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Nation at a Glance

Boy’s body in Australia quarry

Sydney (PTI): The body of an Indian schoolboy was found abandoned in a disused quarry in suburban Thornleigh under mysterious circumstances, sending shockwaves across the small Indian community.

Seventeen-year-old Samir Shah’s body was found on Saturday morning by a family member.

Inspector David Robinson said around 7.30 am on Saturday, the body was located by a family member at the bottom of a 15-metre cliff in the quarry in Eloura Bushland Natural Park.

“His parents have told us they last saw Samir at 7.30 am on Friday at their home in Morris Street in Thornleigh, when they left for work,” he added.

Samir was wearing his Pennant Hills High School uniform. His black leather shoes were found nearby.

“We are unable to say at this stage whether the death is suspicious or not. However, we are treating the circumstances as unusual. A post-mortem will be conducted on Tuesday which should determine the exact cause of death,” Robinson said.

Samir, from a Gujarati family, had left home for school and was to be picked up by his father from a coaching institute, where he used to go after school. But his father was told that Samir had not come for the class. Later, they learnt that he was neither in school nor on the bus that morning.

The evidence so far does not indicate whether he fell, was pushed or jumped. The Hornsby detectives probing the case have appealed for help from the public in solving the mystery.

Uttaranchal in Kumbh plea

New Delhi: The Uttaranchal government on Monday sought the Supreme Court’s permission to fix a temporary water reservoir in the Lakshman Jhoola area, within the Rajaji National Park, as part of its arrangements for the January 2004 Rishikesh Ardh Kumbh mela, reports our legal correspondent.

A vacation bench of Justices R.C. Lahoti and Brijesh Kumar issued notices to the Union ministry of environment and forests on Uttaranchal’s application detailing that the water reservoir would meet the demands of drinking water for lakhs of pilgrims expected to converge at the mela.

The apex court also referred the application to the standing committee of the Indian Board for Wildlife for its opinion.

The state government said a clear-water pond would have to be created to meet the drinking water needs of the pilgrims but the suitable area for the purpose fell within the protected area of the Rajaji National Park, warranting the permission of the apex court.

Prostitution racket busted

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi police on Monday claimed to have busted a high-profile prostitution racket by arresting eight persons, including a former model from Mumbai.

Following a tip-off, police planted a decoy and arrested one Kiran alias Kamlesh Verma alias Mummy (54), the kingpin of the racket, along with three girls and four touts from north Delhi on Sunday evening. Five cell phones were seized from them. One of the girls, Karishma, told the police she was a fashion model.

Cops get stick

Bhubaneswar: Two constables of Balasore police have been suspended on charges of making a juvenile delinquent walk barefoot in the sun after tying a rope around his waist in March, reports our correspondent. Constables Padmalochan Pradhan and Gourishankar Mahakud were reported to have also dragged nine-year-old Palli Siba by the rope tied to his waist.

Hazare complaint

Pune (PTI): More than a fortnight after Maharashtra minister for food and civil supplies Suresh Jain filed a defamation suit against anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, the latter filed a complaint against Jain. Hazare has filed a criminal defamation case against Jain for calling him a “fraud” at a press meet.

Illegal petrol sale

Ahmednagar (PTI): A man has been arrested for hoarding and selling kerosene, diesel and petrol illegally from his residence. Police said the man’s house was raided after a tip-off, and 200 litres of kerosene, 300 litres of diesel and 400 litres of petrol were seized. Devices used for distributing petrol, including a pump, were also recovered.

Pak tour reaction

Islamabad (PTI): Terming their visit a great success for promoting peace, members of the Indian parliamentary delegation said they were intrigued by the lack of response from the Pakistan government to their visit. “There is no direct or indirect message from (the) government of Pakistan. We are not aware what their agenda is. Seven of us from different political parties came from India and they have deliberately kept away,” delegation leader Kuldip Nayar said.

Tick

NGOs in Ahmednagar district will launch a campaign from July 25 to ensure that children up to the age of six go either to anganwadis or primary schools. At a workshop on Monday, participants decided to start a “children’s rights campaign”.


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