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Nation at a Glance

CBI probe ruled out in Shivani case

new delhi: Minister of state for home I.D. Swami on Saturday rejected the demand for a CBI probe into the murder of journalist Shivani Bhatnagar even as Delhi High Court admitted a PIL seeking transfer of the case, reports our special correspondent. The case is likely to come up for hearing on Monday.

Prime suspect Ravi Kant Sharma’s wife Madhu had demanded that the CBI probe the murder of the Indian Express principal correspondent, who was found dead in her east Delhi apartment in January 1999. The murder storm has also sucked in Union parliamentary affairs minister Pramod Mahajan.

Swami told reporters in Panipat “there is no need for a CBI inquiry as investigations by Delhi police are in the final stages”. “Moreover, the matter concerns the Delhi government and not the Centre,” he said.

n Madhu’s allegation that Mahajan was “involved”, Swami said: “Allegations without proofs are meaningless. Let her give some proof to substantiate her allegation.”

Delhi police have ruled out investigating Mahajan. “We will question everybody whose name figures in our investigation in the case. But his name has not figured. So there is no question of questioning him,” police commissioner R.S. Gupta said.

Gupta said the police would not question anyone unless his or her name figured in the investigations. The police official said the media had created an “unnecessary hype” about the case, which was just one of the thousands for the police.

The PIL was filed by Manish Mishra, who drew a parallel with the Jain hawala and fodder scam cases which were transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Mishra said the conduct of Delhi police had come in question as they could not trace the main accused who is at large even after a month.

Mishra, the general secretary of the Lok Janshakti Party, said there was an impression that the police could be subjected to pressure. The police chief can be removed by a single executive order, so independent functioning of the police was always in doubt, he contended.

Doctor fakes sister death for off

london (PTI): A non-resident Indian surgeon, who claimed that his sister and uncle were killed in the September 11 terror attacks in the US so that he could get time off from work, has been suspended for a year for telling lies.

After finding Dr Sidharth Sahni guilty of serious misconduct, the General Medical Council’s professional conduct committee ruled that his behaviour had been dishonest, misleading and unprofessional. At a hearing yesterday, the committee concluded that he had told a series of lies to get time off from jobs he held at three different hospitals and ordered him suspended from practice for a year.

Dr Sahni, who is from New Delhi and is believed to be in India, has not responded to the charges. He was ordered to attend a fresh hearing before the end of his suspension period.

Mysterious disease kills 8

shivpuri (PTI): Eight children in the age-group of one month to eight years have died of an unidentified disease in the past 20 days in Madkheda village under Pohri tehsil in the district.

Sources in the district medical health office said medical teams had been sent to the village to identify and check the disease. The district collector has also toured the affected village. Residents of the village said some of the kids died after developing high fever or getting pox.

Rakhi for assaulter

dehra dun (PTI): It was an irony that on the very day Babita wanted to tie a rakhi on Raj Kumar Sharma, a senior Delhi police official with a history of involvement in drunken brawls, he lured her into his house and allegedly raped her. Sharma had allegedly assaulted the 27-year-old mother of three at gun-point on Thursday evening after he told her to come and wash clothes.

Hinduja plea

new delhi (PTI): A Delhi court on Saturday reserved its order on the Europe-based Hinduja brothers’ plea for quashing the CBI chargesheet against them on the ground of “inordinate delay in the probe and trial” in the Bofors payoff case. Special judge Prem Kumar, who heard the arguments stretching over a month from the Hindujas’ and the CBI, said he would pronounce the order on August 29.

Tortoises return

hyderabad (PTI): As many as 1,830 Indian Star tortoises smuggled to Singapore were rescued and brought here for rehabilitation. The tortoises would be housed in the exhibit area of the Nehru Zoological Park here, which has the facility and expertise to take care of the animals. The place of origin of these slow-moving reptiles would be decided after a thorough mythological and scientific analysis, the sources said.

Transplant agency

new delhi (PTI): The government has set up a national facility at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences to act as a nodal agency for organ donations and transplantations from the brain dead, officials said on Saturday. The Organ Retreival Banking Organisation, would act as a body at the national level in terms of maintaining the lists of terminally-ill patients who are waiting for transplant of a vital organ such as heart and liver. Dr P. Venugopal from Orbo said after the first nodal officers’ meet.

International folk dance troupes would participate in the week-long famous Kullu Dussehra festival to be celebrated from October 15 to 21. Cultural troupes from Hungary and Japan have already confirmed their participation.


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