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

Dawood shopping malls attached

Mumbai: Launching a major offensive against Dawood Ibrahim, a special court on Monday gave orders to attach two shopping arcades allegedly owned by the underworld don, reports our correspondent.

Acting on a Mumbai police petition, the court attached the Sara Shopping Centre and Sahara Shopping Complex near Crawford market in south Mumbai.

Police said the two shopping arcades were “illegally constructed’’ in connivance with civic body officials. They said the registered owners of the property — Abdul Sattar and Abdul Radhanpur — were working for Dawood. The duo were reportedly planning to acquire more plots to turn them into shopping complexes and business establishments.

The Sara Shopping Centre took off in 2000 after certain Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials allegedly fudged municipality records to give the arcade the green light.

The BMC has submitted the names of six civic officials alleged to have helped Dawood. The corporation said the officials helped the don construct the shopping centre on land belonging to the Central Public Works Department.

The court appointed a senior inspector of the Azad Maidan police station as receiver and asked him to make a list of moveable and immoveable properties. He is to submit his report to the court on June 2.

The action comes in the wake of complaints that three of Dawood’s henchmen, Iqbal Hassan Ibrahim Shaikh, Abdul Rehman Abdul Gafoor Shaikh and Abdul Sattar Haji Hiva Radhanpur, had “evicted’’ some people whose huts obstructed the arcade entrance.

Iqbal had been deported from Dubai last month. He was then arrested in a murder case and let off on bail. This is the second case in which he has been arrested.

Stepping up the attack on Dawood, the BMC has also moved court, demanding that the complexes be demolished. But the police are not in favour of the move. They say “valuable evidence’’ will be lost if this is done.

Meanwhile, crime branch police officers have said Dawood was planning to build another mall adjacent to the shopping complex.

Gorbachev invite for Gujral

Islamabad (PTI): Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has invited self-exiled former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and former Indian Prime Minister I.K. Gujral to the world political forum to be held in the Italian city of Turin later this month.

The participants at the meeting will express views on the current world situation and the challenges facing humanity in the new century, a press release issued by Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party said, quoting from the invitation letter.

Doctors in TN call off strike

Chennai: Government doctors in Tamil Nadu, backing medical students’ 27-day-old agitation called off their proposed indefinite strike from May 21 on Monday night, reports our special correspondent. The students were protesting the move to allow private medical colleges in the state.

The suffering of poor patients prompted the decision, Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association president A. Prakasam said. He hoped chief minister Jayalalithaa would resolve the issue soon. The state had suspended 5,000 students and finalised plans to contract 3,200 doctors to avert a collapse of the public health system.

Goa ‘liberator’ dies

New Delhi (PTI): Former general-officer-commanding-in-chief, Western Command, and senior BJP leader Lt Gen. K.P. Candeth died in his sleep here on Monday morning. Candeth, popularly known as the “liberator of Goa”, was 88.

Blast in oil tanker

Ahmedabad (PTI): Seven labourers were killed and at least an equal number injured in a blast inside an oil tanker at the Alang ship breaking yard, district police sources said. The blast could have been due to a gas leak as gas welders were being used near the engine of the oil tanker.

Film relief

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court has refused to stay a Bombay High Court order allowing the release of Raja Bhaiya and dismissed an appeal filed by Universal Music India Ltd, accusing the producer of the film of failing to provide them with its music tapes as per the agreement.

Cub found dead

Bhopal (PTI): A three-day-old cub of a white tigress died at the Van Vihar National Park, apparently due to “mishandling by the mother”, authorities said.

Male baby snatch

Vadodara (PTI): Yearning for a male child, a woman allegedly abducted a baby boy from the civil hospital in Godhra, police said. Gitaben Lohar, the mother of the child, lodged a complaint and the boy was traced within two hours.

The Artificial Limb Centre in Pune is set to go for a facelift with new technology being introduced as part of its diamond jubilee celebrations. The centre will procure an imported Cad-Cam computerised unit to design tailor-made limbs.

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