Tsunami rumour, schools closed

NAGAPATTINAM March 17. Tsunami rumours once again created panic in the coastal towns of Nagapattinam and Velankanni today and people ran to nearby buildings for safety.

Most of the schools in Nagapattinam and Velankanni areas declared a holiday and parents rushed to schools to bring their children home. Most of the shopkeepers near the beach road at Nagapattinam and near the shore at Velankanni downed shutters for nearly two hours.

Police sources told The Hindu that the rumours spread after a news item appeared on a web site saying that an earthquake of a big magnitude was likely in the Sumatra region and that a tsunami would hit the coastal belt once again.

The police took made announcements over the public address system in the coastal hamlets and at Velankanni to allay fears. Communication in Nagapattinam and Velankanni remained disrupted. Most of the telephones and mobile phones of BSNL did not work as its executives were on an agitation.

NH-45 section inauguration

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI March 17 . The 93-kmsection of National Highway-45 from Tambaram to Tindivanam, which was widened recently, will be declared open on Saturday by the former Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi.

The work, undertaken by the National Highways Authority of India, involved strengthening existing four-lane portion of the stretch between Tambaram-Mamandur and widening of the Mamandur-Tindivanam stretch into a four-lane highway. Tambaram-Tindivanam Expressways Private Limited executed the project, on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. Two major bridges, 15 minor bridges, three railway overbridges, four flyovers and three underpasses were constructed.

Seminar on IT opportunities

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI March 17. The Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Dayanidhi Maran, will inaugurate `INDIASOFT 2005' here on March 21. Over 200 delegates from 40 countries, including Japan, Ukraine, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and South Africa will participate. Seminars on `IT opportunities in CIS and Africa' and `IT opportunities in Latin America' would be held on March 21 and 22, a release from the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council said.

3 held for possessing porn CDs

Ramanathapuram March 17. The Kenikarai police today arrested three persons including a Sri Lankan national for possessing semi-precious stones and pornographic compact discs. Acting on a tip-off, police raided the house of Anand Kumar (30)and found semi-precious stones and pornographic CDs. Information provided by Anand Kumar, led to the arrest of M. Mahendran of Theni district and Mohamed Haneefa, a Sri Lankan national.

Panel sitting in Ooty

BANGALORE MARCH 17. T he Justice R.G. Vaidyanatha Commission of Inquiry, probing the causes and circumstances leading to the death of the former Minister Nagappa after his abduction by forest brigand Veerappan, will sit at Udhagamandalam on Friday and Saturday.

The commission will record evidences of two Tamil Nadu Special Task Force officers, an official release said.

Exam results released

Education board chairman

CHENNAI MARCH 17. The Tamil Nadu Open University Vice-Chancellor, M.S. Palanichamy, has been nominated chairman of the All-India Board of Post-Graduate Education and Research in Engineering and Technology. The Board will advise the All-India Council for Technical Education on PG programmes and research, including the norms and standards, model curriculum and facilities and course structure.

Maudhany's bail plea dismissed

CHENNAI March 17. The Madras High Court today dismissed the bail plea of People's Democratic Party leader and key accused in the Coimbatore serial blast case, Abdul Nasser Maudhany. Justice M. Thanikachalam delivered the judgment. He had sought the bail a month ago, stating that he required quality medical attention. The case was pending before the Special Court for Bomb Blast Cases in Coimbatore. His earlier bail pleas were dismissed by the High Court on June 8 and November 20, 2004.

Varsity bags IBM Linux award

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI March 17. Anna University has bagged the IBM Linux Scholars Challenge 2004 award, an international online student contest. Hundred and ninetysix students from self-financing colleges participated in the contest, in which they were asked to submit project summary on Linux technology and its challenges in future. The university has been awarded computer equipment worth nearly Rs.50 lakhs.

BSNL strike continues

THANJAVUR MARCH 17 . The relay hunger strike by executives of the Bharath Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) entered the third day here today. The executives of the Thanjavur secondary switching area are on hunger strike at the BSNL office near Marys' Corner.

The main demand is revision of wages as per the agreement.


The entire communication network of the BSNL including internet access in Nagapattinam region was disrupted since last night and almost all telephones and mobile phones went out of order, owing to the strike.


NAGAPATTINAM MARCH 17 . Thousands of devotees witnessed the Mahasamprokshanam of the Sri Navaneethakrishnan Temple performed here yesterday, after a gap of 13 years. The temple was renovated at a cost of about Rs.10 lakhs.

Yagasala and other poojas were performed in the last three days and the holy water was brought from the Soundaraja Perumal Temple tank here and Tirumanjanam was performed to the deity. The function was arranged under the leadership of R. R. Bhattar.

J. Radhakrishnan, Nagapattinam Collector and others participated.

Mettur level

TIRUCHI MARCH 17 . The level in the Mettur reservoir stood at 53.63feet today. The inflow was 440 cusecs and the discharge 900 cusecs.

Man assaulted

TUTICORIN MARCH 17. The police are on the lookout for Murugan on a charge of assaulting a 46-year-old man at Kovilpatti on Tuesday.

The accused had assaulted the complainant, Veeraperumal, who was later admitted to the Kovilpatti Government Hospital.

One held

TUTICORIN MARCH 17. The Ottapidaram police on Tuesday arrested Yesurajan for possessing pirated VCDs of old Tamil movies.

He was arrested while watching one such movie at his residence. A VCD player also was seized.


TUTICORIN MARCH 17. One Sudalaimani was arrested on Wednesday on the charge of attacking Velammal at Kayathar near here last year.

The Kayathar police said Velammal suffered injuries in the attack which took place at Rajapudukudi.

Man kills sister

TIRUNELVELI MARCH 17. The Thaalaiyuththu police are looking for a youth who allegedly murdered his elder sister on Wednesday evening.

The police said Selvi (26) of Thaalaiyuththu, after having frequent quarrels with her husband, preferred to stay with her mother, Lakshmi, for the past two years.

However, her brother, Selvam, suspected that Selvi had developed extramarital affairs with some youths of the same area.

As this quarrel erupted between the siblings again this evening, Selvam allegedly hacked Selvi to death.


Tuticorin March 17. Seven persons assaulted three physiotherapy students, while they were returning home after attending classes at a private hospital here on Wednesday evening.

The police said the accused used stick and iron rod to hit the students and subsequently escaped in three motorcycles.

Santhaseelan (20) and John Prabhakaran (19) were injured in the attack, the police added.

Student dies

Tuticorin March 17. Karuppasamy (13), a Standard V student, who consumed poison at his house near Thattaparai on March 15, died at the Government Hospital here yesterday.

According to the police, the boy consumed poison after he was said to have been scolded by his father.

Grievances day

ERODE MARch 17. The Collector, D. Karthikeyan, said today that the farmers grievances day would be conducted on March 24 at the Collectorate at 10.30 a.m.

STD services restored

ERODE MARch 17. The STD services from Erode to Coimbatore, Chennai and other cities, which was disrupted from 3.30 p.m. today, was restored at 6 p.m. It is stated that the STD services were hit because of the agitation of the BSNL officials, which had entered the third day today. The BSNL officials observed the relay fast in front of the Telephone Bhavan here urging the Government to implement the agreed proposals, stop the recruitment of management trainees among the others.


ERODE MARch 17. A seminar on Industrial Safety was conducted recently at Chengapalli in Perundurai taluk by the Rotary Club of Kunnathur, Rotary Club of Tirupur and Sakthi Auto Component Ltd. The Chief Inspector of Factories, Testing and Safety, Salem, N. Sundararaman inaugurated the seminar. The Chief Inspector of Factories, S. Rathinam, spoke. More than 100 persons from various industries participated. The speakers insisted the importance of safety inside the industries to avert accidents.

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