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Thursday, September 17, 1998
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Violence follows damage to statue
VIRUDHUNAGAR (TN), Sept 16 (PTI) — Members of two communities clashed and government buses and shops were damaged as violence broke out after a statue of freedom fighter Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar was found damaged here today. A few state government corporation buses and about a dozen shops were damaged while bus services on Virudhunagar Road were affected for more than three hours following the clashes before the police intervened and brought the situation under control. The situation in the town was now normal. A strong contingent of police had been deployed in sensitive areas.

George meets Jaya
CHENNAI, Sept 16 (UNI) — Defence Minister and Samata Party leader George Fernandes today discussed the political situation with AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalitha at her Poes Garden residence here this morning. The meeting lasted about 90 minutes. The details of the meeting were not immediately available. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of the ruling DMK, the arch rival of the AIADMK, moving closer to expressing support to the Vajpayee Government at the Centre, and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee asserting at a press conference here this morning that he would welcome support from any quarters.

Poisonous gas
RAIGARH, Sept 16 (PTI) — Five persons died after inhaling a poisonous gas emanating from a well in Mahua village in neighbouring Bilaspur district, the police said today. The police said Suresh Rawat entered the well in his field to examine the functioning of two motors. When he did not come out, four others entered the well and all of them succumbed to the poisonous gas. The victims were identified as Suresh Rawat, Chandrashekhar Singh, Santosh Gaur, Suraj Singh and Govardhan.

Ethnic violence
GUWAHATI, Sept 16 (PTI) — In fresh incidents of arson today, miscreants set ablaze several houses at Daikarguri village even as the toll in the worst-ever ethnic clashes between Bodos and Santhals in Lower Assam’s Kokrajhar district rose to 35. Besides the loss of human lives, 700 houses were set ablaze in the clashes. Official reports received here said 25 bodies had so far been found.

No change in dates
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 (PTI) — There is no change in the schedule of the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy examinations which will be held by the UPSC on September 20, as scheduled, an official press note said here today.

SURAT, Sept 16 (PTI) — The Narmada crossed the danger mark by two metres at the Golden bridge of Broach district at 5 a.m. today, Central Water Commission sources said here. The water level of the Ukai dam was slightly below the danger mark of 345-ft at 9 a.m. while at Hope bridge across the Tapti river it was two feet below the danger mark of 96-ft. Over 5000-odd marooned people residing in the low-lying areas of Rander, Katargam and Varachha were shifted to safer places. People living in the villages of Chhaprabhatha, Variav and Bhatha were also shifted by the district authorities early this morning, district flood control office said.

LUCKNOW, Sept 16 (PTI) — The BSP today expelled former Deputy Union Minister Rampujan Patel from its primary membership for anti-party activities. The action has been taken for his alleged acts of "indiscipline" and "anti-party activities", a BSP press note said. Earlier this month, the state general secretary D.P. Bora was also expelled from the party on similar charges.

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Deputy PMs
MOSCOW, Sept 16 (AFP) — President Boris Yeltsin today appointed three Centrists — Vladimir Ryzhkov, Alexander Shokhin and Vladimir Bulgak, as Deputy Prime Ministers, Interfax reported. The three were appointed by a presidential decree, the agency said. Communist Yury Maslyukov has already been appointed the First Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the economy.

BANGALORE, Sept 16 (PTI) — ISRO has chosen Ariane space to launch its INSAT-3B, satellite in 1999. INSAT-3B, which is scheduled for launch in the second quarter of 1999, will be the eighth Indian satellite entrusted to the Ariane launcher, an ISRO press note said here today.

2 discharged
NEW DELHI, Sept 16 (PTI) — The Supreme Court today discharged two accused, allegedly belonging to the Dawood Ibrahim gang, in the sensational J.J. Hospital shootout case of 1992 when one member of the Arun Gawli gang and two policemen were killed by miscreants. A Division Bench, while quashing charges framed against Suresh Budharnal Kalani, alias Pappu Kalani and Aken Kumar Gajendra Rai Desai, said the evidence taken into account by the TADA court while framing charges was "inadmissible."

Minister’s kin dead
GORAKHPUR, Sept 16 (UNI) — Mrs Phoolkunwari Devi, grandmother of Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Rural Development Shivendra Singh, and her attendant were found dead in the ancestral house in the Siswa Bazar area under Maharajganj district yesterday. According to the District Magistrate of Maharajganj, Mrs Phoolkunwari Devi (70) and her servant Ramu (15) were last seen at dinner time the previous day. District Magistrate Dr Ramesh Kumar said that it was a suspected case of food poisoning. Now the police is trying to find out whether it was accidental or intentional, he said.

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