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

Indonesia to hang Indian convict

JAKARTA (AFP): Indonesia will soon execute an Indian drug trafficker and five murder convicts, an official said on Friday.

Ayodhya Prasad Chaubey was sentenced to death in 1994 for smuggling 12.3 kg of heroin into Indonesia, said Andi Syarifuddin, a spokesman for the attorney-general’s office.

The other five, all Indonesians, were convicted of murder. They were identified as Suryadi Swabuana, Sumiarsih, Djais Adi Prayitno, Sungeng and Jurit Bin Abdullah.

Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri has rejected the six convicts’ appeals for clemency and the attorney-general’s office received a presidential decree on the refusal on Wednesday.

Officials had earlier identified all six as drug traffickers. “There’s no more legal avenue for them. We will certainly carry out the executions. It’s only a matter of time,” Syarifuddin said.

He did not say when the executions would take place but said it would be soon.

Human rights group Amnesty International has appealed to Indonesia to spare the lives of the six and urged its members to write to Megawati, seeking clemency.

mnesty opposes the death penalty in all cases, partly due to the risk of error. It noted that the Indonesian Human Rights Commission had expressed concern over corruption and low professional standards in the Indonesian judiciary. But Syarifuddin said: “Our law allows the death penalty. We are only implementing what’s written in the law.”

SC boost to lottery ban law

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a Tamil Nadu legislation banning all types of lotteries in the state, reports our legal correspondent. The move has given a boost to other states, too, that want to ban lotteries.

A three-judge bench of Justices S. Rajendra Babu, D.M. Dharmadhikari and G.P. Mathur dismissed a petition by Mizoram, which challenged the Tamil Nadu government’s ban on the sale of its lottery in the state.

Tamil Nadu has the highest sale of lottery tickets and almost all other states sell their lotteries in the southern state. But chief minister Jayalalithaa had banned lotteries in the state recently.

Mizoram contended that Tamil Nadu had no legislative competence to enact a law banning entry of its lottery. Senior counsel for Mizoram Harish Salve argued that a state could not ban lotteries of other states.

The bench observed that Tamil Nadu had banned all types of lotteries, including its own, while dismissing the special leave petition challenging the high court order which had also dismissed Mizoram’s petition.

Maulana rape case trial

B>lNEW DELHI (PTI): A lady additional sessions judge was today assigned the trial of the Maulana Azad Medical College gangrape case in which a student was allegedly sexually assaulted on the terrace of Khooni Darwaza in front of the college here about three months ago.

The case was allotted to Deepa Sharma, who will start hearing arguments on March 7 against the four accused chargesheeted by police.

Ghatkopar trial

B>lMUMBAI (PTI): Mohammed Altaf, an alleged Simi activist and accused in the Ghatkopar bomb blast, was produced before a special court, which remanded him in police custody till February 14. The accused was produced in the court in a burqa. Altaf, who allegedly supplied explosives and funds to those who triggered the blast in a bus on December 2, killing two persons, was arrested in Dubai and flown to Mumbai last month.

Undertrial escapes

B>lETAWAH (PTI): An undertrial escaped from a juvenile home by jumping over its wall. Munshi Ali, involved in several cases of loot, was moved from the district jail to the juvenile home just a week ago following court orders, the sources said. The district administration has suspended three officials at the juvenile home and a search has been launched for Ali.

Quack crackdown

B>lmoradabad (PTI): The district administration has launched a major campaign against quacks, arresting 30 people out of about 50 against whom FIRs were lodged. The campaign follows the arrest of Hakim Asif Khan, who allegedly posed as an opthalmic surgeon, taking a large sum of money from five persons. He had also operated on their eyes.

School feast

B>lbalasore (PTI): As many as 94 people, mostly schoolchildren, were hospitalised after eating in a feast organised at their school in Mathacharmara in Balasore district on the occasion of Saraswati puja. Most of the affected, including teachers and other school employees, began vomiting after consuming the food and had to be rushed to the public health centre.

A nine-day All-India Craft Fair, organised by the Kerala State Handicrafts Apex Cooperative Society Limited, will be held in Kochi from Saturday. Handicrafts and handlooms from all over the state will be on display at the fair.

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