NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2018
- PM MODI ON NRC: NO CITIZEN OF INDIA WILL HAVE TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY
Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the people raising concerns on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that no citizen of India will have to leave the country. “As per the due process, all possible opportunities will be given to get their concerns addressed,” Modi said.
BJP President Amit Shah, who was in West Bengal for the first time since the release of the NRC draft on Saturday, targetted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while addressing a public rally and questioned, “We want to ask Mamata Banerjee why is she protecting the Bangladeshi infiltrators. All that she has done is protest the NRC, but it is the process to throw illegal migrants out. Shouldn’t Bangladeshi migrants be thrown out?”
Justifying the NRC exercise in Assam, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday asked opposition parties whether a country should not have data on “deshi” (indigenous) and “videshi” (foreigners) people living in the country, and why questions are being asked now that the Narendra Modi government is doing it.
The first draft of the NRC was released on July 30 which excluded nearly 40 lakh people in Assam. The TMC chief slammed the Centre over the draft and said that the NRC exercise in Assam was done with a ‘political motive’ to divide people and it would lead to ‘bloodbath’ and a ‘civil war’ in the country.
When asked about Banerjee’s comments, Modi told ANI, “Those who have lost faith in themselves, fear loss of popular support and lack faith in our institutions can use words like ‘civil war’, ‘blood bath’ and ‘Desh Ke Tukde Tukde.’” He added that the West Bengal chief minister was disconnected from the pulse of the nation.
- ‘TERROR IS TERROR’: CHIDAMBARAM TARGETS BJP AFTER MAHARASHTRA ATS ARRESTS
Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday took a dig at the ruling BJP over the arrest of three men affiliated to radical Hindu outfits, by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), and asked if the party planned to condemn those who are plotting terror attacks.
Taking to Twitter, the senior Congress leader said “terror is terror” irrespective of religion and that “there is no purpose in burying one’s head”. “Maharashtra ATS announced the arrest of three men affiliated to radical Hindu outfits. Who rules Maharashtra?” he asked.
On Friday, the ATS had announced the arrest of the men and claimed to have averted major terror attacks with the recovery of a huge cache of explosives.
Among the arrested is Vaibhav Raut (40), allegedly a member of the Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti who is also said to be a sympathiser of the right wing Sanatan Sanstha. Suspects allegedly linked to the Sanatan Sanstha were involved in the murders of three rationalists – Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi – and the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
- RAHUL GANDHI KICKS OFF CONGRESS CAMPAIGN IN RAJASTHAN, TARGETS PM MODI ON RAFALE DEAL
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday launched the party’s poll campaign in Rajasthan with a massive rally in the state capital where he launched a vitriolic attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale aircraft deal.
Addressing a crowd at Jaipur’s Ramlila grounds, Rahul said: “When the issue of Rafale aircraft (deal) is raised in the Parliament,…when he (Modi) is asked about corruption, he doesn’t even have a minute for it (the issues) in an hour-and-a-half-long speech.”
Directly accusing Modi of corruption in the deal for the French fighter planes, he said the Prime Minister had “favoured” his businessman “friend” Anil Ambani by getting him the “contract”.
“During the UPA government, we had signed a contract for 126 airplanes at Rs 520 crore each with Dassault (an international French aircraft manufacturer) and public sector company HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)…to make these airplanes. But Narendra Modi came and went to France straightaway. With him was Anil Ambani…(who) has a debt of Rs 45,000 crore and has never made a single airplane in his life and hasn’t worked in defence. He has only one qualification, which is (he is) Modi ji’s friend, there is no other qualification. And the company which gets the contract had been set up just seven days earlier,” he said, adding that the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was also kept in the dark about the deal.
“I said the same thing before PM Modi in Parliament. He did hear me, but when I was speaking, I was looking at him in the eye, but his eyes kept wavering and never met mine. Because your Prime Minister has indulged in corruption in Rafale, and it will be clear to all Indians with time,” he said.
- UK ALLOWS PLATFORM FOR KHALISTAN CALL TO ARMS
The US based advocacy group, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), has been crying hoarse that “Referendum 2020”, which is aimed at demanding a separate homeland for the Sikhs, is a peaceful movement. The British govt, too, has “ignored” requests by the Indian govt to block the event to be held at Trafalgar Square in London today, saying peaceful demonstration of views is within the law.
However, reports by Indian security agencies reveal that there is a “definite call to arms and violence”, by those organising the event.
A video was accessed by security agencies from the phone of one Dharminder Singh, arrested for being a part of a terror module in Batala subdivision of Gurdaspur. The video was received on his mobile on May 24, days before two liquor vends were set afire. Investigations by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Punjab Police revealed that Dharminder and his associate Kirpal Singh were provoked into doing so.
Their interrogation revealed they were radicalised, indoctrinated and funded by foreign handlers, including US-based Harmeet Singh, UK-based Paramjit Singh Pamma and Mann Singh, and Malaysia- based Deep Kaur. “This is proof of the SFJ trying to propagate terrorist acts in Punjab,” said a senior Intelligence officer. This proof of “call to arms” was shared by the Indian security agencies with their counterparts in the UK.
But the British govt refused to “block the event”, citing the right that allows people to gather and to demonstrate their views, “provided they do so within the law”.
- US-TURKEY FEUD RATTLES GLOBAL ECONOMIES
President Tayyip Erdogan denied on Saturday that Turkey is in a currency crisis, dismissing a plunge in the lira as “fluctuations” which have nothing to do with economic fundamentals.
Speaking after US President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium imports, Erdogan described Friday’s 18% fall in the lira to a record low — which rattled markets across the world on Friday as the “missiles” of an economic war waged against Turkey. Erdogan said those who plotted against Turkey in a failed coup attempt in July 2016 were now trying to target the country through its economy, and pledged to fight back. He did not name any country.
“Those who can’t compete with us on the ground have brought online fictional currency plots that have nothing to with the realities of our country, production and real economy,” Erdogan told a provincial meeting of his AK Party .
“The country is neither crumbling, nor being destroyed or bankrupt or in a crisis,” he said, and added that the way out of the “currency plot” was to boost production and “minimise interest rates”.
The Turkish lira has lost about 40% this year alone, largely over worries about Erdogan’s influence over the economy, his repeated calls for lower interest rates in the face of high inflation and deteriorating ties with the US. The two governments have been at odds over a wide range of topics — from diverging interests in Syria, to Turkey’s ambition to buy Russian defence systems, and the case of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.
- INDONESIAN ISLAND LIFTED 10 INCHES BY DEADLY QUAKE, SAY SCIENTISTS
Scientists say the powerful Indonesian earthquake that killed more than 300 people lifted the island it struck by as much as 25 centimeters (10 inches).
Using satellite images of Lombok from the days following the August 5 quake, scientists from NASA and the California Institute of Technology’s joint rapid imaging project made a ground deformation map and measured changes in the island’s surface. In the northwest of the island near the epicenter, the rupturing faultline lifted the earth by a quarter of a meter. In other places it dropped by 5-15 centimeters (2-6 inches).
Some 270,000 people are homeless or displaced after the earthquake, which damaged and destroyed about 68,000 homes.
NASA said satellite observations can help authorities respond to earthquakes and other natural or manmade disasters.
- MAHESH KUMAR MALANI: PAKISTAN’S FIRST ELECTED NON-MUSLIM MP
55-year old Mahesh Kumar Malani from the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) has become the first non-Muslim to win a general seat in Pakistan’s National Assembly. Malani — who is a Hindu — contested and won the NA-222 (Tharparkar-II) seat, where he held his ground against 14 candidates.
In 2013, Malani was also the first non-Muslim lawmaker to win a general seat in the Sindh Assembly. Non-Muslims were declared eligible to vote and contest on general seats in 2002 under an amendment introduced by then president Pervez Musharraf. Besides, non-Muslims also have reserved seats in the Senate, national and provincial assemblies.
- KERALA FLOOD TOLL CLIMBS TO 37
After being pounded by rains for the past few days, there was a brief let-up in the downpour on Saturday in Kerala, but the government remained on high alert with more rains forecast, even as the toll in the monsoon fury since August 8 climbed to 37.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan, who undertook an aerial survey of rain-ravaged areas of Idukki and Wayanad, said Kerala was in the midst of an unprecedented flood havoc and the calamity has caused “immeasurable misery and devastation.” He said Rs 10 lakh compensation would be given to people who lost their homes and land and Rs 4 lakh to those who lost a member of their family.
Though there was a respite from rains across the state on Saturday, especially in catchment areas of Idukki dam, the Indian Meteorological Department issued a ‘Red alert’, asking people to be cautious as there was a possibility of heavy to very heavy rainfall in most places in Idukki, Wayanad, Kannur, Ernakulam, Palakkad and Malappuram.
- STOP AGITATION: NCP PRESIDENT SHARAD PAWAR APPEALS TO MARATHAS
The NCP president Sharad Pawar Saturday alleged that BJP was trying to divide the Marathas and other communities. Pawar appealed the Maratha community to stop the agitation and said that a Constitutional process for reservation will require time.
Pawar said Chhatrapati Shivaji united all communities during his regime. He also said that the Marathas should get the reservation, but without affecting the quota already being granted to other communities by the Constitution. He said, “Once the agitation starts, one must also know when to stop it.”
Pawar lauded the Maratha protesters for highlighting the concerns of the community. Referring to the attack on corporate sectors in Aurangabad, he said, “It must be ensured that violence doesn’t affect the investments and employment in the state. Peaceful agitation in the past has earned the community goodwill. However, violence could lead to loss of the goodwill.”
The unprovoked violence at Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in Aurangabad during the Maratha Morcha bandh on Friday has evoked sharp reaction and anger from the industries and corporate sectors across Maharashtra and outside. Aurangabad is among the prime centres with the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor set to bring the biggest investment and employment in the region of Marathwada.
- INNOVATE OR STAGNATE, SAYS MODI; HEAPS PRAISE ON IITs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said innovation and enterprise would be the foundation stones for a developed India, and asserted that societies that do not innovate stagnate.
At the 56th annual convocation of the IIT-Bombay, he said the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have built brand India globally and now become “India’s instrument for transformation”, he said.
“The nation is proud of IITs and what IIT graduates have achieved. The success of IITs led to the creation of engineering colleges around the country and this led to India becoming one of the world’s largest pools of technical manpower,” Modi said, adding: “IITs are the frontier of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, block chain, machine learning, etc which would shape the world’s future.”
Modi said IITs were a microcosm of India’s diversity with students from various parts of the country and different backgrounds coming together in the pursuit of knowledge. “It’s the large number of IIT students who built the IT sector in India brick by brick, or should I say, click by click,” he said.
Earlier, questions attributed to IIT Bombay students about the “falling rate of employment” and “other vital social issues” greeted Modi shortly before his address.
A statement posted on Facebook on Friday and signed “Students of IIT Bombay” not only flagged some of the biggest controversies churning Indian campuses and plaguing the Modi government but also questioned the Prime Minister’s “silence on all these” issues.
The topics ranged from joblessness, academic autonomy, hate crimes and the Modi government’s “Brahmanical idea of education”, which the statement said had led to fee hikes and forced impoverished students to drop out. The statement also touched on hate crimes. ” We condemn all the atrocities committed on Dalits and Muslims over the last few years….We question how beef becomes so important an issue that living human being could be killed for it, and the murderer get perfect impunity.
- CONGRESS HURLS FRESH ALLEGATIONS AGAINST AMIT SHAH, SON
The Congress yesterday cited documentary evidence to allege that BJP president and Rajya Sabha MP Amit Shah had concealed his liabilities in the election affidavit filed on July 24 last year at the time of his election to the upper house.
Senior Congress leader and former minister Jairam Ramesh alleged a new scam by Shah’s son Jay, asking how the latter’s small worth company got hefty loans from private and cooperative banks in Gujarat. The Congress had earlier accused Jay of corrupt dealings through Temple Enterprises, a now-closed firm that had posted “magical profits” soon after the BJP came to power at the centre.
- FAILURE RATE OF VVPATS FORCES EC TO HIKE DEMAND, TOTAL ORDER UP TO 17.4 LAKH
The Election Commission has decided to enhance its reserve of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines by 10 per cent for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, in the wake of rising incidents of failure reported in the recent elections.
On June 20, the Commission ordered an additional 1.3 lakh paper trail units costing Rs 250.16 crore, which would effectively increase its VVPAT reserve from 25 per cent to 35 per cent. This is apart from the order for 16.15 lakh VVPATs, already placed with the two manufacturing PSUs, to cover all polling stations during the general elections next year.
A performance review undertaken by the EC earlier this year shows that VVPAT machines deployed in all state elections last year had an aggregate failure rate of almost 11 per cent. This is much higher than the average failure rate of electronic voting machines or EVMs, which has stabilised at 5 per cent.
Although the Commission has made design improvements to the paper trail machines after the Kairana and Bhandara Gondiya bypolls, VVPAT failures are largely because the machines are relatively new and the polling staff are not completely adept at handling them.
- INDIA GETS FIRST ALL-WOMEN SWAT TEAM, ALL 36 COMMANDOS FROM NORTHEAST
Ahead of the Independence Day, the Delhi Police inducted India’s first all-woman Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for anti-terrorist operations.
After rigorous training of around 15 months from specialists all across India and abroad, 36 women commandos from the northeastern states have been inducted into this squad. While 13 members are from Assam, rest of them hail from Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Manipur.
Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, who was behind the idea of the SWAT team, said, “The team is ready to take on hostage crises and terror strikes in urban areas. The members of this all-women SWAT team received better ratings at the Police Training College in Jharoda Kalan than their male counterparts.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who formally inducted the unit on Friday, said that the women commandos will be deployed at Red Fort and India Gate during Independence Day celebrations.
Armed with MP5 submachine guns and Glock 21 pistols, all the members of the force are also well-versed in Israeli Krav Maga, an unarmed combat style.
- NOBEL PRIZE WINNER, FIERY AUTHOR, VS NAIPAUL PASSES AWAY
Nobel Prize-winning British author V S Naipaul has died at the age of 85, his family announced on Saturday. “He died surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour,” his wife Lady Naipaul said in a statement.
Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul wrote more than 30 books and won the Nobel Literature Prize in 2001.
Born in Trinidad, the son of an Indian civil servant, he studied English literature at Oxford University before basing his life in England. But he spent much of his time travelling and became a symbol of modern rootlessness.
Awarding him the Nobel, the Swedish Academy said he was a “literary circumnavigator, only ever really at home in himself, in his inimitable voice”.
- INDIA WOULD LOOK UP TO RAIN TO HELP SAVE LORD’S TEST
Chris Woakes struck a maiden Test century and Jonny Bairstow added 93 as England dominated the third day of the second Test at Lord’s on Saturday, reaching 357/6 to open up a significant 250-run lead over India.
Arriving at the crease with England 131/5, Woakes —back in the side as a replacement for Ben Stokes — scored freely in a partnership of 189 with Bairstow, bringing up his century with a pull for three.
Bairstow looked set to join him in getting his name on the Lords’ honours board but the Yorkshireman fell for 93, caught excellently by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik after he nicked a Hardik Pandya delivery.
Woakes ended the day unbeaten on 120.
After rain washed out the first day’s play and interrupted much of Day 2, bad light brought proceedings to a close with England in a commanding lead.
- THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. – Oscar Wilde
- OFF TRACK
A New York policeman recently stopped a woman for exceeding the posted speed limit. He asked the driver her name.
She said, “I’m Mrs. Ladislav Abdulkhashim Zybkcicraznovskaya.
The cop put away his book and pen, and said, “Well… OK… but don’t let me catch you speeding again.”