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3-year-old girl missing from pavement on New Avadi Road

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Chennai: A three-year-old child sleeping beside her mother on the pavement on New Avadi Road went missing on Tuesday . The child’s father sells balloons for a livelihood and the family lives in a makeshift tent.

Karthik, his wife Subbama and their three-year-old daughter Pavithra came to the city a few years ago with the hope of earning enough for three square meals a day . Since they did not have enough money , they were staying on the pavement of New Avadi Road near the water tank.

On Monday night, due to the mosquito menace, they slept beneath a bus shelter, a few meters away from the spot where they usually stayed.

“Around midnight, I woke up and saw my child sleeping beside my wife. But early in the morning, she was missing,” said Karthik.

The couple called for help and searched for the missing child. Their panic increased after some people told them that the child was kidnapped for a sacrifice. Karthik finally landed up at the Ayanavaram police station to file a complaint.

“Being a three-year-old, she could not have gone anywhere. We suspect someone might have kidnapped her,” he said.

“We have registered a case. We have sent alerts to the Koyambedu police and also to all railway stations. We hope to rescue the girl soon,” said an investigating officer in the Ayanavaram station.

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Source: TOI-Che

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HC clubs two pleas to find out what led to deluge in city

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Chennai: The PIL of a businessman-activist seeking manslaughter charges against Tamil Nadu officials responsible for causing floods in several residential localities in Chennai will now be heard along with suo motu PIL proceedings initiated by Madras HC itself.

A decision to this effect was taken by the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana on Tuesday , when a PIL of Rajiv Rai came up for hearing. Attributing most of the unprecedented flood havoc to the sudden and unannounced release of water from Chembarambakkam reservoir on December 1, the PIL has sought formation of a committee headed by a judge of the Supreme Court or the high court and comprising representatives and experts from various fields to ascertain the circumstances leading to the deluge.

The first bench, which has converted a PIL filed by Congress advocate A P Suryaprakasam into a suo motu writ proceedings, has already called for details from officials.

On Tuesday , when the PIL of Rajiv Rai came up for hearing, the judges said another PIL may not be necessary since the court itself had taken suo motu note of the issue. Senior counsel K M Vijayan said since 2006 high court and the Supreme Court had passed several orders on removal of encroachments from water bodies and canals, but government had done nothing.

The judges then agreed to hear the PIL along with the suo motu proceedings, saying it is a national calamity .

In his petition, Rajiv Rai said, “The chief secretary , even though he was well aware of the reports that there is going to be heavy downpour for a few more days, had ignored to perform his duty and direct release of the water when, the warning from PWD was received by him. The said act of the chief secretary and other officials is willful and resulted in loss of over 280 lives and caused colossal damage to property , possessions and livelihood of several hundreds of thousands of residents and most of them poor. This court should form an independent committee to 10 investigate the matter and punish the officials for failure to perform their duty, as it amounted to nothing short of manslaughter.”

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Source: TOI-Che

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Kin of TN migrant workers trapped in Lebanon seek help

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Chennai: More than 20 migrant workers from Tamil Nadu employed with a garment firm in Lebanon are unable to return to India, several months after their contract period ended as their passports have been seized, allege family members.
Of these, the families of nine men from Cuddalore, Ariyalur, Nagapattinam, Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts have reached out to the local authorities to help their relatives.

Sivabalan, elder brother of V Selvakumaran of Mannarkoil taluk in Cuddalore, told TOI that his brother spoke to him over the phone a few days ago. “His contract ended four months ago. My brother told me that the company has taken away his passport and is making them continue to work. He wants to return to India but is not able to,” he said.

The wife of R Gopalakrishnan of Jeyamkondam in Ariyalur, who did not wish to reveal her name, said that she spoke to her husband on Mon day. “They have asked the company to let them go. I will have a little more clarity on the issue tomorrow,” she said.

Family members of K Manikandan of Mudhukulathur in Ramanathapuram have submitted a petition to the district collector, requesting help to rescue him.

On Tuesday , PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss wrote to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj requesting her intervention to help the labourers. In the letter, he wrote, “Several workers who went to Lebanon to work in a garment factory called Filitex SAL in Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon were not able to return after completion of the contract period.”

“It is said that when Lebanese authorities visited the Filitex SAL firm, they apparently found that the Tamil labourers were engaged in jobs for which they had not obtained permission and confiscated their passports and work permits,” he wrote.

They appealed thrice to the Indian Embassy in Lebanon but did not receive any help, he added. 

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Source: TOI-Che

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