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Russia keen to partner India in civil aircraft initiative

NEW DELHI: Russia has evinced keen interest in partnering India in its ambitious initiative to design and develop a regional transport aircraft.
United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Russian state-owned civil and military airplane manufacturer, has offered to set up joint development and manufacturing facilities in India, officials said.

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Rapists are largely known to victims: Police data

NEW DELHI: Friends, lovers or neighbours of women often turn sexual predators and the majority of rapists in the capital were known to victims, according to Delhi Police data. Police also maintains that the city is safe for women, including foreigners, and cites global data in support of its claim.

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P K Bansal’s fate hangs in balance

 

NEW DELHI: The Railway Minister, Mr P K Bansal’s continuance in the Union cabinet hung in the balance on Saturday night as the Congress and the government received a fresh battering in the wake of the arrest of his nephew on the charge of accepting bribe to fix plum position in the Railway Board.
As demands for Mr Bansal’s removal and prosecution mounted, the Congress core group headed by Ms Sonia Gandhi inconclusively met at the residence of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh who called and talked to the minister earlier in the day.
Sources said Mr Bansal did not offer to resign and in the core group meeting he explained his position claiming that he had no business links with his nephew nor did he get influenced by him in decision-making.
A meeting of the core group could take place on Sunday for a possible decision on the issue before Parliament resumes on Monday. Senior ministers Mr A K Antony, Mr Sushilkumar Shinde, Ms Gandhi’s political secretary, Mr Ahmed Patel were also present along with the  Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Kamal Nath.
Senior party sources said that even at the core group meeting there was no offer by Mr Bansal to resign. A decision on his continuance or not may be taken at Sunday’s meeting of the core group, they said.
On his part, Mr Bansal distanced himself from his nephew Mr Vijay Singla, who was arrested by the CBI on Friday night for allegedly accepting ` 90 lakh for fixing a better position for Railway Board member Mr Mahesh Kumar.
In a statement,  Mr Bansal (64), who was made Railway Minister in October last year, claimed he has always observed the highest standards of probity in public life and that nobody can influence his decisions. He also sought an expeditious CBI inquiry into the issue.
Interestingly, the AICC also appeared to back him with the party general-secretary, Mr Janardan Dwivedi brushing demands for Mr Bansal’s resignation saying it has become a “disease” for the Opposition to make such demands. 
Notwithstanding the party general-secretary’s statement, the development involving Mr Bansal has come as a shock and surprise in Congress circles as he had a clean and non-controversial image.
It has also come at a most troubled time when the UPA government has been at the receiving end over the Coalgate issue in which the Law Minister, Mr Ashwini Kumar’s fate also hangs by a thread, depending on the Supreme Court proceedings next week.
Sunday’s Congress core group meeting at the end of Karnataka assembly elections could make the party assess the damage on allowing Mr Bansal to continue in the government or to brazen out the issue, analysts say.
Gunning for Mr Bansal, BJP demanded his “sacking” and “prosecution”, the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mr Arun Jaitley said Mr Bansal is not only morally responsible but “criminally responsible” in the issue.

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SARABJIT DIES IN LAHORE HOSPITAL

AMRITSAR: The body of Sarabjit Singh, who succumbed to injuries sustained in a murderous attack by inmates in a Pakistani jail, was flown in here on Thursday night amidst an outrage across the country even as he was virtually accorded a martyr’s status.

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