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DMK token fast at Pondy


July 24 2002

Volunteers of the DMK, the main Opposition party in the Pondicherry Assembly, will observe a token fast at the Orleanpet bus terminal here tomorrow in protest against the removal of M K Stalin from the post of mayor of Chennai Corporation by the Tamil Nadu govt.

R Siva, the MLA representing Orleanpet, will head the fast.

The DMK convener and Leader of the Opposition R V Janakiraman and the party vice-president C P Tirunavukarasu will address the workers.

Fishermen go on fast in Tamil Nadu


July 25 2002

Thousands of fishermen in several coastal areas of Tamil Nadu today observed a six-hour fast as part of their ‘do or die’ agitation in support of their 42 point charter of demands.

The demands included implementation of the Murari Committee recommendations, subsidised fuel to fishermen, formulation of marine fishing regulation in exclusive economic zone, savings-cum-relief scheme for fisherfolk and withdrawal of aquaculture authority bill by the Centre.

Ossie Fernandes, a spokesman of the National Fish Workers Forum, said similar fasts were undertaken in Pondicherry, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari.

Fishermen and women from Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts participated in the fast in the City, Fernandes said.

Celebrations at Abdul Kalam’s hometown


July 25 2002

It was all excitement and rejoicing all over this tiny island when one of its illustrious sons A P J Abdul Kalam took over as the President of India this morning in New Delhi.

The entire island wore a festive look as the young and the old glued to the TVs watched Kalam taking his oath. They greeted each other and distributed sweets in the streets. Among those who shared the joy were the Kalam's relatives, who were in their best attires today.

Special prayers were offered at mosques across the island on the occasion while special poojas were performed at the famous Ramanathaswamy temple and many locals performed special archanas for the well being of the new President.

At the local missionary school, where Kalam had his primary schooling, the children rose up and clapped in unison when the new President was sworn in adding to the excitement all across.

Tamil Nadu...Muthukaruppan denies role in Karunanidhi's arrest


July 25 2002

Former City Police Commissioner, K Muthukaruppan, has said the city police had no direct role in effecting the arrest of former Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi, in June 2001 in connection with the "Flyovers Scam".

Deposing before the Justice K S Bakthavatsalam Commission of Inquiry probing the arrest and violent incidents of August 12, 2001 during a DMK organised protest procession against Karunanidhi's arrest, Muthukaruppan said the city police, at the request of the crime branch-CID, had assisted CB-CID during the arrest.

Referring to the incidents of August 12 in which four persons were killed in police firing and scores of others, including journalists, were injured, Muthukaruppan, currently IG, Armed Reserve Police, said he neither accompanied the procession nor was he present when the incidents took place. He said he had monitored the happenings from his office.

Muthukaruppan said after the incidents some journalists had complained about police behaviour and, except for one, none had lodged formal complaints with the police about damage to equipment or injury.

Meanwhile, N Mathiazhagan, a person affected during the incidents, has filed a petition with the Commission seeking that summons be issued to the Press Council of India to produce an audio cassette containing material given by Muthukaruppan to the Council during an inquiry conducted by it into the incidents.