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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Three Bisleri plants lose licences

New Delhi (PTI): The Centre has cancelled the ISI quality-mark licence of seven plants, including three producing the Bisleri brand.

The total number of bottled water companies facing cancellation of the ISI standard licence has now risen to 20 in less than a month after the Bureau of Indian Standards launched a nationwide quality-inspection drive.

During its latest crackdown, the bureau has imposed “stop-marking” order on Avon Food and Bevarages of Hyderabad, Annam Associates of Eluru and Pallavi Industries of Vishakhapatnam — all manufacturing Bisleri water, official sources said on Friday.

“Their licences were withdrawn for different discrepancies found during inspections, including consecutive failure of samples and unsatisfactory performance,” they said.

Stop-marking orders were also issued against Tora Purified Water of Tiruvallur (Tamil Nadu) manufacturing the Spring Up brand and Rainbow Mineral Water of Sattur (Tamil Nadu) producing the Rainbow brand, they said.

The other two firms facing action are Sri Springs of Eluru (Kalpana brand) and Ganga Mineral Water of Poonamallee (Ganger brand), the sources said.

The licence of 13 plants of well-known bottled and packaged water companies had already been cancelled.

Akalis boycott Governor speech

Chandigarh: Setting the tone for an acrimonious budget session in the Punjab Assembly, the Shiromani Akali Dal, in an unprecedented move, has boycotted the address of Governor Lt Gen. (retd) J.F.R Jacob, reports our correspondent.

The party claimed that it was protesting against the “Amarinder government’s brutal atrocities against farmers, Dalits, employees and traders, its blind vendatta and confrontation with those opposed to it, its broad daylight murder of democracy and its wanton and unashamed interference in the religious affairs of the people”.

pposition leader and Shiromani Akali Dal president Parkash Singh Badal said: “We request the Governor to set a precedent by directing his government to put a stop to immoral activities and refrain from waging a war against its own people.”

Minor girls burnt to death

lucknow: Three persons, including two minor girls, were burnt alive when an irate mob raided a minority-dominated village in Shravasti district of eastern Uttar Pradesh on Friday, reports our correspondent.

The mob was enraged at the killing of a neelgai in Kataramafee village on Thursday night, mistaking it to be a cow. The Shravasti police superintendent has been suspended and the inspector-general of police (Gorakhpur zone) has rushed to the spot.

Salman visit

Jodhpur (PTI): Salman Khan, facing trial for hunting and poaching black bucks and chinkaras in 1998, has been allowed to go abroad. A trial court accepted his plea to go abroad for shooting and stage shows on the condition that on return, Salman would present himself before the court.

Mangrove stricture

Bhubaneswar: Orissa High Court has charged the government with not only neglecting the precious mangrove forests along the state’s coast, but also sleeping over repeated orders from the court to initiate concrete measures to protect the forests, reports our correspondent. The high court passed the ruling in response to a public interest litigation on the Bhitarkanika mangrove sanctuary.

Insat-4 satellites

Bangalore (PTI): The Isro plans to launch seven satellites of the Insat-4 series to augment its capacity to 250 transponders by 2007. Its annual report said the transponder capacity has been worked out after evaluating the requirement projected for different uses by departments.

Jaya plea on Tamil

chennai: A day after the DMK-sponsored Opposition met here to condemn the ADMK government’s invocation of the anti-terror legislation against political leaders, chief minister Jayalalithaa sought to take the sting out of the criticism eulogising the glory of the Tamil language, literature and culture, reports our special correspondent. Jayalalithaa, who kicked off a tour of southern Tamil Nadu from Tirunelveli on Thursday, iterated the state’s demand to the Centre to declare Tamil as a “classical language”.

Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya will be the first woman inspector-general of Uttaranchal. An IPS officer of the 1973 batch, the inspector-general of CISF will join state police on deputation. Bhattacharya will be the lone woman IPS officer in the hill state.

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