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Tamil Nadu

Karunanidhi to have extended stay in hospital

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DMK President M. Karunanidhi will have to remain in the Kauvery Hospital here for an extended period owing to age-related health issues including altered liver function, the hospital said on Tuesday.
 
In a statement issued on the 94-year-old veteran politician, the hospital said: "Although there has been resolution of the condition which led to his hospital admission, an extended period of hospitalisation will be necessary due to age-related overall decline in his general health, altered liver function and haematological parameters."
 
Karunanidhi, who occupied the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's chair for five times and who has never lost an election in the 13 times he has contested, was admitted to the Kauvery Hospital on July 28 following a drop in blood pressure.
 
"He was resuscitated and stabilised in the ICU (intensive care unit) and managed by a team of doctors and nurses," the statement said.
 
"There was a setback on his clinical condition on July 29 due to difficulty in breathing. He responded well to medical management and his vital signs are gradually normalised," the statement said.
 
According to the hospital, Karunanidhi continues to maintain his vital signs with active medical support.
 
Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi visited Karunanidhi at the hospital.
 
Gandhi enquired about Karunanidhi's health from the doctors as well as his son and DMK leader M.K. Stalin.
 
Speaking to reporters later, Gandhi said: "I wanted to come and see Karunanidhiji and stand with him. I met him. He is fine and stable."
 
Gandhi said Karunanidhi had the spirit of Tamil Nadu people in him. "He is a very tough person. He is stable.
 
"We have a long relationship with him. Soniaji sent her best wishes and regards to Karunanidhi's family," Gandhi said, referring to former Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
 
On July 26, Kauvery Hospital said Karunanidhi was being treated for fever due to urinary tract infection with intravenous antibiotics and fluids at his home here.
 
IANS
 

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Dayanidhi Maran to face trial in telephone exchange case

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Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran is to face trial in the illegal telephone exchange case. The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed his plea challenging a Madras High Court order directing the trial court to frame charges against him.
 
Dismissing the petition by Maran against the High Court order, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Naveen Sinha said: "The allegation is that you were using all this (telephone exchange) for your brother's business."
 
Dismissing the plea against the High Court order by Maran and three other BSNL officials, Justice Gogoi said in the order: "We are not inclined to interfere with the High Court order. Since recording of our views may effect the trial, we refrain from doing so."
 
As one of the officials accused in the matter sought to address the court, the bench said: "Go with your minister. There are serious charges against you."
 
IANS
 
 

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Karunanidhi's condition continues to be stable

 
Crowds gather outside hospital where Karunanidhi is admitted
 
 
DMK President M. Karunanidhi's health condition is stable and his vital signs are normal on Monday, said a party spokesperson.
 
"Karunanidhi's condition is now stable after a minor setback in the form of breathing problem on Sunday night. The doctors at Kauvery Hospital are monitoring his condition," T.K.S. Elangovan told IANS.
 
He said the 94-year-old leader who was admitted in the intensive care unit (ICU) has been moving his hands and legs and also opened his eyes.
 
Hospital sources have also said that Karunanidhi had moved his hands and legs and also opened his eyes after he was admitted in the ICU.
 
Karunanidhi, the five-time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister who has never lost an assembly election in the 13 times he contested, was admitted to the hospital on Saturday at 1.30 a.m. after his blood pressure dipped.
 
Anxiety about Karunanidhi's health condition reached a peak late on Sunday with all the family members and senior party leaders rushing to the hospital as he developed some breathing trouble.
 
Later the hospital issued a statement. It said: "There was a transient setback in the clinical condition of Karuanidhi, DMK President and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. 
 
"With active medical support, his vital signs are normalising. He continues to be closely monitored and treated by the panel of expert doctors."
 
Karunanidhi's son and DMK Working President M.K. Stalin has urged the thousands of party cadres gathered outside the hospital to remain calm.
 
In a statement late on Sunday, Stalin said Karunanidhi's medical condition has stabilised after a minor setback.
 
The police has been advising the cadres to disperse citing the hospital's statement about Karunanidhi's health condition.
 
According to Elangovan, the anxiety amongst party cadres late on Sunday peaked after sudden deployment of police force in large numbers and the news of Chief Minister K. Palaniswami cancelling his programmes in Salem and rushing back to Chennai.
 
Chief Minister K.Palaniswami and his deputy O.Panneerselvam on Monday met Karunanidhi at hospital. Speaking to reporters Palaniswami said: "Karunanidhi's condition is stable". 
 
Palaniswami and Panneerselvam met the ailing leader in the ICU along with Stalin and M. Kanomozhi.
 
On July 26, Kauvery Hospital said Karunanidhi was being treated for fever due to urinary tract infection with intravenous antibiotics and fluids at his home here.
 
However, after his blood pressure dipped he was admitted to Kauvery Hospital .
 
IANS
 

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Karunanidhi suffers 'transient setback' but normalising: Hospital

 
Karunanidhi hospitalised in Chennai, blood pressure stabilised
 
 
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DMK President M. Karunanidhi on Sunday suffered a "transient setback" in his health condition but his vital signs are normalising, the hospital where he was admitted said.
 
In a late night bulletin, the Kauvery Hospital said: "There was a transient setback in the clinical condition of Karuanidhi, DMK President and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. With active medical support, his vital signs are normalising. He continues to be closely monitored and treated by the panel of expert doctors."
 
The medical bulletin was issued around 10 p.m. as thousands of DMK cadres from the city and districts started surrounding the hospital following reports of a setback in the health of the five-time former Chief Minister. 
 
Karunanidhi's son M.K. Stalin, daughter Kanimozhi and other members of the family also rushed to the hospital where he was admitted on Saturday following a dip in blood pressure. 
 
IANS
 
 

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Karunanidhi in ICU, doctors confident about his recovery

 
Karunanidhi hospitalised in Chennai, blood pressure stabilised
 
 
DMK President M. Karunanidhi's condition continued to be stable on Sunday and doctors are confident of his recovery, said a senior party official.
 
The 94-year-old veteran politician was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Kauvery Hospital here at 1.30 a.m. on Saturday after his blood pressure dropped.
 
Following treatment, Karunanidhi's blood pressure has stabilized but he continues to be in ICU.
 
"His condition continues to be stable. The doctors are confident that he will recover and go home," a party official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
 
Meanwhile, Indian Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu met Karunanidhi at the hospital and enquired about his health.
 
Naidu tweeted: "Met his family members and doctors and enquired about his health. Doctors said he is stable. Wish him a speedy recovery."
 
The DMK said in a statement that Naidu was accompanied by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit. They spoke to doctors. Naidu also met Karunanidhi's son and DMK leader M.K. Stalin at the hospital.
 
On Saturday, night, too, the hospital said Karunanidhi's condition was stable with active medical support.
 
DMK spokesperson T.K.S. Elangovan on Saturday said that Karunanidhi would be in the hospital for two more days.
 
IANS
 

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Karunanidhi hospitalised after dip in blood pressure, now stable

 
Karunanidhi hospitalised in Chennai, blood pressue stabilised
 
 
DMK President M. Karunanidhi, who had a slight health setback a couple of days ago and was rushed to hospital in the small hours of Saturday following a dip in blood pressure, was stable, the hospital said in a late night bulletin.
 
"DMK President and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi's health continues to remain stable with ongoing medical support. He is being continiously monitored and treated by a panel of expert doctors in the ICU," said a medical bulletin issued in the night by Kauvery hospital, where he was admitted. 
 
The hospital said in the morning that the 94-year-old leader was admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU) at 1.30 a.m. after his blood pressure dropped.
 
"His blood pressure has been stabilised since with medical management. He continues to be monitored and treated by a panel of expert doctors," Kauvery Hospital's Executive Director Aravindan Selvaraj said.
 
The five-time former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has been suffering from urinary tract infection and age-related ailments and was earlier under treatment at his home.
 
A large number of DMK cadres gathered outside the hospital and a huge contingent of policemen was deployed for security.
 
During the day, leaders from various political parties including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit and AMMK leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran visited the hospital to enquire about Karunanidhi's health.
 
They met M.K. Stalin, DMK's Working President and Karunanidhi's son and his daughter Kanimozhi, who briefed them about his health. 
 
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted his wishes for speedy recovery of Karunanidhi. The entire family of Karunanidhi including his other son M.K.Alagiri, daughter Selvi and grandchildren were present at the hospital.
 
Speaking to reporters earlier in the day outside the hospital, DMK leader A. Raja urged the party cadres to remain calm and said: "Karunanidhi's blood pressure is now normal and there is nothing to worry".
 
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A team of doctors had reached Karunanidhi's home about midnight and reviewed his condition. They then decided to shift him to the hospital after discussions with the family members.
 
On Friday, Stalin said there "is good improvement in the health condition of Kalaignar" as the infection had come down a lot.
 
On Thursday, in a statement issued by the Kauvery Hospital, the Executive Director said the DMK patriarch was under treated for fever due to urinary tract infection with intravenous antibiotics and fluids. 
 
"He is being monitored and treated round the clock by a team of medical and nursing professionals, who are providing hospital-level care at his home," Selvaraj said.
 
Earlier Karunanidhi was admitted to the same hospital for change of the tracheostomy tube.
 
IANS
 
(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)
 
 
 
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Karunanidhi in hospital, blood pressure stabilised

 
Karunanidhi hospitalised in Chennai, blood pressue stabilised
 
 
DMK President M. Karunanidhi was admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU) of Kauvery Hospital here early on Saturday after his blood pressure dropped, the hospital said.
 
In a statement issued here the hospital said the 94-year-old leader was admitted into ICU at 1.30 a.m. 
 
"His blood pressure has been stabilised since with medical management. He continues to be monitored and treated by a panel of expert doctors," Kauvery Hospital's Executive Director Aravindan Selvaraj said.
 
The five-time former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has been suffering from urinary tract infection and age-related ailments and was earlier under treatment at his home.
 
A large number of DMK cadres have gathered outside the hospital and a huge contingent of policemen was deployed for security.
 
Speaking to reporters here DMK leader A. Raja urged the party cadres to remain calm and said: "Karunanidhi's blood pressure is now normal and there is nothing to worry."
 
A team of doctors had reached Karunanidhi's home about midnight and reviewed his condition. They then decided to shift him to the hospital after discussions with the family members.
 
On Friday DMK leader and Karunanidhi's son M.K. Stalin said there "is good improvement in the health condition of Kalaignar" as the infection had come down a lot.
 
On Thursday, in a statement issued by the Kauvery Hospital, the Executive Director said the DMK patriarch was under treatment for fever due to urinary tract infection with intravenous antibiotics and fluids. 
 
"He is being monitored and treated round the clock by a team of medical and nursing professionals, who are providing hospital-level care at his home," Selvaraj said.
 
Earlier Karunanidhi was admitted to the same hospital for change of the tracheostomy tube.
 
IANS
 
(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)
 
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HC orders trial of Maran brothers in illegal telephone exchange case

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The Madras High Court on Wednesday remitted back the illegal telephone exchange case against former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his elder brother and Sun TV group head Kalanithi Maran to a CBI special court here and ordered framing of charges against all the accused.
 
The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court had on March 14 discharged the Maran brothers and others from what is called the illegal telephone exchange case.
 
The CBI, however, preferred to go for an appeal in the high court last month.
 
As the case came up for hearing, the court rejected the preliminary objections raised by the Maran brothers against the appeal.
 
The court ordered that charges be framed against all the accused and directed for completion of the trial within 12 months.
 
The CBI had alleged a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the government due to the alleged installation of an illegal telephone exchange at Dayanidhi Maran's house, which was used for Sun TV operations.
 
The others discharged by the special CBI court were BSNL's former Chief General Manager K. Brahmanathan and former Deputy General Manager M. Velusamy, former Minister's Personal Secretary V. Gowthaman and Sun TV network employees S.Kannan and K.S. Ravi.
 
IANS
 
(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)
 
 
 
 
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Four dead, six injured after falling from crowded local train in Chennai

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Four passengers travelling on the footboards of a crowded suburban railway train died and six others suffered injuries when they fell down from the running train this after their shoulder bags hit a cement fence, official sources said.
 
The incident occurred at 8.25 am as the 40701 Chennai Beach--Tirumalpur passenger train was entering the St. Thomas Mount station during the morning rush hour, they said.
 
A press release from the Southern Railway said Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel at Mambalam and Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel from St. Thomas Mount rushed to the spot immediately.
 
The release said the injured passengers were rushed by ambulances to Government Hospitals at Royapettah and Chennai.
 
Three of the passengers died on the spot and one succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital, it said.
 
Two of the injured passengers are undergoing treatment at the Government Hospital at Royapettah and three at the Government Hospital in Madras. One passenger was discharged from Government Hospital, Saidapet after treatment. 
 
The bodies of three of the victims have been kept at the Royapettah hospital and one at Saidapet, pending identification and completion of other formalities, it said.
 
Divisional Railway Manager, Chennai Division, and other Railway officials rushed to the spot. Railway officials have also deputed to the hospitals to render assistance to the victims and their relatives, the release added.
 
NNN
                                                           
(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)
 
 
 
 
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IT seizes Rs 163 crore cash, 100 kg gold; opposition seeks TN CM's resignation

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Leaders of major political parties in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday demanded a multi-agency probe into the affairs of road contractors raided by Income Tax department in the state and also the resignation of Chief Minister K. Palaniswami.
 
The demand followed the IT department's seizure of unaccounted Rs 163 crore in cash and 100 kg of gold during searches carried out in the premises of Nagarajan Seyyadurai, promoter of SPK & Co, employees and associates.
 
The IT department also said that apart from the unaccounted assets, incriminating documents in the form of registers, diaries and loose sheets were also seized.
 
While Rs 24 lakh cash was seized from Seyyadurai's residence, the remaining cash and gold were kept at the places of his employees, associates and in cars.
 
The SPK group has interests in road contracts and other businesses.
 
DMK leader M.K. Stalin questioned the silence of Chief Minister Palaniswami after the IT search and seizure of huge amount of cash and gold from road building contractors who bid for state government road projects.
 
Stalin demanded the resignation of Palaniswami to ensure a proper investigation.
 
Stalin, the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, sought the cancellation of all contracts given to companies promoted by Seyyadurai and the kin of Palaniswami who is also into road construction business.
 
Former Union Minister and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss said the seizure of cash and gold clearly showed that these were not earned in a proper manner.
 
Ramadoss said the kin of the Chief Minister was too involved in road contracting business in Tamil Nadu.
 
He said there should be a multi-agency probe involving the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) following the IT search and seizures.
 
IANS
 
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17 held for sexually assaulting hearing impaired minor girl

 
17 men raped girl for months, thrashed by lawyers in court
 
 
Seventeen persons, mostly service staff in an apartment complex, were arrested for sexually assaulting a minor hearing-impaired girl for seven months, police said on Tuesday.
 
The accused are in the age group of 23-66 and were working in the apartment complex as plumbers, lift operators, security guard and others.
 
The minor girl is the daughter of a resident in the apartment complex.
 
The accused have been charged under Indian Penal Code provisions and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
 
A court here remanded them in judicial custody till July 31.
 
The matter came to light when the girl narrated her ordeal to her elder sister on Monday and their parents were informed. A police complaint was lodged by the girls' parents.
 
Meanwhile DMK leader M.K. Stalin in a statement said the accused should be tried and given severe punishment.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Student dies during disaster management training exercise in Coimbatore

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A 19-year-old student was killed during a disaster management training session at a college in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore district, police said on Friday.
 
In a video that has gone viral, the victim, N. Logeshwari, is seen seated on the sunshade just below the second floor of the college building with a trainer standing next to her asking her to jump on Thursday evening.
 
A group of students were on the ground holding a net. 
 
In the video, the trainer can be seen pushing a reluctant Logeshwari. As she jumped, her head hit a sunshade and she suffered serious injuries, the police said.
 
She succumbed to her injuries on the way to the hospital.
 
The police have arrested the trainer, identified as Arumugham.
 
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Friday condoled the death and ordered the police to take severe action against the organisers.
 
Palaniswami announced a compensation of Rs 500,000 to Logeshwari's family.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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New technique can make ocean wave energy attractive

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Oscillating water columns can be used to tap energy from oceanic and sea waves. Higher cost of wave energy devices, however, remains a challenge. Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have now found a simple fix to increase the amount of power generated by oscillating water columns.
 
Oscillating water columns (OWCs) are embankment-like constructions partly submerged in water. There is a partial opening towards the sea facing wall from where water can enter. As sea and ocean waves have a persistent undulating motion, the water entering the column keeps varying, fluctuating the level of air in the OWC.
 
“This disturbance is used to rotate a turbine to generate power,” explained V Sundar, professor of ocean engineering at IIT Madras, while speaking to India Science Wire.
 
Despite being an attractive power source, wave energy remains largely unexploited due to large costs required to build these structures. Scientists the world over are trying to link OWC with breakwater constructions that prevent coastal erosion by reducing wave activity in adjoining regions. Previously many teams have been successful in linking different OWCs with break water caissons or large watertight chambers.
 
The team led by Dr Sundar has integrated OWC with rubble mound  breakwaters. Such breakwaters are relatively inexpensive and easier to construct.
 
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While experimenting with different arrangements, scientists accidently discovered that instead of a single structure, an array of OWC lined against breakwaters can extract greater power. “The array helps in concentration of waves in front of the OWC which helps improve performance,” explained Dr Sundar. Spacing these structures to optimize power generation was a critical issue.
 
The researchers installed multiple OWC connected with offshore detached breakwaters in a shallow wave basin with differing spaces between them. They assessed the OWC performance with variations in wall pressure, air pressure, wave amplification factor, capture width and other hydrological parameters.
 
The study showed that when placed at a distance that equals thrice their widths, OWC yields maximum power. This was double the input wave power channeled from natural frequency of the system. The optimum spacing for different regions may vary based on intensity and size of the waves and specific climatic conditions.
 
Since OWCs linked with rubble mound breakwaters are easy to operate, they can be used in coastal regions and islands to reduce erosion while simultaneously generating power in an eco-friendly manner. Presently, scientists have completed a proof of principle study and are planning to set up a pilot plant to test their hypothesis.
 
The study, published in journal Ocean Engineering, was supported by a grant from Norwegian Research Council. The research team also included S. John Ashlin and S.A. Sannasiraj from IIT Madras 
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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Rahul Gandhi meets Tamil film director Pa. Ranjith

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After meeting actor Kamal Haasan last month, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has had a meeting with Tamil film director Pa. Ranjith, who had directed Dalit-centric blockbuster movies featuring superstar Rajinikanth.
 
"I met film director P A Ranjith the man behind blockbuster films like Madras, Kabali and Kaala and actor Kalaiyarasan, in Delhi yesterday (Tuesday)," Gandhi said in a series of tweets.
 
"We talked about politics, films and society. I enjoyed the interaction and look forward to continuing our dialogue," he added.
 
Replying to Gandhi's tweet, Ranjith wrote: "IMP.meeting with @RahulGandhi about politics and art. Discussed caste and religious bias threatening the core of our secular constitution."
 
"Thanks for having me over Sir. Looking forward for our discussion taking shape. A national leader engaging with people from all ideologies is very encouraging!" he added.
 
IANS
 
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BJP will give TN a corruption-free government: Amit Shah

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BJP President Amit Shah on Monday said his party will give Tamil Nadu a corruption-free government and mentioned that BJP-led Central government has given about Rs 510,000 crore of projects to the state.
 
Addressing party workers here, he said there is lot of corruption in Tamil Nadu and the party will bring in a corruption-free government in the state.
 
Shah, who is here to discuss the party strategy in Tamil Nadu for next year's general elections, will meeting party leaders and also booth-level workers.
 
The Tamil Nadu visit is part of Shah's national tour to discuss the party's plans for the next Lok Sabha polls.
 
Shah told party workers that BJP respects its existing friends and also win over new friends.
 
According to Shah, the Narendra Modi government has allocated about Rs 510,000 crore funds for various projects in Tamil Nadu in four years of its rule while the earlier Congress government gave far less to the state.
 
He also said that it is only BJP which is committed to preserving the Tamil pride and pointed out that railway tickets are now printed in Tamil.
 
IANS
 
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Take action against Lal Singh, Editors Guild urges J&K Governor

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The Editors Guild of India on Monday urged Jammu and Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra to take action against BJP legislator Choudhary Lal Singh over his "barely veiled threat of violence" against journalists of the Kashmir Valley.
 
In a statement, the guild also urged the Tamil Nadu government to adhere to recommendation of TRAI that bar government from owning a television channel distribution company, saying its attention has been drawn to recent instances of how several TV channels in the state have been arbitrarily taken off the air for periods ranging between a couple of hours to a few days.
 
Referring to Lal Singh's remarks, it said the BJP should reprimand its MLA, take suitable disciplinary action and ask him to withdraw the offending remarks after offering an apology.
 
"The Editors Guild of India condemns the despicable manner in which a barely veiled threat of violence has been issued against journalists by Lal Singh, an MLA belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party and a former minister in the Jammu and Kashmir government," the statement said.
 
Far from condemning the recent assassination of senior journalist Shujaat Bhukhari, Lal Singh, in a media briefing, warned all journalists in Jammu and Kashmir to "draw a line" unless they wished to be targeted like the slain editor of Rising Kashmir, it said.
 
"Such a warning not only betrays Singh's deep disregard for the role of the free press in a democracy, it also amounts to encouraging physical attacks against journalists in the sensitive state and elsewhere in the country."
 
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On Tamil Nadu, the Guild said it is appalled that an FIR has been registered by the state police against a reporter and the management of Puthiya Thalaimurai, a Tamil news channel. "All that the news channel did was to host a roundtable discussion on the protests in Tamil Nadu. The FIR was slapped even before the programme was aired."
 
"In the absence of a convincing explanation, this seems a shocking attempt to muzzle dissenting views and intimidate the media," the Guild said.
 
It said other affected television channels have also complained that such blackouts happen after they telecast programmes that were not liked by the Tamil Nadu government, which controls the television channel content distribution agency, Arasu Cable.
 
It said the state government has assured the media that it has no plans to black out television channels but dangers to a free and unhindered distribution of television content will continue to lurk as long as the state government controls a channel distribution company accounting for a market share of over 60 percent. "This also has the dangerous potential of undermining the functioning of a free media."
 
The Guild urged the government to take necessary steps to ensure that proper regulation is enforced so that no unfair or uncompetitive steps are taken by television channel distribution companies.
 
IANS
 
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SC to hear disqualified AIADMK leaders' plea for transfering case

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The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear a plea by 17 AIADMK MLAs of the Dinakaran faction seeking the transfer of the case challenging their disqualification to the apex court from the Madras High Court.
 
A vacation bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul agreed to hear the plea after it was mentioned on Monday for an early hearing.
 
The lawyer for the MLAs said that they were seeking the transfer of the case as there has been an inordinate delay to decide against their disqualification and under the Representation of People Act, a vacant seat has to be filled up within six months of its occuring.
 
There was split verdict by the Madras High Court on their plea challenging their disqualification. Thereafter, the matter was referred to a third judge and is still pending.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Kamal Haasan meets Rahul, discusses politics in TN

Well-known actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan meeting Congress President Rahul Gandhi, in New Delhi on June 20, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
Well-known actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan meeting Congress President Rahul Gandhi, in New Delhi on June 20, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
Actor Kamal Haasan, who has floated a new political party Makkal Needhi Maiam, on Wednesday met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and discussed the political situation in Tamil Nadu.
 
"Enjoyed meeting Kamal Haasan in Delhi today. We discussed a wide range of issues concerning our two parties, including the political situation in Tamil Nadu," Gandhi said in a tweet later. 
 
Haasan responded through a tweet and thanked Gandhi for his inputs. "Thank you Rahul Gandhiji for the time and inputs. Hope our conversation was useful to you as well," he said. 
 
The meeting that lasted nearly an hour took place at Gandhi's residence. 
 
"We did discuss politics but not the way you think," Haasan told reporters after the meeting which he initially described as a courtesy call.
 
To a question whether an alliance between his party and the Congress in Tamil Nadu was discussed, he said: "We did not discuss that."
 
Earlier in the day, Haasan met Election Commission officials and expressed confidence that the process of registration of his political party will be done in around a week's time.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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Blue Dart to set up new aviation hub in Chennai

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Leading Indian logistics services provider Blue Dart, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) Group, has said that it would set up a new state-of-the-art aviation hub in Chennai for faster and more efficient transfer fo shipments, improved transit times and extension of the company's market leading service quality.
 
The hub will measure 4,912 sq. meters upon completion and is strategically located at the Blue Dart Aviation Terminal, Gate 6 Old International Airport at Meenambakkam here, with both air and land side access, a press release from the company said.
 
The new facility will also house the headquarters of Blue Dart Aviation, India’s only commercial cargo airline which provides a dedicated fleet of six B757-200 freighters and a capacity of 500 tonnes every night, operating across 73 flight sectors daily. 
 
The hub boasts BCAS approved security screening with its own X-Ray machines, equipment and dedicated manpower.
 
Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce said, “We see immense potential in India across many fast-growing industries such as e-commerce, banking and financial services, automotive, pharmaceuticals and more. These industries demand high quality, fast, seamless logistics to support their growth and we are continually investing in our people, service and infrastructure to ensure we support the growth of our customers.”
 
Malcolm Monteiro, CEO, DHL eCommerce India added, “The new aviation hub will further improve our already market-leading transit times and boost on-time performance, further strengthening our promise of being the nation’s most reliable logistics brand. As part of the world’s leading logistics company, we are committed to supporting India businesses and will continue to be the logistics provider of choice for India.”
 
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Anil Khanna, Managing Director, Blue Dart said, “Blue Dart continues to be the undisputed market leader in the logistics industry in India. We continue to invest heavily in technology and infrastructure to create differentiated delivery capabilities, provide the best quality services and customized solutions for our customers. The new aviation hub in Chennai reaffirms Blue Dart’s commitment to support India’s growth story”.
 
Commenting on the new aviation hub in Chennai, Tulsi Mirchandaney, Managing Director, Blue Dart Aviation added, “The Airport Expansion Programme has facilitated the need to have a modernized, more efficient and productive infrastructure to support demand and growth. Blue Dart supports the critical supply chains of numerous industry segments, and improved infrastructure at the Airports will go a long way in helping us support the PM’s ‘Make in India’ Vision”.
 
The facility also houses training facilities which are approved by BCAS and DGCA with own instructors who will carry out Crew, Engineering, Security and Operations training. Blue Dart is also regulatory approved for and carries out its own airframe heavy maintenance and aircraft modifications at its headquarters, and self-handling at all of its on line stations. 
 
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Two Tamil Nadu tourists drown off Goa beaches while clicking selfies

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

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In a breather to Tamil Nadu's AIADMK government led by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami, the Madras High Court on Thursday gave a split verdict in the case of disqualification of 18 rebel MLAs.
 
Chief Justice Indira Banerjee upheld the disqualification ordered by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal while Justice M. Sundar held the Speaker's decision invalid.
 
Justice Banerjee said in view of the contradicting judgements, the case will now be transferred to a third judge, adding that she she will not decide on the third judge and that decision will be taken by a senior judge, most likely Justice Kuluvadi Ramesh.
 
Maintaining status quo, the court also said till the case is finally decided the interim order issued earlier that barred holding of by-elections and floor test in the Assembly continue to be valid.
 
Responding to the judgment, rebel leader T.T.V. Dinakaran said: "The longevity of the anti-people government now gets extended by couple of months. It is not at all a setback for us. We got 50 per cent victory." 
 
Chief Justice Banerjee, in her judgment, said the Speaker's decision could not be called unreasonable and need not be interfered with by the court, but Justice Sundar said he differed, citing a Supreme Court judgement to say that the High Court can interfere in the order of the Speaker which was not within the confines of law.
 
Had the judgement gone either way - upholding the disqualification or setting aside the Speaker's order, the AIADMK government would have faced critical problems.
 
In case the court had upheld the disqualification, then there would have been by-elections in 18 constituencies. If the DMK won all of them, then the government's survival would be in question.
 
On other hand, if the court had quashed the Speaker's disqualification order, the government may still have to face a no-confidence motion, if moved by the DMK.
 
The ruling party would also try to win over the 18 legislators now in Dinakaran camp.
 
As per the party position in 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly, the AIADMK has 116 members followed by the DMK with 89, Congress with 8, one of the IUML, one Independent, the Speaker and 18 vacant seats. Besides, there is one nominated member.
 
PMK founder S.Ramadoss said the state government is surviving mainly due to legal delays and others and the K. Palaniswami government has no justification to continue in power and should resign immediately.
 
DMK leader M.K.Stalin, in a tweet, said: "Not only delayed justice is denied.... When people are having faith on the judiciary for protecting democracy. there should be clear and fast judgements."
 
VCK leader Thol Thirumavalan termed the judgment "unexpected".
 
"The final decision on the case should be given at the earliest," Thirumavalavan added.
 
The case comes from the time when Panneerselvam had rebelled against the party led by jailed leader V.K. Sasikala. Later, he merged his group with the one led by Palaniswami, who sidelined Sasikala and her nephew Dinakaran.
 
A group of 19 lawmakers met then Governor C.V. Rao and gave a memorandum expressing loss of confidence in Palaniswami and requested him to appoint a new Chief Minister. The Speaker then issued notice to the lawmakers asking them why they should not be disqualified under the anti-defection law. Subsequently, one of them, S.T.K. Jakkaiyan, switched over to the Palaniswami side and the others were disqualified.
 
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The case filed by the disqualified legislators against the Speaker's action is pending before the High Court since September 2017. The court had reserved the judgement on January 24.
 
Hours before the judgment, Tamil Nadu Advocate General Vijay Narayanan met Palaniswami.
 
Earlier in the day, the disqualified lawmakers met Dinakaran and discussed the steps to be taken ahead.
 
In April, in a different case, the Madras High Court had said it could not interfere with the Speaker's domain.
 
On April 27, the court dismissed a petition filed by DMK Whip R. Sakkarapani seeking disqualification of 11 AIADMK legislators, including Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, for voting against the government during a confidence motion moved by Palaniswami on February 18 last year.
 
The court said it had the power of judicial review of decisions taken but could not interfere in a matter where the Speaker had not taken a decision.
 
It also referred to a case pending in the Supreme Court on a similar issue arising from Andhra Pradesh.
 
IANS
 
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Maharashtra MPs make a clean sweep of Sansadratna awards

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Five Members of Parliament (MPs) from Maharashtra and one from Odisha, belonging to different parties, today won the best parliamentary performance award from a civil society organisation Prime Point Foundation. 
 
Former Union  Minister and senior Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, won a special award for heading the parliamentary standing committee on finance in the 16th Lok Sabha.
 
The Sansad Ratna Awards 2018, instituted nine years ago by the Chennai-based NGO which also runs an e-magazine PreSense, has been giving these awards based on inputs received by Parliament and the PRSI. The awards were instituted at the suggestion of late President APJ Abdul Kalam as civil society recognition for MPs' outstanding performance in the Parliament.
 
 The six MPs from Lok Sabha received their award -- a citation and a shawl -- from former West Bengal Governor and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and former Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy at a function held in collaboration with IIT Madras.
 
The MPs who received the awards were Bhartruhari Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal, Cuttack, Odisha), Supriya Sule (Nationalist Congress Party, Baramati, Maharashtra), Shrirang Appa Barne (Shiv Sena, Mavel, Maharashtra), Rajeev Shankarrao Satav (Indian National Congress, Hingoli, Maharashtra) and Dhananjay Bhimrao Mahadik (Nationalist Congress Party, Kolhapur, Maharashtra) under different categories.
 
The selection of individual awardees is based on the performance parameters like initiated debates, private members’ bills, questions raised and attendance in the House. 
 
The data is provided by Lok Sabha Secretariat and PRS India. Dr Heena Vijayakumar Gavit (Bharatiya Janata Party, Nandurbar, Maharaashtra) won the award under the Women MP category. 
 
For the first time from this year ,  one ‘Departmentally Related Standing Committee’ of Parliament is being honoured based on criteria like the reports presented, the number of sittings held and the number of subjects selected, and others.
 
Since 2015, Prime Point Foundation and PreSense have been honouring outstanding Rajya Sabha Members, who had retired in the previous year, after completing the full six-year term.  Shantharam Laxman Naik (Indian National Congress, Goa) was nominated for this year's award under Rajya Sabha category. He retired from Rajya Sabha in 2017.
 
A Jury Committee headed by Anandrao Adsul (fifth time MP), along with Hansraj G Ahir (Minister of State - Home and fourth time MP) and Arjun Ram Meghwal (Minister of State – Parliamentary Affairs and second time MP) selected the award winners.
 
The jury committee members, who were outstanding Parliamentarians themselves in terms of their performance in the Parliament, were honoured with the 'Sansad Maha Ratna' Awards for their sustained performance in the 15th Lok Sabha.
 
While Prime Point Foundation chairman and founder K Srinivasan recalled the history of how the sansadratna journey began, the executive president Bhavnesh Deora listed the achievements of the award winners. IIT Madras Director Bhaskar and Head of Humanities Dr Sudarsan also spoke on the occasion.
 
NNN
 
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Rajinikanth's 'Kaala' releases in Tamil Nadu amid fanfare

 
Rajinikanth fans welcome Kaala with open hearts
 
 
Dancing to drum rolls, bursting fire crackers, cutting cakes is how fans of actor Rajinikanth celebrated the release of film "Kaala" in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
 
Additional security was provided by the police at all the several hundred movie theatres where the film is being screened in the state.
 
Large crowds were seen outside all these theatres since early in the day.
 
"I am a fan of Rajinikanth. I am from Karnataka and came here to see the movie," a person told the media outside a theatre here.
 
"Today is Diwali for me. I have waited for a long time for this movie," a fan told a television channel in Coimbatore theatre. "This not Rajinikanth movie but movie director P.Ranjith movie." 
 
"Kaala" has been facing opposition in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
 
Several Tamil activists and political parties voiced their opposition to Rajinikanth's views on the violence in Thuthookudi.
 
Visiting the violence-hit town where 13 persons were killed on May 22 in police action amid anti-Sterlite Copper smelter plant protests, Rajinikanth had said it was anti-social elements that indulged in violence.
 
In Karnataka, the film's release was opposed by some organisations after the southern superstar said the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) on the sharing of river water between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry, has to be set up.
 
IANS
 
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Kamal Haasan meets Karnataka CM on Cauvery issue

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Tamil actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Monday met Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and discussed the issue of Cauvery river water sharing with neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
 
Kumaraswamy told reporters here: "We (Kamal and I) discussed the issue of the (Cauvery) Water Management Board. Both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu maintain a cordial relationship over the Cauvery issue and it will be solved through mutual understanding."
 
The Central government on June 1 notified the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) to implement the sharing of water between the southern states.
 
"Farmers of both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are equally important," the Chief Minister said after meeting the Makkal Needhi Maiam party chief at his home office.
 
Kamal said the water sharing issue can be resolved if the states come together for dialogue.
 
"Court should be the last resort. If the people of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka come together, the issue can be resolved," he said.
 
Tamil Nadu would like to see the setting up of the CWMA expedited, he added.
 
Kamal's visit to Karnataka comes after the state's film distributors voluntarily decided to not screen Tamil actor Rajinikanth's "Kaala" in theatres across the state protesting against the superstar's stand on the Cauvery river row.
 
Asked about the Tamil film not being screened in Karnataka, he said the discussion with the Chief Minister did not include the subject of movies.
 
"This discussion (with Kumaraswamy) was not about films. There is a film chamber to look into the issue. This issue (of Cauvery water) is more important," he added.
 
In a related development, Kannada actor Prakash Raj said the film fraternity was being targeted. "What has the film 'Kaala' got to do with the Cauvery issue? Why is film fraternity targeted always?
 
"Will the JD-S-Congress government let fringe elements take law into their hands... like the BJP did with 'Padmaavat' or will you step in to assure common man his right for choice?" Raj tweeted.
 
IANS
 
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Madras HC orders TN to explain Thoothukudi firing

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