Pune, Apr 29: A special court here Monday rejected the temporary bail application of activist and poet P Varavara Rao who is currently lodged in a prison here.

Rao wanted temporary bail to visit his hometown to perform post-death rituals of his sister-in-law who died on April 22.

However, the prosecution, objecting to the temporary bail to Rao, cited a letter to Pune's Joint Commissioner of Police by Hyderabad Superintendent of Police (Special Intelligence Branch) which stated, "Considering seriousness of the crime, there is a possibility that accused may abscond if he is allowed to attend the last rites of his relative".

"Moreover, there is a possibility of a serious attack on the police party, who will be deputed for an escort, by Naxals," the letter added.

The prosecution also informed the court that the letter stated that as per Hindu traditions and customs, there is no established procedure and norms to attend "pedda karma" (10th-day ritual) by the brother-in-law of a deceased who is survived by her children.

After hearing the arguments and going through the written submissions from the prosecution, judge Vadane Monday rejected the temporary bail application.

Rao was first arrested on August 28 last year in connection with the Elgar Parishad case along with activists Sudha Bhardwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navalakha.

However, the Supreme Court later asked the police to place them under house arrest.

On November 17, Rao was re-arrested by Pune police.

The prosecution, in its submission, said the accused is an active member of the proscribed CPI (Maoist) and along with other accused, was involved in unlawful and terrorist activities, and that investigation so far had revealed that he was involved in raising and distributing funds to smuggle arms and ammunition.

"There is ample of evidence against the accused and the charge sheet too has been filed and therefore it is not desirable to release the accused on temporary bail," according to the prosecution.

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Tumakuru (K'taka), Feb 6: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's helicopter factory -- the country's largest chopper manufacturing facility -- in Tumakuru district of Karnataka.

Bengaluru-headquartered HAL plans to produce more than 1,000 helicopters in the range of 3-15 tonne with a total business of more than Rs 4 lakh crore over a period of 20 years at this facility in Gubbi taluk, officials said.

The factory, spread across 615 acres for which the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone in 2016, would initially manufacture Light Utility Helicopters (LUH)).

It will enable India to meet its entire requirement of helicopters without import and giving much-needed fillip to the Prime Minister's vision of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' in helicopter design, development, and manufacture, they said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and senior officials of Ministry of Defence were among those present on the occasion.

"It is a dedicated new greenfield helicopter factory which will enhance India's capacity and ecosystem to build helicopters," Singh said.
Assembly polls in Karnataka are due by May.

PM Modi unveiled the LUH, which has been flight tested. The LUH is an indigenously designed and developed three-tonne class, single-engine multipurpose utility helicopter. Initially, the factory will produce around 30 helicopters per year and can be enhanced to 60 and then 90 every year in a phased manner, according to the Defence Ministry.

The factory will be augmented to produce other helicopters such as Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) and Indian Multirole Helicopters (IMRHs). It will also be used for maintenance, repair and overhaul of LCH, LUH, Civil Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and IMRH in the future.

Potential exports of civil LUH will also be catered to from this factory, which is being equipped with state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 standard tools and techniques for its operations, officials said.

The proximity of the factory, with the existing HAL facilities in Bengaluru, will boost the aerospace manufacturing ecosystem in the region and support skill and infrastructure development such as schools, colleges and residential areas, it was noted.

The factory is fully operational after the establishment of facilities like heli-runway, flight hangar, final assembly hangar, structure assembly hangar, air traffic control and various supporting service facilities, officials said.