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

Tada against Mann for Khalistan stand

New Delhi: Eleven years after he allegedly backed the demand for creation of Khalistan, in a speech at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, a Delhi court slapped Tada on Lok Sabha member Simranjit Singh Mann and framed sedition charges against him for supporting the cause of militants through his address.

Holding that prima facie a case is made out against the accused, designated judge S.N. Dhingra charged him under Section 124(A) (Sedition) of the ipc and Section 4(2) of Tada for supporting disruptive activities.

Mann, who is a Shiromani Akali Dal (Mann) MP from Sangrur, pleaded not guilty to the charges and preferred trial.

The matter will come up for hearing on March 25. The trial court had closed the case against Mann and another leader, Talib Singh, on April 8 last year saying police was not interested in making the accused available and sending them to face trial.

However, the case was reopened in September following a Supreme Court order which said the trial court had not followed proper procedure.

raming charges against Mann, the court said: “On April 7, 1991 at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, you delivered a speech before a large gathering and by your speech...attempted to bring into hatred and contempt, the Government of India established by law and incited people to create a separate sovereign independent state in the name of Khalistan.”

Mann had supported the claim for the creation of Khalistan and incited people to take up arms for the cause and supported the militants making a similar demand, it added.

2 die as ship goes up in flames

Bhavnagar (PTI): Two persons were killed and at least six sustained burn injuries in a fire that broke out on a ship at the Alang ship breaking yard, near Bhavnagar coast in Saurashtra, official sources said.

The fire was noticed at plot no. 94 in the yard on Saturday afternoon when some labourers were removing oil from the engine. The blaze rapidly spread to the upper portion of the engine chamber, where the crew cabin is located.

Bhavnagar district superintendent of police, Anupam Gehlot said one Rajnikant succumbed to burn injuries while others were hospitalised with 20 per cent burns. The other deceased, Manu Patel, jumped from the ship due to panic.

Gehlot said fire-fighting units had been able to control the flames by evening but the dousing operations were continuing.

Medha detained for bus permit

Rayagada (PTI): Environment activist Medha Patkar was detained at Kereda check-post on the Orissa-Andhra Pradesh border for over two hours by Orissa government officials on Friday.

Patkar and other activists were entering the state in a bus when personnel of the Orissa Motor Vehicle Department and the state commercial tax department stopped the vehicle, pointing out that it did not have a national permit.

She was later allowed to enter the state after the intervention of the superintendent of police.

Collision kills 2

Kapurthala (PTI): Two persons were killed and 25 injured in a collision of a four-wheeler with a truck near Dayalpur on the Jalandhar-Amritsar National Highway. The deceased were identified as Mehanga Ram, 60, and Pritam Kaur, 55, both residents of Pandori Nijjran. The injured were taken to a hospital in Beas.

Trader attacked

Mumbai (PTI): A businessman was fired at by two unidentified persons near Kurla station, injuring his bodyguard. Police said Sunderlal Gupta was going to his workplace when the assailants shot at him and his three bodyguards. Gupta escaped unhurt but one of his bodyguards sustained serious injuries.

Rallyists arrested

Madurai (PTI): Vandavasi PMK MLA Murugavelrajan and 130 others belonging to Devendirar Ilangar Sangam were arrested on Saturday when they attempted to take out a rally and block the road traffic defying police orders. The Sangam members were protesting against the assault on Murugavelrajan, allegedly by Congress supporters in February.

Valley road link

Jammu (PTI): The 300-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only road link to the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was reopened on Saturday according to a spokesman of the Border Roads Organisation. The highway was closed on Thursday night due to heavy rains, snowfall and multiple landslides at several places.

The Haryana government is spending about Rs 1 crore annually on financial assistance to 28,000 destitute children in the state. The financial assistance is being provided at the rate of Rs 30 per month per child under 21 years who are deprived of family support.

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