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Maran admitted to Apollo again

chennai: Union minister Murasoli Maran returned from the US on Sunday and has been re-admitted to the Apollo Hospitals for further treatment.

The DMK leader, who was being treated for the last 10 months at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, had not reported any significant improvement after he was flown there by a special air ambulance on November 13 last year.

Maran has been battling for his life since September 2002, when he was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals where he underwent an emergency valve replacement surgery. Maran had earlier undergone a replacement surgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi in July last year, but it allegedly turned out to be “defective”.

However, the minister developed serious complications at Apollo last year with multiple organ failure. He was then put under dialysis. Subsequently, his family, after consultations with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had him shifted to the Methodist Hospital in the US.

A large contingent of DMK leaders, including deputy general secretary M.K. Stalin, Union ministers T.R. Baalu and A. Raja, thronged the airport to receive Maran, who was brought in a stretcher.

DMK president M. Karunanidhi, who is also Maran’s uncle, told reporters that his condition was “not bad now”.

Vajpayee is expected to call on Maran in hospital during his visit to Chennai on September 13, Baalu told reporters.

No seats for Pakistan pilgrims

ajmer (PTI): Only three pilgrims from Pakistan could make it to the annual Urs festival this year due to absence of air link between India and Pakistan and non-availability of seats in the Delhi-Lahore bus, sources said.

All the three pilgrims, who visited the dargah of sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, had to travel via Dubai, dargah sources said.

Strict passport and visa regulations also came in the way of pilgrims, the sources said.

Till a few years ago, a large number of pilgrims from Pakistan used to attend Urs and most trips were sponsored by their government, the sources added.

The six-day festival came to a close on September 4.

Uttaranchal bar on buying land

dehra dun (PTI): The Uttaranchal government has decided to bar outsiders from purchasing agricultural land in the state. However, the decision would not be applicable to industrialists who want to set up units in the state.

The state cabinet also gave its nod to a proposal under which only farmers and their family family members with names registered in the revenue records would be eligible to buy land. Others would have to seek permission from the district magistrate.

Pak gurdwara visit

New Delhi (PTI): The Centre has indicated its willingness to send a jatha of Sikh pilgrims to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra said on Sunday after meeting deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani. Tohra told reporters that the jatha would comprise about 500 pilgrims.

Cellphone gang

New Delhi (PTI): Four persons have been arrested for allegedly stealing cellphones in running buses and busy marketplaces. A car and 10 cellphones were recovered. They confessed that Vishal, the 29-year-old leader of the gang, had formed the group after being released from jail in a murder case in 2000.

Father kills self

akola (PTI): A man, whose teenage daughter has been missing for the past two months, committed suicide on Saturday after a skeleton was found at Kosgaon village, police said. The police had informed Pandurang Lodaji Thakre that a highly decomposed lower half of a human body had been found. Thakre rushed to the spot. Although he initially he refused to believe that the body was his daughter’s, Thakre later hanged himself to death.

Bank bomb arrests

gwalior (PTI): Four youths, including a constable, have been arrested for allegedly planting a bomb outside a State Bank of India branch in Indore. Police said the four had hatched a conspiracy to extort money from the bank manager. The bomb had been planted near the bank gate.

Tick

A three-day Kargil festival is on to lure tourists to the cold desert region. The festival, which was inaugurated on Saturday, will host cultural programmes, an archery competition and a polo game.


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