TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 16 PAGES, KOLKATA `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) ● WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE ‘EXERCISE RESTRAINT... IMPLEMENT 2003 UNDERSTANDING’ India-Pak thaw: Both agree to follow ceasefire on LoC in letter and spirit WEST BENGAL PAGE 3 Encounters fuel militant hiring, says official report DGMOs speak on hotline, offer came from Pak MUZAMIL JALEEL SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, MAY 29 NEW DELHI, MAY 29 ● FUEL PRICE HIKE: TMC THREATENS COUNTRYWIDE PROTESTS SIGNALLING A significant step forward in the thawing of relations between India and Pakistan, the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two armies spoke on the hotline and “agreed to fully implement the Ceasefire Understanding of 2003 in letter and spirit forthwith” on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. Both countries have been trading fire across the LoC This reiteration of ceasefire on the LoC follows Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s “ceasefire” announcement on May 16 that security forces will terminate all offensive operations in GOVT & POLITICS ● WILL TALK IF PAK IS IN: HURRIYAT, P 6 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ALMOST HALF the recruitments into militant ranks in the Valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani came from within 10 km of the residences of killed militants or encounter sites and these recruitments took place within 40 days of the encounters. Theseareamongthefindings ofsecurityagenciesinJ&K,partof areportonmilitancyandrecruit- ment in the region that set the stage for the Ramzan ceasefire. The report analysed 43 encounters since November 5, 2016, until April 26 this year, in which 77 militants were killed. After the death of Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016, 121 militants have been killed and 216 local youths joined militancy. Of these, 104 were directly linked to the killing of militants in their areaorakilledmilitantbelonged to their area. Consider the key findings of the report, which analysed the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RITIKA CHOPRA President rejects first mercy plea: Murder of 6 of family in Bihar RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, MAY 29 PRESIDENT RAM Nath Kovind has rejected the mercy petition of murder convict Jagat Rai whose death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court almost five years ago. Thisisthefirstmercypetition to be decided by President Kovind—itislearntthatdetailed consultations were held over 10 months. Incidentally, the case is fromBihar whereKovindserved as Governor before taking over as President last July. Along with his accomplices, Jagat Rai was convicted of killing five children and the wife of one Vijendra Mahato by setting their house on fire while they were fast asleep on the night of January 1, 2006 at Rampur Shyamchand village in Vaishali district of Bihar. In September 2013, the SupremeCourtupheldthedeath sentence for Rai, ruling that the gravity of offence was such that 4 YEARS DONE THE LAST LAP HEALTHMINISTRY Progress steady, but in slow lane PAGE 7 EXPRESS NETWORK P5 ● GAURI LANKESH MURDER: COPS CLOSE IN, 4 HELD IN PLOT TO KILL WRITER E ● NIRAV MODI JEWELLERY ESTIMATED AT LESS THAN 30% OF BOOK VALUE this case fell into the category of “rarest of rare” cases. Officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs told The Indian Express that Rai’s mercy petition was sent last year to then President Pranab Mukherjee who could not, however, take any decision since the process to elect the 14th President had been initiated. By the time he demitted office last July, President Mukherjee had decided on 34 mercy pleas — he rejected 30 and, in four cases, granted pardon. His record of rejecting mercy pleas is second only to President R Venkataraman (1987-92) who declined 45 mercy pleas. President K R Narayanan (1997-2002) did not act on any mercy petition while his successor President Abdul Kalam (2002-2007) disposed two mercy pleas. President Pratibha Patil (2007-2012) commuted sentences in 34 mercy pleas and rejected only five. Officials said President CONTINUEDONPAGE2 New icons in history books: Bajirao to Maharana Pratap NEW DELHI, MAY 29 THE REVISED NCERT textbooks place new emphasis on a fresh set of nationalist icons, many of whom, the BJP and right organisations claim, were deliberately sidelined in the country’s collective memory. Spiritual leaders Sri Aurobindo and Swami Vivekananda, freedom fighters Lala Lajpat Rai and Vallabhbhai Patel, Peshwa and Maratha general Bajirao Ballal, Jat king Suraj Mal,RajputiconMaharanaPratap and Chhatrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha empire, have either been introduced or have morespacededicatedtothemin the new History textbooks that hit the shelves two months ago. The Indian Express, in a month-long exercise, compared old and revised versions of 25 textbooks meant for Classes 6 to 10,acrossfivesubjects—History, Geography, Political Science, Science and English. According to the analysis, the revision is 25 NEW NCERT TEXT BOOKS AN EXPRESS SERIES-PART-II BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY CONTINUEDONPAGE2 8 THE MONSOON IS HERE THEEDITORIAL PAGE The skies over Kochi darkened Tuesday to herald the arrival of the monsoon. Nirmal Harindran Bengaluru’s message to BJP BY RAM MADHAV VISVA BHARATI V-C POST ‘TIME HAS COME TO GET OVER BITTER PAST’ CBSE results in, three student suicides in Delhi Govt asked President to withdraw Mamata promises: Rs 96 cr for Hill boards, edu hub assent after he ignored its name EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MAY 29 HOURS AFTER the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) declareditsClassXexamresults, with an overall pass percentage of 86.70,threestudentscommitted suicide in separate incidents in Delhi, with police attributing the deaths to disappointment over performance. Police identified the three as a 15-year-old girl from Ryan International School in Vasant Kunj; a 15-year-old boy from M R Vivekananda Model School in Dwarka; and, a 16-year-old girl from the School of Open Learning. According to police, the girl from Vasant Kunj died after hanging herself from the ceiling fan at her house, while the boy fromDwarkacommittedsuicide by hanging himself from the doorframeof thedrawingroom, using a dupatta belonging to his mother. The third student slashed her wrists and hanged herself from a ceiling fan in her house in Dabri, said police. The three were among the 16,24,682 students who appeared for the Class X board exams, which were reintroduced thisyearaftertheCBSEscrapped the previous Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system under which students were awarded grades. In Vasant Kunj, DCP Milind Dumbre said the girl’s father is an officer with the Enforcement Directorate. “We received a PCR call around 4.45 pm from Fortis hospital that a girl had committed suicide and had been CONTINUEDONPAGE2 YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, MAY 29 THE GOVERNMENT asked President Ram Nath Kovind to overturn his decision on the appointment of Visva Bharati UniversityVice-Chancellor(V-C) only after he ignored HRD MinisterPrakashJavadekar’srecommendation for the post and chose Swapan Kumar Dutta instead,accordingtoofficialrecords accessed by The Indian Express under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. As reported by The Indian Express on February 23, Kovind, inanunprecedentedmove,withdrew his assent to Dutta’s selectionastheheadofVisvaBharatiin Santiniketan,atthebehestof the E AN XPRESS RTI APPLICATION The Indian Express report on February 15 HRD Ministry. He also scrapped the panel of three finalists forwarded by the government last year. While scrapping a panel for the V-C’s post is not unusual, this wasthefirsttimethatRashtrapati Bhavan received such a proposal from the government after the President had already approved the appointment of a candidate. According to documents accessed by The Indian Express, Javadekar, in a proposal forwardedtoRashtrapatiBhavanon November 13, 2017, had backed thecandidatureofSankarKumar Nath for the top job. Nath is a teacher of geophysics in the geology department at IIT-Kharagpur. Dutta, an agriculturalscientistwhoserved as acting V-C of Visva Bharati for closetotwoyears,andPNMishra CONTINUEDONPAGE2 EXPRESSNEWSSERVICE KOLKATA,MAY29 CHIEF MINISTER Mamata Banerjee announced a financial packageof Rs96croreforHilldevelopmentboardsandaneducational hub while speaking at a rally in Kalimpong on Tuesday. “Thetimehascometogetover thatbitterpast...Justfour-fivepeopleinstigatethestrikes,asaresult of which the Hills and its people sufferhugelosses,”shesaid,referringtothelargelyviolent104-day strike for a separate state of Gorkhaland last year. Mamata, who had arrived in DarjeelingonMondayeveningfor a five-day trip, also promised to visit the Hills more often to hold administrative meetings. A chief In Kalimpong on Tuesday. Express minister’s office is being set up at Richmond Hills. At the rally, she said that the governmenthaschalkedoutadetailedplantosetupaneducation hub in the Hills. “A separate university will be set up at Mongpu inKurseongsub-divisionsoon,for which land has already been CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR WHERE PROHIBITION HAS A SILVER LINING: SAFER HOMES & MORE MONEY SANTOSH SINGH MANJHIYAMA (ARWAL), MAY 29 OVER THE last two months, a surveyconductedbyjailofficials across Bihar showed that the share of its weakest sections, especially SC and ST, among thosearrestedunderprohibition far outstripped their share in the state’s population. Yet, there is a reason why the government continues to flaunt prohibition as a landmark achievement. It can be seen on the faces of women in hundreds of villages acrossthestate,likeManjhiyama inArwaldistrict,wherethealcohol ban has meant more money in households, new houses and a better life. “I don’t get beaten up by my husband now. Whatever he earns,hegivesittome.Whatever peoplemaysay,NitishKumarhas done a very good thing by banning liquor,” says Asha Devi, 40, in Manjhiyama, around 100 km southwest of Patna. WhenThe Indian Express met Asha, she was preparing to serve lunch — rice and besan curry — to her husband Sanjeev Sah, and their two young daughters and a son. Such family moments, she says, were rare when Sanjeev, a tractor driver, used to spend most of his spare time and money on alcohol. “I earn Rs 7,000 per month and earlier, on most days, I would head to the liquor shop at thefirstopportunity.Now,Ihead directly back home,” says Sah PROHIBITION IN BIHAR THE FALLOUT AN EXPRESS SERIES-PART-III with a sheepish smile. InManjhiyama,withapopulation of around 5,500, the most visible signs of progress postprohibition are the rows of 20 newpuccahouses,includingfive each in the EBC and SC settlements.“Withthemoneythatvil- Asha Devi, 40, is happy that her husband has stopped beating her. Ashok Sinha lagers have saved, we have seen aboostinhouseholdincome.For example, around 700 litres of milkusedtobesoldfromthisvillage every day before prohibition. Now, the sale is around 1,000 litres with at least 25 per cent more people having started maintaining cows,” said Umesh Sharma,whoownssixJerseyvarieties and counts himself among those who have benefitted from prohibition. “This was the same village thatsawalmost40percentof its men, aged between 20 and 50, line up at the liquor shop in the evenings. The shop would remain open from morning till midnight,” says a local official. Manjhiyama is one of the nine villages in Khatangi panchayatwithamixof upper-caste Bhumihar, EBC Sah, and the SC Manjhi, Paswan and Ravidas communities. “Most members of the EBC and SC communities are engaged as farm workers by theBhumihars,”saystheofficial. In the SC settlement, Lachhmi Devi, 40, points to her newhousebeingbuiltunderthe Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana. “We got government funds and put in an extra Rs 30,000 from our own savings to build a spare room. That was only possible because of the money we saved after my husband (Ramchandra Paswan) stopped drinking,” she says. Shekhar Manjhi, 45, and his wife Ramanti, 40, are happy to flaunt their new assets - six goats, two pigs and a dozen “desi” hens. “My husband was a drunkard but in the last two years, he has learnt to save money. We have to get our 19year-old daughter Puja married. For us, prohibition happened just at the right time,” says Ramanti. But the days that followed the imposition of prohibition on April 6, 2016, were difficult, with no medical support or counselling, says Prabha Shanker, 35, a rice-mill owner. “I was among the hardcore drinkers and the abrupt ban changed everything. There were withdrawal symptoms for weeks.Someof us,whocouldafford it, went to see doctors on our own. After six months of prohibition, life finally starting coming on track,” he says. 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.