The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Musharraf signals gurdwara gesture

Lahore (PTI): The Pakistan government is ready to provide unrestricted passage to Indian Sikh devotees who want to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur in the country without a passport or visa.

President Pervez Musharraf has offered to provide the devotees with a corridor that would be fenced on both sides. No passport or visa would be required, but pilgrims would have to return within a few hours the same day, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee co-chairman Sham Singh and senior officials of the Pakistan Evacuate Trust said.

Gurdwara Kartarpur is 3 km from Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur, with the Ravi separating them. A bridge which joined the two gurdwaras was bombarded during the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

Till 1960, there was unrestricted passage to Indian Sikh devotees to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur, crossing the bridge.

With the opening of the free corridor, Indian pilgrims would be able to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur throughout the year.

Hundreds of Sikh devotees from across the world had congregated at Gurdwara Hanslabad in Lahore recently, where a temple marks the birthplace of Guru Nanak, and at a temple in Nankana Sahib near Lahore to celebrate Baisakhi. Nearly 100 Indian Sikhs had been given special permission to cross into Pakistan through the Wagah border for the occasion.

PWG blasts cellphone towers

Hyderabad: The People’s War Group has struck at towers of the AirTel and Idea cellphone operators in the vicinity of the city where two of the group’s members were killed in an encounter on Sunday, reports our special correspondent.

Ramana Reddy, the PWG’s coordinator in the state capital, and his gunman Oblesh were killed and some militants caught near the towers, after being tracked down because of the cellphones.

The blasting of two towers had disrupted the mobile phones operating in the zone for over 24 hours on Wednesday.

The PWG members also attacked Bandamedhapalli village in Rapthadu mandal of the drought-hit Anantpur district, where they raided the houses of four rich farmers and looted grains, goods, including television, cell phones and clothes, and cash worth Rs 1 crore.

District police officials said the militants came in four tractors and raided the houses. It “appeared like the action of a highway robbers rather than extremists’ who kill for a cause”, said district superintendent of police Kanaka Rao.

In another incident, two members of the Janashakti faction were killed in an encounter near Kamalpur in Warangal district with personnel of the state special armed police. Six militants escaped, police said .

Blasts before Mufti visit

Srinagar (PTI): One policeman was killed and three injured when militants set off two powerful improvised explosive devices at Tral in Pulwama district, hours before the scheduled visit of the chief minister.

A constable of the bomb disposal squad was killed and two of his colleagues critically injured when militants detonated an IED they were trying to defuse, the sources said. The IED was noticed by Border Security Force personnel after a similar device left a BSF jawan injured.

Mulund weapon

Mumbai (PTI): Police have recovered an AK-56 rifle, allegedly belonging to the prime accused in the Mulund blast case, Saquib Nachan, during a raid on a house in Padgha village. It was reportedly given to Nachan by suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Abu Sultan, they said. The blast in a train at Mulund killed 11 people on March 13.

Nine in hospital

Mumbai (PTI): Nine persons were hospitalised when they complained of suffocation after inhaling poisonous fumes in an underground tunnel. Six of them, working for a construction company, are in serious condition.

Patwardhan film

Mumbai (PTI): Bombay High Court has ordered the Central Board of Film Certification to issue within a week “U” certificate to Anand Patwardhan’s anti-nuclear documentary, War and Peace, without imposing any cuts or making additions in the footage. The cuts ordered by the board were integral part of the film and could not be deleted, the court said.

Lankan girl dead

Madurai (PTI): The body of a 20-year Sri Lankan was found in a decomposed state at a house here, where the student was staying as a lodger, police said. The girl from Trincomalee was doing her graduation in a college.

Skulls from canal

Allahabad (PTI): Five human skulls were recovered from a canal near here, causing panic among villagers, police said. The jute bag containing the skulls was detected by a group of children playing near the canal.

The Indian Business Club at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has instituted the Global Indus Technovators Award to honour 20 people from South Asia who have contributed to the development of revolutionary technologies.

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