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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Status case jolt to Ajit Jogi

Raipur/Bhopal: Ajit Jogi’s tribal status came back to haunt him on Thursday when Shahdol district’s chief judicial magistrate directed police to register cases against the Chhattisgarh chief minister, reports our special correspondent.

The direction to register cases under sections 420, 467 and 468 came on the petition of Laloo Singh, the state BJP’s rural cell chief, filed in 1999 in Shahdol.

At a press conference in Raipur, Jogi dubbed the case politically motivated and pointed out that the petitioner was a BJP member. He said he would appeal in Jabalpur High Court and emphasised that the petitioner in a similar case against him last year had ended up paying damages.

“This case will also go the same way,” Jogi said. The chief minister accused the BJP of resorting to litigation as it was failing to put up a credible fight in the run-up to the Assembly polls later this year.

According to Singh, chief judicial magistrate .S. Dhulia prima facie rejected Jogi’s tribal credentials based on a certificate from Pendra tehsil issued in 1967. Singh said “Pendra became a tehsil in 1981”.

His petition had alleged that Jogi gave the false certificate to contest Lok Sabha polls from Shahdol, a reserve seat.

Jogi’s tribal status is a major political issue in Chhattisgarh, where the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has been running a campaign against him. The matter is pending before Bilaspur High Court.

After the news of Dhulia’s directions spread like wildfire, Jogi went into a huddle with his aides before going public.

There was speculation if his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Digvijay Singh was in the know of things though sources close to Digvijay pleaded ignorance. It is an open secret that the two leaders are not on the best of terms.

Activists stage dress protest

Meerut (PTI): Hundreds of Yuva Lok Dal activists staged a protest at the collectorate here alleging that a Meerut cantonment club was allowing in only people wearing European dress.

“The Wheeler Club’s denial of entry to people wearing Indian dress is an infringement on India’s Independence,” the protesters said in a letter addressed to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, which was handed over to the district magistrate.

Jaya shuffle

Chennai (PTI): Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday sacked labour minister A. Anwer Rhazza from her cabinet and reinducted V.T. Natarajan. Natarajan, representing the Illayangudi Assembly constituency, returned to the cabinet from which he was dropped on November 8. He would be sworn in on Friday. The subjects of labour, employment and training, urban and rural employment, census and Wakf held by Rhazza have been allocated to Natarajan. For Rhazza, one of the three Muslim MLAs in the ADMK, this is the second exit. Since the ADMK came back to power in May 2001, the cabinet has been shuffled 12 times.

Darshan online

Hyderabad: The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam administration is launching special counters at Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai so that devotees can book a darshan of Balaji online. The online reservation facility for rooms and the darshan will be later extended to Delhi, Calcutta and Mumbai.

Jagonmoy dies

Calcutta (PTI): Legendary Bengali singer Jagonmoy Mitra died at his Juhu residence on Wednesday following a cardiac arrest.

Camel case

Jaipur: Members of two Jodhpur-based NGOs have sought to stop the traditional camel sacrifice organised by the nawab of a former princely state and alleged that the administration facilitates the “brutal crime” though animal sacrifice is banned in Rajasthan. Rajasthan High Court has issued notices to chief minister Ashok Gehlot, the chief secretary, the home secretary, the former nawab of Tonk state and some others.


Rajasthan police is getting statues in temples across the state videographed to prove the authenticity of idols recovered from antique lifters. A floppy of the video images would be kept with every police station for reference.

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