Bankers walk, police say rescue
Hazaribagh: Mystery surrounds the release of the bank employees abducted by Maoist Communist Centre extremists during Tuesday’s robbery at the State Bank of India’s Banaso branch.
Police claim the Maoists, under pressure from a joint team of Hazaribagh and Bokaro police, were forced to release the employees late on Tuesday night after a fierce exchange of fire. But there are few takers for this account since there were no casualties nor any arrests and the employees returned to Banaso on their own.
Indeed, the recovery of 25-30 kg of explosives in Bokaro’s Chatrochatti jungle and the presence of landmines along the route suggests that the extremists were working to a plan when they released cashier Tulsi Das Kamali after proceeding some distance towards Bokaro. The idea was that Kamali would tell police what route the Maoists had taken and the police would walk into a trap. They planned to blow up the vehicles carrying the policemen once they entered the jungle.
This version appears most likely, going by the account of bank manager Rajkumar Maheshwari and probationary officer Rajesh Kumar Sinha. The employees said they were made to sit blindfolded in a vehicle with their hands tied behind their backs as the extremists fled the scene of robbery. After about an hour of driving, everyone alighted near a hill and the employees were made to walk along a forest path amid pouring rain.
Anupam Kher new chief censor
New Delhi (PTI): The government on Wednesday named actor Anupam Kher the new censor board chief and said a task force would be set up to review the film certification body’s guidelines.
“I have selected Anupam Kher on the government’s behalf. He epitomises a perfect blend of offbeat and traditional films and he has graciously accepted,” information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The post has been lying vacant for over a year after director Vijay Anand left in a huff following a controversy over a proposal on separate theatres for adult films.
The minister also said the government plans to review the guidelines of the Central Board of Film Certification, which were last reviewed in 1991. He did not lay down any time frame but said they would be done at the earliest.
bout increasing piracy in the audio visual media, Prasad said: “Subhash Ghai... will give us suggestions within three weeks after which we will frame our terms of reference on how to check piracy.”
Ex-jawan in espionage net
New Delhi (PTI): Police claims to have busted an espionage ring active in the capital for about five years with the arrest of an ex-armyman and his associate.
Krishan Kumar, who served as a hawaldar in the army till recently, was arrested near Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri, barely 300 metres away from the Pakistan High Commission on Tuesday evening and “some sensitive defence documents” were recovered from him, police sources said. He was allegedly waiting there for a Pakistani intelligence operative to hand over these documents, they said.
Gadag (PTI): Bagalkot district in north Karnataka has received very heavy rain over the past week, thanks to cloudseeding. The second radar set up here for tracking clouds in the state, after Jakkur near Bangalore, has been working perfectly, Gonal Bheemappa, deputy commissioner of Gadag district said.
New York (PTI): Frank Silva Roque who killed Indian immigrant Balbir Singh Sodhi four days after the September 11 terror attacks, suffered from acute stress and brief periods of psychosis, a psychiatrist testified before a jury on Wednesday. The jury in Mesa, Arizona, which had already convicted the 44-year-old of first degree murder rejecting his insanity plea, is now considering whether he should be sentenced to death.
Srinagar: Former National Conference minister Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Shah has been booked, along with some senior officials, for abusing their official position and causing loss to the state exchequer, reports our special correspondent. Shah, a close relative of Farooq Abdullah, was the housing and urban minister.
Mumbai (PTI): Dismissed CISF jawan Raj Namdev, facing charges of gunning down his senior A.R. Karanjikar at the international airport four months ago, was released on Wednesday from the central prison. He had obtained bail from the sessions court on Monday. Namdev was released at 8.45 am after he complied with the bail conditions, his lawyer said.
The Union health and family welfare ministry plans to launch an awareness drive through health melas in each parliamentary constituency early next year. The Centre will contribute Rs 10 lakh for a three-day and Rs 15 lakh for a five-day mela.