Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kingfisher bomb: Prime suspect in custody

Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 28 (ANI): The Kerala Police have placed an employee of a private cargo firm in Thiruvannthapuram in its custody for his alleged involvement in putting an explosive device on a Kingfisher flight on March 21.

The arrest is likely to be recorded later today.

Investigators have declined to identity the man and said it would be revealed after all formalities are completed.

The explosive device was found in the cargo section of the Kingfisher plane after it had landed in Thiruvananthapuram from Bangalore last Sunday. The flight had 27 passengers and four crew members.

All passengers were deplaned after a cargo cleaner alerted CISF officials about a suspicious object onboard.

A Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) was rushed to the airport to check out crude bomb.

It was defused and taken off the aircraft. (ANI)

Godhra riots: SIT chief says questioning of Modi is a big step forward

Gandhinagar, Mar.28 (ANI): Special Investigating Team (SIT) head R K Raghavan has said the questioning of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 communal riots and particularly with regard to the Gulbarg Society massacre, is a big step forward in seeking to deliver justice to the victims.

But he said it is the Supreme Court’s responsibility to decide whether a case needs to be filed against Modi.

Declining to reveal details of the questioning, Raghavan said former CBI DIG A K Malhotra had grilled Modi in two sessions, and when the time was appropriate, he would interact with Malhotra to formulate his assessment of the questioning.

Raghavan said he was happy that the SIT appointed by the Supreme Court, could get Modi for questioning and that it will have to appreciate the evidence before making any comments on the issue.

"It is a very big step forward in trying to understand and unravel quite a few mysteries in the matter...I am happy that we were able to get the CM for questioning. I have to appreciate the evidence," Raghavan said.

Raghavan said that the petition of Zakia Jafri, wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed along with 68 others in the Gulbarg Housing Society riots in 2002, was the SIT''s "bible" and questions broadly related to it.

"I have greatest concern for the victims and I have never failed to take my eye away from justice. I am conscious of the sacred trust given by the Supreme Court," a private television channel quoted the SIT chief, as saying.

Asked why he did not question Modi, Raghavan said as the chief of SIT, he does not meet the witnesses or the accused and it is a job done by the investigating officer or the inquiry officer.

He said the SIT has the right to recall if there were "gaps" and that applied to any witness.

He said that he was reasonably confident about handing in the SIT report to the Supreme Court by the designated deadline of April 30. (ANI)

Gay couple to part ways following parents' pressure

Just two days after the first such public marriage in Manipur, a gay couple have agreed mutually to part ways following stiff resistance from their parents, police said on Saturday.

Parents of 26-year-old Soibam Sandip and 28-year-old Nikhil Hidangmayum had filed a complaint with Shingjamei police station in Imphal West district against the wedding held in Christian-style on Wednesday. The officer-in-charge of the police station counselled the gay couple, following which they agreed for a divorce, they said.

According to the parents, the marriage was conducted without their permission, although invitation cards were sent out to their friends about a week earlier.

Sandip works in a beauty parlour run by Nikhil.

Petrol bomb hurled at Meghalaya school principal's office

Unidentified persons today hurled a petrol bomb at the office of the principal of a premier school here, police said.

However, there was no casualty, they said.

The explosive damaged two window panes and some furniture inside the St Edmund's School located at Laitumkhrah, they added.

Today being a holiday, neither the principal nor any other staff was present in the office when the bomb was hurled, they said.

Militant lays down arms in Manipur

In a case of surrender, a militant of banned People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) in Manipur has laid down arms before a senior security official.

A press statement issued by the Assam Rifles said today Yengkhom Nabachandra (22), identified to be a PREPAK hardcore member, surrendered before the Commander of 26 sector of Assam Rifles Brig S K Bhanot yesterday.

He also deposited one 9mm pistol.

The authorities pledged to take all steps to rehabilitate the ultra.

Residents protest explosion - Imphal West seeks security

Imphal, March 27: A day after a grenade explosion wounded 12-year-old Thongram Jekojit, the residents of Mayengbam Leikai of Imphal West today slammed the government and those responsible for the blast.

Jekojit sustained splinter injuries on the right side of his face and thigh when a grenade exploded in front of a shop last evening.

The boy, undergoing treatment at Langol View Clinic in Imphal West, is stable.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast. “The bomb could have killed many people at the time. It is because of sheer luck that Jekojit survived the blast. We condemn the incident,” Sanatombi Devi, an aunt of the boy, said.

She alleged that the incident took place because of security lapses.

“Those responsible for it should issue a clarification to the people on why they hurt a minor boy by exploding a bomb in a crowded place. The government should take up measures to prevent such incidents,” she said.

The residents said no one knew what happened, as people present there were busy shopping and returning to their homes.

The residents said a security vehicle had passed the area shortly before the blast.

“We cannot not say whether it was an attack on the security convoy or the bomb fell on the convoy or the perpetrators exploded the grenade to target civilians,” another resident said.

The site of the blast is very close to a fuel pump. However, officials ruled out the possibility of the pump being the target, as the owner did not have any dispute with any armed group and had not received monetary demands from any militant group.

Women of Mayengbam Leikai today staged a sit-in near the site of the explosion to condemn the incident. Most shops near the site of the blast remained closed.