Prince of Arcot calls for probe into blastsCHENNAI: Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali described Friday's explosions in Srinagar and at the historic Jama Masjid in Delhi as acts of "cowardice and savagery" and called for a thorough, fair and impartial probe.

Cautioning against prejudice, biases and preconceived notions on the part of the investigating authorities, he said such acts should be suppressed with an iron hand. "The culprits should be brought to justice, without fear and favour, at the earliest," the Nawab said in a release.

Condemning terrorism, he said no religion preached violence and killing of innocent people. "The places of worship of all faiths should be regarded and protected ... "

He said people should rally against such acts that were a crime against humanity and assault on secularism. They also posed a threat to the unity and integrity of democratic India. Staff Reporter

Sewing machines distributedCHENNAI: Thirtytwo sewing machines, 33 iron boxes, 27 hearing aids, seven tricycles for the handicapped, 15 cycles for vendors, 14 kits for electricians, three fishnets for tsunami affected, were distributed by Adhiparasakthi Siddhar Peetam, Melmaruvathur, coinciding with the Tamil New Year's day celebrations.

Special abishekam to the presiding deity and aradhanai followed by a function was organised. This was presided over by Justice S. Rajeshwaran of the Madras High Court and P.K. Sridharan, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Chennai. Free meals were offered to all the devotees.

Forty marriages and shastiabtha poorthi for 10 couples were solemnised by Sri Bangaru Adigalar on the occasion. Special Correspondent

Passports despatchedCHENNAI: Passport in respect of applications with the following details were despatched in the week ending April 7.

Chennai city cases with file numbers up to A-003700/06 and submitted up to January 27, submitted in speed post centres under W-series and submitted up to January 24, other district cases submitted in passport office with file numbers B-002000/06 and submitted up to January 23, minor cases with file numbers up to F-002666/06 and submitted up to February 20, renewals with file numbers up to C-002806/06 and submitted up to January 27, renewal of passports issued by other offices with file numbers up to V-006579/06 and submitted up to December 30.

Pondicherry residents applications submitted at Pondicherry with file numbers up to P-003826/05 and submitted up to December 30, and Pondicherry residents applications submitted here with file numbers up to P-102376/05 and submitted up to December 15, says a release from Sumathi Ravichandran, Regional Passport Officer, Chennai. Special Correspondent

Four of fisherman family die in accidentVILLUPURAM: Four members of a family died when a car bound for Pondicherry ran over them at Naravakkam near Marakkanam on Friday night. The police have detained the driver Karthik of Chennai.

The police said the mishap occurred when Gurubaran (40), president of the Tamil Nadu Meenavar Marumalarchi Kazhagam, was returning home along with his family after attending a temple festival at Anumanthai.

While Gurubaran and his two daughters Monisha and Seema died on the spot, his wife Gowri died on way to hospital. Special Correspondent

Farmer electrocutedPERAMBALUR: P. Selvam (27), a farmer of Koothanur near Padalur, was electrocuted when he came into contact with a live wire on Friday night.

The police said the wire got snapped following strong winds and moderate showers. Three bovines were charred to death after a lightning struck them at Irur near Padalur on Saturday.

Parts of Perambalur district experienced moderate showers for the past couple of days.

Cyclist fatally knocked downPERAMBALUR: B. Senthil (30), a cyclist, was fatally knocked down by a van proceeding from Tiruchi to Chennai near Padalur on Saturday.

The Padalur police have registered a case and are investigating.

Advocates to boycott courts in PerambalurPERAMBALUR: Advocates of Perambalur will go on indefinite boycott of courts from Monday in support of their demands.

A resolution adopted at an urgent meeting of the Perambalur Bar Association held here on Saturday, with its president E. Valluvan Nambi in chair, wanted immediate action against a police official who had reportedly abused an advocate.

The resolution wanted halt of 'unauthorised' telecast of news by a local television channel and withdrawal of a case registered against a section of lawyers.

Quiz contestPUDUKOTTAI: Under the joint auspices of the Pudukottai District Quiz Association and the Vajpayee Charitable Trust, a district-level inter-school quiz contest will be held on June 18.

In a press note issued here on Saturday, the chairman-cum-managing trustee of the trust said the contest would be held for two levels for students of standard VI to VIII, and for students of standard IX to XII.

Mettur levelTIRUCHI: The water level at the Mettur dam stood at 112.09 feet today.

The inflow was 1173 cusecs and the outflow 2000 cusecs.

Four-member gang murders manTuticorin: A Ponraj, a casual labourer, was allegedly murdered by a gang of four men at Puthiampudur on Saturday.

The police said he was chased by the gang and attacked with a sickle at an open place about 100 metres away from a country road.

He was severely injured in the attack and died on the spot.

A police team led by Inspector, Sakthivel, visited the place and launched an investigation into the incident.

Ant-eater rescued in TirunelveliTIRUNELVELI: An ant-eater was rescued from Azhaganeri near Tirunelveli Junction on Friday night.

Forest Department sources said the 2-foot long animal was found near the house of construction worker Durai of Azhaganeri. When street dogs attacked the anteater, the strong scales shielding the stray animal inflicted minor injuries on the jaws of the dogs.

After chasing away the dogs, Mr. Durai and his friend, Kannan, brought the anteater to the office of District Forest Officer on the Collectorate premises.

"The animal will be freed in the jungles of Western Ghats or Vallanaadu," forest department sources added. Staff Reporter

Heavy rain in ErodeERODE: Erode and its surroundings experienced heavy rain on Saturday afternoon followed by heavy gale. After unbearable heat for the past 15 days, the heavy rain, which lashed the town, has reduced humidity and sultry condition to a considerable extent. Due to heavy gale, power supply was stopped for more than three hours. - Staff Reporter

NJP to contest 11 seatsERODE: The New Justice Party (NJP) will field candidates for the 11 Assembly constituencies in Erode district. This was unanimously decided at the executive committee meeting of the Erode unit of the New Justice Party held at Kavindapady, presided over by the district secretary, R. Subramaniam. Meanwhile, the Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam candidate for Erode constituency V.C. Chandrakumar visited 30 villages and canvassed votes. - Staff Reporter

Labourers injuredATTUR: Five labourers sustained injuries when the lorry in which they were travelling lost control and fell on its side near Talaivasal on Friday. Police said the maize-laden lorry was proceeding to Villupuram from Attur. The accident occurred when the driver attempted to negotiate a curve. The labourers were travelling atop of the vehicle. They were admitted in the Government Hospital at Chinnasalem.

- Staff Reporter

Surprise checks carried outSALEM: City police carried out surprise checks and posted additional strength at all places of worship following the Friday bomb blasts at the Delhi's Jama Masjid. Following the nationwide alert, the police here organised surprise checks since Friday evening. A close monitoring also was maintained at sensitive spots. - Staff Reporter