REPORT ON PAGES 12, 13 & 14
life in Singapore
Indian politician recalls the years he spent
here as a UN official, the birth of his
children at KK Hospital, playing cricket,
eating vegetarian mee goreng and how
Lee Kuan Yew transformed the country
Making a real difference...
Mr Shashi Tharoor with some
of the refugees at the
Hawkins Road Refugee Camp
in Sembawang during his
stint here in the early 1980s.
T H E H E A R T B E A T O F T H E I N D I A N C O M M U N I T Y
TWO MPs TALK
ABOUT HOW THEY
STARS IN S’PORE
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
Tripura to set up information
AN INDIAN Institute of Information
Technology (IIIT) will be set up in
Tripura to encourage young people to
study job-oriented courses within their
region, the state government said.
The state cabinet has allocated
210,437sq metres of land in
Bodhjungnagar, one of the
north-eastern region’s biggest
industrial zones, 25km north of
The curriculum of the institute will
be offered from the 2018-19 academic
year, temporarily at the National
Institute of Technology, Agartala
Assam turns festive for
ASSAMESE started celebrating
Rongali Bihu on April 14 to mark the
beginning of their New Year and the
end of the harvest season, with
traditional fervour (right).
The first day of the week-long
festival was celebrated as Goru Bihu
across the state, with people taking
their cattle to ponds to give them a
On the second day of the festival,
they wear new clothes and sing and
dance. People visit elders in the family
and seek their blessings. Elders give
them the traditional Assamese towel
known as Gamocha and blessings for
good health and prosperity.
The celebrations are not just for the
week, and cultural programmes are
held across the state throughout the
Government to supply more
AUTOMATED teller machines in
various parts of India are running dry.
On April 16, there were complaints of
a cash shortage in eastern
Maharashtra, Bihar and Gujarat.
The government is ramping up the
minting of Rs500 currency notes by
Department of Economic Affairs
Secretary S.C. Garg said: “In the next
couple of days, we’ll have supply of
about 2,500 crores of Rs500 notes per
day. In a month, the supply would be
about 70,000 to 75,000 crores.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley cited
a “sudden and unusual increase” (in
demand) in some parts of the country,
as the reason behind the crisis.
PM Modi to inaugurate
UNION Minister for Road Transport
and Highways Nitin Gadkari said
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will
inaugurate the Delhi-Dasna portion of
the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on April
The expressway was expected to
ease traffic and air pollution in east
Delhi, Mr Gadkari said.
He also revealed a plan for a
Chambal Expressway, with a link to
the proposed Delhi-Mumbai
A statement by the ministry said the
Delhi-Mumbai Expressway is likely to
benefit states like Madhya Pradesh and
Odisha’s Jagannath temple opens
prayer hall after two years
A LARGE group of devotees visited
the Jagannath temple in Puri, Odisha
to offer prayers after the
administration opened the Jagmohan
(prayer hall) following instructions
from the Orissa High Court.
It is opening up the prayer hall after
almost two years, following repairs
done on the hall and sanctum
Devotees had been demanding that
the prayer hall be opened for the past
year, and the matter was taken to the
Twin storms wreak havoc
in West Bengal
TEN people were killed and rail, road
and air traffic was disrupted in West
Bengal as twin storms accompanied
by heavy rain lashed Kolkata and
other areas on April 17, uprooting
trees, toppling electric poles and
triggering building collapses.
Mobile and Internet services were
hit with the storms snapping overhead
wires and damaging mobile towers.
Four people each were killed in
Kolkata and Howrah districts.
One death was reported from
Bankura and another from Hooghly.
Delhiites may soon get money for
unscheduled power cuts
PEOPLE in Delhi may soon be
compensated for any “unscheduled
power cuts by the private power
distribution companies” lasting longer
than one hour.
An official statement said:
“According to the new policy, power
distribution companies will have to
restore the electricity within one hour,
and failure to do so shall result in a
penalty of Rs50 per hour per
consumer for the first two hours and
Rs100 per hour per consumer after
The compensation will be provided
to consumers in their monthly
Samsung again the most trusted
brand in India
SAMSUNG is the most trusted brand
in India, according to the TRAs Brand
Trust Report 2018.
“Samsung leads the list for the
second year in a row to become India’s
most trusted brand. Sony and LG
follow... as India’s second and third
most trusted brands,” the report said.
Patanjali topped among the fast
moving capital goods companies, and
was 13th in the overall rankings.
Tata rose a position higher and was
ranked fourth among the brands while
Apple slipped one position to fifth.
RBI governer to answer questions
on health of banking sector
THE Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Finance is calling
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor
Urjit Patel to appear before it on May
17 to answer queries on recent bank
frauds, including the Nirav Modi case,
and mounting non-performing assets
among other issues.
According to a report by The
Hindu, the Standing Committee also
took note of a recent statement of the
RBI Governor that the Central bank
had limited powers with regard to
regulating public sector banks.
Tendulkar bowls fans over by
joining them for street cricket
A FEW youngsters were in for a
pleasant surprise on April 17 when
legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar
got down from his car for an
impromptu batting session on the
streets of Mumbai.
A video has gone viral on social
media in which Tendulkar, wearing a
white shirt and black trousers, is seen
playing cricket near a metro
construction site in Bandra.
The video shows the renowned
batsman shaking hands with the
youngsters before taking his stance in
front of a plastic road divider.
He then played a few shots before
taking selfies with them.
More rape, more outrage
HE body of an eight-year-old
girl, who had been raped and
strangled, was found in Etah
district of Uttar Pradesh on April
17— adding to the outrage that is con-
suming India over a series of horrific
The country has witnessed
protests in recent days over the gang-
rape and murder of an eight-year-old
Muslim girl in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the latest case, the child’s body
was found in a field early on April 17,
hours after she went missing from a
wedding in Etah district, reported
Indo-Asian News Service.
Police said Sonu, a drunk youth
found lying beside her, had been de-
tained on suspicion of luring the girl
to the field.
The family of the child has accused
him of strangling her later for fear of
Police in New Delhi also revealed
on April 17 that a mentally chal-
lenged minor girl was raped by a
youth — while two of his friends
filmed the crime — in the capital on
According to the police, the ac-
cused, known as Bunty, a neighbour
of the victim, and his friends were ar-
rested the previous night.
The incident, which happened in
Mangolpur Kalan in west Delhi, was
reported to the police after the family
of the girl, 12, saw the video clip on
The girl’s family later alleged that
Bunty’s family was putting pressure
on them to withdraw the case.
“Bunty is a powerful person and
his other family members have a
strong hold in the area. They are also
pressuring us to leave Mangolpur
Kalan,” the girl’s mother said.
The authorities have been facing
mounting pressure over sexual as-
saults, including the Jammu and Kash-
mir case, Indian media reported.
That killing was in January but out-
rage has mounted as details of the
Police said the girl was drugged
and raped for days by several people,
including a police officer, at a Hindu
temple before being beaten to death.
Eight men have been arrested for
Police said the accused targeted
the girl because they wanted to drive
her nomadic Muslim tribe out of a
Two Jammu and Kashmir state
ministers from Prime Minister Naren-
dra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) resigned after they attended ral-
lies organised to defend the accused.
As India’s rape epidemic gets
worse, critics have pointed fingers at
Mr Modi’s government for not doing
enough to protect women.
In another case, Kuldeep Singh
Sengar, a BJP state legislator from Un-
nao in Uttar Pradesh, has been ac-
cused of raping a teenager.
The incident came to light when
the victim and her family members
tried to commit suicide outside the
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s house
on April 8.
The police later picked up the
woman’s father and he died in police
custody the next day after being
beaten up, allegedly by the legisla-
tor’s aides and police.
When Mr Modi came to office in
2014, he had coined the slogan “save
our daughters, teach our daughters”.
But rapes in the country continue un-
Nearly 40 per cent of India’s rape
victims are children.
And the 40,000 reported rapes in
2016 marked a 60 per cent increase
over the level in 2012 — the year that
a sickening rape and murder of a
23-year-old student in New Delhi
sparked nationwide demonstrations.
Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi
on August 17 said the Jammu and
Kashmir rape incident is a matter of
shame for the country but it should
not be politicised.
“Not a single day goes without re-
ports of rape and child abuse in India.
The body of an eight-year-old should
not be dragged into the battlefield of
politics. We have to wage a war
against rape,” he said.
Shame and anger...
a placard during a
silent protest in
New Delhi and
(right) a young girl
joining protesters in
a candlelight vigil
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