chennai l monday l april 25, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION Protesters surround Rajapaksa’s residence Thousands of students gheraoed Mahinda Rajapaksa’s official residence on Sunday demanding that he resign as PM youth try to storm the compound Rajapaksas rebuff calls to step down Protests have taken a more belligerent turn after Mahinda on Saturday dismissed calls to form an interim government. Sunday’s protest saw several dozen members of the Inter-University Students’ Federation scale the fence of Rajapaksa’s compound in Colombo. Some of them defaced the compound’s boundary walls with graffiti reading “Go home, Rajapaksa!” ■ ■ Rajapaksa was not at the premises when protesters tried to break in. The crowd eventually left peacefully, the police said Protests reached its 16th day on Sunday. Despite being dumped by several allies, the Rajapaksa brothers have refused to step down over the unprecedented economic crisis roiling the country April 9 from when the Protesters have camped outside Prez’s residence CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Eyewitnesses say train was moving slowly Eyewitnesses confirmed the train was moving very slowly when the mishap occurred and noted that fortunately the platform had not been very crowded at the time. “During weekdays, a lot of passengers stand near the IRCTC’s water-vending shop. Luckily, there were no passengers near the shop today when the accident occurred,” an employee of the shop told TNIE. On weekends, the line sees only 30-40% of the average weekday daily traffic of 5.2 lakh commuters. Meanwhile, officials said no trains were cancelled. express read TRS deal with I-PAC after PK, KCR hold talks Hyderabad: The ruling TRS in Telangana on Sunday announced a deal with I-PAC after election strategist Prashant Kishor held two days of talks with Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao here over the weekend. According to sources, Kishor submitted details of the surveys done by his team in Telangana. Speaking to reporters, the state’s IT Minister K T Rama Rao confirmed his party will utilise the services of I-PAC. How that will impact the entry of Kishor into the Congress remains to be seen | P5 Emmanuel Macron wins second term as French president Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday won the presidential elections with his far-right rival Marine Le Pen conceding defeat. Centrist Macron was set to win 57.0-58.5 per cent of the votes compared with Le Pen’s 41.543.0 per cent. Macron becomes the first French president to win re-election since 2002. He is expected to use his second term to implement his vision of more pro-business reform and tighter EU integration. Though Le Pen lost, it’s for the first time a far-right leader will gain over 40% votes in France | P9 Ashish Mishra surrenders in Lakhimpur court Lakhimpur: Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish on Sunday surrendered at a local court here in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that left eight persons dead. “Ashish has surrendered in the court. The Supreme Court had last week cancelled his bail and directed him to surrender. We were given a week’s time but as Monday was the last day, he surrendered a day ahead,” Ashish’s counsel Awadesh Singh said. Jail Superintendent PP Singh said Ashish will be housed in a separate barrack in the jail | P8 A view of the derailed train at Chennai Beach station | DEBADATTA MALLICK local train crashes into platform B A n b u s e lva n @ Chennai A 12-car suburban train went off the rails and crashed into the buffer at the dead-end of platform one at the Chennai Beach station on Sunday. No one was injured as the train had no passengers on board and few people were on the platform when the mishap occurred. Only an IRCTC watervending shop was damaged. According to government railway police (GRP), the accident was a result of brake failure caused by power disruption on the train. The crash occurred around 4.25 pm when loco pilot shunter Shanker was driving the train from the stabling line into platform one. The train was scheduled to leave to Chengalpattu at 4.35 pm. As the slow-moving train neared the Buildings razed, school kids swelter outdoors Government school children in Athiyur village attend lessons under tarpaulin sheets despite the scorching heat in Vellore | Express Va i t h e e swa r a n b @ Vellore/Tirupathur FOR the past two months, the 167 students of the Government Middle School in Athiyur village have braved the mounting heat to attend lessons from beneath trees and tarpaulin sheets after three buildings housing their classrooms were razed citing safety concerns. However, when the drive to demolish unsafe school buildings was undertaken by the school education department last year, parents and students were assured that classes would be conducted in rented facilities till new buildings came up. This is not the case at the Athiyur school located near Anaicut in Vellore district. On a weekday TNIE found some students attending , lessons sheltered by a tarpaulin sheet which, as the mercury rose, felt like a hot stove even as the students, drenched in sweat, valiantly fanned themselves with their notebooks. “The sheets absorb the heat, making it impossible for us to sit there,” one student said, as the notorious Vellore summer temperature crossed 101 degree Fahrenheit. Other children were seen seated beneath trees, while a few attended classes in the sole building standing: the headmaster’s room. “The temperature soars in the afternoon and it has become really difficult for the children,” said G Vel Murugan, a parent and member of the Parent-Teacher Association. “We’re trying to get donations to construct a building.” Gurumalai hill panchayat president Annamalai said efforts to shift classes to a common utility hall or a private building failed as the school is located in a remote area. P5 THE Punjab Police on Sunday arrested Charanjit Singh alias Patialavi, who had been evading the police for the past 12 years and is wanted in connection with a 2007 blast in Ludhiana, which killed seven people and injured 40. Patialavi, who is an active member of Babbar Khalsa International, a terror outfit, was nabbed from a village near Mohali by the Anti-Gangster Task Force of the Punjab Police. He was using different identities and hideouts to evade the po- lice. He had disguised himself as a granthi and was staying in a gurdwara at Kharagpur in West Bengal, the police said. He had come to Lali, a village in Mohali’s Dera Bassi, a few days ago for personal reasons, they added. After getting reliable inputs on his presence in the village, an Anti-Gangster Task Force team went to Dera Bassi and arrested him. Police had registered a case against him on July 23, 2010 under various sections of the Explosive Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act over the Ludhiana blast. NATIONWIDE apr 23 apr 24 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,527 1,656 33 2,593 1,755 44 tamil nadu apr 23 apr 24 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 53 29 0 disconnection of power in the loco cabin,” said A Elango, Superintendent of Police, GRP Chennai division, referring to the shunter’s statement. “No train was cancelled due to the incident. Inquiry at appropriate level will be conducted to assess the cause. Restoration work on platform one in Beach station is underway,” said A Elumalai, PRO, Chennai division, Southern Railway P5 . India a geocultural country based on culture with no boundaries: Shah Puducherry: Culture is the common thread binding the people of the country across different regions, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday. Speaking at the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Aurobindo at Pondicherry University, Shah claimed that once India is seen as a “geocultural” country, all problems will be solved automatically. “From Kashmir to Kanniyakumari, from Dwaraka to Bengal, there is one culture that binds — the Constitution is important... the country should run on this. But if there is a bonding, it is the culture. The culture is its soul. This will be understood as soon as you read Sri Aurobindo,” he said. “There is one country in the world that is geocultural, that is based on culture which has no boundaries and that is our India,” the minister claimed. CONTINUED ON: P4 Ludhiana blast suspect on the run for 12 yrs arrested H a r p r e e t Ba j wa @ Chandigarh dead-end of the platfor m, Shanker suddenly lost control of the train and it ran more than 5m past the buffer and crashed into the platform. As a result, the motor coach (first coach) climbed onto the platform and the trailer coach rammed the platform’s wall. Shanker jumped off the train and escaped without injuries. “Initial inquiry indicates brake failure occurred due to 52 28 0 Modi outreach to J&K’s youth with pitch on growth F aya z W a n i @ Srinagar Completely sidestepping hot-button issues like militancy infiltration and Pakistan in , his first public address in J&K ever since Article 370 was hollowed out, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday focused on investment, development and democracy, and sought to reach out to Kashmir’s youth. He also flagged off projects worth `20,000 crore. “Developmental works in J&K are going on at full speed. They will provide jobs to the youth,” Modi said while addressing about 30,000 panchayat members and thousands of men and women in Palli panchayat in Samba district to mark Panchayati Raj Diwas. Modi said the panchayati raj system was earlier implemented across the country except in J&K. “Over 30,000 panchayat members have now been elected in J&K and for the first time the three-tier panchayat system is functioning in J&K.” As many as 175 central laws have been implemented in J&K, he said. “Valmiki samaj has been freed from the fetters put on their feet for decades. Today sons and daughters of every community are able to fulfil their dreams. Those who did not get the benefit of reservation in J&K for years, are in the quota ambit now,” he added. In his outreach to the youth, Modi said: “I want to tell the youth of Kashmir they will not face the difficulties their parents and grandparents did in the past. I will make it happen and I have come here to make you believe it.” The PM said many private in- New projects PM opens 8.45 km all-weather Banihal-Qazigund Road tunnel built at a cost of over `3,100 crore. It will reduce Srinagar-Jammu journey time by one-and-a-half hours Inaugurates 500 KW solar power plant at Palli, which will make it country’s first panchayat to become carbon neutral Lays foundation stone of three road packages of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway being built at a cost of more than `7,500 crore Foundation stones laid for 850 MW Ratle and 540 MW Kwar hydroelectric projects on Chenab river vestors are interested in making commitments in J&K. “In 70 years, J&K had received `17,000 crore private investment but in the last two years, the figure has touched `38,000 crore,” he said, adding all tourist spots in the Valley are booked till June-July . “I met UAE-based businessmen today and they were excited over investments in J&K,” he pointed out. Top UAE businessmen had arrived in J&K a day earlier and interacted with Modi on Sunday. Referring to how paper pushing has been expedited, he said it used to take 2-3 weeks for a file from Delhi to reach J&K earlier. “Now look at the 500 KW solar power plant in Palli village. It was installed in a record three weeks and now all houses in the village have electricity This change will take . J&K to new heights,” he said.
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