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New car for temple

By Our Staff Reporter

KANCHEEPURAM MARCH 30. A new temple car has been made for the Adikesavaperumal temple at Sriperumbudur. The first car festival will be conducted on Sunday, April 4, after a gap of four decades.

According to the `Thiru Ther Thiruppani Kuzhu,' it took nearly one-and-half-years to make the 48-foot tall temple car at a total cost of Rs.35 lakhs — raised from public contribution and including Rs. 5 lakhs got from the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department. About 20 craftsmen led by Gajendra Sthapathy of Thirumazhisai made the 48-tonne temple car, fitted with six giant wooden wheels. Three tiers, made of Burma teak, depict images of the history of Ramanujar and Alwars. A number of beautifully-carved horses also adorn the central tier.

Orders reserved on bail plea

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI MARCH 30. The Madras High Court today reserved orders on a bail application of a Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) detenu, K. Paranthaman, who was arrested on September 18, 2002.

Mr. Paranthaman, an associate of the Tamilar Desiya Iyakkam leader, P. Nedumaran, has been charged with offences under the POTA provisions, the Explosive Substances Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act by the Abhiramapuram police. Some gelatin sticks and detonators were also allegedly recovered from him in November 2002.

Though Mr. Nedumaran and others were granted bail by the High Court on December 18, 2003, Mr. Paranthaman was advised to withdraw his appeal and file a fresh application in the special court at Poonamallee as the prosecution said he possessed explosive substances. The special court dismissed his bail plea on February 6, 2004.

In his present appeal, Mr. Paranthaman contended that the special judge had erred in holding that the falsity or otherwise of the alleged seizure of gelatin sticks could be gone into only at the time of trial and had failed to see that the very fact that the arrest was made on September 18, 2002 while the seizure was effected allegedly on November 6, 2002 would show the false nature of the case.

The special judge also failed to note that tampering with evidence was not possible since the recording of the speech and allegedly incriminating materials were already in the custody of the police, Mr. Paranthaman said.

After hearing arguments, a Division Bench comprising Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice S.R. Singharavelu reserved its orders.

AICC member quits party

By Our Staff Reporter

Thanjavur March 30. S. Singaravadivel, All-India Congress Committee member from Thanjavur, has quit the party.

In his resignation letter to the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Singaravadivel said indiscipline in the name of inner-party democracy had been on the rise in the party of late. He alleged that the high command was sidelining loyalists.

ISO certification for TWAD Board

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI March 30. The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board (TWAD) became the first Government water testing laboratory in India to get ISO 9001:2000 certification for testing of physical, chemical and bacteriological parameters and training in water analysis. The certificate was issued by the standardisation testing and quality certification directorate of the Union Ministry of Information Technology. Needy public and industries could avail themselves of the services of the laboratory, which strives to ensure safe and potable water to the public by quality laboratory service, says an officials release.

65 women get employment

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI March 30. Sixty-five women trained in geriatric nursing, domestic help, customer call centre and retail trade were provided employment at the conclusion of the first private-public initiative in employment, organised by the Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women (DeW) and The Kerala Catholic Society (KCS).

More than 80 women were provided training for more than six months by several institutions including DeW, Indian Red Cross, Asha Nivas and Confederation of Indian Industry as part of this initiative. Funding for the training was provided by the KCS. ``The programme has been successful because service sectors which could assure employment to these individuals were first chosen and then training was provided to them,'' said T.V. Anthony, former Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, at the function. He called for other organisations to replicate this model.

Businessman held in Salem

By Our Staff Reporter

SALEM MARCH 30. A businessman from Chennai was arrested and remanded to custody here for having supplied beds which he allegedly claimed had medicinal powers of curing a few ailments. According to the police, Radhakrishnan (33) allegedly sold beds to many claiming that the beds had a medicinal value. One of the buyers found it had no such therapeutic power and lodged a complaint with the Economic Offences Wing here.

Teachers' federation plea

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI MARCH 30 . The Tamil Nadu Aasiriyar Koottani (teachers federation) has urged the Government to appoint headmasters in schools started seven years ago.

The Education department should immediately sanction the posts of headmaster and teacher, well ahead of the beginning of the next academic year, for the benefit of rural students were benefited, said a resolution passed at the State executive meeting at Sendhamangalam, Namakkal district on Sunday.

It also wanted the Government to create and sanction new teacher and headmaster posts middle schools started as part of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan scheme.

The general secretary, S. Muthusamy, said the executive urged the Government to withdraw the "four-increments cut" punishment handed to 999 employees/teachers dismissed for going on strike last year. They were later reinstated with the punishment.

Voter awareness campaign

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI MARCH 30. The Tamil Nadu Women's Forum on Monday launched a "voters awareness campaign" in the State for Lok Sabha elections.

The campaign, aimed at ushering in a "democracy with humanitarianism and sans religious fundamentalism", started here and will end at Arakkonam on April 4, says a forum release.

Relief for kin of fire victims

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI MARCH 30. A total of Rs. 5.68 lakhs, donated by philanthropists, was disbursed here today to the next of the kin of victims of the Srirangam kalyana mandapam fire which consumed 64 lives on January 23 last.

At the initiative of Sri Viswesha Teertha Swami of Pejawar Mutt, Udipi, and Vidyadheesa Teertha Swami of Palimar Mutt, Udipi, a committee was formed at Srirangam which mailed letters to over 2,000 philanthropists soliciting their contribution.

From the collected amount, Rs. 5.68 lakhs was donated to 40 kin of victims. Plans were under way to help the other victims depending upon the situation and need, it is learnt.

April 7 holiday in Perambalur

By Our Staff Reporter

PERAMBALUR MARCH 30 . It will be a local holiday for all government departments and educational institutions in Perambalur district on April 7 on account of the car festival at the Sri Kaliyuga Varadhararaja Perumal Temple at Ariyalur. The district treasury and sub-treasuries will, however, function with skeleton staff.

In a release issued here today, the Collector, S. Natarajan, said April 17 (Saturday) would be a compensatory working day.

`Remove graffiti'

By Our Staff Reporter

THANJAVUR MARCH 30 . The Joint Commissioner of HR and CE, S. Ilango, today said writing of poll graffiti in the temple complex, on walls of temples and buildings belonging to the temples in Thanjavur district is against election code of conduct.

Hence, he appealed to parties to remove such graffiti immediately. They should remove them on their own cost after informing the temple authorities, the Joint Commissioner said in a release issued here today.

Sub-treasury transactions

By Our Staff Reporter

NAGAPATTINAM MARCH 30 . Transactions relating to disbursement and remittance of cash hitherto carried out at the Tranquebar Sub-Treasury will be shifted to the Tranquebar branch of the India Bank.

The government staff, civic bodies and general public carrying out transactions with the

sub-treasury have been directed to carry out their transactions through the bank from April 5, according to a release.

Meeting

By Our Staff Reporter

NAGAPATTINAM MARCH 30 . A meeting to highlight salient features of the contributory health scheme for ex-servicemen, widows and their dependents will be held at the Collectorate here at 10 a.m. on April 7, according to an official release.

Students killed in mishap

By Our Special Correspondent

TIRUCHI MARCH 30 . Two students of a private engineering college were killed in a road mishap near Mandaiyur near here today.

Police said S. Prabu (20) of Woraiyur and G. Sudakar (20) of Jayankondam, both second year students of a private engineering college at Kalamavur in Pudukottai district, were proceeding to the college from the city in a two-wheeler this noon, when a lorry coming here from Pudukottai knocked down their vehicle. Both of them were killed on the spot. The police arrested the lorry driver S. Kuppumeeran (23) of Vandavasi.

One held, ornaments recovered

By Our Staff Reporter

Ramanathapuram March 30 . The police today arrested one person and recovered stolen gold ornaments worth Rs. two lakhs from him.

According to the police, a team, during its routine patrol, noticed a man moving in a suspicious manner near the railway crossing on the Keelakkarai-Ramanathapuram road. An interrogation revealed that Sithik (32) of Ooty was involved in lifting gold ornaments from more than 14 places in different parts of the district. Later the police recovered 54 sovereigns of gold ornaments and Rs.80,000 in cash from him.

The police have registered a case and are investigating.

Fine collected

By Our Staff Reporter

DINDIGUL March 30. A special squad of the Tamil Nadu Transport Corporation (Madurai-Division-IVA) Limited collected a fine of Rs.1,411 from 87 ticket less passengers during surprise checks conducted in 1,103 buses in Theni and Dindigul districts on March 26, K. Chandrasekaran, General Manager, said in a release today.

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