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Pongal celebrated in TN, 30 injured in Jallikattu

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Avaniapuram Jallikattu
Youngsters try to tame bulls at the Avaniapuram (Piture Credit Twitter Times Of Chennai)

Chennai, Jan 15 : About 30 persons were injured in the bull taming sport of Jallikattu that was held in Madurai district in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, according to reports.

The traditional Jallikattu is part of the Pongal festival celebrations in the state.

Jallikattu was held in Avaniyapuram in Madurai in which about 700 bulls and about 730 bull tamers participated.

A bull tamer has to hang on the bull’s hump for some minutes in order to claim the prize that ranges between gold and silver coins, household articles, and consumer durables.

Meanwhile Tamil Nadu celebrated harvest Pongal festival thanking the rain and sun gods and farm animals on the first day of Tamil month of Thai.

Across the state people got up early, put on new clothes and offered special prayers at temples.

At homes at the auspicious time children beating a small drum shouted ‘Pongolo Pongal’, ‘Pongolo Pongal’ when the milk started boiling over the pot as a part of preparing ‘Chakarai Pongal’ the special dish of the festival.

In some homes conches are blown prior to the formal offering.

When the milk boils over, other ingredients – rice, jaggery, Bengal gram – are added to the milk and finally ghee fried cashews, almonds and cardamom are also added. The pleasant aroma filled the homes making people salivate for the dish.

The mud pot or stainless steel in which the dish is cooked is decorated by tying up ginger, turmeric, sugarcane pieces and banana at the neck.

The Pongal dish is offered to the sun god as thanksgiving and eaten as ‘prasad’. People exchanged greetings and Chakarai Pongal with their neighbours.

The Pongal festivities take place over four days, the first day being Bhogi, which was on Tuesday, when people burn their old clothes, mats and other items. Homes are painted afresh.

The second day is the main Pongal festival celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month Thai.

The third day is the Mattu Pongal when bulls and cows are bathed and their horns painted and worshipped as they play an important role in farms.

Women feed the birds with coloured rice and pray for the welfare of their brothers.

The fourth day is the Kannum Pongal – the day to go out and meet relatives and friends, and go sightseeing.

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Delhi violence: Saved by Hindu neighbour, recalls Muslim survivor

“One person was locked inside his car and the vehicle set afire in front of my eyes. I narrowly escaped death. I think the rioters come from the Uttar Pradesh border.

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Hindu Muslim Delhi Violence
Delhi Violence: Shahbaz (L) and Vikas (R) mourn the death of their friend Rohit Solanki who was shot in the neck.

New Delhi, Feb 28 : Amid the mayhem witnessed in northeast Delhi, another tale of humanity and compassion getting the better of bigotry and hate was scripted, which was narrated by a Muslim resident of Shiv Vihar on Friday — how his Hindu neighbour saved his and his family’s life.

“Around 9 am on Tuesday, a mob of at least 500 persons arrived in our locality and burnt down my car. Since were were no more safe, I escaped along with my wife and children and took refuge in a Hindu brother’s house in the neighbourhood even as the mob burnt alive my older brother who lived nearby,” Saleem Kassar, 48, told IANS.

“The neighbour kept us in his house for the night. The next day, he and his wife helped me and my wife dress up as Hindus. While he applied a ’tilak’ on my forehead, his wife put vermilion and coloured dot on my wife’s forehead. Then only did we step out and took refuge in Mustafabad area,” he said.

Kassar said his dead brother, 52, was the only bread earner of his family, including a married daughter and a visually impaired son-in-law, who lost his eyesight four years ago, and their two children.

The survivor said that the violence in northeast Delhi was worse than that witnessed in 1984 against the Sikhs after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

He said three others were also killed in Shiv Vihar. “One person was locked inside his car and the vehicle set afire in front of my eyes. I narrowly escaped death. I think the rioters come from the Uttar Pradesh border. A few were from Shiv Vihar itself, who are history sheeters. All had their faces covered with cloths or helmets,” Kassar said.

(Sfoorti Mishra can be contacted at [email protected])

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S N Shrivastava appointed Delhi Police Commissioner, replaces Amulya Patnaik

Shrivastava was drafted into the Delhi Police on Tuesday evening to bring the riot-hit areas of the northeast district under control.

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S N Shrivastava IPS

New Delhi, Feb 28 : The Centre on Friday gave additional charge of Delhi Police Commissioner to senior IPS officer S.N. Shrivastava with effect from March 1 and until further orders with incumbent Amulya Patnaik retiring on Saturday.

The government’s order to give Shrivastava additional charge of Delhi Police chief though raised concerns whether he would continue on the post or any other officer would be appointed to head the 84,000 strong force.

The 1985-batch officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre, Srivastava, has been presently holding the charge of Special Commissioner of Delhi Police.

Shrivastava was drafted into the Delhi Police on Tuesday evening to bring the riot-hit areas of the northeast district under control.

A Home Ministry order issued on Friday mentioned that “with the approval of the competent authority, S.N. Shrivastava, IPS (AGMUT: 1985) presently posted with Delhi Police, as Special CP, is hereby given the additional charge of the post of the Commissioner of Police, Delhi with effect from March 1, 2020 and until further orders”.

Shrivastava was earlier posted as Special Director General (Training) with the Central Reserve Police Force. He was ADG (western zone) looking after Jammu and Kashmir at the peak of violence in 2016-17 when Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was gunned down.

The Central Reserve Police Force, where Shrivastava was serving as the Special Director General (Training), issued his reliving order for his “premature repatriation” from the paramilitary force soon after Home Ministry’s direction.

Earlier, Shrivastava headed the Delhi Police Special Cell and was instrumental in the arrest of scores of Indian Mujahideen operatives. He has served the Delhi Police in various capacities in the past.

Shrivastava, who holds a B. Tech and LLB degree, was tipped to take over as the new Delhi Police chief after he was called back to the force at a time when Delhi was facing violent protests and riot that led to the death of 38 people and left over 200 injured in a span of four days since February 23.

Patnaik’s extended tenure ends on February 29. He is a 1985 batch IPS officer from Union Territories cadre, and was appointed as Delhi Police chief on January 30, 2017.

He retired from the post on January 31 but was given one month extension in view Delhi Assembly elections which concluded earlier this month.

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Barmer SP removed, SHO suspended after Dailt death in police custody

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Jaipur, Feb 28 Twenty-four year old Jitendra Khatik, a dalit was killed while in police custody and after much hue and cry Barmer SP Sharat Choudhary was removed from his post late last night.

Jitendra Khatik was detained for committing theft on Wednesday, without an FIR, and died while in police custody on Thursday.

Nagaur MP and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party convenor Hanuman Beniwal, following which the Station House Officer Deep SIngh of Barmer Rural was suspended, and then the Superintendent of Police was removed from post until further orders.

The entire staff at the police station is in the line of fire as the incident has turned political after the RLP laeder raised questions on police working.

Beniwal has asked how can a youth be detained and tortured without any case registered against him. He could have been called for investigation but keeping him in police custody raises questions, he said.

The Rajasthan government is expected to respond to Beniwal’s questions in the Assembly on Friday.

Khatik’s family members said that they went to meet him on Thursday morning and at that time, he complained about police beating him. They came back after meeting him. However, his health deteriorated in afternoon suddenly in police station from where he was shifted to hospital.

The family has alleged that the youth was beaten and tortured leading to his death. The SHO did not care for him when he had fallen ill and the constable also took him to hospital not in an ambulance but in normal vehicle when he was quite unwell, the family said.

The doctors declared Jitendra Khatik as brought dead.

A post mortem is yet to be conducted.

The issue was raised in the Assembly on Thursday.

A judicial inquiry has also been ordered in the matter with Jodhpur IG Navjyoti Gogoi reaching Barmer on Thursday to look into the matter.

Barmer SP Choudhary on Thursday admitted that Khatik was picked up for questioning but no case was registered against him. “A medical board has been formed to conduct his post mortem and the SHO suspended while the entire staff of police station has been sent to lines.”

Late on Thursday even Chowdhury was declared APO till further orders.

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