`3 VOL. 29 NO. 27 | MUMBAI, PUNE, INDORE, BHOPAL SUNDAY | AUGUST 13, 2017 | 12+8=20 PAGES MIDDLE ORDER FALTERS AFTER DHAWAN’S DASHING TON Pg12 weekend www.freepressjournal.in KEHTA HAI JOKER... It’s no easy task to make people laugh and who better than Stefan Haves can explain this to VIBHA SINGH who met the Cirque du Soleil director on his visit to the city recently THOUGHT FOR THE DAY UP govt denies lack of oxygen led to deaths, but suspends hospital super DIFFERENT TUNE Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath says lack of cleanliness is to be blamed for the tragedy, but ground reports suggest negligence of medical college AFP G AGENCIES Gorakhpur/Allahabad/Lucknow Even as a magisterial probe is underway into the death of over 60 children, including infants, at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday blamed lack of cleanliness for the tragedy . Addressing a gathering in Allahabad, Adityanath said the death of these children in his constituency was caused by filth and the scourge of open defecation. “There are vector-borne diseases, such as encephalitis, you must be hearing media reports of BRD medical college these days...it is a tragedy that lives of young children have been snuffed out at such young age because we do not lead a clean and hygienic life,” he said while reminding the crowd that the disease has been the bane of eastern Uttar Pradesh since 1978. Siddharth Nath Singh, the state health minister, too, said that there have been no deaths due to lack of oxygen supply but did concede there , was a problem in supply of liquid oxygen for four hours on August 10 which was made up by the system switching to cylinders. The UP chief minister’s comment came even while his government suspended the principal of BRD Medical G Relatives mourn the death of a child at the BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur on Saturday. College for his “irresponsible act” of allegedly delaying payments to the oxygen supplier, which led to the death of the infants, UP’s state Health Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon told reporters. He added that a probe, led by the chief secretary had also been ordered. , Tandon said that “stringent action” would be taken against those responsible for the tragedy after the probe panel submitted its report. “Till then, we are suspending the principal of Baba Raghav Das Medical College with immediate effect.” The minister said on August 1, the dealer (oxygen supplier) had written a letter to the principal of the medical college, Dr Rajiv Mishra, demanding payment of an outstanding amount. “The letter was forwarded to the DG's (Director-General, Medical Education) office. On August 5, the payment was made to the medical college and the amount was credited to its account on August 7,” he added. Stating that the dealer claimed that his dues were cleared only on August 11, Tandon said, “Why was there BHOPAL/DHAR: Social activist Medha Patkar on Saturday ended her 17-day fast to protest against the government’s ‘apathy’ towards resettlement of those affected by the increase in the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. — Page 7 G NEW HAJ POLICY THIS MONTH: NAQVI MUMBAI: The new Haj Policy2018, aiming to make the annual pilgrimage process more “smooth and transparent” , will be unveiled later this month, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced here on Saturday. — PTI ‘NUMBER OF SLABS IN GST WILL BE REDUCED’ KOLKATA: The number of tax slabs in the Goods and Services Tax (GST)regime would be reduced with improvement in revenue, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said here on Saturday. — IANS SWINE FLU CLAIMS 138 LIVES IN GUJ IN 2017 AHMEDABAD: Swine flu has killed as many as 138 people in Gujarat since January this year, prompting Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to hold a review meeting on Saturday to take stock of the preparedness of the health authorities in tackling the disease. — PTI Subhash Desai G FPJ POLITICAL BUREAU Mumbai Shiv Sena Minister for Industries Subhash Desai, accused of corruption by the Opposition, offered his resignation to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday who , promptly turned it down. The development comes a day after Fadnavis announced a probe by Lokayukta against Housing Minister Prakash Mehta, who has been accused by the Opposition of impropriety in a slum re-development project. He belongs to the BJP The Oppo. sition has also accused Desai of violating norms while allegedly denotifying lands acquired by state-run MIDC in Nashik. The CM had announced that he too would have to face an inquiry by an independent authority . “I met the chief minister at “Not to forgive is difficult, but to forgive is the best.” — Her Holiness Mataji Nirmala Devi Industry minister quits, Fadnavis rejects resignation his residence and requested him to relieve me of my duties till I am proved innocent. However, the chief minister refused to accept my resignation,” Desai said, adding, “The CM told me to wait for the inquiry report.” Desai had met his party’s chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday evening over the issue. “I met Uddhavji and told him about my decision to resign. Uddhavji then spoke to the CM and both of them decided that there was no need to resign,” he said. Uddhav Thackeray later told reporters that politics in the state was at its lowest level and that those making allegations are themselves kneedeep in corruption. “Levelling baseless allegations and asking for resignations will dent the image of the state,” Thackeray said, adding, “The CM has promised a fair probe. We hope the truth comes out soon. The party stands firmly behind Desai.” Reacting to the development, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde said that Fadnavis turned down Desai’s resignation only to shield Housing Minister Prakash Mehta. “Unless the ministers are removed, there cannot be a fair probe. We will continue our fight against the corrupt ministers and this government,” Munde said. Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that Fadnavis is a political opportunist and he has never taken a firm stand against corruption. “The CM had immediately accepted the resignation of Eknath Khadse but refused to do so now. This is because of his fear that the Shiv Sena may pull the plug,” he said. Lalit Modi bids cricket goodbye G AGENCIES Jaipur Former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi, in self-exile abroad, resigned as the president of the Nagaur District Cricket Association on Saturday, paving the way for the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) to get back into the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)'s fold. “I feel the time is now ripe to pass on the baton to the next generation. Thus, today (Saturday) I want to bid goodbye to cricket administration…I would like to thank each and every one of you (fans) for your support over the years and more important your support to fulfil my dream,” Modi, who is a former RCA chief, wrote in a letter addressed to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri. Due to the presence of Modi, banished for life by GANAPATI BAPPA MORYA... the Indian cricket board for alleged corruption and misuse of power, the RCA was banned. The BCCI also stopped funding and didn't allow the Jaipur-based Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals to play their home ties at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in the Pink City. Lalit Modi's son Ruchir had competed in the RCA elections in June this year but lost to Congress leader –IANS C.P. Joshi. PIC: BL SONI AGENCIES Darjeeling ARMY JAWAN KILLED IN PAK FIRING NEW DELHI: The flood situation in Assam worsened today, with five deaths reported while flash floods affected three districts in Tripura where at least 4,500 families were rendered homeless. — Page 5 a delay in payment, why the supply of oxygen was stopped – these aspects will be probed by the panel.” Meanwhile, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath informed through his official Twitter handle that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought information about the tragedy and on his instructions, Union Health Minister J.P Nadda and Union Minis. ter of State for Health Anupriya Patel had also inquired about it. He added that Patel would visit BRD Medical College to take stock of the situation. Terming the death of infants in Gorakhpur as an outcome of the Uttar Pradesh government's “gross criminal negligence”, the Opposition SP and the BSP on Saturday demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident. The Congress, too, joined the chorus. The Congress on Saturday sent some of its top notch leaders from Delhi to Gorakhpur to study the situation. The SP and the BSP will also send its leaders to the hospital. “As many as 60 children have died in a government hospital in the last six-seven days. This is an example of gross criminal negligence of the BJP government,” BSP chief Mayawati said. Blaming the Yogi Adityanath government for the tragedy Samajwadi , Party president Akhilesh Yadav claimed that a shortage of oxygen supply in the hospital led to it. “The company supplying oxygen had informed the principal (of Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital) that it would stop the supply if payment was not made and the government must be aware that the deaths have been caused due to a shortage of oxygen,” he said. –PTI Centre urged to initiate dialogue on Darjeeling stir MEDHA PATKAR ENDS FAST OVER NARMADA ASSAM FLOODS: 5 DIE, 4K FAMILIES HOMELESS AGENCIES Lucknow Fast News JAMMU: An army jawan was killed as Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian posts along the Line of Control in Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir this evening, a defence spokesman said. — PTI Oppn piles on the pressure on Yogi govt Reg. No. MCS/048/2015-17; RNI No. 46955/1988 Sharad Yadav on his Bihar tour. Yadav loses his job as JD(U) leader in the Rajya Sabha G FPJ BUREAU New Delhi Nitish Kumar has struck. On Saturday the JD(U) chief and , CM of Bihar removed rebel Sharad Yadav from the post of the party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha. Yadav had publicly opposed the JD(U)-BJP alliance in Bihar, saying the people of the state voted for the Grand Alliance. Following Yadav’s sacking, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu declared Ram Chandra Prasad Singh as the new JD(U) leader in the House on a written representation by party generalsecretary Sanjay Jha. Party sources said Nitish Kumar ordered the removal of Sharad Yadav from the post in view of his anti-party utterances. Kumar had earlier suspended another JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar, who , had attended a meeting of Opposition parties convened by Sonia Gandhi on instructions from Sharad Yadav . On Saturday Sharad Yadav , shot back at Nitish Kumar. JD(U) is not only Nitish Kumar’s party it is also my party , ,” said Yadav in Bihar’s Madhepura district on the last day of his 3-day tour of Bihar aimed at mobilising people against the JD(U)-BJP alliance. “I am not afraid of anyone as I stand Amit Shah wants Kumar to join NDA BENGALURU: BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday announced that he has extended an invitation to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to join the NDA. This is the first official communication between Nitish Kumar and the BJP, post the Nitish aligning with the BJP in Bihar. In a tweet on Saturday morning, Shah spoke about their meeting on Friday and that he had invited Nitish to join the BJP’s coalition. –PTI by my principles,” he added. In Patna, JD(U) chief of the state unit Bashistha Narain Singh said Sharad Yadav forced action on him by continuously engaging in the “anti-party activities”. He said Nitish Kumar was also in the process of issuing him a show-cause notice for questioning his decision to form a government with the BJP . Can Sharad Yadav split the party He claims the support . of 20 MLAs in Bihar. Kumar could take more action against Yadav and some other sulking leaders after the party’s August 19 national executive meeting. All the rebels have been invited to the meeting, sources said. The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) on Saturday urged the Centre to initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders to restore normalcy in Darjeeling hills, where an indefinite shutdown entered its 59th day . The strike in the hills will continue until and unless a "positive step" is taken to restore normalcy by the Centre, GMCC, the apex body of 30 hill parties participating in the stir for a separate Gorkhaland, stated at an emergency meeting in Kalimpong. Unconfimed reports said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has agreed to hold a meeting with the Gorkha leaders in Delhi. “We urge the central government to initiate a dialogue process so that normalcy can be restored in the hills. If the state government is part of that process, we have no problems,” GMCC convenor Kalyan Dewan said. The committee condemned the recent arrests made by the police and the area domination marches in the hills during the past few days. Asked whether any decision had been taken on relaxing the shutdown on Independence Day Dewan said, , “It will be decided very soon after discussing it with all the hill parties and GJM president Bimal Gurung. But the people of the hills are patriots and we will celebrate Independence Day . Every household will hoist the national flag and we will take out rallies carrying the tricolor.” Sources said sharp differences have cropped up between Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and other hill parties in the GMCC over continuing with the indefi–PTI nite shutdown. A Ganesha idol makes its way to a pandal in Mumbai on Saturday. RACE AGAINST DEADLINE Short of teachers, Mumbai University mulls drafting lawyers to check papers G RONALD RODRIGUES Mumbai Clearly as a damage control measure, Mumbai University (MU) authorities are thinking of roping in practising lawyers who are not teachers by profession to check the vast number of answer scripts of the law examinations that are yet to be assessed. Law faculty students are highly of the move arguing that professional lawyers do not have any knowledge about the syllabus and the methodology of paper correction. In fact, even MU’s Law Academy is not in favour of the idea. Sources told Free Press Journal that university authorities are in the process of finalising the modalities of hiring lawyers for the job. Lawyers volunteering for the purpose will have to report at the centralised assessment process (CAP) centres and will be paid for University law students have argued that professional lawyers do not have any knowledge of their syllabus. every paper checked. Mumbai University law course have very few fulltime teachers, hence practising lawyers are called in as guest lecturers. But they surely cannot correct answer scripts. A senior official of the Law Academy who did not wish to be named told Free Press Journal, “It is not right to involve professional lawyers as they are unaware of the assessment process or the courses.” In its defence, MU authorities said that only those lawyers who are approved for being assessors will be assigned the job. Devanand Shinde, the new acting ViceChancellor of MU, told Free Press Journal, “We have assigned the work of assessment only to those practis- ing lawyers who are well versed about the process. We held a meeting with them on Saturday to discuss these issues and the teachers have agreed to focus on the assessment process, so we may not need help from outside.” Students are worried as MU has managed to declare the results of just one examination of the law course and there is a huge backlog. Sachin Pawar, president of the Student Law Council, said, “The university came out with the results of just one exam to quell discontent. This particular course had very few students. The results mean a lot for the students.” Out of 477 examinations, results of 323 examinations were declared by Friday night while 154 were pending. “We are working on fixing the technical glitches and hope to speed up the process by Monday so that we can declare the pending results,” Shinde said.