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

Compensate terror victims: Court

New Delhi (PTI): The Delhi High Court has said that victims of violence perpetrated by militants deserved to be adequately compensated even though negligence might not be lawfully established against the state for its failure to maintain law and order.

“Even though negligence may not be established against the state, the victims deserve to be compensated as the right to life enshrined in the Constitution has been affected on account of the inability of the state to provide an orderly, secure and peaceful environment,” Justice Manmohan Sarin said in an order seeking the Centre’s opinion on framing rules for payment of compensation to victims of terrorism.

irecting solicitor-general Kirit Rawal to present in court the Centre’s stand on the issue, Justice Sarin said: “There could be numerous instances, where there is loss of life either on account of terrorist violence, bomb explosions or similar activities.”

In the changed global security environment and increase in terrorist attacks, “the state, despite taking requisite steps, may not be able to eliminate or condone such violence”, the court said, emphasising the need of compensating the victims financially, especially when the ex-gratia payment made by the government is “woefully inadequate”.

“It has been noticed that the ex-gratia compensation offered by the central and state governments in such cases, is woefully inadequate,” the court observed while hearing a petition by a victim — who was paid only Rs 35,000 as compensation — of a blast in Chandni Chowk market in the city some years ago.

Army chief assures fast reaction

New Delhi: General Nirmal Chandra Vij, who formally took over as the 21st chief of army staff on Wednesday, said troops are being repositioned in such a manner that they would be able to react quickly even if they were being pulled out of forward deployment, reports our special correspondent.

Vij is one of the most experienced infantry officers in the army with 40 years of service.

ij, who was practically the executive authority for Operation Parakram, as the vice-chief of the army during its total mobilisation, said, he had five priorities as the chief: Consolidating the “gains” of Operation Parakram, assisting the government in Jammu and Kashmir, modernisation of the force, increase in the officer cadre and welfare of service personnel. He said there would be no lowering of vigil in Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control. “In Jammu and Kashmir, there are new hopes and aspirations for normalcy and we will support the government in this regard even while continuing our anti-militancy drive.”

General Vij refused to join issue on the question of Delhi’s reaction to General’s Pervez Musharraf’s statement that Pakistan would wage an unconventional war if attacked by India. “No responsible army chief could make such a statement,” he said.

Cockroaches delay train

Kozhikode (PTI): Cockroaches in a air-conditioned compartment detained an express train for over an hour at Shoranur station on Tuesday night. Passengers in other coaches of the Gujarat-bound Thiruvananthapuram Happa Express were, however, annoyed at the train being held up, railway sources said.

Passengers in the cockroach-infested AC coach demanded that something be done to ease out the insects, the sources said. Flummoxed officials struggled to find ways to drive out the pests with the windows of the AC coach firmly sealed. Finally, in Shoranur, insecticides were used to clean the coach.

Woman killed

Sonepat (PTI): Miscreants killed a woman and seriously injured her minor son in their house at Barwasni village on Tuesday night, police said. There was no electricity in the village when the assailants forcibly entered the house and attacked the sleeping duo.

Tuskers as gift

Guruvayur (PTI): Three elephants were offered as new year gift to Lord Guruvayurappan, the presiding deity of the Sri Krishna temple here, by a local industrialist on Wednesday.

6 die in mishap

Allahabad (pti): Six people were killed and two injured when the jeep carrying them turned turtle after colliding with a truck near Binda village on Wednesday, police said. The jeep, carrying eight passengers, was on its way to Allahabad when it collided with the truck while attempting to overtake another vehicle, they said.

Dowry death

Allahabad (PTI): A 20-year-old woman was allegedly set ablaze by her in-laws in Juhi village for not meeting their dowry demands, police said. Mamata Singh, wife of Arbind Kumar Singh, died on Tuesday, police said, adding that an fir had been lodged against three people, including her husband.

Bribe arrest

Srinagar (PTI): The Jammu and Kashmir Vigilance Organisation has caught a revenue official accepting Rs 10,000 as bribe and booked him under the Prevention of Corruption Act, sources said.

The tourism department will hold a three-day International Yoga Festival in Pondicherry from January 3, education minister k. lakshminarayanan said. To be attended by a number of foreign delegates, it will be inaugurated by Lt Governor k.r. malkani.

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