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Want to know who exactly was at fault, says pilot’s husband

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Mumbai: Husband of the co-pilot of the chartered plane, which crashed in suburban Ghatkopar, sought to know who cleared the flight despite the adverse weather conditions and if the aircraft was fit for flying.
Prabhat Kathuria, the husband of Marya Zuberi, the co-pilot who along with four others was killed in the incident, is still to come to terms with the loss.
In a statement issued in Mumbai, he said, “The company involved in the ill-fated plane’s repairs seems to have been incapable of detecting the technical snags that could have led to its crash.”
Kathuria said that his wife had mentioned to him that the weather conditions were not conducive for a test flight to be conducted for a small plane like Beechcraft King Air C90 aircraft.
“She left the house assuring me she would return rather soon as the weather conditions were clearly not right for a test flight of a small plane such as the Beachcraft King Air twin turboprop,” he said.
“She was sure that the permission to undertake such a flight would not be given,” the statement read.
“Considering Captain (Pradip) Rajput held and shared the same view with Marya, I was confident they would not fly this day. The weather conditions were just not right,” he said.
Kathuria also questioned if the aircraft was fit to fly.
“We know that the aircraft was well beyond its prime. We know it was more than 20 years old. We know it had already had an accident in 2009 and that the UP government chose to sell it rather than spend on its repairs. Considering all… the family of Marya Zuberi wants answers. We want to know who exactly was at fault,” he said.
Kathuria said UY Aviation, the owners of the aircraft, “seem to have completely disregarded their responsibility to check whether such a plane should go off the ground”.
Pointing out that the DGCA norms do not permit test flights of small planes in the rainy weather, Kathuria asked who allowed the flight to take off in the first place.
“Did officers within the agency allow the flight, that clearly flouted its own norms? We want to know who took the call from DGCA’s side,” he said.
Kathuria also said that neither government agencies nor the owner of the aircraft had contacted the family members of the victims since the crash.
“So far the government structures and the companies have both failed us… The families of the victims are still to receive a word from any of these agencies,” he said.
Five people — four crew members including two pilots and a pedestrian — lost their lives when the 12-seater plane crashed into an under-construction building on Thursday afternoon.


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National

CJI recuses from hearing petition challenging interim CBI chief appointment

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New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has recused himself from hearing a plea challenging M Nageswara Rao’s appointment as interim Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Gogoi has sought transparency in the process of short-listing, selection and appointment of the CBI Director.

CJI Gogoi said he cannot hear plea as he would be part of the committee meeting to select the next CBI director.

 

.The plea will now be heard on January 24 by another bench.

The high-powered selection committee comprises the prime minister, the leader of the largest opposition party and the CJI or his nominee judge of the apex court.

A bench comprising CJI and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause challenging the appointment of Rao as interim CBI director.

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‘Not safe’: Mamata refuses to allow Amit Shah’s chopper to land in Malda, BJP cries foul

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KOLKATA: In yet another attempt by Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal to stop Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) President Amit Shah from addressing rally in the state, the state government has denied permission for landing of Shah’s helicopter in Malda district.

The BJP president, who was recently treated for swine flu at AIIMS in New Delhi, is scheduled to address a rally in Malda on January 22. As per BJP’s plan, Shah will reach Kolkata and then take a helicopter from there to reach Malda where he will participate in a public rally with BJP workers from North Bengal.

The Malda district administration has informed the BJP that it is not possible to grant permission to land helicopters at Malda airport this week.

 

“As per report of the executive engineer, PWD (civil), Malda Division, up-gradation of work at Malda Airport is going on in full swing. A large quantity of fine sand, dust and GSB materials is lying all along the runway and also stacked all around the site,” Additional District Magistrate of Malda said in a letter to BJP.

The letter added that the ongoing construction work has also affected the maintenance of temporary helipad at the airport and it is not possible to grant permission to Shah’s chopper to land at Malda Airport.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of BJP Malda unit had written to Malda DM saying that West Bengal government is using Malda Airport for landing their helicopter every Wednesday and they are refusing permission to Shah’s helicopter.

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Centre threatening to impose Prez’s rule in Andhra: Chandrababu

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Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday alleged that the Centre was threatening to impose President’s Rule in the state but, he said, nobody would be cowed down by such threats.

He claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a “negative leader” under whose leadership the country was regressing. Addressing a teleconference with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders, he attacked the prime minister and the BJP, saying they did nothing special for Andhra.

“They say one Union minister will come to the state every week. What good have they done for the state? On top of it, they are issuing threats that President’s Rule will be imposed in Andhra Pradesh. There is nobody here to be cowed down by their threats,” Naidu said.

 

Referring to the opposition parties’ rally in Kolkata two days ago, the TDP chief said it marked the beginning of the end of dictatorial rule and gave confidence to the people of the country. “We will hold a similar rally in Amaravati in which leaders of 22 parties will take part,” Naidu added.

The TDP chief lashed out at his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao and YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, saying they were working under Modi’s direction.

The TRS and the YSRC were conspiring to create misgivings among the backward classes so that they are distanced from the TDP, he alleged. He said the backward communities should unitedly thwart such attempts.

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