The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Tests soon on short-range Agni

New Delhi (PTI): With the 2,500 km-longer-range surface-to-surface missile, Agni II, becoming operational, India will conduct more tests of its 600 km-shorter-range variant Agni I in the next few weeks, country’s top defence scientist V.K. Aatre said on Tuesday.

The tests of missiles such as Indo-Russian supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, surface-to-air Akash and anti-tank Nag would also be undertaken, he said.

“We are undertaking more tests of shorter-range Agni to test the missile in its various configurations before induction,” Aatre said on the eve of the Defence Research and Development Organisation Day on Wednesday.

This will be the second test of the single-stage solid-propelled Agni I missile with a range of 600-800 km, Aatre said, adding that “the range fills the gap between Prithvi and the intermediate range ballistic missile”.

He said shorter-range Agni can be launched from rail-and-road missile launcher, giving it a high strike mobility.

The scientific adviser to the defence minister said that during the year, DRDO had achieved major breakthroughs with its low-level UAV Nishant clearing all tests and pilotless-target aircraft Lakshya being inducted into the air force and the navy.

On the light combat aircraft, he said 48 test flights have been undertaken and the second prototype would undergo flight trials in the next few days and the third one in July.

Probe plea into teacher’s arrest

Aligarh (PTI): The Aligarh Muslim University Staff Association has urged the Chief Justice of India to order a high-level inquiry into the circumstances leading to the arrest of a senior professor.

“We are greatly disturbed by the bizarre sequence of events preceding his arrest that gave rise to many questions,” a resolution passed by the association said.

The teacher, who is also a member of the university’s executive council, was arrested last week on the basis of an FIR registered in early December on a complaint lodged by a female research scholar in 1996.

The teachers alleged that their colleague was arrested as he failed to oblige some officials, who were trying to influence him in the appointment of a teacher to the university.

The association secretary said they will approach the National Human Rights Commission to ensure justice to the teacher who is a heart patient and has been in jail for the past five days.

The association also alleged the professor was humiliated and was not even given an opportunity to defend himself. His bail application will come up for a hearing on January 2.

Killer asks for death, gets jail

Malegaon (PTI): A court has sentenced to life a 23-year-old man for kidnapping and strangulating a seven-year-old boy in nearby Manmad town after the convict himself sought death penalty.

The court convicted Kishore Satpute on the charge of abducting and killing Shubham, son of a businessman, his former employer.

The convict cried and said he was worried about his aged parents as he was an only son. Shubham was kidnapped from his school on August 12, 2000.

Son kills father

Dharmapuri (PTI): Enraged over his father’s refusal to give him Rs 200, a youth murdered him at Krishnagiri in the district, police said. The accused, the youngest son of the victim, had demanded the money from his 59-year-old father, a retired government servant.

First snowfall

Chandigarh (PTI): New Year’s Eve brought some cheer to revellers here as the queen of hills, Shimla, was covered with a white blanket after receiving the season’s first snowfall on Tuesday. “The night temperature at Shimla dropped to 0.4 degree Celsius,” the director of the meteorological department said.

More Saudi flights

Dubai (PTI): Saudi Arabian Airlines will fly to Kochi as its fourth destination in India and Air India will raise the number of flights to the kingdom from six to nine under an agreement between the countries. The number of flights between Saudi Arabia and India will go up by a quarter from 24 to 30 per week.

Italians robbed

Madurai (PTI): A group of Italian tourists were robbed near the city on Monday, police said. The theft occurred when their vehicle stopped at a check post for verification. Special teams had been formed to arrest the culprits.

Petrol pump looted

Nashik (PTI): Three persons were injured when six armed dacoits attacked a petrol pump and looted Rs 77,000 on the Mumbai-Agra National Highway. Police said the gang fired a round but no one was injured.

Seven constables of Delhi police got a New Year gift with a difference, in the form of out-of-turn promotions for their outstanding work in tracking down criminals in the capital. Eleven other policemen were given cash rewards of Rs 5,000 each.

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