SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
REPORT ON PAGE 4
Chitty Melaka Association president Ponnosamy Kalastree (seated, left) hosting a Deepavali gathering for members of the organisation.
PHOTO: DINESH KUMAR
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SINGAPORE,WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
KUMAR'S NEW AVATAR
IN THE GREAT
CHEER AND LIGHT INTO
MAN'S DARK WORLD
November 17, 2023
A bus skidded off the road and
fell into a gorge in the moun-
tainous Doda district in Jammu
and Kashmir on Wednesday,
killing at least 39 people and
The accident happened on
the Batote-Kishtwar national
highway, about 145km south-
east of Srinagar.
The bus was on the way to
Jammu city from Kishtwar when
it skidded off the road and
plunged more than 185 metres
into a gorge.
Road accidents are common
in India’s mountainous Hima-
A similar bus crash in the
neighbouring district of Kisht-
war in 2019 left 33 people dead.
That same year, 44 people
died when a bus lost control on
a hilly road in Himachal Pradesh
and tumbled down a hill.
Bus plunges 185m into gorge,killing 39 people
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Myanmar soldiers who entered
Mizoram illegally arrested
Security forces in Mizoram arrested at
least 41 Myanmar military personnel
for “illegally crossing the border” into
India, police officials said on Tuesday.
The police added that 39 of the
soldiers were sent back to Myanmar.
A senior Mizoram Police official,
citing reports from across the border,
said the People’s Defence Force
attacked a Myanmar Army post in
Chin state and then on Monday
evening, several army personnel
crossed over to Zokhawthar in
Mizoram’s Champhai district.
Two injured Myanmar army
personnel were being treated at the
Champhai civil hospital.
Sprinklers deployed at 13 hotspots
in Delhi to tackle poor air quality
To combat the worsening air pollution,
the Delhi Fire Service has deployed
water sprinklers at 13 hotspots across
the national capital, officials said on
Notably, the readings of Delhi’s Air
quality Index have remained in the
As many as 215 mobile anti-smog
guns were used to sprinkle water on
roads across the city on Tuesday.
Punjab declares ‘red alert’ to
minimise stubble burning
Punjab Special Director General of
Police (Law and Order) Arpit Shukla
on Wednesday said a “red alert” had
been sounded in all districts and legal
action would be initiated if anyone was
found to be burning stubble.
The burning of stubble in
neighbouring states is the main reason
for the air quality deteriorating in
Delhi. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana
usually burn crop stubble left behind
after rice is harvested in late-October
or early-November to quickly clear
their fields before planting wheat
DGP Shukla said that district police
chiefs had been directed to engage
farmers, citizens and various
stakeholders to sensitise them about
the ill-effects of the stubble burning,
which is also a violation of law, and
that action could be initiated against
‘Other woman’ angle in UP police
An alleged extra-marital relationship
possibly led to the murder of Inspector
Satish Kumar, posted as a
quartermaster in the 4th battalion of
the Uttar Pradesh police in Prayagraj.
The 47-year-old was shot dead
outside his house in Krishna Nagar on
Sunday night in the presence of his wife
A senior police officer said they had
begun a probe on these lines after his
wife Bhawna told the media that
Inspector Kumar had been in a
relationship with a woman in adjacent
Woman chops off neighbour’s
genitals after spat
A 32-year-old woman chopped off her
neighbour’s genitals following a dispute
with him in Sharifpur village of
Kaushambi district in Uttar Pradesh.
Police have detained the woman and
seized the knife used in the crime. A
probe is on to find out the reason
behind the crime.
The injured man, 26, is undergoing
treatment in Parayagraj.
Head of India’s Sahara Group dies
One of India’s most controversial
businessmen, Subrata Roy, died on
Tuesday at the age of 75 in Mumbai.
He was the founder of Sahara Group
– a multibillion-dollar conglomerate
with businesses ranging from finance,
housing and manufacturing to media,
aviation and hospitality.
He died of a cardiac arrest after an
“extended battle with complications
arising from metastatic malignancy,
hypertension and diabetes”, his
Mr Roy’s legacy was marked by his
swift rise to fame and fortune and a
subsequent downfall after his firm was
accused of cheating investors of billions
Canadian claims Union minister’s
son spoke to him on cash deals
A video related to Mr Devendra Singh
Tomar, son of Union Agriculture and
Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra
Singh Tomar, discussing transactions
worth huge amounts of money with a
person surfaced in poll-bound Madhya
Pradesh on Tuesday, triggering a fresh
political controversy in the state with
elections just three days away.
The person in the clip identified
himself as Candian businessman
Jagmandeep Singh and claimed that
two videos that had surfaced on social
media were genuine and were related
to the transaction of money discussed
with Mr Devendra.
“The person on the phone call from
the other end is me,” said Mr Singh,
who added that he met Mr Devendra at
Mr Narendra Tomar’s official bungalow
in Delhi during the lockdown period in
March 2020 and they became friends.
13 in Rajasthan lose eyesight in
A total of 13 people, including 10
children, across several cities in
Rajasthan including Jaipur, Jhunjhunu
and Bharatpur lost sight in at least one
eye while bursting firecrackers for
Deepavali, doctors said.
Several people were admiited to the
eye department of Sawai Mansingh
Hospital in Jaipur, with the patients
suffering damage to their cornea and
According to doctors, a child from
Jhunjhunu lost the vision in both eyes,
whereas there are 12 others who have
lost the sight of one eye.
Court slams Delhi Police in 2014
murder case,acquits trio
A court in Delhi has pulled up the
police investigating officer in a murder
case for a “shoddy,” “manipulated,”
and seemingly deliberate attempt to
protect the actual offender, who
remains at large.
Additional Sessions Judge Dhirendra
Rana on Wednesday acquitted three
individuals in a 2014 murder case
expressing suspicion that the case was
related to human sacrifice rather than
the initially proposed drug
The case involved the discovery of a
decapitated and mutilated body in
Bawana in December 2014, leading to
the arrest of three individuals for the
Meghalaya gears up for three-day
Cherry Blossom Festival
Meghalaya will host a three-day
Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival from
today as trees lining the streets and
lanes of this picturesque hill station are
covered in pink and white blooms.
Officials said that about 100,000
visitors from various parts of the
country and abroad were expected to
participate in the event, which would
have a diverse range of activities, from
cosplay competitions and beauty
pageants to choir contests, graffiti and
art installations, karaoke contests, a
Ferris wheel and a thrilling zipline.
Teen detained over threat message
ahead of cricket World Cup match
Security measures around Wankhede
Stadium were increased on Wednesday
following a threat message on X from
an unidentified individual, Mumbai
The message warned of a serious
incident during the highly anticipated
India versus New Zealand semi-final of
the Cricket World Cup.
Police later said that a 17-year-old
youth from Latur district was detained
by the crime branch in connection with
November 17, 2023
the pace of emergency crews.
“We are confident we will save the
men but until then, we have to be pa-
tient and keep faith,” he said.
An effort to insert metal pipes
through the debris to create a path for
the workers to escape failed on Tuesday
as debris continued to fall and the ma-
The tunnel collapse occurred follow-
ing a landslide, and the entrance was
blocked by concrete rubble, rocks and
The 4.8km tunnel was being con-
structed in Uttarkashi as part of the
Char Dham road scheme, Prime Minis-
ter Narendra Modi’s US$1.5 billion ($2
billion) flagship project that aims to im-
prove connectivity across Uttarakhand,
a popular Hindu pilgrimage destina-
Indo-Asian News Service
Falling debris hampers tunnel rescue
Rescuers at the site of the collapsed tunnel, where some 40 workers are trapped.
Rescue workers are scrambling to free
the construction workers trapped in a
collapsed road tunnel in Uttarkhand,
after new debris fell on Wednesday in
an area where emergency personnel
workers have been trapped nearly
200m inside the tunnel since Sunday,
and while rescue crews have been able
to get food, water and oxygen to them,
some of the workers have fallen ill, ex-
periencing symptoms such as dizziness,
fever and vomiting.
Oxygen and food packets containing
dried chickpeas, dried fruits, almonds
and puffed rice have been funnelled to
the workers through small pipes insert-
ed into the cavity.
Contact with the workers has been
maintained through walkie-talkies and
relatives have managed to speak briefly
“He said they are safe. He asked us
not to worry,” said the son of trapped
worker Gabbar Singh Negi on Tuesday.
Officials, who had hoped to start
Wednesday, have brought in more so-
phisticated drilling equipment to reach
The Indian Air Force flew in machin-
ery to the Himalayan town of Uttar-
kashi to aid in the rescue efforts.
Special teams from Thailand and
Norway, including the one that helped
save the children stuck in a cave in
Thailand in 2018, have also been roped
in to aid in the rescue efforts.
“The rescue operations are ongoing,
round the clock,” said Mr Karam Veer
Singh, a member of the rescue team.
“We are making every effort to bring
the men out.”
Uttarakhand Police director-general
Ashok Kumar said that while confi-
dence is still high about rescuing them
soon, the new obstacles have slowed
“We are confident we will save the men
but until then, we have to be patient and
– Uttarakhand Police director-general Ashok Kumar
A daily wage labourer in Kerala who has
been protesting against a delay in re-
ceiving her social welfare pension will
move the High Court against the Mar-
xist party (CPM) mouthpiece Deshab-
himani for “portraying her in a wrong
Ms Mariyakutty, 86, is offended that
a section of the media, including the rul-
ing party-run Deshabhimani, criticised
her protest with a begging bowl, a video
of which went viral in her home district
She was protesting against the delay
in paying pension to her and others es-
pecially when crores of rupees were
spent on celebrating Keralayeem – to
mark the state’s birth during the first
week of this month in the state capital
Soon after, news surfaced in Deshab-
himani and other publications that Ms
Mariyakutty owns 1.5 acres of land and
two houses. They also reported that she
has a daughter living in Switzerland.
The reports alleged that she joined
ranks with the opposition Congress par-
ty to malign Chief Minister Pinarayi Vi-
jayan government’s reputation.
Ms Mariyakutty responded by taking
the fight into the enemy camp. She ap-
proached the local village officer and
submitted an application to assess her
land and other assets.
After the due process of inspection,
the authorities issued a certificate stat-
ing that she does not own any assets.
It was also found out that her daugh-
ter actually resides in Adimali, a town in
Kerala, and not in Switzerland. The
daughter, it seems, ekes out a living by
selling lottery tickets.
On Wednesday, the CPM mouth-
piece came out with a rejoinder and
apologised for its report.
The media attention and alleged
smear campaign have made her a star in
“I am not going to sit idle as I want
the 1.5 acres of land they mentioned.
While I will keep one acre for myself,
they (those who said that I own) can
keep the remaining,” said Ms Mariakut-
ty, a mother of four whose husband died
36 years ago.
“I will definitely file the case, as they
portrayed me in a bad light.All I did was
to beg as I did not get my social welfare
pension – Is begging for a living wrong? I
want to know.
“This news was circulated across the
country. I need compensation for insult-
ing me and my kids, and I won’t back
down until they compensate for it.”
“Now, I am getting threats also, but I
will go ahead with my case,” she assert-
Indo-Asian News Service
Elderly woman takes on Communist party mouthpiece
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