LATE CITY, 18 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `5.00 ● SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA DEATH ON RAIL TRACKS BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Two trains mow down over 50 of Dussehra crowd in Amritsar JOURNALISM OF COURAGE Washington lets Delhi know: Buy our F-16s, can give Russia deal waiver India silent on US offer after sealing pact with Russia for purchase of the S-400 missile defence system ED probes Air India deals during UPA rule DEEPTIMAN TIWARY NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 19 MORE THAN a year after the CBI began investigating the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines and the acquisition of 111 aircraft, Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials said Friday that the agency had registered four cases of alleged money laundering in the matter. Sources in the ED said the cases were based on four CBI FIRs lodged last year and have been registered under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. NCP leader Praful Patel was the Civil Aviation Minister when the merger took place during the UPA-I rule. In his media interactions earlier, Patel had denied any wrongdoing and said all decisions had been collective. “While probing a case of money laundering against corporate consultant Deepak Talwar, we stumbled upon some money trail that is linked to the entire matter of Air India. We have traced a payment linked to the Air India case to an entity linked to Deepak Talwar. The money involved is huge,” a senior ED official said. Talwar is facing an ED probe in connection with alleged misuse of funds brought into his NGO Advantage India under the Foreign Contribution Regulation CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Relatives with the body of one of the killed as police cordon off the accident site Friday night. Rana Simranjit Singh People stood on rail tracks watching Ravan effigy burn; CM orders probe into clearance for Dussehra event KAMALDEEP SINGH BRAR AMRITSAR, OCTOBER 19 OVER 50 people were killed and several injured Friday evening as two trains speeding in opposite directions mowed down people standing on the tracks near a railway crossing watching a Ravan effigy being burnt at a Dussehra celebration here. There were at least 300 spectators at the Dhobi Ghat ground barely 2 km from the Amritsar station. Many of them stood on the tracks close to the Jaura Phatak crossing to get a better view and were taking videos of the burning Ravan as the first of the trains ran them over. The gates at the crossing were closed at the time. It was only after the train had flashed past did the stunned survivors realise what had happened. Most of the casualties appeared to be of those killed by the first train, 74643 JalandharAmritsar DMU, said a senior Railway official. The second train, the 13006 AmritsarHowrah Express, sped past seconds later and some of those who had jumped on the second set of tracks to escape the first were caught under it, he said. At 6.50 pm, it was already dark when the incident took place. Bodies were strewn on the tracks and until late tonight, people, many of them crying and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Speeding trains got no caution, Rlys says no one told us about the event AVISHEK G DASTIDAR & JAGPREET SINGH SANDHU NEW DELHI, CHANDIGARH, OCTOBER 19 AS OFFICIALS of the Railways took stock of the Amritsar incident and Minister of State (Railways) Manoj Sinha headed to the site Friday night, top sources in the Railways said preliminary reports suggested that the mishap could have been averted or, at least the number of casualties could have been fewer, had local railway officials responded to the obstruction on the tracks created by the pres- Sabarimala board: No review, will brief SC on ‘grave’ situation SHAJU PHILIP ence of a huge crowd. But in Amritsar, railway authorities said they were given no prior notice or information about Dussehra celebrations being conducted near the tracks. Sources said no “temporary caution order” was issued by the local railway administration — the incident site falls under Ferozepur division of Northern Railway — to alert drivers to slow down at certain sections owing to possible obstruction on the tracks given that the effigy of Ravan was being burnt at a site CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RELATED REPORTS P 5 8 THE EDITORIAL PAGE PAMBA, OCTOBER 19 10 WORLD TRUMP SAYS KHASHOGGI LIKELY DEAD, WARNS THE SAUDIS AMID TALIBAN THREAT, AFGHANS VOTE TODAY IN ELECTIONS WITH PROTESTS at the Sabarimala temple showing no signs of waning, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the shrine, said Friday that it would file a detailed report on the ‘grave situation’ to the Supreme Court. Agitations against a Supreme Court order that allowed women of all ages to enter the Lord Ayappa shrine in Sabarimala have intensified since Wednesday when the temple opened to the public. On Friday, two women — an activist and a journalist — who attempted to enter the shrine under police escort were turned back after threats by the temple priest that he would close the The shift in Bhagwat By SUHAS PALSHIKAR A reporter being escorted by police to the Sabarimala temple, Friday. She had to return midway. Vignesh Krishnamoorthy temple. TDB president, A Padmakumar, who is also a CPI (M) party leader, reiterated that the board will not file a review petition in the SC. “Already as many as 25 review petitions have come up before the Supreme Court on the Sabarimala issue. The board is a respondent in all CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RELATED REPORTS P 7 6 EXPRESS NETWORK CONG USED POVERTY TO PROMOTE ONE FAMILY: PM IN SHIRDI ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR THEY HAD PAPERS TO SHOW NATIONALITY BUT DIED AS FOREIGNERS IN ASSAM CAMPS ABHISHEK SAHA GUWAHATI, OCTOBER 19 SINCE THE beginning of this year, two persons have died in Assam’s detention camps for illegal foreigners. Documents accessed by The Indian Express show both as residents of the state before the cut-off date of March 24, 1971, under the Citizenship Act, 1955. Families say they were unable to present this before the Foreigners’ Tribunals or courts due to wrong legal advice. According to his postmortem report, Subrata Dey (37), who was lodged for two months at the Goalpara detention camp, died on May 26 due to a heart ailment. Mohammad Jabbar Ali (70), who was lodged for around three years in the Tezpur detention camp, died on the night of October 4 following old age-related health problems, police claim. There are over 900 ‘suspected’ foreigners currently at the six detention camps in Assam, in Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Silchar. Their cases are being heard and decided at the 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) across the state. A certified copy of the 1951 Mohammed Jabbar Ali, one of the two who died National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam — which the state is seeking to update now — shows eight members of the Dey family registered at House No. 63, Salmara Bazaar village, Dhubri district. In the NRC, Subrata’s father Krishnapada Dey is registered as a 10-year-old boy. Krishnapada’s father Monoranjan Dey and mother Makhan Bala Dey also appear in the 1966 state voters’ list. The family migrated to Goalpara district in the late 1980s. Similarly, Ali’s parents Sutko Sheikh and Santa Nessa have their names in the electoral rolls of 1966 and 1994, while Ali him- self figures in the 1994 voters’ list. Also, a 2004 election document shows Santa Nessa as the head of the household and lists Jabbar Ali as her son. Incidentally, earlier this year, Ali’s son Johar Ali (33), who was considered a ‘doubtful voter’, received clearance as an Indian citizen on the basis of the1966 document of his grandparents. In the case of both Dey and Ali, the orders by FTs declaring them “illegal foreigners” ex-parte, in 2011 and 2007 respectively, record that they had failed to appear before the tribunal on multiple dates. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MUMBAI, OCTOBER 19 Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus). Sitharaman is also scheduled to make her first bilateral visit to the US as Defence Minister in mid-December but it is not clear if Mattis would still be a part of the Trump administration then. Mattis has been a vocal supporter of a CAATSA waiver for India, forcefully arguing for a waiver before the US Congress. But the three-step waiver process is to be decided by President Trump, who said last week that India “is going to find out” the answer “sooner than you think”. US State Department officials have said that “There are no CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 19 Merger of AI and Indian Airlines under scrutiny GEORGE MATHEW THE RESERVE Bank of India (RBI) on Friday went public with its resistance to the Centre’s proposal to set up an independent Payment Regulatory Board (PRB) which will oversee all payment systems in the country stating that the proposed body “must remain with the Reserve Bank” and headed by the RBI Governor. Coming out strongly against the Inter-Ministerial Committee’s proposal to take PRB out of the RBI’s purview, the RBI said there has been no evidence of any inefficiency in payment systems of India. “The digital payments have made good and steady progress. India is gaining international recognition as a leader in payment systems. Given this, there need not be any change in a well-functioning system,” the RBI said in its dissent note. The proposal for an independent PRB was outlined in the draft Payment and Settlement System Bill, 2018. The RBI referred to the Watal Committee on digital payments which had recommended the establishment of the PRB within the overall structure of the RBI. SUSHANT SINGH WITH INDIA signing a pact with Russia to purchase the S-400 missile defence system, Washington has informally conveyed to Delhi that it could avoid sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) if India were to give an assurance that it would buy the F-16 fighter aircraft from the United States. Not keen on buying an aircraft already in service with Pakistan, India has refused to give any such assurance till date. The fallout of the Trump administration’s reaction to the S-400 deal featured in the wideranging discussion between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US counterpart James Mattis in Singapore on Friday, but sources told The Indian Express that the offer of a CAATSA waiver in exchange for buying F-16 fighter jets was made earlier this month. Sitharaman and Mattis met on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations RBI opposes Govt plan for separate payments regulator Sitharaman and Swaraj with counterparts Mattis and Pompeo at the 2+2 dialogue last month. Express Rajnath, China counterpart to sign first security pact Monday RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 19 AS CHINA works on its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) close to India’s borders and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), New Delhi will sign its first security cooperation agreement with Beijing on October 22. The pact, which focuses on terrorism, narcotics, human trafficking, intelligence sharing and disaster management, will be signed between Zhao Kezhi, China’s Minister of Public Security, and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, officials said. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is also likely to hold talks with Zhao before the two countries sign the agreement, officials said, adding that the issue of listing Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar on the UN’s sanctions list may also be taken up. Twice, China has blocked India’s efforts to include Azhar in the list. New Delhi is hopeful that using the security cooperation agreement, India will be able to obtain some information regarding the JeM chief. The agreement between the two countries, according to officials, may also help New Delhi zero in on top ULFA leader Paresh Baruah who is believed to be in hiding in the India-China-Myanmar trijunction. India will also raise the China practice of issuing stapled visas to people of Arunachal CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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