Madras High Court lifts ban on TikTok app

The Madras High Court's Madurai Bench on Wednesday lifted the ban on video mobile application TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, subject to certain conditions.
Deciding the case filed by advocate Muthukumar, the bench vacated its interim order banning the app, subject to conditions that pornographic videos will not be uploaded on it, failing which contempt of court proceedings would begin.
Early this month, the high court, on a petition filed by the advocate, issued an interim order to the Central government banning downloading of the app in India and restricted the media from telecasting videos taken using the app.
The high court had passed an interim order banning the app citing inappropriate and pornographic content.
Tamil Nadu's Information Technology Minister M. Manikandan had earlier said that the state would write to the Central government seeking a ban on the app in India.
The high court had appointed leading lawyer Arvind Datar as an independent counsel to the court.
On an appeal filed by the Chinese company, the Supreme Court, on April 22, asked the Madras High Court to decide on TikTok's plea for an interim relief by April 24, failing which the ban imposed on the mobile app will stand lifted.
The apex court had refused to pass any order in the matter.

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Chennai bus operators, theatres cancel services on Wednesday

Private bus operators have decided to stop their services to and from Chennai till Wednesday evening as large numbers of passengers have cancelled their tickets and also as a precautionary measure, said an office-bearer of All Omni Bus Operators Association.
"About 75-85 per cent of the passengers decided to cancel their tickets on Wednesday. As a result, the bus operators have decided to cancel the services to and from Chennai till 6 p.m tomorrow (Thursday)," A. Anbalagan, general secretary, All Omni Bus Operators Association told IANS.
According to him, about 1,000 private buses are operated out of Chennai to other parts of Tamil Nadu.
About 10,000 passengers use the private buses to and from Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore, he said.
Theatre owners have cancelled shows starting tonight and said ticket rates would be refunded.
Following Karunanidhi's death, several shops in different parts of the state downed their shutters.
Former Chief Minister and DMK President M.Karunanidhi breathed his last here at Kauvery Hospital where he was admitted on July 28.

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Madras HC orders TN to explain Thoothukudi firing

The Madras High Court's Madurai Bench on Friday ordered the Tamil Nadu government to state the reasons, by June 6, for the May 22 police firing in Thoothukudi which left 13 persons dead.
The court's order came as it heard a petition demanding registration of murder cases against senior police and other government officials for the firing and also setting up a Special Investigative Team (SIT).
On May 22, police fired at people protesting against the Sterlite Copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi killing 13 and injuring over 60 persons.
The government was asked to submit its report by June 6.
Earlier Chief Minister K. Palaniswami told the media that people in Thoothukudi had been protesting peacefully for long against the company, alleging that it was causing health hazards and depleting the water table, but this time, the opposition and "anti-social elements" had turned the movement violent.
"It is because of this instigation that so many people have died. And we are really saddened by the deaths," he said.
According to an FIR lodged by Thoothukudi police, a Deputy Tehsildar has claimed that he had ordered police firing on May 22 against the anti-Sterlite Copper protestors.
The FIR filed by the police on May 22 says that Sekar, Deputy Tehsildar in Thoothukudi, admitted that it was he who had ordered the police firing at the protesters after all the other steps to preserve law and order failed.
As per the FIR, Sekar said he had at first warned the protesters that force would be used and when his request was defied, he ordered a baton charge. When this proved inadequate and the crowd kept surging forward menacingly and attacked the police personnel, he had ordered the firing of tear gas shells after due warning.
The official said when tear gas shells failed to disperse the violent mob, which was destroying public property and attacking police personnel near the Collectorate, he had ordered firing as the last resort. Twelve persons were killed in police firing on May 22 and later one more person died in a fresh firing.
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Nine dead, 27 rescued after trekkers get trapped in forest fire in Tamil Nadu

At least nine people died and 27 others suffered injuries after a group of about 36 trekkers were trapped in a massive forest fire that broke out in Theni district in southern Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
9 dead in Tamil Nadu forest fire
At least nine people have died and 27 others suffered injuries after a group of about 36 trekkers were trapped in a massive forest fire that broke out in Theni district in southern Tamil Nadu yesterday.
Theni district officials told NetIndian over the telephone that the deceased included three men and six women.
The officials said that, of the 27 persons rescued, ten were safe without any injuries. The other 17 had been hospitalised with various degrees of burns, they said.
Apart from the fire brigade, police and other emergency services personnel, the Ministry of Defence had pressed into service Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters to help in the search and rescue efforts.
Efforts were on to ensure that all the trekkers are accounted for, the officials said.
The fire broke out when a group of trekkers, including several women, were returning from a trek organised by the Chennai Trekking Club to mark Women's Day. They were trapped on a hillock, with flames all around them. The group included 27 people from Chennai and about ten from Erode and Tirupur, sources said. They were returning to base in smaller groups when the fire started, the sources said.
Local people and forest officials were among the first responders to the fire.
Responding to a request from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palanisamy, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked the Indian Air Force (IAF) to mount rescue and evacuation operations.
The IAF promptly launched efforts to evacuate those trapped in  the fire, with helicopters from the Sulur Air Base doing a recce of the area in Kurangani. Commandos from the base also reached Theni to help the local authorities.
The fire broke out in a remote area with no communication facilities. The thick smoke and heat from the flames and fading light hampered the rescue efforts.
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Actor Kamal Haasan launches his political party "Makkal Needhi Maiam"

Actor Kamal Haasan launches his political party
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan today formally launched his political party, named "Makkal Needhi Maiam" (People's Justice Centre, which he said would work to provide corruption-free governance in the state and avoid the use of religion  and caste in politics.
Launching the party, announcing its name and formalising his entry into politics at  a public meeting in this temple city, Kamal Haasan, 63, also indicated that he would follow centrist policies, without swaying to either the Left or the Right.
"The newly founded Makkal Needhi Maiam is your party. It’s here to stay, and to make the change we all aspire for. Guide us to serve you," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter later.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who launched his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in November 2012 and went on to win 67 of the 70 seats in the Delhi Legislative Assembly in the February 2015, was amongst those present on the occasion and said Haasan's new party would score an even bigger victory in the next elections in Tamil Nadu.
Kamal Haasan said he had planned to go about things in a gradual manner, but Mr. Kejriwal had virtually launched his election campaign.
A congratulatory video message received from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was played out on a screen at the meeting.
Kamal Haasan promised the people that he would not indulge in the kind of "freebie politics" that was practised by the Dravidian parties in the state.
"I am not your leader, I am your tool... this gathering is full of leaders," he said.
He promised to serve the people till the very end and create an organisation for the next few generations. "There will be no permanent chief ministers if my party is voted to power," he said.
Asked to name leaders who had inspired him -- Mahatma Gandhi, Bhimrao Ambedkar or Periyar E. V. Ramasamy -- he said he respected and was inspired by all of them as well as by contemporary leaders such as Kejriwal, N Chandrababu Naidu, Pinarayi Vijayan and Barack Obama.
He listed quality education, elimination of corruption, regular supply of electricity and jobs as some of his priority areas. ""If you eliminate corruption, all this can be achieved," he said.
Earlier this morning, Kamal Haasan launched his political journey by visiting the residence of former President A P J Abdul Kalam at Rameswaram, where he met the late Mr. Kalam's elder brother and other family members.
"Greatness can come from simple beginnings. Actually it will come only from simplicity. Glad to start my journey from a great man’s simple abode," he had said ahead of the visit to Rameswaram.
Later, he also addressed the fishing community in Rameswaram before heading to Madurai.
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Six of family die in alleged suicide pact in Madurai, two others hospitalised

Six of family die in alleged suicide pact
Six members of a family died in Madurai, Tamil Nadu after consuming poison in an alleged suicide pact here on Sunday because of financial problems faced by them, official sources said.
In all, eight members of the family had consumed the poison. Five of them died on the spot while three were rushed to the Government Rajaji Hospital, where one died later.
The other two are undergoing treatment in the hospital, and the condition of one of them was said to be stable.
Officials said the police had recovered a suicide note, which said the family, which was running a school, had run up unmanageable debts and had decided to, therefore, end their lives.
According to various sources, two brothers were running the school in the city and also engaged in some other business activities.
When police broke open their house yesterday evening after neighbours reported that they had not seen any one from the family all day, they found the eight persons, including the two brothers, their mother, their wives, and their daughters, lying inside.

SC orders NEET-UG results to be declared, CBSE to do so in two weeks

The Supreme Court on Monday issued an interim order directing the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to declare the results of the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) Undergraduate (UG) conducted by it on May 7.
The Supreme Court today issued an interim order directing the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to declare the results of the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) Undergraduate (UG) conducted by it on May 7.
While doing so, the vacation bench comprising Mr. Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Mr. Justice Deepak Gupta, stayed an interim order passed by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on May 24, staying the declaration of the results.
The CBSE, which conducts NEET, said it would declare the results by June 26 as the apex court's order. The results were originally scheduled to be declared on June 8.
The Supreme Court clarified that the declaration of the results and admission of students to medical colelges shall be subject to the decision of the special leave petitions on which the Madras High Court had issued its interim order.
The apex court also requested all High Courts not to entertain any writ petitions in the matter. The special leave petitions will now be listed before the Supreme Court immediately after the summer vacation.
The court noted that the counsels for the CBSE and other petitioners, who  had appealed against the Madras High Court stay, had submitted that the interim direction issued by the High Court was directly against the spirit of the order passed by the apex court whereby a schedule had been fixed for declaration of the results.
"In view of the above, we are inclined to pass interim order. The impugned order is stayed and it is directed that the authorities concerned may further proceed with the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) for under Graduate (UG) conducted on 07.05.2017. It is clarified that the declaration of the result and admission shall be subject to the decision of these special leave petitions. The High Courts are requested not to entertain the writ petitions in the matter.
"List these petitions immediately after summer vacation," the order said.
NEET-UG is held by the CBSE for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in India and as many as 11.35 candidates had registered for the test this year -- the highest ever for the examination. The examination was held in 103 cities across the country.
The Madras High Court had stayed the declaration of the results after being told that the NEET-UG question papers in English and Hindi, on the one hand, and in eight other regional languages, on the other, were different.
The CBSE had prayed for an urgent hearing on its appeal, stating that the delay in declaration of results would delay the completion of admission to UG courses in medical colleges.
It said that it had decided to frame different question papers so that, in the event of a leak, it would not have to cancel the entire examination.

Protesters continue agitation against Jallikattu ban in TN, seek permanent solution

Thousands of protesters at the famed Marina Beach here and at Alanganallur today continued their protests against the Supreme Court ban on Jallikattu, a day after the Tamil Nadu government promulgated an ordinance for the conduct of the traditional bull-taming sport.
The demonstrators, whose protests entered the sixth day today, are demanding a permanent lifting of the ban as well as a  ban on PETA.
They did not accept Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam's assertion that the ban on the sport was lifted by the ordinance.
Mr. Panneerselvam said that the ordinance was the only solution to the impasse and appealed to the youth and students, who formed a  bulk of the protesters, to call of their agitation.
But the crowds, including women and children, were in no mood to relent and have declared that their protests would continue till a notification was issued removing bulls from the list of performing animals, which had led to the SC ban.
Mr. Panneerselvam, who left for Madurai last night to inaugurate the Jalliakttu at Vaadivasal this morning, could not do so in the face of determined opposition by the villagers of Alanganallur who, braving rains and nippy weather, refused to release their bulls into the arena.
The Chief Minister later told reporters at Madurai that Jallikatta would be held whenever the people wanted it to be held.
He said no one could now stop Jallikattu from being conducted following the promulgation of the ordinance. He also recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, during their meeting in Delhi on Thursday, promised all support from the Centre for the legal steps taken by the state government in this regard.
He also said a Bill seeking to replace the Ordinance would be introduced in the Assembly session, beginning here tomorrow, and that it would be passed. 
Meanwhile, Jallikattu was held at some other places in the state today after a gap of three years amidst fanfare.
DMK Working President and Opposition leader M K Stalin aoppealed to the Chief Minister to hold talks with the protestors at Marina, allay their fears about the ordinance and convince them to withdraw their agitation.

Fire destroys 27 shops in Madurai

Twenty seven shops were gutted in a major fire that broke out in a market at Keela Maarat Street, a busy commercial locality in the city last night.
Personnel of Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services department rushed to the site and extinguished the inferno after a couple of hours with the help of locals.
However, no casualty was reported in the mishap. The loss is expected to run into lakhs of rupees. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
Vehicular traffic was diverted to an alternative route in view of the fire. Further investigations were on, police added.

Four charred to death in Tamil Nadu as LPG cylinder explodes

Four members of a family were charred to death when they were fast asleep following an explosion in a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder in their house at Kuthiraisarikulam village in Tirumangalam taluk near here today.
Police said the victims were identified as J Veerapandi (37),  his wife V Selvi (32), their daughter V Darshini (7) and son V Nandakumar (4).
Preliminary investigations revealed that the burner's knob was not turned off properly and there was gas leakage throughout the night. 
The fire apparently broke out due to a spark caused by an electrical short circuit, leading to the explosion, the police said.
All the four inmates of the house, who were sleeping, were charred to death. The house was also gutted. Veerapandi was running a rice mill in the village.
On information, senior police officials and personnel of Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services department rushed to the village and took the bodies to the government hospital here for autopsy. Further investigation was on, police added. 

Police defuse pipe bomb discovered on Advani's yatra route


Tamil Nadu police today defused a pipe bomb placed under a culvert across a river at Alampatti village near Tirumangalam over which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani's "Jan Chetna Yatra" was scheduled to pass later in the morning.

A senior police officer told UNI that two PVC pipes, which were bound together, were recovered. One of the pipes was filled with about ten kg of gelatine powder while the other was empty.

The pipe bomb was connected to a battery with a 25 metre-long fuse wire. The battery was concealed under a palm tree near the bridge. The bomb was so powerful that it could shatter the 100 m long bridge had it been triggered, he said.

Police also seized a pair of medical gloves from the spot.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the gelatine powder was procured from Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district. "We suspect that it could be the handiwork of either a terrorists group or a Moaists group," he said.

The pipe bomb was first noticed by the locals, who alerted the police this morning. The bomb was defused and taken to Madurai for forensic analysis.

Following the incident, the original route of the BJP leader's yatra was changed. Mr Advani, who planned to go to Srivilliputhur via Tirumangalam, took a circuitous route via Virudhunagar.

However, undeterred by the incident, Mr Advani proceeded with his country-wide yatra. He addressed wayside meetings at Srivilliputhur, Rajapalayam, Tenkasi and Puliyankudi, highlighting issues on corruption and black money.



16 policemen injured as van hits electric pole in Tamil Nadu


Sixteen police men were injured when the police van in which they were travelling dashed against a roadside electric pole and overturned at Vannanpaaraipatti on the Melur-Sivaganga road near Melur here last night.

Police said the cops were on their way to Ramanathapuram for security arrangements in view of Guru Puja celebrations of freedom fighter Muthuramaligam Thevar when the mishap occurred.

The driver of one of three police vans transporting the cops from Chennai lost control while negotiating a curve and dashed against the electric pole and the vehicle overturned.

The injured cops were admitted to the Government Hospital at Melur. Due to the impact of the collision, the electric pole was uprooted plunging the village into darkness. After a couple of hours, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board employees restored the power supply.



Tamil Nadu Dalit leader John Pandiyan released


Two days after a wave of bloody violence rocked parts of South Tamil Nadu following his arrest, police released Dalit leader John Pandiyan here this morning.

Woman, son murdered in Madurai; jewellery, cash missing


A woman and her six-year-old son were found murdered in their house at Navarathinapuram locality on the Kamarajar Road in this city of Tamil Nadu late last night.

5 killed, several injured in police firing in south Tamil Nadu

Five people were killed and several were injured when police opened fire to quell a violent mob which attacked police officers during the 54th "Guru Puja" (death anniversary) of veteran Dalit leader Immanuel Sekharan at Paramakudi in Ramanathapuram district today.

Three killed in police firing in Tamil Nadu

Three people were killed and several others injured in police firing as large-scale violence broke out during the 54th death anniversary of Dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran in this district of Tamil Nadu today.

4 killed as van collides with truck in Tamil Nadu

Four people were killed on the spot when the van in which they were travelling collided with a container truck at Thuvariman village under Nagamalai Pudukottai police station limits here today.

The deceased were occupants of the ill-fated van. The mishap occurred after the police diverted the vehicular traffic into a narrow road from the four-lane in view of violent incidents that took place in parts of Madurai, marking the 54th death anniversary of Dalit leader Immanuel Sekharan.

The van collided with the truck which was coming in the opposite direction, killing all the four occupants.

The bodies were removed to the Government Rajaji Hospital here. Police have registered a case and are investigating.


Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.


3 killed, 8 injured as mini-truck collides with tractor


Three women agricultural workers were killed and eight others critically injured when a speeding mini-truck collided with a tractor-trailer at Chinna Kottampatti Vilakku on the Tiruchirapalli-Madurai National Highway today.

Police said the tractor-trailer carrying coconut shells and agricultural waste was proceeding to Pallapatti village from Kottampatti while the truck was going to Chennai from Virudhunagar when the mishap occurred.

In the impact of the collision, the trailer of the tractor overturned killing B Chinnammal (41), K Annamani (50) and A Gandhi (49) on the spot.

The injured were rushed to the Government Rajaji Hospital here.

Kottampatti police have registered a case and arrested M Murugan (36), driver of the truck. Further investigations were on, police added.


HC says no to shooting films in Thirumalai Naicker Mahal at Madurai


The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court (HC) today ordered an interim stay on shooting of films at the historic Thirumalai Naicker Mahal in the city.

A division bench comprising Justice P Jyothimani and Justice M M Sundresh issued the ruling on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a city-based advocate A S M Muthukumar seeking the court's direction to ban shooting of films inside the Mahal, a residential palace built by King Thirumalai Nayak of Nayak dynasty in 1636 AD.

The petitioner contended that the Mahal, a heritage monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), was a classic example of the Indo-Saracenic style having 248 giant pillars, each 58 feet tall and five feet in diameter.

The palace is a blend of Italian, Islamic, European and Dravidian style of architecture, where film shooting was allowed for a rent of Rs 5,000 per day.

He alleged that during film shooting, the giant pillars and walls were spoiled by drilling and other activites. Because of this, the Mahal was suffering damage and losing its glory.

Moreover, the Mahal was renovated at a cost of Rs 3 crore, recently by the government. He had already submitted a petition to the Madurai District Collector and the Deputy Director of ASI, appealing to them to ban shooting of films inside the palace. But, no action was taken so far. Hence the PIL was filed, the petitioner said.

After hearing the petitioner, the division bench ordered an interim stay on shooting films in the Mahal and also issued notices to the Madurai District Collector and the Deputy Director of ASI in this connection.

The place is the second most popular tourist attraction in Madurai after the world-renowned Sri Meenakshi-Sundareswarar Temple.


PMK leader Ilanchezian hacked to death in Madurai

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) State Deputy General Secretary M Ilanchezian was hacked to death by unidentified assailants in his house at Vanamamalai Nagar in S S Colony locality in the city today.

Police said Ilanchezian, against whom several criminal cases were pending, was attacked with sickles by the gang this morning. The gang escaped from the scene after committing the crime.

Ilanchezian had unsuccessfully contested the recently held assembly election from Sholavandan (Reserved) constituency in Madurai district as a PMK candidate.

Senior police officials rushed to the spot and began inquries. A red alert was sounded by the police to arrest the assailants. The motive behind the murder was yet to be ascertained.

The murder had triggered a tense situation in the area and a large number of policemen were deployed to prevent any untoward incident.

The police had seized country bombs and explosive powder, including red phosphorus and potassium chlorate, from an illegal bomb making unit in a farm house near Avaniyapuram, which was owned by Ilanchezian twice on January 19 and May 4, 2008, after a bomb explosion. He was arrested in connection with this and later let out on bail.


5 killed, 11 injured in road accident in Tamil Nadu

Five people, including a girl child, were killed and 11 others injured when a luxury car in which they were going to Rameswaram on a pilgrimage dashed against a roadside tamarind tree at Othakkadai Vilakku near Manamadurai in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu early today.

Police said the deceased were identified as Murthy (40), his wife M Chellam (34), their son M Gowtham (27), relative Gopal (48) and M Akshaya (7).

Police said one Maheswaran (48), hailing from Srirapuram village near Vedasandur in Dindigul district, had settled at Narayanan Pettai in Magboob Nagar in Andhra Pradesh.

Maheswaran had come to his village on summer vacation and planned for a pilgrimage to Rameswaram. Maheswaran’s family and his friends, numbering 16 in all, were going to Sri Ramanatha Swamy Temple, when the tragedy occurred. The deceased included Maheswaran’s daughter Akshaya.

A few minutes after the accident, the driver of an ambulance of the Madurai-based Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (MMHRC), who was going to Madurai, noticed the mishap and alerted the police.

The injured were admitted to MMHRC and Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai, where the condition of three of them was stated to be critical.


Three killed as car plunges into a roadside gorge in Tamil Nadu

Three people, including two women, were killed and seven others injured when a car in which they were travelling skidded off the road and plunged into a gorge at Kachirayanpatti village near Melur on the Tiruchirapalli-Madurai fourlane road near here today.

Police said the occupants of the ill-fated car were on their way from Chennai to attend a wedding at Tirunelveli when the tragedy occurred.

The deceased were identified as Babu, a grocery shop owner at Avadi in Chennai, his mother Meenakshi and their relative Gnanamani.

The injured were rushed to the Government Rajaji Hospital here, police added.


Madras HC declines to repeal criminal case against Azhagiri

In a setback to DMK strongman and Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M K Azhagiri, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court yesterday declined to quash a criminal case against him in connection with an alleged attack against an election officer.

Dismissing a petition filed by Azhagiri and two other DMK men to repeal the criminal case registered against him by Keezhavalavu police station in Madurai district on the basis of a complaint lodged by M Kalimuthu, Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) of Melur assembly constituency on April 1 last, Justice R S Ramanathan said there was no ground to quash the case at the present stage, as the ARO had categorically stated in the FIR that the Minister had yelled at him and also attempted to assault him.

He observed that there was no dispute on the issue that Kalimuthu, who was also Tahsildar of Melur, was duly authorized by the Election Commission in his capacity as the ARO to record the movements of the political leaders on video.

The allegation that the Union Minister yelled at the officer and asked him to get out of the temple would attract Section 188 of the IPC that prohibits an individual from causing obstruction, annoyance or injury to any person employed lawfully.

The ARO in his complaint mentioned that Azhagiri had got enraged when he ordered video recording of his visit to a local temple at Melur along with his party men, following a tip-off that the visit was meant to canvass votes for the assembly elections held on April 13.

The judge further said Section 144 (unlawful assembly) would also be applicable in the present case in view of the misconduct of the visitors to the temple. On the affidavit filed by the ARO before the court retracting the allegations of assault two days after the incident, Justice Ramanathan said it was for the police and not the court to take a call on the issue.

(The affidavit of the ARO stated that no such incident took place on the date as alleged in the complaint.)

Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel argued that the Minister too was a public servant and he was well aware of his duties and responsibilities. He was not a habitual offender. However, the judge declined to entertain the petition.


Gang attacks family, girl dead; mom, sister hurt badly

An engineering college girl student was hacked to death while her mother and elder sister suffered serious injuries in an attack by an unidentified gang at Villapuram locality here in the wee hours of today.

Police said M Latha Mangeswari (45), her daughters M Kayalvili (23) and M Chithirai Selvi (20) were asleep, when the gang entered their house and attacked them with sickles.

In the attack, Chithirai Selvi, studying in a private engineering college, died on the spot while her mother and elder sister suffered serious injuries.

The gang managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

Latha Mangeswari and Kayalvili were rushed to Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) here where their condition was stated to be critical.


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