More political drama expected in Tamil Nadu, Malegaon blast accused gets bail: Top stories to bring you up to date

O Panneerselvam becomes deputy CM in the Palaniswami government, Malegaon blast accused Lt Col Purohit got bail, first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the United States and more.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2017 07:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Tamil Nadu,O Panneerselvam,Edapaddi Palanisami
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam exchange greetings with supporters following merger of their factions in Chennai on Monday. (PTI)

AIADMK merger: Panneerselvam becomes deputy CM in Palaniswami govt, says ‘no one can separate us’

Two factions of Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK merged on Monday with the induction of O Panneerselvam as the deputy chief minister but a third group threatened to pull down the government in the southern state. The political turmoil that has roiled Tamil Nadu after chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death in December doesn’t seem to have ended with chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami and his predecessor Panneerselvam shaking hands at the party headquarters in the afternoon in front of hundreds of cheering workers. “No one can separate us, we are all children of Amma,” declared Panneerselvam. He may have celebrated too early. Read the story here.

2008 Malegaon blast: Lt Col Purohit, accused of giving RDX to Hindu extremists, gets bail

The Supreme Court granted bail on Monday to army officer Shrikant Prasad Purohit, the main accused in the deadly bombing of a Muslim-majority, textile town in Maharashtra nine years ago. Lt Col Purohit denies he provided the explosives for the September 29, 2008 attack in Malegaon town that killed six people, most of them returning from prayers at a local mosque. The officer’s bail plea was rejected by the Bombay High Court last year. He has spent almost nine years in judicial custody. The 45-year-old officer’s bail is also the latest instance of reprieve for suspected Hindu extremists. Read the story here.

Dinakaran loyalists gather at Jayalalithaa memorial after AIADMK merger, DMK ups ante

Within hours of two warring factions of the AIADMK coming together on Monday, fresh trouble was brewing for the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, with 18 MLAs trashing the merger and potentially putting the government at risk. The 18 MLAs, who are close to TTV Dinakaran, the sacked deputy general secretary of the party, in the night visited the J Jayalalithaa’s memorial and “meditated” for 15 minutes and left after speaking to media. Dinakaran would call on governor C Vidyasagar Rao on Tuesday and make the opposition of his group’s MLAs known to him, sources said. Read the story here.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Dy CM O Panneerselvam paying tributes at the memorial of J Jayalalithaa following merger of their factions in Chennai on Monday. (PTI)

Attention homebuyers! Official says 82 Greater Noida housing projects critical

The condition of 82 housing projects in Greater Noida is critical, a top official of the city said on Monday, sending alarm bells ringing for thousands of homebuyers in the wake of issues affecting the real estate sector in the national capital region. “Developers of 82 housing projects haven’t submitted their action plan as of delivery of their respective housing projects,” Greater Noida Authority (GNA) chief executive officer Debasish Panda said. “We are giving them another deadline and have scheduled a meeting with all builders, including these 82, on August 25. If they fail to submit an action plan by then, they will face legal action,” he said. Read the story here.

Indian suicide bomber killed many Kurdistan fighters in Syria: Islamic State

The Islamic State claimed on Monday that an Indian suicide bomber killed a “number” of people in an attack in Syria’s north west Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the terror group. In a statement in Arabic via its Amaq propaganda agency, the IS identified the Indian suicide bomber as Abu Yusuf al- Hindi, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based monitoring firm. The terror group claimed killing and wounding a “number” of what it described as “Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

apostates” in the suicide attack involving the Indian bomber. However, there was no confirmation about the IS claim by the Indian agencies. Read the story here.

Did Sasikala go out of Bengaluru prison? CCTV footage sparks speculation

Senior AIADMK leader VK Sasikala might have walked out of jail while serving a four-year sentence on corruption charges, according to an undated prison surveillance video that surfaced on Monday. The video, whose authenticity could not be verified by Hindustan Times, purportedly showed her walking into the jail in civilian clothes. The Hindu reported that the footage was part of evidence submitted by former Karnataka deputy inspector general of prisons Roopa D Moudgil to the state anti-corruption bureau in July. Moudgil had accused the prison authorities of accepting a bribe to extend special privileges to Sasikala. Read the story here.

Race-related protests spill over to Canada, Indian-origin activist arrested

Race-related agitation spilled over into Canada from the United States on Sunday and led to the arrest of an Indian-origin activist who was at a counter-demonstration. A week after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the contagion of race-related protests and counter-protests hit Canada’s Quebec City, where a group called Le Meute, or the Wolf Pack, had planned a vigil outside the provincial National Assembly against what they described as “illegal immigration”. The counter-protests turned violent at one stage. One person, Montreal-based activist Jaggi Singh, was arrested by police. Singh, a prominent social justice activist, told Canada’s CTV News earlier that Le Meute’s message was one “that needs to be confronted”. Read the story here.

McDonald’s terminates franchise agreement for 169 outlets in north, east India

McDonald’s India Pvt. Ltd (MIPL), the local unit of the American fast food chain, on Monday terminated its franchise agreement with Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt. Ltd (CPRL), which runs McDonald’s outlets in north and east India, and is now looking for a new partner. CPRL is a joint venture between MIPL and Vikram Bakshi, who is managing director of CPRL. McDonald’s cited “default in the payment of royalties by CPRL” as the primary reason for termination. As a result, CPRL will have to “cease using the McDonald’s system …and its associated intellectual property in relation to these restaurants within 15 days of the termination notice”. Read the story here.

A shut McDonald's outlet at Connaught place in New Delhi, India, on Monday, August 21, 2017. (Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

Barcelona attack: Spanish police shoot dead suspected driver of killer van

A man thought to be the driver in the Barcelona van attack was shot dead by Spanish police Monday after authorities announced he also was suspected of killing the owner of a hijacked getaway car. The fugitive was wearing a bomb belt, authorities said. Younes Abouyaaqoub was shot when officers confronted him in Subirats, a rural area known for its vineyards about 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Barcelona, police in Spain’s Catalonia region said. Abouyaaqoub, 22, had been the target of an international manhunt that had raised fears throughout the region since Thursday’s van attack in Barcelona. Read the story here.

Black moon rising: Solar eclipse gives Americans an excuse for outings

The moon blacked out the sun on Monday as the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the United States in nearly a century began over the West Coast, while millions of Americans looked skyward in wonder through protective glasses, telescopes and cameras. After weeks of anticipation, the sight of the moon’s silhouette passing directly in front of the sun, blotting out all but a halo-like solar corona and causing a precipitous drop in temperature, drew whoops and cheers from onlookers gathered at Roshambo ArtFarm in Sheridan, Oregon. Read the story here.

The diamond ring affect is seen during the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017, at Casper Collage Wyoming. The total eclipse lasted 2 min and 30 sec. (AFP)

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 07:21 IST