TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 22 PAGES, MUMBAI, `5.00 ● WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 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 #METOO LIST GROWS; EX-EDITOR ADHIKARI QUITS THINK TANK, TOI EDITOR SENT ON LEAVE, BS REPORTER QUITS Six women speak up, accuse Minister M J Akbar of sexual harassment when he was Editor Akbar in Nigeria with a trade team, doesn’t respond to allegations KRISHN KAUSHIK & SOMYA LAKHANI ● FADNAVIS TO MINISTERS: TOUR DROUGHT-PRONE AREAS, PAGE 9 AT LEAST six women journalists have come on record to accuse Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour when he worked as a newspaper editor. Akbar, on a visit to Nigeria with a trade delegation, did not BY UNNY respond to an email, calls and WhatsAppmessagessenttohim seeking his comment. He is the first political public figure to feature in the growing list of men — CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Tara writer accuses actor Alok Nath of raping her ALAKA SAHANI Union MoS (External Affairs) M J Akbar NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 9 MAHARASHTRA BUSINESS AS USUAL MUMBAI, OCTOBER 9 ■ REPORTS, PAGES 9, 10 ■ LAW EXPLAINED, P 11 WRITER-PRODUCERVintaNanda TuesdayaccusedactorAlokNath ofsexuallyassaultingheronmultipleoccasions19yearsagowhen theyworkedtogetheronthesets of the 1993 TV show Tara. Nanda detailedtheaccountonFacebook Monday in which she referred to Nath as “the most sanskaari (cul- In Maharashtra, power shortage, rising demand lead to load-shedding PRIYANKASAHOO MUMBAI,OCTOBER9 THESTATEelectricitydistributor resorted to load-shedding in somepartsof Maharashtrastarting Monday, similar to last year. A massive shortage of power across the country, along with rising demand, has led to the load-shedding. A senior official of the Maharashtra State Electricity DistributionCompany(MSEDCL) said “high-loss zones” — areas wherependingbillsandlossesare more than 58 per cent — saw load-shedding on Monday and Tuesday. These included areas suchasMarathwada,Ichalkaranji and parts of Mumbra, Thane and Bhiwandi. Residents in Mumbra said they had received messages from the discom that load-sheddingwouldbeginonTuesdayowing to a power shortage. On Tuesday, peak power demand in Maharashtra exceeded 21,000MWandthestategeneration utility - Mahagenco - could only produce around 7,000 MW. “With temperatures rising, demand has grown. However, production has not kept up and all generationcompaniesaresufferingowingtoacoalshortage.Sowe have been forced to carry out load-shedding,” said the official. Generation companies are, meanwhile, facing an acute coal shortage. According to data from the Central Electricity Authority, as on Monday, all the 15 thermal power plants in Maharashtra were running on coal stocks that would last less than 10 days. Of these, 12 are running on ‘supercritical’coalstocks(less thanfour days’stock).Thismeansthatifcoal supplies were to stop for any reason(a24-hourbreakdowninsupply), the stock in these 12 plants willrunoutinlessthanfourdays. The coal stocks are considerably lower than the mandate by the Central Electricity Authority of maintaining 25 to 30 days’ coal stock at thermal power plants. “Coalproductionhassuffered. There is also a power shortage acrossthecountry.Hence,power is either unavailable for purchase off the central grid or too expensive.Thecurrentsituationisgrim but it is likely to ease once the weatherchanges,”saidtheofficial. The load-shedding spree is likelytocontinueandofficialsdid notcommentonwhenthesituation was likely to improve. Last year, between May and September, several parts of the state experienced load-shedding undersimilarcircumstances.The acuteshortagehadforcedthediscomtocarryoutload-sheddingin urban pockets as well. SBI bailout offer for NBFCs: will buy assets worth Rs 45,000 cr ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU MUMBAI, OCTOBER 9 STATE BANK of India (SBI) on Tuesday offered to bail out the liquidity-starved non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), hit byaseriesof debtrepaymentdefaults by crisis-ridden IL&FS and itssubsidiaries, withitsproposal to buy good quality assets worth Rs 45,000 crore from NBFCs. SBI, which earlier planned to purchaseassetsworthRs 15,000 crore, has decided to buy additional assets of up to Rs 30,000 crore. “SBI steps up target for purchase of good quality portfolio of assets from NBFCs, as it believes that there is good opportunity to expand its loan portfolio at attractive rates. The bankislookingforopportunities both in priority and non-priority sectors,” SBI said. 14 WORLD ECONOMY ● RUPEE PLUNGES TO NEW RECORD LOW OF 74.39 AGAINST DOLLAR, PAGE 15 “SBI had initially planned for a growthof Rs15,000 cr through portfolio purchase during the current year which is now being enhanced. As per the bank’s internal assessment, there may be anopportunitytobuyadditional portfolio in the range of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 crore,” the bank said, According to the bank, this is a good commercial opportunity for it to increase the loan portfolioasNBFCassetsareavailableat attractive rates. It will benefit both SBI and the NBFC sector, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘Neither denying nor agreeing’ tured) person”, before naming him the next day. Speaking to ABP News, Nath said: “Neither I am denying this CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Nakkeeran editor held, freed after court order ARUN JANARDHANAN CHENNAI, OCTOBER 9 Migrants wait to board a train at the railway station in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. Javed Raja Migrants flee, Congress MLA Thakor faces heat and questions PARIMAL DABHI GANDHINAGAR, OCTOBER 9 THE SPATE of attacks in Gujarat against migrant workers from north India — a fresh wave was reported Tuesday — has pushed Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor and his party into a corner, with fingers being pointed at the alleged role played by the Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena (GKTS), an organisation he heads, in in- stigating the violence. A video clip purportedly showing Thakor allegedly incitingpeopleinnorthGujarattoact against migrants has added fuel to the allegations against the Radhanpur MLA and the GKTS. “I have never asked anyone to drive away or attack migrants. Also, it is an old video,” Thakor said. But he admitted that “there could be some instances” (of GKTS members being involved in the attacks). “I am not denyingit.Theywillfacepunishment. However, that does not mean thattheentireorganisationisresponsible for it. This is a conspiracy to finish me and my organisation. After the fast, I will go to Bihar and instill faith in its people,” he said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MORE REPORTS PAGE 7 After audio clips of ‘plot’ to target TMC, Mukul Roy says phone tapped RAVIK BHATTACHARYA KOLKATA, OCTOBER 9 DAYS AFTER two audio clips of hispurportedconversationwith BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya were circulated on social media, BJP leader Mukul Roy said on Tuesday that he had filed a case in the Delhi My rights and privacy breached: Mukul Roy High Court alleging that his phone was being tapped. “I have filed a case stating that my phone is being tapped... Let the administration and police answer the court,” he told The Indian Express. “My phone is being tapped by the Kolkata Police. I am aware that some audio clip is doing the rounds. My rights and privacy are being breached,” said Roy. Asked if the audio clips were CONTINUEDONPAGE2 HOURSAFTERjournalistRGopal, editor of Tamil bi-weekly Nakkeeran, was arrested for a series of reports which allegedly had damaging references to TamilNaduGovernorBanwarilal Purohit,thecourtorderedhisrelease on Tuesday. Gopal was arrested under Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) — “assaulting President, Governor etc with intent to R Gopal compel or restrain the exercise of any lawfulpower”.Hewasproduced before the 13th Egmore Metropolitan Magistrate Gopinath, who refused to grant his remand and questioned the validity of the IPC section. According to the FIR filed by Chennai Police, 35 Nakkeeran workers have been booked under Section 124 IPC, including editor in-charge Kovai Lenin, chief deputy editor Aaraavayal, 14 reporters and 10 administrative staff. Nakkeeranhadreportedthat Purohit and his secretary, R Rajagopal, had held several meetings with Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor of Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai, in Virudhunagar district, who was arrested in April on the basis of an audio clip in which she purportedly asked girl students to extend sexual favours to officials in return for marks and money. Earlier, Purohit had denied meetingDevi.“Idonotknowthe CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Delhi school divided: Hindu and Muslim students assigned to separate sections SUKRITA BARUAH NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 9 ASECTIONof teachersemployed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has alleged that a primary school in Wazirabad is segregating Hindu and Muslim students in different sections. Attendance records of the North MCD Boys’ School, Wazirabad village, Gali Number 9, accessed and analysed by The Indian Express, as of October 9, show the section-wise break up of students: ■ Class IA: 36 Hindus, IB: 36 Muslims ■ IIA: 47 Hindus, IIB: 26 Muslims and 15 Hindus, IIC: 40 Muslims ■ IIIA: 40 Hindus, IIIB: 23 Hindus and 11 Muslims, IIIC: 40 Muslims, IIID: 14 Hindus and 23 Muslims ■ IVA: 40 Hindus, IVB: 19 Hindus and 13 Muslims, IVC: 35 Muslims, IVD: 11 Hindus and 24 Muslims ■ VA: 45 Hindus, VB: 49 Hindus, VC: 39 Muslims and 2 Hindus, VD: 47 Muslims MCD schools offer education only till Class V and according to the Right To Education Act, each section should ideally have 30 students at the primary level. C B Singh Sehrawat, the teacher put in-charge of the school on July 2 after the principal was transferred, denied deliberately segregating the students on the basis of religion. “Reshuffling of sections is standard procedure which happens in all schools. This was a management decision to try and do the best we can to see that there is peace, discipline and a good learning environment in the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 2ND SAIL ACCIDENT IN 4 YRS 9workersare killed,14hurt inblastatSAIL Bhilaiplant DIPANKAR GHOSE BHILAI, OCTOBER 9 IN A MAJOR industrial accident, nine workers were killed and 14 others injured following a blast inagaspipelineduringa“scheduled maintenance job” at SAIL’s flagship Bhilai Steel Plant Tuesday morning, officials said. According to Chhattisgarh Police,thedeathtollcouldriseas the condition of some of the injured are “very serious”. Police said search and rescue operations ended by late afternoon, and that a fire triggered by the blast has been contained. “In an unfortunate incident at around 10.30 amtodayinSAIL BhilaiSteelPlant,therewasafire in gas pipe line of Coke Oven Battery Complex 11 during a scheduled maintenance job. Some persons working at the site sustained burn injuries. Injured persons were immediately rushed to the BSP Hospital for medical care and aid. Meanwhile, the fire has been controlled,” said a statement issued by SAIL’s Corporate Affairs Division. “Sofar,ninepersonshavelost theirlivesand14areundergoing medicaltreatment.All resources have been mobilised to provide adequate care to the injured. SAIL collective stands by the families of the affected and will ensure that no stone is left unturned in providing all kinds of support,” it said. This was the second major accident at the Bhilai Steel Plant in the last four years — in 2014, six people were killed and 30 others injured in a gas leak. An official at the plant told The Indian Express, on condition of anonymity, that most of the dead were killed instantly in the blast. They said that a probe into 12 THEEDITORIAL PAGE The blast triggered a fire at the Bhilai Steel Plant on Tuesday. PTI what went wrong will be conducted in detail Wednesday. “The accident occurred during maintenance work carried out by the Energy Management Department. There was a blast during the maintenance of the oventhatconvertscokingcoalto coke, which generates high levels of gas, and its battery complex. Since the work was of a seriousnature,firetendersandfire workers of BSP were present at the time. But the blast was severe and there was little warning, and a massive fire erupted,” the official said. “This (the maintenance work)isahighlyvolatileprocess, butitisalsoclearthatsomething wentwrong.Duringthemaintenance process, there are CONTINUEDONPAGE2 RELATED REPORT PAGE 10 Feet of clay BY HARISH DAMODARAN ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR KAVANAUGHTO HEARFIRST ARGUMENTSAS SCJUSTICE TURKEY TO SEARCH SAUDI CONSULATE FOR MISSING JOURNALIST ATHLETE CAN’T GO SO ROMANIAN COACH WILL COME TO HIM ANDREW AMSAN NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 9 INTHEfirstsuchmoveof itskind, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI)hasdecidedtorelocateanationalcampcoachtoanathlete’s hometown in Kerala to facilitate training and ease the teenage long-jump prodigy’s concern about “college attendance”. At a recent AFI meeting, it was decided that national jump coach Bedros Bedrosian, a Romanian, will move to SreeshankarMurali’shometown in Palakkad to focus on him and another long jumper Neena Varakil. Since the facilities in Palakkad are inadequate, the federationisindiscussions toset up a facility for the youngsters. “We decided during our committee meeting that Sreeshankar’sstudiesshouldnot be affected. We see him as a potential medal winner at the Tokyo Olympics (2020) and decidedtoassignBedrosiantohim. He will be travelling to Sreeshankar’s hometown, and we are in talks for setting up facilitiesforthemtotrain.Thiswill ensure his studies don’t get affected and he trains regularly. We have done well at the Asian level but it’s not enough. We need to compete at the world level,” AFI president Adille Sumariwalla told The Indian Express. The AFI has also decided to rope in more coaches, including Bedros’s replacement, for the various national camps. “We are in the process of signing up coaches from Cuba and New Zealand to enable our athletesto continue their evolution as topclass competitors. We are sure we will have them in place before the end of the first camp after the Asian Games,” Sumariwalla said. Sreeshankar gave up an engineering course and opted for a Sreeshankar set new national record of 8.20 m recently B.Sc in Maths at Palakkad’s Victoria College to focus on jumps. “I am really glad that the federation is willing to set up a facility in Palakkad for us. I am happy that Bedros sir will be coming to monitor us but I will continue to train directly under myfather,”Sreeshankar,19,said. Sreeshankar’s father Murali was an international triple jumperwhilemotherKSBijimol is an 800m Asian junior medallist.Muralisaysheisrelievedthat his son will not have to worry about “college attendance”. “Education is really important.Thismovewilleasehisconcern because they are very strict about attendance here. They don’t allow you to write your exams if you don’t have a certain percentage of attendance. He can now focus on training without worrying about college,” Murali said. Sreeshankar has seen a lot of highs and lows this year. He missed the Commonwealth Games due to an appendix rupture that kept him in the ICU for three days. “I felt all my energy wassapped.Icouldn’tevencomplete my warm-up rounds, let alone jumping. I lost a lot of strength in my legs but I had my father pushing and supporting 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.