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Pondy CM greets Abdul Kalam

Pondicherry

July 18 2002

Pondicherry C M N Rangasamy today congratulated A P J Abdul Kalam on his being elected as the President.

Conveying the best wishes on behalf of the people of the union territory and himself to the President-elect, the Chief Minister referred to Kalamís contribution to the world of science.

Pondy and Karaikal private buses plan strike

Pondicherry

July 18 2002

Private bus operators in Pondicherry and Karaikal would observe a 24 hour strike from midnight of July 31 to protest against the unreasonable reduction in fare by the administration.

A spokesman of the association in a statement said the administration had cut the fare per kilometre by five paise.

The association has already presented a petition to the govt on this, he said.

Rameswaram celebrates Abdul Kalam victory

Rameswaram

July 18 2002

People of this island, where the countryís President-elect, Abdul Kalam, was born, celebrated his victory by distributing sweets.

Kalamís elder brother, A P J Muthumeeran, said a special prayer would be held for the welfare of the President-elect and the nation in a local mosque.

Kalamís friends and relatives in his old school and the street where the Kalams live, expressed their happiness and greeted each other and offered prayers as soon as the announcement came over radio and Television

Huge haul in Income Tax raids at 3 actors' houses

Chennai (Madras)

July 18 2002

Incriminating documents, documentary evidence showing investments in city and other valuables were alleged to have been seized in simultaneous income tax raids conducted at residences and official premises of three film stars.

``We are assessing the total value of the seizure effected from the searches, made following specific intelligence'', informed sources in the IT dept told here today. The searches, which began at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and lasted till midnight, were made not only in the known residences of Ajith at Tiruvanmiyur but also in the houses of two other well known actors...Jayaram and Prasanth.

The sources confirmed that the value of the seizure has been huge, but did not quantify it.

A special team has been formed by the IT (Investigation) wing to corroborate the seizure details.

Robbers were real police at CHENNAI

Chennai

July 18 2002

Four police personnel have been identified as the culprits in a day-light heist in which a gold merchant from Coimbatore was duped of Rs 4.5 lakh at a city hotel premises on 9 July 2002 by a group, which was earlier suspected to be fake policemen driving a jeep with ' police ' stickers and carrying handcuffs. Expressing regret over the fact that policemen were involved in crimes, City Police Commissioner K Vijay Kumar told newspersons that his dept would leave no stone unturned in bringing them to book.

The Commissioner had more reason to feel sad for two other policemen, a traffic sub-inspector and a constable, were caught red handed by the Dept of Vigilance and Anti-corruption yesterday while accepting a bribe from a lorry driver and three other police personnel were recently arrested for robbing some shady businessmen of Rs 40 lakh posing as income tax sleuths in a flat at Egmore.

Investigations into the case relating to the robbery of the gold merchant have revealed that the robbery was committed by the sub-inspector attached to the Pervallur crime section and three constables, who had used a police jeep and carried handcuffs from the station.

Dressed in safari suits, the policemen had accosted a couple of employees of the gold merchant and a few other men with whom a commercial transaction was made as they were proceeding to the car park with the cash bag.

Pouncing on the men, the police personnel had snatched the cash bag and taken all of them, but for the gold merchant and two of his three employees, in the jeep asking the merchant to contact the Triplicane police station to get back their cash.

On going to the police station, the merchant realised that he had been taken for a ride as no police party had been sent for any such raids from that station or any other station. The gold merchant had come to Chennai and made the transaction for buying gold on the insistance of one his employees, hailing from the city, who joined his establishment in Coimbatore recently.

The employee from Chennai had arranged for the business meeting and was also taken away in the jeep by the raiding police party, which made it clear that he was the main conspirator. But it was first believed that the men who came posing as policemen were some gangsters.

L Ganesan meets Vaiko at prison

Chennai

July 18 2002

BJP secretary L Ganesan today called on MDMK chief Vaiko at the Vellore prison, where he has been lodged after his arrest under POTA for making a speech supporting the banned LTTE at Thirumangalam.

Ganesan ' s visit to the jail assumes significance in the context of the BJP ' s inability to help its trusted ally when the State govt invoked POTA against him.