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ISRO successfully launched its second lunar exploration Chandrayaan-2.

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Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched its second lunar exploration Chandrayaan-2. The anxious moment came to an end as the launch took place at 2:43 pm from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Shriharikota.

Carrying a “billion dreams” in a giant leap for the country’s ambitious low-cost space program, the most complex and prestigious mission ever undertaken by the ISRO, if successful, will also make India the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to pull off a soft landing on the moon.

“We bounced back with flying colors after the earlier technical snag. Success is coming after a call-off,” said a beaming and visibly relieved ISRO Chairman K Sivan at the mission control room of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, about 100 km from Chennai, as scientists broke into cheers, shook hands and exchanged greetings.

The Rs 978-crore unmanned mission also brought woman power to the fore as it was helmed by two woman scientists of the ISRO–Ritu Karidhal and M Vanitha, the Mission and Project directors respectively.

Joined by President Ram Nath Kovind and leaders across the political spectrum, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists and said every Indian is immensely proud today.

“Chandrayaan-2 is unique because it will explore and perform studies on the South Pole region of lunar terrain which is not explored and sampled by any past mission. This mission will offer new knowledge about the moon,” Modi said.

According to the statement, Chandrayaan-2, a three-module spacecraft comprising orbiter, lander and rover, will be subjected to a series of orbit manoeuvres using its onboard propulsion system to take it to the vicinity of Moon over the next few weeks with the rover soft landing planned on September 7.

 

The lander Vikram, named after father of Indian space research programme Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, carrying the rover Pragyan, will be landed in a high plain between two craters at a latitude of about 70 degrees south of the moon. Then the 27-kg Pragyan meaning wisdom in Sanskrit and a six-wheeled robotic vehicle, will set out on its job of collecting information on lunar surface. A safe site free of hazards for landing would be decided based on pictures sent back by the camera onboard the lander and after touchdown the rover will carry out experiments for 14 Earth days, equalling one Lunar Day.

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Telangana govt constitutes SIT to probe killing of four accused

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Hyderabad: The Telangana government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the December 6 ‘encounter’ near Shadnagar town in which police killed all four accused in a woman veterinarian’s gang-rape and murder.

The eight-member SIT will be headed by Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M. Bhagwath. The others officials, including a woman have been drawn from various parts of the state.

A Government Order (GO), constituting the panel, was issued late Sunday even as a team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) continued its probe into the killings of the accused.

The killings of the accused were immediately hailed by people who were demanding an immediate death penalty for the perpetrators, but rights groups flayed the police for taking the law into their hands and carrying out ‘extra-judicial killings’.

The SIT has been constituted in line with the judgment of the Supreme Court in the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) vs State of Maharashtra and others that the investigation into such cases shall be entrusted to an independent investigation agency of police team of another police station under the supervision of a senior officer, noted the GO.

While the victim was sexually assaulted on November 27 near Shamshabad on the the outskirts of Hyderabad, her body was burnt near Shadnagar town, about 50 km from Hyderabad. Both the scenes of crime fall under the limits of Cyberabad Police Commissionerate.

Greater Hyderabad has three police commissionerate with Cyberabad and Rachakonda commissionerates covering the city periphery and surrounding towns.

The GO mentions that the four accused were taken to Chatanpally near Shadnagar by the police for reconstruction of crime scene and collection of valuable evidence. The accused overpowered the police team, snatched fire arms and attacked the police party with the same. “In self-defence police team also retaliated and during the process all four accused persons died in the police firing,” it said.

A case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act was registered in Shadnagar police station and investigation was taken up by J. Surender Reddy, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Rachakonda.

Surender Reddy has now been made a member of the SIT.

According to the GO, the SIT, after completion of the investigation, will file its report in the concerned court of law.

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