Kailash pilgrimage gets China nod
Beijing (PTI): The Kailash Mansarovar yatra, deferred after the SARS scare, is scheduled to resume from July 8. The yatra will be on a lower scale with China deciding to reopen Tibet to foreign tourists from July 1, official sources said on Sunday.
“Tibet autonomous region will resume tourism activities from July 1 and begin to receive domestic and overseas tourists,” the official Xinhua news agency reported from lhasa quoting regional tourism bureau officials. China had halted tourism in the Himalayan region from April 25, but following the control of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak, Tibet was now safe for tourists, it said.
Director of the regional tourism bureau, Zhang Wansheng said intra-regional tourism activities would resume from next Saturday and the region would receive tourists outside Tibet from July 1.
The closure of Tibet to foreigners had resulted in the postponement of the yatra through the Lipulekh pass route.
Sources said at the request of the Indian government and keeping in view the importance of the pilgrimage, the Chinese government has informed India that they will receive Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims.
Pak sets envoy’s Delhi date
Islamabad (PTI): Pakistan’s high commissioner designate to India Aziz Ahmad Khan is set to leave for India on June 30, Pakistan’s information minister Sheikh Rashid said here last night.
Khan was not available to confirm the date.
His Indian counterpart, Shivshankar Menon, is expected to take over his posting here in the second week of July. Menon, who will shortly relinquish his present post as ambassador to China, is now busy with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit to Beijing.
He is expected to wind up his stay in Beijing towards the end of the month and begin preparations to reach here by the second week, Indian diplomats here said. Earlier, Khan had hinted that he planned to go by the first bus to India if the two countries managed to restore the bus service by that time.
The Pakistan government has said Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali may inaugurate the first bus from Lahore to New Delhi.
Leap from burning train
Batala (PTI): Several passengers jumped out of a speeding train, on the Amritsar-Pathankot section, in panic after they saw smoke emanating from a bogie, police sources said.
The smoke came out of the train due to excessive heat generated by the brake shoes of one of the bogies, railway sources said. No major casualty was reported as the train was running at a slow speed, they added.
Armymen in brawl
Nashik (PTI): Nearly 50 armymen allegedly went on a rampage damaging a restaurant after an altercation with a waiter and injured two of the staff. The incident occurred at Devlali Camp’s Lam Road locality when armymen got into an altercation with a waiter of Agra Hotel on Saturday, police said. They allegedly beat up the waiter and the hotel staff. The police have registered a case.
Gaya (PTI): The security of Gaya district and sessions judge Jawahar Lal Choudhry has been tightened after he received threats from the Maoist Communist Centre, official sources said. Choudhry has been receiving threats ever since he awarded capital punishment to eight MCC activists for killing 32 upper-caste men in Bara village in February 1991, Gaya superintendent of police Sanjay Singh said.
Kanpur (PTI): A trader kidnapped on June 11 was rescued by police after an encounter with the kidnappers here, police said. On a tip off, the police stopped the vehicle in which the kidnappers were travelling at a check post in the city, superintendent of police Navneet Rana said. The abductors opened fire on the policemen and during the firing they pushed their hostage Rajendra Gupta out of the car and fled.
Bike lifters killed
Allahabad (PTI): Three persons were lynched by a mob while they were fleeing after allegedly snatching a motorcycle from a person at gunpoint in Khosra Kurd, police said. The trio was trying to escape after stealing the bike when they were surrounded by villagers, who beat them to death.
The Heritage Building in Mumbai, which housed the country’s first magnetic observatory and the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, is being converted into a World Data Centre for Geomagnetism and a museum. The building is more than 175 years old.