
whenever an “earnest investigation” is done, it treats it as antinational and an attack on
democracy.
“If a case of corruption is
being probed honestly, then
how does it become anti-national? The fight is not with your
&3,UDLVHV-18VWXGHQWV¶
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(Gandhi) family but corruption.
Congress should answer why
does trail of all corruption cases
lead to you? A series of scams
has become a benchmark of
Congress government, “ he said.
“Every attempt was made to
put obstacles in the
AgustaWestland
probe.
Regardless of what Congress
says, this government is going to
prosecute (accused) in a fair
manner. Probe will be done in
a fairest manner and promptly,”
he told the media.
Friday’s march was a “save
family” campaign of Sonia and
Rahul Gandhi, he said.
I
ssues including death of a
Dalit allegedly due to hunger
in Bundelkhand, reservation
for SC and ST in judicial service and early resolution of
JNU issue in the backdrop of its
students’ union office bearers
on hunger strike figured in the
Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Members sought the
Government’s intervention in
resolving the protests by JNU
students by advising the university authorities to reconsider its decision to severely
penalise some of them. The
issue was raised by CPI member D Raja during Zero Hour
and several members including
Sharad Yadav (JD-U) backed
his plea.
Deputy Chairman PJ
Kurien also said he thought the
Government should try to
solve the issue and asked
Minister of State for
Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar
Abbas Naqvi to convey the feeling of the house to the concerned Ministers.
Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani,
however, turned down the
demand for waiving off rustication and other punishments
meted out to students in universities, terming it a “Pandora’s
Box.” She also said these institutions were granted autonomy
to handle administrative matters.
Her reaction came during
a debate on the functioning of
her ministry when Congress
member Ananda Bhaskar
Rapolu said the students were
looking at Irani’s “magnanimity” to waive off punishments
and rustication of students in
various universities.
Prabhat Jha(BJP) drew the
attention of the House to the
death
of
40-year-old
Kanhaiaya, a Dalit man in
Bundelkhand earlier this week
and alleged inaction by the
state government in providing
relief to him in time. BSP
supremo Mayawati said
Kanhaiya’s case was not an
isolated incident. Food
Minister Ramvilas Paswan said
a team from his ministry will
visit Bundekhand to gather all
facts about the case.
Members of parties including Congress, CPI and BSP
made a strong plea for reservation in judiciary by amend-
ing Constitution and sought an
all-party meeting to discuss the
issue, even as the Government
insisted that there was currently
no such proposal in this regard.
This issue came up during
Question Hour and Law
Minister Sadananda V Gowda
said the appointment of judges
of Supreme Court and High
he CBI on Friday grilled
lawyer Guatam Khaitan for
T
the third consecutive day in
connection with the C3,600
crore AugustaWestland helicopter deal. The agency also
questioned the cousins of former IAF chief SP Tyagi in the
case.
During questioning, Tyagi
cousins admitted their financial
links with former IAF chief SP
Tyagi. Former IAF chief ’s
cousin Sanjeev Tyagi admitted
financial links with European
middlemen Guido Hashke and
Carlo Gerosa, agency sources
said.
“Khaitan seems to be concealing information regarding
financial transactions between
his company and Augusta,” an
official said. Khiatan was a
director in the accused company Aeromatrix and was also
associated with Chandigarhbased IDS Infotech alleged to
be involved in money laundering in the deal.
All the three Tyagi cousins
and Khaitan will be grilled
again on Saturday.
Meanwhile,
the
Enforcement Directorate (ED)
questioned former IAF chief SP
Tyagi for the second consecu-
?=BQ =4F34;78
he Lok Sabha on Friday
debated over issues like
T
granting permanent commission to women pilots and
health scenario and diseases in
the country among others.
Defence Minister Manohar
Parrikar informed the Lok
Sabha that the decision on
granting permanent commission to women pilots will be
taken within a year. Detailing
the health scenario, Minister JP
Nadda said about 10-12 million
people in the country suffer
from severe mental disorder
and another 50 million from
common disorders like depression and anxiety. He said this
data is per 2005 survey.
Responding to a series of
supplementaries on induction of
women as fighter pilots, Parrikar
said three women candidates
have been selected for ‘stage-II’
training as fighter pilots who
would be ready by June-July. He
said as of now they have been
inducted in short service on an
experimental basis to ascertain
the difficulties that could be
faced and taken care of before
they are inducted on a permanent basis.
Parrikar said the decision
on granting them permanent
commission will be taken “soon”
and went on to add that it will
be taken in “one year”. BJP chief
whip Arjun Ram Meghwaly
faced the ire of the Speaker for
saying that women are afraid of
flying MiG-21 fighters due to its
high accident rate.
While asking a supplementary to Parrikar on induction of
women in IAF’s combat stream,
Meghwal said women are afraid
of flying MiG 21s due to their
high accident rate. “Don’t say
tive day on Friday in the money
laundering case registered by
the agency.
Tyagi was subjected to a
marathon 10-hour questioning
on Thursday by ED sleuths.
Tyagi was grilled at the
zonal office of the agency as he
was required to be put through
more questions and evidences
collected in the case. The
agency had on Thursday questioned him on his role in the
deal and his statement was
recorded under the Prevention
of Money Laundering Act
(PMLA).
Tyagi was questioned for
three days earlier this week in
4`_XcRZdVd
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New Delhi: Amid the storm
over the AgustaWestland chop- LVVXHGE\1*7
a separate case.
ED had registered a PMLA
case in this regard in 2014 and
named 21 people including
Tyagi in its money laundering
FIR. It had also arrested Delhibased businessman Gautam
Khaitan and had also filed a
charge sheet last year.
ED had earlier submitted
that Khaitan was on the board
of Chandigarh-based company
Aeromatrix which was allegedly a front firm for the financial
dealings in the chopper deal.
The central agency has
also issued Letters Rogatory
(judicial requests) to ten countries in this case.
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erming the state of medical
colleges in the country as
T
“rotten”, the Supreme Court
2>BCB>5C$2A>A40A48<?>B43>=
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on Friday imposed a penalty of
C5 crore on an Odisha-based
private medical college for raising the number of seats from
100 to 150 in an academic year
and “playing with the future of
students”.
“Costs of C5 crore are
imposed on Kalinga Institute of
Medical Sciences (KIMS) for
playing with the future of its
students and the mess that it has
created for them. The amount
will be deposited by KIMS in
the Registry of this Court within six weeks from today. The
amount of C5 crores so deposited towards costs shall not be
recovered in any manner from
any student or adjusted against
the fees or provision of facilities
for students of any present or
subsequent batches,” a bench
comprising Justices M B Lokur
and N V Ramana said.
The bench, however, protected the students who were
admitted in the year 2015-16 in
the courses run by the medical
college administration.
“The admission granted to
the 50 students pursuant to the
order of the High Court dated
September 25, 2015 and the
provisional permission granted
by the central government only
on September 28, 2015 shall not
be disturbed.
“How the students will
complete their course of studies without putting undue pressure on them is entirely for MCI
?C8Q =4F34;78
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and KIMS and other concerned
authorities to decide,” it said.
The top court also
restrained KIMS from increasing the intake of students from
100 to 150 for the MBBS course
for the academic year 2016-17
and 2017-2018.
The order came on an
appeal filed by MCI challenging the Orissa High Court’s verdict which had permitted KIMS
to admit additional 50 students in academic year 2015-16.
The private medical college
had moved the High Court,
challenging MCI’s order disallowing admission in MBBS
and BDS streams citing lack of
adequate infrastructure.
per deal, Congress on Friday
raised questions over buying of
Rafale fighter aircraft by the
Narendra Modi dispensation.
“Which
Defence
Procurement Procedure permits a Prime Minister to go and
buy fighter aircraft from a private company without tendering
process on Off-the-Shelf Basis
leading to expenditure of Billion
Dollars?”, party’s chief
spokesman Randeep Surjewala
asked while talking to reporters.
Raising a number of questions over the deal, he wondered
whether is it sovereign right of
the Prime Minister over exchequer’s money?
“If there is no sovereign
right that a Prime Minister has,
can a Prime Minister tomorrow
decide that he will spend ‘X’
amount of Billion Dollars of
exchequer’s money on Off-theShelf purchase of the Fighter
Aircraft, the answer is clearly
‘No’.”, he said.
So, the Defence Procurement Procedure post independence, if ever has been negated,
“thrown in the dust-bin and violated with impunity,” it is in case
of purchase of Off-the-Shelf
Rafele Aircraft by the Prime
Minister, he claimed.
Besides, he recalled that a
global tender was held by
Government and two companies had qualified – Dassault
Aviation of France which manufactures Rafele and the other
Company which makes Euro
Fighter.
PTI
?=BQ =4F34;78
ith the Art of Living
Foundation (AoL) yet to
W
pay a major part of environment
compensation for its cultural fest
on Yamuna floodplains in March
last, its founder Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar has been slapped with
a contempt suit for alleged disrespect shown by him to the
orders of National Green
Tribunal . The green bench will
hear the case on May 10.
The contempt suit was filed
on behalf of environmentalist
Manoj Mishra pointing out
that AoL has delayed the deposition of C4.75 crore. of
Courts was made under
Articles 124 and 217 of the
Constitution which do not
provide for any quota for any
caste or class of persons.
Responding to demands to call
an all-party meeting consider
the matter, the minister said the
suggestion has been “welltaken” and the government
will look into it.
Congress accused the
Government of “abusing and
insulting” the Constitution, on
a day its top leadership took to
streets to protest the “assaults on
democracy.” Raising the issue,
Deputy Leader of Congress
Anand Sharma said the top
leadership of his party is
protesting against the “assaults
on democracy” by this government. His party colleagues then
stormed into the well raising
slogans forcing a brief adjournment during Zero Hour.
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“remaining environment compensation imposed by NGT
despite the fact that the founder
of AoL heads over C234 crore
worth of assets, with over C81
crore in latest revenues from the
United States, United Kingdom
and Netherlands alone”.
The application mentioned
that it is being filed to draw the
attention of the Tribunal to the
disrespect shown in public
domain by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
- Chairman of AoL, by casting
aspersions on the Tribunal and
the dispensation of justice done
by it under the Rule of Law.
The counsel for AoL on the
other hand said that the foundation will respond to the suit in
court if at all it gets accepted. She
added that when AoL had
returned the land to Delhi
Development Authority, it was
cleaner and greener in comparison to what the foundation had
received when it held the event.
Earlier, the NGT had
imposed an environment compensation of Rs 5 crore on the
AoL for the destruction its event,
World Culture Festival (WCF),
had caused to the ecology at the
fragile Yamuna floodplains. The
AoL had then cited its inability
to pay the huge amount being a
charitable organisation and
deposited only Rs 25 Lakh on
March 11, when the World
Cultural Festival kicked off.
like that,” Speaker Sumitra
Mahajan told Meghwal.
“Do you agree,” she asked
the Defence Minister, who
immediately replied in the negative. Meghwal then sought to
explain that what he actually
meant was that awareness
should be orgainsed at NCC
and school level against the fear
of flying.
Citing the National
Commission of Macroeconomics and Health reported in
2005 that 10-20 million (1-2 per
cent of population) suffered
from severe mental disorders
like schizophrenia and bipolar
disorder. Another nearly 50
million (5 per cent of population) suffered from common
mental disorders such as
depression and anxiety, yielding
an overall estimate of 6.5 per
cent of the population, Nadda
said in Lok Sabha.
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T
he 2x500 MW Madwa
Thermal Power Plant
(TPP) in Janjgir Champa district of Chhattisgarh had been
accorded ‘bridge linkage’ by
Union Coal Ministry for coal
supply with 19 other thermal
power plants in the country,
officials informed.
Notably, Chhattisgarh Chief
Minister Raman Singh on
March 31 this year had informed
in the State Assembly that the
power generation from one unit
of 1000 MW under construction
Madwa Thermal Power plant
commenced commercial production on March 31, 2016 in
Janjgir-Champa district after
necessary technical checks.
On the other hand, NTPC
Ltd’s upcoming 2x800 MW
Lara thermal power plant in
Raigarh district of the State had
also been accorded ‘bridge
linkage’ for coal.
Notably, the Union Coal
Ministry had circulated Policy
guidelines February 8 this year
for grant of 'Bridge Linkage' to
specified end-use plants of
Central and State Public Sector
Undertakings (Both in Power as
well as Non-Power sector)
which have been allotted
Schedule-III coal mines under
the Coal Mines (Special
Provisions) Act, 2015 (CM(SP)
Act) and coal blocks allotted
under the Mines and Minerals
(Development and Regulation
Act), 1957 (MMDR Act)for a
period of 3 years from the date
of allotment of coal mine/block.
A Standing Linkage
Committee (Long Term)
[SLC(LT)], with representatives of Ministries of Coal,
Power, Railways, Steel,
Shipping, Department of
Industrial Policy & Promotion,
NITI Aayog, Coal India
Limited(CIL), Singareni
Collieries Company Limited
(SCCL), Central Mine
Planning and Design Institute
Limited, Ranchi (CMPDIL),
Central Electricity Authority
(CEA), and National Thermal
Power Corporation(NTPC) as
its members and Additional
Secretary(Coal) as its Chair.
The Committee recommends the proposals for grant
of the long term linkage and
bridge linkage of coal and
other related matters to com-
petent authority for approval.
Significantly, the Gare
Palma mining blocks in
Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh
will soon witness a significant
amount of activity with power
companies of three states now
looking for mine developers to
start work on their allotted coal
blocks in the district.
The latest among them
being Chhattisgarh State Power
Generation Company Ltd
(CGPGCL) which is now looking to select a Mine Developer
and Operator (MDO) for development and operation for Gare
Palma Sector-III Coal Block in
Raigarh District of Chhattisgarh.
It may be recalled that
power generation companies of
Maharashtra and Gujarat governments have already com-
menced the process of selecting mine developers for the
Gare Palma sector II and I coal
blocks respectively in Raigarh
district of Chhattisgarh.
Notably, the Maharashtra
State Power Generation
Company Ltd has commenced
the process for selecting an
Operator for development and
operation of Gare Gare Palma
Coal Block II at Tamnar in
Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh,
officials informed.
It has also commenced the
process for obtaining forest
clearance for Gare Gare Palma
Coal Block II at Tamnar in
Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh.
Notably, the South East
Central Sector which includes
Chhattisgarh is also set to play
a key role in Central govern-
ment’s ambitious coal loading
and transportation plans.
A Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) has
been signed recently between
Ministry of Railways and Coal
India Limited (CIL) which will
lead to procurement of 2000
wagons (33 rakes) in the first
outgo, officials stated.
The agreement which will
result into speedy supply of
wagons for coal loading in
dedicated circuits.
Initially, the rakes will be
inducted and run in the 2 main
coal loading Zones of Indian
Railways i.e South East Central
coal sector and East Coast circuit.
These rakes will be inducted in circuits for transporting
coal from MCL Talcher & IB
area
and
SECL
to
Paradip/Dharma
ports,
Vishakhapatnam area and the
power
houses
of
Nagpur/Raipur region.
Under this strategic partnership, the wagons will be procured by Indian Railways on
behalf of CIL, the maintenance
of these wagons will be done by
Railways at its own cost. Also,
the brake vans will be provided by Railways itself.
Notably, Coal India Ltd
on the other hand is targetting
production of 1 billion Tonnes
of coal by 2020. Wagon availability will be a key factor for
achieving this target by Coal
India Ltd. By signing of the
MoU , the Railways and Coal
India Ltd will be entering into
a strategic partnership which
would ensure adequate wagon
availability for meeting the
transportation needs of coal
produced by Coal India Ltd.
The Central Government
has
also
signed
a
Memorandum
of
Understanding each with the
states of Odisha, Jharkhand and
Chhattisgarh for critical coal
connectivity projects to
improve transportation of coal,
officials informed.
Agreement for World Bank
loan of US $ 1100 million for
Eastern Dedicated Freight
Corridor (DFC) (Phase-2) have
also been signed, they stated.
Moreover, the development
of two key Rail corridors in
mineral-rich Chhattisgarh is
now set to expand the Railway
line network by 45 per cent in
the State, officials stated.
C FUSRZHUVXEVWDWLRQWRFRPHXSDW-DUNHODLQ5DLJDUKGLVW5DPDQ
BC055A4?>AC4AQ
A0860A790=968A270<?0
trict said that personnel of
security forces are valiantly
discharging their duties to free
Chhattisgarh, especially Bastar
region from Naxal violence
and terror.
Many soldiers have even
sacrificed their lives while discharging their duties, he said.
Singh said that martyrdom
hief Minister Raman Singh
on Friday announced that
C
forest Barmuda village of
Tamnar development block in
Raigarh district will be accorded the status of 'Revenue village'
soon.
The Chief Minister had
made a surprise visit to the village as a part of the ongoing
almost month-long 'Lok Suraj'
Mission.
Singh, after his arrival, sat
with the school children and
ate Mid-Day Meal to test the
quality of food for himself.
Singh later conducted a
Lok Suraj 'Choupal' at a village
near
Devgarh
Gram
Panchayat main road and had
an interaction with the local
villagers.
The Chief Minister visited
the Primary School in the
vicinity and had a friendly
chat with the school children
there. He listened patiently to
the children's poetry and 9
mathematical tables.
Singh also appraised himself with the development
works and problems in the
region.
The Chief Minister agreed
in principle to construct 'Stop
Dam' which will help to irrigate
the agriculture land in the
2WXTU<X]XbcTaAP\P]BX]VWWPeX]V\XSSPh\TP[fXcWbRW^^[RWX[SaT]Pc1Pa\dSP
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nearby villages. He urged the
concerned department officials to conduct a survey as
early as possible.
Singh also sanctioned a C
3 crore worth power sub-station at village Jarkela to
improve the supply of power
in the villages around. He
sanctioned a community hall
worth C five lakh at village
Barmuda.
He sanctioned a boundary
wall on the school premises,
Sub-Health Centre and a bridge
from village Thutaripali to
Barmuda. Two solar pumps
were sanctioned to augment
the drinking water facility in
the village.
Singh explained the aim of
the Lok Suraj Mission to the
villagers.
He said various welfare
schemes and policies are formulated keeping in mind the
masses and the Lok Suraj
Mission had been launched to
observe whether the commoners are being benefitted.
The Chief Minister also
felicitated 70 meritorious girls
by presenting them with commendation certificates and
shields at village Mahant
(Development
Block
of brave soldiers like
Ramkumar Kashyap will not
go in vain. Soon Chhattisgarh
will get rid of Naxal terror and
violence.
The Chief Minister was
addressing the Lok Suraj programme, after unveiling the
statue of Martyr personnel
Ramkumar Kashyap of
Chhattisgarh Armed Force in
Mahant village.
Singh announced that the
High School in village Mahant
will be named after Shaheed
Ramkumar Kashyap.
He said that in the next
academic session, this high
school will be upgraded to
higher secondary school.
CWT2<UT[XRXcPcTS&\TaXc^aX^dbVXa[bQh_aTbT]cX]VcWT\fXcWR^\\T]SPcX^]
RTacXUXRPcTbP]SbWXT[SbPc<PWP]ceX[[PVTX]9P]YVXa2WP\_PSXbcaXRc ?X^]TTa_W^c^
Nawagarh) in Janjgir-Champa
district.
The girls scored more than
90 per cent in the 10th and 12th
Standard Board Examinations
conducted by the Chhattisgarh
Madhyamik Shiksha Mandal.
Urban Administration and
Development Minister and
District In-charge Amar
Agrawal, Parliamentar y
Secretary Ambesh Jangde, MP
Kamladevi Patle, Sakti MLA Dr
Khilawan Sahu and Zilla
Panchayat
Chairperson
Nandkishore Harvansh, several people's representatives and
senior State Government offi-
cials were also present.
Singh also presented certificates to 150 youth for passing
out Skills' up-gradation training
course at village Mahant
(Development Block Nawagarh)
in Janjgir-Champa district.
He congratulated the
youth and wished them a
bright future. Several senior
officers, Department officials
and a large number of common
citizens were present at the
function.
The Chief Minister later
on, after reaching village
Mahant village of Navagarh
block of Janjgir-Champa dis-
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our Maoists allegedly
involved in torching of conF
struction
vehicles
at
Charagaon-Metabodli mines
in insurgency-hit Kanker district were arrested during a
search operation carried out by
security forces, police said here
on Friday.
“A team of Border Security
Force (BSF) and district police
which had started on a search
operation from Antagarh had
received intelligence inputs
that the Naxals involved in an
arson incident at CharagaonMetabodli mines were present
in the jungle of Bulavand near
Masbaras village under Siksod
police station limits,”
Superintendent of Police (SP)
Kanker JN Meena said.
Acting on intelligence
inputs, the police team reached
the spot and nabbed four persons who were identified as
Rajendra Netam (30),
Shobharam Nareti (42),
Rajuram Nareti (32) and
Maniram Usendi (26) all residents of various villages under
Siksod police station limits, the
SP added.
“During cross-examination, they told the police that
along with members of Naxal
Rowghat Area Committee they
had torched vehicles at mines
in the month of October last
year,” the SP said.
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BC055A4?>AC4AQ 178;08
T
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A09=0=360>=
T
he Chhattisgarh State
Renewable
Energy
Development Agency (CREDA)
will be setting up a 100 MW
Solar Energy Park in
Rajnandgaon district of the State.
A Detailed Project Report
(DPR) will soon be prepared for
taking up Phase I development
work for the project, officials stated. Tentatively Dhaba, Kohka,
Rengakathera, Amlidih villages
and Dundera Block of
Dongargarh have been shortlisted to establish Phase I of the Solar
Park project, officials informed.
Notably, the Union
Ministr y of New and
Renewable Energy (MNRE)
has drawn up a scheme to set
up Solar Park across various
states in the country each with
a capacity of Solar projects of
500 MW and above.
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8=5A0BCAD2CDA4=424BB0AH5>A
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The Scheme proposes to
provide financial support by
Central Government to establish Solar Park in a State also
with an aim to facilitate creation of infrastructure neces-
sary for setting up new solar
power projects in terms of
allocation of land, transmission
and evacuation lines, access
roads, availability of water and
others in a focussed manner.
he Town Administration
Department of the Bhilai
Steel Plant (BSP) will have
regular sweeping of all the
main roads of the township
done in the township, officials
informed.
The Town Administration
Department of the BSP will
also be opting for door-to-door
garbage collection in Sector- 1,
2 and 3 of Bhilai Township,
officials stated.
Moreover, within the steel
plant, the Steel Authority of
India Ltd (SAIL) is already in
the process of setting up a Plant
De-dusting System under
Modernisation project of
Sinter Plant No.2 of Bhilai
Steel Plant (BSP).
The modernisation and
expansion of the Bhilai Steel
Plant underway will involve
cost of C17,266 crore, official
sources informed.
The process of modernization and expansion of the
plant is expected to be complete
by December 2016.
Notably, all pollution control systems in the project
expansion underway at the
Bhilai Steel Plant is designed to
achieve chimney emission
within 50mg/Nm3 as per
CWTC^f]
0S\X]XbcaPcX^]
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Chhattisgarh Environment
Conservation Board (CECB)
directives, officials stated.
Dust suppression system is
being installed in new units to
control dust from coal and iron
ore storage area, they stated.
Dust extraction system is
being installed at coal crushing
and screening area to control
fugitive emission.
Notably, the expansion and
modernisation of Bhilai Steel
Plant is underway to take steel
manufacturing capacity from 4
MTPA to 7 MTPA.
DbYRQ\D_ebYc]3YbSeYd]QiRU
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BC055A4?>AC4AQ A08?DA
T
he Central Government
has estimated gestation
period of around 18 to 36
months for complete development of Tribal Tourism Circuit
in Chhattisgarh.
The Government had
approved the project in financial year 2015-16, officials
informed.
The Tribal Tourism
Circuit comprises JashpurKunkuri-MainpatAmbikapur-Maheshpur Ratanpur-Kurdar-Sarodadadar
GangrelKondagaon
–Nathyanawagaon -Jagdalpur
Chitrakoot -Tirthgarh in
Chhattisgarh under Swadesh
Darshan Scheme.
For development of
For development of
tourism infrastructure in
the country, the Union
Ministry of Tourism has
introduced two new
schemes in 2014-15 i.e.
Swadesh Darshan Integrated Development
of Theme-Based Tourist
Circuits and PRASADPilgrimage Rejuvenation
and Spiritual
Augmentation Drive
tourism infrastructure in the
country, the Union Ministry of
Tourism has introduced two
new schemes in 2014-15 i.e.
Swadesh Darshan - Integrated
Development of Theme-Based
Tourist
Circuits
and
PRASADPilgrimage
Rejuvenation and Spiritual
Augmentation Drive.
Under Swadesh Darshan
scheme thirteen thematic circuits have been identified for
development, namely: NorthEast India Circuit, Buddhist
Circuit, Himalayan Circuit,
Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit,
Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit,
Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit,
Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit,
Ramayana Circuit and Heritage
Circuit. Under PRASAD
scheme thirteen cities have been
identified for development,
namely: Amritsar, Ajmer,
Mathura, Varanasi, Gaya, Puri,
Amravati, Kanchipuram,
Vellankanni, Kedarnath,
Dwarka, Patna and Kamakhya.
BPWPaPRWXTU
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BC055A4?>AC4AQ A08?DA
ithin 24 hours of abduction of a six-year-old
W
boy, police nabbed three persons and claimed of solving the
case on Friday.
According to the police,
Nikhil (6) son of Pak Das
Manikpuri who is Sarpanch of
Dindni village under Baloda
Bazar police station was
abducted from near his home
late on Thursday evening. The
abductors had demanded ransom amount of Rs 5 lakh.
After being informed by SP
Baloda Bazaar, Abhishek
Shandilya, SP Raipur, BN
Meena formed a special unit of
Central Crime Branch (CCB)
sleuths and began investigation.
“A team of Raipur CCB
personnel was sent to the victim’s house and was asked to
provide information about
the family members and relatives of the abducted boy,” he
said.
A separate team that was
deployed in technical analysis
found out that the last location
of abductors was Pacheda village under Vidhan Sabha police
station limits in Raipur. The
number used in making ransom call was activated from
Pandri area,” the SP said.
Based on the evidences
gathered, it seemed that someone who was familiar with
family would be involved in
the incident, Meena said while
adding that the team at the victim’s home informed that
Premshankar who is familiar
to the Pak Das Manikpuri
lives in Premnagar at Mowa
and runs a mobile shop at
Gunj Mandi.
The team in Raipur then
found out that Premshankar’s
shop was closed and he was
seen with one of his friends
Uday Sarkar for the last time.
“Uday Sarkar was nabbed
and during cross examination
he confessed of being accomplice in the crime and
informed police that the boy
was kept in house of Shekh
Rehman located in Saddu,”
the SP mentioned.
Police then rescued the
boy and arrested Shekh
Rehman and Premshankar.
The boy has been handed over
to the family, Meena said.
_Pa^[TU^a
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he Supreme Court granted
a four-week parole to
T
Subrata Roy and his brother-inlaw Ashok Roy Chaudhary to
attend the funeral and conduct
the last rites of the Sahara
chief ’s mother Chhabi Roy,
who passed away early on
Friday morning.
This is the first time Roy will
come out of jail since March 4,
2014 when the apex court sent
him and two other directors of his
companies to jail, after he faulted on the court’s order to repay
consumers of a debenture scheme
flagged down by the Securities
and Exchange Board of India
(SEBI). On an application moved
by Roy and Chaudhary, the
Bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur,
Justices AR Dave and AK Sikri on
Friday ordered the Tihar Jail
authorities to release them on
parole for a four-week period.
During this period, both
Roy and Chaudhary will be
under the constant vigil of the
Delhi Police as the court
directed the Commissioner
of Delhi Police to depute an
escort team to accompany the
duo in mufti. It will be the
duty of these policemen to
ensure that the two men
are lodged back in jail on the
expiry of their parole.
Appearing for Roy, senior
advocate Kapil Sibal informed
the Bench that Roy’s 95-yearold mother Chhabi Roy was ill
for the past two years and
breathed her last in the wee
hours of Friday at Lucknow.
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BC055A4?>AC4AQ 14<4C0A0
omen and Child
Development Minister
W
Ramsheela Sahu and Cultural
and Tourism Minister
Dayaldas Baghel on Thursday
launched 'Mahatari Jatan
Yojana' by feeding pregnant
women at Nandghat village in
Bemetara district.
Pregnant women will be
fed hot nutritious diet at all the
Anganwadi centres in the
entire State.
The
Agriculture
Department officers as a part of
'Lok Suraj Mission' distributed
seeds free of cost, farm instruments, sprayers and 'maize
seeds to the drought-affected
farmers on the occasion.
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P
reparations were underway
in Bangladesh on Friday for
the execution of chief of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami
Motiur Rahman Nizami, a day
after the Supreme Court rejected his plea to review the death
penalty for war crimes, with
family members meeting him in
prison for the last time.
“Seven members of his family including his wife, two sons,
daughter visited him,” jailor
Nasir Uddin of suburban
high-security Kashimpur
Central Jail told PTI over phone.
He said the close relatives
were allowed to stay for 40 minutes with the top leader of
Bangladesh’s biggest Islamist
party which was opposed to the
country’s 1971 independence
from Pakistan.
Another senior official of
the prisons department said
the 73-year-old war crimes
convict was expected to be
executed at Dhaka Central
Jail but simultaneous preparations were underway at
Kashimpur jail as well.
“The execution is likely to
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05?
take place in Dhaka Central Jail,
but we asked officials at
Kashimpur prison to make
alternative preparations to carry
out the process in two hours’
notice, if required,” said the official, requesting anonymity.
The Jamaat chief could be
executed any time after he on
Thursday exhausted his last
legal opportunity to overturn
the death penalty, with the
Supreme Court rejecting his
petition to review the death sentence it earlier upheld for committing crimes against humanity during 1971 Liberation War,
siding with the Pakistani troops.
He was particularly found
guilty of systematic killings of
more than 450 people alone in
his own village home in northwestern Pabna, siding with the
Pakistani troops.
Nizami, a former lawmaker and Minister in ex-Prime
Minister Khaleda Zia’s cabinet,
has been in jail since 2010, when
he was arrested to be tried for
1971 war crimes in a special tribunal which handed him down
death penalty on October 29,
2014 on charges of mass murder, arson, loot and rape.
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0? Q =4F34;78
A
fter a Dhaka University professor
asked a woman to remove her veil during his class, Muslim extremists called for
his death, posting his personal details
online along with tips on how to kill. Today,
he remains under constant guard by
armed police, stays mostly at home and
bars his front door.
Azizur Rahman is among a growing
number of political moderates and intellectuals seeking protection in Bangladesh,
where at least 15 writers, activists, religious
minorities and foreign aid workers have
been killed in targeted attacks since the
start of 2015. Islamic extremists have
claimed responsibility for the killings,
which have prompted some Bangladeshis
to go into hiding, and others to seek asylum in the United States and Europe.
Some of the violence has taken place
at Rahman’s university in Dhaka, the
Bangladeshi capital. Last year, secular
writer and blogger Avijit Roy was hacked
to death and his wife was critically injured
in a savage attack on campus.
0? Q 64=4E0
ir strikes on a camp for displaced people in Syria’s Idlib province were
A
almost certainly not accidental and likely amounted to a war crime, the UN rights
chief said on Friday. Syria’s military has
denied any involvement in the raids on
Thursday that killed at least 28 civilians.
Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
said, responsibility for the strikes
remained unverified but cited “initial
reports” indicating that Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad’s forces were to blame.
“Given these tent settlements have
been in these locations for several
weeks, and can be clearly viewed from
the air, it is extremely unlikely that these
murderous attacks were an accident. It
is far more likely they were deliberate
and amount to a war crime,” the UN
rights chief said in a statement.
Zeid has in recent months grown
increasingly vocal about the plight of
those displaced by Syria’s brutal conflict
and again today issued a plea on behalf
of those in the country who seemingly have nowhere left to seek refuge.
ar from beginning to coalesce
after a bitter presidential priF
mary season, the Republican
establishment remains sharply
divided over Donald Trump
with no less a person than
House Speaker Paul Ryan
declaring on Thursday that he is
“not ready” as yet to support the
presumptive nominee.
A surprised Trump fired
back, asserting he too was “not
ready” to support the Speaker’s
agenda, prompting Reince
Priebus, the much-harried
Republican National Committee
chairman, to mount a hasty
fire-fighting operation, persuading the two big guns to meet
early next week.
Speaker Ryan, the highestranking elected Republican, has
been critical of Trump’s positions
and utterances over a period, but
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he, like Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell, was expected
to come round after the billionaire businessman emerged as the
presumptive Republican nominee this week.
Instead, Ryan came out with
a public prescription for Trump
through an interview to CNN,
telling him to first unify “all wings of the Republican Party and
the conservative movement” and
then run a campaign that will
allow Americans to “have something that they’re proud to support and proud to be a party of”.
“I’m just not ready to do that
at this point. I’m not there right
now,” Ryan said when asked
about endorsing Trump. Saying
he hoped to be eventually backing Trump, the Speaker said: “I
think what is required is that we
unify this party.” Quizzed on Trump’s broad agenda, including his
proposed temporary ban on
Muslims entering the US and
deportation of over 11 million
illegal immigrants, Ryan simply
commented: “We got work to do.”
In his counter to Ryan,
Trump said in a statement: “I am
not ready to support Speaker
Ryan’s agenda. Perhaps in the
future we can work together and
come to an agreement about
what is best for the American
people. They have been treated
so badly for so long that it is
about time for politicians to put
them first!”
The Ryan-Trump face-off
surfaced even as word came that
former Presidents George H.W.
Bush and his son George W.
Bush as well as Republican nominees in the last two presidential
races, Senator John McCain and
Mitt Romney, would all be skipping the party convention in
Cleveland in July that is expected to formally nominate Trump.
Bush Jr, McCain and
Romney have all been at the
receiving end of Trump’s verbal
attacks that also targeted Jeb
Bush, once a front-runner for the
Republican nomination but who
left the race after finding little
traction in a Trump-dominated primary season.
“At age 91, President Bush is
retired from politics. He naturally did a few things to help Jeb,
but those were the ‘exceptions
that proved the rule’,” a
spokesman for Bush Sr was
quoted as telling Politico. George
W Bush’s aide also said he has no
plans either to attend the convention or comment on the
presidential campaign. McCain,
who faces a tough re-election
campaign in Arizona, has said
he will skip the convention in
order to concentrate on his
Senate primary in August.
Romney, who mounted a
belated but unsuccessful effort to
contain the Trump surge by
backing his rivals including Ted
Cruz, John Kasich and Marco
Rubio, will stay away from the
convention, one of his aides
said on Thursday. Trump, however, has been begun to get support from some other senior
Republican leaders. Former
Texas Governor Rick Perry, one
of the first to have bowed out of
the presidential race, came out in
Trump’s support on Thursday.
CdaZTh´b4aS^VP]
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Europe: Turkey’s President has
told the EU it will not change its
anti-terror laws in return for
visa-free travel. “We’ll go our
way, you go yours,” Recep Tayyip
Erdogan said.
The EU says Turkey needs to
narrow its definition of terrorism
to qualify for visa-free travel —
which is part of a larger deal
between the sides aimed at easing Europe’s migration crisis.
Erdogan was speaking a
day after PM Ahmet Davutoglu,
who largely negotiated the EU
deal, said he was stepping down.
Agencies
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P
ope Francis on Friday asked
Europe to “tear down” the
walls being built to keep out
migrants and to create a radical new “social economy” serving the many not the few.
Invoking the memory of
the EU’s founding fathers’
pursuit of integration in the
aftermath of World War II,
the pontiff said they inspired
because they had “dared to
change radically the models”
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that had led to war.
Saying he dreamed of a
Europe in which “being a
migrant is not a crime,”
Francis said: “Today, more
than ever, their vision inspires
us to build bridges and tear
down walls.”
The comments came in a
speech at the Vatican following the 79-year-old pontiff ’s
presentation with the EU’s
Charlemagne Prize for his
contribution to European unification.
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Cairo: An Egyptian government official has blamed the animated “Tom and Jerry” series for
allegedly spreading a culture of
violence. The accusations by
Salah Abdel-Sadek, head of State
Information Service, which is
affiliated with the presidency,
came at a forum held in Cairo
this week.
Abdel-Sadek told academics, media specialists, and public figures who had gathered to
discuss violence that video games
and cartoons are to blame.
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any mosques in the UK
propagate extremely strict
M
rules of conduct for women,
asking them to delete their
Facebook accounts, not to leave
their houses without their husbands’ permission, and to avoid
wearing trousers, a research
report released today said.
The research conducted
by ‘The Times’ showed rulings
published by mosques and
Islamic associations around
Britain.
Under a section titled
‘Islamic articles’, the Croydon
Mosque and Islamic Centre in
London published a document
- ‘Advice for the husband and
wife’.
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T
wo years ago, Narendra
Modi left Gujarat and
made Delhi his home.
While he has moved on
and outgrown his former
job as Chief Minister in
Gandhinagar, his opponents in the
Congress are clearly still obsessing
with Gujarat and Modi’s record
there. Evidence of this has come in
the past few days from the manner
in which the Congress has sought
to play up the so-called Gujarat State
Petroleum Corporation ‘scandal’.
The issue has been raised in
Parliament. Jairam Ramesh,
Congress MP and former Union
Minister, has written a series of
articles on the subject. On closer
examination, it appears that the
accusations made, and the assumptions and creative interpretations
Ramesh and his colleagues have
resorted to, are completely incorrect. Far from a scandal, GSPC, a
public sector company promoted
and owned by the Gujarat
Government, needs to be congratulated for striving to strengthen
India’s energy security.
GSPC has a 40-year history.
Over the decades, it has helped
develop a 2,500 km gas transmission pipeline, covering 19 of the
State’s 33 districts. Piped natural gas
for domestic users (GSPC has one
million customers) and gas for
industrial use and for power plants
are part of its mandate. It is thanks
to GSPC that Gujarat has 241 CNG
stations, making up a quarter of all
such stations in India.
This is a rich legacy and about
15 years ago, GSPC sought to leverage its experience and understanding as a gas marketing and distribution company, take to backward
integration and go into exploration in the Krishna Godavari
Basin. In 2005, it got lucky. Modi,
the then Chief Minister of Gujarat,
announced GSPC had discovered
what it was felt could turn out to
be India’s biggest gas reserves off the
eastern coast, touching probably
“20 trillion cubic feet”.
This is where the story starts.
In the intervening decade, after the
discovery, effort and investment has
gone into studying financial and
technical viability of commercially exploiting that discovery and
recovering and producing the gas.
The Congress has now alleged that
the announcement of 2005 was a
hoax, no gas was actually found,
and C 20,000 crore has been borrowed and spent to camouflage this
operation. It was swindled, the
Congress has claimed, and Ramesh
has gone to town crying “scam”.
What are the facts? First,
Ramesh says there is no gas at all.
This is absolute bunk. The ‘gas in
place’ (GIP) in the block GSPC
worked in is certified to be 14.4
TCF at ‘best estimates’ (established) and 23 TCF at ‘high estimates’ (possible). These numbers have been certified by
Gaffney, Cline and Associates, a
Houston-based consultancy with
50 years of experience in the energy business. For reasons of technical viability, not all the GIP can
be recovered. This is true for any
gas discovery anywhere, and not
unique to the KG Basin. GSPC
believes that at a conservative
assessment, 34 per cent of the
minimum 14.4 TCF is recoverable. The value, at today’s prices,
would be four billion dollars.
Developing a gas block can
take decades. In the first phase,
GSPC is working in a 17 sq km
area of its block, called DeenDayal
West. Four wells in the DDW zone
have been drilled so far. In August
2014, production began in the first
three wells and gas from there is
being supplied to fertiliser plants
in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
So far, 8.5 BCF (billion cubic feet)
of gas has been produced. The
fourth well, said to be the most
promising yet, will go into production in a few weeks, “certainly this
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summer”, according to a GSPC
official. To give an idea of the
potential of GSPC’s work, that
fourth well in DDW alone is
expected to produce over 30-35
MMSCFD (million standard cubic
feet of gas per day). One MMSCF
is the equivalent of 172 barrels of
crude oil. So much for the
Congress’s ‘zero gas’ theory.
Second, the Congress has
picked on some of the partner companies and contractors GSPC has
worked with and alleged cronyism.
Does it have a point here? For
instance, GeoGlobal Resources, a
two-man company incorporated in
the Caribbean Islands, was GSPC’s
exploration partner. Frankly, this is
hardly a mystery. Initial exploration
requires little expertise other than
a high-quality geologist and geophysicist (G&G, to use the shorthand). These are usually very
skilled, very well-paid individual
professionals who team up to run
small partnership firms. GeoGlobal
is one such. Ramesh may not have
realised GeoGlobal Resources also
partners Oil India Limited, owned
by the Government of India.
Further, the Congress has
smelled a plot in the awarding of
the platform rig contract to Tuff
Drilling, saying the latter had
B>D=318C4
insufficient experience. This is a
half-truth. Tuff Drilling led a consortium that also comprised two
American partners — BHL
International, a construction and
engineering firm that has enormous experience in design, fabrication and upkeep of gas and oil
field infrastructure; and Spartan
Offshore Drilling, a well-regarded
offshore rig provider.
This consortium conformed
to all technical and financial criteria. Its bid was the lowest,
meeting the L1 standard that
became impossible for GSPC to
ignore (unless Ramesh is suggesting the L1 principle should have
been junked). Later, when the
consortium failed to deliver on
time, its contact was cancelled
and awarded to the L2 bidder at
the L1 price. The work is now
complete. There was no loss of
money to GSPC. The bank guarantee of C15.50 crore of Tuff
Drilling was encashed by GSPC.
Incidentally, that point about
forfeiture of bank guarantee by a
company that did not meet its
obligations is being made by the
Congress in its defence in the
AgustaWestland helicopter case.
There, encashing a bank guarantee
by the UPA Government is presented as a punitive action; when
GSPC does it, it’s conveniently
ignored by the Congress.
Finally, the Congress has made
much of the fact that GSPC surrendered 45 blocks, including 11 in
foreign countries such as Egypt
and Yemen, and wrote off a loss of
C2,992 crore between 2011 and
2015. In seeing a conspiracy here,
the Congress is not being mindful
of either geology or geopolitics. Oil
and gas exploration is a decidedly risky endeavour. Chances of success are low, though returns from
success can be high. In Egypt and
Yemen, GSPC gave up prized
blocks due to local turbulence, triggered by the Arab Spring and
its aftermath.
Yet, GSPC is not alone. True,
it had exploration write offs of close
to C3,000 crore in four years (201115). As it happens, Oil India similarly wrote off C2,500 crore
between 2004-05 and 2014-15,
and ONGC C53,000 crore in the
same period. The Congress-led
UPA Government was in power in
that decade. To take Ramesh’s
argument to its logical absurdity, are
we to conclude that the leadership
of the Congress and UPA was
responsible for those losses?
(The writer is distinguished
fellow, Observer Research
Foundation. He can be reached at
[email protected])
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Sir — This refers to the article,
“Evolution of the ERP test” (May 6)
by Namit Saxena. Rightly, the shift
of interpretation from whether a
practice is “essentially religious” to
whether it is “essential to the religion”, has led to confusion. While
the latter requires a text that defines
religion and its god, the Sanatan
Dharma does not require god,
dharmis are free to decide their creator, and an atheist can be a dharmi too. Judges have arrogated papal
rights to themselves, and want to
convert dharma to Abrahamism.
They have re-written the
Constitution even more blatantly in
their interpretation of ‘secularism’.
Bharati
Via web
@e^YcXWeY\di
Sir — This refers to the editorial,
“The Agusta challenge” (May 6).
It is obvious that the Congress will
claim political vedanta, but there
is no smoke without fire. If the
then UPA Government changed
several technical parameters to
accommodate a certain company’s
bid, despite the Indian Air Force’s
reservation, then surely, there’s
more to it than meets the eye.
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Moreover, then Defence Minister
AK Antony’s suggestion of a
probe in India was overlooked by
the Government. These facts raise
some serious questions for
Congress president Sonia Gandhi
in particular and the Congress
in general.
It is heartening that the
Enforcement Directorate has
expanded its probe. The Central
Bureau of Investigation and the ED
should leave no stone unturned to
nail the guilty.
Bal Govind
Noida
8_`UccXQddUbUT
Sir — This refers to the editorial,
“Pakistan’s hope grounded” (May
5). Perhaps the US got the message:
The largesse it has been giving to
Pakistan were being used not to
combat terrorism, but against India.
The US must not capitulate to the
monkey bluff of Pakistan: That the
latter can purchase arms from
those like Russia and China.
However, Pakistan is unlikely to do
so as it will have to spend gargantuan amounts to grab the deal. Right
now, it owes huge debts to various
international agencies, including the
International Monetary Fund.
Sagar Singh
New Delhi
<QdUbUQ\YcQdY_^
Sir — This refers to the editorial,
“Pakistan’s hope grounded” (May
5). The United States’ refusal to fund
Pakistan’s proposed acquisition of
F-16 fighter aircraft marks a welcome departure from its policy of
supporting its ally in the global fight
against terrorism.
That the consequences of terrorism, perpetrated from Pakistani
soil, have spread beyond the immediate neighbourhood, has become
an obvious realisation. It was, therefore, imperative for the US to
refrain from strategic handouts to
its ‘friend’ in the name of counterterrorism cooperation.
US presidential front-runners,
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton,
have rightly identified Pakistan as
a very, very vital problem. These
fears are well founded, as a country that exploits terrorism as a legitimate instrument of statecraft cannot be trusted to lead the fight
against extremist forces. The Indian
leadership must be lauded for
showing strategic restraint and at
the same time expressing its concerns through diplomatic channels.
Shreyans Jain
Delhi
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with a population of just 8,75,000, is
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fast becoming the hub of global powers. Being in the Horn of Africa,
Djibouti holds the key to major international maritime transactions passing through the Gulf of Eden and the
Red Sea in the east of the country.
Djibouti, being an integral part of the
erstwhile French African Empire —
l’Afrique Noire — even today, the
French Government has an agreement to defend its former colony. As
the legend goes, many centuries
ago, Yemen and Djibouti were only
one country and only after a violent
earthquake, both got separated
(Africa from Arabia) creating the
channel known today as Bab-elMandeb. Thus, Bab-el-Mandeb
means “Gate of Tears” in Arabic after
the cries of those who died in the
earthquake.
Why Djibouti has become the
hottest address for superpowers like
the US? Djibouti declared independence from France in 1977 when it
was too impoverished to be swallowed by her big neighbours like
Ethiopia or Somalia. A country
about the size of New Jersey then had
absolutely no resources of global
importance “except for sand, salt and
20,000 camels” as the Associated
Press reported. Over the years, when
its neighbours were too preoccupied
with famine, civil wars and AIDS,
Djibouti had remained a nation
untouched by the traditional woes of
the continent. As the 21st century
came with an unprecedented wave of
globalisation mostly advanced by
neoliberal economic agenda and
massive network of information and
communication technology (ICT), its
sleepiness has attracted the global
powers for refashioning the identity of the country.
After the September 11 terrorist
attacks on the American soil, the US
military rushed to open its first ever
military base dedicated to counterterrorism, named Camp Lemonnier.
It is home to more than 4,000 soldiers who are mainly the part of the
Combined Joint Task Force — Horn
of Africa (CJTF-HOA). The most
significant part of the Camp
Lemonnier is that it hosts an exceptional base for launching “drone
operations” into Somalia and Yemen.
When American military first took
the base from Djibouti’s former
colonial master France in 2002, it
called the camp as temporary or
expeditionary which consisted of
only 97 acres. Today the camp covers a sprawling 600 acres with the
state-of-the-art military facilities for
launching any offensive against terror attacks. With $1.4 billion upgra-
dation in 2013, the camp currently
maintains a rapid response team of
150 members to specially handle
future threats to diplomatic personnel abroad after the 2012 attack on
the US mission in Benghazi, Libya.
For most of the Djiboutians, the presence of the US military could prevent
an attack or an attempt to take over
their country by Islamic radical
forces like the Islamic State (ISIS) or
al-Qaeda. However, the way the US
military is fortifying the Camp
Lemonnier, it is fast spreading a
strong sense of distrust among the
ordinar y Djiboutians about
America’s attitude towards them.
Next comes the continued legacy of Djibouti’s former colonial power
France, which maintains its largest
ever military base abroad here. In conducting their “civilising mission” in
Africa, the French had been highly
successful in cultivating a small black
elite class to whom they accorded full
rights as citizens on condition that
they accepted assimilation into French
society and rejected their African heritage, family law and customs
(Meredith 2005). This took a full circle in Djibouti unlike many of its former establishments. Then came the
brigades from Germany, Italy and
Spain to join France to form the
European Union’s Anti-Piracy Force
to counter Somali pirates. By 2011,
Japan arrived in Djibouti to launch its
first-ever military base abroad since
World War II. And lately, China has
joined the list by opening its first military point in Africa driven not only
by economic considerations but also
for security reasons. It came as a result
of a Security and Defense Agreement
between Beijing and Djibouti signed
in early 2014 followed by a huge
“cheque book diplomacy” by China.
While finalising the deal, China
Merchant Holdings, a state-owned
enterprise, purchased a large stake in
the country’s vital port of Djibouti,
worth $185 million and offered to
develop the infrastructure facilities at
the port under the supervision of the
China
State
Construction
Engineering Corporation for $420
million contract. Despite US protests,
President Ismail Omar Guelleh had
gone ahead with the deal and allowed
China to enter the Sub-Saharan
region. However, Washington has the
advantage of its collective bargaining
power through which it could stall any
further expansion of Chinese influ-
ence in Djibouti. It seems, with
China entering the field, the intensification of power play over Djibouti
has really begun.
Thomas Kelly, the US
Ambassador to Djibouti, compares
it with Casablanca of 1940 for its
growing clientele of superpowers
who all just want to have their presence in the country for promoting
strategic security and trade interests.
The story of contemporary Africa is
not just one of horrible pain and disaster (mostly man-made), but also of
plenty of hope for its future generations and for the rest of us. Here
Djibouti correctly fits into the power
game of the Western and other
emerging States which are constantly vying for space either to
showcase their military might or to
expand the sphere of influence so
that their say in global balance of
power play remains intact (or mostly enhances).
To many, Africa can well be
regarded as an object in the Western
gaze. But there is a growing clamour
coming from the young and the educated who outrightly scorns this
colonial construct and ready fighting for their rightful place in the
comity of nations. Against all the
odds, the Government of Guelleh
strongly believes that in the next 20
years or so Djibouti will become next
Dubai. Having a port in one of the
most geopolitically crucial straits in
the globe, Djibouti could easily
become a magnet for capital and free
trade forging ahead with the continued engagement of the high profile powers in the coming days.
Hoping to reap on the growing
clout of the external powers in the
countr y, Foreign Minister
Mahamoud Ali Youssouf confidently says, “We have some assets that
Dubai never had.” His Government
has an ambitious project to make
Djibouti the first country in Africa
to be powered solely by renewable
energy possibly generating from the
“Khamsin Winds” which blows
through the month of June to
August. For attracting foreign direct
investments (FDI) and to meet out
the domestic energy crunch, the
Government is planning to harness
solar energy sources so that power
supply problem could be sorted out
to a considerable extent.
Its long journey from the clutches of the French colonial administration to the current status of being
the “Small Big Power”, it has grown
more than its size because of the
changing dynamics of global political calculations. Ali Yacoub
Mahamoud, the Minister of Energy
and Natural Resources, proudly
underlines the increasing importance of his country, saying, “In the
colonial period, everything in
Djibouti was viewed negatively. They
all said we only had a hot sun, dry
winds, and a lot of rocks. Nothing
valuable. Even the nomads felt that
way. But now the negatives are positives.” Probably, his claims can well be
buttressed when two emerging “Ds”
— Dubai and Djibouti — are compared: Unlike Dubai, Djibouti rightly sits on the busiest shipping lane in
the world. Secondly, Djibouti is the
gateway to many other landlocked
African countries. This makes the
country especially important unlike
Dubai, and it can hinge on the strategic aspect further. Finally, the most
spectacular aspect of Djibouti is that
it provides one of the best “digital
infrastructure”, rarely available even
in Dubai. Therefore, Djibouti has
gone beyond the network of gigabytes
and quietly passed onto the stage of
unimaginable “terabytes”. It is possible because seven submarine fibreoptic cables, the kind that carry the
vast majority of the world’s digital
information, come ashore in Djibouti,
making it the most important hub of
connectivity in East Africa.
On the other hand, from the
eastern coast of Djibouti, Asia is only
30 km away. Bab-el-Mandeb, the narrow sea channel roughly separates
Djibouti from Yemen. In fact, at the
moment the country is situated at the
confluence of three emerging geopolitical regimes redefining the contours of global politics of the century: A fast rising Ethiopia with a stable political regime, renewed engagement of China, and Rouhani’s brand
new nuclear Iran (hopefully tamed)
in the Indian Ocean Rim and the
ever greater tug of war of global hegemons spearheaded by the US and its
allies. On its backyard, Djibouti is at
an advanced stage of building communication network with all its
African neighbours. Last year, a rail
line had been opened between
Djibouti to Addis Ababa and another linking the latter with the cities of
Jimma, Bedele and Ambo. Besides,
a grand transcontinental rail line is
planned to connect Djibouti to
Ethiopia all the way across the continent to the Gulf of Guinea in West
Africa. Within a decade or so, plans
are afoot to come up with the second
international airport near Addis
Ababa which will be ready to host
more than 120 million passengers
much larger in size than London’s
Heathrow airport currently receives.
Finally, Bab-el-Mandeb holds the key
as it is one of the world’s prominent
shipping chokepoints through which
passes around 3.2 million barrels of
oil a day, accounting for an estimated 4 per cent of the global oil business. As there has been a regular
threat from the Somali pirates to
block the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, so it
has forced all the five permanent
members of the Security Council to
come together to fight their common
enemy, a rare unity in ideological
diversity displayed among them
since the days of the Second World
War. This definitely adds to the glamour of little Djibouti after all.
However, crutching on the lap of
the competing powers, Guelleh is
indirectly resisting the full-blown
development of the Djiboutian State
and society and gradually weakening the country’s opposition for
launching an attack on his
Government. Djibouti, if it treads as
it moves today would soon be a “theatre of war” for competing global
powers. And it would turn out to
serve as a gripping digest of the
endemic woes (which most Africans
are so well-acquainted) confronting
the cradle of humanity in this part
of the globe. Hope it does never
become the “Gate of Tears” once
again!
(The writer is an independent
political analyst based in Delhi)
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A
t a time when the world is trying to grapple with the unprecedented scale of terror activities, the
growing trend of various terror outfits seeking affiliation to the brute
Islamic State (ISIS) is baffling as it is
not the deadliest jehadi organisation
in the word. As per the 2015 Global
Terrorism Index, ISIS killed 6,073
people in 2014, while Nigerian group
Boko Haram has 6,644 deaths to its
credit. Even al-Qaeda, which ruled
the terror world for over two
decades, has faded in front of the
growing craze among the radical
Islamists for ISIS.
What has caused this sustained
interest in ISIS?
All Islamic terrorist groups’
claimed goal is to wage jehad to reestablish puritanical Islamic society.
Till the birth of ISIS, al-Qaeda
hogged all the terror limelight, especially for the 9/11 misadventure.
Despite massive American backlash,
al-Qaeda maintained its position as
number one Islamic terrorist organisation, but it lost the crown to ISIS
after the brute force captured part of
Iraq and Syria and grabbed the
headlines. Moreover, ISIS’ unique
techniques like declaring Caliphate
and maintaining uninterrupted supply of enemy girls and women as sex
slaves to keep it mercenaries entertained worked wonders.
Moreover, when fundamentalists
are fighting to establish an utopian
Wahabi Islamic state which is purged
of heretics like Shias, Yazidi, Jews,
Christians and all other kafirs, alQaeda’s loss of popularity among the
Islamists was also due to the dilution
of its principles. For example, after
the seizure of the Yemeni port city
of Mukalla in April 2015, al-Qaeda
commanders didn’t hesitate to ink a
pact with local tribal leaders to
allow music at parties or men wearing shorts — both considered unIslamic by the radicals.
The growth of ISIS in West
Asia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and alShabab in Kenya continues to testify resilience, sustenance and appeal
of extremist Islamist ideology,
notwithstanding the powerful,
relentless international and Islamic
condemnations against the same.
A part of the explanation to this
trend lies in the covert and overt support of State actors to such non-state
actors in order to protect, advance
and defend one’s own narrowly
defined “national interest”. The
“internationalisation of Islamic terrorism” in Afghanistan was partly
due to the support extended by the
US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to alQaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan.
If the US facilitated the grouping of
international mujaheedin in
Afghanistan primarily to check the
erstwhile Soviet influence in the
Persian Gulf, the Saudis’ support to
Sunni-Pastun Taliban was meant to
check the influence of Shia Iran
through Shia-Hazara Afghani militants in Afghanistan. Whereas
Pakistan saw in Afghanistan crisis a
golden opportunity to mobilise
resources — money and arms (primarily through US-Saudi nexus) —
to advance its nuclear programme,
to settle the border with Afghanistan,
and finally to use Taliban terrorists
as foot soldiers to fight in Kashmir
and conduct other terrorist operations within India.
ISIS is the product of inter-State
West Asian politics as it stems from
the failure of Arab Spring to institute
a democratic transformation in the
region. However, ISIS thrived on
account of support extended by the
nexus of the US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
and Turkey. The US indirectly supported ISIS by ignoring its activities
in order to grind its own axe — to
check the growing Iranian influence
in the region following the US invasion of Iraq. Saudi Arabia and Qatar
connived with ISIS for “Sunni mobilisation” against Shia Iraq and its protégé Syria. Turkey trusted ISIS as
“resistance forces” to the Bathist
regime in Syria, as well as to nip in
the bud the bid to establish Kurdish
state on Syrian-Turkish border.
As long as ISIS confined its activ-
6Xa[bQTX]VPdRcX^]TSPbbTgb[PeTb
ities to political capture of Iraq and
Syria, it was tolerated and supported by the West and Sunni Gulf
monarchies as it suited their national and regional agenda. However,
with its malignant growth, claiming
caliphate, ISIS posed the existential
threat to conservative Islamic Gulf
monarchies and to the interest of the
West in the region. Therefore, ISIS
became a pariah. Similar was the case
with Muslim Brotherhood. Saudis
and other Gulf countries nurtured
the organisation and provided safe
haven in their countries to the persecuted members of Muslim
Brotherhood to undermine the
Nasserite regime in Egypt and to
destablise post-Nasserite regimes.
However, when Muslim Brothers
democratically occupied the
Egyptian State they turned a threat
to be eliminated. The West, Saudis
and other Gulf monarchies provided all supports to the Al-Sisi regime
to dismantle the Muslim
Brotherhood from Egypt. The same
happened to FIS (Islamic Salvation
Front) in Algeria during 1990-1991.
Such political use of non-State
actors by the State and regimes has
not been without consequences. It
often proved counterproductive to
their interests, and even posed the
existential threat to the regimes. AlQaeda nurtured by the US in
Afghanistan extracted the superpower’s blood in the form of 9/11 and
put the lives of Americans at risk
globally. Similarly Pakistani’s support
to Taliban boomeranged as it has
recorded a spurt in terror activities
in that country. Turkey too has
begun to feel the heat of ISIS backlash following blasts in Ankara, and
Istanbul.
However, beyond the political
use of Islamic terrorist groups by
States, the historical roots of this
menace lies in development of
Wahhabism. The modern colonial
context unleashed the process of
redefining Islam as an ideology at
least since 18th century. Almost all
post-Wahhabi Islamic movements in
the Muslim world have operated
within the discursive field of
Wahhabi Salafism and shared in
varying degree the Wahhabi vision
of Salafism and its political imagination of sharing the State power.
The process gradually gave birth to
the idea of an “Islamic state”, an idea
that was intensified more against the
backdrop of the abolition of caliphate
by Kemal Ataturk in Turkey. Though
the idea remained incoherent, it continues to express aspirations of a section of Muslim community domes-
tically and internationally — both
peacefully and violently.
One consequence of this process
is the emergence of Islamic terrorist
organisations, which are not only
influenced by the resistance discourse
of pan-Islamism. The terrorist outfits
try to fit themselves into Wahhabi orientation that is distinctively sectarian,
supremacist, thoroughly opportunistic in nature and places no consideration of universal moral values to their
“Islamic” mission.
The political Islam of any variety, whether Wahhabi or AKP type,
cannot be an effective counter discourse to Islamic militant or terrorist organisations such as ISIS or alQaeda. Founded on the notion of
“other” and being inherently
“immoral” both on account of its ideological construction and non-acceptance of “modernist politics”, the
creed of political Islam lacks sufficient moral and ethical resources to
wipe out the influence of Islamic terrorism.
The only recourse to such political contingency lies in the resurrection of universal moral and ethical vision of Islam in the public life
of the nation and community. In this
regard the support extended by the
Modi Government to four day-long
World Sufi Forum, which was organised by the All-India Ulama and
Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex
body of dargahs, tombs of Sufi
saints, in March 2017, is an important step.
Though some fundamentalist
Muslim scholars and leaders see in
Modi’s policy an attempt to divide the
Muslim community and to weaken
it further, others find this Sufi initiative as an expression of internal
power struggle within Islamic religious groups. It cannot be denied that
Sufi’s culture and ideology represents
Islamic syncretic tradition that alone
would resist the forces of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.
(The writer a visiting faculty
member, Amity University, Noida)
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rime Minister Narendra
Modi on Friday gave a
P
high-voltage push to the BJPNDA’s campaign for the May 16
Kerala Assembly election by
unleashing a blistering attack
against the Congress-led ruling
UDF and the Opposition Left.
He slammed the UDF
Government of Chief Minister
Oommen Chandy especially
for its alleged insensitivity
towards last week’s rape-murder of a Dalit law student and
for the infamous solar scam.
“The BJP has only one
Mantra: Development. I assure
you that we will bring in the
development required to change
the fortunes of Kerala and to
change the future of its youth…
You have experimented with
others so far. I am requesting
you to experiment with the
BJP-NDA this time,” Modi said
at a BJP-NDA rally at Palakkad.
At his first election programme in Kerala, the Prime
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Minister blasted the Congressled front and the Left, which
had been ruling the State all
these years. “We feel proud
when we hear people referring
to Kerala as God’s Own
Country. But the fact is that
those who have been ruling
here have brought nothing but
regression,” he said.
“For five years, it will be
Congress rule. For the next five,
it will be the Left. Then again
the Congress comes to power.
It is part of an understanding
between the two sides to loot
the State. This happens because
there has been no third force.
Give BJP electoral victory. If
that happens, we will not allow
this to take place,” Modi said.
Addressing the tens of
thousands of BJP workers and
sympathisers who had gathered
at the Fort Grounds in Palakkad
in the scorching afternoon sun,
the Prime Minister said, “I give
my word to you that I won’t let
this love and sacrifice of yours
to go unrewarded. I will return
this affection to you… by bringing in development” as the
crowd cheered him by chanting, “Modi, Modi”.
Enumerating the difficult
situations in which the Centre
had worked hard to help
Keralites, the Prime Minister
said, “When some daughters of
Kerala had fallen into the hands
of terrorists in the Gulf, the
Centre had lost its sleep. Our
sister (External Affairs
Minister) Sushma Swaraj had
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lamming the BJP led National
Democratic Alliance (NDA)
Government at the Centre, Assam Chief
Minister Tarun Gogoi on friday said that
the Central Government is blowing up
the AgustaWestland chopper deal out of
proportion to divert peoples’ attention
from its many failures since.
“In order to hide its
failure and to divert public
attention from the basic
issues,
the
NDA
Government is trying to
make the AgustaWestland a
huge issue. The erstwhile
Congress led United
Progressive Alliance (UPA)
Government had blacklisted the company and initiated an exhaustive probe
to unearth the truth behind the issue,”
Gogoi said in a statement on friday.
“However, the Modi Government
instead of zeroing in on the issue is
making a bizarre attempt to divert
public attention from its failures like
checking price rise, unemployment,
drought and other agrarian crisis to
name a few that grappled the country.
A
trial court in Goa on
Friday remanded former
Goa Education Minister and
sitting legislator Atanasio
Monserrate to three days in
police custody, a day after he
was arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl after purchasing her for a sum of C50 lakh.
The trial court judge
Vaishali Lotlikar also remanded the mother of the victim,
arrested on charges of human
trafficking, to three days in
police custody, even as police
continued to conduct several
raids to track down the third
accused, a pimp, who allegedly brokered the deal between
Monserrate and the mother in
March this year.
worked tirelessly. In the end, we
succeeded in bringing them
back.”
He also referred to how
effectively the Centre had dealt
with the Yemen crisis and
brought back hundreds of
Keralites from the middle of
explosions and bullets in that
country. But such sensitivity
was not being shown by the
Government here, he alleged.
“A poor Dalit girl was brutally
raped and murdered last week.
But the Government here failed
to open its eyes,” he said.
Taunting the Kerala
Government over the infamous solar scam, Modi said,
“In Kashi, solar energy is helping boatmen to earn a good living. But if the word solar used
?^[XRT\T][PcWXRWPaVT_a^cTbcTabfW^Q[^RZTS
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The NDA Government instead of
finding the real culprit seemed to be
leading the people to a quagmire in the
chopper deal and misleading the
Nation,” Gogoi said.
Offering his piece of advice to the
Centre over the issue, the Assam Chief
Minister urged the NDA Government
to order a Supreme Court monitored
inquiry into the AgustaWestland
chopper deal and let the country know the truth associated
with the issue.
Gogoi said that the NDA
Government is distracting public attention from real issues by
making AgustaWestland a political vendetta and said that the
Modi Government instead of
materialising its much publicised
rhetoric ‘acche-din’ is up for crushing
democracy by imposing President’s
Rule and toppling democratically
elected government in Uttarakhand
and Arunachal Pradesh.
Gogoi also termed this as an attack
on the democratic and federal structure
of the country and said that the
Congress will keep fighting for its legitimate cause of saving the democracy.
CWaTTSPh_^[XRTaT\P]S
U^a6^P<;0X]aP_TRPbT
<0H017DB70=Q ?0=098
?C8
in Kerala, a bomb will explode.
See the difference! In Varanasi,
solar energy powers boats and
people’s lives. In Kerala, the
Government is run by solar.”
The Prime Minister pointed out that the educated youth
of Kerala would not have to go
out of the State in search of jobs
if there were agriculture-based
industries here but the State
missed that bus due to its failure to bring modernisation in
farming. “How would that happen when there are people
who oppose even tractors?” he
asked.
Modi also launched an
attack against the CPI(M) while
referring to the political violence taking place in Kerala.
“Politics of murder is integral
to the communists (CPI(M)).
So many of our activists were
killed by them just because they
could not counter us ideologically,” the Prime Minister said.
Announcing his adage for
BJP-NDA’s election campaign
in Malayalam, “Nammal
Onnaavanam,
Naadu
Nannaavanam” (We should
unite for the land to progress),
Modi said the NDA would
become a strong third force in
the State with this election. The
Prime Minister will return to
Kerala on Sunday to address
more campaign rallies.
Speaking to The Pioneer
after the hearing, counsel for
Monserrate Rajeev Gomes
said, “My client has been
remanded to three days in
police custody. He has no
intention of not co-operating
with the police investigation”.
Gomes however told the
court that the victim had been
coerced to file a complaint
against Monserrate, which the
lawyer argued, was being used
by vested political interests to
tarnish the politician’s image.
“We have informed the
court about how minute sensitive details of the case have
been released to the media.
This case is a political conspiracy, where the victim has
been coerced to file this complaint,” Gomes said.
Monserrate surrendered
to the police on Thursday, less
than 24 hours after an FIR filed
by the minor girl claimed that
the unattached MLA had purchased her for C50 lakh and
had raped her after allegedly
spiking her drink in March.
Monserrate has denied
charges, claiming he is a victim
of a political conspiracy and
that the victim was only working for a lifestyle store operated by him in Panaji.
Monserrate has been
booked under sections 342
(wrongful confinement), 328
(causing hurt), 370 (detaining
against will), 376 (rape) and
relevant sections of the
Protection of Children from
Sexual Offences Act and the
Goa Children’s Act.
KLWFDPSDLJQWUDLO
:D<0A274;;0??0=Q
274==08
ay 6 turned out to be
Chennai’s Super Friday
M
with the metro witnessing three
star campaigners of the 2016
Tamil Nadu Assembly election
hitting the campaign trail in the
city and that tool simultaneously.
The super star of Friday’s
campaign was none other than
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
who crisscrossed Kerala and
Tamil Nadu campaigning for
the BJP candidates for the May
16 Assembly elections. Prime
Minister Modi addressed a
mammoth rally at Hossur in
south west Tamil Nadu where
he was in his usual form, inspiring and enthusing the audience
with his characteristic charm
and élan. What added to the
spectacle was Munawari
Beegum, a Muslim woman,
translating the Prime Minister’s
speech in Hindi to chase Tamil.
She is the Tamil Nadu chief of
BJP’s minority wing.
In a surprise move, Chief
Minister Jayalalithaa too undertook a roadshow in RK Nagar
constituency, a city suburb from
where she is seeking election to
the Assembly. Her cavalcade left
Veda Nilayam, her Poes Garden
residence at 5 pm and she was
greeted by thousands of cadre
belonging to the AIADMK
cadre lining both sides of the
road. Jayalalithaa preferred her
custom built tempo traveller for
her Friday’s Aswamedha leaving
her favourite Toyota Parado
for the day.
She addressed the people
from the van itself. Jayalalithaa
was elected from the constituency in June 2015 with a
landslide majority of more
than 1.5 lakh votes. In her brief
speech, the Chief Minister listed the development works carried out in the constituency and
elsewhere in the State. She also
explained the important points
in the AIADMK manifesto
which she released at
Perundhurai on Thursday. If
the reception accorded to
Jayalalithaa at RK Nagar is any
indication, chances are that
her rivals in the constituency
stand no chance of posing any
threat to her.
The DMK-Congress alliance
in the State has been rejuvenated following Thursday’s election
rally addressed by Sonia Gandhi,
the prima donna of the
Congress. This made DMK chief
Muthuvel Karunanidhi (93) too
to lead a motorcade through various places in Chennai on Friday.
His sound has started
wavering and dithering but the
nonagenarian DMK patriarch
was in high spirits during the
rally. Accompanied by
Dayanidhi Maran, his grand
nephew who is an accused in the
Aircel-Maxis deal, the Grand
Old Man of Tamil Nadu politics
pleaded with the people of the
city to vote DMK back to power
so that he could give them a
transparent and corruption-free
Government for the next five
years. Karunanidhi’s old friends
and well wishers, were in attendance to hear the words of their
one-time glamour boy.
More is on anvil for Tamil
Nadu. Rahul Gandhi is addressing an election rally in the city
suburb on Saturday. “This will be
a turning point in the Tamil
Nadu Assembly election.
Thousands of youth are expected in the rally to be addressed by
Rahul Gandhi,” said CD
Meyyappan, AICC member who
is overseeing the organisation of
the rally. He said the visit by
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi
has changed the course of the
Assembly election in the State.
Political observers are of
the view that the DMKCongress front has reached
steps away from the AIADMK
which was far ahead of others
when the campaign was
launched. As election campaign enters the final phase on
Saturday, the next nine days has
become crucial as well as critical for all the main characters
in the fray.
CT[P]VP]P\P_bTc
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goes according
the plans, Telangana will
Isoonftoeverything
have 15 new districts
taking the total number to 25
by the State formation day on
June 2.
The decision was taken by
the Chief Minister K
Chandrasekhar Rao after a
high level meeting attended
by the Deputy Chief Minister
and Revenue Minister
Mohammed Mahmood Ali
and senior officials of the
department.
Chief Minister will formally announce the decision
on the 3rd State formation
day next month. In addition
to more than doubling the
number of districts, the State
Government has also decided
to create 40 new mandals or
blocks for the administrative
convenience and accelerate
the development process,
sources said.
The decision was expected to come in to effect from
next Dussehra festival. At
present the State with more
than 35 milion population has
42 revenue division and 464
revenue mandals or blocks.
“Every revenue division
will comprise of 8 to 10 mandals”, KCR said stressing that
smaller districts can be
administered better.
Each of the existing districts will be bifurcated or trifurcated. Part of Hyderabad
district
will
b ecome
Secunderabad district while
parts of Ranga Reddy district
will become new district of
Viqarabad, sources said.
Addressing the meeting
the Chief Minister said that as
the Center was taking steps to
increase the number of
Assembly constituencies in
the State form 119 to 153, the
State should also initiate steps
to carve out new districts.
Of f icials exp ect that
increase in the number of districts will help the State in getting more funds and grants as
Center had taken district as a
unit for allocations.
Though the move of
increasing the number of districts was on the cards since
the formation of Telangana
State in June 2014, Chief
Minister KCR took time in
carefully chalking out the
plans and discussing the
contours of each of the new
distrits.
4Q\YdWYb\µcbQ`U]ebTUb*3_`ccdY\\S_^VecUT
?=BQ :>278
A
fter eight days of investigations, the Special Team of
the Kerala Police probing the
brutal rape and murder of a 29year-old Dalit law student
inside her house in
Perumbavoor near Kochi on
April 28 on Friday seemed to be
in confusion about the number
of culprits behind the crime
even as Union Home Minister
Rajnath Singh said the Centre
was prepared to launch a CBI
investigation into the incident.
“As the country’s Home
Minister, I assure you that the
Centre is prepared to conduct
a CBI probe into this incident
as soon as we get a recommendation from the State
Government,” Singh said at a
BJP election rally at
Chathannur in Kollam dis-
trict. “The guilty shall be punished,” he said, adding “our sisters and mothers are not safe in
Kerala.”
At the same time, the
Kerala High Court on Friday
refused to intervene in the
investigation into the Dalit
student’s rape-murder at this
juncture. While taking up a PIL
praying for orders for a CBI
probe, the court adopted this
position after the Director
General of Prosecutions submitted before it that the current
investigation was progressing
on the right path and that the
Government was ready to give
the court a report on the probe.
The Special Police Team
investigating the rape-murder
seemed to be confused about
whether the crime was committed by a single person or
whether there were more than
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one accused behind it. While
Additional Director General of
Police K Padmakumar, who
opined that the crime was preplanned, favoured the theory
that there was only one
accused, some other official
refused to agree with it totally.
“As per the information
received so far, the possibility
is that there was only one
accused,” Padmakumar told
the media. “But the investigations are progressing and the
details cannot be divulged at
this stage… The incident seems
to have been committed with
the clear plan,” the ADGP said.
The police now think that
the crime could have been
committed by someone who
was close to the law student and
her family. Sources said the
statements received by them
from people in the locality
suggested this possibility. They
said that this was only one theory but “we consider all information seriously”.
The police had carried out
extensive inspections at the
camps of migrant workers in
Perumbavoor. Reports said the
searches were carried out with
the cooperation of officials
from the police’s narcotic cell.
They had carried out searches
in migrant workers’ camps in
the area on Thursday also.
B^[SXTaZX[[TS"_^[XRT\T]WdacX]:PbW\XaeX^[T]RT AWX]^RP[UZX[[TSX]<P]Pb
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soldier was killed and
three policemen were
A
injured in two separate incidents of violence in Kashmir
Valley on Friday.
Defence sources said that
troops intercepted a group of
militants in Keran sector of
north Kashmir’s Kupwara district early on Friday. The infiltrators opened fire injuring a
21 Kumaon Regiment soldier
Ramesh Chander Yadav. He
was immediately shifted to
92 Base Hospital in Srinagar
where he succumbed to
injuries.
Meanwhile, unidentified
persons hurled a grenade in
central Kashmir’s Chadoora
town on Friday injuring three
policemen and a civilian. No
militant group claimed
responsibility for the attack.
Police said that the
grenade was tossed near the
local bus stand when a large
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number of policemen and
office-goers were around.
Three policemen wounded in
the attack, have been rushed to
a hospital in Srinagar for treatment. She was discharged after
receiving first aid at Sub
District Hospital Chadoora.
A lady pedestrian was also
wounded in the incident.
Security forces cordoned
off the area after the blast but
there was no clue of the attackers. A year ago, militants shot
dead Station House Officer of
local police station in the
town.
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0=D?B70A<0Q 6DF070C8
he poachers have killed a
rhino calf in western
T
Assam’s Manas National park
and managed to decamp with
its horn, park officials said on
Friday.
This is the first rhino to be
poached in the Manas national park since January this year,
the officials said.
“The guards have recovered the carcass of a male
rhino calf at Bhuyapara forest
range of the park during routine patrolling on Friday morning. It was a male calf, about
two and half year old,” a senior
park official said adding that
an operation had been
launched to track the poachers.
“This is very unfortunate.
There have been no poaching in
Manas during last year,” he
said.
The poachers had killed
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4867C>=47>A=43A78=>BB>50A
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about four one-horned rhinos
in Manas in 2013.
The poachers had already
killed eight one-horned rhinos
so far in Assam’s Kaziranga
national park this year.
It may be mentioned here
that the Manas national park is
an UNESCO Natural World
Heritage site, a Project Tiger
reserve, an elephant reserve
and a biosphere reserve in
Assam. Located in the
Himalayan foothills, it is contiguous with the Royal Manas
National Park in Bhutan.
The UNESCO declared
Manas as a World Heritage Site
in Danger due to heavy poach-
ing and terrorist activities in
the park during 1990s. In 2008,
the UNESCO removed the
park from the List of World
Heritage in Danger and was
commended for its efforts in
preservation.
Although the park had a
substantial number of onehorned rhino population, the
species got wiped out completely during the poaching a
terrorist activities between
1988 to 2001. However, the
Assam Government translocated a few one-horned rhinos
to the park in 2010-11 and now
there are about 31 one-horned
rhinos in the park.
]PcX^](
A08?DAkB0CDA30H k<0H &! %
µHVUZU_`eRd\W`cR_jhReVcecRZ_¶
?=BQ ;D2:=>F
ouring water over Centre’s
claim of extending help
P
through a 'water train', Chief
Minister Akhilesh Yadav said
that UP does not need train, if
the Government is serious in
extending help, it should provide us tankers.
“We did not ask for any
water train. The Centre sent a
so-called water train, that too
without water. This shows how
serious the BJP is in providing
water to the drought-hit people of Bundelkhand,” the CM
said while addressing a rally in
Ferozabad after inaugurating
development schemes.
Yadav said that the State
Government has made it clear
that UP does not need water.
“We have enough water in
reservoirs of Bundelkhand. We
need tankers to carry this water
to far flung areas. Already a fleet
of 600 tankers is working
overnight supplying water to the
needy. If the Centre really wants
to help the State, it should
provid us tankers,” Yadav said.
On Thursday, Yadav had
written to Union Water
Resources minister Uma
Bharati to immediately provide
10,000 water tankers for the
water-starved villages.
“Despite lack of rain in two
monsoons, reservoirs still have
water. If the Centre can provide
tankers, water from these
reserviors could be carted to
parched villages," Yadav wrote.
“Water politics is a twinedged sword. The BJP wanted
to kill us with this sword yesterday but today it itself stands
destroyed,” he said. “We are
providing water to the
Bundelkhand while the BJP is
only doing politics,” he charged.
The CM had come to
Ferozabad to honour Gram
Panchayats which had played
an important role in banning
open defecation in villages. In
the rally, Yadav spoke at length
about the work done by the SP
Government in the last four
years.
“If you compare our
achievements with previous
Governments, you will find the
BSP, the BJP and the Congress
are nowhere. Ours is a
Government that has benefited people to the hilt. We
ensured development in all
villages and process is on to
link tehsils with district headquarters,” the CM said.
Yadav spoke at length
about his Government's efforts
to improve power generation
and how health facilities have
been extended to all sections of
the society.
“Ours is a Government of
farmers and poor. We
Samajwadis understand the
pain and anguish of poor and
therefore are ready to go the
extra mile to solve their problems,” the CM said.
“The SP Government has
opened the job market by generating employment in police
and education sectors.
Employment generation has
been sped up in all departments. There is all-round
development across the state.
You name a sector and will find
development there,” Yadav said.
The CM however warned
party workers to stay cautious
about the BJP’s plan. “This
party thrives on spreading
hatred. Stay alert and spread
the message of good work
among the masses,” Yadav said
in his parting words.
1^\QPh72d_W^[SbR^fb[PdVWcTaQP]X]<PWPaPbWcaP
C=A067D=0C70Q <D<108
I
n a significant ruling, the
Bombay High Court on
Friday
upheld
the
Constitutional validity of the
Maharashtra Government’s
recently amended legislation
prohibiting the slaughter of
bulls and bullocks in addition
to existing ban on cow slaughter, even while striking down
two provisions that criminalised
possession of beef of animals
slaughtered outside the State
and put the onus of proving
innocence on the accused.
Delivering its verdict on a
bunch of petitions challenging
the Maharashtra Animal
Preservation (Amendment)
Act a HC division bench of
Justices AS Oka and SC Gupte
upheld the sections 5, 5A (5B)
among other things prohibiting
the slaughter of bulls and bullocks — in addition to a ban on
cow slaughter imposed through
the original law in 1976, the
transport of animals for slaughter and sale or purchase of animals in the question.
However, the HC division
Bench struck down sections 5
D and 9B of the Act which
criminalised possession of beef
of animals slaughtered outside
the state and laid the onus of
proving the onus of innocence
for crimes committed under
the Act respectively. The Bench
also struck down a reference to
section 5D in section 9A Act
which prescribes imprisonment up to one year and a fine
extending up to C2,000 for
offenders.
Upholding
the
Constitutional amendment
made to section 5 where words
“bull or bullock” have be added
to the word cow in the original
law, the HC Bench observed
“We uphold the constitutional
validity of the amendment to
Section 5 of the Animal
Preservation Act made by the
impugned Amendment Act..
We uphold the constitutional
validity of Sections 5A and 5B”
The Bench however,
tweaked section 5 which 5 C
which bans persons from possessing flesh of cow, bull or bullock slaughtered in contravention of the Act, by saying, “We
hold the possession in terms of
the section 5C of the
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eacting to the significant ruling, Maharashtra
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed
R
happiness over the upholding of most of the provisions in the legislation as “Constitutional” but
indicated that his Government would move the
Supreme Court against the striking down of two
provisions in the legislation.
Talking to media persons, Fadnavis said,
"The HC has affirmed that our law is constitutional and it has not targeted any religion, caste
or creed. I am happy that our stand is vindicated
by the court".
"However, there are two provisions of the law
that have been struck down by the High Court.
We will consult our lawyers and, if necessary, will
approach the Supreme Court against this. Other
than these two provisions, the court has found
no fault with the law," the chief minister said.
The Maharashtra Animal Preservation
(Amendment) Act, for which President Pranab
Mukherjee granted sanction in February last
year, held the sale of bulls and bullocks in the
state for slaughter an offence punishable
with five—year jail term and C10,000 fine.
Besides, possession of flesh of cow or of bull
or bullock was also an offence for which the
punishment prescribed was one year jail and
C2,000 fine.
Maharashtra
Animal
Preservation Act, 1976 shall be
“conscious procession”.
In its ruling, the HC Bench
said, a) We hereby hold and
declare that Section 5, Section,
5A, Section 5B, Section 5C,
Subsections (3) and (4)of Section
8, Section 9 and Section 9A of
the Maharashtra Animal
Preservation Act,1976 as amended/inserted by the Maharashtra
Act No.V of 2015 are constitutional, valid and legal”.
In what came as setback to
the Maharashtra Government,
the HC bench struck down 5D
and 5B and deleted all references to section 5D in other
sections of the Maharashtra
Animal Preservation Act, 1976.
“Section 5D of the
Maharashtra
Animal
Preservation Act,1976 is struck
down on the ground that the
same infringes the fundamental right guaranteed under
Article 21 of the Constitution
1XWPa7^dbT_P]T[c^ZTT_
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508I0=07<03Q ?0C=0
he Bihar Government has
vowed to keep a close track
T
of the special package to the
State announced by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi just
before the Assembly election in
2015 winters and to meet the
purpose the State Assembly has
constituted an all party committee to keep vigil on the flow
of the fund and its utilisation.
The PM had announced a
package of C1.25 lakh crore and
later the Union Government
earmarked funds for different
ongoing and green field projects.
Bihar Assembly Speaker
Vijay Kumar Chaudhary constituted an 11-member committee which has sent a questionnaire to the principal secretaries of the departments of
planning and development and
finance seeking details of the
projects to be covered under
the special package and also the
two years accounts of the central funds to the centrally sponsored schemes.
The BJP has strongly
protested the formation of the
House committee to keep track
on the special package saying
the monitoring of the central
package was beyond the jurisdiction of the state Assembly.
Raising the question over the
justification of the committee,
former Deputy CM and BJP
legislature party leader Sushil
Kumar Modi said the panel has
been formed with political
motive. He said the House
committee has not right to
monitor the central funds or
works on centrally sponsored
projects.
“How come a Assembly
panel can monitor projects
under the ministries of railways, civil aviation, national
highway and petroleum? The
State government is not supposed to give share in the special package so how it could
monitor its functioning,” asked
Modi. He further asked if the
committee has power to summon secretary of any central
ministry. “This committee is
contrary to the powers and
authority of the State
Assembly,” he added.
BJP’s two members Prem
Kumar and Ram Narayan
Mandal who stayed off the
meeting of the committee are
likely to resign. Leader of opposition in the Assembly Prem
Kumar said only the central
agencies have the authority to
monitor the working of the
centrally sponsored projects.
He said he and Mandal would
quit the panel.
Assembly
Speaker
Chaudhary however, explained
that the committee was for
monitoring the spending of the
central funds and not the package. Denying that he violated
any rule, he said the committee was supposed to track the
expenses made by the State
government on the centrally
sponsored projects. On most of
the projects the state agencies
will work as nodal agency and
release the funds received from
the Centre. Projects like Indira
Awas Yojana and MGNERGA
are being implemented by the
state agencies. “The committee
will monitor how the work is
going on different projects and
how the central fund is being
spent. No rule has been violated in forming this committee,”
Chaudhary said.
Chief Minister Nitish
Kumar during his reply to the
debate on the motion of thanks
on the address by the governor
to the joint session of the
Bihar legislature in March had
urged the Speaker to form a
committee for the monitoring
of the works on the projects
covered under the special
package.
Reacting to the charges of
BJP leader Modi, JD(U)
spokesman Sanjay Singh said
the special package had been
announced over ten months
back but the Centre did little
so far and no new project
could be started under this
package. “If the Centre’s intention is clear, why Modi is feeling uneasy over the monitoring of the projects by the committee. After the people rejected BJP, the Centre seems not
inclined to fulfill promises
made by the PM,” he alleged.
E^cTabfPXcc^RPbccWTXae^cTbPcP_^[[X]VQ^^cWSdaX]V_P]RWPhPc_^[[bX]1XWPabWPaXU^]5aXSPh
Ujjain: It took only a few minutes for a severe weather outbreak to turn parts of this boisterous Madhya Pradesh city
into a heap of death and
destruction with a vast crowd
of devotees and tourists at
Simhasta Kumbh Mela watching helplessly.
As it poured heavily and
winds blew at a high speed on
Thursday evening, hundreds of
temporary structures at the
Kumbh site caved in with
dozens of devotees buried within and hundreds more running
for lives.
At least seven people were
found dead and more than 100
injured near the banks of
Kshipra river where authorities
had claimed to have made
"safe" arrangements to hold a
mass of up to five crore people.
Thousands of tents were
installed by government and
private agencies to house visiting mystics, seers, devotees and
tourists for the month-long
Simhasta Kumbh, a Hindu religious festival, which occurs
once every 12 years.
Till Thursday, before the
tragedy hit the Undasa area, it
looked like a new city has
come up on the banks of the
river in which a dip during the
Kumbh is believed to cleanse
one of all sins.
But on Friday, the scene
was sombre and fear was palpable. The collapsed structures
were being installed afresh but
debris still lay strewn around.
Roads were inundated with
clogged water and muddy
water. This, many believe, is a
greater cause of concern
because the clogged water and
mud may pollute the holy river
that finds a mention in Hindu
scriptures. Thousands only visit
the festival to bathe in the river
and get blessings.
Chief Minister Shivraj
Singh Chouhan visited the
damaged areas on Friday and
ordered releif and rehabilation
measures on a war-footing.
"We should not lose
courage but rise to the challenge," Chouhan told officers
who accompanied him. He also
ordered installation of booster
pumps to clear the blocked
roads and drains of water and
mud. The authorities said that
at least 700 temporary structures have fallen or have been
?C8 blown away.
IANS
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=4F34;78
ajya Sabha on Friday saw
R
sharp exchanges between
the treasury and Samajwadi
Party(SP) members when they
charged
the
Central
Government with trying to
score political points over the
issue of scarcity of water in UP
and demanded an apology
from Railway Minister Suresh
Prabhu. Not satisfied with his
clarification, SP members
staged a walkout.
Raising the issue as soon as
the House met for the day, SP
leader Naresh Agrawal alleged
that the Railway Minister gave
a wrong statement on Thursday
that the UP Government did
not accept water train sent to
parched Bundelkhand.
Agrawal said the State
Government had not requested for water train and was not
informed that the Railways
were dispatching a water train.
Alleging that the Central
Government was politicising
the issue, the SP leader said the
State Government had instead
urged the Government to provide funds for borewells, hand
pumps, digging fresh ponds
and building dams in
Bundelkhand. His party colleagues then stormed into the
well raising slogans and
demanding an apology from
the Railways Minister while
Agrawal claimed the train was
did not carry water.
Prabhu refuted the charge of
playing water politics and said he
had talked to UP Chief Minister
Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday
afternoon about the water train.
The Minister also informed the
House a steam-cleaned, 10wagon train was on the way to
fill water at Jhansi before going
to the drought-hit areas.
Elaborating upon the need
for steam cleaning, he said the
process is a must for ferrying
potable water and this facility
is only available at Kota in
Rajasthan. The Railways had
earlier adopted this procedure
to send water to Latur in
Maharashtra after steam cleaning at Kota and similar drill was
followed for the water train
bound for Bundelkhand.
Earlier, Sharad Yadav(JDU) and Mayawati(BSP) said
there was a serious water crisis
and
drought
in
Bundelkhand and no politics
should be played on the issue
by sending an empty water
train. The BSP leader said 50
districts of UP were facing
drought and both Central and
State Governments should rise
above party politics to resolve
the crisis. Rajeev Shukla
(Congress) said it was not
appropriate for the
Centre to send the water
train without consulting the
State Government.
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New Delhi: In Lok Sabha,
Food Minister Ram Vilas
Paswan on Friday said a
te am wi l l b e s ent to
Bundelkhand to look into
the alleged death of a Dalit
due to hunger in Banda district in Uttar Pradesh.
Responding to the issue
of the alleged death raised by
Prabhat Jha (BJP) during
Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha,
Paswan said Food Security
Act has been implemented
in the country, except two
poll-bound states of Tamil
Nadu and Kerala. He
expressed surprise that when
100 per cent foodgrains are
lifted for distribution at subsidised rates, how can a person die of hunger. "We will
s end
a
te am
(Bundelkhand)," he said,
adding that earlier a team
was also sent to Bihar.
of India,” the court ruled.
“Accordingly, wherever
there is a reference to Section
5D in other Sections of the
Maharashtra
Animal
Preservation Act, 1976, the
same stands deleted.. Section
9B of the Maharashtra Animal
Preservation Act, 1976 is
struck down as it infringes the
fundamental right guaranteed
by Article 21 of the
Constitution of India,” the HC
bench noted.
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=4F 34;78) As concerns
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mount over rise in airfares
during peak seasons and crisis situations, aviation regulator DGCA has asked airlines to provide details on
the number of tickets sold in
the highest fare bracket and
share of revenue earned from
this on 20 identified routes.
“We have identified 20
routes across Tier-I, Tier-II
and Tier-III cities for the
purpose of making the perspective clear on how many
seats are being sold,” a
DGCA official said today.
The regulator has sought
details of the tickets sold in
the highest fare bucket and
the revenue share from such
sale, the official said, adding
this will be made a monthly
exercise.
The DGCA has identified routes like MumbaiSrinagar, Kolkata-Guwahati,
Kolkata-Port Blair, DelhiSrinagar, Delhi-Leh, DelhiD ehradun, D elhi-Pat na,
Delhi-Mumbai, BangaloreDelhi, Delhi-Hyderabad and
Mumbai-Hyderabad for this
purpose.
DGCA plans to publish
these numbers in its monthly traffic data from next
month, the official said.
As it seeks to clamp
down on airlines charging
exorbitant ticket prices, the
Directorate General of Civil
Aviation (DGCA) has also
asked them to submit specific
information about the number of seats and relevant
fares on 20 identified routes,
the official said.
On Wednesday, Civil
Aviation Minister Ashok
Gajapathi Raju told the Lok
Sabha that the Ministr y
would hold consultations
with the airlines to explore
the possibility of curbing the
menace of charging exorbitant airfares during emergency situations.
“The Ministry will commence the process of consultations with stakeholders,
including airlines, to explore
possibilities ... Of containing
fares,” he had said.
His assurance came after
Lok Sabha members voiced
concerns over exorbitant airfares during emergency situations like unprecedented
f l o o ds in C he nnai and
Srinagar and the recent Jat
agitation.
Domestic airlines had
jacked up their fares multifold for flights landing and
departing from the airports
closer to Chennai in the
wake of heavy floods last
December. Air fares on the
Chandigarh-Delhi sector also
hit the sky during the Jat agitation.
?C8
$$,VHHNVDUUHVW
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<D<108) A metropolitan
magistrate’s court in suburban Andheri today reserved
its order on applications filed
by Airport Authority of India
seeking a arrest warrant
against industrialist Vijay
Mallya.
AAI has filed two cheque
b ouncing cas es against
Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines
in the court.
“The Court
of 6 3 rd Me t rop ol it an
Magistrate...Has reserved the
orders on the two applications in two cases of cheque
bouncing of over Rs 100
crore against M/s Kingfisher
Airlines and others,” a release
from AAI said.
Through these two applications, AAI has sought canc e l l at i on of p e r mane nt
e xe mpt i on f rom c ou r t
app e ar anc e g r ante d to
Mallya, who has since left the
country amid an outcry over
his airline defaulting on
repayment of over C9,000
crore to the banks, and
sought an arrest warrant
against him.
AAI’s lawyer argued that
in view of cancellation of
Mallya’s passport, his lawyer
may not be able to produce
him in the court if the court
orders so. The court is likely to pass its order on
Saturday .
?C8
?=B Q =4F34;78
A
s per an amendment to the
Finance Bill 2016 approved
by Lok Sabha, new 10 per cent
Dividend Tax will be payable
only on dividend income over
and above `10 lakh threshold
in a year
Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley had brought 21 amendments when he replied to the
debate on Finance Bill 2016 in
the Lok Sabha yesterday. The
Bill and the amendments were
approved, making the culmination of the three-stage budgetary process in Lok Sabha.
The Bill will now go to Rajya
Sabha.
One of them seeks to “clarify that tax shall be chargeable
on dividend income only to the
extent it is in excess of C10 lakh
in aggregate as received from a
domestic company or companies,” the narration of the
amendments released by the
Finance Ministry here today
said.
This essentially means, tax
payers whose dividend income
crosses C10 lakh would now
have to pay an additional dividend tax on the excess income
besides the dividend distribution tax being paid by the company/companies declaring such
dividends.
This amendment will be
effective for the assessment
6HQVH[GRZQIRUQGZHHNDV
JOREDOJURZWKZRUULHVUHWXUQ
<D<108) The BSE Sensex
slipped by a marginal 34 points
on Friday to log its fourth fall in
five sessions as fresh global
growth worries following lacklustre factory data and tepid
domestic earnings pulled down
local indices for a second
straight week.
Foreign portfolio investors
(FPIs) remained cautious in
view of pessimism over the US
Jobs data coming today.
On a weekly basis, both the
indices recorded their second
weekly fall with Sensex plunging 378.12 points or 1.47 per
cent and Nifty dropping 116.45
points or 1.48 per cent.
Asia and Europe were also
lower ahead of the US data.
“The market continued to
be lacklustre as recent gloomy
manufacturing data from global market dampened the interest of equity investors,” said
Vinod Nair, Head of Research
at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial
Services.
The BSE index settled 33.71
points or 0.13 per cent lower at
25,228.50 after shuttling
between 25,057.93 and
25,260.48. The index had risen
by 160.48 points to log a relief
rally yesterday.
The 50-issue NSE ended at
7,733.45, down 2.05 points or
0.03 per cent after cracking
below the 7,700-mark to hit a
low of 7,678.35 earlier.
Broader markets ended
mixed as the BSE mid-cap
index jumped 0.37 per cent
while the small-cap shed 0.20
per cent.
In stock specific action,
ITC Ltd slipped 0.11 per cent to
C317.20 after the company said
its cigarette factories have been
shut since May 4 and will
remain so till the time it is able
to comply with “interim
requirement” of 85 per cent pictorial warnings.
Shares of MCX dropped
3.25 per cent to C886.60 after it
reported a 45 per cent fall in
standalone net profit at C27.10
crore for the fourth quarter.?C8
?C8Q =4FH>A:
U
S-based IT services major
Cognizant on Friday
posted a 15.2 per cent jump in
net profit for March quarter at
$441.2 million from $382.9
million a year ago, driven by
growth in verticals like manufacturing.
However, with a 10 per
cent rise in topline, this is the
slowest quarterly revenue
growth for Cognizant in 14
years as its clients in financial
and healthcare services held
back on spending.
Company’s revenues stood
at $3.2 billion in the said
quarter from $2.91 billion in
the year-ago period.
While this was within
Cognizant’s own revenue
guidance of $3.18-3.24 billion,
but the performance pales in
comparison to its Indian rivals
TCS and Infosys.
On sequential basis, revenues dipped 0.9 per cent for
Cognizant, which follows
January-December as fiscal
year.
Revenues from financial
services, which accounted for
over 40 per cent of Cognizant’s
topline, declined 1.7 per cent,
while that from healthcare
was lower by 4 per cent com-
year 2017-18 and subsequent
assessment years.
One of the amendments
was to put into effect the post
Budget announcement of rollback of proposal to tax employee provident fund (EPF) withdrawals.
But the proposal of 40 per
cent exemption given to
National Pension Scheme
(NPS) subscribers at the time of
withdrawal will remain, it said.
Another amendment cut
the duration for holding of
shares in an unlisted company
for being classified as long
term capital asset.
The duration of holding has
been reduced from 36 months
to 24 months.
Yet another amendment
extended the benefit of weighted deduction of 150 per cent of
expenditure incurred on notified agricultural extension projects till March 31, 2020
(FY2019-20 or Assessment Year
2020-21) instead of Budget
proposal to restrict the deduction to 100 per cent from 201718 fiscal (Assessment Year
2018-19).
Another amendment
included Limited Liability
Partnership (LLP) in the definition of ‘start-up’ firms.
Jaitley had in his Budget
provided exemption from payment of Securities Transaction
Tax (STT) on transactions
pared to the previous quarter.
Cognizant has also lowered the upper limit of its revenue forecast for the fiscal
2016 to be in the range of
$13.65-14.0 billion from its
earlier estimate of $13.6514.2 billion.
“Based on first quarter
results and our visibility on
deals ramping up throughout
the year, we have tightened
our 2016 revenue guidance
range to $13.65-14 billion,
representing approximately
10-13 per cent growth yearover- year,” Cognizant CFO
Karen McLoughlin said.
For the April-June 2016
undertaken in foreign currency on a recognised stock
exchange in International
Financial Services Centre
(IFSC) and extended the benefit of exemption for long term
capital gains.
However, by implication,
benefit of 15 per cent of tax on
short term capital gain under
section 111A may have been
denied in case of such transactions owing to non-fulfilment
of condition of payment of
STT.
So, an amendment was
brought “to provide that the
concessional rate of 15 per cent
on short term capital gain will
be available in respect of the
transactions which take place in
foreign currency on a recognised stock exchange even if
STT is not paid.” Another
amendment was to effect the
rollback of monetary limit of
C1.5 lakh per annum provided
for contribution by the employer in recognised Provident
Fund for the purpose of tax
benefit to the employee.
To provide relief to newly
setup domestic manufacturing
companies, the Budget for
2016-17 provided for an option
at the hands of companies to
pay tax at 25 per cent if it does
not claim any exemption.
An amendment brought
by Jaitley to this clarified that to
avail of the benefit “the com-
quarter, it expects its revenue to be between $3.34 billion to $3.40 billion, representing incremental revenue
in the range of $140-200 million or 4.4-6.3 per cent
sequentially.
“We expect broad-based
momentum across service
lines, geographies and industries as we move into Q2 and
the rest of the year and expect
the ramp up of several deals,”
she added.
McLoughlin added that
fundamentals of the business
remain strong and the company is seeing positive returns
on strategic investment in
pany should not be engaged in
any business other than that of
manufacture or production of
any article or thing and the
associated activities in the
nature of research in relation to,
or distribution of, any article or
thing manufactured or produced by it.”
Also, the option is to be
exercised by the company on or
before the due date of filing of
first return of income. “The
option once exercised cannot be
changed in any subsequent
year,” the amendment said.
Another amendment provided for a person availing of 10
per cent flat tax on gross basis
on income derived from royalty on patent developed and registered in India, will remain in
the regime for five years.
“If the assessee opts out of
the scheme before the expiry of
the period of five years, he shall
not be eligible to take the benefit of the provisions for a period of five subsequent years,” it
said.
It also provided that 75 per
cent of the total expenses
incurred for developing patent
shall be incurred by the resident himself in India.
While the Finance Bill
2016 provided concessional 9
per cent MAT in case of units
located in IFSC and incorporated on or after April 1, 2016,
an amendment deleted the
disruptive technology and
new digital business models.
C ognizant
Chief
Executive Officer Francisco
D’Souza said the first quarter
results were, overall, in line
with its expectations and
guidance.
“We anticipate a return to
positive sequential growth in
our financial services practice
for the balance of this year.
Going forward this year, we
expect a return to positive
sequential growth in our
healthcare segment as the
pressure from industry consolidation is expected to be
partially offset by anticipated
project ramp-ups and a strong
pipeline,” he added.Cognizant
President Gordon Coburn said
Cognizant sawsoftness in its
healthcare segment due to
M&A activity as well as softness in banking segment due
to financial market volatility.
To support this expected
growth, Cognizant significantly accelerated hiring during the first quarter and
increased its global headcount
by 11,300 employees, he said.
The company ended the
quarter with about 2.33 lakh
employees globally. A majority of its employees are based
in India.
condition of being set up on or
after April 1, 2016.
Another amendment provided that the processing of
return shall not be necessary
before expiry of the period
provided for processing of
return where a notice has
been issued to the assessee.
However, such return shall be
processed before the issuance
of the assessment order.
While the Budget provided for deduction of 10 per cent
tax by Category - I & II
Alternate Investment Fund
(AIFs) on payments made to
a resident investor and at the
“rates in force” where the
payee is a non-resident, an
amendment provided for no
deduction in case of a non-resident.
In order to bring high
value transactions within the
tax net, the Finance Bill, 2016
made it mandatory for seller to
collect one per cent tax from
the purchaser on sale of motor
vehicle of the value exceeding
Rs ten lakh.
One of the amendments
clarified that retail sale of
motor vehicle of over C10
lakh is also liable to tax collected at source or TCS.
Yet another amendment
extended the immunity in
case assessee pays tax on
under-reported income and
does not file any appeal against
6RDULQJSULFHVPD\KLW
JROGVDOHVRQ$NVKD\D7ULWL\D
<D<108)Akshaya Tritiya, considered an auspicious day to
buy gold, is likely to be lacklustre this time as jewellers are
expecting negative to marginal growth compared to last
year, on the back of rising gold
prices, which is ruling at over
C30,000 per 10 grams.
“During Akshaya Tritiya
(which falls on May 9) we are
expecting marginal growth in
sales compared to last year as
the prices are ruling very high
and due to the present dry
weather conditions in the
country,” All India Gems and
Jewellery Trade Federation
(GJF) Chairman Sreedhar G V
told the news agency here.
He said even as the overall market sentiment is positive, the surge in gold prices is
likely to put a halt on consumer demand for heavy jew-
ellery and people might go for
small ticket size items, chains
and bangles.
Gold is currently ruling at
C30,050 per 10 grams in
domestic market. In February
first week it was at C26,930.
Echoing a similar view,
former GJF Chairman
Bachhraj Bamalwa said in
terms of volume, the consumer demand might witness
a negative growth of about 10
per cent, but in value terms it
is likely to be at par with last
year’s sales.
“There will be buying as
people will purchase a token
small ticket size jewellery or
coin for the festival and they
will hesitate to go for heavy
pieces due to high prices,” he
said.
As for wedding jewellery,
he said, usually consumers
book for bridal jewelleries
before one month for which
most of the bookings were
already done just after the
strike ended.
“Bridal and wedding jewellery takes time so we usually get most of the bookings
before one month. We got
most of the wedding jewellery
bookings just as the strike
ended,” he said.
However, World Gold
Council
(WGC)
MD
Somasundaram PR felt that
there will be sharp hike in
demand during Akshaya
Tritiya, where wedding jewellery as well as investmentrelated items like coins, bars
will also move fast. The industry has been facing a challenging time as peoplewere
waiting for the Budget expecting a cut in import duty,
Somasundaram said.
“However, the jewellers
went on strike after the
announcement of excise levy.
The industry is gearing up to
meet the pent-up demand
which will be witnessed during this Akshaya Tritiya,” he
said.
However, he cautioned
that there are restrictions in
Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the
two big markets, due to elections.
Also the artisans,
who had ventured into other
professions during the strike,
are coming back slowly and
cannot meet the demand in
such a short time.
“We don’t expect the price
to deter demand. However, we
feel that it will be difficult for
the industry to increase supply in such a short time,” he
added.
?C8
A
udi India, which is part of the
Volkswagen Group, has also
been impacted by the recent
Supreme Court ban on dieselpowered vehicle sales in the
National Capital Region. Although
the ban has affected Audi less than
its rival Mercedes-Benz as the twolitre diesel engine they equip their
A3, A4, A6, Q3 and Q5 with, is
under 2000cc in capacity, the ban
has meant that Audi has been
unable to sell its newly-launched
Q7 premium SUV in the NCR.
However, Audi in 2014 showcased a new technology called the
‘g-tron’ which was a 1.4 litre
engine designed from the ground
up to work on Compressed
Natural Gas. The Pioneer asked Joe
King, Managing Director, Audi
India whether there was any possibility that such a technology
which is available on the A3 and
A4 models in Europe could come
to India, particularly in light of the
Supreme Court ban on diesel taxis
which have hit luxury taxi services
badly.
“Audi’s global portfolio offers
a range of solutions, besides g-tron,
e-tron is also an interesting product and could be relevant for a
market were usage geography is
limited and pre-defined like luxury-taxis. But the important discussion before any product introduction is policy clarity. We feel
that short-term decisions lead to
increased uncertainty and ambiguity for the future not just for
manufacturers but also for dealers
and customers”, King said. He
alluded to the fact that constantly shifting goalposts has carmakers worried.
One particular problem for
carmakers has been the fact that
despite promises, the Government
is yet to provide substantial tax
breaks for hybrid and electric cars.
However, King did believe that
sooner rather than later new technologies would make it onto
Indian roads and luxury carmakers would lead the way.
0dSX´b]TfTca^]@dPccca^R^]RT_cPb[XRT^UcWTUdcdaT
the assessment order, to
include exemption from initiation of proceedings. Earlier
immunity was granted from
levy of penalty for under
reported income and prosecution. PTI JD ANZ Another
amendment was to effect the
rollback of monetary limit of
C1.5 lakh per annum provided
for contribution by the
employer in recognised
Provident Fund for the purpose of tax benefit to the
employee.
To provide relief to newly
setup domestic manufacturing
companies, the Budget for
2016-17 provided for an option
at the hands of companies to
pay tax at 25 per cent if it does
not claim any exemption.
An amendment brought
by Jaitley to this clarified that
to avail of the benefit “the company should not be engaged in
any business other than that of
manufacture or production of
any article or thing and the
associated activities in the
nature of research in relation
to, or distribution of, any article or thing manufactured or
produced by it.”
Also, the option is to be
exercised by the company on
or before the due date of filing
of first return of income. “The
option once exercised cannot
be changed in any subsequent
year,” the amendment said.
+')&/WGWRUDLVH
CFUYLDSULYDWH
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=4F 34;78) Country’s largest
mortgage lender HDFC Ltd on
Friday said it will raise C1,360
crore by issuing debentures
on a private placement basis.
The issue will open on
Monday and close the same
day.
“The object of the issue is
to augment the long-term
resources of the Corporation.
The proceeds of the present
issue would be utilised for
financing/refinancing the
housing finance business
requirements
of
the
Corporation”, HDFC said in a
regulatory filing.
The money will be raised
by issuing secured redeemable
non-convertible debentures
(NCDs) only to the persons
specifically addressed through
a communication, HDFC said.
No other person can apply
for the issue, it added.
The coupon rate of the
issue is 8.38 per cent. HDFC
scrips closed 0.32 per cent up
at C1,167.60 apiece on BSE on
Friday.
?C8
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274==08) Having set a firm
foothold in the Indian automobile market in the last two
decades, Korean auto major
Hyundai is challenging Maruti
Suzuki for “market leadership” for which it will launch
‘two new advanced products
every year’ in the country.
The company’s arm,
Hyundai Motor India Ltd
(HMIL), which celebrated its
20th foundation day today,
said it will have a complete
line up of products and have
an offering in every segment
as part of its vision for the next
two decades.
The vision will be dedicated towards market leadership, becoming the most
loved, trusted modern premium brand and great place to
work, HMIL Managing
Director Young Key Koo said
here.
“We aim to gain market
leadership through the introduction of two new advanced
products every year. We will
have a complete line up of
products and have an offering
in every segment,” he added.
In 2015-16, HMIL was
the second largest passenger
vehicle manufacturer in India
selling a total of 4.83 lakh
units as compared with market leader Maruti Suzuki’s
13.05 lakh units.
Koo said the company’s
R&D in India is playing a big
role in developing products
with innovative features which
are high on safety and reliability, of high quality.
“Our R&D centre in
Hyderabad is supporting our
global R&D centre to develop
these exclusive features for
Indian conditions,” Koo said.
Stressing on the need for
network expansion in order to
meet its goals for the next two
decades, he said: “We will
also have a wide network of
sales and service, dealerships
in urban and rural centers, to
be close to customers.”
HMIL has 449 dealers
and more than 1,150 service
points across India.
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unrisers Hyderabad produced a
clinical bowling show as they
restricted Gujarat Lions to a
meagre 126 for 6 in their IPL match
here on Friday.
Put into bat, all the Lions batsmen,
except for Aaron Finch (51 not out)
struggled as the visitors posted a small
total at the Rajiv Gandhi International
Stadium at Uppal.
Finch was the only Lions batsman
who gave a fight against a disciplined
Gujarat bowlers and the Australian,
who was dropped on 30 by home side
captain David Warner, remained not
out on 51 off 42 balls with the help of
three fours and a six.
Captain Suresh Raina contributed
20 off 10 balls while Dwayne Bravo
and Ravindra scored 18 each.
For Hyderabad, Bhuvneshwar
Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman
grabbed two wickets apiece while
Barinder Sran and Moises Henriques
took a wicket each.
The Lions began with one of the
slowest starts ever in the IPL and then
slumped to 25 for 3 inside powerplay
overs. Openers Dwayne Smith (1) and
Brendon McCullum (7) struggled to
get off the blocks as the first Lions' run
came after 13 dot balls with
Bhuvneshwar and Nehra bowling a
maiden over each.
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ormer South Africa and
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Australia coach Mickey
Arthur was on Friday named
head coach of the Pakistan
cricket team, succeeding Waqar
Younis who had resigned
owing to the side's disastrous
WT20 campaign.
"Following detailed consultations on this matter at the last
Board Of Governors' meeting
and further telephone consultations by the PCB Chairman
with Board Of Governers, discussions with Mickey Arthur
were initiated and he has confirmed his acceptance of the
post of Head Coach of the
Pakistan National Cricket
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Dwayne Smith's miserable nineball innings ended in the third over
with Bhuvneshwar inducing an outside edge to short third man Mustafiz
who took a chest-high catch.
Raina came out and in complete
contrast to his openers, hit a quickfire
20 off just 10 balls before perishing in
the fifth over. He struck two exquisite sixes, one each off Nehra and
Bhuvneshwar and it briefly looked like
team," the Pakistan Cricket
Board said in a statement.
"The modalities vis-a-vis
his contract are being finalised.
It is expected that Mickey
Arthur will be able to join the
PCB toward the end of this
month," it added.
Arthur had been coaching
the Karachi Kings team in the
PSL. Following Waqar's resignation, the PCB invited applications from potential candidates for the position.
A panel was appointed —
comprising Wasim Akram,
Ramiz Raja and Faisal Mirza —
to make recommendations to
the PCB. The post was initially offered to Stuart Law, who
turned it down citing his inability to immediately join the
team. Englishman Peter Moores
had also rejected PCB's offer.
Arthur, who played 110
first class games as a batsman in
SA, led the Proteas to world
number one ranking across all
formats during his tenure as
coach from 2005-2010.
During his stint as coach,
South Africa won 13 consecutive ODIs, equalling Australia's
world record.
the Lions would recover from early jolt
and slow scoring rate.
After hitting a six and a four off
Bhuvneshwar, the Lions captain fell to
a return catch to the same bowler,
leaving his side at 24 for 2 in five overs.
Mustafizur was introduced in the
sixth over and he could have have got
a wicket in his first ball but Shikhar
Dhawan dropped McCullum who
was on three then. The Bangladeshi
pacer got his man in the same over in
the form of Dinesh Karthik (0) with
Kane Williamson taking a brilliant
catch at backward point. The fielder
was, however, not sure whether he
took it cleanly or not. But, the TV
Umpire ruled it was a catch.
McCullum fell in the eighth over
off Henriques to add misery to the
Lions innings. Warner took the catch
at long-off as he played a lofted shot
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Mitchell Marsh has hampered
Dhoni's plans but he will get
some relief with the joining of
Usman Khawaja, who made 30
in his IPL debut. Khawaja and
George Bailey can add the filip
that RPS desperately needs.
Although Dhoni did not
finish the match, his two sixes
did go a long way in helping
Thisara Perera finish off the
match. With the team needing to
win each and every match, MSD
and his boys know very well that
they cannot afford any slip ups
at this stage of tournament.
I
t will be a battle of survival
for the two national captains
as Virat Kohli's struggling
Royal Challengers Bangalore
square off against a fledgling
Pune Supergiants led by
Mahendra Singh Dhoni in an
IPL encounter for the bottomrung teams, here on Saturday.
With five defeats in seven
games, RCB are currently
placed at a lowly seventh spot
in the table with four points
while Pune are just a notch
above in sixth spot courtesy
their third win against Delhi
Daredevils, on Thursday.
It has been a tough journey
for the two superstars of Indian
cricket as their franchises have
dished one disappointing performance after another.
Skipper Kohli, who is in
form of his life, is leading the
run-getters list with 433 runs to
his credit with a century and
four 50 plus scores at a whopping average of 72.16. AB de
Villiers with 320 runs is also in
the Top-10 list but the problem
has been their bowling.
It is expected that England
seamer Chris Jordan, who put
up some exceptionally good
performances at the death dur-
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be coming into the playing XI
giving Kohli, the respite he
needs at the opening.
For Dhoni and his men,
they will like to think that the
win against Daredevils will boost
their morale after four defeats at
their home ground in Pune.
Spate of injuries leading to
return of Faf du Plessis, Kevin
Pietersen, Steven Smith and
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fter a below-par effort
against Pune Supergiants,
the Delhi Daredevils will be
looking to hit the straps rightaway with their prime players
set to comeback in the playing
XI as they take on wooden
spooners KXIP on Saturday.
There has been no standout performer as such but contributions from most of the
players in their five victories
has made it clear that Dravid's
men are certainly not dependant on any one individual to
carry the team forward.
The team has set a new
template taking the 'Horses
for Courses' theory to an altogether new level with only
three Indian players — legspinner Amit Mishra, wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson
and top-order player Karun
Nair getting a start in all the
eight matches. All the other
players have been either rested
or replaced during the course
of the tournament so far.
For Delhi though, the
biggest question will be where
would they fit their C8.5 crore
buy Pawan Negi.
On paper, Daredevils are
over whelming favourites
against a Kings XI Punjab side,
who have neither shown stomach for a fight nor any kind of
proper homework to take on
the opposition.
More so, the mistakes have
been repeated, they have pressed
the panic button by replacing
Live on Sony Max
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David Miller as the skipper,
which has done little to change
the fortune of their team.
Delhi would hope Zaheer
gets back into action quickly as
he has managed to get early
breakthroughs and has been
impressive in the death overs in
some of the matches.
Another man who was
missed is batting mainstay
Quinton De Kock has been
scoring runs consistently. De
Kock was given a much-needed rest so that he could cope up
with the gruelling schedule.
KXIP which looked to
have gained some confidence
from their 23-run win against
table toppers Gujarat Lions,
were quick to fritter away
their advantage in their last
match when they lost by 7
runs chasing Kolkata Knight
Rider's score of 164.
Chinks in their batting
and inconsistencies in their
performance were exposed
once again, something which
has troubled the Punjab outfit
in virtually every edition of the
cash-awash league.
Punjab outfit recently
changed skipper David Miller
apparently to take pressure off
him, but he too is struggling and
it was evident when he made
only 13 of 18 balls against KKR.
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T
he Indian wrestling contingent was left
red-faced for a second time in the last
15 days after Gurpreet Singh became the
latest to be disqualified from an Olympic
qualification event for being overweight.
Gurpreet weighed 500gm more than
what was stipulated to be eligible for the
Greco-Roman 75kg category competition
at ongoing 2nd World Qualifying tournament at Istanbul, Turkey, which is the last
qualification event for the Rio Olympics.
At the previous qualifying event — the
1st World Qualification tournament held
in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia last month —
Vinesh Phogat was disqualified for being
overweight.
"Gurpreet was found overweight by
500gm, so he was disqualified from the
competition," Wrestling Federation of
India (WFI) Assistant secretary, Vinod
Tomar told PTI.
The ongoing tournament in Istanbul
is the last chance for wrestlers to secure
Olympic quota places for their respective
countries and WFI said Gurpreet's disqualification has cost India dearly as he simply wasted a weight category.
The WFI official said stern action will
be taken against him but insisted that coaches are not to be blamed for the fiasco.
"After the team returns to India, a
meeting will be held and stern action will
be taken against Gurpreet. The coaches,
however, cannot not be blamed for this as
they tried their best to get Gurpreet into
shape but he remained defiant," said
Tomar.
The Indian Men's Freestyle and GrecoRoman teams have been training at Tbilisi,
Georgia for almost a month now and the
government has spent a lot on this exposure trip.
"Gurpreet has wasted the government's money. He has been training in
Georgia for a month now and maintaining weight is a part of training. But he has
let the Federation as well the country
down. So, he would face suspension in all
likelihood," said Tomar.
Controversies have engulfed Indian
wrestling of late with four grapplers
already handed temporary suspension
after the previous qualification tournament.
Last week, WFI issued show cause
notices to four wrestlers — Geeta Phogat
(women's 58kg), Babita Kumari (women's
53kg), Sumit (men's 125kg freestyle) and
Rahul Aware (men's 57kg freestyle) —
before handing them temporary suspension for showing indiscipline.
At the 1st World Qualification event,
Babita had forfeited her repechage bout in
women's 53kg, while Geeta had pulled out
of her 58kg repechage round, citing injury.
Sumit, who had a chance to book an
Olympic berth had he won his repechage
round followed by two more bouts, also did
not turn up for his repechage bout in 125kg
freestyle, stating injury.
Rahul Aware, who was shortlisted by
WFI to train in Tbilisi along with his colleagues, had earlier refused to board the
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flight to Georgia, returning home from the
airport.
To add to all this, Vinesh (women's
48kg) was disqualified from the event for
being overweight.
However, Vinesh was let off with a
warning as she assured WFI of ensuring
an Olympic berth at the ongoing competition here.
With WFI deciding to come down
heavily on the offenders and world body
also debarring them from this competition,
some of the best Indian wrestlers are not
taking part in this crucial tournament.
And adding insult to injury was
Gurpreet joining the list of offenders.
6A42>A><0=FA4BC;4AB38B0??>8=C
8BC0=1D;) It was a disappointing day for
India's Greco-Roman wrestlers at the second World Olympic Qualifying tournament on Friday as Gurpreet Singh was disqualified for being overweight while his
other team-mates failed to grab a berth for
the Rio Games in their respective weight
categories here.
The ongoing tournament is the last
qualifying event for the Olympics and only
the top two finishers in each weight category here are assured of quota places at Rio
Games.
While Gurpreet weighed 500 gms
more than what was stipulated to be eligible for the Greco-Roman 75kg category competition and was subsequently disqualified, the others in the fray lost their
respective bouts at the early stages of the
competition.
Ravinder Khatri lost 6-10 to Laimutis
Adomaitis of Lithuania in 85kg and
Naveen went down to Metodiev Miloslav
Yuriev of Bulgaria 0-9 in 1/8 round bout
of 130kg.
The campaign of both Ravinder Singh
(59kg) and Suresh Yadav (66kg) was over
in the qualification round itself.
Ravinder was thrashed by Revaz
Lashkhi of Georgia 0-8 and Suresh suffered
a 0-3 defeat at the hands of Artak
Margaryan of France.
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iverpool stands in the way of a third
straight Europa League title for Sevilla after
the clubs with a rich pedigree in Europe's
second-tier competition reached the final on
Thursday.
Sevilla beat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 at home
to advance 5-3 on aggregate and maintain its
impressive recent history in the competition.
The Spanish club is looking to win the UEFA
Cup/Europa League for a record-extending fifth
time in the past 11 years.
Liverpool, a three-time winner, overturned
a first-leg deficit against Villarreal by winning
3-0 at Anfield to go through 3-1 on aggregate.
Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana scored second-half goals to add to a seventh-minute own
goal by Bruno Soriano.
Liverpool has beaten Manchester United,
Borussia Dortmund, and now Spain's fourthbest club in the knockout stages on a grueling
path to the final, which is in Basel, Switzerland,
on May 18.
"Wonderful night, brilliant game from my
side. What a performance," said
Liverpoolmanager Juergen Klopp, who cupped
his ear toward the team's jubilant fans and
punched the air wildly as he stood in the center circle after the final whistle.
The charismatic Klopp has guided Liverpool
into its first European final in nine years, keeping alive the club's chances of playing in the
Champions League next season. The winner of
the Europa League qualifies for Europe's elite
competition.
Sevilla is seventh in the Spanish
league but continues to show a different side in the Europa League.
Kevin Gameiro took his competition tally this season to seven goals by
scoring early in each half at Ramon
Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, either side of
Eduardo's goal for Shakhtar.
Right back Mariano Ferreira
smashed in a brilliant third for Sevilla from outside the area, his first goal for the club.
Spanish teams have dominated European
competition this season - Real Madrid and
Atletico Madrid will face off in the Champions
League final this month - but there will be no
all-Spanish final in the Europa League after
Liverpool's comeback against Villarreal.
Anfield was hosting its first match since a
jury at an inquest absolved the club's fans of
blame in the 1989 Hillsborough Stadium disaster, in which 96 Liverpool supporters were
killed in a crush. It was an emotional evening,
with a choir singing "You'll Never Walk Alone"
before kickoff while a mosaic bearing "96 The
Greatest Family" was held up.
Anfield was in full voice, and both the occasion and Liverpool's ferocious work rate
appeared too much for Villarreal, which looked
rattled early and lost its aggregate lead when
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ngland midfielder Alex [email protected]_ZdZ_XT`^^ZeeVV
E
Chamberlain is expected to miss the
European Championship after being ruled
out for up to two months by Arsenal mandefUjZ_X8`R`cUVc+:D=
ager Arsene Wenger.
Wenger said Friday that OxladeChamberlain has had a setback in his recovery from a knee injury, and faces six-to-eight
weeks out. "I had a conversation with Alex
and with our medical team, and they told me
he will back in July," Wenger said.
Euro 2016 starts on June 10.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has not played
since hurting his knee in a Champions
League game against Barcelona on Feb. 23.
He was on his way back to fitness and was
scheduled to play for Arsenal's under-21 side
this week, but hurt his knee again.
"It is very sad," Wenger said. "He was
physically ready and looking sharp ... You
want a guy of 22 years of age to go to the
European Championship. It's very bad."
England coach Roy Hodgson could also
be without Jordan Henderson for Euro 2016,
with the Liverpool captain currently sidelined
with a knee ligament injury. Hodgson will
name his Euro 2016 squad on Thursday.
Roberto Firmino sent the ball across the
face of the six-yard box, Sturridge
swiped at thin air, and the unfortunate
Soriano deflected it into his own net.
Sturridge put Liverpool 2-0 ahead
in the 63rd when a mis-hit shot by
Firmino landed in the striker's path
inside the area. Sturridge's shot went
between goalkeeper Alphonse Areola's
legs, struck the post, and crept across and over
the line.
Villarreal defender Victor Ruiz was sent off
for collecting a second yellow card for a foul on
Lallana, who ensured there would be no late tension by scoring from close range in the 81st,
turning in Sturridge's weak effort.
Villarreal coach Marcelino said his team
"came up against a top side on top form" on
another special European night at Anfield.
However, he said he felt Liverpool'sintensity and
pressing was "maybe on the margins of the
rules."
Klopp was delighted to return Liverpool, a
five-time European champion, back to a continental final.
"There are lots of teams who want to go to
finals. It's not too easy," Klopp said. "So now we
are there and it's a great opportunity and we will
take it."
?C8Q =4F34;78
ndian Super League on Friday said that its
organising committee was in the process of
Istudying
the order pronounced by its regulatory commission which slapped FC Goa a whopping C11 crore fine while banning their two coowners for a few seasons for "bringing disrepute"
to the tournament.
"The ISL organising committee is in the
process of studying the order pronounced by its
five member eminent and independent regulatory commission headed by Hon'ble Mr Justice
D A Mehta," the ISL said in a statement.
"We thank the jury for completing the hearing in less than five months, considering the
delays caused due to several extensions sought
by FC Goa," it added.
The ISL said it was committed to upholding
the spirit of the game.
"ISL stands committed to upholding the true
spirit of the beautiful game and the fans' interest first. ISL will continue to invest in Indian football, until we as a nation realise our true potential in this sport." the statement said.
On Thursday, the five-member ISL
Regulatory Commission headed by Justice
(Retd) D A Mehta banned FC Goa co-owners
Srinivas Dempo and Dattaraj Salgaocar from taking part in any ISL activities for two and three
seasons respectively while the franchise was
slapped a total fine of C11 crore for "bringing disrepute" to the league.
I82>38B6DBC431H?D=8B7<4=C
?0=098) Lambasting the Indian Super League
(ISL) for the heavy penalties it imposed on FC
Goa, the club's Brazillian coach Zico said the
order is based on a "clearly cooked" video and
has left him disgusted.
"I have no words! I feel disgust for the order
taken by the committee. How can ISL put such
a heavy fine of C11 crore, put bans of 2-3 year
on owners and docking of 15 points for FC Goa?"
Zico said in a statement issued here.
"We were there — Coaches Moraci Santana
and Bruno Silva saw Elano assaulting Mr
(Dattaraj) Raj Salgaocar in our dugout," he insisted. That video is clearly cooked! Anyone with
sense can see there is a cut before the assault on
the owner, and surely all the reaction that came
from our team members was not without
motive," he added.
³>[h\TSP[fX[[QTQXVVTacWP]F2´
?C8Q <D<108
ndia's Aditi Ashok staged a remarkable
W
fight back on the back nine of the second
Iround
to make the cut at the Lalla Meryem
Golf Cup, here on Friday.
The 18-year-old Indian, who won the
Ladies European Tour Qualifying School to
earn playing rights on the Ladies European
Tour, carded a first round of even par 72 late
Thursday. She followed that up with a 74 and
is now two-over 146 for two rounds and tied
31st but half the field is yet to finish.
The other Indian, Vani Kapoor missed
out carding 77 and 76.
"I played well on both days but could
have saved a few more shots," said Aditi, who
has her father, Ashok on the bag.
As for the final two rounds, she added,
"I hope I can keep the ball in play and create more chances during the weekend."
Aditi was eight shots behind leader
Florentyna Parker, who opened with a fiveunder par 67 and added a one-under 71 on second to get to six-under for 36 holes.
Elsewhere, Having worked on his game
with coach Vijay Divecha, India's top golfer
Anirban Lahiri shot six-under 66 saw him
placed third at the end of the first round of
the Wells Fargo Championship.
ith two back-to-back bronze
medals
in
World
Championships adorning her list of
achievements, Rio-bound Indian
shuttler P V Sindhu says she will consider it a bigger feat if she could climb
the podium on debut during the
Olympic Games in August.
"It's much more than world
championships. The ultimate goal for
anyone is to get a medal in the
Olympics where the conditions and
environment are totally different.
(But) first of all I am very excited. It's
my first Olympics," said the 20-yearold Hyderabadi at a media interaction
here on Friday.
World No 10 Sindhu and fellowHyderabadi Saina Nehwal, ranked
two rungs above her currently, will be
the two big hopes for the country in
the August 5-21 sports spectacle
which is to be held for the first time
ever in South America.
Sindhu, who will turn 21 exactly a month before the Games
Opening, expressed her happiness
that a total of seven shuttlers, two
more than in London four years ago,
had made the grade for the Rio
Games. "It's great that seven players
have been selected for the Olympics,
including the women's doubles team
(Jwala Gutta and Arti Ponnappa) for
the second time and the men's doubles team (Manu Attri and B Sumeeth
Reddy) for the first time. It's also (K)
Srikkanth's first time (at the
Olympics). He too will be excited. I
wish all of us play well and give our
best," said Sindhu, who won singles
bronze medals in the 2013 and 2014
world championships held at
Guangzhou and Copenhagen.
"We have been training hard. We
need to push ourselves more. We are
doing training off and on court, but
the main thing is to keep ourselves fit
and healthy. We need to be healthy as
well as injury free," said Sindhu who
is supported by not-for-profit organisation, Olympic Gold Quest.
The lanky shuttler was here to get
a special insole fitted in the shoe of
her right foot which was fractured
one year ago and put her off the badminton scene for a considerable
period of time.
With the Games fast approaching
planning has been done so that
Sindhu and the others would be free
to concentrate on training intensely
for one month just prior to the mega
event. "Only a few months are left (for
the Games) and there are some tournaments left to play. The next important events are the Thomas and
Uber Cups. We will be playing in
Indonesia and Australia and then we
will be having one month training.
We are going to put the full effort for
the Rio Olympics," said Sindhu.

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