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

Copter crash probe begins

Pune (PTI): Civil aviation ministry officials have begun an inquiry into Sunday’s helicopter crash. Five persons, including two foreigners were killed in the forests of Peth-Shahpur in the crash near Lonavla, 100 km from here.

Collector of Pune, Madhukar Kokate, who reached the spot on Sunday night said civil aviation officials were conducting an inquiry into the cause of the mishap and a search was on for the black box of the helicopter.

Though only civil aviation ministry officials will be able to tell the exact cause, prima facie it seems the pilot might have experienced poor visibility as the weather was foggy in the hilly area, Kokate said.

The helicopter belonging to Raymonds’ Million Air company was returning to Mumbai after visiting the Sahara group's Amby Valley project in Lonavla, police said.

Meanwhile, after post-mortem, three bodies have been handed over to relatives, while consulate officials of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in Mumbai have taken possession of the bodies of their citizens, Kokate said.

The deceased were identified as Omar Ziad Jaffar al Askar from the United Arab Emirates, Ar Salaam Roumi Nowcer, an Iranian, Jacob from India and two pilots, captain N.K. Bharadwaj and captain K.K. Malhotra.

Himachal govt fined for cola ads

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore on the Himachal Pradesh government to rectify the damage caused by Cola advertisements painted on rocks in the Himalayas, reports our legal correspondent.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice B.N. Kirpal and Justices K.G. Balakrishnan and Arijit Passayat directed the state government to pay the amount as part of the estimated interim Rs 5 crore package, for restoration work which is to be carried out with the aid of foreign experts.

Earlier, the court had imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh each on the cola majors — Pepsi and Coca-Cola — for defacing the rocks and damaging the ecology of the Himalayan region. The estimated restoration cost is Rs 5 crore, according to the expert committee sent by the apex court. In Monday’s proceedings the committee said the errant companies would have to pay further compensation. The court also watched a video recording of the Himalayan area done by the committee.

Penalising the state government, the court said in its brief order that “it is the duty of the state government to protect the environment and for dereliction of this duty Rs 1 crore will be deposited by the state of Himachal Pradesh to meet the expenses for restoration of ecology”.

Bajrang Dal ire on Koreans

Begusarai (PTI): Bajrang Dal activists attacked a group of South Koreans staying at the house of a co-religionist here.

They snatched valuables including passports, camera and around Rs 20,000. They injured one of of the Koreans, for their alleged bid to convert Hindus to Christians, police said. The district police superintendent said about a dozen activists attacked the house of Anil Juit. An FIR has been lodged and three have been arrested.

Trader stabbed

Ahmedabad (PTI): A trader was injured after he was allegedly stabbed by a fellow trader in Navapura area. The incident occurred over some business matter between the two, who belong to different communities, police said. Meanwhile, the situation in Fatehpura and its adjoining areas, which witnessed clashes last Friday was peaceful, police said.

Teenager kills self

Durban (PTI): A 15-year-old girl of Indian origin committed suicide using her grandfather's gun. Thirona Angappan, an eighth standard student shot herself in the head after locking herself in the bathroom.

Cops suspended

Basti (PTI): Three policemen were suspended in connection with smuggling of cow hide and animal fat in the district, superintendent of police Ashutosh Pandey said. It was found that smuggling of cow hide and animal fat was on in connivance with these policemen.

SBI manager held

New Delhi (PTI): CBI has arrested a branch manager of the State Bank of India on charge of taking a bribe of Rs 4,000 from local businessman Gurcharan Singh for a loan sanction. V.C. Jain, manager of SBI's Laxmi Nagar branch was arrested by the anti-corruption branch on a complaint lodged by Singh.

LCA test-pilot quits

Bangalore (PTI): Wing commander Rajiv Kothiyal, the Indian Air Force test pilot who first flew the prototype of the Light Combat Aircraft, has resigned for personal reasons. He said he was quitting the job to give quality education to his children.

Seven years after Lord Ganesha reportedly “drank” milk, it was now Lord Shiva's turn to attract devotees with divine signs as people thronged various Shiva temples in Rajkot since Sunday to see the om and trishul symbols appear suddenly on shivalingas.

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