Daily wrap: Fani death toll mounts to 29; Charminar needs space to breathe

Heavy vehicular movement, pollution and smoke from nearby workshops all have robbed the Charminar off its sheen. Photo: PTI

Suicide bombers visited Kerala, Kashmir: SL army chief

The suicide bombers of the April 21 Sri Lankan bombings visited Kashmir and Kerala for ‘some training,’ Sri Lanaka’s army chief lieutenant-general Mahesh Senanayake has said. He said it was for ‘some training’ or to ‘make some links’ with other foreign outfits. It is the first time a top security official has confirmed the militants’ visit to India, which had shared intelligence inputs with Sri Lanka ahead of the attacks. In an interview to the BBC on May 2, lieutenant-general Senanayake disclosed details on the movement of the suspects in the region, and also international links. “They have gone to India, they’ve gone to Kashmir, Bangalore (Bengaluru); they’ve travelled to Kerala state. Those are the information available with us,” he said.

Fani death toll mounts to 29 in Odisha; other state govts chip in with help

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The death toll due to Cyclone Fani increased to 29 on Sunday (May 5), two days after the extremely severe cyclonic storm hit the state of Odisha, causing widespread destruction. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a relief package for those affected by the cyclone earlier in the day.Various state governments on Sunday offered assistance to the Odisha government to expedite relief and restoration work in the state. While Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh announced an assistance of Rs 10 crore each on Sunday (April 5) morning, help came in from states like Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra later in the day.

While Gujarat government has offered an assistance of Rs 5 crore to Odisha for restoration work, the Chhattisgarh government has announced a financial aid of Rs 11 crore to the state. The Maharashtra government has offered a help of Rs 10 crore. A Chhattisgarh government statement said Rs 11 crore will be given to Odisha from the CM’s Relief Fund. While, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said his government will contribute Rs 10 crore.

BJP leader shot dead in Anantnag ahead of elections on May 6 

Militants on Saturday (May 4) night, shot dead Gull Mohammad Mir, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Anantnag district (Jammu and Kashmir) vice-president, in his house. The police said three militants entered his house in Nowgam Verinag area and took him in car around 10pm, and shot him on the way. Locals took Mir to a district hospital 22 km away, but he succumbed to injuries. The state police cordoned the area soon after.

Hyderabad’s Charminar needs space to breathe

Charminar — a symbol of Hyderabad — is synonymous with the city. Referred to as the Arc de Triomphe of the East, it is Hyderabad’s first monument to represent its culture, history and architecture. Standing tall for more than four centuries, the edifice has been witness to the the development of the city from scratch.When a portion of ornamental stucco came crashing from one of its minarets on May 2, questions about the safety of the monument were raised. However, it was not the first time that the Charminar — which is older than Taj Mahal — suffered a damage of this nature. Incidents of lime plaster peeling took place in 2010, 2001 and even earlier.The damage to the minaret has highlighted the neglect of heritage in the city and has brought the role of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under scanner.

I make these people untie my shoelaces: Varun Gandhi on BSP’s Sultanpur candidate

BJP leader Varun Gandhi on Saturday (May 4), took a swipe at the Opposition’s candidate in Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur constituency by stating that he gets such people to untie his shoelaces, ANI reported. Gandhi is said to have made the comment against Bahujan Samaj Party’s candidate Chandra Bhadra Singh, known as Sonu Singh, while addressing an election rally on May 2. Sonu Singh, a former MLA and his brother Monu Singh are local strongmen, according to Navbharat Times.

Netanyahu vows more ‘massive strikes’ in response to Gaza rockets

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on May 5 that he had ordered the military to launch further strikes on Gaza Strip militants in response to rocket fire from the territory, as an escalation entered its second day. “I instructed the military this morning to continue its massive strikes on terror elements in the Gaza Strip and ordered it to reinforce the troops around the Gaza Strip with tanks, artillery and infantry forces,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Israel said around 450 rockets or mortars had been fired from the Palestinian enclave run by Hamas since Saturday (May 4), and it responded with waves of air and tank strikes.

Lottery king Santiago Martin case turns murky with aide’s death

The death of T Palanisami, aide of ‘lottery king’ Santiago Martin, on May 3 has added a fresh twist to a long story.The autopsy report is not out yet. Palanisami, Martin’s employee for over 25 years, was a cashier at Future Gaming and Hotel Service Private Ltd, the former’s company. He was also handling the accounts at a private college owned by Martin.

I-T sleuths picked up Palanisami for interrogation on Wednesday even as an I-T raid was in progress on 70 premises owned by Martin. Palanisami was picked up from Coimbatore.The police have booked unnamed I-T sleuths on charges of abetment to suicide.On the second day of interrogation (May 2), I-T sleuths said they found blood stains on Palaniswamy’s hands. His family said he would have attempted suicide by slitting the wrist. They said he was treated at a hospital in GN Mills in Coimbatore.

The police said he did not appear before I-T sleuths on Friday. He  was found dead in a pond, near Karamadai, on the outskirts of Coimbatore.Initially, the police had registered a case of suspicious death and are awaiting the autopsy report, sources said.

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