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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

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No major problems with EVMs

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI May 10. Except for a few hiccups where the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) developed technical snags and held up polling for an hour or two, there were no major problems in the use of these machines. While polling was brisk in some districts, it was moderate in most parts of the State. Election officers said polling picked up in the afternoon. When the aged or the illiterate had a problem in the use of the EVMs, poll officials assisted them in exercising their franchise. In Melavalavu for instance, an official assisted a senior citizen to cast her vote (in the photograph).

Reserve staff gherao tahsildar

By Our Staff Reporter

MADURAI MAY 10. A group of reserve staff on election duty gheraoed the Madurai South Tahsildar, S. Rajaram, at the Collectorate here today for delay in disbursing their allowance. The reserve staff, who are teachers in various Government and aided schools, were asked to stay at the Collectorate from the morning. When they saw the allowance being distributed to some of their colleagues who attended poll duty, they demanded disbursement for them also. But the tahsildar was busy with other poll-related works. The teachers, who alleged that the tahsildar had "shouted at them", went on an agitation. They later handed over a memorandum to the Personal Assistant to Collector, M. Anbazhagan, seeking action against him. The allowance was disbursed to the reserve staff later.

Polling disrupted in Palani village

By Our Staff Reporter

PALANI MAY 10. Announcement of percentage of polling for the Palani constituency comprising four segments in Dindigul and two segments in Erode districts was delayed owing to disruption in polling at booth number 66 at Servaikaranpalayam at Vellakoil Assembly segment today.

At Servaikaranpalayam, a voter discreetly stuck a party sticker on the button meant for an independent candidate in the electronic voting machine. Later, a voter lodged a complaint with the booth Presiding Officer about display of a particular party symbol in the EVM. The Presiding Officer immediately stopped polling and conducted an inquiry. Polling was disrupted for about two hours. After investigations, new machine was installed and polling continued.

2 die after consuming phenyl

By Our Staff Reporter

Nagercoil May 10. Two persons died and two others were admitted to Government hospital after they consumed phenyl, mistaking it for liquor, at Ponmonvillai near Kalikkavilai on Sunday night. According to police sources, Joseph (45) of Ponmonvillai bought a liquor bottle from Bindu, wife of an ex-serviceman, Natarajan, after paying Rs. 160. He along with Viswanathan (55) of Perai, Nesamony (51) of Thiracode and Rajaihan (47) of Kulapuram near Kalikkavilai consumed it. However, Joseph noticed a foul smell. He immediately went back to Bindu's residence to verify whether it was a liquor bottle or some other solution. It came to know that it was phenyl. When all the four started vomiting, they were rushed to hospitals. While Viwanathan and Nesamony died, Joseph and Rajaihan were admitted to hospital.

2-way traffic on Ooty road

By Our Staff Reporter

Udhagamandalam May 10. The Nilgiris Collector, K. Sellamuthu, said today that normalcy on the Coonoor-Mettupalayam highway was likely to be restored on Tuesday.

Pointing out that weather in various parts of the Nilgiris, particularly Coonoor and surroundings, had improved today, he said if the same situation continued, two-way traffic on the road would be permitted from tomorrow. However, in view of the tourist season, it would be made one-way during weekends.

Killed in group clash

By Our Staff Reporter

Ramanathapuram May 10. Tension prevailed at Kallikulam in Ramanathapuram district following the murder of Nagalingam (60) in a group clash between two communities at Elanthaikulam, near Peraiyur today.

According to police, Nagalingam, who was sitting in a teashop near Kallikulam, was attacked with "aruvals and velkombu" by unidentified persons. Nagan, a relative of Nagalingam, was also injured. In a retaliatory attack by supporters of Nagalingam, five persons of a rival group were injured. Security has been strengthened at Kallikulam.

Temple festival

By Our Staff Reporter

NAGAPATTINAM MAY 10 . Thousands of devotees took part in the famous Nellukadai Mariamma temple festival and took out a huge `paal kudam' procession to fulfil their vows and `milk abishekam' was performed to the deity last morning.

The unique function of `sedil' began in front of the temple in which the poojari lifted the kids one by one from a crane-like wooden structure and swung them around to fulfil the `prarthanas' of the devotees.

Mettur level

By Our Special Correspondent

Tiruchi May 10. The level in at the Mettur reservoir stood at 25.82 feet today. The inflow was 1097 cusecs and discharge 148 cusecs.

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