TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 24 PAGES, MUMBAI, `5.00 ● SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 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 Undermine RBI autonomy, face markets’ wrath, ignite economic fire: Deputy Governor speaks up GEORGE MATHEW MUMBAI, OCTOBER 26 Viral Acharya (right) said Governor Patel (left) suggested he explore theme of autonomy in his speech 10 ATOPReserveBankof India(RBI) official on Friday warned that “governments that do not respectcentralbankindependence will sooner or later incur the wrathof financialmarkets,ignite economic fire, and come to rue thedaytheyunderminedanimportant regulatory institution.” RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya said the market can dis- cipline the government not to erode central bank independence, and it can also make the government pay for its transgressions. “Interestingly, the market also forces central banks toremainaccountableandindependent when it is under government pressure,” he said. Delivering the A D Shroff Memorial Lecture in Mumbai Friday, Acharya listed out three “importantpockets of persistent weakness” in maintaining the independenceof theRBI.One,its inability to undertake the full scope of actions against public sector banks vis-à-vis private banks; two, the discretion to retain reserves without having to transfersurplusestothegovernment; and, three, protecting its regulatory scope, a case in point being a recommendation to have a separate payment regulator bypassing RBI’s powers. “I chose for today’s occasion the theme of the importance of independent regulatory institutions, and in particular, that of a Pune Police takes custody of 2 activists for Maoist links THE EDITORIAL PAGE India-Japan ties: East meets East By ARUN PRAKASH 13 WORLD centralbankthatis independent from an over-arching reach of the state,” Acharya said. “This theme is certainly one of great sensitivity but I contend it is of even greater importance to our economic prospects.” In a footnote, he acknowledged that it was Governor Urjit Patel’s “suggestion” that he “explore this theme.” According to Acharya, good progress in earning RBI’s independence has been made in the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, PUNE, OCTOBER 26 MANSUSPECTED OFSENDING EXPLOSIVESTO TRUMPCRITICS ARRESTED Mahinda Rajapakse is sworn in as Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo. Reuters ERDOGAN TO SAUDI ARABIA: WHERE IS KHASHOGGI’S BODY? THE CITY ● AAREY COLONY: HC DISMISSES PLEA AGAINST METRO CAR SHED P3 ● THREE LABOURERS FOUND DEAD IN MANHOLE P3 Sudden regime change in Lanka: Rajapakse is back, now as PM NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN & ARUN JANARDHANAN CHANDIGARH, CHENNAI, OCTOBER 26 SRILANKAwasinturmoilFriday after former President Mahinda Rajapakse made a stunning return to power as the country’s new Prime Minister. He was sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena who fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. But Wickremesinghe called the move “illegal and unconstitutional” and said he would CEO of BCCI makes women uncomfortable, must go: Diana Edulji provehismajorityinParliament. The dramatic developments in Colombo followed a breakdown in ties between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, especially on policy issues related to economy and security. Sirisena’s UnitedPeople’sFreedomAlliance announced it was leaving the NationalUnityGovernmentwith Wickremesinghe’s United National Party. ThegovernmenthadbeentotteringeversinceRajapakse’sparty emerged victorious in local elections earlier this year. Multiple sources said Wickremesinghe was in Galle when Sirisena and Rajapakse ME TOO DEVENDRA PANDEY MUMBAI, OCTOBER 26 A DAY after Vinod Rai, who heads the two-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), decided to set up an independent committee to probe allegations of sexual harassment against BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, his colleague Diana Edulji stuck to her call to sack him. Edulji,aformerIndiaskipper, said that the allegations against Johri have not just tarnished Indian cricket’s reputation but his presence in the BCCI will make all women - herself, players and office employees - uncomfortable. Speaking to The Indian Express,Eduljisaid:“Asawoman in the CoA, it was my moral duty toaskfortheresignationbecause my women’s team is there, my womensupportstaffisthere,and there are women staff working in BCCI. He (Johri) will roam around freely in the office. What messagearewesendingtothese girls?HowcanIsitinthemeeting withhim?Ican’tlookinhiseyes. Youcan’tsaynowhecan’tsit in the meeting, then how will CoA work? After all, our main goal is to implement the Lodha recommendations.” She also said that the BCCI’s interests were paramount for CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MORE REPORTS PAGES 3, 12 Arun Ferreira after his arrest in Thane on Friday. Express CVC WILL PROBE UNDER RETIRED SC JUDGE SC sets 2-week limit for probe into CBI chief, reins in Govt appointee CJI bench restrains interim chief Nageshwar Rao from taking major decisions, disallows Asthana petition ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 26 THE SUPREME Court Friday set a two-weekdeadlinefortheCentral Vigilance Commission (CVC) to complete its probe against CBI Director Alok Verma who, along with Special Director Rakesh Asthana, was stripped of all responsibilities and sent on leave Tuesdaynight.JusticeAKPatnaik, a retired judge of the Supreme Court,willmonitortheCVCprobe. A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S K KaulandKMJoseph,whilehearing petitions by Verma and NGO Common Cause against the government move, also restrained interim CBI Director M Nageshwar Rao from taking any “policy decision(s) or any major decision(s)” and directed that he “will only perform the routine tasks that are essential to keep the CBI functional”. The bench made it clear that it will look into all decisions that Nageshwar Rao has taken till date,including“transferof investigations,changeof Investigating Officer(s) etc.” Verma was represented by senior advocate Fali S Nariman while senior advocate Dushyant Dave appeared for Common Cause. After hearing the lawyers of the petitioners, the bench directed that notices be issued in both the writ petitions and the matter be “listed immediately after the Diwali holidays i.e. on 12th November, 2018”. The bench declined to take up for hearing a petition filed by Asthana, saying “you missed the bus”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Soldier suffers head injury during stone-pelting in South Kashmir, dies EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 26 Edulji is part of the 2-member CoA moved in Colombo The President’s action has reunitedthetwoestrangedsides of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party which was torn apart when Sirisena emerged as the unexpected candidate for the 2014 presidential election, challenging Rajapakse, and going on to win the election. It also sets the stage for the 2019 presidential election. However,questionsaboutthe constitutionalityof Sirisena’sactions swirled. Wickremesinghe was quoted by Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror website saying “I am still the Prime Minister of this CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 TWO MONTHS after it arrested fiveprominentactivistsinsimultaneous multi-city raids, the Pune Police finally took custody of two of them, after a city court rejected their bail applications on Friday. The police picked up Arun Ferreira from Thane and VernonGonsalvesfromMumbai within hours of the court order. Sudha Bharadwaj, a Raipurbased activist, is likely to be taken into custody on Saturday. She is currently in Delhi. Two others who were arrested on August 28, New Delhi-based Gautam Navlakha and Hyderabad-based P Varavara Rao, have managed to receive CONTINUEDONPAGE12 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE A22-YEAR-OLDsoldier,whosufferedaheadinjuryinanincident of stone-peltinginAnantnagdistrict of South Kashmir on Thursday, succumbed to his injuries at the Base Hospital in Srinagar on Friday. Sepoy Rajendra Singh was part of a Quick Reaction Team that was providing security to a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) convoy on Thursday evening. “At around 1800 hrs, when the convoy was passing through the Anantnag bypass tri-junction near NH-44, few youths hurled stones at the vehicle. Sepoy Rajendra Singh was injured after being hit by a stone directly on the head,” said Col Rajendra Singh Rajesh Kalia, the Army spokesperson in Srinagar. He said Singh was provided first aid and rushed to 92 Base Hospital, but succumbed to his head injury on Friday. Singh, who hailed from Badena village in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand,hadjoinedtheArmy in2016.Heissurvivedbyhisparents, said the spokesperson. WithSingh’sdeath,threesoldiers have been killed in different parts of the Valley over the last two days. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Hafiz Saeed’s JuD, FIF are no longer in list of banned Pakistan outfits, says report SAJJAD HUSSAIN ISLAMABAD, OCTOBER 26 MUMBAI ATTACK mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s organisations, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa(JuD)andFalahi-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), are no longer on the list of banned outfits in Pakistan after the ordinance that proscribed them under a UN resolution has lapsed. According to a report in the Dawn newspaper, the new ImranKhan-ledgovernmentdid not extend the ban by former president Mamnoon Hussain, who had promulgated an Ordinance amending the AntiTerrorism Act, 1997, in February this year, to declare JuD and FIF as proscribed groups. Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mehmood Khan confirmed that Imran Khan govt has not extended the ban: report the ordinance has lapsed. At a court hearing Thursday on a petition filed by Saeed, his counselinformedthe Islamabad HighCourt(IHC)thatapresidential ordinance had lapsed and it had never been extended. Saeed had challenged the Ordinance under which his organisations had been banned for being on the watch list of the United Nations Security Council. Hecontendedthatheestablished JuD in 2002 and cut off all ties withthebannedLashkar-e-Taiba, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Security personnel outside the CBI office during the Congress protest in New Delhi on Friday. Prem Nath Pandey The third man: Sharma’s son and his web of firms in Asthana’s complaint DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & SATISH JHA NEW DELHI, AHMEDABAD, OCTOBER 26 CBI JOINT Director Arun Kumar Sharma’s son and daughter are on the board of directors of at leastfourcompanieswheretheir partners range from a person mentioned in the list of undesirable contact men and the relative of a caterer recently raided by the CBI to the wife of a CBI officer who worked closely with Sharma. These are the findings of an investigation by The Indian Express of Registrar of Companies (RoC) records and visits to the registered addresses of these companies. Sharma’s son Kushagra Sharma is a director in four companies while his daughter is a director in one BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY company. As many as four companies did not exist on their registered addresses while as many had not done any business since their incorporation. In the ongoing war between CBI Director Alok Verma and SpecialDirectorRakeshAsthana, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Govt agency flags off water scarcity alert for Maharashtra Groundwater levels plummet, 47% of the state set to face crisis SANDEEP ASHAR MUMBAI, OCTOBER 26 GROUNDWATER LEVELS have plummeted in Maharashtra this year. According to the latest study conducted by the state’s Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), nearly 71 per cent of the state showsadropof morethanameter in groundwater level in September, compared to a fiveyear average. Setting off alarm bells for the DevendraFadnavisgovernment, the GSDA study has forecast that 11,487 villages in 167 tehsils will face water scarcity in 2018-19. In other words, 47 per cent of Maharashtra (state has 353 tehsils) will have water crisis. Of the 11,487 villages, the study has found that groundwater levels have depleted by over 3 meters in 2,941 villages (114 tehsils). Accordingto theagency, these regions will face water scarcity from October itself, raising immediate concerns for the government, while the other vulnerable areas will feel the heat from January. While Maharashtra has witnessed deficient rainfall in 201819 and 38 per cent area of the state recorded an over 30 per cent deficit, compared to the normal average, GSDA officials have blamed lack of proper water management, uncontrolled extraction of water, water wastage through flow irrigation and damage to groundwater acquifers as the main reasons for the sharp decline. Ironically, replenishment of groundwater levels has been identified as one of the objectives of the state government’s CONTINUEDONPAGE12 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR 24 YEARS AFTER THEIR MURDER , THEY MAY NOW REST IN PEACE ABHISHEK SAHA TINSUKIA, OCTOBER 26 “WE — PRABIN, Akhil, Pradip, DebojitandBhaben—aresaying that we five unarmed and innocent youths lie here as witnesses... When you return from here tell everyone that we sacrificed our lives in the hope of a beautiful future of Assam.” So reads a dirge in Assamese on a signboard erected at the memorial of the five men — Prabin Sonowal (29), Pradip Dutta (33), Debojit Biswas (30), Akhil Sonowal (36), Bhaben Moran(35)—killedincoldblood after being picked up from their homes for questioning by the Army in Assam’s Tinsukia district in February 1994. Twenty-four years later, on October 13, 2018, an Army court martialruledinfavourof thevictims and sentenced seven Armymen, including a Major General and two Colonels, to life imprisonment for the extra-judicial killings. The order awaits clearance from higher Army authorities, whichmight take twothree months, according to defence officials. The memorial — adjacent to a National Highway at Dangari and popularly referred to as ‘Panch Swahid Memorial’ (Five Martyrs Memorial) — was erected by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) soon afterfivebodieswerecrematedtogether on February 24, 1994, at that spot, attended by thousands. The families of the five men maintain they had nothing to do with the United Liberation Front of Assam(ULFA)—asclaimedby the Army — or with any terror activities. Sonowal was a prominent youth leader associated with AASU while Debojit, Pradip and Akhil were small-time contractors associated with the tea gardens. Moran was a farmer From left: The three survivors, Prakash Sharma, Gunin Hazarika and Moteshwar Moran and ran a small tea shop by the highway. For the victims’ families, the story began on February 15, 1994, when Rameshwar Singh, the general manager of the Assam Frontier Tea Estate — a conglomerate which had17 gardensunderit—wasshotdeadby suspected militants outside his home at a garden in Talap. The killing came in the peak of separatist insurgency by the ULFA andextensiveanti-militancyoperations by Indian forces. According to Prabin Dutta, a brother of Pradip Dutta, Major General A K Lal - at that time a commandingofficerof thearmy posted in Tinsukia district - was Singh’s brother-in-law and he decided to go after the killers. Lal is the senior-most officer accused in the case. On the intervening night of February 17-18, at 1.30am, PradipDuttawaspickedupfrom his house in the nearby Khoubong tea garden by ten men wearing Army uniforms. “We will return him after questioning, the soldiers had said,” says Prabin Dutta, who is now in his 50s. In subsequent raids in and around Talap, on February 17 and 18 (both during the day and atnight),atleasteightotherper- sonswereallegedlypickedupby Army soldiers offering similar assurances of release. Of the nine, four were released and the bodies of five were recovered. Prabin Dutta had visited a nearby Army camp to ask if his brother was detained there on the morning of February 18, 1994. He was told his brother wasbeingquestionedinsideand would be let off soon. Similarly, afterwaitingfor twodaysfor her husband Bhaben Moran to return, Lileshwari Moran, now in her 50s, visited the camp on February 21 with other women from the area. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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