DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019, LUCKNOW, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 WON’T ACCEPT ANY PAK ATTEMPT TO ENGAGE WITH HURRIYAT: GOVT DECISION 2019 GovtboycottsPakNationalDay,PM sendsgreetingstopeopleofPakistan Pitroda has questions on Balakot, PM says he kick-started Pak day Modi calls for ‘peaceful... region, in an atmosphere free of terror, violence’ NEW DELHI, MARCH 22 ON A day the NDA government decided to boycott the Pakistan National Day reception at its High Commission’s lawns, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan disclosed that he had received a message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he said that it is time that people of the sub-continent “work togetherforademocratic,peaceful, progressive & prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence”. Within hours of Pakistan’s National Day reception wrapping up, Khan tweeted: “I welcome PM Modi’s message to our people. As we celebratePakistan Day I believe it is time to begin a comprehensive dialogue with India to address & resolve all issues, esp the central issue of Kashmir, & forge a new relationshipbasedonpeace&prosperity for all our people.” Almost an hour earlier, Khan had tweeted, “Received msg from PM Modi: “I extend my greetings & best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan. It is time that ppl of Sub-continent work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive & prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence”. While Modi’s message emphasized terrorism, Khan’s response stressed on Kashmir. This came on a day when, drawinganewredline,Indiadecided not to send an official representative to Pakistan High Commission’s National Day reception on Friday, as reported by The Indian Express. Confirming the govern- E EXPLAINED SHUBHAJIT ROY EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MARCH 22 Protest and protocol ment’s decision, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “This decisionwastakenafterthePakistan High Commission decided to invite representatives of the Hurriyat Conference to the reception.” He also said that Indian diplomats in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad will also not attend the Pak National Day celebrations. Kumar said that India is very clear that any attempt by Pakistan High Commission or Pakistan’s leadership to engage with the Hurriyat Conference “will not be taken lightly”. While no Hurriyat leaders werepresentattheNationalDay reception, no Indian official was present either. With the government CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Shareefa Jan’s son Atif was killed in Bandipora. Shuaib Masoodi Govt security screens invites and invitees; China makes its presence felt SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, MARCH 22 FIVE MINUTES to 8 pm, the Indian national anthem was played in the Pakistan High Commission lawns while the Tricolour fluttered along with Pakistan’s national flag. With no Indian government’s representative present at the occasion, on stage were Pakistan’s High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood and wife Mahwish. In the crisp March evening as a cool breeze swept through the lawns, the attendance was CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, MARCH 22 JKLF chief Yasin Malik is lodged in Jammu jail BJP MLA SHOT AT,1 HELD: COPS BSP RELEASES FIRST LIST OF 11 CANDIDATES PAGES 3, 6 WORLD EU GIVES BRITAIN ‘LAST CHANCE’ FOR ORDERLY BREXIT PAGE 12 PAGE 1 ANCHOR WEEKS AFTER banning the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Centre Friday announced that the Yasin Malik-led Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) has been banned as well for “promoting” MARCH 22 A12-YEAR-OLDboyheldhostage inBandiporaforaround24hours was killed Friday by militants before they were gunned down by security forces. While the boy’s uncle, who was also held hostage was rescued Thursday, policesaidmilitantsrefusedtolet the boy out despite pleas on loudspeakers by his family. Until Friday morning, Shareefa Jan, held hope that her 12-year-old son, Atif Mir, might come out alive amid the raging gunfight between militants and security forces in north Kashmir’s Hajin village. But when the 24-hour gun battle ended in the afternoon, that hope shattered. secession of the militancy-hit state. The JKLF was banned under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after a high-level meetingon security chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Declaring the JKLF an unlawful organisation, Union Home CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AJammuandKashmirPolice spokespersonsaidtwomilitants of the Lashkar-e-Taiba hadtaken two civilians as hostages. “He (Atif) was brutally killed by the terrorists and could not be rescued from the clutches of terrorists. Two militants were killed in the encounter,” the spokesperson said. Atif and his uncle, Abdul Hameed, were abducted when the family tried to flee the house as security forces cordoned off the area. “The whole night I was praying for his life. Why anyone would kill him? He was just 12,” Shareefa Jan, Atif’s mother told The Indian Express. “I pleaded before the militants to release himbuttheyrefusedtoallowmy son come out. What had my son donetothem?Hewastooyoung KALAHANDI, BHUBANESWAR, MARCH 22 THE FAMILY of Dani Batra, who died during a clash between securitypersonnelandlocalprotestors at Vedanta’s Lanjigarh plant in Odisha earlier this week, says itfearshewasmercilesslybeaten to death by security personnel. Kalahandi district police said Monday’s clash also led to the death of a security officer, Havildar Sujit Minz. Vedanta, which has estimated losses of around Rs 15 crore to its infra- Dani Batra’s wife Saindri Batra with sons Chandan and Laban, and Dani’s brother’s wife Sarbati (right). NEW DELHI, MARCH 22 He sought ‘more facts’ on Balakot air strike. Raaj Dayal Opposition and BJP is clear. They suspect our army, we are proud of our army.Their heartbeatsfor terrorists, ours beats for the Tiranga. This election, through the power of your vote, do a surgical strike on the Congress culture. #JantaMaafNahiKaregi” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, referring to Pitroda as “guru” of Rahul Gandhi, said: “Agar guru aisa ho aur uske CONTINUEDONPAGE2 structure,hasalsoannouncedRs 25 lakh as compensation for both deceased. On Thursday, the Batra familysharedwithTheIndianExpress a WhatsApp video that it claims isof Dani.Thevideoshowssecurity personnel retrieving a man from a pond and purportedly performing CPR on his limp body. The pond, which locals say is around 10 feet deep, is located within 700 feet of the gates of the Vedanta plant. The Batra family now demands a precise account of how Dani’s body ended up in the pond. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MARCH 22 Income Tax department during raids in Karnataka in 2017 showed that Rs 2600 crore was “collected”, of which Rs 1800 crore was given to the BJP top leadership between May 2008 and July 2011 when Yeddyurappa was the Chief Minister. Repeatedly calling it the “socalled diary”, Surjewala said every page in it had Yeddyurappa’s signature. He sought an investigation into the report by the newly constituted Lokpal. “The Prime Minister has to come forward and say whether Rs 1800 crore of bribes were received or not. Each person named in this diary must come forward and say well he or she is not guilty and they are ready to undergo any kind of investigation... this is a fit case to be investigated by the newly appointed Lokpal as the first test case,” he said. THE GOVERNMENT is learnt to have got the Election Commission’s (EC) nod for releasing the second instalment of the PM-KISAN scheme from April1.Thepermission,however, is limited to beneficiaries identifiedbeforetheModelCode of Conduct (MCC) came into force on March 10. In its response to the Ministry of Agriculture this week, the Commission, sources said, reiterated its instructions of March 5, 2009, which state that “beneficiary projects where specific beneficiariesbynamehavebeen identified before coming of the Model Code of Conduct into force” can be continued, even after elections are announced,without any reference to EC. The Commission asked the government to proceed according to the 2009 circular. In other words, new recipientsaddedafterMarch10,if any, are unlikely to receive their first and second instalment of Rs 2,000 each until the Lok Sabha elections are over. The MCC forbids any new policy announcements, new projects and financial relief by the government, unless cleared by the EC. The PM-KISAN scheme, MAINNAHIN CHOWKIDAR A ROW erupted Friday after the Congress, citing a report in the Caravan magazine, alleged that formerKarnatakaChief Minister BSYeddyurappahadpaidbribes to the tune of Rs 1,800 crore to the BJP leadership. Rejecting the charge,theBJPsaidtheCongress, fearing defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, was resorting to “falsehood, misrepresentation” and a “web of lies”. As Yedyurappa too denied the allegation, the Central Board of Direct Taxes issued a statementsayingtheentriesin“loose sheets prima facie appear to be of a doubtful nature and were givenbythepersonwhowasbeing raided for tax violations”. Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala claimed that a “socalled diary” seized by the DECISION 2019 INTERVIEW: NITIN GADKARI PAGE 6 In Bihar, RJD gets 20, Cong only 9, Kanhaiya left out CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE BY KANCHA ILAIAH SHEPHERD PAGE 10 PATNA, MARCH 22 Confessing that she does not knowwhetherDanicouldswim, his wife Saindri Batra on Friday said, “Two questions are haunting me. If he did not know how to swim, was he beaten so badly by OISF (Odisha Industrial SecurityForce)personnelthathe still ran into the water for shelter and drowned?” “If he knew how to swim, was he so badly injured that he could not swim and drowned?” she continues, adding “his postmortemreportandaninvestigation into his death should be released immediately”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE OPPOSITION’S grand alliance in Bihar announced its seat-sharing Friday tying up — for the first time — with CPIML(Liberation)bygivingitaseat but not accommodating the CPI which had asked for Begusarai for former JNU students’ union chief Kanhaiya Kumar. Veteran leader Sharad Yadav, who heads Loktantrik Janta Dal, will contest on the RJD symbol. The Congress, which got nine, did not get some of its desired seats such as Aurangabad but was assured of being “compensated” with a Rajya Sabha seat against the first vacancy. This is the least number of seats Congress will contest in Lok Sabha polls in Bihar. RJD national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Ku- CONTINUEDONPAGE2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SANTOSH SINGH Vedanta protests: Families of both killed demand answers, probe on SAMPAD PATNAIK RITIKA CHOPRA 12-yr-old boy killed despite Cong alleges payoffs by BSY mother’s appeal to militants to his leaders, BJP calls it a ADIL AKHZER web of lies, poll desperation HAJIN (BANDIPORA), After Jamaat, Centre bans JKLF, cites separatism INSIDE TECHNOCRAT-TURNEDCONGRESS politician Sam Pitroda was at the centre of a political row Friday after he sought “more facts” and proof of the death toll in the Balakot air strike and, while referring to the Mumbai 26/11 attack, said one cannot “jump on an entire nation... just because some peoplecamehereandattacked”. Prime Minister Narendra ModitoreintotheCongress,saying it was a “shame” that Rahul Gandhi’s “most trusted advisor and guide” had “kick-started the Pakistan National Day celebrations on behalf of the Congress, ironically by demeaning India’s armed forces”. BJP president Amit Shah, in a tweet,said:“Differencebetween ● THE GOVERNMENT’S first ever boycott of Pakistan National Day along with its ban on JKLF sends a hard message on Kashmir to Pakistan. But by not departing from the tradition of sending greetings to Pakistan, the Prime Minister has kept the diplomatic door ajar. EC clears 2nd farm payout but only to those named before code Tejashwi skipped list release mar Jha announced that the RJD has kept 20 seats for itself, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) will contest five seats and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and Vikasshil Insaan Party (VIP) three seats each. Jha announcedseatsandcandidates for the first phase. While former CM and HAM(S) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi and Upendra Kumar will be Grand Alliance candidates from Gaya and Aurangabad respec- tively, RJD has fielded former Nawada MLA Rajballabh Yadav’s wife Vibha Devi from Nawada. Yadav was sentenced to life last December in a rape case. RLSP has fielded Bhudev Choudhary fromJamuiagainstLJPchief Ram Vilas Paswan’s son and sitting MP Chirag Paswan. One key takeaway from the seat-sharing announcement is RJD’s alliance with CPI-ML (Liberation) which will contest Ara with Raju Yadav as its candidate. Yadav will face BJP’s likely candidate and Union Minister R K Singh. The CPI, which had formed an alliance with RJD in the 1990 and 1995 Assembly polls, however, could not find place in the Grand Alliance. RJD sources said RJD chief Lalu Prasad had never beencomfortablewithKanhaiya Kumar’s candidature from Begusarai wary of his growing CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Before NZ shooting, Indian visitors nearly doubled in four years SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, MARCH 22 THE DEATH of five Indian nationals among the 50 killed in the Christchurch terrorist attack has brought into focus another set of numbers that reveals how New Zealandisincreasingbecominganattractive destination for visitors from India — they add up to a 93 per cent hike in the last four years. Known for its beautiful locales, quality of higher education, low corruption and clean air, New Zealand has a population of 47 lakh of which around 2 lakh are Indians and those of Indian origin. But it’s the number of Indians visiting the country that’s telling. According to data available with the NewZealandgovernment,34,672 Indian nationals visited New Zealand between September 2013-October 2014. This number has since increased steadily and now stands at 67,072 between September 2017 and October 2018. While 70 to 80 per cent visit New Zealand for vacationing, and visiting family and friends, the remaining 20 per cent is linked to business, education and conferences. INDIANS VISITING NZ 93% RISE IN 4 YRS 2014: 34,672 2015: 48,496 2017: 57,344 2018: A makeshift memorial outside the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Thursday. Reuters 42,496 2016: 67,072 Note: Figures from Sept-Oct annually ThedataalsoshowthatIndiaisthe second largest source of students to thecountry —afterChina— withover 30,000 Indian students. And in 2018, Indiawasrankedninthamongthetop 10 countries in terms of visitors to New Zealand, which includes all nationalities.Australia,ChinaandtheUS werethetopthree“sourcecountries”. New Zealand is a hot destination forIndians.Studentsgothereforhighquality global education,” says Deepali Patel, a licensed immigration advisor for New Zealand. “Comparatively, I have to use the word comparatively after the latest incident in Christchurch, it is a very safe and peaceful place. For girls who travel alone, it is very safe. There is no racial discrimination there,” she says. The number of students, however, has dropped in the last few years, particularly in the second half of 2016 and in 2018, due to tighter rules and monitoring of student visa applications from India. According to Patel, New Zealand “wantshighqualitystudents”,anditis offering a good deal for those who want to do their Masters and PhDs. “The spouse gets work visa, and a child above 5 years is treated as a domestic student, which means that its CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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