Chennai Hyderabad News Live Updates: Rahul Gandhi attends Jallikattu at Madurai’s Avaniyapuram

Tamil Nadu Telangana Assembly Elections COVID-19 Live Updates: Jallikattu (bull taming event) has commenced at Avaniyapuram in Madurai, as Tamil Nadu celebrates the first day of Pongal today. Over 200 bulls are participating in the competition. As per COVID-19 guidelines issued by the state government, the number of players competing should not exceed 150 and COVID negative certificates are mandatory for the player. Meanwhile, the number of spectators should not to be more than 50 per cent of the gathering.

Also Read | Jallikattu: Tamil Nadu govt lays down Covid rules, bull tamers say ill-planned

Senior leaders from both the BJP and Congress will be taking part in Pongal celebrations across the state. While BJP president J P Nadda will be attending the ‘Namma Ooru Pongal‘ event in Chennai, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be attending Jallikattu at Avaniyapuram today.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu recorded 673 positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the state tally to 8,28,287. The state recorded six deaths on Wednesday, putting the state toll at 12,242. All six of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 821 patients were discharged following treatment, putting the total number of recoveries at 8,09,392.


Catch the latest news in Chennai and Hyderabad as we bring you live updates on Pongal celebrations, Jallikattu, Tamil Nadu rains, Tamil Nadu Elections 2021, 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

13:01 (IST)14 JAN 2021

17 people injured at Avaniyapuram Jallikattu so far

A total of 17 people – bull tamers, owners and spectators – have been injured amidst Jallikattu event at Madurai’s Avaniyapuram so far. A total of 788 bull tamers and 430 bulls are competing in the event on the first day of Pongal in Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, a man was stabbed after a fight erupted between two men on who will be releasing the bulls first.

12:44 (IST)14 JAN 2021

Rahul Gandhi, Udhayanidhi Stalin attend Jallikattu at Avaniyapuram

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and DMK youth wing leader Udhyanidhi Stalin attend Jallikattu at Madurai’s Avaniyapuram.

12:39 (IST)14 JAN 2021

Why Hyderabad kitemakers are not flying high this Makar Sankranti

In the run-up to Makar Sankranti, one of the major festivals in the region that falls in the beginning of the year, those involved in the making and selling of colourful kites and manja (threads) in Hyderabad were excited to start afresh. The dwindling number of COVID-19 cases in the city, as against an earlier predicted possibility of a second wave of the coronavirus infections, boosted their hopes as the year 2021 began. This time, however, ‘patangula panduga’, as the festival of kites is popularly called in Telugu, has not turned out the way the traders wanted.

Craftsmen usually start making kites meant for sale during Sankranti soon after the end of the previous year’s festival making it a round-the-year activity. Mohanlal of Narsing Traders near Puranapul in the old city has been selling kites since he was 10-years-old. Now 75, he says the COVID-19 pandemic, months-long lockdown, and the lack of sufficient modes of inter-state transport have added to a shortage of kites in the market and pushed the prices up by nearly 30 per cent.

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10:58 (IST)14 JAN 2021

Telangana police arrest another Chinese man in instant loan apps case

Telangana police arrested another Chinese national in connection with the ongoing probe into the instant online loan apps case. Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat, addressing the media on Wednesday, said that 26-year-old HE Jian alias Mark, a native of Jiangxi in China, was picked up from Thane in Maharashtra.

Jian has been living in India since July 2018 on a business Visa and is a representative of Chinese nationals Xu Nan, Xu Xinchang, and Zhao Qiao, who are the directors of several instant loan app companies that Rachakonda police uncovered after the arrest of another Chinese woman Liang Tian Tian last month.

At least 6 persons have ended their lives from across Telangana in the last few weeks owing to reported harassment and humiliation at the hands of instant loan app companies. More than 30 persons have been arrested to data in at least 50 cases registered in different police stations of the State.

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10:30 (IST)14 JAN 2021

235 flights to fly between Chennai and major cities

A total of 235 flights will be operated between Chennai and major cities today, with 117 arrivals and 118 departures scheduled at the Chennai International Airport.

09:59 (IST)14 JAN 2021

Covid safety norms thrown to the wind as fans rush to catch Master

Master, starring Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi in the lead roles, has brought in a new wave of energy for the exhibition sector in southern states, especially Tamil Nadu, where theatres went housefull on Wednesday despite the pandemic. Fans lined up in front of theatres as early as 5 am to catch the Lokesh Kanagaraj directorial. And looking at Chennai cinema-goers, one might think the pandemic is behind us.

Many film buffs were seen openly flouting covid protocols. This, despite the many hoardings and billboards outside cinema halls asking fans to sanitise, wear masks and observe social distancing. Be it dancing, cheering, waiting to enter the theatre or exiting after watching the film, many fans were seen without masks in Chennai theatres.

Film distributors have already declared Master a box office hit, but much needs to be said about the precautionary measures being taken by fans. Seeing the rush of people, it seems likely that Master will help the Tamil film industry land on its feet. But the question remains, at what cost?

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09:22 (IST)14 JAN 2021

UK returnees: 16 primary cases and 16 contact cases test negative, under home quarantine

A total of 26 passengers who had returned to Tamil Nadu from UK and 20 of their primary contacts have tested positive for COVID-19 till date. Among the 26 primary cases, 16 of who tested negative in their follow up RT-PCR test have been discharged and kept under home quarantine. Similarly, 16 of the 20 contact cases have been discharged and kept under home quarantine.

Among the 26 primary cases, nine cases were reported in Chennai, three each in Thanjavur, Madurai, Nilgiris and Chengalpattu and one each in Theni, Nagapattinam, Coimbatore, Karur and Virudhunagar. Among the 20 contact cases, six were reported in Chennai, three in Thanjavur, two each in Nilgiris and Theni, four in Chengalpattu and three in Nagapattinam.

A total of 2300 passengers had travelled to Tamil Nadu from UK between November 25 and December 23, of which 2146 have been tested. Among these, 24 have tested positive, 2122 have tested negative and the tracing of more passengers is underway. Additionally, 3942 close contacts of the 2146 passengers who had tested negative were also tested for COVID-19 and were found to be negative.

A total of 221 passengers had travelled to Tamil Nadu from UK between January 8 and January 13, of which 114 have been tested. Among these, two have tested positive, 92 have tested negative and the results of 20 passengers are awaited.

All the UK returnees and their contacts have been kept in isolation wards, according to the Tamil Nadu Health Department.

09:21 (IST)14 JAN 2021

COVID-19: Cases continue to decline in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu recorded 673 positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the state tally to 8,28,287. Among these, Chennai reported 192 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,28,368.

The state recorded six deaths on Wednesday, putting the state toll at 12,242. All six of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. The state discharged 821 patients following treatment, putting the total number of recoveries at 8,09,392.

As of Wednesday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 6653. Till date, 5,00,639 males, 3,27,614 females and 34 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, 1,50,08,259 samples from the state have been sent for testing till date, with 62,683 samples having been sent yesterday. There are 249 COVID-19 testing facilities in the state, out of which 68 are government and 181 are private facilities.

09:20 (IST)14 JAN 2021

Welcome to today’s live blog

Good morning!
Welcome to the live blog from Chennai and Hyderabad where we bring to you the latest updates on Jallikattu, Pongal celebrations, Tamil Nadu elections 2021, COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, UK COVID-19 virus in Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and more across Chennai and Hyderabad throughout the day. Follow the blog to stay up to date with the states in real time.

18:29 (IST)13 JAN 2021

J P Nadda to visit Tamil Nadu tomorrow

BJP president J P Nadda will be visiting poll-bound Tamil Nadu on Thursday. The party said he would attend the ‘Namma Ooru Pongal’ event, a state-wide programme launched by the saffron organisation to reach out to the people, in Chennai.

Nadda will also be addressing Thuglak magazine’s 51st anniversary function.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is also likely to be in the state on the day. The party’s state president K S Alagiri had said on Tuesday that Gandhi would visit Tamil Nadu on Pongal day and witness the traditional bull-taming event ‘Jallikattu’. (PTI)

17:42 (IST)13 JAN 2021

After Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech ships Covid vaccines to 11 cities

Hyderabad-headquartered Bharat Biotech flew the first batch of Covaxin, its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine, to 11 cities across India on Wednesday, a day after Serum Institute of India (SII) shipped batches of Covishield, a variant of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 vaccine that it has manufactured under licence in India.

Both these vaccines are expected to be used in the government’s mass vaccination programme against Covid-19 that starts on Saturday.

The Hyderabad firm said it had successfully shipped the first batch of the vaccines to Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bangalore, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai, and Lucknow “in the early hours of Wednesday”. Each vial shipped contains 20 doses.

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16:55 (IST)13 JAN 2021

CM award for over 3,000 uniformed services personnel on Pongal

As many as 3,186 police and other uniformed services personnel will be presented the Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers Medals on the occasion of Pongal in recognition of their outstanding devotion to duty, the government said on Wednesday.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Constabulary Medals awards will be presented to 3,000 police personnel in the rank of Grade-I Police Constables, Head Constables, Havildars and Special Sub-Inspectors of Police, an official release said. Further, 120 Fire and Rescue Services Personnel and 60 Prison and Correctional Services Personnel (Men and Women) will be conferred the Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers Medals in recognition of their outstanding devotion to duty, it said.

In addition to the above awards, Palaniswami has ordered the Chief Ministers Medal for Excellence in Technical and Specialised Services to six personnel, two each from the Police Radio Branch, Dog Squad and Police Photographers, the release added.

These medals, along with scroll with signature of the Chief Minister, will be presented to the recipients at a ceremonial medal parade to be held in due course, the release added. (PTI)

15:53 (IST)13 JAN 2021

With BJP seeking foot in Andhra door, TDP takes a Hindutva turn

Routed in Assembly as well as Parliamentary elections in 2019, and with the Bharatiya Janata Party trying to get a foothold in the state, N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is rebranding its politics in Andhra Pradesh, with a pro-Hindu tilt.

Desecration of idols and vandalism at temples in the state has provided it with a pretext to position itself as a protector of Hindu traditions. Such communal politics is new to Andhra, and TDP probably felt the urgency and compulsion to change tack with the BJP having initiated an aggressive membership drive, and having announced a rath yatra now.

Buoyed by its performance in neighbouring Telangana, the BJP is testing the waters in Andhra with plans to contest the Tirupati Parliamentary seat where a by-election is due following the recent death of YSRCP MP B Durgaprasad Rao. That may be so, but it is the TDP, the NDA’s ally till a bitter break-up in March 2018, which has launched fiery attacks on the YSRCP government and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

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15:06 (IST)13 JAN 2021

Chennai airport’s new terminal to be commissioned by 2022-end: AAI

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) said on Wednesday that the new integrated terminal at the Chennai International Airport will be commissioned by December 2022.

The new terminal will have a total area of 2,18,000 sqm and function as one large integrated terminal for international and domestic operations, the AAI said. The new terminal will enhance the present capacity from 21 million passengers per annum to 35 million passengers per annum, the AAI said in a press release.

The project will be completed in two stages. In the first stage, domestic terminal 2 has been demolished for construction of new facility which is scheduled to be commissioned by June 2021, it said.

In the second stage, international terminal 3 would be demolished and new terminal would be constructed in its place. “The total project (single integrated terminal) will be commissioned by December 2022,” the AAI noted. (PTI)

14:24 (IST)13 JAN 2021

Three members of ‘Chennai Talks’ Youtube channel arrested for uploading obscene content

The Chennai city police Monday arrested three members of a Tamil YouTube channel ‘Chennai Talks’ for uploading a video of profanity content.

A resident of Besant Nagar filed a complaint Monday evening demanding strict against the people responsible for the interview of a woman who spoke indecently in public.

In a 10 minute 36 seconds video titled ‘How 2020 went| Girls Open Speech’, the anchor was seen asking women at the Besant Nagar Beach questions about how they spent the last year amid lockdown rules. One of the remarks has landed the channel in trouble.

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14:01 (IST)13 JAN 2021

Hyderabad: Nizam’s family seeks one-time solution to pending tax issues

Family members of the last Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan have urged the government of India to resolve the Nizam Jewellery Trust income and wealth tax issue pending for the last 26 years.

Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of the last Nizam, Tuesday said that the day marked 26 years of the issue around the income and wealth tax of the Nizams’ Jewellery Trust remaining unsettled. Khan demanded a one-time settlement of the issue as 39 of the 114 beneficiaries from the Nizam Family have expired during this period and the rest are senior citizens facing severe health and financial issues.

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13:23 (IST)13 JAN 2021

After BJP, now Congress announces Pongal celebrations, Rahul to attend Jallikattu

While national and state leaders of the BJP have already started participating in the party’s statewide celebrations of the Tamil festival Pongal, the Congress has also announced that senior leader Rahul Gandhi will reach the state for Pongal celebrations and attend the traditional bull-taming sport ‘Jallikattu’ at the famous Avaniyapuram arena near Madurai on Pongal day on January 14.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri confirmed Gandhi’s one-day visit to Madurai — reportedly the first of several programmes being planned in the state ahead of the May 2021 Assembly polls.

While BJP’s celebrations were named as “Namma Ooru Pongal,” Congress too has named their event “Rahul’s Thamizh Vanakkam”.

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12:26 (IST)13 JAN 2021

331 new cases, 3 deaths reported in Telangana

Telangana recorded 331 fresh coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking the total caseload to over 2.90 lakh while three more fatalities pushed the toll to 1,571.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 61, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri and Karimnagar with 28 and 25 respectively, a government bulletin said on Wednesday.

The total number of cases stood at 2,90,640 while recoveries were at 2,84,611. As many as 4,458 patients are under treatment and 38,192 samples were tested on Tuesday. Cumulatively, over 73.50 lakh samples have been tested. The samples tested per million population was over 1.97 lakh, the bulletin said.

The case fatality rate in the state was 0.54 per cent while the recovery rate in Telangana was 97.92 per cent. (PTI)

11:56 (IST)13 JAN 2021

Tamil Nadu govt bans entry to tourist hot spots in Chennai ahead of Pongal

The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday issued an order banning entry to popular tourist spots in Chennai to prevent people from gathering in large numbers amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. As per the order, Aringnar Anna Zoological Park near Vandaloor in Chengalpet district, National Park in Guindy, tourist spots in Mamallapuram, Marina and other beaches will be restricted to public on January 15, 16 and 17.

The announcement comes weeks after the government extended the lockdown till January 31 and prohibited public congregation in beaches across the state in view of the ‘Kaanum Pongal’ festival on January 16. People residing in Chennai and its neighbouring districts gather at the beaches to celebrate the festival with friends and family.

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11:25 (IST)13 JAN 2021

Telangana: Special Court acquits Ministers, MLAs, and MPs; Forum demands appointment of full-time PP

The Special Court trying MPs and MLAs have acquitted or discharged 49 legislators from the state in 86 criminal cases during 2018 and 2019, a Right To Information response has revealed. The Forum for Good Governance, which filed the RTI, said that the absence of a regular public prosecutor and permanent staff for the court led to acquittal or discharge due to lack of focus on cases.

The acquitted include Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Union MOS for Home G Kishan Reddy, Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, MPs Asaduddin Owaisi, A Revanth Reddy, Ministers KT Rama Rao, T Harish Rao, Etala Rajender, T Srinivas Yadav, MLC K Kavitha, and MLAs Akbaruddin Owaisi, T Raja Singh, etc.

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