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wednesday, february 22, 2017

Delhi City Edition

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Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar begins visit to China

Taliban suicide bombers attack court in Pakistan, 7 killed

PM urges U.S. to keep an open mind on visas for skilled workers

Indian women post a thrilling win against South Africa

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Co i m bato r e


Rudy, Supriyo irked at Tripura Ministers AGARTALA

Central Ministers Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Babul Supriyo were irked at the absence of Left Front Ministers at the DigiDhan Mela on Tuesday. Sources said that the CPI(M)’s stringent opposition to demonetisation and an absolute cashless economy prevented the Tripura Ministers from attending the event. NATION 쑺 PAGE 6 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Man found living with sister's corpse dies KOLKATA

Less than two years after his life and actions came under public scrutiny for living with the corpse of his sister and two dead dogs, Partha De died under mysterious circumstances here. EAST 쑺 PAGE 2 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD



Benga luru


H yde rabad


Madura i




V isa kha patna m


Thiruva nantha pura m


Koc h i


V ij ayawa da


Man ga lu ru


T i ru c h i r apal l i


Ko l k ata

After a certain age, friendships happen according to needs, says Akhilesh


Mo h a l i


Al l a h abad


Ma l ap pu ra m


Mu mbai

Took money from suspects in cricket betting case: CBI conducted extensive searches in different parts of the country, making headlines. However, the ED received multiple complaints alleging that the officers were demanding and receiving money from the suspects.

Devesh K. Pandey Amit Baruah Omar Rashid LUCKNOW

The alliance with the Congress was the product of “a particular time and circumstances”, and may not have happened had the family feud within the Samajwadi Party not broken out, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has told The Hindu in an interview. “If these things [family matters] had not cropped up and some political decisions didn’t have to be taken, then this alliance may not have happened. The time and circumstances were such that we had to have this alliance…” Mr. Yadav said on Monday. He said he enjoyed a “good chemistry” with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and was happy that the SP and Congress were fighting the elections together. “Sometimes you just build a friendship. Some say that after a certain age, friendships happen according to needs. We are the same age,

we think alike. He too wants the country and the State to develop.” The alliance between the two parties is seen as an unconventional one — the SP has a tradition of opposing the Congress. Mr. Yadav, who is today the party’s boss, is however dismissive of the past acrimony. The times demanded “political formations that can protect the secular fabric of the country and take on communal parties like the BJP.” There was a time when the Congress was the only ruling party and so it was

natural to oppose it. “All Samajwadi leaders,” he said, “are products of the Congress party.” Mr. Yadav took questions on a range of topics — from demonetisation and the future of the alliance with the Congress to his infrastructural projects and sync with the bureaucracy.

Crematorium issue Mr. Yadav was recently attacked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for alleged communal discrimination in power supply for and maintenance of cremation sites in

White harvest

the State. He dismissed these claims, saying the PM did not have the “correct data.” “We provided 2,000 MW more power during Diwali than we did for Ramzan. For Diwali, it being the festival of lights, I decided that I will ensure every district headquarters 24-hour electricity supply. Since that day, there has been 24-hour power supply across the State,” he said. Mr. Yadav, while refusing to be drawn into making a direct comparison of his model of development with the Gujarat model initiated by Mr. Modi, said his government had delivered on its promises. “I don’t know what the Gujarat model is, but I can say this: they have not been able to construct a Metro [line] in 15 years, but we are making Metro [lines] in four places. The Prime Minister is talking about sitting in our Metro, but I ask him when will you let us sit in your Metro?” he said. EXCERPTS 쑺 PAGE 9


No big fat weddings here Jammu and Kashmir issues orders on invitees, size of feasts

J.P. Singh, a former Joint Director with the Enforcement Directorate, was on Tuesday arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation, along with his former subordinate and two others, for allegedly receiving money from several suspects in two cases of hawala and cricket betting rackets busted by his team about two years ago. Among those arrested are Mr. Singh’s former subordinate Sanjay Kumar, “bookie” Bimal Agrawal and Chandresh Patel. A case was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2015 following a complaint from the Enforcement Directorate itself, accusing the IRS officer of indulging in corruption.

Shifted out An Intelligence Bureau report backed the allegations. Following searches in September 2015, the officer was shifted out of the agency along with two others. Mr. Singh allegedly committed the offence when he

Amnesty International’s annual report, the State of the World’s Human Rights Report 2016-17, has expressed concerns over a range of human rights violations in India. The report, being released worldwide on Wednesday, slammed the use of legislation such as the Foreign Currency (Regulation) Act (FCRA) and the sedition law to silence government critics and crack down on civil society organisations. It noted, in particular, the suspension of the FCRA registration of Lawyers Collective, and the government’s refusal to renew the FCRA licences of 25 NGOs “without offering valid reas-

ons”, which constitute a violation of the right to freedom of association. Speaking of India’s record, Amnesty International said, “Human rights activists and journalists faced intimidation and attacks from both state and non-state actors.” The report pointed to the deaths of journalists Karun Mishra and Rajdeo Ranjan, who were allegedly killed for their reporting, in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and Siwan, Bihar, respectively. In a sub-section on India titled ‘Caste-based discrimination and violence’, the report noted that “Dalits and Adivasis continued to face widespread abuses”. CONTINUED ON 쑺 PAGE 10

Using less Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali said, “The order was issued after the department received complaints and representations, both from civil as well as social organisations regarding injudicious use of essential commodities and exuberant expenditures made in public and private functions.” The government has also directed that leftover,

uncooked or surplus food should be provided to the needy. “There shall be a complete ban on use of big generator set, high pitch sound amplifiers, loudspeakers, decks, profuse lighting, and bursting of crackers in social as well as government functions,” Mr. Ali explained.

No dry fruit boxes The government has also banned the popular practice of sending dry fruit boxes to guests along with the wedding invitations.

Extortion conspiracy According to the CBI, he along with the then Enforcement Officer Sanjay Kumar conspired with their contacts to extort money from the suspects in the Suratbased hawala racket and the ₹2,000-crore cricket betting racket for not arresting them. The money laundering case allegedly involved hawala operator Afroz Fatta. In the cases said to involve thousands of crores, the accused officers had

Press Trust of India Islamabad

Hafiz Saeed’s house arrest was in Pakistan’s “larger interest” as he could pose a “serious threat” to the country, Defence Minister Khawaza Asif has said in the first public admission of the JuD chief’s terror links. Mr. Asif ’s remarks about the danger posed by the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks — in which 166 people died — came at an international security conference in Munich, Germany.

Larger interest of nation “Saeed can pose a serious threat to the society,” the Minister told the audience at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, The Nation

‘Dirty picture’ prompts NGT clean-up order NGT issues notice over photo of choked east Delhi canal published in The Hindu great hazard to public health causing innumerable diseases among other hazards”. “Water bodies in the form of canals/nullahs/storm-water drains play a vital role as an integral component of the hydrological system and perform diverse roles in the biosphere which contributes to maintaining a delicate ecological balance with life forms ranging from microscopic bacteria to insects, fish, small animals and birds. “Pollution of drains and indiscriminate dumping of waste would have an adverse impact on the ecology and environment of the area,” he said.

Akanksha Jain

Two days after The Hindu published a photograph titled ‘Dirty Picture’, showing the pathetic state of the choked Dallupura canal in east Delhi, the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed its immediate clean up while seeking a response from the Centre, the AAP government and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

block roads due to wrong parking and create [traffic] jams,” the order says.


JuD leader listed under Anti-Terror Act

Peerzada Ashiq

Minimalist order: A Gujjar party in Pulwama with the groom on horseback and the bride in a palanquin. PHOTO: NISSAR AHMAD

headed the Ahmedabad zone.

Activists, journalists intimidated: Report

NEW DELHI Srinagar

The CBI iled the case in 2015 on a complaint from the ED itself.

Compliance report A Bench headed by NGT chairman Swatanter Kumar directed the civic body to immediately remove the waste from the canal and file a compliance report stating the methodology used for cleaning it. The Bench also asked for a report from the civic agency on how it would manage the waste removed from the canal. On Sunday, The Hindu had carried a photograph of the Dallupura canal choked with polythene bags and other waste. The eyesore was brought to the attention of the NGT by environment activist Vikrant Tongad who informed it that the Dallupura canal was a link between the

Bookies were informers Last year, the agency had arrested three “bookies” J.K. Arora (Delhi), Sonu Jalan (Mumbai) and Jayesh Thakkar (Ahmedabad), for allegedly operating as informers and middlemen for the IRS officer. The alleged bookies would pass on information to the accused officer for conducting searches against the suspects and subsequently, demands would be raised for not taking further legal action against them. All the four were produced before a designated court which granted them a transit remand till February 23 so that they can be produced before the CBI court in Ahmedabad. (With PTI inputs)

Saeed could pose a threat to Pak.: Minister

New Delhi

Snowfall blanketed paddy ields at Lower Munda near the Jawahar Tunnel, some 80 km from Srinagar, on Tuesday. The SrinagarJammu National Highway, the only all-weather road link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, was closed for traic for the second consecutive day because of landslips at some places. NISSAR AHMAD (SEE ALSO PAGE 3)


Amnesty faults sedition law, curbs on NGOs Special Correspondent


H u bba l l i

‘If not for family feud, I may Former ED oicer, aide not have allied with Cong.’ arrested on graft charges


From the number of dishes to the size of the guest list, weddings in Jammu and Kashmir will now have to be conducted as per government rules. Lavish weddings have been under the scanner, leading to new regulations being announced on Tuesday. The move, however, drew flak from civil society. The government has asked people to “cook only seven non-vegetarian and seven vegetarian dishes in marriages with two stalls of sweets or fruits.” Kashmir has more than 12 dishes in Wazwan (traditional cuisine), and Jammu is known for an array of vegetarian dishes. The bride’s family may invite a maximum of 500 guests, while the guest list for the groom’s family should stop at 400. For functions like the ring ceremony of son, daughter and other small events, the number of guests can top 100, according to the government order, to be implemented by Deputy Commissioners. “Big gatherings often


The green panel has asked for a report from the civic agency on how it would manage the waste removed from the canal. FILE PHOTO V. SUDERSHAN

Hindon and Agra canal which goes towards Kalindi Kunj near the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. Mr. Tongad also shared how the locals once used to bathe in the Dallupra canal.

Water body “Even if it serves no irrigation purpose now, the canal should be maintained as a water body for groundwater recharge. In any case, such a filthy canal in the city is a

visual pollution too,” Mr Tongad said. Mr. Tongad’s counsel Sanjay Upadhyay told the tribunal that “canals and drains have been turned into mass dumping yards. This is not only violative of the environmental laws, including the Environment Protection Act, 1986, and rules made there under, especially the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, Plastic Waste Management Rules, but is a

2015 order It fact, the NGT had in 2015 specifically prohibited dumping of any material or municipal waste in or around natural and manmade drains in Delhi and further directed that such drains be kept clean and free of obstruction. The photograph was also tweeted by politician and psephologist Yogendra Yadav saying: “A canal in Dallupura, E Delhi, is symbolic of all tat is wrong in Delhichoked canals, garbage heaps, Govt apathy.”

reported. Saeed was “arrested in the larger interest of the country”, he added. Saeed was placed under house arrest under the Schedule IV of the Anti-Terrorism Act on January 30 in Lahore, provoking an uproar from his party and allies. Saeed’s inclusion in the list shows he is linked with militancy in some way. Saeed was earlier this month put on the Exit Control List, barring him from leaving the country. As far back as 2008, Saeed was placed under house arrest after the Mumbai attacks, but was freed by a court in 2009. CONTINUED ON 쑺 PAGE 10 THE SAEED TEST 쑺 EDITORIAL

Indian doctor from A.P. freed in Libya Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

India has secured the release of a national who was kidnapped in Libya, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced on Tuesday evening.

To return home soon Ramamurthy Kosanam, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, is currently with the Indian diplomatic officials in Libya and is likely to return home soon. “We have rescued Dr. Ramamurthy Kosanam in Libya. Dr. Kosanam has suffered a bullet injury. We are bringing him to India shortly,” said Ms. Swaraj on a social media platform. Sushma lauds mission She added, “With this, we have rescued all the six Indians abducted there. I appreciate the good work done by our mission there.” India had secured the release of two nationals from the captivity of suspected Islamic State fighters in September 2016 after protracted negotiations. Ms. Swaraj has personally monitored the cases. ND-ND








Two more held in baby smuggling racket Duo sold more than a dozen of babies, Bharatiya Janata Party leader under scanner cropped up in the investigation. According to the investigators, she along with Ms Chakraborty, visited Delhi a number of times and met senior government officials. CID sources said that Ms Chowdhury remains elusive and the officials are keen on questioning her on the developments. Meanwhile, BJP State president Dilip Ghosh said he would look into the matter and take steps if Ms Chowdhury is guilty.

Special Correspondent Kolkata

‘Mother tongue must for expressing one’s views’ KOLKATA

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said all languages were equal and mother tongue should be used to express one’s views. “All languages are equal. Mother tongue must be for expressing views,” Banerjee tweeted on the occasion of International Mother Language Day. “How can I forget February 21 spattered with my brothers’ blood? I pay my tribute to the martyrs of 1952 Language Movement,” Banerjee tweeted. Heartfelt greetings to all on the occasion of International Mother Language Day,” Banerjee added.

Odisha Budget session from today BHUBANESWAR

The budget session of the Odisha Assembly is scheduled to begin on Wednesday with Governor S.C. Jamir addressing the House on the opening day. The session will be held in two phases – from February 22 to March 4 and from March 14 to April 7. The annual budget for the year 2017-18 is likely to be presented by Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat on February 27. Special Correspondent

Security personnel injured in militant attack IMPHAL

A security personnel was today injured when suspected militants fired at the securitymen deployed for the visit of Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam in Tamenglong district of Manipur, police said. Suspected militants fired at a police advance party, injuring a jawan of the Indian Reserve Battalion. The security personnel returned the fire, triggering a gunbattle, police said. - PTI

Just two months after an inter-state racket of child smuggling had rocked West Bengal, new cases of infant smuggling has come to the fore in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the West Bengal Police arrested Chandana Chakraborty (55) and Sonali Mondal (30) in a different case of child smuggling, Nishat Pervez, DIG Operations said. According to the investigators, the duo in the past few years have sold more than a dozen of babies not only in the country but abroad as well.

Three homes Three homes -- Bimala Sishu Griho, Ashroy Short Stay Home and North Bengal People’s Development Committee run by Chandana Chakraborty – were under

Police oicials escort Chandana Chakraborty and Sonali Mondal from a police station in Jalpaiguri to a hospital for a medical check up on Tuesday. AFP the scanner by the investigators on allegations of irregularities by Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. On Tuesday the Jalpaiguri District Magistrate issued a show cause notice to Sasmita Ghosh, the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO), asking her to explain how 17 chil-

dren from the homes had gone missing. In November 2016, the West Bengal police rescued 12 infants from a nursing home in Baduria, North 24-Parganas, and a home for the mentally ill in Thakurpukur near Kolkata. The case was handed over to the CID, which arrested more than a dozen of persons, including doctors. The

charge sheet filed by the CID named 19 persons. Among those arrested are a retired doctor, Dilip Ghosh, whose association with the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had embarrassed the party. Mr Ghosh had contested civic polls on a BJP ticket The name of Juhi Chowdhury, a general secretary of the BJP women’s wing, also

Political agenda “I believe this might also be a part of the political agenda. However, our party has a set policy. Since fingers have been pointed, our party will definitely look into it. The BJP won’t support anyone found guilty. If the allegations are found to be true, she will be thrown out of the party,” Mr Ghosh said. BJP MP Roopa Ganguly has put her weight behind Ms Chowdhury saying she was being framed.

Kolkata man found living with sister's corpse dies His actions came under public scrutiny Special Correspondent Kolkata

Less than two years after his life and actions came under intense public scrutiny for living with the corpse of his sister and two dead dogs, Partha De, a 46-year-old software engineer, died under mysterious circumstances here on Tuesday. According to the police, his body was found in a “burning condition” inside a bathroom. Half a bottle of petrol and some matchsticks were found near it. Preliminary investigation suggests that he committed suicide. The body was recovered from a residential apartment at 15 Wattgunge Street. In the second week of June, 2015, Partha was rescued from his house in the city’s upmarket Robinson Street area. It was the death of his father Aranbindo De in almost similar circumstances that led to the dis-

covery of the corpse of his sister, Debjani, and two dogs. Partha had been living with the corpse for six months. The father had also allegedly set himself on fire in the bathroom.

Several theories The incident led to lot of curiosity and several theories were floated in the media. DNA tests confirmed that the skeletal remains were that of Debjani, who earlier worked as a music teacher in a city school. Partha was taken into police custody and later admitted to a State-run mental hospital. He was subsequently released from hospital. Despite the attention the media and the investigators gave to the case, Partha was not charged with any major offence. His fault was that he did not conduct the final rites of his sister and pets.

2 killed in poll-related violence in Odisha

Panchayat polls: A setback likely for BJD

One of them was a candidate in CM’s home district

Initial outcome has left BJD shocked, BJP euphoric and Congress depressed

Staff Reporter BERHAMPUR

Two persons, including a candidate contesting the posts of sarpanch and panchayat samity member in Ganjam, the home district of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, were killed in group clashes related to the polls. Bulukumar Pradhan (34) was the candidate for sarpanch and panchayat samity member posts from Brahmanchhai panchayat under Shergarh Block, which is part of the Hinjli Assembly segment represented by the Chief Minister. The State Election Com-

mission cancelled voting scheduled to be held in Brahmanchhai on Tuesday because of the deterioration of law and order situation. No voting was held in 12 booths of Brahmanchhai panchayat.

Distribution of money Tussle over allegation of distribution of money among voters had led to a violent clash at Brahmanchhai around 11 p.m. on Monday. Ten people were injured in the clash in which sharp weapons were used. It is alleged that taking advantage of the darkness, some miscreants had kidnapped Bulukumar, whose body was later found on the banks of the Rushikulya river flowing near the village. Six persons injured in the clash have been admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur.

According to Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Subash Chandra Panda, though the situation was under control in Brahmanchhai, three platoons of armed forces have been deployed in the area as a precautionary measure. No one had been arrested till Tuesday evening.

Other clash The other clash and murder took place around midnight on Monday at Mardakot village under the Kodala police station limits. Three persons were injured in the violent clash. The deceased, Pitabas Swain (42), was a supporter of the sarpanch candidate contesting from the area. According to sources, allegation of distribution of money among voters in the dead of night ahead of polling day had led to the group clash.


At the end of the fifth and last phase of panchayat polls on Tuesday, it became clear that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal has lost its supremacy in rural Odisha, suffering a severe jolt in the western region.

New schemes In its fourth consecutive term in power, the BJD has for the first time faced serious challenge not from the Congress but from its onetime ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party. The shock to the ruling party has come while it was trying to strengthen its position by celebrating the birth centenary of late Biju Patnaik after whom the party has been named. Before enforcement of

Women voters wait in a queue at a booth in Khurda district on Tuesday during the last phase of the panchayat polls. - PTI

the model code of conduct, Mr. Patnaik had visited almost all the districts, announcing new schemes and laying foundation stones for new projects in an attempt to beat anti-incumbency. A number people from rival parties as well as popular actors were inducted into the BJD to exhibit the party’s growing popularity in the run-up to the polls.

The ruling BJD had also tried to whip up popular sentiments by raising the Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh by organising protests and Jal Satyagraha.

Lost ground Although the results of the rural polls have not been formally announced, going by reports reaching the Cap-

ital city, it appears that the BJD had lost ground in over 100 Zilla Parishad constituencies. Top BJD leaders too have failed to prevent the BJP from winning in their strongholds. It seems that Mr. Patnaik’s pre-poll announcements and public mobilisation on the Mahanadi issue had had little impact on voters. The BJP, on the other hand, achieved spectacular success by intensifying its campaign when the BJD was bugged by anti-incumbency, and the Congress, the main opposition in State Assembly, remained a divided house. The saffron party is likely to cross the 300 mark by increasing its strength from a measly 36 of the total 851 Zilla Parishad seats in the last panchayat polls in 2012.

Bengal Board exam sees dip of 70,000 candidates Special Correspondent Kolkata

Over 10 lakh students will appear in the West Bengal Board of Secondary Examination or the Madhyamik Pariksha for Class X, which is starting on Wednesday. The number of students this year has gone down by 73,000. In 2016, 11.44 lakh students appeared in the examination, while in 2017, 10.71 lakh candidates will write the test. According to the president of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), Kalyanmoy Ganguly, the decrease is not very surprising as 2016 had seen about 1.16 lakh more examinees than the usual. Mr. Ganguly also pointed out that this year the exams are being held as per the new syllabus.

Girl students The number of girl students writing the exam is significantly higher than the boys this year. While 5.95 lakh girls will write the exams, the number the boys is about 4.8 lakh. State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said that the higher number of girl candidates reflects the success of the Chief Minister’s “Kanyashree Scheme”, which is aimed at giving scholarship to school-going girls. In almost 20 districts of West Bengal, the girl students outnumber the boys in the examination. Though the State government and the board claim credit for enabling more female students to appear in Class X exams, some social commentators say a large number of boys from the minority community migrate to other States looking for jobs by the time they are in the age group of 15-16 years, when most students reach Class X. CM YK










Wednesday, February 22

RISE 06:53 SET 18:16 RISE 03:29 SET 14:23

Shoot at sight against poachers

Thursday, February 23

RISE 06:52 SET 18:17 RISE 04:17 SET 15:16 Friday, February 24

Orders were issued after information on movement of suspected poachers in Corbett reserve

Agitation entered 4th day on Tuesday

Kavita Upadhyay

RISE 06:51 SET 18:18 RISE 05:04 SET 16:11


In an attempt to curb poaching of tigers from the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR), “shoot at sight” orders were issued to forest department workers on Tuesday to gun down poachers spotted inside the tiger reserve.

For self-protection However, the “shoot at sight” orders are to be exercised for “self protection against poachers carrying arms,” said the Director of the tiger reserve Parag Madhukar Dhakate. A five-day anti-poaching


More support pours in for Jat agitation

operation was started in the Corbett Tiger Reserve on Tuesday morning after information from intelligence agencies on movement of suspected poachers into the tiger reserve from its southern boundary. According to the tiger census data released in 2015, Uttarakhand with 340 tigers has the second highest tiger population in the country after Karnataka. According to wildlife experts the tiger population has gone even higher in the past two years. “We received some inputs from the intelligence following which we have started an

North and South border. Our forest department officials have been ordered to instantly shoot any poacher, or hunter seen with arms in the core critical tiger habitat zone,” Mr Dhakate said. According to Mr Dhakate, such orders have been given by the State Chief Secretary in the past too for the protection of forest department workers.

anti-poaching operation. Under this operation we have sealed the entry points of the Corbett Tiger Reserve at the

Anti-poaching operation Also, in the five-day antipoaching operation sharp shooters have been placed at vantage points in the reserve along with 388 camera traps.

Two drones, night vision equipment and 150 forest department workers will be used in the anti-poaching operation. According to the data provided by the Uttarakhand forest department, 112 tigers have died between November 2000 and November 2016. This includes 56 natural deaths, 19 deaths due to mutual fights between tigers, 17 deaths in accidents and six tiger deaths in poaching incidents. “Our responsibility is to protect tigers for which the five-day anti-poaching operations have been initiated,” Mr Dhakate said.

Press Trust of India Chandigarh

The Jat agitation in Haryana seeking reservation in educational institutes and government jobs among other demands entered its 24th day on Tuesday, even as caste councils of Kandela and Satrol khaps announced their support to the protest.

Stir peaceful “Large number of members of the Jat community continued with their protests at different places in Haryana. Our protests remained peaceful,” Yashpal Malik,

president of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), which is spearheading the agitation, said. He said the agitation got a boost as Kandela khap at Ikkas village in Jind district extended its support to the protesters, while Satrol khap supported the community at Uggrakheri village in Panipat. The second round of talks in Panipat on Monday had remained inconclusive as the community members were adamant on their demands and said their stir would continue.


Lanslip hits traic

Save Himachal from maia rule: BJP Party, led by Dhumal, takes out its irst rally from Bilaspur sequences and an immediate transfer to some tribal area if his request was not fulfilled. The Congress MLA had also purportedly slapped an IFS officer on duty a few days ago for not working according to his wishes.

Staff Reporter Shimla

The BJP on Tuesday took out its first rally from Bilaspur here as part of its programme to save the State from ‘mafia rule’. Former Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal led the procession and addressed a huge gathering of party workers. He was accompanied by State party president Satpal Satti, vicepresident Randhir Sharma and former MP Suresh Chandel.

Das to lead delegation to China RANCHI

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das will lead a high-level delegation, comprising political leaders, to China as part of bilateral exchange programme to be held this year. PTI

Communal clash averted in Ludhiana LUDHIANA

A communal clash was averted near an economic weaker section colony in Giaspura locality here on Tuesday when two groups of people clashed with each other on a minor pretext, police said. PTI

‘Terrorising public’ The leaders claimed that the public, especially the government employees in the

Prem Kumar Dhumal

State, were being terrorised by the Congress government. A recent audio clipping had exposed Bilaspur MLA Bumber Thakur as demanding an illegal disability certificate from a doctor, they claimed. In the video, he was allegedly seen threatening the doctor with dire con-

‘CM patronising mafia’ The BJP leaders claimed that Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his colleagues were patronising such elements who were openly threatening the public. “There is an organised drug, mining, liquor, land and forest mafia in the State. This type of atmosphere was unthinkable a few years ago,” the leaders claimed.

Explosives seized, man arrested Press Trust of India Jaipur

The police on Monday unearthed a huge cache of explosives from the possession of a villager on the outskirt of the city and arrested him. The cache of explosives seized from the man included 300kg of ammonium nitrate, 400 gelatin rods and 3,200 meters of fuse wire said the police. The police arrested Nandram Raigar of Deeppur village on a tip off that he has been keeping the explosive material illegally. The accused had kept the explosives in six gunny sacks weighing 50 kg each.

Heavy snowfall in Himachal SHIMLA

Heavy snowfall occurred in high altitude tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh while mid and lower hills had rain on Tuesday. PTI

Stranded:: Trucks stand in a line after the Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed for the second day on Tuesday following heavy rain and landslides at Nagrota on the outskirts of Jammu. PTI

Online course in child protection launched Course launched with UNICEF help Mohammed Iqbal JAIPUR

An online course in child protection aimed at capacity enhancement of stakeholders and widening of horizons of those working in the field, with the help of information technology, was launched in Jodhpur. The course module was evolved with the help of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Centre for Child Protection in Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice has launched the course in collaboration with the UNICEF. Inaugurating the course, University Vice-Chancellor Bhupendra Singh said it would be offered free of cost to everyone interested in promotion of child rights.

Also helpful for cops Dr. Singh said the trainees, living anywhere in the

world, would be able to interact with the teachers as well as other students on different aspects of child protection on a discussion board uploaded at the web portal of the course. “The course will be especially helpful for the police officers who are unable to attend regular classes due to paucity of time and work pressure,” said Dr. Singh. It would be available on all electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, laptop computers and tabs. The Vice-Chancellor said children up to the age of 18 years comprised 43.6 per cent of the population in Rajasthan. Since India was a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the course would strengthen the country’s commitment to children’s welfare and protection of their rights, he added.

Hardcore criminal arrested in Jammu Press Trust of India Jammu

The police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested a hardcore criminal and seized a double barrel gun and ammunition from him in Jammu city. Acting on a specific information, a special check

point was set up at Seohra in Gangyal belt of Jammu city and the person was arrested, a police officer said. He added that he was identified as Parmjeet Singh of Gangyal. A case in this regard was registered at Gangyal Police Station.

3 killed in road mishap Press Trust of India Shimla

Three persons were killed and two others were injured when a huge rock fell on the vehicle they were travelling in near Shalkhar village in Kinnaur district, 300 km from here late on Tuesday evening, the police said. Published by N. Ram at Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 and Printed by S. Ramanujam at HT Media Ltd. Plot No. 8, Udyog Vihar, Greater Noida Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P. 201306, on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor: Mukund Padmanabhan (Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act). Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 RNI No. TNENG/2012/49940 ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 7 No. 45 ●









Patient wait: People turned out in good numbers on polling day in Pune on Tuesday.


Robust turnout in Pune EC notice to 76 candidates for continuing to campaign on social media “While no holiday has been given to IT sector professionals, employees have been given a two-hour break during the voting period to enable them to cast their vote and return to work,” informed Anil Patwardhan, president, Hinjewadi Industries Association. In Pimpri-Chinchwad, a malfunction in an EVM in ward no. 21 caused activists from the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena to create a ruckus and temporarily stop the voting process.

Shoumojit Banerjee Pune

An media blitz exhorting voters to exercise their mandate ensured a fairly robust turnout across a total 73 panels in the high-stakes Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations election on Tuesday. While 26.43 lakh voters were registered to cast votes for Pune Municipal Corporation, the final polling figure of ___%, showed a marked improvement from the 2012 civic poll figure of 51%, which was said to be the lowest in decades. The PMC has 41 panels which will elect 162 corporators from the 1,090 candidates in the fray. If the PMC turnout was a bit disappointing despite the high pitched campaign, the voters were more enthusiastic in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) with the final polling figure clocking at 54%. Nearly 12 lakh voters were registered for the PCMC, where voting took place across 32 panels which will elect 128 corporators. In all, 774 candidates are in the fray here.

Leaders vote Several notables turned out to

Historian Babasaheb Purandare after casting his vote in Pune on Tuesday. MANDAR TANNU “Every election is different cast their votes in the city, in the prevailing political conwith Union Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party text at the State and Central levels. The social mood is one (BJP) leader Prakash Javadekar casting his vote at of yearning for tolerance,” Ms. Gorhe said, in a veiled rebuke the P. Jog School in the Kothrud area while incumbent to the BJP, when pressed Mayor Prashant Jagtap of the about the poll outcome in Pune. Nationalist Congress Party While polling was generally (NCP) voted at the city’s Wanowrie panel during the peaceful amid tight security, the day was not without its first half of the day. share of chaos. Incidents ranPune Guardian Minister and senior BJP leader Girish ging from malfunction of EVMs to complaints of names Bapat was seen casting his missing from voter lists were vote in Shaniwar Peth area while Shiv Sena MLC Neelam reported from across the city even as the voting comGorhe cast her vote in the menced in full swing in the Model Colony panel. morning.

Weather Watch Rainfall, temperature & air quality in select metros yesterday

Vote-break for techies The city’s IT sector, which constitutes a formidable section of the populace, was not given a ‘full holiday’, but a substantive voting break to permit employees to exercise their franchise.

Ugly scenes In fact, voting throughout the area was marred by unruly instances, with BJP aspirant Dhanna Aswani alleging that he was assaulted by NCP candidate Dabbu Aswani. According to the police, Dabbu Aswani, a former deputy mayor of PimpriChinchwad, got angry on seeing Dhanna Aswani at the voting booth in Pimprigaon, alongwith a clutch of his BJP supporters. This led Dabbu Aswani to attack his opponent thinking he was attempting to influence the voting process. “The police were quick to nip any tension in the bud. The matter was swiftly resolved and decorum restored,” said Inspector Vivek Mungalikar. Earlier in the day, the PCMC election department issued notices to 76 candidates from various political parties for allegedly campaigning on social media even after the expiry of campaign deadline.

Job done: Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis poses for the shutterbugs after he and his family members cast their vote at Dharmpeth Municipal School, Dharmpeth, in Nagpur on Tuesday. S SUDARSHAN

Peaceful voting in Nagpur, Amravati Gadchiroli also records incident-free polling Special Correspondent Nagpur

Barring a few small incidents, the voting for three municipal corporations in Vidarbha — Nagpur, Amravati and Akola — remained peaceful on Tuesday. The new system of four member electoral wards, which made each voter press four buttons for the election, however, resulted in hectic work for election officers in almost each booth as they had to explain to the voters about the new system. “It took a little more time to vote this time as we had to select four candidates, but it was not that difficult as there were large posters outside every polling booth explaining about the news election system,” informed Goverdhan Bagade, who came to cast his vote at a booth situated near University Campus in Nagpur along with his wife Rekha. Some complaints of “faulty EVM machines” were reported from some parts of Nagpur but the election officials managed to pacify the voters.

Early voters The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat was among the first voters who cast their votes early morning in Nagpur. The RSS chief, surrounded by his bodyguards, visited the Bhartiya Mahila Mahavidyalaya near RSS headquarters in Mahal area

Gujarat doles out freebies ahead of Assembly polls Students to get tablets at a token price of ₹1,000.

Size does not matter: Jyoti Amge, the worlds smallest woman, casts her vote at KDK College, Nanadwan, Nagpur on Tuesday. S. SUDARSHAN

of Nagpur at around 9 a.m. to exercise his voting right. Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari came along with his family to cast his vote and appealed to the people of Maharashtra to come out for voting in large numbers. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also turned up for voting in Dharampeth area of Nagpur along with his mother and wife. Both the leaders from Nagpur were actively involved in BJP’s candidate selection and campaigning in Nagpur. Mr. Gadkari was more focused on Nagpur whereas the CM was the star campaigner for the BJP across Maharashtra. Despite his party being the

ruling party in the Nagpur municipal corporation for last two terms, Mr. Gadkari was seen canvassing for his party until the last moment. There were allegations of violation of model code of conduct by some Congress leaders against him after his car was surrounded by some people in Bangladesh colony area of Nagpur on Monday night.

Trading allegations BJP MLA Krishna Khopde was accused by some opposition parties of allegedly pressurising voters to vote for his party and a Congress worker alleged manhandling by BJP MLC Parinay Fuke in East Nagpur area. The Nagpur Municipal

Corporation had made all preparation for the polls. Voter slips, which are usually distributed to voters by the political parties, were sent to the voters directly by the NMC this time. The NMC had also launched an extensive campaign to educate the voters about the new system of four members electoral ward. According to Nagpur District Information Officer Anil Gadekar, Nagpur recorded 53% voting on Tuesday, less than the 2012 election. Amravati Municipal Corporation recorded 55% voting and Amravati Zila Parishad recorded 67% voting whereas Akola recorded 56% polling in the municipal corporation elections, said Mr. Gadekar.

Seven Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh encounter Of them, three carried a reward of ₹5 lakh each

Mahesh Langa

Temperature Data: IMD, Pollution Data: CPCB, Map: Skymet

Forecast for Wednesday: No weather warning rain max min city — .....31.2 .....23.0 .....Agartala — .....30.9 .....17.4 .....Ahmedabad — .....27.3 .....8.1 .....Aizawl — .....31.6 .....16.5 .....Allahabad — .....34.5 .....19.2 .....Bengaluru — .....31.8 .....16.6 .....Bhopal — .....36.0 .....22.8 .....Bhubaneswar — .....25.3 .....15.5 .....Chandigarh — .....33.1 .....24.0 .....Chennai — .....35.4 .....22.1 .....Coimbatore — .....26.0 .....13.6 .....Dehradun — .....16.6 .....10.0 .....Gangtok — .....32.5 .....23.1 .....Goa — .....26.8 .....16.5 .....Guwahati — .....34.0 .....18.0 .....Hubballi — .....37.5 .....18.2 .....Hyderabad — .....20.3 .....15.4 .....Imphal — .....27.3 .....14.2 .....Jaipur — .....32.4 .....24.0 .....Kochi — .....24.4 .....7.4 .....Kohima — .....32.1 .....23.5 .....Kolkata

rain max min city — .....35.7 .....25.9 .....Kozhikode — .....39.0 .....20.2 .....Kurnool — .....31.7 .....15.5 .....Lucknow — .....34.0 .....21.4 .....Madurai — .....33.7 .....24.0 .....Mangaluru — .....30.5 .....20.4 .....Mumbai — .....33.8 .....19.6 .....Mysuru — .....25.6 .....16.4 .....New Delhi — .....34.2 .....16.3 .....Patna — .....31.0 .....23.1 .....Port Blair — .....32.7 .....21.4 .....Puducherry — .....34.1 .....12.3 .....Pune — .....35.7 .....19.4 .....Raipur — .....33.0 .....18.0 .....Ranchi — .....20.5 .....10.6 .....Shillong — .....15.0 .....7.0 .....Shimla — .....10.0 .....2.7 .....Srinagar — .....33.8 .....24.2 .....Thiruvan’puram — .....37.5 .....22.0 .....Tiruchi — .....35.2 .....23.2 .....Vijayawada — .....31.6 .....23.2 .....Visakhapatnam

Particulate matter in the air you are breathing



In observations made at 8.00 p.m. air quality index in ITO, Delhi was hazardous with a score of 736. Ardhali Bazar in Varanasi followed at 623. In contrast, Haldia, West Bengal and Collectorate Jodhpur stood at 70 and 15 respectively



CO PM2.5 PM10

Ahmedabad ........ ...95 ...74 ...42 Bengaluru........... .....8 ...68 ...38 Chennai .............. ...76 ...39 .120 Delhi .................. ...51 .168 .153 Hyderabad .......... .142 .103 .138 Kolkata............... .157 .125 ...52 Lucknow............. .....9 ...94 .165 Mumbai .............. ...19 ...38 ...50 Pune................... ...42 ...78 ...22 Vishakhapatnam . .242 ...77 ...82

CODE .. 403......—.....* .. 216......—.....* .... 73......—.....* .. 377 ..500.....* .. 342 ..327.....* ......— ..239.....* .. 371......—.....* .. 118 ..159.....* .. 104 ..107.....* .. 304 ..222.....*

Air Quality Code: * Poor * Moderate * Good SO2: Sulphur Dioxide. Short-term exposure can harm the respiratory system, making breathing difficult. It can affect visibility by reacting with other air particles to form haze and stain culturally important objects such as statues and monuments. NO2: Nitrogen Dioxide. Aggravates respiratory illness, causes haze to form by reacting with other air particles, causes acid rain, pollutes coastal waters. CO: Carbon monoxide. High concentration in air reduces oxygen supply to critical organs like the heart and brain. At very high levels, it can cause dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness and even death. PM2.5 & PM10: Particulate matter pollution can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, reduced lung function, irregular heartbeat, asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death in people with heart or lung disease



Pavan Dahat

With an eye on assembly polls scheduled for later this year, the Gujarat government on Tuesday presented a populist budget, announcing generous subsidies for farmers, tablets for 3.5 lakh students, subsidised food to 50,000 construction workers among other schemes. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented the budget of ₹17, 2179.24 crore without imposing any new taxes while enhancing the allocation for health, agriculture and education. “The theme of the budget is: Optimise inclusive development of human resources and trunk infrastructure through effective and transparent implementation,” Mr Patel said. He added, “The State budget is complimentary to the central budget.”


Thrust on education In a boost to education, Mr Patel said ₹200 crore has been allocated to provide tablets to around 3.5 lakh students, who will complete high school and join colleges or polytechnics. The devices will be provided at token price of ₹1,000. Similarly ₹261 crore has been provided for the Digischool initiative under which

Gujarat Finance Minister Nitin Patel at his oice before presenting the budget in Gandhinagar on Tuesday.

classes of standard 7 & 8 will be converted into digital classes with use of computers, smart interactive boards, IR cameras, projectors and other digital tools.

Anna Triveni scheme “Parents and guardians of 5.75 lakh girl students of primary schools in 14 tribal districts will be provided with grains under ‘Anna Triveni’ scheme and medical education for female students has been made completely free even in self financed colleges,” Mr Patel said in his two-hour budget speech. “Budgetary allocation for the education sector is ₹25,000 crore, which is ₹1185 crore higher than the previous year while ₹8800 crore has been earmarked

for health and medical services and ₹6400 crore for agriculture,” the Minister said. “1.25 lakh new electricity connections will be provided to farmers, which will clear entire backlog till 2013. State assistance for micro irrigation scheme has been expanded from 50% to 70% subsidy for general farmers and from 75% to 85% for SC or ST farmers,” Mr Patel said.According to Mr Patel, the State will bear a subsidy of ₹4011 crore in providing subsidised powers to farmers for agriculture connections. “In the next financial year, ₹5100 crore will be provided for canal networks to ensure that Narmada water reaches parched Kutch region,” he said.

At least seven members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) were killed during an exchange of fire with security forces in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday. “An exchange of fire took place between a DRG [District Reserve Guard] team and the Maoists in Puspal on the border of Narayanpur and Dantewada district on Tuesday. Seven bodies of Maoists, two INSAS rifles, and four other weapons have been recovered,” said the Chhattisgarh Anti-Naxal Operation (ANO) unit in a statement. Special Director General

of Police of the ANO, D.M. Awasthi, expressed the possibility of “around a dozen Maoists” being killed in the encounter. However, only seven bodies were recovered by the DRG team. According to Additional Inspector General of Police of the ANO, Devnath, three deceased were identified as CPI (Maoist) Bodhghat area committee member and LOS commander Nirmala, deputy LOS commander Somji and area committee member Nasik. “All three carried a reward of ₹5 lakh each,” he said.

IED blast In a separate incident, a CRPF jawan was grievously

injured in an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blast in Sukma district.The blast took place near Paidigudem village under the Kistaram police station limits when the CRPF team was out on a patrol. The injured CRPF jawan Ghanshyam of 212 Battalion was airlifted to Raipur for treatment.

Two held In another incident, the Maharashtra police arrested two Maoists in Gadchiroli district bordering Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.Maoists’ platoon no.3 member Nilesh Potawi and Kasansur LOS member Ajit Pudo were arrested from Reknar forest.

PETA alleges animal cruelty in egg and meat industry Prakash Kamat Panaji

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has called for sweeping changes to curb cruel practices in the egg and meat industry and has urged people to go vegan. A press release issued here by Mr. Sachin Bangera of PETA India here on Tuesday claimed that an investig-

ation of several hatcheries and farms in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had revealed that millions of male chicks as well as other unwanted chicks are commonly drowned, burned, crushed, thrown into rubbish bins, and even fed to other animals while still alive by top players in the industry. The investigation was conducted by Anonymous for

Animal Rights. PETA has called on the government to consider implementing new in-ovo sexing technology (in which the chick’s gender is determined before it hatches), to establish and implement a written standard for painless euthanasia for unhealthy chicks, and to take stern action against companies that kill chicks in cruel ways. ND-ND








Karnataka plans to tap KRS dam’s dead storage

MBBS student gang-raped in Belagavi

‘May become inevitable to meet Bengaluru’s water needs’

The Kakti police are on the lookout for five youths, who allegedly raped a firstyear MBBS student in Belagavi city. The 17-year-old from Dharwad district was allegedly raped on an open hill site on the outskirts of Kakti village, about 10 km from the city on February 15 evening. The incident came to light when the victim registered a complaint with the police in the presence of her parents on Tuesday morning. The girl was taken to the hospital for medical examination, even as police officials visited her at the hospital. The police said the girl was with her boyfriend near one of the windmills on the hill. She was dragged away by five men and raped. Her boyfriend, who resisted the attack, was beaten up.

Special Correspondent BELAGAVI

KCR reaches Tirumala to fulfil vow TIRUMALA

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday reached Tirumala on a two-day pilgrimage. Mr. Rao will offer his prayers to the presiding deity on Wednesday morning with his family. He will donate the much-awaited precious gifts to the hill temple as part of the fulfilment of his prayers.

German tourist molested, robbed on Chamundi Hills MYSURU

A German tourist was allegedly molested and robbed in Mysuru on Monday. The woman, who had taken a bus to reach the Chamundi Hills, was reportedly attacked by an unidentified man when she was descending the steps after sunset. “After molesting her, the accused snatched ₹2,000 from her and fled,” police said.

3 arrested in connection with child sexual assault BENGALURU

The Bengaluru police arrested two members of a play school management and a staffer for not complying with the Karnataka Child Protection Policy, after a three-year-old was allegedly sexually assaulted by a supervisor. Those held are Kingston D’Souza, Veena Ashok and Praveen.

Hartal to protest festival curbs in Kerala THRISSUR

The Festival Coordination Committee called for a hartal in Thrissur on Thursday to protest against restrictions on the use of elephants and fireworks during festivals. Political parties, including the Congress and the BJP, have expressed solidarity. Elephant parades and fireworks were integral to the festivals in the State, the committee said.


Anticipating drinking water crisis in Bengaluru this summer, the Karnataka government is putting in place a contingency plan to draw water from the dead storage of the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir at an estimated cost of ₹40 crore. A high-level meeting of irrigation officials discussed the possibility of pumping the dead storage of KRS, if the need arose, to meet Bengaluru’s drinking water needs. The reservoir is the lifeline of Mysuru, Bengaluru and the Mandya region. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) draws water from the KRS for the city. Speaking to mediapersons, Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil said with the

Source of worry: The Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir is the lifeline of Mysuru, Bengaluru and Mandya. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT present storage in KRS, the water needs of Bengaluru could be met up to May. However, the authorities anticipated a shortage in peak summer. “Officials are constantly monitoring the availability of water in KRS. They are favouring utilisation of

Kerala youths turn the tables on ‘moral’ police

dead storage in case of emergency,” he said. The dead storage is 4.4 tmcft in KRS. On whether this was advisable, Mr. Patil said: “We are opposed to tapping dead storage. However, considering the situation, it might become inevitable.”


A young man and woman at the receiving end of some ‘moral policing’ by a group of police personnel from the Museum station here on Tuesday, publicly questioned them over the legality of their act. The police were in for major embarrassment as the the two live-streamed the video of their defiance on facebook. The video went viral, inviting criticism on the police action. The incident comes hardly a week after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made a public state-

ment against moral policing. In Tuesday’s incident, the police approached Vishnu and his friend Arathi sitting together at the Napier Museum lawns here. They were reportedly told that “such vulgar behaviour” was not allowed in public. Vishnu soon started live-streaming the incident and questioned the police personnel. The two were then taken to the Museum Police station and their parents informed. The girl’s father said he did not have any complaint as his daughter was an adult. They were later let off.

Four guest lecturers of Bhatkal college wear headscarf Raghava M. MANGALURU

A section of students have been attending classes with saffron shawls since Monday at the Government First Grade College in Bhatkal, Uttara Kannada district. The move is aimed at protesting against four guest lecturers wearing the hijab (headscarf ). This is the latest among a string of cases in which some students have opposed women wearing the burkha or the hijab on the premises of educational institutions. Some students pursuing B.A and B. Com have been wearing the saffron shawl, confirmed Bhageerati Naika, principal in-charge. Of the four lecturers wearing the headscarf, one had been teaching in the college for eight years, while the others three for five years.

Escalating crisis: Students of the Government First Grade College, Bhatkal, sporting safron shawls. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT The issue had not been raised earlier.

‘Outside influence’ “These students seem to be influenced by the protests in other parts of Karnataka,” Ms. Naika said. The conduct of the students would be reviewed by principal Manjula K.P. A decision on the issue

Temple car overturns at annual fest 10 devotees injured in the pilgrim town of Kottur in north Karnataka

Victims live-stream video of incident Staff Reporter

Students protest hijab on campus, sport safron shawl

Special Correspondent BALLARI

Topsy-turvy: The temple car that overturned at the Sri Guru Kottureshwara fair in Kottur, Ballari. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Ten devotees were injured when a 65-ft wooden temple car, taken out as part of an annual festival, overturned in Kottur, a pilgrim town in the Kudligi taluk of Ballari district on Tuesday evening. The incident occurred when the temple car was being taken back to its original spot after being pulled for a distance, as part of the Sri Guru Kottureshwar annual fair. Of the 10 devotees injured, one is serious, according to reports. The injured have been admitted to government hospitals in Davangere and Kottur. The reason for the temple car overturning is yet to be

ascertained. Senior police officers have rushed to the spot and ambulances have been pressed into service. Sri Guru Kottureshwara annual fair is one of the biggest fairs in north Karnataka. Hundreds of devotees from the district and other parts of Karnataka congregate for the event.

People run helter-skelter Information received here stated that after the temple car fell, the devotees ran helter skelter and many might have been injured. Deputy Commissioner Ramprasath Manohar said no deaths had occurred in the incident. A crane had been rushed to Kottur to lift the temple car.

would be taken at a meeting to be called shortly by Mankala Subba Vaidya, Bhatkal MLA. In one of the first such protests in 2009, students of the college had protested against a girl wearing the burkha. “The issue died down and there were no incidents later,”Ms. Naika said.

Accused in actor assault to surrender? Staff reporter KOCHI

With the Kerala High Court postponing to March 2 an anticipatory bail petition filed by Sunil Kumar and Vijesh, the key accused in the actor’s abduction case, speculation is rife about their surrendering at any of the judicial courts in Kochi. The duo is believed to be in Tamil Nadu. The probe appears to have taken a new turn with the investigators focussing on the criminal nexus of the Malayalam film industry. It is based on the information that Sunil maintained close links with a few film personalities, including some actors.

Three elephants die of starvation

Malaria claims Ashram school girl

Oicials said lack of ground fodder could have contributed to their deaths

HM suspended; no teacher was available to take her to hospital

that there were remnants of Seemai karuvelam found in the elephant’s stomach cavity.

Rohan Premkumar Udhagamandalam

Two more elephants died in the Segur plateau, this time within the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, and one elephant in the Thengumarada section of the eastern slope of the Nilgiris North division. The carcasses of the pachyderm were found on Tuesday and forest department officials said that the lack of ground fodder could have contributed to their deaths. S. Kalanidhi, District Forest Officer (Nilgiris North Division), said the female elephant, believed to be around 15 years old, was

Continuing tragedy A female elephant which died at the Theppakadu range of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.

found dead Thengumarada section.


V. Selvam, Forest Range Officer (Kil Kotagiri), said

Autopsy performed Senior forest veterinarian, N.S. Manoharan was called in to perform an autopsy on the two carcasses. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Manoharan said that the “prevailing stressful ecological factors,” could have played a role in the death of both animals. Another male elephant, around 5 years old, died from starvation and worms in Singara Range on Sunday.


A girl studying in the Kansuluru Ashram School in this mandal died of malaria on Monday, indicating the prevalence of malaria in the Agency area. Podium Sankuramma, 13, a class seven student, was suffering from fever since last Sunday. No teacher was available to shift her to hospital when her fever increased on Thursday. A youth named Viplava Kumar, with help from the hostel warden, took her on his bike to Chinturu Areas hospital on Thursday night.


Women bikers get set to be trailblazers The trio will cover 2,500 km from Pondy to Kolkata in two weeks Nivedita Ganguly vISAKHAPATNAM

Sporting jackets and safety gears with helmets clasped over their hair and throttling their machines, three women bikers are all set to blaze their way on the roads covering 2,500 km. They will take the Puducherry-Vizag-Kolkata route with an aim to overturn widely held gender stereotypes and celebrate a shared passion of learning more about the culture and heritage of the country.

“Heritage Trail” Bikers Vaishali Kulkarni More from Visakhapatnam and Pune bikers Anagha Sant and Sonal Bhat will embark on a journey they call as the “Heritage Trail”. They will start from Puducherry on February 23 and end up in Kolkata on March 8, International Women’s Day. The ride will cover six States and one Union Territory. Ms. More, 49, will be the first woman biker from A.P. to do this part of the Golden Quadrilateral, and perhaps the oldest one too. She had earlier done a solo ride covering 1,700 km from CM YK

An exercise in learning:: Biker Vaishali More

Visakhapatnam to Shirdi in July last year. It was in Shirdi that the trio met and instantly bonded over their passion for riding. To inspire women Speaking to The Hindu ahead of the journey, Ms. More said: “I had planned to do this route after returning from my first solo ride. When Anagha and Sonal heard about my plan, they instantly agreed to join me. We have done a proper route map and are in touch with other biking communities across the cities we will be crossing.

The whole idea is to discover a new side of India and also inspire other women to take off by themselves.” They will be riding through Mahabalipuram, Ongole, Rajahmundry, Vizag, Gopalpur, Chilika, Raghurajpur and Puri before arriving in Kolkata. The riders have carefully selected the route covering certain places like Chilika which is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent and Raghurajpur, a heritage crafts village in Puri district,

Odisha, known for its master Pattachitra painters. Following the trail of the three women bikers will be a team of riders and biking groups across the country in a WhatsApp group called ‘Three Women Riders on GQ’. The strong network of biking fraternity is ready to offer any help the women bikers require during their journey. “The group has senior riders who have done international rides and also from armed forces who will be following our journey and ready to help in case of any SoS call,” the bikers said. The trio will be riding a maximum distance of 320 km a day in Bajaj Avenger Cruise, KTM Duke and Royal Enfield Thunderbird motorbikes. “We plan to ride only during the day time. Riding in a group requires us to follow certain hand signals and rules for speed that we have discussed,” said Ms. More, a retired teacher. “Biking for me is therapeutic and has helped me to sail through the ups and downs of life. Through this ride, we want to inspire more women to get on the bikes, bond together and ride safe and smart.”

Doctors gave first aid to Sankuramma and on Sunday night advised those who came with her to take her to the Bhadrachalam Area hospital. While being shifted to Bhadrachalam, the girl became unconscious and she died on Monday. On information, ITDA Project Officer G. Chinna Babu went to the Ashram school and on enquiry got to know that Sankuramma was suffering from fever since last Thursday and no teacher was available on Sunday. Deputy District Medical and Health Officer T.V. Seshi

Reddy said that malaria was the only reason for the death of Sankuramma.

Spike in cases Mr. Chinna Babu told The Hindu that he had suspended Ashram School headmaster K. Venkateswara Rao and Deputy Warden K. Balakrishna and said action would be taken to book criminal cases against them. Allowances given to those teachers who were not staying in Kansuluru for the last six months would be recovered, he said. Medical and Health Department sources said that

malaria cases were increasing from last year in Chinturu mandal. In Tulasipaka, the number went up to to 1,224, Yedugurrallapalli (1,320), Kuturu (669) and Jeedikuppa (514). Apart from malaria, tribal people were also suffering from diseases like pedal edema and anemia. Nine persons died and 73 were hospitalized due to pedal edema last year in Chinturu, Koonavaram and V.R. Puram mandals. Health and ITDA officers are worried over the outbreak of malaria and the looming water crisis.

Price rise hits sale of cashew

Osmania students attack Censor Board oice in city

Santosh Patnaik

Protest against denial of certiication to ilm


With cashew prices increasing steeply this year, vendors of Tagarapuvalasa, about 40 km from here, known for selling crunchy and freshly roasted cashew on the highway between Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram, are finding less number of takers. Known for its yummy taste due to roasting traditionally in pots, a handful of vendors selling cashew nuts produced locally and from the famed PalasaKasibugga region on the Andhra-Odisha border since generations, are finding it difficult to make both ends meet.

Fall in yield All the members of vendor families are engaged in procuring as well as roasting and selling cashew nuts along with other dry fruits at shops located on one side of the highway. Tourists generally stop their vehicles near the shops and buy nuts for their immediate consumption as well as for gifting neatly packed products to their near and dear.

Staff Reporter HYDERABAD

The Censor Board’s regional office at Kavadiguda in the city was attacked by six students of the Osmania University Joint Action Committee (OUJAC) on Tuesday afternoon. The OUJAC members broke window panes, one computer and other paraphernalia in the office. The incident took place after the board had denied certification to the movie, “Sharanam Gachchami”, which is about the reserva-

tion system in India. The film reportedly mentions the suicide of a University of Hyderabad (UoH) research scholar and also the flogging of Dalits in Una of Gujarat recently. According to central zone Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Joel Davis, the incident took place between 12.30 p.m. and 1 p.m. “The six OUJAC members who attacked the office are members of a Scheduled Tribe community. They wanted the Censor Board to allow the film’s release,” he

added. The students were arrested soon after they attacked the office. Two student leaders in the group which attacked the office were identified as A. Srinu and S. Modi, said an official of the Gandhinagar police station, where the OUJAC members were taken after their arrest. A case under Section 447 (criminal trespass) of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act was registered against the OUJAC members.

We oppose hydrocarbon exploration project: CM Staff Reporter PUDUCHERRY

The territorial administration will oppose the Union government’s move to have a hydrocarbon exploration project at Karaikal, Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy said here on Tuesday. The Centre had sanctioned the project without

obtaining permission from the territorial administration, he told reporters. The announcement by the Centre to explore hydrocarbon in Karaikal has shocked farmers of the region. The Puducherry government will not accept the project, he said. The Health Department

has taken all precautions to control swine flu and the numbers of cases have come down in the recent days. Several of the patients admitted at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research were from neighbouring districts of Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister added. ND-ND








Cong leader accused of molestation Bihar leader booked under POCSO Act, also accused of running a high-proile sex racket

3 cases registered against policemen

Amanath Tewary

Patna,” the girl told journalists on Tuesday.


Samajwadi Party expels women’s wing chief LUCKNOW

The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday expelled its Mahila Sabha national president Ranjana Bajpai from the party for her involvement in “antiparty activities”, Uttar Pradesh SP chief Naresh Uttam said. Ranjana’s son Harshvardhan Bajpai is contesting the ongoing UP Assembly polls on a BJP ticket from Allahabad North. PTI

No data on accounts with large deposits: RBI INDORE

The RBI is not aware of the number of bank accounts in which more than ₹2.5 lakh in the scrapped currency notes of ₹500 and ₹1,000 were deposited between November 8 and December 30 last year, it has said in response to a query under the Right to Information Act. “The Department of Currency Management of the RBI on February 17 said it did not have the figure of bank accounts in which more than ₹ 2.5 lakh were deposited,” said Chandrashekhar Gaud, an activist. PTI

350 cartons of liquor seized MUZAFFARPUR

The police have seized 350 cartons of liquor worth ₹1.5 crore and arrested three persons in this connection in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district. Acting on a tip off, a Special Task Force team checked a truck and seized 350 cartons of IMFL being brought as poultry feed last night, Ahiyapur police station, Station House Officer (SHO) Vijay Kumar said. The police arrested three persons, including truck driver Farookh, cleaner Talim and Sanjan Kumar. - PTI


A Bihar Congress leader has been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for allegedly molesting a minor Dalit girl and running a high-profile sex racket. The girl is daughter of a senior State Congress leader. The Opposition, NDA, demanded arrest of the accused who is absconding.

Minor then The girl was a minor when she lodged the case on December 22 last year against automobile businessman Nikhil Priyadarshi, his brother Manish Priyadarshi and friend Sanjeet Kumar. Later, she also named the State Congress vice-president Brajesh Pandey for outraging her modesty at Nikhil’s flat in Patna. Pandey had unsuccessfully contested the last Assembly polls from Govindganj constituency in

MLA, husband booked for assaulting cops Mohammed Iqbal JAIPUR

Demanding justice: Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) activists protest in Patna on Tuesday against Congress leader Brajesh Pandey. PHOTO: RANJEET KUMAR East Champaran on a Congress ticket. He is said to be close to the State party president Ashok Chaudhury and other party leaders in Delhi. “Brajesh Pandey’s name came up in the report submitted by the CID women’s cell Dy SP who has found the charges against him true,” said Anil Kishore Yadav, Inspector-General (weaker sec-

tion), CID. The girl had accused Nikhil Priyadarshi, son of a retired IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre and brother-in-law of a senior IPS officer, for sexually exploiting her. Nikhil runs the biggest automobile showroom of an SUV in Bihar at Saguna Mor on the outskirts of Patna. She also alleged

that Nikhil and his friends, including the Congress leader, were running a highprofile sex racket in the State.

Political connections “Due to their connections, the police were not filing FIR against the accused, but finally I managed to file one at the SC/ST police station in

Absconding “Pandey had been visiting Nikhil’s flat quite often…one day Nikhil served me softdrink laced with sedatives. Suddenly Pandey came in the room and molested me, but left when I started vomitting,” she added. Both Nikhil Priyadarshi and Brajesh Pandey are absconding as a lower court in Patna had rejected their anticipatory bail pleas. The court has fixed the next date of hearing on February 27. Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi demanded immediate arrest of the Congress leader and the other accused in the case. The NDA alliance party Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) activists staged a demonstration in Patna while burning effigies of the Chief Minister over deteriorating law and order situation in the State.

The police in Kota on Tuesday booked BJP MLA from Ramganj Mandi Chandrakanta Meghwal, her husband Narendra Meghwal and some party workers on charges of assaulting the policemen during a high drama and altercation when the latter were imposing fines on two-wheeler riders in the city on Monday.

‘Cops misbehaved’ Ms. Meghwal has alleged that the policemen misbehaved with her and her husband and even “tore her clothes” inside Mahavir Nagar police station. The police claimed that Narendra Meghwal had slapped a Circle Inspector during the protest. A total of five cases were registered at Mahavir Nagar police station, including two against the MLA and others under Sections 143 (unlaw-

‘Raise retirement age of varsity teachers’

Rudy, Supriyo irked at Tripura Ministers’ absence

Review panel suggests 65 years

Syed Sajjad Ali

Press Trust of India Chandigarh

A five-member committee set up the Haryana government to review the standard of higher and technical education in the State has proposed to increase the retirement age of university teachers to 65 years.

V-C’s tenure It has also suggested that the tenure of vice-chancellors be increased from three years to five years or till they attain the age of 70, an official said.

The University Review Committee, under the chairmanship of Prof B. K. Kuthiala, on Tuesday presented its report along with an audio version to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma. It has asked the government to “properly” follow the recommendations of the Centre’s Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan and constitute Uchchatar Shiksha Parishad, Haryana, under the chairmanship of the CM through an Act.

“Annoyed at the absence of photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the event” eered the cashless measure in the country. The IT Department of Tripura organised the mela on the advice of the Centre, which had allocated funds for various events at the mela, including a cultural evening.


Central Ministers Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Babul Supriyo were irked at the absence of Left Front Ministers at the Digi-Dhan Mela on Tuesday.

CPI(M)’s opposition Sources said that the CPI (M)’s stringent opposition to demonetisation and an absolute cashless economy prevented the Tripura Ministers from attending the event. “We could not see any Minister from Tripura at the programme. They should know we are in a federal structure,” Mr. Rudy said. The Union Minister of

Union Ministers Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Babul Supriyo in Agartala on Tuesday. PHOTO: ABHISEK SAHA

State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) was also annoyed at the absence of any photo of Prime Minister

Narendra Modi at the event, which was held to popularise cashless transactions. Mr. Rudy asserted that it was the PM who had pion-

State’s representation IT Commissioner K. Nagaraju represented the State at the inauguration of the mela. Minister of State, Heavy Industries & Public Enterprise, Mr. Supriyo, said that Tripura Ministers could have “served the State” if they attended the event and discussed “certain issues with them”.

ful assembly) and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of IPC. On Ms. Meghwal’s complaint, three cases were registered against Deputy Superintendent of Police Chuna Ram, Circle Inspector Sriram Badsara and three constables under the relevant sections of I.P.C. and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Kota SP S.S. Godara told The Hindu that no arrests had been made so far and the situation in the city was peaceful. “The policemen named in FIRs, except the Deputy SP, are being sent to the Police Lines,” he said. State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said no one had the right to disturb law and order. CM Vasundhara Raje met party leaders of the region at a hurriedly called meeting here on Tuesday evening.

Man arrested for making bomb threat Press Trust of India Shimla

A 26-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly making calls to an official of a telecom company posted here and threatening to bomb the office, police said on Tuesday. On Friday, Anirudh Dey had made repeated calls to the official threatening to bomb the company’s office here, DIG cyber crime Vimal Dhawan said. The phone numbers were tracked and the accused arrested from his rented place in Baddi yesterday, the officer said.









Coping with age when families are distant With rising numbers of Indians migrating abroad for work, many elderly parents are left behind to cope with the challenges of ageing. Tailored senior housing options and care packages can help, yet what these left-behind senior citizens ultimately desire is the warmth of human relationships. Narayan Lakshman Jayant Sriram Chennai / Mumbai

With vast and growing numbers of Indians in the workforce emigrating to foreign lands, typically to North America, Western Europe, Australia or parts of South East Asia, many Indian families are now experimenting by either taking their elderly parents along with them, or, when that model fails owing to the loneliness of the elderly in a new country and their dependence on their children, they are sent back to India to face their uncertain twilight years more or less alone. This trend has also accompanied the breakdown of the traditional Indian joint family system, with the result that a growing cohort of elderly Indians have to fend for themselves in old age homes far from any family connections. Yet in some cases the elderly refuse to cut their ties to India to accompany their children abroad in the first place. Raghu Srinivasan (name changed) works for a tech company in the U.S. and has lived there for the past 22 years. His parents however, live in Ghatkopar in Mumbai. “Despite my telling them for many years to move here full time they prefer to live in India,” he said, adding, “Initially healthcare was not a problem but as they are getting older there are more and more issues to deal with. Recently, after my father had a fall we decided to take the step of

buying my parents an apartment in a colony for senior citizens in Bengaluru.”

Boom in senior housing While senior communities in India were originally associated with charitable institutions and even with the rescue and rehabilitation of destitute among the elderly, those connotations appear to be transforming into the more luxury-focused retirement communities, at least for middle class Indians. Many opt for such homes offering specialist services for the care of the elderly because the costs of hiring private, full time can be prohibitive and also it can be an insurmountable task to effectively coordinate doctor visits and such. In the new class of senior citizen colonies, many of these facilities are taken care of under a single package. According to a 2015 report by the consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle India, India has a senior population of over 100 million and has an estimated demand of 300,000 senior housing units, valued at over $1 billion. Different models According to Mathew Cherian, CEO of HelpAge India, a large non-profit organisation working for senior citizens in the country, there are over 4,000 old age homes, of which at least 130 were designed as retirement communities geared towards the expectations and demands of the rising middle class and affluent

specific services such as an emergency hospital or doctor’s visit at $15. Yet the problem with all of these arrangements, helpful though they are to the elderly, is that depression brought on by loneliness can be a serious concern among residents at such communities. According to Mr. Cherian, “There is not enough love and care in these places. Phone calls, Skype conversations, and rushing to India when a parent falls sick are just not enough.”

Closer than family: A ile photo of the Mumbai police celebrating the birthday of Lalita Subramanyam (83), whose children are based in the U.S. Senior citizens often depend on networks of friends, in this case the police, for daily chores. PTI

NRIs. The cost of an apartment can vary from ₹25 lakhs to ₹1 crore and while some developers consider affordability of this housing to the general middle class segment of urban India, the higher end units are an attractive option for senior citizens whose children are living abroad. There are also different models of ownership besides outright sale including a lifetime lease and a deposit model. Around three years ago, Bayada Home Health Care,

Mumbai records 55% in civic polls, highest in 20 years Confusion as many names go missing from voters’ list

a U.S.-based home health care company, acquired a stake in India Home Health Care, an Indian company. Bayada now offers a package specifically designed for Non-Resident Indians who have parents living in India. The packages range from $20 to $40 per month and are of two types – NRI Continuous Check-up, which aims at ensuring that the senior citizen’s health condition is monitored and health issues are detected as early as possible and ac-

ted upon accordingly, and NRI Close Monitoring, for which a closer and more frequent check is required. The Close Monitoring package is a tailored service for concerned NRIs who want to keep a check on their parents, some of whom prefer to have the option to even monitor via closed-circuit television. Another company, UberHealth, offers preventive health care packages at an annual subscription rate priced at about $200, but

also offers one-time doctor visits which are cheaper. UberHealth’s preventive health care package takes care of minute details, including booking doctors’ appointments, picking up the elderly parents and dropping them back, and having a representative accompany them to take notes on doctors’ feedback which will be sent online to the children abroad. Another company called Parental Care India based in Kolkata allows NRIs to book

Networking for elderly Thus, despite this growing sophistication of elderly care packages available on the market, old-fashioned social relationships with friends and neighbours may ultimately offer as much or more succour for the elderly whose children no longer reside in India. Dhiraj Mirchandaney lives in Abu Dhabi and his mother lives in an apartment in Mumbai central. He says that for most health care needs he relies on neighbours and relatives whom he describes as a second family, yet he too has taken the innovative step of fixing a CCTV camera in the house that he can monitor remotely, an option that additionally makes his mother feel safer. Similarly, some among the elderly proactively take steps to build up a network of social contacts that can to some extent mitigate the loneliness that inevitably

comes from the distance between these elderly parents and their children settled abroad. Ramesh Kapadia, a resident of Aurangabad, started the Non-resident Indian Parents Association 12 years ago as a way for parents with children living abroad to keep in touch. “When I used to go visit my daughter in Canada, I met a lot of other parents who had come over from India and we used to spend time together since our children were busy quite often, with their own lives… When we were back here I decided it's very important to maintain a social network, so we have telephone meetings and other events and we have members now from all over India,” Mr. Kapadia says. “The majority of parents of NRIs that I meet spend a part of the year with their kids and some time back in India,” says Satish Rao, a Mumbai resident. “Since the kids have been gone from a young age that means the parents like us have spent many years alone and so it is always advisable to build a social network where like-minded people can communicate with each other.” In recognition of the fact that the number of such parents is growing every year, NRI Parents Organisations have been established in several cities and are on Facebook in Mumbai, Aurangabad, Pune, Vadodara, Bengaluru and other metros. SERIES CONCLUDED

Six jail inmates injured in clash between two groups Press trust of India Faridabad

Six inmates have been injured in a clash between two groups of prisoners at Nimka jail in the district, officials

said on Tuesday. The clash took place on Monday when the inmates were being taken to their barracks, a police spokesperson said. A team of jail officials, led

by DSP Dinesh Yadav, pacified the inmates and brought the situation under control, the official said. The injured, identified as Lalit, Vikas, Shakti, Sanjeev,

Kishore and Sourav, were admitted to a hospital here. Of them, two were referred to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi in a serious condition, the spokesperson said.

A case has been registered on the complaint of the jail officials and investigation is on, in-charge of Ballabhgarh Police Station Rajdeep More said.

Alok Deshpande Mumbai

If the 2017 Mumbai municipal election day had to be described in one word, it would be chaos. Even though Mumbai recorded its highest polling percentage in 20 years, with 55% of registered voters coming out to exercise their franchise, confusion prevailed at several booths across the city. The reason? This year, the municipal voters’ list had 11 lakh fewer registered names compared to 2012. In 2012, Mumbai had 1.02 crore voters, while Tuesday saw only 91.80 lakh eligible voters. The candidates in the running for the 227 municipal seats had much to complain about.

Parties claim success But this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the political parties, each of whom claimed that the 10.25% jump in total voters would be the key to their success. In 2012, only 44.75% of eligible voters cast their ballot, an election in which the BJPShiv Sena alliance claimed absolute majority.

Democratic fervour: People waiting to cast their vote in Ghatkopar for the Mumbai civic election. PRASHANT NAKWE

In fact, with 55% votes cast, the actual number of people who voted on Tuesday comes down to 50.49 lakh. Apart from Mumbai, nine other municipal corporations and 11 zilla parishads went to polls on Tuesday with average polling reaching up to 56.30% and 69.43% respectively. The election results will be announced on February 23. Whether the increased percentage will impact the current power structure in the BMC and indeed, as a consequence, in the State

government, remains to be seen. Shiv Sena and BJP are engaged in a bitter fight to claim political dominance over Mumbai – India’s richest civic body, with a budget bigger than some State governments. For the financial year 2016-17, Mumbai’s municipal commissioner had presented a budget of ₹37,052 crore. This is also for the first time in several elections that no party, including the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), has formed an alliance with any other.

CBI books Dental Council head, others on graft charges It is alleged that Mazumdar used corrupt means to retain post Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

The Central Bureau of Investigation has booked Dental Council of India (DCI) president Dibyendu Mazumdar, along with the chairman of a dental college, a former Vice-Chancellor of a university and others, for allegedly using corrupt means to retain the post for the second term. Those named in the FIR are Dr. Mazumdar, Vananchal Dental College and Hospital (Garhwa, Jharkhand) chairman Dinesh Prasad Singh, former Vice-Chancellor of Nilamber Pitamber University (Palamu) Firoz Ahmad, former DCI officiating secCM YK

retary S.K. Ojha and other unknown persons. “It was alleged that Dr. Mazumdar, whose term as the DCI president was to end once his membership with the Council expired on May 31, 2015, regained the membership from the Nilamber Pitamber University by claiming to be the honorary visiting professor of Vananchal Dental College and Hospital,” said a CBI official.

Illicit favours The CBI alleges that for acquiring the membership, Dr. Mazumdar extended favours to the dental college by granting permission for doubling the number of

BDS seats from 50 to 100, knowing well that the college did not meet the required norms as stipulated by the DCI. He had also recommended 16 MDS seats for the college despite some discrepancies found during inspections in 2012-13. “On the basis of his membership of the said university, Dr. Majumdar became the president of DCI for the second time. During preliminary enquiry, it was revealed that his nomination or appointment as honorary visiting professor was illegal and therefore, invalid. He was never appointed a dental faculty with the university,” the official said. ND-ND







When the unelected set the agenda We are slowly losing our autonomy to deine ourselves — who we are and who we want to be seen as But since identity is intensely personal, we also repeatedly jump the social red light. We break social rules constantly and in doing so assert our own individual decisionmaking capacity. Choosing our own identity — how we see ourselves — is one of the most cherished autonomies that we have. However, this autonomy is what is being challenged today by small groups who take on the authority of deining what our identities should be.

The Saeed test

Necessary limit Price control for cardiac stents is inevitable to promote access to treatments


apping the prices of medical stents, which are used to treat coronary artery disease, by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is an extreme regulatory measure necessitated by the market failure that alicts the overall delivery of health care in India. Rising costs have led to impoverishment of families and litigation demanding regulation. Given the overall dominance of private, commercial, forproit health institutions, and the asymmetry confronting citizens, correctives to bring about a balance are inevitable. Two important pointers to the need for cost regulation are available from research published in The Lancet in December 2015: nearly two-thirds of the high out-of-pocket expenditure on health incurred by Indians went towards drugs; even the meagre research data available showed that there was irrational use of medical technologies, including cardiac stents and knee implants. Regulated prices can, therefore, be expected to make stents more accessible to patients who really need them, helping them avoid using up the weak insurance cover available, while also reducing the incentive for unethical hospitals to use them needlessly. It is worth recalling that there are over 60 million diagnosed diabetics in the country, and the average age at which the irst heart attack strikes Indians is 50, a decade earlier than people in developed nations. At appropriate prices, and with a health system that pools the cost among all citizens, it would be possible to provide access to stents and other treatments for all. Health-care providers often demand market-determined pricing of medical technologies on the ground that newer ones will not be available under a regulated regime. In the case of cardiac stents, this argument does not hold water since stakeholder consultations held by the NPPA in January revealed that there are ‘huge unethical markups’ in the supply chain. It would serve the cause of medical innovation if costing is transparent, and a system of risk pooling is introduced to help patients get expensive treatment without high out-ofpocket spending. It was estimated ive years ago by the Planning Commission’s expert group on universal health coverage that raising spending on public procurement of medicines to 0.5% of GDP (from 0.1%) would provide all essential medicines to everyone. What is necessary, then, is for a two-pronged approach to improve access to medicines and technology. The Centre should monitor expenditures jointly in partnership with the community, use regulation where needed, and raise public spending on health. Several developing countries have moved ahead on this path. Well-considered price control is a positive step, but more needs to be done. The latest measure provides an opportunity to expand the availability of stents, and by extension angioplasty procedures, in the public health system. District hospitals should ofer cardiac treatments uniformly. This should be a priority programme to be completed in not more than ive years. CM YK

ometimes, it seems that to understand our complex society, all that we need to do is to understand our behaviour at traic lights. Every day, I see countless people on bikes and cars driving through red lights. Earlier, I used to get upset that these people were blatantly louting a rule that many others were following, more so when they did it right in front of indiferent traic police. Now I realise that while this might be just another instance of rule-breaking that seems to be an essential deinition of being Indian, at a deeper level it is also relective of a far greater problem confronting our society.


Rules and individual agency Following rules is very easy, and at the same time also diicult. Following a rule has at least two components: one, the action corresponding to the rule, and the other our interpretation of the intention of that rule. So to follow the simple rule, “Stop at a red light”, is to follow the physical action of stopping the vehicle but it is also to accept the intention or reason behind this rule. Typically, we are expected to follow the action corresponding to a rule and not worry about the intention. Most times, when motorists jump a signal, they are not breaking a rule per se as much as interpreting it in terms of its original intention. They recognise that there is no traic in front of them and then act based on their decision that red lights are not meant to be followed when there is no traic. They are acting as independent decision-

It is also this same attitude of individual interpretations of social norms that drives much of the conlicts in India today, including the problem of corruption. I am referring in particular to the conlicts largely understood to be based on identity politics: for example, the attack on Sanjay Leela Bhansali in connection with his ilm Padmavati, the debate on jallikattu, and the actions of the self-appointed protectors of religions, traditions and the nation. Identity politics is really not that diferent from the problem of dealing with traic signals. Identity is primarily about rules and how we follow these rules. Identities such as gender, caste and religion are largely decided by the norms of a larger society, and most times, socialisation is nothing but learning how to follow these norms. So how we behave according to our gender, or our religious and caste identities, is inluenced by a set of social rules, some explicit and many implicit. Living in society is then largely a matter of following these rules, stopping at the ‘social red lights’ as required.

makers who feel that their judgment of the situation overrides rules set by a society or government. But there are also some who jump signals because they feel they are not bound by any social norms. This ambiguity of what it is to follow a rule is really the source of many conlicts in our society today. Should we blindly follow social norms, or should we be independent interpreters of the rules of society? Sometimes it may seem that our individual decision is better than the social norm. Some might suggest that it is useless to wait for two minutes at a signal when there is no traic at all on the roads. How should we act in such cases? Does the social norm, even when not appropriate in a particular context, always supersede rational individual decision? Or is it better to have a thinking citizenship, one that refuses to blindly follow rules without interpreting them to see what really suits the context? But the chaos that results when each of us interprets social rules is what leads to traic jams every single day in every corner of our cities and towns!

The erosion of autonomy Today, it is not easy to belong to anything since our belongingness is constantly challenged by others. If you thought that being an Indian was a simple matter, then think again, for protesting against the policies of a ruling government, questioning the cynical use of the national anthem in movie halls or even thinking that there are actually decent ordinary people in Pakistan are all reasons for your identity as an Indian to be questioned. We are slowly losing our autonomy to deine ourselves, to deine who we are and who we want to be seen as. In the recent jallikattu case, the claims and counterclaims were not as much about bulls as it was about the identity of being Tamil. People who wrote in support of the ban on jallikattu were labelled as antiTamil. Movie stars, among others, who supported jallikattu repeatedly invoked jallikattu as embodying the essence of being Tamil. This was indeed a new public deinition of being a Tamil. In all these cases, small groups are deining the rules of what an identity is. Instead of the state or the larger society which earlier did this task, it is increasingly smaller vocal groups that have anointed themselves as judge and enforcers of identity. This is exactly like having a group of people standing at signal lights waiting to catch those

Sundar Sarukkai is Professor of Philosophy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru

Marching to be counted With anti-immigrant tensions rising in Britain, responses such as 1daywithoutus too will sharpen

Vidya Ram


iz Needham, originally from Dublin, has lived in the U.K. for the past 27 years. On Monday she decided to shut her accountancy irm in the English town of St. Albans. While the irm is small, a three-person business, she was eager to join in 1daywithoutus, a day of action taking across the U.K. to celebrate the contribution made by immigrants, from outside and within the European Union (EU). “I felt it was very important to make the gesture,” she says. “I run my own company, so was able to do this. But there are many others working across the country in essential services such as the NHS who simply wouldn’t be able to stop working for a day, because the country cannot run without them.”

The Brexit efect While anti-immigrant sentiment has been a long-standing aspect of British politics, it’s been on the increase since June 23 last year, when Britain voted to leave the EU, with hate being directed across communities, and not just at EU cit-

izens. There’s been an upsurge of verbal attacks on the Indian community, particularly outside London, says Harsev Bains of the Indian Workers’ Association. According to data compiled by the news agency Press Association, published earlier this month, three-quarters of Britain’s 44 police forces reported a record number of hate crimes in the three months after the Brexit vote, with even cosmopolitan London recording 3,356 cases. The Independent reported that police forces across the country are preparing themselves for a rise in racially or religiously motivated crime after the government triggers talks to exit the EU next month. Even Ms. Needham says she’s faced abuse since the vote, being told to go back to Ireland and (more disturbingly to her) that she wasn’t the kind of immigrant that they were eager to get rid of (she is white). “I think it’s incredibly important, with the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. and everything happening in Europe, for us to stand up and say this has got to stop.” The contribution of immigrants to the U.K. is hard to dispute: according to a report published earlier this week by the think-tank, the New Economics Foundation, British daily GDP would take a 4% hit if migrant workers stopped working for a day, costing the economy £328 million. While 26% of

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR To the highest bidder Market-driven compulsions may send newspapers scrambling to break the day with exciting front-page news, yet, even cricketcrazy Indian readers do not expect a daily of the standing of The Hindu to highlight the IPL auction bids on its main page when there is no dearth of key issues before the nation (Feb.21). Ben Stokes going for a song or a fortune is not the news a serious and informed citizen of this country is waiting for nor is it the bread-and-butter issue of the common man. Heavens would not have fallen had the IPL extravaganza been relegated to the inner pages. Being relevant to youth alone should not be the objective of the new design. Sivamani Vasudevan, Chennai

It is surprising that The Hindu opted to allot prime space on the irst ■



he lurry of actions by the Pakistan government on Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Haiz Saeed gives the impression of movement on an issue that has been a point of contention between India and Pakistan. For the past two weeks, Saeed, who is on the UN Security Council’s terror list, has been under “preventive detention” and “house arrest”, along with four other members of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an avatar of the LeT. All ive are on the “export control list” for travel. A few days ago the authorities put Saeed on its Anti-Terrorism Act list as well, and on Tuesday followed that up by revoking weapon licences issued to Saeed and others. Although details have not been shared, Pakistani oicials said they have placed restrictions on the functioning and funding of Saeed’s JuD and its ‘charity arm’, the Falah-eInsaniyat Foundation. In addition, Pakistan’s military gave Saeed’s detention its full backing by calling it a “policy decision in the national interest”, while Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told an international audience at the Munich Security Conference that Saeed was a “security threat” to Pakistan. It would seem that even the Indian government has given the action against Saeed a half thumbs-up, with the Ministry of External Afairs calling it a “logical irst step”. As observers of Pakistan know, the action against Saeed is not a new step or even the most serious measure taken against him over the past two decades. Since 2001 he has been in and out of detention at least ive times, and released by the courts on a number of occasions. Besides, unlike in 2008 and 2009 when he was detained for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case, this time there has been no First Information Report registered, or any speciic reason given. If Pakistan were indeed serious about the UN list, these actions should have been carried out in 2008, when Saeed and the JuD were put on the list. It is more than likely that Pakistan’s action is actually timed for the Financial Action Task Force’s oicials meeting in Paris this week where a report on Pakistan’s terror funding record is being presented. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may even be attempting to show ‘good faith’ to both U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the action, even as he faces domestic pressure to act against terrorists in the wake of a slew of bombings recently in Pakistan, including at the Sehwan shrine in Sindh. It is too early to fully assess what the action against Saeed means, and what signal Pakistan may be sending to India. For New Delhi, steps towards a resumption of bilateral dialogue may be more purposeful than simply gauging which way the wind is blowing.

Sundar Sarukkai


Why we shouldn’t read too much into Pakistan’s action against the LeT chief, yet

who jump the signals. We have come to this point only because those who are supposed to do the job of creating meaningful social rules have abdicated their responsibility. Just like the lack of traic police leads to individuals who suddenly decide to regulate traic, so too the lack of political leaders leads to small groups taking over the task of regulating society. This is a consequence of the nature of democratic politics. Representative politics is a system where we voluntarily give away our autonomy to politicians. Voting for somebody is to voluntarily give a “power of attorney” to that individual to speak and govern on our behalf. We gift the politicians the right to govern us in the hope that they will do the right thing by us. Alas, this is a hope that is no longer possible in democracies around the world and in India. Democracy is the contract by which we voluntarily agree to follow the rules created by a group of people whom we elect. The other direction of the contract is that the politicians not only make rules that beneit the citizens but also communicate the intention behind those rules in clear terms. When these intentions are left ambiguous, social conlicts arise since individuals and groups interpret the intentions behind rules to suit their interests, leading to the failure of the democratic contract. One of the irst signs that the system has failed is when the unelected start dictating the society with their deinition of what social rules mean instead of democratically negotiating these rules. They then run through society like they run through signal lights while the rest of us sit and watch helplessly waiting for the lights to change.

those working in the health-care sector were born abroad, in other sectors such as food and hospitality, the igure is even higher, according to the NEF. International students make up 20% of the student population in the U.K., according to the National Union of Students. However, the contribution of migrants, from outside and within the E.U., became the focus of discussions in the run-up to the Brexit referendum, with many suggesting that better control of Britain’s borders would improve public services, health care and education. That debate has continue to persist, with the government insisting that the public’s hope of controlling immigration was a key takeaway from the referendum, and it has conirmed its willingness to sacriice single market access to the EU in or-

der to be able to control its borders. Britain has also tightened controls for non-EU migrants, raising salary thresholds for work visas, while there has been talk of further controls of the student visa system. The Health Secretary has even called for the NHS to be self-suicient in doctors from within the U.K. by 2025. The government has steadfastly refused to guarantee the rights of EU nationals already in the U.K., insisting that it would not be able to do without guarantees from Europe on the rights of Britons there. The tough rhetoric on immigration has not been conined to the Conservatives. In a speech earlier this year, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the party was “not wedded” to the principle of freedom of movement within the EU, while Deputy Leader Tom Watson recently told the BBC that the party was considering a number of options on post-Brexit immigration, including some form of regional immigration controls. “We need to start a new positive narrative about the impact of immigration on this country, to celebrate the story of migration, instead of having a situation where immigrants are blamed for everything and scapegoated,” said Rachel TaylorBeales, one of the organisers of 1daywithoutus, as she gathered with others outside Parliament on Monday afternoon, as part of the

day of action. The event attempted to go beyond focussing on the economic contribution of migration to the huge impact it has on the country’s way of life, and events that took place up and down the country attempted to relect that.

A holistic appraisal While some such as Ms. Needham chose to close their oices, in other places rallies took place, or human chains were formed in town or city centres. Some chose to highlight the cultural impact of migrants: the Tate Britain in London conducted a tour of works done or inluenced by migrants, while several universities held events focussing on migrant literature. Some took to social media: several university departments took pictures with and without their immigrant staf to highlight the huge role they play. Many shared a graphic showing the top 102 nationalities of NHS staf (Indians represent the largest group after the British, accounting for just over 17,000, followed by Filipinos and Irish). The 1daywithoutus event follows close on the heels of the Day Without Immigrants protest in the U.S. With anti-immigrant tensions showing little sign of waning in the West, the call for such movements highlighting the role of immigrants is likely to grow. [email protected]

Letters emailed to [email protected] must carry the full postal address and the full name or the name with initials.

page for the IPL auction. This is an event that has been dogged by controversies and which resulted in legal intervention. This non-stop, two- month cricket event consumes so much of electricity and water, an issue which the media hardly ever highlights even as large parts of rural India continue to sufer in silence. V. Subramanian, Thane, Maharashtra

■ Any sane connoisseur of cricket can read about the ignominious action of auctioning cricket players only in utter disbelief. If it is true, the IPL is no more than an unethical commercial venture. A sportsperson may represent his/her country, State, institution or department with which he/she is associated. When they ofer themselves to be sold as animals in a shandy to the highest bidder, they are but unscrupulous agents who are prepared to play for

their masters. Claims of reforming sports bodies such as the BCCI and the IOA exist only in the imagination. Annadurai Jeeva, Srirangam, Tamil Nadu

The payments being ofered to cricket players around the world in order to play in the IPL matches are mind-boggling. It is apparent that the IPL is highly proitable. I hope that the income tax oicials are doing all they can to probe the sources of payment by the sponsors. In fact the details should be made available online. Alas, cricket is no longer a sport.

T.S.N. Rao, Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh

Right step India’s desire not to term Pakistan as a terrorist state is a reiteration of its international status as a mature, civilised, democratic world power among the comity of nations

(“Centre not for terming Pakistan a ‘terror state’,” Feb.21). We respect and accept diplomatic relations according to the Geneva Conventions. At the same time, Pakistan is not a banana republic. There could be other civilised methods we can explore to tackle Pakistani terror. There is still some semblance of sentiment and reasonableness among military veterans of Pakistan. We need to look at this option too. C.V. Venugopalan, Palakkad

Starting well Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has begun well by announcing the closure of liquor shops (Feb.21). This is a positive development after weeks of disruption following the jallikattu issue and the run-up to the trust vote. Unemployment is the biggest problem the administration faces.

Pursuing welfare measures will only be a drain on the exchequer. The fervour and competitive spirit being witnessed in the neighbouring States to create employment opportunities and start industries should act as a catalyst in Tamil Nadu. There also have to be urgent steps to tackle agrarian distress and drought.

considering its negative impact on our preparedness to tackle the threat of terror. An overhaul of the existing investigation processes is the need of the hour. M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

The new look

I have been reading The Hindu for the past 45 years and have felt that it K. Jayanthi, began to lose its glory in the Chennai last few years. The redesign appears to be a good step to Wrongful arrest halt this decline and I was The acquittal of two persons happy to receive the accused of being involved in enhanced Sunday edition. the 2005 Delhi serial blasts There was absolutely no is one more instance of how time to think about any form our investigative agencies of social media. I recollect fail (Editorial — “Guilty my father telling us when we until...”, Feb.21). Nothing were young that The Hindu can compensate the men for was the only newspaper that their lost years. would help us in learning Most often, one inds the English language. I hope innocent people being the new- look Hindu fetches framed. The lack of it more readers. professionalism on the part Lalitha Prasad, Rajamahendravaram, Andhra Pradesh of investigative agencies needs to be addressed with more letters online: the seriousness it deserves ND-ND








‘If two young leaders come together, people’s hopes will rise’ The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister says the SP-Congress alliance gives a message that a progressive government could return in the State Amit Baruah and Omar Rashid

After seven public meetings on Monday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, 43, has a bit of a hoarse voice. That, however, doesn’t hold him back from taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati. In the course of an interview at his official residence in Lucknow, Mr. Yadav discusses the Assembly election campaign, developments in his Samajwadi Party, and the family spat. Excerpts: Tell us how the alliance with the Congress was reached.

■Sometimes you just build a friendship. Some people say that after a certain age, friendships happen according to needs. It’s good that we have reached an alliance [with the Congress]. So far, the chemistry with Rahul Gandhi has been very good. We are the same age, we think alike. He wants the country and the State to develop. We also want the same. When did you feel the need for the alliance?

■I can tell you what the Samajwadis feel about the Congress. They feel that when the Congress is at its weakest, it will find the Samajwadis closest to it. I feel that the Congress was weak and friendship with the Samajwadis is also fine. On occasion, time and circumstances decide whom you are going with. Both Rahulji and I are young leaders. Feuds between the Congress and the Samajwadis may have happened in the past. But they should also remember that all Samajwadi leaders are products of the Congress party. At that time, Congress was the only Opposition party. Obviously, if there was one ruling party, they will fight against that [party] only. Today, the times have changed. We need political formations that can protect the secular fabric of the country and take on communal political parties like the BJP. There should be someone to take on political leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah and the kind of language that they use. I can say that the alliance happened because we are both younger leaders and want to take Uttar Pradesh forward. It is possible that the alliance with the Congress has come a little late in the day…

■If you have an early alliance then it becomes easier to take party workers along. Many of our decisions have been

taken at the last moment and there’s little doubt that we have got less time to make the alliance function. At the beginning, there were some issues in our family (refers to the feud with his uncle Shivpal Yadav) and a lot of time was wasted on this.

is the black money? < > Where Look at Kashmir, the PM said terrorists will be stopped and iniltration will stop. But look, our oicers are dying there; jawans are dying.

Could the alliance have happened earlier if these family issues were not there?

Metro? The first Metro stretch in Lucknow is almost complete. Kanpur we have started. Ghaziabad second stretch we have done. Finished. Noida, Great Noida section we are doing. So, in four places we are constructing the Metro here. In three other cities, I am making DPRs (detailed project reports). If I am back again as the Chief Minister, I will construct a Metro in Varanasi also. And that is the Prime Minister’s constituency. There also I am giving electricity 24 hours. So that’s what I said, the Prime Minister comes to Varanasi and says Ganga Maiyya has called him. I tell him, aap Ganga Maiyaa ki kasam khao (take an oath in the name of goddess Ganga) and say whether I am giving electricity 24 hours in Varanasi or not.

■It may not have happened then… the time and circumstances were such that we had to have this alliance to give a message to the people of Uttar Pradesh that a progressive government could return in the State. If two young leaders come together, the people’s hopes will rise. In sum, it (the alliance with the Congress) was a good decision and the results flowing from this decision will be good. That’s the bigger gain. Can there be an alliance with the Congress for Lok Sabha 2019?

■It will be too early to say because currently we are only working on the 2017 Assembly polls. You have completed five years in government. Tell us about your top three achievements and three difficult moments.

■Given that our State is massive, I can say that we worked on infrastructure at one level and the other on what can be delivered to the poor through social schemes. On the infrastructure front, priority was given to road construction. If we can double the speed [of road construction], we can triple the [growth of the] economy. That’s my belief. Like they say in the United States, the U.S. made roads and the roads made the U.S. At the minimum, we should give good roads that provide door-to-door connectivity. Our farmers will benefit most from these roads — if cities are being linked, so are villages. The second challenge was to at least create the system and infrastructure for electricity. We purchased almost 3,000 megawatt electricity after bidding. We built substations and feeder systems. After doing all this we have been able to provide 24hour power supply to cities and 16-18 hours to villages. It is a big achievement for a State like U.P., which was considered to be power-deficient. Staying with electricity, the Prime Minister made a comment about Diwali and power supply.

■He was wrong about the data. We provided 2,000 MW more power supply

There was an incident of lynching in Dadri. How do you think your government handled that incident? Do you feel that it cast a shadow on your administration?

Akhilesh Yadav at his oicial residence in Lucknow

should be someone to < > There take on political leaders like PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah and the kind of language that they use. during Diwali than we did for Ramzan. And for Diwali, I decided that, as a festival of lights, I will provide every district headquarters with 24-hour electricity supply. Since that Diwali, there has been 24-hour power supply across the State. Is there politics behind Mr. Modi’s comment?

■I have followed the Prime Minister’s speeches for long. He spoke about police stations, that they have Samajwadis posted there. But let me tell you, I have given to the State one of the best police infrastructures — the UP 100 for police response… if anybody is in distress or any problem, [the] police reach them quickly, within five or 10 minutes, and 15 minutes in the villages. Which State offers this? Second, he talked about electricity during Ramzan. His data are wrong. I


am providing electricity on Holi, Diwali as well as Christmas. Then, he said that boundary walls of graveyards are being built, while those at crematoriums are not. There would be disputes in villages about boundaries of graveyards. With the help of the administration, we ensured their marking and provided them a secure location. We have a mixed society and fabric. We tried to prevent any conflict. If we are working for Muslims, we are also working for others. In some of the Christian schools, I am building good auditoriums. The Prime Minister is unaware he does not have the correct data. I am doing what is necessary for society. Are you trying to suggest that your ‘U.P. model’ is superior to the ‘Gujarat model’?

■I don’t know what the Gujarat model is but I can say this they have not been able to construct a Metro [line] in 15 years, but we are making Metro [lines] in four places. The Prime Minister is talking about sitting in our Metro but I tell him, when will you let us sit in your

■The Dadri issue was handled with responsibility by the government and police, otherwise it was the BJP’s attempt to turn it into a Muzaffarnagar-type issue… We took absolutely correct decisions then. Due to that, we were saved. Otherwise, just imagine, somebody says that some food is kept in your fridge and people come and kill you... Tomorrow some other people will ask, why are you eating chicken? Suppose I do not eat [meat], will we fight over it? You are the Prime Minister, you have travelled to so many countries, you create an aura… You talk about graveyards... by raising this, you are trying to defame that State which gave you more than 70 MPs. Do you see attempts to polarise the election this time?

■It won’t happen but they are trying. They have lost ground. They have done nothing. They have only spoken about mann ki baat. They have done no kaam ki baat.

row to the people, when the common people get a chance, they vote out such people… How can corruption be stopped by demonetisation? What is black money? Where is the black money? Look at Kashmir, he said terrorists will be stopped and infiltration will stop. But look, our officers are dying there; jawans are dying. Still there is curfew in Jammu and Kashmir. Did you face any trouble as a party, in campaigning?

■We did not have money. We were busy having a fight in our house. I was so happy I had nothing (chuckles). Kehte hai na andhera aata hai toh parchai bhi chali jati hai (they say that when darkness falls even your shadow abandons you.) Who is your principal opponent in the election? Is it the BSP or the BJP?

■We are number one; it’s difficult to say who is number two and three. Both parties are not in the fight. Both have been derailed. Mayawatiji is saying she will do development. She has built stones across Lucknow... elephants. Who will believe her, trust her? She is saying, I will only do development. What development will she do? Suppose she decides to construct a bigger elephant than Sardar Patel (statue in Gujarat), then what will happen to the revenue and money of the State? In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP raised a campaign against your alleged Muslim appeasement…

■No, it is not that. I am providing Muslims their right. I am giving them 20% share in my schemes; laptop distribution, Kanya Vidya Dhan, Samajwadi pension, taking steps for education, they are getting e-rickshaws, Urdu teachers are being recruited, I have made police recruitment easier, built boundaries for graveyards. If I am setting up a Mughal Museum, I am also taking care of Ayodhya and Ramayan. You are the face of the SP, while Mayawati is of the BSP. The BJP does not have a CM face. Is that a disadvantage for the BJP?

■They have a big name in the form of the Prime Minister. They are happy with that. That is why the Prime Minister is talking of police stations, graveyards and crematoriums, electricity, Diwali and Ramzan. He has entangled himself.

What is your sense of demonetisation?

■In democracy, one thing everybody should remember, whoever causes sor-


A longer version of the interview is available on




What’s in a name?


Leftists leading in Kerala elections

Far from hubris, Anthropocene is a formal acknowledgement of guilt about what we have to done to the earth

The Congress has suffered very severe reverses in the Assembly elections in Kerala, marked by the loss of seats as well as by the defeat of the Pradesh Congress President, Mr. K.C. Abraham. With the results of 75 out of 133 Assembly seats announced till 1-30 a.m. to-day [February 22, Trivandrum] the Congress has retained only six seats and lost more than 20 seats it had won in 1965. (The Congress had secured 36 seats in the 1965 mid-term elections to the State Assembly). Results declared: 75. All the prominent leaders of the seven Opposition parties, which formed a United Front for the election, are among the successful candidates.

Jacob Koshy


Last year, the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) — the body that decides epochs, aeons and eras to mark the earth’s geological history — recommended that humans should have their own epoch. Anthropocene, as this proposed epoch is called, roughly means the ‘Recent Age of Man’ and was irst proposed by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen and atmospheric scientist Eugene Stoermer around 2000. Today we live in the Holocene, a period that began roughly 12,000 years ago. This corresponds to the beginning of agriculture, the earliest settlements in West Asia, and the multiplication of humanity to every part of the globe. Geologists mark out an age based on imprints in fossil records. They have never marked out an age as belonging to an organism or species. ‘Jurassic’, for instance, has nothing to do with dinosaurs and refers to the Jura mountains in Europe. Is Anthropocene man’s self-attestation that he is the master of the universe?

If the planet were to end Far from hubris, Anthropocene is a formal acknowledgement of guilt. The triumphant march of Homo sapiens, chronicled through the ages as ‘civilization’, has over the past half a century begun to be replaced by a creeping shame: there is concrete enough to cover every square kilometre of the earth, ginormous amounts of plastic that outweigh this planet’s seven-billion inhabitants, and warheads primed to destroy all traces of the years it took to conceive them. Armageddon is no longer the scary chapter that concludes religious texts but is now staid science. Of course, the details are hazy and many years away, but in broad terms there is fair agreement that life — organic life at least — is three-fourths done and earth is almost halfway through its journey of being destroyed by the sun. This is even if mankind stops, as of this second, every wisp of its greenhouse gases. When the leaders of the world congregated and congratulated themselves in Paris about their success in getting everyone to agree (without any binding commitments) that the earth couldn’t be allowed to heat up two degrees, it only showed how naively humanity hopes that somehow technology and evolution will ‘save’ us. The lesson for doomsday scenarios is that survival must involve a massive upheaval in the way we conceive of our place on earth and how squabbles over apportioning carbon emissions are pointlessly incremental and futile when what we need is radical — almost outrageous — ideas for even a moon shot at surviving, let alone as a species. In this light, the quest for Anthropocene is man scratching out a timestamp in the sand, not to show that we lived but just that we existed. CM YK



The new blockade





Bad Faith/ Philosophy

Being the other

In Being and Nothingness, French philosopher JeanPaul Sartre referred to our natural capacity to deceive ourselves as ‘bad faith’. Bad faith exists in our tendency to believe we are not who we really are; that we have no options and therefore act in an inauthentic manner. Sartre regarded bad faith as a denial of freedom which we all have. He gives an example of a waiter, who tells himself that to wait on tables is his destiny. The takeaway here is that to blame social pressures or others for what we are or what we do may be comforting, but it is a denial of the freedom we have. CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC


BharatQR: One step closer to e-payments

On crossing the language barrier in Jafna Meera Srinivasan

The first thing that struck me about Rajachandran was the way he spoke: pausing between words and raising his voice when he emphasised a point.He watched my face to make sure I followed what he was saying. There was no difficulty understanding him; even some of the unfamiliar Jaffna Tamil words were intelligible. Our first meeting was in May 2013, outside a fish auction centre in Karainagar, a small Sri Lankan island off Jaffna peninsula. Fishermen would bring their catch to the fisheries cooperative that Rajachandran led. A month after moving to Colombo to report for The Hindu, that was my first trip to the Tamil-majority north. Cosmopolitan Colombo let me survive with English mostly. To the average tuk driver or cop, however, I was an obvious “other”

with a general air of cluelessness. I kept hearing a lot of Sinhala, which sounded nothing like my mother tongue Tamil or the little Hindi that I know. In that sense, Jaffna gave me a sense of odd familiarity. The sound of Jaffna Tamil was novel, but not distant. I was excited that we could communicate without an interpreter or my desperate repetitions of questions in English. But the comfort was short-lived. “You” — meaning Indian Tamils — “are the main problem!” is how Rajachandran began speaking. “If you come early in the morning, you can actually see the Indian trawlers very close to our shore,” he said. The fishermen who spoke to me sounded angry and helpless. Their catch had fallen drastically. They spoke about the Sri Lankan government abandoning them, the indifference of Sri Lankan Tamil politicians to their

plight, and the irony of having to battle their “brothers” from Tamil Nadu who compete for fish in the Palk Bay. I have met Rajachandran at least a dozen times. Long discussions at his office about the “latest” on fishermen’s talks became part of every visit. He would weave in postwar socio-economic realities and political challenges into his analysis. He would serve soft drinks and biscuits; sometimes a sumptuous meal. During my subsequent visits he would observe how I had picked up some Jaffna Tamil. “Your fishermen haven’t stopped coming to our sea, okay,” he’d tease me. “You keep coming and we keep discussing the same thing but nothing has changed. I am going to put you on one of your trawlers and send you back to Tamil Nadu.”

The cumulative effects of the war are manifest throughout Europe and food and fuel restrictions are becoming general. Neutrals are particularly in lack of coal. Great Britain despite submarining is best served in all respects for newspapers in France consist of single sheets while Holland is without papers one day a week. France in addition to meatless days and prohibition of pastry proposes to issue bread cards. In short the general conditions are becoming worse daily. In Scandinavia the shortage of coal has compelled the authorities to restrict hours during which schools, churches and factories remain open and Sweden has issued sugar and soap cards.



Notebook, a weekly column to appear on Wednesdays, has stories from reporters’ iles ND-ND








Report faults sedition law, curbs on NGOs The journalists were allegedly killed for their reporting, in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and Siwan, Bihar, respectively. In a sub-section titled ‘Caste-based discrimination and violence’, the report noted that “Dalits and Adivasis continued to face widespread abuses.”

Vemula suicide It also highlighted the nationwide protests following the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula, the attack on Dalit men by a cow vigilante group in Una, and the discrimination faced by Dalits in accessing social spaces and public services. Crimes against children Noting that crimes against children in India grew by 5% in 2015, the report drew attention to India’s amendment to the child labour law, which allows children under 14 to work in “family enterprises”, and children between 14 and 18 years to work in occupations not classified as “hazardous.” It also pointed out that India’s draft national education policy released last August “made no mention of human rights education.”Under the section, ‘Communal and Ethnic Violence’, the report noted that “cow protection groups harassed and attacked people in States including Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and

Karnataka.” Among other crimes, it referred to the killing of two Muslim cattle traders in Jharkhand, and the gang-rape of two women in Haryana by men who accused them of eating beef.

‘Extra-judicial killings’ The report also expressed concerns over extra-judicial killings in different States, including Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, and Madhya Pradesh. The report criticised the Indian state’s handling of the protests in Jammu and Kashmir ( J&K) following the killing of a Hizbul Mujahideen leader in July. The state security forces used “arbitrary or excessive force against demonstrators on several occasions”, said the report, which also slammed the use of pellet guns, which it said were “inherently inaccurate and indiscriminate. On human rights violations in Kashmir, the report also highlighted the incident of August 2016, when “Shabbir Ahmad Monga, a lecturer, was beaten to death by army soldiers.” The ban on local newspapers for three days, and the detention of Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez “on spurious grounds” to prevent him from travelling to a U.N. Human Rights Council session in Geneva, also came in for censure.

Saeed a threat to Pakistan: Minister Saeed carries a reward of $10 million announced by the U.S. for his role in terror activities. During a panel discussion on countering extremism and terrorism, Mr. Asif said: “Terrorism is not synonymous to any religion. Terrorists aren’t Christians or Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus. They are terrorists, they are criminals.” Pakistan was hit by at least eight terror attacks this month in which more than 100 people died, the latest being a suicide bombing on

a famed Sufi shrine in Sindh province that claimed 88 lives. In a statement critical of the American policies, Mr. Asif said Pakistan was determined to fight terrorism: “Let me assure the world community that Pakistan is a frontline state in this war and it will continue to fulfil its obligations to its own people and the international community but if the West’s policies are going to be isolationist, it won’t help the fight against terrorism, only fuel it.”

NIA puts of Nepal visit for ‘sabotage’ probe Senior oicial of the agency says there are still many unconnected dots to be joined about the train accidents a bungalow in Karachi for two days where he was treated well and asked to rope in his local contacts to create trouble in India,” a Nepal police official told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Vijaita Singh New Delhi

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has decided to put on hold its visit to Nepal to investigate the role of Shamsul Hoda, a businessman, in allegedly mobilising people in India and Nepal to plant an improvised explosive device (IED) on a railway track at Ghorasahan in Bihar earlier this year. The bomb did not explode, but the Bihar police, who arrested three persons for allegedly planting it, said the ISI had planned the operation. The Nepal police arrested Hoda in a double murder case on his return from Dubai on February 2. As reported earlier, the Nepal police were not sure of many of the suspicions of Indian agencies about Hoda’s links to the recent train accidents at Kanpur and Andhra Pradesh.

Terror conspiracy The NIA is investigating the three incidents to unearth any terror conspiracy. Earlier, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu wrote to

Of the track: Over 100 people were killed and more than 200 injured when coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanpur last year. FILE PHOTO: THE HINDU Home Minister Rajnath Singh alleging sabotage in at least six train accidents. “We are yet to complete the investigations in India and only when we wrap this up will we go to Nepal to grill Hoda. He is an important lead for us, but there are many unconnected dots to

be joined here,” a senior NIA official said. The Nepal police were dismissive of India’s allegation that Hoda was working on the ISI’s behalf, but they confirmed that the accused regularly met a Paksitani, Shafi Sheikh, in Dubai. He told the police that he went to Kara-

chi seven months ago and met three other people.

Karachi link “Hoda is not sure about the association of Shafi and three others with Pakistan’s ISI, but he says he was asked to do something spectacular in India. He says he stayed in

Jaishankar begins China visit Ban on Jaish chief and India’s NSG membership likely to be discussed Atul Aneja BEIJING

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar began a high-profile visit to China with talks with State Councillor Yang Jiechi, ahead of an omnibus strategic dialogue which was upgraded last year amid Beijing’s resistance to a ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and to India’s membership of the elite Nuclear Supplier’s Group. Mr. Yang, a former Foreign Minister, enjoys top diplomatic status in the Chinese official hierarchy. He is also China’s Special Representative for the boundary talks, which are headed from the Indian side by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. Mr. Jaishankar will begin a new round of the strategic dialogue with China’s Executive Vice-Foreign Minister

S. Jaishankar Zhang Yesui on Wednesday. The format was modified last year during Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to India, following China’s repeated “technical holds” on India’s proposal to designate Pakistan-based Masood Azhar an international terrorist under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267. It was also decided then that a

separate official-level forum would be established by the two Foreign Ministries to especially discuss India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. During his stay, Mr. Jaishankar is expected to call on Foreign Minister Wang. While the Azhar and the NSG issues are likely to be taken up, diplomatic sources said that all other items on IndiaChina relations can fall under the strategic dialogue framework.

Economic corridor India has concerns about market access to China to reduce the balance-of-payments gap between the two countries. China’s investments for the development of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will pass through

Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), is another area that is holding up full development of ties. The geopolitical landscape is changing rapidly with a change of guard in the United States, the emergence of a multipolar world — a situation that was well recognised in New Delhi during this year’s Raisina Dialogue.

More meetings ahead Later this year, China will hold the BRICS summit. Leaders of the two countries are also expected to meet in Astana during the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Besides, China is hosting a high-profile Belt and Road Summit in May, for which the guest list remains to be finalised.

Three arrested In January, the Bihar police arrested Moti Paswan, Uma Shanker Patel and Mukesh Yadav who allegedly planted the bomb, packed in a pressure cooker, on the railway track at Ghorasahan on October 1. During his interrogation, Paswan is alleged to have told the police that the ISI was involved in the Kanpur train accident on November 20, and he and two others had travelled to the accident site to place the IED. However, Director-General of Police, Uttar Pradesh, Javeed Ahmed had earlier told The Hindu that the statement of the accused could not be corroborated, and the preliminary investigations conducted by the State police did not find any trace of explosives on the tracks. Hoda has emerged as a key catch for the NIA, which

is investigating a “sabotage” or “terror” angle in the Kanpur train accident , in which more than 100 people were killed, and the Andhra Pradesh incident on January 21, in which 41 lost their lives. Hoda moved to Dubai about three years ago when his real estate business failed. He suffered financial losses when he contested the elections on the Madhesi Party ticket, which he lost. It is alleged that he made ₹50 lakh by pumping in fake currency into India. He then allegedly asked two persons, Deepak and Arun Ram, to plant explosives at Nakardehi in Bihar. When they failed, he hired one Braj Kishore Giri to kill them. He had asked the deceased to send newspaper clippings of the explosion to him on WhatsApp, the Nepal police said. The official said Braj Kishore Giri, Mojahir Ansari and Shambhu, alias Laddu, were arrested after an encounter with the Nepal police, where they disclosed the names of their Indian associates who were then arrested by the Bihar police.

Can you stop obscene uploads, SC asks ISPs Bench cites loss of reputation, dignity Legal Correspondent NEW DELHI

Noting that it wants “prevention and not cure”, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Internet service providers if there was any mechanism to identify those who upload obscene content online and prevent it. A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and U.U. Lalit referred to the loss of reputation and dignity of women and children who became victims of sexually abusive videos uploaded on websites. Sajan Poovayya, counsel for Google, said content was catalogued and objectionable ones were deleted when spotted. The lawyer said the inflow of information online was huge, and it

was near impossible to filter and block content before they were uploaded. He submitted that the government’s nodal agency could help Internet service providers. The court referred to the Information Technology Act, and asked how the service providers abided by the guidelines to regulate Web content. The court observed that the time lapsed to remove objectionable videos or material led to loss of reputation and dignity of the victims. “Will it or will it not be conducive to prevent the uploading of such contents,” the court asked. The court will hold further hearing in the case on Wednesday.

India, Rwanda sign aviation, visa deals Teesta seeks SC direction to de-freeze her accounts

Rwandan Airways to begin direct lights between Kigali and Mumbai in April Nistula Hebbar KIGALI (RWANDA)

India and Rwanda have concluded a bilateral air services agreement enabling direct flights between the two countries. This is among the three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) concluded during Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s visit to the African nation. In the words of Amar Sinha, Secretary, External Affairs Ministry, it was a visit from which India learnt a lot. Rwandan Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi and Mr. Ansari witnessed the signing of the MoU by Mr. Sinha and Alexis Nzahabwanimana, Rwandan Minister of State for Transport. “With direct flights

Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Rwandan PM Anastase Murekezi during a meeting in Kigali on Monday. PTI between the two countries, we expect our exchanges to be more fruitful,” Mr. Murekezi said. Rwandan Airways will begin direct flights between Kigali and Mumbai in April. The other two MoUs pertained to the setting up of an

entrepreneurial development centre in Rwanda and exemption of visa for entry of diplomatic and official passports. The agreements were signed in the presence of a large business delegation from India at the newly con-

stituted India-Rwanda Business Forum organised by the FICCI and the Rwandan government. Briefing the media at the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Sinha said while there was much to discuss what the Rwandan government wanted from India, including the desire of many pharmaceutical companies to open shop in the country and to have Bollywood films shot in Kigali, Mr. Ansari too had several questions on the many Rwandan initiatives.

Encourage tourism “The Rwandan government wants to encourage tourism. With the air services agreement, that should happen. But they also want Bolly-

wood films to be shot here, because they have noticed how tourism to New Zealand picked up after Bollywood started shooting films there,” Mr. Sinha said. He said Mr. Ansari had many questions about President Paul Kagame’s governance model that had helped Rwanda become one of the cleanest, most wellrun states in the region. “It’s a visit where we too had a lot to learn ... the reconciliation of various groups, to be conscious of a colonial policy of divide and rule and to try and overcome it, and how they are overcoming ethnic majoritiarianism by concentrating on a shared linguistic and cultural heritage.”

Cauvery Tribunal gets new head

U.K. to act fast on extradition pleas Indian team highlights unexplored provisions that could be invoked share best practices, identify the causes of delays and expedite pending requests.

Special Correspondent

Special Correspondent



The government has appointed Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre of the Supreme Court as chairman of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. He was nominated for the post by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar. The post fell vacant following the resignation of Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan. Last December, the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to set up a single, permanent Tribunal to adjudicate all inter-state river water disputes subsuming existing tribunals. This is to speed up water sharing disputes among States. The Centre has also proposed to float some Benches to look into disputes.

The United Kingdom has assured India of expeditious action on its request for the custody of wanted persons, including businessman Vijay Mallya, during a two-day dialogue on issues related to extradition and mutual legal assistance that concluded here on Tuesday. In an official statement, the External Affairs Ministry said the meeting was held pursuant to the decision taken during the visit of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to India last November.

Vijay Mallya

May’s visit During her visit, Ms. May and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed officials dealing with extradition

matters from each side to meet at the earliest to develop a better understanding of the legal processes and requirements of the other,


Key legal aspects The Indian delegation, led by the Joint Secretary (Consular, Passport and Visa), Ministry of External Affairs, had representatives from the Union Home and Law Ministries and investigating agencies. The foreign delegation was headed by chief of the U.K. Central Authority for Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance, the U.K. Home Office, representatives of the Crown Prosecution Service and the U.K. High Commission in Delhi. Indian agencies gave elaborate presentations on key legal aspects of the cases for

which they had sought help under the 1993 Extradition Treaty and the 1995 Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the United Kingdom. They also highlighted unexplored provisions which could be invoked for expeditious action. One of the prominent cases on the agenda was of Vijay Mallya, who faces probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate for alleged wilful default of over ₹9,000 crore bank loan. He is currently in London and has refused to join legal proceedings back home despite the court’s intervention. Several non-bailable warrants are pending against him.

Says source of money in these accounts submitted by Justice Dipak Misra questioned the source of the money. Additional SolicitorGeneral Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat, sought more time to file a detailed response on the issue. The Bench posted the matter to April 18.

Legal Correspondent NEW DELHI

Social activist Teesta Setalvad on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to direct the Ahmedabad police to at least de-freeze her personal bank accounts, saying the source of money in these accounts has already been submitted to authorities. The accounts were frozen in 2015 soon after the police started an investigation into embezzlement allegations against Ms. Setalvad and some others in connection with the money apparently collected from the residents of the 2002 riots-hit Gulberg society. “There are multiple donors who have donated the money for various purposes. Our personal bank accounts and the bank accounts of the NGOs have been frozen by them, which

Teesta Setalvad

also include fixed deposits. At least the court should direct them that the freeze on personal bank accounts should be lifted as a lot of time has passed,” Ms. Setalvad’s counsel, Aparna Bhat, submitted. The submission was made soon after a Bench led

Activist’s objection Ms. Setalvad has been objecting to repeated adjournments being taken by the Gujarat government ever since the Supreme Court issued notice on her petition to de-freeze her account. Ms. Setalvad, her husband and two NGOs — Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace — had approached the Supreme Court in October 2015 against the Gujarat High Court’s order rejecting their plea to de-freeze their personal bank accounts.

CBI arrests IAS oicer for graft His brother-in-law, middleman also held Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday arrested Chhattisgarh Principal Secretary B.L. Agrawal, his brother-in-law and a middleman for allegedly conspiring to bribe public servants for getting relief in two other cases registered earlier by the agency against the official. The agency has secured their custody for five days. The IAS officer of the 1988 batch had promised to pay up ₹1.5 crore for the job and had already paid ₹45 lakh in

cash and the rest in the form of two kg of gold. The CBI has seized the gold and ₹20 lakh in cash, which was delivered to Bhagwan Singh, the alleged middleman. “Mr. Agrawal, his brother-in-law Anand Agrawal, who arranged the gold, and Bhagwan Singh have been arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act. They were produced before a Delhi court, which granted [the agency] their custody for five days,” a CBI official said. In 2010, the CBI had registered two cases against

Mr. Agrawal when he was Health Secretary of the Chhattisgarh government. In one of the cases, the agency has filed a charge sheet. The probe continues in the other case. According to the fresh FIR, the agency received information that Mr. Agrawal had contacted Bhagwan Singh, a resident of Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, to get relief in the CBI cases. On February 11, Bhagwan Singh arranged a meeting for him with Syed Burhanuddin, a resident of Telangana who claimed that he was in PMO. ND-ND








U.P. campaign hits high note More radars to beef up Roadshows and verbal duels by top leaders of the BJP, SP and Congress

coastal surveillance Defence Acquisition Council gives nod for 38 more units

Manipur Deputy CM escapes ambush

Dinakar Peri NEW DELHI


Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur Gaikhangam Gangmei on Tuesday had a narrow escape when a militant outfit carried out an ambush in Tamenglong district. Mr. Gaikhangam, also in charge of Home, had gone to his constituency for a poll meeting. A policeman was also hurt.

3 BSNL officials arrested for accepting bribe BUNDI

Three BSNL officials were arrested by the CBI tonight for allegedly accepting a bribe of around ₹60,000 for a contractor here. A special CBI team from Jaipur raided the BSNL office at Chittor Road here and arrested them while accepting the bribe, a CBI official said. PTI

Seven Maoists killed in exchange of fire NAGPUR

At least seven members of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) were killed during an exchange of fire with security forces in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday. “An exchange of fire took place between a DRG [District Reserve Guard] team and the Maoists in Puspal on the border of Narayanpur and Dantewada district on Tuesday,. Seven bodies of Maoists, two INSAS rifles, and four other weapons have been recovered,” said the Chhattisgarh Anti-Naxal Operation unit in a statement. Special Director General of Police of the ANO, D.M. Awasthi, expressed the possibility of “around a dozen Maoists” being killed in the encounter. However, only seven bodies were recovered.

Campaign gusto: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, along with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, atop an AP election campaign vehicle in Allahabad on Tuesday. Staff Reporter MEERUT

Campaigning for the fourth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls ended on Tuesday with top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress holding roadshows. In the 2012 elections, the SP won 24 of the 53 seats that are going to the polls across 12 districts on Thursday. The Bahujan Samaj Party won 15 of them, the Congress six, the BJP five and the Peace Party three. The districts are Allahabad, Pratapgarh, Jalaun, Kaushambi, Mahoba, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Hamirpur, Rae Bareli, Lalitpur, Banda and Fatehpur. As many as 680 candidates are trying their luck. They include Aradhna Mishra, daughter of the senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari; Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiyya; Utkarsh Maurya,

son of the rebel BSP leader S.P. Maurya, who has joined the BJP; Ujjawal Raman, son of senior SP leader Rewati Raman; and the last Assembly’s Leader of Opposition Gaya Charan Dinkar. BJP president Amit Shah and SP-Congress alliance leaders Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav held simultaneous roadshows, but on different routes in Allahabad on Tuesday.

Lot of fireworks The campaigning saw lots of fireworks as Prime Minister Narendra Modi raked up a controversy over his statement on kabristaan (graveyard) and shamshaan (cremation ground)”, with his political rivals accusing him of communalising the elections. When Mr. Modi slammed the BSP as the Behenji Sampatti Party (in a reference to its chief Mayawati), the BSP leader hit out at him by calling him the “Mr. Negative Dalit Man”.

Addressing a rally in Fatehpur, Mr. Modi said, “If you create a kabristaan in a village, then a shamshaan too should be created. If electricity is given uninterrupted during Ramzan, then it should be given in Deepavali also.”

Rhetoric and reactions He continued to target the SP-Congress alliance and the BSP for alleged corruption and lack of development. Mr. Modi said the people of U.P. must end the “exile of development”. He repeatedly accused Akhilesh Yadav of being “least concerned about improving the law and order situation in the State”. While speaking in Fatehpur, Mr. Modi took a dig at the SPCongress alliance and said, “The two leaders [Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi] thought, ‘we are both drowning, why should we not go down together?’” Mr. Gandhi reacted strongly to PM Modi’s “kab-

Aimed to start debate on Pak. as terror state: MP

Haiz Saeed challenges arrest

Finds nothing wrong in Centre’s view against his Bill


Special Correspondent New Delhi

Independent MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Tuesday that there was nothing wrong in the Home Ministry’s view that Pakistan cannot be termed a “terror state”. Mr. Chandrasekhar, who is the vice-chairman of the National Democratic Alliance Kerala unit, had moved a Private Member’s Bill in the Rajya Sabha — The Declaration of Countries as Sponsor of Countries as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016 — to create legal, eco-

Rajeev Chandrasekhar

nomic and travel sanctions for citizens of countries which promote terror. The Bill came up for discussion

on February 3, at the end of the first half of the Budget session. “The Bill will come up for discussion again when the Rajya Sabha resumes. The government will respond to the debate. My main objective was to start a discourse on the subject and [it is] high time Parliament took up the issue,” Mr. Chandrasekhar said. The Home Ministry has written to the Parliament Secretariat opposing the Bill as it jeopardises international relations under the Geneva Convention.

Uttarakhand turnout is 65.64% Figure revised from 68%; in 2012 elections, it was 67.22 Staff Reporter DEHRADUN

Six days after the Assembly elections, data released by the Chief Electoral Officer of Uttarakhand put the voter turnout at 65.64%, which is lower than the official figure declared soon after the polling was over. In the evening of February 15, Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi announced the turnout to be 68% based on a preliminary estimate. She had, however, said the final figure was awaited. In the 2012 elections, the polling percentage was 67.22, which is 1.6 percentage points higher than the turnout now.“Though the polling percentage is lower than that in 2012, we had 6.5 lakh more voters this time. So I don’t see it as a low


Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said here on Tuesday that he was ready for talks with the United Naga Council (UNC) to end the economic blockade which has been crippling life in the land-locked CM YK

Manohar Parrikar

bile surveillance stations as well as two vessel traffic management systems (VTMS) in Kutch and Khambat in Gujarat at a cost of approximately ₹800 crore. The project will be executed by Indian companies and the lead integrator of the various works is Bharat Electronics Ltd., based in Bengaluru.

No discrimination of Indian children in Norway: Envoy Ambassador says every child has the ‘same’ rights Special Correspondent CHENNAI

Norway treats all its children equally and does not differentiate between them based on their nationalities, with “every child having the same right to a safe upbringing,” said Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, Norwegian Ambassador to India. Replying to a question on why some Indians face problems in Norway, with at least three cases of Indian children being taken away by childcare officers, Mr. Kamsvåg said the law re-

garding such issues relates to all children in Norway and is not specific to India. “That means that the government has the responsibility of [looking into] reports by schools and kindergartens that there are indications the families are not treating their child in a proper way. In 90% of these cases, the families get counselling. In some cases, if it is outside of what is acceptable, then the childcare authorities can bring it up to a committee, which can decide on it,” he said.

Mr. Kamsvåg was speaking during an interaction with journalists at The Hindu’s office in Chennai. Ambassadors of five Nordic countries — Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden — visited the office and spoke on various issues, including immigration, the impact of Brexit in Europe, and partnerships of Nordic countries with India, among other subjects. The ambassadors of the five Nordic countries are in Tamil Nadu as part of an annual visit to a State.


Jamaat-ud Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed on Tuesday challenged his preventive detention by Pakistani authorities. The Lahore High Court has fixed the case for hearing on Wednesday, his lawyer A.K. Dogar said. Saeed also accused the government of acting under under pressure from the U.S. Mr Dogar said there was no case against Saeed and hence he should be released immediately. Pakistani military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said Saeed’s detention had the backing of the military.

Tribute to Easwar Sagar Special Correspondent Chennai

Decision made: Two youngsters after voting in the Mussoorie constituency of Uttarakhand. R.V. MOORTHY

turnout. In fact, the total voter turnout was high despite the cold weather, with over 400 polling booths in snowbound areas. Also, the polls were peaceful,” Ms. Raturi told The Hindu. The plains district of Udham Singh Nagar record the highest turnout of 75.79%. The lowest of 52.81% was re-

corded in the hill district of Almora. No one voted in seven of the 10,685 booths across Uttarkashi, Almora and Pithoragarh districts. Polling was held for 69 Assembly seats. Voting for the Karnaprayag seat has been postponed to March 9 following the death of the BSP candidate.

‘BJP’s game plan will fail in Manipur’ Press Trust of India

ristaan and shamshaan” statement and, while addressing an election meeting in Rae Bareli, said, “You must have heard his speech, he [Mr. Modi] has started this (spreading hatred) yesterday. Elections keep on happening but you must understand it quite clearly that if U.P. is set on fire or a house starts burning, everybody’s house will get burnt. Whenever Modi feels jittery, he starts spreading hatred. You can vote for anyone of your choice. But they are trying to put one against the other.” Mr. Akhilesh Yadav hit the headlines when he advised megastar Amitabh Bachchan, “Please do not advertise for the donkeys of Gujarat” while referring to a Gujarat Tourism advertisement on the wild ass sanctuary of Kutch. BJP leaders expressed fury over the “cheap statement” by Akhilesh Yadav and termed it his “nervousness over his predictable defeat”.

To strengthen surveillance of over 7,500-km coastline of the country, the Defence Ministry on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to expand the coastal radar surveillance network. The decision was taken by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The council reviewed the status of other procurements. “The DAC gave approval for issuing the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for Phase II of the static sensor chain and also an intermediate aircraft engine repair facility for the Navy,” a Ministry source said. One official said Phase II involves setting up 38 additional radars and four mo-

In the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which terrorists used a fishing boat to enter the city, the government decided to set up a chain of static sensors to fill gaps in coastal surveillance and keep track of boats entering Indian territorial waters. Under Phase I, a chain of 46 coastal surveillance radar and electro-optic sensors were set up, including 36 in the mainland, six in the Lakshadweep islands and four in the Andaman & Nicobar islands. India is also setting up similar radar stations in friendly Indian Ocean littoral nations. The DAC also gave approval for the setting up of a shore-based intermediate engine repair facility for the Navy’s MiG-29K fighters at the Naval yard in Goa.

State since November 1. He accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of having a “tacit understanding with the UNC”, and said the saffron party’s “game plan” will fail in the Assembly elections in March. The UNC imposed the blockade in protest against the State government’s de-

cision to create seven new districts out of existing ones and upgrade the Sadar Hills region into a district.

‘We are ready’ Asked if the State government was ready for talks with the UNC to resolve the crisis, Mr. Singh said, “Yes, we are ready.”

Senior editorial staff members of The Hindu on Tuesday had a meeting to condole the death of Easwar Sagar, who was the newspaper’s longest-serving Washington Correspondent, for 17 years. He died in Centreville, Virginia last month, at the age of 95. Sagar joined the newspaper in September 1950 after a stint in the Navy. He was posted as a Reporter in Calcutta in 1960, and sent to Washington in April 1961, to succeed K. Balaraman. In 1978, Sagar came back to Madras to be Deputy Editor and Leader Writer, and retired from service in 1983. He lived for a time in Coimbatore, but later moved to the U.S. He is survived by his wife, Janaki, and two sons. “Sagar was one of the finest journalists in the old mould, uncompromising in what he felt was the truth, fearless but always fair,” said N. Ravi, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, who had succeeded Sagar as Washington Correspondent. ND-ND








U.S. hardens rules for deportation Under new directives, undocumented migrants suspected of a crime will be an enforcement priority associated Press

Army oicer picked for NSA job


Israeli soldier sentenced to 18 months in prison JERUSALEM

Israeli military medic Elor Azaria, who was captured on camera killing an incapacitated Palestinian attacker last year, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. Azaria was sentenced by a military court in Tel Aviv. Prosecutors had demanded a sentence of between three and ive years. GUARDIAN

Khamenei calls for liberation from Israel TEHRAN

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Tuesday for the “complete liberation” of Palestine from the “tumour” of Israel, renewing his regime’s refusal to recognise Israel’s right to exist. Khamenei was speaking at the sixth international conference in support of Palestinian intifada (uprising), one of a number of showcase events the Tehran authorities organise in solidarity with the Palestinians. “This cancerous tumour, since its start, has grown incrementally and its treatment must be incremental too," Khamenei said. AFP

Bodies of 74 migrants wash up in Libya CAIRO

At least 74 bodies of African migrants have washed ashore in western Libya, the Libyan Red Crescent said Tuesday, the latest tragedy at sea along a perilous traicking route to Europe. The bodies were found near the western Libyan city of Zawiya on Monday, Red Crescent spokesman Mohammed al-Misrati told The Associated Press, adding that he feared more might surface. He said a torn rubber boat, the kind that usually carry up to 120 people, was found nearby. The Red Crescent’s branch in Zawiya said there are bodies still loating out at sea. AP

Security forces surround Afghan V-P's house KABUL

Afghan security forces blocked roads and took up positions around the house of Vice-President Rashid Dostum on Tuesday as a stand-of lared up over accusations his men tortured one of his political opponents. In an address to supporters at his Kabul residence,broadcast live on television, Mr. Dostum warned President Ashraf Ghani that any action against him would weaken the government but said he would not order his own militia ighters to take action against government forces. Mr. Dostum is an ethnic Uzbek warlord who has manoeuvred his way through decades of conlict in Afghanistan. REUTERS

The Trump administration is greatly expanding the number of people living in the U.S. illegally who are considered a priority for deportation, including people arrested for traffic violations, according to agency documents released on Tuesday. The documents represent a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s immigration enforcement priorities. The Homeland Security Department memos, signed by Secretary John Kelly, lay out that any immigrant living in the United States illegally who has been charged or convicted of any crime and even those suspected of a crime will now be an enforcement priority. That could include people arrested for shop lifting or minor traffic offences. The memos eliminate far more narrow guidance issued under the Obama administration that focussed resources strictly on immigrants who had been convicted of serious crimes, threats to national security and recent border crossers. Mr. Kelly’s memo also describes plans to enforce a long-standing but obscure provision of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act that allows the government

Peter Baker Michael R. Gordon Florida

Sweeping changes: The recent Department of Homeland Security memos eliminate Obamaera rules that were built to keep out only those who had been convicted of serious crimes. AP to send some people caught illegally crossing the Mexican border back to Mexico, regardless of where they are from. One of the memos says that foreigners sent back to Mexico would wait for their U.S. deportation proceedings to be complete. This would be used for people who aren’t considered a threat to cross the border illegally again, the memo

said. It’s unclear whether the United States has the authority to force Mexico to accept foreigners. That provision is almost certain to face opposition from civil libertarians and officials in Mexico. The memos do not change U.S. immigration laws, but take a far harder line toward enforcement. The pair of directives do not have any impact on

President Barack Obama’s program that has protected more than 750,000 young immigrants from deportation. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals remains in place though immigrants in the program will be still be eligible for deportation if they commit a crime or otherwise are deemed to be a threat to public safety or national security, according to the department.

U.K. mulls easing entry norms for Commonwealth citizens

Breitbart editor comes under ire

Lawmakers to debate new proposal on border control


would help make travel less onerous between Commonwealth countries. “It does seem slightly incongruous that at the border there is no recognition of the special relationship [with the Commonwealth] but there is about the special relationship with Britain and the E.U.,” he said, pointing to the speedier immigration lanes used by U.K. and E.U. nationals.

Vidya Ram London

British Members of Parliament are set to debate on Tuesday proposals to make it easier for Commonwealth citizens to arrive at the U.K border. The proposals, which include dedicated Commonwealth border control gates and the expansion of a scheme that enables frequent business travellers to register and use speedy entry lanes to include the nationals of some Commonwealth countries, were originally set out by a group of Conservative MPs earlier this month, as part of efforts to improve relations with the Commonwealth in preparation for Brexit.

Trading relations “The debate is an opportunity to highlight — in advance of the meeting of Commonwealth trade ministers in London — the importance of trading relations with Commonwealth partners in the months and years to come as we prepare to leave the EU,” Jake Berry, the Conservative MP behind the proposals told The Hindu ahead of the debate in Westminster Hall. “I wanted to have a de-

Tory MP Jake Berry says the proposal has cross-party support. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

bate to encourage the government to set out its plans for free trade agreements with Commonwealth countries, and to, in a quite public way, reaffirm the commitment of MPs to this hugely important relationship.”

New strategy The proposals mark a new strategy for tackling concerns about Britain’s visa regime. The government has repeatedly made it clear that it intends to keep immigration control as a top priority, and will not relax its visa requirements from outside the E.U. Mr. Berry believes the reforms being proposed

Widespread support He believes there is crossparty support for the proposals. “The Prime Minister is clear that there can be no relaxation of visas at the moment. I just believe that in the longer term we can make travel between Commonwealth countries easier,” he said, adding that going forward Britain should look at visa-free travel between Commonwealth countries with economic parity with the U.K. Commonwealth trade ministers are due to meet in London next month, with discussions set to focus on a “transparent, free and fair multilateral trading system” and the ambition of increasing intra-Commonwealth trade to $1 trillion by 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump appointed Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser on Monday, picking a widely respected military strategist known for challenging conventional thinking and helping to turn around the Iraq War in its darkest days. Mr. Trump made the announcement at his Mara-Lago resort, where he interviewed candidates over the holiday weekend to replace Michael T. Flynn, who was forced out after withholding information from Vice President Mike Pence about a call with Russia’s ambassador. Unlike Mr. Flynn, who served as a campaign adviser last year, Lt. Gen. McMaster has no links to Mr. Trump. He is considered one of the military’s most independent-minded officers, sometimes at a cost to his own career. NYT

Unending horror: Blast victims being taken to a hospital in Peshawar on Tuesday after the attack. AFP

Suicide bombers target Pakistan court, 5 killed Reuters Peshawar

Suicide bombers attacked a court complex in Pakistan on Tuesday, killing five people and wounding 20, police officials said, the latest incident in a new surge of Islamist violence. All three of the attackers were carrying hand grenades and AK-47 assault rifles, Ijaz Khan, police chief in the northwestern district of Charsadda, told Reuters. One attacker blew himself up outside the court, while two were killed by policemen before they could enter the building. “The terrorists had come and wanted to kill as many people as they could inside the judicial complex,” Mr. Khan said. “Five people were killed in the attack.”

Besides lawyers and judges, hundreds of litigants visit the building every day. A spokesman for Jamaat-urAhrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement emailed to media. Last week, the militant faction released a video announcing a new campaign of attacks against the government, including the judiciary, police and the army. A series of bombings last week, in which more than 100 people were killed, has shattered a nascent sense that the worst of the country’s militant violence might be in the past. The deadliest of last week’s attacks was on a famous Sufi Muslim shrine in Sindh and was claimed by the Islamic State.

‘Labour mobility issue is key to U.K.-India FTA’

The New York Times

Milo Yiannopoulos, a polemical Breitbart editor and unapologetic defender of the alt-right, tested the limits of how far his provocations could go after the publication of a video in which he condones sexual relations with boys as young as 13 and laughs off the seriousness of paedophilia by Roman Catholic priests. On Monday, the organisers of the Conservative Political Action Conference rescinded their invitation for him to speak this week. Simon & Schuster said it was cancelling publication of his book Dangerous after standing by him through weeks of criticism of the deal. And Breitbart itself was reportedly reconsidering his role amid calls online for it to sever ties with him. Mr. Yiannopoulos’ comments, which quickly created an uproar online over the weekend, put many conservatives in a deeply uncomfortable position. They have long defended Mr. Yiannopoulos’ attention-seeking stunts and racially charged antics on the grounds that the Left had tried to hypocritically censor his right to free speech.

Real potential of bilateral trade has not been tapped: Envoy East Anglia, is the latest in a number of discussions taking place around the potential of the relationship. Britain is eager to negotiate an FTA with India. During a visit to India last November, Prime Minister Theresa May stressed her eagerness to secure such a deal.

Vidya Ram LONDON

Resolving the issue of workers’ mobility would be “key” to a post-Brexit free trade agreement, said Y.K. Sinha, India’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Speaking at an event on opportunities for post-Brexit collaboration between the two countries, he said that while negotiating a bilateral trade agreement would potentially be easier than one with the entire block, for India, it was essential to ensure that its professionals, particularly in the financial services sector and IT services sectors, were able to visit and return freely. “For India, mobility is key.” “The EU and India have been negotiating a free trade agreement since 1997, but we didn’t make headway for various reasons,” he said, adding that among them were issues that Britain had with the draft agreement. “When you are negotiating with a large grouping there are other interests you have to keep in mind. How-

High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha says it is easier to negotiate bilateral trade pacts.

ever, when you are negotiating a bilateral deal, it makes it easier,” Mr. Sinha said, pointing to a joint working group that had been set up last year. Enabling free movement of workers would benefit both Britain and India, he said. “They contribute immensely to the economy they live in and when they go back they contribute immensely to India.” The event, organised by FICCI and the University of

‘Uncertain situation’ “We are confronted with an uncertain situation,” Mr. Sinha said. “Whatever scenario emerges, we need to be prepared and it’s important for us to see how we can leverage the situation to our advantage. Of course, trade is good but we haven’t tapped its potential.” He pointed to a Commonwealth study published last year that estimated a 25% boost to U.K.-India trade should a post-Brexit FTA be implemented. While bilateral trade could see a boost, in the short term, the Brexit uncertainty is likely to hit Indian investment into the U.K., said Dr. Didar Singh, Secretary General of FICCI.

Marine Le Pen sparks controversy in Lebanon Refuses to don veil for meeting cleric Agence France-Presse Beirut

France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen sparked a controversy on Tuesday during her brief visit to Lebanon when she refused to wear a veil to meet the country’s top Sunni Muslim cleric. On her last day in the small Mediterranean country, Ms. Le Pen arrived at Sheikh Abdellatif Deryan’s office in Beirut and was offered a white shawl to cover her blonde hair. The National Front candidate promptly refused and made a brief statement to journalists before leaving. “The highest Sunni authority in the world had not had this requirement, so I have no reason to,” Ms. Le Pen said, referring to her 2015 visit to Al-Azhar, the prestigious Egyptian institution of Sunni Islamic learning. She said she had told Sheikh Deryan’s office on Monday that she would not don a veil. “They did not CM YK

Le Pen said she was not made to wear a veil when she visited Al-Azhar in 2015. AP

cancel the meeting, so I thought they would accept that I will not wear the scarf. They wanted to impose this on me, to present me with a fait accompli. Well, no one presents me with a fait accompli,” Ms. Le Pen said. Sheikh Deryan heads Dar al-Fatwa, the highest Sunni authority in Lebanon. Fewer than a dozen protesters gathered near Lebanon’s Zaytuna Bay on Tuesday afternoon to protest against Ms. Le Pen’s visit. ND-ND







market watch 21-2-2017 % CHANGE

Sensex dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd 28,762 dddddd 0.35 Gold dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd 29,950 dddddd 0.84 Brent oil ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd 56.93 dddddd 1.37



ACC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1467.45. . . . . . . . . . . 6.80 Adani Ports. . . . . . . . . . . . . 304.15. . . . . . . . . . . 3.85 Ambuja Cements . . . . 238.95. . . . . . . . . -0.45 Asian Paints . . . . . . . . . . . . 991.50. . . . . . . . 15.75 . 686.05. . . . . . . . 16.65 AurobindoPharma Axis Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 504.35. . . . . . . . 23.30 Bajaj Auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2799.25. . . . . . . . . . . 7.75 Bank of Baroda . . . . . . . 169.30. . . . . . . . . . . 0.45 Bharti Airtel . . . . . . . . . . . 362.85. . . . . . . -12.50 BHEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154.60. . . . . . . . . . . 1.15 Bosch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21732.00. . . . . . . . 13.70 BPCL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 703.95. . . . . . . . . . . 3.70 Cipla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 593.10. . . . . . . . . . . 0.35 Coal India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319.60. . . . . . . . . -0.30 Dr Reddys Lab . . . . . . . . 2894.05. . . . . . . . . -4.70 Eicher Motors Ltd. . . 25253.50. . . . . . 114.45 GAIL (India) . . . . . . . . . . . . 524.00. . . . . . . . . -0.10 Grasim Ind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1068.30. . . . . . . . 12.95 HCL Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 851.30. . . . . . . . . . . 7.30 HDFC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1412.45. . . . . . . . 19.15 HDFC Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1415.55. . . . . . . . . . . 6.45 Hero MotoCorp . . . . . . . 3125.80. . . . . . . . 23.70 Hindalco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182.45. . . . . . . . . -0.85 Hind Unilever . . . . . . . . . 862.75. . . . . . . . . . . 8.30 ICICI Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284.80. . . . . . . . . . . 2.45 Idea Cellular . . . . . . . . . . . 108.35. . . . . . . . . -0.10 IndusInd Bank . . . . . . . . 1331.20. . . . . . . . . -5.25 Bharti Infratel Ltd. . 295.60. . . . . . . -13.15 Infosys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1013.60. . . . . . . . . . . 3.35 ITC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263.15. . . . . . . . . -2.90 Kotak Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . 797.90. . . . . . . . . . . 0.85 L&T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1483.30. . . . . . . . . . . 0.65 Lupin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1471.00. . . . . . . . . . . 6.45 M&M. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1311.65. . . . . . . . . -4.30 Maurti Suzuki . . . . . . . . . 6063.15. . . . . . . -30.00 NTPC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172.50. . . . . . . . . . . 0.70 ONGC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196.25. . . . . . . . . . . 0.95 PowerGrid Corp . . . . . . 206.15. . . . . . . . . -0.30 Reliance Ind . . . . . . . . . . . 1088.20. . . . . . . . 12.80 State Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270.70. . . . . . . . . . . 1.05 Sun Pharma . . . . . . . . . . . . 673.20. . . . . . . . . -6.45 Tata Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . 458.65. . . . . . . . . . . 3.20 Tata Motors Dvr. . . . . . 279.10. . . . . . . . . . . 0.60 Tata Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84.25. . . . . . . . . -1.10 Tata Steel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 490.95. . . . . . . . . . . 3.90 TCS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2465.35. . . . . . . -36.85 Tech Mahindra . . . . . . . . 507.90. . . . . . . . . . . 7.95 UltraTech Cement. . . 3769.35. . . . . . . . 12.70 Wipro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 475.80. . . . . . . . . . . 0.15 YES Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1449.75. . . . . . . . 20.50 Zee Entertainment . 523.25. . . . . . . . . -5.35



February 21 rates in rupees with previous rates in parentheses

Bar Silver (1 kg) . . . . . .. . . . 43,085. . . . (43,300) Retail (1 g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 46.10. . . . . . (46.30) 24 ct gold (10 g) . . . . .. . . . 29,670. . . . (29,760) 22 ct gold (1 g) . . . . . . .. . . . . . 2,819. . . . . . (2,827)

India, Japan ink pact on rail safety

Private sector gratuity to soar Workers in private irms could see maximum payout double to ₹20 lakh

AI puts 2 Dreamliners on sale

Somesh Jha


New Delhi


Soon private sector workers could receive gratuity up to ₹20 lakh, doubling the present maximum payout of ₹10 lakh that they are eligible to get after leaving an organisation after five years of continuous service. The move is aimed at bringing parity between public and private sector workers after the gratuity limit was raised for central government employees from ₹10 lakh to ₹20 lakh as part of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations accepted by the Centre in July 2016.

State-owned carrier Air India has put on sale two more Dreamliners (Boeing 787-800) to raise $250 million (nearly ₹1,700 crore) for the repayment of shortterm loan availed earlier for buying these planes. The airline would also lease back these two Boeing 787-800s under an operating lease for a period of up to 12 years with a threeyear extension option, the airline said in its Invitation of Offers document. These two aircraft were delivered to Air India between November last year and January this year. Under a Sale and Lease Back (SLB) arrangement, the seller of an asset leases it back from the purchaser for a long-term period and continues to use it without actually owning it. The airline has fixed a reserve purchase price at $125 million (₹836 crore) for each aircraft. Currently, the airline has 23 Dreamliners in its fleet. The airline has already sold and leased back the remaining 21 Dreamliners under the SLB arrangement. As part of its fleet expansion, the national carrier had in 2006 placed orders with Boeing for 68 aircraft.

Consultative meeting The labour ministry has called a meeting with trade unions, industry and State governments on Thursday to discuss the proposal to increase the gratuity ceiling by amending the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972. “With implementation of the Seventh Central Pay Commission, (gratuity) ceiling now is ₹20 lakh. In the past, the ceiling amount of gratuity under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, has followed the Pay Commission recommendations,” the Union labour ministry said in its proposal dated February 15. “Therefore, considering the inflation and wage in-

Reset sought: Presently, employees who complete ive years of continuous service are eligible to receive gratuity when they leave the organisation. Workers want it to be cut to three years.

crease, even in case of employees engaged in private sector, the entitlement of gratuity needs to be revised.” At present, employees who complete five years of continuous service are eligible to receive gratuity when they leave the organisation. The gratuity ceiling was last revised from ₹3.5 lakh to ₹10 lakh in 2010 after the Sixth Pay Commission recommendation had raised the limit for central government employees. Following the stakeholders’ discussion, the proposal

will go to the Union Cabinet and be subsequently tabled in the Parliament. In a bid to avoid Parliamentary hurdles, the Centre has further proposed empowering itself with changing the gratuity ceiling through a notification in future.

Union demand “We will raise two issues in the meeting,” said Pawan Kumar, zonal organising secretary at RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS). “One, the calculation for gratuity payment should increase

‘Reliance Jio added seven customers every second’

India signed an agreement with Japan last week on enhancing railway safety in the Indian Railways with focus on railway track and rolling stock safety, a press statement said on Tuesday. The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed here on February 17 between Railway Board Chairman A.K.Mittal and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Vice-Minister Hiroshi Tabata. The areas of cooperation include rail inspection, rail wielding and providing automatic railway track safety inspection, maintenance of rolling stock and “any other relevant railway safety matters jointly determined by both sides” with the aim to prevent major rail accidents. The agreement with Japan comes at a time when the train derailments are on the rise. In 2016-17, the number of consequential train accidents remained the same level as last year at 95 while derailments rose from 56 to 74. Unmanned level crossing accidents fell.

Britannia eyes snack venture with Chipita Special Correspondent KOLKATA

Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

from 15 days to 30 days. This will help the low wage workers, too. Second, the gratuity should be given to workers who have completed three years of continuous service instead of five years at present,” he said. At present, gratuity is computed at 15 days salary for each completed year of service. All India Trade Union Congress Secretary D.L.Sachdev said the gratuity payment ceiling should be increased retrospectively from January 1, 2016, as was done for central government employees.

Ofers ₹99 prime membership with monthly fee of ₹303 Special Correspondent Mumbai

Reliance Jio (R-Jio) has garnered more than 100 million consumers in 170 days, making it poised to become the third largest telecommunications firm behind a potentially merged Vodafone and Idea Cellular combine and Bharti Airtel, and ahead of Reliance Communications, Tata Communications and state-owned BSNL. The telecom venture added customers at a faster pace in the country than Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype, according to a Reliance Jio statement. Announcing the 100 million-mark, Reliance Industries (RIL)_chairman Mukesh Ambani in a speech broadcast live on RIL’s social media platforms, said that the company would start charging tariff for its services from April 1, but would also offer sharp discounts to the existing 100 million subscribers and those who sign up by March 31. “Jio added seven customers every second, a record for India and Indians. This is unprecedented level of ac-

Britannia Industries signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Greek company Chipita for exploring business opportunities, including a possible venture to make snack products. “The company is in an advanced stage of discussion with Chipita to finalise

definitive agreements which inter alia includes joint venture agreement,” Britannia said in a statement. The company said that it is working not only in the newproduct space in biscuits but also in the adjacent macro-snacking segment. Chipita produces a range of savoury snacks including croissants and dough products like bakery rolls.

Acharya sets timeline on NPAs Says ‘surgical restructuring’ required SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT MUMBAI

Newly appointed Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Viral Acharya, in his maiden speech after taking charge, came down heavily on the way lenders approached the problem of bad loans and set a timeline to resolve the issue. For resolution of stressed assets, he suggested a private Asset Management Company (PAMC), which would be suitable for sectors where the stress is such that assets are likely to have economic value in the shortrun, with moderate levels of debt forgiveness. Some of the sectors seeing heavy stress are metals, telecom, and textiles. “In terms of timeline, the banking sector will be asked to resolve and restructure, say its 50 largest stressed exposures in these sectors, by December 31, 2017. “The rest can follow a similar plan in six months thereafter,” he said at a function organised by the Indian Banks’ Association here. Possibly a sixth of public sector banks’ gross advances are stressed, and a significant majority of these

Viral Acharya

are in fact non-performing assets (NPAs), he said. “The doubling of stressed assets is the case also for private sector banks, but their ratio of stressed assets to gross advances is far lower and their capitalization levels far greater.”

NAMC model The other model he suggested is that of a National Asset Management Company (NAMC), which would be necessary for sectors where the problem is not just one of excess capacity but possibly also of economically unviable assets in the shortto medium-term. Many banks suffered heavy losses in recent quarters as bad loans zoomed. He suggested ‘surgical restructuring’ to strengthen bank balance sheets.

Raining ofers: Sharp discounts will be ofered to existing subscribers and those signing up by March 31. PTI

ceptance for any tech company anywhere in the world,” said Mr. Ambani adding that R-Jio will continue offering free domestic voice calls, free roaming, no blackout days and no hidden charges. R-Jio’s existing subscribers and those who subscribe to the service until March 31 may join ‘Jio Prime Membership’ with one-time enrolment fee of ₹99 and ₹303 per month to get the unlimited benefits of the existing Jio Happy New Year offer for another full year or

till March 31, 2018. Mr. Ambani said R-Jio will match all data plans of its Indian competitors and the company is committed to offer 20% more data on similar plans introduced by other companies. “Jio price points are very competitive,” Paras Bothra, president equities at Aashika Stock Broking, said. “There is going to be a bloodbath in the telecom industry. Airtel’s shares falling is a clear indication.” Bharti Airtel shares declined 3.38% to ₹362.95.

Chandra to focus on shareholder returns Several Tata Group companies have seen proits come under pressure REUTERS NEW DELHI

India’s Tata Sons, the holding company of the $100-billion Tata group, will focus on boosting shareholder returns and tightening capital allocation rules, newly-appointed chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said in a statement on Tuesday. Chandrasekaran, widely known as Chandra, took over as chairman on Tuesday, months after the firm ousted predecessor Cyrus Mistry in a bitter boardroom coup with family patriach Ratan Tata returning to the helm temporarily. A public spat between Tata Sons and Mr. Mistry followed his removal in October and the two are now involved in a legal tussle.

‘Greater rigour’ In a statement, Mr. Chandrasekaran said he plans to bring the group closer together to leverage its collective strength and “bring greater rigour to our capital allocation policies and deliver superior returns to our shareholders.” Mr. Chandrasekaran, the former chief executive of IT outsourcing giant Tata ConCM YK

Driver’s seat: Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, arrives to take charge on Tuesday. VIVEK BENDRE

sultancy Services, takes the helm at a time when several companies in the conglomerate have seen profits come under pressure. Former chairman Mr. Mistry has warned of big write downs and stressed the need for governance reforms at Tata Sons. Tata Sons has denied Mr. Mistry’s accusations. Chandrasekaran, 53, has also been appointed chairman of several group operating companies including

Tata Motors, TCS, Tata Steel and Tata Power. PTI reports: Saying that it was humbling to lead the 150-year old Group, Mr. Chandrasekaran said the Tata brand occupies a special place in people’s hearts and minds as the flag bearers for trust and social responsibility. “I have taken pride in our achievements as a group, in our ability to innovate and take risks in order to create pioneering and global busi-

nesses, and in our ongoing contribution to the communities that we work in,” he wrote in a letter to the group’s employees. Credited with creating India’s largest IT company TCS, Mr. Chandrasekaran said a key part of entrepreneurial DNA in Tata Group has always been its pioneering spirit and “ability to lead and not follow.” He said: “As a group, we have enormous collective strengths. Working together, our companies, Tata Sons and the Tata Trusts have been very successful in the past, and have created great value for all our stakeholders. “Now, as we face the future, we have a huge opportunity to do so once again — in terms of our business performance, by enabling higher shareholder value, as well as by making a significant and lasting social impact with a view to make a sustainable difference in communities.” “The Tata Code of Conduct has always been the bedrock of my personal commitment to our value system. It will always remain at the core of my leadership of our group,” he said. ND-ND







Withdrawal of funds from EPF to get easier


Single page claim form enough

PM weighs in on visa curbs ‘Time for the U.S. to develop a balanced approach to movement of professionals’ Special Correspondent New Delhi

special Correspondent NEW DELHI

Centre to start ₹1,600 cr. BEL stake sale today NEW DELHI

Th government will begin today 5% stake sale in Bharat Electronics Ltd. to raise about ₹1,600 crore. The sale of 1.11 crore shares will be at a minimum price of ₹1,498 apiece. PTI

BHIM app crosses 17 mn. downloads: NITI NEW DELHI

Indigenous digital payments app BHIM has recorded 17 million downloads so far, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Tuesday. “There has been over 17 million downloads of the app so far,” he said. PTI

U.S. FDA informs DRL of possible violations HYDERABAD

The U.S. FDA has made three observations on possible violations after an audit of Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories API plant in Miryalaguda, DRL said. SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Banking on your provident fund savings for critical contingencies will now become far simpler with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) introducing a single page composite form for such withdrawals before retirement age. Over eight crore Employees’ Provident Fund account holders will no longer be required to submit evidential documents for withdrawing PF for availing housing loans, grant of advances in case of factory closure, marriage, higher education of children, among other things. Till now, employees were required to fill and submit three different forms to EPFO for withdrawing provident fund for various purposes. “To add convenience, these forms have now been further simplified and replaced with a single page

composite claim form,” EPFO said. The EPFO has introduced forms in two categories – one, for those whose Aadhaar number is seeded with Universal Account Number (UAN) – a common number for all PF accounts, and the other for those without an Aadhaar number. Employees whose Aadhaar number is seeded will not be required to get employer’s attestation for withdrawing PF but employees without the seeded Aadhaar number will need the employer’s approval on their forms before submitting it to the EPFO. Further, a single form signed by the employee will be treated as ‘self-certification’ instead of the present requirement of submitting various documents. However, in case PF is being withdrawn for medical purposes, a doctor’s certificate will still be required.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged the U.S. to develop a “reflective, balanced and farsighted perspective on movement of skilled professionals.” Mr.Modi’s comments come in the backdrop of proposals in the U.S. for restrictions on short-term work visas for foreign skilled professionals.

‘Good start’ “It augurs a good start to bilateral exchanges following the new U.S. Administration and Congress,” Mr. Modi was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the PM’s office after a bipartisan delegation of 26 members of the U.S. Congress met Mr. Modi. Mr. Modi recalled his positive conversation with President Donald Trump and the shared commitment to further strengthen ties that have grown deeper in the last two-and-a-half years, it said, adding that in this re-


Meeting of minds

Panasonic unveils 3 new Toughpad models

New vision: Mr. Modi recalled his positive conversation with President Trump and committed to further strengthen ties. gard, Mr. Modi recognised Congress’ strong bipartisan support for the India-U.S. partnership. Mr. Modi also shared his perspective on areas where both countries can work even more closely, including in facilitating greater people-to-people linkages that have over the years helped contribute to each other’s prosperity. The PM referred to the role of skilled Indian talent in enriching the American economy and society, the state-

ment added.

Visa curbs Eight of the visiting American lawmakers had on Monday held discussions with India’s Commerce and Industry Ministry on issues including the proposed U.S. work visa curbs that could impact the $110 billion Indian IT sector as well as issues concerning intellectual property rights (IPRs) and market access for certain farm products.

While India took up its IT sector's concerns on the proposed restrictions on the U.S. non-immigrant visas for foreign skilled workers, the American lawmakers led by Bob Goodlatte, chairman, Judiciary Committee, House of Representatives, raised concerns on IPR issues including the need to strengthen copyright norms and provisions to encourage and protect innovation, sources said. On proposed visa curbs, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters, “we have discussed in detail as to what the uncertainties are all always flourishes in an environment of certainty and transparency. So even this visa-related issue is an issue on which we would want to have an air of certainty and also transparency.” The congressional delegation had said they were waiting for the new administration to fully settle down. “I hope as important Congressmen, they will play their role.”

Bond market developing steadily: SEBI oicial


Panasonic introduced three new models of rugged devices and said it aims to have over 70% market share in rugged notebooks and tablets from the current 65%. The three devices are Toughpad FZ—F1, FZ—N1 and FZ—A2 tablet. PTI

Cut in Centre’s borrowing plan may help Special Correspondent KOLKATA

Tata Chemicals Haldia plant to shut till April 15 NEW DELHI

Tata Chemicals on Tuesday said its fertiliser plant at Haldia in Purba Medinipur of West Bengal will remain shut till April 15 due to relocation of ammonia pipeline as well as annual repair and maintenance work. PTI

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, with IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at the Electronics Niketan in New Delhi on Tuesday. R.V. MOORTHY


Stressing on the importance of creating an ecosystem that promotes and nurtures the bond market, a SEBI official said here on Tuesday that the reduction in the government’s borrowings programme as announced in the Budget augurs well for the bond market. “This decision has yielded a lot of space to bonds,” G. Mahalingam, whole-time member SEBI said, at a conference here. “A broad consensus is emerging on re-

G. Mahalingam

duced government borrowings and a ₹2 lakh crore gap is there between the ₹5.8 lakh crore borrow-


ing by the earlier government and the ₹3.8 lakh crore budgeted by this government .. this space will be taken over by corporate bonds.” The SEBI member said traditionally in India, government securities had been treated as the only high quality liquid asset (HQLA). “Over a period of time corporate bonds will be treated as HQLA and the amount of bonds being raised is now surpassing bank credit, he said. “The bond market is growing slowly and steadily.”


IDBI Bank to sell stake in non-core businesses PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI

State-owned IDBI Bank said it proposes to dilute stake in some non–core businesses to shore up capital base. The board of the bank has approved in–principle the proposal to divest some of its non–core investments subject to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and final approval obtained for each transaction, IDBI Bank said in a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges. The decision was taken at the board meeting held on Tuesday. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in 2015 had hinted at a change in IDBI Bank wherein the government would continue to hold a majority stake, yet keep it at arm’s length. Citing the example of Axis Bank, he had wondered if IDBI Bank could follow that model. But since then, there has not been much progress on the plans due to one reason or another. IDBI Bank has a large portfolio of real estate which was not taken into consideration during the valuation exercise. The bank is looking at this aspect and trying to find a way out so that its valuation gets better. As far as the stake sale of IDBI Bank is concerned, both the government and the bank’s board have already given nod for Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP). The government’s holding in IDBI Bank stood at 73.98%as on December 2016. “The Public Sector Banks, including IDBI Bank, have been allowed to raise capital from public through follow on public offer (FPO) or QIP by diluting Government of India holding up to 52% in a phased manner based on their capital requirement, the government said.






PERSONAL LOST & FOUND I Mohsin Azam, have lost my 12th class CBSE Mark sheet, Roll No. 9174928 session 2011−12. R/o 202, PC 16, Sector 128, Noida. 8800529314.










Adapting to challenges is key: Kumble Three of the four Tests against Australia are set to be played at new venues

Lyon studying Ashwin closely We are well prepared, says Hazlewood

Amol Karhadkar Pune

Dickwella suspended for dissent Sydney

Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella was suspended for two limited-overs games on Tuesday for dissent during last Sunday’s T20 win over Australia. He was docked two demerit points and fined 30% of his match fee for his reaction at being given out caught behind, reaching five points and triggering an automatic ban. AFP

Injured McIlroy plays with Trump MIAMI

Rory McIlroy played 18 holes with Donald Trump on Sunday, despite a fractured rib, it was reported on Monday. A golf website said McIlroy played at the Trump International Golf Club after receiving the invitation to play alongside Trump. “He probably shot around 80,” McIlroy told the website. “He’s a decent player for his age.” AFP

Virat Kohli’s men have been challenged by three oppositions thus far in a gruelling season of cricket in white flannels and the Indian squad has had to confront conditions alien to them. After all, three of the nine Tests this season have seen venues staging its maiden Test match. As the Indian team enters the home stretch, the test will get tougher, both in terms of opposition and venues. Three of the four Tests against Australia, including the opener starting at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium here in two days, are set to be played at new venues. “If you look back at the nine Tests that we’ve played at home, each one has its own challenges. We’ve played on some new venues, first Test match. “Even here as well. So we’ve played at venues where Test cricket hasn’t been played before,” head coach Anil Kumble said ahead of India’s optional training session on Tuesday. “In that sense this team is capable of adjusting and adapting to whatever challenges come up. Really satisfied with the way things have gone. These are good things.

G. Viswanath Pune

Showing the way: Coach Anil Kumble says he focuses on what he can control, and not on the pitch and the toss.

On the last day of the Test match in Chennai, I don’t think many gave India a chance to win the Test, let alone after England scored almost 500 runs in the first innings. “Even in Mumbai (against England) it was a similar case, where we lost the toss and they put 400 runs and we won by an innings. That’s the beauty about this team.

“Even in Kolkata where we played New Zealand, very different conditions where the seamers came into the picture.

Had the answers “We had answers to all those questions. That’s what you want from a champion team and that’s exactly what we’re trying to build towards and not really worry about the

pitch or conditions.” The nature of pitches for home games has been one of the biggest talking points of late, especially during M.S. Dhoni’s stint as captain. With Dhoni preferring to derive as much home advantage as possible, often did India play on rank turners, thus taking the bite out of series against the toughest oppositions.


Kumble hinted that this team doesn’t necessarily believe in the philosophy of Kohli’s predecessor. “I can only talk about the time I’ve been involved since. One thing we’ve constantly spoken about and tried to be aware of is what is in our control,” he said. “The least that we discuss is about the pitch, and about the toss.”

‘Finally I am going to be part of a Test match’ Amol Karhadkar PUNE

Gayle, Lankan duo say no to PSL final KARACHI

West Indies’ Chris Gayle and Sri Lankan duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have refused to travel to Lahore to play the final match of the Pakistan Super League in the wake of the recent terror attacks in the nation. All three, who play for Karachi Kings, have declined to visit Pakistan despite being made lucrative financial offers by the league organisers. ANI

In the 1970s, at his peak, he was considered the fastest bowler India has ever produced. If there ever was a list of cricketers who should have, but never played a Test for India, it was him. More than four decades later, as Pune is on the cusp of hosting its maiden Test match, Pandurang Salgaonkar is as excited as a soon-to-be-debutant. “Indeed, I am excited,” says Salgaonkar, the pitch curator at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium, with a wide smile. “Finally I am going to be a part of a

Test match. As a curator, it gives me even more reasons to be proud. After all, tell me how many former cricketers are actually involved in cricket on a daily basis?” At 67, Salgaonkar — who was described as the quickest bowler he ever faced by the legendary Sunil Gavaskar — continues to be as in-yourface as he has been renowned to be. The closest he came to the India cap, he says, was during the “unofficial” Test in Ceylon in 1974 and the trial matches ahead of the inaugural World Cup the following year. “I should have played Test cricket but the Nawab

Pandurang Salgaonkar.


(M.A.K. Pataudi) preferred Abid Ali instead because he liked him.” Over the last decade, Salgaonkar has worked as Maharashtra’s chief selector and team manager before

taking over as the pitch curator ever since the stadium in Gahunje hosted its maiden First Class game more than five years ago. Asked if he has received any message from the team management on the nature of the strip for the opening Test against Australia, he beams: “Nobody can pass any message to me about my job.” The reality, however, appears to be slightly different. The Gahunje track has conventionally aided pacers more than the spinners. But Daljit Singh, the BCCI’s pitch and ground committee chief, joined Salgaonkar and BCCI’s west

zone curator Dhiraj Parsana to oversee the preparation of the pitch. The pitch appeared to be hard in the middle but could well be dry at fuller lengths for spinners at either ends. Even the MCA insiders reveal that the nature of the wicket has changed drastically ever since India started training at the stadium on Sunday. Despite doubts over the nature of the pitch, Salgaonkar oozes confidence of the match going the distance. “I am confident it will be a five-day game,” he says. Irrespective of the result, Salgaonkar will surely have a memorable debut!

Nathan Lyon is among the 17 Australian off-spinners who have bowled in India, and his tally of 15 wickets from three Tests at 37.33 is the second highest from among them. “There is going to be a different challenge lying ahead for us. We have a really good squad,” said Lyon. “We trained really well; scuffed up the wicket (at Dubai) to try and replicate what we will get here. “It’s going to reverse, and the big quicks are going to play a role; it will be a good challenge for the whole team. “As a bowling unit with big quickies, we have to take 20 wickets. If you take 20 wickets, you are doing the right thing.” Lyon said he has watched a lot of R. Ashwin in action this season. “I have been watching a lot of footage of Ashwin: the way he goes about it, his different release points. He is a world-class spinner and the best at the moment. I have been studying him a lot,” Lyon said. “There are a few changes, but I am not going to change my whole action for this tour. I am aware you need to change a few things here and there.” Australia’s new ball operator Josh Hazlewood is hopeful of getting the SG ball to swing, conventional and reverse, to pose the batsmen questions in the

four-Test series against India beginning here on Thursday. “We have all been working on different things and they are coming on nicely,” Hazlewood told the media on Tuesday. “I have not bowled with the SG ball before this tour. It’s a little bit different. “I have been practising with it for the last few weeks. The brand new balls swing a little bit and once it gets old it reverses a bit as well. There are good signs there.”

Executing plans “We are prepared well this time; we trained and practised in Dubai and Mumbai. We have done everything we have to do leading to the first Test. “It’s just a question of putting our plans into action,” Hazlewood said. It will be interesting to see how Steve Smith deploys Starc and Hazelwood — either in short spells as South Africa’s Hansie Cronje used his quicks or give them extended spells.Pointing out the likely challenges on slow Indian pitches, Hazlewood explained: “Obviously, first of all, it’s the bounce. In Australia, you get good bounce most of the games which you are not going to get here. “You have to look at getting five wickets in other ways, whether through reverse swing or cutters on wickets that can spin and grip as well.’’

Support role: Nathan Lyon will be expected to keep the runs in check and chip in with wickets, easing the burden on pacers Josh Hazlewood, right, and Mitchell Starc. K. MURALI KUMAR

It’ll be great to share the dressing room with Smith and Dhoni, says Stokes Press Trust of India LONDON

England allrounder Ben Stokes, who became the highest paid overseas player in the Indian Premier League auction, is excited


about sharing the dressing room with Steve Smith and M.S. Dhoni in his maiden stint at the cash rich event. England players landed lucrative deals at the auction with Stokes bagging the

biggest of them all after being bought for ₹14.5 crore by Rising Pune Supergiants. “I am really looking forward to playing with M.S. Dhoni and Steve Smith. It will be great to share the

dressing room with both these players. Dhoni is one of the biggest players in the world and Smith too is one of the best. While I have had some heated moments against Smith, looking forward to playing alongside him. He is an amazing player,” Stokes said in a Facebook chat on his official page. Pune is the home ground for Supergiants and Stokes is looking forward to playing there. “Pune is one of my favourite grounds. I had a great time during the ODI series against India and I am looking forward to coming back to this venue.” Stokes also made it clear that he would be available for most of the IPL. “I might miss only the last group game. I will play most of it. I will probably play the full season,” he said. Another English cricketer who was bought for a whopping amount was T20 specialist Tymal Mills with Royal Challengers Bangalore paying as much as ₹12 crore. Also seen in action will be England limited-over captain Eoin Morgan, who was snapped up by Kings XI Punjab for ₹2 crore. Stokes hoped more English players would play IPL in the future. “Both Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler have had nothing but high praise for the tournament. Hopefully, you will see more England players in the future.” Was he glued to the television when the auction was taking place in Bengaluru? “I tried to watch it live on a stream but it wasn’t working so I had to follow it on Twitter! There were so many tweets on it that it was hard to keep up and I was awake from about 03:30. Then I had another hour’s sleep before I was up with the kids!” ND-ND








India wins a thriller

ISSF aims over IOC shoulder

Harmanpreet and Deepti star in a last-ball victory

Move aimed at 50 % female participation at 2020 Games Kamesh Srinivasan NEW DELHI

Diwakar Prasad turns pro KOLKATA

Olympian boxer Diwakar Prasad has decided to turn professional. Diwakar was among the 13 boxers, also including Commonwealth Games medallist Amandeep Singh and WBC Asia welterweight champion Neeraj Goyat, who were signed up by IOS boxing Promotions.

Big win for Rajnigandha Achievers Four goals each by Matthew Perry and Kartikeya Singh powered Rajnigandha Achievers to a 11-4 victory over Cavalier/Drakon in a league match of the Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Gold Cup 10-goal polo tournament at the Army Equestrian Centre, Delhi Cantonment, on Tuesday. In the other pool, 61st Cavalry beat Sahgal Stud 7 goals to 2-1/2. The results (league): Rajnigandha Achievers 11 (Matthew Perry 4, Kartikeya Singh 4, Dhruvpal Godara 2, Padmanabh Singh) bt Cavalier/Drakon 4 (Basheer Ali 3, Arju Patil); 61st Cavalry 7 (Ravi Rathore 4, Akhil Sirohi 2, Navjt Sandhu) bt Sahgal Stud 2-1/2 (Gaurav Sahgal 2, handicap 1/2). NEW DELHI:

Cock-a-hoop: Harmanpreet Kaur and Rajeshwari Gayakwad celebrate after defeating South Africa. AP ANI



The Indian women on Tuesday came up with yet another stupendous performance as they defeated South Africa by a solitary wicket to clinch victory in the thrilling final of the ICC 2017 women’s World Cup qualifiers here at the P. Sara Oval. Thanks to Harmanpreet Kaur’s six and a double in the last over, the Indian women triumphed after needing nine runs from the final over. Such was the excitement and nervousness that the last over of the game saw almost everything — a run-out (going for a second run), three dot balls, a six and a double. Chasing a target of 245, India lost opener Thirush Kamini (10) very early. However, Mona Meshram (59) and Deepti Sharma (71)

The ‘Fizz’ is back for Sri Lanka tour

put on a 124-run stand for the second wicket that put India close to the target, finally for Harmanpreet to take India past the line. Earlier in the day, South Africa, batting first, scored 244 thanks to some significant contributions from Mignon du Preez (40), Lizelle Lee (37) , skipper Dane van Niekerk (37) and Sune Luus (35).

Rajeshwari the pick Rajeshwari Gayakwad was the pick of the Indian bowlers as she claimed three for 51 runs in her nine overs. Deepti Sharma was named the player of the match while Sune Luus was named the player of the tournament. Both India and South

Africa were already assured of places in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 with a round to go in the Super Six stage of the tournament. Sri Lanka and Pakistan are the other teams to have qualified from this tournament to join Australia, England, New Zealand and the West Indies, who booked places in the pinnacle event by finishing in the top four in the ICC Women’s Championship. The scores: South Africa 244 in 49.4 overs (Lizelle Lee 37, Migno du Perez 40, Dane van Niekerk 37, Sune Luus 35, Rajeshwari Gayakwad three for 51) lost to India 245 for nine in 50 overs (Mona Meshram 59, Deepti Sharma 70, Veda Krishnamurthy 31, Harmanpreet Kaur 41 not out).

The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) is all set to put the gun on IOC’s shoulder, figuratively speaking, to decide upon the suggestions aimed towards achieving 50 % female participation in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The ISSF which is having its administrative and executive committee meetings here on the eve of the first World Cup of the season, has already dealt with the matter in detail, taking into consideration the views of all the stake holders. It has categorically stated that it does not have the authority to change any event in the Olympic programme and it was the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board that had the power to decide on the subject. Thus, the ISSF Executive Committee would only be submitting its recommendations to IOC before the February 28 deadline.

Mixed events Sticking to the healthy proportion of five rifle, five pistol and five shotgun events, the ISSF has sought to have six events for men, six for women and three mixed events. The mixed events will be in air pistol, air rifle and trap. There may be repetition of events, as there will be individual events in all the three for men and women. Some interesting events like men’s 50-metre free pistol, 50-metre rifle prone and the double trap events will be scraped, much to the anguish of those practising them. “The new events fully support gender equality and have far greater possibilities for being practised by all (160) ISSF member federations and attracting far more athletes,” the ISSF said in a statement. The 25-metre rapid fire pistol was also considered for elimination, but escaped as it was deemed “dynamic and has one of shootings best finals,” while it was argued that the 50-metre pistol athletes

can still apply their skills in 10-metre air pistol.

Selection criteria After considering dozens of possibilities for mixedgender events, the final selection was based on events which offered “most favourable universality, cost, and accessibility, youth appeal and attractiveness for media and television.” The 50-metre prone mixed event was considered, but was dropped as it was viewed to “have far less potential for future growth.” “The Olympic programme has always been a dynamic programme where changes are necessary for sports to keep their place in the Olympic Movement. “Shooting had to delete two events in 2005, but it continued to grow in worldwide popularity. The three mixed-gender team events add value to shooting’s most popular and fastest growing events, air rifle, air pistol and trap,” the ISSF said.

Bangladesh on Tuesday recalled left-arm fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman for the upcoming two-Test series in Sri Lanka aftewr his prolonged injury lay-off. The 21-year-old has not played a Test since his debut series against South Africa in 2015. The squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt.), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah Riyad, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Liton Das, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Kamrul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehedi Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Subashis Roy and Rubel Hossain. AFP


Hosting the World Cup is not only a prestigious exercise but also a good opportunity for the host to showcase its talent. After the Olympics in Rio, some of the best shooters could not make the team but most of them will compete in the MQS section. It would only mean that they would not be eligible to shoot the final or in other words, fight for a medal. Former World champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu in

trap, World Cup Final medallist Apurvi Chandela in women’s air rifle, World Cup silver medallist Lajja Gauswami in women’s rifle 3-position, Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar in rapid fire pistol, World Cup medallist Prakash Nanjappa in men’s air pistol and free pistol, World University Championship gold medallist Akhil Sheoran in men’s air rifle and 3-position, Olympian Annu Raj Singh in sports pistol, Gaayathri Nithyanandam in women’s rifle 3-position, Shreyasi

Singh in women’s trap and Prithviraj Tondaiman in men’s trap will be seen in action in the MQS section. With 26 entries in the MQS section, the strength of the Indian team will be 63, as was released by the ISSF. There will be 452 shooters in all, with 584 starts, from 50 countries competing in the World Cup from February 24 to March 3, which will also feature the mixed doubles events, being suggested to be introduced in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Deep analysis, numbers and software have given a whole new meaning to ‘game plan’



evelopment in any field is closely associated with the growth of technology. Cricket is no exception. Technological advancement is an indispensable part of the game now. Analytics and numbers determine the value of a player and every move is closely monitored to determine his strengths and weaknesses. A small fault can be easily exploited with the assistance of sophisticated software. In this scenario, when a batsman or a bowler shows rapid progress at the international level, it indicates the humongous amount of work he’s put in to strengthen his technicalities. He works hard at developing his repertoire. Ravichandran Ashwin and

Gorav, Ajay advance GURUGRAM

Gorav Jaitly and Ajay Singh advanced to the national finals of the Mercedes Trophy golf tournament 2017, winning the 10th leg of the competition here. While Jaitly ended with a score of 71 in the A Category (0-16), Ajay finished with 71.8 in B Category (17-24). The national finals would be played at the Oxford Golf Resort in Pune from March 15-17. Three winners from there will participate in the world finals at Stuttgart, Germany in September.

Virat Kohli have created history in Test cricket. The former became the fastest to reach 250 Test wickets and the latter scored double century in four consecutive series. These feats are extraordinary to say the least. Gone are the days when the game was played for fun. The young players entertained the crowd with their talent. I wonder if those players would have succeeded the same way in today’s world when subjected to scrutiny every single time.

Juggling formats The modern generation of players are juggling with three formats of the game. They have to constantly change their approach without disturbing the base of the technique. The aspects that matter — shot selections, variations of bowling have to be right. Alas, they hardly have the time to practice the technique.

The variables also change with formats. In Tests, solid technique and patience are of utmost importance. Whereas in a shorter format, patience goes for a toss. It’s the strike and economy rates that matter the most. Against this background, when a player performs exceedingly well, it is a reflection of his intelligence and hard work. There is no room for imperfection here. Both Kohli and Ashwin seem to have really worked hard at the nets to ensure the perfection they want to achieve. If Kohli’s geometrical precision in his batting and fitness are commendable, Ashwin has relentlessly worked on his variations. He is mesmerising them by using different tactics. He keeps the batsmen guessing which gives him an upper hand. His manoeuvre reminds one of the duel between Ian Chappell and E.A.S. Prasanna

KOLKATA: Local lad Asish

Sinha upset sixth seed Pratyush Mohanty 6-1, 6-0 in an under-16 boys’ singles first round match of the Sunfeast AITA Super Series junior tennis tournament at the Calcutta South Club courts here on Tuesday. Other results: Girish Chougele bt Arnav Pathange 6-2, 6-4; Udit Gogoi bt Shrut Nargeta 4-6, 6-0, 6-4; Rhythm Malhotra bt Yuv Kataria 6-2, 6-2; Kartik Saxena bt Hasith Srujan 6-2, 6-2; Aaryan Pandit bt Vishal Yadav 6-0, 6-0; Anurag Agarwal bt Kritanta Sharma 6-1, 5-7, 7-5

. Special Correspondent

Dhoni to lead Jharkhand Special Correspondent KOLKATA

Some of the best to shoot in MQS

Technology is an integral part of cricket now


Asish upsets Pratyush

in the 1969 series. Ian Chappell, Ian Redpath and Doug Walters continuously challenged Prasanna and Bedi even on rank bad turners by stepping out to them. This approach benefited them. Before the advent of technology, the spin bowlers had more difficulties picking up wickets. That was an era when the batsmen played sweep shots after misjudging the line. Even the umpires were reluctant to uphold a leg before wicket appeal. Things are different now. There is a significant increase in the number of LBW dismissals due to the DRS. In the nine Tests that have been played this season, Ashwin has bagged a total of 61 wickets out of which 15 are LBW. Out of the 48 wickets that Jadeja pocketed so far, 12 are LBW. The percentage of LBW dismissals can be gauged from these figures: which are 28 and 32 respectively. Unlike some of earlier teams this Australian team

has practised at Dubai on slow turners. The players are an attacking lot. The added advantage for them is that most players have played in the IPL and are accustomed to the pitches here. Though there are four to five left-handers, their attacking style could still be nerveracking for Indian bowlers.

Employing the sweep The Australians have also revealed that sweep is their only way to tackle spinners. When Matthew Hayden swept against the left-arm spinners, it is important to note that barring Harbhajan Singh, others were of poor quality. This approach cannot be followed blindly now. Ravindra Jadeja is a wicket to wicket line bowler who can’t be swept away that easily. He is a smart customer. With his accuracy, the advantage of DRS will be in his favour. The Australians will have to tread carefully and have a better game plan.

When it comes to swing bowling, both the teams have skilful bowlers to perplex the batsmen with their talent. While the visitors are aware of the reverse swing that Indian seamers use effectively with SG Test ball, they too have bowlers of higher speed to bamboozle Indian batsmen with reverse swing. It will be riveting to see what combination both the teams choose. The series against Australia is a big one. Considering India’s triumph in all formats and the visitor’s aggressive nature, this will certainly be an exciting one. Deep analysis, numbers and software have given a whole new meaning to ‘game plan’. It is obvious that the visitors will dissect each move and plan a counter-attack of their own. The first Test will set the tone for the entire series and it will be exhilarating to watch if India can continue its winning streak with its formidable team.

M.S. Dhoni.


Former India captain M.S. Dhoni will lead the Jharkhand team in the upcoming Vijay Hazare oneday tournament Group-D matches to be played in and around Kolkata. Dhoni had donned Jharkhand colours in the Vijay Hazare tournaments in the last two years without performing the captain’s role. According to Jharkhand coach Rajiv Kumar, the strong squad of 18 would have a couple of days’ practice here before the competition. Jharkhand will meet Karnataka in its opening match at the Eden Gardens on Feb. 25. The squad: M.S. Dhoni (capt.), Virat Singh, Ishan Kishan, Ishank Jaggi, Saurabh Tiwary, Kaushal Singh, Kumar Deobrat, Anand Singh, Pratyush Singh, Varun Aaron, Rahul Shukla, Jaskaran Singh, Monu Singh, Vikas Singh, Shahbaz Nadeem, Anukul Roy, Sonu Singh, Shasheem Rathour.

Stage set for FIH awards CHANDIGARH

The stage is set for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) annual awards ceremony to be held here on February 23. This will be the first time the awards are given away in a formal ceremony. Captain P.R. Sreejesh and fastrising drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh are the two Indians in contention for different honours. PTI










9 10






16 17


19 20







■ ACROSS 1 Runway arrival line has been shortened (7,5) 8 Notice in retreat about time to ight over the grill (7) 9 Became racist while smuggling an imaging device (6) 11 Saturated hillside hazards put slim dudes in trouble (9) 12 Moving pictures of an American songbird with the


set by Neyartha

daughter brought in for the queen (5) 14 Borat's upset by the bill sent back with the meat dish (5,4) 16 Does it bring one closer to the action? (4) 18 Pitch for an attack (4) 19 Informal survey to win a drinking aid in the beginning (5,4) 21 Military serviceman edges away to ind a familiar track (5) 22 Infected rat bit pie divided into two sections (9) 23 Push Oscar forward after the partner's irst son misplaced the musical compositions (6) 25 Bleaches lace from the east secured by a careless wish (7) 26 Point, descriptive of the Pole on top? (12) ■ DOWN 2 What one might have done to save time while placing a call (11) 3 Declines to suppress impediment to getting rid of the ball with bits of moisture (8) 4 Send up dangerous snake's skin in an exposed state (9) 5 Belts for the cassock starched partially (5) 6 Dismiss aloof model to make



The Primordial Teacher

way for Victor (6) 7 Make vibrant sounds for the audience in Latin through... (3) 8 ...counting by the Greek character with the crumpled Roman tie (10) 10 Wine service managers, in 2000, met a priest with hesitation to enter an appeal (10) 13 An arrangement of red roses — I do get agents that destroy offensive odours! (11) 15 French leader with authority conceals displeasure at the effectiveness of a weapon (9) 17 Bridge player employed by an ad irm's affected by a genetic abnormality (8) 20 Part of a digital imaging device with the inspector on the radio (6) 22 Dutch painter to inish off the Polish soup without the king (5) 24 Find fault with a shallow metal container (3)

Solution to puzzle 11936 C T L J A L O U S I E R W W A P R E S C I E N I T T H E L D C L O R O H S MUMMY W B A O WE L L I N E V A E E S L U R C O R T O O S S H R O U D E Y M E E


Solution to yesterday’s Sudoku F I S C T E I O P N K N E O C E K E S R

The time-tested, ancient, respected, traditional knowledge that Krishna imparts to Arjuna is always relevant and not subject to change. This knowledge contains the basic laws pertaining to the spiritual personality of the individual, pointed out Srimati Sunanda in a discourse. It initiates the disciple into an inward looking exercise, to see oneself as much more than the mere body, mind complex. The real teacher is the self in every individual; but the irony is that this fact eludes one’s grasp initially. As long as Arjuna thinks in terms of an individual Pandava commander-in-chief facing his own kith and kin in battle, he cannot relate to his spiritual self. The crisis in the form of the war is an occasion for him to seek Krishna’s guidance and he seeks this with humility and in the spirit of surrender. He thus becomes a direct disciple, with the proper frame of mind to grasp the essence of the teaching. As a teacher, Krishna declares that what He propounds is not any new doctrine, but only a restatement of the Eternal Truth that has been handed down from master to disciple since time immemorial. This imperishable Yoga had been proclaimed by Him to Vivasvan and from him it was handed down to Manu who in turn imparted it to Ikshvaku. The royal sages of the past were all aware of it, but it was lost in due course. This yoga was not made, but has always existed, and now Krishna revives it for the benefit of Arjuna and posterity. Arjuna is unable to understand how Krishna who is contemporaneous with him could have taught Vivasvan at a time far back in the hoary past. The Lord explains the truth of His supremacy, by which He remains the Primordial Teacher for all times. He knows all, while Arjuna’s awareness is limited and conditioned. ND-ND








Delhi seals a last-four spot Ranchi Rays’ 6-2 win not enough for it to advance

Vishwakarma rallies past Chaukulkar Sports Bureau JORHAT

Uthra Ganesan New Delhi

Ton-up Walcott ends Sutton’s FA Cup dream LONDON

Theo Walcott, centre, scored his 100th Arsenal goal as Arsene Wenger’s side ended Sutton United’s FA Cup fairytale with a 2-0 victory on Monday. Lucas Perez netted the other goal as the Gunners set up a home quarterfinal with another non-league team, Lincoln City. AFP

Mohun Bagan held by Club Valencia MALE

Mohun Bagan squandered a one-goal advantage midway into the second half, playing out a 1-1 draw with Club Valencia of Maldives in their AFC Cup South Zone play-off match here on Tuesday. Bagan took an early lead through Darryl Duffy’s fifthminute strike, which was cancelled out by Godfrey West Omodu (72).

Rawlins to England’s rescue NAGPUR

Delvay Rawlins hit a patient century, while Will Jacks scored a well-made half-ton as England U-19 reached 243 for five on the first day of the second Junior Test match against India here on Tuesday. The scores: England 243 for five in 90 overs (Rawlins 124 batting, Jacks 66 batting) vs India.

Saaniya Sharma in the van KOLKATA

Saaniya Sharma’s one-under 69 was good enough to earn her a one-stroke lead after the first round of the fourth leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour. The scores: 69: Saaniya Sharma; 70: Vani Kapoor; 71: Amandeep Drall and Gaurika Bishnoi; 72: Smriti Mehra; 73: Mehar Atwal; 74: Afshan Fatima; 75: Sharmila Nicollet; 76: Gursimar Badwal.

Two-time champion Ranchi Rays bowed out of the competition with a 6-2 win in its final league game against Delhi Waveriders here on Tuesday. The result put Ranchi at par with Delhi and UP Wizards on points and in number of wins but it was done in by an inferior goal difference. Ranchi had its plans clear even before the game began. The team had to win by a margin of eight goals or more to displace Delhi from the top-four position on the leaderboard, and even though it looked an impossible task, the team played with determination and looked intent on upending the table, coming close in the end but not close enough. It kept attacking relentlessly and kept the pace of the game high. It attacked from both flanks and through the middle. Ranchi earned six penalty corners but went for a double every time, not attempting a single direct hit at goal. In hind-

All over the ield: Manpreet Singh scored two of the three ield goals. SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

sight, the team would be wondering ‘what if ’ had it taken at least a couple of them directly. However, even the field goal attempts became predictable with the ball going to Ashley Jackson — who has had a terrible season — on the left repeatedly and being cleared. Jackson was ineffective on the day as well, struggling to marshal the midfield or get his passes right. Ranchi’s other big-ticket foreign recruit, Chirstopher Ruhr, was slightly better but not good enough to make a difference. In fact, it was the

disappointing outing by the two big names throughout the season that let Ranchi down. Manpreet Singh, however, more than made up for it. The hard-working youngster ran the yards and was all over the field. He scored two of the three field goals — each of which count as two — and set up Imran Khan and Amir Khan umpteen times. Along with Gurbaj Singh on the right, Barry Middleton upfront and Birendra Lakra and Kothajit Singh in the defence, Manpreet was the key to Ranchi’s offence. Delhi, on

the other hand, appeared more relaxed for a large part, perhaps confident in its huge goal difference advantage. It wasn’t until the scoreline became 6-0 that the host seemed rattled and stepped up the attack towards the final minutes of the third quarter and a 10-minute period in the fourth. Mandeep Singh and Talwinder Singh tried to break past the Ranchi defence but had no support. A Talwinder shot came off the far post and five shots at goal went wide in as many minutes in Q4. Justin Reid-Ross finally managed a lucky touch to a free hit in from Rupinder Pal Singh in the 45th minute. In the end, it was just enough. The only way for Ranchi to advance now is if UP Wizards loses by 10 goals or more in the final league match of the competition against Dabang Mumbai on Wednesday. That would be a nothing short of a miracle, though. The result: Ranchi Rays 6 (Manpreet Singh 4 FG, Imran Khan 2 FG) bt Delhi Waveriders 2 (Justin Reid-Ross 2 FG).

Sevilla to ofer Leicester little respite Associated Press Madrid

Sevilla’s much-improved defence will be vital in its attempt to finally succeed in the Champions League. The team, coached by Jorge Sampaoli, has displayed the offensive prowess already expected from his squads, but it’s also starting to show a more balanced set-up that will help the Spanish club to take steps toward becoming a top contender in European football. On a run of three straight games without conceding a goal, Sevilla hosts Leicester in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions

Siddharth Vishwakarma, the national championship finalist, recovered from a break down in the decider to get past Tejas Chaukulkar 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(3) in the first round of the $15,000 ITF Futures tennis tournament on Tuesday. Youngsters Aryan Goveas and Adil Kalyanpur ran into

Sports Bureau DELRAY BEACH (USA):

Purav Raja and Divij Sharan made the quarterfinals of the ATP Tour 250 tournament here, with a 6-4, 3-6, [10-4] victory over Philip Bester and Peter Polansky on Monday. The results: ATP 250 Delray Beach Open: First round: Purav Raja & Divij Sharan bt Philip Bester & Peter Polansky (Can) 6-4, 3-6, [10-4]. ATP 250 Open 13 Marseille: First round: Nick Kyrgios & Matt Reid (Aus) bt Rohan

stitutions with coach Massimiliano Allegri after a 4-1 win over Palermo on Friday. Porto certainly hasn’t been making many. Nuno

Espirito Santo’s team has won six Portuguese league matches in a row to cut Benfica’s lead to one point, fuelled by January signing Tiquinho’s four goals.

The results: First round: Sriram Balaji bt Aryan Goveas 6-3, 7-5; Vijay Sundar Prashanth bt Adil Kalyanpur 6-2, 6-3; Siddharth Vishwakarma bt Tejas Chaukulkar 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(3); V.M. Ranjeet bt Adriaan de Jager (Ned) 6-3, 6-4; Vishnu Vardhan bt Mohammed Iftikhar Sheikh 6-4, 6-3.

Bopanna & Jeevan unchezhiyan 6-4, 6-4.

J. Suchith spun Karnataka to a 117-run win over Uttar Pradesh on day three of the Col. C.K. Nayudu third-place match here on Tuesday. The left-arm spinner finished with figures of six for 74 in the visitors’ second essay to finish with a match haul of 10 wickets. Uttar Pradesh, which was chasing 294, was dismissed for 176.

Andhra takes lead Meanwhile in Valsad, Andhra took a first innings lead of 103 runs against Gu-

La Liga: Sony Six & Six HD, 11.10 p.m. HIL: STAR Sports 2, 3 & HD 2, 3, 7.10 p.m. Europa League: TEN 1, 2, 3 & TEN 1 HD, 10.30 p.m. Champions League: TEN 1, 2 & TEN 1 HD, 1.15 a.m. (Thursday)

Delhi beats Haryana Sports Reporter Chennai

Delhi Capitals defeated Haryana Gold 107-99, despite the latter’s late charge, in a UBA pro-league match here on Tuesday. This was Haryana’s third straight defeat. Ned-

$15,000 Futures, Sharm El Sheikh: First round: Chandril Sood & Lakshit Sood bt Oleksandr Belinskyi (Ukr) & Denis Yevseyev (Kaz) 6-3 3-6, [10-6]. $25,000 ITF women, Perth: First round: Beatrice Gumulya & Jessy Rompies (Ina) bt Irina Maria Bara (Rou) & Prarthana Thombare 7-6(5), 7-6(1). $15,000 ITF women, Sharm El Sheikh: First round: Kyra Shroff bt Anette Munozova (Swe) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Suchith stars in Karnataka’s win Mysuru


tough opponents in top seed Sriram Balaji and fourth seed Vijay Sundar Prashanth to bow out in straight sets.

Purav & Divij enter quarterinals

Sports Correspondent

League on Wednesday. The Serie A table suggests all is smooth for Juventus, with its seven-point lead. But below the surface, there are cracks in the camp. Defender Leonardo Bonucci became embroiled in a heated argument over sub-


jarat in their semifinal on Tuesday. Andhra, resuming at 164 for four, finished with 359 in 145.4 overs. At draw of stumps, Gujarat, in its second essay, was 65 for five in 15 overs. The scores: At Mysuru: Karnataka 228 & 192 bt Uttar Pradesh 127 & 176 in 41 overs (Deepak Kumar 30, J. Suchith six for 74) At Valsad: Gujarat 256 & 65 for five in 15 overs vs. Andhra 359 in 145.4 overs (Siva Charan Singh 94, M. Pranith 79, Jayavardhan 59, Harsha Naidu 47, C.T. Gaja four for 79, A.J. Tandel four for 84).

The results: Delhi Capitals 107 (Ronald March 41, Vinay Kaushik 30) bt Haryana Gold 99 (De’Sean Mattox 36, Eban Hyams 16, Yadwinder Singh 16). Punjab Steelers 125 (Dermaine Crockrell 51, Rajveer 15, Gary Gill 12) bt Mumbai Challengers 123 (Alex Scales 33, Jimmy Scroggins 33, Inderbir Gill 27).

Harika loses, faces tie-breaker Sports Bureau TEHRAN

D. Harika battled hard for a much-needed draw but Nana Dzagnidze proved stronger in 67 moves in the second game of their quarterfinal clash in the Women’s World chess championship here. The result left the players locked 1-1. The two will clash in the rapid tie-break games on Wednesday for a place in the semifinals. The results: Quarterfinals: Game 2: Nana Dzagnidze (Geo, 1) bt D. Harika (1); Ju Wenjun (Chn, 0.5) lost to Tan Zhongyi (Chn, 1.5); Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul, 0.5) drew with Anna Muzychuk (Ukr, 1.5); Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus, 1.5) bt Ni Shiqun (Chn, 0.5).

0 DISCLAIMER: Readers are requested to verify and make appropriate enquiries to satisfy themselves about the veracity of an advertisement before responding to any published in this newspaper. Kasturi & Sons Limited, the Publisher & Owner of this newspaper, does not vouch for the authenticity of any advertisement or advertiser or for any of the advertiser’s products and/or services. In no event can the Owner, Publisher, Printer, Editor, Director/s, Employees of this newspaper/ company be held responsible/liable in any manner whatsoever for any claims and/or damages for advertisements in this newspaper.

OBITUARY & REMEMBRANCE DEATH SRI NARASIMHA RAGHAVAN (James) Eldest Son of Sri Ponpathirkootam Ramaswamy (Ramanna) attained Acharyan Thiruvadi on Friday 10−02− 2017 at Coimbatore − Brothers,Sisters & Sons Ct:9880171436 V K Srinivasan, IAS (Retd) 76, passed away on February 20. Cremation 3 pm on February 22 at Vaikunta Mahaprasthanam, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad












Four new tiny frog species found in Western Ghats

Real life Jurassic Park in China? Press Trust of India Beijing

‘Can’t make movies like a Hollywood filmmaker’

They are no bigger than a human thumbnail, make a distinctive chirping sound


T. Nandakumar

Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese says he does not think he could make it as a “Hollywood filmmaker” because his success comes from making movies “in the margins.” Scorsese says he feels like a “thief” with his success because he has “got away with” making movies that are influenced by his upbringing in New York’s Lower East Side. PTI


Zoo culls 57 monkeys carrying ‘invasive’ genes TOKYO

A Japanese zoo has culled 57 native snow monkeys by lethal injection after inding that they carried genes of an “invasive alien species”, oicials said on Tuesday. The zoo in the Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo, housed 164 simians, which it believed were all pure Japanese macaques. But the operator discovered about one-third were crossbred with the rhesus macaque, which in Japan is designated an “invasive alien species.” AFP

60,000-year-old microbes found in mine BOSTON

NASA scientists have discovered living microorganisms trapped inside crystals for as long as 60,000 years in a mine in Mexico. These ancient microbes have evolved so they can survive on a diet of sulite, manganese and copper oxide, said Penelope Boston of NASA's Astrobiology Institute in a presentation over the at a conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They were discovered in the Naica mine, a working lead, zinc and silver mine in the state of Chihuahua. AFP

Scientists exploring the forests of the Western Ghats have come across four new species of tiny frogs no bigger than a human thumbnail, which make a distinctive chirping sound comparable to that of a cricket. These species are among the seven new ‘Night Frogs’ discovered by a team of researchers from the University of Delhi and the Kerala Forest Department, who spent five years surveying the global biodiversity hotspot. Night Frogs belong to the Nyctibatrachus genus endemic to the Western Ghats and represent an ancient group of frogs that diversified on the Indian landmass approximately 70 to 80 million years ago. The scientists were surprised by the relative abundance of the previously unknown species at their

collection localities. “The minuscule frogs have probably been overlooked because of their extremely small size, secretive habitats and cricket-like calls,” says Sonali Garg who undertook the study as part of her Ph.D research at the University of Delhi. The scientists used an integrated taxonomic approach that included DNA studies, detailed morphological comparisons and bioacoustics to confirm the new species. The findings have been published in the latest issue of PeerJ, an open access journal.

Hydroelectric project While turning the spotlight on the amphibian diversity of the Western Ghats, the discovery also highlights the threat posed by human activities to the species. The Athirappilly Night Frog was found close to the Athirappilly waterfalls, the proposed site of a hydroelec-

new species, five face considerable anthropogenic threats and require immediate conservation,” says Prof. S.D Biju, who led the study and has formally described over 80 new species of amphibians from India.

A taxonomic approach with DNA studies and morphological comparisons was used to conirm them. tric project, while the Sabarimala Night Frog was discovered near the hill shrine which receives lakhs of pilgrims every year. The Radcliffe’s Night frog and the Kadalar Night Frog were reported from plantation areas. “Over 32% of the frog species in the Western Ghats are already threatened with extinction. Out of the seven

Restricted range “Because several of the new species have been identified as being range-restricted and impacted by threats, it is important to assess their extinction risks and tailor conservation strategies for both species and habitats,” said Ariadne Angulo, co-Chair, Amphibian Specialist Group, IUCN, in an emailed response. The discovery has taken the total number of known Nyctibatrachus species to 35, of which 20% are diminutive in size (less than 18 mm). As many as 103 new amphibian species have been described from biodiversityrich Western Ghats region between 2006 and 2015.

The curious case of ‘Tully monster’ The prehistoric marine creature cannot be classiied as a vertebrate, says study Press Trust of India Washington

A bizarre prehistoric marine creature — popularly referred to as the ‘Tully monster’ — cannot be classified as a vertebrate, contrary to the claims of some experts, a new study has found. Last year, two groups of scientists claimed that the ancient animal — that had long defied classification — was in fact a vertebrate. Specifically, it seemed to be a

type of fish called a lamprey. However, according paleobiologists who undertook more analysis, this classification is wrong. “This animal doesn’t fit easy classification because it’s so weird,” said Lauren Sallan, an assistant professor at University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. “It has these eyes that are on stalks and it has this pincer at the end of a long proboscis and there’s even dis-

Green tea-laced capacitor to power wearable devices

An artist's reconstruction of the Tully monster.

agreement about which way is up. But the last thing that the Tully monster could be is a fish,” said Ms. Sallan.


The mystery of the Tully monster, known to scientists as Tullimonstrum gregarium, remains.

China’s Zhejiang province may have been a real life Jurassic Park about 65 to 145 million years ago, according to scientists who found an assortment of dinosaur fossils, including eight new species of the prehistoric animals. A total of 82 dinosaur fossil sites, with at least six dinosaur species and 25 types of fossil dinosaur eggs, were confirmed during the survey by a team of experts from the Zhejiang Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology and Zhejiang Museum of Natural History in China, between 2006 and 2013. The survey covered an area of 11,000 square kilometres in Zhejiang. Scientists identified eight new species among the fossils. “It has been proved that a large number of dinosaurs lived in Zhejiang during the Cretaceous period, about 65 million to 145 million years ago,” said Jin Xingsheng, deputy curator of Zhejiang Museum of Natural History. “Compared with other southeastern provinces, Zhejiang has the largest amount of dinosaur fossils,” he added. Scientists found that sedimentary rocks, where most dinosaur fossils were unearthed, were sandwiched between two layers of volcanic rocks, indicating vegetation was lush and suitable for dinosaurs in the early and middle Cretaceous period, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported. The findings also indicate that the age of prehistoric creatures may have ended due to a catastrophe, an asteroid hit being the most likely reason as it can result in a series of sudden climate changes.

A ‘slippery’ solution to ketchup problem A coating called LiquiGlide is used Press Trust of India Boston

An Indian-origin scientist at MIT has found a novel way to get every last drop of ketchup, shampoo and glue out of the bottle by developing a coating that makes container interiors super slippery. The brainchild of Kripa Varanasi, mechanical engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S. and his students, the coating called LiquiGlide is set to make the transition from the laboratory to consumer and industrial markets. LiquiGlide renders a surface highly slippery and allows every last drop of ketchup — or almost any other viscous product, from paint, to glue, to cosmetics — to flow from its container without sticking, saving billions of gallons of product from going waste. “Viscous products sticking to the inside of containers eventually lead to huge losses across industries,”


Screen presence

New Delhi

Scientists have used green tea compounds to develop a new flexible and compact rechargeable energy storage device which may power more comfortable wearable electronics such as heart rate monitors. The most prominent versions of wearable electronics are sold in the form of watches or sports bands. More comfortable products could become available in softer materials made in part with an unexpected ingredient — green tea, researchers said. Powering soft wearable electronics with a long-lasting source of energy remains a big challenge. However, most supercapacitors are rigid, and the compressible supercapacitors developed so far have

The researchers prepared polymer gels in green tea extract for the experiment.

run into roadblocks. “Our objective is to fabricate wearable electronic devices. Compressible energy storage devices are the first step towards achieving that objective,” Kothandam Krishnamoorthy, from the CSIRNetwork of Institutes for Solar Energy said. Supercapacitors have been made with carboncoated polymer sponges, but the coating material

tends to bunch up and compromise performance. Researchers, including those from CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune and Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research in New Delhi, wanted to take a different approach. The researchers prepared polymer gels in green tea extract, which infuses the gel with polyphenols. The polyphenols converted a silver nitrate solution into a uniform coating of silver nanoparticles. Thin layers of conducting gold and poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) were then applied. The resulting supercapacitor demonstrated power and energy densities of 2,715 watts per kg and 22 watthours per kg — enough to operate a heart rate monitor, LEDs or a bluetooth module.

Finishing touches: Artists paint Oscar statues for the 89th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. The 2017 Oscars, to be hosted by American television host Jimmy Kimmel, will take place at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday. AFP

They gradually lose capacity to soak up a type of greenhouse gas and give of even more of another alter the carbon balance of small ponds over a number years,” Mr. Yvon-Durocher said. “This could ultimately accelerate climate change.”

Agence France-Presse Paris


Keeping the balance: The indings matter as small ponds play an outsized role in the planet’s carbon cycle — the balance between input and output of greenhouse gases. AFP

he said. With soil, by contrast, warming initially stimulates CO2 output but then causes it to taper off. The new findings matter because small ponds play an outsized role in the planet’s carbon cycle — the balance

between input and output of greenhouse gases. While covering only a tiny fraction of Earth’s surface area, they are responsible for about 40% of methane emissions from inland waters, earlier research has shown.

Global wealth migration up New Delhi

How ponds can speed up global warming Tiny natural ponds pose an overlooked danger for speeding up global warming, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. In experiments designed to simulate moderate future warming, scientists in Britain found that such ponds — a metre across — gradually lose the capacity to soak up one kind of greenhouse gas and give off even more of another. After seven years at higher-than-ambient temperatures, “the ability of the ponds to absorb carbon dioxide was reduced by almost half, while methane release nearly doubled,” said leadauthor Gabriel YvonDurocher, a professor at the University of Exeter. “Both those trends became amplified over time,”

Mr. Varanasi said. “For example, in paint manufacturing alone, paint sticking to the inside of mixing and holding tanks costs the industry more than 100 million gallons of lost product and billions of dollars per year in associated waste costs. “Using LiquiGlide, we are on a mission to eliminate waste generated across manufacturing applications, in areas ranging from food and agrochemical production to health care and energy, to usher in a new era of sustainable manufacturing,” he said.

Press Trust of India

Its energy densities are enough to operate heart rate monitor Press Trust of India

LiquiGlide allows every last drop of any viscous product to low from its container.

Methane is about 28 times more effective in trapping the sun’s radiation in our atmosphere than carbon dioxide, the dominant greenhouse gas. “Our findings show that warming can fundamentally

Main source Scientists working on the next major UN scientific report on climate change, scheduled for 2020, should take note, he added. The main source of manmade carbon pollution is the burning of fossil fuels, accounting for more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The rest comes from deforestation, the livestock industry, and agriculture. In the experiments, scientists warmed artificial ponds four degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit), corresponding to the projected increase in global average temperatures by 2100 in temperate zones under a “moderate” climate change scenario.

NASA to reveal stirring exoplanet indings To hold brieing at headquarters today Indo-Asian News Service Washington

NASA has hinted at discovery of something exciting related to planets that orbit stars other than our sun, known as exoplanets. The U.S. space agency said it will hold a news conference to present the findings at the agency’s headquarters in Washington on Wednesday. Prominent NASA scientists, astronomers and a professor of planetary science and physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology are scheduled to participate at the briefing.

Open to questions NASA has also invited media and is open to the public to ask questions during the briefing on Twitter using the hashtag #askNASA. Following the briefing, a

An ask-me-anything session with scientists about exoplanets will be held. Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) about exoplanets will be held with scientists available to answer questions in English and Spanish, NASA said. Details of these findings will also be published in the journal Nature on the same day.

Global wealth migration is accelerating as around 82,000 ultra-rich people shifted overseas in 2016, compared to 64,000 in 2015 and Australia is the top country for millionaire inflows, says a report. Millionaires or High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) refer to individuals with net assets of $1 million or more. According to New World Wealth’s latest report on global wealth and wealth migration trends in 2016, for the second straight year, Australia remained the top country worldwide for millionaire inflows, beating out traditional destinations such as the U.S. and the U.K. An estimated 11,000 millionaires moved to Australia in 2016 compared to 10,000 that moved to the U.S. and 3,000 that moved to the U.K.

Main reasons The reasons behind HNWIs preferring Australia to the U.S. and the U.K. is that it has one of the best healthcare systems in the world and its location makes it a good base for doing business in emerging Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and India. Moreover, Australia is relatively immune to the turmoil in the West Asia and the related refugee crisis in Europe and it has lower inheritance taxes than the U.S. and much lower inheritance taxes than the U.K. Other countries that experienced large inflows of HNWIs in 2016 include Canada, UAE, New Zealand and Israel. On the other hand, countries that lost large numbers of HNWIs in 2016 included France, Turkey and Brazil. Large outflow of millionaires from France (over 12,000 millionaires is 2016) is notable. France is being heavily impacted by rising religious tensions between Christians and Muslims, the report said. ND-ND

wednesday 앫 february 22, 2017


PWD to use drones

Mechanical sweepers

Romance with a twist

Mustang’s run of Kutch

The PWD is mulling use of drones to prepare real-time reports on some of the most congested roads Page 2

The civic bodies will deploy more mechanical sweeping equipment to control dust pollution Page 2

Nikita Singh’s “Every Time It Rains” gives an insight into what it is like to be broken in love Page 5

Fast highways, two car museums, the Rann of Kutch, a Mustang and one epic ride Page 6



Hair colour lands rape accused in net Friend’s henna-coloured hair and white wristband provided vital clues in Deer Park rape probe Shubhomoy Sikdar

the juvenile applied henna to colour his hair. His reddish-brown hair was not a very common colour. Further, from the CCTV footage of the place where the victim’s cousin was dropped, we spotted the minor’s white wristband,” said a senior police officer.

New Delhi

Govt calls meeting of Ola, Uber drivers NEW DELHI

The Delhi government called a meeting of Ola and Uber cab drivers on Thursday after members of the union on strike staged a protest outside the residence of Transport Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday. PTI

Engineer held for ‘harassing’ DU student NEW DELHI

A software engineer was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly harassing a Delhi University student by using caller ID spooing and creating a fake Facebook proile in her name. The accused, Aman Singh, was arrested from his Paschim Vihar residence. CITY

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Harassment charges against university dean GREATER NOIDA

A professor of Gautam Buddha University here has accused the dean of mentally torturing her. In her complaint to the ViceChancellor and Registrar, she has alleged the dean would always summon her to his room to assign work and once even blocked her way. CITY

쑺 PAGE 3


Writer heckled, no case iled

His minor friend’s henna-coloured hair and white wristband, and his own unchanged clothes helped the police crack the Deer Park rape-cum-robbery case, which happened last Saturday. A 19-year-old has been arrested in connection with the incident, the police said on Tuesday. Raja alias Jendal was picked up early on Tuesday morning from a park where he was sleeping, said the police.

Boy spotted A beat constable spotted a boy with reddish-brown hair, the same hairstyle and wearing a white wristband. The minor was immediately questioned. He revealed that he was with Raja, who cleans utensils at several pubs and shops in Hauz Khas Village and is a resident of Arjun Nagar, on Saturday.

Victim’s statement As per the victim’s statement, Raja and his minor friend had spotted her cousin and her outside a pub as they were leaving. The duo met the women at the exit point of Hauz Khas Village to board an auto, when Raja’s friend told the victim’s cousin that he would help get them a better deal on the trip rate quoted by autorickshaw drivers late at night. Group separated However, the four allegedly got separated due to the weekend rush — the victim with Raja and her cousin with the juvenile. Along the way, the juvenile convinced the cousin that the victim would reach home safely. He dropped her at her res-

No end in sight: A protester at a demonstration in New Delhi on Tuesday against the rape of a woman in Hauz Khas Village on Saturday night. PHOTO: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA idence in another part of south Delhi and left.

Challenge for police Meanwhile, the accused took the victim near a dry pond made for ducks inside the

Deer Park and raped her twice. He also threatened her to kill her, said the police. The first challenge for the police was to identify the accused. It was here that his minor friend’s henna-col-

oured hair proved to be a vital clue. “We could not identify the accused from the CCTV footage we had. From the victim’s statement and other evidence, we deduced that

Phone switched off Raja’s phone was found switched off. He was also not able to use the iPhone he had snatched from the victim as it was locked. A raid at his house also proved unsuccessful. “We decided to decided to carry out manual surveillance. While looking for him at a park, a team spotted him sleeping on a bench. The clothes he was wearing matched the description provided by the victim. He had not changed clothes since the day of the incident,” said the officer.

AIIMS to act against doctor for lapse Pregnant nurse had died on Feb 4 Bindu Shajan Perappadan New Delhi

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has begun proceedings to terminate the services of a senior resident (anesthesiology), found guilty of wilful absence from his duty in the death of nursing officer Rajbir Kaur while delivering a child, who was stillborn, on February 4. As per a statement released by AIIMS on Tuesday, the inquiry committee noted that Kaur’s was a low-risk pregnancy monitored in the labour room on January 16.

Emergency surgery Labour was progressing well till 5 a.m., when a sudden drop in the heart rate necessitated emergency surgery. However, resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and Kaur was shifted to the ICU. She passed away on February 4, noted the report. AIIMS Deputy Director (Administration) V. Srinivas said the institute had initiated follow-up action against officials held responsible by the inquiry committee to look into her death. “Based on the commit-

tee findings and two rounds of meetings at the level of the AIIMS Director, a set of administrative action has been taken by AIIMS,” he said.

Compensation for kin He noted that compensation of ₹10 lakh will be given the next of kin after due administrative approval. A displeasure memorandum by the AIIMS Director shall also be issued to senior resident (gynaecology). As part of action initiated against those found negligent — “a warning shall be issued to the junior resident (anaesthesiology) for having left the operation theatre under pressure of residents of obstetrics and gynaecology”. A show cause notice shall be issued to the consultant on call of obstetrics and gynaecology for not being present for the emergency operation despite being informed. The AIIMS authorities have noted that from now on, the HoD of anaesthesiology will ensure round-the-clock availability of senior residents at the maternity operation theatre.


Govt asks for 2-year breather ABVP protest at Ramjas turns violent Demonstration against scheduled talk by Umar Khalid at the event from CBSE Class X board

Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

The Delhi Police on Tuesday said no case had been made out in connection with the argument between popular television personality Tarek Fatah and other attendees at the Jashn-e-Rekhta festival here on Sunday. The Pakistan-origin writer had claimed that a group of people at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, where the event was being held, had corned him and shouted slogans against him. They also allegedly asked him to leave. “While he claims that he was attacked unprovoked, those in the crowd told us that they had been irked by his comment on why an Urdu festival had to be organised,” said the police.

Controversial comment No policemen were around when the incident happened. Volunteers rushed to Mr. Fatah’s help, but failed to control the situation. Later, policemen on security duty at the venue took him outside. It is also alleged that Mr. Fatah had called certain people “jihadis”. He, however, refuted this claim.

Says students not prepared to face the ‘tough test’

New Delhi

Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) on Tuesday allegedly threw stones to disrupt an event at Ramjas College. The two-day event titled “Cultures of Protest”, which started on Tuesday, has been organised by the English Department and college literary society Wordcraft.

Press Trust of India New Delhi

The Delhi government has sought a breather of two years from Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for making Class X examination mandatory, saying that the students aren’t prepared for the “tough test”. The CBSE had recently announced that the Class X exam will be mandatory again from the next academic session. The decision was taken after the optional tests and automatic promotion policy came under criticism for “lowering” the level of students’ knowledge. The Directorate of Education (DoE) has written to the CBSE saying that if the new rules are implemented, the students presently in Class VIII ans IX will face the first and second editions of the compulsory exam in 2018 and 2019. “The students have gone through varied experiments such as the no-detention policy and Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluation (CCE). As the compulsory board exams will require them to study the entire syl-

Staff Reporter

New rule: The CBSE had recently announced that the Class X exams will be mandatory from the next session. FILE PHOTO

labus for annual exam, they may find it difficult as they haven’t been prepared that way,” a DoE official said. “We have asked for a breather and suggested that the semester system continue for two more years so the students will study half syllabus in two different parts,” the official added.

Diabetic students Meanwhile, the CBSE has decided that students suffering from Type-I diabetes can now take snacks during the Class X and Class XII board exams. In a circular, the

Board said many students suffer from Type-I diabetes and need insulin injections at regular intervals to keep their blood glucose levels in check. These students also need frequent meals to avoid hypoglycemia, which may otherwise affect their performance. The students will be allowed to carry sugar tablets, fruits, snacks and water into the centre. However, a certificate regarding a student’s medical condition should be forwarded by the principal. SEE ALSO 쑺 PAGE 2

Umar cancels visit They were protesting against a scheduled talk by JNU student Umar Khalid on “Unveiling the State: Regions in Conflict — The War in Adivasi Areas”. Mr. Khalid was arrested on sedition charges in 2016. He cancelled his visit after the Delhi Police allegedly told the organisers that they would not protect him from any attack by the ABVP, and that the organisers would be held responsible for any violence. “A mob of more than 100 ABVP pseudo-nationalists gathered at the gates of Ramjas College with hockey sticks and stones threatening large scale violence if an ‘anti-national’ like me comes to DU. What is the ABVP

‘Cultures of Protest’: ABVP activists creating a ruckus outside the seminar organised at Ramjas College on Tuesday in protest against a talk scheduled to be delivered by JNU’s Umar Khalid (right). PHOTO: ANANYA VAJPAYEE

scared of ? A discussion on the war against adivasis?” Mr. Khalid said, adding in a post on social media: “...Such is the state of democracy in our country where attackers are given complete protection and those facing attacks are held responsible for the attacks on them.”

Solidarity march The event organisers and the ABVP clashed when Ramjas students decided to carry out a solidarity march on campus. The police on campus formed a shield between the groups to diffuse the situation, after which the students went back to the seminar room. However, ABVP members allegedly cut off


Products from Tihar jail to ind space at Khadi outlets Inventory may include ready-made garments, fabrics, home furnishings, blankets, stationery items and furniture

the power supply, latched the door and threw bricks at the windows. “Protests by the Right-wing students’ group turned violent and the organisers were locked inside the seminar room. They started throwing stones at the windows. The police had to evacuate us from the back entrance,” said a student who was in the seminar room. DUSU president Amit Tanwar said they were against Mr. Khalid’s participation as he was an “anti-national” and had called for the “destruction of India”. However, the ABVP and DUSU denied throwing of stones. A third-year student said: “I don’t agree with Mr.

New Delhi

Brand Tihar will soon fly off the shelves at Khadi outlets across the country. The decision was taken following a visit by Minister of State for MSME Giriraj Singh and Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman Vinay Kumar Saxena to Tihar Jail on Tuesday.

Brief presentation Director-General (Prisons) Sudhir Yadav told The Hindu that the Minister saw a brief presentation and decided CM YK

that some of the popular Tihar Jail (TJ) products will soon be sold at Khadi Ashram outlets. “We have an arrangement with an NGO that puts up our products for sale at our 10 outlets at a Saket mall, the Delhi Secretariat and other places. Now, Khadi will open its stores to us, allowing us to gain from the footfall they receive,” said Mr. Yadav. The inventory may include products like readymade garments, fabrics, handloom, home furnishings, blankets, stationery items and

scope for both the brands to co-exist. Additionally, KVIC will provide technical expertise and impart training to inmates. Efforts are on to get some of the trained inmates absorbed at Khadi manufacturing units.

Step ahead: Inmates at Tihar’s fashion lab, set up in association with Pearl Academy. FILE PHOTO: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

furniture items, he added. Given that some of these products are already sold at Khadi outlets, will this lead

to competition between the two? Mr. Yadav replied that the products will bear the TJ mark and that there was

Larger goal “Our effort is not just to sell products. We’re also trying to see if this helps some inmates become more acceptable in society once they leave jail after serving their terms,” Mr. Yadav said. During the visit, the Minister and his team was

initially briefed about the concept of engaging the inmates in positive activities during their stay at Tihar. “They expressed desire to see the inmates at work in the factories in jail no. 6 [the all women jail], jail no. 2 and jail no. 8. They were escorted to the jails and evinced keen interest in the activities. They liked the fashion lab, started recently in collaboration with Pearl Academy. Mr. Singh also interacted with the inmates and enquired about their welfare,” said a statement issued by the jail.

Police response In a late-night response, the police denied that stone throwing had taken place in the college. A senior officer added that no prior intimation about the event or the list of speakers was given to them, which is why the question of providing or denying security didn’t arise.

Delhi to get wild bird rescue centre at Rajokri Staff Reporter New Delhi

Staff Reporter

Khalid on a number of issues, but this was an opportunity for me to question him. We all need to engage in a debate with each other regarding disagreements rather than fighting. But, the ABVP people simply didn’t let that happen.” Shehla Rashid, who is to speak on Day Two, said she hadn’t received a word from the organisers if the event was still on. She asked why the ABVP enjoyed “impunity” from the police, which failed to offer protection for a peaceful seminar.

The Capital will soon get a wild bird rescue centre that will provide medical care to birds injured or rescued from illegal trade, Delhi Environment and Forest Minister Imran Hussain said on Tuesday. The bird rescue centre at Rajokri is being developed by the Forest Department and the Public Works Department at a cost of ₹9 crore, he said. The facility would provide care for baby birds as well as fully grown ones. Mr. Hussain, who held a meeting of Forest and

PWD officials to review the progress of the project, said the centre would have dense tree cover to make sure the variation in day and night temperatures does not affect the birds.

Other creatures He asked officials to include facilities to cater to rescued wildlife, including snakes and tortoises, at the centre. As per a statement, the government said that with Delhi “being the alleged grey market of wild birds” it was concerned about the smuggling of owls and other endangered species. ND-ND








HC stays CIC fine on DU for rejecting RTI queries NEW DELHI

PWD may use drones to monitor choke points Unmanned aerial vehicles to prepare real-time traic and congestion reports

L-G to decide on release of 23 life convicts NEW DELHI

Twenty-three life convicts, who have spent over 14 years in jail, are likely to walk free soon as Delhi’s Sentence Review Board has recommended their release to L-G Anil Baijal. PTI

Stay on library demolition extended NEW DELHI

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday extended till March 16 its order restraining the North Delhi Municipal Corporation from demolishing a building housing the historic Delhi Public Library in central Delhi. PTI

HC pulls up Wakf Board on encroachment NEW DELHI

The High Court on Tuesday pulled up Delhi Wakf Board over its failure to remove encroachers from monuments in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park. The court asked the Wakf Board to take action against the people living there illegally. "You take action. We will see what they are going to do," the Bench said. PTI

Decision on schedule may be taken by irst week of March Damini Nath New Delhi

The process to hold municipal elections in 272 wards of the Capital has started with the Delhi State Election Commission expected to take a decision on the schedule and the model code of conduct in the first week of March. With elections expected in the first half of April, the State Election Commission (SEC) has appointed returning officers (ROs), who will start the work of identifying and rationalising the polling stations this week.

Staff Reporter New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed three separate CIC orders imposing ₹25,000 penalty on Delhi University's public information officer for rejecting RTI applications seeking facts about the graduation degrees of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

Capital gears up for municipal elections

The Delhi government’s Public Works Department (PWD) is mulling the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to prepare real-time reports for some of the most congested junctions and roads. According to a source, the decision is awaiting formal approval after a similar exercise was conducted to decongest the 24-km-long Wazirabad to Kalindi Kunj stretch. The source added that the PWD was now mulling using the same technique to conduct similar studies on other stretches. An official said that while mapping software was used to conduct earlier studies, the agency was now mulling the use of drones to procure real-time data related to vehicular movement and congestion. The official said that using drones would be more cost-effective than putting officials on the ground.

Signal-free stretch The 24-km-long signal-free corridor from Vikaspuri to Wazirabad has three elevated stretches and three flyovers. The three elevated corridors, all of which are now open, include VikaspuriMeera Bagh, MangolpuriMadhuban Chowk and Madhuban Chowk-Mukarba Chowk. A part of this 900meter long flyover has four lanes after it merges with the loops. Keeping in mind the environmental aspects, the PWD has provided a green belt on

Familiar sight: Lakhs of vehicles are registered in Delhi every year, increasing the traic volume on thoroughfares. FILE PHOTO: V. SUDERSHAN both sides of the flyovers along with a 2.5-meter-wide pedestrian footpath and 2meter wide cycle tracks.

Public transport Special emphasis has also been given to public transport with separate bus ways near bus stops. This flyover will be beneficial for the traffic at NH-1 stretch where inter-State public and commercial vehicles travel. The special features of the Mukundpur Chowk flyover include a concrete deck slab, which is supported on steel girders, two portal frames constructed to support merging loop and a deck of flyover. Long lasting spherical bearings, which support the steel girders, are the other salient features. The stretch is used by more than 1.75 lakh vehicles every day.

Congestion points

Officials appointed “We have appointed 72 ROs, who will by March 17 complete the work of dividing the electoral roll as per the polling stations. Currently, we have 13,100 polling stations, which may increase,” said State Election Commissioner S. K. Srivastava on Tuesday. Mr. Srivastava, who held a preliminary training session with the ROs last week, said that the officials would now conduct field visits to identify the polling stations in each ward. Since the ward boundaries have changed this time

after a delimitation was carried out, the number and location of polling stations would change. The SEC will be reaching out to voters to inform them about the changes. The SEC’s website will have a database and there will be a phone helpline for voters to check their polling stations.

EVMs In preparation for the polls, the SEC has already received about 10,000 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from Rajasthan. On Monday, a team of experts started the first level of testing to make sure the EVMs are operational. In all, the SEC will get 13,000 EVMs from Rajasthan.

A total of 16,000 EVMs, including from the Election Commission of India, will be needed for the municipal polls. To carry out the polls, around 65,000 personnel will be needed. For this, the SEC has already written to the Centre and the Delhi government.

New player The upcoming elections will be first time that the Aam Aadmi Party will contest the civic body polls in Delhi. The BJP has controlled the municipalities since 2007, first the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi and then the three separate corporations from 2012, and the Congress has been the principal opposition.

Students spreading misinformation, says JNU University Registrar says that the administration has always been ready for dialogue and discussion Staff Reporter New Delhi

The Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU) administration said on Tuesday that it was shocked at the misinformation being spread by agitating students. Stating that it has never opposed dialogue and discussion, the administration said that it had uploaded on the university’s website all the appeals and requests made to the students to refrain from unlawful and harmful methods of protest.

The university said that before the students, teachers, staff and officers of the university lose their current level of tolerance and patience at the state of affairs, agitating students should abandon the unlawful path of confrontation.

‘Best of dialogues’ “The best of dialogues can take place only between student representatives and administration officials, but the agitating students are insisting that the Vice-Chan-

cellor must come and answer questions at a mass gathering of students. There is a misinformation campaign to mislead the public and show their illogical demands as genuine concerns,” said Pramod Kumar, Registrar of the University. Mr. Kumar added that even the newly elected JNU Teachers' Association ( JNUTA), instead of approaching the administration to discuss issues related to admission policy, has preferred to take the issue out-

side of campus.

‘JNUTA unsupportive’ “The JNUTA has not even once given a call for ending the siege of the administration building, although a large number of teachers have not been able to process various official papers, including foreign travel leave applications, interview for guest faculty, PhD viva voce of their students, medical claims for their family members etc.,” said the Registrar.

The university also stated that due to the blockade of the administration building, thousands of contractual labourers have suffered.

‘People suffering’ “Because of their agitation, labourers have suffered and yet, the students shed crocodile tears by invoking “social justice” arguments. Do they worry at all when the university loses huge sums of money, which comes from the taxpayers?,” the administration stated.

Essential hardware: Electronic Voting Machines arriving at the Delhi State Election Commission from Rajasthan on Tuesday. PHOTO: DAMINI NATH

Agencies promise more mechanical sweepers Announcement made during meeting with L-G Anil Baijal Staff Reporter New Delhi


Fighting for another chance

BJP slams request for breather from exams Staff Reporter New Delhi

Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari on Tuesday said that Education Minister Manish Sisodia’s plea to exempt Delhi government school students from Class X board exams was “an admission of poor standards” of the AAP dispensation’s school system and infrastructure. Mr. Tiwari said that till now the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had demanded that the Central Board of Secondary Education reintroduce board exams for Class X students, but had now decided to go back on its own demand. “This is because Mr. Sisodia knows that once the

Class X board are reintroduced, the hollowness of Arvind Kejriwal’s claims related to education will fall flat,” Mr. Tiwari said.

‘Schools ill-equipped’ Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that his government was committed to giving the best educational atmosphere to Delhi government schools, but that there was a need put off the introduction of board exams for two years. Mr. Tiwari said that this reason was because Mr. Sisodia knew that Delhi government schoolswere “not equipped” to prepare students for a competitive environment.

Municipal Corporations and the government agencies responsible for sanitation informed Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday that they would soon deploy more mechanical sweeping equipment in order to control dust pollution. At a review meeting chaired by Mr. Baijal, the New Delhi Municipal Council and the three civic bodies as well as the Public Works Department said they would put more mechanical sweepers on the roads by April and July respectively.

Another measures With dust being the biggest contributor to Delhi’s particulate matter pollution, the authorities decided that loose soil by roadsides and on the central verges would be controlled by increasing greenery. In addition, the construction industry would be told to use fly-ash and fly-ash

Hard to breathe: Road dust is the biggest contributor to Delhi’s particulate matter pollution. PHOTO: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

bricks as per a notification of the Centre. The authorities will also closely monitor the implementation of 42 directions given by the Central Pollution Control Board. Among the directions are stringent action against visibly polluting vehicles, stopping illegal parking and preventing burning of waste. As per a statement from his office, Mr. Baijal asked the departments concerned

Hygiene is life-altering, Dia Mirza tells students Actor visits school as artiste ambassador for an NGO promoting children’s rights Ayan Sharma New Delhi

Demanding relief: A civil services aspirant is taken away by the police during a demonstration near Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence on Tuesday. The aspirants are demanding compensatory tries in lieu of attempts made between 2011 and 2015. PHOTO: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA CM YK

During a visit to a primary school in south Delhi’s Nehru Nagar on Tuesday, actor Dia Mirza raised awareness about the importance of sanitation and hygiene. Ms. Mirza, who is the artiste ambassador for Save The Children — an NGO promoting children’s rights — participated in an hour-long interaction with the students. “It is really encouraging to see how much these kids have learned and how much knowledge they are spread-

Good talk: Actor Dia Mirza at a municipal primary school in south Delhi on Tuesday. PHOTO: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

ing about hygiene to their community and relatives. Something as simple as hand washing or access to a toilet are things we take for gran-

ted. But they are crucial, in fact they are life-altering,” said Ms. Mirza. After the interaction, the students performed a street

play where they highlighted the importance of personal hygiene. Khushi Kumari, a student of Class IV, said: “Many diseases occur due to lack of hygiene. We have always been taught to practise good hygiene in school and we carry that message forward to our family members and neighbours”. “Our objective is to ensure sound health and sound education to children not as a choice but as a right,” general manager of campaigns for Save The Children, Pragya Vats, told the The Hindu.

to prepare a long-term solution to Delhi’s air pollution problem. At the meeting, it was decided that the Central Motor Vehicle rules would be amended to make way for a policy for the scrapping of vehicles over 15 years old. Chief Secretary M. M. Kutty was also asked to look into the possibility of rationalising the locations of interState bus depots.

11.5 kg tumour removed Press Trust of India New Delhi

Doctors at a city hospital on Tuesday claimed to have removed the world’s largest adrenal tumour weighing 11.5 kg from a 55year-old patient who also suffered from Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. The tumour was spotted when the patient, Ashwini Marwah, went for bariatric surgery. “During evaluation, a large abdominal tumour of size 30x25 cm was detected,” said Dr. Randeep Wadhawan. ND-ND







‘Had he listened to us, life would have been diferent’ Hauz Khas rape: Mother of accused regrets the choices that her son made

Engineer spoofs calls to pester DU student, held Accused also created fake Facebook proile to ‘defame’ her Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

A 23-year-old software engineer was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly harassing a Delhi University student by using caller ID spoofing and creating a fake Facebook profile of hers. The accused, Aman Singh, was arrested from his Paschim Vihar residence. A complaint had been registered against him at the Hari Nagar police station, said Vijay Kumar, DCP (West).

Shubhomoy Sikdar New Delhi

The mother of 19-year-old Raja cannot believe the charges her son is facing. She says that if he had mended his ways during his formative years, life would have been different. “He would pick up fights and steal from people. The mere mention of helping the family would irk him,” rues the 50-something woman.

‘Vagabond’ The police described Raja as a vagabond while announcing his arrest on Tuesday. On Saturday night, he allegedly raped a 24-year-old woman from the Northeast inside Deer Park near south Delhi’s Hauz Khas village. “His father and I kept telling him that if not anything else, he could set up a vegetable cart. But he would never listen,” his mother says. Even the last encounter with Raja or Jendal, as he is popularly known, ended up in a fight over the same issue. At the time, his parents told him to leave home forever. Today, those words ring in his mother’s ears. “Seven years, 10 years, 15 years... I might not be alive to see him again,” Raja’s mother dreads the worst possible scenario as a group of boys weigh in their “legal opinion” of how many years he will have to spend in jail for rape. ‘Difficult to believe’ Kartik, a local teenager, takes over to elaborate on the alleged misdeeds of Raja.

would pick up < > He ights and steal from people. The mere mention of helping the family would irk him Raja’s mother

Bone of contention Aman had befriended the 20-year-old victim at a college fest in October last year. A few days later, the woman broke up the friendship,

4 of family hurt in ire; one critical PTI

after which he allegedly started sending unwarranted messages on WhatsApp to all her family members. Aman also created a Facebook account in her name, where he posted photographs and comments to defame her, said the officer.

Victim ‘threatened’ The accused also allegedly started calling her from different numbers to threaten her. “One of the numbers was spoofed using a mobile app. When a number is spoofed, the subscriber’s name is not reflected on the caller ID,” said Mr. Kumar. The woman, meanwhile, had discontinued her studies due to the alleged harassment.

A cyber crime cell was working on the case, but to no success. “Although the prime suspect was Aman, we had no evidence against him,” said Mr. Kumar.

Breakthrough achieved The breakthrough came on February 11, when Aman borrowed his friend’s SIM card to send messages to the victim. The number was put on surveillance, after which the police zeroed in on Aman. “The accused has confessed to his involvement in the crime,” said the officer. The police also seized the mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets used to harass the student, the officer added.

Harassment charges against university dean Prof. accuses him of mental torture

No hope: Raja’s mother fears that she might not be alive to see him again.

“Jendal had got his name tattooed on his wrist. He would get drunk and pick up fights with people. He even stole. On one occasion, he struck a person with a knife while snatching something,” says the boy. “But, we never thought he could go to this extent,” Kartik adds contemptuously. Meanwhile, Raja’s mother is worried about the future of her other two sons. The children— aged 13 and 14— go to school as well as work to supplement the family income. “Whatever happens, I will not allow them to quit their studies,” the woman says.

Victim thrashed, hit with stone: police Staff Reporter New Delhi

Investigation has revealed that Raja allegedly thrashed the victim several times before forcing himself on her. The woman said Raja first started touching her inappropriately near the dry pond inside Dark Park. “When she resisted his advances, he started

slapping her to force her into submission,” said a police officer. She tried to escape, but to no avail. She even hit him with a stone on his head to set herself free but he used the same stone to hit her back. Raja fell down, but overpowered the victim and allegedly raped her.

Four members of a family, including a woman, were injured in a fire that broke out in a house in Kapashera on Tuesday. A call was received at 7.05 a.m. about the fire and a fire tender was rushed to the spot, an officer of Delhi Fire Services said.

Cause of blaze It is suspected that the fire started from an LPG cylinder. The injured have been identified as Lallan (45), his wife Anjali (40) and their sons Ashish (15) and Aditya (10). Anjali’s condition is critical as she has sustained 90 per cent burns, the officer said.

1 held for murder at Bengali Market NEW DELHI

The murder case of a man, whose body was found on the railway tracks near Bengali Market here, has been solved with the arrest of the accused from Palwal in Haryana, the police claimed on Tuesday. There was a tailor’s tag on the shirt of the victim which hinted that he belonged to Palwal. Posters were put up which helped the police reach the accused Deshraj. PTI

Juvenile abducts ex-employer’s son, held NEW DELHI

A juvenile was apprehended near a bus stand in Bareilly on Tuesday for allegedly kidnapping the four-year-old son of his former employer from east Delhi’s Kalyanpuri. “The team apprehended the juvenile around 4 a.m. near Imperial Mall,Bareilly,” said DCP (East) Omvir Singh. PTI

3 hash peddlers arrested, 11 kg drugs seized NEW DELHI

New Delhi



Purusharth Aradhak Greater Noida

A female professor of Gautam Buddha University here has accused the university dean of mentally torturing her for the past many days. In her complaint to university vice-chancellor Dr. J.P. Sharma and registrar Manoj Rai, the professor alleged that the dean would always summon her to his room to assign her work. He also purportedly once blocked her way. She initially ignored him, but later lost patience and lodged the complaint, the professor claimed. The woman maintained

that she would no longer take any verbal instructions from the dean.

Panel to probe matter Confirming that a complaint had been received, Mr.Rai said, “We have formed a panel to look into the matter. The statements of both parties will be recorded.” This is the third case of female harassment reported from the university. Earlier, an M.Phil student had accused the former vice-chancellor of harassing her. In another incident, a student had levelled allegations of sexual harassment against a professor.

Three persons allegedly involved in supplying highgrade hashish to drug traickers in Delhiand Goa for rave parties have been arrested here, the police said on Tuesday.The police have seized 11 kg of party drug -Malana Cream hashish -from accused Rinku, Jitender and Bir Singh. PTI

Servant gets life term for rape, murder NEW DELHI

A city court on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment to a 22-year-old man for raping and killing an 81-year-old widow at her south Delhi residence, saying it was a “brutal and diabolic” act. PTI

DELHI TODAY Talk: Book discussion on “The Burning Forest: India’s War in Bastar” by Nandini Sundar; Discussants: Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, Vice-President, Council for Social Development; Dr. Ajay Dandekar, Shiv Nadar University; and Dr. Ajai Sahni, Executive Director, Institute for Conlict Management; Chair: Dr. Dilip Simeon, at Conference Room - I, Main Building, India International Centre (IIC), 5:30 p.m. Talk: Panel discussion on “The RBI Model of Depositor Awareness”; panelists: G. Raveendran, Chief Manager, Corporation Bank; Jyoti Babbar, Senior Manager, City Union Bank Ltd.; Vinoth Kumar, AGM, Karur Vysya Bank Ltd.; J. Thomas, DGM, Karur Vysya Bank Ltd., at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Music: Classical music concert, “Smritiyaan”, dedicated to tabla stalwart Pandit Chatur Lal.: percussion ensemble by Pranshu Chatur Lal, followed by Pt. Gaurav Mazumdar with his mystical performance on the sitar, at M.L. Bhartia Auditorium, Alliance Francaise De Delhi, 72, Lodhi Estate, 7

p.m. Music: Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur memorial music festival: instrumental tribute by Sharadchandra Shrivastav and Troup, vocal recital by Priyadarshini Kulkarni, followed by Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’s Mohan Veena recital, at The Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre (IHC), 7 p.m. Photography: “La vie a Paris: A study in volition”, a photography show by Rupin Thomas, at Gallery 1, Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, Copernicus Marg, Mandi House, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Pilgrimage - The Himalayas” by Gaynor O’Flynn, at Experimental Art Gallery, IHC, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Exhibition: “Gandhi in Raza”, a painting exhibition by S.H. Raza, at Visual Arts Gallery, IHC, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Exhibition: “Color Spectra”, a group painting and sculpture exhibition, at Artizen Art Gallery, Pearey Lal Bhawan, Bhadur Shah Zafar Marg, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m (Mail your listings for this column at [email protected])

Female foetus found in Gurugram Staff Reporter GURUGRAM

A female foetus was found inside a dustbin at upscale residential complex World Spa in South City-1 here on Monday. The matter came to light when a member of the housekeeping staff went to clean a common dustbin on the 18th floor of the A-2 tower of the complex. The foetus was found wrapped in a newspaper and a piece of cloth. Rajinder Singh Rana, who provides security in the condominium, subsequently lodged a complaint with the police. Inspector Sudhir Kumar, Station House Officer, Sector 40, said the DNA of the foetus was preserved and the post-mortem examination was conducted.

Four-month-old foetus Dr. Deepak Mathur, who conducted the postmortem examination, said the foetus was about four months old and was aborted in less than 24 hours before it was found. The police said CCTV footage was being examined to gather clues. CM YK







We have to address the sceptics too Chryslynn D’Costa


t a recent workshop on prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace, the facilitator began with an explanation of the forms of harassment. The facilitator continued, “Bumping into a woman could be perceived as sexual harassment.” To most of us it was clear the facilitator meant ‘intentionally bumping into’. But to one very sceptical gentleman, this was a matter of concern. “What if I bump into her by mistake? This law is unfair. It does not consider the voice of a man,” he said. This jobs-related feature that was branded 'Empower' is re-named 'Opportunities' from this week.

He was clearly speaking from a position of privilege. He had the privilege of never having to experience the helplessness and fears of women who are often catcalled, who resort to putting out their elbows while walking amidst a crowd to avoid the intentional nudges. He had the privilege of not knowing what it feels like to be in a room and have to pretend to laugh about a joke against your gender. Why do we need affirmative policies in the workplace? A recent survey by ActionAidUK found that 80 percent of Indian women are sexually harassed in public places.One of the survey results also showed that 84 per cent of the women who experienced harassment belonged to

the age group of 25 to 35 years and 82 per cent of them were full-time workers. The Sexual Harassment of Women in the Workplace Act was passed in 2013, nearly 20 years after the Vishakha guidelines were put in place after the gruesome rape of Bhanweri Devi and the ‘vehement’ movement that followed to ensure women’s safety in the workplace.This Act now includes explicit statements of what constitutes harassment as well as guidelines and code of conduct for employers to address all forms of harassment: physical, verbal and non-verbal. These firm guidelines were long coming. Harassments of the verbal and non-verbal kind are ‘rampant’ in India. These regu-

lar exploits build an unsought expertise in most women to judge a deliberate action from a mistaken one.In spite of the obvious need for the law, occasional outbursts are heard — “the problem with the law is that women often use it to their advantage”. This unjust perception of the law stems from this opaque lens of privilege worn by those who enjoy it. That’s the catch of privilege. It is easy to write volumes on the lack of it but to explain the privileges one enjoys is difficult. How then does one explain the helplessness of the victim or the urgency of the law to someone who had never experienced harassment? How do you explain the need for gender parity to someone who has never been

on the receiving end of gender inequality? Building an awareness for inclusive, safe environment isn’t an easy task. Sensitisation workshops are commonly implemented by companies to ensure safety and fairness.Diversity and inclusion are big enough themes in most companies; most multinationals incorporate the diversity conversation into everyday values. But how successful are these initiatives in making a dent in the gender ratio?Over time, certain movements begin to lose their power to influence us. Gender, diversity, parity are among those concepts that are losing their sway among the targeted audience.One may argue that this is not true — we see many Facebook posts, talks, art-

icles, rallies and protest movements. But, the questions to ask are — Who is participating in these movements? Who is engaging in these conversations? More often than not, it is like-minded individuals: those affected by the problem and those who from the start empathise with the issue. This does not address those who are resisting the change, those who are uncomfortable and those on the fence. It does not involve employees like the sceptical gentleman at the sexual harassment workshop. These exclusive conversations and celebration of women on one particular day (Women’s Day) are preaching to the choir and slowly increasing the bias against women in the work-

place. Playing the blame game and ignoring the apprehensive groups heighten defensiveness and bring no change.Gender talk has to be made inclusive.Over time, our work has suggested that one of the best ways to have a dialogue on the fairness of affirmative action is to first build a common ground. Celebrations such as Women’s Day very often fail to engage the audience who would most benefit from it: not the women, but the skeptics.The Women’s March on Washington on the 21st of January is a shining example.Although started by women to protest the inauguration of the new president of the United States, in the end the movement encompassed many more facets: inclusion of immig-

ration reform, healthcare reform, natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. The inclusive nature of the protest which gathered over 2 million protesters was flooded with online support making it the largest single-day demonstration in U.S. history. Similarly, in the workplace, diversity conversations need to be broadened. Men need to be included in the conversation, heard and dialogued with. It’s time to re-imagine gender celebrations like Women’s Day if we wish to attract new champions for diversity in the workplace. (Chryslynn D’Costa heads the Diversity and Inclusion section at Serein Inc.)










Romance with an orange twist


The magical ‘touch’

Nikita Singh’s “Every Time It Rains” gives an insight into what it is like to be broken in love

The noted American guitarist talks about his unique technique and how there is no threat to Jazz from popular music


February is that time of the year when book stands keep brimming with novels on romance. It is the time of the year when Nikita Singh makes her presence felt. This year, it is “Every Time It Rains” (Harper Collins), her tenth love story for young adults. Written in lucid language, it is a sequel to her last novel “Like A Love Song” taking the story of Laila and Mahi forward. . This time the focus is on Laila who remained mysterious in the original. Singh says, Laila’s story happened spontaneously. “When I start writing I have the plot, characters and situations clear in my mind. I can visualise scenes, people, their body movements and facial contours in different situations. Still there is an element of spontaneity. Some things just happen.” She gives an example. “I had worked out the character of Jayesh Diwakar ( JD) but the orange incident where he gives Laila the fruit on their first meeting just happened.” It gives the taste of orange twist to romance and perhaps, that’s why the cover has an orange too! “It was something unusual as instead of giving roses, JD gives an orange which is so funny and genuine. Likewise, the first kiss between them was not planned either. In fact, I was shying away from showing any physical connection between them because of Laila’s past. Yet it automatically happened because it seemed like something she would do naturally. If I had planned, it would not have fitted and come out so well.” The tone of the novel, says Singh, is melancholic. “Laila,

< > Everybody wonders as to how Laila and Mahi can be so good friends and ironically if they were males nobody would question it


Stanley Jordan changed the way we listened to Jazz when he came into prominence in the mid-1980s through his “touch style” ofguitar. As he fretted with both hands on the neck, he mesmerised everyone with hits like Stairway to Heaven (1988), The Lady in My Life (1985) along with giving a new meaning to solo performance with his energetic stage presence. Before his concert at Jazz Utsav 2017 held in the Capital recently, Jordan opened up on his early days, his unique style and how he is inspired by Indian classical music.

Exploring melancholy: Nikita Singh in New Delhi

who thinks she has a full life, a great relationship with her mother, Mahi and others and a set career based on her passion for baking, feels a void every time it rains. She is unable to fathom the reason. When JD comes into her life she realises that she was a missing a person with whom she could connect. Somebody with whom she wouldn’t have to pretend to be strong all the time, somebody to whom she would not feel weak admitting that she is human.” The book is dedicated to those who dare to love again. “It is easier to fall in love first time as there is no baggage, trust issues and nothing stops one from going all out. The second time having experienced the pain of break up, one is reluctant. Still one


needs to be brave and take that risk for self and the other person. You need to try harder so that it might end up working. So, it is these brave people like Laila I have dedicated the book to,” analyses Singh.

Female bonding Singh has one again emphasised on female bonding. “Most romantic novels have a boy meets girl or the girl has a female friend, her bestie but I want to go beyond. So I made Mahi and Laila meet, develop their friendship and in this book it, at times, overtakes the Laila-JD relationship. I feel female bonding is important because in my own life I have found friends stay even when people you love may come and go. It is important for everyone to

have at least one person with whom one can talk about anything without being judged. Everybody wonders as to how Laila and Mahi can be so good friends and, ironically, if they were males, nobody would question it.” In a romantic novel, she has touched upon domestic violence. “I have tried to contrast two cases. One is that Laila’s mother who is abused by her alcoholic husband. He represents that section brought up in a patriarchal system which makes men believe that women can be treated rough with women taught to accept it. On the contrary, Laila accepts the first instance of violence by her husband, Abhishek as a one-off incident because she loves him. She changes completely after the second in-

cident and stops viewing him from the rose tinted glasses and walks out.” Singh says she has brought up domestic violence in a romantic book because she has read and heard about it. “Domestic violence is common in the world and nobody talks about it because it is taken to be a personal matter. It is more about your selfrespect than the person abusing.” Singh is one of those writers who try to address the young in their language. “I am a millennial but it is not a conscious decision to write that way. I write how I talk and feel. I let it be original and let the story take the path it wants to. I am comfortable writing this way and it comes naturally to me.”

Excerpts: What kind of music were you exposed to as a child? When did you realise your love for guitar? ■ Since my mother was an amateur pianist, my first instrument was piano and she started training my sister and me in our early years. I had a slight inclination towards Rock and Roll in early age but at the age of 11, I took up the guitar as my family did not have piano available for few years. It drew my attention towards guitar. Later, I studied classical piano and listened to some great classical composers. I loved the expressiveness of guitar but missed the orchestral capabilities of piano and that led me to experiment with different guitar techniques and slowly I developed my touch technique in guitar.

■ It is inspired by the piano techniques as I had early influences of classical piano which I have applied to guitar. While I used to play the double neck guitar with one hand, the other hand remained free with which I started playing a different instrument independently – it could be an another guitar. It provides limitless possibilities for exploration on guitar and that is how I think I have contributed to the field.

In Dreams of Peace (2004), you had a collaboration with the Italian band Novecento which became popular. How do you see fusion music and do you want to collaborate with someone from India? ■ It is a real joy for me to travel to different countries. I have performed in over 70 countries now where I have collaborated with different traditions of music from which I picked up a lot of influences. My early introduction to classical music was a concert of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan with John Handy at San Francisco which I attended when I was just 14 and as a growing child it blew my mind. Since then, classical Indian music is one of my favourite music and I think there is a lot of affinity between Jazz and Indian classical music as both are based on rhythmic cycle. I am open to any wonderful collaboration possibility and I will surely look forward to

are a lot of < > There beneits from

That is how you started the ‘touch technique’ in an advanced two-handed tapping style...

music apart from just entertainment as it can actually heal

An eye-opener Designer Gaurav Gupta has styled masks and T-shirts for his anti-pollution campaign plastics, diesel cars and using cleaner fuels. The purpose is to initiate a dialogue.” Describing pollution levels across the country as extreme, Gupta says some of his friends have been compelled to take extreme steps like settling down abroad or moving to mountains. “My family is here; my factory, workforce, everybody is in India. I feel for our community and cannot leave the county. I have been thinking about this issue for a long time and want people to start talking about this issue. This campaign will run for three to four years.”

Madhur Tankha

On the clogged streets of Delhi, designer Gaurav Gupta is forced to wear a mask. “I might feel uncomfortable but make it a point to wear it, especially while heading towards the airport. I organise picnics in the city with masks. It is a necessity one cannot do without,” says Gupta, who is generating consensus on combating toxic fumes by launching Anti-Pollution Riot campaign at Mehrauli in New Delhi this Wednesday. To create awareness among public, the Delhibased designer has created 300 kits with T-shirts and masks which he is hand delivering to influential personalities from the film and fashion world. “They have lot of following in the social

is an outline of a < > Ithuman eye to stress the need to ind solution to this menace. It signiies that please open your eyes and see the situation.

Fresh cut: Gaurav Gupta

media. I want them to wear T shirts, masks, take pictures and put them on social media. This is my way to

spread awareness about air pollution. I have also given micro and macro level solutions like saying no to

Washable and resuable Emphasising the need for all denizens of Delhi to wear masks, Gupta says: “Mask is a necessity because pollution level is crazy. There should be more awareness, especially among children.” Stylish, the washable and reusable masks have been made with polyester micro fibre and are equipped with N99 filter to protect the wearer from airborne contaminants.

On the creative process involved in making the masks, Gupta says, “I have decorated the masks by putting an eye on them. It is an outline of a human eye to stress the need to find solution to this menace. It signifies that please open your eyes and see the situation. Designed in a way to ensure that the air which comes into our nostrils is breathable, I have collaborated with Vogmask. While it has made the masks, I have decorated them. T-shirts, which have ‘Bad Air Day’ written on them in a fun sort of way is a take on ‘bad hair day’ , have been designed by me. It has lungs on it. Made of 100 per cent cotton, these eco-friendly black cotton jerseys are a bit oversized so that more men can wear them. Longer ones are for women.” On the use of word riot in campaign’s nomenclature, Gupta maintains he has used it because society needs to tackle this issue on a war footing. “The situation is really bad. And this has nothing to do with Diwali. This is a national level health emergency.”

it. I am coming to India for the second time and I feel very optimistic here as I see India as a promising country which has the potential for the growth of Jazz. You also promote music as a therapy. ■ I had some experiences where music did wonders to me before I came to know that this is a separate field of study in science. There are a lot of benefits from music apart from just entertainment as it can actually heal. In my view we should not ask ‘what the music is’ but should also understand ‘how it is useful’. For example, if someone had a stroke or brain damage, music can help the brain to heal as it help neurons to recover quickly. Music also has a social value which can be used on young people who are anti-social or angry as it can bring them together. There is a cohesiveness in playing with an ensemble and you learn to communicate and it carries over to life in general. It can also be used in psychotherapy to build trust in some youngsters who are introvert. They can start talking easily if they are exposed to the right environment with music. How do you see the present state of Jazz around the globe? ■ I have been listening that Jazz is dying for about 30 to 40 years now but still it is present in its full form. The real problem lies with the marketing of Jazz in which a different approach is needed. Jazz has much more shelf life than any other form of music. It takes time for sales to reach good numbers as there are no instant returns in Jazz like in pop records. A lot of young people are being brought up in a different music environment but they are falling in love with Jazz as an alternative to what they were listening. So now, it is more of an art music, as it takes some time to appreciate and understand but it will coexist with other genres like always. You designed the start up tune for Macintosh computers in the early part of your career. How do you see the impact of

technological changes in music industry on artists? ■ Some people assert that due to the advent of electronic music, opportunities for musicians have become limited. Others say, it has become difficult for musicians to find a studio to record as more music is being jammed through computers than with instruments. But I think technology has opened enormous opportunities in the field of video games, applications and other platforms from which newer talent can take benefit.

Meditative notes: Stanley Jordan







La Vie A Paris: A study in volition

Duck You Sucker


Reggae Rajahs

Undeciphered Fates

This solo photography show by Rupin Thomas, an economist and an artist at heart showcases his 50 works. The show is spilt into Landscapes, Still Lifes with architectural details and Graffiti, that outline a pulsating, evolving city. On till February 25. Venue: Gallery 1, Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan Time: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Italian Embassy Cultural Institute will be screening this Italian film in English. Directed by Sergio Leone, it stars James Coburn as an Irish soldier of fortune with a penchant for explosives and Rod Steiger who wants to utilise Coburn’s speciality. Venue: 50-E, Chandragupta Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi Time: 6.30 p.m.

IHC, in collaboration with New Age Foundation presents Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur Memorial Music Festival as a tribute to the legendary musician. Opening day features an instrumental tribute by Sharadchandra Shrivastav and troupe, vocal recital by Priyadarshini Kulkarni, followed by Vishwa Mohan Bhatt's Mohan veena recital. Venue: Stein Auditorium, Lodhi Road, New Delhi Time: 7 p.m.

Reggae Rajahs will be performing in Delhi after almost a year and that too to celebrate their eighth anniversary. So watch and enjoy the full group playing together, including DJ MoCity, the founding member who has been out of the country for the last few years. The group has been curating their own events. Venue: Summer House Cafe, Aurobindo Place Time: 9 p.m.


This is a show of book installations, voice and video by Saba Hasan describes the artist’s experiences, emotions, ideas expressed as intimate totems and scattered memories. They explore the idea of truth with books as a material much like clay or paint. On till February 28 Venue: Art and Aesthetic, F- 213/ A, 1st Floor, Old M B Road, Lado Sarai Time: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ND-ND







The Mustang’s run of Kutch Open ghats, fast highways, two car museums, the unlimited expanse of the Rann of Kutch, and one Mustang. Here’s how the epic ride unfurled

Tar Tales The Rann of Kutch is famous for its white salty desert sand and is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world

Apt moniker: Ford Mustang GT is a beauty on long road trips; a trip to the museum SERGIUS BARETTO

Have you ever experienced the beauty of the Rann of Kutch at sunrise? Ever stood on dry land and experienced a 360-degree view of the horizon? Or, put a car in cruise control and climbed into the back seat? No? Then you better pack your bags. The route that we had charted out would take us from Udaipur to Ahmedabad, through the lovely ghat sections along the Aravalli range. And, how nice of the folks from Ford to have brought along a Mustang for our drive! All that was needed was an open road to stretch the legs of this pony car, and that’s exactly the kind of place we were headed to. The first sign that the Mustang is great for touring showed up when we had to load the boot. We’d packed light, of course, but the car’s 408-litre boot could have easily swallowed a lot more.

I couldn’t wait to get going, so I hit the start button and the massive engine emits a growl that fills the cold morning air. The 5.0 V8 pumps out a strong 401hp, and once I set out, I can feel every one of those horses. I feel a soft push in the back, that’s accompanied by a deep rumble at the merest flex of my foot. When I lift off the gas, the noise just widens, like there’s a Second World War bomber following you. This is going to be a fun drive, and the route suits the Mustang to a T. On our 250km-long journey to Ahmedabad, we plan to stop at two car museums.

Opening up the engines On the way out from Udaipur, we push through a bit of traffic and are soon on NH76, headed south towards Ahmedabad, the long, wide stretches allowing me to open up the motor a bit. The engine is a gem, and greets me with a lusty pull as soon

Ford Mustang GT Price ₹65 lakh (exshowroom, Delhi) L/W/H 4,784/ 2,080/ 1,391mm Wheelbase 2,720mm Ground clearance 137mm Engine V8, 4,951cc (petrol) Power 401hp at 6,500rpm Torque 515Nm at 4,250rpm Gearbox Six-speed auto Tyre size(f-r) 255/40 R19275/40 R19

as I hit the gas. But, unlike other big American engines that are practically done by 5,000rpm, the Mustang’s V8 is happy winding all the way to 7,000rpm; the motor par-

relaxed affair, with the engine ticking over at just around 1,700rpm, and the Mustang gobbling up the miles effortlessly. All I need to do to overtake is simply hit the gas. The gearbox isn’t the quickest around, but you’ll feel that only when you’re in a hurry. A detour left, 25 km into Dungarpur and we are at the Hotel Udai Bilas Palace. This is a small palace by Udaipur

standards, is charming and well-maintained. The hotel also houses a car museum. The collection is not very old, with most cars from the ’60s to the ’80s. The museum also has an American Diner-themed room, crammed with automobile memorabilia like scale models, paintings, prints, and other curios, and the ’80s American pop and rock played all through the museum. Though I’m absolutely thrilled with the V8, I find I have to fiddle with the seat quite often. I’m not uncomfortable, but the driving position isn’t perfect. And though the design of the dash is fabulous, most of the plasticsare put together poorly. It’s no Mini on the inside, that’s for sure. A few kilometres later, we enter a ghat section with long, sweeping fast corners, and the Mustang is up for the job. The Mustang feels settled around corners at speed, and the way the V8 hurls you forward is special too. But, it’s

ticularly feels shattering past 4,000rpm. That said, it feels just as much at home when driven at a sedate pace. Cruising along at 100kph is a nice and

‘A good car is like meeting an attractive person’

when you push the Mustang a bit that it feels a little out of depth.

A trip to the museum Soon, we reach Ahmedabad’s ring road and head to the late Pranlal Bhogilal’s ‘Auto World’ vintage car museum. It houses over 100 vintage and classic cars and is chock-full of old RollsRoyces. It’s a must-see even if you aren’t into vintage cars; you’ll find a few brands that you may not have heard of, like Mors of France and Hispano-Suiza too. The lights are fading as we head for our night halt at the Rann Riders Resort in Dasada that sits on the edge of the Little Rann of Kutch. Now, the Mustang’s clearance of 137mm betters most sports cars, but the long wheelbase still requires utmost care and a diagonal drive over speed breakers. It gets through nearly every obstacle without kissing the ground, except for a railway crossing that has a speed breaker probably made by a contractor who, no doubt, failed geometry. The next morning we are up at five and reach the Rann of Kutch just as the sun rises: what a magical experience, seeing the sun come up the horizon. Drive further in and you are in the heart of the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. We do see quite a few of these relatives of the prehistoric horse, with their beautiful fawn and white markings and marvel at the difficult environment in which they live. But then, I see the Mustang and it’s back to the business at hand. The V8’s fired up, and soon I’m flying as straight as an arrow, kicking up a small sandstorm. With over 400hp and rearwheel drive, the Mustang is so easy to slide, it’s just a blast. Must come back in summer when the sand is nice and firmly packed, and good enough to hit 200kph!



Laurens van den Acker, Renault’s award-winning senior vice-president for corporate design, speaks on his styling philosophy, and how budding designers can come up with good design HORMAZD SORABJEE

have a great starting point. 쐍 For me, a good car is like meeting an attractive person. From afar, you see the silhouette, you get closer and you see the style, the proportions and the lines of the face. Then you come closer, shake hands, make eye contact and then you embrace. It’s similar to a car. From a distance, you see the shape, the overhangs, the graphics. Come closer and you see the surfaces and the highlights. You touch it and ensure that every step forward with the car is a positive experience, and this increases the depth of the experience.

The Renault design is very curvaceous and organic. How would you describe it, its values and which way is it headed? 쐍 The Renault design is very sensual. We are a French brand and we are sensual beings; which is why our designs are soft and have beautiful highlights. Our designs need to give you a warm feeling, and being a popular brand, we need to have cars for all stages of life. So if you fall in love, we have a car for you; if you want to explore, we have our crossovers; if you start a family, we have cars for you too. If you gain wisdom, we have our EVs and the Espace. Thus, we really try to connect our design philosophy with customer requirements to connect with them better. The Kwid has been a real success story in India. What were the challenges you faced when designing an ultra-low-cost car like the Kwid? 쐍 The biggest challenge with the Kwid was the purchasing power of its customers — it had to fit in that affordable price band but it also had to be aspirational. That was a big contradicting challenge. The big key was the Kwid’s SUV styling, because on the totem pole, SUVs are considered highly, followed by sedans, and then hatchbacks. We tried very hard to design a micro-car with SUV looks and 13-inch wheels. I’ve never been told to design a car with 13-inch wheels! Did you have to avoid complex surfaces and use straight ones? What were the trade-offs in terms of design and the real challenges, considering the tight financial constraints? 쐍 In terms of complex surfaces, you usually stamp a part 4-5 times to get the shape right before you really focus on the detailing. In the Kwid, there is no part that has been stamped over three times. So, there’s a certain simplicity of shape CM YK

Keeping it simple: Laurens van den Acker; The Renault Kwid

in all the parts. The other thing was to keep the pieces as light as possible, and the way to save costs is to remove as many pieces as possible, keep the parts as thin and light. The cheapest parts are those that are not there. So you will find only one wiper, only three bolts in the wheel, and for some of these parts, we are at the absolute limit of what is allowed. But we were so focussed on getting a strong basis that these were key in the development of the car. What is the most challenging part of designing a car? People say that if you have the proportions right, you

A lot of people are looking at sevenseaters and SUVs, where there’s usually a formversus-function clash. What is the challenge for the designer, because you need a lot of interior packaging which clashes with the form of the car? 쐍 Yes, it happens that the product guy comes to us and says, “I need a car that can seat seven people, fit in 500 litres of luggage, be spacious inside and also look elegant, aerodynamic, and have strong shoulders.” Sometimes, it’s easier said on paper than making such a car, but the Kwid is a good example. It has 300 litres of luggage space, even though the car is reduced, and has a lot of space inside. Last, any advice to budding designers? What makes for good car design? 쐍 The first thing is to learn how to communicate with your design. My advice to young designers is learning how to draw and express through your design.

BS IV-compliant Suzuki Gixxer and Access 125 launched As the April 1 deadline draws near, two-wheeler manufacturers are introducing their BS IV-compliant models. Suzuki Motorcycle India has launched the 2017 Gixxer and Gixxer SF motorcycles and Access 125 scooter with BS-IV and AHO (Automatic Headlight On). Apart from the BS-IV compliance, the Gixxers get new graphics and clear-lens LED tail-lamps and cost ₹ 80,528 (rear disc), while the drum brake variant is priced at ₹ 77,452 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The fully faired Gixxer SF Fi variant costs ₹ 89,659 and the Gixxer SF Fi ₹ 93,499. The Access 125 scooter gets a new Metallic Sonic silver colour, and is now priced at ₹ 54,302 for the drum brake version and ₹ 57,615 for the disc brake version.

Yamaha India to recall YZF-R3 Yamaha Motor India has issued a recall for its 1,155 YZF-R3 motorcycles, which have been detected with malfunctioning fuel tank brackets and main switch sub-assemblies internationally. It has initiated a factory modification campaign, under which the defective parts will be replaced with a modified one at no cost. This is the fifth time that the company has issued a recall in India. ND-ND

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