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FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 , 2018

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Rafale charges by Shourie, Sinha fabricated: Sitharaman

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo: IANS)

The former BJP ministers sought a time-bound probe by CAG and asked the government to come clean on the issue IANS, NEW DELHI

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efense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday night dismissed as “fabricated” the allegations by former BJP ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha that the Modi government’s deal to buy Rafale jets from France was the “biggest defense scandal” in the country. “All allegations being levelled in various press conferences are already answered on the floor of the Parliament. A recent attempt, in the House, to malign the government through baseless charges collapsed. Today’s was yet another attempt at repeating fabricated facts,” Sithara-

BRIEFS 15 Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh, 2 held RAIPUR: Fifteen Maoist guerrillas were killed and two others, including a senior cadre and an injured woman rebel, were held after a gun battle with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on Monday, police said. The fighting started around 6.15 a.m. near a village forest in Miltkatong area when the District Reserve Guard (DRG) of the Chhattisgarh Police force, who are trained to fight the Maoists — were out on an antiinsurgency operation. The gun battle took place at a spot situated between Gollappalli and Konta, hotbeds of insurgency around 490 km from here. Police said the firing lasted for around one-and-a-half hours and an unknown number of fighters managed to flee from the spot.

Harivansh elected RS Deputy Chairman NEW DELHI: Janata Dal United (JD-U) Member Harivansh Narayan Singh was on Thursday elected the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. Harivansh was fielded by the BJP-led ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). He defeated opposition candidate B.K. Hariprasad of the Congress by 20 votes. Harivansh got 125 votes while Hariprasad got 105 votes. Following his election, he was conducted to his seat, which is beside the Leader of Opposition, by Leader of House Arun Jaitley, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananath Kumar and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad. —IANS

man said in a late night tweet. The tweet came in response to Sinha and Shourie’s allegation that the Rafale jet deal was “unilaterally” finalized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by violating mandatory procedures, and the scandal was “larger than any thus far”. They sought a time-bound probe by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India and asked the government to come clean on the issue. Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who addressed the media with the former National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ministers, said the manner in which the order for Rafale jets was changed made for a “clear case of criminal misconduct”.

“If the Modi government had stuck to the old deal (negotiated by the UPA government), we could have already got 18 aircraft in flyaway condition and production would have started on the rest of 108 in India. “But a new deal of 36 aircraft was finalized without due procedure. Ye raat ko ilhaam kahan se aaya (When did this divine revelation come)?” Shourie asked. “A new deal was finalized without floating any fresh tenders and the public was given to believe that we would get these aircraft in ready-to-fly condition within two years. But the fact is that we will get all the 36 in batches that would complete by mid 2022.”

Bihar Minister quits over Muzaffarpur horror Sex racket in UP shelter home B IANS, PATNA

ihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma on Wednesday resigned over the rape of young girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur but strongly defended her husband despite his alleged friendship with a key accused. “My husband was innocent yesterday, he is innocent today and will be proved innocent tomorrow,” an unfazed Verma told the media. “But I resigned on moral grounds after media reports of call details revealed that my husband had spoken to Brajesh Thakur 17 times,” she said. She quit after being asked to by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, according to an official in the Chief Minister’s Office. “Manju Verma visited the Chief Minister’s residence and met Nitish

LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday transferred the district magistrate of Deoria following reports of an alleged sex racket being run at a shelter home for women in the district, an official said. In a chilling similarity to the Muzaffarpur shelter home case in Bihar, 24 girls were rescued from the shelter in Deoria late on Sunday after one of them told the police that they were being sexually abused.

Officials told IANS that 18 girls are missing from the privately-run shelter home which earlier got funds from the government, but whose affiliation to the women and child welfare department was cancelled last year after a CBI probe revealed some discrepancies. The manager of the ‘Ma Vindhyavasini Mahila Prashikshan Evam Samaj Seva Sansthan’ and his wife have been arrested. —IANS

Manju Verma (Photo: IANS)

Kumar for over 30 minutes. After that she resigned,” said the official. Manju Verma expressed her anger over repeated demands for her resignation by the opposition and the media and insisted that her husband Chandrasekhar alias Chandeshwar

Verma was innocent. The Patna High Court is monitoring the CBI probe into the shocking rape of 34 minor girls at the Muzaffarpur shelter home, a horror that has caused nationwide outrage. “I demand through you (media)

to the High Court to bring out CDR (call details record) of Brajesh Thakur and make it clear whether my husband was the only one who was talking to him or there were other people too,” Verma said.

Army major, 3 soldiers killed in Kashmir border fight IANS, SRINAGAR

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n Indian Army Major and three soldiers were killed in a gun battle that also left two militants dead on Tuesday when an incursion bid from Pakistan was foiled on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, a defense official said. Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said a group of militants tried to infiltrate to this side of the LoC in Bandipora’s Gurez sector, some 180 km north of Srinagar. “They were challenged when they were seen attempting to infil-

Minister of State for Defense Subhash Bhamre pays homage to four Army men (inset: Major Kaustubh P. Rane) who were killed in the encounter. (Photo: IANS/DPRO)

trate into our side of the LoC. In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were killed while two others are

still trapped in the cordon laid around them. “Four soldiers including a major

and three other ranks were martyred in this operation,” Kalia said. Sources said para commandos were rushed to augment the troops engaged in the gunfight on the border sector that usually remains peaceful. The identities of the dead soldiers were being withheld till their families are informed. The spokesman said the militants were given cover fire by the Pakistan Army by resorting to ceasefire violation to divert the attention of the troops on the LoC. In New Delhi, Minister of State for Defense Subhash Bhamre paid homage to the four Army men.

hi INDiA | August 10, 2018 | Midwest Edition  

South Asian Views On Global News

hi INDiA | August 10, 2018 | Midwest Edition  

South Asian Views On Global News