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Vellore

Two Tamil Nadu tourists drown off Goa beaches while clicking selfies

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Two tourists from Tamil Nadu drowned in two separate incidents while clicking selfies at popular Goa beaches, police said on Sunday.
 
According to Police Inspector Jivba Dalvi, Dinesh Kumar Ranganathan, 28, from Vellore in Tamil Nadu drowned when he was clicking selfies along with two other tourists near a rocky stretch located adjoining a creek, which empties into the sea at Baga beach in North Goa.
 
"Two of them managed to come out after a heavy wave pulled all of them into the sea. However, the third, Dinesh, drowned. His body was fished out later," the official said, adding that the incident occurred late on Sunday.
 
The other incident also occurred near a rocky outcrop at Sinquerim beach, also located in North Goa, when a wave pulled Sasikumar Vasan, 33, also a native of Tamil Nadu, into the sea, resulting in his drowning.
 
Post-mortem examinations in both cases have been conducted and the bodies will be handed over to their relatives soon, the police official said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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Kovind calls for more undergraduate seats to address gaps in medical education

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Stressing the urgent need for filling the gap in the number of healthcare professionals in India, President Ram Nath Kovind has called for reforms in medical education so as to create room for more colleges and more medical graduates.
 
Delivering his address after inaugurating the centenary celebrations of the Christian Medical College (CMC) here yesterday, Mr Kovind said that, in comparison to 1.47 million undergraduate engineering seats, the number of undergraduate medical seats was only 67,352.
 
“About 20% of those seats were added in the past four years. As a country and a system, we need to address this gap quickly,” he added.
 
“Public health is a global public good and a basic human right. Despite the strides we have taken as a country, there remain regional, rural-urban and gender and community imbalances in terms of health provision. Without adequately addressing these, we cannot rest.
 
“As societies evolve, economies develop and population patterns change, countries go through epidemiological transitions. India too is experiencing such a transition. It is marked by three challenges in disease control. And we have to manage all three simultaneously,” the President said.
 
“First, India has to reduce maternal and infant mortality as well as communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, vector-borne diseases such as malaria, water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoeal diseases, and vaccine-preventable like measles and tetanus.
 
“Second, India has to find an answer to the rise in non-communicable or lifestyle diseases – like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and many cancers. And finally, we need to develop systems to detect and cope with new and re-emerging infectious diseases like HIV, avian flu and H1N1 influenza.
 
“In a globalised world, with people travelling in and out of our country in larger and larger numbers, a few small cases can very quickly scale up into a large outbreak,” he added.
 
The President said this three-pronged challenge calls for interventions across the continuum of care. It calls for prevention of disease, promotion of good health practices and treatment and cure in case of an illness.
 
The impact of a health problem is cross-cutting – it affects a variety of sectors. The meeting of this challenge should also follow a multi-stakeholder approach. The Government and civil society, private and public health care providers, charitable and economic institutions all have a role and a stake, he added.
 
Referring to the centenary celebrations, he said completing 100 years was an occasion to both look back and take fresh guard.
 
“In this, CMC must take inspiration from the values and the idealism of its founder. In the early 20th century, shortly after graduating from Cornell University in the United States, Ida Sophia Scudder returned to India. This was the country where several generations of her family had lived and served. This was the country where medicine became her mission.
 
“India was under colonial rule then and most people lived in tough conditions. Health indices were very poor. Average life expectancy was just about 24 years. One person died every minute of tuberculosis,” he said.
 
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“One in four babies died in the first year. Cholera, smallpox and polio – several epidemics and diseases were rampant. Independence was still a dream. It was in such an India that Ida Sophia Scudder devoted her life to healthcare. In 1918, she set up a medical school that was initially open only to women. From 1947, both girls and boys began to study here.
 
Mr Kovind said, “India has come a long way since then. Revolutions in our economy, in agriculture and in technology have changed how we act, think and live. Inevitably, our health outcomes have also improved.
 
“Average life expectancy is now above 68 years. Diseases such as polio and smallpox, which once claimed so many lives, have been defeated. Our immunisation programme is gaining strength. The government has launched Mission Indradhanush primarily to target hard-to-access areas and ensure all children benefit from immunisation,” he added.
 
Primary and secondary healthcare facilities have undergone a change for the better. In this context, it must be said the state of Tamil Nadu has exceptional health indicators and remains a model for our country. Institutions such as CMC Vellore have contributed to this deserved reputation, he said.
 
“CMC Vellore has a justifiable reputation for excellence. India’s first reconstructive surgery on leprosy patients was carried out here, and so was the first successful open heart surgery and the first kidney transplant. These are only some of your many achievements,” he added.
 
“A range of research takes place at CMC. Recent research on the rotavirus vaccine, hepatitis, malnutrition, bio-engineering and stem cells underlines your commitment to research that is relevant to India’s health needs.
 
“I have been told that the medical education programme here combines professional expertise with social relevance and ethical practice. I understand clinical training in your hospital is complemented by placements in villages and underserved areas. This is commendable. Please keep it up. Doctors need a sharp mind – but much more than that, they need a warm heart. And CMC Vellore must continue to train doctors and nurses with warm hearts,” the President said.
 
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Kannada television actress Rega Sindhu dies in road mishap near Vellore

Rega Sindhu
Rega Sindhu
Rega Sindhu, a young Kannada and Tamil television actress, died when the car she was travelling in hit the median and overturned near Vellore in Tamil Nadu, on the Chennai-Bengaluru highway, in the early hours of today.
 
Three others with her in the vehicle, including a woman and the owner-driver of the car, suffered injuries in the incident, Vellore Superintendent of Police P Pakalavan told NetIndian over the telephone.
 
The 23-year-old actress was on her way back from a shooting schedule in Chennai to Bengaluru, where she lived, when the mishap occurred around 2 am today.
 
According to Mr. Pakalavan, Rega Sindhu died on the spot, while the injured were taken to a nearby hospital. The woman co-passenger returned to Chennai later, while the two men were admitted to the hospital for treatment.
 
He said the police had launched an investigation into the incident.
 
The driver of the vehicle appeared to have lost control over the wheel and the car hit the median on the highway at Sunnampukuttai near Pernambut and and overturned two or three times before coming to a halt, he added.
 
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Injured Malayalam actor Jagathy Sreekumar shifted to CMC, Vellore

Jagathy Sreekumar (Photo: Anees Kodiyathur at ml.wikipedia.org)
Jagathy Sreekumar
Well-known Malayalam film actor Jagathy Sreekumar, who was seriously injured in a road accident in Malappuram district of Kerala on March 10, was shifted from a Kozhikode hospital to the Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore in Tamil Nadu for further treatment.
 
A spokesman for the Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) at Kozhikode said the 62-year-old actor was taken in a mobile intensive care unit (ICU) at 0730 hours to the Karipur airport.
 
From there, an air ambulance arranged by CMC flew him to Arakkonam and he was then taken in another mobile ICU to the Vellore hospital.
 
His daughter Parvathy and son-in-law Shawn George were amongst those who accompanied him to Vellore, sources said.
 
Doctors at MIMS had said that Sreekumar's condition had improved considerably over the past few weeks and he was making good progress towards full recovery.
 
The actor, popularly known as Jagathy, had been shifted out of the ICU at MIMS late last month and has been responding to physiotherapy well. He has also been interacting with his close relatives. He has also been obeying simple commands and was regaining his neurological functions. 
 
Doctors felt the actor needed a well-planned rehabilitation programme and had, accordingly contacted CMC because its Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department is said to be amongst the best in the country.
 
A neurology and rehabilitation team from CMC had visited MIMS last month and made an assessment of his condition, after which they had accepted his transfer to Vellore for further care.
 
The mishap occurred at Thenhipalam in Malappuram district when the actor was on his way to Coorg in Karnataka, the location of director Lenin Rajendran's latest film, Edavapathi.
 
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Since admission to the hospital on that day, Jagathy has undergone a series of surgeries, first to stop internal bleeding and then to treat the bone fractures he had suffered in his hip, a knee and his right forearm. Jagathy had suffered multiple fractures and injuries in the neck, abdomen and chest in the mishap. His lungs had also been impacted.
 
Sources said the Toyota Innova car, in which he was travelling, crashed into the median on National Highway 17 while negotiating a sharp curve. The driver of the car, Anil Kumar, also suffered minor injuries and underwent treatment at MIMS.
 
Jagathy, who has performed an amazing variety of roles in more than 1100 films, has particularly excelled in comedy and has won the State Government's award in different categories four times.
 
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Injured Malayalam actor Jagathy likely to be shifted to Vellore on Thursday

Jagathy Sreekumar (Photo: Anees Kodiyathur at ml.wikipedia.org)
Jagathy Sreekumar
Well-known Malayalam film actor Jagathy Sreekumar, who was seriously injured in a road accident in Malappuram district of Kerala on March 10, is likely to be shifted from a Kozhikode hospital to the Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
 
A spokesman for the Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) said Sreekumar's condition had improved considerably and he was making progress towards recovery on a daily basis.
 
According to him, the 62-year-old actor would be taken in a mobile intensive care unit (ICU), accompanied by doctors, to the Kozhikode airport, where he would be transferred to an air ambulance arranged by CMC, Vellore.
 
The hospital had initially planned to transfer him to Vellore last week, but the move had to be postponed by a few days because he had developed fever.
 
The actor, popularly known as Jagathy, had been shifted out of the ICU at MIMS late last mnth and has been responding to physiotherapy well. He has also been interacting with his close relatives. He has also been obeying simple commands and was regaining his neurological functions. 
 
Doctors felt the actor needed a well-planned rehabilitation programme and had, accordingly contacted CMC because its Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department is said to be amongst the best in the country.
 
A neurology and rehabilitation team from CMC had visited MIMS last month and made an assessment of his condition, after they had accepted his transfer to Vellore for further care.
 
The mishap occurred at Thenhipalam in Malappuram district when the actor was on his way to Coorg in Karnataka, the location of director Lenin Rajendran's latest film, Edavapathi.
 
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Since admission to the hospital on that day, Jagathy has undergone a series of surgeries, first to stop internal bleeding and then to treat the bone fractures he had suffered in his hip, a knee and his right forearm. Jagathy had suffered multiple fractures and injuries in the neck, abdomen and chest in the mishap. His lungs had also been impacted.
 
Sources said the Toyota Innova car, in which he was travelling, crashed into the median on National Highway 17 while negotiating a sharp curve. The driver of the car, Anil Kumar, also suffered injuries and is undergoing treatment in the same hospital.
 
Jagathy, who has performed an amazing variety of roles in more than 1100 films, has particularly excelled in comedy and has won the State Government's award in different categories four times.
 
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Rajiv assassination convict Nalini shifted back to Vellore prison

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In a sudden development, Nalini, one of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case whose death penalty was commuted to life, was today shifted from Puzhal Central Prison on the city outskirts to Vellore Central Prison.

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.

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22 people charred to death as bus catches fire in Tamil Nadu

Rescue personnel searching for victims after a private bus which overturned and caught fire killing 22 passengers at Avalur near Kaveripakkam on the Chennai-Bangalore National highway on Tuesday night. UNI PHOTO
Rescue personnel searching for victims after a private bus which overturned and caught fire killing 22 passengers at Avalur near Kaveripakkam on the Chennai-Bangalore National highway on Tuesday night. UNI PHOTO

As many as 22 people were charred to death when a private air-conditioned bus hit a culvert, plunged into a 10 ft deep ditch, overturned and caught fire at Avalur near Kaveripakkam in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu last night.

Police sources told UNI that said the deceased included 17 men and five women.

The private bus, belonging to leading transport operator KPN Travels, was on its way to Tiruppur from Chennai when the mishap occured around 2300 hrs.

All the bodies were charred beyond recognition. In all 24 people, including the driver, were in the bus.

While the bus driver, Nagarajan, hailing from Dasanayakanpatti in Salem district, jumped out of the vehicle, another person, Karthik Rajan, who was seated near the window in the last row, suffered injuries and was admitted to the Kancheepuram Government hospital.

The driver later surrendered before the Vellore West Police Station.

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The accident spot, near Kaveripakkam, is located on the Chennai-Bangalore National Highway, about 40 kms both from Kancheepuram and Vellore.

The bus was proceeding at a very high speed when the mishap occurred.

The driver, in a bid to avoid ramming into a stationery lorry, swerved to his right, lost control and hit the culvert.

In the impact, the barricade over the culvert broke into pieces.

The front tyres of the bus came off the vehicle which plunged into the ditch, overturned and landed on its roof.

As the air-conditioned unit of the bus crashed into the ground, it immediately exploded and caught fire, killing 22 people on the spot.

The victims were charred to death as fire engulfed the entire bus, leaving no chance for them to escape, sources said.

While the driver managed to jump off the vehicle before it came crashing, another passenger, Karthik Rajan, who was seated near the window in the last row, managed to come out through a broken window.

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Karthik Rajan, who was travelling along with his wife Smitha to Tiruppur, tried to save her life but could not go near the bus as the flames were leaping out of the vehicle.

It was a pathetic sight as he saw his wife charred to death in front of his eyes.

The driver, who sustained injuries, surrendered before the police and was admitted to the Vellore Government Headquarters Hospital.

By the time the Fire Services personnel reached the spot, the bus was completely gutted in the fire.

The scene of the accident presented a gory site as some of the bodies had to be collected in plastic bags and taken to Walljah Government Hospital for post-mortem examination.

Tamil Nadu Backward Classes Minister T K M Chinniah, Transport Minister Senthil Balaji and Health Minister V S Vijay rushed to the spot and supervised the relief operatons.

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Senior officials, including the Vellore District Collector and Kancheepuram District Superintendent of Police also rushed to the spot.

Vellore Fire Services Deputy director David Vincent and his team battled hard for over two hours to put out the fire.

Fire fighting units from Kancheepuram, Kaveripakkam, Arakkonam, Ranipet, Sholingur and Arcot were also involved in dousing the fire.

All the bodies were shifted to the Walljah Government Hospital around 0630 hrs this morning for autopsy.

Since all the bodies were charred beyond recognition, hospital authorities were planned to conduct DNA tests to establish the identity of the deceased.

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The authorities have also sought details from the KPN Travels to establish the identity of the victims.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa condoled the death of 22 people and announced a solatium of Rs 1 lakh each to the families of those killed in the mishap.

Making a suo motu statement in the State Assembly, she expressed her heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and announced Rs 50,000 assistance to the injured. She said the assistance would be provided from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund.

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More than 35 people feared charred to death in bus fire in Tamil Nadu

More than 35 people were feared charred to death when a private bus, in which they were travelling, overturned and caught fire at Avalur Kalvettu near Vellore in Tamil Nadu tonight.

Vellore Divisional Fire Officer David told UNI over the telephone that more than 35 passengers were feared killed as the bus caught fire and was completely gutted after it overturned while negotiating a road bridge and fell into a ditch.

Fire service units from Vellore and Ranipet rushed to the spot and were putting out the fire and he was rushing to the spot, he said.

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Only one person managed to jump out of the bus, he said, quoting reports received from the local fire unit.

The KPN private bus was proceeding from Chennai to Tirupur, Kancheepuram Station Fire Officer Thirunavukarasau, who was at the spot, said over phone.

The exact number of people feared charred to death could not be immediately ascertained as the smouldering bus remained overturned. There was no trace of any survivor in the bus, he said.

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Three policemen, prisoner killed in accident in Tamil Nadu


Three Armed Reserve policemen and a convicted prisoner were killed and three others, including two policemen, were injured when the van in which they were travelling, hit a parapet wall of a bridge and overturned on the Bangalore-Chennai National Highway at Ambur, in this district of Tamil Nadu in the early hours of today.


Police said four policemen were taking three convicted prisoners lodged in Coimbatore Central prison to present them before an Advisory Board in Chennai when the accident occured around 0130 hours.


Three policemen and one prisoner died on the spot, while two prisoners and one policeman were injured. They were admitted to the Vellore Medical College Hospital.


Police said the accident occured when the speeding van, hit the parapet wall of a bridge, while negotiating a sharp turn near OAR Theatre in Ambur.


The policemen who were killed were identified as Kumaravel,who was driving the van, Devakumar and Gnanasekaran while the prisoner was identified as Liyaqat Ali.


The injured are Murugan, Balakrishnan (prisoners) and Karunakaran, policeman.


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