LATE CITY, 18 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● MONDAY, MAY 7, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE KATHUA RAPE AND MURDER CASE TALIBAN ROLE SUSPECTED Mehbooba: Don’t need CBI probe, if not police, who to trust Seven Indians abducted in Afghanistan MUZAMIL JALEEL NEW DELHI, MAY 6 J&K CHIEF Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said there is “absolutely no need for a CBI probe” into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Bakerwal girl in Kathua and “if you don’t trust J&K Police, there is no one left to be trusted in the state”. Mufti said that “to question the officers of the Crime Branch team based on their religion or which region they belong to is shameful and dangerous”. “Each time there is a crime, we can’t organise a referendum to choose the team of investigators,” she said, adding, “Those who question the Crime Branch investigation have a vested interest and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Namaz must be offered in mosques, not public places, says Khattar HARDLOOK EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, MAY 6 PRIMARY PROBLEM Last month, the Gujarat government wrapped up its eighth edition of evaluation of government primary schools, Guntosav. Though the results of the two-day survey are yet to be collated, the findings of the National Achievement Survey, released by the Centre’s HRD Ministry in January, overall paint a dismal state of school education in Gujarat. RITU SHARMA reports. PRIMARY PROBLEM STATE OF EDUCATION IN GUJARAT: PART- II GUJARAT PAGE 3 ● CONG MLA ALPESH JOINS PROTEST BY GAUSHALAS IN BANASKANTHA SHUBHAJIT ROY their aim is to protect the perpetrators of this heinous crime”. On Monday, the Supreme Court is hearing a petition filed by the biological father of the victim who has sought transfer of the trial to Chandigarh. The J&K government is against transferring the trial outside the state. A Public Interest Litigation seeking ‘Increasing instances of public spaces being used for namaz’ 4 All staff of KEC power firm, officials say were mistaken for govt workers ‘Those who question Crime Branch have vested interest’ SPEAKING FOR the first time on the rising incidents of Hindu outfits preventing Muslims from offering namaz in open spaces in Gurgaon, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday said such congregations should be restricted to mosques, eidgahs or “private places”. “Humara kehna hai ki jo namaz padne ke sthaan hain, namaz padni hi chahiye. Namaz masjid me padni chahiye, namaz eidgah me padni chahiye, aur namaz padne ka unka sthaan kam padta hai to apne niji sthaan par padni chahiye. Ye aisee vishay nahi hai jinka sarvajanahik sthano par pradarshan ho (In our point of view, namaz should be offered at designated places. Namaz should be offered at mosques and eidgahs. And if CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 NEW DELHI, MAY 6 Grieving relatives of Mohammad Rafi Bhat in Ganderbal on Sunday. Shuaib Masoodi RELATED REPORT, PAGE 6 Professor among five militants killed in Valley, five civilians die in protests BASHAARAT MASOOD SRINAGAR, MAY 6 FIVE HIZBUL Mujahideen militants, including an assistant professor at Kashmir University, were killed on Sunday in an encounter in Shopian district. As protesters clashed with the forces near the encounter site and later across south Kashmir, five civilians were killed and over a hundred were injured. Many of them had pellet injuries in their eyes, said doctors who attended to them in Shopian and Srinagar. J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti termed the deaths of civil- ians “depressing” and called for “political intervention”. “It sounds very depressing to note that our state is losing young lives to the unending cycle of violence,” she said. “It has brought to the fore the stark fact that the gun, either that of a militant or that of security forces, is no solution... I have reiterated it time and again that political issues need political interventions.” On Sunday morning, a joint team of the J&K Police, the Army and paramilitary forces cordoned off Badigam village in Shopian based on inputs about the presence of four top Hizbul CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Till 2 days ago, he taught at Kashmir University BASHAARAT MASOOD CHUNDUNA (GANDERBAL), MAY 6 ON SUNDAY morning, Abdul Raheem Bhat got a call from his son Mohammad Rafi Bhat. “I am trapped,” he told his father. “Please forgive me for my mistakes. I am going to meet Allah”. An assistant professor of sociology at the University of Kashmir in Srinagar, where he Overseas investment fund linked to Nirav Modi, 3 others under probe KHUSHBOO NARAYAN Nirav Modi faces Rs 13,400 cr fraud probe MUMBAI, MAY 6 AN INVESTMENT fund registered in the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao has emerged as a common thread in at least four highprofile cases of allegedly fradulent financial transactions, including Nirav Modi’s, that are at the centre of investigations carried out by the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW), the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The Indian Express has learnt that the role of Curaçao-based Enterprise Emerging Markets Fund B.V. (EEMF), an openended investment vehicle controlled by Amicorp Group, a global corporate formation intermediary, has allegedly surfaced in the case of the Rs 13,400 crore fraud involving fraudulent letters of undertakings (LoUs) issued to Nirav Modi’s firms; the Rs 812 crore foreign currency Mohd Rafi Bhat called up father, said sorry SEVEN INDIANS working with Indian power company KEC International were abducted by suspected Taliban gunmen in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan on Sunday. While no group has claimed responsibility so far, TOLOnews, a news channel in Afghanistan, quoted Baghlan Governor Abdulhai Nemati as saying that a Taliban group was behind the abduction. Nemati was quoted as saying that Afghan authorities had spoken with the Taliban group, via local people, and had been told that the KEC employees had been mistaken for government staff. Confirming the abduction, Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We are aware of the abduction of Indian nationals from Baghlan province in Afghanistan. We are in contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained.” Afghan Foreign Minister No Modi magic in Karnataka, does not speak like PM: Siddaramaiah JOHNSON T A BUSINESS AS USUAL BENGALURU, MAY 6 DISCOUNTING ANY ‘Modi magic’ in Karnataka ahead of the May 12 assembly polls, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Sunday that the Prime Minister’s speeches were “hollow” and his language did not befit his office. “Modi cannot do any magic here in Karnataka because his speeches are hollow, baseless and far from the truth. My campaigning is more than Modi’s campaigning. They are spending BY UNNY ● RAHUL POSTS VIDEO ON SANGH’S ‘ANTIDALIT’ STAND, RSS HITS BACK BJP local leaders have no face value: Siddaramaiah ● MUSLIMS WHO more money on the campaign than us... so it seems like Modi magic,’’ Siddaramaiah said at an interaction with the press. WANT JINNAH PORTRAIT INSULTING FOREFATHERS: V K SINGH CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 DECISION 2018 ● MODI HITS BACK, RAISES NATIONAL HERALD PAGE 7 PAGE 10 KARNATAKA THE GOVERNMENT claims 2.92 lakh common service centres (CSCs) deliver a range of services today to citizens across the country, a far cry from the 83,000 centres that existed during UPA rule. But the IRCTC, meant to deliver e-ticketing services via retail service providers (RSPs) through 2.8 lakh such centres, has raised the red flag, saying the process of RSP registration is very slow. Official sources said the IRCTC late last month alerted the Ministry of Electronics and IT that only 38,500 RSPs had regis- Salahuddin Rabbani is learnt to have spoken to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and briefed her on the efforts being made to rescue the Indians. Harsh Goenka, chairman of RPG Enterprises, the parent company of KEC, tweeted: “Request @SushmaSwaraj and Ministry of External Affairs to help rescue 7 of our managers from the kidnapping in Afghanistan. #KEC.” According to local reports, the KEC employees were abducted by armed men in Baghe-Shamal village of the provincial capital Pul-e-Khomri, while they were travelling to the area where KEC has a contract to operate an electricity sub-station. Nemati told TOLOnews that the Taliban group had moved the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 12 WORLD N KOREA: US RUINING MOOD AHEAD OF EXPECTED SUMMIT PAK INTERIOR MINISTER SHOT AT, OUT OF DANGER 2.8 lakh were to deliver IRCTC services, only 38,500 registered so far NEW DELHI, MAY 6 Kabul CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Afghan policemen inspect a mosque after a blast in Khost province on Sunday. Reuters REPORT, PAGE 12 Infra to education, India’s $2-bn role in Afghanistan CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SHYAMLAL YADAV AFGHANISTAN taught for the last two years, Rafi had been missing since Friday afternoon. On Sunday morning, Rafi, along with his four associates, all SHUBHAJIT ROY GOVT & POLITICS Baghlan tered so far for IRCTC services. According to sources, the CSC E-Governance Services India Limited, a special purpose vehicle set up by the Ministry to oversee implementation of the scheme, had been permitted in June 2017 to register 1 lakh RSPs. Subsequently, in March this year, the IRCTC also approved enabling an additional 1.8 lakh RSPs to deliver e-ticketing services to citizens. But the IRCTC, sources said, told the Ministry last month that registration of the RSPs by the CSC E-Governance Services India Limited was proceeding at an extremely slow pace and only CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, MAY 6 THE ABDUCTION of seven Indians on Sunday has brought attention to India’s projects in Afghanistan, which have crossed $2 billion in the last 16 years. Last September, the two countries agreed to initiate an ambitious and forward-looking ‘New Development Partnership’, according to which India agreed to take up 116 high-impact community development projects to be implemented in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including in the fields of education, health, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, micro-hydropower, 8 THE EDITORIAL PAGE sports infrastructure and administrative infrastructure. Sources told The Indian Express that the new Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, Vinay Kumar, has been in touch with the Afghan authorities to push forward these projects. “Bilateral development cooperation is a key pillar of the strategic partnership, and positive impact of the projects implemented under the $2 billion development and economic assistance extended by India to Afghanistan has contributed towards social, economic, infrastructure and human resource development in the country,” said a South Block source. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PSEs can’t bear oil price burden BY VIKRAM S MEHTA ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR PILGRIM’S PROGRESS IN KEDARNATH, BRICK BY BRICK IN TOUGH TERRAIN Six months after PM flagged five projects, fresh road greets pilgrims, new road and sewer lines are being laid — and task is cut out KAVITA UPADHYAY KEDARNATH, MAY 6 Freshly laid 52-ft-wide road with stone tiles. Virender Singh Negi NEAR THE confluence of the Mandakini and Saraswati rivers, pilgrims stop to view the Kedarnath shrine. This is the first time in decades that they have an unfettered view, from a distance of almost a thousand feet from the shrine. The cluster of encroachments has been cleared, instead there is a 52foot-wide road freshly laid with stone tiles from the local Khaloot stone. Walk down this road and an orderly line of pilgrims begins about 150 feet from the shrine brightly lit by blue, orange and red LED lights. “This approach road wasn’t there when I was here last year,” said Navaneetha Krishnan, a regular visitor from Bengaluru. “It was just stones and gravel, the tiles have made it very comfortable to walk on.” This road is part of the infrastructure upgrade that’s happened six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kedarnath and laid the founda- TRACKING CHANGE» EVERY MONDAY For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at email@example.com tion stone for five projects at Kedarpuri. Besides the road, these included construction of ghats and retaining walls on rivers Mandakini and Saraswati, construction of houses for the teerth purohits (priests), and construction of a grand ‘samadhi sthal’ for Adi Sankara. In the first winter after the PM’s announcement, a team of up to 600, labourers and Uttarakhand government officials, camped at Kedarpuri — the 13-acre township where Kedarnath is. Working amid snow and in temperatures ranging from minus 3 to minus 15 degrees Celsius, they cleared the dilapidated buildings and a veritable mountain of debris from the June 2013 deluge when flash floods killed at least 4,000 pilgrims. To make way for the new approach road. Mahinder Singh (34), a mason working at the shrine, recalls: “The winter months were so cold that it would be difficult to even hold a chisel.” The task was cut out. After the deluge, the pilgrim footfall at Kedarnath, which would cross 5 lakh a year, reduced to a trickle of 40,922 in 2014. Since then, however, due to continuous reconstruction after the deluge and the boost since October, the pilgrims are returning — in 2017, over 4.7 lakh pilgrims visited the shrine. There is unfinished work. Speaking to The Indian Express, Rudraprayag District Magistrate Mangesh Ghildiyal said: “Work is ongoing on the widening of the approach road, construction of ghats and retaining walls along the Mandakini and Saraswati rivers. The first phase of which, costing Rs 125 crore, will be completed by September, this year.” Ghildiyal admits that the construction of housing units for the priests will take much more time given that it will need an ecologically sensitive design. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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