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Since 1st March, 1999
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The Buzz in Big Cities

Drug red card for footballer

A Nigerian club-level football player, who chose drugs over the ball to pass around, has been arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau in Noida.

Olesuwan Soli, 21, the police say, had built quite a reputation for himself on the Lagos football circuit.

“The initial background check on him reveals he was a fairly successful striker at club level, but could never settle down in any one,” an official of the narcotics bureau said.

Finally, after shifting between four clubs in as many years, Soli took to drugs, officials said.

“It may have been the fame, it may have been something else. But he has told us he lost interest in everything, including football, by 2005,” the official said.

Soli came to India mid-2006, at the invitation of fellow Nigerian addicts based here, and soon joined the chain that ensures the flow of illegal narcotics.

Arrested recently as he was waiting for a client, Soli has told the police the 600 grams of heroin he had on him were destined for the US.

Hardly a cakewalk

Economists and policy-makers are known to love cakes — to explain national income and the need for faster growth.

But, as planning expert M. Naganathan realised recently, cutting the cake can be a tricky proposition, not the creamy affair that his peers make it out to be in classrooms and seminars.

Naganathan, the vice-chairperson of the Tamil Nadu planning commission, struggled to clean his cream-smeared hands as he tried to slice a cake meant for P. Chidambaram on his birthday.

The event was organised by local Congress leaders to celebrate the finance minister’s big day, though the man himself was away in Delhi.

The former professor of economics at Madras University had spent much of his life drawing the “cake” analogies, much like other teachers of the subject. But it wasn’t realised growth isn’t a cakewalk.

Headgear for pigeon thief

Criminals are often presented before the media hooded. But in a recent case, Bangalore police pulled off a surprise when they produced a notorious thief in a helmet.

Before one wondered whether criminals, like two-wheeler riders, were required to wear helmets, the officers explained that Manjunath had a penchant for banging his head against a wall and accusing police of torture when brought before a magistrate. He got bail in over 30 cases this way.

his time, though, no one wanted to take a chance: a helmet was strapped to his head.

“Pigeon Manja”, as the police call him, had an unusual way of robbing homes. He would clip a pigeon’s wings and drop it on the terrace of a house from a nearby tree or billboard. Then, he would get in on the pretext of retrieving his “pet bird” and size up entry and exit points, only to strike later.

Jewellery and two vehicles, valued at Rs 17 lakh, were recovered from him. Now, Manjunath may like to use his “pigeons” to send distress messages from prison, an officer said in jest.

At crossroads

Ragpickers will pave the way for better roads in the capital.

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit has announced that plastic waste would be used, along with bitumen, to lay new roads that are expected to last longer.

The discarded plastic bags, to be purchased from rag pickers, will limit wear and tear of roads, she told a conference on road design.

The plan also promises the government savings in the money it now spends on upkeep.

Delhi: Hindu rituals and Andulasian culture meet, as Manuela Carrasco and her group from Spain present the gypsy Romali culture through the Flamenco dance on Tuesday. Carrasco, a household name in Spain, will be performing at the India International Centre at 6.30pm.

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