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Last updated: Sunday, May 25, 2003

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April 2003 News - four stories

Committee formed to lower curtain on dispute
Bodhgaya, 19 April, (Dainik Jagran). In the field of maintaining the cultural heritage of Bihar the Mahanth Shatanand Giri Sanskrit College is the custodian of a splendid tradition, but, today due to clashes caused by utter selfishness it is in tatters after a matter of a mere few years. full story

Killer pneumonia threat looms over Bihar town IANS PATNA: 6, April, 2003 (New India Press). A Bihar town that receives throngs of tourists from Southeast Asian nations is at high risk of an outbreak of killer pneumonia as there is no facility for screening passengers arriving by air. A large number of visitors have landed at Gaya international airport since the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in East and Southeast Asia and have entered the town without any health checks. Most of the tourists have come to visit Bodh Gaya, the birthplace of Buddhism 10 km from Gaya town. full story at New India Press

Fear that SARS may enter India via Gaya Airport Delhi/Bodhgaya, April 5th, (The Statesman). Fear is growing that SARS may enter the country through the Gaya International Airport as no arrangements are there for medical screening of passengers coming from South East Asian countries. Gaya’s airport authorities, which began functioning only recently, are still to set up such screening facilities for passengers though the Centre has directed all international airports and sea ports to do so to prevent the entry of the killer flu, causing panic in South-east Asian countries and Canada, from entering India. Bodhgaya, one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimages, gets numerous visitors from Thailand and South-east Asian countries. Sources at the airport said Indian Airlines’ Bodhgaya–Bangkok and Bodhgaya–Sri Lanka international flights were operational and passengers from South-east Asian nations were being allowed to check-out without proper medical check-up. Director of the Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport Mr AK Singh, however, said that no arrangements were required here right now to check the killer pneumonia as the airport was not operating any direct international passenger traffic. The airport used to operate international flights to Kathmandu earlier, but they remain suspended for the past several months, he said. Senior civil aviation ministry officials in Delhi also asserted there was only one weekly flight from Bangkok arriving at Bodhgaya and therefore there was no reason to panic. full story on the Statesman

Ten Thousand Fedayeen to go from Gaya to Iraq: Shakeel Gaya, 4 April 2003, (Dainik Jagran). Minority Welfare, Energy and Law Minister Shakeel Ahmad Khan announced on Friday in the Gandhi Maidan at Gaya that in support of Saddam Hussain of Iraq ten thousand Fedayeen will go to Iraq. Mr Khan was addressing citizens who had come from a peace march from the Tanjim Aimme Mosque. Mr Khan said that America, Europe and other countries had attacked Iraq. America and Britain are the greatest terrorists in the world. Mr Khan said that several hundred thousands of people in Bihar were supporters of Saddam Hussain. [followed by long list of people at meeting].

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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.