Sushma Swaraj

Hijacked oil tanker rescued after four days, no casualties

An oil tanker has been rescued which went missing with 22 Indians on board off the coast of Benin in West Africa on 1 February, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday.

All the 22 crew members have been released safe by pirates after four days, the ship has resumed sailing, official said.

"I am happy to inform that Merchant Ship Marine Express with 22 Indian nationals on board has been released," Swaraj tweeted.

The External Affair Minister has also thanked government of Nigeria and Benin for their support in the matter.

Swaraj had spoken to her Nigerian counterpart on Monday to seek assistance in tracing the missing oil tanker.

The Indian mission in Abuja was in touch with Nigeria and Benin for help in locating the ship.

"The ship, Marine Express, has been released and is back under the command of the captain," Director General of Shipping Malini Shankar told PTI in Mumbai.

It was not immediately clear if any ransom was paid to secure the release of the vessel and the cargo.

The Marine Express was anchored in Cotonou in the Gulf of Guinea in Benin when it was taken over by pirates on 1 February. All communication systems on the vessel were switched off by pirates before making it sail.

In a Facebook post, ship manning agent Anglo Eastern said the Panama-flagged vessel was the victim of "pirate attack and seizure" and confirmed its safe release.

(With agency inputs)

Stabbed To Death

23-year-old photographer stabbed to death by girlfriend's kin

Photo Courtesy: Internet

Worry gripped when a 23-year-old was stabbed to death by the family member of his girlfriend from the different community in Khyala, west Delhi area, police said today.

As per the police, the family of the girl was against the deceased who was a professional photographer and the sole breadwinner.

The victim was in a relationship for 2-3 years with a 20-year-old girl in neighbor, a student of 2nd year of graduation by correspondence.

The incident took place yesterday when the victim’s father was not at home and the family of the girl got in an argument with the boy, that later turned violent. Despite being warned by them, the victim kept meeting the girl, police said.

The violence of the argument led the girl's father, mother, uncle and a minor brother caught the victim and one of them stabbed him in the neck, police further added.

Police also informed during the intervention of the boy’s mother to shield her son, girl’s family thrashed her.

Yet the accused fled from the spot but the locals caught hold of the girl's uncle and thrashed him, later handed him over to police.

While informing about the incident to the police, the deceased was later taken to the hospital where he was declared brought dead.

All the accused in the matter have been nabbed also in the evening, the minor brother was apprehended, police said.


Pleas against jallikattu, bullock cart races referred to constitute bench

Photo Courtesy: Internet

The apex court on Friday has referred the Jallikttu cases in regards to its bull-taming sport to the Constitution bench.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Juustice RF Nariman bench had framed five questions to be adjudicated on by the Constitution bench.

While giving the orders, Justice Nariman said "We have arranged five questions for the Constitution bench."

Jallikattu, which is also known Eruthazhuvuthal, is a bull-taming sport that is played just in Tamil Nadu, through the nation, as part of the Pongal harvest festival.

On which the top court had earlier on 12 December last year said that it would refer to a five-judge constitution bench a batch of pleas challenging Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra laws for allowing such activities.

However, while reserving its order, it had said the larger bench would take the action on whether states have the "legislative competence" to make such laws on grounds, including that 'jallikattu' and bullock cart racing fell under the cultural rights enshrined under Article 29(1) and can be protected constitutionally.

The state laws have been challenged in the apex court after Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have amended the central law, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and allowed jallikattu and bullock cart racing.

Supreme Court had dismissed the TN government’s plea that had a request of reviewing the 2014 judgement which banned judgment of using bulls for jallikattu in the state and bullock cart races across India.

2014 judgment had said that bulls cannot be used for performing, either for jallikattu events or bullock-cart races anywhere in India.

Ranthambore Main

Ranthambhore records 67 tigers in reserve

Ranthombhore is ready to become the nursery for the tigers in Rajasthan. The RTR on today’s date holds the highest numbers of tigers in the history of the park. According to the reports the total number of tiger in the park is 67. Among them 21 are males and 20 are females with a total of 26 cubs, and it is getting beyond the carrying capacity of the park, with the tigers straying out in the nearby.