MAROONED ON TRACK Over 1,000 passengers marooned for about 17 hours on the Mumbai-Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Express between Badlapur and Vangani in Maharashtra were rescued after a scary night as flood water from the swollen Ulhas river threatened to enter the rakes 1,050 120+ COIMBATORE SUNDAY JULY 28, 2019 `6.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION THE LOCATION Airlifted from a terrace in Badlapur & resort in Shahad THE DELUGE Mahalaxmi Express left Mumbai on Friday night and got stuck near Chamtoli village after leaving Badlapur station BADLAPUR Passengers on Mahalaxmi Express who were rescued 160 mm ULHAS RIVER DARK & DANK Nine of the passengers on Mahalaxmi Express were women, one of whom was in an advanced stage. All of them safely rescued Rainfall in Thane city till 8 am on Saturday With cellphones dead due to drained batteries and train lights out, passengers had a harrowing night 332 mm In Murbad Locals were the first to reach the train in the morning. Rescue agencies came much later Two NDRF teams, naval divers, Air Force and the local police joined forces to provide succour | P7 CHAMTOLI Aerial picture of passengers being rescued from a train in Maharashtra on Saturday | AFP TRAIN STUCK HERE Clock begins to tick for K’taka Speaker PILING DEBT Loans unpaid, staff struggle without salary JD(S) denies reports that it will support the BJP govt EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru HAVING wrested power from the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka, the BJP is now training its guns on Speaker Ramesh Kumar. According to sources, the saffron party is contemplating bringing a no-confidence motion against the Speaker if he does not voluntarily vacate the post. “We will move the no-confidence motion against the Speaker if he himself does not resign,” PTI quoted a senior state BJP leader as saying. The BJP leader wondered how there could be a Speaker from the opposition party “Our . first agenda is to win the confidence motion and get the finance bill passed on Monday. We will wait and see whether the Speaker steps down on his own,” he added. The development comes as the Speaker has been dragging his feet in deciding on the resignation of a group of rebel MLAs, which could swing the fortune for the BJP . K’taka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa praying at Melkote Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple on Saturday | EXPRESS Meanwhile, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda ruled out any support to the BJP government headed by Yediyurappa, saying his party would play the role of a “constructive” opposition. Gowda made the party position clear a day after a section of JD(S) legislators asked former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to extend support to the BJP government. Kumaraswamy also denied having any plan to support the BJP “We will build the party by . serving the people. Our propeople struggle is continuous,” he tweeted. Indira becomes Annapurna The govt has decided to rename the subsidised Indira Canteens to Annapurna Canteens. It also plans to reduce rates and redo the menu, for which Akshaya Patra Foundation may be roped in WITH more than 57,000 members not repaying their loans on time, the State cooperative housing department has not been able to pay salaries for over 1,000 employees for the last several months. The cumulative salary amount pending for 1,014 employees is a whopping `55 crore, and the unpaid loans are worth a mega `2,839 crore. The department has 737 cooperative societies, of which 537 are in loss. Of the lossmaking ones, 45 are currently dormant. This has put the State exchequer under undue stress, as it has to pay salaries to employees in the societies. Interestingly it’s members , of high-income group who owe the most to societies. Of the total outstanding loan amount, members of highincome group owe `951.82 crore, middle-income group owe `880 crore, and low-income group owe `524 crore. The department is now seeking government aid. EXPRESS READ 3 buses gutted at Koyambedu terminus Chennai: Panic gripped commuters at private Omni bus terminus near the busy Koyambedu stretch on Saturday evening when three buses parked at the last platform were destroyed in a fire. A fire officer at the spot said they received information around 4.30 pm that a bus had caught fire at the terminus and immediately the officials swung into action IOA writes to Ministry, wants Commonwealth Games boycott CHENNAI: The IOA formally proposed a move to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Even though a few senior members of the Association have privately voiced it after the Commonwealth Games Federation removed shooting from the Birmingham Games, the notion was put down in writing on Friday | P13 MOB JUSTICE Horrific fallout to elopement? J E V I N S E LW Y N H E N RY @ Dharmapuri THE district police launched a probe into allegations doing the rounds on social media about three women and three men being stripped, tied to a tree and publicly beaten up on Friday night over an inter-caste couple’s elopement in Pennagaram taluk near here. While officials were guarded in their response, reports indicated that the three women were allegedly sexually abused while still tied to a tree. Superintendent of Police P Rajan told TNIE that an inspector was attempting to ascertain the veracity of the social media reports. However, preliminary reports suggested that a family had indeed escaped to Bengalu- ru, and efforts were on to reach out to the family to confirm the reports. However, no case was registered. The incident took place at Pikkampatti village in Pennagaram taluk on Friday night. Tension was high in the village ever since a 23-year-old man from the Backward Class (BC) eloped with a girl belonging to a Most Backward Class (MBC) last month. Day after the incident, the man’s family began receiving death threats from the MBC community. A week later, the family was allegedly ostracised. Fearing for their lives, the family left the village for Bengaluru, where the couple had taken refuge. Meanwhile, a relative of the girl offered a peace deal to the man’s father. Based on the assurances given by the girl’s family the man’s father reached , Pikkampatti on Friday evening. He was accompanied by his wife, sister and three relatives. Upon landing in the village, the six-member party was allegedly surrounded by the people from the community. The mob reportedly hurled abuses and tied them to a tree. Later, the members of the MBC community allegedly stripped and flogged them. According to a villager, the girl’s family members stripped the three women and sexually abused them. The villager added that women from the MBC community also assaulted the six. While the report has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp, a villager, who was a witness to the assault, refused to give testimony fearing a backlash. P4 , The act The mob reportedly hurled abuses and tied them to a tree. Later, the members of the MBC community stripped and flogged them. A villager said the girl’s family members stripped the three women and sexually abused them. The villager said women also assaulted the six Rahul’s drought package tests farm-positive in Bundelkhand M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi A decade after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi nudged the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to offer a special package for the drought-hit Bundelkhand region that comprises parts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, a report commissioned by NITI Aayog found changes for the better, with crop production doubling and access to sources of irrigation and drinking water increasing. The maximum impact on income wasn’t on account of irrigation facilities, but distribution of improved Murrah Buffalo, helping beneficiaries earn as much as `10,000 annually . “Interventions related to livelihood support were found to be more impactful in generating additional income for farmers. Only a meagre amount has been spent by both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on livelihood support activities. But the per capita impact has been much higher as compared to other interventions,” said the report prepared by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). With beneficiaries who received improved Murrah Buffalo for natural breeding services charging in the range of `100-500 for each service, almost 56 per cent of them reported additional income of `5,000-10,000 annually, besides about 15 per cent earning more than `10,000. The UPA government had unveiled the special package of `7,466 crore for Bundelkhand in 2009-10. Afterwards, the government had made an additional allocation of `4,400 crore in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17). CONTINUED ON: P7 WITH THIS ISSUE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY PLUS 12 PAGES PRESS INTAKE Journey of water: Tracing Cauvery’s trail to Chennai from Karnataka | P2 Corpn to be sued by Dalit rights outfit | P3 India got 4 US-made Apache helicopters on Saturday. 18 more are on the way | P9
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