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Nation at a Glance

Church mulls AIDS test for marriage

Thrissur (PTI): The Catholic diocese here is considering a proposal to make blood tests mandatory for aspirant couples before solemnisation of marriages to check “innocent youth falling prey to AIDS”, church sources said.

The proposal came up for “serious discussion” at a recent conference of priests under the Thrissur archdiocese where Archbishop Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy promised to consider the matter, the sources said.

Medical check-up and production of blood-test certificates were compulsory for Catholic marriages in the US and some European countries, according to Father Francis Karippery, the general secretary of the Nazrani Catholic Priests’ Conference.

“The matter has been discussed by the priests’ conference and it is expected to be placed in the next meeting of the synod,” Karippery said.

“It often happens here that young people employed outside the state come home on short leave and get married without giving the girls’ parents time to make sufficient enquiries about the background of the grooms. This exposed the innocent girls to the danger of HIV infection. If blood test is made compulsory, they would be saved from eternal plight,” Karippery, also vicar of St Xavier’s church at nearby Koonammoochi, said.

HC probe on Apollo facilities

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court has sought views of a panel on whether they are interested to inquire into the alleged denial of free treatment to patients by Apollo hospital here, which has an agreement to this effect with the Delhi government.

Apollo is supposed to keep 33 per cent of its 600 beds reserved for poor patients referred by the government and also provide free treatment to such patients in the outpatient department.

The arrangement is part of an agreement between Apollo and the government in lieu of land worth several crores provided for building the hospital at a nominal rate.

A division bench of Justice Usha Mehra and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog said the panel should file its responses by January 21.

The committee of S.K. Sarin of G.B. Panth Hospital, advocate Amarendra Sharan and architect Akshay Jain was appointed by the court in July to examine the facilities for poor patients at the hospital.

The court, in its earlier order, had said the panel would examine whether “parity” was maintained between free and paying patients and the beds made available to the poor.

The panel was also required to examine that the category of patients being referred to the hospital by the government and whether any criterion was being followed in selecting them.

Marching order on doctors

srinagar (PTI): For the first time since the outbreak of militancy, the Lashkar-e-Jabbar, a lesser-known militant outfit, has asked non-Muslim doctors to leave Kashmir within 10 days.

It put up a poster at the doctors’ hostel of the main Srinagar hospital, asking the non-Muslim doctors to leave. The poster created panic among about 12 non-Muslim doctors, sources said.

The outfit earlier carried out acid attacks on women to enforce its burqa diktat.

Murder arrests

Mumbai (PTI): Mumbai police claimed to have cracked the triple murder case of senior citizens with the arrest of three persons, belonging to a nomadic tribe in Maharashtra. On December 22, 2000, Rusi Homi Awari, his wife and mother were found murdered in their flat, police said.

Rajasthan cold

Jaipur (PTI): Mercury plummeted to minus one degree Celsius in Churu in Rajasthan as the state continued to reel under severe cold wave, the meteorological office said. Pipelines burst in Churu. The condition will prevail for the next 48 hours.

Submarine case

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court has allowed the CBI to file closure report in the HDW payoff scam after the agency failed to get any cooperation from German and Swiss authorities in probing the 13-year-old submarine case. The CBI was probing the alleged 7 per cent commission to middlemen by Germany’s HDW company to clinch the Rs 420-crore deal for supplying two advance-class submarines to India.

Haldia workers

Haldia: The management of the closed unit of Hindusthan Fertiliser Corporation here has agreed to hand over 1,000 quarters of its employees to the Haldia Development Authority, says our special correspondent. The unit was closed in December, rendering over 1200 workers jobless.

Businessman freed

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi police have rescued a Gurgaon-based businessman from Uttar Pradesh. Four persons were arrested.

A book on legendary freedom fighter Birsa Munda was released in New Delhi on Tuesday by Union minister Karia Munda. The book, written by educationist Anuj Kumar Dhan, has been published by the publications division.


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