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

Damages order for jumbo mishap

New Delhi (PTI): The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has asked the Karnataka government to pay Rs 2 lakh to a doctor who lost his eyesight after a fall from an elephant during Dussehra celebrations organised by the state over a decade ago.

“The Karnataka government is liable to pay for rendering deficient service, for not taking precautionary measures and for being negligent in its conduct,” the commission said in a recent order and directed the state to pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation in addition to Rs 10,000 as litigation costs.

Holding that the accident would not have occurred but for “mismanagement of the authorities”, the consumer court told the government, which “organised the event, took the elephant ride casually knowing well that the animal could turn wild and cause unlimited damage to people and properties”.

The incident occurred on October 7, 1992, when the complainant, Mayi Gowda, and his family — two daughters, a son and two nephews — were sitting in a cradle, allegedly loosely tied to the elephant, for a joyride.

When the elephant was pricked with a lighted cigarette and sharp sticks, it caught hold of Gowda, pulled him out of the cradle and hurled him away.

Gowda — a doctor and the sole earning member of the family — banged against an electric pole which made him blind. He also broke his ribs, his counsel Syed Naqui said.

The children, too, fell down and narrowly escaped being trampled by the elephant. They sustained injuries. Gowda had claimed Rs 9.99 lakh as compensation.

Insat-3A launch put off

Bangalore (PTI): The launch of the Insat-3A satellite has been postponed to April as the Indian Space Research Organisation and European space consortium Arianespace are taking extra care to make sure it is a success, Isro sources said.

Insat-3A, which would have applications in communications and meteorology, was originally scheduled to have been put into space by Arianespace’s Ariane-5 rocket from Kourou in French Guyana during the week beginning February 28.

“But this was postponed to March 21, and now Arianespace has informed us that they would be needing 20 days more (for the launch),” the sources said.

The postponement, however, has not come as a surprise. The recent Columbia space shuttle disaster has shaken the confidence of the space community, the sources said, adding that Ariane-5 was yet to “establish” itself having had a “few problems” in its earlier flights.

Pak militants gunned down

Jammu (PTI): Seven Pakistan-trained militants were killed in an encounter with the army in the Mendhar sector of Poonch district on Sunday, a defence spokesman said.

The encounter, which lasted about five hours, broke out when army personnel on a tip-off launched a search operation in the Harigala-Gani area of the Krishna Ghatti sector, he said. The militants appeared to be part of a group that had reportedly sneaked into India from across the Line of Control.

Carcasses found

Orai (Uttar Pradesh) (PTI): About 103 carcasses of cows were found in Gulati village on Saturday. District and police officials have reached the village where the situation is tense but under control. A case has been registered against unidentified people under the Cow Slaughter Prevention Act.

Ship blaze toll

Ahmedabad (PTI): The toll in a fire that broke out on a ship at the Alang ship-breaking yard has risen to five with the recovery of one more body, police said. Officials recovered the charred remains of another crew member on Sunday morning while searching for survivors after the fire was doused. Four persons were reported dead on Saturday while at least seven crew members received serious burn injuries.

Dacoits killed

Ahmedabad (PTI): Three dacoits were killed in two separate encounters with police at Bhind and Datia districts of Chambal range in Madhya Pradesh on Friday night. Rajbir alias Kalia, Ravi Shanker Lodhi and Makhan Lodhi were involved in several dacoities in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, a release from the state police headquarters said.

5 die in accident

Gurgaon (PTI): Five persons were killed and three seriously injured when a three-wheeler they were travelling in was hit by an unidentified vehicle on the Sohna-Palwal road, police said. The injured have been rushed to hospital. An FIR has been lodged and police have begun investigations. As much as 16 per cent of Chennai’s residents above 20 years of age are affected by diabetes and 23 per cent suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension), according to a study conducted in metros by a leading diabetes foundation.

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