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Nation at a Glance

Blanket scam heat on Laloo

patna: The BJP on Wednesday “unveiled” yet another scam ' this one worth over Rs 40 crore ' and charged that Rashtriya Janata Dal president Laloo Prasad Yadav, the then “de facto ruler” of Bihar, knew about the siphoning of money meant to purchase blankets for the poor affected by the 2003 cold wave, reports our correspondent.

The fodder for BJP vice-president Sushil Kumar Modi was provided by a letter written by Bihar State Financial Corporation managing director Amita Paul, whose recommendation for a vigilance investigation into the matter was ignored by the then RJD government headed by Rabri Devi, the wife of Laloo Prasad.

Modi released copies of the letter written by Paul to the industries secretary wherein she has highlighted the irregularities committed in the purchase of blankets through Bihar State Export Corporation.

“Coming after fodder, bitumen, dhoti-sari and the flood relief swindles, this is only one in a series of scams committed during the 15 years of the RJD’s rule. The total number of scams would add up to over two dozen. The conduit for the latest swindle was a Panipat-based man Vinay Garg, who is as infamous as Santosh Jha, the kingpin of the flood relief swindle,” he said.

The letter stated that procedures stipulated for the purchase of official supplies appear to have been violated by the export corporation which placed the order without inviting tenders. The letter pertains only to the Patna district for the supply of 1,13,216 blankets.

Summons to former judge

new delhi (PTI): A court on Wednesday issued summons to former Delhi High Court judge Shameet Mukherjee and four others, including the sacked Delhi Development Authority vice-chairman, Subhash Sharma, in the DDA land scam case.

Special judge H.P. Sharma, after taking cognisance of the detailed chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation on April 5, asked the accused to appear in the court on July 8.

The five have been charged with entering into a criminal conspiracy and indulging in corrupt practices. The case was registered on April 29, 2003.

The bureau alleged that Mukherjee had demanded a bribe to give a decision in favour of hotelier Vinod Khatri for building his restaurant in southwest Delhi’s posh Vasant Kunj area.

Middleman Dharambir Khattar, Khatri and Ashok Kapoor, the suspended personal secretary of Sharma, were also named in the chargesheet.

HC relief for Nana Patekar

mumbai (PTI): Bombay High Court has restrained police from arresting actor Nana Patekar for a week in a case of alleged assault on a businessman.

Justice R.S. Mohite directed the actor to appear before the Deonar police station where the case has been registered and to approach the sessions court for anticipatory bail. Apprehending arrest in a case registered by Utkarsh Morarka, Patekar had moved the high court seeking anticipatory bail. Morarka had alleged that the actor had threatened him with a gun.

Petitioner chided

jaipur (PTI): Rajasthan High Court has dismissed a Congress leader’s petition requesting that he be allowed to continue as syndicate member of Rajasthan University and admonished him for making “patently false” statements. The registrar had cancelled Sharma’s nomination as a syndicate member last July.

Naxalite attack

raipur (PTI): Ten policemen were injured when Naxalites raided a police outpost and ambushed a security vehicle on Tuesday in Chattisgarh’s Narayanpur district. Three policemen were injured at the Dhodei outpost. The district superintendent of police and six policemen sustained injuries in a landmine explosion while they were on their way to the outpost. The injured have been hospitalised and will be taken to Raipur for further treatment.

Killer father

muzaffarnagar (PTI): Worried about getting her married off, a man allegedly poisoned his 15-year-old daughter in Uttar Pradesh’s Bhokhahedi village. Imran later buried Sehrajfatima whose body was exhumed and sent for post-mortem after his wife lodged a complaint. Imran is absconding.

Uma flag case

hubli (PTI): A court has adjourned to June 10 the hearing on a revision petition filed against a lower court’s order discharging Uma Bharti in a 1994 case. The case relates to violence during an agitation to hoist the Tricolour at the disputed Idgah Maidan.


The Garhwal Rifles regiment’s Ski Trishul Expedition 2005 will for the first time attempt to ski down the 7,120-metre high Mt. Trishul in Uttaranchal after climbing it next month.

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