30 killed as bus catches fire
jabalpur (PTI): At least 30 people were charred to death and 26 wounded when a bus caught fire after turning turtle near a village, 40 km from here on Thursday evening, police said.
Additional superintendent of police B.S. Chauhan said the private bus, with a seating capacity of 80, overturned on the Jabalpur-Dindori road at Paharkheda village in Mandla district when one of its tyres burst. Soon, the bus was engulfed by a blaze set off by two petrol-filled drums kept inside the vehicle.
Chauhan said 30 bodies have so far been extricated from under the mangled remains of the bus.
He said many passengers of the bus fled after the blaze broke out and declined to confirm reports that the toll was as high as 70.
The injured were admitted to hospitals in Jabalpur, where the condition of two was stated to be critical.
Senior civil and police officials have rushed to the mishap site to supervise rescue and relief operations.
Director in dock for fake assault
bhopal (PTI): Three days after actor-director Raja Bundela allegedly “stage-managed” an assault on himself, police on Wednesday named him an accused in the case.
The incident occurred on Sunday in front of a cinema hall where Bundela’s film Pratha was being screened.
A case has been registered and the director has been named an accused on the basis of evidence collected during investigations, superintendent of police Arun Pratap Singh said.
Bundela will be asked to surrender before the police, he said. In case he fails to turn up, a police team will be sent to Mumbai to arrest him, Singh added.
Suspicion arose after Bundela refused to file a case and press charges against the three persons arrested after the incident, Singh said.
The trio was let off on bail on Tuesday with one of the them giving a written statement that he was Bundela’s friend and the incident had been “stage-managed”.
US relaxes travel warning
washington (AFP): The US on Thursday further downgraded warnings to Americans travelling to India.
In a public announcement, the state department said although it could not rule out the risk of a return to the situation in which India and Pakistan appeared to be on the brink of war earlier this year, life in India had mostly returned to normal.
“The department notes that the high level of tension between India and Pakistan that existed at the end of May and the beginning of June has further subsided,” it said. The department, however, cautioned that military units were still in place along the Line of Control in Kashmir.
guntur (PTI): Chief justices from around the world will meet in Lucknow next month to deliberate on an enforceable international law to take on the challenges posed by weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.
mumbai (PTI): Giving a fresh twist to the case of conspiracy hatched by Dawood Ibrahim’s men to kill prominent politicians, including deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, the prosecution has urged a sessions court to conduct the trial in-camera.
hubli (PTI): Seven persons were arrested following a clash between members of two communities in Pendaragalli early on Wednesday, police said. The clash occurred over the use of public address systems for prayers by members of one community.
chandigarh (PTI): Six teachers were suspended on Wednesday for being absent while Haryana minister of state for education Bahadur Singh conducted surprise checks in some government schools on Monday.
kanpur (PTI): Six persons have been arrested for illegally taking 89 buffaloes from Meerut to Calcutta, allegedly for slaughtering, police said. Acting on a tip-off, the police laid a trap and seized seven trucks in which the buffaloes were being carried.
Lagaan has become the first Indian film to be released in China nationwide. It “brings us a great chance to break the wrong idea that all good movies are American, a chance to introduce Indian culture to the common Chinese”, a Columbia Tristar official said.