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Tamil Nadu

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.
 
IANS
 

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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.
 
IANS
 

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DMK urges SC to disqualify 11 AIADMK MLAs

The DMK on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking urgent hearing on its petition in the disqualification of 11 AIADMK MLAs, who voted against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy in a confidence motion in 2017.
 
After hearing the initial arguments, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it will look into the matter and consider listing of the DMK's petition seeking the court's direction to disqualify the MLAs, who also include Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.
 
In April, last year the Madras High Court rejected a plea by the DMK to disqualify the 11 MLAs.
 
Panneerselvam and the other 10 MLAs, who were in the rebel camp, had voted against the trust vote, which was sought by Palaniswami on February 18, 2017.
 
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal made an oral mention for DMK leader R. Sakkarapani before the court. Sibal submitted that the hearing of the case concerned has been in limbo since January after the retirement of Justice A. K. Sikri, who had heard the proceedings in the case. 
 
The DMK leader appealed against the Madras High Court's refusal to ask the Speaker to act on the petition to disqualify 11 AIADMK members
 
The DMK in the special leave petition has asked when a Speaker abandons his duty, could a constitutional court issue a mandamus under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution to disqualify a member in  such special circumstances.
 
The plea seeking disqualification of the MLAs was placed before the Speaker under Paragraph 2 (1)(b) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. However, no notice was issued by the Speaker disqualifying the MLAs. 
 
IANS
 

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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.
 
IANS
 

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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.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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TN Congress leader suspended for anti-party activities

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The Congress on Thursday suspended one of its leaders in Tamil Nadu, Karate Thiagarajan, for "anti-party activities".
 
A Congress statement said the suspension went into immediate effect.
 
Congress General Secretary K. C. Venugopal said the demand for taking stern disciplinary action against the South Chennai District Congress President was sought by the Tamil Nadu unit for "frequent anti-party activities and breach of discipline". 
 
IANS
 
 
 

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Rajya Sabha biennial election on July 18 to fill six seats from Tamil Nadu

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The Election Commission of India today announced the schedule of the biennial election to fill six seats in Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu, with polling to be held on July 18.
 
The term of office of these members of the Council of States elected from Tamil Nadu will expire on July 24. The retiring members are T Rathinavel, Dr V Maitreyan, K R Arjunan, Dr R Lakshmanan, D Raja and Kanimozhi (elected to Lok Sabha on May 23, 2019).
 
According to the election schedule, issue of notification will be on July 1 and the last day for submitting nominations will be July 8. Scrutiny of nominations will be on July 9. The last date for withdrawal of candidature will be July 11 and polling will be held on July 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm. The election should be completed by July 22.   
 
The Commission has directed that, for the purpose of marking preference(s) on the ballot paper, only integrated violet colour sketch pen(s) of pre-fixed specification, provided by the Returning Officer, should be used. No other pen, under any circumstances, should be used in the election. Adequate measures for close monitoring of the election process by appointing observers will be taken to ensure free and fair election, an official press release added.
 
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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.
 
IANS
 

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Double for Karthik Tharani as VW Ventos dominate Indian National Car Racing Championship

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Piloting the turbo-charged VW Vento, Karthik Tharani authored a dream script for Volkswagen Motorsport with a grand double in the premium ITC category as the second round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship concluded at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Sunday.
 
Also scoring a double were Hyderabad’s Jeet Jhabak in the VW Ameo Class and Bengaluru schoolboy Sohil Shah (M Sport) in the Formula LGB 1300 category as he took the top honours in Race 1 and 3 while Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) won Race 2. 
 
RP Rajarajan (Performance Racing) won a close Super Stock race that went down to the wire.
 
For the factory-supported VW Motorsport team, making their debut in the Indian Touring Cars category, it was a highly-successful weekend as they won all the three races. Incidentally, races in all categories, except VW Ameo Class, today were run on wet tyres in view of forecast of rains which, however, stayed away.
 
The two ITC races highlighted Sunday’s proceedings with extremely close contests and incidents in Race 3 bringing out the Safety Car. Having finished second behind team-mate, Kolhapur’s Dhruv Shivaji Mohite, in the first of the ITC triple-header yesterday, Chennai-based Tharani led a 1-2-3 finish for VW Motorsport in Race 2 and followed it up with a thrilling win in Race 3 in the afternoon, ahead of Mohite and Arjun Balu (Race Concepts).
 
In both the races today, Mohite finished second while team-mate Ishaan Dodhiwala took the third spot in Race 2, but spun off in the next outing that led to a Safety Car period, and where Balu came in a creditable third, his second of the weekend.
 
While the podium finishers hogged the limelight, it was 77-year old D Vidyaprakash who stole the hearts with stirring drives that saw him finish fourth in both the races today. His defending the third spot in Race-2 until late in the last lap against Dodhiwala, 29, before letting the youngster pass, earned him high praise for clean racing. “I just can’t believe that someone at his age can drive like that. I couldn’t pass him until the last lap when he didn’t stop me from overtaking after I put the nose on the inside line,” gushed Dodhiwala after his third place finish.
 
The Championship moves to the MMRT track, Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, where Round 3 will be held from July 19 to 21.
 
The results (Provisional, all 10 laps unless mentioned):
 
Indian Touring Cars (Race 2): 1. Karthik Tharani (VW Motorsports) (11mins, 55.229secs); 2. Dhruv Shivaji Mohite (VW Motorsports) (11:55.572); 3. Ishaan Dodhiwala (VW Motorsports) (12:06.826). Race 3: 1. Karthik Tharani (VW Motorsports) (15:31.576); 2. Dhruv Shivaji Mohite (VW Motorsports) (15:31.717); 3. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) (15:32.087).
 
Volkswagen Ameo Class (Race 2): Overall – 1. Avik Anwar (Bangladesh) (11:58.554); 2. Aiman Sadat (Bangladesh) (11:58.841); 3. Anmol Singh Sahil (Delhi) (11:59.304). Pro: 1. Anwar; 2. Sahil; 3. Siddharth Mehdiratta (Lucknow) (12:00.233). Junior: 1. Sadat; 2. Viraj Jairaj Jhala (Nashik) (12:05.775); 3. Chetan Surineni (Bengaluru) (12:24.817). Race 3 (Overall and Pro): 1. Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad) (11:58.422); 2. Anmol Singh Sahil (Delhi) (12:00.219); 3. Pratik Sonawane (Pune) (12:02.872). Junior: 1. Aiman Sadat (Bangladesh) (12:09.235); 2. Kaushik Mohan Raja (12:10.360); Viraj Jairaj Jhala (Nashik) (12:18.809).
 
Super Stock (Race 2): 1. RP Rajarajan (Performance Racing) (13:05.322); 2. R Rajashekar (Race Concepts) (13:05.926); 3. Prateek Benya (Race Concepts) (13:06.209). 
 
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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.
 
IANS
 

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Park near Chennai closed after 'Free Fall Tower' accident

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The Tamil Nadu police on Friday ordered the closure of Queensland Amusement Park located near the state capital following an accident on the ride called 'Free Fall Tower' injuring a dozen people, said police.
 
The accident happened on June 18 and the video of that went viral on Friday.
 
On seeing the video, the police carried out its inquiries and ordered the park's closure.
 
The ride 'Free Fall Tower' at the amusement park consists of two platforms adjacent to each other connected to a tall tower. The platforms are taken up to a considerable height with the riders. Then the platforms come down fast thrilling the riders.
 
On June 18, the cables holding one of the platforms that was coming down snapped about 10 ft from the ground level.
 
The riders suffered minor injuries.
 
IANS
 

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59 entrants in fray in National Car Racing Championship

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The much-awaited MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship resumes at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Friday,  in a new avatar following a rejig of regulations designed to make racing even more competitive and exciting than ever before. 
 
The weekend card will see 59 entrants, from across India, competing in 11 races.
 
In a significant development, the Volkswagen Ameo Cup has received the status of National Championship and rechristened as the Ameo Class. 
 
The eventual winners (Pro and Rookie categories), after four rounds and 10 races spread across four race weekends, will be declared national champions. 
 
Volkswagen Motorsport India had launched their one-make series in 2010 through the Polo Cup before progressing to the Vento and now the Ameo.
 
Apart from the Ameo Class races, the weekend will witness competitions in the popular and premium Indian Touring Cars (ITC), the Super Stock and the entry-level Formula LGB 1300 which has attracted the most number of entries of 19 young aspirants.
 
MMSC Vice-President and Chairman of the Meet Vicky Chandhok said: “At the outset, MMSC would like to acknowledge and appreciate MRF’s unstinted commitment and active involvement in the National Championship, be it two-wheeler or four-wheeler races.
 
"In fact, MRF have been the backbone of motorsport in India due to the support they have extended and continue to do so, for all formats of the sport. With MRF’s support, MMSC has been able to take racing a notch higher with every season. 
 
"This year, we welcome Volkswagen Motorsport into our National Championship by way of the Ameo Class which we expect to be as competitive as before when it was called the Ameo Cup.”
 
For the Super Stock and the Formula LGB 1300 categories, this weekend’s outing will be Round 2 after the season-opener in February at the MMRT, Chennai, when they were run on the same card as the MRF Challenge international series, while the other classes join the National Championship.
 
There will be three races each for the ITC, Ameo Class and the Formula LGB categories, and two in the Super Stock class.
 
The weekend action commences on Friday which is entirely devoted to Free Practice sessions, while qualifying and five races are scheduled for Saturday, followed by six more races on Sunday
 
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Parched Chennai will get drinking water, assures CM

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With reservoirs supplying water to Chennai drying up and groundwater levels plummeting in the absence of rain, water has become scarce but the government is taking necessary steps to supply drinking water to people, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said on Tuesday.
 
Interacting with reporters here, Palaniswami said that owing to failure of rains, the ground water levels have gone down.
 
People are using the water supplied through tankers for drinking and washing as the ground water levels have gone down and hence the shortage, he said.
 
The resorvoirs -- Cholavaram (full capacity 1,081 mcft) and Redhills (3,300 mcft) -- which cater to the Chennai's water needs are dry while the storage at Poondi reservoir is 24 mcft as against full capacity of 3,231 mcft, according to Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Chennai Metro).
 
The Chembarambakkam lake (full capacity 3,645 mcft) has water level of a mere 1 mcft.
 
Palaniswami said water from desalination projects is also being distributed to people and urged people to cooperate with the government as ground water will be supplied for next four or five months till rains begin in October-November.
 
As regards water from the Telugu Ganga Scheme or Krishna Water, Palaniswami said water could only be released to Tamil Nadu if there is 8 tmc of water in Kadaleru dam in Andha Pradesh.
 
The water level at Kadaleru dam is presently about 4 tmc.
 
Palaniswami also said that water from the Mettur Dam is being released to fill up the Veeranam lake to supply drinking water to Chennai.
 
IANS
 

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College students fall from bus roof in Chennai

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A group of college students sitting on the roof of a city bus here in Tamil Nadu fell on to the road when the driver applied the brakes suddenly to avoid hitting a two-wheeler.
 
The video of the incident on Monday went viral on social media.
 
The students of Pachaiappa's College here climbed atop the bus plying on route number 47A to celebrate 'Bus Day'.
 
Police took some students into custody.
 
'Bus Day' is celebrated as a thanksgiving to the driver and the conductor who are regulars on a particular college route.
 
Over time, the celebrations have turned into a nuisance for the public with students forcing the driver to drive the vehicle very slowly, thereby blocking the traffic on busy roads.
 
The Madras High Court had come down heavily on the Bus Day celebrations several times. The police, too, had issued warnings against the celebrations. 
 
IANS
 

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BHEL bags NPCIL order for erection of Kudankulam Units 3 & 4

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The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had secured an order for the erection work of the upcoming 2x1000 MWe Turbine Generator (TG) island units 3 & 4 at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu, which is being set up with Russian cooperation.
 
A press release from the company said it had bagged the prestigious order against stiff competition.
 
Valued at over Rs. 440 crore, the order has been placed on BHEL by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). For the same project, BHEL has also emerged as the lowest bidder for erection of the Reactor side equipment, the release said.
 
Earlier, BHEL had successfully executed the erection work of TG island for Units 1&2 at Kudankulam, showcasing its capability in efficiently erecting equipment designed and manufactured by other suppliers.
 
BHEL is an established EPC leader for both thermal and nuclear power projects. As many as 12 out of 18 operating Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) in the country are equipped with BHEL-supplied steam turbine generator sets, accounting for 74% of the installed capacity. 
 
BHEL is also currently executing turbine generator packages for four units of 700 MWe, two units each at Kakrapara and Rawatbhata, the release added.
 
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Popular Tamil writer, actor Crazy Mohan passes away

Tamil actor Crazy Mohan (File photo: IANS)
Tamil actor Crazy Mohan (File photo: IANS)
Renowned Tamil writer, actor and comedy giant Crazy Mohan breathed his last here on Monday after he suffered a major heart attack. He was 67.
 
"After he complained of pain in his chest and suffered a heart attack, he was rushed to Kauvery hospital in the afternoon. Efforts were taken to revive him but unfortunately he passed away around 2 p.m.," a family source told IANS.
 
Born as Mohan Rangachari in 1952, Mohan's first stint with writing began in college, where he was studying Mechanical Engineering, when he wrote the script for "Great Bank Robbery" for an inter-collegiate contest.
 
He then started writing scripts for his brother Maadhu Balaji's drama troupe. In 1976, Mohan wrote his first full-length play called "Crazy Thieves in Paalavakkam", thereby, earning the moniker 'Crazy' to his name.
 
By 1979, Mohan started his own drama troupe Crazy Creations which went on to create over 30 plays that have been staged over 6,500 times till date. Some of their popular plays include "Chocolate Krishna", "Satellite Saamiyar", "Marriage Made in Saloon" and "Return of Crazy Thieves", among others.
 
In 1983, Mohan made his film debut as a writer for K. Balachander's "Poikkal Kuthirai", which was based on Mohan's own play "Marriage Made in Saloon". The film featured Kamal Haasan in a cameo.
 
As a writer, Mohan was widely popular for his association with Kamal Haasan in multiple Tamil comedies which include "Sathi Leelavathi", "Michael Madana Kama Rajan", "Apoorva Sagodharargal", "Avvai Shanmugi", "Panchatanthiram" and "Vasool Raja MBBS".
 
Mohan forayed into television in 1989 and produced popular comedy serials, which include "Crazy", "Kalyanathukku Kalyanama" and "Vidathu Sirippu".
 
Mohan was a recipient of the Kalaimamani award given by the Tamil Nadu government for excellence in the field of art and literature.
 
IANS
 

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Deepak Ravikumar upstages strong field in Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship

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Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing) and Sankar Sarath Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) survived a day of drama and crashes to post deserved wins in the Pro-Stock 301-400cc and Pro-Stock 165cc categories, respectively, as the first round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship  sparked to life at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Saturday.
 
Starting sixth, Ravikumar, nursing injuries he suffered during last week’s testing, overcame pain and discomfort to score a merited win in the premium Pro-Stock 301-400cc race after pole-sitter Prabhu Arunagiri (Team Alisha Abdullah) and Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) came together in the second of the 10-lap race. 
 
While Arunagiri retired, Jagan Kumar, who had started second on the grid, got up and continued to finish eighth.
 
In second place behind Ravikumar was TVS Racing’s KY Ahamed, followed by Gusto Racing’s Satyanarayana Raju who was nursing a collar-bone fracture.
 
Earlier, the two outstanding riders in the Pro-Stock 165cc race were the eventual winner Sarath Kumar and third-placed Jagan Kumar. Sarath, 26, overcame a poor start that pushed him to sixth before he climbed his way to the front for a comfortable win by over five seconds.
 
Behind him, seven-times Super Sport National champion Jagan, starting from the pit-lane after the chain snapped during the formation lap, requiring quick repairs, rode like the wind as he cut through the field to finish third behind team-mate KY Ahamed who also did extremely well after starting eighth on the grid following this morning’s qualifying session.
 
Reflecting on his first win in three years, Sarath said: “It feels great to win a race after I think three years. I did not have a good start and was running sixth going into Turn-1, but I was confident of making up and by the second lap, I was ahead. Thereafter, it was fairly comfortable.
 
“It has been a frustrating three years during which I was part of the development programme. I also put on weight during that time, going up to 76 Kgs which is far too heavy for a 165cc bike. So, I reduced my weight to 66 Kgs, but still concede about 12 Kgs to Jagan. I had a strategy today, but unfortunately, he had a technical issue, so, I didn’t need to employ that strategy. Tomorrow, I know, he will be with me, but I am confident.”
 
Jagan, who was chaired to the garage after the post-race weigh-in by his team members, said: “The chain snapped and so I had to start from the pitlane after repairs. Otherwise, it was a good race and am happy to finish third considering the circumstances. Hopefully, I will have a better race tomorrow.”
 
The day started with Sparks Racing’s Vijay S taking the honours in the Stock 165cc (Novice) race that was red-flagged after just two laps following crashes.
 
Varoon (Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup, CBR 150), Anish Samson (TVS 200 RR, Novice), Lani Zena Fernandez (TVS 200 RR Girls) and Anand R (TVS 310RR Open) were the other winners of the day.
 
The results (Provisional):
 
National Championship – Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Race 1, 10 laps): 1. Deepak Ravi Kumar (TVS Racing) (11 mins, 40.315 secs); 2. KY Ahemed (TVS Racing) (11:41.960); 3. Satyanarayana Raju (Gusto Racing) (11:58.709).
 
Pro-Stock 165cc (Race 1, 10 laps): 1. Sarath Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:23.441); 2. Ahamed KY (TVS Racing) (12:26.672); 3. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) (12:27.061).
 
Stock 165cc (Race 1, 7 laps): 1. Vijay S (Sparks Racing) (09:29.877); 2. Manoj Y (Pvt) (09:31.371); 3. Abhimanyu Gautam (Sparks Racing) (09:36.358).
 
One-Make Championship – Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup (CBR 150) Race 1 (10 laps): 1. Varoon (13:31.952); 2. Lalrinuala Tlau (13:51.910); 3. Charan T (14:11.186).
 
TVS (Open, RR 310) Race 1 (10 laps): 1. Anand R (12:17.045); 2. Aravind Ganesh (12:18.822); 3. Soorya PM (12:18.865).
 
Novice (RR 200) Race 1 (4 laps): 1. Anish Samson (05:34.808); 2. Manoj Y (05:34.860); 3. Ullas Santruptnanda (05:36.011).
 
Girls (RR 200): 1. Lani Zena Fernandez (04:19.084); 2. Nivetha Jessica (04:19.766); 3. Shifa Shabir Ahmed (04:35.568).
 
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Gaurika stages rally to win 7th leg of Hero WPG Tour

Gaurika Bishnoi, starting the final round four shots behind the overnight leader Gursimar Badwal, staged a fine rally to register her second win of the season on the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour here on Friday.
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Gaurika Bishnoi, starting the final round four shots behind the overnight leader Gursimar Badwal, staged a fine rally to register her second win of the season on the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour here on Friday.
 
There were 29 starters, of which 28 finished. This was the largest field in a domestic WGAI event ever, which carried a record Rs. 10 lakh purse.
 
Gaurika also moved to the top of the Hero WPGT Order of Merit with two wins in six starts and total earnings of Rs. 6,12,800. She went past Neha Tripathi (Rs. 5,56,800) and Gursimar Badwal (Rs.5,20,133). The fourth player with over Rs 5 lakhs is Amandeep Drall (Rs.5,11,333).
 
Gaurika played very steady in the final round as she dropped just one bogey while picking up six birdies, three of which came in the last five holes to card  67  which  total eight-under 208, which was three clear of amateur Pranavi Urs, who registered the second 66 of the tournament. Pranavi, who began the week with a 76, recovered well over the final two days with 69-66 for a fine performance.
 
Gaurika and Amandeep, winner of the previous two events at Clover Greens, were the only players to play all three rounds under par. Astha Madan (72) was seventh at one-over 217, while amateur Asmitha Sathish (72) and Ananya Datar (72) were tied-eighth. Neha Tripathi (72) and Millie Saroha (75) were tied-10th.
 
Gursimar Badwal, who had played so well on the first two days, had a rough final day with just one birdie. She had two bogeys, but what put her out of contention was the triple bogey eight on the Par-5 14th. She finished in a tie for third alongside Amandeep Drall (70) and Tvesa Malik (68).
 
Ridhima Dilawari, who seemed out of sorts in the first two rounds when she shot 73-74, finally found her form, though a little late. However, the round of 68 will help her confidence for the upcoming events. She finished sixth at one-under 215, as six players finished the week with under par totals, indicating a growing depth in Indian women’s golf. There were two 66s and a 67 in the 15 under-par rounds in a week of impressive golf.
 
Gaurika birdied the second and dropped her only bogey of the day at fourth. Thereafter she was flawless, with birdies on sixth and eighth to turn in two-under 35. On the back nine, after four pars, she birdied 14th, 16th and 18th for a final card of 67.
 
Pranavi, a very good upcoming talent, was also two-under for the front nine and was two-under till the 12th with four birdies against two bogeys. On the last five holes, she had a hat-trick of birdies from 14th to 16th and another on 18th for four-under 31 and a total of 66, the second time this score was recorded this week. The earlier 66 came from Gursimar Badwal on the second day.
 
Amandeep had a rough front nine with bogeys on third and fourth, but four birdies on the back nine against no bogeys saw her card 70 and finish in a tie for third.
 
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Amandeep shares lead with Gursimar and Gaurika in 7th leg of Hero WPG Tour

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Amandeep Drall carded a hat-trick of birdies to take a share of the lead in the opening round of the Rs. 10 lakh seventh leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour here on Wednesday.
 
Drall shared the lead with Gaurika Bishnoi and Gursimar Badwal, who have both won once each this season. The trio shot one-under 71 each and led by one over Hero Order of Merit leader Neha Tripathi, and Ananya Datar who carded even par 72 each.
 
In a field of 26 pros and three amateurs, the largest ever assembled at a domestic event on the Hero WPG Tour, four players including Ridhima Dilawari, the only multiple winner this year, Khushi Khanijau, Millie Saroha and Astha Madan shot one-over 73 each to be tied sixth. Tvesa Malik was sole 10th with a round of 74.
 
This was Amandeep’s sixth successive sub-par round at the Clover Greens. The last time she shot worse than sub-par was an even par 72 in the first round of the eighth leg of the 2018 Tour, which too she won. She added the 10th leg with three straight sub-par rounds.
 
Gursimar birdied the second, but bogeyed the Par-5 third and then parred the remaining holes except for the Par-4 13th, which she birdied for a round of 71. Gursimar won the second leg this year.
 
Gaurika Bishnoi, who won the fifth leg this season, opened with a birdie but dropped back-to-back bogeys on seventh and eight to turn in one-over 38. On the back nine, she birdied 12th and 14th to get to under-par and finish at 71.
 
Neha Tripathi had just one birdie on seventh and she gave that back on 15th, while Ananya Datar had three birdies and three bogeys.
 
Astha Madan was two-under through 11 holes, before dropping thee shots in the last seven, while Ridhima birdied second and then dropped three bogeys in a span of four holes between eighth and 11th. She made up one with a birdie on Par-3 16th.
 
Tvesa Malik at sole 10th birdied twice, but she had a double on the 11th and two more bogeys on 5th and 12th in her 74.
 
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World Bank to provide $ 287 million loan for improving healthcare in Tamil Nadu

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The Government of India, the Government of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) and the World Bank on Monday signed a $ 287 million loan agreement for the Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Programme, which aims to improve the quality of health care, reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and fill the equity gaps in reproductive and child health services in the state.
 
Tamil Nadu ranks third among Indian States in the NITI Aayog Health Index which is reflected in vastly improved health outcomes. 
 
The State’s maternal mortality rate has declined from 90 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 62 deaths in 2015-16 while the infant mortality has declined from 30 deaths per 1000 live births to 20 in the same period, an official press release said.
 
A key contribution to these achievements has been the establishment of Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care Centres and the 108 ambulance service with previous support from the World Bank.  These have ensured that no mother has to travel more than 30 minutes to access emergency obstetric and neonatal care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
 
Despite these impressive gains, certain challenges in health care remain, including quality of care and variations in reproductive and child health among districts. Tamil Nadu is also dealing with a growing burden of NCDs as they account for nearly 69% of deaths in the State, the release said. 
 
The Tamil Nadu Health System Reform Programme will support the State Government to develop clinical protocols and guidelines. It aims to achieve national accreditation for primary, secondary, and tertiary-level health facilities in the public sector.
 
It will strengthen physicians, nurses and paramedics through continuous medical education. It will strengthen the feedback loop between citizens and the state by making quality and other data accessible to the public.
 
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"Tamil Nadu can serve as a model for how to take health system performance to the next level by investing in the public sector and offer lessons to other states. We are happy that the World Bank is helping the state in this journey," Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, said.
 
The Agreement for the Project was signed by Khare on behalf of the Union Government, Beela Rajesh, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, on behalf of Tamil Nadu and Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank.
 
“The Programme supports interventions to strengthen institutional and state capacity to achieve results. Good practices and innovations from Tamil Nadu are being scaled-up while others from around the world are being introduced through the programme to improve management of the State's Public Health Sector, increase transparency and strengthen accountability,” Abdo said.
 
The programme will promote population-based screening, treatment and follow-up for NCDs, and improve monitoring and evaluation. Patients will be equipped with knowledge and skills to self-manage their conditions. Lab services and health provider capacity will also be strengthened to address mental health.
 
To tackle road injuries, the programme will improve in-hospital care, strengthen protocols, strengthen the 24x7 trauma care services and establish a trauma registry.
 
Another key aim is to reduce the equity gaps in reproductive and child health.  Special focus will be given to nine priority districts, which constitute the bottom quintile of the RCH indicators in the State and have a relatively large proportion of tribal populations. 
 
“This programme focuses on results instead of inputs through a Program-for-Results (PforR) lending instrument. This will provide a much greater focus on outputs and outcomes through better alignment of expenditures and incentives with results,” said Rifat Hasan, Senior Health  Specialist, World Bank India, the Task Team Leader for the programme said. The use of the PforR instrument is a first for the health sector and will offer lessons for other States.  
 
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Stalin urges Rahul not to quit as Congress President

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DMK President M. K. Stalin on Tuesday urged Congress President Rahul Gandhi not to resign from his party post.
 
In a statement issued here, the DMK said Stalin spoke to Gandhi on the phone and told him that he had won the people's hearts.
 
On his part, Gandhi greeted Stalin on the DMK-led alliance's sweeping electoral victory in Tamil Nadu.
 
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi too greeted Stalin.
 
Stalin will be attending the swearing in ceremony of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister designate Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday at Vijayawada.
 
IANS
 

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Top seed Gayatri crashes out in junior badminton semis

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Top seed P. Gayatri Gopichand of Telangana crashed out of the All India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament, losing squarely to 16th seed Aashi Rawat of Delhi in a dramatic girl's semifinal upset on Saturday.
 
Tamil Nadu too suffered a big setback, with No. 4 seed Satish Kumar crumbling against No. 2 seed Maisnam Meiraba from Manipur in the boys' section.
 
The till now flawless Gayatri, the daughter of India coach Pullela Gopichand, turned error-prone in the semi-final as she found a worthy challenger in Aashi. She edged into the lead but saw Aashi recover ground at 6-6. The momentum shifted at that stage with Aashi jumping ahead at 10-9 before taking a 13-11 lead.
 
The mistakes, however, continued to flow which Aashi exploited to the hilt, taking a strong 18-14 lead that proved to be good enough for a 21-15 victory in the opener.
 
Aashi was on a roll in the second game, racing to a 15-7 lead. She didn't concede a single point after that for a well-deserved place in the final.
 
Aashi now awaits the winner of the second semi-final between Tamil Nadu's Akshaya Arumugam and Samiya Imad Farooqui of Telangana, both unseeded.
 
Local lad Satish Kumar too found himself out of depth against No. 2 seed Maisnam Meiraba, losing 13-21, 11-21 in 50 minutes. He fell behind early in both the games and failed to come up with any strategy to regain a toehold in the contest.
 
He yielded an early 2-6 lead in the first game which became 4-8 and 9-16 pretty quickly. The second game too followed the same pattern. He went down 2-5 and couldn't recover any ground to lose 11-21.
 
Sathish, however, gave a glimpse of his talent and temperament in the morning, getting the better of ninth seed Sarath D of Andhra Pradesh. He was trailing after the first game (10-21) but he recovered enough to make it look like an easy win, taking the next two games 21-16, 21-12.
 
IANS

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Gayatri, other top seeds reach junior badminton quarters

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Top seed P. Gayatri Gopichand of Telangana faced her first tough fight in the Microplex Global and Yonex Sunrise All-India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament before prevailing 2-0 and entering the quarter-finals here on Friday night.
 
The daughter of India coach Pullela Gopichand was stretched all the way by the unseeded Khushi Gupta of Delhi in the Under-19 Girls Singles clash for a place in the last 8. It took the 16-year-old's cool temperament and superior skills to eke out a 22-20 win in the first game. The second game was equally close with Khushi determined to battle for every point. But in the end Gayatri lived up to her ranking, closing it at 21-16.
 
No. 3 seed Malvika Bansod of the Airports Authority of India and Chennai's Akshaya Arumugam had comparatively easier rounds, getting the better of No. 12 seed Aditi Bhatt of Uttarakhand and Riya Kunjir of Maharashtra, respectively. Malvika won 21-19 21-11 while an impressive Akshaya romped home with a 21-12, 21-11 victory.
 
Earlier in the day, Gayatri barely stretched herself to beat Prerana Alvekar of Maharasthra, 21-11 21-13. Malvika, however, struggled against unseeded Tanya Hemanth (Karnataka), losing the second game 15-21. The final game too was tight but she survived the scare for a 21-10 15-21 21-18 win.
 
Unnati Bisht (No. 4, UTR) and Samiya Imad Farooqui (No. 5, TS) joined the duo by taming Likhita Srivastava of Delhi 21-16 21-8 and Treesa Jolly of Kerala 21-16 21-10.
 
Amolika Singh (No. 6, Uttar Pradesh) and Tasnim Mir (No. 13, Gujarat) were the only two seeds in girls' category to tumble out of the competition. They lost to Aadya Variyath of Kerala 22-20 16-21 21-16 and Himanshi Rawat of Uttarakhand 22-20 7-21 21-15, respectively.
 
No. 2 seed Maisnam Meiraba of Manipur drove the top seeds in the Under-19 Boys Singles, carrying as many as 11 more into the next round. He beat Bharat Raghav of Haryana (21-8 23-21) to set up a clash with Rohan Gurbani (Maharashtra) who took down Karan Negi (HP) 21-13 21-7.
 
Other seeds who progressed include Sai Charan Koya (No. 3, AP), Sathish Kumar K. (4, TN), Aakash Yadav (No. 5, Delhi), Tharun M. (6, Telangana), Siddhanth Gupta (No. 10, TN) and Pranav Rao Gandham (No. 16, Telangana).
 
IANS
 

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