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NATION BRIEFS

Salman relief

Mumbai, Dec. 27: Salman Khan gets a birthday gift today as a metropolitan court exempted the actor from personal appearance in the 2002 hit-and-run case.

Three weeks ago, the court has issued summons to him on a complaint that he was delaying the trial with the connivance of Mumbai police. Salman pleaded he was not responsible for the delay and sought dismissal of the complaint. In the case, he was alleged to have crushed five persons, killing one of them, sleeping on a pavement under his car.

Death penalty

Tirunevlei (PTI): A special court here has sentenced two men to death for murdering four members of a Dalit family, including two children, at a village in the Tamil Nadu district in 2007.

Rape arrest

Beed (PTI): A 23-year-old differently abled woman was allegedly raped by her uncle and cousin several times this year in a Maharashtra village, police said. Both the accused have been arrested. A medical examination has confirmed the rape.

Tiger killed

Bhopal (PTI): A tiger was killed after it walked into an electric trap laid by poachers in the territorial forest area of Madhya Pradesh’s Katni district in the intervening night between December 25-26, officials said. This is the third incident of its kind this month.

Cold deaths

Lucknow (PTI): Cold claimed 13 more lives in the past 24 hours in Uttar Pradesh where Agra freezed with the minimum temperature at 2.6C on Thursday. The death toll because of intense cold this winter rose to 34 in the state. The maximum temperatures remained below normal by 8-10C, officials said.

Drug haul

New Delhi (PTI): Anti-narcotics police seized multiple drug parcels that were couriered to foreign shores from a Delhi post office on Wednesday. About 2kg of the narcotics consignment had returned after they failed to get delivered at the addresses given in Estonia, Canada, Russia and Sri Lanka.

Guard charges

Mumbai, Dec. 27: The prosecution today slapped attempt to rape charge against the watchman of lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha’s building.

Over four months ago, Pallavi was allegedly murdered by the watchman for resisting his advances. Police had earlier claimed that Sajjad Mughal, 22, used to ogle the 25-year-old victim. The court is likely to frame charges, including trespassing, murder and attempt to rape against Mughal next month.

Tiger census

New York (PTI): Tiger population in India has significantly increased in the wild because of protection of big cat habitat and stringent anti-poaching patrols, the Wildlife Conservation Society said. It estimates that only 3,200 tigers exist in the wild.

DD ex-staff

New Delhi (PTI): A court has dismissed a former Doordarshan cameraman’s plea to lodge a corruption case against an I&B secretary and various officials of the broadcaster for want of requisite statutory sanction for it. P.P. Singh had alleged that DD officials had been allotting work to their “own persons to advance their own interests”. But the persons who got the work were “inefficient”.

Blast arrests

Mumbai, Dec. 27: The Maharashtra anti-terror squad has arrested three persons in connection with the August 1 Pune blast case.

Sayyed Arif alias Kashif, Munib Iqbal Memon and Farooq Bagwan, were remanded to custody till January 1. The arrests follow the interrogation of four others who were held by Delhi police in October. Their custody was attained by the squad last week.

Shettar wife

Belgaum (PTI): Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar’s wife Shilpa suffered minor injuries when the car in which she was travelling was hit by another car near Belgaum on Thursday, police said. Shilpa was going to attend a wedding at Bellad Bagewad when the car coming from behind brushed against her vehicle.

Flight timings

New Delhi (PTI): Flight operations at Indira Gandhi International Airport remained normal for the second consecutive day on Thursday despite moderate to shallow fog. Delhi airport had witnessed dense fog for three consecutive days earlier this week, leading to delays in the schedule of over 300 flights.

Biodiversity

Thiruvananthapuram (PTI): Junior HRD minister Shashi Tharoor has expressed concern over vast loss of biodiversity globally. He said it was the collective responsibility of people and governments to ensure the preservation of fauna and flora.

Arms haul

Jammu (PTI): Security forces on Thursday busted a militant hideout and seized huge cache of arms and ammunition in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban. One Pika gun, one RPG launcher, 4 UBGL grenades, 235 rounds of pistol, 267 AK rounds, 246 rounds of 7.62 mm Light Machine Gun and 790 Pika gun rounds were seized, police said.

Cop axe

Bilaspur (PTI): A police officer was suspended on Thursday in Chhattisgarh for allegedly refusing to register a rape complaint of a tribal woman. The woman, allegedly raped by an auto driver on December 18, went to lodge the complaint eight days later but the officer refused to take it.