ALL EYES ON RISHABH PANT'S WORLD CUP TEST PG 12 Fast News ANNOUNCEMENT OF LS POLLS NEW DELHI: The Election Commission (EC) is expected to announce the schedule for 2019 general elections early next week. Sources said the schedule could be announced on Monday or Tuesday. NO AGE BAR FOR BJP CANDIDATES NEW DELHI: There would be no bar of 75 years for BJP leaders willing to contest the upcoming LS polls, the party's top decision-making body - the parliamentary board - decided at its meeting on Friday night. While there was no official BJP statement, party sources confirmed the development which would pave the way for veterans like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and others to contest the polls. The meeting was attended by PM Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and others. A source said this well-calculated move comes in the wake of opposition parties joining hands and BJP does not want to trigger controversy by denying veterans a ticket. PAK DRONE TRIED TO CROSS BORDER: BSF JAIPUR: A Pakistani drone attempting to enter Indian territory across the Rajasthan border went back following its detection by the Border Security Forces (BSF), who tried to shoot it down, the BSF said. This was another of the drones from across the international border that tried to enter Indian territory at around 5 am at Hindumalkot border near Sriganganagar, a BSF official said, adding that the moment it was sighted the troopers started firing, forcing it to return. Villagers residing along the western border also heard heavy firing. The drone returned safely across the border to Pakistan, a BSF official said. IRRFAN KHAN SEEN AT CITY AIRPORT MUMBAI: Actor Irrfan Khan was on Saturday spotted by eager paparazzis at the Mumbai airport, his first appearance since he returned to India after undergoing treatment for neuroendocrine tumour in London. The 52year-old actor had revealed last year in March that he was suffering from neuroendocrine tumour and has been away from the limelight since then. In photos doing the rounds on social media, Irrfan's face was not completely visible as the actor covered it with a scarf. US TOWN ELECTS GOAT AS 'MAYOR' WASHINGTON: In a divided America where politics seems increasingly to get people's goat, a small town in Vermont has taken the concept to heart -- this week electing one as mayor. He may be a political novice but the goat's name, Lincoln, brings with it a storied pedigree. And the leading human official in Fair Haven -population about 2,500 -hopes the long-eared, threeyear-old animal's election can serve as a bit of a lesson in democracy. In Tuesday's poll, Lincoln was victorious over 15 other candidates including Crystal the gerbil and many dogs and cats. Lincoln's 13 votes were enough for him to squeak past Sammie the dog. QUOTE "Mark my words another 'Pulwamatype' strike will be organised in the next two months, during the Lok Sabha elections, to divert peoples' attention from all problems to patriotism," he alleged at Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s 13th anniversary celebrations. This is because, Thackeray alleged the ruling BJP have "miserably failed" in all their policies, including the Ram temple issue. — MNS President Raj Thackeray 3 STRIKES, WON'T TALK ABOUT THIRD: RAJNATH LOST AT KUMBH India carried out 3 cross-border strikes in 5 yrs: Union Home Min AGENCIES / Mangaluru India carried out three cross border strikes in the last five years, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Saturday without disclosing , which was the third. Singh spoke about the 2016 surgical strike after the Uri terror attack and the air strike after the Pulwama incident in which a CRPF convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber killing 40 jawans, but he did not reveal about the third. "I want to tell you brothers and sisters that in the last five years, we have gone beyond our borders thrice and our men have successfully conducted airstrikes. About two I will tell you, but won't tell you about the third one," Singh told BJP's Shakti CONTD. ON P6 Kendra office-bearers convention here. VOL. 30 NO. 45| MUMBAI, PUNE, INDORE, BHOPAL SUNDAY| MARCH 10, 2019| 12+8=20 PAGES The Naga with the cellphone, auspicious plunge at the Triveni Sangam, and some special ‘khaana’... SNEHA SINGH and JESCILIA K experience Kumbh, days before the festival drew to a close on March 4, 2019 Scared Pak began crying 'Modi ne Maara', says PM Slams Cong's handling of terror attacks like the one in Mumbai AGENCIES / Noida (UP) PM Narendra Modi on Saturday again hit out at those seeking proof of India's air strike at Balakot in Pakistan and slammed the previous Congress government for its handling of terror attacks like the one in Mumbai in 2008. Addressing a public meeting in Greater Noida, Modi said the "corrupt" are opposing and abusing him in order to get votes. Modi said today India works on 'nayi reeti, nayi neeti' (new methods, new CONTD. ON P6 was to send terrorists to carry out attacks, but our policy was only defensive. Modi Ji has brought a small change in that policy We shall now con. tinue to defend, but will attack the main sources of terrorism. The surgical strike was our first step, and the air strikes were the second. "A misunderstanding was being created about not crossing the Line of Control (LoC) or international border. This time, the world powers supported us when our air force struck at the Jaish terror camp. Not only US, UK, Europe and Russia, but even China gave a neutral statement." CONTD. ON P6 Beauty has no utility, because beauty is not a “means,” it is an end in itself. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Nirav living in £8 mn flat in London: Report AGENCIES / London UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has certified India's extradition request for fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, wanted in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, officials involved with the proceedings in the UK confirmed on Saturday , even as he was tracked living openly in a swanky 8-million pound apartment in the heart of London and running a new diamond business just yards away . Confirmation of the certification of the extradition request, filed by the Indian authorities in August last year, came just as 'The Daily Telegraph' reported that it had discovered Modi living in a three-bedroom flat, where rent is estimated to be around 17,000 pounds a UK home secretary certifies India’s extradition request month. In a video posted by the newspaper, a "plumper" Modi can be seen sporting a handle-bar moustache and wearing an Ostrich Hide jacket, estimated to cost 10,000 pounds. As per the India-UK Extradition Treaty arrangement, paperwork is now with the District Judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London to issue an extradition warrant against Modi to be executed by Scotland Yard. The Indian authorities were informed of the development on Thursday with officials , here indicating that an arrest warrant against Modi may now be a matter of weeks, moving the extradition request to the next stage. The government is taking all steps to extradite PNB scam accused Nirav Modi from the UK, the External Affairs Ministry said Saturday . MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, at a media briefing, said the fact that "we requested CONTD. ON P6 Pak's nuclear bluff exposed: Jaitley Public gatherings banned OUR BUREAU New Delhi Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a TV news channel that "India has exposed Pakistan''s nuclear bluff" by carrying out successful air strikes against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp inside Pakistan. After losing three conventional wars in 1965, 1971 and Kargil, he said Pakistan''s army realised it cannot win a conventional war against India because of its huge economy and superior military strength and so it chose two options: A proxy war through terrorists and holding out a nuclear bluff since both countries are armed with the nuclear weapons. Repying to questions on India TV on its chief editor Rajat Sharma''s show "Aap ki Adalat" to be telecast Saturday night at 10 pm and retelecast on Sunday at 10 am and 10 pm, he credited PM Modi changing policy towards Pakistan a bit further. "Till now, Pakistan''s policy BJP happy at Ayodhya mediation, Cong on edge OUR BUREAU / New Delhi Though the result of mediation ordered by the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya land dispute will come only around the first week of May towards the end of the Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are happy that the Ram Mandir issue will remain alive in the memory of the electorate without much efforts by their party irrespective of , whatever is the outcome. They are hoping to return to power at the Centre and hence they claim the mediation will make the next government''s task easy in the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. They refuse to discuss a negative outcome as they say if the contentious matter pending for decades gets resolved in favour of the Hindus, it is anybody''s guess that the BJP will benefit. Mediation won't solve Ayodhya dispute, need ordinance: Sena MUMBAI: Ram Janmabhoomi is an emotional issue and cannot be resolved through mediation, the Shiv Sena said, asking the Centre to promulgate an ordinance and start the construction of Ram temple. "The only question is that if the issue could be resolved through mediation, why did the dispute continue for 25 years and why hundreds of people had to lose their lives?" it asked in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'. "If the protesters did not want mediation on the issue for all these years, why is the SC trying to do it now? Ayodhya is not just an issue of land, but an emotional one. It has been experienced that mediation and arbitration do not work in such sensitive matters," it said. In contrast, the Congress and other anti-BJP parties have reasons to feel anxious as building a grand Ram Mandir at Ayodhya has been the saffron party''s oldest poll plank. On record, the Congress respected the Supreme Court''s mediation order, but privately its leaders conceded that it puts the BJP at a clear advantage. When life throws cheese at you... FPJ BUREAU / Mumbai The object involved in the latest internet challenge was as soft and smooth as a baby’s cheeks and good enough to eat, but heck, who would slam a slice of processed cheese on a hapless tot’s face, and film it all, just for fun? Several netizens, it is evident, did so, meticulously documenting their efforts. So, there were several videos of babies being plastered with a slice of cheese. Some babies gave a little start and looked ready to cry some smiled , and the more intrepid of the tot lot did what a person could best do in the circumstances-- took a bite of the cheese which life had thrown at them. After all, that’s how these humans explore their world – subjecting everything to the taste test. Coming after other recent, life-threatening challenges that saw people eating laundry detergent and jumping out of moving vehicles to do the Kiki, this one seemed downright, well, cheesy . The "cheese challenge" was apparently kicked off by a Facebook user. The child in this challenge just sat back confused. But the video was spotted by a Twitter user and the process got rolling faster than one could say cheese. Naturally not , just babies found themselves at the receiving end. Toddlers, older kids, siblings, snoozing family members, pets and hold your breath, CONTD. ON P6 "This allows the BJP to whip up religious passions right on the eve of the elections. The entire period of mediation will be a period of political advantage to the BJP as Prime Minister Modi and others in BJP will claim they have moved decisively on its core issue," a senior Congress leader said. CONTD. ON P6 ARMY JAWAN not abducted, is safe: Def Min AGENCIES Srinagar The Defence Ministry on Saturday denied reports of an Army jawan being abducted by militants from his home in central Kashmir's Budgam district, saying he is "safe". The family of Mohammad Yaseen, posted with the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regiment, had on Friday informed the police that some people came to their house at Qazipora Chadoora in Budgam and took him away Yaseen . was on leave. However, a defence spokesperson Saturday said the reports of the abduction of the jawan were incorrect. "Clarification. Media reports of the abduction of a serving Army soldier on leave from Qazipora, Chadoora, Budgam are incorrect. Individual is safe. Speculations may please be avoided," the spokesperson said in a tweet. PTI Industrialist Mukesh Ambani with wife Nita and children Akash and Isha at the wedding ceremony of Akash with Shloka Mehta (inset), in Mumbai on Saturday. in city from March 13-27 PRIYANKA NAVALKAR / Mumbai Ahead of the forthcoming elections, Mumbai Police have banned public gatherings of more than five persons between March 13 and 27. The ban has been imposed in the backdrop of security threats and the sensitive situation after the Indian Air Force strikes in Balakot, but is a routine measure, a police spokesperson said. Mumbai Police have issued a circular, requesting citizens to refrain from engaging in public gatherings of more than five people, during the period from March 13-27. Senior officials of Mumbai Police warned that action will be initiated against those who violate the rule by assembling at a public place for rallies or meetings, use loudspeakers and fireworks in the city during the said period. This move is due to the prevailing tension in India and Pakistan and since Mumbai, India's financial capital is at constant risk, informed the security agencies. Manjunath Singe, Mumbai Police spoke- sperson and deputy commissioner of police (operations), said, “It is a routine protocol that policemen follow and ask citizens to do so too, according to the Bombay Police Act. Also to avert any untoward incident in the days leading to the Lok Sabha elections 2019, a few security protocols have been put in place, to ensure safety .” The order, issued by Mumbai Police, states that not more than five people can assemble at a public place. The use of loudspeakers too has been banned, leaving no scope for conducting concerts. The use of fireworks too has been banned during this period. However, the order also mentions that there will be exceptions such as wedding ceremonies and indoor meetings of societies. Security has been upgraded at all entry-exit points of the city with all suspected persons, , light and vehicles being subjected to checking. The transport gateways at railway stations, airports, Mumbai Metro, roads and the seashore have also been upgraded after the Pulwama attack, said a police source. AGENCIES Kolkata Take action on team for army cap: Pak tells ICC AGENCIES / Karachi As a mark of respect to CRPF jawans who lost their lives in Pulwama attack, Indian cricketers sported the Army cap and also donated their match fee for welfare of the families of the martyrs. But Pakistan has demanded that International Cricket Council (ICC) take note of Indian cricketers wearing camouflage military caps during the third ODI against Australia, accusing Virat Kohli team's of politicising the game. Taking exception to the gesture, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the International Cricket Council must do something about it. "The world saw that the Indian cricket team wore military caps instead of their own, did ICC not see this? We think that it is ICC's responsibility to take notice of this without the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) bringing it up," Qureshi was quoted as saying by Pakistan media. India had lost the match by 32 runs but still lead the fivematch series 2-1. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry echoed Qureshi's sentiment. CONTD. ON P6 Zoo to be 'swamped' by deer duo from Kanpur soon LOVE FOR ANIMALS In exchange, a pair of military macaws and night herons will be sent to Uttar Pradesh STAFF REPORTER / Mumbai Veermata Jijabai Udyan is likely to be 'swamped' by a duo of deer this week. A pair of swamp deer are coming to the Byculla Zoo from Kanpur Zoological Park in Uttar Pradesh. In exchange, the zoo will send to the Kanpur park a pair of military macaws and night herons each. However, hold your horses, don't be in a mad rush to take the young and curious at home to the zoo yet. It will be a few weeks before the new pair are displayed to the public.The acquisition Explosives: 1,000 kg in 27 bags, 3 held of swamp deer is part of Phase II of the zoo's expansion project. In the last 15 years, barring the Humboldt penguins, which were acquired from South Korea in 2016, the zoo has witnessed no new arrival. However, enclosures for tigers, lions, barking deer, swamp deer and aviaries are on the cards as part of the expansion plan. CONTD. ON P6 A goods vehicle loaded with 1,000 kg of explosive material was intercepted here on Saturday and three persons have been arrested, police said. Based on prior information, the Special Task Force of Kolkata Police intercepted the commercial vehicle at Tala Bridge in Chitpur in the early hours of the day The vehicle was . coming from Odisha and heading towards North 24 Parganas district. "About 1,000 kg of explosive substances (potassium nitrate) stored in 27 gunny bags was seized," a police officer said. The driver and helper - Indrajit Bhui, 25, and Padmolochon Dey 31 - both residents , of Odisha's Balasore district, were nabbed. Later, based on information provided by the duo, Sheikh Rabiul, 40, who was going to receive the entire consignment in Barasat in North 24 Parganas, was arrested. He was now been interrogated, the officer said. All three were produced before a court which sent them to 14 days police custody . IED tragedy averted near LoC in Jammu A major tragedy was averted Saturday with timely detection of an improvised explosive device (IED) near the Line of Control (LoC) in Akhnoor sector here, police said. The IED was found planted on the roadside by a police party during routine patrolling at Nandwal chowk on Khour-Pallanwala road, a police spokesman said. He said the policemen noticed a suspicious object on the roadside at around 10.55 am.