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Chennai ● Friday ● 15 July 2011
TN CM has capacity to become PM, says MLA Sarath Kumar. Prof M.H. Jawahirullah condemned the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai.
D. Pandian to lead a protest by health workers federation on July 19.
City Chennai stations soft targets for terror strikes
DC | CHENNAI
Plea against governor dismissed
Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a quo warranto petition questioning under what authority Surjith Singh Barnala holds the post of Tamil Nadu governor. A division bench comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam dismissed the quo warranto (medieval Latin for ‘by what warrant?’) plea filed by advocate S. Vijayalakshmi. According to the petitioner, Mr Barnala had assumed office as governor on June 20, 2006 and continues to hold office despite his tenure expiring on June 19, 2011. The bench said the governor shall hold the office as per the pleasure of the President of India.
Petitions on forest land thrown out
Chennai: The Madras High Court has dismissed a batch of over 500 petitions, challenging an order of the state government to notify the petitioners’ land in Dindigul district as reserve forest. Justice K. Chandru dismissed the petitions by Sirumalai Pazhathotta Vivasyigal Sangam and over 500 other individuals. The petitioners contended that they were residents of the area in the foothills of Sirumalai for several decades. Though their main work was agriculture, the land was originally barren and was not used. Their forefathers had reclaimed the land by using physical labour, they claimed, stating that they had been cultivating the lands since 1958.
July 14: Wedsnesday’s serial bomb blasts in Mumbai that killed 18 people and injured over 140 has brought into focus the state of security in public places in Chennai and raised questions about the safety of people in the city. While the Mumbai blasts were triggered crowded public localities, trains have been a favoured target of terrorists. In the last attack on trains in Mumbai, explosions were set off on seven locals, leaving 188 people dead on July 11, 2006. Security was beefed up in railway stations in Tamil Nadu since Wednesday night and at Chennai Central and other stations in the city, armed Railway Protection Force personnel and Government Railway Police (GRP) frisked passengers and inspected their baggage. However, experts are sceptical about such knee-jerk reactions after terror strikes and say the increased security will soon be withdrawn, leaving the stations as vulnerable as ever. Chennai Central and Egmore stations as well as important suburban and MRTS stations are soft targets for a terrorist attack, a security expert told DC, adding that the security apparatus at these stations is so porous that a group of militants could easily walk past the ineffective scanners and metal detectors that are installed there. Former IAS official M.G. Devasahayam notes that government security departments are reactive rather than proactive. “We tend to act only after a crisis and not do anything to prevent it from happening,” he said.
Muslim forum condemns blasts
Personnel of Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of Tamil Nadu police at the office of the commissioner of police at — DC Egmore on Thursday.
“Tamil Nadu is safe. We do not expect any terror attack in the state.”
A senior police officer
“With Central and Egmore stations easily accessible from suburban rail sections as well, extremists can easily enter these crowded hubs and wreak havoc.” Around 2 lakh passengers use Chennai Central every day and 80,000 people pass through the Egmore station, but there is no permanent facility to monitor people entering or leaving these junctions. To Southern Railway’s claim that CCTV cameras
monitor people at the stations, Mr Devasahayam asked, “Once a suspect is inside a busy railway station, how can you stop him from carrying out an attack?” Suburban Rail Users Consultative Committee member Naina Maasilamani recollected a meeting with a senior SR official. “We pointed how easy it is for a person to get in a station or take things inside. But the department never took any action. Let us not forget that the Vyasarpadi train hijack took place not so long ago,” he said. IPS officer R. Nataraj says what is required is a streamlined monitoring system. “If SR makes random inspections and ensures strict body and baggage checks through scanners it could prevent threats to a great extent,” Mr Nataraj said.
July 14: The Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought among Muslims has condemned Mumbai blasts and the sinister intentions underlying the cult of violence. “No cause can be highlighted, much less served, through mindless violence. Terrorism is irrational and anti-life; it can only subvert progress, undermine security and sharpen mistrust,” the forum’s secretary general A. Faizur Rahman said in a statement here on Thursday. “As Indians, we at the forum stand together united in our resolve to frustrate the sinister intentions of these merchants of cruelty to wound our collective psy-
che and our oneness as a nation. The spirit of India is stronger than the arms of terror. We commiserate with those who have lost their loved ones in this carnage,” Mr Rahman said. “We can no longer afford to live the lie that religions are dividing walls. The time has come for us that we shall allow none to divide us along the lines of caste or creed. Our Indianness is as dear to us as any religion. As Indians we are brothers and sisters and, as such, the keepers of each other’s life and liberty,” Mr Rahman said. He said the forum also called upon the Union government to thoroughly probe “this dastardly act of terror and bring its perpetrators to swift justice.”
TRACK TO SAFETY?
◗ Total strength of RPF staff in Chennai Division (2005): 1,200 ◗ 700 additional personnel deployed in cases of crisis ◗ RPF commandos and RPF bomb detection squads at important stations ◗ A special team under an officer is deployed in the MRTS section during peak hours to prevent crime against passengers
Police personnel check the baggage of passengers — DC at Koyambedu bus terminus on Thursday.
covered by an integrated security system (ISS). ◗ The Mumbai blasts cast their shadow on the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, at Sriharikota with security agencies enforcing unprecedented measures that have turned the already high-security area into an impregnable fort. ◗ The PSLV C-17 with GSAT-12 on board is set for launch at 4.48 pm on Friday at the launch centre, about 90 km north of Chennai.
◗ Seven stations in Chennai Division will be soon
Fired teacher uses Jaya Saxena gets bail, but stays in jail SMS threat for revenge
NO WAY OUT
July 14: A sessions court on Thursday granted bail to Sun TV chief operating officer Hansraj Saxena, who was arrested on July 3in connection with a `82.5 lakh cheating case lodged by Salem film distributor T. Selvaraj.
However, Saxena will continue to be in prison in connection with two other cases of cheating. Principal sessions judge P. Devadoss granted bail to Saxena on the condition that he execute a bond for `10,000 with two sureties each for a like sum. He was directed to stay in Madurai and report to the Thallaku-
lam police daily at 10.30 am until further orders. He was also asked to surrender his passport. The K K Nagar police had arrested Saxena on July 3 for alleged offences under various provisions of IPC including sections 428 and 506 (ii). He was remanded to judicial custody. Selvaraj alleged that Saxe-
na had cheated him of `82.5 lakh in a transaction for distribution rights of Tamil film Theeratha Vilaiyattu Pillai in Salem. Subsequently, on complaints from film distributor V.S. Shanmugham and film producer Nemichand Jhabak, the police registered two more cases against Saxena and he was arrested for those cases too.
Varsity VC extension questioned
Chennai: An advocate has approached the Madras High Court to quash the order of the chancellor of Anna University granting one year extension to Mannar Jawahar as vice-chancellor of Anna University. A division bench comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam, before whom the PIL filed by advocate S. Vijayalakshmi came up for hearing, said, “In the absence of sufficient papers, we do not find any reason to interfere with the impugned order. However, counsel for the petitioner seeks time to produce relevant papers.” It posted the case to two weeks from Thursday.
waiting on time
July 14: In an attempt to wreak revenge on his former colleague, a sacked college lecturer sent a threatening SMS to chief minister J. Jayalalithaa using a SIM registered in the colleague’s name. The police said Yogeswaran, 36, of Madu-
ranthangam, has been arrested. Yogeswaran was reportedly fired from his job at a private college a year ago. “Assuming that his colleague Shanmugam was responsible for his dismissal, he tried to take revenge,” an investigating officer said. He said Yogeswaran used the photo and identity proof of Shanmugam to buy a
SIM card and on July 11 used the card to issue a bomb threat to the chief minister and also forward an SMS to the Chennai city police control room. “Tracking signals from the SIM to a cellphone tower in Villupuram, we detained Shanmugam,” the officer said. “Based on information provided by him, we zeroed in on Mathuranthagam.”
City docs remove Iran actress ‘cancer’ fears
Schoolchildren waiting for a bus at Pattinapakam bus stand are forced to sit on an open platform as there is no proper bus shelter at the spot. — DC
FIBRE OPTIC CABLE NETWORK
Government schools to get hi-tech link
N. ARUN KUMAR
DC | CHENNAI
July 14: In an attempt to gap rural-urban divide and solve the problem of shortage of teachers, the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry has planned to connect select government schools to a network of fibre optic cables.
The ministry plans to use the network to beam lecture by teachers, share resources among schools, provide high-speed Internet connections and offer platform for students to share their knowledge. The government has constituted a committee to chart out the modalities to implement the project. A senior official with the
HRD ministry said the Centre had ordered all states to use information communication technology in schools to facilitate easy teaching and learning. After successfully providing computer education to students and teachers, the HRD ministry now plans to implement the National Knowledge Network that is
being put in place for universities. The ministry has constituted a committee to explore the best way to execute its plan, with the director of national council for education, research and training as its chairman and members of the HRD ministry, CBSE, National Council for Teacher Education, school education directors
of Assam, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Haryana as members. Government school teacher Priya Satish said that the Centre has already connected several schools in the country through Edusat. “But it is expensive to link all schools by satellite, so the fibre optic cable will be the best option,” she said.
July 14: Inam Hakeem was a very worried woman when she got on the plane to India. The 24-year-old Iraqi actress had been coughing up blood in the past three months, and doctors in Iraq had found several coin shaped lesions inside her lungs but could not tell what the patches were. A CT scan gave her even more reason to be alarmed — it revealed the presence of a massive 8x6 cm growth inside the petite woman’s heart. The average adult human heart is only as big as a tightly closed fist. “My doctors gave me a death warrant. They said I had rare lung and heart tumours that were inoperable,” said Inam, a popular cinema and TV actor in Iraq. When doctors in Chennai opened the young woman’s heart, they found that the mass was not a cancer, but a tapeworm infection. “We were in a dilemma, because operating on a tumour of such huge dimensions in the heart is not an option,” said Madhu Shankar, cardiothoracic surgeon at Global Hospitals. “However, we could not confirm whether the mass was cancerous or not and
Inam Hakeem (left) after surgery.
we had to act quickly as the liquid-filled swelling could burst at any time, endangering the patient’s life,” the doctor said. After stopping the patient’s heart, doctors managed to remove the confounding growth. To their surprise, they found it was a parasitic tapeworm infection. “Tapeworm infestations are rarely seen in the heart.
However, in countries like Iraq and Turkey tapeworm infections are endemic and are believed to be contracted from dogs and sheep,” Dr Madhu Shankar explained. However, Inam said she does not own a dog. The actress is elated. “I was so depressed, I really thought I was going to die,” the pretty woman says, ecstatic that she can return home this week.
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