DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2018, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES `4.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 PARLIAMENTARY POLLS ON DECEMBER 30 Bangladesh battlelines drawn in run-up to elections amid violence, crackdown Rivals accuse each other of attacks; minorities on guard PNB resolves: National anthem will be played at every AGM SUNNY VERMA EXPRESSIN DHAKA SHUBHAJIT ROY DECEMBER 25 FIVE DAYS before Bangladesh goes to polls, the battlelines are drawn between the ruling Awami League and the main St Mary’s Cathedral in Dhaka on Tuesday. Shubhajit Roy NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 25 THE EDITORIAL PAGE ‘TRANSFORMATION THROUGH TRANSPORTATION’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the Bogibeel Bridge, the country’s longest rail-road bridge, over the Brahmaputra river in Assam, on Tuesday. ANI REPORTS, PAGES 5, 6 SANDEEP DWIVEDI GUJARAT BUS WITH STUDENTS SKIDS, CONDUCTOR DEAD, 25 KIDS HURT PAGE 4 PAGE 1 ANCHOR LALMANI VERMA Ashish Patel, Apna Dal (S) working president NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 25 DAYS AFTER settling disquiet within the NDA in Bihar, the ruling BJP stared at fresh rumblings in its alliance in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh with its junior partner, Apna Dal (S), going public with its frustration with the BJP and demanding a “respectable number” of seats in the Lok Sabha elections. “In the present situation in UP, workers of all three NDA constituents are disappointed. No one is paying heed to voices of alliance partners. MLAs and ministers too have the same anger. The BJP central leadership should rectify this situation, otherwise the NDA will suffer maximum loss in UP,” Apna Dal (S) national working president Ashish Patel told The Indian Express on Tuesday. Apna Dal won both the seats it contested in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in alliance with BJP. Patel, elected to the UP Legislative Council earlier this year, is married to the party’s MP from Mirzapur, Anupriya Patel, who is also Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare in the Narendra Modi government. Patel’s outburst comes days after another junior partner of the BJP — the LJP in Bihar — had gone public with its resentment after BJP lost the elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh to the Congress earlier this month. “NDA should take a lesson from the defeats in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Tri-state defeat gives junior allies more voice THE BJP’S tri-state defeat has given space to its junior partners. Long muted, they are finding their voice. More so in Uttar Pradesh where the proposed SP-BSP alliance has set off talk of fresh political realignments. It’s this state, where NDA has 73 seats, that holds the key to 2019. Sensing that the BJP is on the backfoot, Apna Dal and SBSP are flexing muscles to extract a commitment from the BJP for their share of seats. BY SANJAY SRIVASTAVA PAGE 8 ‘Will leave no stone unturned for Olympics hopes’ NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 25 2018 Nov 6,676.72 -50% Import of rough diamonds Nov ,17 12,637.98 FORTY-THREE-year-old Dinesh Patel, a diamond polisher in Surat, sold off his car last month, just a month after Diwali. He and his wife are now scouting for an “affordable school” to send their two children from the next academic year. The last few months have been difficult for Patel, who had migrated to the diamond hub from rural Junagadh in search for livelihood in 1991. Having studied up to Class 10, he started working in a diamond factory and trained himself in diamond cutting and polishing. He started with Rs 800 monthly salary that slowly rose to Rs 1 lakh per month, two years ago. Patel’s job is to cut and polish high quality diamonds and to check the work of other artisans in the factory that employs over 500 polishers. As his salary increased, Patel DECLINING DEMAND Oct 7,290.04 KAMAAL SAIYED Sep 9,052.45 ‘ALL ALONE’ IN WHITE HOUSE, TRUMP SAYS SHUTDOWN WON’T END UNTIL WALL CLEARED PAGE 18 1984 RIOTS: A CITY’S SCARS Apna Dal (S) chief says its leaders not invited to CM and PM’s functions Caught ordering With drop in demand After javelin coach red-flags delays, shootout, Karnataka and salary cuts, Surat minister Rathore gives green signal CM rushes to rewrite diamond hub fears Told officials to ‘smoke out’ killers of JD(S) worker, says Kumaraswamy 2008 recession repeat SURAT, DECEMBER 25 WORLD CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BY UNNY Aug 6,256.56 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 the BNP. It’s the 11th Parliamentary elections in the country’s history and the contest is fierce this time between the Awami League, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and main Opposition Jatiyo Oikyo Front (National United Front) led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, whose leader Khaleda Zia is in jail on corruption charges. “Monday was the most violent day. Police and ruling party cadres attacked the rallies and campaigns of the Opposition,” BUSINESS AS USUAL July 11,440.30 STATE-OWNED Punjab National Bank, wracked by the Nirav Modi scam, has decided that the national anthem will be sung at every Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), usually held to seek shareholders’ approval on key decisions. This idea was proposed by a shareholder of the bank at its last AGM and was approved by PNB’s Non-Executive Chairman Sunil Mehta, who chaired the meeting. Mehta informed the meeting held on September 18, 2018, that the national anthem will be sung at every AGM/EGM of the bank. The Securities and Exchange Board of India and Reserve Bank of India rules do not require companies or banks to play the national anthem at AGMs and EGMs. The September 18 AGM of PNB was held to adopt the audited balance sheet and profit and loss account of the bank for year ended March 31, 2018. The other two decisions taken by the AGM were to allot up to 10 crore equity shares to employees under the Employee Stock Purchase Scheme, and to issue shares to the government on a preferential basis to raise equity of Rs 2,816 crore. Later, the government also approved another tranche of Rs 5,431 crore of capital infusion in PNB. “It’s not very common but many companies do play the national anthem at the start or at the end of important events. I have been to many such corporate and government events. Why should anyone have a problem with playing the national anthem in the corporate sector?” said Prithvi Haldea, Founder Chairman of PRIME Database. Opposition alliance over growing incidents of violence and denial of permission for a campaign rally. On Tuesday, the Opposition stormed out of a meeting with the Bangladesh Election Commission and later alleged that the panel was “biased”. The Opposition alliance is also upset at the denial of permission for them to hold a rally in Dhaka on December 27. Meanwhile, the Awami League too approached the poll panel to complain that their workers were being targeted by Snubbed and sulking, BJP’s junior partners in UP ask for more Figures in Rs crore Source: GJPEC bought a house on loan two years ago for which he pays a monthly installment of Rs 50,000. But last August, he was shocked to find that his salary of Rs 1.05 lakh has been slashed to Rs 68,000 — a cut of 35 per cent. When Patel inquired, he learnt that the company owner CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 UNION SPORTS Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has assured all support to India’s brightest Olympics prospect, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, after his German coach Uwe Hohn complained of “very bad support” from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) that has EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE The Indian Express report on December 23 allegedly led to delays in delivery of equipment, clearance for foreign trips and recruitment of support staff. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Who will clean Dal Lake? Twitter spat heats up in Srinagar over Army role BASHAARAT MASOOD SRINAGAR, DECEMBER 25 THE FRINGES of Dal Lake have started freezing with Srinagar in the grip of a severe cold wave, but a political war of tweets between the local civic body’s top two representatives over who will clean up the iconic water body is heating up. Two days after Srinagar’s Deputy Mayor thanked the Army for volunteering to clean The Dal Lake is partially frozen on Tuesday. PTI the lake, the Mayor has said that it is “not the job” of soldiers to “venture into civil governance domains”. Both have been newly elected to their posts in the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), with Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu affiliated to the Sajad Lone-led People’s Conference and his deputy Sheikh Mohammad Imran backed by the Congress. On Sunday, the Deputy Mayor posted pictures on his official Twitter handle of him with CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, BENGALURU DECEMBER 25 KARNATAKA CHIEF Minister H D Kumaraswamy is at the centre of a political storm after being caught on camera asking government officials to “mercilessly shootout” men allegedly involved in killing a JD(S) worker in Mandya district on Monday. After his remarks drew sharp criticism from the Opposition, Kumaraswamy said it was an “emotional outburst” and he had clarified to officials that he wanted the police to “smoke out” the perpetrators and not shoot them. In a video that surfaced on social media, Kumaraswamy, speaking to the Mandya Superintendent of Police, says: “I don’t know how you will handle it. I am disappointed actually... he was a very good man... Mercilessly shootout the people involved in such activities... don’t ‘Emotional outburst... not an order as a Chief Minister’ worry about it... I don’t care about the consequences.” The Chief Minister was referring to the murder of JD(S) worker Honnalagere Prakash (50) by four motorcycle-borne assailants in Mandya. Prakash, who was travelling in his car, was allegedly stopped on the highway and hacked to death at around 4.30 pm. Passers-by took Prakash to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead. Speaking to The Indian Express, H D Dinesh, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘Someone Was Jealous, Burnt Her School Bag And Books ANKITA DWIVEDI JOHRI AGRA, DECEMBER 25 THERE IS a large pile of books in a corner of her home. But, they don’t belong to the 15-year-old Dalit student who was set ablaze in Agra a week ago by two motorcycle-borne men near her village. “She was coming back from school that day... They burnt her school bag and books too,” says her mother, staring at her daughter’s name scribbled on a wall. “These books belong to her sister.” Five days after the girl died at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, Agra Police Monday arrested two men for the murder. The police also claim her 25-year-old cousin was the “mastermind” behind her killing — he later committed suicide. The two men arrested — both carpenters — allegedly helped the cousin kill the girl around 1.30 pm on December 18 while she was cycling back home. Hours after the Class X student’s death on December 20, her cousin committed suicide by consuming poison at his tworoom house in the same village. The two men arrested are her cousin’s relatives, said police. “Her cousin liked her, but she had been rejecting his advances. He wanted to teach her a lesson and so he colluded with his relatives to kill her. It was a meticulously planned murder. The two men arrested have admitted to it,” says Amit Pathak, SSP, Agra. According to police, her cousin wore a helmet to cover his face and had gloves on when he poured petrol over the girl and set her aflame. One of the two men arrested was with him on the motorcycle and the other patrolled the area on another bike to keep watch, police said adding that her cousin had promised both men Rs 15,000. The police statement says “letters written by her cousin, Police have been deployed in the village in Agra. Gajendra Yadav WhatsApp chats, and a picture of the victim at the site of the crime on his phone from a few days ago” helped crack the case. At the girl’s village, her mother struggles to respond to questions. “I am not sure why she was killed. Maybe someone was jealous of her... we are educating all our children, many people did not like that,” she says, looking away from the cameras. The girl was the second of five children and the family lives in the Jatav section of the village. Of the nearly 2,000 residents of the village, about 200 are Dalits — Jats form the majority. On a shelf in the room, framed photographs of the girl lie amid rolled-up clothes. In one picture, she has her hair in a braid; in another, taken at a temple, she is wearing a ‘jai mata di’ bandana around her head. Nearby, there is a trophy that she won in a “skill” competition. “Sarkar bolti hai Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, par yahan hamari betiyan heen asurakshit hain (The government slogan is ‘protect your daughters, educate your daughters’ but it’s our daughters who are not safe here),” says the girl’s elder sister. The family does not buy the police’s theory that her cousin killed her. “They were brother and sister. They are being linked to bury the case,” says the sister. “One can never tell what’s happening in the lives of our children. We don’t know what our sons are up to,” the mother adds. The girl’s father is away to meet the police and works at a shoe factory in Agra city earning Rs 10,000 a month. A few doors away is the home of her cousin and alleged killer. “You can ask the entire village. He was a good boy. He had completed his BEd and was doing a part-time job. The police held him for two days. When he came home on December 20, he CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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