Submarine deal in troubled waters
New Delhi, Oct. 12: The navy’s efforts to acquire French-origin “Scorpene” submarines at the cost of its own submarine development programme has run into trouble even before the deal has been signed, reports our special correspondent.
Eduardo Faleiro, Congress Rajya Sabha member and member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the defence ministry, issued a statement asking the government to come clear on the deal that is estimated at Rs 12,500 crore.
But Faleiro was himself unsure on the status of the deal. He claimed in a written statement that it had been signed but official sources said the negotiations had not yet been concluded.
India has been in negotiations with the French-Spanish company DCN Thales to acquire six Scorpene submarines. For nearly a year now the defence ministry has been claiming that it was close to signing an agreement. Faleiro said the navy’s 30-year submarine building plan was in danger of being junked.
Dina Pathak passes away at 82
Mumbai: Veteran actress Dina Pathak passed away yesterday after a prolonged illness, reports our correspondent. She was 82. Pathak, the silver-haired actress with a trademark red bindi on her forehead, acted in several Hindi and Gujarati films and was also a celebrated stage actress.
She began her Hindi film career with Uski Kahani in 1965, but it was the lively portrayal of her roles in Golmaal, Khubsoorat, Umrao Jaan and Mirch Masala that endeared her to the masses. Her Gujarati films include Moti Ba, Malela Jeev and Bhawani Bhavai.
Pathak was as spirited in her personal life as she was on screen. Born Dina Gandhi, as a child she refused to be admitted to a girls’ school and forced her family to let her study with boys. Later, she was actively involved in student politics. She is survived by two daughters, Ratna Pathak Shah and Supriya Pathak and sons-in-law Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapoor.
Bush calls NRI for aid speech
Washington (PTI): A non-resident Indian was among those invited by US President George W. Bush to a speech reviewing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and for the celebration of the liberation of Afghanistan.
Special invitee Nitin Madhav, a programme officer for USAID’s Afghanistan country desk, also served as a relief worker in Rwanda in 1997. In Rwanda, he was held hostage, shot nine times and suffered amputation of his left leg. He continued to work for USAID in Afghanistan, helping relief organisations launch the first day of a back-to-back school.
Leopard kills boy
B>l Mumbai (PTI): A 10-year-old boy was killed by a leopard near Sanjay Gandhi National Park in north Mumbai. Umesh Mokal was playing in front of his hutment when the leopard attacked him. Hearing him scream neighbours rushed to save the boy but the animal had fled, leaving behind a mauled Umesh.
SonEpat (PTI): A criminal escaped from police custody in Rohtak district. The criminal, Joginder alias Jaggu eased his hand out of the handcuffs and fled near the railway over-bridge. Guarded by two policemen, he was being brought to Sonepat.
Governor car hit
Bangalore (PTI): A police sub-inspector travelling in Karnataka governor T.N. Chaturvedi’s pilot car died on the spot while a constable and the driver were hurt when a lorry hit the car on the National Highway near Kora. The driver was admitted in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-sciences.
Dacoity plan foiled
Sonepat (PTI): Six persons were held while they were allegedly planning a dacoity. They were identified as Sukhnandan, Manna Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Ashwani Kumar, Montu Rajput and Santosh. A van, two country-made pistols, four live cartridges, a knife and other arms were seized.
Ganja haul on train
Kochi (PTI): Around 137 kg of ganja, worth Rs 75 lakh was seized while being transported by rail from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala. Six persons were also arrested.
An Indian naval mountaineering team has succeeded in scaling atop the virgin 6373-metre Mount Suitilla in the Kumaon Himalayas. Two lieutenants K.S. Balaji and Amit Rajora and two sailors Raj Kumar and A. Choudhary reached the summit on Friday.