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

Centre’s Ayodhya plea verdict today

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court will pronounce on Monday its verdict on the Centre’s application, which sought the vacation of its earlier directive prohibiting any kind of religious activity on the 67 acres of undisputed land acquired by it around the disputed site at Ayodhya in 1993.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice S. Rajendra Babu will also decide whether to keep pending the petition filed by Mohammad Aslam alias Bhure, on which the court had in March last year ordered a ban on all religious activities on the undisputed land.

The Centre had filed this application seeking the vacation of the March ban order, saying there was a vast difference between the situation prevailing last year and at present.

The Centre also indicated that, as per the 1994 Supreme Court order, it was free to hand over the management of the undisputed land to a trust or a registered body after making provisions for the access to the disputed site.

However, all Muslim bodies — the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, the Babri Masjid Action Committee and the Babri Masjid Movement Coordination Committee — had opposed the Centre’s application, saying it has not pointed out any change in the ground situation at Ayodhya to seek an alteration in last year’s status quo order.

PWG blasts railway station

Nizamabad (PTI): Continuing their attacks on government property, Naxalites belonging to the outlawed People’s War Group blasted a railway station and a divisional revenue office in Andhra Pradesh since Saturday night.

Six Naxalites planted claymore mines at Gomanda railway station in Vizianagram district late on Saturday night. After asking the staff to leave, they set off the mine, police said. Before leaving, they handed a chit to the station master saying the action was taken to protest against the arrest of PWG activists in the district, the police added.

The Naxalites also snatched Rs 164 from the station master.

In another incident, two Naxalites entered the divisional revenue office at Kamareddy in the wee hours on Sunday. They forced open the main gate and blasted the office, superintendent of police Shanka Braha Bagchi said.

The Naxalites detonated a landmine, damaging the front portion of the building, he said. The divisional revenue officer staying in the building escaped unhurt.

Murder suspect shot in lock-up

Rae Bareli (PTI): Mohammad Anwar, the main accused in the murder of Congress leader Rakesh Pandey last year, was shot dead in the lock-up of the district civil court by two other accused on Saturday evening.

The assailants were overpowered by other inmates and a country-made pistol was seized. Anwar, who was in judicial custody, was brought to the court with the other accused. The constables posted at the lock-up have been suspended for dereliction of duty.

Scribes in bribe net

Nagpur (PTI): Two city journalists were held for demanding a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from a cooperative society officer for not publishing a report against him. Following a complaint by C.G. Moje that the two journalists had demanded a bribe for not publishing the report, they were arrested from a hotel while allegedly accepting Rs 5,000 as the first installment of the bribe.

Trainer aircraft

Bangalore (PTI): Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is designing a “basic trainer” to replace the HPT-32 aircraft for training cadets of the Indian Air Force. The aircraft will be used to impart basic flying training, a top HAL official said.

Ad watchdog

New Delhi (PTI): Close on the heels of a government rebuke for not protesting against fairness cream ads, the National Commission for Women has said it is planning to form a media watch group to monitor advertisements. “The watch group will be an independent body responsible for bringing objectionable ads to the notice of the government,” said NCW chairperson Poornima Advani.

Gang attacks cop

Bangalore (PTI): A six-member gang assaulted a police constable guarding the historic statue of Lord Bahubali and snatched a rifle and ammunition from him at the Jain pilgrim centre of Shravanabelogala in Hassan district, police said. A Mysore report quoting a senior police official said the incident was being viewed “very seriously” and a statewide alert has been sounded.

A majestic gurdwara, said to be the largest in Europe, with provision to accommodate 3,000 devotees, was opened in the Sikh-dominated Southall in west London on Sunday. Built at a cost of £16 million, the gurdwara has a covered area of 100,000 square feet.

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