QBullet: Sridevi Passes Away at 54; Goa CM Hospitalised Again

Here’s a roundup of all the top stories of the day. 

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Sridevi in English Vinglish (2012) was her comeback film.
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1. India’s Heroine Is No More

Sridevi, described as the Hindi film industry’s ‘first woman superstar,’ died in Dubai late on Saturday, 24 February, after a massive cardiac arrest, leading to an outpouring of grief from her legions of fans, members of the film fraternity, public figures across sectors, and politicians across parties.

The actor was in Dubai with her husband, producer Boney Kapoor, and younger daughter, Khushi, to attend nephew Mohit Marwah’s wedding. She was 54.

“We are shocked. She had no history of heart disease,” her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor was quoted as saying.

People familiar with the developments said that after the wedding, while a number of her family members, including brother-in-law Anil Kapoor and his daughter Sonam, returned to Mumbai, Sridevi stayed back along with Boney and Khushi.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. Governor of a Southern State Accused of ‘Sexual Misconduct’

Representative image.
Representative image.
(Photo: iStock)

A complaint about alleged misconduct on the part of a governor of a southern state has been received by the Home Ministry and is being investigated for its veracity, TOI reported.

The complaint is about the governor allegedly seeking sexual favours from women staff at the Raj Bhavan and the matter is being probed, sources said. The ministry has not yet commented on the identity of the governor concerned.

Sources said the Centre has taken a serious view of the allegations and has directed agencies to examine if there’s any evidence. If the complaint is found to have some basis, the governor will be asked to resign immediately.

It is learnt that the governor in question has not been summoned by the Centre as yet. The Centre is concerned about the allegations as the state has been politically volatile.

(Source: The Times of India)

3. CBI Registers Rs 109-Crore Loan Default Case Against Simbhaoli Sugars CEO, MD

Representative image.
Representative image.
(Photo: iStock)

The CBI on Sunday, 25 February, registered a case against Simbhaoli Sugars Limited and its top executives for causing a loss of Rs 109 crore to state-owned Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC).

In the FIR, the investigative agency named the firm, which is one of India’s largest sugar makers, its chairman and managing director, chief executive officer, chief financial officer and directors for allegedly defrauding the bank. The agency also conducted searches at eight locations, including one in Hapur in Uttar Pradesh, one in Noida, and six locations in Delhi.

According to the FIR, the bank filed the complaint on 17 November 2017.

“It was alleged that OBC sanctioned a loan of Rs 148.60 crore in the year 2011 to Simbhaoli Sugars. The loan was fraudulently diverted by said company for its own needs,” The FIR states.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. PNB Scam Accused May Have Got Early Warning in November

Diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi, may have planned their exit from the country in November itself, after a new team of officials at the Punjab National bank's branch at Brady House in Mumbai – where the alleged Rs. 11,400 crore fraud originated – expressed concern on issuing Letters of Credit and Letters of Undertaking to firms associated with them, according to sources.

"In November, when there were changes at the Brady House branch of PNB and the new staff members were averse to carrying out fraudulent transactions, the accused planned their exit. Two senior employees, on whose instance the LoUs were issued, left in November itself and are believed to be in Dubai.

After Gokulnath Shetty's retirement on 1 January, Mod and Choksi, along with their families, fled the country the same week," said an official to The Indian Express.

(Source: The Indian Express)

5. Two Policemen Killed in Separate Attacks in Kashmir

Police forces walking past stones pelted by students in J&K. Representative image.
Police forces walking past stones pelted by students in J&K. Representative image.
(Photo Courtesy: Muneeb ul-Islam)

Two policemen were killed in different attacks in Kashmir on Sunday, 25 February, officials said, and in both the incidents, the assailants snatched the weapons of the policemen before escaping.

Constable Kultar Singh was killed when militants fired upon him outside the historic Chrar-e-Sharif shrine in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Sunday afternoon, police said.

Police said constable Farooq Ahmed Yatoo was killed when militants fired on him in Soura locality of Srinagar.

Yatoo, a native of Chadoora area of Budgam district, was posted as a guard at the residence of separatist leader Fazal Haq Qureshi who had survived an attempt on his life in 2009.

Following the killings, police chief SP Vaid took to Twitter to tweet condolences, and advised policemen to be more careful.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

6. Goa CM Manohar Parrikar Hospitalised After Complaining of 'Uneasiness'

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar 
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar 
(Photo: PTI)

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was admitted to Goa Medical College after he complained of dehydration and blood pressure on the evening of 25 February, Sunday, confirmed officials at the CMO’s office.

He was discharged from a Mumbai hospital on 22 February. He was being treated for “inflamed pancreas” at Lilavati Hospital.

Parrikar had flown back to Goa on 22 February to present the state Budget. “The doctor after a visit at home suggested it’s better he takes saline in GMC. He will be there for the night. There was no emergency,” said an official from CMO.

Parrikar is “responding well to the treatment,” said a statement released by the Chief Medical Officer at GMC Hospital. The 62-year-old was brought to GMC Hospital in a wheelchair, an official said.

(Source: Indian Express)

7. China’s Proposed ‘Ocean Station’ in Maldives Has India Worried

File photo of Maldives President Abdulla Yameen addressing the nation in Male, Maldives.
File photo of Maldives President Abdulla Yameen addressing the nation in Male, Maldives.
(Photo: AP)

A Joint Ocean Observation Station which China is looking to establish in the Maldives could prove to be another security challenge for the Indian government with the Maldivian opposition leaders claiming that the observatory will also have a military application with provision even for a submarine base.

The observatory location in Makunudhoo, the westernmost atoll in the north, will allow the Chinese a vantage point of an important Indian Ocean shipping route through which many merchant and other ships pass, said political sources in Male. It will be uncomfortably close to Indian waters and test red lines with regard to ties with Maldives.

Indian officials confirmed that an official agreement titled Protocol on Establishment of Joint Ocean Observation Station between China and the Maldives was finalised last year around the time the countries also controversially signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). They, however, said they'll have to check the specifics of the agreement before offering a comment.

(Source: The Times of India)

8. New Emperor: China Amends Statute to Let Xi Stay in Power

Xi Jinping in a file photo.
Xi Jinping in a file photo.
(Photo: Reuters)

China may soon see the emergence of a new “emperor” as the bar on President Xi Jinping – already referred to as “chairman of everything” – getting an unprecedented third term has been lifted with the Communist Party removing the section of the constitution that limits the president from holding more than two terms. Xi has been president since 2013. He was originally due to finish his second term in 2023. The change is expected to be endorsed on 26 February.

The move, increasingly anticipated after Xi’s near complete dominance of the politburo and standing committee after the last year’s Party Congress, can formally place him in the same league as modern China’s founding father Mao Zedong who remained the supreme commander till the last day of his life.

(Source: The Times of India)

9. Prashant Kishor to Join Modi’s 2019 Team?

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar with Prashant Kishor in a file photo.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar with Prashant Kishor in a file photo.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2019 re-election bid may see the return of election strategist Prashant Kishor to his side. The two have met in recent months, and considered the possibility of Kishor working for Modi’s campaign in the year ahead, said a key political interlocutor familiar with the development.

After having worked closely with Modi during the BJP’s Gujarat 2012 campaign and the Lok Sabha 2014 election, Kishor developed differences and went his separate way – working for the BJP’s political adversaries including the Grand Alliance in Bihar and Congress.

But Modi and Kishor had “personally” been in touch over the past six months. This, it is understood, led to direct meetings where both discussed the possibility of working together again and a role for Kishor in the 2019 campaign.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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