|Sanjay Dutt could head to
jail Monday: lawyer
bad boy Sanjay Dutt, who is out on bail from a six-year sentence
for illegal arms possession due to a technicality, could be back
in jail as early as 22 October, his lawyer said 20 October in
MUMBAI (AFP) - Bollywood bad boy Sanjay Dutt, who is out on
bail from a six-year sentence for illegal arms possession due to
a technicality, could be back in jail as early as Monday, his
India’s Supreme Court agreed to his conditional release in
August after the anti-terror court in Mumbai that jailed him
failed to provide the actor with a copy of its judgement.
“Dutt has now been called on Monday and is likely to receive his
copy,” Farhana Shah, one of Dutt’s lawyers, told AFP Saturday.
The Supreme Court has ordered Dutt to turn himself in when his
lawyers receive a copy of the judgement.
Dutt appeared in court Saturday but was told to return after the
weekend, the lawyer added.
The hugely popular star was sentenced on July 31 to serve six
years for possessing illegal weapons received from the plotters
of the 1993 Mumbai bombings, which killed 257 people and wounded
Dutt has always maintained his innocence, arguing he purchased a
Kalashnikov assault rifle to protect his family from sectarian
During his temporary reprieve Dutt has been busy completing his
movie contracts, with six films in production and some 750
million rupees (18.4 million dollars) of Bollywood money riding
The son of a politically prominent Hindu father and a Muslim
mother honoured for her acting, Dutt’s turbulent off-screen life
has also been wracked by drug abuse and two failed marriages.
Bomb blast kills seven in Pakistan
QUETTA (AFP) Seven people were killed and 15 others were
injured Saturday when a bomb exploded in a market in troubled
Baluchistan province in the latest violence to hit Pakistan,
The blast happened as passengers were waiting at a mini-van
stand in the main market in Dera Bugti town in the southwestern
province, which is in the grip of a low-level insurgency.
“There was a bomb explosion in the main bazaar and seven people
were killed and six are wounded,” local police officer Hazoor
Baksh told AFP.
Another police officer said 15 people were wounded and a van was
completely destroyed in the blast in Dera Bugti about 250
kilometres southeast (155 miles) of provincial capital Quetta.
“We are investigating if the bomb was planted in the van which
was parked near a passenger van,” local officer Mohammed Baluch
Iran to fire ‘11,000 rockets in minute’ if
TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran warned on Saturday it would fire off
11,000 rockets at enemy bases within the space of a minute if
the United States launched military action against the Islamic
“In the first minute of an invasion by the enemy, 11,000 rockets
and cannons would be fired at enemy bases,” said a brigadier
general in the elite Revolutionary Guards, Mahmoud Chaharbaghi.
“This volume and speed of firing would continue,” added
Chaharbaghi, who is commander of artillery and missiles of the
Guards’ ground forces, according to the semi-official Fars news
The United States has never ruled out attacking Iran to end its
defiance over the controversial Iranian nuclear programme, which
the US alleges is aimed at making nuclear weapons but Iran
insists is entirely peaceful.
Iran has for its part vowed never to initiate an attack but has
also warned of a crushing response to any act of aggression
against its soil.
“If a war breaks out in the future, it will not last long
because we will rub their noses in the dirt,” said Chaharbaghi.
“Now the enemy should ask themselves how many of their people
they are ready to have sacrificed for their stupidity in
attacking Iran,” he said.
Iranian officials have repeatedly warned the military would
target the bases of US forces operating in neighbouring Iraq and
Afghanistan in the event of any attack and already has these
sites under close surveillance.
Chaharbaghi said that the Guards would soon receive “rockets
with a range of 250 kilometres (155 miles)” whereas the current
range of its rockets is 150 kilometres (91 miles).
“We have identified our targets and with a close surveillance of
targets, we can respond to the enemy’s stupidity immediately,”
Chaharbaghi added. He said that the Guards’ weapons were spread
out throughout the country and so would not be affected by any
isolated US strikes against military facilities.
European FMs launch new bid to end Lebanon
BEIRUT (AFP) - The foreign ministers of
France, Italy and Spain meet Lebanese leaders on Saturday to
discuss the long-running political crisis that threatens to
scuttle the country’s presidential election.
France’s Bernard Kouchner, Massimo D’Alema of Italy and Spain’s
Miguel Angel Moratinos arrived in Beirut late on Friday in the
latest international bid to end a standoff between the
Western-backed government and the Hezbollah-led opposition.
Ahead of their meetings with Prime Minister Fuad Siniora,
parliament speaker Nabih Berri and Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, the
influential leader of Lebanon’s Christian Maronite community,
the three ministers were headed to the south to visit their
contingents serving with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Kouchner said on arrival that he had come to try and ensure the
election within the constitutional deadline of a president who
enjoys “backing from all communities.”
The Lebanese parliament is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to elect
a new president, but all indicators point to the session being
postponed because of disagreement between the feuding factions,
as also happened last month.
Siniora’s government has been paralysed since opposition forces,
which include factions backed by Iran and Syria, withdrew six
ministers from the cabinet in November 2006 in a bid to gain
more representation in government.
Fears are running high that the standoff over the presidency
could lead to two rival governments, a grim reminder of the end
of the 1975-1990 civil war when two competing administrations
battled it out.