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NATION BRIEFS

Chopper deal

New Delhi, Nov. 26: India has asked authorities in Italy and the UK for information on a 556 million euro helicopter deal that the Centre is procuring to fly the President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries.

The action follows reports from a Naples court saying witnesses had alleged that executives in Finmeccanica, the parent company of the UK-based firm supposed to supply the choppers, had paid a bribe to swing the deal.

Ponty case

New Delhi (PTI): The police custody of five accomplices of Ponty Chadha, arrested for allegedly entering a disputed farmhouse and getting involved in the shootout that killed the liquor baron and his brother Hardeep, has been extended by three more days by a Delhi court.

Army deaths

New Delhi (PTI): Nearly 4,000 soldiers have been killed in the country after the Kargil operations in 1999 while more than 390 have committed suicide in the past three years, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday. More than 25,000 junior commissioned officers and jawans had proceeded on pre-mature retirement in the past three years, defence minister A.K. Antony said.

Festival cuffs

Panaji (PTI): An IFFI (International Film Festival of India) delegate from Kerala was arrested on Monday in connection with the theft of festival director Shankar Mohan’s laptop. M.K. Venu, in Goa for the 10-day fest, was arrested from his hotel room and the laptop was recovered from him, police said.

IITs raise CVC query

New Delhi, Nov. 26: A body of IIT directors has questioned the jurisdiction of the Central Vigilance Commission in the affairs of the institutions and appointment of chief vigilance commissioner for the IITs.

Registrars of all the IITs have been asked to find out if there is any legal basis for the CVC to interfere in IIT matters. An IIT director said there was no mention about the CVC’s role in the affairs of IITs in the Institute of Technology Act, 1961, under which institutions were created.

LoC firing

Jammu: Pakistan troops on Sunday targeted 10 Indian forward posts in Poonch district using medium and heavy machine guns. A source said the Indian troops gave a calibrated response to the firing from across the Line of Control.

Kejriwal party

New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal on Monday launched his Aam Aadmi Party with Rs 1.62 lakh in donation from the aam aadmi (common man) and Rs one crore from former law minister Shanti Bhushan. Kejriwal said if the party was voted to power, it would curb inflation by doing away with tax on petrol and diesel.

Fashion case

New Delhi (PTI): Actress-turned-author Seema Seth, who had alleged that director Madhur Bhandarkar and two others had stolen the “idea and plot” for Fashion from her book, failed to appear before a Delhi court on Monday to submit the script of the movie to support her allegations.

Illegal mining

Bangalore (PTI): A CBI court has extended till December 14 the judicial custody of mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy and four others arrested in an illegal mining case involving a company owned by the former minister.

Tagore bust

Jakarta (PTI): A bronze bust of Rabindranath Tagore was unveiled at Indonesia’s Borobudur temple on Monday. Indian envoy Gurjit Singh was present at the event. The bust has been sculpted by a Visva-Bharati professor. The temple is the biggest Buddhist monument in the world.