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

Pakistan frees 74 Indian fishermen

karachi (PTI): Pakistan on Tuesday released 74 Indian fishermen in a fresh bid to boost the peace process, officials said.

“We have released all 74 Indian fishermen,” commander of Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency Sibte Hassan said at a formal repatriation ceremony held aboard the agency’s ship, Nazim. “It is an important step taken by the government of Pakistan to promote peace in the region.”

The ship later escorted the fishermen and their 23 boats to Indian waters.

Welcoming the move, Captain R.B. Pandit, naval attache in the Indian high commission said Delhi would release 93 Pakistani fishermen later on Tuesday.

A foreign ministry statement had earlier said the gesture was part of Pakistan Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali’s May 6 peace package in response to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s offer to normalise ties.

This was the second batch of Indian fishermen released by Pakistan since Jamali responded positively to Vajpayee’s overture in April.

Islamabad freed 269 Indian fishermen in September, two years after they were detained when they strayed into Pakistani territorial waters in the Arabian Sea.

TV & telephone for BSF jawans

jaisalmer (PTI): The Border Security Force has decided to bring some cheer to the lives of its jawans by providing them entertainment and better communication facilities at border posts.

A detailed study of problems faced by the thousands of jawans guarding the country’s frontiers revealed that delay in sanctioning leave is a key cause of frustration, official sources said. The force has made arrangements for quick sanction of leave for personnel stationed in the border areas, the sources added.

The BSF, in association with the telecommunications department, will set up telephone booths near border posts, the sources said, adding that efforts are also being made to provide satellite phone facilities on a priority basis.

The border posts would be provided with television sets, video players, newspapers and magazines.

Steps are also being taken to improve living conditions of the jawans as well as their families back home who will be given better health and educational facilities, the sources added.

Prison for acid attack student

Bhubaneswar: A judicial magistrate in Cuttack has awarded a college student three years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000 for injuring his classmate by throwing acid on her face.

The accused, Manoranjan Sahu, is a student of Ravenshaw College in Cuttack and was in love with Babita Behera. As his love was unrequited, a frustrated Manoranjan splashed sulphuric acid on Babita’s face when chemistry practical classes were on.

Mallika case

ahmedabad (PTI): Dhimant Upadhyay, a co-accused in the alleged US visa racket involving danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, has urged for anticipatory bail in a local court, saying his role has not been specified in the FIR.

Blind protest

tiruchirapalli (PTI): Girls of a blind school observed a fast on Tuesday to protest against the lack of basic amenities and shortage of teachers. The school authorities admitted that there were not enough hands to teach English and mathematics, but said efforts were on to improve facilities at the school.

Life sentence

jind (PTI): Six persons have been sentenced to life imprisonment in a double murder case at Kabarchha village in this district. A fine was also imposed on the six charged with killing two persons following a land dispute in 1998.

Leopard killed

palakkad (PTI): A leopard which had strayed into the workers’ quarters in an estate at Nelliyampathy in the district was hacked to death on Tuesday, police said. Before being killed, the leopard had attacked a worker and his son. As they cried out for help, people from nearby houses gathered and hacked the animal to death.

Naxalite blast

hyderabad (PTI): Activists of the People’s War Group blew up a forest guesthouse near Chintala in Prakasham district. The guesthouse was empty when the blast took place, police said. NIIT Technologies is set to launch a project to help improve the CRPF’s efficiency. Titled Selo (service and loyalty, the paramilitary force’s motto), the project will involve complete systems integration, site preparation and setting up IT infrastructure.

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