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Congress leader sacked for anti-Rahul comment reinstated


Senior Congress leader T H Mustafa, suspended from the party for making derogatory remarks against AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi, has been reinstated after he apologized to the central leadership for his misdemeanour.

PTI | Nov 25, 2014, 11.53 AM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Senior Congress leader T H Mustafa, suspended from the party for making derogatory remarks against AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi, has been reinstated after he apologized to the central leadership for his misdemeanour.

According to Kerala Pradesh Congress committee president VM Sudheeran, AICC had given its approval to take Mustafa back to the party by revoking his suspension from the primary membership.

“Mustafa had given a letter to the AICC profusely apologizing for his remarks against Rahul Gandhi. Accepting his regret the leadership has directed the state unit to revoke his suspension,” Sudheeran said in a statement today.

A former state minister, action against Mustafa was taken in June after he called Rahul Gandhi a “joker” saying the party Vice-President should be removed if he did not resign in the backdrop of the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.

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Black money: Trinamool MPs protest with black umbrellas in Parliament


Armed with the umbrella painted with the slogan “Kaala dhan wapas lao, wapas lao”, the MPs stormed into the well and shouted slogans against the government until Speaker Sumitra Mahajan was forced to adjourn the House till noon.

| TNN | Nov 25, 2014, 01.11 PM IST

Black money: Trinamool MPs protest with black umbrellas in Parliament

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Black money: Trinamool MPs protest with black umbrellas in Parliament

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NEW DELHI: Trinamool Congress on Tuesday came up with a unique prop to register its protest in the Lok Sabha on black money issue: the humble black umbrella.

At least four Trinamool MPs – Sultan Ahmad, Idris Ali, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and Ratna Dey Nag — smuggled folded umbrellas into the House and opened them up as soon as the proceedings began on Tuesday. Armed with the umbrella painted with the slogan “Kaala dhan wapas lao, wapas lao”, the four stormed into the well and shouted slogans against the government until Speaker Sumitra Mahajan was forced to adjourn the House till noon.

Joining the Trinamool Congress MPs in the protests and sloganeering inside the well were other Opposition parties including the Congress, SP and RJD. Other opposition MPs also shouted slogans from their seats.

Though the Speaker warned the Trinamool MPs that umbrellas were not allowed in the House and asked them to fold and put them away, this had no effect on the Trinamool MPs. The Speaker, on her part, continued with the Question Hour amid the noisy sloganeering.

As protests got louder, an exasperated Mahajan commented: “You have got umbrellas….these are not allowed…you keep devising new ways of protest….pls fold them”.

“This is not the correct way to protest,” she said before adjourning the House until noon.

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Ramadoss cites cirrhosis figures to demand total prohibition in Tamil Nadu


PMK chief S Ramadoss says there is no proper treatment for cirrhosis and it is primarily caused by continuous drinking of alcohol.

| TNN | Nov 25, 2014, 02.55 PM IST

PMK chief S Ramadoss says there is no proper treatment for cirrhosis and it is primarily caused by continuous drinking of alcohol.PMK chief S Ramadoss says there is no proper treatment for cirrhosis and it is primarily caused by continuous drinking of alcohol.

CHENNAI: The PMK on Tuesday reiterated its demand for total prohibition in Tamil Nadu by citing reports which said the number of cirrhosis cases in the state has gone up over the years.

In a statement, PMK chief S Ramadoss said, “The number of people affected by cirrhosis of the liver in the state has increased three times in the last ten years.”

He said there was no proper treatment for this disease and it is primarily caused by continuous drinking of alcohol.

“There will be no sign of the disease at the starting stage, and it will be known only after 80% of the liver is damaged. Even after spending lakhs of rupees and replacing the liver, there is no guarantee that the disease has been cured fully,” he said.

“The Tamil Nadu government earns more than Rs 22,000 crore every year through liquor sales, but the amount families spend to cure the damage caused by liquor is several times more,” he said.

According to statistics, more than two lakh people die due to liquor-related diseases in the state every year, he said and demanded that the government close all Tasmac shops and impose total prohibition in the state.

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Bird flu outbreak in Kerala: Tamil Nadu poultry farmers take precautionary measures

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NAMAKKAL: Poultry farmers in Tamil Nadu, especially those in Namakkal district, have taken precautionary measures in the wake of bird flu outbreak in Kerala.

The Kerala animal husbandry department on Monday announced that thousands of ducks in Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts died of bird flu.

Though there is no avian flu outbreak in Tamil Nadu, poultry farmers across the state have taken precautionary measures.

“We vaccinate the chicks without fail. But in the wake of the bird flu outbreak in Kerala, we have tightened biosecurity in all farms,” said P Nallathambi, president, Tamil Nadu Poultry Farmers Association.

According to the biosecurity method, all persons working in poultry farms should wear separate clothes and be sprayed with a medicine (a mix of an anti-viral drug and salt).

Similarly, persons coming from other places for business purpose should wash their hands and legs in the medicine before entering the farms.

“We are using the same method when it comes to vehicles transporting the chickens. All the wheels of the vehicles should be sprayed with the medicine,” he said.

Some poultry farmers feared that egg exports would be affected due to the bird flu outbreak. However, National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) sources allayed the fears saying egg exports would not be affected.

“Countries like Oman, Afghanistan and Algeria are still importing eggs from India even after the World Organization for Animal Health classified India as a bird flu affected country,” a top NECC officials told TOI on condition of anonymity.



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Ragpicker, beggar raped, murdered in Salem


In brutal attacks on women from the poor strata, a ragpicker and a beggar were found murdered after rape in two different incidents in the city today, police said.

PTI | Nov 25, 2014, 06.11 PM IST

SALEM (TAMIL NADU): In brutal attacks on women from the poor strata, a ragpicker and a beggar were found murdered after rape in two different incidents in the city today, police said.

The ragpicker, in her mid 40s, was found naked with cut injuries in her head in a hotel at Gorimedu while the beggar woman was seen hanging from a tree in another busy locality here, sending shock waves among the residents.

Police said the body of the ragpicker was found inside the hotel with its door ransacked when its owner went there after being away from the city for two days.

A worker of the hotel, who used to take care of it in the absence of the owner, was found absconding, they said.

In the other incident in Fairland area, the semi-naked body of the beggar woman was found hanging from a tree.

Police said both the women had been raped before their murders. They were identified by locals as ragpicker and beggar who used to frequent the area.

The twin murders, especially of women from poor background, triggered tension in the localities.

Special teams had been formed to nab the culprits and ascertain full details about the victims, they said.

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Former UP advocate general SMA Kazmi killed in road accident


Former Uttar Pradesh advocate general S M A Kazmi was today killed and three others were injured when the car they were travelling in rammed into a tree in Hatigawan area, a senior police officer said here.

PTI | Nov 25, 2014, 07.17 PM IST

PRATAPGARH (UP): Former Uttar Pradesh advocate general S M A Kazmi was today killed and three others were injured when the car they were travelling in rammed into a tree in Hatigawan area, a senior police officer said here.

According to deputy Superintendent of Police S P Tomar, the driver lost control while he swerved the car to avoid hitting a motorcyclist and rammed into the tree near Bhadri this afternoon.

He said that three more car occupants — Shakeel Ahmad, Shakir Ahmad and Syed Iqbal — were injured in the accident and have been referred to a hospital in Allahabad.

The accident took place when Kazmi was returning to Lucknow from Allahabad.

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Prakash Mehta to attend 26/11 anniversary programme on behalf of CM Fadnavis


Minister for Industries, mines and parliamentary affairs Prakash Mehta will attend the programmes regarding 26/11 on behalf of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

| TNN | Nov 25, 2014, 08.51 PM IST

MUMBAI: Minister for Industries, mines and parliamentary affairs Prakash Mehta will attend the programmes regarding 26/11 on behalf of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Mehta Will pay homage to the brave police officers and policemen who lost their lives fighting against the terrorists.

CM Fadnavis will be attending various functions presided by President Pranab Mukherjee in Pune and Wardha besides touring various parts of Vidarbha.

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472 Maoist surrendered this year, highest in 3 years: Govt

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NEW DELHI: Maoist surrenders have seen a quantum jump this year, with 472 surrenders being reported until October 31 against 283 for the whole of 2013. Of course, Chhattisgarh has single-handedly contributed to this rise, having clocked 247 surrenders by October-end, up from just 28 in 2013.

Incidentally, Chhattisgarh has also reported a major increase in the number of Maoists arrested this year. According to data shared by the Union home ministry in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, arrests in the state grew from 387 in 2013 to 517 until October 15 this year.

However, the nearly nine-fold rise in surrenders as well as notable rise in arrests is essentially limited to Chhattisgarh. Surrenders in Andhra Pradesh were 76 until October 31 against 82 for whole of last year. Bihar reported 150 Left wing extremism-related incidents and arrested 329 Maoists (until November 15) but managed just 4 surrenders until October 31.

Jharkhand recorded the highest number of incidents at 318, highest number of civilian killings at 77, while Maoists killed were 8 and arrested, 364. The surrenders were a measly 17, almost at the same level of 15 recorded last year.

Odisha has shown incidents at around the same level (97 until November 15 against 101 last year), but surrenders are down at 80 as on October 31 (from 101 in 2013) and Maoists arrests at just half (67) of the 2013 levels (129).

A special session on police response in rural areas of Left-wing extremism-hit states will be conducted during the DGP/IGP meet slated to be held on November 29 and 30 in Guwahati.



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Vasan unveils party flag sporting images of Kamaraj, Moopanar

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CHENNAI: Former Union minister G K Vasan, who quit the Congress recently, unveiled a tri-colour flag for his yet-to-be named party on Wednesday. The flag sports the images of Congress icons K Kamaraj and G K Moopanar.

“It is a significant milestone. We are confident that this flag will fly very high in Tamil Nadu,” Vasan said, evoking loud applause from his supporters in a community hall here.

The saffron on the flag signified sacrifice while white and green represented peace and prosperity, he said.

Vasan quit the Congress along with senior functionaries and elected representatives on November 3, after a controversy erupted over the images of the Congress leaders in the membership cards.

“I am sure, today’s event will assure the revival of great leaders — Kamaraj’s rule in Tamil Nadu and Moopanar’s prosperous Tamil Nadu and strong India,” he said, reiterating that his party would strive hard to take to the public the facets of Kamaraj’s rule – clean and transparent governance.

Vasan moved the Election Commission last week to revive his father Moopanar’s Tamil Maanila Congress. However, the party’s name will officially be made known in a rally to be held in Trichy on Friday.

With the state awaiting assembly polls in 2016, Vasan said the question of alliance with the DMK and the AIADMK did not arise now. “Especially with the BJP, it does not arise. We have different paths,” he said.

When prodded, the former Union minister said the electoral alliances could be decided only at the time of elections.

“I really believe and work to be the first party in Tamil Nadu before elections,” he said, declaring majority of the Congress cadres were with him in all districts.



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Lilavati hospital's former trustee arrested in foreign exchange violation case


Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday arrested a former trustee of Lilavati hospital in connection with a foreign exchange violation case.

PTI | Nov 26, 2014, 02.34 PM IST

MUMBAI: Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday arrested a former trustee of Lilavati hospital in connection with a foreign exchange violation case.

“We have arrested Kishore Mehta in connection with foreign transaction of $20 million by allegedly violating foreign exchange rules,” said an ED official.

Mehta committed the alleged violation through his diamond firm.

He is likely to be produced before the local court later in the day.

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