DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2019, KOLKATA, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES SINCE 1932 MAMATA BEGINS DHARNA `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM CBI MAY MOVE SUPREME COURT CENTRAL FORCES AT CBI OFFICE Battlelines: Mamata vs Centre, Police vs CBI Why CBI wants top cop: ‘Missing evidence’ in chit fund scam cases Standoff over CBI seeking Kolkata Police chief; Mamata alleges coup RAVIK BHATTACHARYA & SWEETY MISHRA KOLKATA, FEBRUARY 3 Yogi addresses Bengal rally over phone, says not allowed to land EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, FEBRUARY 3 ADDRESSING a public rally in Balurghat over the phone after his helicopter was allegedly denied permission by the West Bengal government to land, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday accusedthestateadministrationof “throttling the voice of the Opposition”. Recently, the state government had not let BJP president Amit Shah’s helicopter to land in Maldaatalocalairport.Shahhad later used a helipad of the BSF. The TMC government had also gonetocourtagainstBJPrathyatra plans in the state. Adityanath was scheduled to address two rallies, at Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur district and at Raigunj in Uttar Dinajpur. BJP leaders claimed the administration did not let them use a helipad in Balurghat for his helicopter. While the administration remained tightlipped over ENTERING A showdown with the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday night began an indefinite dharna alleging a coup against her government, after several hours of a standoff between her administration and a CBI team seeking to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scams. During the course of the fast-developing drama, that began around 6 pm, the CBI team was briefly detained. By Sunday night, Central forces had been deployed at the CGO Complex housing the CBI office in Kolkata. Mamata, wrapped in a brown shawl, sat on a sit-in protest in front of Kolkata’s landmark Metro Cinema at Esplanade, calling it a “satyagraha” against stifling of the spirit of “Constitution and federalism”. She said she had faced “insults” at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. She accused the CBI of landing at the home of the Kolkata police chief without a search warrant. By 9.30 pm, Mamata’s entire Cabinet had joined her at the dharna site, apart from other party leaders and top po- RAVIK BHATTACHARYA & SWEETY MISHRA Unprecedented, raises poll heat KOLKATA, FEBRUARY 3 THE CBI’s push to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar is aimed at locating “crucial evidence” linked to the “larger conspiracy” behind the chit fund scams that the agency is probing, a senior officer claimed. “Crucial evidence was not handed over. It was either destroyed...Wewanttotaketheinvestigation further. We are looking into the larger conspiracy THE UNPRECEDENTED show of solidarity by a Chief Minister for a police officer wanted by the CBI is set to become a Lok Sabha election issue. While the TMC and Mamata Banerjee will present this as a violation of federalism, the BJP gets to underline how the coalition against it is “shielding the corrupt”. lice officers of the state, including Kumar. Makeshift rooms were being erected for the leaders to take rest. Mamata, it was said, would hold her Cabinet meeting here on Monday, following which her ministers would place the Budget in the Assembly. Sources said the CBI was contemplating moving the Supreme Court against “obstruction of law”. Interim CBI chief M Nageshwar Rao told ANI there CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 connected to the chit fund scams,”saidPankajSrivastav,CBI Joint Director in Kolkata. CBI sources claimed this evidence“holdsthekeytoconnecting these scams to influential persons” in West Bengal and outside. According to the CBI, the evidence collected by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was formed by the state in April 2013 to probe the Saradha chit fund scam, and headed by Kumar, includes a laptop, five cellphones and documents, including a diary purportedly of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DECISION Rahul, Kejriwal, TDP, DMK: 2019 Entire Opp backs Mamata A daily Explainer on THE QUESTIONS THAT MATTER (Top) CM Mamata Banerjee with Rajeev Kumar (left) at the dharna site in Esplanade, Sunday; (above) CBI officers are detained by police personnel in Kolkata . Partha Paul & PTI BJP vs Didi: Why West Bengal holds one key to Lok Sabha 2019 PAGE 6 LALMANI VERMA NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 3 LEADERS OF various opposition parties called up Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday to extend support to her over the confrontation with the Centre, with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi calling it “part of the unrelenting attack on India’s institutions by Mr Modi & the BJP”. The incident is set to cast a shadow over the proceedings of Parliament beginning Monday. “I spoke with Mamata Di tonight and told her we stand shoulder to shoulder with her. The happenings in Bengal are a part of the unrelenting attack on India’sinstitutionsbyMrModi& theBJP.Theentireoppositionwill standtogether&defeatthesefascist forces,” Rahul tweeted. Senior Congress leader AshwaniKumarsaid,“TheKolkata events are an affront to the first principles of constitutional CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Stand by citizenship Bill, tortured children of Maa Bharati: PM Modi Six dead as train derails in Bihar, officials suspect fracture in track ARUN SHARMA & BASHAARAT MASOOD CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 SAHDEI-BUZURG (VAISHALI), FEBRUARY 3 Renowned Manipuri filmmaker to return Padma Shri VIJAYPUR (JAMMU), SRINAGAR, FEBRUARY 3 As US eyes Afghan exit, India talks to key players SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 3 FROM PASHTUNS to Hazaras andTajiks,NewDelhihasquietly opened channels of communication with top Afghan leaders cutting across communities and factions as uncertainty looms over Afghanistan amid signs of the US withdrawing from the strife-torn country, top sources told The Indian Express. “We have independently started engaging with all major political actors and factions, since we have major economic assets in Afghanistan and need to secure those interests,” sourcessaid.Someof theseplayers have visited India in the recent weeks and have met “those who matter in the Indian system”, they said. The Indian Express has learnt the government has been “working behind the scenes” over the last few months, as it becameclearthatWashingtonis negotiating with the Taliban to enable its exit from Afghanistan. Last November, India made its intent clear about sharing the table with the Taliban, when it sent two of its most experienced former diplomats with expertise in the region — former Indian envoytoPakistanTCARaghavan and former Indian envoy to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NETWORK NO INTENTION TO MEDDLE IN INDIA’S AFFAIRS: PAK PAGE 7 SAYING HIS government was committed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that is pending in the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that his government would stand with the children of “Maa Bharati (Mother India)” who have faced persecutioninPakistan,Afghanistanand Bangladesh. AddressingarallyatVijaypur in Jammu region, at the site of a proposed AIIMS, Modi said, “Pakistan, Afghanistan, BangladeshmeinaisiMaaBharati ki anek santaney hein jin par atyachar hua. Wo kabhi hamare ganatantra ka hissa they (There are many children of Mother India in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladeshwhohavefacedper- PM Modi with Governor Malik in Srinagar. Shuaib Masoodi secution. They were once a part of ourRepublic).Weshallhaveto stand for justice and protection of the rights of all these people whowereoncepartof undivided India and got separated during 1947.” Later in the day, addressing a rally in Srinagar, Modi asserted that his government would “break the backbone of terror in Rahul signals: Will waive farm loans across country EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PATNA, FEBRUARY 3 ADDRESSING HIS first public rally in Bihar since taking over as Congresspresident,andwiththe Lok Sabha elections around the corner, Rahul Gandhi signalled Sundaythatif hisparty’sgovernment came to power at the Centre, it would waive loans of farmers across the country on PAGE 1 ANCHOR the lines of what its newly formed governments had announced in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Gandhi also reiterated his promise made in Chhattisgarh, on January 28, that his party, if voted to power, would launch the policy of “minimum income guaranteetoeverypoorperson”. In his speech at the rally, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav referred to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Jammu and Kashmir”. While he said they would work to realise the dreams and legacy of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, there wasnopoliticaloutreachoffered or mention of Vajpayee’s oft-repeated promise of “Kashmiriyat, Insaaniyat, Jamhooriyat”. During his visit, the PM also went to Leh. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE BJP BEGINS DRIVE TO CROWD-SOURCE FOR MANIFESTO 1997 KANPUR BLAST: ACCUSED GETS 7 YEARS IN PRISON PAGE 3 JIMMY LEIVON IMPHAL, FEBRUARY 3 INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED filmmaker of Manipur Aribam Shyam Sharma Sunday announced that he would return his Padma Shri award as protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. “I am returning the Padma Shri given to me by the government of India in solidarity with the voice of the people of the Northeast and Manipur, who have been vociferously opposAribam ing the citizenShyam ship Bill,” Sharma Sharmasaid,ata news conference called at his Thangmeiband residence in Imphal. The Bill, he said, was a threat to a small state like Manipur, whichhasapopulationlessthan some districts of Uttar Pradesh. The 83-year-old said he feared that the identity and culture of Manipur would be wiped out CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SANTOSH SINGH AT LEAST six people, including three women, died after nine coaches of the Seemanchal Express heading to Delhi from Bihar derailed between SahdeiBuzurg and Mahnar stations in Vaishali district, about 60 km north-eastof Patna,officialssaid. The accident, which left 29 people injured, occurred around 4 am Sunday and was caused by a suspected fracture in the track beforeMahnarstation,theysaid. The Railways has ordered a probe into the derailment. Many of the injured passengers said they were headed to Prayagraj in UP for the Kumbh. One of Rescue operations at the accident spot between two railway stations in Vaishali, Bihar, Sunday. Nagendra Kumar Singh them, who is undergoing treatment at the Sadar hospital in Hajipur, about 25 km from the spot, said she first heard a “rattling” sound before briefly “los- Senior Congress leader K C Deo quits, says party down to zero in Andhra MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 3 VETERANCONGRESSleaderand former Union minister Kishore ChandraDeoonSundayresigned fromtheCongresssayinghecan’t simply sit and watch when the party is being “liquidated” and brought to a “nought” in his homestateof AndhraPradeshby “four-five people”. Deo, who resignedaschairmanof theparty’s STwinglastweek,saidCongress president Rahul Gandhi had not even given him time to meet ‘Party will be buried for ever in the state’ since November. A six-time MP, a former member of the Congress Working Committee and a former AICC general secretary, Deo said he felt he was “unwanted” in the Congress and saw no “relevance” in his staying in the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ing consciousness”. “I had been travelling with my husband and sister in coach B-3. We were jolted awake and CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 WEST BENGAL TMC, BJP CORRUPT, THROTTLING DEMOCRACY: YECHURY AT BRIGADE RALLY IN KOLKATA TMC FILES POLICE COMPLAINT AGAINST BJP LEADERS FOR FELLING TREES FOR MODI’S HELIPAD P 4 In Wardha’s villages, banking means ATMs coming home Transactions of over Rs 42 crore since micro-ATM scheme for financial inclusion was launched in district in 2017 VIVEK DESHPANDE WARDHA, FEBRUARY 3 MAHADEORAO FATING is over 90, his wife Parvatabai close behind. The couple, who rarely move out of the tin-shed home in Waigaon village in Maharashtra’s Wardha district, sustain themselves with the Rs 600 a month that each gets under the state government’s Shravanbal Yojana for elderly TRACKING CHANGE» EVERY MONDAY For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at email@example.com destitutes.Onceinthreemonths, themoneygetsdepositedintheir local State Bank of India branch. There’s no way they can make that visit, so the bank comes to them — in the form of Sangita Kamble and her micro-ATM. Kamble, 40, is a banking correspondent (BC) who takes banking solutions to the doorstepsof theFatingsandseveral others in their village. She is one of 115 BCs appointed under the Wardha district’s Aaplaa Aadhaar Aapli Bank (Our Aadhaar, Our Bank), an Aadharlinked banking scheme in vil- BankingCorrespondent SangitaKambleatwork. Deepak Daware lages that either have no banks or where people have difficulty getting to banks. StartedinNovember2017,the scheme has seen 1,59,787 transactionsworthoverRs42.55crore in Wardha — so far, 11 of the 115 BCshaverecordedtransactionsof overRs1croreeach.TheBCs,most of them drawn from local selfhelp groups in Wardha, are trained by IDFC First Bank to operate the micro-ATM machine and carry out transactions. These includewithdrawalsanddeposits, utility bills, pension and scholarship, mobile or TV recharge, and opening new accounts. All that customers have to do is approach the BC with their Aadhaar numbers — in the case of the elderly and infirm, the BCs carry out home visits — let the machine scan their biometrics and ask the BC for the money to be withdrawn or deposited. After each such transaction, the machine releases a slip and sendsamessagetothecustomer on her mobile. Each BC gets Rs 5,000Rs 7,000dependingonthetransaction, including commissions and a monthly honorarium of Rs 3,000 from the Maharashtra CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
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