TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 16 PAGES, JAIPUR, `4.00 ● MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE RBI likely to keep policy rates same for now PROTEST OVER BUDGET TDP decides to stay with BJP, but will step up pressure on Centre But Minimum Support Price, fiscal slippages may force rate hike later Naidu tells MPs to raise demands of state in House, disrupt proceedings SREENIVAS JANYALA HYDERABAD, FEBRUARY 4 Eye on safety, Rlys to launch whistleblower staff website AVISHEK G DASTIDAR NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 4 THE13lakhIndianRailwaysemployees will soon get a platform, in the form of a website for “whistleblowers”, to directly inform top officials, including the Railway Board Chairman, of any lapses in safety, without revealing their identities. The website, being developed by the Railways’ software arm, Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), will allow any employee, from a trackman to an officer, to make anonymous disclosures on shortcomings in ensuring safe train operations. This may include information on an engineer cutting corners in maintenance protocol, or someone not following the regime of preventive maintenance of trains, or even something as apparently routine as a gateman sleeping on duty. The website will be directly monitored by the Railway Ministry’s safety department, headed by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani. “It is calleduniversalreportingmechanism. We expect it to be up and CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 EXPRESS NETWORK ● BYPOLL RESULTS A WAKE-UP CALL FOR US: RAJE ● CM SHOULD STEP DOWN, CONG WILL WAIVE FARMERS’ LOANS, SAYS DUDI, P4 AFTERTHEtoughposturingover the last two days, sparking speculation that it may leave the rulingNationalDemocraticAlliance at the Centre, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Sunday decided to continue its alliance with the BJP. However, party leaders said TDP president and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has asked his MPs to step up the pressure on the Centre by “disrupting Parliament”, even at the risk of being suspended or thrown out of the House. Following bifurcation of the state in 2014, TDP leaders have often alleged step-motherly treatment by the Centre in allocation of funds and incentives. While ties between the TDP and BJP deteriorated over the last threeyears,onissueslikespecial category status for Andhra Pradesh, funding of Polavaram project and Amaravati capital city, the state government had pinned its hopes on the Union Budgetthisyear,especiallysince BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY itisthelastfullBudgetof theBJPled government before the 2019 general elections. Stating that Andhra Pradesh had received meagre allocations in the 2018-19 Budget, Naidu had called a meeting of his MPs, seniorMLAsandpartyleadersin Amaravati on Sunday to review the TDP’s ties with the BJP. Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting, TDP MP and Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y S Chowdhary said they “would raise all unresolved and pending issues in Parliament and outside’’. He said his party was hopeful of a positive response from the Centre within the next few days, before the first part of the Budget Session ends on February 9. “At today’s meeting, we decided to take up the TDP-BJP alliance issue at a later date. Right now, we have to focus on why the Centre has not addressed issues like bridging the revenue deficit, hastening funds for Polavaram project, additional funding for Amravati capital city and new railway zone for CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 GEORGE MATHEW MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 4 Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, party leaders at the meeting in Amaravati Sunday. Express TDP, Sena, RLSP, Akalis: Line of angry allies grows, BJP says will talk it out ABANTIKA GHOSH NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 4 WITH THE Lok Sabha elections coming up next year, or possibly even earlier, the TDP is the latest to join an increasing number of NDA partners who are raising their voice against what they claim is the BJP’s overbearing attitude. After the TDP accused the central government of not givingAndhraPradeshitsdueinthe Union Budget, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said: “There seemstobesomekindof unhappiness, we will talk it out. TDP is an old ally of BJP, we will talk it out with them and tell them we arecommittedtotheinterestsof Andhra Pradesh.” Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, meanwhile, has instructed his party’sMPstomaketheirunhappiness known vociferously during the ongoing Budget session. The TDP’s anger comes 10 days after the Shiv Sena decided to go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections and Maharashtra assembly polls. While the TDP is the NDA’s lone partner from the CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 4 A SEEMINGLY innocuous phone conversation regarding the breakdown of a motorcycle, recorded by the J&K Police a day before the attack on Amarnath yatris in July last year, provided thefirstclueincrackingthecase. This was revealed by Seven persons were killed in attack on July 10, 2017 Superintendent of Police Tahir Ashraf, who led the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the J&K Police to probe the attack. On July 10 last year, a group of unidentified gunmen opened fire at a bus of Amanath yatris at Botengoo, Anantnag on the Srinagar-Jammuhighway,killing seven persons and injuring 20 others. The attack was unusual because militants hadn’t targeted the Amarnath yatra for over 15 years. Lastweek,theJ&KPolicefiled a chargesheet against 11 people, including a juvenile, in the case. “When we began the investigation, it was a blind case. We started collecting evidence from the spot, spoke to survivors, especially the bus driver, but there CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Looking at Term No 5, Tripura CM says: If Left was irrelevant, why should we be BJP’s headache now? AGARTALA, FEBRUARY 4 FOR THE last 11 days, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has been traversing the length and breadthof Tripura,oneof thelast remaining bastions of Communist power in the country. With Tripura going to polls onFebruary18,Sarkarwillbeattending 43 meetings more. But despitethepackedschedule,the 69-year-old doesn’t miss his 8 THEEDITORIAL PAGE DECISION 2018 TRIPURA evening meetings at the CPI(M) headquarters in the heart of Agartala, every day, discussing issues related to the state or politics in general. Much has been written about Sarkar over the years and especially the past few weeks. How he is the country’s poorest chief minister. How he or his wife own no properties or cars. Howhedonateshisentiresalary to the party, which then gives him Rs 9,000 as a monthly stipend. How he declared in his 2018 election affidavit that he hasRs1,520inhandandRs2,410 in his bank account. But ask Sarkar about all that, and his reply is instant, sharp: “Please don’t ask me about my CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Manik Sarkar with his wife Panchali. Esha Roy ABHISHEK ANGAD & DEEPTIMAN TIWARY NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 4 SIX MONTHS ago, when the National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered a case of alleged terror funding against 12 accused, including Kashmiri separatists, it claimed that they were receiving funds from Pakistanbased outfits such as Lashkar-eToiba and Hizbul Mujahideen. And, it claimed, they had close linkswithLeTchief HafizSayeed and Hizb leader Syed Salahuddin. However, its 1,200-page chargesheet shows the agency has relied heavily on “open source” information on the accused, which is generally available in the public domain, to press its charges: participation infunerals,aletterwrittenbythe Pakistan prime minister, their history of militancy, raising of Pakistan flags and ISIS posters during protests, calls for finan- A 16-YR-OLD GIVES VOICE TO PLAYERS WHO CAN’T SPEAK, HEAR Arwa Imtiyaz Bhat is not a coach or player, but performs a more important role SRINAGAR, FEBRUARY 4 IT’S A white winter morning in Srinagar, and a 16-year-old girl has set out from her cramped home on the city’s outskirts to help a group of badminton players prepare for a tournament at the indoor stadium. Arwa Imtiyaz Bhat is not a coach,oraplayer.ButthisClassX studentperformsamoreimportant role. She translates the THE CHANGE STORY sound of silence. The players are among the around 250 sportspersons registered with the J&K Sports Association for the Deaf, and Arwa, who is well versed in sign language, is their voice, their mentor. Often giving up classes New era, old Budget BY VIKRAM S MEHTA case from websites, YouTube, WhatsApp ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR MIR EHSAN CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Chunk of NIA evidence Amarnath yatra attack: How phone call on breakdown of motorcycle helped crack case in J&K terror funding EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE ESHA ROY THERESERVEBankof India(RBI) is expected to remain on pause mode with a hawkish outlook in the near term at its upcoming policyreviewonFebrurary7,but may raise rates later given the risks of higher inflation with fiscal slippages and higher food prices with the government planning to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP). While banks and bond markets have already signalled the endof theinterestrateeasingcycle, the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee, which meets on February6-7,isexpectedtokeep key policy rates unchanged. But the RBI is likely to flag both these factors — risk of higher MSP and slower fiscal consolidation — as a medium-term risk to inflation, said analysts. The government has said that the fiscal deficit in 2017-18willbe3.5%,higherthan the budgeted 3.2% at the start of thisfiscal,whichisseenasanegative by the bond and equity markets,andalreadyreflectedin higher yields and falling stock prices in the wake of the Budget. “WeexpecttheRBItoremain onpauseinthispolicy.However, the tone will likely be more hawkish,withprobabilityof rate hikesinFY2019increasing,”said SuvodeepRakshit,senioreconomist,KotakInstitutionalEquities. WhiletheRBI’sprimaryconcern will be the rising inflation trajectory, the February policy meeting will also assess the implications of the Union Budget. Even as the RBI takes note of fiscal consolidation and expenditure on roads and railways, it will be cautiousonrisksof revenueslippages, increase in food subsidy (possibly through higher MSP), ‘I will keep fighting for them, their rights.’ Shuaib Masoodi atschool,she’saccompaniedJ&K teamstotournamentsacrossthe country, from Delhi to Chennai, fielding calls from worried families, helping liaise with organisers and officials. She says the reward is not money — she’s not paid any — but moments such as those last December when the J&K team won four gold, three silver and two bronze medals in the National Games for the Deaf in Ranchi. “My mother Rehana can’t speak or hear. Her brother Mohammad Saleem, a good badminton player, is also deaf and dumb. And ever since I can remember, I have seen them struggle, facing discrimination outside and within our family. I could not stand that, and decided to do whatever I could to help anyone in that situation... I learned how to communicate in sign language from my uncle who had undergone training in Delhi,” says Arwa. It hasn’t been easy, she admits, especially convincing parents of deaf and dumb children to let go. “When the J&K deaf team wasplanningtogotoRanchi,the parents sought an assurance from me that they would be safe and secure. I had to finally give them a guarantee. At times, I have had to fight with the families of players for permission to let them play,’’ she says. According to Waheed ur Rehmad Parra, secretary, J&K Sports Council, Arwa is an inspiration. “I am surprised by the dedication of this girl. And I try my besttohelpoutandspeeduppaperworkof anyteamwithwhich this girl is involved. She is an inspiration for all of us, and she should never feel that she has beenletdownbythesystem,”he says. “Thereareveryfewpeoplein Jaipur CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 cial help to families of slain terrorists, and pictures with membersof proscribedorganisations. On Friday, a special court took cognizance of the chargesheet. Among the key evidence in it are: ■ Under the title ‘Hurriyat conspiracy and seccessionist agenda’, the chargesheet cites as evidencethewebsitewww.hurriyatconference.com, which speaks about “Freedom Struggle”andthat“Peopleof J&K have been fighting against IndianOccupation”.Thewebsite describes Syed Ali Shah Geelani as the chairman of APHC and Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. It reads: “...On October 27, 1947, Indian troops landed in Kashmir and ever since people of J&K have been fighting against Indian Occupation”. The chargesheet says: “This kindof contentclearlyshowsthe seccessionistagendaof Tehreeke-Hurriyat and its leaders and cadres. The main aim and object CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 10 WORLD WEINSTEIN FORCED HIMSELFONME: UMATHURMAN MALDIVES SUPREME COURT SEEKS TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT ABDULLA YAMEEN
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