NHRC seeks report on `auction'

NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought a report from the Madurai Collector on the alleged auction of a Dalit woman Panchayat president in the district.

Taking suo motu cognisance of a news report, the Commission said if the contents of the report were true, they raises serious issue of violation of human rights of a Dalit woman.

The report said the woman was auctioned for Rs. 2.16 lakh, ignoring her plea that she would hand over her earnings to the village committee.

The Commission directed that the news report be forwarded to the Madurai Collector and sought a factual report within two weeks. Special Correspondent

Doyen of hospitality industry dead

COIMBATORE: K. Damodharasamy Naidu (80), freedom fighter and founder and chairman of the Sree Annapoorna Sree Gowrishankar Group, died at a private hospital here on Tuesday morning following a heart attack.

Damodharasamy Naidu had taken part in the Quit India movement.

He opened the Sree Annapoorna Hotel at R.S. Puram here along with his brothers in the 1960s.

He was president of the Tamil Nadu Hotels Association and headed the Coimbatore District Hotels Association for nearly 35 years.

He was executive committee member of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, representing the Coimbatore District Hotels Association.

The Avinashilingam University had conferred a doctorate on him. He is survived by his wife and two sons. Staff Reporter

Vaiko appeal to Centre on NLC stir

CHENNAI: Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko has appealed to the Central Government to intervene and find an amicable solution to various demands of contract workers in the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, who are on an indefinite strike. Mr. Vaiko, in a statement here on Tuesday, said about 13,000 contract workers of the NLC were on strike for the last 10 days in support of their demands, including minimum bonus and medical facilities. Mr. Vaiko wanted the Central Labour Ministry to intervene by protecting the rights of the workers and conceding their just demands. Special Correspondent

Flour mills body plea to Lalu Prasad

CHENNAI: The Tamilnadu Roller Flour Mills Association has urged Railway Minister Lalu Prasad to reconsider his Ministry's decision to revise the freight rate for wheat with immediate effect. In a statement here on Tuesday, association president R.K.Mohan said already flour mills in the South were facing hardships due to competition from wheat-growing States. Mills in wheat-growing States were able to supply products at a lesser price compared to those in the South. The increase in freight rate would adversely affect the roller flour mills as there would be no level playing ground. He appealed to the Minister to withdraw the hike at the earliest. Special Correspondent

Forum's meeting

Udhagamandalam:

A special meeting of the Coonoor Citizens'

Forum would be held at 4.30 p.m. on November 22 at the UPASI hall. According to the President of the Forum Chandru Raju Bettan on the occasion, the new Chairman of the Coonoor Municipal Council M. Ramasamy and its members would be felicitated. While the key note address would be delivered by the Municipal Commissioner Pappa Mayalagu, high on the agenda would be the aspirations of the citizens to improve the conditions in Coonoor.

- Special Correspondent

Demonstration

Udhagamandalam: Under the aegis of the Nilgiris District BJP a demonstration was staged at the Independence Square here on Monday to condemn the Union and State Governments for not taking steps to improve the roads in the district. The demonstrators also demanded steps to evolve ways to fix remunerative prices for the produce of the small tea growers here. Earlier, a meeting of the district unit was held. The District Organiser J. Raman presided.

Among those who spoke was the former MP M. Master Mathan.

- Special Correspondent

Newborn found abandoned

VIRUDHUNAGAR: A newborn boy was found abandoned in a cowshed near Sattur on Tuesday.

The umbilical chord of the baby, wrapped in a cloth, was yet to be removed.

On hearing its cry, the people alerted the Village Administrative Officer, who lodged a complaint with the Sattur Taluk police.

The baby has been shifted to the Virudhunagar Government Hospital, the police said.

House burgled

VIRUDHUNAGAR: Unidentified persons broke into the house of a mill worker, Chelladurai of Katnarpatti near Sattur and decamped with 15 sovereigns of gold jewels.

The incident came to light on Tuesday morning after the inmates, who were away since Saturday, returned home.

The Vachakarapatti police have registered a case.

Medical camp

SIVAKASI: Around 350 women and children were benefited in a special medical camp organised by the Rajapalayam Round Table-158 and Velayutharastha Civic Exnora here on Sunday.

Orthopaedic, dermatologist and gynaecologist from Madurai screened the participants for various ailments.

Demonstration

RAMANATHAPURAM: More than 500 fishermen on Tuesday staged a demonstration here urging the Government to lift the ban on sea cucumber fishing. Paulsamy of the Fishermen Trade Union presided over the agitation held at the Collectorate.

More than 50 per cent of the agitators were women. They also urged the State and the Central Government to stop the Sethu Samudram project, as it would not only spoil the ecology of the region but also affect fishing.

Demonstration was also held at Rameswaram, where nearly 500 fisherwomen participated. Irudhaya Mary of Mandapam Fishermen Federation led the agitation.

Arrested on murder charge

Tuticorin: The police on Tuesday arrested Balamurugan (34) on a charge of murdering T. Palraj (35), supervisor at a TASMAC shop at Kovilpatti, on Monday.

The accused boarded the bus in which Palraj travelled and attacked him with a sickle while the vehicle was passing through Kailasapuram, owing to enmity.

Woman commits suicide

Tuticorin: A 32-year-old woman allegedly committed suicide at Alwarthrunageri near here on Monday.

The police said the woman committed self-immolation after she was tortured by her spouse.

A case has been registered against G. Muthukumaran. Staff Reporter

Two killed in accidents

ERODE: Two persons were killed in separate accidents here on Monday. According to the police, a lorry carrying poultry feed from Chitode to Oricheripudur fell into a roadside pit near Servarayanpalayam in Bhavani on Monday. Three workers Ranganathan (45), Kasilingam (48) and Narayanan (45) were caught under the lorry. Ranganathan died on way to hospital. The others are undergoing treatment.

In another accident Ponnusamy (36) of Mudalipalayam in Tirupur was on his way to Kankeyam on his motorcycle when a State Transport Corporation bus hit the vehicle in which he died. - Staff Reporter

Dies in steam boiler burst

ERODE: One person was killed and two others sustained burns in a steam boiler burst here. According to the police, the boiler at a textile dyeing factory in Kumilankuttai area, a suburb of Erode, burst owing to high pressure.

Varadharaj (60), van driver, and Suseela and Lakshmi, workers, sustained burns and were admitted to the District Headquarters Hospital. Varadharaj died on Tuesday. - Staff Reporter

Woman commits suicide

Tuticorin: A 32-year-old woman allegedly committed suicide at Alwarthrunageri near here on Monday. The police said the woman committed self-immolation after she was tortured by her spouse. A case has been registered against G. Muthukumaran.

Arrested on murder charge

Tuticorin: The police on Tuesday arrested Balamurugan (34) on a charge of murdering T. Palraj (35), supervisor at a TASMAC shop at Kovilpatti, on Monday.

The accused boarded the bus in which Palraj travelled from Kovilpatti to Kappikulam and attacked him with a sickle while the vehicle was passing through Kailasapuram, owing to enmity. He died on the spot.

The Pasuvanthanai police are now on the lookout for Kanagaraj, accomplice of the accused.

Houses damaged

Tuticorin: A total of 25 houses were damaged as heavy rain lashed the district on Monday night and in the early hours of Tuesday. The district received a total rainfall of 269 mm, with an average of 14.16 mm, during the last 24 hours ending at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. Following is the rainfall recorded (in mm) at different places: Tuticorin 6; Maniyachi 32; Kayalpattinam 30; Kulasekarapattinam 25; Keexha Arasadi 18; Sattankulam 14.4; Srivaikundam 12.6; Tiruchendur 12; Vaippar 11; Kadambur 10; Ottapidaram 9; Vedanatham 8; Kovilpatti 7.6; Soorangudi 7; Kayathar 6; Kadalkudi 4 and Kazhugamalai 2.4. Staff Reporter

Veterinary camp

PUDUKOTTAI: Under the joint auspices of the Bharat Heritage Foundation, New Delhi, Govardhan Trust, Chennai and the Goshakthi Trust, Pudukottai, a day-long veterinary camp was held at Vaithoor village near here recently. As many as 1,190 animals were treated for de-worming, preventive vaccination, artificial insemination and pregnancy verification. A team of doctors from the Tamil Nadu University for Veterinary and Animal Sciences, led by P. I. Ganesan, conducted the tests. Several competitions on `Healthy animal' were held in which villagers brought their goats, cows, bullocks and buffaloes. The Collector, S. J. Chiru, gave away the prizes to the best-bred animals. The Executive Secretary, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Pudukottai, G. S. Dhanapathy, said several competitions for students were held as part of the camp.

Girl dies in accident

Tiruchi: Sabitha (17) of Madurai was killed and nine others sustained injuries when a State Transport Corporation bus they were travelling in collided head on with a lorry on the Tiruchi-Madurai National Highway near Soriampatti in the district on Monday. Sabitha was killed on the spot, while the others including the bus driver, Thangaraj, and the lorry driver sustained injuries.

Mettur level

TIRUCHI: The level at the Mettur dam stood at 112.52 feet against its full level of 120 feet on Tuesday.

The inflow was 11,886 cusecs and the discharge 100 cusecs. Staff Reporter

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