Bengaluru: PM Modi to witness final descent of Chandrayaan 2

Bengaluru: PM Modi to witness final descent of Chandrayaan 2

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Friday visit the Indian Research Space Organisation (ISRO) Headquarters at Bengaluru to witness the final descent of Chandrayaan 2 to the lunar south Pole, an official statement said.

"The PM will be interacting with the winners of the Space Quiz conducted for students of Class 8 to 10 across India during the event," it said.

Modi's visit to the ISRO would be a boost to the morale of the Indian Space Scientists and an inspiration for the young to develop an innovative mind and inquiring spirit, it added.

The Prime Minister has termed Chandrayaan 2 Mission as "Indian at heart, Indian in spirit!" Outlining the significance of the mission for the common Indian citizens, he said,

"What would make every Indian overjoyed is the fact that it is a fully indigenous mission."India's moon lander Vikram is all set to land on the moon during wee hours on September 7.

The scientists at the Satellite Control Centre of the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bengaluru, are busy with the preparations for the historic moment.

"The lander will be subjected to a powered descent towards the lunar terrain between 1 am and 2 am which will lead the probe to touch down on the floor between 1.30 am and 2.30 am," the ISRO said.

After about four hours of landing, Vikram will allow the rover Pragyaan to roll out from it and do the probing of the lunar soil.


Delhi Court adjourns Aircel-Maxis case against P Chidambaram sine die

Delhi Court adjourns Aircel-Maxis case against P Chidambaram sine die

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday adjourned Aircel-Maxis case, involving former Union Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti, sine die, noting that the CBI and the ED were seeking repeated adjournments. Special Judge O P Saini adjourned the matter without giving any date for further hearing, saying that the prosecution may approach the court as and when the probe is complete.

The court on Thursday granted anticipatory bail to Chidambarams in the corruption case filed by the CBI as well as in the money laundering matter lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in relation to the Aircel-Maxis deal. The matter was listed for arguments on the cognizance of chargesheet in the case. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana, appearing for the CBI and the ED respectively, sought adjournment on the ground that response to Letters Rogatory (LRs) were awaited.

The agencies requested the court to adjourn the matter for first week in October. "Prosecution seeking date after dates. Matter deferred sine die. Prosecution asked to approach the Court as and when the investigation is complete and as and when they receive Letters Rogatory (LRs) from various countries," the court said. CBI and the ED are probing how Karti Chidambaram received clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father was Union finance minister.

CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had alleged that the Congress leader, as finance minister during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, granted approval to the deal beyond his capacity benefitting certain persons, and received kickbacks.


SC refuses to release for 3 more months Rs 10 crore deposited by Karti for travelling abroad

SC refuses to release for 3 more months Rs 10 crore deposited by Karti for travelling abroad

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to release for three more months the Rs 10 crore deposited by Karti Chidambaram with the apex court's registry for travelling abroad. A bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta said the amount will continue to remain in fixed deposit for another three months. Karti, who is facing proceedings in cases like Aircel-Maxis and money laundering matters, had deposited Rs 10 crore pursuant to the condition imposed by the apex court for travelling abroad.

The apex court had in May too dismissed his plea seeking return of the Rs 10 crore. Karti, who is the son of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, had earlier claimed in court that he had taken the money on loan and was paying interest on it. On May 7, a bench headed by the CJI had allowed Karti to travel to the United Kingdom, the US, France, Germany and Spain in May and June this year.

The apex court had in January also granted Karti permission to travel abroad after depositing Rs 10 crore with the secretary general of the Supreme Court. The court, on the Enforcement Directorate's request, had earlier asked Karti to file an undertaking that he would return to India and cooperate with the investigation, and warned that if he did not do so it would "come down heavily" on him.

The probe agency had earlier opposed Karti's plea seeking permission to travel abroad and alleged that he has been evasive, non-cooperative and caused delay in completing the investigations. Karti was abroad for 51 days in the last 6 months, the probe agency had told the court earlier. The ED had earlier claimed that Karti has been "blatantly misusing" the liberty granted by court in allowing him to travel abroad and has been using the same to protract the investigation in the case.

Karti is facing several criminal cases being investigated by the ED and CBI including one which relates to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister.


Medha Patkar ends hunger strike after 9 days following discussions with CM Kamal Nath's emissary

Medha Patkar ends hunger strike after 9 days following discussions with CM Kamal Nath's emissary

Bhopal: Social activist and pioneer of the 'Save Narmada' movement, Medha Patkar on Tuesday ended her nine-day long hunger strike in Madhya Pradesh following the deterioration of her health.

Patkar was on a hunger strike at Chhota Barda in Barwani district since August 25 after the Gujarat government decided to raise the water level at the Sardar Sarovar dam without making proper arrangements for the people who are living in nearby villages. She had demanded proper rehabilitation facilities for the residents.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath in a letter to Patkar on Monday urged her to end the hunger strike. The state's Chief Secretary S.R. Mohanty also wrote to the activist informing her of the steps taken by the Madhya Pradesh government to help the affected people.

Former MLA Sunilam said that Patkar's health worsened on Sunday night and that many villages were at the verge of being flooded. The water level of the dam has reached 138.68 metres. The dam was being filled but the water was not being released towards Gujarat which has triggered a fear of flood in around 190 villages. The water has already reached 100 villages.


91-year-old kidnapped, killed, stuffed in refrigerator by domestic help in Delhi; 5 arrested

91-year-old kidnapped, killed, stuffed in refrigerator by domestic help in Delhi; 5 arrested

New Delhi: Five people were arrested on Monday for allegedly kidnapping and killing a nonagenarian, who was stuffed in a refrigerator and taken away from his house in south Delhi's posh Greater Kailash-1 area, police said.

Kishan Khosla, a 91-year-old retired government employee, and his domestic help, Kishan, were missing since Sunday morning, they said. Several teams were formed to trace the duo and on Monday, the domestic help and four of his accomplices -- Deepak Yadav, Pradeep Sharma, Sarvesh and Prabhudayal -- were arrested, a senior officer said.

During interrogation, the domestic help revealed that he had strangulated his employer and had planned to kidnap the elderly man a month ago, police said, adding that a team is on the job to recover Kishan Khosla's body. The accused has said that the body is dumped in a pit at a house in Sangam Vihar that had been rented a few days ago, they said Kishan also said that he was fed up with the taunts and abuses of his employer, sources said.

The businessman son of Kishan Khosla found his mother, Saroj Khosla (87), unconscious when he visited the flat on Sunday morning and informed the police. Besides the refrigerator, jewellery and cash were also missing from the residence Kishan Khosla, the officer said.

Saroj Khosla complained that their domestic help mixed some sedative in tea on Saturday night. The domestic help belonged to Bihar and lived locally at Sangam Vihar, he said. The tempo used to carry the refrigerator was recovered from outside Pradeep Sharma's house. The refrigerator has also been found, police said.

The security guards of the area claimed that they saw the domestic help carrying the fridge in a tempo along with his accomplices. He told the guards that he was taking the fridge for repair when they questioned him, they said. The couple was living in a rented first floor flat of a building in Greater Kailash-I for the last few months. They have two sons one of whom lives in Australia while the other is a businessman who resides in a nearby area, police said.


New Telangana Governor: A Congressman's daughter who rose in BJP

New Telangana Governor: A Congressman's daughter who rose in BJP

Chennai: Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan, who on Sunday was appointed the Governor of Telangana, is a rare example of a leader who made it to the top through hard work without depending on the political stature of family members.

Born to staunch nationalist and Congressman Kumari Ananthan, who has served the national party since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru, Tamilisai charted her own course in politics joining the BJP, whose ideology is poles apart from that of the Congress.

A qualified doctor, she had often said that the BJP's Hindutva ideology had drawn her to the party, which to this day has little base in the Dravidian state of Tamil Nadu.

“For the party, I had to leave my father but I did not give up on my principles,” Tamilisai told journalists on Sunday soon after news of the gubernatorial assignment given to her.

Joining the BJP as an ordinary cadre, she wove her way up the ladder working meticulously putting in long hours of hard work. Initially, she was given a post in the party's state medical wing.

By Dravida Thambi


Chandrayaan-2 is closer to moon

Chandrayaan-2 is closer to moon

Chennai: The Indian space agency on Sunday evening successfully completed the fifth and final lunar bound orbit change for the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the spacecraft's maneuver began at 6.21 p.m. using its onboard propulsion system for 52 seconds.

The orbit achieved is 119 km x 127 km. All spacecraft parameters are normal. The next crucial operation is the separation of Vikram, the lander, from the spacecraft scheduled on September 2 at 12.45 p.m. -1.45 p.m.

After Vikram's separation, there will be two de-orbital operations on September 3 and 4 so that it could soft land on the moon's south pole on September 7 at 1.30 a.m.- 2.30 a.m.

On July 22, the Rs 978 crore Chandrayaan-2 was launched into the space by India's heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a text book style.

The spacecraft comprises three segments - the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), the lander 'Vikram' (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover 'Pragyan' (27 kg, two payloads).


Digvijaya Singh accuses BJP of spying for ISI

Digvijaya Singh accuses BJP of spying for ISI

Bhopal: Senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh on Sunday denied accusing the BJP of spying for the ISI in return for money, even as TV channels ran recordings of his Friday’s statement made in this regard.

“Some TV channels are saying that I have accused the BJP of spying for Pakistan’s ISI in return for money. This is totally false and baseless,” Singh tweeted.

In his subsequent tweet, he clarified: “Madhya Pradesh police have arrested some functionaries of the Bajrang Dal and a person belonging to the BJP IT Cell on charge of spying for the ISI. This is the charge I made and I stand by it. Why don’t the TV channels question the BJP on this.”

Singh’s clarification came after there was furore over the charges he made against the BJP. During a visit to Gwalior and Bhind on Friday, Singh told reporters: “Bajrang Dal (the youth wing of VHP) and BJP are taking money from ISI. Attention should be paid to this.”

“Non-Muslims are spying for Pakistan’s ISI more than Muslims. This should be understood,” he added giving a communal dimension to his claim. Former Madhya Pradesh CM and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan was quick to rubbish Singh’s remark.

“Digvijaya Singh deliberately raises such kind of issues. He and his leaders speak the language of Pakistan. His credibility is gone so I don’t take his statements seriously. The whole country is aware of the patriotism of the BJP and the RSS. We don’t need a certificate from Digvijaya Singh,” wrote on Twitter.

Though Chouhan alleged that the Congress leader makes controversial statements to get publicity, Singh’s remarks were made in the backdrop of some recent events in Madhya Pradesh.

The BJP in Madhya Pradesh has been under fire from the Opposition since last Wednesday, when five persons were arrested in Satna district in a terror-funding racket managed by ISI operatives based in Pakistan. One of those arrested is a Bajrang Dal leader called Balram Singh.

The five arrested were found to have communicated with their handlers using an app which does not keep any record of the messages it sends, police said.

Two years ago, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader Dhruv Saxena was arrested in a similar case of espionage and terror-funding in Satna. The accused later got bail. Balram Singh was also a part of this gang.


Saffron bedsheets in Rae Bareli hospital for Yogi Adityanath's visit

Saffron bedsheets in Rae Bareli hospital for Yogi Adityanath's visit

Rae Bareli: Bedsheets with saffron stripes were laid out in wards of the district hospital in Rae Bareli on Tuesday, ahead of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's visit there.

Chief Medical Superintendent Dr N.K. Srivastava said there was nothing unusual about the bedsheets. "The bedsheets are colour coded to ensure they are changed every day," he said.

Sources, however, said this was the first time that saffron striped bedsheets were used in the hospital. The Chief Minister is likely to pay a surprise visit to the hospital though it is not a part of his itinerary.

He is visiting Rae Bareli to pay homage to Rana Beni Madho Singh's statue. He will also offer tributes at the Shaheed Chowk and then attend another function before returning to Lucknow.

Incidentally, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also reaching Rae Bareli, later in the day, to pay her condolences to the family of former MLA Akhilesh Singh, whose daughter Aditi Singh is now a Congress legislator. Akhilesh Singh passed away on August 20 after a prolonged battle with cancer.


INX Media and 5 other cases P Chidambaram is embroiled in

INX Media and 5 other cases P Chidambaram is embroiled in

New Delhi: Former Union minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram was on Wednesday formally arrested by the CBI after his anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case was rejected by the Delhi High Court. Here's a list of the cases he has been embroiled in:

INX Media Case

The case in which the former Finance Minister has been arrested involves alleged kickbacks received by his son Karti Chidambaram in exchange for allowing INX Media, a television company, to receive Rs 305 crore as foreign funds in 2007. Delhi High Court's Justice Sunil Gaur said that his being a Member of Parliament doesn't affect the case. He has been questioned many times in relation to this case. ED argued that the companies where money was transferred to were controlled by his son.

In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance.

Aircel Maxis Deal

The case pertains to alleged irregularities while granting of FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal. The father-son are suspect in this case as well. Both the CBI and ED are probing the case from different angles. The CBI is examining how Chidambaram, while he was Finance Minister in 2006, granted FIPB approval to a foreign firm, while the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was only allowed or empowered to do it. The Enforcement Directorate is probing money laundering in the Aircel-Maxis case. In the case, the Chidambarams have been grilled by the agency. Their anticipatory bail is pending. The Aircel-Maxis deal is worth Rs 3,500 crore.

Air India Purchase

If Aircel-Maxis deal and INX Media deals weren't enough, the former Finance Minister is also embroiled in the Air India purchase case. The ED has summoned him for questioning on August 23. The case pertains to alleged wrongdoing in the purchase of 111 aircraft for Air India when he was Finance Minister in the UPA government.

As many as 42 Airbus and 24 Boeing aircraft were slated to be purchased but had ended up in the purchase of 111 aircraft. Chidambaram will be questioned to explain the jump in a number of purchase. Chidambaram chaired the empowered group of ministers which finalised the decision to purchase the aircraft in 2009. According to the FIR, private entities were favoured. The senior Congress leader is also under the agencies in the aviation scam, involving the sharing of the profitable routes with foreign airlines.

Black Money Case

Last November, the Madras High Court quashed the sanction orders issued by the Income Tax department to prosecute Chidambaram, his wife Nalini, son Karti and daughter-in-law Srinidhi Karti Chidambaram under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015. The Madras High Court order has been challenged in the Supreme Court where it is pending.

Tamil Nadu land grab case

The CBI has initiated a preliminary enquiry into allegations that a hotel in Tamil Nadu was grabbed by a relative of Chidambaram in collusion with officials of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB).

Ishrat Jahan affidavit case

A complaint against Chidambaram is also pending with Delhi Police relating to the alleged manipulation of an affidavit in connection with the Ishrat Jahan case when he was Union Home Minister.

Meanwhile, Chidambaram's wife Nalini has also been charge sheeted by the CBI in the Saradha chit-fund scam for allegedly accepting a bribe to the tune of Rs 1.4 crore. She had been granted interim protection from arrest by the Calcutta High Court in January this year.