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Excitement marks solar eclipse viewing in Hyderabad

The solar eclipse coincided with the 15th anniversary of the 2004 tsunami that killed 230,000 people along the coast of the Indian Ocean.

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Hyderabad solar eclipse

Hyderabad, Dec 26 : There was excitement in the air as families thronged Birla Science Planetarium and parks here on Thursday to watch the solar eclipse, the last of the decade.

Wearing solar filters, men, women and children watched the partial eclipse, which began around 8.08 a.m. and lasted for little over three hours.

The sky watchers thronged Birla Planetarium in the heart of the city and Indira Park, where Planetary Society of India had made special arrangements for the enthusiasts to watch the celestial event.

Initially the clouds marred the visibility, disappointing a large number of people who had gathered at different places to watch the eclipse. Later the clouds cleared, providing a clear view of the partial eclipse.

Dr B.G. Siddharth, director, Birla Planetarium, joined the visitors to watch the eclipse. He advised people to take all precautions. “Watching the eclipse with a naked eye is harmful. The ultraviolet radiation can damage the retina,” he said advising the sky watchers to use solar filters and other safe equipment.

Annual solar eclipse happens when the moon covers the sun’s centre, leaving the sun’s visible outer edges to form a ‘ring of fire’ or annulus around the moon.

The solar eclipse coincided with the 15th anniversary of the 2004 tsunami that killed 230,000 people along the coast of the Indian Ocean.

The experts at Birla Planetarium, however, said it was a mere coincidence and that they did not anticipate any such extreme weather event.

The planetarium organised a special show about the solar eclipse at the observatory including how an eclipse occurs.

Young students were thrilled to watch the eclipse. “It is really exciting to see the eclipse,” exclaimed R. Aditya, a class six student at a city school.

Planetary Society of India also organised a programme at Indira Park to enable people to watch the solar eclipse through solar filters and telescope. The society officials explained how the celestial event happens.

Jana Vignana Vedika, a NGO working to build scientific temper among people, along with students’ union of Osmania University organised a programme titled ‘breakfast over eclipse’ to bust the myths and superstitions about the eclipse. People associated with the NGO and invitees had breakfast on the campus of Osmania University.

“We want to tell people that eating during the eclipse will have no harmful effect on food. It is just a superstition that eclipse poisons your food,” said Jana Vignana Vedika activist Ramesh.

He along with other activists also offered ‘puja’ to counter the superstition that there should be no worship during the eclipse and that the temples should be closed.

He said there was a need to remove other superstitions that the eclipse harms pregnant women or brings bad luck.

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Those born in TN won’t be affected by CAA: Palaniswami

Palaniswami said those who were born in Tamil Nadu will not be affected by CAA.

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Edappadi K Palaniswami

Chennai, Feb 18 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Tuesday said those who were born in the state would not be affected by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Speaking in the Assembly, Palaniswami said the opposition DMK should explain who in Tamil Nadu would get affected by CAA.

Palaniswami said those who were born in Tamil Nadu will not be affected by CAA.

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Jamia violence: Sharjeel Imam sent to 14-day judicial custody

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Sharjeel Imam

New Delhi, Feb 18 : Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam was on Tuesday sent to 14-day judicial custody in connection with violence which erupted in Jamia on December 15, last year.

Protests against the newly-enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) had turned violent on December 15 near Delhi’s Jamia Nagar. Several buses were set on fire during the violence in which police and protesters sustained injuries.

Sharjeel was arrested on Monday in connection with the case and then sent to one-day police custody. He was produced before the court on Tuesday at the end of his remand period.

The Delhi police have named him as an instigator in the chargesheet filed in the case.

He was also slapped with a sedition case last month for allegedly making inflammatory speeches against the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

He is accused of mobilising students and is currently in judicial custody in connection with the case.

In a purported video, Imam was seen talking about splitting the northeast region from India to block the implementation of the NRC.

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6 killed in SUV-bus collision on Lucknow-Agra Expressway

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Lucknow, Feb 18 (IANS) At least six persons were killed and 15 injured on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, when an SUV collided with a bus.

The accident happened on Monday night. The Volvo bus, belonging to Bihar Roadways, was on its way from Delhi to Bihar when the driver fell asleep and crossed the divider to hit a Fortuner coming from the opposite side.

The bus crossed the divider and fell into the service lane.

Five persons in the Fortuner were killed and the bus driver also died in the mishap. The bus had about 40 passengers.

According to the police, the Fortuner belonged to a Delhi resident Sunita Singh.

Four of the five decease have been identified as Sunny, 35, Mukesh, 40, Ram Shankar and Surjit. The fifth deceased has not yet been identified.

The injured passengers have been admitted to local medical facilities.

Sources said that the impact of the collision was so great that none of the passengers in the SUV could survive even though the air bags had opened up.

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