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NIA raids against ISIS across TN, Kerala, Karnataka in blast cases

In a major crackdown against ISIS sympathizers, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) early Wednesday morning started raids at multiple locations across Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu in two separate blast cases under investigation, sources said.

According to sources in the elite anti-terror probe agency, the searches are being conducted in connection with last year’s blasts in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore and Karnataka’s Mangaluru which occurred on October 23, 2022, and November 19, 2022, respectively.

Sources said that nearly five dozen locations across the three states were raided simultaneously, including those Kodungaiyur in Tamil Nadu and Mannadi in Kerala. The NIA began a probe on October 27 last year in a bomb blast in a car laden with explosives in front of Kottai Eswaran Temple of Coimbatore district in Tamil Nadu on October 23, last year.

Eleven accused persons were arrested earlier by the anti-terror agency in the case in which Tamil Nadu Police initially registered a complaint on October 23 last year.

The deceased accused, Jamesha Mubeen, after swearing bayath (allegiance) to ISIS was planning to carry out a suicide attack and cause extensive damage to the Temple Complex with the intention to strike terror in the community, said the NIA in a statement. “Investigations have revealed that the accused persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy in the interior of forested regions of Asanoor and Kadambur areas of Sathyamangalam forest, Erode district, in February, 2022,” the NIA stated.

“The meetings were led by previously arrested accused Umar Farook and participated by deceased accused Jamesha Mubeen, Mohammed Azharudin, Sheikh Hidayatullah and Sanofar Ali, where they conspired to prepare for and execute terror acts,” it added.

In December last year, the NIA took over the investigation into the November 19 pressure cooker blast in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru wherein a passenger, identified as Mohammed Shariq, was carrying a pressure cooker bomb made from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

The auto-rickshaw exploded leading to injuries to the passenger, Mohammed Shariq, who was carrying a pressure cooker turned into an IED, and the auto-rickshaw driver Purushottam Poojari.

The cooker bomb was designed to carry out a large-scale attack to fuel communal tensions in the coastal region and in the state, the agency said. Shariq was en-route to a pre-decided location for carrying out the blast when the explosion took place.

The NIA started its investigation under the provision of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the investigating officers then questioned the main accused Shariq, as the state police found his links with the Islamic State (IS) during its investigation. It also learned that he had radicalized his schoolmates, Syed Yasin and Muneer Ahmed, and introduced them to IS as well.

Together, the three of them had experimented and rehearsed the explosion on the banks of the Tunga river in the Shivamogga district, sources said, adding that the practice explosion was also reportedly successful. Further, according to sources, the main accused, Shariq, had a handler who was orchestrating and instructing him regarding all these activities.

Breaking News India National Politics Politics States Tamil Nadu Tamilnadu

DMK MP T R Baalu writes letter to party MPs aiming to remove TN Governor

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and Lok Sabha MP representing Sriperumbudur constituency near Chennai T R Baalu on Tuesday wrote a letter to ‘all the like-minded MPs’ urging them to back a proposal seeking removal of the Tamil Nadu governor R N Ravi. “The proposal is to be addressed to President Droupadi Murmu following the gathering of MPs at the Anna Arivalaiyam headquarters and signing of MPs,” the letter stated.

“Members of Parliament belonging to DMK and like-minded political parties are requested to kindly visit Anna Arivalaiyam Headquarters to read and sign in a memorandum addressed to the Hon’ble President of India, pertaining to the immediate withdrawal of the Governor of Tamil Nadu.

People of Tamil Nadu had witnessed clashes between the DMK party leaders and Tamil Nadu governor R N Ravi earlier too. In April, DMK Party leaders registered protests against Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi for not sending the NEET Exemption Bill to the President after being passed twice in the state Assembly. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and its allies boycotted a get-together party called by the Governor on the occasion of Tamil New Year day.

Earlier, RN Ravi expressed serious concern over the delay of four days in handing over the Coimbatore blast case to NIA and the possible destruction of crucial evidence in a high-profile terror plot.

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Madurai High court canceled Vanniyar’s 10.5% reservation

Tamil Nadu Government on 26th February passed the bill for a 10.5 percent internal quota for Vanniyar Community in the Most Backward Class category. Edappadi Palaniswami, who was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, read a statement in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on February 26 when the election was announced. The statement, “Demands have been received from the Vanniya Kula Chhatriyas for individual reservation in educational institutions and government appointments. Tamil Nadu Backward Commission Chairman We examined the requests made by various communities to provide internal reservations for various sections of the Most Backward, Seer Marabinar.

The judges who passed the order, in this case, today said, “Reservation should be given only after proper caste-wise survey, how can the reservation be given without proper survey?”, This law has been passed in haste considering the assembly elections against the constitution. Does the state government have the authority to enact this?’ The judges also questioned.

Also, ‘Can the reservation be given on the basis of caste? We raised six questions including whether reservation can be granted without proper data. The explanation given by the government is not sufficient. Therefore, the reservation for the Vanniyar community is invalid’.

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Centre will continue to support farmers to promote coconut cultivation

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the Centre will continue to provide all possible assistance to the farmers in the coastal states to promote coconut cultivation in the country. The efforts made in the field of research and development in the last few years have resulted in the development of new technologies in the field of farming and processing and further improved the available technologies.

With the increase in the number of coconut-based industries in the country, new products, and many employment opportunities are also increasing in the market. Tomar was addressing the Coconut Community Farmers’ Conference in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu. He further said that he is happy to be among the coconut farmers, and he congratulated the Coconut Development Board and Sugarcane Breeding Institute for their initiatives toward the prosperity of the coconut growers community. He said that the agriculture sector is the backbone of the country’s economy, so it is the responsibility of the Central and State governments to strengthen it, promote it and ensure profitable farming for the farmers.

The contribution of coconut cultivation to the agricultural economy is very important. India is a leader in coconut cultivation and among the world’s three largest producers. Tamil Nadu contributes 21 percent of the area under coconut in the country and 26 percent of the production. Tamil Nadu ranks first in coconut processing activities and Coimbatore is first in terms of area under coconut cultivation, with an area of ​​88,467 hectares under coconut cultivation. Shri Tomar said that the farmers are making significant contributions to the development of the coconut sector and increasing the agricultural economy. Coconut Development Board is forming a three-tier farmer group by integrating small and marginal farmers.

Presently there are 697 Coconut Growers Societies, 73 Coconut Growers Federations, and 19 Coconut Producing Companies in the State. Support has been given to set up 537 new processing units in India with a processing capacity of 3,638 million coconuts per year. This success has been achieved through the Mission Programme implemented by the Coconut Development Board in the country. Out of these, 136 units are from Tamil Nadu, which is creating employment opportunities and also helping improve the financial condition of the farmers.

Tomar said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has taken many steps for the betterment of the agriculture sector in the last 8 years. Through the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan), more than Rs 2 lakh crore has been deposited in the accounts of about 11.50 crore farmers. In lieu of damage to crops due to natural calamities in last 6 years, a claim amount of more than Rs.1.22 lakh crore has been deposited in the accounts of the farmers through the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Earlier, there was a provision of Rs 5,000 crore under the micro irrigation scheme, which has been increased to Rs 10,000 crore.

70 lakh hectare farming area has been brought under micro-irrigation. Under the Kisan Credit Card scheme, earlier crop loans were given to farmers only up to five to six lakh crore rupees only, which has been increased by the Prime Minister to about Rs. 18-and-a-half lakh crores. To improve the infrastructure in each and every village, a provision of Rs. one lakh crore Agri Infra Fund has been made. Farmers, groups of farmers, FPOs, PACS, and Krishi Upaj Mandis all can use this to develop warehouses, cold storage, or infrastructure as per requirement in villages. The government is trying to make farmers grow remunerative crops, setting up processing units through FPOs, for which arrangements for loans and subsidies have also been made.

He added that the schemes of the Central Government are for the prosperity of the farmers and to bring happiness in their lives. He assured that the farmers should submit the projects in collaboration with the State Government, the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Modi is standing with farmers and matching step by step for the development of the farmers.

Events Featured Headlines India National News Politics Politics States Tamilnadu

Tamil Nadu Government Denies permission for RSS Rally

RSS planned to Conduct in Tamil Nadu over 50 places in Tamil Nadu on October 2nd, 2022 Gandhi Jayanthi. Tamil Nadu Police department immediately rejected the permission for the Rally. Tamil Nadu Police Department instructed several norms and rules to follow during the rally and dismissed the plea.

The members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had moved the Madras High Court seeking permission to conduct a procession (Route March) wearing their uniform and led by a musical band on 2nd October 2022 and conduct a public meeting after that.

The bench of Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan directed the authorities to grant permission before the 28th of September. The exact order is awaited on 28th September.

VCK Chief Thirumavalavan invited all other parties for a Social rally on the same day. Major parties joined hands with Thirumavalavan. On the 29th of September, The Tamil Nadu government Canceled all Political gatherings and rallies in Tamil Nadu on 2nd October.

Headlines National News Politics Politics States Tamilnadu

Tamil Nadu Cabinet approves ordinance to ban online gambling in the state

The development comes after the Supreme Court of India issued notice on 10 September on a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government challenging the Madras High Court’s judgment that had struck down the state’s ban on online gambling such as rummy and poker on cyberspace with stakes.

Earlier, The Government of Tamil Nadu had moved the Supreme Court against the Madras High Court’s order that struck down the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act of 2021 that banned the playing of games such as rummy and poker on cyberspace with stakes. However, the HC had said that there was nothing to prevent the State from enacting a new law to regulate these games.

The Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Aniruddha Bose had sought a response from gaming firms such as Junglee Games, Play Games24x7, and the Head Digital Works and industry body All India Gaming Federation on the Tamil Nadu government’s appeal seeking restoration of the ban.

On 10 June 2022 Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu announced that a committee will be formed to analyze the after-effects of Online Gambling games.

On 27 June 2022, A Committee formed led by Retired Chief Justice Chandru.

Committe investigated and received feedbacks from public

On 29 August 2022, Committe submitted proposed law

On 26 September 2022, Tamil Nadu Government passed ordinance

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India’s first Dugong conservation reserve notified in Tamil Nadu

The Government of Tamil Nadu on 3rd September 2021 made an announcement on the floor of the Assembly that in order to protect the endangered Dugong species and its marine habitats in Tamil Nadu, a “Dugong Conservation Reserve” will be established in Palk Bay. Accordingly, the Government had issued orders in G.O.(Ms).No.165, Environment,
Climate Change and Forest (FR.5) Department, dated 21.09.2022 to notify ‘Dugong Conservation Reserve’ in Palk Bay covering the coastal waters of Thanjavur and Pudukkottai Districts with an area of 448 sq. kilometers.

Dugongs are the largest herbivorous marine mammals in the world thriving primarily on seagrass beds, a major carbon sink of the oceans. Conserving dugongs will help to protect and improve seagrass beds and sequester more atmospheric carbon. Seagrass beds are also the breeding and feeding grounds for many commercially valuable fishes and
marine fauna.

Hence, thousands of fisher families directly depend on dugong habitats for their income. The coastal communities along Palk Bay understand the need to conserve dugongs and they have been cooperating with the forest department in the conservation efforts ever since.

Dugongs are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

However, their population is on the decline due to habitat loss. There are only about 240 individuals estimated to be present in the country and the majority are found on the Tamil Nadu coast (Palk Bay). Hence, there is an imminent need to protect Dugongs and their habitat from degradation.

To realize these objectives the Government of Tamil Nadu notified the “Dugong Conservation Reserve” in Palk Bay, after holding extensive consultations with coastal communities, especially with the local fishermen. Notification of a Conservation Reserve will not cause any new restrictions or regulations to the communities, rather it focuses on their participation and cooperation in the conservation efforts.

The notification of India’s first ‘Dugong Conservation Reserve’ in Palk Bay is a proud moment for Tamil Nadu and conservationists across the globe. It is a great milestone in the marine conservation history of the country.

Download Government Dugong Conservation Reserve GO

Education Featured News Politics Politics States Tamilnadu Welfare Schemes

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Breakfast Scheme launched in Madurai

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Thursday inaugurated the free breakfast scheme for the government school students of Classes 1 to 5 at Madurai.

The Chief Minister in his inaugural speech said that in the first phase 1.16 lakh students will be provided free breakfast. Stalin said, “This will be further expanded. No one should think that this is a freebie. It’s the duty of the government to do this.” He said that no poor and underprivileged student should drop out of school for the need of food.

The Tamil Nadu government has chosen September 15 for inaugurating the scheme as this is the birthday of the DMK founder leader and former Chief Minister, Late C.N. Annadurai.

In the first phase, the free breakfast scheme will be implemented in 1,545 schools. The free breakfast includes Pongal, Kichdi, Upma and on Fridays, a sweet will be provided in addition to the regular breakfast which is either rava kesari or semya kesari.

A total of 417 schools located in Municipal corporations, 163 schools in municipalities, 728 schools in village panchayats, and 237 schools in interiors of the state and hilly areas will be covered under the first phase of the scheme. Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme launch in Tamil Nadu Scheme not a freebie, but duty of State to feed its children, says CM Stalin

Chennai Corporation Budget 2022 Breakfast

During the Chennai Corporation Budget Mayor Priya announced Breakfast program which was being implemented in 23 schools in Chennai will be expanded.

History of the scheme

The significant breakfast scheme has been rolled out after 102 years, when P. Theagaraya Chetty, the then President of the Corporation (Mayor) of the Justice Party approved the proposal to provide tiffin to students of a Corporation School at Thousand Lights, Chennai, said Mr. Stalin while tracing the history of providing food to government school students.

The scheme, in due course, was improved upon by former Chief Minister K. Kamaraj who introduced mid-day meals for government primary schools, followed by former Chief Ministers M. G. Ramachandran, M. Karunanidhi, and Jayalalithaa, who extended the program’s coverage to anganwadis, introduced boiled eggs and included variety meals respectively, he said. A book titled ‘Nootrandu Kanda Kalvi Puratchi,’ on the scheme was also released as part of the event.

Akshaya Patra Foundation

In 2020, Former Chief Minister Edapadi Palanisami signed an MoU with Akshaya Patra Foundation to provide a free breakfast for school children. During the inauguration Rs 5 crore was handed by CM Palaniswami and Governor over to Akshaya Patra Foundation, to build a centralized kitchen for providing nutritional breakfast to Corporation school students

The CM further said that the kitchen in Greams Road would be in an area of 20,000 sq ft and cater to 12,000 students while the one in Perambur Barracks Road will be in 35,000 sq ft and cater to 15,000 students. Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam, who was also present on the occasion, said currently nutritional food is being provided to 50 lakh students from 43,283 schools.

Events Featured National News Politics Politics States Tamilnadu

AIADMK former minister SP Velumani booked in Rs 500 crore scam

DVAC Officers say AIADMK’s Velumani had abused his official position causing a loss to the exchequer of Rs 500 crore in replacing street lights with LED lights during 2015-18. Another minister Vijayabaskar has been accused of indulging in irregularities in issuing an ‘Essentiality Certificate’ to Vels Medical College and Hospital.

The Officials of Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) sleuths Monday registered a criminal case against former Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani for his alleged involvement in the allocation of tenders injudiciously to his close associated companies. According to the statement issued by the authorities, Velumani abused his official position causing a loss to the exchequer of Rs 500 crore in replacing the existing street lights with LED lights in rural areas during 2015-18.

The case was filed against Velumani on the allegation that he had abused his official position in awarding tenders injudiciously to his close associated companies causing a loss to the government of approximately Rs 500 crores in replacing the existing street lights with LED lights in rural areas between 2015 and 2018. Along with him, nine more suspects including his associates and the entities who won tenders were also booked in the case.

The suspects of this case violated tender guidelines and allotted tenders mostly to the Benami entities of Velumani. On sample verification of five districts, it is found that they caused a loss of Rs 74 crores to the government. The prima-facto reveals that the cause might have been followed in the other districts to swindle the public money and cause loss to the government. The prima facie material reveals that the suspects and other officials involved in the execution of the scheme and contractors conspired together to obtain wrongful gain from the amount allotted for the scheme said Officials of Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC)  after the Raid in SP Velumani residence

Cases Registered against

Former Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj SP Velumani
Managing Director of KCP Engineers Pvt. Ltd. K Chandraprakash
R Chandrasekar, Director of KCP Engineers Pvt. Ltd., 
D Srinivasan Managing Director of ACE Tech Machinery Components India Pvt at Vadavalli in Coimbatore
D Siddharthan, Director of ACE Tech Machinery Components India Pvt. Ltd.,
KU Rajan Proprietor of CR Construction from Coimbatore
CT Radhakrishnan, Proprietor of Sabari Electricals from Ambattur in Chennai,
R Parasuraman Partner of Murugan Electrical Traders from Chennai,
P Vijayakumar Partner of Orient Poles from Chennai
K Manivarman, Proprietor of RKM Electricals from Chennai.

According to the DVAC, it was found that the Essentiality Certificate was issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department to the Vels and Medical College Hospital for commencing a new medical college with an annual intake of 150 MBBS students.

It was noted that based on the direction of the Directorate of Medical Examination, an inspection team had reached the hospital and verified the infrastructural facilities of the college and the minimum requirements for starting the MBBS course and had submitted its report stating that the Vels Medical College fulfilled the norms of the National Medical Commission to start a new medical college.

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Tamil Nadu Electricity Board TANGEDCO’s new tariff comes into effect

Starting September 10th, 2022 the electricity you consume in the state will be charged higher as the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved the tariff revision proposal of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco). The power tariff would be hiked every year on July 1 from 2023-24 to 2026-27 based on inflation for all the consumer categories.

For consumers under Low Tension Tariff I-A, consuming up to 500 units bi-monthly, the revised energy charges post the first 100 units will be ₹2.25 per unit for 101-200 units, ₹4.50 per unit for 201-400 units, ₹6 per unit for 401-500 units.

Previously, for consumption above 200 units and up to 500 units bi-monthly, the consumer had paid ₹2 per unit for 101-200 units and ₹3 per unit for 201-500 units along with a fixed charge of ₹30 per service.

Based on this, consumers consuming up to 500 units, will see their electricity bill go up nearly 53% to ₹1,725 from the existing ₹1,130.

For domestic consumers consuming above 500 units bi-monthly under the 100 unit scheme, the consumer has to pay as follows:

  • 101-400 units- ₹4.50 per unit
  • 401-500 units- ₹6.00 per unit
  • 501-600 units- ₹8 per unit
  • 601-800 units- ₹9 per unit
  • 801-1000 units- ₹10 per unit
  • Above 1000 units – ₹11 per unit.

Previously for consumption above 500 units bi-monthly,

  • ₹3.50 per unit for 101-200 units.
  • ₹4.60 per unit for 201-500 units.
  • ₹6.60 per unit for above 500 units.
  • A fixed charge of ₹50 per service.

TNERC has also accepted Tangedco’s proposal for a separate tariff category LT Tariff ID for all common utilities – Common lighting, water supply, lift, Sewerage treatment plant, Water treatment plant, Gym, Swimming pool, and Fire hydrant facility. The energy charges will be ₹8 per unit with fixed charges of ₹200 per kilowatt for two months.

The tariffs have also been increased for commercial and other categories of consumers, though the hike in fixed charges has been revised from earlier proposals due to protests from industries.

The new tariff came into effect after the Madurai bench of Madras High Court on September 1 stayed a single bench order, which had restrained the TNERC from passing the final orders on the electricity tariff petitions filed by TANGEDCO / Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation (Transco) / State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC), till a legal member is appointed to the Commission. The new tariff was proposed by TANGEDCO on July 18. It was in 2014 that the electricity tariff was last revised in Tamil Nadu.

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