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Major News and Events of 18 February 2013

What Happened on 18 February 2013


Afzal's body may not be given to family

Afzal Guru’s may not be able to get his body, which is buried in Tihar jail premises. As per a home ministry source,the ministry has decided not to give his body to his family and this information will be given to the Jammu and Kashmir government. The family had asked for handing over of Afzal Guru's body after his execution on Feb 9. He has been buried near his solitary cell. Considering the law and order situation of Jammu and Kashmir it has been decided that his family will not be handed over his body. Afzal Guru’s family had earlier requested to perform his last rites inside the jail, but later on decided against it and asked for the body to be handed over to them. They even did not agree to take back his belongings which are with the jail authorities.

Apex court suspends Veerappan aides' hanging till Wednesday

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir on Monday stayed the execution of the death sentence of the four aides of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan till Wednesday. Their mercy petition was rejected on Feb 12. The decision to suspend the death sentence was taken after senior counsel Colin Gonsalves told the court this is a case that has inordinate delay in the carrying out of the death sentence. Gonsalves also stated that another bench of the apex court headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi has reserved judgment on the question if there is inordinate delay in the decision of a mercy petition, the convict gets any relief or not. The judgment was reserved eight months back and its result would be applicable in the case of the four Veerappan aides. This plea was opposed by  Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati who specified this was a grave matter as it involved the killing of 20 police personnel in a land mine blast, and was a "rarest of rare" cases. The matter will be heard in the court on Wednesday.The president on Feb 12 rejected the mercy petitions of Gnanprakasham, Simon Antonyiappa, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilavendran, who were sentenced to death for killing 22 people, that included policemen, in a landmine blast near Palar bridge on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border in 1993. In 2004 the mercy petitions were filed.

World's deepest well drilled by an offshore rig by ONGC

State-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) informed on Monday that it has drilled the world's deepest well by an offshore rig at a depth of over 10,300 feet off India's east coast. The company in its statement informed, "ONGC's chartered-hired ultra-deep water drillship DDKG1 has set a world record for drilling well in deepest water depth by an offshore drilling rig." As per ONGC, on Jan 23, the rig DDKG1 spudded (drilled) well number NA7-1 in exploratory block KG-DWN-2004/1 on the east coast, at a water depth of 3,165 m (10,385 feet).The rig,edged over its own earlier record of 10,194 feet water depth, that it had created in 2011 by DDKG2 working for Reliance Industries, similarly on the east coast. A sub-sea BOP (blow out preventer) on the wellhead was successfully lowered on Feb 9 to drill deeper to a total depth of 5,625 m.

Buddh Circuit will organise public track tour

The motorsport fans have something to cheer for. Earlier they had to content themselves by watching the action from the general stands at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) but now they can take a sneak peek into the state-of-the-art Formula 1 facility. On Saturday, BIC promoters will initiate a guided tour of the $400 million facility that includes its pit lane, garages, medical centre, race control room, winner's podium, team building, paddock club and time-keeping office. The tour comes at a cost of Rs.1,500 per person with a lap of the 5.14 km track consisting 16 turns. The students will have a discounted rate. The BIC Tour as of now will only be available on Saturdays and this will be an extension of the public activities which mainly involves open-track-day for the speed enthusiasts. 

9XM gets into Limca Book of Records

Music channel 9XM has got into the Limca Book of Records for creating the biggest wall of music in India. The digital wall was created for World Music Day in 2012, that allowed viewers to download free music for a day. The World Music Day was celebrated by 9XM on  June 21, 2012. A 31 ft X 10 ft wall was set up at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai and in The Great India Place, Noida. 10000 downloads were registered in a matter of 12 hours.Based on Augmented Reality, the wall allowed multiple songs downloads from the latest Bollywood movies. People could surf the Bollywood movie posters placed on this wall, with their smartphone devices, and those without smartphones did it via an SMS.

Internet firms will be allowed to offer voice services

India's Telecom Commission will allow companies which have licenses to offer broadband wireless Internet to also provide voice telephone services by paying a fee to the government. Companies which have licenses for broadband internet will have to pay 16.58 billion rupees ($307 million) for permission to offer voice telephone services across India as stated by Telecom Secretary R. Chandrashekhar. He is also the chairman of the commission which is the highest decision-making body on policy issues within India's Department of Telecommunications. Voice services account for more than 85% of Indian telecom operators' revenue, but Internet services give higher margins.