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

Togadia slur on Sonia before HC

New Delhi: Delhi High Court will take up on November 1 a public interest litigation filed against Vishwa Hindu Parishad general secretary Praveen Togadia, reports our special correspondent.

The PIL seeks the court’s directive for initiating criminal action against Togadia, who, it alleges, had made “defamatory, vulgar, immoral, contemptuous and illegal” remarks against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and chief election commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh.

Quoting newspapers reports, lawyer Anel Sirohi said the remarks were made to outrage the feelings of the minorities and to promote enmity between different groups on the basis of religion and place of birth. “That is nothing short of imputations and assertions which is prejudicial to the national integration,” he alleged.

Togadia’s remarks at public speeches led to widespread protests.

Regarding remarks against Sonia, Sirohi said it was not an issue which concerned the Congress president alone. Such public statements are an onslaught on our civilisation, culture and religion, besides the democratic set-up, he added.

“The Hindu religion’s greatest strength comes from the fact that it has maximum flexibility and accepts all kinds of views,” the PIL says.

Bangladeshi held at airport

New Delhi (PTI): A Bangladeshi national was arrested by police on Monday on suspicion of being a terrorist after the civil aviation ministry got information that he was travelling by Biman Bangladesh.

Civil aviation minister Shahnawaz Hussain said the ministry had received a fax saying that a passenger occupying seat 24-A in flight BG097 was a “terrorist”. The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Dhaka to Delhi.

Airport authorities were alerted and the passenger, identified as Mohammad Ataur Rehman, was taken away for interrogation.

Rehman was to fly to Frankfurt and then to Lisbon. Joint commissioner of police (operations) A.S. Khan said Rehman had a Bangladeshi passport issued by the Bangladesh high commission in the UK.

Senior police officers and officials from other investigating agencies were interrogating the passenger, he added. Khan informed that all other passengers were allowed to go after a formal screening. The police said the passenger was believed to be a mason.

Cop murderer in riots caught

Ahmedabad (PTI): A history-sheeter was arrested here for alleged involvement in the murder of a police constable during the post-Godhra communal riots, police said on Monday.

Ismail Shaikh, accused of shooting down constable Bhanu Bharwad on March 1, was arrested by the Vejalpur police on Saturday night and remanded in police custody for 11 days by a court.

The police are yet to recover the weapon used in the crime. Shaikh was wanted for offences including rioting and chain-snatching.

Cheaters in CBI net

Ajmer (PTI): With the arrest of three persons, the CBI has busted a gang of cheaters, duping people in the name of providing jobs in the army, BSF and police, official sources said. Letters of appointment in the army, BSF and the police and documents with roll numbers of employment seekers besides phone numbers of high officials were recovered from them.

Clash for water

Morena (PTI): One person was killed and six injured in an armed clash between members of two families of Handwasi village following a dispute over using water from a tubewell. Police said the tubewell was located in the middle of fields belonging to Asha Ram Sharma and Ram Niwas Sharma. Their families entered into a dispute over who would draw water for irrigation first.

Cracker unit blast

Etah (PTI): Four persons were killed and nearly half a dozen injured in a blast in a firecracker manufacturing unit. The unit collapsed due to the blast on Sunday night killing the owner’s son and wife. Two workers also succumbed to their injuries in the hospital, official sources said.

Collision claims 3

Anantapur (PTI): Three persons were killed and five injured when an autorickshaw, in which they were travelling, collided with a lorry near a petrol pump in the city outskirts. The lorry was proceeding from Gooty to Anantapur and the autorickshaw was on its way from Kase Palli to Gooty. Two of the deceased have been identified as Chenna Reddy (45), B. Muthyalu Reddy (30).

Thousands of Singaporeans gathered at the Sri Mariamman temple in Singapore to watch their Indian friends and neighbours walk across hot coals in a Hindu ritual of penance and thanks. The fire walk at the temple drew 2,980 participants.

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