WHOSE FORT IS IT ANYW AY? eye THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE AHMEDABAD,LATE CITY JUNE 3, 2018 18+6 (EYE) PAGES, `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA IDEA EXCHANGE SUNDAY STORY PAGE 6 ‘IN THIS VERY RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD, WE NEED A REAL AND TRUSTED FRIEND. THAT’S INDIA’ KENJI HIRAMATSU, the Ambassador of Japan to India In apex body of NREGA, members of spiritual groups, RSS weekly editor PAGE 7 The bricks in the wall The Class 12 results have celebrated ‘toppers’. In a system that reduces children to mere percentages, what is it to not make the cut No matter who decides to adopt it, the Red Fort needs to be restored — to the people KHASI-PUNJABI CLASH BIG Shillong stays tense, night curfew in place PICTURE PAGES 8-9 Khasi outfits call for eviction of ‘trouble makers, illegal settlers’, residents of ‘Punjabi Lane’ say we belong here SHALINI NAIR NEW DELHI, JUNE 2 ABHISHEK SAHA THE EDITOR of RSS publication Panchjanya, members of a few Hindu spiritual organisations and the CEO of a drone company are among people drafted as “non-official members from various states” in the apex body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) Act. The Rural Development Ministry, in a notification issued last month, appointed them as members of the Central Employment Guarantee Council (CEGC), with a tenure ofone year starting June 20, when the term of the present committee expires. The CEGC was formed to monitor the implementation of the 2005 Act that promises 100 days of employment a year to every rural household. Prominent among those drafted for the last year of the current government is Hitesh Shanker, Editor, Panchjanya Weekly, who has been named a non-official member from Delhi. From Uttarakhand, the ministry has nominated Sanjay Chaturvedi, Convener of Divine International Foundation (DIF), which describes itself as “a separate entity of Divya Prem Sewa Mission” started by RSS pracharak Ashish Gautam. This Haridwar-based mission lists yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali as one of its CSR partners. Another nominated member is G Vasudev from Vivekanand CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SHILLONG, JUNE 2 A SUGAR RUSH Ganna was a big issue in the Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll. There are no easy solutions to problem of ‘permanent farm surplus’ AFTER THE VICTORY Newly elected RLD MP from Kairana Tabassum Hasan with party leaders Ajit Singh and Jayant Chaudhary in New Delhi on Saturday. Tashi Tobgyal One more BJP worker found dead, Bengal CID to probe Two in four days: BJP alleges political murder, Purulia SP Joy Biswas shifted SWEETY KUMARI KOLKATA, JUNE 2 THREE DAYSafter an 18-year-old member of the BJP’s youth wing was found hanging from a tree in Balarampur in West Bengal’s Purulia district, a second BJP worker has been found dead in another village in the same area. Dulal Kumar, 32, a member of the local BJP OBC cell, was found hanging from an electricity transmission tower in Balarampur’s Dabha village Saturday. As the BJP accused the Trinamool Congress of carrying out a campaign of political mur- ders, the state government called in the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to probe both deaths, and removed the district superintendent of police. Hours before he was sent to the state Armed Police, Purulia SP Joy Biswas had told The Sunday Express that prima facie it appeared that Dulal Kumar had committed suicide, while the earlier death — that of Trilochan Mahato in Balarampur’s Supurdi village on May 30 — had been murder due to personal enmity. “He (Kumar) had gone out to attend to nature’s call and did IPL: Arbaaz questioned, police say he placed bets 13 WORLD MOHAMED THAVER THANE, JUNE 2 ACTOR-PRODUCER Arbaaz Khan, the brother of superstar Salman Khan, was questioned for five hours by the Thane Police in connection with the alleged Indian Premier League (IPL) betting racket on Saturday. While police claimed Arbaaz had accepted having placed bets in the past, the actor told reporters while leaving the office of the Anti-Extortion Cell that he had answered all the police’s questions, and would cooperate with the investigation. Meanwhile, bookie Sonu Jalan alias Sonu Malad, whose questioning had thrown up Arbaaz Khan’s name, was produced before a court and remanded in police custody until June 6. The electronic equipment used by Jalan had been sent for forensic examination, officers said. Deputy Commissioner of Police Abhishek Trimukhe said, “During his (Khan’s) questioning he has said that he has placed bets in the past. He, however, said that he does not remember the amount for which he has placed bets. We are verifying these claims.” Thane Anti Extortion Cell senior inspector Pradeep Sharma said, “We questioned Khan for over four hours and he answered our questions. We have allowed him to go and if need be, he will be called again for questioning.” The officer said that during Arbaaz’s questioning, 10-15 names had emerged, but none was linked to Bollywood. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 not come back. People had been searching for him since last night, and he was finally found hanging from a high-tension pole in Dabha village. Prima facie it looks like a case of suicide unlike Trilochan Mahato’s case, which was clearly murder. Preliminary investigation has revealed that Mahato’s murder was the fallout of personal enmity. We haven’t found any political angle in that (Mahato’s) case yet. Investigations are on in both cases,” Biswas had said. Soon afterward, a notification was issued from Nabanno, the state government secretariat in Howrah, replacing the SP with Protests over youth crushed by CRPF vehicle, grenade blasts put Srinagar on edge NAVEED IQBAL SRINAGAR, JUNE 2 TRUMP CONFIRMS HIS JUNE 12 SUMMIT WITH KIM JONG-UN IS STILL ON MYANMAR SAYS WILLING TO TAKE BACK ALL ROHINGYA REFUGEES GUJARAT ● CONG WRITES TO CM RUPANI OVER SPECIAL HOUSE SESSION, PAGE 3 CID senior superintendent Akash Magharia. ADG (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma said, “We have ordered a CID probe into both cases. The role of outsiders, too, is being looked into.” Kumar’s wife Monika alleged her husband had been killed by the Trinamool. “He had received threats and has been murdered by TMC goons,” she said. Local BJP workers in Balarampur said Kumar had been among those who had been protesting against the alleged murder of Mahato. “He took part in a thana gherao programme yesterday to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SRINAGAR REMAINED on edge on Saturday after three grenade explosions in the span of three hours, and fierce protests over the death of a 21-year-old who had been run over and killed by a CRPF vehicle a day earlier. Qaiser Amin Bhat, who was among the hundreds who had turned out to protest against the firing of tear gas shells outside the Jama Masjid on May 25, was knocked down by a CRPF vehicle at Srinagar’s Nowhatta. Doctors at the Sher-eKashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, where he was taken, said Bhat died of “lung contusion” late Friday evening. Another youth, Younus, who was also admitted to the hospital with injuries, is reported to be stable. While Bhat’s family said he fell as the vehicle hit him, the CRPF spokesperson in Srinagar alleged that a mob charged at one of their vehicles in which one of the officers of the 28th Battalion, Second-in-Command S S Yadav, was travelling. “The officer was there to survey the deployment on Friday. The vehicle came under attack from hundreds of youth in the area. They attempted to move out of there and had they not done that, they would have been overpowered and lynched,” he said, adding that the officer was accompanied by four escort personnel and a driver. “The personnel in the vehicle were carrying CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Bank bosses’ best line as NPAs kept climbing steadily: ‘the worst is over’ ANIL SASI NEW DELHI, JUNE 2 IN APRIL, just a month before Punjab National Bank (PNB) reported a Rs 13,417-crore fourthquarter net loss — the biggest ever by an Indian lender — the state-run bank’s Managing Director Sunil Mehta declared the “worst is behind us”. This expression — “the worst is behind us” — has been repeatedly deployed by bank chiefs to assuage both deposit holders and investors, despite steadily rising bad loans. After staying below the Rs 1 lakh-crore mark between FY06 and FY11, gross NPAs of banks surged to cross Rs 1.4 lakh crore by March 2012. Since then, gross NPAs have risen over six times to cross Rs 7.9 lakh crore till March 2017. Yet, bank chiefs kept claiming there was little to worry. On this count, the heads of the State Bank of India — India’s largest bank that accounts for more than a fifth of the country’s banking assets — are arguably the worst offenders. At least four SBI chiefs have persistently resorted to this assurance over the last eight years. In February this year, even as SBI, amid increased pressure of stressed assets, reported its first quarterly loss in 17 years for the three months ended December 2017, the bank’s management claimed that the bad loans had topped out. “Stressed assets as a percentage of total loans is coming down. A large chunk is now being recognised as NPAs (NonPerforming Assets). The remain- ing stress will be taken care of in the March quarter. If you ask whether it has peaked, yes,” said SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar in a post-results press conference on February 8. On May 22, SBI reported a net loss of Rs 7,718 crore for the March quarter, primarily due to a surge in provisions — the second highest quarterly loss figure reported by any bank after PNB’s record Rs 13,417 crore loss reported for the March quarter. Three years ago, on August 12, 2015, announcing the results for the first quarter of FY16, then SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya indicated that the worst was behind the bank in terms of large bad loans and that slippages were largely in small businesses. She repeated this on August 13, 2016, at a results conference: “The worst is behind us when it comes to stressed assets. But let me warn you that the recovery will be slow and staggered as all those accounts marked in the watchlist display stress,” Bhattacharya told reporters in Mumbai. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PARTS OF Shillong remained tense for the third straight day as protesters clashed with security personnel until late Saturday night and authorities declared a seven-hour night curfew across the city. Late Friday night, the Army conducted a flag march in the restive areas after protesters set a house near the Them Iew Mawlong locality on fire and threw stones and petrol bombs at security personnel. Police have so far arrested 10 people in connection with the violence that began on Thursday following an altercation between a Khasi boy and a Punjabi woman in Them Iew Mawlong, a Punjabi settlement in Shillong with around 350 households. Sunny Singh, a resident of Shillong’s ‘Punjabi Lane’, as the Them Iew Mawlong locality is also called, said he hadn’t slept the last two nights. “A few metres from here, the house of a Punjabi family was set on fire last night. We are scared for our lives,” said Singh, who is in his late 20s and works in a bank. On Saturday morning, several men from the area huddled anxiously on the road, both ends of which had been cordoned off by the police. Singh and the other residents of the locality say the anger directed at the community is part of a long-standing demand from sections of the Khasi society to Around 350 families live in ‘Punjabi Lane’. Abhishek Saha get them evicted from the area. Gurjeet Singh, general secretary of the Gurudwara Committee of Punjabi Lane, and Billu Singh, headman of the Harijan Panchayat Committee, allege the violence is part of a larger agenda. “Since the 1980s, they (Khasis) have been calling us illegal settlers and asking for us to be shifted out of this place. But we have been living here forever and we will stay here. That is our stand. Though several political leaders have over the years spoken of rehabilitating us to some other location, we have never seen anything concrete. It has just been empty talk,” he said. He said his ancestors, mostly Dalits from Punjab, had come to Shillong around 200 years ago, brought by the British to work as cleaners and sweepers. Soon after the incident, several organisations in Shillong, including the powerful Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), reiterated their demand for the “eviction” of the “illegal settlers”. Calling the residents of Punjabi Lane “trouble-mongers who often harass Khasi people”, KSU general secretary Donald Thabah said, “We demand that the illegal settlers in that area are immediately evicted. Those who assaulted the minor Khasi boy should be booked under stringent laws. And the Khasi protesters arrested in the clashes should be released and those injured must be compensated.” On Saturday, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and other Cabinet ministers met with residents of the troubled areas, including Khasi community elders, to discuss the law and order situation. A government press release issued later in the day said, “The headmen spoke at length regarding the hardships faced by the local and genuine CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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