eye MCS/204/2017-19RNINO.MAHENG2002/21899 THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE Renew MUMBAI,LATECITY DECEMBER30,2018 2O+6(EYE)PAGES,`5.00 DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM AGUSTAWESTLAND HEARING EDsaysMichelreferredto‘MrsGandhi’, claimsplottotamperwithevidence Truth unfolding: BJP; their scriptwriters at work: Cong Tells court that documents mention ‘son of Italian lady... Going to be PM’ ABHISHEK ANGAD NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29 1 GB OF MOBILE DATA In 2017, the cost of it in India fell to 1.53% of gross national income per capita, or under Rs 3 — the cheapest among all 61 low- and middleincome countries. As more and more go online, this New Year, The Sunday Express tells this story of India on the Internet through people and their smartphones by asking them, ‘What’s on your phone?’ THE ENFORCEMENTDirectorate (ED) told a Delhi court Saturday that during questioning in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, alleged midddleman Christian Michel had taken “Mrs Gandhi’s” name in reference to a query, and that he had later managed to hand over a follow- up question to his lawyer seeking directions on “what to say”, calling it “a conspiracy to shield or tamper with evidence”. Appearing before Vacation Judge Chandra Shekhar, the ED’s Special Public Prosecutor, D P Singh, said: “Parson (December 27) inhone Mrs Gandhi ka naam liya tha ek kisi reference mein. Main reference ka naam nahin loonga. To humein follow-up CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29 Michel after being produced in court on Saturday. PTI THE BJP and the Congress on Saturdaytradedchargesoverthe Enforcement Directorate’s submission in a Delhi court that Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, had mentioned Congress leader Sonia Gandhi while he was being questioned. While the BJP said the “revelations” had “stunned the nation” and were all pointing towards“onefamily”,theCongress called it a case of “BJP scriptwriters... working overtime” as general elections near. Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Policeman killed in UP as stones pelted at Nishad Party protest MANISH SAHU LUCKNOW, DECEMBER 29 ‘NOBODY HAS ANY RESPECT FOR THE OTHERS IN A WHATSAPP GROUP. SO I NEVER TALK, JUST WATCH’ PAGES 8-12, 14 Citing threat, officials seek upgrade of Bhagwat’s security HOPING FOR A MIRACLE Navy divers on Saturday enter the collapsed coal mine in Lumthari village, in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, where 15 miners continue to be trapped. On Saturday, the rescue operation made little progress. Reuters REPORTS,PAGE7 After a polarising campaign, watershed Bangladesh polls today amid tight security RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29 AHEAD OF the 2019 general elections, a security audit carried out by Central and state agencies on threat perception to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has recommended upgrading his security cover to Black Cat commandos of the National Security Guard (NSG). Bhagwat currently enjoys Zplus security cover, the third highest after SPG and NSG, with over 60 CISF commandos deployed round the clock to protect him. While intelligence agencies have cited heightened security risktoBhagwat,officialsatNorth Block said they were still evaluating these reports and a decision on Bhagwat’s security would be taken soon. Officials pointed to instances when Bhagwat’s security was breachedduring therecentelections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The threat assessment is also believed to have analysed alleged plots by modules in India of the Al-QaedainIndianSubcontinent CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESSINDHAKA SHUBHAJIT ROY DHAKA, DECEMBER 29 NAUKA (BOAT) or dhaner sheesh (paddy sheaf)? That’s the big question as Bangladesh votes on Sunday at the end of two months of a polarisingand often violent campaign that has seen workers of the ruling Awami League clash with supporters of the main Opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). While the ruling coalition is banking on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s track record of “development”, hoping people will favour the ‘boat (the Awami League’s election symbol)’ over Report: Contrary to stance, Facebook flags posts against a religion KARISHMA MEHROTRA NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29 FACEBOOK INSTRUCTS its content moderators toflagposts degrading a religion in India becausethatspeechviolatesIndian local laws, according to leaked documentsaccessed byThe New York Times. These content moderation instructionscontradict the company’sownlaid outglobalpolicy as well as articulation of the pol- icyinmeetings withthepress. In a meeting with a handful of reporters in October in the Facebook Delhi office, Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Policy Solutions Richard AllenhadsaidFacebookdoesnot consider hate speech to be speech attacking any religion or belief, but rather it defines hate speech as speech attacking a group of people. “Attacking a concept is not hate speech,” Allen said at the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Army out in Dhaka on Saturday ahead of polls. AP EXPRESS NETWORK the Opposition’s paddy sheaf, andsendher to power for athird straight term, the Opposition coalition, the Jatiya Oikya Front (National United Front), is hoping anti-incumbency will finally bringdownthegovernmentand pave the way for release of BNP leader Khaleda Zia from jail. While many in the Awami Leagueareconfidentof avictory, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ANOTHER REPORT PAGE 15 JAIPUR, DECEMBER 29 4 MILITANTS KILLED IN ENCOUNTER, 30 HURT IN CLASHES IN PULWAMA CLASS X RESULTS OUT, SOUTH KASHMIR LEADS THE TABLE PAGE 7 HEAD CONSTABLE Suresh Vats, 49, died on Saturday after being hit by a stone by a mob in Nonhahara police station area of Ghazipur, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in the district. Policesaidprotestersbelonging to the Nishad Party had blocked a road demanding release of four of their party workers, who had been arrested earlier in the day for staging a protest. When a police team reached to remove the blockade near the Atwara police outpost, the protesters started pelting stones, leading to injuries to five, including Vats. The Head Constable was rushed to hospital, where he diedduringtreatment.Theother four injured, who are in a stable condition, include two police constables and two civilians. A nativeof Pratapgarhdistrict,Vats was posted at Karimuddinpur police station in Ghazipur. Ninepersonshavesofarbeen detained in connection with Vats’sdeath,InspectorGeneralof Police, Varanasi Range, Vijay SinghMeenasaid.Thisisthesecond incident this month of a policeman dying in a mob attack in Uttar Pradesh. On December 3, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh had been killed in Bulandshahr district by protesters angry over alleged cow slaughter. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Rajasthan scraps education criteria for civic poll candidates DEEP MUKHERJEE INITSfirstCabinetmeetingsince taking over, the Congress government in Rajasthan has decided to remove the condition of minimumqualificationrequired to contest civic elections. The previous BJP government in the state had made it mandatory for people contesting zila parishad, panchayat samiti and municipal elections Whether fury of women or rage of a fragile planet, it is time to ring out the old to have passed Class 10, those contesting sarpanch elections to have passed Class 8 and those standing for sarpanch elections in panchayats in scheduled areas to have cleared Class 5. Talkingtothemediaafterthe Cabinet meeting, Health Minister Raghu Sharma said, “Ourgovernmenthasdecidedto removethecondition of mandatory qualification for contesting in local body or Panchayati Raj elections. In a democracy, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Cong govts in, lines begin for fertilisers, says PM, warns against ‘lollipops’ SlamsCongfarmloanwaivers,saysMP, Rajasthanseeingblack-marketsurge PM Narendra Modi with Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath in Ghazipur on Saturday.Vishal Srivastav MAULSHREE SETH GHAZIPUR, DECEMBER 29 REFERRING TO the Congress as a “lollipop company”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the party of “cheating” farmers in the name of farm loan waivers, and said thatinthefewdayssinceitcame topowerinMadhyaPradeshand Rajasthan, a shortage of fertilisers and urea had arisen in the two states. Addressing a rally here in easternUttarPradesh,Modisaid, “What happens to attractive solutions offered just to get votes is visiblein Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. As soon as the government changed, long queues can be seen for fertilisers and urea. Public is lathicharged, while those involved in blackmarketing have surfaced.” He said that even in Karnataka, where the Congress had formed a government through the “backdoor”, farmers have been cheated, and that against the promise to waive off loansoflakhsoffarmers,only800 farmers had benefited. “Lollipop pakda diya gaya vote churane ke liye (They handed a lollipop to steal votes),” Modi said, adding that police had been set after those whose loans were not CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Fertilisers now enter pollrace WITH LOK SABHA elections drawing closer, BJP and Congress are jousting to project themselves as champions of farmers’ interests. With the Congress wielding farm loan waivers as its ace, BJP needs a trump card too. While implementation of the loan waivers will take some time, the issue of shortage of fertilisers has the potential to create doubts in farmers’ minds — never mind that channelising fertiliers to farmers is a collaborative effort between Centre, states, cooperatives and private agencies. Congress govts claim crisis almost over, urea stocks on way HAMZA KHAN & MILIND GHATWAI JAIPUR, BHOPAL, DEC 29 PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi took potshots at the newly elected Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan on Saturday, blaming them for urea shortages in the ongoing rabi cropping season. This came even as the state governmentsconcernedclaimedan improvement in the availability situation of the nitrogenous fertiliserthatisespeciallycriticalfor the already planted wheat and rapeseed-mustard crops. According to the Rajasthan government, the Centre had allocated12lakhtonnes(lt)of urea for the state during the current rabi season from October to March. However, as against the 2.15 lt original supply plan for October and 2.60 lt for November, only 1.40 lt and 2.40 lt were made available, thereby creating a shortfall of 95,000 tonnes. “This backlog has been almost cleared this month, with 3.40 lt of urea being received, compared to the original supply plan of 2.9 lt for December,” said Vikas Sitaramji Bhale, the State Agriculture Commissioner. Out of thebalanceshortfallof 45,000 tonnes, 15,000 will be supplied through five rail rakes by this month-end. The rest should be coveredthroughhigher supplies in January. “The entire crisis will be over before mid-January,” he added. Urea is a controlled fertiliser, with the Centre fixing both its maximumretailprice(MRP)and preparingamonthlysupplyplan based on consultations with CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Bhima Koregaon battle anniv: Azad, Dalit activists detained in Mumbai SAGAR RAJPUT & GARGI VERMA MUMBAI, DECEMBER 29 TWO DAYS before lakhs of Dalits are expected to arrive at Koregaon Bhima near Pune, the policeonSaturdaydetainedseveralDalitactivistsinMumbai,including Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, preventing him from addressing a proposedrallyinthecity.Describing itaspreventive action,thepolice released the nearly dozen men whoweredetainedbytheendof the day. Azad was detained on Friday eveningalongwithhisfollowers from Chaitya Bhoomi in Dadar. The group was then escorted to Hotel Manali in Malad, where Azad was kept on Saturday. Dozens of policemen remained positioned outside the hotel and in its lobby, even as Azad’s supporters and others were prohib- ited from meeting him during the day. All through Saturday, the Manchubhai Road in Malad East, whereHotelManaliislocated,was the site of drama as policemen tooktheirpostsasearlyas7am. Azad was kept in a room on the second floor, but was prevented from meeting any visitors. “We have no idea where he is.Hisvolunteershavebeenkept in separate rooms. His phone is switched off,” said Madhumita Policemen outside Hotel Manali in Mumbai. Dilip Kagda Bodh, who called herself an acquaintance of Azad. “I just want toseeif heisokay.Buttheywon’t let me go in.” Senior inspectors from Dindoshi, Kurar and Dahisar police stations, along with personnel from the Special Branch, werepositionedonManchubhai Road. Deputy Commissioner of PoliceVinayRathod was himself outside the main gate of the hotel, which was locked from the inside. “The lobby is full of po- licemen and they are not letting anyonegoinoroutwithouttheir permission,” said a hotel staffer. Localresidentswhogathered were dispersed by the police. “Someof Azad’ssupporterstried to obstruct traffic. We have detainedthem,”saidapoliceofficer. NCP leader Jitendra Awhad, whocameto meet Azad,was escorted to see him by the DCP. “I havemetandspokentoAzad.He is confused why he is under house arrest. We are living in a regime that believes in curbing dissent.Thisisamockeryof constitutional rights,” Awhad told The Indian Express when he emerged. Subhodh More, a senior Left activist, was among those detained when he went to meet Azad at the hotel. After his release on Saturday evening, More said, “When I reached the hotel, I asked police officers to allow me to meet Azad. They started CONTINUEDONPAGE2
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.
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