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:, Indian Express

Blue Whale challenge claims another life

A 19-year-old college student, who recently committed suicide by hanging, is being suspected as the first Blue Whale challenge victim in Tamil Nadu. The police have said that the teen was part of a WhatsApp group of 75 friends who are playing the suicide game.

The victim, Vignesh, was found hanging in his room in by his father on August 30. He also found a note that read, “Blue Whale – This is not a game but danger. Once you enter, you can never exit.”

As per NDTV reports, the police also found the telling image of a whale carved into Vignesh’s left arm with “Blue Whale” written below it.

The victim was a second-year commerce student at a private college. His brother has revealed that he was depressed and had been spending a lot of time alone in the last 45-50 days.

After the incident, Madurai police officer Manivannan, said that anyone suspecting a Blue Whale victim should contact the police on their helpline number 77088 06111.

This challenge created by 22-year-old Philipp Budeikin has been blamed for at least three more suicides this month, in Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala.

Sources: India Today and NDTV 


Sri Lankan Navy arrests eight TN fishermen

Colombo (Sri Lanka): Eight Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy, along with two boats, near the Delft Island, reported ANI.

These fishermen were later taken by the officers to Kankesanthurai Naval Cap for interrogation. This is the fourth time in a month that Sri Lankan army has arrested fishermen from TN and interrogated them.

Earlier, on August 14, Sri Lankan Navy apprehended four TN fishermen along with a country boat near Punkudi Island. Similarly, on August 14, four and on August 8, 49 fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy and detained their boats.

The fishermen captured on August 10, were to remand till August 23 by a Sri Lankan Court. The fishermen in Pudukottai district in Tamil Nadu went on an indefinite strike to demand the release of the captured fishermen and their boats. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edapady K. Palanisamy had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a letter to intervene and secure the release of 64 fishermen from Tamil Nadu lodged in a Lankan jail and 125 mechanised boats detained by Lanka.

Sources –  ANI, Business Standard 

Yogi Adityanath govt. to introduce ‘Amma Canteens’ in UP

Following up on the lines of ‘Amma canteens’ in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh is all set to open up canteens for poor so that they can get at least one dignified meal per day.

The first such kitchen named ‘Prabhi Ki Rasoi’ will be inaugurated on August 9 in Saharanpur and initially will serve food to 300 poor people. The food given will be free of cost.

Taking about the same, Saharanpur commissioner Deepak Agarwal said that they are mobilizing the civil society and the industry to make this initiative successful, adding that businessmen have been asked to consider pitching in to feed poor and the response has been very welcoming.

According to the Times of India, a committee of 30 people, including officials and civilians will be taking up the charge for running the kitchen.

Agarwal also revealed that two municipal halls in Saharanpur will be used for this purpose and SMC Foods Ltd., a local manufacturer of skimmed milk powder, has offered money for setting up the kitchen.

Further, BJP state spokesperson said that the Yogi Adityanath government will attempt to address poverty and hunger in all possible ways.

Sources: Times of India,“>The India Post