RNI NO.2016/1957, REGD NO. SSP/LW/NP-34/ ESTABLISHED 1864 PUBLISHED FROM DELHI LUCKNOW BHOPAL BHUBANESWAR RANCHI RAIPUR CHANDIGARH DEHRADUN

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1 Follow us facebook.com/dailypioneer RNI NO.2016/1957, REGD NO. SSP/LW/NP-34/ ESTABLISHED 1864 PUBLISHED FROM DELHI LUCKNOW BHOPAL BHUBANESWAR RANCHI RAIPUR CHANDIGARH DEHRADUN LUCKNOW, SATURDAY MAY 26, 2018; PAGES 16 `3 LATE CITY VOL. 154 ISSUE 142 *AIR SURCHARGE EXTRA IF PLICABLE

2 city 02 BSP gives curious twist to eviction notice Bungalow became Kanshi Ram memorial in 2011 PNS n LUCKNOW T he Bahujan Samaj Party gave a curious twist to the row over notice to former Chief Minister Mayawati to vacate the government accommodation by claiming that the 13-A, Mall Avenue bungalow was not allotted to her but housed Kanshi Ram Yadgar Vishramalaya. On Friday, BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra and leader of the House, Lalji Verma, handed over a letter from party chief Mayawati to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, which said that there was confusion in the Estate department notice as she was allotted the 6, Shastri Marg bungalow as former Chief Minister of UP. Mayawati contended in her letter that the bungalow at 13- A, Mall Avenue was allotted to house Kanshi Ram Yadgar Vishramalaya during the BSP regime. Mishra and Verma apprised the Chief Minister of the position regarding the bungalow. They said that Mayawati occupied only two rooms in the Mall Avenue bungalow. On May 21, soon after the Yogi government sent notices to PNS n LUCKNOW aced with the prospect of Fgetting evicted from their palatial government bungalows on Vikramaditya Marg, Samajwadi Party patron and former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav offered to pay rent on market rates. Mulayam wrote to estate officer Yogesh Kumar Shukla, seeking two years time to vacate his government house owing to Z-plus security cover and offered to pay rent on market rates till then. Earlier, Mulayam Singh Yadav s son and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also sought two years time from the Yogi Adityanath government to Lucknow (PNS): Amid reports that former Chief Ministers of UP who have been asked to vacate government bungalows are looking for ways to circumvent the Supreme Court order in this regard, petitioner SN Shukla wrote to the estate officer to implement the apex court order in letter and spirit or else face a contempt of court order. Lok Prahari general secretary SN Shukla said in his letter to the estate officer on May 25 that any relaxation sought in this BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra addressing reporters former Chief Ministers asking them to vacate their bungalows, the BSP put up a board at the Mall Avenue bungalow with Shri Kanshi Ram Ji Yadgar Vishram Sthal written on it. Speaking to the media after meeting the Chief Minister, Mishra said that he handed over Mayawati s letter to the CM detailing the situation. The 13-A, Mall Avenue bungalow is Kanshiram Yadgar Vishramalaya and it was also approved in a state Cabinet meeting on January 13, 2011, during BSP regime. Mayawati occupies only two rooms at the Mall Avenue bungalow and when she vacates the premises, these rooms will also become part of the memorial, Mishra Mishra also claimed that Mayawati was allotted 6, Shastri vacate the adjacent bungalow on 4, Vikramaditya Marg, claiming that he did not own any house in Lucknow and for security reasons, he needed a spacious accommodation until he found one. On May 16, Mulayam had called upon Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to seek relief for himself and son Akhilesh. Yadav Senior had suggested that their bungalows be allotted in the name of SP leaders in Vidhan Parishad and Vidhan Sabha. However, the Chief Minister remained non-committal on the matter as the directive to the former Chief Ministers to vacate their official bungalows had come from the Marg bungalow as former Chief Minister of UP but there was no mention about it in the Estate department notice. Mishra said that the BSP requested that she be allowed to stay in that small portion of Mall Avenue bungalow as the major part had a library, murals, statues and other articles related to the BSP founder. The BSP general secretary said that if a notice was served to vacate the second bungalow, Mayawati would adhere to it. Meanwhile, a senior official of the Estate department claimed that as per their knowledge, 13- A, Mall Avenue bungalow was allotted to Mayawati in her capacity as a former Chief Minister. However, we will look into our records to clear the air on the controversy, he added. Former Chief Ministers Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav have sought two years time to vacate their bungalows. Also, former Chief Minister ND Tiwari s wife has asked for a year s time for shifting to a new address. On the other hand, two former Chief Ministers of Bharatiya Janata Party Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh have started vacating their bungalows. Supreme Court. In the letter to the Estate department, Akhilesh claimed that he did not own any residential property in his name in Lucknow. However, the Estate department informed the former Chief Minister that the state government was bound by the apex court order that had annulled the law granting life-term allotment of accommodation to former Chief Ministers. Disposing of a petition filed by Lok Prahari, the Supreme Court on May 7 had quashed a provision in UP Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981, which entitled former Chief Ministers to lifelong May to discuss LS election strategy today PNS n LUCKNOW ahujan Samaj Party chief BMayawati has convened an all important meeting of party national executives in Lucknow on Saturday to discuss the strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In the meeting, there is also a possibility of Mayawati being projected as the prime ministerial candidate. The BSP, which is yet to announce its support to Rashtriya Lok Dal and Samajwadi Party candidates for Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Assembly bypolls scheduled on May 28, will also declare its support to the opposition candidates. Sources in the BSP said on Friday that all senior leaders from across the state and zonal co-ordinators, Rajya Sabha members and UP legislators would participate in the meeting. Recently, the BSP won one Assembly seat in Karnataka by contesting the poll in alliance with Janata Dal (Secular), which has come to power. Besides, in Haryana, the party has announced to go with Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in the coming Lok Sabha polls. For the imminent Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections also, the BSP has announced to field candidates on all the seats. Mulayam offers rent at market rate official accommodation. Later, the government had issued notices to six former Chief Ministers to vacate their official premises in compliance with the apex court directive. They included Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav of SP), Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh and veteran Congress leader Narayan Dutt Tiwari. While, Rajnath and Kalyan have already started the process of shifting, Mulayam, Akhilesh and Mayawati have shown unwillingness to vacate their respective bungalows. Ploy to retain bungalows untenable: Petitioner case beyond two weeks as prescribed in the Act amounted to contempt of court. The day Shukla wrote the letter, BSP chief Mayawati contested the estate department s notice saying that the bungalow where she was staying was a memorial of Kanshi Ram. In his four-page letter, Shukla said,... the ploy of Mayawati to retain her palatial residence at 13-A, Mall Avenue in the name of Shri Kanshiram Yadgar Vishram Sthal is patently untenable as the residence is allotted in her name as former CM of UP and not in the name of the said Sthal. Merely putting up a board in the name of a trust does not convert government bungalow into private memorial. Shukla said that as per news reports Akhilesh Yadav wanted two years time and was planning to move the apex court. A similar request has been made by his father Mulayam Singh while ND Tewari s wife has sought retention of government bungalow (1-A Mall Avenue) for another year. The requests of ex-cms for deferring the implementation of categorical direction in judgement dated in the earlier Writ Petition (C) No. 657/2004 (which has again become effective after the judgement dated ) to ex- CMs to vacate bungalows within two months, are liable to be rejected outright for the simple reason that they are already in contempt of the apex court, Shukla said in his letter. They (former CMs) have not only flouted direction to vacate bungalows for 3 months till its re-allotment in January 2017 under the 2016 Act, but also they have not paid penal rent payable under the rules for the period of their unauthorised occupation of bungalows from the date of first occupation till now, he Shukla even said that the request of Akhilesh Yadav deserved to be summarily rejected as he occupied the second bungalow in utter disregard to the provision in Section 4(1) of the 1981 Act permitting only one government residence. Since his term as MLC has already expired, the state government is under no obligation to provide him any government accommodation in Lucknow. Similarly, request of Mulayam Singh Yadav on identical grounds, is liable to be rejected for similar reasons, he Oppn bid to resurrect traditional Jat-Muslim alliance in Kairana PNS n LUCKNOW Kairana is a challenge for Tabassum Hasan, it may antagonise Jats and they may not us as of the nearly 16 lakh voters at least five lakh are vote for the alliance candidate. ith the aim to upset the WBharatiya Janata Party s Muslims and 2.5 lakh Dalits It is a conscious decision not to applecart in the Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll, the united opposition has sought to resurrect the traditional alliance between Jats and Muslims. By fielding a Muslim candidate, Tabassum Hasan of Rashtriya Lok Dal, whose core voter base is the dominant Jat community in west UP, the opposition is confident that apart from substantial number of Jats. It is a bold step by the united opposition, especially RLD. Many think we committed a mistake by fielding a Muslim candidate and it will help the BJP to polarise voters. But we have to end the divide between the two communities and it is an attempt in that direction, said former minister ly been the voter base of RLD, but the party s poll prospects take the name of Tabassum Hasan and instead seek vote in the name of RLD, the SP leader added. RLD was formed to protect the legacy of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, who brought Muslims and Jats together to become a political force in the western Uttar Pradesh. The party was their candidate would be comfortably and SP leader Ram Asrey withered after the formed in 1996 by his son Ajit home. The alliance of four parties RLD, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and Congress decided to filed a Muslim with the hope of bridging the social divide between the two communities after the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli in Polling in Kairana is due on 28 May. Vishwakarma. The star campaigner argued that if the two communities decided to join hands in bypolls and the social experiment paid off, the existential crisis of RLD could end. The SP decided to give the seat to RLD to contest and the BSP too agreed. It is a sacrifice by both the SP and BSP. Jats and Muslims have traditional- Muzaffarnagar riots when the two communities came to a head and decided not to vote together, the SP leader added. However, the experiment is not easy to implement on ground as RLD leaders refrain from taking the name of Tabassum Hasan in election speeches. RLD leaders fear that if they take the name of Singh, a former Union minister. There is an attempt to make this poll a contest between Hindus and Muslims. People ask us if we are scared. This time we are trying not to let communal divide happen, it won t happen. The two communities are together, said RLD national spokesman Anil Dubey. PNS n LUCKNOW he bypolls in Kairana and Noorpur Twill be a litmus test for Bharatiya Janata Party state president Mahendra Nath Pandey as their results will decide whether he will continue to lead the party in Uttar Pradesh till the 2019 Lok Sabha elections or will be replaced. Voices of dissent have already started emanating from different quarters including the party and government as people who matter believe that under his leadership, the party is yet to make its mark. Some even complain that for Pandey, UP is just Chandauli, the constituency which he represents in Lok Sabha. They also charge him with travelling more in eastern UP than the west and central parts of the state. Tongues have started waging in the party after the BJP lost the Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur. Under Pandey s stewardship, the BJP has contested three bypolls and won only the Sikandara by-election held in Infrastructure majors in fray for Purvanchal Expressway PNS n LUCKNOW The Adityanath government is looking India s largest access controlled express- to invite PM Narendra Modi to way and reduce travel time between nfrastructure majors, including launch the project at Azamgarh, the Lok Ghazipur and Lucknow to less than 5 ILarsen and Tubro and Reliance Sabha constituency of Samajwadi Party hours. The expressway would include infrastructure, are among the seven companies in fray for Yogi Adityanath government s flagship Purvanchal Expressway project that is estimated to cost `18,200 crore. In the financial bids that began on Thursday for the proposed 340-km Purvanchal Expressway, seven companies NCC Limited, Apco Infratech, L&T, PNC Infratech, Gayatri Projects, Afcons Infrastructure and Reliance Infrastructure have emerged as the lowest bidders for the eight packages. The bids will be forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration and subsequent award of the packages to the lowest bidders. This process is likely to take two to three weeks, a senior official disclosed. patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, to send out a strong pro-development message to people in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha poll. The proposed expressway would traverse nine districts Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur. Besides, the expressway will connect all important towns in its periphery like Varanasi, Ayodhya, Allahabad and Gorakhpur through link roads. The expressway will also have a 3-km runway at Kudebhar (Sultanpur) for landing and take-off of fighter planes during emergencies. The Agra- Lucknow Expressway has a similar facility at Unnao district. Purvanchal Expressway would be provisions to lay oil/gas pipeline in future if needed. It would provide seamless connectivity between Eastern UP and National Capital Region (NCR) via 165-km Agra-Greater Noida Yamuna expressway and 302-km Agra-Lucknow Expressway. The project was conceived to be funded through state budget on the lines of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. Now, the government has decided to mop up about `12,000 crore through multilateral funding agencies, such as Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and UAE sovereign fund etc. So far, the state has incurred an expenditure of `6,800 crore for land acquisition from its own resources. Kairana, Noorpur bypolls litmus test for BJP state chief December But the defeats in Gorakhpur and Phulpur have been shocking and have taken away the sheen from Pandey s armour that he gained after the Sikandara bypoll victory. The only saving grace for him was that the prestige of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya were at stake in Gorakhpur and Phulpur and thus the barbs were more pointed towards them than him. The situation will be different in Kairana and Noorpur. Pandey s organisational skill will be put to test in these bypolls, particularly in Kairana, which is hogging highlight as opposition unity has again been put to test in this battle of ballot. A senior leader of the BJP said that the equations were very much against the BJP in Kairana. The anger of Jat, non-payment of cane dues and a unified opposition have made the work very difficult for the party. The Chief Minister addressed two rallies and they somewhat galvanised voters. But the high point is whether they would come out and vote on May 28? he asked. Kairana comprises five Assembly segments of Nakur, Gangoh, Thana Bhawan, Shamli and Kairana. The Lok Sabha constituency has 40 per cent minority votes and a large population of Gujjars, both Hindu and Muslim, numbering around three lakh. Backwards including Jat, Saini. Prajapati and Kashyap, account for four lakh voters while there are over 1.5 lakh Dalit voters in the constituency. The pro-bjp votes include upper caste and Gujjar but they add up to only 3.5 lakh votes. Congress protest today Lucknow (PNS): With a roadshow on bullock cart, tonga, cycles and dragging motorcycles to attract the government s attention over rising petro prices, UP Congress will observe the fourth anniversary of Prime Minister Narednra Modi government on Saturday as Vishwasghat Diwas (Betrayal Day). The Congress will hold protests at all district head-quarters to expose the failures of NDA government on all fronts and also the deteriorating law and order in Uttar Pradesh. BJP slams fatwa to support RLD Lucknow (PNS): Hitting out at Muslim clerics for issuing fatwa in favour of Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate Tabassum Hasan in Kairana, Bharatiya Janata Party state president Mahendra Nath Pandey said that the opposition was dejected and it had started taking the help of religion to influence voters. This is a deplorable attempt by a party to influence voters of a particular religion. Polarisation on religious lines is like an ugly wart on Indian democracy, Pandey said in a statement issued in Lucknow on Friday. Attacking the Samajwadi Party, he said that Akhilesh Yadav had fielded a SP leader on RLD ticket as his party was directly involved in the Muzaffarnagar riots. To avoid people s ire, the SP leadership has used RLD as Shikhandi and is playing its politics through remote control. If this is not true, then why is Akhilesh not campaigning in the Kairana by-election? He knows that the people will ask him why he airlifted a riot accused to Lucknow for discussion. People will ask why traders of a particular religious belief were forced to flee and criminals from other religion were patronised, the BJP state chief Pandey said that at that time, RLD leaders too had criticised the SP leaders but now they were dancing to Akhilesh Yadav s tunes. In Yogi Adityanath raj, law and order has improved. Cane arrears have been cleared. Employment opportunities have been opened for educated youth. People are recognising the government s efforts and this will have an impact on the bypolls, he Printed and Published by Vijay Prakash Singh for and on behalf of CMYK Printech Ltd., 4th Floor, Sahara Shopping Centre, Faizabad Road, Lucknow and Printed at Tin Tin Printech Pvt Ltd., C-33 Amausi Industrial Area, Nadarganj, Lucknow. Tel: (0522) / Editor: Chandan Mitra. Resident Editor: Vijay Prakash Singh. RNI No. 2016/57. Lucknow Telephones: EPABX: Fax: Allahabad Office: (95532) , , Kanpur Office: (95512) , Varanasi Office: (95542) , Delhi Office: Link House, II Floor, 3 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi Tel: (011) ,

3 Follow us on: OPINION 8 IT'S OUR DUTY TO TREAT ANIMALS AS WORLD 11 TRUMP WELCOMES N KOREA REACTION ON TALKS facebook.com/dailypioneer SPORT 15 REAL MADRID FACE REDS IN UCL FINAL LUCKNOW, SATURDAY MAY 26, 2018; PAGES 16 `3 RNI No.2016/1957, REGD NO. SSP/LW/NP-34/ Established 1864 Published From DELHI LUCKNOW BHOPAL BHUBANESWAR RANCHI RAIPUR CHANDIGARH DEHRADUN } MY UPS AND DOWNS HAVE TAUGHT ME 13 VIVACITY Jats kingmakers in Kairana battle } Late City Vol. 154 Issue 142 *Air Surcharge Extra if Applicable United Opp puts up Muslim candidate on pro-jat RLD ticket to woo both communities at daggers drawn after 2013 riots DEEPAK K UPRETI n SHAMLI acked by the Samajwadi BParty and the Bahujan Samaj Party, RLD s Tabassum Hasan is taking on the BJP s Mriganka Singh in the communally sensitive Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll on May 28. The bypoll, which is being fought around a host of local issues, including law and order, the delay or non-payment of sugarcane prices, absence of good roads and schools and perennial traffic jams, will still be impacted by communal polarisation with both sides making desperate attempts. However, the extent of the division of Jat votes among the two groups is certain to play a major role in deciding the outcome of this bypoll. The Jat votes would be divided 50 per cent each to the RLD and the BJP, said Kishan Pal, a voter from Addam village in Shamli. To consolidate their strength against the BJP, the combined Opposition has put up a Muslim candidate on a pro-jat RLD ticket as a strategy to attract both Muslim and Jat voters, who were at loggerheads after the 2013 riots. RLD s candidate is a former BSP MP, who later joined the Samajwadi Party. She is pitted against Mriganka Singh, the daughter of late BJP MP Hukum Singh. Both the candidates belong to Gujjars. Besides the sympathy votes, Mriganka seeks to sail through with the help of Gujjars, upper caste Hindus and votes of a bouquet of Other Backward Castes, including Jats. Unlike 2014 and 2017, a swing of Jat voters to the RLD may make things difficult for the BJP. The battle of Kairana the result of which could provide a firm indication whether the SP-BSP combination may stop the BJP across the Uttar Pradesh in 2019 general elections is still evenly matched and a lastminute change (polarisation) will swing the balance. BJP s Hukum Singh had won with ease the Lok Sabha poll in the aftermath of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots collecting 5,65,909 votes against SP s Nahind Hasan, who polled 2,29,081. Hasan, son of Tabassum, had defeated Mriganka in 2017 Assembly polls and is currently MLA from Kairana. The grand RLD-SP-BSP alliance claims it has the support of 5.80 lakh Muslims, 2.5 lakh Dalits and over 1.70 lakh Jats in Kairana, accounting for roughly 60 per cent of the electorate. The BJP, however, asserts that Gujjars (1.50 lakh, OBC), upper caste Brahmins (about 55,000), Sainis (1.80 lakh OBC) and a range of castes like Kashyaps, Pal and Prjapatis would back the party. The BJP is also counting on the support from section of the Jatav voters who are traditional supporters of the BSP. The BJP s campaign in Kairana is led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who wants to prove a point after the shock Tabassum Hasan defeat of the party in the March Lok Sabha bypolls in his home constituency Gorakhpur and Pahulpur, the constituency of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. Besides, Yogi and Maurya, Jat leaders and BJP MPs Satya Pal (Bagpat), Sanjiv Balyan (Muzaffarnagar) and UP s sugarcane development Minister Suresh Rana are working overtime to win Jat votes for the party. Assurances have been, accordingly, given by the BJP leaders that cases against Jat youths, allegedly involved in riots, would be withdrawn. As the BJP is trying to CASTE POLITICS m In the communally sensitive Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll on May 28, RLD s Tabassum Hasan with support from the SP and the BSP takes on the BJP s Mriganka Singh m RLD's candidate is a former BSP MP, who later joined the Samajwadi Party. retain their 2014 sway with the Jats, RLD supremo Ajit Singh, 79, who had lost ground to the BJP in his home ground culminating his own defeat in the nearby Baghpat Lok Sabha seat in 2014, is trying to win back the votes of his community. The delay in payment to sugarcane farmers has emerged She is pitted against Mriganka Singh, the daughter of late BJP MP Hukum Singh m Besides the sympathy votes, Mriganka seeks to sail through with the help of Gujjars, upper caste Hindus and votes of a bouquet of Other Backward Castes, including Jats Mriganka Singh an important issue in the constituency with three sugar mills. Several people this correspondent interacted with said sugarcane is the main crop of the region and reminded the BJP Government of its promise that the payment would be made within 14 days. Continued on Page 5 Kumaraswamy wins trust of K taka House BJP MLAs walk out KESTUR VASUKI n BENGALURU hief Minister HD CKumaraswamy on Friday won the trust vote with 117 members of the Congress- JD(S) coalition, including two Independents, voting in favour of the trust motion, amid walkout by the BJP members in the Assembly. Before the motion was moved, the House witnessed a fiery war of words between Kumaraswamy and Leader of the Opposition BS Yeddyurappa. All of 104 BJP members led by Yeddyurappa staged a walkout in protest. With the Opposition benches empty, the newly elected Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar declared the confidence motion won by a voice vote. After addressing the members and replying to an emotional speech by Yeddyurappa, Kumaraswamy moved the motion, saying, I seek the support of this House for the confidence motion. The Speaker then put the motion to vote, which was backed by 36 of the JD(S), 77 of the Congress, and one each of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janata Party and an Independent. Though the Assembly strength is 225, including one nominated member, election was held on May 12 in 222 constituencies only. The result threw up a hung House with the BJP emerging as the singlelargest party with 104 seats. Governor Vajubhai Vala first invited Yeddyurappa to form a Government and after he resigned as Chief Minister without proving his majority, the Governor extended the invitation to Kumaraswamy and gave him 15 days to prove the majority on the floor of the House. Earlier in the day, the BJP pulled out of race for Speaker s post by withdrawing its nominee S Sureshkumar. Both Kumaraswamy and Yeddyurappa escorted newly elected Speaker Kumar to his chair. Continued on Page 5 Opp is yet to come of age as Modi turns 4 Mere photo op' by Opp leaders not a formidable challenge to BJP in 2019 polls NAVIN UPADHYAY n NEW DELHI arely in the history of RIndian politics, a non-event like swearing-in of a Chief Minister, that too heading a fledgling coalition, has been watched so keenly as was the case with HD Kumaraswamy s coronation in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Kumaraswamy is nothing but a caste leader and a sub-regional satrap whose appeal is limited to certain pockets of Karnataka. And yet, he was successful in presenting the united colour of Opposition before the nation as a clear message to the Modi-Shah combine that the battle lines have been Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, with his Deputy G Parameshwara, waves to the media at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Friday PTI drawn for the 2019 challenge. But the warmth, greetings, hugs and smiles which pervaded the ambience on Wednesday at the majestic Vidhana Soudha could be misleading. The Opposition has a long way to go before it could think of presenting a respectable challenge to the Modi Government as it completes four years in office on Modi to throw open Eastern Peripheral e-way tomorrow New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) and Phase-I of Delhi Meerut expressway on Sunday, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway, which was built in 500 days, will relieve Delhi from traffic congestion, helping in reducing pollution in the national Capital significantly. Addressing the media, Gadkari said 135-km Expressway, built at a cost of around `11,000 crore, will reduce travel time between Kundli and Palwal in Haryana from over four hours to just 72 minutes. SR Friday. It s one thing to collectively raise hands in a show of unity and it s another thing to transform that photo-op image into reality. The Opposition has several handicaps to overcome. To start with, it would require to present an acceptable face to take on Modi. In the absence of it, Modi would certainly present the Opposition as a warring clan of leaders incapable of providing any sort of stability to the nation. The Opposition would also require to come out with a progressive agenda, which went beyond the jargons of social justice and secularism and kept focus on economic growth and all-round development. But more than anything, the Opposition would need to address State specific issues Centre in no mood to extend Ramzan ceasefire in Kashmir PNS n NEW DELHI the Army chief told reporters in Pahalgam that peace would he Narendra Modi prevail if Pakistan stops infiltration and closes terror camps TGovernment is unlikely to extend the ongoing unilateral ceasefire beyond Ramzan. Top Government sources on Friday indicated that the forces would turn on the heat on terrorists once the holy month is over. While this is the prevailing viewpoint in the Government, Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Friday linked the continuation of the unilateral ceasefire with activities of Pakistan and terrorists sponsored by it. The Government sources said there is no decision on extending the ongoing unilateral ceasefire beyond Ramzan. The ceasefire announced by the Government is not complete ceasefire, but a conditional one. The Centre has asked the security forces not to launch operations during Ramzan, but it has reserved the right to retaliate, if attacked or if it is essential to protect the lives of the innocent people, said sources. Not being so categorical, across the border. We want to restore peace on the borders. But, as you know, there is a continuous violation of ceasefire by Pakistan which causes loss of life and property to the people. When such an action takes place, we also have to respond. We cannot hold back our hands, he said, adding, the ceasefire violation would be retaliated at any cost. Holding out an olive branch in Jammu & Kashmir, the Army chief on Friday also hinted at extension of unilateral ceasefire beyond Ramzan on the condition that terrorists equally reciprocated. Continued on Page 5 that could come in the way of a broad-based anti-bjp unity. There are at least eight to nine States where the Opposition is sharply divided. These include Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi. In these States, Opposition parties would have to come together to either put up a united challenge against the BJP, or preempt the possibility of any of them drifting to the BJP in post-poll scenario. Take the case of Andhra Pradesh. The absence of Jagan Mohan Reddy at the Kumaraswamy s swearing-in function was grist to the rumour mills that kept churning speculation about some underhand deal between him and the BJP. Of course, Jagan Mohan could not risk entering into any direct electoral pact with the BJP because of the prevailing anti-bjp mood in the State, but post poll he could easily break the Opposition rank. Given the animosity between the Congress and the TDP, the prospect of an Opposition unity in Andhra is also a difficult proposition. Telangana poses another challenge of a different kind. Here the BJP is not a force, but the TRS and the Congress are locked in a bitter political battle of supremacy. K Chandrasekhar Rao is not ready to do any business with the Congress and wants to project himself as the torchbearer of the unity of the regional parties. His dislike for the Congress is so profound that he preferred to fly to Bengaluru a day before the swearing-in to congratulate HDK without being forced to rub shoulders with the Congress leaders a day later. Continued on Page 5 CSULE BJP LEADERS POINTED GUVS OF MIZORAM, ODHISA New Delhi: BJP leaders Ganeshi Lal and K Rajasekharan were on Friday appointed as Governors of Odisha and Mizoram respectively, sources COURT OF ENQUIRY AGAINST MAJOR GOGOI Srinagar: The Army ordered a court of enquiry against Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, who was detained by police earlier this week following an altercation when he was allegedly trying to enter a hotel with an 18-year-old girl, officials CBSE CLASS XII RESULTS TODAY New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is all set to declare its Class 12 results on Saturday. The Class 10 examination results are also likely to be announced soon on the official website of the board - cbseresults.nic.in or cbse.nic.in. Modi swears by India-Bangla bonhomie, Hasina seconds PM Sharing dais with B desh PM at Shantiniketan, Modi invokes Gurudev SAUGAR SENGUPTA n KOLKATA ndia and Bangladesh are Ipassing through a golden era of mutual relationship, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday pledging more cooperation to the neighbouring country s space programmes. The PM, who was speaking at the 49th convocation of Central university Vishwabharati, Shantiniketan in the presence of his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina a special invitee to the programme for inauguration of the Bangladesh Bhavan on the university campus said for quite some time now the golden period of India-Bangladesh has been under way, even as he congratulated Dhaka for launching its first satellite. He promised more cooperation in the field of space technology in years to come, adding the two countries face similar challenges on a host of issues like climate change. He said the two countries had many bonds of unity of which Shantiniketan was one, symbol of unity that could neither be divided by the British nor by the politics of partition, adding joined in collaboration, cooperation and understanding be it culture or public policy Bangladesh and India can learn a lot of things from each other. Acknowledging India s help to Bangladesh, Hasina said, We are getting all cooperation from India. Our only enemy is poverty and we want to remove it. We are working towards that goal and India is helping us in our efforts. Together we have resolved many bilateral issues in an amicable way for the benefit of both the countries. Although there are issues that still need to be taken care of, I do not wish to mention them at this programme, she Hasina said, There may still be some problems and we hope to resolve those issues in a friendly atmosphere. Hailing Bangabandhu Mujibur Rehman, Modi said he is equally respected in India, the two countries would continue to develop their mutual friendship in times to come. Reminding that Bangabandhu himself was a great admirer of Poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore --- who is equally revered in Bangladesh, Modi said, The fight for Bangladesh s freedom might have been across the border but the inspiration came from this side. The pain of bloodshed on that side was felt here too. Earlier, the PM welcomed Hasina both of whom inaugurated the Bangladesh Bhavan. Amid huge applause, Modi who started his speech in perfect Bengali without reading out from any script, expressed his great joy at being present at the convocation of the university once established by Tagore. Continued on Page 5 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, during the annual convocation of Visva Bharati University, in Birbhum, on Friday PTI

4 Za Z Z LUCKNOW SATURDAY MAY 26, 2018 city 04 Lucknow jumps from frying pan into fire! he state capital recorded a Tmaximum temperature of 43.3 degree Celsius which was 4 degrees above normal making it an extremely hot day for the denizens who have been reeling under the hot weather conditions for the past several days. Even the minimum temperature was 27.5 degree Celsius which was 2 degrees above normal. In the state, Agra was the hottest recording a maximum 45.4 degree Celsius. The other districts which recorded high temperatures were Orai at 43.5 degree Celsius, Banda at 44.2 degree Celsius and Aligarh at 43.8 degree Celsius. The Met department has forecast mainly clear skies for Lucknow with the maximum and the minimum temperature hovering around 43 and 27 degree Celsius respectively. The weather will be dry in the state and there is a warning of heat wave conditions in isolated parts of the state. In the state capital, hot winds blowing in the afternoon brought in the feel of the extreme summer heat. Locals DM orders summer vacations Lucknow (PNS): Looking into extreme heat wave conditions, District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma ordered the closure of all schools for classes up to Class X for summer vacations from Monday. He said that all schools, which had not closed for vacations, would be having Saturday as the last working day. He added that schools closed for summer vacations would open after the vacations on the date decided by respective management. tried to beat the heat with juices and fluids. Commuters moving on the two-wheelers have been facing a harrowing time with the high temperature conditions. For those who remained in the house opted for chilled environment. A woman covers her child with dupatta to protect him from the blistering heat in the state capital Pioneer Tight security arrangements for V-P s visit Traffic dept announces diversions District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma during a meeting with senior officials in Lucknow on Friday 13-yr-old among two girls raped wo incidents of rape were reported from Tdifferent places in the state capital in the past 24 hours. The first incident was reported from Madiaon area where a 13-year old girl was raped by a boy who is a year senior to her in the school. The crime was committed in the open field located near their houses on Thursday at 9 pm. She is a student of VII at a local school. She left her house at attend the call of nature at night. The police did not confirm whether he was waiting for her in the field or following her from the house. He lives in the same locality. The attention of villagers was drawn when she screamed but when they rushed to rescue her, they found both in a compromising position. The girl s father in the wee hours on Friday lodged a complaint at the Madiaon police station alleging that her daughter was raped by a teenager when she went to a nearby field to ease herself. The place of occurrence from her house was stated to be 250 metres. She was sent for medical test while he would be sent to a juvenile house for counselling. In the second incident, a 23-year-old housewife was raped in Kakori area on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday in a room of her house. The police said that Haroon living in the same locality barged into the room at 2.30 am while her husband was sleeping in the courtyard. Haroon is a barber by profession and is running the business from a makeshift shop there. Her husband raised an alarm when he suddenly woke up to find what was going inside the room. Haroon was caught with the help of locals and handed over to the police. She was sent for the medical test while Haroon landed in the jail. ater crisis in Trans- WGomti areas will be over by Saturday as the water released from Sharda canal reached Dewa road s pumping station in the afternoon and is being pumped to reach Kathauta lake by Friday night. Meanwhile, residents in Gomti Nagar and Indira Nagar continued to face water crisis on Friday. The Jal Kal department stated that the supply would be normalised from Saturday onwards. This information was shared by chief executive engineer, Jal Kal department at Gomti Nagar, BN Mishra,. D istrict Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma on Friday held a meeting with senior officials regarding the visit of Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu to the state capital on Saturday. He directed the officials to ensure that the road divider from KGMU to Daliganj was painted and barricades put in place The DM also told the SP (Traffic) to ensure there were proper traffic management near the two venues which the Vice-President would visit. He issued directions for proper parking arrangements at Divine Hospital for the function at Uttar Pradesh Regulatory Commission Office and at Scientific Convention Centre. The District Magistrate directed the Electricity department to ensure that along the routes, no wires should be dangling. LMRC officials were also told that no construction would be carried out on the day of the Vice-President s visit. The Lucknow Municipal Corporation officials were directed to keep the city clean, remove stray cattle and construction material from the roads. Meanwhile, the District Magistrate also held a meeting for the arrangements made for Ramzan and Eid-ul-Fitr. He However, the pressure generated by suffering residents kept Jal Kal officials on their 20-year-old youth died Aunder mysterious circumstance in a room of a rented house in Nigoha area in the wee hours on Friday. He was identified as Rabbani Ansari and his class-mates said he committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of the room. No suicide note was found from him or the room. Rabbani s father Mohammad Nasser alleged his son was murdered by his seniors in the college. He alleged that his son was severely beaten up by them on Thursday evening in which he sustained serious injuries and succumbed to injuries at Trauma Centre later at night. However, the father did directed the LMC officials to ensure that garbage was collected from houses and arrangements were made for availability of water. Sharma also told the health officials to make arrangements for anti-tetanus and anti-rabies injections apart from ambulances. He said ambulances should be stationed at Talkatora, Chowk Kotwali and Bazaarkhala. He also issued directions for tight security for the 19th Ramzan and 21st Ramzan processions and said the same would be monitored by drones along the route. LESA officials were also directed to ensure regular power supply without disruptions. n interview of Bahrain-based Aunderworld don Ali Budesh aired by an electronic channel pointed that ganglord Dawood Ibrahim is behind the recent threats to Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs and some other prominent leaders. Sources said that in the telephonic interview, Budesh said that the threats to BJP MLAs on their WhatsApp were orchestrated by ganglord Dawood Ibrahim through his trusted aide Chhota Shakeel. Budesh, who is operating separately from Bahrain after parting ways with Dawood, claimed over phone that he was aware that someone was using his name for making extortion calls to leaders in UP, Mumbai, Delhi and other places. He claimed that it was Dawood s move to defame him. Earlier, the threat messages sent to the UP legislators showed Ali Budesh as the sender and the messages were forwarded from a landline number from Texas (USA). Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by IG (STF) Amitabh Yadav is reportedly in contact with different intelligence agencies regarding the threats to the MLAs. DGP OP Singh, who was in Bareilly, claimed that the case would be worked out soon. The UP Police are in contact with different intelligence agencies besides Intelligence Bureau, and work is in progress in this regard, the DGP told media persons in Bareilly. There toes. We expect that normal supply in all Trans-Gomti areas could be restored by tomorrow, not state the motive for the beating and alleged his son was not enjoying good relations with his seniors living in the same house on rent. He named Abhishek Singh, Vikas Kumar, Rajni Kant, Manjeet Singh and Mohita in the complaint lodged with the Nigoha police on Friday morning. They noticed the body was hanging from the ceiling of the room by his seniors at he Traffic Department Tannounced traffic diversions in the wake of the Vice- President s visit to the city on May 26. The traffic officials said that these diversions would remain in force from 6 am till the time the programme concluded. Heavy vehicles coming from the Kanpur side will not be allowed to move towards the Chaudhary Charan Singh (Amausi) Airport and the Shaheed Path. These vehicles will be diverted towards Mohanlalganj and Gosainganj and the Mohaan Road. These vehicles will also not be allowed to move from the Shaheed Path turning on Kanpur Road towards the Shaheed Path, Vijaypuri, Shaheed Path, Kamta Shaheed Path and Gomtinagar. Heavy vehicles coming from the Buddheshwar Crossing side will not be allowed to move towards Bara Birwa and will be diverted towards the Mohaan Road. Heavy vehicles coming from the Rae Bareli Road side will not be allowed to move Dawood behind threat messages Sources said that in a telephonic interview, underworld don Ali Budesh said the threats to BJP MLAs were orchestrated by Ibrahim through his aide Chhota Shakeel is no need to panic... It (threat call) is not just to the state s MLAs but also to eminent personalities elsewhere, who are not public representatives. They, too, are getting such messages, Singh On Thursday, senior police officer had suspected that he extortion and threat messages were the handiwork of professional hackers using a proxy server to create panic. Over 22 legislators, most from the ruling BJP, got threats over SMS or WhatsApp, asking them to pay Rs 10 lakh or be ready for the elimination of their kin. Trans-Gomti water crisis to ease today The dried-up Kathauta lake on Friday evening Pioneer Mishra stated. General manager, Jal Kal department, Shailendra Kumar Verma stated that normal water supply would be restored from Saturday onwards. Meanwhile, Jal Kal officials were busy supplying water through its tankers in areas mainly Ismailganj ward, Sarvoday Nagar, Kurmanchal Nagar, Luv Kush Nagar, sector 117, sector 11, B block, behind Ujala apartments, and Vikas Bhawan road. Executive engineer JK Tripathi said: With the timely arrival of 10 tankers from the head office, we are able to meet the demand arising out of the present crisis caused by the Kathauta lake supply. Mystery shrouds youth s death 10 pm on Thursday and they rushed him to Trauma Centre. One of them informed the deceased s father that he was seriously ill and was taken to Trauma Centre for treatment. The police said that the deceased was the resident of Mahanagar area and was a student of B.Tech first year of a local engineering college and living in a room of the house owned by Rajendra Gupta. The house was shared by his seniors too. Perhaps, his death was the outcome of ragging. The police registered an FIR on Friday evening naming on the basis of a complaint lodged by his father naming all his seniors. Investigation was in progress to ascertain the motive for his death. towards the SGPGI but will be diverted towards Gosainganj and Haidergarh. Heavy vehicles coming from the Sultanpur Road side will not be allowed to move towards Gosainganj and will be diverted towards Katiabagh and Mohanlalganj. These vehicles will also not be allowed to ply from the Kamta Shaheed Path-Faizabad trifurcation towards Shaheed Path. They will be diverted towards Barabanki and Mohanlalganj. Heavy vehicles coming from the Faizabad and Barabanki sides will not be allowed to ply towards the Kamta Shaheed Path but will be diverted towards the 10th PAC Barabanki Crossing and then towards the Kursi Road and Itaunja.Regarding the diversion of smaller vehicles the traffic officials said that they would be imposed from 12 noon till the time the programme finished. The traffic will not be allowed to move from the Bandariya Bagh Crossing and from in front of the Raj Bhawan towards Hazratganj. This traffic will be diverted towards the Lucknow Golf Club. The smaller vehicles will not be allowed to move from the DSO Crossing in Hazratganj towards the Raj Bhawan. This traffic will be diverted towards the Park Road. The vehicles will also not be allowed to move from Vijaypuri Shaheed Path underpass Crossing towards the Kisan Bazar underpass crossing and will be diverted towards the CII Crossing and the Information Commissioner s Office. The traffic will not be allowed to move from the Medical College Crossing to the Shahmina trifurcation but will be diverted towards the City Station and Rakabganj bridge. Small vehicles will not be allowed to move from the Divine Hospital over bridge crossing towards the Regulatory Commission building but will be diverted towards the Kathauta Crossing. Vehicles will also not be allowed to ply from the Hahnemann Crossing towards the Divine Hospital but will ply towards the Sahara Hospital and Husadiya Crossing. dk;kzy; mi funs'kd jkt; d`f"k mriknu e.mh ifj"kn] m0iz0] fdlku e.mh Hkou] xkserh uxj] y[kuåa i=kad % fnukad vfr&vyidkyhu bz&fufonk lwpuk fueufyf[kr dk;ks a dh bz&fufonk;s a forrh; :i ls lqn`<+ ewy fuekzrk deifu;ks a ls fnukad vijkug 1-30 cts bz&vsumfjax ds ek/;e ls vkuykbzu dk;kzy; mifuns'kd jkt; d`f"k mriknu e.mh ifj"kn] y[kuå esa [kksyh tk;sxha mä bz&fufonk;sa fnukad dks vijkug 5%00 cts rd osclkbzv ij vku ykbzu Hkjdj viyksm dh tk ldrh gsa bz&fufonknkrk dks fnukad vijkug 1%00 cts rd lelr fcm MkD;wesUV,oa iathdj.k ls lacaf/kr lelr vko';d izi= lfgr dk;kzy; mifuns'kd 0½] jkt; f"k mriknu e.mh ifj"kn] y[kuå es a tek djuk vfuok;z gksxka Øe dk;z dk uke fufonk dk;z dh /kjksgj dk;ziw.kz la0 ewy; vuqekfur /kujkf'k djus dh th0,l0vh0 ykxr ¼yk[k es a½ vof/k lfgr ¼#0 es a½ ¼yk[k es a½ 1 fdlku e.mh Hkou] o"kz xkserh uxj] y[kuå es a LFkkfir fy Vks a ds lapkyu gsrq fy V vkijsvj] iei lapkyu gsrq iei vkijsvj,oa fo qrhdj.k ejeer dk;z gsrq bysdvªhf'k;u ¼lHkh dq'ky,oa vuqhkoh dehz½ miyc/k djk;s tkus dk dk;za 2 fdlku e.mh Hkou] o"kz xkserh uxj] y[kuå es a LFkkfir 01 ux oh0bz0 vkbz0,oa 06 ux isls atj fy Vks a dk okf"kzd deiz sgsfulo esuvhusul dk dk;za fu;e o 'krs 1- fcm ds lkfk uku fjqamsfcy fufonk ewy; dk fmekam Mªk V,oa fcm ds lkfk Åij of.kzr /kjksgj /kujkf'k dh fdlh jk"vªh;d`r csad dk,q0mh0vkj0 tks mi funs'kd jkt; f"k mriknu e.mh ifj"kn] y[kuå ds uke cu/kd gks layxu djuk vfuok;z gsa 2- bz&vsumfjax }kjk fufonk fnukad % dh lk;a 5-00 cts rd csolkbv ds }kjk izkir dh tk;sxha mlds mijkur Lor% osclkbv cun gks tk;sxha 3- Bsdsnkjksa }kjk nh x;h bz&fufonk dh njsa 90 fnu rd eku; gksxha 4- : dk LVkEi isij tks Vsªtjh dk;kzy; ls tkjh gqvk gks ds lkfk : dk jsosu;w fvdv yxkdj tek djuk vfuok;z gs A 5- Øekad&01 dh bz&fufonk mugha Qeks a dh eku; gksxh tks th0,l0vh0] ih0,q0] bz0,l0vkbz0,oa Je fohkkx esa jftlvmz gksaxha mijksdr dk jftlvsª'ku izek.k&i= izlrqr djuk vfuok;z gksxka 6- th0,l0vh0 ds fu;eks a ds vuqlkj th0,l0vh0 pyku izlrqr djuk gksxka pyku izlrqr u djus ij vxys ns;d dk Hkqxrku ugha fd;k tk;sxka 7- lelr VSDl,oa Je fohkkx ds fu;eksa ds vuqlkj dvksrh Bsdsnkj ds ns;d ls dh tk;sxha A 8- bz&fufonknkrk ckj dkmfuly dk lnj; ugha gksuk pkfg,,sls fufonknkrk dks fufonk Mkyus dh vuqefr ugha gksxh ftuds lxs lecu/kh ¼çFke CyM fjysvsm½] e.mh ifj"kn esa dk;zjr gksxk 9- osclkbv ls MkmuyksM fd;s x;s QkeZ esa fdlh Hkh rjg dh fhkuurk dh flfkfr eas dk;kzy; esa vuqjf{kr fufonk QkeZ dh ewyçfr gh eku; gksxha 10-,d ;k lelr bz&fufonk;s fcuk dkj.k crk;s fujlr djus dk iw.kz vf/kdkj mifuns'kd jkt; f"k mriknu e.mh ifj"kn m0ç0] y[kuå dks gksxka 11-,sls jktif=r ftudks jkt; ljdkj vfkok dsuæ ljdkj dh lsok ls lsok fuo`rr gq, nks o"kz ls de vof/k gqbz gks] dks bz&fufonk Mkyus dk vf/kdkjh ugha gksxk A 12- Øekad&01 dh bz&fufonk mugha QeksZa dh eku; gksxh ftuds ikl de ls de 05 o"kksza dk vuqhko,oa 300 dfez;ksa dk th0,l0vh0] ih0,q0] bz0,l0vkbz0 03 o"kksza dk tek gksxka 13- Øekad&02 dh bz&fufonk mugha QeksZa dh eku; gksxh ftuds ikl de ls de 18 ls 20 o"kz vuqj{k.k dk vuqhko gksxka bl vk'k; dk izek.k&i= tek djuk vfuok;z gksxka 14- Øekad&02 dh bz&fufonk mugha QeksZa dh eku; gksxh ftuds ikl rhu o"kksza esa 2 djksm+ dk VuZ vksoj gksxk] VuZ vksoj dk izek.k&i= izlrqr djuk vfuok;z gksxka mifuns'kd

5 city 05 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 OPP IS YET... The BJP has reasons to gloat over the Telangana situation. Odisha presents another test for the anti-bjp opposition. In the recent past, Chief Minister Navin Patnaik has missed no opportunity to let down the Opposition. His absence at the Kumaraswamy s swearing-in ceremony did not surprise anyone. There is little chance that the BJD and the Congress could bury their differences and take on the BJP united in the 2019 general elections. Maharashtra offers a unique opportunity for the Opposition. The Congress and the NCP fought like cats and dogs in the 2015 elections and rightly paid the price. In the upcoming May 28 bypolls for Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha seat, the Congress is supporting NCP s Madhukar Kukde against the BJP s Hemant Patle. Interestingly, the Shiv sena has not fielded any candidate here, ostensibly to help the Opposition. On the other hand, the Shiva Sena is taking on the BJP at Palghar in a four-cornered contest where the Congress and the CPI(M) are also in the fray. If the Sena went ahead and contested the 2019 election on its own, the Congress and NCP may gain tremendously in Maharashtra. The State sends 48 MPs to Lok Sabha, and a reverse here could be a big setback for the BJP. If the Sena did not go back to the BJP, then a tacit understanding between Congress- NCP combine and Sena could not be ruled out for the 2019 general elections. In Delhi, much will depend if the Congress and the A could leave their hostility behind to take on the BJP, which had won all the seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital in Similarly, the A and the Congress will need to mend fences in Punjab to prevent the Akali Dal-BJP combine to resurrect itself from the ashes of the Assembly poll debacle. In Haryana, too, the Opposition is badly fragmented. If the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal decided to go separately and the A also jumps into fray, it will be advantage BJP. In West Bengal, where the BJP has emerged as a major challenger to the TMC, there is little prospect of an Opposition unity given the hostility between the Left and the TMC. However, Mamata may be forced to join hands with the Congress to stop the BJP from turning its growing acceptance into seats. A top BJP leader on Friday said they hoped to win at least 22 seats in West Bengal. While this could be a tall claim, if the Opposition remained divided the BJP is bound to make spectacular gains in the State. The year-end Assembly polls of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh will also test the sincerity of the Opposition to put a joint front against the BJP. It will be interesting to see if the BSP joins hands with the Congress in these three States to consolidate the Dalit vote bank. While the BSP is not a major force in any of these States, it could play a key role in deciding the outcome. On Thursday, MP Congress Committee chief Kamal Nath said his party was open to an alliance with like-minded Opposition parties for the Assembly polls. Congress leaders say that the party would like to have understanding with the Samajwadi Party and the BSP in the State where the BJP bears the burden of 15 years of antiincumbency. Between now and the 2019 general elections, regional satraps will also have to decide whether they want to forge a third front without the Congress or cobble together a broad-based anti-bjp platform where the Congress will naturally like to be the big brother. JATS KINGMAKERS... Rana, also an MLA from Tahan Bhawan Assembly seat in Kairana, said there was bumper production of sugarcane and that prices of sugar fell down but still the Government made payments in time. He quoted RLD leader Janyant Chopudhary (son of Ajit Sngh) jibe Jinnah Nahin, Ganna chalega (it is not Jinnah but sugarcane that is the real issue here) and retorted, I am also saying Ganna is important in Kairana. Balyan said 50 per cent of payment has been made to farmers and only 50 per cent remained. By the election day, floating voters will be with us. We have restored law and order. There were seven encounters in Shamli with criminals, he He predicted a win for Mriganka saying she lost in Assembly as his nephew Anil Chauhan, who had contested from the Lok Dal is now back in the BJP. Presently four of the Kairana s assembly segments are with the BJP and one with the SP. One thing seemed very clear that Thana Bhawan Assembly segment was not favourably inclined to the BJP and the RLD may have an upper hand there. Former SP Lok Sabha MP from Azamgarh Balaram Yadav, who was also camping in Kairana dismissed BJP s claim of winning the seat saying people were not happy with the Modi Government and jumlebazi and the SP-BSP combine is ready to defeat communal forces. He predicted that the RLD would win Kairana with a margin of two lakh votes. At the bustling Shamli Bazar, local trader and transporter Sanjay Pawar said the battle is evenly matched and the BJP could win with the votes of Gujjars, Sainis, Nai, Thakur and even SCs. He said Hindu- Muslim polarisation would go in favour of the BJP. Pawar said that Modi is still the best bet for the country and credits him for keeping sugar mills running in the region. Muslims here have only one aim that is to defeat the BJP, Pawar said with a deadpan expression. While Pawar is charitable towards the BJP, some of the traders (also BJP supporters) in the same market said officials are not implementing what the Chief Minister promises. Nothing changes here, roads are bad, no bypass, continuous traffic jam and no good schools, said Sanjay. Children seem to be going to as far as Karnal in Haryana over two-hour journey to study in good schools. Asked about triple talaq as an issue in Kairana bypoll, Saud Ahmed a transporter, who does business with Hindu partners said, It is never an issue as it is an attempt by the BJP to interfere with our religion that gives enough rights to women. The next two days will be crucial as Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a function in nearby Bangpat on Sunday, a day before Kairana goes to polls. MODI SWEARS... Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore said the world is one nest, one home. Tagore was a global citizen who gave his entire life to the belief that world is one family but always stressed on holding on to his Indian-ness, said the PM, adding during his travels abroad I found people everywhere treating Gurudev with great respect. Departing from set norms where the PM as the Chancellor of the university delivers a formal speech, Modi expressed his apologies for shortage of drinking water and said, While I was coming to this place some students gestured about shortage of drinking water and as the Chancellor of the University I seek your apology. The PM is the Chancellor of Shantiniketan established by Tagore in I hold this institution in great esteem, the PM said reminding simplicity is the main principle of Shantiniketam. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and State Governor KN Tripathi were also present in the function. Hasina is known to have requested Modi to build pressure on Myanmar to take back their citizens (read the Rohingyas), sources The two leaders met for about half-an-hour in the sidelines of convocation held at Vishwabharati University, Shantiniketan. Although I was not present in the meeting, we can say that bilateral issues, issues related to politics and security were also discussed, Bangladesh Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam Hasina had in her speech said that Bangladesh was ready to even share its food with large number of Rohingyas who had taken shelter in her country fleeing Myanmar but added that country should take them back. On whether the two sides held discussions on Teesta water sharing issue Alam said issues can be solved through discussions, adding we have full faith in Prime Minister Modi. The Bangladesh PM is scheduled to hold talks with Mamata on Saturday. On whether Teesta issue would be raised then Banerjee had refused to comment as it was matter of international importance. CENTRE IN NO... He said the suspension of operations against ultras in Kashmir during the month of Ramzan has been done to give the people sense of peace and normalcy. The way an atmosphere of peace has prevailed during these days, the people are very happy. If this atmosphere of peace continues, then I assure you that we will think about continuing with NICO (non-initiation of combat operations). But if there is some action by the terrorists, then we will have to rethink on this ceasefire or suspension of operations or NICO, he declared. Meanwhile, terrorists killed a north Kashmir resident by slitting his throat while police foiled a rifle-snatching bid at a power grid station in south Kashmir s Anantnag district. In another incident, a sniffer dog was killed when ultras hurled a grenade at an Army camp in Kulgam district of south Kashmir. Sources said throat-slit body of a man Muhammad Maqbool Wagay was found at Gund Prang Hajin area of north Kashmir s Bandipora district. A police official said that the victim was a butcher by profession who was abducted from his home by unknown gunmen. His throatslit body was recovered by locals during pre-dawn hours who informed police. Hundreds of people participated in the last rites. The police blamed the Lashkar-e- Tayyeba for these killings. Reacting on the ceasefire in the Valley, General Rawat said the suspension of anti-terror operations in Jammu & Kashmir was an attempt to make people realise the benefits of peace. Rawat was interacting with reporters at the Army Goodwill School at Pahalgam in Anantnag after inaugurating the digital education facility at the school. If the situation continues to stay peaceful then they will think about continuing with a unilateral ceasefire. But if the ultras carry out action then we will have to rethink, Rawat If Pakistan really wants peace, then we will want them to take the first step by stopping infiltration of terrorists into our side. The ceasefire violation mostly takes place to aid infiltration, Rawat added. We want peace at borders but as you know Pakistan continuously violates ceasefire that causes loss of life and property and in such a case we have to retaliate, he added. KUMARASWAMY... This is the second time Kumar has been elected as the speaker in Karnataka. Earlier he was the Speaker of the Assembly from 1994 to Moving the trust motion, Kumaraswamy spoke about circumstances in which he became the Chief Minister and explained in detail how he accepted to join the coalition with the Congress to keep the BJP at bay. We will be stable for five years. We will work for the people. We are not here to fulfill our personal interests. I am also pained that the people have not placed their trust on me, he I am not hankering for power... nor my (Gowda) family... we have spent much of our political life in the Opposition, Kumaraswamy Defending his decision to form the Government in alliance with the Congress, he said he was trying to correct the mistake he made in 2006, by joining hands with the BJP, which was a decision that had hurt his father. Hitting out at Yeddyurappa, the CM said being a custodian of democracy, how could the BJP leader make a statement stating he would not allow any other party to form the Government. He is the custodian of democracy. We are now 118 in strength, including Congress, Janata Dal (S), BSP and Independents. We submitted the letter to the Governor requesting him to allow us to form the government. However, he chose to invite the single largest party and gave them 15 days time to prove their majority. This has not happened in other states, Kumaraswamy said, as he moved the motion for the floor test. The Opposition feels the mandate is theirs, but I am yet to understand how they believe it to be so. In 2004 also it was a similar situation. I came to the Assembly then and observed the developments and discussions from the last bench. Today, I am being labelled as a controversial politician, he In his speech, Yeddyurappa warned Congress that JD(S) has a history of betrayal. He alleged that there are several charges of corruption against the Gowda family. He warned that the JD(S) had betrayed BJP in the past and may do the same with the Congress. He warned of a Statewide protest if Kumaraswamy did not waive farm loans in 24 hours. It was you who had promised waiving farm loans within 24 hours (after assuming office). The farmers will not be ready to buy your stories that you head a coalition Government and it has its own compulsions. You have to announce it in this special session itself. Else we will prepare an action plan to launch our agitation across the State, Yeddyurappa Two held for running fake job racket T wo persons were arrested on Friday evening for their involvement in running a gang which used to take a huge amount of money from women promising them to provide jobs as maid servants. They were identified as 28-year old Jalal Sheikh and Heera Sahani (27), both natives of Bihar and presently living in New Delhi. Four mobile phone sets, six sets of photographs of those who applied for the jobs and three Aadhaar cards were found from their possession. They were arrested by the joint team of Mahanagar police station and Special Task force (STF) from Badshahnagar railway station at 5 pm. They confessed to their crime during the interrogation. The police said that Subhashi Singh, a resident of New Hyderabad colony under Lucknow (PNS): For city denizens, among the various options of eating out will be at Lucknow Metro station. Senior PRO, LMRC, Amit Srivastava said that the vendor area development process, which is on, was likely to have restaurants and eating joints at the stations once the entire North-South corridor became operational. Talking to The Pioneer, Srivastava said people could stop at any station to snatch a bite. There will be a range of shops coming up on the stations for passengers, he Incidentally, for shoppers, it will be a convenient way of moving on the stations and CITYBRIEFS LEGAL AID CAMP A free legal aid camp was organised by Unity Law and Degree College on its campus on Friday. As many as 15 persons of the locality were benefited by the camp which was conducted by advocate Atul Kishore, who gave advice to the litigants free of cost. The camp was inaugurated by college coordinator Asma Jawed along with teachers and staff. She said they were committed to organising such camps so that poor people might be benefitted. FOUNDATION DAY The 107th Annual Foundation Day and Prof RC Shukla oration is being organised by the department of Physiology and Physiology Society along with PI Lucknow branch at Selby Hall two-day workshop to highlight the Aimportance of herbs and herbal products kicked off at Regional Science City on Friday. This workshop is being conducted by senior scientist Anand Akhila, who retired from CIM. About 25 participants are taking part and learning the methods for making herbal cosmetics at home. The scientist said that the indiscriminate use of cosmetics on human body had increased manifold during the past two decades and once their side-effects started showing up another industry started taking over the manufacture of these cosmetics known as herbal products. The herbal product market in India is already worth several million dollars. Taking advantage of this human psychology, small and big herbal companies have sprung up. Though there are products which may be 100 pc herbal still in most of these herbal cosmetics the base material is one chemical or the other with only 4 to 5 per cent of natural ingredients, he Mahanagar police station on May 18, lodged a complaint with the SSP stating she had given Rs 50,000 to Ajit Placement Services Centre for securing a job. She was told by the employee on duty to contact the office after three days. But the office was found closed and the mobile phone switched off when she contacted company officials on May 21. She suspected that she had been deceived by the company and lodged a complaint with the SSP following day. During the interrogation, (Brown Hall) of KGMU on Saturday. Prof BS Shankaranarayana Rao of Neurophysiology department (NIMHANS, Bengaluru) will deliver a lecture on The everchanging brain and new challenges in treating neurological and psychiatric disorders. The function will be presided over by KGMU Vice-Chancellor Dr MLB Bhatt. DHARNA CONTINUES The ongoing statewide work boycott by UP Sahkari Evam Panchayat Lekha Pariksha Ministerial Karmachari Sangh continued for the second day on Friday. The members who staged a dharna on Friday on the ninth floor of Cooperative Societies and Panchayats included Rajesh Mishra, Seema Dubey, Vibhawari, Neeta Singh, Pallavi Akhila demonstrated the preparation of several herbal cosmetic products in a two-day-long workshop organised for the home-makers, working women and budding entrepreneurs at the Regional Science City in Aliganj. He demonstrated that though certain cosmetic products could be made totally herbal like hair oils but shampoos, soaps, washing powders, toothpastes are very much likely to have one chemical or more chemicals as base materials or preservatives. Under such circumstances it would not be fair to call them totally herbal. Sheikh told the police that they designed a website known as Quicker Just Dial and set up two fake placement companies by the name of Ajit Placement Services Centre and Urmila Placement Services Centre. The company used to charge Rs 50,000 from each woman for registering their names. Sheikh said that he used to take Rs 500 to provide them with Aadhaar card and voters ID cards and added fudged cards were given to them. There were three categories of maid servants: untrained maid servant with Rs 3,500 monthly salary, semi-trained whose monthly salary was fixed at Rs 5,000 and trained maid servant would be paid Rs 7,000 per month. He said the women were bought from Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam on the promising they would be employed in Delhi, Srinagar cities of Punjab and Rajasthan. Eateries to come up at Metro stns Students posing for a group selfie at the farewell party of Guru Nanak Girls College on Friday Workshop on herbs, herbal products kicks off at RSC snatching a bite. The swanky background of the station will prove to be a further attraction for commuters. Meanwhile, Srivastava said that Metro Man E Sreedharan would be arriving at the state capital on May 30. Sreedharan will inspect the North-South corridor and will also go through the final detailed project report (DPR) which has been submitted to LMRC by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. After he has gone through the report, it will be go to the Board of Directors and then will be submitted to the state government, he Asked when the construction of East-West corridor would start, Srivastava said according to higher authorities, it was likely to begin by yearend. LMRC officials have said in the past that the construction of North-South and East- West corridors will help facilitate passengers. The East-West corridor will be passing through the congested areas of Chowk and Aminabad. Meanwhile, Srivastava said that the heat had caused increase in the number of commuters during the peak hours in the afternoon. People are preferring the air-conditioned Metro trains in the afternoon to avoid heat, he added. Pioneer Srivastava, Jyotsana Tripathi, Swaminath Yadav, Chaunan, Mukul Vishwakarma, Gaurav Srivastava, Ashok Kumar, Aradhana Singh Chauhan, Aradhana Singh Chauhan, Atul Dixit, Alok Singh, Ashish Gaudh, Rahul Mishra, Abhay Singh, Vimal Kumar Verma and Avadhesh Kumar. SCHOLARSHIP Piyush Saxena of City Montessori School s Mahanagar campus has been offered a scholarship of US $80,000 by the Manchester University, USA, for pursuing higher studies there. He will be receiving the scholarship during his entire study period. CMS founder Jagdish Gandhi congratulated Piyush on the achievement and expressed gratitude to CMS teachers. Fruit bats spreading Nipah virus theory yet to be authenticated after doing so, he Elangoval, who had been studying the bats since 1996, said that Uttar Pradesh had the biggest diversity as far as these creatures were concerned. There are 14 species which reside in 33 bat colonies or camps which have bats ranging from 52 to 1,500. A sizeable population of the bats exists in Uttar Pradesh. There are 14 species of bats which exist in the state out of which four are those of fruit bats, he He said across Uttar Pradesh these species were found in Ambedkarnagar, Akbarpur, Azamgarh, Balrampur, Rae Bareli, Sitapur, Unnao, Varanasi, Ferozabad, Gonda and Hardoi and in many other parts of the country. Out of the 18 species of bats which are found in India there are 14 in the state, he added. The expert said that the major threat to Pteropus Giganteus or fruit bat was the destruction of its roosting habitat and felling of the tree roosts. It is critically important to preserve the existing bat roosts in Uttar Pradesh because bats play a vital role in balancing the ecosystem, seed dispersal and regeneration of forests. A large number of trees depend on bats for pollination and seed dis- here are over 1,200 fruit Tbats in the city and nearly 8,447 in the state and a majority of them can be found at the ancient monuments. In the city these bats (Pteropus Giganteus) are found in the well at Bada Imambara. A bat expert and associate professor of Zoology at Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar University, V Elangoval, who has done six PhDs on bats and is referred to as the Batman in academic circles, stressed that there was no scientific authentication of the theory which was being propagated that the Nipah virus was coming from this fruit bat causing disease in human beings and animals. Elangoval has been working on bats since the year Talking to The Pioneer, he said that bats had co-existed for a long time with the human beings choosing isolated places close to human habitation. If this bat is spreading the virus then the disease should be happening across the country. There have been western studies which attribute the propagation of this virus to the flying fox as it is better called but there has been no scientific study on the Indian bat, he Moreover, he points out that the fruit bats never leave much of the fruit which they eat, but devour it completely. In Lucknow he said that 1,200 fruit bats of the species which was suspected to be the cause of the spread of the virus were mostly found in the well of Bada Imambara. Their persal. population was more earlier but when a grill was put over the well later it came down, he He said that there was a sizeable population of 419 bats in Mohanlalganj close to the railway station but he had never come across any incident related to Nipah virus. There were 200 of them at Kakori, he He said that in Mohanlalganj there were 1,530 fruit bats in February this year but their number came down to 412 in March and currently in May there were only 419 fruit bats. The drop in their numbers was due to the fact that this was a maternal colony and the male bats which had come to breed left In addition bat conservation programmes need to be conducted at the roosting sites of Pteropus Giganteus to create awareness about bats among the public, he added.

6 nation 06 Sterlite to take legal route against closure KUMAR CHELLPAN n CHENNAI n an open defiance to the ITamil Nadu Governmnent s measures to shut down the environmentally hazardous Sterlite Copper Ltd at Thoothukudi, the company management declared that it would pursue legal route to counter such measures. It also warned Tamil Nadu that most of the industries were moving out of the State to nearby Andhra Pradesh and the Global Investors Meet proposed to be held in the State may not materialise. Public resentment is so high in Thoothukudi and elsewhere in Tamil Nadu against the management of Sterlite Copper over the police firing which resulted in the death of 13 lives that it may be difficult for the company to resume production. Our priority is to ensure that the company Sterlite Copper was send lock, stock and barrel from Tamil Nadu. This company has given only pain and hardship to the people of the State, said Faitma Babu, the one-woman army who has been waging a legal battle against the company owned by Vedanta Group of UK for more than a decade. Fatima was speaking to The Pioneer over telephone from Thoothukudi. She said Sterlite would not be allowed to operate in Tamil Nadu. This company brings all kind of toxic raw materials into Tamil Nadu and convert them into copper and export the finished product. Let them shift it to UK or anywhere but we will not allow them in Tamil Nadu. The Sterlite Copper was set up in Tamil Nadu only because no other States in India allowed them, she Fatima Babu s charge that the Sterlite Copper enjoyed patronage from most of the political parties in Tamil Nadu has been proved beyond doubt. A Congress leader trying to become the Prime Minister of the country has been named by the anti-sterlite campaigners as the guardian of the Vedanta Group which owns the company. The lawyer-wife of the politician was on the payrolls of the company and was Union Minister of State Hardeep Singh Puri, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Dy CM O Panneerselvam and other leaders take ride in a metro train after the inauguration of Passenger Services on the underground sections of Chennai Metro Rail on Friday PTI Floating restaurant Ark Deck Bar capsizes, 15 rescued T N RAGHUNATHA n MUMBAI s many as 15 people, Amostly the crew, were rescued on Friday evening, as a popular floating restaurant Ark Deck Bar capsized partially off the Mumbai coast near Bandra jetty, apparently due to huge tidal waves Mekunu cyclone. During the course of the day, the vessel had tilted dangerously, prompting the owners of the floating restaurant to reach ashore the stranded persons on board in small motorboats. A luxurious offshore dining and party attraction, the Ark Deck Bar floatel had a capacity to accommodate 150 Floating restaurant Ark Deck Bar sinking off the Mumbai coast near Bandra jetty on Friday evening Pioneer photo people at a time. It was anchored some distance off the Bandra Jetty, a location that offered a panoramic view of the Mumbai skyline and the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Meanwhile, in a case of mistaken identity, a section of electronic media went to town saying that Mumbai s first floatel, AB Celestial had capsized. Contesting the reports that her floatel had capsized, owner of AB Celestial, Aishwarya Bhende said that her vessel was shifted to and anchored off the Ferry Wharf in south Mumbai a couple of days ago in the wake of a warning issued by the maritime authorities about the impending Mekuni Cycone. There seems to be a confusion regarding an event that occurred today. Please do not panic after reading news articles about AB Celestial. Our floatel is absolutely safe and is in anchor at the Ferry Wharf. We safely docked it away at Ferry Wharf two days ago, she Andhra Pradesh CM rules himself out of PM race Says party will play role of kingmaker in 2019 Lok Sabha polls OMER FAROOQ n HYDERABAD ndhra Pradesh Chief AMinister and Telugu Desam national president Nara Chandrababu Naidu ruled himself out from the race of Prime Ministership but predicted that his party will play the role of a kingmaker after 2019 polls. Addressing the Mahanadu or the annual conference of Telangana unit of the TDP in Hyderabad Naidu recalled the key role the party had played in the formation of National Front and the United Front Government at the Centre. "Our party founder NT Rama Rao had played a key role in the formation of National Front Government in 1989 and I was responsible for TRS formation of United Front Government and making Deve Gowda Prime Minister in 1996", he Naidu said that he was offered the Prime Minister's post twice 20 years ago but he preferred to serve Andhra Pradesh. File photo Making it clear that he was not in the race for the top position even now Naidu said that he will play a key role in bringing the regional parties together. Referring to his meeting with the leaders of regional parties in Bengaluru he said that he had gone there on the invitation of Chief Minister designate Kumaraswamy. "After the formation of the United Front in 1996, no such experiment was done to bring the regional parties together", he The leaders will meet once again to chalk out plan of action. He did not go in to the details of the fact that he had met the Congress party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul for the first time. On the speculations about the possibility of TDP aligning with the Congress e advised his party men to focus on strengthening the party in both the Telugu states. "In politics we should not disclose our future moves. We will take appropriate decision at an appropriate time", he He also predicted that like Karnataka, Telangana will also give a fractured mandate in the next elections and the TDP will play an important role in the state too. Lashing out at the BJP he said that while the Centre was giving `3000 crore for the statue of Sardar Patel and generously funding statue of Shivaji why it did not release the funds to Andhra Pradesh". Explaining the circumstances in which he decided to withdraw from the NDA and its government Naidu said he waited for the four budgets. "Only when it became clear that the Centre was not going to fulfill the promise of Special Category Status and the funds for he capital city Amaravati we decided to end the alliance", he Naidu also criticised the Centre for not fulfilling the promises made to Telangana like setting up Bayyaram steel plant and tribal university. reported to be the liaison agent of the group. Though Sterlite management shunned the media since the breaking out of the protest marches at Thoothukudi, the company deputed its chief executive officer P Ramnath on Thursday to speak to a pro- CPI(M) daily to warn Tamil Nadu Government. The Chief Minister had told journalists early Thursday that his Government was taking all legal steps to permanently close down the company. Within hours, Ramnath met journalists of the said daily and told them that the company would pursue all legal routes. In the last five to six years, there has been absolutely no incident. These issues are cropping up from nowhere, charged Ramnath. Fatima Babu said that the shutting down of Sterlite Copper alone would save the State and its people. This is a company which was driven out of Goa, Maharashtra by the people. What is not good in KHURSHEED WANI n SRINAGAR nknown terrorists bru- killed a north Utally Kashmir resident by slitting his throat while as police foiled a rifle-snatching bid at a power grid station in south Kashmir s Anantnag district. In another incident a sniffer dog was killed when terrorists hurled a grenade at an Army camp in Kulgam district of south Kashmir. Sources said throat slit body of a man Muhammad Maqbool Wagay was found at Gund Prang Hajin area of north Kashmir s Bandipora district. A police official said that slain was a butcher by profession who was abducted from his home by unknown gunmen. His throat slit body was recovered by locals during pre-dawn hours who informed police. Hundreds of people participated in the last rites of the slain man. Police blamed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba for these killings. In another incident, Army s sniffer dog was killed in a grenade blast at Neehama area of Kulgam district. those States would not be good for Tamil Nadu, said Fatima. The main concern among the local residents is the pollution caused by Sterlite Copper. The emission of toxic gases and effluents have destroyed and polluted waterbodies and water resources in the region. The Gulf of Mannar Marine Reserve, an ecological hotspot is on the verge of destruction because of companies like Sterlite Copper, said a senior marine biologist working with Centre for Advanced Studies in Marine Biology (CASMB). Meanwhile, people in Tamil Nadu rejected the bundh call for Friday issued by the DMK and its allies. Life was normal and attendance in offices and factories were not affected. The Government rescheduled some of the university examinations scheduled for Friday fearing disruption in public transport. Normalcy has returned to.thoothukudi as people resumed their routine life. Security officials said unknown terrorists lobbed the grenade towards Army s camp at Neehama area. They said the device exploded inside the camp resulting into the death of a sniffer dog. Meanwhile, locals alleged that Army beat up local residents and shopkeepers after the attack and broke windowpanes of vehicles. Security officials denied the allegation and said would probe the allegations at local level. At least thirty pellet injuries were reported following the clashes between protesters and security forces at Nowhatta downtown after the congregational Friday prayers culminated in historical Jamia Masjid Srinagar. Reports said that protesters raised anti-national and pro-pakistan slogans after the prayers at Nowhatta Chowk and pelted security forces with stones. The forces retaliated by firing tear gas smoke shells and pellets to disperse the protesters, triggering further clashes. Reports said the tear gas shells and pellets were fired inside the grand mosque that Resignation rumours to defame me: Guj Dy CM PNS n GANDHINAGAR ollowing series of messages Fregarding his resignation from the post of Deputy Chief Minister and even departure from BJP have gone viral on social media platforms over the past few days, Nitin Patel literally forced to clarify his stand on Friday saying that the messages on social media are nothing but a planned conspiracy against him to tarnish his image. I was with BJP, I am with BJP and I will remain with BJP, said the Deputy CM adding that he has not only been a BJP worker since its inception but he was also associated with Jan Sangh and elected as member of Kadi town s municipality in the year Patel went on to say that some people were trying to tarnish his image by spreading such rumour deliberately. On his official Tweeter handle he also requested his party workers, supporters, well-wishers Man, sniffer dog killed in separate terrorist attacks KHURSHEED WANI n SRINAGAR ssuring strong action Aagainst an Army Major who was recently detained by police, along-with a local woman, in a hotel in Srinagar, the Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Friday said the officer would be given exemplary punishment if his involvement is established. Sources said shortly after Gen Rawat s announcement, Army ordered a Court of Enquiry against disgraced officer Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi and attached him with 53 Rashtriya Rifles headquarters at Budgam in central Kashmir while the commanding officer was ordered to be transferred out of J&K. Major Gogoi was briefly detained by police on May 23 morning along-with a local woman and a soldier Mohammad Sameer Malla within the premises of a hotel in Dalgate area of Srinagar after an altercation with the hotel staff. Gogoi, posted in Beerwah pocket of central Kashmir, had booked deluxe room or two persons for overnight stay and introduced himself as businessman from Assam. also affected the women devotees inside the mosque. Meanwhile, the Jamia Masjid and other trader bodies have called for peaceful protests and shutdown in the old city areas on Saturday against what they alleged the uncalled for action by police and para military forces and also violating the sanctity of Masjid in holy Ramadhan. Separatists also condemned the forces action. Earlier, suspected terrorists attempted to snatch rifles from security guards at a power station in capital Srinagar. Three major incidents of rifle snatching took place in Srinagar alone during the past 15 days. Four rifles were snatched from a guard post in Hyderpora, a rifle from a guard at the Kashmir University gate and three rifles from a guard room in a hotel in Dalgate area. The police has renewed instructions to its cadre to safeguard the arms and ammunition. The sentries have been asked to desist from using smart phones during duty hours and tie the weapons with their bodies. He produced his driving license at the front desk to prove his identity. However, the hotel staff disallowed the woman to go inside the booked room referring to a policy that they do not offer rooms to local boys and girls. The denial led to a verbal altercation and the hotel staff sought intervention of police who whisked away the trio. If Major Gogoi has done something wrong, then I assure and people of Gujarat not to believe such rumours. Apart from plethora of posts on social media about Patel s departure from BJP as the party s top leadership asked him to resign from the Vijay Rupani s Council of Ministers, a poster in which picture of Nitin Patel has been shown besides pro-quota Patidar leader Hardik Patel. The controversial poster that has gone viral on social media claimed that Nitin Patel would openly support Hardik and participate in an event organised by him on Saturday. Hardik has invited all the Patidar MLAs across the party line to attend Patidar Mahapanchayat to support PTI n PANAJI he BJP in Goa will connect Twith religious heads of various communities as part of its Jan Sampark Abhiyan to brief them about the developmental work done by the Narendra Modi-led government, a senior party leader The BJP s state general secretary Sadanand Tanavade today said that the party would meet the Archbishop of Goa as well as Hindu and Muslim religious authorities during the quota agitation on May 26, On this poster 62-year-old Patel said that he had nothing to do with Hardik who tried to defeat BJP in the 2017 assembly polls and supported Congress party. He also said that if such messages on social media would not stop he will take legal action against those who are involved in such false propaganda. On the other hand Hardik Patel said that Nitinbhai was ignored in BJP and he would be welcome to join the pro-quota agitation any point of time. There is nothing wrong to be with the community. Let Nitinbhai come with us, he would again get ministerial berth, said Hardik while talking to reporters. Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Amit Chavda also jumped into controversy saying that despite Nitinbhai gave his whole life to BJP, the party failed to give him appropriate reward to him. People enjoy the sunset as dark clouds hover over the city skyline in Mumbai on Friday PTI Goa BJP to meet religious heads during jan sampark campaign you that he will be punished immediately. And I will give such a punishment which will set an example, Gen Rawat told reporters when asked about action being taken against Major Gogoi. He said if any officer, serving on any position, in Indian army acts wrongly and it comes to notice that he has acted wrongly, There will be stern action against him. Major Gogoi s brief detention caught media attention in the backdrop of his last year s controversial action against an artisan whom he tied with the bonnet of an army vehicle and paraded for six hours through several villages in central Kashmir. He justified the action to scare away stone pelters during polling day in Srinagar- Budgam parliamentary constituency. Police have already set up a Special Investigation team (SIT) headed by a Jan Sampark Abhiyan from May 26 to June 11 to commemorate four years of the Modi government. He said that several functions would be organised as part of this campaign in north and south Goa. During the event, we will also be interacting with over 7,000 people from the Schedule Tribe and Schedule Caste communities to enlighten them about the various schemes introduced by the Modi Government for their welfare, he J&K HOTEL SCUFFLE Strong action if found guilty: Gen Rawat Major Gogoi to face Court of Enquiry OMER FAROOQ n HYDERABAD ealth authorities in HTelangana have isolated two patients suspected to be affected by Nipah virus and sent their blood samples to the National Institute of Virology, Pune for testing. Both the patients, about 25 years of age were admitted to the Government fever hospital and they were kept in an isolated ward. Dr K Ramesh Reddy, Director of Medical Education, Telangana said one of the patients had visited Kerala but did not go the areas where Nipah virus was found. He said the samples were sent for testing as precaution and there was no need for panic. He said the samples were being tested both for Nipah and the swine flu as their symptoms over lap. The symptoms of Nipah virus which attacks the brain include Acute Respiratory disorder syndrome, cough, cold and high fever. One of the cases in Hyderabad was suffering from encephalitis, Dr Reddy said that the Superintendent of Police to inquire the inident revolving around major Gogoi. Reports said that the woman belonging to an impoverished family in narbal pocket of central Kashmir had voluntarily arrived at the hotel. Her mother, however, told reporters that major Gogoi and Malla have visited their residence twice in past three months during the dead of night and at one time she fainted when the duo made entry to their shanty. Gogoi is likely to face the music in the CoI as the officers involved in counterinsurgency operations in Kashmir are not allowed to move to the civilian areas. His alleged violation of service rules, security protocols and standard operating procedures would be looked into besides his alleged intimidation of the girl s family into their tin shanty would be probed. Nipah fear: Telangana isolates two suspected youth patients results of the test will be known by Sunday. Nipah has created a scare as it has already claimed 12 lives including a nurse in Kerala. Authorities of the Sir Ronald Ross Institute of tropical AND communicable diseases in hyderabad were keeping a close watch on the situation. A meeting of the officials of the Gandhi Hospital and Osmania General Hoapital and other hospitals reviewed the arrangements including creation of separate wards to meet with any emergency. "We are fully geared up", said Dr Reddy.

7 nation 07 BLAMEGAME ON OVER TUTICORIN DEATHS Min targets UPA for Sterlite row PNS n NEW DELHI he politics over the death of T13 people seeking closure of Vedanta s Sterlite Copper unit in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu continued unabated on Friday with Union Environment Minister Harshvardhan blaming the previous UPA regime for the controversial project and saying his Ministry would look into the matter. For its part, the Ministry sought to put the blame on the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board asserting that the central green nod is based on the clearance by the State pollution board. I just returned in the morning and I read about it (Tuticorin) in the newspapers. We will certainly look into what is happening. All this happened during the tenure of the last Government. I do not want to make an issue out of it, Vardhan said on the sidelines of a Press conference here when asked about the issue. In a society, people do agitations and protests and I am not saying against or for it. I am just saying that after coming, I immediately told officials to understand the issue in depth and with seriousness. All that I have said here is factually correct and when you go into the details, you will be convinced,. The protest over Vedanta s Sterlite Copper unit took a violent turn on Tuesday when stones were pelted by agitators and police vehicles were toppled after they were prevented from marching towards PTI n NEW DELHI he candidates who had Tappeared in the May 13 Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) and complained of glitches, could make online representation by 7 pm of May 27 to the two-member grievance redressal committee set up by National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS), the Supreme Court said on Friday. A Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra was informed by the counsel for NUALS that they have constituted a twomember panel, headed by retired Kerala High Court judge, Justice MR Hariharan Nair, which would look into the complaints from the students. NUALS, with the aid of private firm M/s Sify Technologies Ltd, had conducted the CLAT 2018 on May 13 for admissions in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in law courses offered at premier law schools. The results of the examination is scheduled to be declared on May 31. Soon after the exam, several pleas were filed in six different high courts across the country and also in the apex court seeking quashing of the CLAT alleging inconsistencies and technical glitches during the May 13 online test. The Bench on Friday said the panel, which also comprises Dr Santhosh Kumar G, Head of Department of Computer Science at Cochin University of Science and Technology, would examine the complaints and representations received from the students till 7 PM of May 27 and take appropriate decision on a case-to-case basis after due analysis. The court was informed by the NUALS counsel that they would create a dedicated account on which the students Tamil Nadu Government has already ordered for a permanent closure of the copper unit of Vedanta Limited which operates a 4,00,000 tonnes per annum-plant in Tuticorin the plant. Tamil Nadu Government has already ordered for a permanent closure of the copper unit of Vedanta Limited which operates a 4,00,000 tonnes per annum-plant in Tuticorin. While leaders from the NDA and the Congress are engaged in a blamegame in the matter following the death of locals, sources in the Environment Ministry said that both the Governments had allowed the Anil Agarwal s Vedanta Resources PLC s owned Sterlite Industries, to skip the mandatory public hearing process while granting PLEAS AGAINST CLAT SC asks students to complain to panel set up by NUALS SEVERAL PLEAS WERE FILED IN SIX DIFFERENT HIGH COURTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND ALSO IN THE EX COURT SEEKING QUASHING OF THE CLAT ALLEGING INCONSISTENCIES AND TECHNICAL GLITCHES DURING THE MAY 13 ONLINE TEST could send their complaints, and its publicity would be done on the official website of CLAT very shortly within two hours. The Bench said the students could register their complaints and representations on the dedicated account. The committee will examine every singular representation received online till now and any further representation which would be received till 7 PM of Sunday (May 27) and after due analysis, appropriate decision on a case-to-case basis will be taken by the committee, the top court It directed that the committee should first scrutinise around 250 complaints which have already been received, and take appropriate decision by May 29. Then in the second phase, it would deal with the new representations which are received online. The apex court said a report giving the status of the complaints and decisions taken on them be filed before it by May 30. SC for urgent listing of matter on May 28 PTI n NEW DELHI he Supreme Court on TFriday asked an advocate, who has filed a petition seeking a court-monitored CBI probe into the deaths of protesters during the anti-sterlite rally in Tamil Nadu, to mention the matter for urgent listing on Monday 28. At the outset, a Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra said that the matters seeking urgent listing for hearing be mentioned on May 28. Advocate GS Mani, who filed the PIL on the Tuticorin violence, urged the court that it was a very serious matter. To this, the Bench said, All mentioning will be on Monday green clearance to its expansion plans on the ground that it would be situated inside a notified industrial park in Tuticorin. Intriguingly, the industrial park itself had no clearance. The sources said that in 2008, Vedanta s Sterlite Industries Limited had sought exemption from public consultation while representing before Environment Ministry s expert appraisal committee. It cited, the 2006 Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Rules that state: All Category A and Category B1 projects or activities shall undertake public PNS n NEW DELHI standing committee of Tthe Inter-State Council (ISC) on Friday completed deliberations on the Punchhi Commission s recommendations dealing with the contentious Centre-State relations. The meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, attended by Central Ministers and Chief Ministers examined all the 273 recommendations, said the statement issued by Home Ministry. The recommendations and suggestion during the deliberations would be submitted before the next meeting of the ISC headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A three-member commission, headed by (May 28). When the lawyer insisted further, the Bench observed, this is not the way you address the court. The plea has also sought registration of an FIR for the alleged offence of murder against Tuticorin Collector, Superintendent of Police and other police officials. consultation, except all projects or activities located within industrial estates or parks. Taking lenient view in the matter, the committee not only granted the company exemption from public consultation but also allowed its request to use data collected two years back for environment impact assessment (EIA). However, the approval lapsed after five years as the company s environmental clearance process was challenged in the court and the project could not take off. The company applied for fresh clearance in On May 16, the former Chief Justice of India MM Punchhi, was set up by the previous UPA Government to take a fresh look at relative roles and responsibilities of various levels of government and their inter-relations. The commission had submitted its report in The mandate of the commission was to examine the Centre-State relations, role of governor, financial tax sharing, Centre s role in law and order when situation worsens and deployment of central forces and linking of rivers. It also examined whether there was a need to set up a central law enforcement agency to take up suo motu investigation of crimes having inter-state or international ramifications with serious implications on national security, role of a governor among others. In his opening remarks, the Home Minister recalled that during the previous two meetings held last year thorough deliberations were held on the recommendations contained in Volumes I to V of the report. 2014, the Environment Ministry clarified that exemption from public consultation is only available to the projects or activities located within the industrial estates or parks, which have obtained prior environmental clearance under EIA Notification, In December 2014, the Modi Government issued a memorandum stating that exemption from public consultation is available to the projects or activities or units located in industrial estates or parks, which were notified prior to September 14, 2006, i.e EIA notification coming into force. However, the memorandum was quashed by the National Green Tribunal in 2016 even as the Sterlite s expansion project had already got a five-year extension of the green clearance in March 2015 with an exemption from public consultation on grounds that the industrial complex had been notified prior to the 2006 EIA notification. The Tuticorin district has been witnessing several protests by locals as well green activists against the plant and its proposed expansion. Protesters have alleged that the plant was polluting ground water in their area. Following the deaths, Congress President, Rahul Gandhi called it a brutal example of state-sponsored terrorism, targeting the AIADMK Government. Rahul also claimed that Tamils were being killed as they refused to bow to the ideology of the RSS. He said Friday s discussions were focused on the remaining two volumes i.e. VI and VII, that contained a total of 88 recommendations. The recommendations in Volume VI were related to environment, natural resources and infrastructure and covered the subjects of environment, water, forests, 2G case shame to nation, CBI tells Delhi HC PNS n NEW DELHI bjecting to the delaying Otactics by the accused persons, the CBI on Friday told the Delhi High Court that the 2G spectrum case was a case of monumental loss and a shame to the nation. Challenging the acquittal of former Telecom Minister A Raja and others, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench of Justice SP Garg that huge loss to the public exchequer has been caused due to the spectrum allocation scam. CBI was arguing on the first day of the hearing in the appeal against the trial court verdict, objecting to the demands of the accused for need of time to file reply and claiming on the non-delivery of notices to some accused. This is a case of monumental loss and a shame to the nation, Mehta The ASG also opposed the plea of the accused seeking more time to file their response saying delaying tactics were being adopted by them to prolong the proceedings. After the initial arguments on the claim on non-receipt of notice by the accused and seeking more time for filing replies to CBI and ED appeals, the High Court posted the CBI s plea challenging their acquittal for August 2 while the Enforcement Directorate s (ED) plea has been fixed for August 6. During the hearing, lawyers for some of the accused in the case said that a number of charge sheets have been filed in these cases and they should be heard separately. The court had also allowed the interim plea of the ED for maintaining status quo with regard to the properties worth around `223 crore which the agency had attached in the money laundering case. Apart from Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, telecom operators Reliance Anil Ambani Group, Essar, erstwhile Swan Telecom s Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka and Unitech s Sanjay Chandra were acquitted by trial Judge OP Saini in December CBI and ED filed appeal in Delhi High Court in March arguing that the trail court totally and wrongly ignored the proof submitted by then and even took notice of the solid details of kickbacks transferred to the accused from telecom operators through banks. Deliberations on Punchhi commission report over Meeting was chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by Central Ministers and Chief Ministers Railways decides to strengthen mechanism to ensure food safety PTI n NEW DELHI ays after 14 people com- of discomfort fol- Dplained lowing breakfast on board the Puri-Howrah Shatabdi Express, the railways on Friday decided to deploy 300 health inspectors, conduct more surprise tests on samples and create a databank of vendors across its network to ensure the quality of food served. At a high-level meeting, it was also decided that food safety officers (FSO) will cover each division of the railways, besides directing all vendors to register themselves online with food safety regulator, FSSAI. We discussed ways to strengthen the entire ecosystem of food being served and sold by railways. It was decided to ensure that all vendors register with FSSAI online for better monitoring, FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal told PTI. He said at present, some of the vendors have paper registration of their license and efforts are being made to shift the registration process online. The online registration will begin in the next 15 days, the railways said in a statement. It has been decided in the meeting that Food Safety Officer (FSO) will cover each division of Indian Railways and also 300 health inspectors will be deployed to undertake the work of food safety officer and assist them, it It was also decided that a databank of caterers and food suppliers of railways will be created by July 15 which will have details of vendors, online registration details and sample tests done. FSSAI and the railways have decided to adopt a revised protocol for sample selection for food sample test, frequency of data collection will increase and surprise sample collection will be included in data bank, the statement A mobile application with geo tagging technology will be developed for collection of food sample. A decision for third party audit of vendors has also been taken. According to FSSAI norms, vendors with a turnover of below Rs 12 lakh need to register with the food safety regulator, while those with turnover above Rs 12 lakh or whose production capacity of food does not exceed 100 kg per litre per day are required to obtain a licence. The Chief Managing Director of IRCTC, the food safety commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of FSSAI, Additional Member (Commercial), Railway Board, Director General (Health), Railway Board and other senior officials were present during the meeting. BJP leaders appointed Governors of Mizoram, Odisha PTI n NEW DELHI JP leaders Ganeshi Lal and BKummanam Rajasekharan were on Friday appointed as Governors of Odisha and Mizoram respectively. According to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique, Prof. Ganeshi Lal will take over as the new governor of Odisha, a post which had fallen vacant in March this year after veteran Naga leader S C Jamir completed his tenure. Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik had been given additional charge of Odisha. Lal is a former Haryana BJP chief. The President of India has been pleased to appoint Prof. Ganeshi Lal to be the Governor of Odisha with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office, the communique In his second order, the President appointed Kerala BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan as the Governor of Mizoram. He will be replacing Lt. General (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma, who is completing his tenure on May 28, Sixty-five-year-old Rajasekharan had given up his government job to became 'pracharak' of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. PNS/AGENCIES n NEW DELHI xternal Affairs Minister ESushma Swaraj on Friday said that the Indian missions in Canada are working round the clock to help its citizens after a blast at an Indian restaurant in Ontario province. Swaraj said she was in constant touch with India s consul general in Toronto and the high commissioner in Canada. The Minister added that so far there was no evidence to term this incident as a terrorist attack or hate crime. There is a blast in Indian restaurant Bombay Bhel in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I am in constant touch with our Consul General in Toronto and Indian High Commissioner in Canada. Our missions will work round the clock. The Emergency number is: , she tweeted. Later she tweeted: The 12 persons who were taken to hospital have been discharged. The other 3 persons who were critically injured are stable. According to Police, at this stage there is no evidence to term this incident as a terrorist attack or hate crime. Canadian media reports cited police as saying that two unidentified men detonated a powerful improvised explosive minerals and infrastructure. The recommendations in Volume VII related to socioeconomic development, public policy and good governance and covered the subjects of public policy, constitutional governance and public administration, socio-political developments and its impact on governance among others. The ISC meeting in 2016 was held after a gap of 10 years. Under the chairmanship of Singh, the institutions of ISC standing committee as well as zonal councils were rejuvenated and regular meetings held to promote harmonious centrestate relations, sources device at the restaurant, injuring at least 15 people. Three of them have suffered critical blast injuries and were rushed to a trauma centre, Canadian broadcaster CBC has reported. Police have issued INSHORT SEATS CAN BE FILLED AS PER NEET MERIT LIST: SC New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to suggestions that the vacant post-graduate seats in private unaided medical colleges could be filled up as per the order of merit in the All-India National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) list. A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra said this while hearing a matter of Uttar Pradesh during which the Medical Council of India (MCI) said that almost per cent of post-graduate medical seats for academic year in private unaided medical colleges in the state have remained vacant. SC NOT TO INTERFERE WITH NGT ORDER New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said it was not inclined to interfere with the National Green Tribunal s order keeping in abeyance its interim direction to publish a warning on the Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes containing lead, that it has hazardous effect on human health. However, a bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the NGT and raise his grievance before the tribunal. HOME MINISTRY CREATES NEW DIVISION New Delhi: Amid rising concerns over women safety, the Home Ministry has created a new division to address issues related to security of women comprehensively. A Home Ministry statement said the division would deal with all aspects of women safety in coordination with the relevant ministries, departments and the State Governments. CSIR BAGS CAII AWARD 2018 NEW DELHI: The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has bagged the Clarivate Analytics India Innovation(CAII) Award 2018 in the Government Research Organisations Category. The award recognizes the CSIR as the top innovator and a pioneer of India s intellectual property movement and a leader in terms of sheer volume of patents published during the analysis period in AFTER BLAST AT INDIAN RESTAURANT Indian missions in Canada working round the clock There is a blast in Indian restaurant Bombay Bhel in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I am in constant touch with our Consul General in Toronto, Indian High Commissioner in Canada: Sushma Swaraj the CCTV camera footage of the two suspects. It was not immediately known how many people were inside the restaurant at the time of the blast. Mississauga is Canada s sixth largest city.

8 opinion 08 paper with passion Whose truth? Amnesty has made a startling revelation about Rohingyas in Myanmar, will it change tack in India? T he trouble with human rights watchdogs is that they have, by virtue of countering the establishment narrative, assigned themselves a certain kind of legitimacy and credibility without realising that some of their own investigations are compromised by subjective assessment than objective investigation. And when it comes to the Amnesty International, which has been riled by China, Russia and Vietnam for biased reportage and dot surveys and which has at various points been criticised for receiving funding from Islamists, observers take their findings with a pinch of salt. Now its on-ground crew in Myanmar has forced it to change its line of Muslim victimisation in the hands of the military by confirming a mass genocide of Hindus. Although the Myanmar Government has for a long time been claiming cleansing of Hindus and Buddhists by extremist Rohingya Muslim groups, many had gone with the tide and dismissed it as propaganda to hide its own excesses against them. Now Amnesty team interviews at refugee camps have revealed that up to 100 Hindus were brutalised, terrorised and killed in cold blood by Rohingya extremists. While this has raised hackles of Rohingya activists worldwide, leading them to wonder if the Myanmarese military had indeed been able to swing Amnesty to their side of the story, the eyewitness accounts in the Amnesty report prove the gruesome nature of vengeance, forced conversion of women, rape and arson. This disbelief at Hindu or Buddhist oppression is symptomatic of a deeprooted malaise in a mindset that perceives Islamic extremism as a result of other kinds of majoritarianism and never the accelerator or provocateur of deepening faultlines. The global rights group has at least now acknowledged that when it comes to minority pressures, Hindus face as much heat, be it in Myanmar, or the immediate South Asian neighbourhood where they are anyway reduced to minuscule proportions, courtesy the unreported exodus that happens to the home country year after year. As for our own educated discourse, any talk of Hindu victimhood is quickly assigned to being driven by political agenda rather than being a matter of genuine human interest. The Amnesty s own record in India, particularly in its assessment of Jammu & Kashmir, has always been scripted by hawkish anti-india protagonists. And while there are reams on excesses by the Armed Forces, without referencing the context of each reported event, there is no proportionate study or coverage of Kashmiri Pandit displacement or their systematic cleansing from the Valley. Not too long ago, an Amnesty conference in Bengaluru had even allowed anti-india slogans to be raised at the venue and marginalised Kashmiri Pandits from placing their own point of view. Any rights group has to sift the grain from the chaff but Amnesty for long has harvested the crop as is so long it has helped reap dividends of foisting a saleable issue and a Western acceptability of clichés rather than truths. While the Pandit plight finds little or no mention in Amnesty records, which claims it does not have enough credible ground inputs, its India chapter has never investigated other human rights abuses against minorities like Dalits or tribals. Homegrown activists, who thrive on these reports and even become office-bearers of these organisations themselves, have not raised a collective voice against the massacre of Rohingya Hindus or talked about their refugee status. But they are quick to assail any initiative to curb the influx of Rohingya Muslims, despite them posing a logistical human resource challenge and in some cases a security threat. Will Amnesty India now, therefore, change tack given its headquarter revelations? As a robust democracy, we have it within ourselves to accept vilification and acknowledge cogent counterpoints. We don t need lobbyists to get the other side of the story, our media is free to do that. It is just that while condemning human rights abuses, there should be a fair assessment of the perpetrators regardless of which side they belong to. Crony rot One of the biggest reforms of the Government has been to remove institutional crony capitalism T he breath and scale of the Nirav Modi scandal where the diamantaire ripped off Punjab National Bank of thousands of crores, helped cash-rich businessmen launder tens of crores in the aftermath of demonetisation and possibly even sold diamonds with a questionable provenance is mind-boggling. But there is no doubt that Nirav Modi, the criminal mastermind behind this alleged fraud, must have had several accomplices. Some of those accomplices were in the employ of the Government. Through their taxpayer funded salaries, they enabled a grand rip-off of the Indian taxpayer. Whether it was officials of the Punjab National Bank that allowed Letters of Credit to be issued without any collateral or as it is emerging, insiders in the Central Board of Direct Taxes, they actively withheld information from investigating agencies until Nirav Modi and his partner-in-arms, his uncle Mehul Choksi had made good their flight from India. However, the Government is finally stepping into this mess and trying to clean up the rot that has set in the bureaucracy and the public banking system. A rot that was enabled by corruption and one that stinks of crony capitalism. Investigative agencies should redouble their efforts in getting to the bottom of the case and finding those who enabled Nirav Modi to commit such an outrageous fraud. To be frank, chances of catching Nirav Modi in the short-term are slim, but that does not mean that those who assisted him, either for lust or lucre, should go unpunished. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) itself is not above suspicion, evidently officers inside the CBI were in touch with recently arrested journalist Upendra Rai and several important secret documents relating to this case both from the CBI and the CBDT were found in his house. A network of conniving fraudsters, corrupt officials and sleazy fixers has broken in Delhi and the fallout will be severe. The Government should explore the possibility of summarily dismissing officials found guilty from service. Far too often, corrupt Government officials get away with suspensions and slaps on the wrist. Is it the bureaucracy much more than politicians that has enabled years of crony capitalism in India and the Narendra Modi Government is finally breaking down the jugaadu structure built by these individuals to short-circuit the system. Hopefully it is not too little, too late and some of the ill-gotten gains can be recovered and the immense burden on the Indian taxpayer can finally be reduced. It s our duty to treat animals as humans In India, while both laws and judicial pronouncements recognise that animals possess certain privileges, they lack the status of fundamental rights as provided to humans by the Constitution. Animals need recognition HIRANMAY KARLEKAR SOUNDBITE We (India and Bangladesh) have resolved many issues. Maybe there are a few left. I hope whatever the problem is, it can be solved amicably. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina For scores of reasons, India needs to be central to what we do. They ought to be one of our closest partners and we ought to do everything we can to make sure that we achieve that. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Earlier, only movies were the mode of entertainment, but today there are lot of other things as well, so to make your own image is all the more difficult. Actor Madhuri Dixit We want peace on the borders, but as you know Pakistan continuously violates ceasefire. In such case, we have to retaliate. If Pakistan wants peace, we expect them to take the initiative which can be to stop infiltration. Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat Steven M Wise, founder and president of the United States-based Nonhuman Rights Project, is one of the world s foremost scholar of jurisprudence specialising in animal protection issues, primatology and animal intelligence. He has done much to make the issue of the rights, protection and well-being of non-human living beings an important component of modern discourse. Author of several books Rattling The Cage: Toward Legal Rights For Animals, Drawing the Line: Science and the Case for Animal Rights, Though the Heavens May Fall: The Landmark Trial That Led to the End of Human Slavery and An American Trilogy: Death, Slavery, and Dominion on the Banks of the Cape Fear River he visited India along with Kevin Schneider, the organisation s executive president, at the invitation of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIO), to attend its Personhood for Animals meeting. His mission here, he told this writer, was to spread the message that the conferring of legal personhood to all non-human living beings and recognition of their possession of inalienable rights were imperative. The issue of personhood and rights of animals is at the centre of a growing global debate. In 1992, Switzerland recognised animals as beings and not things by amending its Constitution. In 1999, New Zealand conferred basic rights to the great apes gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and bonobos banning their use in research, testing and teaching. In 2002, Germany became the first country in the European Union to enshrine animal rights in its Constitution. In 2008, Spain legislated to protect animals from abuse, torture and death, not only protecting them from scientific experiments but also outlawing their use in television commercials, circuses and films. In India both laws and judicial pronouncements recognise that animals possess certain rights. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, implies that street dogs have the right not to be killed by providing that they be sterilised and immunised by animal welfare organisations, private individuals and local authorities and that they cannot be relocated from their respective territories after being sterilised. They have to be released from where they had been taken. It does provide for their killing under certain circumstances but only after following a prescribed process justifying the Act. Similarly, the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 implies that animals have the right to live and not made extinct. Also, Article 48 [A] of India s Constitution provides that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. According to Article 51A (g) it is the fundamental duty of every Indian citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures. There have been a number of significant judicial pronouncements. For example, in the matter of the Animal Welfare Board of India and A Nagaraja, the Supreme Court recognised that Sections 3 and 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, conferred animals the right to well-being and not being inflicted any unnecessary pain, suffering or cruelty as provided by Section 11. It also stated that animals could not be arbitrarily denied of their honour and dignity, and their rights and privacy had to be respected and protected from unlawful attacks. To cite another example, in Nitin Sanghavi and the Union of India case, which is about the release of a wild elephant called Sonu, which had been kept in captivity by the authorities of Achanakmar Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh for a year-and-a-half after capture, the Chhattisgarh High Court had observed that we need to recognise that animals do have the rights, the enforcement and preservation of which depend largely upon the self-imposed or, otherwise enforced, restrictions that humans should maintain, individually, collectively and through institutions of governance; against invading the life and territories of animals. The rights legally and judicially sanctioned, however, lack the status of fundamental rights which the Indian Constitution provides to humans. The reason for their being denied it is the widespread belief that animals and other non-human living beings belong to a lower category than humans. This is the result of the influence Judaeo-Christian and Graeco-Roman weltanschauung on the culture of the West emerging in the matrix of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, which has now become the dominant global culture. The critical issue was the absence LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Government's laxity Sir This refers to the editorial, Vested interests (May 24). It is unfortunate that the Tamil Nadu police pounced on the people who were protesting against the Sterlite Copper smelter unit in Tuticorin, demanding its closure. It is unpardonable that without giving any warning or taking any precautionary measure, the police resorted to indiscriminate firing, which resulted in the death of 14 people, besides injuring several others. Clearly, the Government has failed to maintain law and order situation. It remained a mute spectator and was unable to counter the dictates of those who ordered the shooting. Tharcius Fernando Chennai Failing our democracy Sir This refers to the article, Roots of Parliamentary democracy (May 22) by VK Bahuguna. Powerful theatricals during the Karnataka election displayed our politicians unquenchable greed for power. Though the BJP emerged victorious having secured 104 of the 222 seats, it failed to achieve the magic number 112. It was, however, clearly that public opinion was in its favour. That the Janata Dal (Secular) could secure only 37 of the 222 seats, made it clear that the electorate never wanted it to assume power. The JD(S) formed an alliance with the Congress against the people s mandate. For the Congress, which has been facing frequent setbacks, of the faculty of reason in animals. St Augustine stated while interpreting the implications of the commandment Thou shalt not kill that it not apply to bushes because they have no sensation nor to unreasoning animals that fly, walk or crawl because they are not partners with us in the faculty of reason. Paul Waldau points out in The Spectre of Speceisism: Buddhist and Christian Views of Animals, Members of human species are viewed in the Hebrew Bible as a single, distinct group of animals that has been specially created and given dominion in Genesis 1.26 over all other animals such as the fish of the sea.birds of the air.the cattle.and every creeping thing. He further stated, mainline Christian tradition has historically asserted, as a part of its basic message, not only a fundamental, radical division between human animals and all other animals but also the exclusion of all other animals interests when they conflict with even minor, unnecessary human interests. Aristotle stated in Politics that nature made all animals for the sake of man and it was permissible to enslave people who did not possess reason as it was permissible to enslave animals. Such views were strengthened by the anthropocentric thrust of Humanism whose essence has been best encapsulated by Protagorus well-known aphorism, Man is the measure of all things, the implications of which in terms of the status of non-human living beings are obvious. The coming of the modern age and the tremendous progress made by humans in modifying, through science and technology, the world to their advantage has further enhanced the feeling of human supremacy and the sovereignty of reason, which has played a critical role in the process and in emphasising the subordinate status on non-human living beings. Modi-Putin meet has put speculation to rest T his refers to the editorial, Shifting sands (May 23). Gone are the days when world leaders used to be contented by picking up their phones to greet their counterparts as part of confidence-building measures. Informal meetings have become the norm for most, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has followed up his meeting with President Xi Jinping of China with his one-on-one with another powerful world leader Russian President Vladimir Putin. Unlike China, Russia has been a solid friend of India from the latter's Soviet Union days. Whenever one's reliable chum befriends a sworn, long-standing enemy, a sense of worry tends to creep in because as they say trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair. But ultimately, truth triumphs and that's in short the New Delhi-Moscow story. One need not look beyond Pakistan's games with Russia and China to understand this. US President Donald Trump's America first slogan and his threat to impose sanctions on countries which do defence and intelligence business with Russia, has annoyed and angered countries like India no end. That said, President Putin must have squirmed in his chair following the India- US bonhomie of sorts. Russia has always been at the forefront in pushing India's cause at world forums NSG or its UNSC membership. Therefore, sagacity and foresight are written all over the decision to elevate Indo-Russia partnership into a strategic and privileged one. The informal look to the Sochi meeting could not have been better timed. It says a lot about old friends trying to put speculation at rest. India seems to be well aware that making new friends is no substitute to building bridges, and not forgetting the old ones. Ganapathi Bhat Akola The ability to reason is, doubtless, an important attribute of the human mind. One, however, wonders whether it is the defining attribute. Irrationality is as much a part of the human mind as irrationality. Otherwise, millions would not have supported Hitler and Mussolini. Intuition and instinct are, arguably, as important as reason. It is the intuitive or instinctive recognition of an objective or a goal that leads to the resort to reason to devise ways of attaining it. Not surprisingly, Elizabeth Costello, the principal protagonist in JM Coetzee s Lives of Animals, says that reason is neither the being of the universe nor the being of God Reason is the being of a certain spectrum in human thinking. As important, reason can be used in the service of both commendable and not so commendable goals. Animals have far superior levels of intuition or instinct than humans. They can survive in situations in which no humans can on their own. They can calculate and have sophisticated systems of communication. Karl Von Frisch won a Nobel Prize in 1973 primarily for his discovery that honeybees possessed by far the most sophisticated system of communication in the modern world after human language. Wise says in Drawing the Line: Science and the Case for Animal Rights that dogs mentally represent and probably carry cognitive maps in their brains, have internal representation of spatial relationships between external sites. We know that they take short-cuts that require them to perform mental calculations. With apologies to TS Elliott, After such knowledge/what forgiveness? Denial of fundamental rights to nonhuman living beings has been a shame and has to end immediately. (The writer is Consultant Editor, The Pioneer, and an author) shocks and reverses for want of leadership, the situation now has become all the more precarious. Democracy in India will be effective and stable if right to vote is made mandatory. Nimai Charan Swain Bhubaneswar A note of caution Sir This refers to the editorial, Vested interests (May 24). The Tuticorin episode has raised many questions that various agencies need to answer. Why was the Sterlite copper unit allowed to be set up at all? At the time of seeking permission to set up the plant, the company must have spelt out the products they would manufacture. Aspects of pollution and the remedial plan to curb the same and other environmental aspects should have been taken into consideration then. What was the Pollution Control Board, which has now denied permission to operate the plant, doing then? Despite complaints from locals about widespread pollution for over a decade, why did successive Governments not take action? There is no point blaming the present Government. Every Government which has held office, and especially the one which gave permission for the company to set up the plant, must own up for the current state of affairs. State Governments need to be careful before allowing industries to set up businesses. VS Jayaraman Chennai Send your feedback to:

9 3rdeye {saturday special} 09 Iran N-deal cauldron: Options for India he Trump Administration s decision to Twithdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear deal, on May 9, has raised serious concerns in the international community on the stability of West Asia. Emboldened by the US action, the Israeli Government launched a series of missile attacks on the Iranian missile sites in Syria. It further shot 59 and wounded over 200 Palestinians protesting against the US decision to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Arab governments, while welcoming the American withdrawal from the JCPOA, condemned the Israeli actions. The JCPOA, a 2015 Obama signature deal, had signified international consensus on peaceful means to prevent Iran from making nuclear bombs. It subjected Iran to the rigorous international inspection regime headed by International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) and linked the gradual lifting of international sanctions on Iran in lieu of the latter s cooperation in adhering to the JCPOA. The deal, in part also, intended to re-integrate Iran in the regional order of West Asia. From all accounts, including from IAEA, Iran have been dutifully implementing the provisions of the JCPOA since In return, Iran benefitted economically from lifting of international sanctions, and gained international recognition as a normal political actor after its political isolation was ended. Now after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, it is interesting to note the regional and international reactions. It has raised some questions: Whether the US withdrawal will contribute towards the stability or will further de-stabilise the region? What are the implications for India? The international community primarily looked at the US move as emanating from unstable, erratic, incoherent personality of Trump and his understanding of politics as commercial activity without any long-term vision of international order. While the force of personality does play some role in shaping the political outcomes; Trump s unilateral withdrawal from a series of international agreements ranging from the Paris Climate Deal in 2017 to the JCPOA in 2018 is not without hard rational political calculation and America s national interests. These are all deft political moves to secure the American interests under the doctrine of America First. This is not for the first time that signatories to international agreements have left the international agreements; the history of international politics is littered with such examples. The Trump Administration believes that Iran has grown taller and increased its influence in the region due to Obama s West Asian policy, including the JCPOA. While Iran directly benefited from US military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama s doctrine of preference of multilateralism over unilateralism and its politics of gradual withdrawal of American militarily troops in the region provided conducive political space for Iran to increase its influence tremendously in the region; in addition to weakening the American security umbrella to the Gulf region. Moreover, the JCPOA only temporarily halted the Iranian dream of acquiring nuclear bombs; it did not eliminate the future possibility of the Iranian nuclear bomb, which greatly concerns America s Gulf allies, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE. With region being de-stabilised in post-arab Spring period both from within (terrorism, ISIS, economic hardship, rapid decline in international oil prices) and outside (weakening of American security structure), a future possibility of nuclear Iran with already existing discourse of politicised Shiism does pose a direct threat to the existence of Sunni Gulf states (particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE). Moreover it has potential to plunge the region into the nuclear arms race. It is for this reason that the Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have welcomed the US withdrawal from the JCPOA. The Trump s decision is intended to achieve two crucial goals: (a) To regain America s presence, prestige, domination and influence in the region. Since mid-1950s, the US has not allowed any other global entity Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron after their joint news conference. Macron's talks with Putin are set to focus on the US exit from the Iranian nuclear deal to share its influence in the region. The reluctance on the part of the Obama Administration to ensure America s traditional commitment to security of the regimes in the region, particularly the Gulf regimes, began to be perceived as its relative decline in the influential quarters of the region. If the Trump Administration considers the American military intervention in Iraq as the biggest blunder of American foreign policy, it is also critical of soft policy of the Obama Administration in the region which allowed other external forces, particularly Iran and Russia, to assert, expand and carve out their zone of influence in the region. (B) To bring back the regime of international sanctions on Iran, which are being considered as the toughest ever sanctions both in their scope (number of items) and jurisdiction (subjecting companies and governments to punitive actions for doing business with Iran)? The US is said to be also working on mechanisms to target the Iranian presence in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The combined measures are intended either to cause regime change in Iran or to weaken the Iranian regime to an extent that it would cease to be a major force in the region. Thus the Trump Administration s policy is to re-establish the old American paradigm in the region: maintain balance of power in the region and not allow any nation to develop capacity to threaten its interest or disturb the balance of power in the region. It may be noted that Iran gained its influence in the region not on account of its internal strength (economy, technical manpower, etc) but due to external situations (collapse of the Iraqi and Taliban regimes; chaos due to Arab Spring, development of ISIS and military weakness of the Gulf regimes, etc). The Trump Administration, therefore, believes that Iran took the advantage of fragile external conditions to boost its influence in the region by sponsoring terrorism. In the current situation, a clear cut alliance pattern is emerging in West Asia. On one side is Iran-Syria-Turkey-Qatar alliance with localised Islamist terrorist forces backed by Russia; on the other side is the coalition of Saudi Arabia-UAE-other GCC members and Egypt, minus Qatar, that is aided by Israel and the US in the field of counter-terrorism. How is India going to respond to the emerging contradictions in the region considering the fact that both Iran and Qatar are vital for India? India needs Iran as gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia besides supply of oil and gas. India is the third largest importer of oil and gas from Iran and it has heavily invested in Chabahar Port, which did help in transporting millions of tonnes of Indian wheat to Afghanistan. Chabahar is further important for constructing International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) connecting India to Russia via Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. Similarly, India imports large amounts of gas from Qatar. India has faced such situations earlier and has pursued the policy of diplomatic balance though the weight of diplomatic balance has been titled in favour of the US-led international order against Iran. Realistically speaking, India does not have much option but to toe the line of emerging informal alliance among US- Israel-Saudi Arabia-UAE without becoming an alliance partner for multiple considerations. First, India s greatest concern is the maintenance of political stability in Gulf (particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE), which is the major source of remittance, bilateral trade, investment, supply of crude oil and gas. Besides, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have successfully collaborated with India in the field of counter-terrorism. Only the US, in collaboration with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, has capability and resources to maintain stability in the region. Second, the Saudis and the UAE together can easily compensate the loss of supply of oil to India. India will be within its right to negotiate with these two Arab countries on the term and conditions of trade favourable to India including the possibility of trading in Indian currency, a lucrative proposition that Iran has offered to India. Politically, it is far more prudent for India to strengthen its relationship with countries championing pluralism and religious moderation such as the UAE. It is also crucial in our fight against Islamic radicalism in South Asia. In the emerging scenario, it is in India s national interest to take a clear stand and reduce levels of engagement with Iran. The perception that the US is internationally isolated because of its withdrawal from the deal is erroneous. The US, with its enormous power and influence over international institutions, continues to set the global agenda and drive the international order. Some mega companies within Europe, including TOTAL, the oil giant, have announced the cancellation of projects with Iran in view of the likelihood of imposition of sanctions against Iran. This is an indication of what is to come. Pragmatism demands that India stands by the forces of stability in West Asia rather than pursuing an ambivalent policy that lacks both clarity and integrity. (The writer is Senior Fellow, Policy Perspectives Foundation, and former professor of international studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia, all in Delhi) The perception that the US is internationally isolated because of its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is erroneous. The US still wields enormous power and influence over international institutions and continues to set the global agenda to manage the international order. Pragmatism demands that India stands by the forces of stability in West Asia rather than pursuing an ambivalent policy that lacks both clarity and integrity ANWAR ALAM INSIGHT Old Mahathir at helm for new Malaysia alaysia s 14th general election outcome Mhas brought the nonagenarian Mahathir Mohamad back to the centre stage of politics. His Pakatan Harapan (PH) or Alliance of Hope or Pact of Hope, which was earlier led by his one-time deputy Anwar Ibrahim, got a boost when he took over as its chairman. In fact, 92-year old Mahathir s return to politics literally consolidated the Opposition parties against the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) led by Barisan Nasional (BN). Truly speaking, the Opposition parties were floundering since Anwar was languishing in jail in a sodomy case for long. Mahathir s resignation from office in 2003 to fight high-level corruption in the Najib Razak Government (particularly the multi-billion dollar scam of 1MDB), and finally to oust the latter from office, uncovers many political realities of Malaysia. Mahathir ruled the country for 23 years from His second innings in power is largely motivated by two significant themes: first, to put an end to the hegemony of UMNO in Malay politics, and second, to teach Najib a lesson. Succinctly, he has achieved both within a historic timeframe as the voters in Malaysia were largely disillusioned with the Najib Government. And they were badly touched by the allegation that their Prime Minister had stolen nearly a billion dollar from the public fund. Mahathir, one of the most revered statesmen of the country, once proclaimed the 21st century to be a global century keeping in mind his country s seat in the comity of nations in an age largely defined by unmatched forces of globalisation. What he did to claim that was indeed remarkable. He literally transformed the country into one of the strongest economies of the region. During his time, the living standards of the people significantly improved and the rate of unemployment remained stable at 3.8 per cent. Remarkably, since 1981, when he took up the reins, public universities thrived, the number of doctors increased from 2,000 to 15,000 and hospital facilities have come a long way from 88 to 374 in number. Between , the country s economic growth touched 8 per cent. Meanwhile, he released an economic marvel popularly known as The Way Forward or Vision 2020 and he promised that by the year 2020, Malaysia would attain the status of a developed nation. His grand success was in lifting the country from a traditional agricultural economy to an emerging manufacturing hub of the region. What the critics say is that though Mahathir adopted very pragmatic economic plans, he continued his repressive policies throughout his rule. He aptly demonstrated that Islam is compatible with representative style of Government and political modernisation. Even he projected himself as a third world champion and Islamic spokesman by constantly standing up to the West. That was what Mahathir was in his earlier avatar on the onset of globalisation in Asia. But today, turning himself to be the oldest ruling head of any country in the world, he has once again proved his power to move the crowd. Mahathir has set a record by dislodging the UMNO, the party that governed Malaysia since 1957, the year of its birth from the clutches of British imperialism. This election marked the first transfer of power in Malaysia s modern political history from the UMNO to a new coalition of the PH. Despite MAKHAN SAIKIA rumours doing the rounds that the Najib Government will finally prevent a change of government, the transition of power took place quite peacefully. The Election Commission seemingly stacked with hardcore Najib loyalists made an official announcement that the Opposition has won the majority of the seats. Subsequently, the Malaysian Agong (King) invited the veteran Mahathir and named him the Prime Minister of the country. This is how the historic journey of Mahathir unfolded once again in Malaysian political landscape. On the other hand, Najib s 10-year rule ended with a humiliating defeat for him and the country s oldest ruling party on this May 9 general election. The saddest part of this historic electoral battle was that he was pushed from his office by none other than his one-time mentor Mahathir. The ordinary Malays have outright rejected him a third term in office, and demonstrated that they are no longer comfortable with his corrupt and authoritarian regime. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to overlook the gains made in the Najib era. He was successful in fundamentally repositioning Malaysia at the global stage. He fast moved from age old UMNO policy to separate Asia from America. He further argued that the US is a crucial ally of Malaysia and the ASEAN. Though Najib always had a tight grip on the UMNO, he openly discussed and debated democratic values on platforms such as the Asian Regional Forum. He also hurled strong criticisms against authoritarian regimes of North Korea and Myanmar. And what the international community had witnessed during his decade-long rule would have never been countenanced as the practice was always there to criticise the West. Surprisingly, at a time of an ISIS rise, Najib spoke in various international forums to fight global terrorism and urged to form a league of nations to counter the same. His strong economic performance was a marked contrast to what happened during Mahathir s time with ethnic preferences and frequent complaints of cronyism. This was all fair and fine. What came as shock wave to people was the horror of the 1MDB scandal and constant charges of corruption against Najib. The alleged misappropriation of $4.5 billion from the fund, once established by Najib himself, is under investigation by the US Department of Justice, and countries such as Switzerland and Singapore now. In the last three years, this scandal has led to arrests of key officials, closing down of several banks, and, of course, the seizure of multi-billion dollar assets around the globe. This kind of siphoning off public money by Najib played a critical role in moving out the country s grand old party from power for the first time since Independence. Indeed, the case has dogged Najib since the Wall Street Journal made it public in August The report claimed that nearly $700 million from the 1MDB fund has flowed into Najib s personal account. Later, the US Department of Justice lawsuits indicated he received transfers of more than $1 billion from 1MDB, though he denies any kind of wrongdoing. With the release of Anwar Ibrahim from jail through a full royal pardon by the Malaysian Agong, it is believed that he may soon take over from Mahathir. Anwar has long political career during which he received mixed responses from the Malays. Once he was considered one of the leading progressive political stalwarts of the country who advocated a strong reconciliation of Western and Islamic values in a politically sensitive and ethnically diverse Malaysia. But then his imprisonment by Mahathir on charges of sodomy forced him to move closer to Islamic politics. Rather he sought realignment with the existing Islamic brand of political discourse in Malaysia. This had a negative impact on the liberal-minded women-folk of the country as they presumed that Anwar might support the revival of a stringent Sharia system in the States of Malaysia. Nevertheless, his is the image of an ardent advocate of human rights and democracy as perceived by majority of the people. His sustained criticism of Najib s repressive policies which truly reflected the horrors of the Mahathir era has indirectly helped him project his liberal political agenda for a new generation of Malaysians who have been longing for freedom, diversity and global connectivity. In a very recent interview to Al Jazeera, after his release from the prison, Anwar Ibrahim has clarified about his succession plan: People mention one year, some say one year and a half, some say two. In my discussion with him (Mahathir), he does not insist on this sort of clear timeframe. And I wanted him to be just comfortable. I just said you manage the affairs of this nation, I need time. This clearly shows that for now Anwar will make him visible in public both within and outside the country. What he basically wants is a reconnect to his fans, supporters and party workers from whom he was away almost for two decades now. As his wife, Azizah, is currently functioning as a Deputy Prime Minister in Mahathir Cabinet, he is absolutely not in a hurry. What he wants is the Muslim world to hear the voice of reason on democratic transition and democratic accountability from him. Precisely, it is good that Mahathir is exposing Najib and bringing back the faith of the ordinary Malays on the governance system. It would be always fair to restrain his power and to retain the best of what Najib has delivered in the past. Else, Mahathir s great stride to politics at this age would be remembered as a regime of revenge wherein he has only hounded political opponents, cronies and a genre of corrupt officials. Hope the bumiputera will showcase his true statesmanship and herald a new age of reform and rejuvenation to the Asian tiger. And, hopefully and quietly pass on the reign to Anwar. (The writer is an expert on international affairs) PERSPECTIVE Astonishing feats of Modi Govt our years into power, Modinomics Fhas worked wonders. Most crucial among a plethora of reforms undertaken by the Narendra Modi Government has been its resolve on the NPA mess the worst legacy of the erstwhile Congress-led dispensation which deliberately did not classify umpteen bad loans as NPAs, thanks to dubious evergreening of such loans. Therefore, the `36,400 crore takeover of the beleaguered Bhushan Steel by Tata Steel in May 2018 that had Indian public sector banks laughing all the way to the bank is a shining example of how Modinomics is winning the NPA war and showcases how political will can surmount any bad legacy. Be it amendments to the Chit Fund Act 1982, operationalising the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, or the NPA Ordinance that was promulgated in May 2017 to authorise RBI to intervene directly in directing banks to resolve default cases under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) the Modi Government has, in a short span of four years, brought sweeping economic reforms to uproot corruption, with the IBC having successfully resolved more than 655 default cases via the National Company Law Tribunal. However, it is the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2017 that gives the authorities the power to confiscate and sell the assets of wilful defaulters, which is by far, one of the boldest reforms by the Narendra Modi dispensation to nail scamsters who wish to evade the due legal process in India. However, the most disruptive and yet the most successful reform that Modinomics will be remembered for by posterity is demonetisation. It changed forever the mindset and attitude of people towards corruption that had become a way of life under the erstwhile UPA Government. So what if the 99 per cent of the `15.44 lakh crore that was demonetised is back with the banks? Not all of that 99 per cent is white! Also, a large part of the money that is back with the banks is unaccounted for! This is evident from the fact that 18 lakh bank accounts are under probe by the ED, as money deposited is not in sync with the tax profiles concerned. Hence, critics of demonetisation seem to have completely missed the plot. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) have identified two sets of people and entities. In the first set, they identified people who made cumulative cash deposits between `2 lakh and `80 lakh during the first 50 days of demonetisation, in which a total of `5.4 lakh crore of cash was deposited via lakh transactions. In the second set, the super rich made cash deposits worth more than `80 lakh via 1.41 lakh transactions. The biggest success of demonetisation, therefore, is the fact that anywhere between `2 lakh crore and `5.4 lakh crore of money that was outside the ambit of the tax net and largely unaccounted for, is now a part of the formal banking system. In other words, gross domestic product (GDP) between 1.3 per cent and 3.6 per cent that was outside the formal banking channels is now very much a part of the formal system. The more underrated and yet significant positive aspect of demonetisation, however, is the perceptible shift from physical to financial savings, which is evident from the fact that in April 2018 alone the Indian mutual fund industry attracted `1.4 lakh crore worth of inflows, taking the total Assets Under Management (AUM) to `23.3 lakh crore, a new high! Post demonetisation, more than 77 lakh new portfolios were added to the mutual fund industry, largely from tier- II towns, in against a little over 35 lakh portfolios in a 120 per cent growth. That positive trend continues. Of course, no discussion on Modinomics is complete without an ode to GST, which finally became a reality on July 1, 2017, after an inept Congress-led UPA establishment sat on the Kelkar Committee recommendations for 10 long years without being able to forge a consensus even on basics like compensation to States. From 36 lakh businesses that filed GST returns in July 2017, to more than 1.05 crore unique taxpaying entities that have enrolled with GST network currently, with GST collections in April 2018 at a new high of `1.03 lakh crore, India s One Nation One Tax initiative bodes well for tax efficiency without tax terrorism. GST is hugely pro-poor and promiddle class, and this is amply evident from the fact that items of daily and regular use, from milk, curd, eggs, fish, chicken and flour to rotis, milk powder, tea, coffee, medicines, frozen vegetables, LPG, biogas, stents, kerosene, sanitary napkins and, eating out in both AC and non AC restaurants, are charged either 0% or 5% tax! Barely 50 items, largely sin goods and luxury products are charged at 28%. In fact, the huge pro-middle class tilt of Modinomics is best amplified by the fact that average home loan rates have fallen from 11.75% in 2013 to barely 8.35% now, which effectively means, on a `50 lakh loan for 20 years, the EMI savings would be in excess of `12,000 every single month! Of course, the fact that homebuyers-friendly RERA weeds out unscrupulous developers and middlemen, ensures timely delivery of property to the end user, failing which huge penalties come into play. This has promoted the cause of the homebuyers. The biggest and most unfounded allegation against the Modi Government is that Modinomics is all about jobless growth. Modi s critics, however, need to be reminded that the economist at IHS Markit, Aashna Dodhi, has said, job growth as on March 2018 is the highest since 2011, driven by strong demand, output growth in manufacturing and higher staffing in service related sectors, The BJP Government has sought to bring development to the doorstep of the last man standing to help him aspire for the impossible SANJU VERMA thanks to greater formalisation of the Indian economy. This is corroborated by the Ghosh & Ghosh report also which states that 45.5 lakh and 55.2 lakh new contributing members were added to the EPFO in and Extrapolating this data, they concluded that at least 70 lakh new jobs were added in Opposition parties and pseudo intellectuals were quick to debunk Ghosh & Ghosh, saying the new member additions to EPFO which grew by 20-23% in 2017 & 2018 were higher than the growth of 7-8% in 2015 & 2016, which simply implied that informal jobs had now become formal and not that new jobs had necessarily been created. However, the truth is the 70 lakh job figure is very conservative and the actual addition to jobs may be 1.4 crore people, in The rule of thumb is, for every payroll job that is supported by EPFO data, that there is a corresponding job that is created either in the unorganised sector, in MSME, in the farm sector or allied ancillaries. Also, the EPFO data only takes into account jobs/payrolls for entities employing 20 or more people but, if one were to account for jobs in entities employing less than 20 people, the job addition is not 70 lakh persons but could well be 1.4 crore people or more in alone. But the left-leaning media and an electorally vanquished Opposition finds hard to digest! It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit, said Harry S Truman. Modinomics has done precisely that. It has sought to bring development to the doorstep of the last man standing to help him aspire for the impossible and as they say impossible is nothing, especially when you have a leader like Modi at the helm. (Concluded) (The writer is an economist and chief spokesperson for BJP, Mumbai)

10 money 10 Benchmarks soar for 2nd day, end volatile week with modest gains PTI n MUMBAI Hero Motocorp 1.85%, Tata TCS M-C SURGES PAST `7 LAKH CR-MARK Motors 1.82%, Kotak Bank S tocks defied gravity for the New Delhi (PTI): Tata Consultancy Services market valuation surged past the `7 lakh crore mark on Friday, making it the Maruti Suzuki 1.63%, M&M 1.78%, Bharti Airtel 1.76%, second straight session on Friday as recently-mauled first company to achieve this milestone. Buoyed by a rally in its 1.55%, HDFC Bank 1.30%, Sun energy and metal counters attracted heavy buying interest. A recovering rupee, encouraging earnings and unabated buying by domestic institutional investors added to the momentum, brokers The BSE Sensex surged share price, the market valuation of TCS jumped to `7,03,309 crore in intra-day session on the BSE. The m-cap has been calculated from its 52-week high price of `3,674 hit on Friday on the exchange. TCS shares rose by 1.91 per cent to `3,674 on Friday. Shares of the company have gained nearly 35 per cent so far this year. Tata Consultancy Services market valuation had earlier this year surged past the `6 lakh crore mark. Pharma 0.97%, Bajaj Auto 0.95%, HUL 0.90%, HDFC Ltd 0.71%, RIL 0.62%, Infosys 0.57%, L&T 0.38%, and Wipro 0.28%. However, Coal India fell 1.36%, ITC 1.04%, SBI 0.56%, TCS 0.43%, ICICI Bank 0.25%, Dr Reddy s 0.08% and Asian over 261 points to finish at 34,924.87, while the broader NSE Nifty jumped points to 10, On the global front, investors were cautious after US President Donald Trump cancelled a planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and threatened to impose tariffs on auto imports. The 30-share BSE Sensex opened on a strong footing at 34, and maintained its upward trend to hit the day s high of 35, It finally ended at 34,924.87, up points, or 0.76%. The index had rallied points in the previous session. The Nifty finished the day at 10,605.15, showing a hefty gain of points, or 0.87%, the Nifty rose 8.75 points, or 0.08%. Meanwhile, Indian markets have witnessed a significant rise during the first four years of the Narendra Modi government. Since May 26, 2014, the day Modi was sworn in as the Prime Minister, the benchmark Sensex has risen by 10, points or 41.30%, while the NSE Nifty spurted 3, points or 44.11%. The Sensex hit a lifetime high of 36, on January 29, A less than hawkish US Fed minutes and positive global cues uplifted domestic sentiments. Short covering was broad-based across sectors, while some buying interest was seen in mid and small cap stocks. Some respite was seen in Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) net bought equities worth `1, crore, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares to the tune of ` crore on Thursday, provisional data showed. State-owned oil companies IOC, ONGC, HPCL and BPCL recovered after a sharp decline Thursday. ONGC was the top performer in the Sensex pack, rising 4.59%, with global crude oil benchmark Brent dipping to USD a barrel. IT stocks extend gains for the second day, led by Infosys 0.57%, Tata Elxsi 3.03% and Wipro 0.28%. Tata Steel climbed 3.43% after the NCLAT refused to entertain a second round of bidding Paints 0.04%. Among sectoral indices, oil and gas rose 3.05%, metal 2.20%, infrastructure 1.98%, auto 1.70%, PSU 1.42%, power 1.37%, realty 1.27%, healthcare 1.05%, bankex 1.02%, capital goods 0.65%, teck 0.37%, FMCG 0.21% and IT 0.15%. Consumer durables was the sole loser, declined 0.29%. The broader markets also showed a firming trend, with the mid-cap index advancing by 1.55% and small-cap gaining 1.17%. Vedanta Ltd shares recovered 0.60% after a two-session falling streak. In the Asian region, Japan s Nikkei ended 0.06% higher, while Hong Kong s Hang Seng fell 0.56% and Shanghai after shuttling between INR and oil prices which helped for Bhushan Steel. Composite shed 0.42%. 10, and 10,524. On a weekly basis, the Sensex scored a moderate gain of points, or 0.22% while the market to recoup its losses this week, said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services. Other gainers in the Sensex pack were Yes Bank 2.71%, IndusInd Bank 2.29%, Adani Ports 2.17%, Axis Bank 1.88%, In the Eurozone, Frankfurt s DAX rose 0.99% and Paris CAC gained 0.52% in early deals. London s FTSE rose 0.14%. Toyota and Suzuki expand scope of partnership in India PTI n NEW DELHI apanese auto majors Toyota and Suzuki on JFriday announced expanding scope of their collaboration, including plans for Toyota Kirloskar Motor to manufacture models developed by Suzuki for sale in India through their respective brand networks. Moreover, the two firms are looking at cooperation in exports of models developed by Suzuki, including those produced by Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) the Indian arm of Toyota, from India to Africa and other markets through their respective global sales networks, the two companies said in a joint statement. Besides, Toyota and Suzuki, which had in March concluded a basic agreement for supplying hybrid and other vehicles to each other for the Indian market, will also discuss Toyota and Denso Corporation providing technological support for a compact, ultrahigh-efficiency powertrain to be developed by Suzuki. Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Suzuki Motor Corporation (Suzuki) have agreed today to start discussing new joint projects in the fields of technological development, vehicle production, and market development, the statement The two companies have also been broadening the scope of their partnership considerations to include joint efforts related to production and market development, it added. The discussion topics include TKM to produce models developed by Suzuki for sale in India through each of the Toyota and Suzuki brand network, it The discussions also cover supply of models developed by Suzuki, including those to be produced by TKM from India to African and other markets by Toyota and Suzuki, employing each of the Toyota and Suzuki sales networks to sell such vehicles, and advancing cooperation in the domains of logistics and services. Tech Mahindra Q4 net profit doubles to `1,222 crore New Delhi/Mumbai (PTI): IT company Tech Mahindra on Friday said its consolidated net profit more than doubled to `1,222 crore in the quarter ending March The company had posted a net profit of `587.9 crore in the same period a year ago, Tech Mahindra said in a statement. Consolidated revenue from operations of Tech Mahindra increased by 7.4 per cent to `8,054.5 crore in the reported quarter, from `7,495 crore in the same period of For , the company posted about 35% rise in net profit at about `3,800 crore, while revenue increased by 5.6% to about `30,773 crore from the previous fiscal. The Board of Directors have recommended a final dividend of `14 per share on par value of `5 for the financial year ended March 31, 2018, subject to approval by the members of the company at its Annual General Meeting. IDBI BANK S NET LOSS WIDENS State-owned IDBI Bank on Friday reported widened net loss at `5, crore in the quarter ending March 2018 due to higher provisioning for non-performing assets (NPAs). The bank had reported a net loss of `3, crore in the corresponding January-March quarter of The bank s income during January-March 2018 was `7, crore, marginally up from `7, crore in the year-ago period, it said in a regulatory filing. IDBI Bank s gross NPA soared to 27.95% of its loans at March 2018-end compared to per cent at the end of March Similarly, the net NPAs were per cent compared to 13.21% In absolute terms, gross bad loans stood at `55, crore, up from `44, crore on March 31, CADILA HEALTHCARE Q4 NET UP 53% AT `590.8 CR Cadila Healthcare on Friday reported 53.26% jump in consolidated net profit at `590.8 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, The company had posted a consolidated net profit of `385.5 crore in the same quarter a year ago, Cadila Healthcare said in a BSE filing. Consolidated sales for the period under review stood at `3,152.7 crore. It was at `2,452.7 crore in the fourth quarter previous fiscal. For the year ended March 31, 2018, consolidated net profit was at `1,775.8 crore as against `1,487.7 crore in , up 19.37%,. Consolidated sales for were at `11,630.8 crore. It was at `9,363.1 crore in the previous fiscal, the company The board of directors have recommended a dividend of `3.5 per equity share of `1 each for the fiscal ended March 31, 2018 subject to shareholders approval in the ensuing AGM. SUN PHARMA Q4 NET UP 7 PC Drug major Sun Pharma on Friday posted 6.96% increase in its consolidated net profit at `1, crore for the fourth quarter ended March The company had reported a net profit of `1, crore in the same period of the previous fiscal. Total revenue from operations declined to `6, crore for the fourth quarter. It stood at `7, crore during the same period of For the year ended March 31, it posted a net profit of `2, crore, down 68.96% `6, crore in NIFTY 50 SCRIP OPEN HIGH LOW LTP CHANGE IOC IBULHSGFIN 1, , , , HINDALCO HINDPETRO BAJAJFINSV 5, , , , ONGC GAIL TATASTEEL YESBANK BPCL EICHERMOT 29, , , , INDUSINDBK 1, , , , ADANIPORTS M&M TATAMOTORS MARUTI 8, , , , KOTAKBANK 1, , , , BHARTIARTL ZEEL HEROMOTOCO 3, , , , SUNPHARMA HINDUNILVR 1, , , , AXISBANK BAJFINANCE 2, , , , ITC HDFCBANK 1, , , , ULTRACEMCO 3, , , , BAJAJ-AUTO 2, , , , GRASIM 1, , , , INFY 1, , , , RELIANCE HDFC 1, , , , VEDL UPL HCLTECH CIPLA LUPIN TITAN WIPRO POWERGRID LT 1, , , , NTPC DRREDDY 1, , , , TCS 3, , , , ICICIBANK SBIN ASIANPAINT 1, , , , COALINDIA TECHM INFRATEL NIFTY NEXT 50 SCRIP OPEN HIGH LOW LTP CHANGE DMART 1, , , , CADILAHC PIDILITIND 1, , , , INDIGO 1, , , , IDEA ICICIPRULI MCDOWELL-N 3, , , , L&TFH SAIL JSWSTEEL MOTHERSUMI DLF LICHSGFIN HINDZINC DABUR BEL SIEMENS 1, , , , PNB BRITANNIA 5, , , , HAVELLS 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11 world 11 North Korea open to US talks any time despite Trump axing summit AFP n SEOUL orth Korea said on Friday Nit is willing to talk to the United States at any time after President Donald Trump abruptly cancelled a summit, a decision that once more casts a pall of uncertainty over the the turbulent Korean peninsula. Trump blamed open hostility from the North Korean regime for his decision to call off the planned talks with Kim Jong Un, and warned Pyongyang against committing any foolish or reckless acts. In a personal letter to Kim, Trump announced yesterday he would not go ahead with the June 12 summit in Singapore, following what the White House called a trail of broken promises by the North. Pyongyang s immediate reaction to the sudden U-turn was conciliatory. First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called Trump s decision unexpected and regrettable. But he left the door open, saying officials were willing to sit face-to-face at any time. Just before Trump announced the cancellation of the talks, North Korea declared it had completely dismantled its nuclear test site in the country s far northeast, in a carefully choreographed goodwill gesture ahead of the summit. But the chances of success for the unprecedented face-to-face had recently been thrown into doubt as threats were traded by both sides. Trump s announcement came a day after Pyongyang hardened its rhetoric, calling comments by Vice President Mike Pence ignorant and stupid. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting, read Trump s letter to Kim. But he said talks could still go ahead at a later date. The decision blindsided treaty ally South Korea, which until now had brokered a remarkable detente between Washington and Pyongyang. South Korean President Moon Jae-in called the move shocking and very regrettable as he scrambled his national security team. Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said Seoul would continue talking to Kim s regime which he believed remains sincere in implementing the agreement and making efforts on denuclearisation and peace building. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the parties to keep talking, as did host Singapore, while Russia s President Vladimir Putin held out hope that dialogue would resume and the talks would eventually take place. Japan said it would maintain close cooperation with the United States and South Korea. Politically, Trump had invested heavily in the success of the planned summit. But as the date drew nearer, the gulf in expectations between the two sides became apparent. Washington has made it clear it wants to see the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the North. But Pyongyang has vowed it will never give up its nuclear deterrent until it feels safe from what it terms US aggression. A senior White House official said Pyongyang had demonstrated a profound lack of good faith in the run-up to the summit including standing up the White House s deputy chief of staff, who had travelled to Singapore for preparatory talks. They waited and they waited. The North Koreans never showed up. The North Koreans did not tell us anything they simply stood us up, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The White House viewed North Korea s objection to a routine US-South Korean joint military exercise and its recent cancellation of a meeting with the South Koreans as a breach of its commitments leading up to the summit. It also was unhappy about the North s failure to allow international observers to verify the dismantling of its Punggye-ri test site, the staging ground for all six of its nuclear tests which was buried inside a mountain near the border with China. But the North s Kim Kye Gwan countered that their angry statements were just a backlash in response to harsh words from the US side that has been pushing for a unilateral denuclearisation. Both Pence and Trump s hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton had recently raised the spectre of Libyan leader Moamer Khadafi, who gave up atomic weapons only to die years later at the hands of US-backed rebels. Trump welcomes N Korea reaction on talks PTI n WASHINGTON resident Donald Trump on PFriday welcomed North Korea s response to his decision to cancel the historic summit next month with Kim Jong-un as very good news after Pyongyang said it was still willing to talk to the US any time in any form. Trump on Thursday cancelled his proposed summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jongun on June 12 in Singapore and blamed PTI n WASHINGTON ndia needs to be central to Iwhat the Trump administration does in South and Central Asia, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told lawmakers today, asserting that India ought to be one of America s closet partners. For scores of reasons, India needs to be central to what we do. Specific issues South Central Asia issues, Southeast Asia issues. They ought to be one of our closest partners and we ought to do everything we can to make sure that we achieve that, he told the members of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Pompeo, who was till recently the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was responding to questions from Senator Chris Coons from Delaware about how to further strengthen the US- India relationship. Mr Secretary, if you would like to say anything about how we can work with this most populous democracy, a potential strategic partner to strengthen that relationship, I ll make that my last question, Coons asked. He said sustaining a strategic dialogue with India was something that would enjoy strong support here. Pompeo responded that, Defense Secretary (James) Mattis and I will jointly meet with our Indian counterparts in a dialogue that the two countries have had. I don t know that the date s been set but we re looking to do it. I think it s set this summer, very important. Pompeo and Mattis are expected to host their Indian counterparts External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman some time this summer for the inaugural 2+2 Pyongyang s tremendous anger and open hostility for his dramatic decision. His announcement came hours after North Korea carried out what it said is the demolition of its nuclear test site on Thursday. Reacting to Trump s letter, North Korea today said it was still willing to talk to the US though the President has cancelled the summit. The abrupt announcement of the cancellation of the meeting is unexpected for us and we cannot but find it extremely regrettable, Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea s First Vice Foreign Minister, said in a statement. We again state to the US our willingness to sit face-to-face at any time in any form to resolve the problem, Kim was quoted as saying by the state-run KCNA news agency. Trump in his first reaction dialogue. The decision about this was taken when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was hosted by President Donald Trump at the White House on June 26 last year. The US-India relationship enjoys bipartisan support in the US Congress. Early this week, a top US State Department official said the Trump administration supports India s emergence as a leading global power and as a to the North Korean statement welcomed Pyongyang s reaction. Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea, Trump said in an early morning tweet. We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell! he said in another tweet. Though he cancelled June 12 summit, however, kept the door open for future talks with Kim. If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history, Trump had said in his letter to the North Korean leader. Pompeo: India ought to be one of America s closest partners Mike Pompeo pushes for CAATSA waiver Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged the Congress to provide the necessary waiver so that its sanctions on Russia under CAATSA does not impact countries for which it is not intended for. Provisions of the Countering America s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) threaten India and several other close friends and allies of the US with sanctions. CAATSA is a US federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. It includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia s defence and intelligence sectors. India is planning to purchase five S-400 Triumf air defence systems for around USD 4.5 billion from Russia, which US officials say could be considered as a significant military purchase. Will you make a commitment that you ll help (Defence) Secretary (Jim) Mattis get the waivers that he needs in order to make sure that these sanctions don t hit folks that were not intended to be harmed by these sanctions? Pompeo asked Senator Robert Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a Congressional hearing Pompeo was referring to the letter written by Mattis to the Congress in which he has sought waiver for certain countries from CAATSA legislation, which was signed into law by the US President Donald Trump in August Under this any significant purchase of military equipment from Russia would attract American sanctions. Mattis recently wrote a letter to the Congress seeking waiver for certain provisions. I know it s not my day to ask questions, but it is my day to ask for things that I think we need, Pompeo Menendez, a strong advocate of CAATSA sanctions, urged Pompeo to go ahead with the sanctions. PTI key partner in the Indo-Pacific region. The US-India partnership is rooted in shared democratic values and a commitment to a rules-based order. We support India s emergence as a leading global power and as a key partner in our efforts to ensure that the Indo- Pacific is a region of peace, stability and growing prosperity, States Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert had US BLAMES TRAIL OF BROKEN PROMISES FOR SUMMIT CANCELLATION A trail of broken promises by North Korea, including keeping a team of US officials waiting in Singapore for a preparatory meeting, forced US President Donald Trump to cancel his proposed summit with Kim Jong-un, according to a senior White House official. It was on March 8 that a delegation visiting from South Korea came to the White House to deliver a message from Kim Jong Un to Trump. The message conveyed from Kim was that he was committed to denuclearisation, the official familiar with the process told reporters. He also pledged to refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests and said he understood that routine joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States would continue, he said on condition of anonymity. A protester wearing a mask of U.S. President Donald Trump, center, performs with cut-out photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, during a rally against the United States' policies against North Korea near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea on Friday. China denies Donald Trump s hint that Xi changed Kim s mind Beijing (PTI): China on Friday refuted US President Donald Trump s remarks hinting that President Xi Jinping had a role in North Korean leader Kim Jong-un having a change of mind over Korean peace talks, and said its intentions are above board. I think there was a change in attitude from Kim Jong-un after his meeting with Xi. There was a difference after Kim Jong un left China the second time. President Xi is a world class poker player, Trump said three days ago, casting doubts on China s role leading up to the cancellation of his summit with Kim planned for next month in Singapore. Maybe nothing happened, I m not blaming anybody. But there was a different attitude from the North Korean folks after that second meeting between Xi and Kim, Trump said stressing that he has a good personal relationship with the Chinese president. Kim made his first visit to China on March 27 as he warmed up to Trump s overtures with direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang. But after agreeing for a summit meeting with Trump, he again made a surprise second visit to China on May 8 and held a Wuhan-style summit with Xi which the US president says has US seeks probe into killing of Hindus by ARSA in Myanmar PTI n WASHINGTON eeply concerned over the DAmnesty International report on the alleged killing of Hindu villagers by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), the US on Friday said there was an urgent need for a credible and independent investigation into the human rights violations in Myanmar s restive Rakhine province. We are deeply concerned by Amnesty s report on the killing of Hindu villagers by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. Accountability for all those responsible for human rights abuses and violations in northern Rakhine state remains critical, a US State Department spokesperson told PTI. He said the report further highlights the urgent need for a credible and independent investigation in Rakhine state to further determine all facts on the ground to fix accountability and provide justice to victims. The United States continues to support such an investigation, the spokesperson In its report early this week, the Amnesty International said a Rohingya armed group brandishing guns and swords was responsible for at least one, and potentially a second, massacre of up to 99 Hindu women, men and children as well as additional unlawful killings and abductions of Hindu villagers in August At around 8 am on 25 August 2017, ARSA attacked the Hindu community in the village of Ah Nauk Kha Maung Seik, in a cluster of villages known as Kha Maung Seik in northern Maungdaw Township. At the time of the attack, the Hindu villagers lived in close proximity to Rohingya villagers, who are predominantly Muslim. Rakhine villagers, who are predominantly Buddhist, also lived in the same area, Amnesty said in its latest report. In a statement Burma Task Force, a coalition of 19 US and Canadian Muslim organisations, slammed the Amnesty International for such a report. It is a major public relations bonanza for the genocidal Burmese regime. It puts 60,000 Rohingyas in India even at more risk than they already are, it The Amnesty International report presents, as fact, evidence and conclusions that are both seriously questionable, and by doing so it aids the propaganda efforts of a regime whose every action suggests it is bent on carrying out genocide, the task force Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorisation Act 2019, which addresses the issue of alleged ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. This provision imposes new sanctions on Burmese military officials and bars their forces from US joint drills, Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Over the past year, the Burmese military has escalated its decades-long campaign against the country s Rohingya Muslim minority. More than 7,00,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee and thousands have been slaughtered. Entire villages have been burned and bulldozed, he changed the North Korean dictator s mind. As for China s role, we said many times that China has always played a positive and constructive role on the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said here when asked about Trump s allegation. Our intentions are above board. In fact our position is that the parties should stay committed to the denuclearisation of the peninsula, and maintaining peace, stability on the peninsula (by) resolving the issue through consultation. Our position remained unchanged, he All relevant parties should not lose sight of the consistency of the Chinese position. When holding talks with the US and DPRK (North Korea), China has always stated our position in this regard, he Lu put the onus of failure on the US saying that all parties should reflect on the issue. The political settlement of the issue calls on all parties, especially all parties directly concerned, to move in the same direction and demonstrate goodwill. In this aspect, all relevant parties should reflect on themselves and how much they have done, he PTI n ISLAMABAD akistan s ousted premier PNawaz Sharif on Friday demanded an urgent meeting of the high-powered National Security Committee (NSC) to discuss the content of a book co-authored by former spy chiefs of Pakistan and India. Lieutenant General (retd) Asad Durrani, who headed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency from August 1990 till March 1992, along with Indian former RAW chief AS Dulat has written The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace. The book was released on Wednesday. Sharif demanded that whatever Durrani wrote in the book should also be discussed in the meeting of NSC, days after a similar meeting was convened by the Committee to condemn his Kim not a weak leader Washington (PTI): Kim Jong-un is not a weak leader and he has shown tremendous capacity to lead North Korea, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the only top US official to have met the reclusive leader twice in recent weeks. Pompeo s statement came after US President Donald Trump cancelled his proposed summit meeting with Kim on June 12 in Singapore. Trump described the cancellation of the summit as a tremendous setback for North Korea and warned that the US military is ready to act should Pyongyang take any foolish and reckless action. Pompeo first travelled to North Korea in his capacity as the CIA Director last month and again this month as the Secretary of State. Both the meetings, he said, laid the ground work for a meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump. I spoke in English. There was a translator. But our team confirmed that the translator said what I I had two meetings, maybe three hours plus, total, enough that I understood statement over the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, in an attempt to draw a parallel to his remarks. In an interview to the Dawn newspaper earlier this month, Sharif had said: Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can t we complete the trial? The Committee him to have understood what I was saying, the top US diplomat told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday. When I heard back from him (Kim), there was little doubt in my mind that he understood the scope of what we were asking for, the nature of what would have to take place, the verification that we would need to undertake in order to be comfortable that we could begin to deliver the assurances that he, in return, asked for, Pompeo said when Senators asked him if he was able to convey the message to Kim properly. I think we were having a real conversation where there was real understanding between the two of us. It s what caused me to recommend to the president that I thought the time would, in fact, permit us to have a real opportunity to do something historic, Pompeo He said that he was still optimistic that the US will reach the point. I know the president is (optimistic) as well, he Responding to a question, he said he does not believe that Kim is a weak leader. Is it your opinion that this decision by Kim Jong-un is a result of a weak leader who lacks the internal support to go forward with a meeting on denuclearisation? Or was this just poor negotiating strategies by Kim Jong-un? Senator Robert Menendez asked. Call NSC meeting to discuss content of book authored by spy chief of India, Pak later condemned his remarks, irking Sharif, who is trying to resurrect his image after being disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 28 last year. Separately, former chairman Senate Raza Rabbani and prominent leader of Pakistan Peoples Party also criticised the joint book by rival spy chiefs. It is shocking that on the one hand Pakistan and India relations are at an all-time low and on the other hand, former spy chiefs of both the countries are teaming up to write a book, the former Senate chairman He said a lot of noise would have been made had a civilian teamed up with the RAW chief to write a book Had a politician done the same thing he would have been labelled a traitor, Rabbani Brown bear cubs Gianni, left, and Sam, play in an area of Rome's Bioparco on Thursday. The two 18-month old cubs, exploited for photo opportunities in a hotel of northern Albania, were taken to Italy after been recovered by some animals rights associations.

12 Rescinding of H-4 visa work permit in final stages PTI n WASHINGTON he move to rescind work Tauthorisation to certain categories of H-4 visa holders is in final stages, the Trump administration has told a US court, a decision that could hit tens of thousands of Indians. H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India. The Trump administration is planning to end the Obama-era rule allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work legally in the US, a move that could have a devastating impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders who have work permits. The proposed rule is currently in final clearance, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told a federal court in a status update. The Trump administration on Thursday told the court that once the proposal is cleared through the DHS, it will be sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review under Executive Order for regulatory and planning review. As previously represented to the Court, the DHS intends to proceed with publication of this new rule concerning the H-4 visa rule, the DHS said in its court filing. The previous Obama administration under an executive order in 2015 had started giving work authorisation permits to certain categories of H-4 visa holders, who were mostly spouses of H-1B visa holders. According to a recent Congressional report, a staggering 93 per cent of the total H-4 visa holders in the US having work authorisation are from India. The final notification to rescind the work authorisation is expected to be issued in June. Last week, a bipartisan group of 130 US lawmakers led by influential Indian- American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal urged the Trump administration to continue granting work authorisation to certain dependent spouses of non-immigrant workers holding H-1B visas. Providing work authorisation for accompanying spouses helps US employers recruit and retain highly-qualified employees, putting US policy on par with other countries, such as Canada and Australia, competing to attract talented foreign nationals, the lawmakers had The Trump administration is currently reviewing the H-1B visa policy as it thinks that the visa is being misused by companies to replace American workers. $30 mn seized in raids linked to Najib AFP n KUALALUMPUR value. alaysian police said on Friday they The seizure of the luxury goods further increased public scorn for Rosmah, Mseized over 400 handbags and cash amounting to almost USD 30 million in raids on luxury apartments as they probed corruption allegations swirling around ousted leader Najib Razak. The money and a vast trove of handbags, as well as watches and jewellery, were found in two condominiums in Kuala Lumpur. A total of 12 locations, including the ex-leader s home, were searched by police last week as part of an investigation into the scandal surrounding a sovereign wealth fund. After more than six decades in power, Najib s coalition was defeated by a reformist alliance headed by his former mentor Mahathir Mohamad in the May 9 poll. Public disgust at allegations of corruption linked to Najib was a major factor in the upset, with the ex-leader, his family and cronies accused of looting state fund 1MDB. There had been much speculation about what the seized goods consisted of and how much they were worth after five trucks were reportedly brought in to help move the stash. Giving an update, the police s head of commercial crime Amar Singh said: From the money found, there were 26 currencies, the total amount as of yesterday is 114 million (ringgit) (USD 28.6 million). The money was found in 35 bags at one apartment while another 37 bags at the same location contained watches and jewellery, he told a press conference. A total of 284 boxes containing designer handbags were found in that condominium. Police also seized about 150 handbags from another apartment in the same complex where Najib s daughter was staying. Many of the handbags were believed to be Hermes Birkins a favourite of Najib s luxury-loving, widely despised wife Rosmah Mansor and Singh said pictures of the bags would be sent to Hermes in Paris to get an estimate of their long reviled by Malaysians for her perceived haughty demeanour and reported vast collection of designer bags, clothing and jewellery. Her love of overseas shopping trips, as middle class Malaysians struggled with rising living costs, added to a sense of spreading, deeply-entrenched rot in the country s long-ruling elite. Najib s defeated party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), meanwhile insisted the seized cash was party funds, which the ousted leader had intended to return to the party. Political funding is allowed under our laws, said a party statement. As such, UMNO seeks to recover these funds and requests the police to release these funds and return them to the party after completion of all due process and investigations by the relevant authorities. Najib s fall from grace has been swift and hard. He has been barred from leaving the country and has been questioned by antigraft investigators over claims 1MDB money ended up in his bank accounts, and looks likely to be charged. Najib and the fund deny any wrongdoing. Dutch, Australia say Russia behind downing of MH17 AFP n THE HAGUE he Netherlands and TAustralia on Friday moved towards launching legal action against Russia, accusing Moscow of being behind the 2014 shooting down of flight MH17 over war-torn eastern Ukraine. It came a day after international investigators concluded that the Russianmade BUK missile which tore apart the Boeing 777 in midair on July 17, 2014 came from a Russian military brigade in Kursk. The two countries hold Russia responsible for its part in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight, the Dutch government said in a statement on Friday. They may now move towards submitting the complex dossier to an international judge or organisation, it added. Russia however swifty denied any responsibility, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying the Netherlands had provided no facts to support the findings and was merely speculating to achieve their own political goals. Lavrov said he had been informed by a Dutch minister that they have practically no doubt that the BUK (missile) came from Russia. I asked him about facts proving these claims. He did not give me any facts. All 298 people on board the flight en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed when the missile slammed into the plane as it flew over territory held by pro-russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. Most of the dead were Dutch, but there were 17 nationalities including Australians on board. The downing of flight MH17 caused unimaginable suffering, said Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok a day after the latest findings from the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT). On the basis of the JIT s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are now convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the BUK installation that was used to down MH17, he added. The government is now taking the next step by formally holding Russia accountable. The EU and NATO both urged Moscow to accept responsibility for the disaster. Russia should fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability, said the EU s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in a statement. But the Russian defence ministry has also rejected the findings, saying that although the BUK missile, part of which was presented by the JIT at a Thursday press conference, had indeed been manufactured in the Soviet Union in 1986 all the missiles made that year were withdrawn from service in Those missiles made in 1986 most likely belong to the Ukrainians, it added. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the division of military material, Ukraine which possessed some 20 BUK anti-aircraft systems has not had one new missile delivered, the Russian defence ministry The Dutch government said state liability was invoked in cases where nations violate international law, but warned it was a complex legal process. This is the legal avenue that the Netherlands and Australia have now chosen to pursue, the statement added. Investigators painstaking recreated the BUK missile system s route from Kursk across the border into rebelheld eastern Ukraine using videos and photos. The team has come to the conclusion that the BUK- TELAR that shot down MH17 came from 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade based in Kursk in Russia, top Dutch investigator Wilbert Paulissen The 53rd Brigade forms part of the Russian armed forces, he told reporters Thursday. Investigation officials, seeking to bring criminal charges, have not said who actually fired the missile. But they are appealing for further information, especially about who was among the BUK s crew, and who ordered the plane to be shot down. The Dutch government urged Russia to enter into talks aimed at finding a solution that would do justice to the tremendous suffering and damage caused by the downing of MH17. Meanwhile, the investigative site Bellingcat claimed it had identified the second of two men whom the JIT has fingered as top suspects after obtaining their wire-tapped conversations before and after the plane was shot out of the sky. Bellingcat has alleged that both men are top-ranking Russian military officials. All points lead to a centralised military operation, Bellingcat researcher Moritz Rakuszitzky told reporters. Transporting and using a sophisticated anti-aircraft device such as the BUK is not something that either separatists or non-military mercenaries could ever be trusted with. UAE issues Kerala travel warning over Nipah virus PTI n DUBAI he UAE has asked its citi- to put off unnecessary Tzens travel to Kerala where a Nipah virus outbreak has claimed 11 lives while at least 40 others are in quarantine, the health ministry said in a statement. The virus, which commonly affects animals such as bats, pigs, dogs, and horses, can spread to humans and cause serious illness among humans. In Kerala, the Nipah virus has so far claimed 11 lives and the state government has stepped up efforts to contain the outbreak. The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) in a statement said that it was closely monitoring the situation. The ministry works with its strategic partners to assess the risk of importation of Nipah virus (NiV) cases to the country and put the necessary control measures. Also, Mohap is in continuous coordination with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to implement the global recommendations, read the statement. Mohap alerts the people travelling to Kerala to be aware of possibly of contracting the infection and advises them to postpone unnecessary travel till the situation will be controlled, it added. The WHO, however, has not issued any specific advice to countries that have not been affected by the Nipah but has asked them to enhance the level of preparedness. Among the advisories given, the world body has advised countries to enhance surveillance at healthcare facilities including at points of entry and give case definitions among healthcare workers. It said that Nipah symptoms are not specific and include flu-like illness and hence can be confused with any respiratory illness. Dubai-based Emirates airlines also issues a statement saying that they are monitoring the situation closely. Weinstein arrested on rape and other charges Harvey Weinstein arrives at the first precinct while turning himself to authorities following allegations of sexual misconduct, on Friday. PTI n NEW YORK isgraced Hollywood movie Dmogul Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to the police in New York on Friday on charges of raping a woman, US law enforcement officials Weinstein, 66, once one of the most powerful men in the American film industry, has agreed after months-long probe to surrender himself at a police precinct in Manhattan and will be arrested on a criminal complaint, the New York Times reported.he is then expected to be taken to Manhattan Criminal Court to be arraigned on the charges. As part of a bail package negotiated in advance, Weinstein will put up USD one million in cash and agree to wearing a monitoring device. His travel will be restricted and will have to surrender his passport, the report Weinstein will be charged with first-degree rape and third-degree rape in one case besides a first-degree criminal sex act in another where he forced a woman to perform oral sex on him, the report quoted law enforcement officials as saying. His arrest and charges follow innumerable accusations levelled against him by several women from the movie industry. As women opened up about Weinstein s history of sexually abusing and assaulting them, women from across the world come forward with their own accounts of being sexually harassed and assaulted by powerful men, triggering the global #MeToo movement. Weinstein had until recently seemed untouchable, harnessing his wealth and his influence in the movie industry to intimidate women out of speaking publicly and, only three years ago, withstand an investigation into groping allegations, the NYT report The criminal sex act charge against Weinstein stems from an encounter with Lucia Evans, who told The New Yorker and then investigators from the Manhattan district attorney s office that Hollywood producer forced her to perform oral sex on him during what she thought would be a casting meeting. The victim in the rape case has not been publicly identified. Weinstein has been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting movie stars and employees of his former namesake company over the course of decades and then paying them or coercing them to stay silent. Weinstein s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, declined to comment, the report In the past, Brafman had said that Weinstein denies any allegations of nonconsensual sex. Authorities opened investigation into Weinstein s conduct. Prosecutors in the office of the Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance conducted dozens of interviews in New York and elsewhere and issued hundreds of subpoenas, and their inquiry is not over. An investigative grand jury, still convened, will look into other sexual assault allegations against Weinstein as well as possible financial crimes relating to how he paid women to stay silent, the report Among other things, the grand juary is delving into whether Weinstein used employees of his former production company to identify women for him to assault, to set up meetings with the women or to discredit them if they complained, it Prosecutors have also gone through Weinstein s financial records in an effort to uncover any possible improprieties. world 12 Iraq carries out more air strikes against IS in Syria AFP n BAGHDAD raq on Friday announced it Ihad carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria, the third cross border aerial operation inside a month in its war-torn neighbour. Iraqi F-16 planes carried out (Thursday) morning raids against the headquarters of IS terrorist gang leaders and an explosives depot occupied by terrorists in Syria s Hajin region, a statement by Iraq s operations command A video released with the text shows a strike on a huge building surrounded by palm trees and a wall. The images show the wall and the building collapsing simultaneously. Several strikes have been carried out by Iraq or the international coalition since yesterday against the centre of Hajin, the last major area held by IS in Syria, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor. At least 65 senior IS leaders live in Hajin, the Observatory s director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. Hajin is in Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria, about 50 kilometres from Iraq s border. It has been surrounded since the end of 2017 by the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by the US and France, Abdel Rahman Several hundred prisoners are still held by the jihadists in Hajin, he added. Since April, Iraq s air force has carried out several air strikes on IS-held Syrian territory close to the border between the two countries. IS seized a third of Iraq in 2014, before the government declared victory in December, but the military has continued regular operations along the porous Syrian border. 50 dead in boat accident in DR Congo AFP n MBANDAKA (DR CONGO) ifty people died in a boat Faccident on a river in remote northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), officials said on Friday. The accident happened on the Momboyo river Wednesday night, Richard Mboyo Iluka, vice governor of Tshuapa province, told AFP, saying: We found 49 bodies on Thursday and another one this morning. The boat had been transporting passengers and a large amount of goods from the town of Monkoto to the city of Mabandaka in Equateur province, local residents PTI n LONDON egularly moving your legs, Respecially when bearing weight, is essential for the production of healthy neural cells, essential for the brain and nervous system, a study has found. The research published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, shows that neurological health depends as much on signals sent by the body s large, leg muscles to the brain as it does on directives from the brain to the muscles. The study alters brain and nervous system medicine - giving doctors new clues as to why patients with motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and other neurological diseases often rapidly decline when their movement becomes limited. Our study supports the notion that people who are unable to do load-bearing exercises - such as patients who are bed-ridden, or even astronauts on extended travel - not only lose muscle mass, but their body chemistry is altered at the cellular level and even their nervous system is adversely impacted, said Raffaella Adami from the Universita degli Studi di Milano, Italy. The study involved restricting mice from using their hind legs, but not their front legs, over a period of 28 days. The mice continued to The causes of the sinking and the number of people missing are not yet known. The provincial government has already sent a team there to find out more, Mboyo He added, however, that the boat had been travelling by night something that is illegal under government safety measures and did not have lights.accidents are a frequent hazard on the DRC s rivers and lakes, due to decrepit boats, overloading, lack of safety equipment and the fact that few Congolese know how to swim.in February, at least 14 people were reported missing when two boats sank on the Congo River. Leg exercise vital for healthy brain eat and groom normally and did not exhibit stress. At the end of the trial, the researchers examined an area of the brain called the sub-ventricular zone, which in many mammals has the role of maintaining nerve cell health. It is also the area where neural stem cells produce new neurons. Limiting physical activity decreased the number of neural stem cells by 70 per cent compared to a control group of mice, which were allowed to roam. Both neurons and oligodendrocytes - specialised cells that support and insulate nerve cells - did not fully mature when exercise was severely reduced. The research shows that using the legs, particularly in weight-bearing exercise, sends signals to the brain that are vital for the production of healthy neural cells, essential for the brain and nervous system. Cutting back on exercise makes it difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells - some of the very building blocks that allow us to handle stress and adapt to challenge in our lives. It is no accident that we are meant to be active: to walk, run, crouch to sit, and use our leg muscles to lift things, said Adami. Neurological health is not a one-way street with the brain telling the muscles lift, walk, and so on, said Adami. The researchers found that restricting exercise lowers the amount of oxygen in the body, which creates an anaerobic environment and alters metabolism. Reducing exercise also seems to impact two genes, one of which, CDK5Rap1, is very important for the health of mitochondria - the cellular powerhouse that releases energy the body can then use. France arrests two spies for passing secrets to China Paris (AFP): Two former French spies have been arrested and face treason charges after being accused of passing sensitive information to China, France s defence minister and security sources said on Friday. The two suspected doubleagents were charged last December, but the incident only came to light late on Thursday following French media reports and a statement from Defence Minister Florence Parly. Two French agents in our service and probably one of the spouses of these agents are accused of serious acts likely to be considered acts of treason, on suspicions of delivering information to a foreign power, Parly told CNews television. I can t say much else, she added. France has partners but we live in a dangerous world, and unfortunately these types of things can happen. A security source, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said that the men were suspected of working for China. At least one of them had been posted in the country, French television show Quotidien on the TMC channel reported, adding that the conspiracy had been uncovered by French counter-intelligence.

13 vivacity {48 hours} 13 S H O R T C I R C U I T S ANUPAM KHER I complete 34 years in movies. Saaransh, my first film, was released on May 25, It has been an amazing journey so far. My ups and downs have taught me so much about people, life and entertainment business. Thank you Mahesh Bhatt saab. DANNY DENZONGPA I can do that. I can meditate and go around the world. I can paint and do gardening. But it is nice to do a film when there is a good script. I keep getting scripts, read them and then I do one film a year which is a nice change. I am not in a rat race. AASHKA GORADIA I want to do an action-packed role on television. My body, my mind and my acting skills are ready and aching to be a part of an action series irrespective of the platform. I have done historical, mythological shows, I have played a girl next door and also a vamp, I have done it all. ANDREW GARFIELD We have no framework of how to deal with the opposite sex or the same sex. All we know is that we need it, want it, and there are unnamable desires. None of us know what we're doing. There's all these longings and all these stirrings. OLIVER STARK For me, feminism is about opportunities being evenly distributed. So, everybody has the ability and the path ahead of them to rise. And anything I can do to help that... I want to put myself there and do my best. I stand behind the Black Lives Matter here in the US. ENCOUNTER 20 MINUTES Nobody asked Saif why he used cuss words on screen? KAREENA KOOR KHAN is confident that the real Indian woman battling multiple issues in Veere Di Wedding will change the way we look at cinema hereafter, says SAIMI SATTAR K areena Kapoor Khan has her back to the door and is looking out of the window of her hotel room but there is no mistaking her ebullient self even though just the top of her head is visible. You ve brought me a shampoo. I love shampoos, she tells her hair-dresser. There s no mistaking the child-like excitement of the voice that cine-goers have heard so many times. Dressed in a simple white T-shirt, black jeans, Kareena has her feet propped up on a stool in front as Yaani, the hair dresser, sets her hair while Subhash Wagle, the make-up person, gets to work on her face. She is getting ready for a press conference for her movie, Veere Di Wedding. But then Kapoor girl has always managed to take her fashion sensibilities and so called frivolity attached to her obsession with it in her stride as a serious actor. Starring alongside Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania, Kareena says the film is one of a kind. There have always been a Dil Chahta Hai, there s always been a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, all of which have been branded as coming-of-age. But there has never been a film from the female s point of view in terms of friendship and what women actually feel. It is always about what men feel. Films about women have always been about a struggle for empowerment or else the other extreme of being a chick flick. Nothing so far has been slice-of-life. It s a story of four girls who are in different stages of marriage. We are showing certain issues in the film which we have not addressed earlier, she says. What makes this film different are the characters. I think it is more progressive in a way. It is the way girls talk today, the way they think, what every girl is going through, says Kareena, words tumbling out of her mouth really fast as she is excited about conveying the idea completely. The four friends are in different phases of their life. One is getting divorced, one is dying to get married, one is commitment phobic and one is in a sexless marriage. Nobody talks about these things and that s why everybody is a little taken aback by the trailer. One of the characters says that she is in a sexless marriage and has not had sex for a year. These things are always spoken in a hush hush tone, but if you are sitting with friends, you will talk about all these things, she says as the hair dresser massages her hair. Kareena admits that the four women in the movie are very different actors as well as very different people. I think that is why the chemistry on screen is working. It has come together very organically and looks fantastic, she says. She plays Kalindi who is commitment-phobic because her parents separated when she was very young. You will see shades of this through her intensity, the fact that she is slightly mellower than the others, she adds. But through all that, she has had her moments of fun. After all it is the entertainment business. You do want to be entertained. It is fun, it is entertaining and that is what people want to watch, she says. The frank girl talk though has raised hackles, with the four protagonists in the film using cuss words. However, Kareena gets past all the criticism as she manages the knots on her silken mane. Referencing her husband s onscreen persona, she tells us, Saif Ali Khan was the villain in Omkara and he was bad-mouthing all through. He won a lot of awards for the film. The rough language was required in the film to establish the context of his character. Here too, nobody is doing it just for the sake of it. This film s language and the platform are different. The audience we are catering to is also different. We are not forcing anything, the tonality is such. Guess people are not used to girls saying it as it is. So how does she go about preparing for her role in her private actor s studio? You think about your part before you get on to the set and talk to the director. Then shoot, she says, matterof-factly, making her spontaneous expressions look simple and easy and completely unprocessed. She is picky while choosing a role though, going entirely by the story. I think the story has to be amazing. In Udta Punjab, the Tommy (Shahid) and Kumari Pinky (Alia Bhatt) track was stronger than Diljeet and my track. But just the fact that it was such a beautiful story where the doctor (played by Kareena) sacrificed her life for this person made me choose it. This story needed to be told and I loved the fact that the mainstream actors were playing these parts. It is not necessary that the three hours of the film have to be about me but the story has to be thrilling, chilling and entertaining, she says. Besides the content, show business emphasises on looking good and has harsh standards, especially for women. But Kareena sets her own rules, give or take. We do come from a visual medium and looking good is part and parcel of it but in today s day and age, beauty is how you look at it. You don t have to have six pack abs. I have For me empowerment is choice. It's also about opportunities that historically women have been denied. If you are not given opportunities, how can you make a choice? Similarly, you can have freedom, when you have the freedom of saying 'No'. As far as the film is concerned, it's about choices. Swara Bhaskar The language in the film is not bold but the way people speak among friends. It's lovely to see a story like this and its lovely to collaborate with people who empower each other. For me, empowerment is equality, experience and you being you. Shikha Talsania People misunderstand the idea of feminism and believe that women think themselves to be superior to men. But feminism was born because women were suppressed and not given the same rights as men. Feminism is the freedom of choice and equal opportunity for both men and women. Sonam Kapoor Ahuja never believed in that unless it is for a particular role. We should be happy with what we have. Despite marriage and pregnancy, Kareena has not really been away from work, bucking the trend of other celebrity mothers. I did take a break of six months before I started doing Veere but I had always insisted I would work through my pregnancy. Acting is what I like doing best and I will bend my life around it, she says. And if you bring up other actors like Sridevi or Madhuri Dixit who made a comeback after a long hiatus thanks to matrimony, Kareena is quick to point out, That is just the way I am and the way I think. I always wanted to be a working woman and that is something I was not willing to give up when I got married and I don t want to change having had a baby. However, she does not discount women who stay at home. Women empowerment does not necessarily mean moving out and working, it is also about respecting a woman s right to choose raising her children and settle into domesticity on her own terms, she says. And there was, of course, a reason that she refuses to stay away from the arclights. Just the fact that I like the idea and process of filmmaking more than anything else. I enjoy that because I come from a film family and acting is encoded in me. I want to do different parts and try to do 10 different stories, says the actor whose last outing was in Bajrangi Bhaijaan in She believes the secret to her longevity in the film industry is striking a balance between commercial and alternative cinema and not get typecast. I am always proud of my glamorous image. One has to enjoy some commercial success. If I have done an Udta Punjab, then I have also done the Golmaal series. I have always tried to balance things out. To sustain in the film industry for 18 years, one has to keep doing exciting work. I do films that suit my personality, my time limit and gives me joy, she says pointedly. The actor says she has been a risk-taker right from the beginning of her career despite being a commercial heroine. When I was 22, I did Chameli and people thought I would not do it. For me, it is all about having the right balance of things and savour a spice called variety. But, of course, the birth of Taimur has changed a lot in her. For once, she does appear calmer, a little less of the child-woman or Pooh something to which she too admits. Once you have a child, life is never the same because you do not think about yourself. You only think about your child. When my mother told me this, I never believed her but now I do, says the actor who says that she is learning to be a parent while her husband, thanks to his prior experience, is better equipped to deal with it. Her key to achieving a work life balance is to have a good support system where she tries to take out as much time as possible. When I am working, Saif tries to be at home and when he is working, I try to be home. He has been shooting for three months for Navdeep s film in Rajasthan. During this time, I didn t shoot for any movie because I had to be with Taimur. So we try to balance it out that way, says the actor who played a stepmom in the 2010 movie, We Are Family. Talking about her son, does it bother her that the child is constantly in the media eye? We are in the digital age. Everything is about being visible and being in the picture. I have to live with the attention. I might not be okay with it but both Saif and I have come to terms with the fact that we have to live it. But of course we are protective towards him. He is so young and we want him to have as much of a normal life as possible, she says. Besides sharing responsibilities of her son, does the power couple also discuss their career moves? Actually not really. I have never asked whether I should do this film or not. It is completely my call. And the same goes for him. You should be responsible for your own success and failure. Moreover our taste in films is completely different, she says. For her, audience recognition is much more important than awards. Of course, everyone wants to have that one Filmfare award. I am lucky to have a few, says Kareena who has received six Filmfare Awards out of ten nominations. For her role in Refugee, she was awarded the Best Female Debut in She earned a special jury recognition for Chameli (2003), and two Critics Award for Best Actress for Dev (2004) and Omkara (2006). She later received the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for Jab We Met (2007) and We Are Family (2010) respectively. As for her future plans, she has a movie chalked out at the end of the year. It will be an exciting one but I will let the producer announce it, she says, her eyes twinkling at the thought of the project. When not acting, she likes travelling and food, both of which play an important part in her life. I like running away as one wants to be free. I like spending time with my family and friends. But would she like to take up anything which goes beyond acting? No, I think I am only interested in acting. Never looked at wanting to be a director, she says rolling her eyes in her trademark style as she bids goodbye. fresh take on medical drama, AThe Resident is a surprisingly cynical look at human nature and corporatised healthcare. That s a dark underside to what is otherwise a pretty run-of-the-mill story handsome young professionals, dramatic medical emergencies, and feverish hookups in empty exam rooms. Emily VanCamp who will be seen as Nicolette in The Resident has proved her acting prowess in films like Marvel s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, The Girl in the Book and The Ring Two. She has also been appreciated for her roles on small screen and has been part of projects including Revenge, Brothers & Sisters and Everwood. Her co-star Matt Czuchry, known as Dr Conrad Hawkin in the show has several TV series to his credit such as The Good Wife, Gilmore Girls, Young Americans and also a movie Slap Her She s French. n I see both research and hospital life in the process of putting a show together. Has that had an effect on your political perspectives? They poke the underbelly of healthcare Actors MATT CZUCHRY and EMILY VANCAMP talk about the research they have done for The Resident Emily: I had no idea about the lack of accountability and what goes on in terms of the business side of the health care system. It s very different from universal health care. So there is a lot of money to be made in very different ways and when you start to really get into the nitty-gritty, it is quite shocking actually. Matt: Yeah, I think that s the global aspect and then you look at an individual aspect what doctors and nurses go through on an emotional level with the mistakes that they make. Emily: We don t want to seem like we re just blaming doctors and that all doctors are doing these horrible things. It s not the case. It s hard to prevent things from happening sometimes. Matt: Yes, it s not a perfect science. People are fallible, even as a doctor, when you re diagnosing, sometimes there s intuition and guessing. So I think the research helped us layer our characters better. n Our first impression of your character Conrad is like a young version of Dr Romano, balancing the arrogance and still making the character likeable. This must be a really tricky prospect. Do you agree? Matt: Conrad is confident as opposed to arrogant. He s had real world experience. He s a third-year resident at this hospital and given his experience with the military has a seat-of-the-pants kind of experience. It s through his experiences, in terms of that way and then also, I think his love for the patients comes through in a very interesting way. He s willing to break the rules and do whatever is necessary but he loves his patients. n The character of Nick aka Nicolette seems to have the responsibility of holding the loose cannon back a little bit and providing a bit of a moral backbone. Is it true? Emily: She has a very similar outlook to Conrad in terms of doing absolutely anything for her patients but she s not willing to play God and that s where they completely are at odds. You see that throughout the series and that is what keeps them apart. To be honest, she just can t wrap her head around this idea. From Nick s perspective, I think she does perceive it as arrogance and from Conrad s perspective, it is confidence. Yet, there is that common thing between them where she will stop him from doing the things he s going to do but she still protects him in her own way. In her core I think she believes in his cause. Matt: In terms of the audience, you re bringing those different perspectives and the audience members can connect to one or the other. They have their own decisions. It s a little bit more layered than you might see in other procedurals perhaps. Emily: They have this working relationship and they always are very connected and mature. But then they have this sort of underlying love connection that they re just constantly missing each other. So it s fun to watch that relationship grow and tumble. Matt: Even if they re having difficulties in their personal lives, professionally, they re always at a great point. n Thematically there s a fairly healthy dose of cynicism around how the medical industry works. It s a bit different to see that cynicism come through from the main characters. Emily: It may be different but refreshing. Matt: Yeah, honest and real. Emily: We re not glorifying anything on the show. We re just really trying to stay true to what really happens. We re in a political climate where we need to be telling these stories. Matt: There s a book that I read called House of God that s based on what really happens in hospitals and there s a sense of this kind of gallows humor that the doctors and nurses have, to keep themselves going and that was unexpected when I read that. It is a bit shocking but in trying to capture the reality of the human element, I think that s something that hopefully again is different for the audience. Hope they connect to that and say, Oh well I wouldn't see it that way. The Resident airs from Monday to Friday at 9 PM on Star World

14 boundarymeter 4s s 851 Every player knows their body and somewhere down the line we as players need to take responsibility Harbhajan Singh LUCKNOW SATURDAY MAY 26, 2018 PTI n KOLKATA onder man from Afghanistan WRashid Khan produced an allround effort to guide Sunrisers Hyderabad to a 13-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier and take the visitors to the final of the Indian Premier League season 11 here on Friday. Rashid (34 not out off 10) first played a late cameo with the bat to help Sunrisers overcome a wobbly start and post a challenging 174 for seven and then returned with a 3/19 spell from his four overs to guide his side to their second IPL final appearance. Besides his exploits with the bat and ball, Rashid grabbed two important catches at deep mid-wicket in the final over of the innings to emerge as the standout performer. Sunrisers will now take on two-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash in Mumbai on Sunday. In their pursuit of 175, KKR were off to a scintillating start scoring 40 off 3.2 overs before Sunil Narine perished caught by Carlos Brathwaite off Siddharth Kaul (2/32). But by then Narine and Chris Lynn (48 off 31) had already done the initial damage as they went hammer and tongs against the Sunrisers bowlers from the word go. Narine made 26 off 13 balls with the help of four boundaries and one six before departing. But that didn t stop Lynn and new man in Nitish Rana (22) as the duo continued to bat aggressively and picked up boundaries and sixes at will to take KKR to 81 for one after eight overs. Just when it looked KKR were on course, four quick wickets brought Sunrisers back into the match. First Rana got run out in the ninth over and then a struggling Robin Uthappa was cleaned up by Rashid in the 11th over as the batsman went for an expansive reverse sweep. To make matters worse for KKR, skipper Dinesh Karthik was castled by Shakib Al Hasan in the 12th over before Rashid caught set batsman Lynn plumb in front of the wicket in the next over as the Australian went for a sweep. Rashid then came back an over later to dismiss dangerous Andre Russell as the West Indian edged a googly straight to Shikhar Dhawan at the lone slip as KKR slipped to 118 for six. Piyush Chawla scored a run-a-ball 12 before getting out but it was young F U L L TIME RASHID TAKES SRH INTO FINAL Sunrisers Hyderabad s Rashid Khan bats during the IPL Qualifier 2 match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Kolkata s Eden Gardens on Friday Shubman Gill (30) who kept KKR in the hunt, hitting Kaul over mid-off boundary in the last ball off the penultimate over to bring down the equation to 19 off last over. Shivam Mavi then hit Brathwaite for a boundary in the first ball off the final over before the West Indian picked up Mavi and Gill with consecutive deliveries to shut the door for the hosts. Earlier, in their bid for a place in the final for the third time, KKR bowlers responded to Karthik s decision to bowl first as they never allowed Sunrisers batsmen to break free initially. Kuldeep Yadav stole the limelight with a 2/29 spell that inluded the prized wicket of Kane Williamson (3), the leading rungetter of IPL-11, whlie Narine (1/24) was once again at his tidy best conceding just two runs in the 17th over. But Sunrisers snatched the momentum scoring 50 runs in the last three overs with wily Afghan spinner Rashid making the difference with his 34 not out off just 10 balls (four sixes and two fours). Rashid stepped on the gas in Prasidh Krishna s final over with two sixes that yielded 24 runs. Having started off on an impressive note, Krishna finished with poor figures of 56 runs from his four overs to undo all the good work done by Kuldeep and Narine. Earlier, KKR bowlers did not get a wicket inside the powerplay but their pace battery of Mavi, Krishna and Russell bowled with pace and accuracy to stymie Sunrisers run flow. Drafted into the side in place of Javon Searles in a bold move by KKR to go in with three overseas players, Mavi troubled Wriddhiman Saha with his pace and movement off the seam en route to a fine spell of 1/33 from his full quota. Returning after five matches, Saha looked awfully out of sorts with six runs from 12 balls and carried on with a dash of luck after being dropped on five when Karthik grassed a skier. It did not matter much in the scheme of things as KKR got three wickets in five overs after the powerplay with Kuldeep giving breakthroughs with a twin blow in the eight over. In his first ball, Kuldeep trapped the dangerous-looking Dhawan (34) and in the fifth ball he deceived the Orange Cap holder Williamson (3) with a wrong one. Kuldeep flighted the ball and Williamson failed to read the wrong one and the ball kissed the edge with Karthik not faltering this time to dismiss his Hyderabad counterpart. Saha s pathetic knock of 35 from 27 balls finally came to an end after a brilliant stumping by Karthik. BRIEF SCORES: Sunrisers Hyderabad: 174 for seven in 20 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 35, Shikhar Dhawan 34, Rashid Khan 34 not out; Kuldeep Yadav 2/29) Kolkata Knight Riders: 161 for nine in 20 overs (Chris Lynn 48, Shubman Gill 30; Rashid Khan 3/19). 14 S I N G L E S INDIA BAG 2ND AND 3RD POSITION IN ARCHERY WC ANTALYA: India opened its account with a silver and a bronze medal in the compound section of the ongoing second stage of the archery World Cup Stage II here today. India's women compound team of Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Muskan Kirar and Divya Dhayal recoverd from a poor start to lose to their Chinese Taipei opponents by three points to settle for a silver. Later in the evening session, third seeded mixed pair of Abhisek Verma and Jyothi prevailed over Belgian duo of Reginald Kools and Sarah Prieels in the bronze play-off to add a second medal to India's tally. ICC BANS SMART WATCHES ON FIELD OF PLAY DUBAI: The International Cricket Council has prohibited players and officials from using communication devices, especially smart watches, on the field and dressing room, taking another step at curbing corruption in the sport. "Communications devices are prohibited within the PMOA and no player is allowed to be in possession of or use a communications device which is connected to the internet whilst there," the ICC said in a release. The governing body added, "smart watches in any way connected to a phone or WI-FI or in any way capable of receiving communications are not allowed and as such we will be reminding players that such devices must be surrendered along with their mobile devices on arrival at the ground on match days." PRAJNESH FALLS AT FRENCH OPEN QUALIFIERS PARIS: Prajnesh Gunneswaran will have to wait for his maiden appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam as he could not cross the final hurdle at the French Open qualifiers, suffering a straight set defeat against Elias Ymer, here on friday. The left-handed Prajnesh, ranked 183, lost in the third and final round against the Swede, ranked 122 in the world. "I didn't play aggressive enough and it cost me the match. I took just one of the nine breakpoints. It's difficult to win with such statistics. At this level, I have to be realistic," the 28-year-old from Chennai OM PRAKASH 7TH IN MUNICH SHOOTING WC NEW DELHI: Indian shooter Om Prakash Mitharval could not produce his best after reaching the finals as he finished seventh in the Men's 10m Air Pistol of the fourth ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol stage in Munich on friday.om shot 582 out of 600 to make it to the starstudded eight-man final in sixth place but only three scores in the 10s in his first 10 final shots out of a maximum 24. Agencies QUOTEUNQUOTE Kohli needs rest after hectic IPL CRICKETDIARIES Smith makes comeback in Canada PTI n MUMBAI eteran off-spinner Harbhajan VSingh feels the neck sprain which ruled Virat Kohli out of the county stint came as a blessing in disguise for him ahead of the England tour as the India captain needed rest after a hectic IPL season. "Not at all, I feel it (Virat's injury) should be okay as there is lot of time. It it good that he (Virat) is not playing county because he needs rest as IPL is a very hectic tournament, it is not that easy," Harbhajan told reporters here. "After IPL all players feel there should be a break of 15 days. So in my opinion, it is good that he (Virat) is not going to play county cricket. His body will get rest, he will recover and much better prepared for the bigger things. I am sure he is as good as a player, whether he plays county cricket or not," the 37-year-old spinner, a veteran of 103 Tests Harbhajan stressed that rest is essential for every cricketer. "Every player knows their body and somewhere down the line we as players need to take responsibility and understand our bodies and see what works for us. For different bodies, different things work. "We need to be honest and be out there and tell those people who are in-charge of making calenders... This is the kind of work load we need to have and work as a team," he said when asked about work-load management. "If players are getting injured in more numbers, then the reason is more cricket happening, or there is fatigue or they are not getting rest properly or they are not eating well. Rest is important," he added. Harbhajan is hosting a show 'Bhajji Blast', which is aired on QuPlay, a Youtube Channel and founded by Sumit Dutta. India is touring England for a full-fledged series which includes three ODIs, as many T20s and five If players are getting injured in more numbers, then the reason is more cricket happening, or there is fatigue or they are not getting rest properly or they are not eating well. Rest is important Test matches. Harbhajan believes that the present team has the potential to win in England. "Every-time they (India) tour abroad, we feel we we have a team to win abroad but in the end... How the wickets are going to be, whether our fast bowling unit will be fit during that time, a lot will depend (on) whether Virat will be batting at his best," he "A lot will go on the form as well, how is the form of bowlers and batsmen, but yes (when) we go on a tour we feel that we have a chance to win," said Harbhajan, who has 417 Test scalps. "But (it is a) great opportunity and I see this team has the potential to win. Keeping that in mind fitness has to be at the top level. It is not going to be that easy to go out and start winning. It is going to be a lot of hard work, but this team has the capability to do so." Harbhajan, who had shifted base to Chennai Super Kings after staying a decade with Mumbai Indians, has termed his journey with CSK this season as a great one. "Its been a great journey coming from one brilliant team to another, luckily things did not change too much for me, we played final there (with MI) and playing the final here (for CSK)," he PTI n MELBOURNE anned Australia captain Steve BSmith, whose reputation lay in tatters after the ball-tampering scandal, is poised to make a comeback to cricket after being named among the marquee players for the inaugural Global T20 Canada event beginning June 28. Smith will be playing alongside other international stars such as Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Shahid Afridi in the six-team tournament beginning June 28, organisers Cricket Canada said in a statement. The 28-year-old, who was suspended for 12 months in March for his role in the South African ball-tampering scandal in March this year, is allowed to play domestic tournaments outside Australia by Cricket Australia. David Warner, who was the vicecaptain, was also banned for 12 months and Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months for their role in ball-tampering during the third Test in Cape Town. Dwayne Bravo, Lasith Malinga, Chris Lynn, Darren Sammy, David Miller and Sunil Narine were also named as marquee players. Smith, the then world's number one Test batsman, was sacked and sent home in disgrace after the third Test against South Africa in March. In the wake of the ball-tampering controversy, he also stepped down as Steve Smith in a file picture skipper of Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals before the BCCI banned him from the cashrich league. Smith is also serving a ban for two years from holding a leadership position within the Australian team and he must undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket. The Global T20 Canada consists of five Canadian teams and a Cricket West Indies representative team, made up entirely of players from the Caribbean. A draft to determine who plays where will be held next week. The six teams in the competition are the Caribbean All-Stars, Toronto Nationals, Montreal Tigers, Ottawa Royals, Vancouver Knights and Winnipeg Hawks. Speaking about the association, West Indies Cricket Board President Dave Cameron, said, "I would like to wish Global T20 Canada much success. The growth of our region will largely depend on the success of leagues and tournaments like this. "We support Cricket Canada and look forward to working even closer going forward, so congratulations and all the best to Cricket Canada and Mercuri Group." AGENCIES n LONDON Pakistan batted their way into a strong position in the first test against England at Lord's, but lost a crucial wicket shortly before tea on the second day on Friday when Sarfraz Ahmed fell into an English trap. At the break, Pakistan were 227-5, a lead of 43 after England was bowled out for 184 in its first innings on the first day. Struggling for a crucial fifth wicket, England allrounder Ben Stokes sent down a barrage of bouncers. Sarfraz ducked under all of them until he could not resist a wild hook at the last ball of the afternoon session and top-edged a catch to Mark Wood on the deep square leg boundary. He was out for nine. Babar Azam was 59 not out at tea, the third Pakistan batsman to score a half-century. Asad Shafiq also scored a patient 59 before edging a Stokes delivery to slip. LORDSTEST Azhar's fifty aids Pak s progress vs Eng Pakistan s Azhar Ali celebrates his fifty during Friday s Test innings against England Stokes took 2-38 and England's other seamers, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood and James Anderson, one wicket each. After England's batting collapse on Thursday, Pakistan resumed on 50-1 and resisted for an hour before losing two wickets in the morning session to reach at lunch. Pakistan was limited to 91 in the afternoon session as two more wickets fell, leaving the tourists with a modest lead going into the final session. Earlier, Azhar Ali made exactly 50 as Pakistan's batsmen consolidated the good work of their bowlers on the second morning of the first Test at Lord's on Friday. At lunch, Pakistan were 136 for three in reply to England's meagre first innings a deficit of 48 runs. Asad Shafiq was 28 not out and Babar Azam eight not out after the tourists lost just two wickets in bowler-friendly conditions after resuming on 50 for one. On Thursday, Pakistan pacemen Mohammad Abbas and Hasan Ali had taken took four wickets apiece as they maintained a disciplined line and length. It looked as if Pakistan, rather than their opponents, were more familiar in classic early-season English conditions that England captain Joe Root would have expected to favour his side. But Pakistan, whose players are effectively banned from the Indian Premier League, had enjoyed arguably the better preparation for this two-match series than some members of the England team. De Silva quits tour after father's murder PTI n COLOMBO he father of Sri Lankan Tcricket allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on the eve of the national team's departure to the West Indies, police The player's father Ranjan, a local politician, was gunned down in Ratmalana, a suburb of the capital Colombo, close to midnight on Thursday, police An investigation is underway but no arrests have been made. Cricket officials said 26-year-old de Silva withdrew from the tour that involves three Test matches. However, there was no official word from the cricket board on who will replace de Silva. Sri Lanka will also Sri Lanka s Dhananjaya de Silva in a file picture miss opener Dimuth Karunaratne who fractured a finger while batting in the nets earlier this month as he prepared for a limited-overs domestic tournament. SL SCALE BACK SQUAD Sri Lanka's cricket board will not replace all- rounder Dhananjaya de Silva, officials said on Friday. "There will be no replacement for Dhananjaya," a board official "Instead of a 17-member squad, we will now have 16." Sri Lanka Cricket said it will support the 26-year-old Dhananjaya "at this time of sorrow and grief ". Police said an investigation was underway but no arrests had been made. Sri Lanka will also miss opener Dimuth Karunaratne who fractured a finger while batting in the nets this month as he prepared for a domestic tournament. Revised Sri Lanka squad: Dinesh Chandimal (C), Mahela Udawatte, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Roshen Silva, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lahiru Gamage, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, and Asitha Fernando.

15 sport 15 RED ALERT FOR REAL S SUPREMACY Inspired by Mo Salah, Liverpool look to end Madrid s Champions League hegemony Mancini leaves door open for Gigi Buffon n FLORENCE ormer Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon will still Fbe considered if he wants to return to the national team. Buffon retired from international football in November after Italy lost a World Cup playoff to Sweden, but he recently returned for friendlies. Buffon was expected to bid the national team goodbye for good in another friendly on June 4 against the Netherlands at Allianz Stadium. However, at a news conference last week to announce his departure from Juventus, Buffon insisted he made the last of his 176 appearances for his country. "I spoke to Gigi on the phone a couple of days after becoming national team coach," Roberto Mancini said on Thursday. "It was a very quick chat. He explained to me what he intended to do, he wants to continue playing football. "Everyone who will play and will be among the best can be considered for the national team." Mancini, who was confirmed as Italy's new coach last week, named his first squad on Saturday and included Mario Balotelli, who could make his first appearance for Italy in nearly four years. Balotelli last played for Italy in the 2014 World Cup, where the Azzurri were eliminated at the group stage. He was called up by Antonio Conte in November that year but was forced to withdraw injured. "Mario is a particular case. When he was very young he was already a great player, then maybe he didn't continue as he was at the beginning," said Mancini, who worked with Balotelli at Inter Milan and Manchester City. "It all depends on him. He has done well over the past two years, I have faith in him. He has to give his maximum and behave himself. "I last saw him four years ago, I think he is more mature now. He has two children and that helps." AGENCIES n KIEV A thrilling run inspired by Mohamed Salah has taken Liverpool to tomorrow's Champions League final in Kiev against Real Madrid, where now Jurgen Klopp's side must stop the Spanish giants from winning the trophy for the third year running. Real have seen this as their competition ever since winning the first five European Cups in a row, and this is another golden era for them, in which they are dreaming of making it a fourth Champions League in five years. Neither Atletico M a d r i d (twice) nor Juventus have been able to stop Cristiano Ronaldo from inflicting pain on them in recent finals. But Liverpool's own attacking quality gives them reason to believe and suggests the Olympic Stadium in the Ukrainian capital could be the scene of an unforgettable encounter. In terms of history alone, this is a dream final. Real's 12 European Cup wins puts them way ahead of the rest, but Liverpool have lifted the famous trophy five times themselves, most recently in 2005, defying all the odds against AC Milan in Istanbul. This time, under Klopp, their adventure started against Hoffenheim in the play-offs last August, on through stunning wins over Manchester City and Roma via a 3-3 draw in Seville when they had been three goals up. n TERESOPOLIS, BRAZIL razil's second pre-world Cup Btraining featured Willian in the attack with Neymar and Gabriel Jesus on Thursday, a hint that coach Tite might change his starting lineup. Willian played with the two star strikers for about one hour in the first training with footballs at the Granja Comary ground in Teresopolis, outside Rio de Janeiro. Tite did not use his starting midfield to play with the trio. He also used defenders Marquinhos and Miranda during the entire hour, suggesting former captain Thiago Silva will be on the bench for the moment. If Willian is brought on to the team, Tite could remove midfielder Renato Augusto from the starting lineup, put Philippe Coutinho in his place, and open a gap for Willian. Since last year, Tite has said he needs a "pacemaker," and considers Coutinho one of his main options for the role. Beijing Guoan's Augusto is AFP n PARIS erena and Venus Williams were hand- a wild card into the French Open Sed women's doubles as the American sisters seek to add a third Roland Garros title to their triumphs in 1999 and They have won 14 Grand Slam doubles as a team but since their last win together in Paris they have only featured on two further occasions at the tournament, losing in the first round in 2013 and the third round in Serena, a three-time singles champion at the French Open, will be playing in her first Grand Slam tournament since winning the Australian Open in 2017 after which she stepped off the tour to give birth to her daughter in September. Yesterday, she was drawn to face Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the first round of the singles which gets underway on Sunday. Venus starts against China's Wang Qiang. SERENA CAN COME BACK AND WIN World number one Simona Halep said today that she thinks Serena Williams is still capable of challenging for titles, as the American prepares to make her Grand Slam return at the French Open. Williams will be playing in her first major tournament since winning last UCL Final Live from 12:15am (Sun) TEN NETWORK GOALS GALORE They have scored a record 46 goals in all in this season's Champions League, with Salah netting 11 of those the Egyptian has 44 in all competitions since joining from Roma last year. "If we win the competition then the road to Kiev plus the final would be one of the most exceptional rides ever," Klopp told Liverpool's website. "So far, it was just outstanding." Klopp has lost his last five major finals as a coach, including the 2013 Champions League with Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich, and the 2016 Europa League with Liverpool against Sevilla. Experience means his team have to be the outsiders in Kiev none of the squad have ever played in a Champions League final before but Klopp knows Zinedine Zidane's side cannot dismiss them. "Do Real Madrid, sitting in Madrid at the moment, think, 'thank God it's Liverpool!'? I can't imagine that," added the coach, who has welcomed Emre Can back into his squad. Salah will of course be so important, especially if Marcelo is unable to resist under pressure after unconvincing performances in Brazil's midfield. Augusto's spot is also eyed by Fred, one of the surprises of Tite's squad. The midfielder said he admired Brazil players who began a World Cup on the bench and later became starters, such as Mazinho (1994) and Kleberson (2002). "We can get inspiration from them, these players worked very hard to get their spot," Fred "But if I have to be out I will keep working hard." Fred also said he was torn between a transfer to year's Australian Open, having taken time off to give birth to her first child. Halep, a two-time runner-up in Paris, knows that despite a lack of time on court, the unseeded Williams could prove a threat. "It's great for tennis that she's back," said Halep ahead of the start of the tournament on Sunday. the temptation to abandon his left-back position and join the Real attack. While Gareth Bale is unlikely to make Zidane's line-up, how will the Liverpool midfield cope against Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, their central defence against Ronaldo? FIVE FOR CR7? Real can became the first team since Bayern in 1976 to lift the European Cup three years running, and thereby make it five consecutive titles for Spain. Ronaldo could win his fifth Champions League. That would equal the individual record, and leave him in sight of yet another Ballon d'or. Zidane, meanwhile, is on the brink of a third straight Champions League win as a coach. "We have already made history and we want to keep on doing it. It would be incredible," defender Raphael Varane told Madrid sports daily Marca. "I still don't think we have realised the scale of what we are doing, but when all this is over we will. "Through experience we know how difficult it is going to be, but experience gives more security and serenity as well." FANS WOES Price hikes and canceled flights are ruining the Champions League final for some fans before Real Madrid and Liverpool even kick off. Some owners of hotels and hostels in Kiev have raised prices by more than 10 times for Saturday's game, while the city's two airports have been unable to accommodate a rush of extra charter flights. That led to British travel operator World Choice Sports canceling three flights on Thursday, leaving hundreds of Liverpool fans stranded. "We have had Liverpool football club, police, UEFA and everyone at the highest levels of authority trying to resolve this," the company said in a statement. "We have exhausted all avenues to try and get landing slots." Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said he was in talks with his Kiev counterpart Vitali Klitschko the former heavyweight boxing champion and said "fan flights hopefully sorted soon." Brazil experiment with Willian in attack Neymar (centre) during Brazil s training on Thursday Manchester United or Manchester City. Fred said he had an offer from City in January, and both were now talking to his Shakhtar Donetsk club about a transfer. "Maybe after the World Cup I will make the choice," the midfielder "Now I am only thinking about the World Cup." Fred said he believes his future is outside Ukraine, and doing well in the English Premier League like other Brazilians such as Chelsea's Willian. Tite is counting on only 18 of the 23 players in his squad at training in Teresopolis. Winger Douglas Costa and Fagner are still recovering from injury. Liverpool's Roberto Firmino and Real Madrid's Casemiro and Marcelo will only join on Monday after the Champions League final. Training on Thursday was attended by four-time World Cup winner Mario Zagallo. "Maybe she needs a little bit more time to get again used to the tournaments and everyday playing. "In my opinion... She's able to come back and to win tournaments again. "She knows how to handle the pressure, how to handle all the situations. She's (been) there for so many years. So I think she will come back and she will AFP n STOCKHOLM enmark coach Age Hareide gave a Dwithering assessment of his World Cup first-round rivals France claiming they have no real leader and have little chance in Russia. "I don't believe in this team," Hareide told Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, a month ahead of their June 26 game in Russia. "They are nothing special," he "They don't have a leader such as Zinedine Zidane to lead them, someone who knew how to galvanise them," said the Norwegian who has been Denmark coach for three years. "They need to play as a team." The 64-year-old singled out Manchester United's Paul Pogba for criticism over his flashy haircuts. "He played against Manchester City with his hair dyed blue and white, maybe he'll have it red and white to play us." "Good grief, does he only think about his haircuts?" asked the coach. Hareide said he hoped to lead Denmark on a fine campaign. "I couldn't stand just being happy to be good again." Williams, who opens her campaign with a first-round match against Czech Kristyna Pliskova, struggled on her return to tennis in March with early defeats in Indian Wells and Miami before taking more time off to get fully fit for Roland Garros. The 23-time Grand Slam champion is joined in Paris by fellow former world number ones Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, with the trio playing a major tournament together for the first time since the 2016 Australian Open. "I feel that now everyone is here (it) feels that the tournament is completed and everyone is here just to show that tennis is really nice and also that everyone can win it," added Halep. "These girls are coming back, Vika (Azarenka), Serena, with the kids, which is amazing. Makes it a little bit different and also special." Romanian Halep will be looking to end her wait for a first Grand Slam title after three previous final defeats, including last year at Roland Garros by Jelena Ostapenko and in February's Australian Open against Caroline Wozniacki. "It's a Grand Slam. Everyone is at the highest level here," she "So it's going to be difficult. I'm not thinking about the title, because it's really far. I'm thinking just of my first Klopp seeks turnaround to five forgetable Finals AFP n KIEV e've won it five times," Liverpool sup- sing to celebrate their five Wporters European Cup final victories, but Jurgen Klopp, manager of the English giants, is attempting to end a very different run of results in tomorrow's Champions League final. Klopp has lost his last five finals, three with Borussia Dortmund before moving to Anfield in 2015, and two in his debut season with the Reds. "They don't hang silver medals at Melwood (Liverpool's training ground)," Klopp warned amidst the euphoria of making it to Kiev this weekend after an enthralling semifinal win over Roma that ended 7-6 on aggregate for the Merseyside club to advance to the final. Jurgen Klopp in a file picture "There's still a job to do but that's how it is. Going to a final is really nice but winning is even nicer." Those are words of a man who has been there and suffered before. Each of his five final defeats had their own context, but hurt all the same. "If something is really important for you, you have to be ready for suffering. That is how life is," Klopp said this week. "If you want guarantees then don't qualify for a final, stay at home or go on holiday." Klopp's unfortunate run began in another Champions League final, five years ago at Wembley, as Dortmund lost out to bitter German rivals Bayern Munich 2-1 courtesy of Arjen Robben's last minute winner. That run to the final proved to be the beginning of the end for Klopp's great Dortmund side that had won two Bundesliga titles and thrashed Bayern 5-2 in the 2012 German Cup final the only final success of his career. A year on from Wembley, they lost to Bayern once more in the German Cup final 2-0 after extra-time in a highly contentious game as Mats Hummels just one of many of Klopp's Dortmund stars who would move to Bayern had a goal wrongly not given before the 90 minutes were up when the ball had crossed the line in the days before goal line technology Pogba only cares about hair, says Denmark coach be at the World Cup," he Denmark have been drawn in Group C with Peru, Australia and the French. CROATIA-BORN TO PLAY FOR ROOS ZURICH: FIFA has cleared Croatia Under- 21 international Fran Karacic to switch eligibility and play for Australia at the World Cup. FIFA says the formal "change of association" for Croatia-born Karacic, who is named in Australia's provisional squad, was completed on Thursday. The 22-year-old defender is eligible for Australia as his father was born there. Serena, Venus get French Open doubles wildcard The Williams sisters in a file picture France s Paul Pogba Twitter image match." The top seed will take on American world number 105 Alison Riske in the first round. PETRA NOT IN FAVOUR OF SERENA SEEDING PARIS: Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova insisted on Friday that the French Open was right not to hand Serena Williams a special seeding for the event. Former world number one Williams, a three-time champion in Paris, is playing a Grand Slam for the first time since winning the Australian Open in She then stepped off tour to give birth to her daughter in September and has since played just four times this year and not at all since March. As a result the 23-time major winner's ranking has crashed to 453 in the world and she needed to use her protected ranking to enter the draw at Roland Garros. Many in tennis, including long-time rival Maria Sharapova, and outside the sport, the most vocal of whom has been Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, believe the rule needs to be changed. But not Kvitova. "I don't really think so," said Kvitova who was off the tour for six months last year after suffering knife wounds fighting off a burglar at her home in the Czech Republic.

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