Wednesday, February 28, 2024

National Nuggets

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Two more children die of encephalitis in Bihar

Patna: Suspected encephalitis, which causes irritation and swelling of the brain, claimed the lives of two more children in Bihar’s Araria district on Monday, taking toll to seven in last four days, officials said. Araria district magistrate Ajay Kumar Choudhury said that two more children succumbed to the disease and two other children are critical in hospital with similar symptoms. According to district health officials, the latest death of two children was reported from Belwa panchayat area near Araria town. Araria Civil Surgeon B.K. Thakur said that last week five children died of the disease. Choudhury said preventive measures have been undertaken on war footing since last week following the deaths of the five children. A team of health experts from Patna visited the affected village in Araria three days ago following the directive of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to check the spread of the disease. Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain resulting either from a viral infection or when the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks the brain tissue. Till now, over three dozens children have died of the disease this year in the state. Last year, the disease killed nearly 240 children in Muzaffarpur and Gaya districts. (IANS)

Centre mulls fresh incentives for IT companies

Thiruvananthapuram: The central government is working out a new scheme to provide fresh incentives to information technology (IT) companies following demands from the industry, said a minister. The decision comes after the income tax benefits to new IT companies set up under the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) ended in 2011. Speaking to reporters here Monday, Minister of State for Communications, Information Technology and Shipping Milind Deora said the finance ministry was working this out. “IT companies coming under the STPI will be eligible for this new incentive,” he said. STPI was set up in 1992. All IT companies established under it were given income tax benefits. After the scheme ended 2011, many IT companies from Kerala have been requesting for its extension. “The central government will be considerate to the IT industry and for that, respective state governments will also have to play their parts by providing land to STPIs,” added Deora. Kerala IT exports recently crossed Rs.5,000 crore. Deora pointed out he will be unable to do anything when companies from outside Kerala employ thousands here but the income they generate through Kerala operations is accounted for from the states the firms are headquartered in. (IANS)

Maoists torch vehicles to protest road construction

Bhubaneswar: Maoists torched two vehicles in Odisha’s Koraput district to protest the construction of a road in the region, police said on Monday. The rebels raided the camp of a contractor near Karli village, over 500 km from here, Sunday evening and set fire to a tipper and a JCB machine parked near it, Inspector-in -Charge K.C. Sethi told IANS. The vehicles were being used in road construction under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), he said. The rebels are active in more than half of the state’s 30 districts. They are opposing construction of roads in the interior areas, considered to be their strong holds, to impede movement of security forces. The latest incident comes two days after left wing extremists set ablaze two tractors and a JCB excavator at a road construction site in neighbouring Rayagada district. (IANS)

One more held in Bihar for Gujarat trader’s abduction

Patna: One more man was arrested in Bihar for his alleged role in the abduction of a Gujarat-based businessman Oct 29, police said on Monday. Bihar Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested Prem Prakash, a close associate of main suspect and gangster Chandan Sonar from Vaishali district, and interrogated him in connection with the case, a police officer said. CID officials suspect that Prakash was involved in the kidnapping and received his share of Rs.10 lakh from the staggering Rs.25 crore ransom money. The CID is probing the suspected role of a ruling Janata Dal-United leader in the sensational abduction of a Gujarat-based businessman for ransom. Earlier, police arrested three people who are in remand of Daman police. One of the arrested is Ranjit Singh, and police are looking for his brother Dipak Kumar and Chandan Sonar, who are said to have played an important role in the abduction. The businessman was released Nov 30 after the Rs.25 crore ransom was paid. The CID team is visiting Daman for investigations. According to police officials, Surat-based textile businessman, Sohel Hingora (21), was abducted Oct 29 from near his industrial unit at Dharampur village in Daman and was taken to Bihar, where he was kept in Saran and Patna districts by his armed captors. Hanif Hingora, father of the abducted man, alleged that a JD-U leader, some police officers and a professional gang from Bihar were involved in the crime. (IANS)

2 Malaysian giraffes released

Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh Environment and Forest Minister S Vijaya Rama Raju today released two Malaysian giraffe in the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park here. While the male giraffe has been named ‘Samaikya’, female giraffe has been named ‘Andhra’. The partner would be known as ‘Smaikya Andhra’ or ‘United Andhra’. Speaking after releasing the two giraffes here, he said the zoo, set up in 1972, was one of the best in the country, and announced that to increase the number of visitors, a pair of cheetahs from the Czech Republic would be added under an exchange programme by “Sankranti. Hundreds of wildlife enthusiasts who thronged the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park were thrilled to see the new arrivals – a pair of giraffe from Malaysia and a rhino from Kanpur. A cheetah couple will be a Sankranti-eve gift to the zoo. Two pairs of black and white swans were among the new arrivals. The giraffes, after the end of their long quarantine period, were allowed for public viewing along with the rhino, which turned aggressive and ran amok jumping out of its enclosure immediately after its arrival here from the Kanpur zoo eight months ago. (UNI)

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