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Bodies fished out of Andhra mine

Hyderabad (PTI): The bloated bodies of 17 miners, killed when an underground coal mine in Godavarikhani flooded, were retrieved on Wednesday after a 40-hour operation to pump out six lakh gallons of water.

“The bodies of all the workers trapped inside have been recovered and identified,” a spokesman of Singareni Collieries Company Limited said over phone from Godavarikhani.

On Monday, 17 miners engaged in clearing operations at a depth of 110 metres, were trapped after water gushed in from one of the coal seams.

The cause of the accident, the worst in the 114-year-old history of the company, was not known. The state government on Tuesday ordered a judicial probe by a sitting high court judge, amid fears of lack of proper mine safety measures.

The government has also announced an ex gratia of Rs 6 lakh for the families of each of the deceased.

Heavy-duty pumps were pressed into service to drain out nearly 6 lakh gallons of water that had gushed into the mining area.

Inspector caught taking bribe

Mumbai (PTI): A senior police inspector, attached to the social security branch of city police, was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from a hotel manager to close a case registered against the hotel for running a prostitution racket.

Shankar Gopal Mahadik had demanded a bribe of Rs 3 lakh from the manager of Juhu Residency Hotel, Laxmikant Pawar, and was taking a part payment of Rs 1 lakh when he was arrested by investigators of the anti-corruption bureau on Tuesday night.

Following a complaint lodged by Pawar, the bureau had laid a trap to arrest the police officer.

Two more police personnel, an inspector and an assistant commissioner of police, had also demanded bribes of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 15 lakh respectively from the hotel manager. While the inspector had accepted Rs 50,000 on June 16, the assistant commissioner had not yet been paid, bureau sources said. The two have not been arrested.

Recently, the social service branch of Mumbai police had launched a crackdown on prostitution. It had conducted raids on several hotels, including the Juhu Residency Hotel from where four staff members, three pimps and six prostitutes had been arrested. Investigations are still on.

Rain lashes north India

Chandigarh (PTI): Heavy rain lashed most of the northern states early on Wednesday, providing respite from the heat wave that had gripped the region.

It started pouring at Chandigarh in the wee hours and by early morning the city had received a good amount of rainfall at 84.4 mm, the meteorological department said. Most of Punjab also had good rain.

Amarnath yatra

Jammu (PTI): Over 40,000 pilgrims have registered for the Amarnath yatra till Wednesday, barely three days after the registration began. This year, a target of 1.12 lakh pilgrims has been set. Abdul Hamid, manager of Jammu and Kashmir bank, which is conducting the registration process, said an additional quota of 10,000 pilgrims has been arranged in the event of the target exceeding.

Confession

Washington (PTI): A US citizen accused of shooting a Sikh gas station owner in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks has admitted to the crime. The defence attorney for accused Frank Roque conceded in court that his client shot dead 49-year-old Balbir Singh Sodhi.

FIR against medics

Patna (PTI): An FIR has been lodged against two city doctors for negligence in identifying the blood group of a woman. The patient slipped into coma after being administered blood of a different group, police said. Dr Sunil Kumar and Dr P.C. Jha have been charged with criminal negligence.

Collector in trouble

Ahmednagar (PTI): A complaint has been filed against district collector Rajgopal Deora for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Dalits by refusing to meet their delegation. Police said the collector had refused to meet leaders of the Republican Party of India about a recent scuffle between members of the Dalit and Kanadi communities.

Language row

Durban (PTI): Indian cultural and language organisations in South Africa are irked at a proposal by the education minister to phase out teaching of four Indian languages in the country by 2006.

Tick

A tigress has given birth to a rare white cub at Mahendra Chaudhry Zoological Park near Chandigarh. Zoo director Kuldeep Kumar said white cubs, though rare, have been born in the past but have not survived for more than a couple of days.


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