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Terror law invoked against Halder

Washington (PTI): Prosecutors have invoked Ohio state’s terrorism law, which carries the death penalty, against Indian-American Biswanath Halder, charged with a shooting rampage in the Western Reserve University. One person was killed and two injured in the shootout on May 9.

Halder, 62, from Cleaveland, was arraigned during a video conference yesterday from the Cuyahoga county jail. Common pleas judge Christopher Boyko ordered him to remain in custody without bond.

Halder, who hails from Calcutta, has pleaded innocent to the 338 charges against him.

The indictment accuses Halder of terrorism with purpose to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.

Based on a law passed in New York after the September 11 terror attacks, Ohio Governor Bob Taft signed a Bill on May 15, 2002, to strengthen the state’s ability to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism.

Prosecutors said they would seek Halder’s death penalty if he was convicted of aggravated murder. Separately, a terrorism charge could lead to the death penalty because it specifies aggravated murder as part of the crime.

Halder, a graduate of the very prestigious business school of the university where the shooting took place, was charged with killing Norman Wallace, 30, a graduate student from Youngstown. He was also charged with the attempted murder of police officers and civilians, kidnapping, aggravated burglary and illegal weapons possession.

Chandigarh cop kills son, self

Chandigarh: A Chandigarh police constable shot dead his son and critically wounded his wife before killing himself on Saturday in his house at Nayagoan, Punjab.

A police spokesman said Hira Lal, who left his control room duty around 8 am, showed no signs of nervousness when leaving for his house bordering the Union Territory.

“He left for home after completing his duty from Sector 3. After reaching home, he took his daughter Ankita, 4, to school as usual but brought her back when he found it closed. Then something happened to him and he shot his son, Parveen, 9, and wife Rajwanti with his service revolver,” the spokesman said. However, Ankita and another son, Neeraj, 6, escaped unhurt.

Parveen died on his way to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research while Rajwanti has been admitted to hospital.

A senior police officer denied the incident had anything to do with leave or misbehaviour by a senior officer. He said Rajwanti’s statement had ended speculation that Lal’s action was in response to ill-treatment.

Karnataka to pray for rain

Bangalore (PTI): Faced with acute water scarcity and the prospect of a delayed monsoon, the Karnataka government has decided to seek divine intervention. Prayers will be held on June 4 and 5 at various places of worship.

Minister for rural water supply K.B. Koliwad said all MLAs have been asked to mobilise people and organise prayers. He said he would visit all places of worship in Ranebennur district to offer prayers. Chief minister S.M. Krishna, too, has visited several temples praying for rain.

Delhi protest

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi transport minister Ajay Maken, health minister A.K. Walia and education minister Raj Kumar Chauhan rushed to Kirti Nagar on Saturday morning after learning that a fire had broken out in a slum while civic authorities were demolishing it. They sat in a dharna there and chief minister Sheila Dixit cut short her Srinagar visit to join them.

Illegal mining

Jaipur (PTI): Rajasthan High Court has issued notices to the state government and a minister on a PIL alleging illegal mining by the minister’s son. A division bench issued notices to the government, minister for woman and child development Madhav Singh Diwan and his son Kishen Singh on a PIL filed by the Paashan Utpadak Sahkari Samiti.

Namdev custody

Mumbai (PTI): CISF jawan Raj Namdev, who shot his deputy commandant at Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport and held six colleagues hostage last Saturday, was remanded in police custody till June 6. Namdev was produced before the additional metropolitan magistrate amid tight security.

Girl raped

DinhatA (Cooch Behar): The grandmother of an 11-year-old girl lodged an FIR with the police here alleging that a 35-year-old man had raped the minor on May 28. She has been admitted in the sub-divisonal hospital here in a critical condition. Malick Bibi said a neighbour forced himself on the girl when she and her husband, with whom the girl lives as her mother works in a tea garden in Chalsa, were away from home.

The Rajasthan government will grant special leave without pay up to five years to its employees to enable them to seek jobs elsewhere in India or abroad or go in for business. The scheme has become operational after publication of rules by the state.


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