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GAIL signs MoU with AP Govt for LNG terminal, FSRU

Mr. J Wason, CEO GAIL Gas, signing an agreement in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Major Industries Minister J. Geeta Reddy for an LNG terminal in the state on January 12, 2012.
Mr. J Wason, CEO GAIL Gas, signing an agreement in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Major Industries Minister J. Geeta Reddy for an LNG terminal in the state on January 12, 2012.
GAIL Gas Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of gas major GAIL (India) Limited, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Andhra Pradesh for setting up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) along the state's expansive sea coast.
 
The MoU was signed here yesterday by J Wason, CEO, GAIL Gas Limited and S. Bhattacharya, Principal Secretary (Investment and Infrastructure), AP government, at the Partnership Summit 2012 organised by the state government and CII.
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Major Industries Minister J Geeta Reddy were amongst those present on the occasion.

Janardhana Reddy's judicial custody extended till Jan 25

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A CBI Special Court today extended the judicial custody of former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhana Reddy, his brother-in-law and Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) Managing Director B V Srinivas Reddy and two others accused in the illegal mining case till January 25.

The Reddys, who are currently lodged in Chanchalaguda Jail here, and another accused ex-Director of AP Mines and Geology Department V D Rajagopal, were produced before the court which extended the remand.
 
The Reddys were arrested from Bellary in Karnataka by CBI on September 5 last year for their alleged involvement in the case.

GMR adds 384 MW to Andhra Pradesh power grid

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The first unit of GMR Rajahmundry Energy Limited’s combined cycle power plant at Vemagiri in Andhra Pradesh was synchronized last week, adding 384 MW capacity to the state power grid.
 
A press release from GMR said the group was setting up the 2x384 MW capacity Combined Cycle power plant, adjacent to its existing plant located at Vemagiri. The first unit has been commissioned in a record time of 24 months. The second unit is expected to be commissioned by February, 2012.
 
This GMR project was identified as a XI Plan project and accordingly was shortlisted for gas allocation by the Government of India. It is expected that gas will be made available to this project shortly, the release added.
 
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IT raids at Telugu actor Mahesh Babu's residence

Income Tax Department officials conducted raids at the residence of leading Telugu film actor Mahesh Babu here this evening.

The IT officials, who swooped down on the actor's residence, were verifying his income statements.
 
Mahesh Babu, who is the son of yesteryear matinee idol Krishna, was shooting for a film when he was informed about the raids. He rushed home, sources said.
 
Media reports said Mahesh Babu was the highest paid actor in the Telugu film industry.
 
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TI expands capacity for 2-wheeler automotive chains by 20%

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TI Diamond Chains (TIDC), a  unit of Tube Investments of India Ltd (TII), part of the Murugappa Group, has expanded the production facility at its Hyderabad unit for two-wheeler automotive chains by 20 per cent.
 
A press release from the company said here today that it had invested Rs 30 crore on the facility.
 
“This facility has been set up with the state-of-the-art equipment to be run with the best in class practices. This would enable TI to meet the growing demand from its auto customers, with much higher levels of quality and reliability," Mr M M Murugappan, Vice-Chairman of the Murugappa Group, said.
 
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CBI files charge sheet in Obulapuram illegal mining case

 

The Central Bureau of Investigation today filed a charge sheet in the Court of Special Judge for CBI cases, Hyderabad in the illegal mining case against the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) owned by former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy.
 
Besides Mr Reddy, the charge sheet named his brother-in-law B V Srinivasa Reddy, the managing director of OMC, former Andhra Pradesh Director of Mines and Geology V D Rajagopal and the Bellary-based company, a CBI press release said.
 
They have been accused of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery and criminal misconduct under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
According to the charge sheet, Mr Janardhan Reddy and Mr Srinivasa Reddy entered into a criminal conspiracy with the Andhra Pradesh government officials and got mining leases allotted to the company. It said they indulged in illegal mining activities amounting to lakhs of tonnes of iron ore.
 
The CBI said it had used satellite imageries and advanced surveying methods to establish the aspect of illegal mining. It had also used forensic accounting techniques to analyse computer hard disks, laptops, mobile phones with the help of data retrieval techniques.
 
As collection of evidence with regard to certain allegations in respect of the then Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Government of Andhra Pradesh are in progress, her name has not been included in the charge sheet, a CBI press release said. The then Assistant Director, Mines & Geology, Ananthapur is now no more, it said.
 
The Reddys were arrested on September 5 from Bellary in Karnataka and are currently in judicial custody. They are lodged in the Chanchalguda Central Prison in Hyderabad.
 
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Andhra Pradesh govt suspends IAS officer Srilakshmi

 

Senior Andhra Pradesh cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Y Srilakshmi, arrested in connection with the illegal mining case, was suspended by the State Government today.
 
The government took the decision after it received a note from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about her arrest a few days ago for irregularites allegedly committed by her in granting mining lease to mining baron and former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhana Reddy and his brother-in-law and Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) Managing Director Srinvas Reddy.
 
Srilakshmi is likely to be produced in the CBI special court as her CBI custody ends today.
 
Earlier in the day, medical tests were conducted on her at the CBI office when she complained of sickness, according to sources here.
 
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IAS officer Srilakshmi sent to police custody for 3 days

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Senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Y Srilakshmi was today remanded to three days in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by a Special Court here following her arrest yesterday in the illegal iron ore mining case.
 
Judge Naga Maruthi Sarma turned down the plea of CBI for 15-day custody and granted only three-day custody of the official, who was arrested yesterday evening in her office in the Family Welfare Department.
 
A local court had asked CBI to house her in their premises before she could be produced before the Special CBI Court here today.  

HC vacates stay on HCA office bearers' arrest

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court today vacated stay on the arrest of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) office-bearers who were allegedly facing charges of "misappropriation" of funds on the construction of Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal here.
 
Earlier, after the ACB Court I in-charge Judge Krishnaiah on April 7 had directed the Director General of ACB to investigate and submit a report, the ACB on April 13 registered cases against 22 Committee Members of HCA, including BCCI Vice-President Shivlal Yadav and former Team India off-spinner Arshad Ayub, who was HCA president. 
 
Fearing their arrest, Shivlal Yadav, Arshad Ayub and 14 other members approached the High Court and secured the stay.
 
The court after hearing the case passed an interim order to vacate the stay paving way for the ACB to arrest the HCA office-bearers.   
 
During the course of hearing on the petition filed by Sagar Cricket Club, the High Court Judge Justice G Rohini on August 2 issued notices to the City Police Commissioner who sought an inquiry into the alleged irregularities committed by HCA members.
 
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AP HC orders CBI probe into TDP Chief Naidu's assets

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court today ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to probe the alleged illegal assets of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu.
 
A bench comprising Justices Ghulam Mohammed and Nooty Ramamohan gave these orders on a petition filed on October 17 by Y S R Congress Party MLA Y S Vijayamma, widow of former Chief Minister Y S Rajashekhara Reddy.
 
Vijayamma, mother of Kadapa MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, had filed the petition on October 17, seeking a probe into Mr Naidu's alleged illegal assets.
 
In her petition, she alleged that many acts of criminal misconduct were committed during the nine-year rule of Mr Naidu in the state.
 
The Court directed the CBI, ED and SEBI to complete the investigation and submit their report within three months in a sealed cover.
 
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Satyam's Ramalinga Raju released from prison on bail

Former Satyam Computer Services Limited chairman B Ramalinga Raju, the main accused in India's  biggest corporate fraud case, his brother B Rama Raju and Chief Financial Officer of the Company  Vadlamani Srinivas were released from the Chanculguda Central Jail here this evening after the Supreme Court granted them bail yesterday.

Earlier, the special CBI Court, after getting the required documents for their release, directed the Chanchalguda Jail authorities to release them on bail.

As per the Supreme Court directions, Mr Raju and others had completed the formalities like giving a personal bond for Rs 2 lakh with two sureties each for a like sum by their lawyers.

Illegal mining case: Jagan appears before CBI

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YSR Congress party chief and Kadapa MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy today appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the illegal mining case involving mining baron and former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, who is in judicial custody.

As per the summons issued by the investigating agency earlier, Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekara Reddy, reached the CBI office located in the busy market area of Koti at about 1045 hrs.
 
The agency started questioning him to seek answers about any links with the illegal Obulapuram mines.
 
Mr Janardhan Reddy's brother-in-law Srinivas Reddy has also been arrested in the case and he, too, is in judicial custody.
 
Meanwhile, police had made elaborate security arrangements and restricted the traffic in the area where the CBI office is located.
 
Business establishments, including malls and hotels in the busy market area of Koti were also asked to down their shutters.
 
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V.N. Rai appointed director of National Police Academy

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Mr V N Rai, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1977 batch (Haryana cadre), has been appointed as the Director of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (NPA), Hyderabad.
 
Mr Rai, presently Special Director General of the Border Security Force (BSF), ill be in the pay scale of Rs 75,500-80,000, an official press release said.
 
The appointment will be with effect from the date of his taking over charge of the post and till his superannuation on December 31, 2012 or till further orders, whichever is earlier, the release added.
 
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CBI issue notices to Jagan Mohan Reddy in illegal mining case

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today issued notices to YSR Congress Party president Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy to appear before it on Friday for questioning in connection with the illegal mining case registered against former Karnataka BJP Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy and Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC) Managing Director B V Srinivas Reddy.
 
The investigating team, headed by its Joint Director Lakshminaryana, would question Mr Jagan at its office in Koti, sources told UNI here today.
 
The sources said the investigating agency has established that Mr Janardhan Reddy had alleged business dealings with Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, the son of late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, and as part of the probe, they want to grill him after they conducted investigation against the Karnataka minister.
 
The CBI is also of the view that the money accumulated through illegal mining by Mr Janardhan Reddy and Mr Srinivas Reddy might have been invested in Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy's companies for which the CBI had already collected preliminary evidence.
 
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2 Congress MLAs, 1 associated MLA resigns for Telangana

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In a setback to the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh, two of its legislators, including a former minister, and an associated MLA, tendered their resignations in support of the demand for a separate state of Telangana.
 
The three legislators - Mr Jupally Krishna Rao, representing Kollapur Assembly constituency in Mahabubnagar district, Mr T Rajaiah, legislator from Station Ghanpur in Warangal district and associate legislator Somarapu Satyanarayana elected from Ramagudem in Karimnagar district, announced their resignations at a crowded press conference here this afternoon.
 
The legislators had reportedly faxed their resignations to Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) chief Botsa Satyanarayana and to Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar.
 
Mr Krishna Rao had resigned as minister on March 3, 2011 protesting against the delay by the Centre in announcing the statehood.
 
The legislators charged the Congress party with creating "obstacles" in the formation of a separate Telangana state. They said they had decided to resign after seeking the views of their supporters who were pressuring them to quit the party and join the the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which is spearheading the movement for a separate state. 
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Mr Krishna Rao said, "The purpose of our resignations is to bring pressure on the UPA government at the Centre and on elected representatives from the Telangana region."
 
"From tomorrow we will  actively get involved in the Telangana agitation and will not rest till a separate state is achieved," he said.
 
The former Minister alleged that Seemaandhra leaders had brought pressure on the Centre after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram announced on December 9, 2009 that the process of formation of separate state had begun, and successfully halted the formation.
 
Taking the cue from them, the elected Telangana representatives should also resign so that the Centre would act swiftly on the issue, he said. He exhorted the Congress ministers not to cling to office.
 
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Air India introduces Delhi-Vijayawada flight via Hyderabad

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A new flight from Delhi to Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh via Hyderabad and a new hub and spoke flight between Chennai and Delhi as well as a direct flight between Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram are some of the highlights of national carrier Air India's winter schedule which will come into effect on October 30.

The new service, AI 544 on the Delhi-Hyderabad-Vijayawada sector will leave Delhi on all days except Tuesdays at 1255 hours and reach Hyderabad at 1505 hours, leave Hyderabad at 1550 hours and reach Vijayawada at 1630 hours.

On Tuesdays, it will leave Delhi at 1335 hours, reach Hyderabad at 1535 hours, leave Hyderabad at 1605 hours and reach Vijayawada at 1650 hours.

In the return direction flight AI-840 will leave Vijayawada on all days except Tuesdays at 1705 hours and reach Hyderabad at 1750 hours. On Tuesdays, the flight will leave Vijayawada at 1735 hours and reach Hyderabad at 1825 hours. However, it will leave Hyderabad daily at 1910 hours and reach Delhi at 2120 hours.

An Air India press release said that, for the convenience of international travelers, Air India will be introducing a new hub and spoke flight on the Chennai-Delhi sector in the new schedule to enable them to connect international flights departing from the T3 Terminal.

AI flight 043 will leave Chennai daily from Anna International Terminal at 2130 hours and reach Delhi at 0015 hours. Similarly, AI flight 042 will leave Delhi at 1805 hours and arrive Chennai at Anna International Terminal at 2045 hours. This will be in addition to the existing hub and spoke flight AI 143 / AI 142 operated between Chennai and Delhi, it said.

International passengers can complete immigration / customs formalities on arrival / departure ex-Anna International Terminal while travelling on the above flights.

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Air India will be introducing a direct flight between Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram instead of the circular flights earlier. The new daily service AI-513 will leave Chennai at 0530 hours and reach Thiruvananthapuram at 0630 hours. In the return direction, flight AI 514 will leave Thiruvananthapuram at 0700 hours and arrive Chennai at 0800 hours.

According to the release, the airline will be operating an A320 flight on the Chennai-Visakhpatnam-Chennai sector offering more capacity on this sector. Flight AI-551 will leave Chennai daily at 1120 hours and reach Visakhapatnam at 1230 hours. In the return direction, the flight AI-552 will leave Visakhapatnam at 1305 hours and arrive Chennai at 1420 hours.

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Truck carrying uranium peroxide in minor accident, no spillage: DAE

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A trailer truck carrying uranium peroxide met with a minor accident on national highway 5 at Narsinghpeta in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh yesterday morning, but there has been no release of radioactivity or radiation from the container, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) said today.

"In fact all the drums containing the radiochemical are intact and no spillage has taken place," the DAE statement said.

According to it, the truck was on its way from Uranium Corporation of India Ltd., Jaduguda in Jharkhand to the Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad when the mishap occurred at about 0815 hours yesterday.

It said the power unit of the trailer truck (engine and driver's cabin) got partially damaged.

"There has been no impact on the container and the drums containing uranium peroxide," it said.

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The statement said a team of health physicists from Orissa Sand Complex (OSCOM) of Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IREL) reached the site immediately and confirmed after measurements that there had been no release of radioactivity or radiation from the container.

Alternate power unit has already been dispatched to the site of accident to continue the travel of the trailer, it said.

The trailer, as per normal practice, was being escorted by eight armed personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in two separate vehicles.

Additional security has been arranged for the truck to provide protection to the truck at the site on round the clock basis till its movement restarts, the statement added.

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Telangana stir: State govt. employees call off strike

The 42-day-old strike launched by Andhra Pradesh government employees in the Telangana region as part of the "Sakala Janula Samme" for a separate state was called off in the presence of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy here tonight.

The employees ended their strike after the government reportedly agreed to their nine demands, excluding the Telangana state, as the subject is not in the purview of the state government, sources said.

The employees, who had launched the strike on September 13, announced that they would be back to work from tomorrow.

Earlier the Telangana Employees Joint Action Committee (JAC) leaders had marathon nine-hours talks with the Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha since this morning and later met the Chief Minister after the talks ended fruitfully.

The employees' leaders later signed an agreement on calling off the strike in the presence of the Chief Minister and the Cabinet Sub-Committee members.

The demands agreed to by the state government included one on treating the strike period of 42 days as "extraordinary leave".

The Chief Minister also agreed to cancel the orders of transfers and deputations made during the strike period.

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Reliance MediaWorks to manage, operate Annapurna Studios

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Film and entertainment services company Reliance MediaWorks today said it had partnered with Annapurna Studios, a leading film and television studio and production house in Hyderabad, to manage and operate their studio facilities.

Reliance will also operate and expand the digital post-production facility at the studios, a press release from the company said here today.

Annapurna Studios was founded by legendary Telugu actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao and is a leading provider of various production facilities, including sound stages, outdoor sets, editing and sound recording theatres to the Telugu entertainment industry.

Telangana strike evokes partial response in Hyderabad

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The strike called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC), which is spearheading the demand for a separate state, today evoked mixed response in the city while normal life was affected in other Telangana districts in Andhra Pradesh.

A day's "bandh" was called by the TJAC in protest against alleged police "excesses" against Telangana activists and Congress MPs who took part in the rail blockade organised by them earlier this month.

Government offices continued to be affected as the Telangana employees continued their "Sakala Janula" strike which entered the 35th day today. While banks and insurance firms reported thin attendance, private offices were functioning normally.

Telangana stir: 3-day rail blockade begins, leaders arrested

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Ignoring the state government's warnings of severe action under the Railway Act 1989, several Telangana political leaders, including those from Congress, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) leaders participated in the three-day rail blockade which began in the region today.

Amidst tension, police arrested hundreds of Telangana activists, including party leaders, across the Telangana region under the Act.

K Kavita, President of Telangana Jagruti, a cultural outfit of TRS, and daughter of TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR), was among the first to be arrested when she along with others squatted on the railway track at Moula Ali in the outskirts of the city.

AP CM appeals to employees to end strike on Telangana

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today appealed to state government employees, teachers and workers in Telangana region to end their 28-day-old general strike launched for the cause of a separate state as the Centre was seized of the matter.

"I appeal to all the employees unions and teachers through the media to end the strike as the centre is holding consultations to find out a solution early to the statehood issue," he told a press conference here.

Mr Reddy said consultations with Congress leaders had already been held. The Telangana issue was sensitive in nature and the Centre would think from all angles before arriving at a decision, he said.

Telangana stir: Major APSRTC union decides to call off strike

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In a relief to the travelling public, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) National Mazdoor Union (NMU) has decided to call off its 22-day-old strike after talks between the state government and the union leaders here today.

The APSRTC unions were on strike from September 19 in support of the "Sakalu Janula Samme" (general strike) for the cause of a separate Telangana state.

With the major union in the corporation deciding to call off the strike, the APSRTC buses are expected to be back on roads from this evening or tomorrow morning.

CBI files case against Dayanidhi Maran, raids premises

File photo of Dayanidhi Maran.
File photo of Dayanidhi Maran.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today conducted raids on the premises of former Union Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran after registering a case against him in connection with Aircel-Maxis deal.

The CBI sleuths conducted raids at several of his premises in New Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Last month, the CBI had told the Supreme Court that it plans to file a formal case soon against Mr Maran.

However, when contacted CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra did not confirm the raids.

Mr Maran is being investigated for allegedly pressuring the former owner of Aircel to sell his company to an industrialist from Malaysia who is known to be close to Mr Maran and his brother Kalanidhi, the chairman of the Sun TV group.

The complaint against Mr Maran was filed by C Sivasankaran, who alleges that as Communications Minister, Mr Maran did not sanction licences critical for his business and coerced him to sell Aircel in 2005.

The CBI alleged that Mr Maran deliberately delayed the licences to Aircel and that he  unduly favoured Maxis and in return investments were made by the company in Sun TV. Kalanidhi Maran is the promoter of the Sun TV Network.

A huge investment of Rs 600 crore flowed into Sun TV network and is believed to be a "kickback".

Aircel, which was denied a pan-India telecom licence earlier, was able to enter all circles after the Maxis takeover, Mr Sivasankaran had alleged.

Mr Maran was the Communications Minister between May 2004 and May 2007. He was forced to resign as the Union Textiles Minister in July this year after the CBI said it was investigating a complaint against him filed by Mr Sivasankaran.

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Telangana stir enters 27th day, RTC employees to continue strike

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The "Sakalu Janula Samme" (general strike) launched in support of the demand for a separate Telangana state entered the 27th day today even as Telangana Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) Joint Action Committee (JAC) announced that it would continue its strike.

The RTC JAC met here today to review the situation as about 10,000 buses were not plying in the Telangana region since September 19 and was causing huge loss to the corporation.

However, the JAC leaders have decided to continue the strike till the Centre announced the formation of separate Telangana state.

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