Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tirupati: Gold plating of richest temple shelved

New Delhi: Tirumala Tirupati Devesthanam (TTD) on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it has shelved the controversial decision on gold plating of the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirupati, the world's richest temple.
The decision to reconsider the move was taken in deference to the sentiments expressed by thousands of devotees and the Andhra Pradesh High Court's judgement quashing the earlier resolution passed by the TTD for the gold plating exercise, the board told the apex court.
The TTD said it had no powers to carry out the exercise of drilling thousands of holes in the inner recess adorning the deities in view of the restrictions imposed by Section 2(a) of the Ancient Monuments and Archeolgoical Sites and
Remains Act, 1958.
By a resolution dated September 20, 2008, the TTD decided to carry out gold plating of the temple's sanctum sanctorum, which was fiercely opposed by several devotees on the ground that it was not only against scriptural tenets but posed a grave threat to the 11th century shrine.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly, which recorded the undertaking made by counsel Sridhar Potaraju, directed the Board not to take any decision on gold plating without prior permission of the apex court.

Magnitude 7.1 earthquake hits South Pacific

Paris: Geological monitoring services say a magnitude 7.1 earthquake had hit in the South Pacific off the French territory of New Caledonia on Tuesday.
No injuries or damage were immediately reported. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says there was no threat of a widespread tsunami based on historical earthquake and tsunami data.
The US Geological Service and the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake hit at 14:25 IST on Tuesday, some 26.5 km beneath the ocean.

The epicentre was about 149 km off Ile Tadine in New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands chain, and more than 1,600 km from Brisbane, Australia.

Cop arrested for raping airline employee

Mumbai: A sub-inspector, posted in naxal-affected Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, has been arrested for allegedly raping an airline employee, married to an Australian, here and later extorting money from her, police
said on Tuesday.
The accused Manoj Londe surrendered before police in Mumbai after he came to know about the FIR being registered against him by the 21-year-old woman, Additional Police Commissioner (Central Region) Vineet Agarwal said.
The sub-inspector was booked by Vinoba Bhave police in central Mumbai on the charges of rape and extortion, following a complaint filed by the victim on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.

According to the FIR, Londe threatened the woman of posting some of her video clips taken in compromising positions on Internet, police said.
"The accused was produced in a local court in Kurla which remanded him in police custody till May 14," Agarwal said.
According to sources, Londe's mobile phone has been seized and police were questioning him as to where he had hidden the video clips of the victim.
Though the case was registered in Vinoba Bhave police station, the investigating officer in the case is Lata Donde, senior inspector at Shahu Nagar police station.
Defending his decision to hand over the investigation to Donde, the ACP said "Donde is a woman inspector and I think she can do the investigation in this particular case very well."
Meanwhile, the sources said ACP has taken serious note of the incident and wanted no loophole in the investigation.
"A lady officer can freely talk to the victim and also accordingly interrogate the accused. The victim would not have talked freely with a male officer," sources said.
Police said the victim was an Indian national married to an Australian. She first met Londe, who is also married, about two-and-a-half years ago in Vinoba Bhave police station where he was posted then. The duo subsequently became friends and started having an affair that continued for over two years.
The woman claimed Londe later started demanding money from her and also threatened of releasing the MMS clips on Internet if she did not shell out money as and when needed by him, said Agarwal.
After the threats, the victim started avoiding him.
Even after he was transferred to Gadchiroli district over a year ago, he continued to blackmail her and forced her to have physical relationship, police said.
The victim claimed last week, Londe came to Mumbai and beat her up.