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Nation at a Glance

Bail for emissary picked by bandit

bangalore: The high court on Thursday granted conditional bail to Tamil nationalist Kolathur Mani in three cases, clearing the decks for despatching the activist as emissary to negotiate the release of Janata Dal leader H. Nagappa from the clutches of Veerappan. Mani will have to furnish a bond for Rs 1 lakh and two sureties of a like sum, reports our special correspondent.

Mani seems likely to complete the formalities by Friday. The court also directed Veerappan’s chosen emissary to appear before the police at Kollegal, a taluk headquarters near Mysore, where the cases were originally registered, once in 10 days.

The bail granted by Justice H.N. Narayana has come as a blessing for the S.M. Krishna-led Congress government. Now it can meet the bandit’s demand that Mani be sent to the Satyamangalam forests to negotiate the release of the former Karnataka minister without withdrawing the cases against him.

Veerappan’s threat to behead Nagappa if Mani did not come by November 30 had pushed the government into weighing the option of withdrawing the cases — involving charges under Tada and the arms and explosives Act — against Mani for the last five days.

Joshi terms for education funds

new delhi: Human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi has told foreign agencies willing to invest in the primary education sector that the aid will have to be on the terms set by the Indian government and “not by them”, reports our special correspondent.

“There are lots of foreign agencies from the World Bank to others willing to make investments in the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. But we have told them we will not accept any conditionalities and also not the advice of foreign experts,” said Joshi.

Earlier this week, a Dutch delegation called on the minister and expressed willingness to invest in the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and the Mahila Samakhya — a programme for women.

Joshi told the delegation that the donors will have to keep in mind India’s specific requirements. There should not be any “distortion” of programme and “leakage of funds”, he said.

To hammer home the point, he had told the delegation that India would achieve its goal of education for all by 2010, whether or not it gets assistance from foreign countries, Joshi revealed during an informal interaction with the media on Thursday.

Abducted trader rescued

#039;l durgapur: Police on Thursday rescued businessman Shib Kumar Agarwal, who was abducted on November 2 from Barakar under Kulpi police station, reports our correspondent.

A team of Asansol Police rescued Agarwal from Dhanbad. One person has been arrested in this connection, police said. Agarwal was abducted while taking his morning walk near his home. Police said a racket, operating in Central Bihar and Jharkhand, was behind Agarwal’s abduction.

Rape sentence

nashik (PTI): A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 2,000 for kidnapping and raping a minor girl. The accused, Minesh Sonavane, hailing from Lakhamapur village, befriended the victim after promising to marry her.

Bodies found

jaipur (PTI): The bodies of seven members of a family, including five children, have been found in a reservoir in Bikaner district, police said. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem.

Indian PoWs

new delhi (PTI): Alleging that 54 Indian Prisoners of War (PoW) were languishing in Pakistani jails, a voluntary organisation has demanded their immediate release. “Pakistan has no right to hold Indian prisoners captured during the 1971 war after India returned 5,000 sq km of territory and released 93,000 Pakistani soldiers it had captured,” International Awakening Centre president Majaz Mungeri said.

Bribe arrests

nashik (PTI): An official in Sinnar taluka in the district and his accomplice were caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 700 from a farmer. Sources said the money was demanded to take note of land “paisewari”.

Shepherd killed

hisar (haryana) (PTI): An oil tanker crushed to death a shepherd and his sheep near Nimri village on the Ratia-Tohana road, police said. Some shepherds along with their 80 sheep had come to Ratia in search of fodder.

Thiruvananthapuram cobbler George has quite an order. He is busy making rubber and leather sandals for Ganesan, a 76-year-old tusker at the Nevyattinkara Krishna temple here. Ganesan, suffering from a footsore, has been advised footwear by doctors.


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