LATE CITY, 20 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE IMRAN KHAN’S FIRST BILATERAL VISIT TO CHINA Support Pakistan’s ‘quest for peace through dialogue’ with India: China Joint statement: China supports Pakistan’s engagement with NSG BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY ZEESHAN SHAIKH & SHUBHAJIT ROY BEIJING, NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 4 IN A joint statement issued Sunday after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first bilateral visit to China, Beijing said that it “appreciates Pakistan’s quest for peace” with India and supported the settlement of “outstanding disputes between the two countries”. The statement issued in Beijing after Khan’s talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, said: “China appreciates Pakistan’s quest for peace through dialogue, cooperation and negotiation, on the basis of mutual respect and equality, and supports Pakistan’s efforts for improvement of PakistanIndia relations and for settlement of outstanding disputes between the two countries.” After Khan met the Chinese leadership for the first time, the joint statement also expressed support for Pakistan’s engagement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), while Beijing con- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan with China’s Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Reuters tinues to block India’s bid in becoming a member of the NSG — the 48-member elite club, which controls global nuclear trade. Stating that China appreciated steps taken by Pakistan in strengthening the global nonproliferation regime, the joint statement said: “In this context, China supports Pakistan’s engagement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group and welcomes its adherence of NSG Guidelines.” The joint statement said that it was important to resolve all outstanding disputes in the region through dialogue. Without naming India, the statement said that countries should refrain from developing relations targeting any third country, while Islamabad called for a greater role for Beijing at SAARC. “Both sides believe that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 To save the country, behen-beti, culture, bring back BJP: Sants LALMANI VERMA NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 4 AFTER TWO days of deliberations dominated by the demand for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti Sunday asked the union government to bring an ordinance or a law to build the temple. The sadhus also appealed to followers and to Hindus in general to ensure that the Narendra Modi government returns to power in 2019. People should vote for those who have faith in “cow, Ganga, Geeta, Gayatri and Govind”, they said. The Sant Samiti announced three more “dharma sabhas” — in Ayodhya, Nagpur, and Bengaluru — on November 25, and a larger Real Kashmir footballers train at the TRC Turf Ground in Srinagar Sunday. They face Churchill Brothers Tuesday. Mihir Vasavda SRINAGAR, NOVEMBER 4 LALMANI VERMA NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 4 FROM CREATING 13,500 WhatsApp groups to gathering information on around 3 crore beneficiaries of government schemes, from meeting all district community leaders to the booth-wise verification of voters, the BJP has detailed a 109point public outreach programme for Uttar Pradesh before the Lok Sabha polls scheduled for 2019. Conscious of the political realignment in UP, the BJP has planned events and programmes up to February 28, 2019, under the overarching slogan: “Fir ek bar, Modi Sarkar”. The detailed plan comes in the back- drop of a string of electoral setbacks for the BJP, particularly the three bypolls in Gorakhpur, Phulpur, and Kairana earlier this year after the party’s political adversaries, the SP, BSP and RLD joined hands. UP holds particular significance for BJP’s re-election bid in 2019 given the state’s 80 Lok Sabha seats. In 2014, the party had won 71 seats, and its ally Apna Dal had won two. Then, the opposition SP and BSP in the state had contested the polls separately. Under the detailed plan for UP, specific programs and tasks have been assigned to state, district, assembly, sector, and booth units for each of the BJP’s seven front organisations — women, NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 4 ■ October 19, 6.08 pm: “Samant bhaiya was so angry... this idiot, why didn’t he mention to you that CBI chaps have called.” ■ October 20, 10.10 am: “...Papa, this whole matter has happened because of Asthana’s name. Bhaiya must have got that done... so probably, money may have been exchanged there.” ■ October 20, 10.10 am: “...this has to be given to Asthana and a lot of pressure is coming on me from there, that it has to be given.” THE EDITORIAL PAGE MIHIR VASAVDA Eye on SP-BSP, BJP’s big poll push for UP in 2019 SUSHANT SINGH 10 As snow falls in Srinagar, Real Kashmir warms up to first I-League game in J&K Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with sadhus at the Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti meeting in New Delhi, Sunday. Renuka Puri Transcripts point to link between key players in bribe case against Asthana THESE ARE some of the key excerpts from transcripts of purported conversations among those allegedly linked to the case of bribery levelled against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana by the agency in its FIR filed on October 15. Parts of these transcripts were included in the writ petition filed in the Supreme Court congregation of sadhus in Delhi on December 9. From December 18 onwards, 500 more such meetings would be held across the country, they said. Reading from the “dharmadesh” of sants on various issues, Samiti head Hansdevacharya said, “Agar jeevit rehna hai, math-mandir bachana hai, behen-beti bachani hai, sanskriti aur sanskar bachana hai to iss sarkar ko dobara se laana hai (If we have to protect our lives, temples and maths, daughters and sisters, culture and tradition, then this government must be brought back).” The sants had expectations fom the current government, which no other government could fulfill, he said. “Only this CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘Happened because of Asthana name... Money may have been exchanged’ “MUMBAI KA fashion aur Kashmir ka mausam... kab bigdega kisiko pata nahin (Mumbai’s fashion and Kashmir’s weather... no one can tell when they will change),” says Gulzar Ahmed with awe and cynicism in equal measure. In his 50s, Ahmed takes a seat behind the goalpost of the TRC Turf Ground with his hands tucked inside the pheran, a beedi between his lips. He has never 4 HARDLOOK missed a football match at any venue in Srinagar, he says. And now, he is looking forward to Tuesday, when home debutants Real Kashmir take on former champions Churchill Brothers in the first I-League match to be played in Jammu & Kashmir. “It hasn’t snowed here in November for as long as I can remember. But just before such a big match, the weather’s gone bad. Inshallah, the sun will be out and we can have a good contest,” he says. It’s almost fateful that a club born out of nature’s fury should be tested by the elements on the eve of its biggest match. Real Kashmir is a club steeped in symbolism, with team owner Shamim Mehraj, a Muslim, and his partner Sandeep Chattoo, a Kashmiri Pandit, combining to give a strife-torn community something to build on after the devastating floods of 2014. The team’s Scottish coach, David Robertson, snubbed offers from China and other countries to lead this bunch of rookies to the second division title in only Changes govt made this procurement season to avoid rows CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 on October 30 by CBI DySP Ajay Kumar Bassi, who was the investigating officer in the Asthana bribery case. Bassi had moved the Supreme Court to seek quashing of his transfer to Port Blair on October 23, when two of the CBI’s top officers — Director Alok Kumar Verma and Asthana — were sent on leave after levelling serious allegations against each other. On October 31, The Indian Express had reported on a key CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Fuel prices: A juggler’s art BY VIKRAM S MEHTA Maneka slams killing of tigress, targets Maharashtra minister SHALINI NAIR NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 4 UNION WOMEN AND Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has lashed out at her party colleague, Maharashtra Minister for Environment and Forests Sudhir Mungantiwar, over what she termed as the “ghastly murder” of the maneater tigress Avni (T1) in Yavatmal on Friday night. Maneka said that she would pursue the issue “legally, criminally as well as politically”. “I will be writing to CM Maharashtra to take strong action in this matter,” she said. In a series of tweets and a press statement targetting Mungantiwar on Sunday, Activists protest in Mumbai against the killing of the tigress in Yavatmal. Dilip Kagda Maneka wrote: “I am deeply saddened by the way the tigress Avni has been murdered by a professional anti-national killer at the behest of the minister in Yavatmal, Maharashtra. It is nothing but a straight case of crime. Despite requests from his CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In Chhattisgarh hills, tribals whom no party remembers DECISION 2018 DIPANKAR GHOSE GOVINDPUR, NOVEMBER 4 GROUND (NUT) REPORT their second year. And at every step, they have had to overcome multiple hurdles. Last month, the final of an invitational tournament between Real Kashmir and Minerva at this ground had to be cancelled due to curfew in the city. On Sunday, the weather has brought Srinagar to a standstill. But looking up at the snow that offers a dramatic backdrop to the landmark occasion, Mehraj says, “We have seen a lot worse than this.” Chattoo chips in: “We will Parts of transcripts in CBI officer A K Bassi’s petition before Supreme Court UNDER A blazing sun one recent afternoon, Brij Lal, in his late 30s, led three other men lugging spades and axes up a steep hill in North Chhattisgarh’s Ambikapur district. A few years ago, the government built a check dam down in the valley. Brij Lal and the others are digging a narrow, winding canal, hoping to somehow raise the water from the dam to their fields. CHHATTISGARH NOVEMBER 12 & 20 FULL COVERAGE, PAGE 8 “Our fields are on the hills; the stop dam they have built is at the bottom. Without the canal, water will not reach our fields,” Brij Lal said. The government should have thought of this, he says — they’d even told the government officials supervising the work on the dam. But no one listened. “So we are doing this ourselves.” Brij Lal is a Pahadi Korva, a “Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group” (PVTG), so designated because of their abysmally low development indices. There are 75 PVTGs — earlier known as “primitive tribes” — in India; seven of them live in Chhattisgarh. The Pahadi Korvas largely inhabit remote hilltops in four ‘There are so few Pahadi Korvas, nobody cares.’ Dipankar Ghose CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR IN HARYANA, COUPLES BRIDGE CASTE DIVIDE — WITH A LITTLE GOVT HELP 585 inter-caste marriages in 6 months since April with one partner from SC community; state government increases aid to Rs 2.5 lakh SUKHBIR SIWACH KAITHAL (HARYANA), NOVEMBER 4 WHEN NARESH and Poonam decided to get married in Chandigarh last year, they feared the worst. Naresh, an electrician, hails from the Jat community and Poonam belongs to an SC family. And in the caste-riven social landscape of Haryana, both knew their marriage could end in isolation — or tragedy. TRACKING CHANGE» EVERY MONDAY For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at email@example.com Today, both look back on that decision with pride — and a sigh of relief. “My parents have accepted our marriage, we hope that we will win approval of her BREAKING WALLS Year parents also,” says Naresh, 30, who is now the “happy father” of a two-month-old boy. Naresh and Poonam represent a new surge of change — and hope — in Haryana for couples who cross caste barriers and choose to reaffirm their love for each other by tying the knot. Official figures show that 608 inter-caste marriages were conducted in 2017-18 in which at least one partner was from an SC community — more than a twofold jump from 249 in 2014-15. 2014-15 Marriages* 249 2015-16 359 2016-17 465 2017-18 608 2018-19** 585 * One partner hails from SC community **April 1-September 30, 2018 Naresh with Poonam at their home in Kharak Pandwa village of Kaithal in Haryana. Sukhbir Siwach This year, the figures show, 585 such marriages took place in just six months between April 1 and September 30. “We were sure our parents won’t accept this marriage. But we had made a promise to each other, that had be fulfilled,” says Naresh, who runs his own shop in Kaithal district’s Kharak Pandwa village, where around half the population of 10,000 is from his community. “This shows that the social outlook is changing, and this is a progressive change,” says Ranbir Singh, former Dean, Social Sciences Department, Kurukshetra University. According to the state government, the shift is being driven to an extent by the increase in benefits for inter-caste marriages under the Mukhyamantri Samajik Samrasta Antarjatiya Vivah Shagun Yojana. “In the first year of our government, we increased financial aid for such couples to Rs 1.01 lakh from Rs 50,000 earlier. This year, this aid was increased to Rs 2.5 lakh. We have also extended the time limit from one to three years for couples to avail benefits under this scheme,” says Krishan Kumar Bedi, Haryana Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes. Anil Kumar, Principal Secretary, Haryana Welfare of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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