The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Toothbrush grounds BA flight

New Delhi (Agencies): A British Airways flight from Singapore to London carrying 178 passengers made an emergency landing in Delhi on Tuesday after a package containing a toothbrush sparked a bomb scare.

“A crew member saw a suspicious packet on the plane and thought it was a bomb,” S.K. Kain, police commissioner, said. “But it was found to be a gift packet containing some items like a toothbrush.” Kain said the aircraft landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 2.00 am and was taken to a “cooling pit”. Passengers on the flight, which originated in Sydney, were asked to leave the aircraft and security officials conducted a search.

Kain said the aircraft was in Indian air space when the pilot diverted it to Delhi.

A British Airways official said the Boeing 747 flight, BA 16, was scheduled to resume its journey in the evening. She said passengers had been moved to a hotel after they were given temporary visas to enter India. She said she had no other information.

A British Airways spokeswoman in Sydney said the flight crew “act with great caution at all times” and the captain decided to divert to Delhi after the suspicious package was found. “Since then, it has been established that the package was nothing else than a toiletries bag in a box,” spokeswoman Tessa Sexton told Reuters.

“Passengers applauded the captain when he arrived in Delhi for his textbook handling of the situation,” she said.

Tuesday’s incident is the third involving aviation security in the past few days, the first being a bomb scare on an Air Sahara flight at Patna airport and the second one being the arrest of a Bangladeshi national on suspicion of being a terrorist in Delhi on Monday.

Court notice on lewd shows

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court issued a notice on Monday to the Centre on a petition seeking to ban films and advertisements depicting sex, nudity and violence and prevent telecast of fashion shows and beauty contests by television channels.

Taking cognisance of a public interest litigation seeking a direction to the government for initiation of steps to safeguard interests of children, who were adversely affected by the impact of such films and advertisements, a bench of acting Chief Justice Devinder Gupta and Justice A.K. Sikri directed the Centre to submit its reply by January 14.

Ex-official jailed on porter plea

Dehra Dun (PTI): A CBI court has sentenced a retired railway official to one-year rigorous imprisonment in a corruption case, CBI sources said.

Holding that corruption charges by railway porter Mehboob Masih against the accused Lakhan Lal, a station superintendent, Moradabad, in 1989, were “correct”, CBI judge Indira Ashish sentenced Lal to one-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1000. Following a complaint from Masih, who said Lal had demanded Rs 100 as bribe, the latter was caught red-handed by CBI sleuths.

MLA guard hurt

Sonipat (PTI): The security guard of an Indian National Lok Dal MLA sustained knife injuries when he was attacked by two miscreants in Gohana. The miscreants attacked Ramesh Kumar and then fled on his motorcycle.

Cop suspended

Hyderabad (PTI): A sub-inspector of Ramagopalpet police station was suspended for alleged violation of human rights while investigating a cheating case. Police commissioner M.V. Krishna Rao said T. Sivan Naidu allegedly dragged out the accused, Mukund Kakani from his car when the latter was on his way to his office.

Cracker unit blast

Farrukhabad (PTI): Three members of a family were killed and three injured in an explosion in a unit manufacturing firecracker material in Nai basti. Some buildings were also damaged in the explosion which happened on Monday.

One electrocuted

Coimbatore (PTI): A woman was electrocuted when she came in contact with a live wire at Mangalam. The incident occurred when a high-tension wire snapped and fell on the woman at a bus stand.

Flight threat calls

New Delhi (PTI): As many as 263 threat calls were received since January affecting flight schedules across the country, with four calls on Tuesday. Only three of these calls were “live” with some truth in them, civil aviation minister Shahnawaz Hussain said.

A herbal preparation was found useful in treating diabetes in animals. Scientists from Fredrick Institute of Plant Protection and Toxicology in Tamil Nadu evaluated a herbal powder and said it was found to act as glucose lowering agent in rats.

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