Tuesday July 16, 2019
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BSF retrieves heroin worth Rs. 20 crore in Punjab

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18 January 2012 AMRITSAR Border Security Force officials showing 17 kilogram heroine valued at around Rs 85 crore in international market and about Rs 10 lakh fake Indian currency notes which were smuggled by a Pak smuggler who was shot dead by BSF patrolling party near Bhairowal border outpost near Indo Pak international border about 50km from Amritsar on Wednesday. PHOTO PRABHJOT GILL AMRITSAR

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Chandigarh: Border Security Force (BSF) troopers retrieved 4 kg of heroin worth Rs. 20 crore being smuggled along the India-Pakistan border in Ferozepur sector, BSF spokesman said on Monday.

border PTIHe said the heroin was found near the border outpost (BoP) Rattoke in the Ferozepur sector, over 300 km from here. The seizure was made following a tip-off about heroin being smuggled into India from Pakistan.

“The BSF troopers observed suspicious movement of Pakistani smugglers on the other side of border security fence near the International Border. The smugglers started throwing some packets over the fence,” a BSF spokesman said.

“The troopers opened fire but the smugglers managed to escape,” the spokesman added.

The heroin packets were recovered from the spot following a search later on.

Including the latest haul, the BSF has seized nearly 148.5 kg of heroin this year in the Punjab sector, including 61.7 kg in the Ferozepur sector.

The seizure of heroin in 2014 was 361 kg in the Punjab sector, which was the highest in any year.

With inputs from IANS

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India Aborts Launch of Spacecraft Intended to Land on Far Side of Moon

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher

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India, Spacecraft, Moon
A spectator holds an Indian flag after a mission of Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-2, with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on board was called back because of a technical snag in Sriharikota, India, July 15, 2019. VOA

India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher, Indian Space Research Organization spokesman B.R. Guruprasad said.

The countdown abruptly stopped at T-56 minutes, 24 seconds, and Guruprasad said that the agency would announce a revised launch date soon.

Chandrayaan, the word for “moon craft” in Sanskrit, is designed for a soft landing on the lunar south pole and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
FILE – Indian space scientist and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization Kailasavadivoo Sivan speaks during a press conference at the ISRO headquarters Antariksh Bhavan, in Bangalore, June 12, 2019. VOA

With nuclear-armed India poised to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, the ardently nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology. If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth to do so after the U.S., Russia and China.

Dr. K. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, said at a news conference last week that the estimated $140 million Chandrayaan-2 mission was the nation’s “most prestigious” to date, in part because of the technical complexities of soft landing on the lunar surface, an event he described as “15 terrifying minutes.”

After countdown commenced Sunday, Sivan visited two Hindu shrines to pray for the mission’s success.

Criticized program pays off

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Practically since its inception in 1962, India’s space program has been criticized as inappropriate for an overpopulated, developing nation.

But decades of space research have allowed India to develop satellite communications and remote sensing technologies that are helping solve everyday problems at home, from forecasting fish migration to predicting storms and floods.

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this month, the world’s biggest space agencies are returning their gaze to the moon, seen as ideal testing grounds for technologies required for deep space exploration, and, with the confirmed discovery of water, as a possible pit stop along the way.

“The moon is sort of our backyard for training to go to Mars,” said Adam Steltzner, NASA’s chief engineer responsible for its 2020 mission to Mars.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff. Pixabay

Seeking water on the moon

Because of repeated delays, India missed the chance to achieve the first soft landing near the lunar south pole. China’s Chang’e 4 mission landed a lander and rover there last January.

India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. The Indian Space Research Organization wants its new mission’s rover to further probe the far side of the moon, where scientists believe a basin contains water-ice that could help humans do more than plant flags on future manned missions.

The U.S. is working to send a manned spacecraft to the moon’s south pole by 2024.

Also Read- Around 53% People Interested in Travelling to Space: Survey

Modi has set a deadline of 2022 for India’s first manned spaceflight. (VOA)