LATE CITY, 20 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE For riding horse, upper caste men kill Dalit youth Govt meddling in SC: Justice Chelameswar says CJI has to take it forward GOPAL KATESHIYA Justice Jasti Chelameswar wrote to CJI Dipak Misra last week BHAVNAGAR, MARCH 30 SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, MARCH 30 JUSTICE JASTI Chelameswar, the most senior judge ofthe Supreme Court, has said it is up to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to “take forward” the matter of alleged government interference in appointments to higher judiciary. This follows his letter last week to all judges ofthe Supreme Court in which he had asked the CJI for “a full court on the judicial side” to consider the matter. Reached for comment by The Indian Express, Justice Chelameswar said: “I don’t want to comment on this matter at this stage. The Chief Justice was a signatory when the Collegium made the reiteration. It is up to him to take this matter forward.” As reported by The Indian Express Thursday, Justice Chelameswar’s March 21 letter to CJI Misra was in response to a letter written earlier this month to the CJI by Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. Justice Maheshwari had informed the CJI that in response to a letter by the Union Law Ministry, he had reopened an inquiry into certain allegations made against a judicial officer, P Krishna Bhat. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Trunks with CBSE papers outside the Board’s headquarters in New Delhi Friday. Prem Nath Pandey CBSE PAPER LEAK Class XII Economics re-test April 25, Class X Maths in July if at all: Govt EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MARCH 30 THE CENTRAL Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct the re-examination of the Class XII Economics paper on April 25 and of Class X Mathematics, if needed, in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) and Haryana in July, the government said Friday. The Economics re-test, which is only meant for students in India and not those studying in CBSE-affiliated schools abroad, will not delay the announce- ment of Board results, the HRD Ministry said. Students abroad, it was clarified, were unaffected by the paper leak. Addressing a press conference amid protests by students, school education secretary Anil Swarup said that the HRD Ministry has “substantial information” to believe that the Class X Mathematics paper was leaked only in Delhi NCR and Haryana, which is why the CBSE, if needed, will not have all 16 lakh students reappear for the paper. The final decision will be announced in two weeks, after a detailed inquiry. Asked how a question paper leaked on WhatsApp could have only been seen by students of two states, Swarup said, “There are no perfect answers or perfect solutions to the problem that we have. We have been reliably told that the leak was restricted to the Delhi and Haryana region... We have to take the best possible decision based on the information that has been given to us.” Justifying the difference in the ministry’s approach to the two leaks, Swarup said the decision to test all Class XII students on Economics again was taken to ensure they don’t face trouble in securing admission to colleges and universities. While the government can wait for police to wrap up its investigation for the Class X leak, it cannot afford any delay in case of Class XII students, he said. Denying all allegations of examinations being compromised for other subjects, particularly Class XII Accountancy, the ministry assured that the CBSE has verified all complaints and found them to be false. Swarup said the government is open to verifying any fresh complaints or evidence. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY LEAVING AN entire Bhavnagar village in shock, a 21-year-old Dalit youth was hacked to death Thursday night, allegedly by three men from the Kshatriya community, because he owned and rode a horse, according to police and local residents. On Friday, following protests from the family of the youth, Pradeep Rathod, and other residents of Timbi village in Umrala taluka, police said they were questioning three men in connection with the murder. All the three are from the Kshatriya community, police said. Late in the evening, the horse, Raju, led the procession of mourners for Rathod’s funeral. “We wanted to carry the body in a horse carriage as a mark of protest. But since a carriage couldn’t be arranged, we ensured that the horse led the funeral procession,” said Aravind Makwana, a Dalit social worker. Speaking to The Indian Express, Rathod’s father Kalu, a farmer, said, “He had pleaded with me for a long time to buy him a horse. I suggested that I would buy him a Bullet motorcycle instead. But he wanted a horse. Eventually, I bought him one around eight months ago. But people from the upper caste couldn’t stand him riding a horse and started threatening us.” “We own just three bigha of land on which we grow cotton. Keeping a horse is costly and people like us cannot afford it. Corporates make Why Asansol is still on edge: Hindus terrified 73% of public sector to return home, Muslims scared to step out bank bad loans RAVIK BHATTACHARYA ASANSOL, MARCH 30 SUNNY VERMA NEW DELHI, MARCH 30 THE TRACK RECORD CATEGORY CORPORATE LOANS corner the lion’s share of rising bad loans in public sector banks while retail loans have a far superior track record when it comes to timely repayment, according to the latest available Reserve Bank of India data. Even as public sector banks lent about 37 per cent of their total credit to the industry sector, the corporate and industry loans accounted for over 73 per cent of the total non-performing assets (NPAs) of the banking sector in 2016-17, according to an analysis of the data by The Indian Express. Retail loans, which are 22.83 per cent of the overall credit, comprised only 3.71 per cent of the gross NPAs. Banking analysts say that factors such as business failure, inadequate risk assessment while sanctioning corporate credit and loan frauds by companies are some of the main reasons for the high level of NPAs in loans to industry given by the banks. In contrast, retail loans such as home loans, car loans and personal loans have a much better repayment track record. Loans to services and agriculture sector accounted for 13.21 per cent and 8.89 per cent respectively of the gross NPAs, the data shows. In absolute terms, out of Rs 6.41 lakh crore worth of total gross NPAs of PSU banks, Rs 4.70 Total ` 6,41,056 cr 73.33 8.89 13.21 3.71 100* SOURCE: Reserve Bank of India, data as on March 31, 2017 *Rounded off lakh crore worth of NPAs were due to loans extended to industry as on March 31, 2017, the data shows. As for retail loans, Rs 23,795 crore worth of such loans turned into NPAs. To put PSU banks in order, the government initiated a plan in January to turn some of the smaller PSBs into national retail banks and regional retail banks, while limiting the corporate loans business primarily to large banks such as the State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Bank of Baroda. The Finance Ministry directed smaller PSBs to cut their corporate loan exposure to 25 per cent of their riskweighted assets over the medium term and focus more on retail lending. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 10 THE EDITORIAL PAGE Power churn in Karnataka By VALERIAN RODRIGUES GUJARAT ● N K AMIN SEEKS DISCHARGE IN ISHRAT CASE, P 4 RELATED REPORTS PAGE 8 NEW DELHI, MARCH 30 AS THE BJP and Congress continue to spar over granting minority status to Lingayats in Karnataka, which goes to polls in May, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in an internal note, has said that if given the minority tag, Lingayats would be “deprived” of Scheduled Caste status. The note also mentioned DEATH BY BREATH IITs find out: Lung cancer risk high for people near Delhi roads ANIRUDDHA GHOSAL NEW DELHI, MARCH 30 At a torched house in Asansol on Friday. Subham Dutta Battle for Karnataka: Home Ministry note says minority tag denies Lingayats SC right RAHUL TRIPATHI But then, I had also treated Pradeep like a prince,” said Kalu, who has never been to school. His son had dropped out after Class X and was helping his family at the farm. Bhavnagar SP, Pravin Mal, said that “prima facie, the victim riding a horse led to his death”. However, Mal said, “Some people from the village and nearby villages have also complained about his behaviour. They say that he would perform stunts in front of girls near schools, bus stations, etc. That can also be a reason for the attack.” The three being questioned have been identified as Natubha Darbar from Timbi, and brothers Ghoghubha Gohil and Jitubha Gohil from the neighbouring Piprali village. According to local police, the incident took place between 6 pm and 7 pm when Rathod was on his way home from the farm. In his complaint, Kalu said: CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 the move may have “widespread implications” if other sects of Hinduism also raise similar demands. Before assembly elections in Karnataka were announced earlier this week, the Congress government in the state had decided to recommend to the Centre that religious minority status be granted to the Lingayat community. The move is expected to have a strong bearing on polls in the state, where Lingayats, a ma- jor BJP support base, form almost 17 per cent of the electorate. While a final decision by the Home Ministry on the demand is yet to be taken, the internal communication treads cautiously on the state government’s decision. “Any move to declare Lingayats/Veerashaiva as an independent religion would have widespread implications. Arya Samaj, Radhaswami, Vaishnava and a few other sects of the Hinduism also do not ad- here to typical Brahminical Hinduism,” stated the note. “All these sects may line up to be declared as separate religious entities. Moreover, Lingayat, if treated as a separate religion, would be deprived of the status of schedule cast which can only be for Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists.” The Registrar General of India (RGI), it is learnt, has conveyed to the home ministry that under CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 LIVING CLOSE to main roads in New Delhi may increase chances of “lung cancer mortality” due to the inhalation of particulate matter that contains trace elements such as chromium and nickel, a new study published in March has found. According to the study, the excess cancer risk (ECR) through trace elements in the air was calculated to be “13-16 times higher than the safe limit for children,” and in the “tolerable limit” for adults. The study, “Chemical characterisation and quantitative assessment of source-specific health risk of trace elements in PM 1 at a road site of Delhi, India” was published in March 2018 in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research. It was conducted by scientists of IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur who studied the concentration of submicron aerosols or PM 1 collected between November 2009 and March 2010. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR 12 WORLD Industry ` 4,70,084 cr Agriculture ` 57,021 cr Services ` 84,686 cr Retail ` 23,795 cr GROSS NPA (%) STANDING ALONE outside his home in the Railway Colony at Chandmari, Akhilanand Singh points towards his neighbour’s house, which has been broken into and looted. His own son, he says, is in police custody. And, he doesn’t know what to do. Singh, a Railway guard with two years left to retire, is just one face among the hundreds struggling to pick up the pieces in Asansol, where two people died and hundreds fled their homes after the violence that followed the Ram Navami celebrations. Here, the pain cut across the religious divide. Those who left, mainly Hindus, were too scared to return. Those who stayed back, mostly Muslims, were too scared to step out. “I dialled 100 and any number I could find to call police. No one answered. Then I called my friend who came with some Hindu youths to our help. On Sunday afternoon, I took my wife, son, daughter-in-law and grandchild to my friend’s house in Burnpur about 6 km away. Today, I returned with my son to check on my home, and police arrested him,” said Singh, his house standing amidst ransacked houses and a burnt vehicle. A 10-minute drive away, 50year-old Sumitra Devi and her family say they have “lost everything”, from money to jewellery to important documents such as CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Pradeep astride Raju IN SPITE OF MOSUL, PUNJAB WORKERS MAKE BEELINE FOR IRAQ MALALA: WILL BE BACK AFTER EDUCATION NAVJEEVAN GOPAL & ANJU AGNIHOTRI CHABA CHANDIGARH, JALANDHAR, MARCH 30 RUSSIA SENDS HOME 59 WESTERN DIPLOMATS AS ROW ESCALATES OVER EX-SPY’S POISONING WHEN KULDEEP Singh was on his way to Baghdad airport from Badra to fly back to India in December last year, his employer gave him an escort of three bulletproof Land Cruisers and nine security guards for the 180 km trip. As Baghdad neared, the heavy traffic and frenetic activity all around were in stark con- trast to July 2016 when Kuldeep (34), from Chaudharpur village in Gurdaspur, Punjab, first landed there to work in an Oil Field Project in Badra as a welder. “There was an uneasy calm when I reached Baghdad in July 2016. The roads were empty. When I returned in December 2017, the roads were full of vehicles and there was so much activity going around,” he said. Kuldeep initially went to Iraq on a one-year work visa to work for Samsung Engineering Company Limited, which he even extended before returning Reconstruction of Iraq opens many job opportunities. Reuters home in December last year. He is not alone. Kuldeep was only one among scores of men from Punjab for whom the kidnapping of 40 Indians in Mosul in June 2014 was no deterrent. With others, he headed for Iraq despite suspicions at that time that all the Indians, including 27 from Punjab, were murdered by IS militants. In May 2015, The Indian Expresshad reported that despite uncertainty over the fate of 39 abducted Indians — Harjit Masih from Kala Afghana village in Gurdaspur had managed to es- cape — at least 20 men from Punjab who had returned from Iraq went back to the war-torn country for work. This was within a year of the abduction by IS militants. That pattern continues today and more and more men head to Iraq from Punjab. Some even choose agents to find work in Iraq and reach project sites there through Dubai or Iran. “The site where we worked was very safe. It had very high walls on all sides. I stayed there for 17 months and 16 days and did not go elsewhere even for a day. Just from the camp to work site and back. The work site was located in an Iraqi-Kurdish region, right at the border with Iran,” said Singh. “The project was nearing completion in a few months time and I decided to come back. Leave of 15 days would have meant an expense of about $1,000 and it was not viable to go back and work for just two months,” he said. For this work in Iraq, Kuldeep was paid $3.1 (or Rs 200) per hour. He had earlier worked as a 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.