LATE CITY, 20 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `3.00 ● WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE DECISION 2018 NAGALAND TERROR FUNDING In poll time, a probe twist: NIA summons CM’s staff DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & DIPANKAR GHOSE NEW DELHI, KOHIMA, FEB 13 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Prasar Bharati shortlists two journalists for top edit jobs THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency (NIA) has summoned Officer on Special Duty to Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang and two of his office staff for questioning in connection with a case of alleged terror funding. The case pertains to alleged extortion by groups such as NSCN (K), NSCN (IM) and Naga National Council from at least 14 government departments. Coming days ahead of the elections in Nagaland, which Naga groups had asked political parties to boycott unless the peace accord is signed, this development has set off a political firestorm. Incidentally, Zeliang took over as CM from Neiphiu Rio when both were in the Nagaland People’s Front (NPF), after the latter went to the Lok Sabha as an MP from Nagaland in 2014. The BJP had been in alliance with the NPF for almost 15 years. The BJP and the NPF form the ruling coalition in the state with two BJP ministers still part of the Cabinet. Infighting within the NPF meant that Rio broke away and formed the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP). The BJP, too, ended its alliance with NPF last week and formed a pre-poll alliance with CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FAREWELL J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti pays tribute to Armymen killed in Sunjuwan attack, in Jammu. PTI Gujarat aims Oct 31 deadline for unveiling Statue of Unity ADITI RAJA VADODARA, FEBRUARY 13 THE GUJARAT government is gearing up to inaugurate the Statue of Unity, the 182-metretall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — a dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — on October 31, the 143rd birth anniversary of the country’s first Home Minister. On Tuesday, Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh visited Kevadia Colony in Narmada district to take stock of the project, which is being executed by the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL). “Having been involved in the project’s tendering process in its early stages, it is very satisfying to see the project taking shape. We are aiming for an October 31 inauguration this year, which will also mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel,” said Singh, Work in progress at the site of Sardar Patel’s statue in Kevadia Colony. Bhupendra Rana who was the MD of SSNNL when the Statue of Unity was commissioned to it. He told The Indian Express that he was “exhilarated” to visit the statue project. Singh also asserted that a ropeway, which was promised by Prime Minister Modi, would also come up in the area as an added tourist attraction. “There is an existing ropeway that goes across the breadth of the Narmada dam, from one end to the other. So far, it has been used during the construction for transporting materials to the site. We plan to strengthen this ropeway by tendering the contract and bringing in operators, who are already providing services in other parts of the state (like Pavagadh). The ropeway will give the tourists a scenic view of the Narmada dam on one side and the impressive Statue of Unity on the other. I have travelled by that ropeway myself and I know it will be a thrill for visitors. The Prime Minister had announced the ropeway and the Chief Minister (Vijay Rupani) is keen on beginning the tendering project, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 13 MOVING TO overhaul the national public broadcaster, the Prasar Bharati is said to have zeroed in on two journalists for editorial leadership positions in Doordarshan News and Prasar Bharati News Service under All India Radio. The Indian Express has learnt that a high-level committee has identified Siddharth Zarabi for Head of TV News in DD News and Abhijit Majumder for the position of Chief Editor, Prasar Bharati News Service (PBNS). Zarabi with 20 years of work experience is currently Executive Editor of Business TV India while Majumder is Managing Editor of Mail Today newspaper. The Prasar Bharati board is slated to meet February 15, confirmed a member of the board. Sources said the appointment of these two journalists and their salaries are likely to be taken up then. If the appointments go through, working under the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Weeks after CPM said his days numbered, Youth Cong leader hacked to death in Kerala SHAJU PHILIP THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, FEBRUARY 13 A MONTH after CPI(M) workers raised slogans warning him that his “days were numbered”, a local Youth Congress leader was hacked to death in Kannur district late on Monday night. According to police, S P Shuhaib, 29, Youth Congress block secretary at Mattannur in Kannur district, was at a roadside eatery at Edayannur, under NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 13 THE EDITORIAL PAGE Denying Nehru his due BY ASHUTOSH VARSHNEY THE MINISTRY of Youth Affairs and Sports is planning a ranking system for National Sports Federations (NSFs). Aimed at inculcating healthy competition between sports bodies, the rankings will be based on the federations’ administrative capability, transparency, talentspotting ability, and medal count of athletes. The implementation of the sports code — which, among other things, bars officials over 70 years old — will also be an important yardstick. “This is the first time the sports ministry will attempt to put in place a system by which sports federations will be ranked or rated according to set parameters. The sports ministry will set up a committee for this purpose. The committee will comprise sports administrators, sportspersons and professionals from other fields, including chartered accountants and management experts,” said Sports Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar. According to the plan, the NSFs will be ranked for the finan- cial year 2017-18, and the list will be released by May. While the committee will conduct its own study, it will also ask NSFs to submit audited accounts, give details of how professional management practices have been implemented, and how effectively they have addressed players’ grievances. However, no call has been taken on whether funds released to NSFs will be linked to the rankings. “There is no plan to link rankings with funding at the moment. As of now, we want the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said Kannur was witnessing CPI(M)’s “red terrorism”. “CPI(M) has taken the law in its hands. Ever since the party came to power in 2016, there have been 21 political killings in Kannur. CPI(M) does not allow any other party to function. The killing is heinous and shocking,” he said, as he asked his party workers to “maintain restraint”. Denying the CPI(M)’s involvement, party district secretary P Jayarajan said: “The CPI(M) CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 GUJARAT P3 JUSTICE ABHAY M THIPSAY SPEAKS OUT Failure of justice system in Sohrabuddin case, HC should relook: ex-judge Justice Thipsay, who ruled on four bail pleas in case, flags: ‘selective discharge of high-profile accused, abrupt transfers, questions over bail, pressure on witnesses to turn hostile’ MAYURA JANWALKAR & RUHI BHASIN MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 13 THE WAY several high-profile accused in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh alleged fake encounter case were discharged, the “absurd” inconsistencies in the legal process, signs of witnesses under pressure or threat, evidence of “mischief” — all point to the “failure of justice and of the justice delivery system”. These are among the series of observations made by Justice Abhay M Thipsay, a former judge of the Bombay High Court who ruled on four bail applications in the case, in an interview to The Indian Express (see page 6). Speaking out for the first time on the case since he retired last year as judge of the Allahabad High Court in March 2017, Justice Thipsay said the Bombay High Court must exercise its powers of revision, even suo-motu if necessary, to relook at the case. Describing as “absurd” the inconsistencies he found in orders passed by the special CBI court currently hearing the case in Mumbai, Thipsay said the court believed there was an abduction and a staged encounter but still discharged senior police officers. Several aspects of the case raise suspicion, he said, and are “contrary to common sense.” Retired Bombay HC Judge Abhay M Thipsay. Pradip Das but on the same evidence, the trial court found there is a case for proceeding against some of the accused. “The version of the same witness, as reflected in police statements, has been believed in the case of some accused and disbelieved in respect of others discharged,” said Justice Thipsay. “You believe that he (Shaikh) was abducted. You also believe that it was a fake encounter. You also believe that he was illegally kept in the farmhouse. And you don’t believe that Vanzara (then DIG Gujarat), Dinesh M N (then Rajasthan SP), or Rajkumar Pandiyan (then Gujarat SP) are involved in that. How could the constabulary or inspector-level officers have any contact with CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘I HAVE SEEN DISCHARGE ORDERS, HC SHOULD EXAMINE THEM’ PAGE 8 VIDEO OF INTERVIEW WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM Selective discharge of senior officers A number of accused were discharged by observing that the evidence against them is weak ● CENTRE TO PROCURE 1 LAKH MT MORE GROUNDNUT 11 THE IDEAS PAGE Why the roll call isn’t so innocent The move to impose student attendance at JNU is symptomatic of a larger administrative malaise Delhi-Pune, Delhi-Lucknow are now in top 10 air routes PRANAV MUKUL HOW THE OTHERS FARED NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 13 SECTOR OVER THE last decade, even as India’s air passenger traffic more than doubled, the pecking order of the top air routes on which people travel has largely stayed the same, with sectors such as Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi, DelhiBengaluru-Delhi and MumbaiBengaluru-Mumbai continuing to top the routes ranked in terms 2017 RANKING Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi 1 Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi 2 Mumbai-Bengaluru-Mumbai 3 Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi 4 Delhi-Hyderabad-Delhi 5 of number of seats deployed. Routes such as Delhi-Pune-Delhi have, however, climbed from the 2017 SEATS 86.18 lakh 48.23 lakh 39.27 lakh 36.87 lakh 30.71 lakh 2007 RANKING 1 4 2 6 7 2007 SEATS 62.92 lakh 23.38 lakh 33.14 lakh 19.06 lakh 19.04 lakh fifteenth place in 2007 to the sixth place in 2017 while the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR 13 WORLD Mattannur police station, when he was attacked by four men around 11.30 pm on Monday. Ministry plans ranking system for national sports federations NIHAL KOSHIE 10 S P Shuhaib Police said the men first hurled crude bombs, to create panic, before attacking Shuhaib with swords. According to sources, Shuhaib sustained over two dozen wounds. He was rushed to a hospital in Kozhikode, but died on the way. His friends, P P Noushad and Riyas, were also injured in the attack. “Going by the details we have so far, it appears to be a political murder. However, we are yet to identify the gang involved in the killing,’’ said Kannur SP G Siva Vikram. PAGES 9, 12 IG TO FATHER OF THREE, ALL WANT TO ADOPT ABANDONED BABY US WILLING TO TALK WITH NORTH KOREA: MOON JAE-IN US LINKS $80 MILLION DEFENCE AID TO PAKISTAN’S ACTION AGAINST TERRORISM ANAND MOHAN J MORADABAD, FEBRUARY 13 SHE WAS found crying in a heap of garbage near the Moradabad highway. The six-month-old girl, dressed in a pink sweater and red trousers, had no name. Since then, her photographs have been splashed across local news channels, Facebook posts and WhatsApp groups in Moradabad, prompting more than 80 people — including a father ofthree sons, an IG-rank CISF officer from Delhi, a chemist and several residents of Bhikanpur Kulwara — to dial the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and local police, offering to adopt her. Far removed from Moradabad, the girl sleeps in a cot at the state-run orphanage, Rajkiya Bal Griha, in Rampur. Officials at the lone orphanage for 13 districts in Uttar Pradesh, which houses 35 children, say the girl cannot be adopted for the next two months, until the CWC holds a committee meeting and deems it fit. With police yet to track her parents, she has been given a name by the orphanage, Pari. “We name every child who comes here. She is a very beautiful girl... bilkul pari jaisi dikhti hai,” says Rakesh, the orphanage in-charge. Pari was found last Friday morning by Zayda, a resident of Bhikanpur Kulwara. Her neighbour, Salim, fed her milk meant for his eight-month-old son until police arrived. Zayda thought she would get to keep the girl. She smiled for photographs, posing with local police, until the infant was taken away from her. “I told them I had found her. They took her from me, and now the police are questioning us... The CWC people told me I have to register online to adopt the girl,” says Zayda. Meanwhile, police are inves- The orphanage in Rampur has named her ‘Pari’. Gajendra Yadav tigating phone calls received at the orphanage, claiming that the girl is from Dehradun. “There were some calls made to the orphanage, with the caller claiming to know her parents. We do not know if they are prank calls,” says Station Officer (Kundarki) Dheeraj Solanki. CWC chairman (Moradabad) Gulzar Ahmed says this is the first case of an abandoned child in Moradabad in the past two years. He says he thought Zayda would be the only person wanting to keep her. “But my team has got more than 80 calls. In fact, I got over 60 calls, asking me to hand over the girl for adop- tion,” he says. The first among the callers was an IG-rank officer deputed with the CISF and recently posted at Delhi. The officer, who has a daughter and a son in Classes X and IX, called up Ahmad and sought to adopt the girl. “My wife has been after me ever since she saw the girl’s face... We are trying. My wife says she will not spare me if the girl goes to a bad home. We have a good home for the baby,” says the officer. Orphanage authorities say they will update the child’s details with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.