LATE CITY, 24 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `5.00 ● SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS 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 A TOPReserve Bank of India (RBI) official on Friday warned that “governments that do not respect central bank independence will sooner or later incur the wrath of financial markets, ignite economic fire, and come to rue the day they undermined an important 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 to remain accountable and independent when it is under government pressure,” he said. Delivering the A D Shroff Memorial Lecture in Mumbai Friday, Acharya listed out three “important pockets of persistent weakness” in maintaining the independence of the RBI. 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 transfer surpluses to the government; 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 central bank that is 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 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE 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 12 THE EDITORIAL PAGE India-Japan ties: East meets East By ARUN PRAKASH 10 WORLD MAN SUSPECTED OF SENDING EXPLOSIVES TO TRUMP CRITICS 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? INSIDE ● BJP, JD(U) WILL CONTEST EQUAL NUMBER OF SEATS IN BIHAR: AMIT SHAH P 8 ● MoD TWEET SLAMS ARMY OFFICERS, PAGE 5 Sudden regime change in Lanka: Rajapakse is back, now as PM NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN & ARUN JANARDHANAN CHANDIGARH, CHENNAI, OCTOBER 26 SRI LANKAwas in turmoil Friday 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 CEO of BCCI makes women uncomfortable, must go: Diana Edulji Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. But Wickremesinghe called the move “illegal and unconstitutional” and said he would prove his majority in Parliament. 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 United People’s Freedom Alliance announced it was leaving the SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 26 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, a former India skipper, 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, Edulji said: “As a woman in the CoA, it was my moral duty to ask for the resignation because my women’s team is there, my women support staffis there, and there are women staff working in BCCI. He (Johri) will roam around freely in the office. What message are we sending to these girls? How can I sit in the meeting with him? I can’t look in his eyes. You can’t say now he can’t sit 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 ANOTHER REPORT PAGE 7 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, questions about the constitutionality of Sirisena’s actions swirled. Wickremesinghe was quoted by Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror website saying “I am still the Prime Minister of this CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Soldier suffers head injury during stone-pelting in South Kashmir, dies EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Edulji is part of the 2-member CoA National Unity Government with Wickremesinghe’s United National Party. The government had been tottering ever since Rajapakse’s party emerged victorious in local elections earlier this year. Multiple sources said Wickremesinghe was in Galle when Sirisena and Rajapakse moved in Colombo The President’s action has reunited the two estranged sides of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party which was torn apart when THE SUPREME Court Friday set a two-week deadline for the Central 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 Tuesday night. Justice A K Patnaik, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, will monitor the CVC probe. A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, while hearing 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 “transfer of investigations, change of Investigating Officer(s) etc.” Verma was represented by senior advocate Fali S Nariman, and Common Cause by senior advocate Dushyant Dave. 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 A 22-YEAR-OLDsoldier, who suffered a head injury in an incident of stone-pelting in Anantnag district 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, had joined the Army in 2016. He is survived by his parents, said the spokesperson. With Singh’s death, three soldiers 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) and Falahi-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 Imran Khan-led government did 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 counsel informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that a presidential 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. He contended that he established JuD in 2002 and cut off all ties with the banned Lashkar-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 BUSINESS AS USUAL NEW DELHI, AHMEDABAD, OCTOBER 26 BY UNNY CBI JOINT Director Arun Kumar Sharma’s son and daughter are on the board of directors of at least four companies where their 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 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 Special Director Rakesh Asthana, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 1st case of Zika confirmed day after patient’s discharge from hospital EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE AHMEDABAD, OCTOBER 26 THE FIRST confirmed case of Zika virus was reported in Ahmedabad on Friday. The 35-year-old woman, a resident of Amraiwadi in Ahmedabad, was discharged from the hospital on Thursday. Addressing a press conference in Gandhinagar, health commissioner Jayanti Ravi said that the woman was suspected to be suffering from the disease on October 22. The confirmed test reports, she said, were received today. “One confirmed case of Zika virus has been reported from Ahmedabad. The case of a female was suspected on October 22 for which the sample report has been tested positive today,” she said. On why the case was reported after the patient has been discharged, Ravi said, “We cannot say anything until we get confirmation, which we received today. But we decided not to wait for the test reports and started the surveillance in Ahmedabad.” The woman had initially complained of stomach ache on October 5. A diagnosis at the BJ Medical College had revealed uterus fibroid, for which she was treated at the hospital. “During this stay at the hospital, she developed fever on October 9. She was tested for malaria and dengue. Later, her blood sample was sent to the hospital’s lab to be tested for Zika virus. Once it tested positive, it was sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune for confirmation which confirmed presence of Zika virus,” a senior health official revealed. Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra, who was also present at the press conference, said, “I got the confirmation two hours back. The AMC teams have undertaken thorough surveillance in the last few days, which will continue in the coming days as well.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR 24 YEARS AFTER THEIR MURDER , THEY MAY NOW REST IN PEACE ABHISHEK SAHA TINSUKIA, OCTOBER 26 “WE — PRABIN, Akhil, Pradip, Debojit and Bhaben — are saying 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) — killed in cold blood 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 martial ruled in favour of the victims 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, which might 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 after five bodies were cremated together 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) — as claimed by 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 had 17 gardens under it — was shot dead by suspected militants outside his home at a garden in Talap. The killing came in the peak of separatist insurgency by the ULFA and extensive anti-militancy operations by Indian forces. According to Prabin Dutta, a brother of Pradip Dutta, Major General A K Lal - at that time a commanding officer of the army 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, Pradip Dutta was picked up from 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 at night), at least eight other per- sons were allegedly picked up by 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 was being questioned inside and would be let off soon. Similarly, after waiting for two days for 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
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.