Prez's eye check-up

KATHMANDU: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav underwent a special eye check-up at the BP Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies on Sunday, as he had been experiencing blurred vision. Rajendra Dahal, press advisor of the president, said the President's check-up last two hours. The doctors said there was nothing wrong with President Yadav's eyes. The specialists involved in the checkup were Dr Amod Gupta from Chandigarh (India), Dr Raj Vardan Azad from All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi, and Prof Dev Narayan Shah, chief of the centre. The president had underwent a cataract operation on December 14 and January 24 at the centre. — HNS

Retired police officers

Kathmandu: A writ petition has been filed at the Supreme Court challenging the recent decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs that pensioned off seven police officers. Deputy Inspectors Generals Bharat Bahadur GC and Bir Sharan Thapa; SSPs Arjun Kumar Mainali and Jivan Shrestha and SPs Gopal Bahadur Rayamajhi and Samba Raj Basnet have moved the apex court jointly. They have sought the apex court's intervention in the case. The Ministry of Home Affairs, Home Minister, Home Secretary, Police Headquarters and Inspector General of Police have been made defendents. Despite the Prime Minister's order, the Home Ministry did not extend the tenure of the police officials. They also sought the apex court's intervention to reinstate them and extend their tenure by two years. — HNS

Naag Panchami

Kathmandu: Hindu devotees throughout the country today observed Naag Panchami by offering special prayers to serpent deities.There is a belief among the people that such worshipping prevents them from natural disaster and danger of animals. The festival falls on the fifth day after the full moon in the month of Shrawan in line with the Lunar calendar. On this day, Hindu priests visit devotees' homes, stick pictures of snakes on their main gates and perform Puja with cow dung, flower, milk and beatle nut. The eight serpent deities worshipped are Ananta, Basuki, Padma, Mahapadma, Takshyaka, Kulee, Karkata and Sankha. According to Hindu mythology, pasting and worshiping the pictures and idols of serpent deities also fortifies the house from lightning, fire, venomous snakes and scorpions. As the serpent deities are also associated with monsoon, it is believed that paying homage to nagas will create drought-free environment and ensure good harvest. On the occasion, a fountain of milk was offered to the idol of a serpent deity at Nag Pokhari, Naxal. Hindu devotees had thronged Nag Bahal in Patan, Basukithan in Pashupatinath and Naag Pokhari from early in the morning. — HNS