REPORT ON PAGE 8
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
FEBRUARY 10, 2
MAN GIVES BIRTH
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Popular Singaporean emcee K.P. Sandhu (right) plays the antagonist in
Leopard wounds six in attack
A leopard wounded at least six people
on Wednesday when it strayed into a
courthouse in Ghaziabad, on the
outskirts of New Delhi, police said.
Photos and videos of the incident
circulating on social media show a
group of lawyers helping a man who
appears to be seriously injured, his
clothes soaked in blood.
The leopard was caught and sedated
by a team from the forest department
four hours after it entered the
Four women die in stampede
At least four women died and eight
others were injured in a stampede in
Tamil Nadu on Saturday at a festival
gathering, local police said.
The incident took place in
Tirupathur district, where about 700
people gathered to receive clothes
which were being distributed.
2,000 arrested in child marriage
A total of 2,044 people were arrested
on Friday in Assam after a government
crackdown on illegal child marriages.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa
Sarma said almost one in every eight
women in Assam had to bear children
before turning 18, which was
contributing to high infant and
maternal mortality rates in the state.
Director-General of Police G.P.
Singh said those arrested included 52
priests and legal authorities who had
presided over the marriages. He added
that girls as young as 12 were still
being married off to men in the state
and police had a total of 4,074 cases
Tharoor’s tribute tweet on
Musharraf receives backlash
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on
Sunday said he was “raised in an India
where you are expected to speak
kindly of people when they die”,
countering strong criticism as he
termed former Pakistani President
Pervez Musharraf “foe-turned-real
force for peace” in his condolence
Mr Musharraf died on Sunday at
the American Hospital in Dubai after
a prolonged illness.
“Musharraf was an implacable
enemy and responsible for Kargil (war
with India) but he did work for peace
with India, in his own interest,
2002-2007. He was no friend but he
saw strategic benefit in peace, as did
we,” Mr Tharoor tweeted.
His post brought fierce criticism
from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party,
with Union Minister Rajeev
Chandrasekhar slamming Mr Tharoor
and the Congress for finding peace in
a person who “inflicted terror and
tortured our soldiers in violation of
every International law”.
Man who killed partner ground her
bones in mixer, say cops
Aaftab Poonawala used a stone grinder
on the bones of live-in partner
Shraddha Walkar and disposed of the
powder. Her head was one of the last
pieces he threw away after three
months, the Delhi Police have claimed.
The 6,600-page charge sheet of
Delhi’s notorious fridge murder lists a
series of gruesome details. Among
other things, it also mentions that on
May 18, Poonwala ate a chicken roll
after killing Ms Walkar.
First jet lands on aircraft carrier
INS Vikrant’s deck
India’s latest aircraft carrier Vikrant
crossed a milestone on Monday with
the first landing of fixed-wing aircraft
on its flight deck.
A naval version of home-grown
Light Combat Aircraft Tejas and the
MiG-29K landed successfully on INS
Vikrant as part of sea trials.
Man held for impersonating
Vice-President on WhatsApp
A 22-year-old man has been arrested
by the Delhi Police for allegedly
impersonating India’s vice-president
and seeking favours from bureaucrats
Police said on Monday that
Gagandeep Singh, who has been living
in Italy since 2007, created a fake
WhatsApp account using a photo of
the vice-president and sent messages
to senior government officials.
He was arrested from the Indira
Gandhi International airport.
His accomplice Ashwani Kumar was
also arrested for allegedly providing an
OTP for the WhatsApp account.
India plans to promote green
tourism during G20 presidency
India plans to promote green tourism,
open up to 50 new tourism
destinations and launch a publicity
campaign in overseas markets during
its presidency of the G20 this year,
India will host more than 200 G20
meetings at over 50 locations during
the year, including key tourist
attractions in Rajasthan, Goa and
Jammu and Kashmir, as well as near
the archaeological site of Dholavira
in Gujarat and other historical
Assam MLA booked on charges of
kidnapping a girl
Assam MLA Ashraful Hussain, from
the All India United Democratic Front,
was arrested on Wednesday on charges
of kidnapping and physically abusing a
girl at his house.
The girl made a report at the Dispur
police station in Guwahati in which
she said that Hussain’s associate Ritul
Hussain and his friends abducted her
from Barpeta and took her to the
MLA’s house where she was physically
and mentally tortured for a long time.
The girl also alleged that she was
forced to sign a marriage contract.
Human excreta, dog carcass found
in drinking water tank
The carcass of a dog was found in a
tank that supplies drinking water to a
colony in Pudukottai in Virudhunagar
district, Tamil Nadu, on Tuesday.
It came a few days after human
excreta was found in a water tank in
the same colony.
Political parties have called for a
probe into the incidents.
Mumbai Press Club demands
probe into journalist’s murder
The Mumbai Press Club on Tuesday
expressed shock at the “brutal public
murder” of journalist Shashikant
Warishe near Rajapur, in Maharashtra,
and demanded a police probe.
The reporter with regional
newspaper Mahanagri Times was
“mowed down” on Monday along the
Rajapur Highway by local land dealer
He allegedly drove his SUV right
into Mr Warishe’s two-wheeler, and
dragged him under the vehicle for
The journalist suffered grievous
injuries and was rushed to hospital by
bystanders but died on Wednesday.
Cricket board to hold first WPL
auction next week
Five teams participating in the
inaugural Women’s Premier League
(WPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament
will bid for 409 cricketers from across
the world next week, India’s cricket
board announced on Tuesday.
The world’s richest and most
influential cricket body in January
earned US$572.5 million ($759
million) from the bids to own five
teams in the league, which will be
played from March 4 to March 26 in
Mumbai art school
teacher Sagar Kambli
paying tribute to the
victims of the massive
earthquake that struck
Turkey and Syria on
At least 16,000
people were killed
and thousands of
India sent a field
and rescue teams to
areas under Operation
Dost, Foreign Minister
S. Jaishankar tweeted.
A fourth C17 plane
of the Indian Air
Force carrying relief
assistance for Turkey’s
landed in Adana on
India sends medical and rescue teams to help quake-hit Turkey, Syria
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Ms Ziya Paval and Mr Zahad in a photo they posted on
Instagram last week to announce the pregnancy.
A transgender couple from Ker-
ala, whose pregnancy photos had
gone viral recently, announced the
birth of their baby on Wednesday.
Ms Ziya Paval, 21, and
Mr Zahad, 23, who have been
cohabiting for the last three years,
had announced the news of the
pregnancy through a photoshoot
on Instagram last week.
In the post, Ms Paval an-
nounced that Mr Zahad was eight
Till last week, it was widely
reported that the couple were
expecting the delivery of their
baby in March.
But on Wednesday, reports con-
firmed that Mr Zahad gave birth
at a hospital in Kozhikode. Ms
Paval also announced the baby’s
arrival on Instagram.
The announcement meant
Mr Zahad became the first trans-
gender man to conceive and give
birth in India.
The couple declined to reveal
the identity of the newborn and
said they did not want to make it
“The baby was born around
9.30am through a cesarean sec-
tion at the Government Medical
College Hospital,” said Ms Paval,
adding that that both her partner
and the newborn were doing well.
“Although I was not a woman
by birth or by my body, I had the
feminine dream inside me to hear
a baby calling me ‘mother’. It has
been three years since we have
“Like my dream of becoming a
mother, he (Mr Zahad) has a
dream of becoming a father.”
While Ms Paval was born a
man but chose to become a
woman, Mr Zahad was born a
woman and chose to become a
The couple were in the process
of gender-transition when they
decided to have the baby.
Ms Paval impregnated Mr Za-
had when they were both still in
the process of transitioning and
his procedures were delayed and
reproductive system left for the
purpose of conception.
The couple initially considered
adopting a baby but there were
many legal hurdles, Onmanorama
reported. They then decided to
When Mr Zahad, a trained
accountant from Thiruvananthapu-
ram, and Ms Paval announced the
pregnancy on Instagram, they re-
ceived congratulatory and support-
ive messages from the general
public in Kerala.
And the news of the baby’s
arrival has elicited joy among the
transgender community in India.
“Trans people too deserve fam-
ily,” said transgender actress
Ms Paval and Mr Zahad said
their experience may be rare in
India because “as far as we know,
no one else has called themselves
a biological parent in the transgen-
The couple said they were not
worried over whether their baby
would get have enough support.
“When we started to live to-
gether three years ago, we thought
our life should be different from
“Most couples are boycotted
by society as well as their own
families. We wanted a baby to
carry on our bloodline,” Ms Paval
explained to The Indian Express.
Ms Paval and Mr Zahad were
estranged from their own families
when they met three years ago,.
“I am from a conservative Mus-
lim family that did not even allow
me to learn classical dance,” said
“My parents were orthodox to
the point that they used to cut my
hair so that I did not dance.”
Ms Paval said she left home to
participate in a youth festival and
never went back.
She learnt dance at a transgen-
der community centre. She now
teaches the art to students in
Mr Zahad is from a Christian
family from the fishing community
in Thiruvananthapuram. He cur-
rently works at a supermarket.
He left his family after coming
out as transgender.
But, after he got pregnant, Mr Za-
had’s family has accepted the cou-
ple and been supportive.
It was Mr Zahad’s mother who
initially asked the couple not to
make the pregnancy public. They an-
nounced it on Instagram last week
only after she gave them the go-
head to do so.
Ms Paval says her family has still
not come around.
India is estimated to have
around two million transgender
people, although activists say the
number is higher.
In 2014, India’s Supreme Court
ruled that they have the same
rights as other people.
However, they still struggle to
access education and healthcare,
and often face prejudice and
Indo-Asian News Service
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on Wednesday said Indians would not
swallow “lies and abuse” against him,
as opposition critics accuse his govern-
ment of giving undue favours to a
business group led by billionaire Gau-
Mr Modi spent a 90-minute speech
to parliament to mainly list his govern-
ment’s achievements without naming
the under-fire Adani Group. But oppo-
sition lawmakers, who are demanding
an investigation into the business
group, interrupted him several times by
American shortseller Hindenburg
Research last month accused the Adani
conglomerate of stock manipulation
and improper use of tax havens, while
also saying it had unsustainable debt.
The group denies the claims and has
threatened action against Hindenburg.
“The blessings of 1.4 billion people
in the country is my protective cover
and you can’t destroy it with lies and
abuses,” said Mr Modi as opposition
lawmakers chanted “Adani! Adani!”
“The trust that people have put in
Modi is beyond the understanding of
these people,” he added in his first
public comments alluding to the accusa-
tions over Adani.
The government and business group
both deny overly-close ties.
During the session, lawmakers of
the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party also
chanted Mr Modi’s name in support.
Hindenburg Research’s Jan 24 re-
port triggered a rout in stocks of Adani
Group’s seven listed companies, which
collectively lost more than US$110
billion ($146 billion) in market valua-
tion before paring losses in recent
On Wednesday, shares of Adani
Enterprises closed up 20 per cent.
Adani Transmission, Adani Power and
Adani Wilmar rose 5 per cent each,
while Adani Green and Adani Total
Gas fell 5 per cent each.
The conglomerate has denied the
accusations, saying the shortseller’s alle-
gation of stock manipulation has “no
basis”and stems from an ignorance of
Opposition parties see the affair as
an opportunity to corner Mr Modi,
who is eyeing a third term in elections
They have questioned investments
made by state-run Life Insurance Cor-
poration of India and the State Bank
of India in Adani Group companies.
Both companies have said their
exposure in Adani Group’s firms is
small and manageable.
Congress party leader Rahul
Gandhi on Tuesday posed a question
in parliament on why the government
had yet to initiate an inquiry over the
use of tax havens.
“He’s trying to protect him
(Adani),” Mr Gandhi told reporters
after Modi’s speech. “This is a matter
of national security and India’s infra-
He also said the government
handed over the management of some
India airports to the Adani Group even
though it did not have any experience
in the sector.
Law Minister Kiren Rijiju called it a
“wild allegation” and demanded proof.
Modi lashes out at opposition as Adani allegations persist
Kerala transgender man gives birth
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