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Double delight for Honda in National Motorcycle C'ship

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Midway into the season, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India riders blazed their way to twin victories in both PS 165 and PS201-300cc classes in Round 3 of the MRF MMSC FMSCI National Motorcycle Racing Championship.
 
After hauling in victory in both PS165 and PS201-300 classes on Saturday, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India riders repeated their performance with 5 more podiums, including 2 victories. 
 
Grabbing 10 podiums, including double wins by Rajiv in Pro-Stock 165 and Anish in Pro-Stock 201-300 in this round, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India now leads in all 3 standings (team, rider and manufacturer) in both the classes.
 
Despite his first position start in Sunday's PS 165cc race, Rajiv got pushed back to the 5th spot in the first lap itself. However, after a crash of another rider in lap 3, Rajiv climbed up in hot pursuit of the lead rider. 
 
The next 5 laps saw him maintain his cool and shave off seconds with the leader. It was finally in the last lap that Rajiv's smart manoeuvre in last turn pushed him ahead as he finished first with total lap time of 16:07:022 - a mere 0.010 seconds ahead of Ahamed.
 
Meanwhile, Sarath rounded up the podium for IDEMITSU Honda Ten10 Racing team with his 3rd podium finish. Rajiv now leads the championship with 100 points, winning all 4 races that he took part in.
 
INMRC - ProStock 201-300cc
In its debut season in the ProStock 201-300cc class, the rider trio from IDEMISTU Honda Racing India team dominated the ranks for the seond day as well. Hubli boy Anish Shetty maintained his momentum in the race to finish 1st, stopping the clock at 16:13.776 and grabbing his third win in this class. Completing the podium were Bengaluru boy Abhishek V. (2nd) and local lad Aravind B. (3rd).
 
IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup - NSF250R
Sunday's 8 lap race saw Mikail notching up his second win this season. The race saw multiple back and forth between Kritik Habib and Mikail before 15-year-old Mikhail from Chennai overpowered the Karnataka boy with a 3-second lead (total lap time 14:48:615). Completing the podium was Kavin at 3rd position.
 
IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup - CBR150R
The action-packed race led by the Gen-next riders saw Samuel Martin, Lal Nunsanga and Deepak Kumar completing the podium. Bengaluru boy Samuel Martin fought neck-to-neck with Lal Nunsanga and took the first position with a timing of 00:13:15, pushing Mizoram boy Lal Nunsanga to the 2nd position. Following them was Chennai boy Deepak Kumar securing the 3rd position.
 
IANS

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Rajiv Sethu records third win in a row, season’s maiden success for Rahil Shetty

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International rider Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) notched his third win in a row in the Pro-Stock 165cc class while Hyderabad’s Rahil Shetty (Sparks Racing) kept his nerves and wits to pull off a brilliant victory in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc category on the second day of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship Round 3 at the MMRT here today.
 
Also scoring impressive wins on the day in the National Championship were Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty who led a podium sweep for Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing in the Pro-Stock 201-300cc category and Venkatesan who topped the Novice (Stock 165cc) race.
 
Sethu, who missed the first round due to international commitments, is in a catch-up mode in the championship stakes, and his hat-trick of wins took him to third on the leaderboard with 75 points behind TVS Racing’s Jagan Kumar (94) and team-mate Sarath Kumar (78) going into tomorrow’s second race.
 
The trio was involved in a thrilling battle that went down to the wire with Sethu, having overcome a poor start from pole position, managed to get past seven-times National champion Jagan on the last lap for a well-deserved win while Sarath followed the TVS Racing ace home. Less than a second separated the three podium finishers.
 
Equally superb win was that of 21-year old Rahil Shetty who battled not just his rivals but also his own error-filled riding before squeezing past TVS Racing pair of Deepak Ravikumar and KY Ahamed in the last lap. “I made too many mistakes today, but somehow managed to pull through,” said a relieved Shetty who started on P3. Despite the second-place finish, Ravikumar continues to lead the championship in this category with 86 points, followed by Ahamed (73) while Shetty (35) is placed seventh.
 
Racing on the same grid as the 301-400cc bikes, Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty logged his second consecutive win with team-mates Abhishek Vasudev and Aravind Balakrishnan following him home. Today’s win took Anish’s tally to 65, well ahead of Mathan Kumar of Erula Racing (47) and Vasudev (45).
 
Earlier, in yet another close race, Venkatesan also registered his first win of the season in the Novice class after battling Mohan Babu (Rockers Racing) and Abhimanyu Gautam (Sparks Racing) over six laps. Lakshmipathy Balaji (Alpha Racing) missed out on the podium by a whisker as the four crossed the finish line covered by less than a second. Abhimanyu, though, continues to head the leaderboard with 80 points, trailed by Venkatesan (73) and Mohan Babu (57) going into the second race tomorrow.
 
Results:
 
National Championship:
 
Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Race-1): 1. Rahil Pillari Shetty (Sparks Racing) (11mins, 41.443secs); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing) (11:41.990); 3. KY Ahamed (TVS Racing) (11:42.201).
 
Pro-Stock 201-300cc (Race-1): 1. Anish Shetty (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:11.667); 2. Abhishek Vasudev (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:20.100); 3. Aravind Balakrishnan (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:20.245).
 
Pro-Stock 165cc (Race-1): 1. Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:01.973); 2. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) (12:02.073); 3. Sarath Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:02.833).
 
Novice (Stock 165cc) Race-1 (6 laps): 1. Venkatesan I (Motomaniacz Racing) (13:06.397); 2. Mohan Babu P (Rockers Racing) (13:06.447); 3. Abhimanyu Gautam (Sparks Racing) (13:06.628).
 
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Pole position for Sivanesan Sethu, Anish Shetty; Ryhana Bee top qualifier among girls

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Sivanesan Sethu pulled off a stunning flying lap to lead a 1-2 for TVS Racing in the Pro-Stock 301-400cc category qualifying session as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship got off to a storming start at the MMRT here today.
 
Sivanesan, clocked a sizzling 01min, 54.325secs followed by team-mate and fellow-Chennai rider K Y Ahamed (01:54.871), with Hyderabad’s Rahil Shetty of Sparks Racing (01:55.001) completing the front row for tomorrow’s race.
 
Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing, led by Bengaluru riders Anish Shetty (01:57.384), and Abhishek Vasudev (01:59.890), and Chennai’s Aravind Balakrishnan (02:00.969), qualified for the top three spots in that order in the Pro-Stock 201-300cc class.
 
Championship leader Ryhana Bee of Sparks Racing (02:11.216), team-mate Ann Jennifer (02:12.189) and Speed Demonz Racing’s Lani Zena Fernandez (02:14.007) were the top three qualifiers in the Girls category.
 
Lighting up the day’s proceedings was a bunch of teenagers, led by 15-year-old Mohammed Mikail from Chennai, who scorched the track in the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup riding the FIM Moto3-spec NSF 250R bikes. All the eight riders comfortably went under two minutes in the qualifying session, with Mikail grabbing pole position (01:48.949), ahead of two other Chennai riders, 14-year old Kavin Samaar Quintal (01:50.345) and 16-year old Varoon Sadasivam (01:51.198). Charan Thangavel, also from Chennai, who finished eighth and last, timed 01:56.828.
 
Meanwhile, Rajiv Sethu  (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing), who scored a double in the previous round, but is trailing team-mate Sarath Kumar by 13 points and championship leader Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) by 26, set the early pace in the Pro-Stock 165cc class by topping the only free practice session, with a flying lap of 01:59.956.
 
Jagan, a seven times national champion, had a disappointing run with a 02:03.413 to come in ninth as against his team-mate K Y Ahamed who was second quickest in 02:00.848, ahead of Yashas RL (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing, 02:01.414). However, the riders are expected to clock better timings in the qualifying session tomorrow.
 
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Ex-Maldives Vice-President on boat questioned by Indian officials

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Former Vice-President of Maldives Ahmed Adeeb who was on board a cargo tugboat off Tuticorin coast in Tamil Nadu is being questioned by Coast Guard and immigration officials, said a police official on Thursday.
 
"The cargo tugboat Virgo 9 had gone to Maldives from Tuticorin port earlier. On its return trip Adeeb seems to have boarded the ship. The officials of Coast Guard and immigration department are questioning him. The ship is yet to come to the port," the police official told IANS over phone.
 
On getting information of an additional member onboard from the shipping agent in India, Indian officials boarded the cargo vessel and are questioning Adeeb.
 
The officials are trying to gather how Adeeb got into the vessel and other details.
 
The cargo vessel Virgo 9 is registered in Singapore with a gross tonnage of 181 tonnes.
 
Adeeb was the Vice-President of Maldives in 2015. Later that year, he was removed from the position by a no-confidence vote.
 
IANS

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Chennai doctors extract 526 teeth from 7-year-old's mouth

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Doctors have extracted an astounding 526 teeth from the mouth of a seven-year-old boy in a rare surgery performed at the city's Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, doctors said.
 
Suffering from a rare case of "compound composite ondontome", the boy was brought to the hospital with a swelling in his lower right jaw.
 
"The parents first noticed the swelling when the boy was three years old. But they didn't bother much as the swelling wasn't much then and the boy did not cooperate with investigative procedures either. 
 
"Later as swelling increased, the parents brought the boy to our hospital," said P. Senthilnathan, Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the hospital on Wednesday.
 
He said an X-ray and CT-scan of the boy's lower right jaw showed a lot of rudimentary teeth following which the doctors decided on the surgery.
 
"We opened up the jaw after administering general anaesthesia and saw a bag/sack inside it. The sack, weighing about 200 grams, was carefully removed and was later found to contain 526 teeth -- small, medium and big sized," Senthilnathan said.
 
Though some were very tiny particles, the doctors said, they had the properties of teeth. It took five long hours for the doctors to remove all the minute teeth from the sack. "It was reminiscent of pearls in an oyster," the doctors said.
 
"The boy was normal three days after the surgery," said Pratibha Ramani, Professor and Head of the Department, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.
 
According to the doctors, this is the first ever case documented in the world in which in an individual has been found to have so many minute teeth. 
 
IANS
 

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Chennai Lions thrash Puneri Paltan for their first win in UTT

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Putting behind their opening match debacle, Chennai Lions thrashed Puneri Paltan 10-5 to record their first win in Ultimate Table Tennis season three at the Thyagaraj Stadium here last evening.
 
Two foreigners, Germany’s Petrissa Solja and birthday boy Tiago Apolonia of Portugal, spearheaded Chennai Lions' comprehensive win.  Solja blanked Commonwealth Championship gold medal winner Ayhika Mukherjee 3-0 in the opening women’s singles, while Apolonia staved off a fighting Harmeet Desai of Puneri Paltan 2-1, to hand Chennai the firm advantage (5-1) just two matches into the tie. 
 
Sharath Kamal and Petrissa then eased past Desai and Sabine Winter 2-1 in the mixed doubles, to seal the win in the Lions' favour.
 
Petrissa helped the Lions’ begin on a strong note, with a 3-0 win over Ayhika in an intensely fought women’s singles opening encounter. Although ranked 108 places below world number 26 Solja, Ayhika showed great composure and fighting spirit as she made her opponent sweat in the first game. 
 
Fresh from her CWG TT gold medal triumph in Odisha, Ayhika appeared confident and fired-up. She raced to a 5-2 lead before Rio Olympic silver medallist Petrissa relied on her experience to pull level at 5-5. From there on, Petrissa showcased some deft touches and superb net play to take a handy 10-8 lead. Ayhika fought back hard and saved two game points before Petrissa finally pocketed the opening game on the golden point (11-10).
 
The second game began in the same vein, with Petrissa being tested by her younger opponent, who was cheered wildly by the home crowd. Ayhika led 2-0 but thereafter lost her way. Petrissa opened up a huge lead at 10-5 and sealed the game at 11-6. The final game (11-8) too went Petrissa’s way, as she survived some anxious moments to stave off a dangerous-looking Ayhika to hand Chennai the early advantage.
 
Chennai consolidated their lead when Apolonia came from a game down to defeat Desai 2-1 in the opening men’s singles match. 
 
Stretched by Desai in the opening game which he lost 8-11, thrice Olympian Apolonia showed exemplary agility and game reading to make a brilliant comeback. 
 
In the second game, Apolonia and Desai breathed down each other’s necks and were well poised at 5-5 and then at 9-9. Once again experience came to the fore, with Apolonia winning the game on golden point (11-10) to take it to the decider. Apolonia was in his element in the final game, often playing away from the table and taking advantage of his height to quell Desai’s challenge (11-7).
 
The mixed doubles, too, went Chennai’s way. Sharath-Petrissa had an easy run in the opening game, winning it 11-7 and kept up the good work throughout. They pocketed the following games 11-7 and 11-6 to hand Chennai the win as they now led 8-1 overall.
 
Later, in the second men’s singles, Puneri Paltan’s Chuang Chih-Yuan beat Sharath Kamal 2-1 (11-5, 11-10, 3-11) in what was another gripping contest. Despite losing the first two games, Sharath showcased some delightful shots in the third to reel one point off Chuang.
 
The day’s last match saw Puneri’s Sabine Winter defeat Madhurika Patkar 2-1 of Chennai in the second women’s singles match.
 
Chennai Lions bt Puneri Paltan: 10-5
 
Women’s Singles: Petrissa Solja bt Ayhika Mukherjee - 3-0 (11-10, 11-6, 11-8);  Men’s Singles: Tiago Apolonia bt Harmeet Desai 2-1 (8-11, 11-10, 11-7);  Mixed Doubles: Sharath Kamal-Petrissa Solja bt Harmeet Desai-Sabine Winter 3-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-6); Men’s Singles: Sharath Kamal lost to Chuang Chih-Yuan 1-2 (5-11, 10-11, 11-3); Women's Singles : Madhurika Patkar lost to Sabine Winter 1-2 (8-11, 11-5, 11-10).
 
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Seven Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy

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Seven Indian fishermen were arrested by Sri Lankan navy on Sunday for allegedly poaching in the island nation's waters, officials said.
 
Fishermen from Rameswaram and nearby places were near the Katchatheevu island - handed over to Sri Lanka by India several years back - when a Sri Lankan navy patrol arrested seven Indian fishermen and seized their boats.
 
Located in the narrow sea dividing the two countries, Katchatheevu has rich marine life in the waters surrounding it.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini released on parole

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One of the convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination case, S. Nalini, was released from Tamil Nadu's Vellore jail on one-month parole on Thursday.
 
The Madras High Court on July 5 had granted a one-month parole to Nalini on her plea for a six-month parole to make arrangements for her daughter's wedding.
 
Nalini argued her case in person.
 
The court had stipulated that Nalini should not meet politicians and media.
 
In her plea, Nalini said every life convict was entitled to one month of ordinary leave after completing two years in prison and she had not taken the leave even once during the past 27 years she had spent in jail.
 
Besides Nalini, the six other convicted in the case are her husband V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A. G. Perarivalan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and Ravichandran.
 
All the seven convicts have been in prison since 1991 after a female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew herself up while meeting Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai.
 
IANS
 

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Ex-Tirunelveli Mayor, husband & maidservant killed

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Former Mayor of Tirunelveli Uma Maheswari, her husband Muruga Sankaran, and their maidservant were hacked to death on Tuesday, said the police.
 
A DMK member, Maheswari was elected the first female Mayor of Tirunelveli in 1996. 
 
According to the police, some unidentified persons came to Maheswari's house in the evening and committed the crime.
 
IANS
 

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Double for Sohil Shah in MRF F1600,Maiden ITC win for Ishaan Dodhiwala

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Bengaluru schoolboy Sohil Shah completed a fine double in the premier MRF F1600 category as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship drew to a close at the MMRT here today.
 
Elsewhere, VW Motorsport’s Ishaan Dodhiwala from Hyderabad notched his maiden win in the Indian Touring Cars (ITC) class after his team-mate Karthik Tharani was disqualified for a couple of infringements and subsequently banned for one race, while Bengaluru’s Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) chalked up his third win of the season in the Super Stock category.
 
Other winners of the day were Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) in the Formula LGB 1300 race and Mumbai’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay who took the honours in the Volkswagen Ameo Class.
 
The saloon car race was fiery with Tharani being disqualified for his violations. The stewards subsequently slapped a one-race ban which will take effect for the next round of the championship scheduled for August 16-18. Consequent to the disqualification, team-mate Dodhiwala was declared winner followed by Nikanth Ram (ARKA Motorsports) and Arjun Balu (Race Concepts).
 
The stewards, following the post-ITC race hearing with Tharani, ruled: “The competitor was called to give the explanation as to why he ignored the ‘drive through’ penalty board for five laps and ignored the ‘black flag’ for the remaining three laps of the race.
 
“In view of the fact that the competitor is a highly experienced driver and he is also a driver-trainer, the Stewards were of the opinion that exemplary sanctions should be imposed on this driver and a sentence of not being permitted a start in the next race of this championship (One race only).”
 
Ireland’s Lucca Allen completed a double by winning both the Formula 4 SEA races to make up for disappointing outings in yesterday’s double-header.
 
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MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship from Friday

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With a clutch of innovative initiatives on the horizon, the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship gets underway at the MMRT here on Friday,  featuring 14 races.
 
The programme includes races in the two single-seater categories, the MRF F1600 and the Formula LGB 1300, besides the popular saloon cars – the premium Indian Touring Cars and Super Stock classes – and the Volkswagen Ameo Class which has been accorded National Championship status. Running concurrently will be four Formula 4 SEA races.
 
While even as the National Championship season is in full swing, promoters Madras Motor Sports Club are planning to initiate a slew of long-term plans that include night racing, the first of its kind in India.
 
Taking an overview of this weekend’s races, Chairman of the Championship Vicky Chandhok said: “We are offering a racing menu with variety this weekend. Beginning with the junior level Formula LGB 1300 leading up to the MRF F1600 which is the first step towards Formula racing, besides of course the saloon cars. We will see a galaxy of foreign and Indian racers this unique weekend when MMSC hosts both international and National racing championship at our very own circuit. So, plenty of action for sure.
 
“Going forward, we at the MMSC, in keeping with our efforts to move with the changing times, plan to introduce night events with racing under lights. With a view to evaluate the possibilities of night racing, we have planned a test session on Wednesday, August 7, from 18:00 hrs. to 23:00 hrs  
 
Primarily, this first session will be only for saloons with headlights mandatory. Depending on the testing, we will expand it to the 1300cc single-seater cars as well. 
 
Further, for the next round (August 16-18), we plan to run the races in anti-clockwise direction. The response, thus far, has been tremendous.”
 
The MRF F1600, a proven platform for young aspirants looking to break into international arena, will be running to full grid with four races scheduled, while the Formula LGB 1300, an excellent option for those graduating to single-seater racing, has again attracted 20-plus entries.
 
The two categories in the saloon cars, ITC and Super Stock, will be run on combined grid, and as in the previous round in Coimbatore last month, competition is expected to fierce with the factory-supported turbo-powered Volkswagen Vento cars likely to extend their domination.
 
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Saravana Bhavan owner dies in Chennai hospital

P Rajagoptal (Photo: IANS)
P Rajagoptal (Photo: IANS)
The founder of the Saravana Bhavan chain of South Indian restaurants P. Rajagopal, who surrendered last week to serve a life term for a murder committed decades back, died here on Thursday morning in a private hospital, police said.
 
The 71-year-old, dubbed the "Dosa King", was shifted to a private hospital here on Tuesday on the orders of Madras High Court from government Stanley Hospital where he was being treated in the prison ward.
 
Rajagopal had arrived in an ambulance with an oxygen mask strapped to his face after the Supreme Court turned down his request to delay his sentence on medical grounds. 
 
Sentenced to life term for the murder of his employee, Prince Santhakumar, Rajagopal surrendered before a court here on July 9 after the apex court dismissed his petition, seeking more time for surrender.
 
Sent to prison, he was admitted to the government hospital later the same day after complaining of giddiness.
 
Rajagopal had also sought that he be exempted from being sent to jail and his hospitalisation be treated as a deemed jail term. The court had refused the plea.
 
The case that goes back to the 1990s, had attracted considerable attention both in India and abroad. 
 
Rajagopal allegedly wanted to marry a woman, on the advice of his astrologer.
 
At the time, Rajagopal had two wives and the young woman, then in her twenties, rejected him. She married Santakumar in 1999. The prosecution told the court Rajagopal threatened the couple in 2001 and demanded they end the marriage.
 
Days after the couple went to the police, Santhakumar was kidnapped and killed. His body was found in the forests.
 
The founder of the restaurant chain popular in the country and overseas, Rajagopal was sentenced by a sessions court to a 10-year jail term on charges of killing Santhakumar.
 
He had appealed in the Madras High Court, but it upheld his conviction while enhancing the sentence to life imprisonment. The conviction and sentence were upheld by the apex court in March and he was supposed to surrender on July 7 to begin his term.
 
He moved the apex court to delay the beginning of his term, citing ill health, but got no relief from it.
 
IANS

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A R Rahman returns with Vikram's next

A R Rahman  (File photo: IANS)
A R Rahman (File photo: IANS)
Music maestro A R Rahman returns as a composer with Tamil superstar Vikram's next film, currently known by its working title as "Vikram 58".
 
The makers released a special poster on Saturday welcoming Rahman on board for the project, to be directed by Ajay Gnanamuthu. Vikram is collaborating with Ajay for the first time with this film.
 
The project is slated to go on the floors in August and the makers plan to release it in April 2020.
 
The film aims to capture a pan-Indian market, catering to not just Vikram's huge Tamil fan base, but also to the Hindi and Telugu audience. Produced on a massive scale in association with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, the project will include several big-ticket names in its cast and crew.
 
A first-look poster was unveiled in May, and while most details about the project are being kept under wraps, the buzz is that Vikram plays a photographer in the film.
 
The actor currently awaits the release of the Tamil action thriller "Kadaram Kondan" and he also has a project with Mani Ratnam lined up.
 
In a recent media interaction, Vikram confirmed signing Ratnam's next, a film adaptation of the Tamil epic novel, "Ponniyin Selvan".
 
IANS
 

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Special water train to reach Chennai on Friday

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A special 50-wagon train carrying water from Tamil Nadu's Vellore district will reach Chennai on Friday afternoon, a Southern Railway official said.
 
According to the official, each wagon has capacity of 50,000 litres of water. 
 
The train was flagged off from the Jolarpettai station in the morning.
 
State Ministers were likely to be present at the inauguration of the unloading of the water at Villivakkam station here.
 
Earlier, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami had announced the state government's plans to transport 10 million litres of water daily by rail from Jolarpettai to meet the needs of parched Chennai.
 
He said a sum of Rs 65 crore had been allocated for this purpose.
 
Currently the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Chennai Metro Water) is supplying about 525 million litres per day (MLD) in the state capital. The water from Jolarpettai will augment the existing supply.
 
While the Cholavaram (full capacity 1,081 mcft) and Redhills (full capacity 3,300 mcft) reservoirs and Chembarambakkam lake (full capacity 3,645 mcft) that supply water to Chennai have run dry, 16 mcft water is left in the Poondi reservoir (against a full capacity of 3,231 mcft), according to Chennai Metro Water.
 
IANS

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Kovind to visit Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh from July 12-15

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President Ram Nath Kovind will be on a four-day visit to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh from today.
 
Tomorrow, the President will present LL.D. (Honoris Causa) degrees to Justice (Retd) P. Sathasivam, former Chief Justice of India, and currently Governor of Kerala; Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Judge of the Supreme Court of India; and Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani, Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, at a special convocation of the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University in Chennai. 
 
On July 14-15, the President will visit the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and witness the launch of Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission being undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), an official press release added.
 
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Saravana Bhavan owner Rajagopal surrenders, sent to jail

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Saravana Bhavan restaurant chain owner P. Rajagopal, who has been convicted and sentenced to a life term in a murder case, was finally lodged in jail on Tuesday after he surrendered before a court in Chennai.
 
Rajagopal surrendered hours after the Supreme Court refused to give time for him to surrender in the case of the murder of his employee, Prince Santhakumar.
 
He came to the Additional Sessions Judge's court here in an ambulance with an oxygen mask fixed and appeared before the judge in a wheelchair.
 
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court refused to grant any relief to Rajagopal, who sought extension of time to surrender citing medical grounds.
 
The apex court queried Rajagopal's counsel that if he was so ill, then why did he not mention his illness during the hearings, while declining any relief to him.
 
Rajagopal, 71, also sought that he be exempted from being sent to jail and his hospitalisation be treated as a deemed jail term. The court did not agree.
 
Rajagopal, founder of the restaurant chain popular in the country and overseas, was sentenced by a sessions court to a 10-year jail term on charges of killing Santhakumar, whose wife he wanted to make his third wife. 
 
When the woman refused the proposal, he ordered her husband killed.
 
He appealed in the Madras High Court, but it upheld his conviction while enhancing the sentence to a life imprisonment. The conviction and sentence were upheld by the apex court in March and he was supposed to surrender on July 7 to begin his term.
 
He moved the apex court on Monday to delay the beginning of his term on July 7, citing ill health.
 
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RS nominations of MDMK's Vaiko, six others accepted

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The suspense over MDMK General Secretary Vaiko's candidature for the July 18 Rajya Sabha election in Tamil Nadu ended on Tuesday as his nominations were accepted.
 
Some doubts were raised about the acceptance of his nomination papers as Vaiko was recently sentenced to a one-year jail term by a special court here in a sedition case.
 
An ally of DMK in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls, the MDMK was allotted one Rajya Sabha seat as a part of the alliance agreement.
 
According to a statement issued by K. Srinivasan, Returning Officer and Assembly Secretary, a total of seven nominations were accepted and four were rejected.
 
As there were apprehensions about his nomination not being accepted, Vaiko had asked DMK President M. K. Stalin to field an alternate candidate from his party.
 
Accordingly, N. R. Elango of the DMK had also filed his nomination which was also accepted. He is likely to withdraw from the race.
 
The other contestants are: M. Shanmugham and P. Wilson (both DMK), A. Mohammed John and N. Chandrasekaran (both AIADMK) and Anbumani Ramadoss of PMK.
 
The AIADMK has 123 MLAs in the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, while the DMK has a strength of 101. DMK ally Congress has seven MLAs, there is one Independent member, while two seats are vacant.
 
The elections are being held to fill up the vacancies caused by the retirement of five Rajya Sabha members -- T. Rathinavel, V. Maitreyan, K. B. Arjunan, R. Lakshmanan (all AIADMK), and D. Raja (CPI) -- and the resignation of DMK's Kanimozhi following her win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
 
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ED arrests businessman Muhammed Riyaz in money laundering case

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested a Chennai-based businessman, Muhammed Riyaz, for trade-based money laundering under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
 
The ED said in a press release on Friday had initiated an enquiry against Muhammed Riyaz alias Mohammed Sammy alias Saleem, proprietor of Astral Exim & Co based on a specific instruction the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), New Delhi.
 
The case was registered under PMLA on the basis of an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for fraudulent high-value forex outward remittances/transactions exceeding Rs. 3,500 crores using current accounts of 57 shell entities opened at Syndicate Bank, Armenian Street Branch, Chennai.
 
"Investigation revealed that the accused operated an array of accounts in the assumed names at various banks like Syndicate Bank, Ratnakar Bank Limited, Karur Vysya Bank, ICICI Bank, etc. The modus operandi used by the Hawala operator was to open the current account in the name of a fictitious business entity at first instance, based on fabricated identity documents obtained by the individual. As a subsequent move, amounts were poured into the accounts operated in complete anonymity from various other accounts maintained on pan India basis through electronic transfers.
 
"As the third and the final move, fabricated documents were submitted before the banks, made them send the foreign exchange outside the country under the guise of advance payments against imports.
 
"During the investigation of one shell entity conducted by ED, it was found that the accused, acting in complete anonymity, integrated a sum of Rs. 14.5 crore collected from various persons on a pan India basis within a short span of two months. The entire operation was synchronized in such a way that the funds received were immediately transferred to various business entities in Hong Kong through wire transfer to the extent of USD 2,184,785.00 equivalent INR 14.5 crore, based on fabricated documents. The details of various foreign exchange transfers in respect of other banks are also under probe.
 
"ED has recovered multiple identity documents from the residential premises of the individual including PAN cards, Driving Licenses etc. in assumed names.
 
"Muhammed Riyaz was arrested under PMLA, produced before the Hon’ble Special Court (PMLA), Chennai, was remanded to judicial custody till 18.7.2019 and lodged in Central Prison, Puzhal, Chennai.
 
"During last year, the Directorate of Enforcement, Chennai Zonal Office-II, arrested three persons involved in the same money laundering case operated through three other shell entities doing trade-based money laundering. All the three arrested as still in judicial custody. Further investigation is in progress," the release added.
 
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Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict gets one month parole

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The Madras High Court on Friday granted a one month parole to S. Nalini, one of the those convicted in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
 
The court order came after hearing her plea for a six-month parole to make arrangements for her daughter's wedding.
 
Nalini argued her case in person.
 
In her plea, Nalini said every life convict was entitled to one month of ordinary leave after completing two years in prison and she had not taken the leave even once during the past 27 years she had spent in jail.
 
Besides Nalini, the six other convicted in the case are her husband V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivalan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and Ravichandran. 
 
All the seven convicts have been in prison since 1991 after a female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew herself up while meeting Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai.
 
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TN politician Vaiko sentenced to 1 year in jail for sedition

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MDMK General Secretary and Rajya Sabha candidate Vaiko was on Friday sentenced to one year in jail and a fine of Rs 10,000 by a Tamil Nadu court here in a sedition case dating to 2009.
 
The court also stayed the execution of the sentence for a month on his application.
 
Vaiko's speech during the launch of the book "I accuse" here in 2009 was considered as seditious and a case was filed against him.
 
Speaking to reporters after hearing the judgement, Vaiko said he did not deny the charges. "Today is the happiest day in my life."
 
He said he will continue to support Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). 
 
Vaiko refuted that he had asked for lenient punishment.
 
"I told the judge that I had not asked for lenient punishment. I will continue to support LTTE. Even if it is a life sentence I will be happy," Vaiko said.
 
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Kiran Bedi earns AIADMK, DMK's wrath for 'slur' on TN people

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Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK and the main opposition DMK on Monday condemned Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi for allegedly terming the state's people as "selfish and cowards".
 
Condemning Bedi's statement about the people of Tamil Nadu, AIADMK spokesperson P. Valarmathi said Bedi does not know the decency to say what and when.
 
Without realising the dignity of the office she is holding, Bedi has made some shocking and painful comments, the former minister added.
 
"Bedi should fight to get the share of Cauvery water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and confine herself to her allotted duty," she said.
 
DMK President M. K. Stalin demanded Bedi's immediate recall for her remarks about the people of Tamil Nadu. He also asked Bedi to withdraw her statement and tender a public apology.
 
According to Stalin, in a WhatsApp conversation with journalists, Bedi referred to the people of Tamil Nadu as "selfish and cowards".
 
Bedi had on Sunday tweeted: "Question with Possible Answers: India's 6th largest city #Chennai has become the first city in the country to run dry. The same city was in floods due to copious rains just 4 years back. Where lies the problem? Ans: Poor Govenance, Corrupt Politics, Indifferent Bureaucracy."
 
Taking offence to her WhatsApp group comment, Stalin issued a statement saying that she was crossing her limits in making comments on matters that did not concern her.
 
"Just because the people of Tamil Nadu defeated the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, Bedi described them as cowards and selfish. This shows not only her arrogance but also her dominating attitude," he said.
 
"Could Bedi have remained in her post had she made such demeaning comments against the people of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar?" Stalin asked.
 
Earlier in the day, Stalin also raised the issue in the Assembly.
 
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Gaurav Gill bids for seventh INRC title in new avatar

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The all-new Champions Yacht Club-FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2019 got off to an explosive start here on Friday, with a record number of cars led by the country’s celebrated driver Gaurav Gill squaring up for a dramatic face-off.
 
It’s a new beginning for three-time APRC and six-time INRC champion Gill, too, as he made the shift from MRF to JK Tyre in the hope of conquering new frontiers. The Mahindra Adventure driver, with Musa Sherif by his side, will be competing in a new car, the XUV300, adding a new dimension to the competition.
 
“I am looking forward to this season as I will not only be in a new car but also on new tyres,” Gill said, at the press conference, a few hours before the opening stage. “I have tested the car and it’s the best in the class. I am sure it’s going to suit my style of driving,” he added.
 
As many as 51 top rallyists from across the country, fielded by five major teams, including 19 by Team Champions, and many privateers, took off  in front of a big crowd to set the tone for an exciting season. 
 
The clashes began with a first-of-its-kind Super Special Stage at the MMRT, giving spectators a rare glimpse of all the action from close proximity.
 
The South India Rally, Round 1 of the INRC powered by MRF, will see the teams fight it out over a total distance of 298.70 km, with as many as 117.33 km earmarked for 11 special stages on gravel and dirt tracks. After the SSS on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 will see five stages each, providing the drivers as well as the spectators ample fun.
 
“This is a perfect start to the championship,” promoter Vamsi Merla said. “We have already had the most number of entries and the biggest crowd at an INRC, making it that much more thrilling for all of us,” he added.
 
Like always, Team Mahindra will have a second car in fray, too, with former racing and rallying champion Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik) making it a formidable duo for them in the INRC 1 category. They will, however, face stiff competition from another INRC champion Karna Kadur (Nikhil V Pai) of Arka Motorsports, who was brimming with confidence.
 
The INRC 2 category also looked highly competitive, with Team Champions’ Dean Mascarenhas (Shruptha Padivel) and Race Concept’s Younus Ilyas (Harish Gowda) pitted against each other. Both are supported by JK, making it that much more interesting.
 
INRC 3 has as many as 22 contenders, with Arjun Rao, Chetan Shivram  and Daraius N Shroff among the favourites. 
 
Two ladies will also be seen in action, Shivani Pruthvi and Garima Avtar (INRC 4) as they aim to prove their mettle. A total of eight drivers will also feature in the junior INRC category.
 
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TV reporter, wife, mother found dead near Chennai

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A reporter of a local Tamil news channel was found dead on Thursday along with his wife and mother at their house near here, police said.
 
According to police, the cause of death was suspected to be a refrigerator blast and subsequent gas leak.
 
The reporter Prasanna was working with News J Tamil channel and a neighbour alerted the police as no one from the former's house had come out since morning.
 
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AIADMK government did not act ahead of TN's water crisis: Stalin

M K Stalin
M K Stalin
DMK President M. K.Stalin on Monday attacked Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK government accusing it of not working proactively when the lakes supplying water to the city started drying.
 
Leading a prostest here demanding a solution to Chennai's water crisis, Stalin said the government did not take action when the lakes supplying water to the city started drying.
 
"The one question being asked by people across Tamil Nadu is 'where is the water'? The AIADMK government has not completed any drinking water project in the state. Its party officials are holding yagnas in temples -- not for the rains, but to protect their own government," Stalin told the people holding the demonstration with empty pots. 
 
The DMK chief said that his party, if it comes to power, will order a probe into the irregularities in the ongoing desalination water project.
 
On Saturday, the DMK held protests at all the district headquarters to press the government to mitigate people's suffering in the parched state.
 
While Cholavaram (full capacity 1,081 mcft) and Redhills (full capacity 3,300 mcft) and Chembarambakkam (3,645 mcft) lakes that supply water to Chennai have run dry, there is only 19 mcft water left in Poondi reservoir (against a full capacity of 3,231 mcft), according to the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
 
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Stalin to lead DMK protest over Chennai water crisis

M K Stalin
M K Stalin
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President M. K. Stalin will on Monday lead a protest against the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government, demanding a solution to the city's water problem.
 
Announcing this, the DMK in a statement, here on Saturday, urged party leaders and workers to participate in the protest in a large number.
 
On Saturday the DMK held protests at the district headquarters to press the state government for necessary action to mitigate the people's suffering.
 
Meanwhile, DMK Treasurer and senior leader Duraimurugan threatened to launch a protest against supply of water to Chennai from Jolarpettai by train.
 
Taking on the DMK, Minister for Municipal Administration S. P. Velumani said transport of water from Jolarpettai would not reduce supply in the Vellore district.
 
On Friday, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami had announced that 10 million litres a day (MLD) of water would be transported from Jolarpettai in the Vellore district to Chennai by train at a cost of Rs 65 crore.
 
While the Cholavaram (full capacity 1,081 mcft), Redhills (full capacity 3,300 mcft) and Chembarambakkam (3,645 mcft) lakes that supplied water to Chennai had gone dry, only 20 mcft water was left in the Poondi reservoir (full capacity of 3,231 mcft), according to the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
 
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