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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Constable kills boss for denying leave

Lucknow: A constable of the Provincial Armed Constabulary in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday shot dead his boss and a security guard who tried to stop him and committed suicide, reports our special correspondent.

“Constable Mahendra Singh Yadav seemed to have lost his mind and gone berserk because his commanding officer refused him leave to attend his sister’s wedding,” said inspector-general Kashmira Singh.

Reports reaching state PAC headquarters indicated that Yadav had applied for leave last week but his unit commander Virendra Singh had sat over the request for days.

The wedding was to take place in Yadav’s village in Mainuri district tomorrow. This morning, the jawan was told that his leave application had been rejected.

Yadav then took out his rifle, barged into the commander’s room and shot him point blank. Security guard Basant Lal met the same fate as he rushed into the commander’s office.

After killing the unit commander and the guard, constable Yadav calmly walked out of the office and shot himself in front of his mates at the Banda police lines.

Additional director-general of police Vikram Singh admitted that the incident was but a symptom of the mental ill-health of the lower constabulary in the force.

Last month, a group of PAC jawans had revolted against their seniors and indulged in arson and rioting when one of their colleagues fell from a watch tower in the high-security Ram Janmabhoomi complex in Ayodhya.

Police top brass in UP is divided over the root cause of the malaise and its solution.

An additional director general of police had underlined the urgency of improving working conditions of the jawans after last month’s rebellion. But another group of officers had recommended harsher disciplinary measures.

American firm in Ganesh row

New Delhi (PTI): Upset over the image of Ganesh imprinted on slipper soles manufactured by an American firm, an agitated Congress member in the Rajya Sabha, Balkavi Bairagi, wanted the Centre to take up the matter with the American authorities.

Displaying photographs of such chappals that have appeared in newspapers, Bairagi said the company was selling chappals stamped with Ganesh on the soles in Canada. This was sacrilege, he said.

Bairagi raised the issue during zero hour and several Congress members, including Obaidullah Khan Azmi, wanted the government to ensure that such acts were not repeated.

Trishul not a weapon: court

Jodhpur (PTI): Ruling that tridents cannot be considered weapons, a local court has granted anticipatory bail to five VHP activists. The party workers are accused of displaying trishuls, banned in Rajasthan under the Arms Act.

dditional district and sessions judge Ajai Kumar Jain granted bail to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists, saying: “Every double-edged and pointed object cannot be considered a weapon. Tridents can not be placed in this category if they are small and have not been designed as weapons.”

Child fund query

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court has asked the Centre and several states to give within two weeks details of funds released and spent under the Integrated Child Development Scheme of the Union human resources development ministry.

Custody death case

Jammu (PTI): Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the Centre to pay within two months Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the parents of Maroof Ahmed, a Class XII student who died in the custody of security forces eight years ago. The parents in their petition alleged that their son was dragged out of the house by BSF personnel on February 10, 1995, and mercilessly beaten in custody that resulted in his death three days later.

Id holiday

New Delhi (PTI): The Centre has said May 15 will be the public holiday for Milad-Ud-Nabi, birthday of Prophet Mohammad. An official release said May 14, which had earlier been declared a public holiday, would now be a working day for all Central government offices here.

BSNL officer in net

Patna (PTI): The anti-corruption wing of the CBI has arrested an employee of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited on charges of accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a customer for processing a telephone bill. Official sources said that soon after his arrest, Manjar Hasan was produced before the court of the designated CBI judge who sent him to judicial custody.

The Badrinath shrine was reopened on Thursday for pilgrims after a break due to the winter. The kapaat was opened by the chief priest who performed puja along with five pathees — Veda reciters — who chanted hymns in praise of Vishnu.

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