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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

A-I blast-accused pleads guilty

vancouver (Reuters): A Sikh activist pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Monday for his role in the 1985 bombing of Air-India Flight 182 — the world’s deadliest act of aviation sabotage before the hijacked airliner attacks of September 11, 2001.

Speaking in a crowded courtroom amid tight security, Inderjit Singh Reyat announced his plea less than two months before he was set to go on trial with two other Sikh activists, Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri.

All 329 people aboard Flight 182 were killed when the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet crashed off the Atlantic coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985.

The bombing, and a related explosion that killed two airport workers in Tokyo, were both alleged to be in revenge for the Indian Army’s 1984 storming of the Golden Temple.

Reyat served 10 years on a manslaughter conviction for building the airport bomb. He is the first person to have entered a plea in connection with the Flight 182 attack.

Police allege that both bombs were built in the Vancouver area and were loaded on to Canadian flights that connected with Air-India by an unknown man who paid cash for the tickets but did not board the aircraft himself.

Malik, a wealthy Vancouver businessman, and Bagri, a sawmill worker from Kamloops, British Columbia, were arrested in October 2000.

CRPF set to raise strength

Mumbai: (PTI): The Central Reserve Police Force will raise 64 new battalions by 2005 to take complete charge of internal security, director general S.C. Chaube said.

The CRPF will also modernise its training programme, weaponry and communication system at a cost of Rs 843 crore, he said.

Addressing a Sainik Sammelan at Taloja in Navi Mumbai, Chaube urged CRPF personnel to devise innovative strategies to deal with bigger challenges to internal security.

“As per the recommendations of the group of ministers, the CRPF will replace the BSF and the ITBP in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast in a phased manner within the next three years,” Chaube said.

Reviewing the achievements of the force, he said the CRPF has killed 240 extremists in more than 300 encounters and apprehended 2,017 militants in 2002.

It has also recovered 747 arms, 670 grenades, rockets and bombs and 975 kg of explosives, he added.

Polio-drive staff penalised

barabanki (PTI): The block development officer of Fatehpur and the child development officer of Dariyabad were suspended on Monday for being absent during the pulse polio drive.

The officers were found absent from work during a surprise inspection. District magistrate R.S. Verma has also ordered an inquiry against three doctors of the Tikaitnagar community health centre and stopped their salaries for a month for their laxity during the drive.

Blasts case

mumbai (PTI): A special court on Monday exempted for three weeks actor Sunjay Dutt and 86 other accused in the 1993 bomb blasts case and fixed a deadline of March 10 for the CBI to produce the absconding accused. Many of the accused, including Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, Anees Ibrahim and Javed Chikna, are absconding.

Temple loot

kanpur (PTI): Burglars broke open an alms box in the Shri Satya Sai Baba temple in the Bithoor police circle and decamped with the cash. Police are inquiring into the incident that occurred late on Sunday night.

Pig haul

Jammu (PTI): Police seized five trucks carrying pigs on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway at Ramban, 180 km from here, on Sunday night. Tipped off about the smuggling of bovines to the Valley ahead of Id, the police set up a checkpoint at Ramban. The animals were being brought from RS Pura in Jammu.

Six die in mishap

rampur (PTI):Six persons were killed and 12 injured when the jeep in which they were travelling crashed into an Uttar Pradesh state bus near Milak town in the district on Sunday. The driver of the overloaded jeep, carrying 22 passengers, lost control over the vehicle and hit the Shahjahanpur-bound bus.

Gujarat tremor

new delhi (PTI): A quake of slight intensity struck Bhavnagar district in Gujarat early on Monday, the meteorological department said. It measured 2.8 on the Richter scale.

B>FOOtnote: Arundhati Roy is set to join the Desh Bachao Desh Banao Abhiyan, a national-level campaign against globalisation and communalisation launched by the National Alliance of People’s Movement.

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