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Man found guilty of killing British
schoolgirl in Goa
A high court in Goa has convicted
one of the two men charged with the
rape and killing of 15-year-old British
teenager Scarlett Keeling in 2008.
The court found Samson D’Souza
guilty of “culpable homicide not
amounting to murder”. It upheld the
acquittal of Placido Carvalho.
A lower court had acquitted both
men in 2016 after a prolonged trial,
but the Central Bureau of
Investigation appealed against the
verdict. D’Souza will be sentenced
today and faces the possibility of
spending decades in prison.
Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown
said it has been “an absolute
nightmare for 11 years”.
Is Bihar Governor a puppet, asks
civil service exam paper
A question in a paper of the main
examination of the Bihar Public
Service Commission (BPSC) has
sparked a controversy, after it sought
to know from the civil service
aspirants if the state Governor was
“merely a puppet”.
The second question in the first part
of the General Studies Paper II, held
last Sunday, asked candidates to
“critically examine the role of the
Governor in state politics, particularly
in the context of Bihar. Is he merely a
Examination controller Amarendra
Kumar said BPSC members or its
senior officials had no idea about the
contents of the paper, but said those
who set the questions would be asked
Vistara flight makes emergency
landing with little fuel left
A Vistara flight from Mumbai to Delhi
with 163 people on board made an
emergency landing in Lucknow on
Monday after it had only a few
minutes of fuel left.
The plane hovered over Delhi for
hours due to poor weather
conditions before it was diverted to
Lucknow by air traffic controllers.
The pilot, who issued a “Mayday”
call, has been grounded by the
Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
The authorities are ascertaining the
facts of the incident.
India establishes first dolphin
The foundation stone of India’s first
dolphin research centre will be laid in
Patna, Bihar, on Oct 5, after an
Mr D.K. Shukla, a senior officer
from Bihar’s Department of
Environment, Forest and Climate
Change, said the setting up of the
National Dolphin Research Centre is
good news for the conservation of the
endangered Gangetic river dolphins.
It will also help in research to save
the endangered mammal.
Bill introduced to end commercial
The Central government is planning to
ban commercial surrogacy in India to
protect the exploitation of women
with the introduction of the Surrogacy
(Regulation) Bill on Monday.
The legislation allows surrogacy
only for married couples who have
been childless for five years and only
close relatives will be permitted to act
as surrogates to infertile couples for
“ethical altruistic” reasons.
The ban closes the door for those
unmarried or divorced to become
parents. Experts felt that those who
can afford will look to the countries
where renting a womb is allowed.
India to make new bid to launch
India will make a new bid to launch a
landmark mission to the moon next
Monday, a week after aborting lift-off
at the last minute because of a fuel
leak, an official from the Indian Space
Research Organisation said.
The launch at the Satish Dhawan
Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra
Pradesh, was halted with only 56
minutes and 24 seconds left.
India is aiming to become just the
fourth nation after Russia, the United
States and China to land a spacecraft
on the moon.
Andhra Pradesh gets first
Five years after Telengana was
bifurcated from it, Andhra Pradesh got
its first full-time governor with the
appointment of Biswa Bhusan
Harichandran on Tuesday. But the
state government is scouting for a
suitable place for his official residence.
Mr Harichandran succeeds
Mr E.S.L. Narasimhan, who was
serving as the governor for a decade.
After Telangana was carved out of
Andhra Pradesh in 2014,
Mr Narasimhan was given charge of
both states. He functioned from the
Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad.
Museum on Indian prime ministers
to come up next year
The Central Public Works Department
plans to complete the establishment of
a new Museum on Prime Ministers of
India in the Teen Murti Bhavan
complex in Delhi by March next year.
An official said the construction of
the museum is underway and the cost
would amount to Rs66 crores.
The iconic Teen Murti Bhavan was
the official residence of Jawaharlal
Nehru, the country’s first prime
Unique scheme feeds poor,
manages waste, builds roads
India’s first garbage cafe has been
launched in Ambikapur,
Under this scheme, the
municipal corporation will provide
food to the poor and homeless
when they collect and donate
Those who fetch 1kg of plastic
waste will be offered a full meal,
while those collecting 500gm will
get a substantial breakfast.
Ambikapur plans to use the
plastic for the construction of roads.
The first such road has been built
in the city by mixing 800,000
plastic bags with plastic granules
Rag-pickers look for recyclable objects in heaps of garbage.
P. Rajagopal surrendering at the Madras High Court.
An Indian restaurant tycoon, known
as the “Thosai King”, died in hospital
yesterday, a week after beginning a
life sentence for the murder of a love
P. Rajagopal, 71, was convicted for
the murder of his love interest’s hus-
band in 2004, but only went to jail
this month when the Supreme Court
rejected his final appeal.
Rajagopal, who turned his Saravana
Bhavan restaurant into a global chain,
died at Chennai’s Vijaya hospital
where he was taken to on Tuesday
with heart problems.
“We failed to revive him and he
passed away this morning due to
cardiac failure,” a hospital official said.
Before beginning his sentence, Ra-
jagopal had pleaded to be allowed to
remain free because of his ill-health.
When he gave himself up on July 9,
he arrived at the Madras High Court
(MHC) in an ambulance with an
oxygen mask strapped to his face.
The MHC on Tuesday allowed Ra-
jagopal to seek treatment at a private
hospital for a range of health issues. A
division bench gave the order on a
petition filed by Rajagopal’s son
R. Saravanan, reported the Hindustan
Hours after Rajagopal surrendered
on July 9, he was admitted to the
prisoner’s ward of Stanley Govern-
ment Medical College Hospital.
According to doctors who were
treating Rajagopal, his health began
deteriorating last Saturday.
“Since Rajagopal has diabetes, hy-
pertension and kidney-related issues,
he is critical now. As his kidneys are
failing, he is admitted into the Inten-
sive Care Unit and is on ventilator
support,” Dr P. Ramesh, Resident
Medical Officer at the Stanley hospi-
tal, had said on Monday.
Mr Saravanan in his petition to the
High Court said that he was not in a
position to attend to his ailing father.
“While our father was taking pre-
scribed drugs for his age-related ail-
ments, the nature of drugs and treat-
ment were changed at Stanley Govern-
ment Hospital,” said Mr Saravanan.
“So, his health has started deterio-
rating since Saturday. He suffered a
cardiac arrest on Saturday.”
He also said that the Stanley hospi-
tal lacks medical facilities which are
essential for his father’s treatment.
“Some of the tests suggested by
doctors are unavailable at Stanley
hospital. In order to improve his
health, we want to treat our father in
a private hospital where he has been
treated in the past.”
Mr Saravanan also said that keep-
ing his father in Stanley hospital was a
violation of rights under Article 21 of
The murder for which Rajagopal
was convicted dates back to 2001.
He wanted to marry his employee
Prince Santhakumar’s wife Jeevajyothi
who would have been his third wife.
However, Ms Jeevajyothi rejected
the restaurant owner’s advances. Ra-
jagopal then ordered Santhakumar’s
A Sessions Court found Rajagopal
guilty and sentenced him to 10 years
jail in 2004.
When Rajagopal appealed against
the judgment, the High Court changed
it to a life-term conviction in 2009.
Though Rajagopal sought relief
from the Supreme Court, it upheld the
High Court order in March.
While he was scheduled to surren-
der on July 7, Rajagopal petitioned
the Supreme Court to give him more
time. However, the court rejected his
plea and directed him to surrender
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‘Thosai King’ dies in hospital
Mr S. Nallamuthu, who is noted for making films on
Indian tigers, attended the Singapore Tiger Week
during which his famous film on the tigress Machli
He revealed that he is now shooting a film on
Maya, a majestic tigress who roams the Tadoba
Andhari National Park in Maharashtra.
According to the filmmaker, the eight-year-old
always presents her bold and beautiful side. But
there is a dark secret she has to endure: She lost two
litters and is now fighting hard to bring up her third
litter – a male and a female – that she produced with
her partner Matkasur.
“Maya’s struggle after her mother departed at a
young age and being an unlucky mother herself
losing two consecutive litters has a lot of emotions,”
said Mr S. Nallamuthu.
“Through my film, I want to bring to life every
second of Maya’s complex behaviour – how she
mated with multiple males to have her cubs and how
she is defending her territory to raise her cubs. She
not only has to worry about Matkasur killing the
cubs, she also has to be on guard that her cubs do
not throw her out when they are grown up.”
The cubs are currently 15 months old and
Mr Nallamuthu, who has been filming Maya since
April last year, believes that he will get the answer to
the tigress’ predicament by December this year. “It
will be an interesting story,” he said. “I have
managed to capture many special moments, espe-
cially Matkasur’s interactions with the family.”
Mr Nallamuthu, a cinematographer who learnt his
craft in Chennai, where he resides, takes pains to
capture tigers in their wild habitats. He spent more
than nine years stalking the legendary Machli at the
Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan.
The result was an extraordinary tale that he
produced in 2016 – of a tigress who lived up to the
ripe old age of 20, defeated her mother to become
queen of the lake territory at Ranthambore, battled a
4.2-metre crocodile and a huge male tiger to protect
her cubs and gave birth to four healthy litters.
“Machli died at my feet,” said Mr Nallamuthu.
“She was given a state ceremonial cremation. My
film is a homage to Machli. She was the most
important tiger to live in our times.”
The film, picked up by National Geographic
channel, won Mr Nallamuthu several national and
international awards. It was dubbed in 37 languages
and screened in 147 countries. It was shown in
Singapore on Monday and drew 110 people, most of
whom left the theatre misty eyed.
“I don’t think there is any documentary film-
maker in the world who follows tigers so closely to
capture their natural moments,” said Mr Nallamuthu,
who has been filming tigers for the past 15 years.
“Most of them track tigers for a few months and
then come up with their films.
“Mine is a single-man operation. I spend about
Rs35,000 ($700) a day from my own pocket for
licences and filming. In all, I spend about Rs2 crore
($400,000) to a do a film.
“I’m the cameraman, script writer and story
teller. I film from a jeep and my wife (Mrs Anvita
Adeshra) helps me with research and post-produc-
The tiger is the protagonist in the six of his films –
Tiger Queen, Tiger Dynasty, Life Force, Tiger’s
Revenge, The World’s Most Famous Tiger and Clash
of Tigers. Human beings don’t take centre stage –
they do only voice-overs.
“I’m not into conservation,” said Mr Nallamuthu.
“I’m not good at putting up charts and mentioning
figures and talking about the dwindling tiger num-
bers. My aim is to ignite common people’s minds
through my films and sensitise them to save tigers.”
Mr Nallamuthu, who initially worked as a camera-
man for the Press Information Bureau and Indian
Space Research Organisation, switched to filming
tigers because he preferred to work independently.
“I learnt all about filming a rocket from its
assembling to eventual launch,” he said. “I apply the
same principles while shooting tigers.
“I chose tigers because they are charismatic and
are found largely in India. They are sources of grand
tales and I can connect emotionally with them.”
V.K. Santosh Kumar
V.K. SANTOSH KUMAR
Indian and Nepali expertise with Singa-
pore help working to lift the lot of
tigers in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thai-
That was the goal of Singapore Tiger
Week, which commenced with a recep-
tion for delegates and guests at India
House, the residence of the Indian
High Commissioner, on July 12.
The organisers, Ravishing India Holi-
days (RIH) and Singapore Wildcat
Action Group (SWAG), with support
from the High Commission of India,
specifically wanted to raise awareness
of tiger conservation among citizens
and residents of Singapore, while serv-
ing a long-term goal of safeguarding
the lives and habitats of tigers in the
Throughout the week, experts from
India, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia and
Thailand shared with the public key
aspects of tiger conservation. A num-
ber of awareness-building activities
were also held for audiences and
participants of all age groups.
“The existence of tigers is threat-
ened,” said Dr Felicia Tan, director,
RIH, which organises tiger safaris in
India. “They are critically endangered
in South-east Asia. Their fate lies in
our hands – humans are both the
prime threat (due to poaching, habitat
encroachment and conflicts with tigers
at corridors) as well as their only
protector. It is important that tigers do
not become extinct as this will be a big
loss to the ecosystem as well as
Dr Raghu Chundawat, a conserva-
tion biologist from India, told a discus-
sion at the Botanic Gardens on Satur-
day that the number of tigers across
India have gone up from around 1,400
in 2008 to about 2,200 currently.
“But conservation in non-protected
areas has to happen,” he said. “The
government spends money in pro-
tected areas but not in non-protected
areas. That is where money is most
needed and support from rich coun-
tries like Singapore is welcome.”
Dr Krishna Prasad Archarya, a
wildlife conservationist currently work-
ing as a joint secretary in Nepal’s
Ministry of Forests and Environment,
said there were 109 tigers in his
country in 2000. The number grew to
235 in 2018 because of the conserva-
tion efforts undertaken by the govern-
ment and non-governmental organisa-
“The upward trend is because of
programmes involving community par-
ticipation in tiger conservation,” he
said. “The revenue gained from tiger
safaris and national park entrance fees
are shared with the locals. However,
much more needs to be done in terms
of stopping people from encroaching
into tiger reserves.”
The situation, however, is stark in
Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand,
where poaching and loss of natural
habitats have led to tiger numbers
dwindling in the last decade. There are
only about 200 tigers left in Malaysia,
600 in Indonesia and 190 in Thailand.
Mr Suzalinur Manja Bidin, a senior
programme officer with the Malaysian
Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MY-
CAT) said that tribal communities
claiming land for farming, poaching by
international hunters and mining in
forest areas are the major problems.
He suggested that MYCAT needed
more help to stop people from going
into forests and that is where more
Singaporeans can step in.
“Not many in Singapore know the
plight of the Malayan tiger,” said
Ms Vilma D’Rozario, director, SWAG.
“Malaysia needs funds for protection
and people to stop poachers.”
Once a month, SWAG arranges
CATwalks to the Sungai Yu Tiger
Corridor in Pahang to help MYCAT
patrol the area and look for snares and
traps. Wildlife Reserves Singapore too
has been supporting MYCAT’s tiger
conservation efforts, according to its
assistant director (conservation and
research), Roopali Raghavan.
“Our presence deters poachers, but
more needs to be done, otherwise the
Malayan tiger will become extinct
soon,” said Ms Carmen Pang, director,
The Malayan tigers were native to
Singapore too. They used to inhabit
the island till the early 1900s. But
their numbers gradually declined due
to hunting and urbanisation.
Singapore’s last tiger was shot and
killed by hunters in Choa Chu Kang
on Oct 26, 1930.
“I want to save tigers like I try to
save human beings,” said Mr Richard
Tan, president of the Singapore Life
Saving Society. “I think Singaporeans
should do their part in saving tigers
because we are all part of the same
family. We should treat them the same
way we are treated.”
Dr Ghazala Shahabuddin, an ecolo-
gist and author researching commu-
nity-based conservation, ornithology,
land use change and protected area
management in India, said that India is
a leader in wildlife conservation, but
Singapore has the financial resources
and scientific capacity to help tiger
conservation in south-east Asia.
“India is two steps ahead of other
countries when it comes to tiger conser-
vation,” she said. “But it does not have
the resources to expand its services to
South-east Asia. Singapore can be the
hub for this as there are a lot of people
here who are interested in tigers. This
can be seen by the big numbers who
go on tiger safaris in India.”
Dr Tan said she was happy with the
response to the Singapore Tiger week,
which attracted nearly 1,000 partici-
pants over the first five days.
“We are very pleased with the
response and plan to do a larger scale
event next year,” she said. “We will
continue to have regular events in
Singapore – educational talks, work-
shops and overseas safari visits for
individuals as well as schools.
SWAG is planning a fund-raising
gala dinner in September. It will also
produce two children’s books on wild-
Rare Indian tiger tales
Machli (in front) with her cubs; Mr S. Nallamuthu.
Singapore hub for tiger conservation
(Top) Experts, delegates and officials who took part in the Singapore Tiger Week; an official
with a three-year-old tiger that was shot dead by a poacher in Kampung Ulu Damaq in Sungai
Bayor, Malaysia, in June 2010 (above).
Sun, 28 Jul 2019, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm | PGP Hall, 397 Serangoon
Road, S-218123 | Lunch provided | Free admission | Please
register for logistics | Registration and details @ www.
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ation (SNIHA) in association with various Indian organizations and temples of Singapore | All talks and proceedings in
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& Gita Youth Forum 2019
Feverish and overwhelmed with
life's continuous onslaughts? How
about taking a Chill Pill? A "
"? Distilled doses from the
Bhagavad Gita that are sure to
help us break up with stress, and
decode a few useful life hacks !
An interactive Youth Forum
with Swamini Supriyananda of
Chinmaya Mission, Hong Kong.
27 Jul 2019, 2 pm - 5 pm |
Please register at
Contact: 90611670 |
Age group: 15 - 25 years.
Gita’s Chill Pill
Renowned authorities speak on the role and relevance of “
the Song Celestial), for today’s world.
Talks and Q&A on:
“Experience a world of difference”
Supriyananda (Hong Kong)
“The Gita is relevant for everyone: Unifying themes
in the Gita”
by Scott Teitsworth (USA)
Children’s Art Competition @ PGP Hall ground floor | 28 Jul 2019,
10.00 am | Topic: “
Krishna”| Registration and
details at: www.gitajayanti.org.sg/art
July 19, 2019
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