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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Cattle rearing heat on politicians

New Delhi (PTI): The New Delhi Municipal Council has served notices to several politicians and other VIPs for illegally keeping cattle and horses at their residences.

The “offenders had been served notices and challans” for keeping cattle at their official bungalows, council sources said.

Over 28 challans have been issued to VIPs, including four army generals, four Supreme Court judges and five MPs, the sources said. These animals would be taken away and auctioned, the sources added.

Union labour minister Sahib Singh Verma keeps two cows at his residence without licence. Other VIPs who were served the notice include former Union ministers Vasundhara Raje and Uma Bharti and Congress leader Manmohan Singh.

The council allows residents to keep two cows/buffaloes at their official bungalows. But residents need to submit an application to the health department, which investigates if there is adequate space and ventilation and ensures that the cattle shed is situated at a proper distance from the residence.

The council then issues a permit for Rs 8 per cow.

Earlier this month, the council had sent notices, saying no cattle would be allowed in official bungalows without the necessary permission.

Following public complaints, the council recovered nine horses from the bungalow of Vasundhara Raje and eight cows from senior Congress leader Arjun Singh’s house.

Two Haj pilgrims die in crash

dubai (PTI): Two Indian Haj pilgrims were among three persons killed when their bus collided with a trailer truck in Saudi Arabia. Twenty-eight people were injured in the mishap.

Vallila Muhammad Faisi, 45, a noted Islamic scholar and leader of some prominent Sunni associations in Kerala, died on the spot.

Another pilgrim, M. Muhammed (87), also from Kerala, and the Egyptian driver of the bus also died in the mishap, which took place near Medina on Wednesday. Seven of the 28 injured are in serious condition, reports here said.

Faisi was the Malappuram district president of the Sunni Youth Association and a former president of the Sunni Students’ Federation, two popular Islamic groups in the state.

In another accident on Wednesday involving pilgrims from Kerala, 35 people sustained minor injuries when their bus skidded off the road after the driver lost control on way to Medina.

Private firm for UK visa forms

Chennai: A private firm will now handle UK visa applications in India, reports our special correspondent. Fastrac Visa Facilitation Services will be responsible for collection of the applications, ensuring the papers are in order and collecting the fees.

From February 10, applicants from south India for UK visas can submit their applications at any centre in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Similar facilities would be introduced in Calcutta from February 17.

Leopards poisoned

Vadodara (PTI): A tribal from Garmala village in Panchmahal district has been arrested under the Wildlife Act for allegedly poisoning two leopards. Police said that after recovering the bodies, forest department officials had suspected it to be a case of poisoning and the autopsy confirmed the suspicion.

Body in tank

Madurai (PTI): A 12-year-old boy was found dead in a temple tank here. Police said the body bore injury marks. Early this week, an old woman was found dead in the same tank.

Maran surgery

Chennai (PTI): Union minister Murasoli Maran underwent a heart surgery on Wednesday. Maran is undergoing treatment at Methodist Hospital in Houston. His condition is stable.

Mahatma portrayal

New Delhi: Om Prakash Chautala and his Indian National Lok Dal party leaders staged a dharna near Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Rajghat on Thursday to protest against his wrong portrayal by US-based magazine Maxim and MTV USA, reports our special correspondent. After Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and other dignitaries paid floral tributes to Mahatma on his 55th death anniversary, Chautala appealed to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to take “appropriate legal action against the culprits”.

PWG kidnaps cop

Kurnool (PTI): The People’s War Group has kidnapped a sub-inspector in the district, official sources said. The sub-inspector was travelling with three others.

Some of India’s renowned artistes will meet in Delhi on Friday to reiterate the message of the national flag through poetry, music and painting to the youth. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will be the chief guest at Tiranga.

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