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HIV-infected kids face school exit

Thiruvananthapuram: Two HIV-infected children, who fought their way into a government school two weeks ago, will have to quit the institution and take their lessons at home, reports our special correspondent.

After a stormy meeting between the parent-teachers’ association and the government, education minister Nalakath Soopy announced that five-year-old Benson and seven-year-old Bency would be taken out of school. The government would pay for their education at home, he added.

The children, who lost their parents to AIDS, were admitted to the Kummanaloor lower primary government school in Kollam after being turned down by several institutions over the past two years. The admission was granted after the siblings held a day-long sit-in outside the chief minister’s office on February 14. But all the other 119 children stopped attending school after the brother and sister joined, for fear of contracting the HIV virus.

At a meeting on Tuesday evening, local legislator Prathapa Varma Thampan of the ruling Congress launched a scathing attack on the children’s grandfather for sending them to school.

District collector Rajan Ghorbade, education secretary P. Mara Pandiyan and health officials were also present. Education Minister Soopy, who was to attend the meeting, failed to show up.

About 500 people, many of them parents of the school’s students, had gathered to find out the outcome of the meeting. Large numbers of policemen had been deployed at the spot.

Brothers batter lovers to death

Agra (PTI): In a gory end to a love affair, a Muslim girl and her Hindu lover were battered to death at a village, 60 km from here, early on Thursday.

Senior police superintendent V.K. Maurya said 18-year-old Bimla Pathan and 20-year-old Guddan were struck by iron rods and lathis at Sarendhi by the girl’s brothers. Munna, Mukesh and Bantu had objected to her affair.

Maurya said Guddan had sneaked into Bimla’s room on Wednesday night. When the brothers saw them together, they beat the duo to death.

Maurya said one of the three brothers gave himself up at the Jagner police station. He confessed to the police to having killed Bimla.

The police reached the spot and found the lovers in a pool of blood. The other brothers surrendered later, Maurya said.

The villagers had once helped Guddan escape thrashing when he was caught meeting Bimla. Her family had imposed restrictions on their meetings. Guddan’s father Nathi Singh has lodged an FIR against Bimla’s brothers.

Zzzz... Kochi to Doha to Kochi

B>lNedumbassery (PTI): A woman who had taken a flight from Kochi to Doha to join her husband returned to Kochi in tears. All because she kept sleeping.

Praseela took Air-India’s Bahrain-Doha flight on Wednesday to join her husband, Sherin, an engineer there.

During the four-hour journey, Praseela slept off but woke up only when the flight was taxiing on the runway to return to Kochi. Information was given to the crew immediately but it proved futile as the flight had already started for its destination, airport sources said. Sources said arrangements have been made to put the lady on a Doha flight on Friday.

Cops convicted

B>lPATNA (PTI): Patna High Court has convicted four police officials, including deputy police superintendent S.P. Mandal, in the sessions judge assault case. The court sentenced them to two months simple imprisonment.

Boy roasted

B>lNAShIK (PTI): A three-year-boy was roasted alive while his mother received burn injuries in a fire which broke out in Sinnar taluka of the Konambe-Shivar district on Wednesday. Five labourer families living in as many huts were left homeless following the sudden fire, police said. The young boy was identified as Sanjay Dattu Wagh, police said adding, his injured mother was admitted to Nashik civil hospital.

Fishermen freed

B>lChennai: Ninety-three of the nearly 120 Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly detained by Sri Lanka returned to Rameshwaram on Thursday after chief minister Jayalalithaa wrote to the Prime Minister, urging his intervention for their immediate release, reports our special correspondent. The Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner said both sides were “very concerned” about the latest developments.

Sunjay summons

MUMBAI (PTI): A special court has summoned Sunjay Dutt on Friday as a witness in the case of alleged Bollywood nexus with the underworld that involves film financier Bharat Shah. Sunjay is expected to throw light on his alleged links with gangster Chhota Shakeel.

In a tribute to Emperor Akbar who commissioned an artistic project based on mythical story of “Hamza” during his rule, a three-month-long exhibition of paintings from the Mughal court opened at the Victoria and Albert museum in London on Thursday.


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