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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Red rain sparked by Gulf dust cloud

New Delhi (PTI): The mystery of the red-coloured rain in Kerala two years ago has now been resolved.

Analysing data from satellites and a laser radar, scientists at the Vikram Sarabai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram have found that the culprit was a dust cloud that originated in the Gulf.

On July 25, 2001, many places in coastal Kerala received coloured rain overnight and in the morning. The rainwater contained suspended particles and many elements, including carbon, silicon, calcium and magnesium. It was then believed that the water was coloured because of the presence of red spores of some species of fungus.

S. Veerabuthiran and M. Satyanarayana of the space physics laboratory at the centre have reported in the Indian Journal of Radio and Space Physics that the strange event was due to dust from the Gulf countries in combination with several meteorological phenomena. A day before the rain, the laser radar located in Thiruvananthapuram detected a thick layer of dust cloud at a height of 4 to 5 km, they said. Satellite pictures taken earlier had shown the cloud originated over the Gulf.

High relative humidity (75 per cent) in that layer was conducive for the fine-grained dust to form the nuclei of raindrops “spraying myriad colours over Kerala”, the scientists said.

The scientists said dust storms occur frequently during summer in the dust bowl of the Gulf countries. It takes about a week for the dust-laden air to travel from the Gulf to the Kerala coast. But red rains are rare. The spectacle witnessed in Kerala was because of a rare combination of the Gulf dust arriving at a time when monsoon activity was high on the coast and several other meteorological factors.

Call for CBI probe into affair

dehra dun (PTI): Uttaranchal chief minister .D. Tiwari has asked for a CBI probe into allegations that his revenue minister fathered a child by an unmarried woman.

Harak Singh Rawat resigned on Wednesday after allegations of his improper relationship with an Assamese woman, Jaini, rocked the Assembly.

iwari told the House on Thursday: “In the interest of the people, I have recommended an independent CBI probe so that the truth comes out.”

The chief minister said he would write to deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, urging him to direct the CBI for an inquiry. Tiwari said the CBI would probe all aspects of the episode in which Rawat was being linked with Jaini.

Tiwari appreciated Rawat’s decision to quit immediately, saying the move was in the best traditions of parliamentary democracy

Rawat announced his resignation in the Assembly after a fact-finding House committee told Speaker Yashpal Arya that Jaini had named the minister as the father of her child.

Canada lists terror groups

vancouver (PTI): Canada has declared three Sikh organisations and two Pakistan-based outfits terrorist groups, giving it the power to seize their properties and arrest group members.

The Babbar Khalsa, the Babbar Khalsa International and the International Sikh Youth Federation have been placed on the list of terrorist outfits. Two Pakistan-based outfits, the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, are also on the list.

Airport gun

Calcutta: A 65-year-old passenger was arrested at Dum Dum airport on Thursday for carrying a loaded pistol. Security forces detected the firearm while checking the passenger, who was on his way to Delhi. Police said he did not declare the gun as its licence had expired. Licensed arms can be kept in the pilot’s cabin and taken back after the end of the journey.

Trader killed

Calcutta: Four youths shot dead a 40-year-old trader on Thursday night after barging into his shop at Maheshtala bazar on the outskirts of the city. Tarun Naskar was hit by two bullets and died on the spot. None dared to intervene and the attackers walked out of the shop. Police said the murder could be the fallout of a real estate dispute.

Officer killed

New Delhi (PTI): A senior naval officer was crushed to death by a speeding vehicle in Chanakyapuri on Thursday. Commodore Nawaz Ahmed, 35, a deputy director at the naval headquarters, was on a morning walk in the diplomatic area when a water tanker knocked him down. Ahmed died on the spot, near the Thailand embassy. The driver of the tanker fled.

Bribe cop held

Mumbai (PTI): The station house officer of Chaubepur near here was arrested by sleuths while accepting a bribe in connection with a dowry death case. Sources said Shashi, who was married to one Rakesh of Biroha village five years ago, died on June 2 and her parents reportedly reached an agreement with the in-laws after making allegations of dowry death. The officer came to know about the agreement and demanded Rs 10,000 from the in-laws.


Jammu University will be India’s first varsity to have an FM radio station for educational programmes. The station would also air examination notices and results. The radio channel will foster talent in the youths of Jammu and Kashmir.

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