The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

IA staff suspended over Rabri seat row

New Delhi (PTI): A row over denial of a front seat to Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi in the executive class of an Indian Airlines flight has led to the suspension of two ground staff.

A deputy manager and a traffic superintendent of the airlines were suspended after an inquiry following a complaint by the chief minister that she was asked to take a rear seat on the Delhi-Patna flight (IC-809) when two BJP leaders — Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy and former minister C.P. Thakur — were given front seats, civil aviation ministry sources said.

“This is a humiliation for me and an insult to Bihar,” Rabri Devi said on reaching Patna. The chief minister said when she complained to civil aviation minister Shahnawaz Hussain, he assured prompt action.

The sources said the two personnel had not consulted the VIP register before allotting the seats. They were suspended on charges of dereliction of duty and not exercising their control and authority while allotting the seats. As per norms, VIPs, including chief ministers and Union ministers, are allotted front rows in the executive class.

Amarnath yatra comes to an end

Srinagar (PTI): Over one lakh pilgrims had darshan of the ice lingam during this year’s month-long Amarnath yatra, which concluded with the chhari mubarak (the holy mace of Shiva) reaching the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas early on Thursday.

Accompanied by several hundred devotees and sadhus, chhari mubarak reached the cave around 9.30 am after a night halt at Panchtarni. Led by mahant Dipender Giri from Dashnami akhada in Srinagar on August 17, it halted at Pahalgam till August 19 and then undertook the onward journey through the 45-km mountainous trek to the shrine.

Devotees paid their obeisance at the shrine since morning, the sources said, adding that Thursday was the last day for darshan of the naturally-formed lingam at the cave.

During the month-long pilgrimage that started on July 22, militants had killed 11 devotees and injured many in two separate strikes on the yatra.

Nine yatris were killed at Nunwan base camp in indiscriminate firing by a militant on August 6 and two devotees were killed when militants hurled a grenade at their vehicle at Anantnag on July 30.

Nineteen pilgrims died due to illness and other natural causes during the pilgrimage, official sources said.

Surgeons’ meet ends with death

Agra (PTI): Even while renowned neuro-surgeons of the country debated at a hotel here on how to provide swift attention to victims of brain injury, a young man returning home after serving dinner to them was knocked down by a speeding vehicle and died for want of attention from a neuro-surgeon just outside the hotel.

Sanjay along with his friend Rashid, was going home on a cycle when a speeding vehicle knocked him down outside the Jaypee Palace hotel, where the two had gone for catering, eyewitnesses said. They added that neurosurgeons passing by allegedly ignored them as they lay on the road before being taken to hospital.

Sanjay died immediately while Rashid was seriously injured. The 11th neuro-trauma conference organised by the Neurotrauma Society of India ended on Wednesday after expressing concern at the large number of deaths caused because of brain injuries in road accidents.

Tortoise return

Singapore (AFP): More than 1,800 endangered Star tortoises smuggled into Singapore are to be flown back to India, government officials said on Thursday. Arrangements have been made “to repatriate the Star tortoises that were confiscated from three smuggling cases this year”, the agri-food and vetinary authority said in a statement.

Temple tension

Muzaffarnagar (up) (PTI): Tension gripped Jalalabad town after two idols in a temple were found damaged, prompting the authorities to deploy additional force to maintain law and order. Devotees found the idols of Lord Hanuman and Nandi at the Radha Krishna temple damaged, triggering angry protests, police said.

Town Hall fire

New Delhi (PTI): A major fire broke out near the Town Hall in the congested Chandni Chowk area of old Delhi on Thursday afternoon, leading to the collapse of a building, fire department sources said. The blaze erupted in a shop opposite the Hall at around 1 pm and spread fast to other shops, they said.

One killed in clash

Kollam (PTI): One person was killed and another injured in a clash between two groups at Punnamoodu near here on Wednesday evening, police said. The dispute started regarding the dismantling of a temporary shop at a local Onam market. No one has been arrested. The other people involved in the clash were missing.

Thirty-three-year-old D. Muniappan Raju of Salem in Tamil Nadu has set out from his hometown walking backwards. Through this unique endeavour, Raju wants to spread awareness about Aids and promote world peace.

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