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Chennai Hyderabad March 24, 25 Highlights: As cases rise in TN, active cases in state now at 9746

Tamil Nadu Telangana Coronavirus Assembly Elections 2021 March 24, 25 Highlights: Till date, 5,26,299 males, 3,45,106 females and 35 transgenders have tested positive for the virus in Tamil Nadu.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Hyderabad |
Updated: March 26, 2021 8:49:09 am
An aerial view of Kamarajar Salai and Marina Beach in Chennai.

Tamil Nadu Telangana Assembly Elections COVID-19 March 24, 25 Highlights: Tamil Nadu recorded 1636 positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the state tally to 8,71,440. Among these, Chennai reported 633 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,43,287. The state recorded 12 deaths on Wednesday, putting the state toll at 12,630. Eleven of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 1023 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,49,064.

DMK leader Dindigul I Leoni has come under fire after making a sexist remark at an election campaign rally in Coimbatore. In a video clip of the speech doing the rounds on social media, Leoni can be heard saying women “have lost their figures, putting on weight after consuming the milk of foreign cows”. People present at the event can be seen clapping and laughing.

Follow Chennai Hyderabad March 26 Live Updates

Live Blog

Catch the latest news in Chennai and Hyderabad as we bring you live updates on Tamil Nadu Elections 2021, COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19, lockdown 6.0 and phase 6 of the unlock across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and more through the day. Also read Karnataka Bengaluru news

18:27 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Tamil Nadu cop stops biker on highway, the kind reason is winning the internet

Tamil Nadu biker was surprised when a traffic officer gave him the reason why he asked him to pull over, in a recent incident. It turns out that the officer’s ‘unexpected’ action was motivated by a Good Samaritan spirit as he wanted the biker to help an elderly woman who had dropped her medicine. A video that has gone viral captures how the medicine was returned to its owner.

‘Kindness costs nothing but means everything’ is the refrain that best describes the collective and chivalrous effort to help out a complete stranger and the act is winning wholesome praise on the internet. In the video shared by travel blogger and biker Arun Kumar Moolya, the officer is shown as asking him if he is from Karnataka. He then hands him a medicine bottle, saying that it was dropped by a woman passenger travelling ahead in a bus.

He requested Moolya, who is popularly known as ‘AnnyArun’ on the internet, to chase the government bus on the highway and return the bottle of medicine to her. He didn’t think twice. After driving for some time, he managed to spot the bus and urged the driver to pull over before handing the medicine to her. “Mission accomplished!” the biker is heard saying in the end.

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18:12 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Dhanush’s Karnan sidesteps litigation by renaming Pandarathi Puranam song

Director Mari Selvaraj on Thursday stated that Pandarathi Puranam song from his upcoming film Karnan, starring Dhanush, will be henceforth called Manjanathi Puranam, thus sidestepping the litigation that could affect the film’s release next month.

“The immense love and support of the audience to my film Karnan makes me very happy. And the kind of respect and expectations that you have for me makes me want to be very responsible. I create every scene with great care and artistic sensibilities. And that is how I created Pandarathi Puranam,” Mari Selvaraj wrote in his statement.

While Pandarathi is not part of the popular vocabulary, there seems to be a great historical and emotional significance to it. After the song was released a few weeks ago, a native of Madurai moved the Madurai High Court with a welfare petition seeking action against the song. In the petition, he has allegedly claimed that the song insulted certain communities in Tamil Nadu. He also wanted a ban on the song and stop the film’s release until his concerns were addressed properly. According to reports, based on the petition, the court had ordered to send legal notices to the filmmakers, censor board and YouTube.

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17:17 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Taxmen search premises linked to DMK leader in poll-bound TN

Sleuths of the Income Tax department on Thursday conducted searches in premises linked to a noted DMK leader in Tamil Nadu, sources said.

The searches over suspected tax evasion began in the morning and it covered multiple premises connected to a prominent leader of the main opposition DMK, based in Tamil Nadu's Tiruvannamalai district.

Further details related to the searches are awaited.

Assembly elections are scheduled on April 6 in Tamil Nadu and over the past few weeks, several premises associated with others, including political functionaries, have been searched in the state by income tax investigation officers. (PTI)

16:37 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Tamil Nadu: New COVID-19 cluster emerges in Kancheepuram, 52 medical students test positive

As many as 52 first-year medical students of a private college in Kancheepuram have tested positive for COVID-19. A total of six students residing in the hostel campus were isolated after they initially tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Following this, the college management conducted the test for the remaining first-year students residing in the hostel, and 46 of them were found to be positive.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, C Mahendran, Resident Medical Officer (RMO) at the Meenakshi Medical College Hospital and Research Institute said the first-year block hostel has been closed and the campus area has been disinfected as per the COVID-19 protocol.

“There are 250 students in the first year. Six students had symptoms in the hostel so the warden immediately informed us, the students were Isolated and we sent their samples for RT-PCR tests. We received the report on Saturday and they were found to be positive. We immediately conducted the tests for all the students who were in contact. Till now, 52 first-year students have tested positive and 46 of them are asymptomatic,” he said.

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16:04 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Lankan Navy arrests 20 Indian fishermen

The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 20 Indian fishermen and detained two boats for allegedly fishing in that country's waters, officials in Rameswaram said on Thursday.

The fishermen, hailing from Rameswaram and Thangachimadam, were picked up from near Katchatheevu on Wednesday night by the Lankan navy, a senior Fisheries department official said.

They have been taken to a local naval camp there for further probe and are likely to be handed over to Lankan Fisheries authorities to be isolated along with the detained boats, officials said.

Fishermen association representatives expressed concern over such repeated instances of Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu being arrested by the Sri Lankan navy and urged the Centre and state government to ensure their early release. (PTI) 

15:26 (IST)25 Mar 2021
MTC buses get auto-retractable rails to avert accidents

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), Chennai, has come up with a technique that might prevent people from slipping from the footboards of buses and getting run over subsequently.

The corporation has fixed auto-retractable rails on the sides of some of the buses. The rails will lower themselves automatically when the busses pass over a speed breaker on the road.

Despite multiple actions and fines, people, especially school and college students, are often seen traveling on the footboards. Unfortunately, they slip and are run over by the rear wheels of the buses. To avert such accidents, these rails will push them outside and prevent them from getting stuck under the wheels.

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15:00 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Four members of "debt-ridden" family end their lives in Telangana

Four members of a family in "heavy debt" allegedly died by suicide in Mancherial district, police said on Thursday. The four--a man, his wife, a daughter and son- were found hanging at their home in Kasipet mandal by one of their relatives on Thursday morning, they said.

The man was doing farming for the past several years on a land taken on lease but had recently suffered crop loss besides he had also debts which he took to perform his daughter's marriage last year, they said.

Based on preliminary investigation, a senior police official said, the man had taken loans from some people, and he was under debt to the tune of lakhs of rupees, which forced the family to take the extreme step.

In a suicide note purportedly written by the head of the household, he stated he was unable to repay the debts and decided to end his life along with the family members, the official said. A case was registered and probe was on. (PTI)

14:15 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Telangana reports 493 fresh COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths

Telangana continued to witness a rise in new COVID-19 daily cases as 493 new infections were reported on Wednesday, taking the cumulative tally to 3,04,791, the state government said on Thursday. Four more people succumbed to the virus taking the death toll to 1,680, it said. As many as 3,684 patients were undergoing treatment, it said in a bulletin.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation reported the highest cases with 138 followed by Medchal Malkajgiri (42) and Ranga Reddy districts (35).

A total of 56,464 samples were tested on March 24. Cumulatively, the number of samples tested was 98,45,577. The bulletin said 157 people had recovered on Wednesday taking the total number of recoveries to2,99,427. 

The recovery rate and case fatality rate in the state was 98.24 per cent and 0.55 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, an official release said the vaccine wastage rate in the state stood at 0.80 per cent. (PTI)

14:10 (IST)25 Mar 2021
SC dismisses complaint of Andhra Pradesh CM against sitting top court judge

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a complaint by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy against Justice N V Ramana, who is next in line to be Chief Justice of India, after an in-house inquiry.

A statement issued by the court said that “a complaint dated 6th October, 2020 sent by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to the Supreme Court was dealt with under the In-House Procedure and the same, on due consideration, stands dismissed”.

The communication added that “all the matters dealt with under the In-House Procedure being strictly confidential in nature, are not liable to be made public”.

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13:01 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Kanimozhi interview: ‘This election is about DMK and AIADMK… No one else is a significant player’

Kanimozhi, Thoothukkudi MP and Secretary of DMK’s women’s wing, speaks to The Indian Express ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections on April 6.

Speaking on the electoral battle shaping up in the state, she said, "It looks very good, bright and positive for the DMK and the alliance. I think it is a definite win… I have travelled across the state, met people and they are quite upset and angry with the present government. They definitely want a change and they believe that change is the DMK. They want the DMK back in power because there is rampant unemployment. There is no investment in the state. The basic infrastructure and basic facilities… Nothing has been done. It is becoming a government where nobody can protest, nobody can ask questions… It is becoming very dictatorial."

Kanimozhi said that the outcome of the polls will signify a return to the right track and development for the state. "Tamil Nadu has always been at the forefront, but today we are slipping on all human development indicators. We have to put it back on track. As far as national politics is concerned, it will show that there are states which are different", she said.

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13:01 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Fuel prices in Chennai and Hyderabad today

Petrol and diesel prices fell for the second consecutive day across the country on Thursday, March 25, 2021. This is the second straight revision in fuel prices this month. Prior to this, petrol and diesel prices were unchanged at their record highs for 24 days with the previous revision taking place on February 27, 2021.

Petrol is now available in Chennai at Rs. 92.77 per litre while diesel is available at Rs. 86.10 per litre.

In Hyderabad, the cost of petrol is Rs. 94.39 per litre while that of diesel is Rs. 88.45 per litre.

11:49 (IST)25 Mar 2021
DMK approaches Madras HC to restrain EC from using old EVMs

The DMK on Wednesday moved the Madras High Court with a plea to restrain the Election Commission from using electronic voting machines (EVMs) that were beyond the expiry period of 15 years, in the April 6 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.

The other prayers of the DMK, represented by its Organisation Secretary R S Bharathi, were to provide CCTV live coverage/web-stream during voting in all the polling booths and voting centres, to install jammers at the strong rooms where EVMs are stored and at the counting centres.

However, the court said it does not appear that EVMs can be tampered with without touching them.

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11:22 (IST)25 Mar 2021
218 fever clinics conducted in Chennai Wednesday

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) conducted 218 fever clinics in Chennai on Wednesday. A total of 18,595 people attended the clinics, with swabs collected from 92 people who were identified with ILI symptoms, while others were provided with medication for minor ailments.

The most number of camps were held in Tondiarpet (Zone 4) where 36 camps had been set up, while Manali (Zone 2) had the least with three camps.

11:05 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Free temple campaign gets support from industry, parties

With the chorus to #FreeTNTemples growing louder, leaders from industry, media and political parties joined citizens online to make a peaceful yet strong demand to free Hindu temples from state control.

This entire movement about freeing temples from the clutches of the government is not an effort to protest, agitate or corner somebody. This is out of deep anguish, said Isha Foundation leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev in a video message.

He called upon the people irrespective of caste or religion to support the movement. Also, he retweeted over 100 videos shot by citizens and Isha volunteers showing the condition of the temples which, he alleged, was shocking and alarming.

Everything that is Tamil is rooted in devotion and the fulcrum of this devotion is the temple, he said and described the anguish of devotees forced into silence as centuries and millennia-old temples crumble due to alleged government apathy and neglect. The campaign launched at the beginning of this month has spread in the social media with support from all quarters.

Jaggi Vasudev had written open letters to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and the Opposition Leader M K Stalin urging them to include in their poll manifesto the plan to free the places of worship from state control. (PTI)

10:43 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Madras HC stays proceedings in defamation cases against Dayanidhi Maran

The Madras High Court on Wednesday stayed proceedings in two defamation cases against former Union Minister and DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran before the Special Court constituted for hearing cases against MPs and MLAs.

Justice N Satishkumar granted the stay while passing interim orders on the criminal original petitions from Maran.

While the first one related to his statement made on January 31, 2020 against state Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar on an alleged scam, the second one pertained to his staging a dharna to condemn bus fare hike near Chetpet signal in Chennai on
January 29, 2018. (PTI)

10:23 (IST)25 Mar 2021
From Trichy, a story of two families, best friends forever

It’s a family friendship that goes back generations — starting with Anbil Mahesh Poyyamuzhi’s grandfather Anbil Dharmalingam and Udhayanidhi Stalin’s grandfather M Karunanidhi, continuing with their respective fathers Anbil Poyyamuzhi and Stalin, and now the two of them.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Udhayanidhi, who is making his electoral debut, said he began his foray into politics campaigning for Mahesh in the 2016 Assembly polls, when Mahesh stood from Thiruverumbur, in his family’s pocketborough of Trichy. Even Karunanidhi had attended a rally for Mahesh, establishing him as one of the DMK’s next-generation faces.

As Mahesh, 43, walks 10 hours a day, seeking votes again in Thiruverumbur, the Tamil Nadu first family’s backing is clearly with him. There are at least 100 cadres in his entourage, mostly youth. His campaign office has huge posters of him and Udhayanidhi flanking Stalin.

A good orator, Mahesh says he has chosen to campaign on foot rather than use a vehicle. He would rather make a personal connect, he says.

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09:49 (IST)25 Mar 2021
220 flights to fly between Chennai and major cities today

A total of 220 flights will be operated between Chennai and major cities today, with 110 arrivals and 109 departures scheduled at the Chennai International Airport.

09:11 (IST)25 Mar 2021
Constituency-specific manifestos soon, says MNM chief

Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) is in the process of preparing constituency-specific manifestos that would be released soon, party chief and film actor Kamal Haasan said on Wednesday.

Though contesting the April 6 Assembly polls from Coimbatore South constituency, Haasan said he has been visiting all the 234 constituencies to know the needs of the electorate and incorporate them in the already released party manifesto.

Addressing election meetings in various areas in Coimbatore, he said the freebies being offered by various political parties would make the people remain poor.

He sought the cooperation of the general public to make Tamil Nadu a better state with necessary development and infrastructure facilities. (PTI)

08:50 (IST)25 Mar 2021
DMK leader: ‘Milk from foreign cows making women fat like a barrel’

DMK leader Dindigul I Leoni has come under fire after making a sexist remark at an election campaign rally in Coimbatore.

In a video clip of the speech doing the rounds on social media, Leoni can be heard saying women “have lost their figures, putting on weight after consuming the milk of foreign cows”. People present at the event can be seen clapping and laughing.

The incident took place when Leoni, TV talk show judge and DMK’s propaganda secretary, was campaigning for the party’s Thondamuthur candidate, Karthikeya Sivasenapathy. 

“You know, there are many types of cows. In farms, you would have seen foreign cows. People use a milking machine for foreign cows. A person will switch on the machine and 40 litres of milk will come out in an hour. By drinking that milk, all our women have become fat like a balloon. Earlier, a woman’s figure looked like the number 8. They could carry children on their hips. But now, if they hold a child, it slips away because they have become like a barrel. All our children have also become fat,” Leoni said.

Read more

08:49 (IST)25 Mar 2021
TN reports 1636 fresh cases, 12 deaths

Tamil Nadu recorded 1636 positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the state tally to 8,71,440. Among these, Chennai reported 633 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,43,287. The state recorded 12 deaths on Wednesday, putting the state toll at 12,630. Eleven of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 1023 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,49,064.

As of Wednesday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 9746. Till date, 5,26,299 males, 3,45,106 females and 35 transgenders have tested positive for the virus in the state.

According to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 1,90,11,118 samples from the state have been tested till date, with 80,634 samples having been sent yesterday. There are 259 COVID-19 testing facilities in the state, out of which 69 are government and 190 are private facilities.

Santhosh Babu, Makkal Needhi Maiam, Velachery Babu interacts with people over a Zoom call. Babu, who is the general secretary (Head Quarters) of the party, says the digital campaign is a laborious process due to connectivity issues.

From Zoom calls and distributing pamphlets with QR codes to setting up exclusive IVRS numbers, former IAS officer and Makkal Needhi Maiam’s candidate V Santhosh Babu is running a “hyper-digital campaign” to reach out to voters in the Velachery constituency after testing positive for Covid-19. A week after the party announced him as the candidate for Velachery, Babu tested positive. “I wish to inform my Velachery voters that I contracted COVID. How unlucky I am! I really want to meet with all of you and seek your blessings and votes. We will be going on a hyper-digital campaign and my teams will come and meet with you. Do vote for MNM and me!” he had tweeted.

READ | From hospital room, MNM’s Santhosh Babu runs ‘hyper-digital’ poll campaign

It’s a family friendship that goes back generations — starting with Anbil Mahesh Poyyamuzhi’s grandfather Anbil Dharmalingam and Udhayanidhi Stalin’s grandfather M Karunanidhi, continuing with their respective fathers Anbil Poyyamuzhi and Stalin, and now the two of them. As Mahesh, 43, walks 10 hours a day, seeking votes again in Thiruverumbur, the Tamil Nadu first family’s backing is clearly with him. There are at least 100 cadres in his entourage, mostly youth. His campaign office has huge posters of him and Udhayanidhi flanking Stalin.

READ | From Trichy, a story of two families, best friends forever

For assistance on COVID-19-related queries and mental health support in Chennai, citizens can contact the Greater Chennai Corporation's (GCC) COVID-19 helpline 044 46122300 | Citizens can find the nearest GCC-facilitated COVID-19 fever clinic here | For lodging rain-related complaints and assistance during the monsoon, citizens can contact the GCC's monsoon helplines 044 25384530 or 044 25384540 or the control room 1913 (available 24x7)

Chennai Hyderabad March 22, 23 Highlights

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