QChennai: ‘Cash for Votes’ Ahead of Panchayat Polls & More

1. Ahead of Polls, Panchayat Posts ‘Sold Off’ for Rs 65 Lakh, Collector Orders Probe

Reportedly, the villagers agreed to give their former president and vice-president another term in exchange for Rs 65 lakh for the renovation of a local temple.

With rural body elections in Tamil Nadu to be held in less than three weeks, a purported video of villagers “selling off” the president and vice president posts in their panchayat has created a storm in the state.

Reportedly, the villagers agreed to give their former president and vice-president another term in exchange for Rs 65 lakh for the renovation of a local temple.

The bizarre incident allegedly took place in Nadukuppam panchayat in Panruti union in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. For the president post, the villagers had kept a base price of Rs 50 lakh and for the vice-president, it was Rs 15 lakh.

The Dravidian functionaries agreed to the villagers’ demand to pay the bid amount before December 15, and in return, the villagers promised they wouldn’t file any other nomination for the posts.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Actor Siddharth Slams Tamil Nadu CM for Supporting CAB

2. Chennai NGO Says Tuticorin Air Quality Seen Significant Improvement Since Sterlite Plant Shut Down

The NGO has said that the data collected by Central Pollution Control Board’s National Air Monitoring Program reveals that Tuticorin’s air quality has improved significantly since the time Sterlite plant was shuttered in April 2018.

An NGO in Chennai called the Chennai Solidarity Group has release a statement stating that the air quality in Tuticorin has improved after the closure of the Sterlite plant in Tuticorin.

The NGO has arrived at the conclusion based on data collected by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board from three stations near the Sterlite plant. The statement also said, "Vedanta Ltd is circulating RTI information claiming air quality in Tuticorin has not changed even after the closure of Sterlite's copper smelter. This claim is false and not borne out by official monitoring data."

(Source: India Today)

Also Read: One Year On, Kin of Anti-Sterlite Protest Victims Await Justice

3. Miraculous Escape for Baby That Fell from 5th Floor

An eight-month old baby had a miraculous escape after she slipped off the fifth-floor balcony of her grandmother’s house in Sowcarpet. Sources say she landed on a scooter before hitting the ground. She sustained a fracture on her left leg and injuries to her neck in the fall from a height of about 30 feet. She is undergoing treatment at a private hospital.

The incident happened on Monday at around 10:30 am, when the baby – Jiniesha – was playing in her grandmother’s house while her mother and her two aunts were busy in the kitchen preparing lunch.

“Jiniesha, crawled up to one of the bedroom, where the balcony door had been left open. She crawled up to the balcony and slipped off it,” said a relative of the victim.

(Source: The New Indian Express)

4. Effort to Smuggle Shark Fins Foiled

Customs Air Intelligence officials foiled a bid to smuggle eight kg of shark fins, that come under  CITES listed species, at Chennai airport from a Singapore-bound passenger. Acting on a tip off that that some wildlife or a marine product is likely to be smuggled to Singapore, a special alert and vigil was maintained and AIU  officers at the departure terminal noticed a male passenger moving in a suspicious manner with a carton in the departure area.

The passenger, who was identified as Basheer Ahamed (31), was bound for Singapore by an IndiGo flight. On opening the carton, one white HDPE gunny bag was found inside where in eight kg of suspected wild life product similar to shark fins were found.

(Source: The New Indian Express)

5. Two Injured in Explosion in Hanumanthapuram

Two persons, including an 80-year-old woman, were injured in an explosion near Hanumanthapuram on Tuesday. The police suspect that a shell collected from the bushes near a firing range could have exploded. Ramakrishan, 45, a farmer from Hanumanthapuram, got the explosive from the bushes near the Hanumanthapuram firing range. “Some residents collect them, break them open, and sell the metals in scrap shops,” said a police officer.

It is suspected that Ramakrishan placed the explosive on his moped and was driving home, when the object fell and exploded. He sustained injuries on his legs. “Govindammal, who was standing outside her house also sustained injuries,” said a police officer. The two were rushed to the Chengalpattu Government Hospital.

(Source: The Hindu)

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