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Tamil Nadu

Jayalalithaa urges all parties to support Sangma for President's post

A day after coming out in support of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma for the office of President, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa on Friday urged all political parties to support his candidature for the post.

File photo of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in Chennai on May 15, 2012.
File photo of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in Chennai on May 15, 2012.

A day after coming out in support of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma for the office of President, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo J Jayalalithaa today urged all political parties to support his candidature for the post.

"In continuation of my statement dated 17.5.2012 announcing the AIADMK’s support to Mr P.A. Sangma in the forthcoming Presidential election, I now appeal to all political parties to rise above political considerations and support Mr P.A. Sangma and ensure that he becomes the next President of India," she said in a statement issued in Chennai today.
 
The AIADMK was the second regional party, after the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha to come out in support of Mr Sangma for the august office. 
 
Ms Jayalalithaa said in a statement yesterday that she had taken the decision following a letter received from Mr Sangma and his meeting with her in Chennai on May 15.
 
She also said that she had held consultations on the issue within the AIADMK as well as with BJD leader and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
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"During the past 60 years of the Republic of India, while eminent personalities belonging to various communities and diverse walks of life have graced the office of the Rashtrapathi no one belonging to a tribal community has had the opportunity so far," Ms Jayalalithaa said in a statement.
 
Mr Sangma and his supporters have for some time been campaigning for a tribal to be elected as the next President of India.
 
She said Mr Sangma not only belonged to a tribal community but was also eminently qualified to be the President of the nation.
 
"As such, the AIADMK takes pride in supporting the candidature of Mr P.A. Sangma for the office of President of India," the statement had added.
 
Earlier yesterday, Mr Patnaik told journalists in Bhubaneswar that his party would back Mr Sangma for President and that Ms Jayalalithaa was also supporting him.
 
Mr Patnaik and Ms Jayalalithaa had met in Chennai on May 11, when the coming Presidential elections and related issues were understood to have been discussed.
 
After that, Mr Sangma and his daughter, Ms Agatha Sangma, Union Minister of State for Rural Development, had met Ms Jayalalithaa in Chennai to pitch their case for a tribal candidate for the President's post.
 
However, Mr Sangma's own party, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is a constituent of the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), is yet to come out in his support. The two parties are also sharing power in Maharashtra.
 
NCP leader and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is understood to be of the view that, given the party's limited strength, it could not aspire for such a major post. 
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NCP spokesman D P Tripathi told reporters yesterday that Mr Sangma or Mr Patnaik had not discussed the matter with the party. He said Mr Pawar was clearly of the view that the President must be chosen by consensus and that, as a member of the UPA, the NCP must act with responsibility and dignity in the matter.
 
The Congress is yet to announce its candidate for the post, but in recent days the names of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President M Hamid Ansari have been doing the rounds as possible candidates.
 
The term of office of the current President, Ms Pratibha Patil, will end on July 25 this year and a successor will be elected before that date.
 
Mr Sangma, 64, who has taken MA and  LL.B. degrees, was associated with the Congress for a long time and was eelcted to the 6th, 7th and 8th Lok Sabha. He served as Union Deputy Minister for Commerce and later as Minister of State for Commerce and Minister of State for Home Affairs. He also held independent charge of Labour as Minister of State.
 
Between 1988 and 1990, Mr Sangma served as Chief Minister of Meghalaya before returning to the Lok Sabha in 1991. He held independent charge of Coal and then Labour as Minister of State before being appointed Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting in 1995-96.
 
On re-election to the 11th Lok Sabha for a fifth term in 1996, he was elected Speaker of the House. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999 and 2004. He resigned from the Lok Sabha on October 10, 2005 as a member of the Trinamool Congress and came back to the House in February 2006 as an NCP candidate. He resigned from the House again on March 20, 2008.
 
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Eros International acquires Tamil theatrical rights of Maatran

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Entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd today said it had acquired the Tamil theatrical rights of  Maatran, produced by AGS Entertainment Pvt Ltd, a film production and distribution house.

Eros has been assigned the Tamil theatrical rights for Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka and the Tamil audio rights of the movie, a press release from the company said. Maatran is slated for release on August 15 this yar.
 
Maatran is a Tamil action thriller film directed and co-written by K V Anand and scripted by Subha. It stars Suriya, who portrays two different roles along with Kajal Aggarwal. Harris Jayaraj has composed the tunes and the tracks in the music album.  
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Jayalalithaa slams Centre on NCTC, wants sub-committee of CMs to examine proposal

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the Conference of Chief Ministers on National Counter-Terrorism Centre in New Delhi on May 5, 2012.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the Conference of Chief Ministers on National Counter-Terrorism Centre in New Delhi on May 5, 2012.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today hit out at the Union Government for allegedly constituting the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) without consulting the States and said the fight against terrorism could be successfully waged only in a spirit of cooperation.
 
"The proposed NCTC needs a total overhaul and for this I suggest that a smaller sub-committee of Chief Ministers be set up," she said in her address to the Conference of Chief Ministers on the NCTC convened by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
 
The conference was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and was addressed by, among others, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
 
She said the NCTC, as has now been notified, should be kept in abeyance till the sub-committee of Chief Ministers gives its report. "As a matter of fact, any discussion on NCTC is infructuous as long as the notification of NCTC is in force," she said.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa said the proposed NCTC had met with a lot of opposition from many States and even Congress-ruled States had expressed misgivings about it.
 
"Hence, as stated by me earlier, the office memorandum on the constitution of the NCTC should be kept in abeyance and a sub-committee of Chief Ministers constituted to devise an effective counter terrorist strategy. The Minister of State, Home Affairs, may represent the Ministry in the Committee. Once the recommendations of the sub-committee of Chief Ministers are available, it will be advisable to chart out the way forward based on that. I do hope the Central Government will appreciate the points raised by me and display a sense
of statesmanship," she said.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa said it was surprising that neither the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs constituting the NCTC, nor the agenda note circulated to the Chief Ministers, mentioned the gaps and deficiencies in the architecture of counter terrorism capabilities that necessitated the
formation of the new agency.
 
She noted that the Second Administrative Reforms Commission recommended that personnel for the Counter Terrorism Centre should be drawn from different intelligence and security agencies, instead of confining the selection to the personnel of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) alone.
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"This, in my view, is the first indictment made about the inability of the Intelligence Bureau to co-ordinate with various State Intelligence Agencies. Instead of rectifying this, the Ministry of Home Affairs proposes to establish an Operations division of the National Counter Terrorism
Centre in the Intelligence Bureau and also equip the Additional Director, Intelligence Bureau with the powers of the Designated Authority under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. This is not only irregular, but also not reflective of the views of the group of Ministers and the
Administrative Reforms Commission," she said.
 
She pointed out that the Head of the NCTC would be an officer from the IB of the rank of an Additional Director and that its core staff would be drawn from the personnel of the IB
 
"Officers of other agencies such as RAW, DGMI, NCB etc., who will be taken on deputation to the National Counter Terrorism Centre will not be allowed into the core team and can only function in the outer ring. By this, it is implied that they only enjoy secondary status. Further, there is not even a mention of taking officers on deputation from the State Intelligence Agencies, from State cadres. The National Counter Terrorism Centre is thus going to be dominated only by the Intelligence Bureau and the manner in which the staff is sought to be selected for the National Counter Terrorism Centre provides the ammunition for rifts among the various Intelligence Agencies, which is in itself clearly a regressive step," she said.
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Ms Jayalalithaa stressed that intelligence gathering was greatly dependent on the State police networks, since many of the Central Agencies are unfamiliar with the local language, terrorist activities, and so on.
 
"Therefore, sharing of intelligence in a co-ordinated fashion is the right way forward. Confining the core group selection to the Intelligence Bureau personnel, and providing a second grade status to other agencies, such as Military Intelligence and the Research and Analysis Wing and excluding the State Cadres entirely is going to spell doom and greatly diminish the level of
operational capabilities. A caste structure in a Counter Terrorism outfit with the Intelligence Bureau personnel uppermost in the hierarchy is the best recipe for strengthening the hands of terrorists," she said.
 
She wondered what were the deficiencies noticed in the Multi Agency Centre mechanism that
led to the formulation of a Counter Terrorism outfit in the proposed form of the NCTC.
 
"The State Governments were not consulted at all before the NCTC was notified. In fact, my Government did not even receive a copy of the order," she said, saying it was the Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr Naveen Patnaik, who had shared his copy with her.
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"Such is the casual attitude displayed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which borders on absolute disdain for the Tamil Nadu State Government. The fact that the Ministry of Home Affairs did not deem it fit to even send a copy of the order to the State Government reveals the utter contempt the Central Government has for the State of Tamil Nadu," she alleged.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa said any counter-terrorism mechanism that is developed should take into account the views of all the stake holders, namely, the various Central intelligence agencies and the State Governments. 
 
"And there cannot be one nodal centre sitting in the Ministry of Home Affairs, whose nod is required before any counter terrorist response is undertaken," she said.
 
"Ironically, this Counter Terrorism Centre seeks to accumulate more powers under itself and distance the other stake holders. This will only strengthen the enemy," she said.
 
"There must be a system of encouraging frequent interaction with the common people living in the border areas and coastal areas, if any intelligence of substance and merit is to be collected. For this, schemes for the development of the coastal areas and border areas should be expanded. And economic incentives for any information that is provided should be given generously. The Central Government can provide funds for this through the State Intelligence Agencies, who will then be enabled to redouble their efforts in this regard. Moreover, a general view seems to have gained ground in the Ministry of Home Affairs that very little of actionable intelligence is provided by the States. 
 
"It must be understood that a lot of intelligence is collected and immediately acted upon by the State Police themselves. It is then communicated to the Central agencies for purposes of record later. It is not necessary for the State Police to take directions from a Central agency before taking action against an unlawful agency to prevent terrorist activity. If the Ministry of Home Affairs desires that in response to terrorist activities, any action should be taken only after receiving their directions then, I am afraid I can only say that they have no knowledge of practical administration," she said.
 
"I am sure that the Hon’ble Prime Minister is concerned about the fiscal deficit situation and the deteriorating balance of trade. The consequent downgrading by the credit rating agency  Standard and Poor's has categorised the global outlook on the Indian Economy as negative.
The time has come for the Government of India to concentrate on setting its own house in order rather than spending time advising the State Governments on principles of administration," she said.
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"Chief Ministers of States have their feet firmly on the ground and do not keep holding press conferences after a terrorist attack explaining the reasons for their failure. We are proactive and prevent such occurrences. Instead of encouraging us and providing liberal financial assistance, the Ministry of Home Affairs wants to belittle us and treat us like pawns on a
chessboard, who can be moved around at will. This is not only a counter productive idea but also seriously violative of the Constitution," she said.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa said even imagining that there could be Operations Division under the Intelligence Bureau, independent of the State Police and armed with the powers of arrest and seizure, was preposterous and revealed a total lack of understanding of ground realities.
 
She said the feeling of distrust between the Centre and the States had to be dispelled. "Nothing tangible can be achieved by setting up an Operations Division in the Intelligence Bureau equipped with the powers of arrest and seizure. Arrest and seizure are a part of the
process of investigation, as per Police practices, and anybody with even a rudimentary understanding of this will not attempt to separate, arrest and seizure from investigation," she said.
 
According to her, the standard operating procedures provide lame excuses for the justification behind the Office Memorandum, and "are only worthy of outright contemptuous dismissal by all right thinking persons".
 
"If terrorism is to be fought effectively, a nodal mechanism in the States should co-ordinate with the nodal Central Agency on matters of counter terrorism. A Rapid Action Counter Terrorist Force needs to be created in every State, which will function under the nodal State Agency. On receipt of information, the nodal State Agency should activate the appropriate force to organise the operation in the manner best suited. State Governments should be given
liberal financial assistance by the Centre for raising a Counter Terrorist Force fully equipped with modern weapons and training. This would be, in my opinion, the appropriate strategy for counter terrorist operations," she said.
 
Referring also to the Centre's move to amend the BSF Act, Ms Jayalalithaa said the Ministry of Home Affairs should alter its approach and come up front with its proposals in a clean and transparent manner. 
 
"Speaking on behalf of the State Governments, I can confidently say that all of us have the highest commitment to maintaining the unity and integrity of the country and to upholding its sovereignty. But we are afraid that any concurrence given based on good intentions will be
misused for achieving certain goals that are aimed at weakening the States and usurping more powers for the Centre," she said.
 
She said the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008, was an instance of a "brazen attempt at encroachment upon the powers of the States".
 
"This is clearly a case of the Centre usurping the powers of the State. The very fact that a new agency called National Investigation Agency has been set up, when there is already a specialized agency in the form of CBI, shows that the Centre wanted to by-pass the restrictions imposed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act," she said.
 
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CBI arrests Tamil Nadu IGP from Delhi in alleged corruption case

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested Tamil Nadu Inspector General of Police (Armed Police) P Pramod Kumar from here in connection with its ongoing investigation to two cases of cheating and corruption, related to the alleged Paazee Forex Trading Company scam.

A press release from the CBI said the two cases were registered by the agency on the directions of the Madras High Court. These cases were earlier registered by CBCID, Tamil Nadu on June 15, 2011.
 
The first case is a cheating case against the three directors of the private investment company relating to defrauding depositors to the tune of approximately Rs.829 crores, including the promised interest as well as dividends.
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CBI files chargesheet against Anbumani Ramadoss in corruption case

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today filed a chargesheet against former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and ten others in connection with alleged irregularities in the grant of approval to a medical college in Indore.

The chargesheet ws filed in the court of Special Judge, Patiala House, New Delhi against the  Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader and the others in the matter of grant of approval to the college for admissions to its second batch of students in 2008.
 
Ramadoss, a medical doctor, was Minister for Health and Family Welfare in the first term of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from 2004 to 2009.
 
A press release form the CBI said the chargesheet was filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
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CCEA okays proposal for Integrated Vaccine Complex in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved a proposal of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for the establishment of an Integrated Vaccine Complex (IVC) at Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu.

The complex will be established by the public sector HLL Life Care Limited at an estimated cost of Rs. 594 crore. The project is likely to be completed by 2014, an official press release said.
 
It said the complex would be the nodal centre for research, manufacture and supply of vaccines at affordable prices for the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) of the Government of India. 

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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IPL: Chennai Super Kings bowled out for 112 by Mumbai Indians

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Defending champions Chennai Super Kings were skittled out for 112 in 19.5 overs against Mumbai Indians in the opening match of the fifth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Wednesday.

Suresh Raina top scored with 36 while Dwayne Bravo made 19. 
 
For Mumbai Indians, the last year's runners-up, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and pacers Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga picked up two wickets each.
 
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ADB to provide $ 43.84 m loan for tourism infrastructure in TN, Uttarakhand

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The Government of India, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and States of Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand today signed a $ 43.84 million loan agreement for the second tranche of Infrastructure Development Investment Programme for Tourism.

The agreement aims to enhance tourism environment in the two States with a view to draw increased volume of national and international tourists.
 
An official press release said the programme was approved in 2010 for $ 250 million as multi-tranche financing facility to assist in developing tourism-related infrastructure in the four participating states - Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu. The first tranche for $ 43.42 million involving states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh is under implementation.

Jayalalithaa urges PM to convene meeting of CMs to exclusively discuss NCTC

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to keep in abeyance the decision to set up the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and convene a separate meeting of Chief Ministers of all States to exclusively discuss this issue.

"The views of various Chief Ministers will have to be given due consideration and a purposeful discussion on counter terrorism should be made possible," she said.
 
Chief Ministers of several non-Congress-ruled States have voiced serious concerns about the proposed NCTC, which they say would infringe on the rights of States and affect the federal character of the Constitution.
 
States such as Odisha, Bihar, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and even West Bengal, which is ruled by the Trinamool Congress, an ally of the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, also objected to the manner in which they said the NCTC was sought to be constituted without consulting them.
 
After this, Union Home Secretary R K Singh had held a meeting with the Chief Secretaries, Home Secretaries and Directors General of Police of all the States on March 12.
 
"In spite of our reservations on the subject, I requested my officers to attend the meeting. At that meeting, several States registered their strong objections and even Congress ruled States clearly stated that the NCTC in its present proposed form cannot be carried forward. I am also informed that, in response to a query at the meeting by one of the States, the Union Home Secretary clarified that the NCTC Office Memorandum had not been withdrawn and that, therefore, this is deemed to have come into effect from 1st March, 2012," Jayalalithaa said.
 
"It is surprising that, against this background, a meeting of Chief Ministers has been convened on the 16th of April 2012, to discuss various matters relating to Internal Security. Among those issues listed for discussion, the subject of NCTC also figures as one of the items. It is indeed unfortunate that, without taking into consideration the views and sentiments of various State Chief Ministers, the constitution of the NCTC is sought to be steamrolled into existence," she said.
 
"At this juncture, I request that the formation of the NCTC may first be ordered to be held in abeyance and a separate meeting of Chief Ministers may be convened only to discuss this matter," she added.
 
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Jayalalithaa urges PM to allocate entire power from Kudankulam to Tamil Nadu

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make available the entire power to be generated from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to her state.
 
"This is also inevitable as the transmission corridor congestion problem still continues and has also been brought to your notice," she said in a letter to Singh today.
 
“As you are aware, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant comprises two units of 1000 MW each. The total generation capacity of the two units is 2000 MW out of which Tamil Nadu has been allocated a share of 925 MW only. In this context, I would like to recall that I had already made a request for allocation of 1000 MW from the Central Pool last year against which a mere 100 MW was made available to Tamil Nadu," she wrote.
 
Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu was facing a severe power shortage and it would therefore be proper and justifiable that the entire power to be generated from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is made available to Tamil Nadu.
 
"I hope that this request will be positively considered by you. May I also reiterate that we require and deserve this power?" she added.
 
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CBI arrests Customs official in Chennai in bribery case

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had arrested a superintendent of Customs, presently Authorised Officer, ELCOT Special Economic Zone at Sholinganallur in Chennai, for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000 from a businessman.
 
A press release from the agency said it had registered a case against the official under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the allegation that he had demanded the bribe from the scrap merchant for obtaining a bill of entry in his company's name for taking out scrap from the SEZ.
 
A search was conducted at his residence and cash of Rs 17.7 lakh and keys of two lockers were seized. Yesterday, the two lockers were opened and cash of Rs 20,000, term deposit receipts for Rs 7.3 lakh, pass book of recurring deposit in Post Office having a balance of Rs 1.4 lakh and fixed deposit receipt for Rs 4.2 lakh were recovered, the release said.
 
Six bank accounts having balance of Rs 10 lakh and three documents pertaining to immoable properties worth Rs 19 lakh were also found, it said.
 
According to the release, subsequent to the registration of the case, a trap was laid and the accused was allegedly caught red-handed while demanding and accepting the bribe of Rs.50,000 from the complainant. 
 
The arrested accused was produced before the Principal Special Judge for CBI Cases, Chennai who remanded him to judicial custody till April 10, the release added.
 
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Sify Technologies to sell stake in MF Global India in all cash deal

 

Sify Technologies Limited, a leader in Managed Enterprise, Network and ICT Services in India, today announced that it had reached an agreement for sale of its entire stake in MF Global Sify Securities India Pvt Ltd. for an all cash deal. 
 
According to the terms of the agreement entered with MF Global Sify Securities India Pvt Ltd., MF Global Overseas Limited and PhillipCapital Group, the Singapore-based financial services company, through its related companies, will buy a majority stake in MF Global Sify Securities India Private Limited. 
 
The transaction is subject to regulatory and statutory approvals in the respective countries, a press release from the company added.
 
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TVS Group announces acquisition of Universal Components UK Ltd.

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The TVS Group today announced the acquisition of Universal Components (UC) UK Ltd., Britain’s leading independent wholesale distributor of commercial vehicles’ parts and accessories. 
 
Universal Components is the second acquisition by TVS group in the United Kingdom after its successful buyout of Multipart Holdings in 2009.
 
With these two acquisitions, TVS Group's turnover would cross Rs 1,000 crore in the UK and it would employ nearly 500 persons, a press release from the company said.
 
TVS Group had already made acquisitions in UK through TVS Logistics Services Limited in 2009 to acquire capability in the logistics business. Post that acquisition, the distribution and services business had been looking at possible acquisitions to increase its relevance to its stakeholders (suppliers) and also acquire new capabilities.

2633 sq m of Central govt. land in Chennai to be transferred to Metro Rail Project

The Union Cabinet today approved the transfer of land at the Kathipara Junction on the Inner Ring Road in Chennai, measuring 2633 square metres, belonging to the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Ministry of Mines to the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) for the Chennai Metro Rail Project for an amount of approximately Rs.11.34 crore.

An official press release said the agreement in this regard would be signed between the GSI and CMRL. 
 
The works for the Phase-I of the project are expected to be completed by 2014-15 as scheduled. The project will provide people of the city with a convenient, efficient, modern and economical mode of public transport. 

Additional Judge appointed to Madras High Court

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The President has appointed Muthiah Thevar Vijayaraghavan as an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court.
 
An official press release said the appointment would be with with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office till 16th November 2013. 
 
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A A Manavalan's Irama Kathaiyum Iramayakalum gets Saraswati Samman

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Well-known Tamil writer A A Manavalan's magnum opus Irama Kathaiyum Iramayakalum (Ramakatha and Ramayanas), published in 2005, has been chosen for the 21st Saraswati Samman 2011.
 
The prestigious award was instituted by the K K Birla Foundation in 1991 and is given every year for an outstanding literary work written in any Indian language mentioned in Schedule VIII to the Constitution of India by an Indian citizen and published in the last ten years.
 
The award carries a prize money of Rs 750,000, a citation and a plaque.
 
The selection for the Saraswati Samman is made by a high-level "Chayan Parishad", presided over by former Chief Justice of India R.C. Lahoti, former Chief Justice of India, which includes renowned scholars and writers.
 
Dr Manavalan, 75, is a retired professor and Head, Department of Tamil, University of Madras. As a scholar in Tamil, English, Hindi and Telugu, his special areas of interest are translation and comparative literature. He was trained in these areas by professors Henry H.H. Remak and Ulrich Weisston in the University of Indiana in Bloomington, United States, during 1988-1989. 
 
Such varied continental experience led him to study the ancient “Ithihasas of Bharath Varsha” namely the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Among his well-known works are Epic Heroism in Milton and Kamban (1984), Twentieth Century Literary Theories (1995), An Anthology of Tamil Bhakti Poetry (Ed., 2004), Essays on Comparative Literature (2005), and A Compendium of Tirukkural Translations (Ed. 2009).
 
Irama Kathaiyum Iramayakalum is the result of his interest and experience in the area of literary cultures. It is a comparative study of 48 Ramayanas in the languages of Pali, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Tibetan, Tamil, Old Javanese, Japanese, Telugu, Assamese, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, Marathi, Hindi, Odissi, Persian, Malay, Burmese, Phillipines language, Thai, Laotian and Kashmiri (all in chronological order).
 
Dr. Manavalan believes that the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as perennial custodians 
and corpus of the Indian culture, have exerted immense and ineluctable influence on the literary outlook and development of the Indian languages. In the main, such influence assumed the forms of translations, adaptations, transcreation and even transmission through folklore. A ‘reception’ study of such eminently creative influences would reveal the contemporary socio-cultural compulsions of the receiving languages.
 
This comparative study deals with the plot, characters and individual insertions and 
deletions. This study being geographical, linguistic and cultural in approach, it brings out 
the Ramakatha’s influence over the South-East Asian cultural splendor during the last two
millennia and more.
 
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Vigilance officials raid former DMK Minister Velu's premises in Tamil Nadu

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Officials of the Direcorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) conducted searches at the premises belonging to former Tamil Nadu Minister E V Velu and his relatives in connection with a disproportionate assets case.

A press release from the DVAC said its officials had conducted a discreet inquiry after receiving specific information that Velu, who held the portfolios of Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Protection and Price Control in the previous DMK government and is now the MA from Thiruvannamalai, had accumulated in his name and in the names of his family members assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
 
It said that, based on the outcome of the inquiry, a case was registered against him alleging that he had accumulated movable and immovable assets in his name and the names of his family members to the tune of Rs 26,30,787 during the period from April 1, 2006 to March 3, 2010, when he was a Minister.
 
The places searched houses belonging to him at Thiruvannamalai and Chennai, two houses belonging to his son and another to a relative, as well as the premises of two three educational institutions in Thiruvannamalai district, the release added.
 
Velu is the latest of several former DMK Ministers who have faced action by the police and the DVAC on allegations of land grabbing or accumulation of illegal assets after the AIADMK came to power in May last year.
 
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DVAC registers disproportionate wealth case against former DMK Minister in Tamil Nadu

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The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) in Tamil Nadu today said it had registered a case against former DMK Minister Parithi Ilamvazhuti for allegedly accumulating wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income and conducted simultaneous raids on his vairous premises in Chennai.

Sources in the agency said it had acted on the basis of specific information that Ilamvazhuti, who was the Minister of Information & Publicity in the DMK regime, had accumulated assets in his name and also in the names of his family members during his tenure.
 
They said the DVAC had conducted a discreet inquiry and its investigations had revealed that he had allegedly accumulated movable and immovable assets to the tune of Rs 1.56 crore in the period from June 2006 to March 2010 in his own name and those of his family members.
 
The sources said that, after registering a case against the former minister under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the agency conducted searches at his residences at Palavakkam and Ayanaaram, and those of his relatives and associates at Triplicane, Royapettah and Foreshore Estate.
 
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Six Indians, including five Keralites, killed in Oman road accident

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Six Indians, including five from Kerala and one from Tamil Nadu, and an Omani national were killed when two pick-up vans collided with each other at Habbi near Bahla in the governorate of Dakhiliyah in Oman yesterday, media reports said today.
 
Omani newspapers said the six Indians were on their way to Mammur in a van when it collided with another pick-up van coming from the opposite direction.
 
The reports said one of the vans caught fire and the victims were charred to death. 
 
The Indians were working for a construction compay and were travelling from the work site to their residential camp when the mishap occurred, the reports said. Another Omani in the second vehicle suffered injuries and was admitted to a hospital.
 
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RPP Infra Projects bags new orders worth Rs.300 million in Tamil Nadu

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Construction company RPP Infra Projects Ltd. today announced that it had bagged new orders worth Rs. 300 million in the irrigation and building sector in Tamil Nadu.
 
A press release from the company said the orders include one for construction of a library building for Central Library Buildings at Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu under the Central Public Works Department.
 
Other orders are for rehabilitation and modernization of supply channels in Vellore and Villupuram districts under Water Resources Department, Public Works Department Tamil Nadu.  The orders shall be completed in 12 months, it said.
 
“These new orders in the irrigation and building sectors have added our
repertoire of projects that we are executing in Tamil Nadu. As always we are proud be associated with infrastructure orders in our home state," P. Arulsundaram, CMD,
RPP Infra Projects Ltd., said.
 
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Five bank robbery suspects killed in encounter with police in Chennai

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Five persons suspected of being involved in a bank robbery case in Chennai this month were shot dead by the police in an encounter with the police in the early hours of today.

Police sources said the five were shot dead around 1 am today in the encounter.

Acting on a tip-off, a police team surrounded a house in Vandikaran Street at Velachery here around 1 am and asked the suspects to come out, official sources said. According to them, the suspects opened fire at the police, injuring two inspectors.

The police said pistols and weapons were recovered from the five persons along with cash worth Rs 14 lakhs. The picture of one of the suspects had been obtained from the CCTV footage of another bank, they said.
 
On February 20, four armed men had looted Rs. 14 lakh from a branch of the public sector Indian Overseas Bank at Keelkattalai on the outskirts of the city.
 
In a similar incident on January 23, four armed men stormed into a branch of the public sector Bank of Baroda near Perungudi and escaped with Rs. 19 lakh.
 
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CBI arrests head constable of RPF, Inspector and other official of ESIC in separate bribery cases

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had arrested a head constable of Railway Protection Force (RPF), Southern Railway, Chennai for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs.20,000 from the proprietor of a local firm of cargo movers.

According to a press release from the CBI, a complaint was received from the businessman that the head constable, attached to the Central Railway Station, Chennai demanded a bribe of Rs. 20,000 from him for smooth dispatching of parcels to various places through wagons. He also threatened the complainant that if the bribe amount was not handed over to him, he would detain the parcels the next day onwards on security and safety grounds.
 
The release said that, based on the complaint, a case was registered against the accused under section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. A trap was laid and the head constable was allegedly caught red handed while demanding and accepting the bribe Rs. 20,000 from the complainant.
 
The accused was produced before the Special Judge for CBI Cases, Chennai and was remanded to judicial custody, it said.
 
In another case, the CBI has arrested an Inspector and lower division clerk (LDC), both of Employee's State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), Marol, Andheri (East), Mumbai for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs.5,000 from the complainant for registration of company employees insurance.
 
A trap was laid by the CBI at the office premises of the complainant where the duo had come to collect the bribe. Both were allegedly caught red-handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs.5,000 from the complainant, the release added.
 
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Bye-elections for Udupi Chikmagalur LS seat, 11 Assembly seats on March 18

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The Election Commission today said that bye-elections would be held on March 18 to fill up casual vacancies in the Lok Sabha constituency of Udupi Chikmagalur in Karnataka and 11 Assembly constituencies in five states.
 
Seven of the Assembly constituencies are in Andhra Pradesh - Mahabubnagar, Nagarkurnool, Kovur, Ghanpur (Station) (SC), Kollapur, Adilabad and Kamareddy.
 
The other vacant assembly seats are Mansa in Gujarat, Piravom in Kerala, Sankaran Kovil (SC) in Tamil Nadu and Athgarh in Odisha.
 
An official press release said the notifications for the bye-elections would be issued on February 22 and the last date for making nominations would be February 29.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up in all the constituencies on March 21, the release added.
 
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