Panchayat official killed

Tirunelveli July 24. A vice-president of Ittamozhi panchayat was hacked to death last night by an eight-member gang.

The police have arrested T. Murugaraj (36) of Ittamozhi and are searching for others.

The police said S. Natarajan (44) of Subramaniapuram was attacked allegedly by Murugaraj, P. Raman and P. Pandaram, both hailing from Subramaniapuram, and five others Ittamozhi main road. He died on the spot.

Investigations revealed that the assailants developed enmity with the family of the victim, who had refused permission to celebrate a village festival.

Councillor held

RAMANATHAPURAM JULY 24. The District Crime Branch police today arrested the Ramanathapuram municipal councillor, Nagajyothi (39), and her relative, M. Rani (35), on charges of cheating youth on a false promise of securing them jobs abroad.

In a complaint, one Muniyasamy said the duo had got Rs. 14 lakhs from 14 persons. Three persons, who were sent by them to Brunei, returned, as the work permits given to them were not genuine.

Ms. Nagajyothi, who won the election as an independent, later joined the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Additional Advocate-General

By Our Special Correspondent

Chennai July 24. A.L. Somayaji, senior advocate, has been appointed Additional Advocate-General, a newly-created post, according to a government gazette extraordinary.

`Case for killing mother'

By Our Special Correspondent

VILLUPURAM July 24. The police have booked a case a daily wage worker of Puthananthal near here, who allegedly set his octogenarian mother afire and also attempted self-immolation.

While Sowbakkiam died on the spot, Annamalai (49) suffered more than 50 per cent burns. He was taken to the JIPMER Hospital, Pondicherry.

It is said Annamalai has been without a job for the past few months, and the family, including three children, is living off his wife Meenakshi (30), a flower seller.

Vexed with poverty and frequent quarrels with his wife, Annamalai decided to commit suicide and also end his mother's life, as he did not want to leave her alone to fend for herself.

Training programme

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI JULY 24. Dr.J.C.Kumarappa Institute of Rural Technology and Development of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission at T.Kallupatti in Madurai district will conduct short-term rural industries training programmes for self-employment, from August 18. The duration ranges from four days to nine months. Candidates with a pass in SSLC and in the 18-35 age group can send their applications on plain paper, giving details of name, address, educational qualification, age, community, income, course etc to the training centre on or before August 10 along with photocopies of the certificates concerned, passport size photo and self-addressed and stamped envelope. More details can be had from the principal on telephone number:04549-272365, according to a release from the Gandhiniketan Ashram, which runs the centre.

`Accord charter status'

TIRUCHI JULY 23. The Institute of Insurance Surveyors and Adjusters (IISA) has urged the Union Minster of Finance, P. Chidambaram, to accord charter status to the IISA.

Addressing presspersons here today, the Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Chapter, R.K. Elango, said the charter status would empower the institute to authorise the appointment of competent surveyors and adjusters for each insurance firm and their branches. It would also ensure effective implementation of the IRDA norms in the insurance sector.

Although the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IDA) took some initiative for conferring the charter status, it did not materialise due to several factors, he said.

The K.N.Bhandari Committee constituted to look into the functioning of the IISA had recommended the constitution of a new institute with self-finance and self-regulating capabilities, in the place of the IISA. He alleged that the Bhandari committee had totally ignored the infrastructure available with the IISA, as also its autonomy.

A delegation would shortly meet Mr. Chidambaram, to impress upon him the need for the grant of charter status. A few leading insurance companies have favoured the status as it improved quality in service, he said.

Panic grips bank customers

By Our Special Correspondent

Coimbatore July 24. Hundreds of customers of the Global Trust Bank woke up with a start this afternoon as television channels flashed news that the bank is under "siege" and the Reserve Bank of India has clamped a moratorium on it up to October 23.

Unaware of the developments, they rushed to the nearest ATMs and the five bank branches in the city to get a true picture. Even at 4 p.m. they could see only the window display of the ATM as the shutters had been downed by then. None of the bank staff or the bank head was there to reassure them that their money would be safe. One of the account-holders downloaded the RBI order from a web site and was seen trying to console them that their money was safe as it was only a "moratorium" (suspension) on services and not a closure, as it was being perceived.

33,000 take entrance test

CHENNAI JULY 24. About 33,000 students from across the country today wrote the common entrance test for admission to self-financing colleges in Tamil Nadu under the management quota. The results will be out by August 5 as per High Court orders, said Jeppiaar, Chairman, Consortium of Self-Financing Professional, Arts and Science Colleges in Tamil Nadu. He was accompanying the former High Court judge, S.S. Subramani, also the Chairman of the Permanent Committee set up by the State Government; Rame Gowda, Chairman, Common Entrance Test Committee; and the Director of Technical Education, S.K. Prabhakar, to the centres in and around the city during the physical science examination.

DMK councillors stage walkout

TUTICORIN JULY 24. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillors on Friday staged a walkout from the Tuticorin municipal council meeting, protesting the decision to collect Rs.3,000 for a water connection.

When the meeting began, the DMK member, Kotturaja, said the council's decision to collect the amount was unwarranted. However, the chairman, Danielraj, said the resolution enabling the municipality to collect Rs. 3,000 for a connection was passed in 1998 when the DMK was in power, as the municipality needed money for laying the third drinking water pipeline from Vallanaadu to Tuticorin.

The meeting passed a resolution enabling the municipality to collect Rs.10 from lorries carrying cargo to the Tuticorin Port Trust. Two tollgates would be put up.

Quarry worker killed

TIRUNELVELI JULY 24. A quarry worker was killed when a huge stone fell on his head as he was loading limestone into a lorry on Friday.

The police said K. Ulaganathan alias Ravi (27) of Sethuraayanputhur, under the Maanur police station limits, was working in the limestone quarry near Abhishegapatti under the Alangulam police station limits, when the accident took place.

Though he was rushed to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, he died on the way.

ATM opened

TUTICORIN JULY 24. The Collector, V. Chandrasekaran, today inaugurated an automated teller machine at the Tuticorin Melur branch of the Indian Overseas Bank.

The industrialist, N. Rathinavel of the KSPS Groups, received the first ATM card. The bank released loans for Rs.10.80 lakhs to 15 self-help groups on the occasion and schemes under the Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna were cleared.

A.V.M.V. Mani, an industrialist; Thiruppathi, project officer, Mahalir Thittam; B.S. Kesavamurthy, senior regional manager, IOB, participated in the function.

Six arrested

DINDIGUL JULY 24. A special investigative team, led by the Tahsildar (Minerals), conducted a surprise vehicle check on Friday and seized two lorries transporting sand illegally near the Vittalnaickenpatti bus stand.

According to sources, John Victor (35), Chinnasamy (30), Ramasamy (27), Murugan (21), Anbazhagan (31), Rengan (33) - were arrested. The team found that the driver did not have any permit for transporting sand.

Donations pour in

DINDIGUL JULY 24. The district administration has so far received Rs.1.03 lakhs for the Chief Minister's public relief fund to help the injured children and families of the victims of the Kumbakonam fire accident, the Collector, S. Murugaia, said today.

Tamil Nadu Text Books Selling Agents Association offered Rs.10,000. Government officials, industrialists, traders, merchants had already contributed Rs.93,000.

Six held

DINDIGUL JULY 24. The police arrested six persons on charges of selling illicitly distilled arrack at Jambuliampatti near Dindigul town today.

Valliammal, Pandiammal, Kala, Pappathi, Muthuvel and Pasunkili were arrested.

Arrack destroyed

Krishnagiri July 24. Five persons suspected to be involved in brewing arrack were arrested by the Prohibition Enforcement Wing personnel in Krishnagiri on Friday. Police said 5,000 litres of fermented wash and 30 litres of illicitly distilled arrack were destroyed. The Krishnagiri taluk police have registered a case.


Dharmapuri July 24. The Pennagaram police arrested one person for allegedly demanding dowry, on Friday. Police said Devaraj along with his relatives used to harass his wife Manimeghalai. Following this Manimeghalai lodged a complaint with the police. The Pennagaram police have registered a case.

Wild animal kills sheep

Krishnagiri July 24. An animal suspected to be wolf strayed into human habitations and killed ten sheep at Mathur here on Friday. According to the police, the animal had entered the farm of one Vajram. Forest officials are enquiring into the incident


Hotels raided

By Our Special Correspondent

SALEM JULY 24. The Department of Labour has initiated action under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Catering Establishment Act, 1958 against 29 hotels and eateries in the district for not possessing fire extinguishers on their premises.

According to the Inspector of Labour, G. Mahalingam, a team of officials, split into two groups, raided various hotels and eateries in the city and district for two days on Thursday and Friday to check whether these establishments had necessary fire resistant equipments.

On verification they found out that 29 hotels did not have fire extinguishers whereas 23 other establishments did not possess First Aid box. Mr. Mahalingam said that action had been initiated against these defaulters as per law.

Child handed over to NGO

PERAMBALUR JULY 24 . A female infant said to be a week old and found abandoned near the Sub-Registrar office at Udayarpalayam, has been handed over to the Tiruchi-based non-governmental organisation, SOC SEAD, yesterday.

A pedestrian, S.Sankar, who sighted the infant, handed it over to the police station in Jayamkondam. It was later handed over to Maria Kamalam, Director, SOC SEAD, Tiruchi.

Shopkeepers down shutters


Shopkeepers in Jayamkondam downed shutters in homage to the 93 children who were killed in a fire mishap at a school in Kumbakonam last week.

Members of the Democratic Youth Federation of India, led by its taluk unit secretary, C.Subramani, took out a silent procession. They marched from Sangupettai to the Collectorate where they staged a demonstration. They raised slogans protesting commercialisation of education. The district secretary, P. Ramesh, and the taluk secretary, R. C. Ramesh, were among those who participated.

Fatal hit

PERAMBALUR JULY 24 . A 15-year-old boy, A. Kannan of Thozhudhur in Cuddalore district, was fatally knocked down by a lorry near Mangalamedu yesterday. The police said the boy was riding a bicycle, when the mishap occurred.

Mettur level

Tiruchi July 24. The level in the Mettur reservoir stood at 73.75 feet today. The inflow was 1,132 cusecs and the discharge was 17,560 cusecs.

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