DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2018, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 22 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 MUSLIM WOMEN (PROTECTION OF RIGHTS ON MARRIAGE) BILL Citing justice, Govt gets Triple Talaq Bill through Lok Sabha, Opp objects Will empower Muslim women, says Law Minister; seeks to criminalise civil wrong, says Opposition EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 27 Maharashtra govt to enforce 7th pay panel suggestions from January 1 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, DECEMBER 27 THE STATE government on Thursday approved the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commissionrecommendations, giving a salary hike to over 20.5 lakh employees and five lakh pensioners from January 1, 2019. The arrears will be given to employeeswithretrospectiveeffect from January 2016. While therevisedsalarywillamountto Rs 14,000 crore annually, the totalarrearsfrom2016to2018will cost the government Rs 38,655 crore. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting held in Mumbai. The state will witness Lok Sabha and Assembly polls next year. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who chaired the Cabinet meeting, said: “The government is committed to implementing the Seventh Pay Commission in the larger interest of the employees. Notwithstanding the financial implications, the government has decided to consider all the recommendations of the commission.” Speaking to mediapersons, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said: “The arrears of Rs 38,655 crore will be paid to the employees in equal instalments for the next five financial years, beginning 2019-20. It workstoRs7,731croreperyear.” However, the government has laid down a condition. The arrears would be credited in the provident fund (PF) of the employees every year for the next five years. At the same time, the governmenthasunderlinedthat the arrears credited to PF cannot be withdrawn for at least two years. Anofficialinthefinanceministry said, “It is not possible to raise Rs 38,655 crore in one instalment. Therefore, it has been staggered over the next five years. The condition of disallowing individuals to withdraw the arrears for at least two years is to check spending.” Theincreaseinsalaryfor20.5 lakh employees works out to an average hike of 23 per cent, the finance minister said. The government has also decided to revise the minimum salary of CONTINUEDONPAGE2 INSIDE AMIDHEATEDprotestsfromthe Opposition,includingawalkout, andadetermineddefencebythe government, the amended TripleTalaqBill,whichmandates imprisonment for violators, was passed in the Lok Sabha Thursday. While the Opposition described provisions in the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill as “unconstitutional” and demanded that it be referred to a select committee, the government argued that the legislation aimed to empower and ensure justice for Muslim women. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who brought the amended Bill that seeks imprisonment for Muslim men who resort to the practice of instant divorce, asked the Opposition not to weigh it “on the scales of politics”asitwasabout“humanity and justice”. Prasad also rejected the Opposition’s demand to send thelegislationtoaParliamentary panel,sayingmostof thesuggestions from MPs were incorporated in the amended Bill. However, echoing the Mufti Suhail and his wife moved to this house in Amroha about a month ago. Gajendra Yadav RELATEDREPORT,PAGE11 Billsetto facehurdle inRajya Sabha Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad after the Bill was passed, on Thursday. Anil Sharma OPP’S OBJECTIONS ■ Can’t criminalise civil wrong ■ No need for separate law after SC order ■ Violates Constitutional rights of faith, belief ■ Personal laws protected under Article 25 ■ Why such a law only for Muslims? ■ Gender justice not motive but politics 5 killed in fire in Mumbai high-rise, search still on GEHLOT GETS FINANCE, HOME; PILOT PWD, RURAL DEVELOPMENT PAGE 10 THE EDITORIAL PAGE SAFETY NETOF THEFUTURE BY PRANAB BARDHAN PAGE 12 Fire was reported in a 16-storey building in Chembur. Express EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, DECEMBER 27 FIVE PERSONS were killed and two sustained injuries after a major fire broke out in a highrise residential building at Chembur (West) in Mumbai on Thursday evening. Couple Sunita Joshi (72) and Bhalchandra Joshi (72), Suman ShrinivasJoshi(83),SarlaGangar (52) and her mother-in-law Laxmiben Gangar (86) were declared brought dead at Rajawadi Hospital, said civic officials. Suman is the mother of senior InspectorSanjayJoshiof Vikhroli police. The injured — Shrinivas Joshi CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD IN IRAQ, TRUMP SAYS U.S. CAN’T CONTINUE TO BE POLICEMAN P 14 First time after 2013 freeze, Pak gets space at Gujarat summit AVINASH NAIR AHMEDABAD, DECEMBER 27 FOR THE first time since 2013, business delegations from Pakistan will be attending the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit scheduled to be held this time from January 18-20, 2019, the organisers confirmed. According to records reviewed by The Indian Express, at least seven delegations from different regions of Pakistan are expected to take part, making it the largest contingent ever from the country at the summit. They are among the 52 delegations representing commerce and trade bodies from various countries who have confirmed PAGE 1 ANCHOR their participation for the Global Conclave of International Chambers, which is one of the events at the summit. In 2013, a 22-member delegation from Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry had arrived for the summit and attended a pre-event buyer-seller meet on January 9-10. However, with bilateral tensions rising following the killing of two Indian soldiers in a ceasefire violation at the Mendhar sector of J&K’s PoonchonJanuary8,thedelegation left without attending the main summit on January 12-13. At the time, the state government cited visa clearances as a reasonfortheearlydepartureand said that most members had visas only for Ahmedabad while the main event was held in Gandhinagar. Since then, two summits have gone by without anyrepresentationfromPakistan. When contacted, state governmentofficialsrefusedtocomment on the issue. But official documents show that Pakistan will be represented by two delegationsfromFaisalabad,andone each from Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi, Punjab province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. D Thara, vice-chairperson and managing director of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), told reporters that Pakistan was one of thecountriesfromwhererepresentatives of trade chambers have been invited. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 triple talaq can only be filed by the victim (wife) or her blood relations, and that a magistrate can grant bail with certain terms and conditions. OnThursday,Prasadalsosaid that the Bill has made the offence compoundable, meaning that the case can be withdrawn if themanandhisestrangedwife reach a compromise. He said the Parliament had unanimously supported laws aimed at giving CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FULL COVERAGE PAGE 9 Stung on tape, UP Govt orders graft probe in 3 Ministries EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE LUCKNOW, DECEMBER 27 UP CHIEF Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered the suspension of three state secretariat employees working as personal secretaries to his government’s ministers after they werepurportedlyshownnegotiating bribes in exchange for contracts and official postings in a sting operation conducted by ABP News channel. Thesting shows thepersonal secretaries of Minister for Backward Class Welfare Om Prakash Rajbhar, Minister of State for Mining, Excise and ProhibitionArchanaPandey,and Minister of State for Basic, SecondaryandHigherEducation Sandeep Singh purportedly negotiating deals linked to mining contracts, supply of school books, and transfers. A statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office said he has also ordered FIRs to be filed against the three employees and the formation of a Special InvestigatingTeam(SIT)toinvestigate the incident. The SIT, under ADG (Lucknow Zone) Rajiv Krishna, has been asked to immediatelybeginitsprobeand submit a report within 10 days, it said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters journalist denied entry back into India RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 27 A PULITZER Prize-winning journalist, working as Chief Photographer with global news agency Reuters at its Delhi office, has been denied entry back into India for alleged violation of visa conditions. Cathal McNaughton and his colleagues were awarded the Pulitzer Prize in May 2018 for theirphotographsthat“exposed the world to the violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar”. When contacted, officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that McNaughton Govt says Cathal McNaughton violated visa rules “violatedvisaconditionsbytravellingtorestrictedandprotected areas in Jammu and Kashmir without permission”. Sources told The Indian Express that when McNaughton was sent back fromDelhi airport — he was returning from an overseas trip — he had a “valid visa” to enter India. McNaughton’s timeline on Instagram shows he was in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Not rocket launcher but a hydraulic jack used in trolleys: Kin of accused DEEPTIMAN TIWARY AMROHA, HAPUR, DEC 27 A WEEK before Christmas, men claimingtobemunicipalsurveyors, fanned out across the Mullano Mohalla colony and neighbouring areas in Amroha towninUttarPradesh.Theytook photographs of certain houses even as the local councillor said no such survey was commissioned. Early on December 26, a team of NIA officers along with local police raided one of the houses ‘surveyed’ in Mullano Mohalla and arrested Mufti Suhail, the alleged mastermind of an Islamic State module. In a similar raid at the adjacent Qazi Zada colony, theagencyarrested Suhail’s alleged associate, MohammadIrshad,anautorickshaw driver. AccordingtotheNIA,thetwo were arrested with eight others fromAmroha,HapurandDelhi’s Seelampur for allegedly being part of a self-appointed group called the Harkat-ul-Harb-eIslam and affiliated to Islamic State. The NIA has claimed that the arrests stopped the group from carrying out a series of terror attacks and said they have recovered a huge cache of arms and explosives and even a rudimentary rocket launcher. Suhail’s relatives and neighbours in Amroha say they barely knew him since he moved to the UP town a little more than a month ago. His house, a one room-kitchen unit which is part of ajointfamilyproperty,isatthe end of the labyrinthine Moullan Mohalla. Only his uncle’s family lives in Amroha after Suhail’s father moved to Delhi’s Jaffarabad almost 40 years ago. Suhail’s cousin Mohammed Yahya, a sales tax officer, says, “The family came here once in a year or two, if there was a weddingorif someonedied.Wehave hardlybeenintouch.Forthepast month or so, Suhail has been CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 This time in Bangla poll heat, why India not hot-button issue EXPRESSINDHAKA SHUBHAJIT ROY DECEMBER 27 WITH THE election campaign duetoendonFridaymorning,48 hours before Bangladesh goes to polls on Sunday, the India factor —whichhasbeenpartofthepreelection rhetoric in the past — is missingfromcampaignspeeches. WhathashelpedisthatIndia has not issued any statement, except for asking for “free and fair elections”, unlike many of its western counterparts — especially the Americans and Europeans. “It’s very interesting to see that Indiadid not getmentioned at all by the two prominent political parties during their election campaign,” an Indian diplomat in Dhaka told The Indian Express. There was some antiIndia mention by one of the Islamist fringe groups, Hizbut Tahrir, but none of the leaders from either the BNP or Awami League talked up anti-India sen- An Awami League supporter in Dhaka on Thursday. AP timents during the campaign. In the past elections, the BangladeshNationalistParty,led by Khaleda Zia, who is in jail on corruption charges, would accusetherulingAwamiLeague, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, of being “pro-India”. “I think they realised that the BNPwasnotbenefittingbyalienating India,” the diplomat said. Sabihuddin, a former diplomatandforeignaffairsadvisorto Khaleda Zia, told The Indian Express:“Indiaisnotafactorhere thistime.Weshouldnotbebothered whether BJP or Congress is in power in Delhi. Similarly, the Indian government should not bother whether Awami League or the BNP wins the elections.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Mining Ban, Moving Allowed, In Between The Tragedy Since ’14 ban, NGT teams report illegal mining in Meghalaya, local officials say no way to check if coal is old or new INDIA OFFERS VISA, BUT KARMAPA YET TO RESPOND PAGE 10 Opposition’s objections, Leader of Congress in the House, Mallikarjun Kharge, demanded thatitbereferredtoajointselect committeeof thetwoHousesfor greater scrutiny. The Congress, and MPs of the AIADMK, also staged a walkout protesting against the government’s decision not to refer the Bill to a select committee. In August, the government hadbroughtamendmentstothe Bill after conceding to some of the Opposition’s demands to ringfence the proposed law against misuse. It cleared provisions that complaints in cases of THE LATEST version of the Triple Talaq Bill will supersede an earlier draft passed in Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha. The amended Bill now needs to be passed by Parliament within 42 days. However, the Bill is expected to face resistance in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling dispensation does not enjoy a majority and with AIADMK MPs signalling their opposition by joining a walkout. Before IS arrests, officials surveyed Amroha homes ABHISHEK SAHA KHLIEHRIAT (MEGHALAYA), DECEMBER 27 TRAVELLING TO reach the flooded coal mine on a remote hillock in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, where at least 15 workers are trapped for15daysnowandfeareddead, you need to take a left from the mainroadnearthepolicestation at district headquarters Khliehriat. On the two-hour-long journey on that route to reach the site, Ksan, both sides of the road are dotted with so many heaps of coal you lose count. At several deposits, the heaps are loaded into waiting trucks, to be sent off BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Coal piled up along the road leading to the mine. Abhishek Saha to a destination in neighbouring Assam or beyond. For anyone travelling through the area for the first time, the sight of such large coal depositsandtrucksbeingloaded with coal might come as a jolt considering that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had in 2014 banned “illegal” mining of coal (especially mentioning the popular rat-hole technique) in the state. But the reason one sees so many coal-laden trucks on the roads of Meghalaya is because, in at least seven consequent or- ders, the NGT and then the Supreme Court, hearing petitions by coal-mine owners, allowed the transportation of coal mined prior to the implementationof the ban on April 17, 2014. And as per the latest SC order dated December 4, transportation of coal mined prior to thebanwasextendedtoJanuary 31, 2019. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 COAL INDIA: WE HAVE REQUISITIONED PUMPS PAGE 11
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