CM puts off campaigning

By Our Special Correspondent

Chennai Feb. 26. The Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary, Jayalalithaa, who was scheduled to begin campaigning from March 1 for her party and BJP candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, has put off electioneering by `a few days.'

According to a party release, a revised programme of hercampaign tour of the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and the lone Pondicherry constituency would be announced after the Election Commission announced the election schedule.

By-poll for Mangalore seat

By Our Special correspondent

CHENNAI Feb. 26. The byelection for the Mangalore Assembly seat will be held along with the Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commissioner, B.B. Tandon, told newsmen here today.

The byelection is caused by the resignation of Thol. Tirumavalavan of the Dalit Panthers of India. Mr. Tirumavalan, who contested on the Dravida Munnetra Kazagam symbol in the last Assembly election, quit the post following the DMK's refusal to allot a seat for the DPI in the Democratic Progressive Alliance.

Nagi Reddi death's condoled

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI FEB. 26. Describing the demise of the film producer, B. Nagi Reddi, as an"irreparable loss to the film industry", the DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, in a condolence message, said it had lost a doyen who had made a benchmark with his own creations and achievements.

The Madras Printers' and Lithographers Association, represented by its president, Anu Varghese, and honorary secretary, R. Udhaya Kumar, said Nagi Reddi was not only a doyen in the film industry but also pillar of the printing industry. They said they were fortunate to have had him as the association president during 1962-65 and for two consecutive years as president of the All-India Federation of Master Printers.

3 get 10-year RI for rape

By Our Staff Reporter

ERODE FEB.26. The Dharapuram Subordinate judge, Xavier, yesterday awarded rigorous imprisonment for 10 years to three persons for raping a 15-year-old girl at Vellakoil. The prosecution case was that on March 5, 2001, the girl was returning from school at 7.30 p.m., when Sivakumar (23), Sathishkumar (23) and Balamurugan (24) of the same village kidnapped and raped her. On her complaint, the Vellakoil police arrested them.

3 youths asphyxiated

By Our Staff Reporter

NAMAKKAL FEB. 26. Three youths were asphyxiated in an effluent pit at Pallipalayam, near here, today.

According to police sources, Yuvaraj (28), Mohan (31), Devaraj (30), Duraisamy (31) and Ramesh (21), all hailing from Govindapalayam, were cleaning the 15-foot pit, that contained chemical waste in a private dye unit. The police said that when the cleaning was on, the workers, struck by poisonous gas, fell into the tank.

Fire service personnel could rescue only Yuvaraj and Mohan. Both of them were admitted in the Erode Government Hospital. While Ramesh died on way to the hospital, Devaraj and Duraisamy, died in the pit itself.

Entrance test results

By Our Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE Feb.26. The Sainik School at Amaravati Nagar at Udumalpet has released the results of the entrance examinations held on January 18 this year for admissions to classes IX and VI for 2004-2005.

A release from the school today said the medical test for the selected candidates would be held at No.6 Air Force Hospital at Redfields in Coimbatore and interview at the Sainik School.

Call letters were being sent to the candidates. Those scheduled to undergo the medical test on March 15 would have to attend the interview on March 16 at the school. For those who were called for the medical test on March 16, the interview would be held on March 17. Similarly, those attending the medical test on March 17 should appear for the interview at the school on March 18.

Elected chief of chamber panel

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI FEB. 26. Syed Muneer Ahmed has been unanimously elected chairman of the consultative committee of the City Chambers of Commerce for 2004-2005. The meeting of the consultative committee, constituting the Andhra Chamber of Commerce, Hindustan Chamber of Commerce, Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tamil Chamber of Commerce, National Chamber of Commerce and the South India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chennai, was held on February 21, says a press release.

Civil aviation employees' plea

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI FEB. 26. The Southern Regional Civil Aviation Employees' National Action Committee, Chennai, has opposed the Government of India's decision to permit private domestic airlines to fly on the international routes.

"We appeal to the rank and file of all allied Unions/Associations in the civil aviation sector to join the fight against foreignisation of private domestic airlines and demand withdrawal of permission by the Government to private domestic airlines to fly international routes," the Committee said.

RDO probe into Salem shootout

SALEM FEB. 26. Family members of Karnan, a remand prisoner and an accused in several cases, who was shot dead in a police encounter near Omlaur here on Wednesday when he reportedly attempted to escape, claimed that the police had picked up his wife and father, a week earlier.

The family members who were brought from Tholasapatti, a hamlet near Omalur to the Salem Government Medical College Hospital to identify the body, told The Hindu today that the police had detained Karnan's wife, a week earlier at Mecheri on charges of brewing and selling illicit liquor.

His 11-year-old elder daughter, Pushpa, said the Mecheri police had taken her last week for interrogation. She saw her father last on Tuesday at Omalur station. The relatives claimed that the police took Karnan's father also for interrogation two days ago and released him later.

The police sources denied the claims that his father was taken into custody. They, however, said that his wife was detained for interrogation in connection with a few cases, including brewing illicit liquor.

RDO probe

Meanwhile, the Government ordered an enquiry by the revenue divisional officer into the shootout that killed Karnan. The Mettur RDO, D. Subramanian, went to the Salem Government Hospital for the conducting the probe. "The preliminary report will be submitted to the Collector in a day or two," he said.

A doctor said the condition of the injured sub-inspector, Asokan, was `quite normal.' The inspector, Asaithambi, was treated as an outpatient.

Body of youth found

By Our Staff Reporter

PERAMBALUR FEB. 26 . The body of an unidentified youth, aged about 25, was found in the cashew groves at Thatanur near Jayamkondam on Wednesday.

The police said the face of the body was found charred.

They have registered a case and are investigating.

Grievance day

By Our Staff Reporter

PERAMBALUR FEB. 26 . Pension to freedom fighters will be disbursed through money orders, the Collector, S. Natarajan, said on Tuesday.

Presiding over a freedom fighters grievances day meeting held here, the Collector said a number of freedom fighters had pleaded for disbursing pension through money order.

He said the district administration had also made arrangements for the issue of free bus passes in private buses.

Earlier, the Collector visited the site where the master complex for the Collectorate is to be constructed.

Cycle rally for pattas

By Our Staff Reporter

Nagapattinam Feb. 26. The Land for Tillers Freedom organised a cycle rally at Sikkal near here today.

The Sarvodaya president, S. Jagannathan, who flagged off the rally, said it was organised to press its demand for house site pattas for nearly 30,000 poor people, ban on establishment of shrimp farms as per the Supreme Court order and linking of the Cauvery with the Ganges.

Mettur level

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI FEB. 26 . Water level at the Mettur reservoir stood at 25.34 feet today. The inflow was 81 cusecs and discharge 4000 cusecs.

Girl electrocuted

By Our Staff Reporter

Ramanathapuram Feb.26 . A 12-year-old girl was electrocuted yesterday when she stepped on a live wire at N.Mangalam under S. P. Pattinam police limits.

According to the police, Ananthi, daughter of Kalimuthu, was going to fetch water from the village ooranie when the mishap occurred.

The police have registered a case and are investigating.

Two held for eve-teasing

By Our Staff Reporter

RAMANATHAPURAM FEB.26. The police arrested two persons on a charge of teasing a woman and attacking her at a village under Keelakkarai police limits on Tuesday.

According to the police, Revathy (18), wife of Adhi Murugan of Alavaikarai village near Keelakkarai was going to the ooranie to fetch water, when a four- member gang teased her. The gang also assaulted her when she rebuked them. Based on a complaint lodged by her, the Keelakkarai police have registered a case and arrested Thavasi and Raman. Later, Revathy was admitted to the Ramanathapuram Government Headquarters Hospital.

The police are on the look-out for two others and further inquiry is going on.

One more cradle baby

By Our Staff Reporter

THENI FEB.26. The Department of Social Welfare yeserday received 49th baby for the cradle baby scheme in the district.

The Municipal Commissioner, N. Prema, along with Social Welfare department officials handed over the newborn to the Collector, Atul Anand, in his chamber. The baby was sent to the baby care centre run by the Department of Social Welfare.

Acute poverty forced the mother to hand over the baby to the Theni municipal hospital.

Another girl baby that was dropped at the Varushanadu Primary Health Centre on Tuesday night was also brought to the centre.