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Nation at a Glance

Capital’s cruelty list lengthens

New Delhi: Before Delhi could recover from the rape of a diplomat, it woke up to news of a riot triggered by a custody death.

A 32-year-old phone-booth owner from west Delhi has died after being allegedly beaten by Delhi police in custody, reports our special correspondent.

Five personnel from Madipur police chowky picked up Sushil Kumar from his home in the locality’s Jhuggi Jhopri colony around 11 pm on Monday. Chowky in-charge Rajbir Singh, head constable Kishan Singh and constables Rohtash Singh, Jai Prakash and Robin Singh had been told that residents of the slum cluster were gambling.

Around 12.15 am, a badly bleeding Sushil was dumped outside his house. He was rushed to Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. His family said he was physically tortured.

The police conducted an autopsy to find out the nature of injury. Sub-Inspector Rajbir Singh and the four others have been suspended, deputy commissioner of police (west) Satish Golcha said. A case of murder has been registered against them. Rajbir, he said, had failed to lodge daily diary entries regarding his arrival at and departure from the chowky and on the questioning of the suspect.

The action, however, failed to pacify the slum dwellers, who pelted stones and blocked traffic in the area. Even arson was reported as seven vehicles, including four buses and a government Maruti Gypsy, were damaged. The police took over seven hours to pacify the mob.

Air link offer to Lanka

New Delhi: India has offered Sri Lanka’s designated airlines the facility of daily services between Colombo and the key metros in the country, besides “unlimited access” to and from 18 tourist destinations, reports our special correspondent.

There is also a proposal to ask the private airlines that operate within the domestic sector to extend their services to Sri Lanka. The two sides also agreed to work out a defence cooperation agreement and decided to enhance surveillance of their maritime zones to minimise incursions.

These proposals came at the end of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s official visit to Delhi on Tuesday evening. Over the past two days, he met Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and several other leaders, including deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, foreign minister Yashwant Sinha, commerce minister Arun Jaitley and defence minister George Fernandes.

Janshakti leader shot

Begusarai(PTI): The vice-president of the Lok Janshakti Party’s farmers cell in the district was gunned down by unidentified criminals, prompting supporters to obstruct rail traffic on the Samastipur-Khagaria section of East Central Railway.

Satyendra Prasad Singh was shot dead on Monday while he was returning from Garhpura station, district police chief Rajesh Chandra said. The supporters did not allow the police to take away the body for post-mortem and pressed for compensation and blocked the traffic.

Liquor shop relief

New Delhi(PTI): The Supreme Court has ruled that licence holders of liquor shops, ordered to be closed during the period of heightened tension in Uttar Pradesh immediately after the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya, are entitled to seek licence-fee remission from the government.

Doctors face heat

Bangalore(PTI): Angry over the defiant attitude of doctors and nurses who have refused to stay in their quarters, the Karnataka government has decided to take harsh steps, including termination of service. As many as 1,142 doctors and 1,324 assistant nurses and midwives will be served “chargesheets” as a last resort and action will be initiated later, minister for health and family welfare Kagodu Thimmappa said.

Salman trial

Mumbai(PTI): A court has exempted Salman Khan from appearance in a hit-and-run case on Tuesday and deferred the trial to November 18. Prosecutor Rajan Khandekar urged for an adjournment as the Maharashtra government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the Bombay High Court order dropping the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against him.

Mysterious virus

Morena(PTI): Three persons died of a mysterious disease at Sikroda in the district in the past four days while about 300 people have been affected, chief medical officer Dr K.M. Ojha said on Tuesday. A team of doctors, which visited the village, examined about 200 patients and tested their blood samples, has concluded that the disease was caused by some viral infection.

Tick

Over 20 plays drawn from different parts of India and representing different theatre forms will be staged at the 12-day Prithvi festival to celebrate the silver jubilee of the cultural hub in Mumbai. It will be organised at four different venues in the city.


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