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Weather
The mild showers will bring down the temperatures in the city by 2 to 3 degree Celsius.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 09:45
TheNewsminute/Manasa Rao

Chennai will continue to witness isolated rains as the Indian Meteorological Department has forecast similar spells for the next few days. According to reports, Chennai is likely to get mild showers in some areas over the next 48 hours, bringing down the maximum temperature in the city to 37 degree Celsius. IMD has also forecast isolated showers over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry till June 28.

Parts of the Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur and Chennai region have recorded rain since June 23 with Tiruttani recording 39 mm of rain as on Monday morning. On Monday, Sholingur (Vellore district) received 4 cm of rain while RK Pet (Tiruvallur district) received 3 cm of rainfall.

The city forecast for Chennai issued by the IMD on Tuesday states that the sky is likely to be cloudy and light rain will occur in some areas. Chennai recorded a maximum temperature of 37.1 degree Celsius and a minimum temperature of 28.7 degree Celsius on Monday.

As per Tamil Nadu Weatherman, an independent weather blogger, the rains in Chennai began around midnight on Monday. “Western parts of Chennai getting rains, more importantly, Chemba (Chembarambakkam) got good spell including nearby Mangadu. Porur, Valasaravalkkam, Adambakkam all getting rains. Soon other parts of the city should join the Mid Night party,” he posted on his Facebook page.

Madurai recorded the highest temperature on Monday, sizzling at 40.4 degree Celsius closely followed by Trichy at 40.3 degree Celsius. Valparai near Pollachi recorded the lowest temperature in the state with 22 degree Celsius on Monday.

Experts have stated that rains will continue for a couple of days after which dry weather will prevail over the southern peninsula. 

Controversy
The court directed the police to file a response petition with documentary evidence on the issue by the next hearing.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 09:34

Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court that heard the case filed against director Pa Ranjith on June 24 has now ordered Thanjavur Thiruppanandal police inspector to file a response with documentary evidence. Justice Barathidasan who heard the case adjourned the next hearing for July 8.

Director Ranjith’s counsel had argued that while there has been no law and order situation since his speech, a case was filed six days later on June 11. Referring to freedom of speech, his counsel asked for the case to be rejected.

Justice Barathidasan in return said that freedom of speech had its limits and asked for proof that Chozhan took away lands from Dalits. He further directed Thiruppanandhal police to file a response petition with documentary evidence by the next hearing.

The case was booked against the Kaala director on June 11 by the Thiruppanandal police based on a complaint from Ka Bala, former Thanjavur district secretary of the Hindu Makkal Katchi. Ranjith had made a speech at an event organised by the Blue Tigers Party (Neela Puligal Iyakkam) to commemorate the death anniversary of Umar Farooq, its founder, at Thiruppanandal near Kumbakonam on June 5. Ranjith spoke about Tamil pride and how people kept claiming that all Tamil people were one while failing to address caste divisions and discrimination. In this context, he elaborated on how there was a battle in Tamil Nadu to claim Raja Raja Chozhan as their own by different caste groups, include the Paraiyars (a Dalit caste). However, Ranjith said that he had no interest in claiming ownership over Raja Raja Chozhan because his rule was a dark period for his people (the Dalits), contrary to popular belief.

Ranjith filed an anticipatory bail plea on June 12, where he wrote that his speech was not intended to divide people. “As a chief guest at the event, I only spoke some of the truths about King Raja Raja Chozhan. How to remove casteism? How to create a casteless society? I spoke about all these, including the plight of landless people, especially those from the delta regions mentioned in Umar Farooq’s Senthamizh Naatu Cherigal,” his plea said.

On June 14, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court heard arguments in connection to director Pa Ranjith’s anticipatory bail plea. The director's counsel argued during the hearing that the speech was based on research from published books and that it was not aimed at creating enmity between communities.

Child abuse
Wesley Mathews, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing injury to Sherin.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 09:28

Wesley Mathews, the adoptive father of Sherin Mathews – the three-year-old who was found dead in a Texas culvert in 2017 – has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in his sentence. At his trial for murder, which happened on Monday, Wesley pleaded guilty on charges of causing injury to the child by omission. This charge comes with a lighter sentence than capital murder and tampering with evidence – the other charges against him.

Wesley, who hails from Kerala, had been charged with capital murder after his special needs adoptive daughter was found dead. If he is convicted under this charge, he faces the possibility of a life sentence without parole. However, having pled guilty to first-degree injury to a child by omission, Wesley may get probation or life imprisonment with possibility of parole after three decades.

His guilty plea was apparently not a deal with the prosecutors or a bargain. 

Wesley and his wife Sini, who were natives of Kerala, adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Bihar in July 2016. Sherin disappeared in October 2017, and Wesley initially claimed that he had sent her out in the wee hours of the morning on October 6 that year as punishment for not drinking her milk. On October 22, 2017, Sherin’s body was recovered from a culvert under a road about a kilometre from the Mathews’ home. The cause of Sherin’s death could not be investigated as the body had decomposed.

Wesley later changed his version, claiming that when he tried to “physically assist” her in drinking milk, and Sherin had choked on the drink. He also admitted that the family had gone out to dinner and left Sherin behind a day before she died.

Wesley was indicted for capital murder by a grand jury and for tampering with evidence.

In March earlier this year, Wesley’s wife Sini was released after 15 months in jail this year due to insufficient evidence against her. The charges against her for child endangerment were dropped as well.

If Sini had been convicted in the case, she would have faced imprisonment for two to 20 years. It is worth noting that because she was dismissed without prejudice, the same or different charges can still be levelled against her at any point in time.

Earlier in April, a court document filed by Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Jason Fine had stated that the prosecutors believe that Wesley is likely to have neglected and injured the child before her death. The document mentioned details of offenses, including one that accused Wesley of injuring Sherin on or about February 1, 2017, with or without his wife Sini’s help, and causing the child to sustain multiple fractures in her arms and legs “to the bilateral humerus, femur and tibia." Sini and Wesley reportedly did not reveal these injuries for at least one week, and the “history provided to doctors was not consistent with how the injuries occurred.”

As Wesley's trial goes on, prosecutors will reportedly attempt to prove that Wesley killed Sherin and then dumped her body in the culvert. However, they admitted that they will not be able to present the cause of the toddler's death because of how much the body had decomposed by the time she was found.  

Crime
This comes a day after IMA's fugitive founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan purportedly revealed in a video that a lot of gold jewellery and bullion was locked up in the office.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 09:19

Officials of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) recovered a licensed pistol and 50 cartridges from a locker at the head office of I Monetary Advisory (IMA). 

The SIT investigating the ponzi scam allegedly run by IMA's founder Mansoor Khan searched IMA Gold, one of the offices at IMA Towers, located on Lady Curzon Road in Shivajinagar.

This comes a day after IMA's fugitive founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan purportedly revealed in a video uploaded on YouTube that a lot of gold jewellery and bullion was locked up in the office.

SIT chief BR Ravikanthe Gowda, who is leading the investigation into the scheme, confirmed the recovery of the pistol and the cartridges from the IMA Gold office but made it clear that Khan's video would not be considered a piece of evidence in the investigation, reported Deccan Herald. 

Ravikanthe further added that the SIT was making all efforts to trace the location from where the video was uploaded to YouTube.

"On Thursday, we raided IMA Jewels, 90% of which was empty. On Monday, we raided IMA Gold, Khan's bullion trading showroom. He purchased old gold ornaments from customers and sold them gold coins. On the customer's request, Khan's employees would get their gold ornaments mortgaged with other agencies released by making due payments and IMA would later purchase the released gold from customers," a police source told Times of India. 

Seven directors of IMA were initially arrested on June 11 after the SIT began investigating the scam. The SIT was asked to investigate after police received more than 38,000 complaints against IMA. 

Mansoor Khan fled the country on June 8 and subsequently released an audio clip claiming that Congress MLA (now suspended) Roshan Baig refused to return Rs 400 crore to him and claimed that the money was borrowed in the run-up to the recent Lok Sabha elections.  

Bengaluru police have offered protection to Mansoor if he returns to the city to surrender as per the law.  

Transport
Bus owners started the strike alleging that the Motor Vehicles Department was levying high fine as part of ‘Operation Night Riders’.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 09:14
Image for representation

The indefinite strike called by the Interstate Bus Owners Association (IBOA) in Kerala on Monday will continue as talks held with Transport Minister AK Saseendran failed to reach a consensus.

Bus owners started the strike alleging that Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) was levying high fines on them as part of ‘Operation Night Riders’ drive.

Though bus owners demanded ‘Operation Night Riders’ to be stopped, the minister said that the checking will continue, reportsMathrubhumi. 

Even though Minister Saseendran ensured that the checking of the MVD will be conducted without causing hindrance to driver and other staff, the bus owners association did not go with it.

According to reports, about 293 interstate buses are staying off the roads in protest, which is affecting passengers. The strike has mainly affected passengers to and from cities like Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

The MVD had started ‘Operation Night Riders’ recently following the incident in a bus of Kallada Travels, where two passengers were chased and attacked by employees of the bus. This had created a furore in the state as the video of passengers being assaulted went viral on social media. Following this, similar incidents where employees of the interstate buses were behaving badly with passengers came to light. Three more incidents were reported in the buses owned by Kallada Travels alone, after it.

The MVD tightened its surveillance following these incidents.

Meanwhile, reports also state that the IBOA had given proposal to the government earlier to constitute passenger redressal forum consisting of members like retired regional transport officer, retired superintendent of police, senior High Court lawyer and representative of bus owners and passengers associations. But the government is yet to approve this proposal.

According to reports, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has decided to operate additional four buses from Bengaluru to Kerala in the wake of the strikes. KSRTC buses will operate to Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kannur and Palakkad.

Law
According to Justice N Anand Venkatesh, Ishari Ganesh tried to extract favours from him for adjourning the Nadigar Sangam elections through a mutual friend.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 08:50
Vels University

A Madras High Court judge has framed charges against producer Ishari Ganesh for having tried to influence him through a mutual friend in relation to Nadigar Sangam elections.

According to reports in The Hindu, Ishari Ganesh, who contested for the post of the General Secretary of the South Indian Film Artistes Association against actor Vishal, tried to get Anantharaman, a mutual friend of Ganesh and justice N Anand Venkatesh, to talk to the judge and postpone the elections. 

According to a detailed order passed by Justice N Anand Venkatesh, he received a call around noon on Saturday that the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Vijaya Kamalesh Tahilramani has allowed Nadigar Sangam to move an urgent petition seeking direction to the Chennai police to provide security for the elections that were slotted to be held on Sunday. Justice Anand Venkatesh, who was in Vellore, immediately started his journey back to Chennai. When the Justice was nearing Chennai, he received a call from his friend Anantharaman who broached the topic of the Nadigar Sangam case. This prompted the judge to cut the call without responding.

In his order, the judge stated that Anantharaman told him over the phone that he knew Ishari Ganesh, who is interested in this case, and he wanted the judge to adjourn the case by a couple of weeks so that the elections will not take place on Sunday. As the judge reached home to several media persons and policemen due to the popularity of the case, he spotted Anantharaman on his way to his house. Pressing again for the adjournment of the case by at least two weeks, Anantharaman allegedly told the Justice that Ishari Ganesh had done a lot of help for his organisation and hence he was obliged to return the favour. Justice Anand Venkatesh then said that he later learnt that the phone call he received from Anantharaman was made while Anantharaman was sitting inside his (Justice's) house.

Justice Anand Venkatesh observed that this act was shocking that a party who is interested in case and who is also a candidate in the Nadigar Sangam elections approaches a judge seeking favours. 

The Justice has therefore ordered the registry to number suo motu criminal contempt petition against the two men and issue notices to them in this regard. 

Controversy
Binoy Kodiyeri, son of the Kerala CPI(M) chief, has been booked by Mumbai police on the complaint of a woman over rape charges and is presently absconding.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 08:42

Kerala CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Monday told media that no attempts were made to arrive at a settlement in the rape case alleged against his son.

Binoy Kodiyeri, son of the CPI(M) chief of Kerala, has been booked by Mumbai police on the complaint of a woman over rape charges and is presently absconding.

Kodiyeri also accepted the fact that his wife had gone to Mumbai after coming to know about the case. “We came to know about the incident when we got a notice regarding this on January. Following this, being a mother, my wife Vinodhini went to Mumbai to enquire about the issue,” said Kodiyeri.

According to reports, the victim in the case had alleged that Kodiyeri’s wife had come to Mumbai and made attempt to resolve the issue. Two days before when Kodiyeri spoke to media regarding the issue for the first time, he did not respond to this settlement allegation against his wife saying that he cannot comment on the issue as it is sub judice.

“I have made it clear to Binoy that no aid will be given to him in the case,” Kodiyeri said while meeting media after the state committee meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram. He also affirmed that he will not involve in the case either as an individual or as part of the party.

“Binoy had denied the allegation and said that the documents against him are fabricated. It is not right for me to take a stand in the issue as it is under consideration of the court,” said Kodiyeri.

He also said that it is the responsibility of the police to find Binoy. “Media can also try to do that. The issue has also been reported in the party state committee,” added Kodiyeri.

A rape complaint was filed against Binoy on June 13 by a Mumbai-based woman and native of Bihar. She alleged in the complaint hat Binoy had promised to marry her and raped her for years. She also alleged that they have an eight-year-old child from their relationship. Police have booked Binoy under IPC Sections 376 (rape) and Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property on the complaint).

Meanwhile, Dindoshi branch of the City Civil and Sessions Court in Mumbai, adjourned Binoy’s anticipatory bail plea to June 27. Two police officers from Oshiwara police in Mumbai who came to Kannur on Wednesday, failed to find him at his residences in Thiruvangad and Moozhikkara.

Crime
The 43-year-old took the step allegedly after his job application seeking the regularisation of his service was rejected.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 08:37

A 43-year-old man tried to take his own life in a washroom at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Monday. The man has been identified as Revanna Kumar, who works as an assistant librarian at the Gram Panchayath office in Anoor village in Chintamani. Revanna took the step allegedly after his job application seeking the regularisation of his services was rejected.

Police officials investigating the incident said Revanna worked as a temporary staffer and had applied for regularisation. After he received news of the rejection, he decided to take his own life.

According to a report in  Deccan Herald, Revanna visited the Vidhana Soudha and went to the third floor to meet the official concerned with submitting the application. At around 1:30 pm, he was found bleeding in the washroom by people who immediately informed the police. Vidhana Soudha police officials rushed to the spot and Revanna was shifted to Bowring Hospital. He is currently undergoing treatment and is reported to be stable.

According to Deccan Chronicle, police officials found an identity card, an appointment letter and the application for regularisation of service from Revanna. They are now waiting for the librarian to recover to question him as to why he tried to take his own life. They are also trying to investigate the sharp object with which Revanna tried to kill himself.

This is not the first such incident reported inside the Vidhan Soudha. In April this year, a man working as a KSRTC bus conductor jumped to his death from the fifth floor of the Vidhana Soudha. The incident occurred on a Sunday afternoon when the number of people at the state secretariat is at its lowest. In June 2018, a businessman had attempted suicide alleging that an MLA had taken Rs 1 crore from him to get some work completed.

Politics
The comments come at a time when both TPCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy and AICC in-charge for Telangana R C Khuntia are facing dissent from within the party.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 08:04
Image: Uttam Kumar Reddy

With speculation rife  that Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief Uttam Kumar Reddy may step down as he was elected as an MP from Nalgonda, All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Telangana RC Khuntia on Monday said that there was no such proposal under consideration.

Speaking to reporters at Gandhi Bhavan, the state headquarters of the party in Hyderabad, Khuntia told reporters “Uttam Kumar Reddy will continue as president of the TPCC. There is no discussion at any level of the party on changing the leadership. Former MP Ponnam Prabhakar will lead a committee to conceive and plan necessary strategies.”

The comments come at a time when both Uttam and Khuntia are facing dissent from within the party, the latest coming from senior party leader and legislator Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, who is eyeing the BJP.

Speaking to reporters last week, Rajagopal Reddy attacked his own party, saying it had no future in the state. Rajagopal Reddy, who was elected to Telangana Assembly from Munugode constituency in Nalgonda district, blamed Congress leadership for the party's sorry state of affairs in the state. He targeted state in charge R C Khuntia and state Congress President Uttam Kumar Reddy, saying their style of functioning led to party's crushing defeat in the Assembly elections in December last year.

He said if the leadership had taken immediate action to remove Khuntia and Uttam Kumar Reddy, the party would have done well in Lok Sabha elections. He said after losing 12 MLAs to the TRS, the Congress was demoralised.

Leaders like sitting Sangareddy MLA T Jayaprakash Reddy alias Jagga Reddy also seem to be suggesting that a change is necessary in the TPCC if it hopes to revive itself from the battered state that it presently is in. Many names of leaders who were vying for the TPCC chief post were also doing the rounds in the media.

Project
"The Science City, which will come up at a cost of Rs 200 crore, will emerge as the biggest city in south India,” K'taka Deputy CM G Parameshwara said.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 08:03

In order to boost the prospects of Mysuru as a tourist hub further, the Centre and state governments will soon come up with a Science City.

Speaking about the project, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said Sri Suttur Math has offered 25-acre land for the project and a proposal has been submitted to the Centre seeking approval.

“The Union Government has introduced an initiative to set up a Science City in every state and in this regard, it has been proposed to set up a Science City in Mysuru. The Science City, which will come up at a cost of Rs 200 crore, will emerge as the biggest city in south India,” he said. 

The construction expense will be shared equally by the State and Union government. 

“Mysuru already attracts tourists in large numbers. Science City in Mysuru will be beneficial to the city. The city will have earth galaxy, solar system and others that will attract students too,” he added. 

The construction is expected to be completed in five years but efforts will be made to finish the construction in three years, the minister said.

Reflecting that children of this age are keen on becoming doctors or engineers, Parameshwara said this interest is not the same when it comes to science. To inculcate an interest in science in students, science centres are being set up in every district. The works have been initiated in Mangaluru and Davanagere. The works will commence in rest of the 19 districts as well.  

The minister also lauded the efforts of Sri Suttur Math, which runs more than 200 educational institutions, for offering their land for the science city.

On the same day, the Deputy CM also met farmers in Mandya who were protesting for water to be released from Cauvery and Hemavati in the districts’ canals.