Daily wrap: Centre moves SC over Pondy LG’s powers; Maoists killed in Odisha

Kiran bedi - The Federal
Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi. Photo: PTI File.

Centre moves SC against Madras HC verdict on Puducherry LG

The Centre on Wednesday (May 8) approached the Supreme Court challenging the verdict of Madras High Court which held that Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi “cannot interfere” in the day-to-day affairs of the elected government of the Union Territory. The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. “There is a standstill in the governance there (Puducherry),” Mehta told the bench while seeking urgent listing of the matter.

Batteries operating Madurai hospital ventilators were malfunctioning: Doctor

With news of five deaths at the Madurai Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) in Tamil Nadu, on Tuesday (May 7), rocking the state, a doctor serving at the GRH, who did not wish to be identified, told The Federal that the battery back-ups to ventilators had failed and that likely led to three of the five deaths at the hospital on the night of Tuesday (May 7). He said that the battery back-ups have failed in the past and the hospital has a procedure in place to replace the mechanical ventilators with a hand-operated one. But on Tuesday night, the hospital was unable to carry this out. Another member of the staff privy to the developments independently affirmed that this was the case. Relatives of patients had earlier in the day on May 8 talked about ventilators conking off. A doctor who earlier had served at the GRH and was later transferred to another government hospital elsewhere in the state said this was indeed a problem in Madurai and confirmed that the procedure for hand-held ventilators was the practice there.

Five Maoists killed in encounter by security forces in Odisha

At least five Maoists, including three women, were gunned down in an encounter with security personnel in Koraput district of Odisha on Wednesday (May 8), a senior police officer said. The encounter took place in a forest under Padua police station limits in the morning when personnel of the Special Operations Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) were conducting a combing operation in the area. The Maoists fired at the SOG and DVF men after noticing them and the security personnel retaliated the fire, killing them, the official said.

Once bitten, twice shy: Telangana now extra cautious over 10th exam results

In the backdrop of widespread public outrage over student suicides following errors in the evaluation and processing of results of the 12th standard examination, the Telangana government is taking extra precautions ahead of the declaration of 10th class board exam results. As part of efforts to prevent student suicides, the state education department has decided to conduct counselling for students and parents a day before and after the announcement of results. The results are likely to be announced after May 10. About 5.50 lakh students had appeared for the exam held in March-April. The principals of all government and private schools have been directed to hold counselling sessions to instill confidence among the students.

Lanka restricts 5-day national Vesak festivities to 2 days after blast

The Sri Lankan government has restricted the five-day national Vesak festival celebrations to just two days citing the prevailing security situation in the country following the massive Easter Sunday bombings. Vesak, the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May, is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world and this year it was expected to be observed from May 17 to 21. Sri Lankas top leadership has said that authorities have arrested or killed all the militants responsible for the deadly Easter blasts, but warned that the country still faces the threat of ISIS terror attacks.

Blast at Sufi shrine in Lahore kills 4, injures 24

At least four people were killed and 24 injured in a blast that targeted a police vehicle near the shrine of Data Darbar in Lahore on Wednesday (May 8). Reports said hundreds of pilgrims were at the site to offer their prayers in the month of Ramzan. Although the nature of the blast is yet to be ascertained, police suspect that it was a suicide attack, Dawn reported. Lahore’s police chief said his officers were the target of the attack.

Shootout in US school, one student killed

At least one student was killed when two students opened fire at a Colorado science and technology school. At least seven others were injured, reports in various channels said. Reports quoted the Douglas County Sheriff’s office as saying that deputies heard shots coming from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) School in Highlands Ranch, about 40 km south of Denver.

Prince Harry, Meghan present first glimpse of baby boy

Britain’s Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle on Wednesday presented the first glimpse of their baby boy, the seventh in line to the British throne born. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex described their new-born, who is referred to as Baby Sussex until his name is announced, as a “dream” and parenthood as “magic” as they attended a photocall at St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle. Baby Sussex, the eighth great grandchild to Queen Elizabeth II, is believed to be the first mixed-race child born to a senior member of the British Royal Family in centuries.

Chandrababu meets Rahul; likely to call Opposition meeting on May 21
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday (May 8) met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and discussed plans to hold a meeting of Opposition parties on May 21, two days ahead of Lok Sabha results to chalk out a post-poll alliance. In a brief meeting, the Telugu Desam Party chief is believed to have discussed the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) issue, voting percentage in the recently held five phase polling besides the Andhra Assembly election developments, the sources said.