DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019, LUCKNOW, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 AFTER ETHIOPIAN CRASH Asfearsspread, Indiagrounds Boeing737Max DGCA moves: SpiceJet has 12 planes, Jet’s fleet of five was already grounded INSIDE PRANAV MUKUL NEW DELHI, MARCH 12 CONGCULTURE IS ANTITHESISOF GANDHIAN THOUGHT, SAYS MODI PAGE 4 Asthana met me, threatened to make life hell: Michel in court PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, MARCH 12 CHRISTIAN MICHEL, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper scam case, claimed in a Delhi court Tuesday that former CBI special directorRakeshAsthanamethim in Dubai and threatened to makehislifehell inside jail if he did not toe the line of the agency in its investigation in ‘In jail with the scandal. Kashmiri “Sometime separatists’ back Rakesh Asthanametme in Dubai and threatenedthatmylifewouldbe made hell and that’s what is going on. My next door inmate CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY INDIA’S AVIATION safety regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), late Tuesdaynightdecidedtoground Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with immediateeffectuntilappropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations. The DGCA’s decision came shortly after the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced suspension of flight operations of Boeing’s flagship narrowbody aircraft across Europe. A senior DGCA official had earlier told The Indian Express that it would take inputs from other regulatory authorities and airlines before deciding the further course of action. “DirectedSecy(CivilAviation Secretary) to hold an emergency meeting with all airlines to prepare a contingency plan to avoid inconvenience to passengers. While passenger safety is a zero tolerance issue, efforts are already on to minimise the impactonpassengermovement as their convenience is important,” Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet. In India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways operate the aircraft. While Jet’s all five 737 MAXs are grounded due to the airline’s financial woes, SpiceJet continued to operate the 12 planes in its fleet. On Tuesday, regulatory authoritiesof ascoreof countries including the UK, France, Australia, Singapore, Germany, Malaysia, Oman among others CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (2nd from left) and Justice (retd) F M I Kalifulla, two of the 3-member Ayodhya mediation team, in Faizabad on Tuesday. Vishal Srivastav REPORT,PAGE3 Ayodhya becomes security fortress NIA SUMMONS TO MIRWAIZ as mediation panel members arrive Religious leaders rally AVANEESH MISHRA AYODHYA, MARCH 12 THETHREE-membermediation panelappointedbytheSupreme Court arrived in Ayodhya on Tuesday to begin the process to resolve the Babri MasjidRamjanmbhoomi title suit case from Wednesday. Barricadeshavebeenerected to restrict movement on the DECISION 2019 Take the fight to BJP, don’t fear its Balakot pitch: Rahul to party MANOJ C G & SYED KHALIQUE AHMED NEW DELHI, AHMEDABAD, MARCH 12 TELLING LEADERS of his party not to feel despondent by the strident nationalism pitch of the BJP post the Balakot air strike, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday urged them to take the fight to the rival camp while targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Speaking at a meeting of the CongressWorkingCommitteein Ahmedabad — perhaps its last CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RAVIK BHATTACHARYA & ABANTIKA GHOSH KOLKATA, NEW DELHI, MARCH 12 SECULARISM& CONG AMBIVALENCE BY CHRISTOPHE JAFFRELOT PAGE 8 PAGE 1 ANCHOR TRINAMOOL CONGRESS chief Mamata Banerjee Tuesday unveiled the party’s candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, with womenbeingnominatedtocontest in 17 of the 42 seats in West Bengal.Thepartyalsonominated a woman to contest in one out of EC directs Facebook: Drop pilot’s photo shared by BJP MLA NEW DELHI, MARCH 12 Priyanka Vadra with Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Mallikarjun Kharge at a Congress rally near Gandhinagar on Tuesday. Javed Raja MOREREPORTS,PAGE7 In Kolkata, Tuesday. Partha Paul three seats for which it named candidatesinJharkhand,andannounced contestants for some seatsinAssam,Odisha,Biharand Andaman. “We believe in women’s empowerment. In 2014, 35 per cent of our MPs were women. I am happy to share that this time 41percentof ourLokSabhacandidates are women,” said Banerjee. The Trinamool move comes two days after the BJD in Odisha announced that it would allocate 33 per cent of its Lok Sabha tickets to women. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 outsiders,” a policeman standingattheuniversitygate,around 300 metres from the guest house, said on condition of anonymity. “Academic activities in the university won’t be affected and we are letting the students and university staff come this side only after proper checking,” he added. The panel members are CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD RITIKA CHOPRA 10 are out as Mamata revamps 2019 list: 17 of her 42 candidates are women THE EDITORIAL PAGE road leading to the guest house where the panel members are staying. Identity of all residents has been verified and heavy police force has been deployed in the area. Policemen with binoculars could be spotted on buildings and trees. The area within half a kilometre radius from the guest house is cordoned off for outsiders, includingmediapersons. “We have been asked to stop all IN WHAT is probably the first instance of action against a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) on social media, the Election Commission (EC) Tuesday asked Facebook to remove two political posters with Wing Commander AbhinandanVarthaman’sphotograph, shared by BJP leader and Delhi MLA Om Prakash Sharma. The EC is learnt to have flagged the content to Shivnath Thukral, Director, Public Policy for India and South Asia, at Facebook, based on a complaint received on its cVIGIL app. It is a new Android-based mobile application, introduced during the Karnataka Assembly election last year, on which citizens can CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPLAINED SIMPLYPUT DECODING THE MODELCODE PAGE 10 COLLEGE BRIBERY ROW: HOLLYWOOD STARS CHARGED US SAYS WILL WITHDRAW ALL REMAINING DIPLOMATIC STAFF FROM VENEZUELA PAGE 11 behind Mirwaiz, slam Central ‘interference’ BASHAARAT MASOOD SRINAGAR, MARCH 12 TERMING THE NIA summons to Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to appear in Delhi in a terror funding case as a “direct interference in the religious affairs of Muslims”, all religious leaders across the divide rallied behind him on Tuesday. Signalling a new faultline, this is the first time religious leaders in Jammu and Kashmir acrosstheShia-Sunni,Salafi-Sufi divide have come together against what they call the government’s crackdown. The NIA, investigating a case related to terror funding in Kashmir, carried out a series of raids on separatists, including the Mirwaiz — head of the moderateHurriyatfaction—and summoned him for questioning in Delhi. Citing a threat to his personal security, Mirwaiz declined to travel to Delhi and offered to be questioned in Srinagar.Earlier, his security was also withdrawn. “It (NIA notice to Mirwaiz) is Whyittouches Valleyrawnerve MIRWAIZ IS not just chairman of the moderate Hurriyat but also the chief priest at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid. NIA summons comes after his security was withdrawn and house raided. Protest meetings in his solidarity show the significance of the religious institution he heads — and anger on the street. a direct interference in religious affairs of Muslims... Mirwaiz is not just a political leader but also a religious head of people of Kashmir,” read a resolution passed by the heads of over 20 religious organisations after a meeting in Srinagar. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 24 hrs for UN action, US dials Pak on Jaish as India works the phones SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, MARCH 12 TWENTYFOURhoursbeforethe deadlineexpiresforanymember at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) — five permanentand10non-permanent—to object to the listing of Jaish-eMohammad chief Masood Azhar, New Delhi intensified its diplomatic engagement in New York, Washington and Beijing among other world capitals. South Block was waiting and watching Beijing closely — its Monday statement has not been very encouraging, sources said. “There has been no forward movement from Beijing so far. But let’s wait until the deadline,” a source told The Indian Express. Sources indicated that if a change happens, it will be reflected in Islamabad. “If China decides to go along with the listingprocess,chancesarethatthey will ask Pakistan to claim credit for the action against terrorist infrastructure,” a source said. Officials here said that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang’s statement on Monday that China adopteda“responsibleattitude” and followed “rules and procedures” of the UNSC Resolution 1267 sanctions committee was merely a reiteration of its old narrative. “China’s position on the designationof aterroristbythe1267 committee is consistent and clear.Chinaadopted responsible attitudes, follows rules and procedures of this committee and participates in these discussions in a responsible manner. Only through responsible discussions can we come up with a responsible solution,” Lu had said on Monday. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 From Bhiwani and Kozhikode, some help at the nets for Team Australia VISHAL MENON NEW DELHI, MARCH 12 HE NO longer plays first-class cricket but Pradeep Sahu, a 33-year-old leg-spinner from Bhiwani,willbepartofAustralia’s World Cup tour party in England later this year. Chances are he mighthaveforcompanyanother spinner who has never representedhisstate,achinamanfrom Kozhikode, K K Jiyas. Of late, Sahu and Jiyas have been spotted in Australian training gear, in the visiting dressing room on non-match days and bowlinglongspellsduringtraining. Their role: prepare Australian batsmen against wily sub-continent spinners. After being part of the Australian support staff for the seriesagainstIndiaandPakistan, the net bowlers will also offer their services to Australia at the World Cup. “I began working with the Australian team as a net bowler in October 2018 for the series against Pakistan in the UAE, and the ongoing India tour is my secondassignment.Later,Iwillbe returning to the UAE for another series against Pakistan, after which I will be travelling with them to England for the World Cup,”SahutoldTheIndianExpress. On the eve of the series- deciding ODI at the Feroz Shah KotlainDelhiThursday,Sahuand Jiyas are in high demand. With India expected to bank on their twowrist-spinners— Yuzvendra ChahalandKuldeepYadav—the Aussie batsmen were keen on facing local bowlers. Sahu and Jiyas bowled for close to two-and-a-half hours and the entire Australian top order took turns facing them. Coach Justin Langer constantly asked the two spinners to change their line, length and flight as he tried to give his batsmen a feel of match situations when facing leggie Chahal and chinaman Yadav. Sahu’s role in the Australian Pradeep Sahu and K K Jiyas have been bowling at the nets dressing room came after a surprise call from former India player Sridhar Sriram, who is Australia’s spin bowling coach. “Last year, I was sitting at home, when Sriram sir called me. I was surprised at first when he asked me if I could come over to Dubai. I had initially thought that it was for some IPL camp, so I accepted his offer anyway and landed in Dubai. There,he toldme that the Australian team wanted to use my services as a spin bowler for their series against Pakistan,” he said. Jiyas, a chinaman like Yadav, gave the Australian batsmen a real test and troubled Finch several times. Back home in Kozhikode, he is called “Kerala’s Maxwell” for his uncanny facial resemblance to the Australian all-rounder. He was picked through a talent scouting programmebyDelhiDaredevilsand drafted into the side in 2015, though he didn’t play a single match. Sriram was particularly impressedbythewaySahubowled in a 2016 IPL match for Kings XI Punjab against the Kolkata Knight Riders. In that match, he removed KKR openers Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir. Sahu said that Sriram’s brief to him was simple: “You are a very versatile bowler. The Australian batsmen want to face you in the nets so that they can prepareforthelikesof YasirShah andShadabKhanfortheupcoming Test series. So unleash all your variations against them.” Sahu was excited about his new role and instantly accepted the offer as he saw this as an opportunity to helptheAustralians prepare against Pakistan’s spinners. “I was not nervous as I know most of these guys (Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell) since I had either played with them or bowled to them in IPL,” he said. Once on board, Sahu was an integral part of team management, interacting extensively andofferingsuggestions.Healso unleashed his bag of tricks that range from the traditional legbreak, off-spin, googly and the 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.