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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Drunk invitee fires on bridegroom

New Delhi: The marriage ceremony of a Samajwadi Party leader’s family member in Ghaziabad turned sour on Sunday when his prospective son-in-law was shot at by an invitee, reports our special correspondent.

The occasion was the marriage of the daughter of Samajwadi’s Dadri MLA Narender Bhati at Mihir Inter College, more than an hour away from Delhi, local police said.

Union minister for food and civil supplies Ashok Pradhan was present at the wedding during the incident.

The Delhi-based groom, Tapesh Choudhary, was garlanding the bride when Chaman Sharma shot him from up close. Sharma is a friend of Bhati’s brother.

A drunk Sharma was up on the stage and about to bless the couple when he fired in the air once. Then he pulled the trigger again, hitting Tapesh in the neck, Meerut inspector-general of police Karamvir Singh said. The scared guests ran for cover.

Tapesh was rushed to Yashoda Nursing Home in Ghaziabad, a satellite district of Uttar Pradesh, before being shifted to Apollo Hospital in Delhi, police said. His condition is critical.

According to the police, Sharma was with the family when Tapesh was taken to the nursing home. Later, he went missing. The local police have launched a manhunt to nab him.

Buddhist claim on Puri temple

Bhubaneswar: Dalit leader and neo-Buddhist campaigner Udit Raj stirred a hornet’s nest on Monday when he demanded excavation of the 13th-century Jagannath Temple at Puri, claiming that a Buddhist temple had existed at the site, reports our correspondent.

Raj, who a few months ago had announced his decision to convert over one lakh Dalits to Buddhism, said the temple has been built on a “disputed” plot of land. Calling upon Hindu leaders to hand over the temple to Buddhists, Raj claimed that the Hindus had taken over the temple. “Even Swami Vivekananda had agreed that Jagannath temple is actually a Buddhist one,” said Raj, who is the national chairman of the All-India Confederation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Organisations.

The Dalit leader also claimed that the disputed site at Ayodhya was actually Buddhist. Raj said Fa Hien, during his visit to India in the fifth century, wrote about Ayodhya along with Kosala and Jetvan Vihar as belonging to Buddhists.

Indians in brothel net

Mahottari (Nepal), (RSS): Two Indians were arrested for allegedly attempting to take a girl to India with the intention of selling her in a brothel, police said.

Ranjit Dhuman (45) and Brajesh Sharma (35) were taking a 20-year-old girl to Sitamadhi with the promise of finding her a decent job when the police stopped them at Bhitthamod. They were arrested and sent to the district police station in Mahottari.

Marriage mishap

Kanpur (PTI): A 75-year-old woman was killed and about two dozen people were injured when a balcony of an old house collapsed during a marriage reception here. A large number of women had gathered at the balcony to watch the reception. Most were discharged after first aid.

Abduction arrests

Dharmapuri (PTI): Four persons were arrested on charges of kidnapping a Rajasthan-based trader. Police said that following an anonymous call that a silk saree trader was being abducted in a car, they searched vehicles on Bargur-Dharmapuri Road and rescued the man. The police said the trader came to collect his due.

Vij to visit Nepal

New Delhi (PTI): Army chief General N.C. Vij will go on a four-day Nepal visit on Tuesday, as the Maoist-infested kingdom moves towards a dialogue. Vij will hold talks with his Nepalese counterpart, General Pyar Jung Thapa. King Gyanendera Bikrambir Shah is likely to confer an honorary rank of general of the Nepalese army on him. Vij will visit the Indian Army-run ex-servicemen welfare centres for its Gorkha jawans, including the pension payment centres in Pokhra.

Cow slaughter

Pratapgarh (PTI): Cow slaughter and recovery of three quintals of beef triggered tension in a village near here. Five persons were arrested with the recovery of beef from them, police said.

Collision kills four

Yamuna Nagar (PTI): Four members of a family were killed when their car collided with a trolley near here. They were returning from Kurukshetra.

Velu Latchumanan, a palm leaf manuscript expert, is copying all the 1330 couplets of the Thirukural, written by Thiruvalluvar about 2000 years ago, on palm leaves at the government museum in Chennai. He is expected to complete the task on April 30.

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