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

Indonesian ship pirates get jail

Mumbai (PTI): Fourteen Indonesian pirates, charged with hijacking Japanese cargo ship Alandro Rainbow in the Arabian sea three years ago, were sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment by a sessions court on Tuesday.

They were convicted under the Indian Penal Code as they were caught in Indian waters. This is the first case of piracy to go on trial in India, and perhaps in Asia, legal sources said.

On an alert by the International Maritime Bureau, the Coast Guard captured the ship near Goa and 15 Indonesians on board were arrested. One of them died during the trial.

Those convicted are Christianus Aeros Mintodo, Eka Dharma, Estafanus Homiang Harson, Anton Yenes Albarto, Dandung Ari, Burhan Nanda, Erick Prathama, Dannis Supandi, Christo Matias Goha, Piether Randa Buenga, Johan Kanthone, David Wandra Putra, Richardo John and Imbrun Rosadi.

Additional principal sessions judge R.R. Vachcha also fined them Rs 28,000 each.

The prosecution contended that 41 pirates had allegedly hijacked the Japanese ship in 1999 between Indonesia and Milke Port (Japan). However, only 15 Indonesians were found on board, which was carrying 7000 million tonnes of aluminium ingots worth Rs 44 crore.

The ship’s capture had become the centre of controversy with Maharashtra Opposition leader Narayan Rane alleging that the vessel had been released to its owner for illegal gratification. Deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal denied the charge.

Risk from recycled computers

Washington (PTI): The unsafe recycling of unwanted computers from the US, Europe and Japan is posing a major health hazard in China, India and Pakistan, where they are dumped illegally, a media report said here.

Despite the customs rule forbidding such shipments, these countries have emerged as the dumping ground of the world’s unwanted gadgets, the Washington Post report said.

In an effort to protect their own environments, the governments of wealthy countries are encouraging the recycling of computers to keep them out of their land and prevent heavy metals from seeping into drinking water.

But breaking computers down to reusable raw materials is labour intensive and expensive, so they are shipped quietly to these nations, the report said.

In the US, where more than 40 million computers became obsolete in 2001, as much as 80 per cent were collected by recyclers and disposed of at one-tenth of the price to Asian middlemen and shipped off to Asian ports, a National Safety Council report said.

Although China bans such import, the law is circumvented through payments to corrupt customs officials, said industry sources.

Notice on Tihar jail condition

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court has sought replies by April 4 from the Centre, Delhi government and Tihar jail administration about the “plight” of prisoners following a petition alleging that the conditions in Tihar’s six prisons were deplorable.

he criminal writ petition by advocate L.R. Luthra said: “The number of prisoners lodged in six prisons in Tihar central jail is larger than the capacity to accommodate them and they are huddled like animals in barracks in sub-human conditions.”

Narcotics base

London (PTI): India is used as a transit country, mostly for heroin consignments from Afghanistan, while cannabis is transported from Kashmir to Gujarat and Mumbai, the 2003 International Narcotics Control Board report said. Most heroin consignments go to Europe and, to a smaller extent, to the US, it said.

Order on doctors

Bilaspur (PTI): Chhattisgarh High Court has stayed its earlier ruling quashing an order of the state government that made two years rural service mandatory for doctors to get admission in post-graduate courses in medical colleges here. An official spokesman said the state could now admit students for this academic year.

Charge on cop

Sonepat (PTI): A Delhi police constable has been charged with pulling the chain on the New Delhi-bound Jhelum Express and also allegedly stealing Rs 5,000 from a jawan travelling in the train, railway police sources said. No arrests have been made.

Women in NSG

New Delhi (PTI): The Centre has agreed to induct women in the National Security Guard. Junior home minster I.D. Swami told the Lok Sabha the government would induct women on deputation for duties like sky marshals.

Undertrials flee

Patna (PTI): Eleven undertrials escaped from the civil court here and Danapur subordinate court, police said. While nine escaped from the civil court premises, the others fled from the Danapur court.

It must have been quite a chase when a panther running after a dog jumped into a well behind the canine who leapt into it to escape the predator near Nashik. Forest officials pulled out the dog first and then sent down a cage to capture the panther.

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