TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 16 PAGES, KOLKATA `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) ● THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Naga accord is nearly final: No change in state Indu Malhotra in boundary, removal of AFSPA, flag last hurdle as SC judge, Govt is still silent on THE ROADMAP Justice Joseph SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, APRIL 25 WEST BENGAL P3 ● BJP manifesto: Photos of violence in Bangladesh used to depict state ‘lawlessness’ ● FOUR HELD IN MAN’S MURDER THE CENTRAL government and Naga armed groups are said to have finalised the substantive portions of the peace accord whichislikelytobesignedbefore the monsoon session of Parliament. The final draft of the accord, which hopes to finally bringIndia’soldestinsurgencyto a close, is now looking to jump the final hurdle: an agreement over the Naga demand for a separate flag for the state. The government is also apprehensive about a violent reaction in the Manipur Valley to the signing of the accord. Essar promoter kin’s firm invested in Chanda Kochhar husband’s company ICICI lent to Essar, loan now NPA SANDEEP SINGH & KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, APRIL 25 WHILEinvestigatingagenciesare probing investments by a Mauritius-based company into NuPower Renewables, the company promoted by Deepak Kochhar, husband of Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank, between 2010 and 2012, records of the Registrar of Companies show that NuPower got investments of Rs 325 crore from Mauritius-based Firstland Holdings, a company owned by Nishant Kanodia, son-in-law of EssarGroupco-founderRaviRuia. The investments from Ruia’s son-in-law’s firm into NuPower 13 WORLD started in December 2010. Incidentally, the same month ICICI Bank was lead banker in a consortium of Indian banks that extended a $530-million loan to Essar Steel Minnesota LLC on December 29, 2010. This loan was later classified as NPA. Consider the sequence of events: ■ DECEMBER 29, 2010 : ICICI Bank, as mandated lead arranger, extended loan of $530 million to Essar Steel Minnesota LLC ■ DECEMBER 31, 2010: Firstland Holdings invested Rs 49.90 crore in NuPower. ■ AUGUST3,2011: Firstlandinvested Rs 8.69 crore in NuPower ■ OCTOBER 3, 2011: Firstland CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 The accord, official sources told The Indian Express, does not change the boundary of states; provides autonomous Naga territorialcouncilsforArunachal and Manipur; a common cultural body for Nagas across states; specific institutions for state’sdevelopment,integration and rehabilitation of non-state Naga militia and the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. When contacted by The IndianExpress,theCentre’sinterlocutor,RNRavi,whosignedthe framework agreement with National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN-IM in August 2015, said: “Yes, we are pretty close to final- ■ Autonomous Naga territorial councils for Arunachal and Manipur ■ Common cultural body for Nagas across states ■ Integration and rehab of non-state Naga militia ■ Removal of AFSPA Prime Minister Narendra Modi with NSCN (IM) leader Thuingaleng Muivah in August 2015. PTI file ising the (Naga Peace) accord”. Ravi has been closely associated with the Naga peace process for decades in various capacities as an Intelligence IRAN N-DEAL: TRUMP A TRADESMAN, SAYS ROUHANI SIKHQUEEN’S EARRINGSGET £175,000 Day 1: Punjab Minister for jails gets a congrats call — from inside jail NAVJEEVAN GOPAL CHANDIGARH, APRIL 25 Randhawa at Patiala Central Jail Wednesday. Harmeet Sodhi would he call me?” Sworn in as minister on April 21, Randhawa did not disclose the identity of the caller. “I received the call on the day my name was announced as a minister (in the Punjab cabinet). That day, I did not know I would get the Jails portfolio.” He also said that he would CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Bureauofficerbeforetakingover as the Centre’s interlocutor in July 2014. Sources said the final draft is almost ready and it is only “a ■ Bicameral House in Nagaland matter of crossing the Ts and dotting the Is.” It could be taken to the Cabinet before being signed in Delhi “in a couple of CONTINUEDONPAGE2 RAPE OF TEEN IN ASHRAM IN 2013 Court finds Asaram guilty of rape, will spend life in jail Hope no relief for him from a higher court, says father MANISH SAHU LUCKNOW, APRIL 25 PAGE 7 Outside Asaram Bapu’s ashram in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. Javed Raja DEEP MUKHERJEE JODHPUR, APRIL 25 ADAYafterhewasinductedinto the Punjab Cabinet last week, Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa got a congratulatory call. It was from an inmate lodged in one of the state’s jails. Making the startling disclosure himself Wednesday, Randhawa told The Indian Express: “I received a congratulatory call from an inmate lodged in one of the jails in the state.” Afterthe“first-hand”experience” of the rampant use of mobile phones in Punjab prisons, Singh Wednesday kick-started a statewide inspection with a surprise visit to the Central Jail in Patiala. Asked if he knew the caller, Randhawa said, “Yes, he was known to me. Otherwise, why JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SELF-STYLED godman Asaram Bapu was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday by a Jodhpur court which found him guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl in one of his ashrams five years ago. The ruling left his followers in tears and the 77-year-old, according to a person present in the makeshift court room at the Jodhpur central jail where Asaram has been for more than four years, looked “shocked and disappointed and it showed on his face” as the enormity of the sentence dawned on him. Special Judge (SC/ST Cases) Madhu Sudan Sharma handed 20 years in jail to each of Asaram’s two aides, Sanchita alias Shilpi and Sharad Chandra Asaram Bapu alias Sharat Chandra, for helping him in the crime. Sanchita wept asthesentencewasreadout,the personpresentinthecourtroom said. Two others, Prakash and ShivaaliasSavaRamHethvadiya, were acquitted. In the order, the judge noted: “Asaram, the accused, separated the victim from her parents on pretext of helping her meditate and... raped her after calling her into his room... the accused not only broke the trust of the complainant, also damaged the image of saints in the eyes of the general public.” Asaram’s spokesperson Neelam Dubey later said they willspeaktolawyersonthenext steps. Fearing a repeat of the violence that followed the sentencing last August of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, also on the charge of rape, security had been stepped up around Asaram’s ashrams across states. At the Jodhpur jail, the heavy police bandobast saw a drone taking to the skies to keep watch on the activity below. Rajendra Singh Charan, counsel for the victim’s family, said: “The court has convicted CONTINUEDONPAGE2 SOON AFTER a Jodhpur court sentencedAsaramBaputolifein jail for the rape of a 16-year-old girl in 2013, the victim’s father said he was “satisfied” with the verdict given that “fighting the case almost changed our lives”. Speaking from hometown Shahjahanpur, the victim’s father said he did not travel to Jodhpur because he feared he would be attacked by Asaram’s followers. “I am satisfied with the judgment because it has done justice to my struggle of four years, seven months and 23 days. During this period, fighting the case almost changed our lives. Therewasalotof pressurenotto pursue the case. We were regularly harassed by associates of Asaram. I made several complaints to police and lodged an F IR. My family, including my daughter, is satisfied with the judgment today. She now studies in a college,” he said. “My business, my family suffered the most. There was monetaryloss.Thecaseruinedthefutureof mychildrenbecausethey had to cut themselves off from CONTINUEDONPAGE2 SEEMA CHISHTI & ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, APRIL 25 SENIOR ADVOCATE Indu Malhotra, the first woman to be elevatedtothepostof aSupreme CourtjudgedirectlyfromtheBar, has received the Presidential warrant,orrequisiteclearanceto take oath as a Supreme Court judge. Her swearing-in is scheduled Friday. Thegovernmentcontinuesto be silent on the other name recommended to the government bytheSupremeCourtCollegium along with that of Malhotra — Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph. Both names wereproposedbythefive-judge Collegium, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, at its last meeting on January 10. JusticeKMJosephhadstruck down the Centre’s order to impose President’s Rule in Uttarakhand in 2016. Ever since, the Collegium’s recommendation for Justice Joseph’s transfer Indu Malhotra, K M Joseph Political tug of war over CJI BHUPENDER YADAV KAPIL SIBAL THEIDEASPAGE 9 to Andhra Pradesh and then his elevation to the Supreme Court has been blocked by the central government. The Law Ministry continues CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Ex-Cong, PDP, now BJP leader shot in Valley, cops blame Hizbul Ghulam Nabi Patel’s grieving relatives on Wednesday. Express MIR EHSAN SRINAGAR, APRIL 25 A LOCAL BJP leader, Ghulam Nabi Patel (61) who was earlier with the Congress and PDP, was killed and two of his personal security officers (PSOs) injured when gunmen opened fire on his vehicle in Rajpora market, 7 km from Pulwama town, on Wednesday. Police said Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Sameer Tiger and two other militantswerebehindtheattack. According to police, the three PSOs who were accompanying Patel were unarmed. “Their weapons were found at Patel’s official residence,” said a police spokesman. According to reports, Patel was in his vehicle, a Scorpio, at Rajpora Chowk around 3.20 pm whenthegunmenopenedindiscriminate fire, before fleeing the spot. Patel, who suffered bullet injuries on his face, and his PSOs were rushed to a local hospital. CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Chief Minister Mehbooba is jihadi, UP govt moves to withdraw hate-speech says lawyer of Kathua rape accused cases against Sadhvi Prachi and Balyan ARUN SHARMA JAMMU, APRIL 25 THE LAWYER defending the main accused in the Kathua Bakerwal child’s rape and murder calls Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti a “jihadi chief minister,” accuses her of spearheading “an Islamo-fascist communal agenda for demographic change in Jammu’s Hindu-dominated areas” and calledfor,inaspeechlastmonth, social and economic boycott of the Gujjars and Bakerwals. Ankur Sharma said: “MehboobaMuftiisajihadi...She gives legal immunity to cow slaughterandbovinesmuggling. She refers to them (Gujjars and Bakerwals) as tribals, who are Muslims, and says Section 188 RPC(‘disobediencetoorder’)will not be invoked against them...She is spearheading an Islamo-fascist communal agenda wherein demographic change is a reality, where people of one religion are occupying land in Jammu province, which is a Hindu-dominated area.” SharmarepresentsSanjiRam, named by the Crime Branch as the mastermind of the rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl with an aim to “dislodge” the nomadic Bakerwal community from the area; as well as Sanji Ram’s son Vishal Jangotra; and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MANISH SAHU LUCKNOW, APRIL 25 AS IT initiates the process to withdraw 131 cases, including 13 of murder, linked to the 2013 communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli in Uttar Pradesh, the state government has also started the process of dropping two other cases of hate speech and criminal charges involving firebrand preacher Sadhvi Prachi, two BJP SadhviPrachi;SanjeevBalyan MPs and three BJP MLAs. The two cases are related to mahapanchayats held in the Muzaffarnagar before violence gripped the region in 2013. Sadhvi Prachi, BJP MPs Kunwar Bhartendra Singh of Bijnor and SanjeevBalyanof Muzaffarnagar and BJP MLAs Umesh Malik, Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana allegedly attended the mahapanchayats. While Balyan was a union minister until September 2017, Rana is a minister in UP government. Malik is the MLA from Budhana in Muzaffarnagar while Rana represents Thana Bhawan seat in Shamli and Som CONTINUEDONPAGE2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR IN KHARGE’S BASTION, DALITS TRY TO LOOK BEYOND CONGRESS AMRITA DUTTA GURMITKAL, AFZALPUR (KARNATAKA), APRIL 25 “PEOPLE ONCE believed that the Congress could put up a donkey here with Mallikarjun Kharge’s blessings and it would win. Can they be so sure now?” In Karawal village of Yadgir district in north Karnataka, 35-year-old Motilal’s is one of many voices of scepticism. The villagers, mostly agriculturists, have gathered near the panchayat office to hear JD(S) candidate Nagana Gouda Kandkur’s pitch: a waiver of all farm loans, big or small. “Wehavehadnearly50years of Congressrulehere.It’stimefor change,” says Masiuddin, a farmer and municipal councillor. But this is Gurmitkal, an Assembly constituency considered a Congressfortress for good reason: it elected the party’s tallest Dalit leader in the state, Kharge, eight times on the trot from 1972. A formidable social coalition of Dalits, Muslims and backward castes, including the Kabiligas, has kept the party in the game here for decades. DECISION 2018 KARNATAKA Moreover, while north Karnatakahasoftencomplained of being neglected by leaders of the wealthier south, in Kharge, now Lok Sabha MP from Gulbarga, the region has a popular subaltern leader. A part of the backward Hyderabad-Karnataka region in the state, Gurmitkal is desper- A Kuruba family in Afzalpur constituency. Express ately poor, with indicators that put it near the bottom of the state’s Human Development Index. “In these 50 years, the powerful have grown more powerful. But I will vote Congress, because I cannot forgetwhatIndira-ammadid.Icannot be certain that my son will too,” says Malappa, 60, a labourer. His village, Gaanapur, also in Gurmitkal, is a picture of deprivation: there are open drains, toilets are scarce and drinking water a pressing need, and most young men are either unemployedorhavemovedout. Residents complain that benefits under various schemes, includingthestate’sCongressgovernment’s flagship Anna Bhagya scheme, are diverted by intermediaries, often from the dominant caste. “Kharge’s own people, the Dalits, have over the years migrated to seek work in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai because there are no jobs, no factories, and no irrigation facilities (in the area). But these issues never come up,” says Vaijanath Patil, a farmers’ activist and Swaraj India candidate from Yadgir constituency. The question of Kannada identity and language is not an issue in this multilingual region, nor, say Congress leaders, will the move to grant separate religious status to Lingayats affect votes much. “Only a small sec- tion of educated Lingayats are bothered about these distinctions,” says B R Patil, a Lingayat and Congress candidate from Aland. In the absence of big issues, it is the arithmetic of identity and caste, as well as the performance of individual MLAs, that may hold the key. In Gurmitkal, sources say, Siddaramaiah was not happy with the incumbent, Baburao Chinchinasur,whowonby1,650 votes in 2013 and has got the ticket again. The BJP claims that it is in with a fighting chance in CONTINUEDONPAGE2
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