DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES THE EDITORIAL PAGE THE NEW BRAHMINISM BY PRATAP BHANU MEHTA PAGE 12 Antilia scare: ‘Waze feared ID card was in SUV, came back to site’ Pak hand: Haqqanis in, so is Talib who brought the Buddhas down Hassan Akhund PM in new Afghan Govt, Doha group out in the cold Farmers head towards the mini-Secretariat at Karnal in Haryana on Tuesday. Praveen Khanna SHETKARI SANGHATANA PRESIDENT’S LETTER Release our report, it addresses farmer issue: SC panel member to CJI Waze was arrested in March SADAF MODAK & MOHAMED THAVER Claims report hasn’t got SC attention; colleague Gulati backs his feelings MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 7 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Protesters argue with a Taliban soldier during an anti-Pakistan demonstration in Kabul on Tuesday. WANA via Reuters SHUBHAJIT ROY & NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 7 THE SUPREME Court Tuesday deferred to September 13 hearing onpetitionsseeking anindependent probe into charges of unauthorised surveillance using the Pegasus software. A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana adjourned the hearing after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought a few more days to “find out” if the government intended to file any additional affidavit in the matter. As soon as the matter was taken up Tuesday, Mehta told the Bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and A S Bopanna,that“thereissomedifficulty regarding that affidavit... Pleaseconsider accommodating me till the day after”. BY UNNY NEW DELHI, MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 7 UNVEILING THEIR interim government which had the Pakistani stamp all over, the TalibanTuesdayannouncedthat Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, the hardliner chief of the decision-making Rehbari Shura and the man who ordered the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhasin2001,willbethenew Prime Minister of Afghanistan. Mullah Hassan edged out Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the Taliban political office in Qatar capital Doha, for the top post, ending the race and the war within for powersharing, three days after Pakistan ISI chief Lt General Faiz Hameed reached Kabul to de- SC gives govt more time to decide on Pegasus affidavit EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE BUSINESS AS USUAL Atthelasthearing,onAugust 17, the government had filed a brief affidavit “unequivocally” denying all allegations made by the petitioners and stating that “withaviewtodispelanywrong narrative spread by certain vested interests and with an object of examining the issues raised”, it would set up “a Committeeof Expertsinthefield which will go into all aspects of the issue”. The government had also told the Court that day that the matterhadnationalsecurityimplicationsduetowhichitdidnot want to put the details in a public affidavit but would reveal all aspects to the committee, of independent experts, which could then submit its report to the Court. The Bench had however issued a pre-admission notice to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RUSSIAN NSA IN DELHI, AFGHANISTAN ON TABLE PAGE 8 KEY FIGURES IN THE NEW TALIBAN GOVERNMENT PAGE 14 cide government formation. Rawalpindi’s imprint was visible as leaders of the Haqqani Network terror outfit and the Kandahar-based Taliban group dominated the new cabinet while the Doha-based Taliban group, which had been negotiating with the international communityandhadestablished contacts with New Delhi, appeared to have been sidelined. The assessment in Delhi was that at least 20 of the 33 in the new cabinet were from the Kandahar-based Taliban group and the Haqqani Network. As expected, no woman found a place in the cabinet, and there were very few nonPashtuns -- only three out of 33. Thisbeliedexpectationsinsome quarters of the international communitythattheywillbe“inclusive” and “representative”. FromNewDelhi’sperspective, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Covid stress on small units: Mudra loan NPAs up in PSU banks SUNNY VERMA NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 7 PUBLIC SECTOR banks are experiencingasharpsurgeintheproportion of Mudra loans turning into non-performing assets (NPAs) following the impact of Covid on incomes and repayment capacity of borrowers, accordingtobankersandananalysis of available data from state-levelbankers'committees. Theproportionof theseNPAs are estimated to have shot up more than three times as of June-end 2021 over the 2019-20 fiscal year, bankers said. “Gross NPAs in the Mudra loan book is estimated to have reached around 20 per cent at June-end 2021, from around 6 per cent at March-end 2020 with many states showing rising distress on this book,” a senior banker with MUDRA NPAs IN KEY STATES (%) JUNEEND 2021 2020 Maharashtra 22.00 14.94 Jharkhand 9.29 8.53 Gujarat* 6.64 4.54 Chhattisgarh* 9.80 12.55 Source: State-Level Bankers’ Committees * Data as on March-end a public sector bank said. In a key state like Maharashtra, for instance, SBI’s NPA on Mudra loans is at 59 per centasonJune-end2021.Canara Bank reported an NPA as high as 114.35 per cent in Jharkhand as on June 30, 2021. Under the Pradhan Mantri CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘I was framed for being a Dalit, 6 years of my life were taken away from me’ PAGE 1 ANCHOR ANAND MOHAN J NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 7 DURING HIS six years in prison, he had a recurring dream: he would fly, but fall to the ground when he saw his worried wife. Then, he says, he would catch a bus home. And that was when he would wake up to reality, inside his cell at Tihar jail, awaiting trial in a POCSO case. Released last month, after a city court held that he was “falsely framed” because of his Dalit identify, the 55-year-old man — he did not want to be The 55-year-old was acquitted in a POCSO case last month named — says the dreams have stopped. “I always used to fly in my dreams. The strange thing is that now that I have been released, I have stopped flying in my dreams. I want to fly again, one more time,” he says. The case against him was registered on the complaint of a man who accused him of sexually assaulting four minor girls. The prosecution accused him of being a “serial sexual” offender. HewasarrestedonMay18,2015, when the alleged incident took place. On August 7, a Delhicourt acquitted him, observing that he had been “falsely framed due to prejudicial disposition of the parents towards the accused, who belongs to the Dalit community”. He was released the same night. The complainant was found to have filed a false case after the 55-year-old objected to his dog defecating outside his house in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E E X P L A I NE D THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency’s chargesheet in the bomb scare outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house addresses a key question that had puzzledinvestigatorsprobingthe case: why did the main accused, dismissed Mumbai Police API Sachin Waze, return to the scene twohoursafterallegedlyparking an SUV there with gelatin sticks and a threat letter inside? He allegedly feared he had forgotten his police ID in the parked vehicle, according to the statement of a prosecution witness. The key witness is a Crime Intelligence Unit colleague of Waze who was tailing the SUV driven bythe accusedin another vehicle and has since claimed that he was misled into believing it was an official assignment. CCTV footage shows that the SUV was parked at 2.10 am on Carmichael Road in South Mumbai outside the Ambani residence on February 25. It shows a person wearing a long kurta, with a face mask, returning to the spot at 4.30 am and peering inside the SUV. `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 Islamabad ● Imprint THE CHOICE of the new PM and the induction of the Haqqanis in the interim Afghan government carries the imprint of Pakistan. The ISI chief reached Kabul three day ago to ensure its proxies get plum posts. For India, the Haqqanis getting government berths is bad news. HARIKISHAN SHARMA & PARTHA SARATHI BISWAS NEW DELHI, PUNE, SEPTEMBER 7 A MEMBER of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on the three farm laws that triggered farmer protests last year has urged the Chief Justice of Indiatoreleasethepanel’sreport in the public domain and forward it to the Centre. Shetkari Sanghatana president Anil J Ghanwat, in a letter dated September 1 to the CJI, said the committee’sreport“has addressed all apprehensions of the farmers” and its “recommendationswillpave theway to resolve the ongoing farmers’ agitation”. “As a member of the Committee, especially representingthefarmers’community, I am pained that the issue raised by the farmers aren’t yet resolved and the agitation is continuing. I feel that the report has not been given any attention by the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” his letter stated. “Iamhumbly pleadingtothe Hon’bleSupremeCourttokindly releasethereportforimplementation of its recommendations for peaceful resolution of the stalemate to the farmers’ satisfaction at the earliest,” he said. Recalling that the Supreme Court “suspended the implementation of three farm laws and constituted a Committee to reporton these laws” on January 12 this year, Ghanwat said the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Farmers on Khattar turf, reach Karnal for sit-in SUKHBIR SIWACH KARNAL, SEPTEMBER 7 AFTER TALKS with the administrationfailed,thousandsof farmers started a gherao of the miniSecretariat in Karnal, the constituency of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Tuesday evening, managing to reach it crossing six heavily manned police barricades. Farmer leaders had called a mahapanchayat in Karnal to protestagainstthe August28police crackdown on protesters, who were agitating against the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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