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Social media personality Preeti and her brother Subhas with
their mother Sellam.
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
MCI (P) 078/03/2019
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Singapore Press Holdings
(English/Malay/Tamil Media group)
V.K. Santosh Kumar
Marketing Team Head
Man kills 10 with cyanide-laced
The Andhra Pradesh police on
Tuesday arrested a serial killer, who
allegedly murdered 10 people in the
last two years by giving them
cyanide-laced “prasadam” (religious
Vellanki Simhadri alias Shiva
resorted to the killings in Krishna, East
Godavari and West Godavari districts
between February last year and
October this year after suffering losses
in a real estate business.
Police investigations revealed that
the man, hailing from Eluru town,
claimed he had supernatural powers
and collected money and gold from
people, before giving them
Pakistan asked to remove
Two days ahead of the
highly-anticipated inauguration of the
cross-border Kartarpur Corridor, India
on Wednesday voiced concerns over
the presence of three Sikh separatist
leaders, including Jarnail Singh
Bhindranwale, in an official
promotional video of the corridor
released by Pakistan and has raised
the matter with Islamabad.
The video shows posters by Sikhs
for Justice group featuring photographs
of Pro-Khalistan leader Bhindranwale
and his military adviser Shabeg Singh,
who were killed during Operation
Blue Star in 1984. Sikhs for Justice is
a banned outfit.
The video was released on Monday,
ahead of the Nov 9 inauguration of
the Kartarpur Corridor, which will
connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine
in Punjab with the Kartarpur shrine in
Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev
spent his final days.
Boeing says India will be
fastest-growing aviation market
India will be the world’s
fastest-growing aviation market over
the next two decades, according to
Boeing, which expects the South Asian
nation will need 2,380 aircraft in that
period at a value of US$330 billion.
The United States manufacturer’s
forecast is slightly higher than the one
it made in December last year, when it
said India would require 2,300 new
aircraft worth US$320 billion over
Buffalo Bheem fetches Rs 14 crore
at Pushkar Fair
A Murrah buffalo, weighing around
1,300kg, has fetched Rs14 crore ($2.7
million) at the Pushkar cattle fair in
Rajasthan’s Ajmer city.
The buffalo, named Bheem and
showcased among 5,000 animals, is
owned by Jodhpur-based Jawaharlal
Jangeed. His son Arvind said the
buffalo regular diet is 1kg ghee,
butter, 25 litres of milk, 1kg cashew
nuts and almond which amounts to a
monthly expense of Rs1.5 lakh.
Minister brings Jallianwala Bagh
soil to national museum
Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel
on Tuesday brought soil from
Jallianwala Bagh in an urn to Delhi to
mark the centenary of the 1919
British colonial era massacre.
The central Tourism Ministry said
the soil will be kept at the National
Museum and serve to inspire youths
and people about the sacrifices made
by India’s freedom fighters.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre took
place in Amritsar during the Baisakhi
festival on April 13, 1919, when the
British Indian Army under the
command of Colonel Reginald Dyer
opened fire at a crowd staging a
leaving over 400 people, including 41
Fresh row over Amaravati
missing from map
With Amaravati missing from India’s
latest map released last week, a fresh
row broke out in Andhra Pradesh over
the future of the state capital.
The map, released by the Central
government in the wake of the
creation of the Union Territories of
Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,
shows all states with their capitals
except Andhra Pradesh.
As it comes amid the continuing
uncertainty over the future of
Amaravati, the opposition Telugu
Desam Party (TDP) launched a fresh
attack on the YSR Congress Party
TDP leaders cited this as proof of
the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led
government dumping Amaravati as the
state capital and deciding to relocate
the capital city to some other location.
Goa village ‘suspends’ tourist
Days after amateur shutterbugs
thought they have lost their
opportunity to capture the scenic
beauty of Goa, the panchayat in North
Goa’s Parra has scrapped a
controversial tax levied on tourists.
Parra is best known for its scenic
road lined with coconut trees, which
has serveed as a backdrop in several
Bollywood films, including the
Shahrukh Khan-starrer Dear Zindagi.
The decision to levy the tax,
ranging from Rs100 to Rs500, had
triggered a controversy in Goa, after
an outraged local resident published a
photo of the panchayat’s signage
announcing the tax and uploaded a
video of tourists being levied the fee
on social media.
Delhi’s air improves to ‘poor’ as
The air quality in New Delhi improved on
Wednesday as schools reopened after the
Indian capital saw its highest levels of toxic
smog in three years.
Delhi’s air quality index (AQI), which
measures the concentration of poisonous
particulate matter, was recorded at 216 in
the “poor” category, according to the
Central Pollution Control Board.
This was a marked improvement from
Sunday when the city recorded its worst air
day since 2016, with an AQI at a “severe”
level of 494, and from Tuesday’s AQI at 324
in the “very poor” category.
The Delhi government declared a public
health emergency last Friday, with schools
told to stay shut until Tuesday and the
elderly warned not to venture outdoors.
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India has deployed thousands of additional security
forces and roped in about 16,000 “digital volun-
teers” to sanitise social media of inflammatory posts
ahead of a crucial Supreme Court verdict on a
disputed religious site.
Hindus and Muslims have for decades been
bitterly divided over the 16th-century Babri mosque
in Ayodhya, a city in the northern Uttar Pradesh
state that Hindus believe is the birthplace of their
Tensions boiled over in 1992 when Hindu zealots
destroyed the mosque, sparking religious violence
that killed 2,000 people.
India’s top court is expected to hand down its
ruling on competing claims to the site’s ownership
before Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi retires on Nov 17.
“Thousands of (additional) security personnel
from different agencies have been deployed in and
around Ayodhya. Additional vehicles, CCTV cam-
eras, body cameras and drones too have been
brought in,” said Ayodhya police senior superinten-
dent Ashish Tiwari.
“The police is also making other efforts to ensure
that things remain calm. We have enlisted around
16,000 digital volunteers from 1,600 villages in the
region to help monitor and flag sensitive content on
the social media.”
The monitors will report what they deem is
inappropriate content to police, who could then try
to track down the posters and demand that they
delete their posts or messages.
Ayodhya – considered one of the holiest Hindu
sites – is visited by religious pilgrims from all over
India throughout the year.
Around one million pilgrims are expected to be
there early next week for a bathing ritual in the
Saryu river that flows in the region.
“We just have to stay alert and sensitive to the
security of the visiting pilgrims,” said Ayodhya
district magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha.
“We are also keeping a very close watch on social
media to ensure there are no rumours or incite-
Authorities clamped down on movement and
assembly of people in the region last month when
the court was concluding its hearing into the dispute.
The district also banned firecrackers and drones,
only allowing them to be used if permission is
The Supreme Court has to decide on the appeals
against a key 2010 verdict by the High Court which
ruled that both groups should split the site, with
Hindus granted the lion’s share.
Many Hindus believe the medieval mosque that
stood there for 460 years was built only after the
destruction of an earlier temple.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata
Party has campaigned on constructing a new temple
on the site of the razed mosque for decades.
Rapid Action Force personnel patrol a street in Ayodhya.
Extra security ahead of Ayodhya verdict
November 8, 2019
“This is your grandpa!”
A toothy grin, a handlebar moustache and lots
of love through food – this is what viewers
remember about “Grandpa Kitchen”.
The 73-year-old, whose actual name was
Narayana Reddy, died on Oct 27. His millions of
followers were informed about his death by a
video posted on his YouTube channel on Oct 30.
The video showed him being laid to rest after
an elaborate funeral procession, his body draped
in flowers and hundreds of people following the
Grandpa cooked dishes for the masses. He
regularly showed millions how to cook with basic
facilities and ingredients.
He cooked delicious meals for children and
also served food to orphans in his community,
reported India Today.
“We entertain people by cooking food and
donate the proceeds to charities. Our goal is to
provide basic necessities like food, clothing,
school supplies and birthday gifts to orphans, his
bio on his YouTube channel reads.
His YouTube channel, which was launched in
August 2017, has garnered more than six million
From giant oreo cakes and puddings to
KFC-style fried chicken, lamb biryani and giant
vegan pizzas, Grandpa cooked them all by sitting
in a field.
He also had a Facebook page with over half a
The story of Mr Chintaharan
Chauhan may seem weird and even
bizarre, but it is true.
Fear of death and superstition
forced this labourer from Hauzkhas
village in Jalalpur, Uttar Pradesh, to
stay dressed as a bride for 30 years.
Mr Chauhan’s is a tale of loss,
despair and helplessness.
Every day over the past 30 years
he has dolled himself up as a bride –
complete with a red sari, huge nose
ring, bangles and “jhumkas” (ethnic
earrings) – to ward off death.
“I have lost 14 members of my
family in the past years and the chain
of deaths stopped only after I started
dressing up as a bride,” he said.
According to Mr Chauhan, 66, he
got married at the age of 14 but his
wife died within a few months.
At 21, he went to work at a brick
kiln in Dinajpur in West Bengal and
was entrusted the job of buying grain
to prepare food for the labourers.
He became friends with the owner
of the shop from which he purchased
Four years later, he married the
daughter of the Bengali shop owner.
But his family objected to the
So, Mr Chauhan quietly left his
Bengali wife and returned home.
The wife could not tolerate this
betrayal and committed suicide.
Mr Chauhan came to know about
this only when he returned to Dina-
jpur a year later.
Back home, his family persuaded
him to marry for a third time and the
decision again brought him misery.
“A few months after my third
marriage, I fell ill and one by one my
family members started dying,” he
“My father Ram Jiyavan, elder
brother Chotau, his wife Indravati,
their two sons and my younger
brother Badau died in quick succes-
sion. Then my brothers’ three daugh-
ters and four sons also died.”
Chauhan said that he would regu-
larly see his Bengali wife in his
dreams. “She would accuse me of
betraying her and would cry loudly.
One day in my dream, I begged for
forgiveness and asked her to spare me
and my family,” he said.
“She asked me to keep her with
me by dressing up as a bride and I
agreed. Since that day, I have been
dressing up as a bride and the deaths
in the family have stopped.”
Mr Chauhan said his health has
also improved and his sons, Ramesh
and Dinesh, are also healthy, though
his third wife passed away a few years
“In the beginning, people laughed
at me, but I have done this to save my
family,” he said. “People now sympa-
thise with me.”
Indo-Asian News Service
Fear of death drives Uttar Pradesh
man to dress up as bride
Grandpa Kitchen dies
“She would accuse
me of betraying
her and would cry
loudly. One day
in my dream,
I begged for
asked her to spare
me and my family.
She asked me to
keep her with me
by dressing up as
a bride and I
agreed. Since that
day, I have been
dressing up as a
bride and the
deaths in the
– Chintaharan Chauhan
on the dream involving
his late wife who
November 8, 2019
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