Mother in dock for killing babies
London (PTI): A middle-aged Indian pharmacist here has been charged with murdering three of her four children within weeks of their birth.
The Reading crown court heard on Tuesday that 35-year-old Trupti Patel, with roots in Gujarat, suffocated Amar, aged 13 weeks, Jamie, 15 days, and Mia, 22 days, “against all the natural instincts of a mother”.
Trupti, whose surviving child is eight, pleaded not guilty to the three counts of murder and blamed cot death for each tragedy. She sat impassively in the dock as details of her children’s deaths were read out. Her husband Jayant Patel, 35, an IT firm manager, arrived in court holding hands with his wife.
Post-mortems on Amar, who died in 1997, and Jamie, who died in 1999, initially found no discernible cause of death.
But when Mia died in 2001, she was found to have four broken ribs, consistent with “adult hands squeezing the chest”. Police were called and a review of the two other children’s deaths found medical evidence that they had also been asphyxiated.
rosecutor Paul Dunkels, QC, told the court: “It is the prosecution case that this defendant killed three of her own children whilst they were babies and that she did so by restricting or obstructing the breathing of each child, either by squeezing the baby’s chest so it could not expand in order to breathe, or in some way obstructing the nose and mouth of the baby so it could not inhale or by a combination of both methods.”
Bhopal protest on Wall Street
New York (PTI): Two women survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy will go on an indefinite hunger strike here from Thursday to press Dow Chemicals, the present owner of Union Carbide, to own up responsibility for the tragedy and assume the liabilities.
Champa Devi and Rasheeda Bee, long-time activists, will begin the hunger strike near Wall Street and then hold a vigil near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Union Square in downtown Manhattan.
The organisers said their message to Wall Street would be that Dow Chemicals has huge liability and that Indian courts are vigorously pursuing the case.
They will be in New York till May 5 when they would go to Midland, Michigan, to demonstrate near the company headquarters on May 8, when its shareholders are due to meet.
They have sought a meeting with the company’s officials but no date has been fixed yet. The organisers said the strikers, who would be joined by others for varying periods, would sit near the Gandhi statue only during the day as police have declined to give them camping permission at night. Asked how long the strike would last, their spokesman said it would depend on the outcome of the meeting they are seeking with the officials.
HC clampdown on tantriks
New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court has directed the state government to take action against tantriks who advertise their claims to cure diseases through pamphlets and newspapers in the capital.
The order came from a bench of Chief Justice B.C. Patel and Justice A.K. Sikri on a PIL filed by a Communist leader, Salek Chand Jain, who alleged that about 200 “tantriks are engaged in cheating the public in Delhi” by such advertisements. He sought implementation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Objectionable Advertisement Act, 1954.
Court raps ASI
New Delhi (PTI): Delhi High Court has asked the Archaeological Survey of India to file an affidavit regarding the alleged encroachment around the historic Beghumpuri mosque in the capital where hundreds of illegal houses have allegedly been constructed in violation of Ancient Monuments Act.
Beat marshal vigil
Mumbai (PTI): The newly introduced “beat marshals system” in the city has started showing results. In two separate incidents, two thieves were caught minutes after the crime. A youth was caught red-handed at Matunga market while fleeing after snatching a bag and a boy was caught in Santa Cruz after he snatched a woman’s purse. Around 304 motor-cycle borne beat marshals are doing rounds of the city.
Coimbatore (PTI): About 1,000 inmates in the central prison here “boycotted” breakfast and lunch, protesting against the death of a life convict. The convict, Kandappan, had complained of uneasiness on Wednesday morning. He was declared brought dead in hospital around 5 am, police sources said. The prisoners refused meals alleging that jail authorities had not given proper treatment to Kandappan.
5 die in hailstorm
Allahabad (PTI): Five persons, including a girl, were killed and six hurt as a hailstorm uprooted trees in the district. Three persons were buried under uprooted trees in Uthagi and another died under similar circumstances in Baribagh. In another incident, one person was killed and six hurt.
The All-Kerala Telephone Subscribers’ Association will observe May 1 as Telephone Protection Day, to protest the hike in inter-connected user charge to come into effect from Thursday. The association urged land line users not to call cell phones on May 1.