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Nation at a Glance

7 jawans blown up in strikeback

Ranchi: Retaliating against the arrest of some of its “hit squad” members a fortnight ago, suspected People’s War extremists on Wednesday blew up a vanful of Jharkhand Armed Police jawans ferrying salaries for their colleagues, reports our correspondent.

Seven jawans were killed when their vehicle ran over a landmine close to a bridge near Kenda Ghati in Palamau district. The explosion, which occurred around 10.30 in the morning on the Daltongunj-Aurangabad highway, was so powerful that the van was flung several metres into the air. Two jawans were critically wounded.

Inspector general of police (operations) R.C. Kaithel said the PW appeared to have taken revenge against the arrest of 14 of its men by Palamau police, but the extremists did not touch either the money or the arms of the jawans. The injured have been taken to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences. The reprisal strike came within a few hours of the Naxalites setting ablaze a panchayat building in Vishrampur police station area late on Tuesday night. This is the fifth landmine explosion in Palamau and its adjoining Garhwa district this year.

Joshi raps MPs on tech seats

New Delhi: Human resource development minister Murli Manohar Joshi pulled up colleagues from his own party, when they demanded a berth in the decision-making committees of National Institutes of Technology, reports our special correspondent.

Soon, there will be 17 NITs to give “quality” engineering education. Twelve institutes have already been established and five are in the pipeline.

The exchange between the Union minister and the BJP MP took place during Tuesday’s consultative committee meeting when S.P. Gautam asked Joshi why MPs were not included in the committees. Gautam argued that members of Parliament represented the people and it was strange why not a single one of them was on the NIT committee.

Joshi, however, refused to consider the suggestion. Instead, he turned the tables on the MP, saying he would like to know how many of them took serious interest in a subject like human resource development. According to sources, the minister said the presence of 12 MPs of a total of some 32-odd consultative committee members indicate the level of interest members of Parliament have in the subject.

Student killed in tempo crash

Phagwara (PTI): A schoolgirl was killed and 15 students of G.D.R. Day Boarding Public School were injured when their tempo was hit by an LPG loaded truck.

The tempo overturned due to the impact of the collision and the children had to be extricated with difficulty. Five-year-old Himani died on the spot. Two of the critically injured were hospitalised. The truck driver has been arrested.

Bofors hearing

New Delhi (PTI): Counsel Ram Jethmalani concluded his arguments before the special court hearing the Bofors pay-off case, terming the CBI charges against the Hindujas as “fallacious” and pressed for discharge of the accused. He said the government could not have cheated itself as accused Rajiv Gandhi, who was the Prime Minister when the deal was signed, represented the government.

More BA flights

Chennai (PTI): British Airways has proposed to operate seven additional flights from Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, British Airways international division head Mike J. Hall said. The services will begin from next year if all required clearances were made by the Centre.

Law reports on CD

New Delhi (PTI): The Law Commission of India has decided to make available on compact discs its 179 reports submitted to the government on important legal issues. The decision was taken by the 16th Law Commission, a release said. The CDs will be available in a pack of three priced at Rs 450.

Steroid smuggler

Chennai (PTI): Customs men, at the Chennai airport arrested a person considered to be the mastermind in several cases of steroid smuggling in bulk from Hong Kong. Nazir ur Rehman was involved in smuggling steroids to the tune of Rs 30 lakh.

MLA loses seat

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court set aside the election of Karnataka MLA Subhash Kallur from Humnabad on grounds that he had a subsisting construction construction contract with the government on polling day.

Andhra Pradesh, holding the dubious distinction of being home to the second largest number of HIV positive cases, also emerged a major supplier in flesh trade. Eighty per cent of commercial sex workers in Goa and 45 per cent in Delhi are from this state.


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