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78-year-old man dies while swimming from Sri Lanka to Rameswaram

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Chennai, April 23 (IANS) A 78-year-old senior citizen died of heart attack while he was participating in a relay swimming event from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu’s Dhanushkodi.

Gopal Rao (78), hailing from Bengaluru, was third in the row of a group of 31 swimmers who held a relay swimming event from Talaimannar in Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram.

The swimmers including Rao had left for Talaimannar in a boat from Rameswaram on April 22, and they commenced swimming on April 23, in the early morning hours.

During swimming, he complained of uneasiness and was helped into a boat that was accompanying the swimmers. The medical team that attended to him on the boat declared him dead.

All the other swimmers cancelled the relay event and reached Dhanushkodi islet by boat.

The body has been sent for postmortem to Rameswaram Government Hospital and Rameswaram Town police have registered a case.

As per the Police, the group of swimmers had obtained all necessary clearances from both the Indian and Sri Lankan governments for the event.

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–IANS

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TN SIT takes three into custody in Kerala kidney racket case

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Chennai, May 28 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Tamil Nadu Police has taken three persons into custody from different parts of the state in connection with a kidney racket based out of Kerala with international connections.

Those taken into custody were allegedly involved in connecting kidney donors with recipients, police sources said.

On May 19, Kerala Police arrested a person named Sabith Nasar (30) after he returned from Iran following inputs from central intelligence agencies, which were monitoring his whereabouts for the past couple of months.

While Nasar admitted to being involved in the illegal sale of kidneys of around 20 people in Iran, the police suspect the involvement of more people in this case.

During questioning, the accused disclosed the involvement of another person named Sajith Shyam, a resident of Kochi, who Nasar claimed was the person behind the money transactions in the kidney racket.

Nasar and Shyam, who was arrested later, revealed the presence of many agents in various parts of the country, including in several north Indian states.

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The Tamil Nadu Police began a parallel investigation into the case and directed all the DSPs to conduct a probe into the missing person cases in their respective jurisdictions.

Based on this probe, three persons were taken into custody from Coimbatore and Pollachi, who, according to the police, admitted to having connections with Nasar.

The Tamil Nadu Police are also probing the involvement of certain persons in the coastal regions of the state who went to Middle Eastern countries recently.

–IANS

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Phone tapping: BJP demands KCR’s arrest after ex-cop’s revelation

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Hyderabad, May 28 (IANS) With a former police officer’s arrest in the phone tapping case making startling revelations, the BJP’s Telangana unit on Tuesday demanded former Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s arrest and prosecution.

BJP Spokesman N. V. Subhash asked why the Congress government is not arresting the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader despite the evidence of his involvement in phone tapping.

Describing phone tapping as the biggest scam of the BRS, he alleged that the KCR family and police officers close to them were involved.

He said that the lack of action by the Congress government in the case shows that BRS and Congress have colluded.

The BJP leader said the confessions of the police officers show that the BRS government harassed several BJP leaders. He said a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) can bring out the truth.

BJP General Secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar called KCR’s actions a “disgrace” to democracy.

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“Phone tapping done under the BRS regime is worse than the emergency. This is a violation of Constitutional and human rights,” he said, adding that KCR’s fear of the BJP is now out in the open.

He was reacting to the reported confession of former Deputy Commissioner of Police Radha Kishan Rao, an accused in the case.

The former DCP revealed details of how the Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) was used by the previous BRS government headed by KCR to tap the phones of leaders of opposition parties, businesspersons and even the dissidents within BRS.

Sanjay said Radha Kishan Rao’s confession has confirmed his previous statements on the involvement of KCR.

“It is evident now that KCR wanted to fabricate the MLA poaching case as a quid pro quo to protect his own daughter, caught in the liquor scam. Such a shame that KCR and his gang have not even spared private conversations between couples. As someone who took an oath on the Constitution, KCR has not only betrayed the law but also has crushed the basic rights of citizens,” he said.

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The BJP leader said that the BRS Chief is unfit to hold any constitutional position, including that of an MLA and needs to be banned from contesting elections.

Along with KCR, all those involved in phone-tapping from the BRS party need to be prosecuted and removed as public representatives from their posts. It is imperative to also think about banning BRS membership.

“Despite the clear evidence, why isn’t the Congress government arresting KCR? Why hasn’t the main accused, Prabhakar Rao, been brought back from the USA?” he asked.

Sanjay said former SIB Chief Prabhakar Rao’s arrest could reveal more facts about the corrupt practices of the BRS government.

The BJP leader stated that if Chief Minister Revanth Reddy has faith in democracy, he should write to the CBI, seeking a detailed investigation.

He also demanded that the Assembly Speaker disqualify KCR as the MLA.

ALSO READ:  BSP snubs Mahan Dal’s request for alliance in UP

–IANS

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Bhojpuri star Khesari Lal Yadav campaigns for fellow actor Pawan Singh in Bihar

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Patna, May 28 (IANS) Bhojpuri actor and singer Khesari Lal Yadav on Tuesday campaigned for prominent actor and independent candidate Pawan Singh in the Karakat Lok Sabha constituency.

“Pawan Singh is a voice of people. A leader like him is required here. He will become your voice in the Parliament too. I have known him for a long time. He is always helpful to everyone. You must vote for him,” Khesari Lal Yadav said while addressing a gathering at Bikram Inter College in Karakat Lok Sabha constituency.

In a bid to see the popular Bhojpuri actors, a large crowd assembled during the rally. At one point, the crowd became uncontrollable and police had a tough time controlling the crowd.

The voting in the Karakat Lok Sabha constituency will be held in the seventh phase on June 1. Upendra Kushwaha is contesting as an NDA candidate on the ticket of Rashtriya Lok Morcha from the Karakat seat while Rajaram Singh Kushwaha is contesting on the ticket of CPI-ML.

ALSO READ:  BSP snubs Mahan Dal’s request for alliance in UP

–IANS

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M.K. Stalin to attend INDIA bloc meeting in Delhi on June 1

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Chennai, May 28 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and President of DMK M.K. Stalin will attend the INDIA bloc meeting in New Delhi on June 1.

The meeting has been called by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. The INDIA bloc is yet to decide on its Prime Minister candidate and it is most likely that this topic will come up for discussion during the meeting.

M.K. Narasimhan, Political Analyst and Director of the Centre for Electoral Studies, Coimbatore told IANS that during the two UPA governments, the DMK played an important role and Late Kalaignar Karunanidhi was a decisive figure in the formation of both UPA governments.

He said that DMK would again be a crucial member of the bloc and M.K. Stalin would play an important role if the INDIA bloc reaches the magical figure of 272 or even if the results led to a hung position.

DMK contested all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu in the 2019 Lok Sabha election where they managed to win 38 seats.

ALSO READ:  SP leader supports Maurya, urges Akhilesh not to accept resignation

–IANS

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21 dead, several missing in stone quarry mishap in Mizoram; heavy rain adds to woes (Ld)

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Aizawl, May 28 (IANS) At least 21 people, including two minors, were killed and seven others were missing as a stone quarry collapsed in Mizoram’s Aizawl district on Tuesday following incessant rain triggered by Cyclone Remal, officials said.

Meanwhile, in different incidents across the state, at least two people were killed and a few went missing in landslides, which also affected transport and even left Aizawl cut off from the rest of the country.

Disaster management and police officials said that 21 bodies had been recovered so far from the quarry site between Melthum and Hlimen in the Aizawl district while several others are still trapped under the debris following the collapse in the morning.

Disaster management personnel, police and local people continued hectic efforts to rescue the trapped people or recover the bodies. Heavy rain and intense winds were affecting the rescue operations, a disaster management official said, adding that seven of the victims are locals, while the remaining are from outside the state.

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A minor boy and a minor girl were among the victims of the stone quarry collapse, while two persons were rescued alive.

Rain-triggered landslides were reported in several other districts, leaving two dead and a few others missing in different places and disrupting the movement of vehicles between the districts.

Aizawl has been cut off from the rest of the country due to multiple landslides on National Highway 6, the lifeline of the mountainous state.

Several buildings, houses, roads, and bridges were either damaged or swept away due to landslides and the heavy rain.

Chief Minister Lalduhoma held an emergency meeting with Home Minister K. Sapdanga, Chief Secretary Renu Sharma and other senior officials to review the situation. The government has also ordered all schools to be closed and government employees, except those involved in providing emergency and essential services, to work from home.

The Chief Minister and the Home Minister, accompanied by senior officials, also visited the stone quarry site. Lalduhoma announced a fund of Rs 15 crore to provide relief to the affected people and an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to be given to the kin of those who died in the landslides.

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President Droupadi Murmu and Home Minister Amit Shah expressed their grief over the deaths at the stone quarry mishap. “Saddened to learn about the loss of lives in a stone quarry collapse near Aizawl in Mizoram. My condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the success of rescue and relief operations and wish for a speedy recovery of the injured”, the President said in a post on X. “Deeply saddened to know about the tragic accident at a stone quarry in Mizoram. My sincerest condolences to the families of the deceased, and I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” the Home Minister said in a post on X.

–IANS

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