Group charges private laboratory in city of conducting human trials; seeks money to ‘settle’ issue

A private laboratory offering ‘clinical end point study services’ in Velachery was in for a rude shock when a group of about 50 men barged into their premises last week. The group, claiming to represent people’s welfare, alleged that the lab was conducting human trials on volunteers, without letting them know what tests they were being subject to.

They even tried to extract some money out of them for “settling” the issue. The company management, however, was not one to take the challenge lying down. They promptly called the police, who after perusing the records of the laboratory, were convinced that nothing fishy was taking place.

Sadly, the people leading the group claimed to be members of a particular section of the media.

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On a crowded weekday evening, on R.K. Salai, a motorcycle carrying two police officers (both helmet-less) mounted the footpath, whizzed past traffic and took a turn into a side lane. Motorcycles using footpaths as their private roads are not an uncommon sight in the city; but when the police do it what hope is there that the law will ever be upheld?

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Recently in a chat this reporter had with a senior traffic official, the latter talked about the lack of public awareness among motorists regarding traffic regulations. He shared his personal experience when, driving his sports utility vehicle, he was surprised to see motorists using high-beam lights inside the city limits when there was no need for it. Displaying the huge book on traffic rules, the official opined that creation of awareness among the public was the better solution to prevent traffic violations, compared to imposing of penalties.

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Residents in an apartment complex in T. Nagar became victims of the Chennai Corporation’s wrath, facing charges of having dumped construction debris outside the complex’s compound. For several days, civic body representatives threatened the residents, saying the debris would be dumped on the building’s premises. One employee sought Rs. 500 to clear the debris. However, residents maintained they had not dumped the debris.

To their shock, a day before elections, half a dozen uniformed employees began shovelling the debris into the compound. Some of the debris was left at the building’s gate, blocking the entrance.

When the residents protested, the employees accused them of lying. An employee threatened them, saying a police case would be filed against them for dumping the debris. Unmindful of the threat, the residents continued their agitation. Finally, the debris dumped at the gate was removed but the debris dumped inside the compound wall remains there till date.

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It was a pleasant duty of sorts for a section of commuters who boarded a Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus at Tambaram well past midnight on Monday. The bus, attached to the Adyar depot, had on duty a conductor who is usually on buses shuttling within the city limits.

As he was not sure of the bus stops between Tambaram and Medavakkam he asked commuters to shout out the name of the stops so that he could the blow the whistle. In the process, a couple of commuters managed to get down at unscheduled stops, where the bus — a T51 deluxe service — does not usually halt.

(Contributions from R. Sujatha, Zubeda Hamid, R. Srikanth and K. Manikandan)

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