19-year-old boy mauled to death by bull during Jallikattu

Image Courtesy: Associated Press/R. Parthibhan
An man tries to tame a bull during a traditional bull-taming festival called “Jallikattu,” in the village of Palamedu, near Madurai, Tamil Nadu state.

Madurai, January 16: A 19-year-old boy was gored to death by a bull during a Jallikattu, a bull-taming event at Palamedu, in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu. The deceased was a participant in the first round of the event. The event was held as a part of Pongal festivities in the district.

Source quoted that the deceased was playing with the bull outside the arena, after his turn in the event got over when the bull attacked him. Around 25 spectators suffered injuries during the event.  Around 1,000 bulls were issued token to mark the event, where only 450 bulls were released at the end of the event.

The Madurai district administration, which governs the event, claimed that the preparation for the event was all set to welcome thousands of people. Around 50,000 to 1 lakh spectators are expected to witness the three-day event, said the district administration.

The festive event was brought to nations attention last year with massive protest, forcing Tamil Nadu government to pass an ordinance on the event. This year, the Animal welfare board of India has instructed the state government to comply with new safety rules and regulations while conducting the event. It is not to hurt the sentiments of culture but to protect the animals from cruelty, the board added.

Source: The Indian Express, India TV News

Tamil Nadu Bus Strike called off after Court Intervntion

Image Courtesy: Press Trust of India
After ten days of strike, TNSTC workers will be resuming duty after order by Madras High Court.

Chennai, January 12: After ten long days, the bus strike by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) Union was called off on late night of Thursday. A. Soundrarajan, the President of Centre of India Trade Union confirmed the news.

Earlier, the Madras High Court acting on a bunch of PIL’S against the strike, appointed former judge E. Padmanabhan as an arbitrator between the employees and the government regarding the issue of wage revision. It however rejected the workers demand that the agreement signed a few days ago with some of the unions should receive legal validity and asked the workers to resume duty at once.

The Judges clearly defined the role of the arbitrator by asking him to focus only on two issues-entitlement of wage revision of workers using a multiple factor of 2.57, instead of factor of 2.41 as agreed by government and the cut-off date for the revision.

They also refused to entertain the plea by workers that an original demand charter submitted way back in November, 2016 should be a part of the reference. The judges however, appealed to the workers to resume their duty to help general public in light of the Pongal festival and not to cause any further inconvenience for them.

Earlier the Transport Secretary P.C. Davidar refused to withdraw criminal cases against who were involved in destruction of public property and also declared government’s stand of no payment to the employees during strike period.

Source: The Hindu, The News Minute

Cauvery Water dispute: SC to declare verdict within four weeks

Image Courtesy: Sruthisagar Yamunan
Supreme Court will be giving out its verdict on 22-year-old Cauvery river dispute within four weeks.

New Delhi, January 09: The Supreme Court has decided to declare its verdict on the Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka within four weeks. The water-sharing row had snowballed into a massive problem resulting in protests and subsequent violence in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu after the Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu in September 2016.

A three-judge bench of the apex court has reserved its verdict on appeals filed by Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu against the 2007 order of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) on sharing of the river water.

There has been enough confusion on the row for over two decades, said the Top court. The court has also said that any forum is allowed to discuss further on the matter after the verdict on this issue is delivered after four-weeks. The three judges involved in passing the judgement are Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

The court remarked the following during the hearing of the plea filed in 2016 by a citizens’ group called Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) led by philanthropist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. He sought its intervention for the supply of drinking water to residents of Bengaluru and surrounding districts.

There has been an acute shortage of drinking water in Bengaluru and other districts of South Karnataka. Bengaluru city alone requires more than 19 TMC of water and the annual drinking water requirement of districts near the Cauvery basin including Bengaluru is around 26 TMC.

The BPAC has appealed to the court that citizens of Bengaluru need adequate drinking water and their right to life needed to be protected by the top court.

 

Sources: The Times of IndiaScroll.in

Cyclone Ockhi claims eight lives in southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala

At least eight people have died and 90 fishermen are missing when the torrential rains lashed the southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala- as the depression in the Bay of Bengal turned into cyclonic storm “Ochki” on Thursday.

According to the meteorologists, the cyclonic storm Ochki is heading towards Lakshwadeep Islands and is likely to grow into a severe storm. Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam were the worst affected districts where several trees were uprooted.

According to Skymet, Lakshadweep is expected to get heavy rainfalls and the intensity of rain will reduce over Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Various flights have been canceled and the schools in Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Madhurai, Theni, Thanjayur and Thiruvarur  have been closed

The Home minister, Rajnath Singh has spoken to Director General, National Disaster Response Force and reviewed the situation in the affected areas.

In Kerela, the state government has put the official machinery on a high alert and has ordered the evacuation of people living within 100 meters of the coast area. The Indian Navy has deployed four ships and two aircrafts for search and rescue operations and also has set up a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations in southern Kerala.

Sources- The Hindu, Times of India

SC reserves order on the Cauvery dispute

SC reserves order on the Cauvery dispute

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on the Cauvery river water dispute involving Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry on the 2007 Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal.   The apex court bench completed the hearing earlier today.

According to Hindustan Times, during the course of the hearing today, the court ordered that the Centre shall have to frame a scheme for the implementation of its orders on the river water-sharing between the states and Puducherry after the judgement is pronounced.

Reserving the order, the three member bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Amitava Roy, and Justice AM Khanwilkar asked the parties involved to present written submissions on various aspects of the issue that had emerged during the course of hearing on the 29 days which spread over eight months.

In September last year, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry filed petitions seeking modification of Cauvery Tribunal’s final order, which was delivered in 2007. In its order, the court had allocated the highest share to Karnataka followed by Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The apex court had, on July 11 commenced the final hearing on the appeals filed by the three states and the Union Territory which saw the reserving by the court today.

Sources: ANI, Hindustan Times

Sasikala ousted as AIADMK General Secretary

V K Sasikala, who appointed herself as the General Secretary of AIADMK after the death of Jayalalithaa, has been ousted from the party. The decision helped to create a stronghold for Tamil Nadu chief minister E. Palanisamy and O Panneerselvam. The former interim chief of the party is currently doing her sentence for a disproportionate assets case in which Jayalalithaa and Sasikala were investigated for.

The same people who took the decision to make Sasikala the interim chief made the decision today to remove her from the party.

Some reports state that the party is planning on removing TTV Dinakaran too. However, he states that he is still part of the party and serves as the deputy general secretary.

The General Council amended the laws to remove the post of a general secretary in the party thus paving the way for the dismissal of TTV Dinakaran too. The party members believe that Jayalalithaa will remain as the General Secretary and no one can take her place. This was stated as the reason to remove the post.

According to The Hindu, Dinakaran told reporters, “They (Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O Paneerselvam and others) selected Sasikala as the General Secretary. But after Sasikala went to jail they started taking steps arbitarily”.

Sources: News18, ET

Madras HC orders government action against The Blue Whale Challenge

The Madras High Court on Monday issued the order, asking the Union and Tamil Government to take serious measures against the Blue Whale Challenge, an online game that gives some disturbing tasks to the player for 50 days and on the 50th day, the player is asked to take their own life.

The Madurai bench also asked the Tamil Nadu Police to take strict actions against people who share the game.  The State and Centre government till September 8 has to respond to the court about all the steps taken by them to remove the Blue Whale Challenge link from social media. Likewise, the notice for appropriate steps to save the children from such self-harm game has been sent to NK Sinha, the Information and Broadcasting Secretary; Niranjan Mardi, Tamil Nadu Home Secretary and state’s IT Department.

Along with state bodies, the court also asked help from IIT-Madras Director, Bhaskar Ramamurthy through suggestions on banning the dangerous game.

In its submission, state police’s Crime Branch of CID (CBCID) said “Blue Whale links are blocked and that no one can download it in the state”.

This order came after a 15-year-old,Vignesh killed himself after playing the game on August 30. He had shared the link of the challenge with 75 other students from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, but nobody played the game.

Sources: Scroll.in, Indian Express