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Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Conversion heat on Orissa preacher

Bhubaneswar: Tension gripped Deogarh district when some members of the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad allegedly burnt leaflets of a Christian missionary and ransacked a church at a village on Thursday, reports our correspondent.

The mob, protesting against the illegal conversion of four tribal families of Ambulpani village by John Nayak, a preacher from the Gospel for Asia, also allegedly misbehaved with a nun of the church.

About 15 members of the Bajrang Dal and the VHP broke into the rented house of Nayak and ransacked it. The preacher was not at home.

They took away sackfuls of leaflets and booklets from Nayak’s home and set them on fire.

Deogarh superintendent of police Laxmidhar Nayak said the protesters also went to the official residence of collector B.P. Mishra and burnt some more leaflets before his house when they did not find him.

They met the additional district magistrate and submitted a memorandum, protesting against growing conversions in the area.

Soon after, at 2.45 pm, the mob marched to Rajamunda square in Deogarh town and attacked a small church. Police said they misbehaved with a nun and broke windowpanes. They also burnt leaflets and raised anti-conversion slogans.

8 Tamils face death in Malaysia

Paramakudi (PTI): Eight persons who had gone to Malaysia from Tamil Nadu in search of jobs have been sentenced to death there, a human rights group said on Friday.

According to Murugesan, the organiser of the Ramanathapuram District Human Rights Kazhagam, eight persons from the southern districts of Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga — Elangovan, Selvam, Sathyendran, Tiruselvam, Abimanyan, Gunasekharan, Varadharajan and Saravanan — had gone to Malaysia in search of jobs and stayed together on the first floor of a house in Kuala Lumpur.

Police raided the house on April 25, 2003, and although they found nothing incriminating in the part of the house rented by the Indians, they seized narcotic drugs from the portion where the owner stayed. However, the owner as well as the Indians were arrested.

A court found the Indians innocent and released them. But the police, Murugesan said, filed a fresh “malicious charge” on various counts, including overstaying and smuggling of narcotic drugs.

The eight men were again produced in court, which sentenced them to death. Their parents have appealed through the Centre to the Malaysian government to set them free.

UP governor kin robbed

Lucknow (PTI): The nephew of Uttar Pradesh governor Vishnu Kant Shastri was drugged and robbed while coming from Howrah to Lucknow, official sources said.

Additional director-general of police D.P. Sinha said Vidhu Shankar Shastri was robbed of Rs 7,000 when he fell unconscious on board Himgiri Express after having tea offered by a fellow passenger at Patna. He regained consciousness only after reaching Chare station in Lucknow.

BJP leader held

Ajmer (PTI): A woman BJP councillor was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 1,500 from a shopkeeper by the Anti-Corruption Bureau on Thursday. Bureau sources said Seeta Devi, an elected member of the Ajmer Municipal Council, was released on bail.

Death damages

New Delhi (PTI): After more than nine years, the Uttar Pradesh government has paid compensation to the family of a person who had died in police custody. The compensation of Rs 1 lakh was paid following directives of the National Human Rights Commission that had received a report from the superintendent of police, Ambedkar Nagar, about the death of one Bujhai in police custody on May 30, 1994.

Quacks charged

Muzaffarnagar (PTI): Criminal cases have been registered against 78 quacks found practising in the district. Officials said they were practising without proper qualifications during raids conducted by the Uttar Pradesh health department recently.

Tremor in Bhuj

New Delhi (PTI): An earthquake of slight intensity occurred in Bhuj, Gujarat, on Friday. Officials here said the tremor measured 3.9 on the Richter scale and was felt at 9.11 am. There were, however, no reports of casualties.

Man-wife suicide

Madurai (PTI): A man committed suicide along with his second wife by consuming poison at Keezhaazhagu Natchiarpuram, about 120 km from here, after being allegedly tormented by his first wife. Police said Periyarajan and Mariammal were living separately for some years. Periyarajan married again, but his first wife harassed them.


Government employees who migrated to Jammu from Kashmir will get a special increment for undergoing sterilization. It will be in the form of pay to those who are drawing leave salary and have undergone sterilization or pledged to do so.

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