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Copter crashes off Atal Manali home

Shimla (PTI): A helicopter belonging to a private skiing company crashed on Tuesday morning near Manali within minutes of takeoff, killing all four persons on board, including two foreigners.

The four-seater Lama helicopter belonging to Himachal Helicopter Skiing Company suddenly came hurtling down and broke into pieces after it took off from Pirni helipad at 8 am. The debris fell into a canal along the Pirni helipad highway, just a kilometre from the residence of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The wreckage was strewn all around the river bank.

The pilot was identified as Captain Krishan Tomar, 26. The foreigners were John Murphy, 30, from Japan and Xoch Castino, 24, from Columbia. The fourth victim was Madhvi Gautam, a receptionist working in a local hotel.

The skiing company is owned by an Australian, Rodey Mackenzie, who has been organising skiing activities as an adventure sport for the past 15 years.

This is the third time in the last year that a helicopter belonging to the skiing company has crashed. There were no casualties in the first two incidents.

Order reserved on Salman plea

Mumbai (PTI): A sessions court has reserved till May 2 its order on Salman Khan’s plea to drop the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in a hit-and-run case in which he was booked for killing one person and injuring four.

Principal judge A.J. Dholakia reserved the order after hearing arguments by prosecutor R.V. Kini and Salman’s lawyer Adik Shirodkar. The court has directed the actor to be present on May 2.

If the court drops the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304, Part II of the IPC) then the case would be transferred to a magistrate for trying the other charges proposed to be framed against Salman. However, if Salman’s plea is rejected then the sessions court will frame all the charges against the actor.

The prosecution has already submitted a list of nine charges it proposes to frame against Salman under the IPC, the Bombay Prohibition Act and the Motor Vehicles Act.

The actor has disputed the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, saying it was not applicable to him. Salman has urged the court to drop the charge which can be tried by a court of sessions. He did not dispute the other charges.

Abduction case against MLA

Rae Bareli (PTI): A case has been registered against local MLA Akhilesh Singh and 20 others for allegedly kidnapping two contractors and opening fire on a police party.

The two contractors, who had gone to the PWD office to purchase tender forms for a contract of Rs 5 crore, were kidnapped allegedly by Singh’s supporters on Monday.

When a police party tried to stop them, they fired. The exchange of fire continued for some time. In the melee, one of the captives escaped. The abductors fled the scene leaving two vehicles.

Killer slur on cops

Betul (PTI): A man was allegedly beaten to death by police at Multai, but the police denied the charge. The police said the deceased, Jitendranath Haldhar, 60, who had been running a kiosk, died of heart attack. His son has alleged that Haldhar died after two cops beat him. The post-mortem report said he had died of a heart attack.

Row over history

New Delhi (PTI): CPM members in the Lok Sabha have sought immediate withdrawal of NCERT history school textbooks which allegedly glorify German Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and do not mention the assassination or the killer of Mahatma Gandhi.

‘Frivolous’ PIL fine

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court has dismissed a frivolous PIL and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on the counsel after the petitioner admitted before it that he was not aware of the contents of the petition. While imposing the fine, a division bench of Justices B.C. Patel and A.K. Sikri asked petitioner’s counsel Sugriva Debey to deposit the amount with the legal aid cell. The court also blasted the petitioner Subhash Jain.

Dutt passport

Mumbai (PTI): A special court allowed Sunjay Dutt, accused in 1993 Bombay blast case, to apply for a fresh passport, subject to certain conditions, as the earlier one had expired. Looking into his fair conduct in the past, designated judge P.D. Kode allowed Sunjay to apply for the passport but directed him to deposit the document within 24 hours with the court and warned him not to misuse it.

The National Human Rights Commission has registered more than three cases of custodial deaths per day during 2002-03. The data showed an increase as compared to the previous year with maximum cases from Uttar Pradesh.


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