LATE CITY, 18 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE NO. 1 VERSUS NO. 2: ASTHANA TEAM MEMBER ARRESTED D G Vanzara, N K Amin: their discharge pleas were rejected by a court in August CBI goes after CBI For fairness sake, share Asthana letter with us: CBI writes to CVC Dy SP probing ISHRAT ENCOUNTER Moin Qureshi Have sought case held for ‘falsification of Gujarat govt’s nod to prosecute records’ Vanzara, Amin: CBI to court SUSHANT SINGH & DEEPTIMAN TIWARY SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 22 NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 22 SATISH JHA AHMEDABAD, OCTOBER 22 THE CENTRAL Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday said that it has approached the Gujarat government for permission to prosecute retired IPS officer D G Vanzara and former superintendent of police N K Amin in connection with the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case. The CBI’s submission comes on an order passed by the special CBI court in August this year. While rejecting the discharge applications of Vanzara and Amin, the court had directed the CBI “to either obtain sanction for prosecution from the concerned authority or declare in writing the legal position as per the law, with regard to sanction for prosecution against the accused”. “We have approached the state government for the sanction (to prosecute Vanzara and Amin,” CBI inspector Ketan Mehta told special judge J K Pandya on Monday. When asked by the judge how much time will the CBI take to get the sanctions, Mehta responded by saying “it will take time”. The court adjourned the hearing in the matter to November 22. Sources said that the CBI had written a letter to Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh on October 9, requesting permission for THE ONGOINGwar between CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana has escalated with the agency searching its own premises in New Delhi and placing under arrest its Deputy Superintendent of Police, Devender Kumar, for “falsification of records” in connection with bribery allegations involving Asthana. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Verma Sunday evening to discuss the case. He also separately met R&AW chief Anil Dhasmana the same evening since Samant Kumar Goel, Special Secretary of R&AW, has been named in the FIR, although he is not an accused in the case. Devender Kumar, who was Investigating Officer in the Moin Qureshi case as part of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Asthana, was arrested around 2 pm Monday. The CBI had earlier searched Kumar’s office in the CBI building Friday. Kumar CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CBI vs CBI Its past record shows that it is incapable of resolving its own problems. The SC should step in. THE EDITORIAL PAGE 8 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Outside the CBI headquarters in New Delhi on Monday. Abhinav Saha Probing Asthana daughter’s wedding in Vadodara, CBI gets replies from 4 hotels DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & AISHWARYA MOHANTY NEW DELHI, VADODARA, OCTOBER 22 THE CENTRAL Vigilance Commission (CVC) finds itself at the centre of the row in the CBI between Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana, after it declined to share details of Asthana’s complaint with the investigation agency. The Indian Express has learnt that questions were raised by CBI in an official letter to the CVC earlier this month as the CVC “declined to share the complaint or details” of the complaint made by Asthana “against CBI officers investigating his cases”. This letter came in response to letters by CVC seeking files from CBI on a complaint filed by Asthana against Verma and some other officers of the agency. “In the interest of fairness and the legal sanctity of investigations, it is important that CVC CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INVESTIGATING THE 2016 wedding of the daughter of its Special Director Rakesh Asthana in Vadodara, the agency has questioned close to a dozen people and received replies from at least four hotels on expenses made and facilities provided. A perusal of these replies and CBI documents shows that several venues were availed by the Asthana family on “complimentary” basis. However, catering and other services at the venues were paid for in cheques or through credit cards. The case is being investigated Govt measures, I-T efforts raise tax-GDP ratio to 10-year high Number of individual taxpayers with over Rs 1 cr income up 68% in 3 years 2016-17 from Rs 46,377 in 201314, according to data released Monday by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The Tax Department data also show better compliance among salaried taxpayers vis-àvis non-salaried taxpayers. During the three-year period (2013-14 to 2016-17), the number of salaried taxpayers increased from 1.70 crore to to 2.33 crore, a growth of 37 per cent. The average income declared by salaried taxpayers rose by 19 per cent to Rs 6.84 lakh from Rs 5.76 lakh during the same period. The number of non-salaried individual taxpayers grew 19 per cent to 2.33 crore from 1.95 crore and the average non-salary income declared increased by 27 per cent to Rs 5.23 lakh in 201617 from Rs 4.11 lakh in 2013-14. ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 22 A SHARP rise in the number of Income-Tax returns filed and an increase in the number of taxpayers have widened and deepened the tax base during the last three assessment years, which in turn has seen the direct taxGDP ratio touch a decadal high of almost 6 per cent. Legislative and administrative measures, combined with enforcement efforts by the Tax Department to check tax evasion, have meant that the average tax paid by corporates has jumped 55 per cent to Rs 49.95 lakh in 2016-17 compared with Rs 32.28 lakh in 2013-14. In the case of individuals, the average tax paid has increased by 26 per cent to Rs 58,576 in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE NET WIDENS 2017-18 Direct TaxGDP ratio 2016-17 2015-16 2014-15* 5.98% 5.57% 5.47% 5.55% Taxpayers showing gross total income above Rs 1 crore** BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY All taxpayers Individuals Companies 1,40,139 81,344 39,753 1,20,103 67,783 36,179 1,08,333 59,830 33,705 88,649 48,416 28,367 *Financial year; **Assessment year Verma (seated), Asthana have been at loggerheads by a team under Additional Director A K Sharma who, like Asthana, is a Gujarat cadre officer. The hotels and venues probed by his team include The 8 Laxmi Vilas Palace, Hotel Express Towers, Suncity Club and Resort and Surya Palace Hotel. The investigations also THE EDITORIAL PAGE CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Energy agenda for growth BY NEELKANTH MISHRA 3 lion cubs found dead Witness in nun rape case found dead in Gir, officials blame ‘in-fighting’ for deaths Paytm chief’s ex-secy among 3 held for data theft, blackmail: Police EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MAHENDER SINGH MANRAL & AMIL BHATNAGAR ANJU AGNIHOTRI CHABA & SHAJU PHILIP HOSHIARPUR, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, OCTOBER 22 RAJKOT, OCTOBER 22 THREE LION cubs were found dead near Khambha village in Gir (East) division in Amreli district on Monday. Forest officials claimed that the cubs, four to five months old, were killed during a fight among adult lions. The latest deaths come weeks after an outbreak of contagious canine distemper virus (CDV) that killed around 20 lions in the area. “After minute inspection (of the carcasses), veterinarians and a team of forensic experts concluded that injuries were caused by canine teeth that were clearly visible on the head, back and belly of the cubs. In the same area, a large number of lion pugmarks and tracks made by something having been dragged were also observed, suggesting that lions must have fought with themselves. Prima facie, it seems that the injuries observed on the carcasses of cubs have been caused during this in-fight,” a release from the state forest de- Fr Kattuthara (left) had deposed against Mulakkal complaints against Bishop Mulakkal. Mulakkal, who was arrested in the case, returned to Jalandhar last week after being released on bail. partment said. Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) of Junagadh Wildlife Circle Dushyant Vasavada said that local forest staff got information on Monday that carcass of a lion cub was found lying in Khadadhar area of Tulsishyam range in Amreli district. “After the carcass was found, forest guards and rangers scanned nearby area. While scouring the area, the forest staff found carcasses of two more lion cubs lying near the carcass of a nilgai,” he added. A week ago, a carcass of a sub-adult male lion was found in a farmland near Visavadar Ahead of Statue of Unity unveiling, Gujarat betters relief package for Kevadia villagers CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE GANDHINAGAR, OCTOBER 22 IN A significant move, the Gujarat government on Monday decided to modify its relief package for the residents of six villages around Kevadia Colony near Narmada dam and seven villages affected by Garudeshwar Weir in Narmada district. As per the latest decision, affected families who want land in return for their land will get Villagers, affected by Narmada dam and Garudeshwar Weir, have called bandh on Oct 31 against the relief package land, and those who want money will get Rs 7,50,000 per hectare under the amended relief package. Notably, the decision has come even as people from the area have given a call of bandh on October 31 — the day the 182metre-tall Statue of Unity of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel will be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kevadia Colony — against the government’s relief package. “Father Kuriakose was one of the witnesses in the case. He had no direct knowledge of the crime, which we are probing. His statement did not have a direct bearing on the crime. But he had given us details about the character of the accused Bishop,’’ Kottayam SP Hari Shanker said. Hoshiarpur SSP Elanchezhian said the “exact cause of death shall be clear after post-mortem”. “A board of doctors will be conducting it on Tuesday. There were no visible injury marks on the body. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 4 GUJARAT GOVT EXPANDS LIST OF ‘SCARCITY-HIT’ TALUKAS TO 51 ● Surat gau rakshak chief held for ‘raping’ 22-yr-old ● Marathi migrants clash with north Indians in Surat NOIDA, OCTOBER 22 TWO PAYTM employees, including a vice-president who earlier served as secretary of the company’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, were among three people arrested by Noida police on Monday for allegedly trying to extort Rs 10 crore from him by threatening to leak his stolen personal data and confidential information about the company. According to officers, Vijay’s elder brother Ajay Shekhar Sharma had already paid the accused Rs 69 lakh through two transactions (Rs 67 lakh and Rs 2 lakh), after he first received a call on September 20. A fourth accused, who is believed to have made the calls, is on the run, police said. The three arrested accused were identified as Sonia Dhawan, who started as Vijay’s secretary and is currently vicepresident, corporate communications/PR; her husband Rupak Jain; and Devendra Kumar, an employee with Paytm’s administration department. “A case was filed against them on Monday morning by Ajay, alleging personal data theft and extortion. Another accused is still at large and a hunt is on to nab him. We are trying to ascertain the nature of data leaked,” SSP (Gautam Budh Nagar) Ajay Pal Sharma said. According to the FIR, Ajay’s complaint was filed at 11.52 am. While a probe is on to ascertain the nature of the information the accused possessed, an officer said it comprised the inner workings of the company as well as personal information about its founder. According to police, Ajay named four accused in his complaint. The absconding accused, Kolkata resident Rohit Chomal, allegedly made the extortion calls from his phone, police said. “Rohit made the first call to Ajay on September 20, and then a WhatsApp call to his brother Vijay. He informed them that he has their personal data and secret information, and demanded CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR 12 WORLD At least 27 lions have died in Gir forest since September 12 A WITNESS in the rape case filed by a nun against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Jalandhar-based Missionaries of Jesus was found dead Monday at a school complex in the Dasuya sub-division of Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district, police said. Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, 62, was found unconscious in his room at around 9 am and rushed to the civil hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival, police said. Hoshiarpur SSP J Elanchezhian said that “preliminary investigations suggest it was a natural death”. But the priest’s brother and supporters of the nun demanded a probe while claiming that Kattuthara had faced threats to his life for his involvement in the rape case. Kattuthara was a prosecution witness for Kerala Police in the case and had told investigators that he was aware of various VILLAGE LOST 15 IN CYCLONE, ASKS: WHY DIDN’T GOVT WARN US? HOW CAN I BE A TRAITOR, WE LEFT INDIA FOR PAK: SHARIF TRUMP ACCUSES SAUDIS OF DECEPTION AND LIES SAMPAD PATNAIK GAJAPATI, OCTOBER 22 “A MOUNTAIN collapsed on me last week,” says Pramila Behera, 45. Running a few feet behind her husband and five-year-old son who, like many others from the village, had taken shelter in a mountain cave as they fled Cyclone Titli, she saw the cave collapse as soon as they entered, instantly burying them. Close to two weeks after Cyclone Titli ravaged southern Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh, Baraghara village, in Gangabada panchayat in the state’s Gajapati district, remains in shock. On the night of October 10, 15 people, including three children, were buried alive in the cave as the cyclone triggered a landslide. The death toll across the state stood at 52. In Manikapatna, a mere six kilometers down the mountain village of Baraghara, are privately owned pucca houses and community buildings, including a building of the Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project, a primary school and a church. Yet, villagers say, none from the government alerted them of the cyclone or moved them to these places from their kutcha houses Cyclone Titli claimed 52 lives in Odisha earlier this month that stood no chance against the cyclone. “We didn’t know a cyclone would hit us. Nobody told us,” weeps Jagabandhu, a 64-yearold villager. “Why did no one from the district administration warn us?” The wind that day, he says, was like a “cruel God”. “As it grew fiercer, it started tearing down houses. My wife and I used a rope to tie ourselves to a broken wall and prayed through the night,” says Jagabandhu, adding he was thankful that his son was in Bhubaneswar when the cyclone hit. In 2013, the BJD government led by Naveen Patnaik had received praise from the United Nations and World Bank for evacuating nearly 10 lakh people just before Cyclone Phailin hit the state. This time, the state’s Special Relief Commissioner declared immediately after the cyclone had dissipated that the government had achieved “Mission Zero Casualty”. But as reports of death began coming in from the state’s southern coastal districts, with the Baraghara incident sending shockwaves, the state government came under fire from the BJP and the Congress. While the Gajapati district administration was not available for comment, a high-ranking official from the Office of the Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha’s highest disaster management authority, conceded that the state should have prepared a vulnerability map on populated areas that are likely to experience landslides. “While there are Government of India guidelines on mapping landslides, we did not prepare such a map because Baraghara-like incidents have never happened before in the state,” he said, requesting anonymity. According to the Home Ministry’s National Disaster CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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