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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

CBI raids Hudco officials’ houses

Chennai: The CBI on Saturday raided 12 premises linked to the former Chennai region chief of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Arul Kmar, in connection with the alleged defrauding of the corporation of crores of rupees, reports our special correspondent.

The premises in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh include Kumar’s residence in Ambattur here, as well as in Nagercoil and Hyderabad.

The CBI is believed to have seized several incriminating documents and the raids are expected to go on till late this evening, official sources said.

Kumar, who is now the Hudco’s regional chief in Andhra Pradesh, had worked hand-in-glove with two builders to whom he had sanctioned housing loans, the bureau says. The builders — Majestic and Ahinta — had then allegedly sold properties given as collateral security for the loans without Hudco’s knowledge, the CBI claims. This, sources say, prevented the corporation from recovering the loans.

Following another search, the CBI on Friday arrested three persons — including an employee of the Air Customs unit — for allegedly taking bribes from passengers. The three arrested, following complaints from some passengers, were allegedly involved in under-valuing excess baggage on which customs duty is levied.

The customs official had, in one case, demanded Rs 4,000 for clearing the baggage of a person who had arrived from Korea, sources said.

Mob halts temple demolitions

Mumbai (PTI): Angered over the demolition of some religious structures, residents in the busy Cheera Bazar area mobbed civic authorities forcing them to call a halt to the exercise, police said on Saturday.

A mob gathered in the area late on Friday night after a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation demolition squad razed three allegedly illegal temples, they said.

The mob was apprehensive that the squad might demolish some more temples in the area which it believes are legal, sources said.

“They wanted a written assurance from the civic authorities that those temples will not be demolished,” deputy commissioner of police, zone II, Naval Bajaj said.

The sources said as the situation worsened, police deployed a strike force and summoned a water cannon.

Fake Kalam aide in net

Mumbai (PTI): The CBI has taken custody of a man who posed as staff of President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and allegedly duped people here and in Delhi, police sources said on Saturday.

A CBI team from Delhi, which arrived here two days ago, has taken Sayyad Hussain Naqvi alias Zulfikar Ali alias Gulfam Khan into custody. He was arrested by Dongri police a week ago, the sources said. He used to pose as S.M. Khan, former deputy principal information officer of the CBI and now an aide of the President of India.

Pak boat seized

New Delhi (PTI): A Pakistani fishing boat, Al Noor, with six persons was apprehended by a coastguard ship about 67 nautical miles north-west of Dwarka. It was caught on Friday for fishing in India’s maritime zone without valid licence or permit.

Maid-beater held

Dubai (PTI): An Indian woman in Manama, Bahrain, is in police custody after she allegedly beat up her maid from Uttar Pradesh. The maid was rescued after the Indian Association general secretary A. Lobo alerted them about her being beaten up.

UK woos migrants

London(PTI): Britain has effected changes in its migrant programme, in an effort to attract the brightest and the best from India and other places, the home ministry has announced. From next summer, foreign nationals who have studied mathematics, science or engineering at any UK institution will be able to work in Britain for 12 months after graduation under the new scheme.

Kalpana film

Mumbai (PTI): The Nehru Planetarium is gearing up to remember the works of Indian-born US astronaut Kalpana Chawla. At a function at the Nehru Centre on November 10, Kalpana’s husband Jean-Pierre Harrison will videoscreen her career as an astronaut, a release said.

Sex racket busted

New Delhi (PTI): A high-profile prostitution racket has been busted in Sahibabad area, adjoining Delhi, with the arrest of 14 people, including a model and a bank manager, police said on Saturday.


The Centre has approved a sewerage plant project to save the Dal Lake from pollution, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said. Chunti Khul, another water body near the Dal Lake, will also be cleaned up, he added.

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