TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 14 PAGES, LUCKNOW, `5.00 ● MONDAY, MAY 7, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TALIBAN ROLE SUSPECTED KATHUA RAPE AND MURDER CASE Seven Indians abducted in Afghanistan Mehbooba: Don’t need CBI probe, if not police, who to trust 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 shamefulanddangerous”.“Each timethereisacrime,wecan’torganise a referendum to choose the team of investigators,” she said, adding, “Those who ques- Mehbooba Mufti tion the Crime Branch investigation have a vested interest and their aim is to protect the perpetrators of this heinous crime”. On Monday, the Supreme Court is hearing a petition filed bythebiologicalfatherof thevictim who has sought transfer of the trial to Chandigarh. The J&K government is against transferring the trial outside the state. A PublicInterestLitigationseeking CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 6 BY VIKRAM S MEHTA Namaz must be offered in mosques, not public places, says CM Khattar SPEAKING FOR the first time on therisingincidentsof Hinduoutfits preventing Muslims from offeringnamazinopenspacesin Gurgaon,HaryanaChief 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 NEW DELHI, MAY 6 Grieving relatives of Mohammad Rafi Bhat in Ganderbal on Sunday. Shuaib Masoodi ‘Increasing instances of public spaces being used for 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 8 RELATED REPORT, PAGE 3 Professor among five militants killed in Valley, five civilians die in protests SRINAGAR, MAY 6 PSEs can’t bear oil price burden CHANDIGARH, MAY 6 SHUBHAJIT ROY BASHAARAT MASOOD THE EDITORIAL PAGE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE All staff of KEC power firm, officials say were mistaken for govt workers 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, fivecivilianswerekilledandover ahundredwereinjured.Manyof them had pellet injuries in their eyes, said doctors who attended to them in Shopian and Srinagar. J&KChief MinisterMehbooba Mufti termed the deaths of civil- ians “depressing” and called for “political intervention”. “It sounds very depressing to note thatourstateislosingyounglives 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 thatof securityforces,isnosolution...Ihavereiteratedittimeand 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”. Anassistantprofessorof sociology at the University of Kashmir in Srinagar, where he Mohd Rafi Bhat called up father, said sorry taught for the last two years, Rafi had been missing since Friday afternoon. On Sunday morning, Rafi, alongwithhisfourassociates,all CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Overseas investment fund linked to Nirav Modi, 3 others under probe KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, MAY 6 ANINVESTMENTfundregistered in the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao has emerged as a common thread in at least four highprofile cases of allegedly fradulent financial transactions, includingNiravModi’s,thatareat the centre of investigations carried out by the Mumbai Police’s Nirav Modi faces Rs 13,400 cr fraud probe EconomicOffencesWing(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 lettersof undertakings(LoUs)issued to Nirav Modi’s firms; the Rs 812 crore foreign currency CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 10 WORLD 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 AbdulhaiNematiassayingthata Taliban group was behind the abduction. Nemati was quoted assayingthatAfghanauthorities 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 Kumarsaid,“Weareawareof 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 PAKINTERIOR MINISTER SHOTAT,OUT OFDANGER AFGHANISTAN Kabul 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 Infra to education, India’s $2-bn role in Afghanistan SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, MAY 6 N KOREA: US RUINING MOOD AHEAD OF EXPECTED SUMMIT Baghlan THE ABDUCTION of seven Indians on Sunday has brought attention to India’s projects in Afghanistan,whichhavecrossed $2 billion in the last 16 years. Last September, the two countries agreed to initiate an ambitious and forward-looking ‘NewDevelopmentPartnership’, according to which India agreed to take up 116 high-impactcommunitydevelopmentprojectsto be implemented in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including in the fields of education, health, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, micro-hydropower, sportsinfrastructureandadministrative infrastructure. Sources told The Indian Express that the new Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 No Modi magic in Karnataka, does 2.8 lakh were to deliver Family alleges police picked up, not speak like PM: Siddaramaiah IRCTC services, only killed Muzaffarnagar ‘gangster’ JOHNSON T A BUSINESS AS USUAL BENGALURU, MAY 6 DISCOUNTING ANY ‘Modi magic’inKarnatakaaheadof the May 12 assembly polls, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on SundaythatthePrimeMinister’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.Theyarespending BY UNNY BJP local leaders have no face value: Siddaramaiah more money on the campaign than us... so it seems like Modi magic,’’ Siddaramaiah said at an interaction with the press. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 DECISION 2018 KARNATAKA ● MODI HITS BACK, RAISES NATIONAL HERALD PAGE 5 38,500 registered so far SHYAMLAL YADAV NEW DELHI, MAY 6 THE GOVERNMENT claims 2.92 lakh common service centres (CSCs) deliver a range of services todaytocitizensacrossthecountry,afarcryfromthe83,000centresthatexistedduringUPArule. But the IRCTC, meant to delivere-ticketingservicesviaretail service providers (RSPs) through 2.8 lakh such centres, has raised theredflag,sayingtheprocessof RSP registration is very slow. Official sources said the IRCTClatelastmonthalertedthe Ministry of Electronics and IT that only 38,500 RSPs had regis- tered so far for IRCTC services. Accordingtosources,theCSC E-Governance Services India Limited, a special purpose vehiclesetupbytheMinistrytooversee implementation of the scheme, had been permitted in June 2017 to register 1 lakh RSPs. Subsequently,inMarchthisyear, the IRCTC also approved enabling an additional 1.8 lakh RSPs to deliver e-ticketing services to citizens. But the IRCTC, sources said, toldtheMinistrylastmonththat registration of the RSPs by the CSCE-GovernanceServicesIndia Limitedwasproceedingatanextremely slow pace and only CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ADITI VATSA MUZAFFARNAGAR, MAY 6 THE ONLY eyewitnesses to the shootout between two alleged criminals and the UP Police on Muzaffarnagar-Thana Bhawan Road late on Thursday are the police themselves. Two individuals who might have been present along the stretch lined with mango orchardsandsugarcaneandwheat fields, weren’t there — 35-yearold tubewell operator Waseem, and 60-year-old Mukesh, who was tilling land next to the dirt lane in which the encounter happened, had both gone home early. 18-year-old Rehaanwasshot Sanjida was abused and shot at by Rehaan. dead by a police SWAT team comprising a sub-inspector and five constables. According to police, Rehaan was a member of the Mukeem Kala gang, who was wanted for crimes includ- ingmurder,andcarriedareward of Rs 50,000 on his head. This was the 50th encounter killing of an alleged criminal in UP since the Yogi Adityanath government took over in March 2017. A constable of the SWAT team, Harvinder, sustained a bullet injury in his left arm, police said. Rehaan’s family lives in Shoron village in Muzaffarnagar district’s Shahpur area. On Saturday, a lock hung on the door, and neighbours said the family had moved out of the village to Shahpur town less than a month ago. In the Islamabad neighbourhood of Shahpur town, Rehaan’s brother Afsal said the family had CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR PILGRIM’S PROGRESS IN KEDARNATH, BRICK BY BRICK IN TOUGH TERRAIN KAVITA UPADHYAY KEDARNATH, MAY 6 NEAR THE confluence of the Mandakini and Saraswati rivers, pilgrims stop to view the Kedarnathshrine.Thisisthefirst timeindecadesthattheyhavean unfettered view, from a distance of almost a thousand feet from the shrine. The cluster of encroachmentshasbeencleared, instead there is a 52-foot-wide road freshly laid with tiles made from the local Khaloot stone. Walk down this road and an orderly line of pilgrims begins about 150 feet from the shrine that’s brightly lit by blue, orange and red LED lights. “This approach road wasn’t there when I was here last year,” saidNavaneethaKrishnan,aregular visitor from Bengaluru. “It TRACKING CHANGE» 6 months after PM flagged five projects, fresh road greets pilgrims, new road and sewer lines are being laid EVERY MONDAY For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at email@example.com 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 foundation 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 teerthpurohits(priests),andcon- Freshly laid 52-ft-wide road with stone tiles. Virender Singh Negi struction of a grand ‘samadhi sthal’ for Adi Sankara. In the first winter since then, 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 mountain of debris fromtheJune2013deluge 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:“Thewintermonthswere socoldthatitwouldbedifficult to even hold a chisel.” The task was cut out. After the deluge, the pilgrim footfallat 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, willbecompletedbySeptember, this year.” Ghildiyal admits that the constructionof housingunitsfor the priests will take much more time given that it will need an ecologically sensitive design. Moreover, a final design clearance for the ‘samadhi sthal’ of Adi Sankara is awaited from the Prime Minister’s Office. About a kilometre uphill from the shrine, five persons from the Uttarkashi-based Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) are busy building a wall in front of a cave to develop it as “meditation cave” — this is another of the new projects in the works. The cave that can accommodate at least two persons at a time will take up to two months to finish, Ghildiyal said. Once done, it will provide a “new spiritual experience to visitors,” he said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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