Storm brings back cyclone memory
Paradip(PTI): At least 24 fishermen were missing in the Bay of Bengal after a high-velocity storm lashed the Orissa coast causing a vessel to crash against a jetty at the port here on Wednesday night, official sources said.
Four boats had gone into the sea for fishing, said the tehsildar of Kujang, Nrushingha Charan Swain. Six fishermen managed to reach the coast on Thursday, he said.
The gale speed was 180 kmph and it was accompanied by heavy rains through the night on Wednesday, bringing back memories of the devastating super cyclone in 1999, sources said.
Weather office sources in Bhubaneswar said the depression formed over the northwest bay off Bengal and north Orissa crossed the coast near Chandbali on Thursday morning and had weakened into a low pressure area.
Official reports said six other mini fishing trawlers had hit the coast near Barunei, about six km from here on the other side of the Mahanadi river, while four large trawlers capsized inside the harbour.
The port city experienced 12 cm of rainfall on Thursday and the storm brought life to a standstill.
Port sources said MV Mursidabad, which had berthed to carry iron ore to China, snapped the rope that tied it to the jetty and crashed against a crane on an adjacent jetty. While the crane was damaged, it tore a gaping hole in the ship’s cabin.
Two other ships also broke their ropes, but were not damaged as they were properly anchored.
Bofors argues against trial
New Delhi (PTI): Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors that supplied 155 mm Howitzer guns to India claimed before Delhi High Court on Thursday that it cannot be prosecuted for criminal conspiracy and cheating as “a body corporate does not have a mind of its own”.
“To commit the offences of criminal conspiracy and cheating, you have to have a mind of your own. A body corporate is only a juristic person which does not have a mind,” Bofors counsel Alok Sengupta told Justice J.D. Kapoor. “How can a company be prosecuted for conspiracy'” he asked.
Bofors has challenged the November 2002 order of special judge Prem Kumar framing charges against it in the Rs 64-crore Bofors pay-off case. Sengupta submitted that the company could not be held liable for the “acts” of Martin Ardbo, the then chief executive of the company.
In its chargesheet filed in October 1999, the CBI accused Bofors of engaging middlemen to secure the Rs 1,437-crore deal for the supply of 400 Howitzer guns in violation of the terms and conditions of the contract signed in March 1986.
HC contempt notice to secy
Jaipur(PTI): Rajasthan High Court has issued a contempt notice against the Union home secretary for not releasing pension to a freedom fighter despite the court’s order.
Admitting the contempt petition filed by 78-year-old Paras Mal Daga, Justice S.K. Keshote issued the notice that is returnable before September 15. Daga’s counsel contended that the home secretary had not complied with the 2002 order that directed him to release the Swatantra Sainik Samman pension to the petitioner with effect from January 28, 2002, with a 12 per cent interest.
<%z><%e>(PTI): Three persons were arrested on Thursday for carrying smack valued at Rs 19 lakh in the international market, police said. They recovered 160 gms of smack from the trio.
Cong leader dead
Ambala(PTI): The president of the Youth Congress of Gurgaon district died in a road accident on GT Road near Ambala Cantt railway station on Thursday when his car overturned, police said. Around half a dozen Youth Congress activists who were travelling with him sustained injuries.
Muzaffarpur(PTI): Illicit liquor worth nearly Rs 20 lakh was seized from the house of a panchayat samiti member in the district. Director-general of police (Muzaffarpur range) S.K. Bharadwaj said police raided the house and seized Indian-made foreign liquor worth nearly Rs 12 lakh. The liquor was manufactured in Rajasthan.
Jehanabad(PTI): Five persons were arrested in connection with kidnapping of a 10-month-old boy from the Jehanabad court area in Bihar on Sunday, police said on Thursday. Rohit was kidnapped while he was playing in the area, they said.
Maneater kills girl
Dehra Dun(PTI): A maneater leopard has devoured a 7-year-old girl in the district, official sources said. Tanuja was playing in her house when the leopard took her away in the jungles on Tuesday.
Jannati Darwaja, the gate to heaven, inside the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer was thrown open on Thursday to pilgrims on the annual Urs of the Sufi saint. Devotees believe that any one who passes through the gate ensures a berth in heaven.