Asia Briefs: India cancels tycoon's passport over debt

India cancels tycoon's passport over debt

MUMBAI • India's Foreign Ministry has cancelled Mr Vijay Mallya's passport in a bid to force the tycoon and founder of failed Kingfisher Airlines to return to the country and pay off loans which the government estimates at US$1.4 billion (S$1.9 billion).

In a filing through his lawyers last week, Mr Mallya said he is not a wilful defaulter and the airline's collapse in 2012 was a genuine commercial failure. He also offered to pay US$240 million to show his intent to repay the debt.

A message on the ministry spokesman's official Twitter account yesterday said the decision had been taken after considering Mr Mallya's replies to several government notices about the case.


Student arrested over killing of professor

DHAKA • Bangladesh police arrested an Islamist student yesterday over the gruesome murder of a professor one day earlier, the latest such killing claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

Attackers wielding machetes almost beheaded English professor Rezaul Karim Siddique on Saturday in the north-western city of Rajshahi, following a string of similar killings of secular activists by Islamist militants.

The 58-year-old was hacked to death as he walked to the bus station from his home. The student was from Rajshahi University, where Professor Siddique taught.


Violent storms kill at least 8 in Myanmar

YANGON • Violent storms which saw hailstones the size of golf balls rain down across Myanmar have killed at least eight people and damaged thousands of buildings, officials said yesterday.

The freak storms struck across five states last Friday and Saturday after weeks of heatwave temperatures regularly topping 40 deg C.

"From what we know now there are eight people killed and 7,500 houses destroyed during these days," said Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement director Phyu Lei Lei Tun.

Pictures and TV footage showed huge hailstones crashing onto flooded streets and clattering off metal roofs as residents rushed for shelter.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs: India cancels tycoon's passport over debt'. Subscribe