TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 26 PAGES, MUMBAI, `5.00 ● WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE OPERATIVE FLOWN TO AFGHANISTAN WHERE HE IS IN CUSTODY Indian intelligence infiltrated IS ring to track, arrest Afghan suicide bomber sent to hit Delhi Afghan national got admitted to engg college, rented a flat in Lajpat Nagar, Indian ‘plant’ gave him dummy explosives RITU SARIN NEW DELHI, JULY 10 IN AN audacious counterintelligence operation, unprecedented in its scale and scope, Indian security agencies infiltrated an Islamic State ring to thwart a bid by an IS Afghan suicidebombertostrikeNewDelhi. The operation included the Indian “plant” supplying the IS operative with explosives — without triggers — and even arranging for his accommoda- tion in the capital. The arrest by Indian agencies happened in New Delhi around September 2017 but it’s only now that top diplomatic and intelligence sources have confirmed details to The Indian Express. The ISoperative,wholivedin New Delhi in the guise of an engineering student, was flown to Afghanistan days after he was arrested and is, at present, understoodtobeincustodyatakey US military base in Afghanistan. In fact, so “high value” is this UNPRECEDENTED COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE OPERATION ■ IS operative joined engineering college, rented flat in Lajpat Nagar ■ Visited Delhi airport, malls, markets as possible attack sites ■ Nabbed after IS ring was infiltrated, vigil by multi-agency group ■ Said he was one of 12 tasked to trigger blasts in different countries ■ Flown to Afghanistan, provided leads that led to killing of Taliban men US forces in Afghanistan have used the IS man’s confessions to hit the Taliban Afghan bomber that his confessionsandinterrogationsareseen as one of the possible reasons behind the string of successes achieved recently by US forces against the Taliban in Afghanistan, sources said. Sources have told The Indian Express that an 18-month-long surveillance operation in Afghanistan, Dubai and New Delhi yielded intelligence that a group of 12 IS operatives were being sent after training in Pakistan to carry out bomb CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Pact signed, Indian marine exports eye South Korea market SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, JULY 10 Waterlogged railway track between Virar and Nallasopara on Tuesday. Ganesh Tendulkar Heavy rainfall maroons Vasai-Virar, NDRF called in for rescue operations MAHARASHTRA P7 ● WEST COAST REFINERY WILL COME UP IN KONKAN: FADNAVIS ● SOHRABUDDIN ‘FAKE’ ENCOUNTER: CBI REFUSES TO MAKE SUBMISSIONS IN PLEA CHALLENGING DISCHARGE OF FORMER GUJARAT SP ● SHIV SENA ASKS BJP: IS MAKING FALSE PROMISES TO WIN ELECTIONS CHANAKYA NITI NEHA KULKARNI & GARGI VERMA NO RESPITE FROM RAINS, BRACE FOR MORE MUMBAI, JULY 10 BARELY 50 km from the heart of the financial capital and located along the route of the proposed Rs 1.08 lakh crore MumbaiAhmedabad Bullet Train, the satellite townships of Vasai, Nallasopara and Virar were almost marooned with the rail connection to Mumbai snapped and most roads waterlogged. Lakhsofresidentswereeither stranded or remained houseboundwithlocalitiesintheregion receiving an average of over 600 mm of rain since the weekend. Nearly 1,500 passengers on stalled long distance trains and nearly 400 residents of low-lying salt pan lands in Manikpur had to be rescued by boat-borne ■ Mumbai witnessed heavy rains for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday. While the average rainfall recorded in July is 840.7 mm, the Santacruz observatory has already recorded 827.5 mm rainfall in the first 10 days of July. Rescuse work in progress at Nallasopara. Express teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). Also, CONTINUEDONPAGE2 FULL COVERAGE ■ In 24 hours ending 8.30 am on Tuesday, Colaba recorded 165.8 mm rain and Santacruz recorded 184.3 mm. With this, Colaba received over 100 mm rain for two consecutive days while Santacruz recorded over 100 mm for the third day in a row. BY UNNY HC orders 196 grace marks and a new list, stays counselling sessions ARUN JANARDHANAN CHENNAI, JULY 10 THE MADURAI bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to grant 196 grace marks — four markseachfor49questions—to all students who appeared for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil ■ On Wednesday, heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at a few places in Mumbai, Raigad, Palghar and Thane with extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in Palghar and Thane. PAGES 3, 4 NEET IN TAMIL BUSINESS AS USUAL ■ More than 320 local trains in Mumbai were cancelled. Many were delayed. The AC local services on WR were suspended. Flights at the international airport were late by up to 30 minutes. An Air India plane to Mumbai overshot the main runway while it was landing amid heavy rains. this year. Directing the Board to bring out a fresh list of qualified candidates within two weeks, the court said the ongoing counselling sessions should be “kept in abeyance” till then. Thedivisionbenchof Justices C T Selvam and A M Basheer Ahamed passed the order on a PIL filed by T K Rangarajan, CPI(M) MP, who sought full marks for all the 49 questions, saying key words had been wrongly translated in the Tamil question paper. The NEET-2018 paper, for admission to medical and dental colleges, had 180 questions with total 720 marks. Citing media reports, the petitioner had said that about 24,000 students appeared for the exam in Tamil. “The Board should revise the list of qualified candidates and publish the same afresh within CONTINUEDONPAGE2 OPENING UP the possibility of export of marine products to South Korea, India on Tuesday signedajointstatementonEarly HarvestPackageof theUpgraded Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), following a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The joint statement said that while resolving to work towards promoting mutual prosperity, the two countries “agreed to expand bilateral trade, including through the early conclusion of ongoingnegotiationstoupgrade the ROK-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. In this regard, we welcomed the finalisation of the elements of an Early Harvest Packagethatwouldleadtowards an upgraded CEPA”. The statement urged the business community from both countriestoleverage opportunitiesarisingfromcomplementarities between the two economies, to enhance investment, promote joint ventures, and work towards the goal of raising bilateral trade to $50 billion by 2030. Currently, bilateral trade stands at $20 billion. Praising Moon for his “tireless efforts” towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, Modi also made an oblique reference to Pakistan’s links with 14 THEEDITORIAL PAGE Is China meritocratic? BY ASHUTOSH VARSHNEY Sec 377 is Victorian era morality, strike it down: petitions in SC For now, will deal only with validity of law, correctness of 2013 order: Bench ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, JULY 10 A FIVE-JUDGE Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, which Tuesdaystarted hearing a clutch of petitions challenging Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code,wastoldthatthelawcriminalising same sex relations between consenting adults was a product of Victorian era morality and deserved to be struck down as “unconstitutional”. During the course of the hearing, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra observed “you only have to impress on us that if Section 377 was to be enacted today, it would be struck down forviolatingfundamentalrights” while his colleague Justice D Y Chandrachud, at another point, remarked that one’s choice of “partnerwouldincludesamesex 18 WORLD CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 partner too”. The bench, also comprising Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra, made it clear that it would not venture into the issue of marriage relating to the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender andqueer)community orinheritance in live-in relationships. The judges said they would only deal with the question of the validity of Section 377, and examine the correctness of the SupremeCourt’s2013judgment that had overturned the Delhi High Court order decriminalising gay sex. “The question here is whether Section 377 is ultra vires or not. Let us get out of this maze. We cannot now give an advance ruling on questions like inheritance to live-in partners, whether they can marry, etc. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE WILD BOARS ARE FREE: ALL 12 BOYS, THEIR COACH RESCUED FROM THAI CAVE Spike in militant recruitment after end of Ramzan ceasefire in Valley: J&K data SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, JULY 10 THERE HAS been a spike in the recruitment of local youths by militant groups in Kashmir followingtheend of theRamzan ceasefire. According to data compiled byJ&K’s Multi-Agency Centre(MAC),themonthof June saw 27 youths from the Valley — mainly from the districts of Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam in South Kashmir — joining militancy. “The increase in the number of local youths picking the gun last month came after June 16, which was Eid, when the ceasefireendedandthesecurityforces decided to undertake operations,” said a Srinagar-based security official. Afteranall-timehighof 28in April,militantrecruitmentinthe Valley had dropped to 14 in May. Thedata(tillJune-end)shows that 82 local youths have joined militancy since the beginning of theyear,raisingfearsinthesecurityestablishmentthatthiscould be the worst year ever in terms of local recruitment of militants in the Valley. In 2017, 128 local youths were reported to have joined militancy, up from 84 in 2016, 83 in 2015 and 63 in 2014. Of the 82 who joined militancy this year, 38 joined the Hizbul Mujahideen, 18 joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba and 19 joined the Jaish-e-Mohammad. According to security officials, the spike in April followed the Army’s operation on April 1, when 13 militants were killed in theValley.Theirfunerals,saidsecurity officials, led to a fresh wave of recruitment of local youths into militancy. Security officials in Srinagar told The Indian Express that the data is a cause for concern as it shows the need for increased CONTINUEDONPAGE2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR CLOUD OVER CHINA-US TRADE HAS SILVER LINING FOR SOYABEAN FARMERS HARISH DAMODARAN NEW DELHI, JULY 10 IN TIMES of farm distress, a little bit of luck can make a big difference.Forsoyabeangrowers,particularly in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan,whichgotopollslater this year, that luck could come fromthetradetensionsbetween the US and China. China is the world’s largest importerof soyabean.In2016-17 (October-September), it bought 93.49 million tonnes (mt) of this oilseed — the major suppliers being the US (36.84 mt), Brazil (45.34 mt) and Argentina (6.67 mt). ButwithChinaclampinga25 per cent duty on US soyabean with effect from July 6 — as part of retaliatory measures against the President Donald Trump’s tariffsonsome$34billionworth of Chinesegoods—anewopportunity has opened up for India. It comes even as the Centre has hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for this year’s soyabean crop to Rs 3,399 per quintal, from Rs 3,050 for 2017-18. India exported oilseeds — in theformof de-oiledcakeormeal — to China last in 2010-11. That year, it shipped out around 0.4 mt of rapeseed meal and another 0.3 mt of soyabean meal. But from January 2012, China suspended all imports, when someIndian rapeseedmealconsignments were allegedly found contaminated with malachite green, a chemical dye. The source of it was supposedly the ink used to mark jute bags carrying the produce. From this July, however, China removed all tariffs on soyabeanandmeal—earlierat3per cent and 5 per cent — imported from five APTA (Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement) countries: India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Laos. All of them, barring India, are insignificant suppliers. “They seem inclined to resume purchases from us. What Trade war opens a window of opportunity for soyabean growers in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. File remains to be seen is whether theywillalsoeasenon-tariff barriers relating to quarantine re- strictions. We have requested the Commerce Ministry to seek clarifications on the phytosani- tary certificates required by AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, InspectionandQuarantineof the People’s Republic of China) against about 12 pests and diseases. That should hopefully not be an issue since we only export processed meal and not grain,” said B V Mehta, executive director, Solvent Extractors’ Association of India. The US may well respond to theChineseimportcurbsbyselling more soyabean to Brazil and Argentina, which are also big consumers (meal is an ingredient for animal feeds). These countries may, in turn, export a large share of their produce to China. But even after factoringin these possibilities, “they (Chinese) will still have to explore alternative supply sources”, said Mehta. Davish Jain, chairman of the Indore-based Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA), estimated that India can “potentially export 2 mt of soyabean meal and another 1-2 mt of rapeseed meal to China”. This should be good news for farmers in MP, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, which account for 58.45 million hectares (mh), 35.84 mh and 10.80 mh out of the country’s normal (five-year average) area of 112.51 mh sown under soyabean. Oilseed is now trading in Indore’s Gautampura market at Rs 3,500 per quintal, which is above the Rs 2,850 levels a year ago and also the current MSP of Rs 3,399. Last year, soyabean prices ruledRs400-500perquintalbelow the MSP of Rs 3,050 through much of the main marketing season from October to December. It resulted in the MP government unveiling the Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana scheme, under which farmers were paid the difference between the MSP and the average “modal” or most-quoted rate in mandisforthequantitiessoldby them. 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.