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LIVE! First Muslim woman set to be elected to US Congress

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August 08, 2018


23:37  First Muslim woman set to be elected to US Congress:  
A 42-year-old Muslim woman has won the Democratic nomination to run unopposed for a House seat in Michigan, bringing her closer to becoming the first female from the minority community to be elected to the United States Congress, according to a media report.

Rashida Tlaib, a former state Representative, has won a crowded battle to replace former US Representative John Conyers Jr in the Michigan's 13th Congressional District Democratic primary, The Detroit News reported.

No Republican is running for the seat in the Democratic-leaning district, meaning Palestinian-origin Tlaib is virtually guaranteed to win the seat in election scheduled for November.

Tlaib had pulled in 33.2 per cent of the vote over Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who has 29.2 per cent, with 96 per cent of precincts reporting, it said.

She has boasted a grassroots campaign and came out on top in fundraising, topping $1 million. She said her day had been filled with emotion and described it as 'happy chaos', the report said.

'Especially meeting voters and talking to them, they are inspired,' she was quoted as saying by the report.

Tlaib had served in the Michigan House from 2009 until 2014.

The 89-year-old Conyers was first elected to the House in 1964. He stepped down in December citing health reasons, though several former female staffers had accused him of sexual harassment.

The daughter of Palestinian immigrants and the eldest of 14 children, Tlaib became the first Muslim woman in the state legislature in 2008. She was a lawyer and community activist prior to her political career.

The 13th Congressional District she will represent includes a large southern area of suburban Detroit in Wayne County. After boundary lines were redrawn in 2012, the 13th is the only congressional district entirely within one county.  -- PTI
23:06  Dalit student tricked into drinking urine, attempts suicide:  
A Class 8 Dalit student attempted suicide in Punjab's Jalandhar after he was allegedly tricked into drinking urine by his classmates and his teacher slapped him for complaining about it, police said today.

The teacher, Shriki Sharma, has been booked yesterday for allegedly assaulting and using casteist slurs against the 12-year-old boy.

The student is hospitalised with multiple fractures after he jumped from the roof of his house following the incident in a private school last Friday, a police officer said.

According to his mother's complaint, some of the boy's classmates allegedly urinated in his water bottle and ridiculed him after he drank it.

When he complained to his class teacher, Sharma allegedly slapped and rebuked him, and took him to the principal.

The boy's mother was called to the school where she was insulted and casteist remarks were made against her son, the complaint added.

A case has been registered against Sharma under Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code and under various sections of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the officer said.

The state scheduled castes commission has taken cognisance of the matter.

Its member, Raj Kumar Hans, visited the school and the boy's family, and sought a report by August 29.  -- PTI
22:08  Jaitley likely to attend RS tomorrow for deputy chairman election:  
Leader of the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, who stepped aside as finance minister in May to undergo a kidney transplant, is likely to attend the House tomorrow to participate in the election for the Deputy Chairman's post, sources said.

This will be the Jaitley's first appearance in the Parliament during the ongoing monsoon session.

"Jaitleyji will be present in the house tomorrow to participate in the voting," a source said.

Jaitley, 65, who stopped attending office at the beginning of April, underwent a renal transplant operation on May 14.

On that day the charge of his ministry was given to Minister for Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal on an interim basis.

Jaitley, a Rajya Sabha MP since 2000, was re-elected to the Upper House from Uttar Pradesh in March.

Jaitley had undergone a bariatric surgery soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party government came to power at the Centre in 2014.

The surgery was to treat weight gain that he suffered because of a long-standing diabetic condition.  -- PTI
21:34  No info was 'discovered' about me on account of Aadhaar: TRAI chief:  
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chief R S Sharma, who had engaged in a verbal duel with the Twitterati over potential misuse of Aadhaar, today said that no information was 'discovered' about him on account of sharing of Aadhaar number but conceded that social media was not a suitable forum to discuss complex policy matters.

"...I can say with full responsibility that no information has been discovered about me due to Aadhaar. All this information was discoverable without Aadhaar... whatever was attempted to be discovered, could have been known even without Aadhaar," Sharma told PTI in an interview today.

Sharma, former Unique Identification Authority of India director general, has been an ardent supporter of the Aadhaar programme, vouching for the safety of the system, and dispelling privacy concerns surrounding the national ID scheme even during his current stint as TRAI chief.

Sharma -- who is set to complete his tenure as chairman of TRAI tomorrow -- had a stand-off with critics of Aadhaar late last month, after he disclosed his unique ID number on the microblogging site and asked people to show how mere knowledge of the number could be used to harm him.

The move had caused a social media flutter and a tsunami of tweets had ensued in the aftermath of the Aadhaar dare.

Clearing the air over the Aadhaar debate, Sharma said: "Unfortunately, it appears that the Aadhaar challenge was by me...no...It was a challenge thrown upon me, and I just responded to that challenge."

"Somebody said why don't you walk the talk, and why not give Aadhaar number so I said...here it is, and now I give you this challenge," Sharma recalled.

He, however, said that social media was not a suitable platform to discuss complex policy issues.

"Social media is not an appropriate platform to discuss complex policy issues, that is something I have learnt," said the outgoing TRAI chief.

Following the Aadhaar challenge last month, some users claimed to have got access to Sharma's bank account number and email, although the TRAI chief had refuted such claims saying they were untrue.

The UIDAI had thereafter asked people not to share publicly their 12-digit identifier on Internet and social media, or pose such challenges to others.  -- PTI
20:57  MoS defence, Army vice chief pay homage to 4 soldiers killed in J&K:  
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre and several senior Army officials today paid homage to four soldiers who were killed in a gunbattle with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir yesterday.

Bhamre, Vice Chief of the Army Lt Gen Devraj Anbu and other senior Army officials laid wreath at the bodies that were brought to the Palam Technical Area of the Air Force, Army spokesperson Col Aman Anand said.

Yesterday, an Army team led by Major Kaustubh Prakash Kumar Rane (29) laid a siege of the Gurez area in Bandipore district of north Kashmir, but were fired by terrorists.

Major Rane and three other soldiers were killed in the encounter and two of the infiltrating terrorists were gunned down.

The mortal remains of the Army personnel were sent to their home states.  -- PTI

IMAGE: Army officials pay tribute to Major Kaustubh Prakash Kumar Rane, Rifleman Hameer Singh, Rifleman Mandeep Singh Rawat and Gnr Vikram Jeet Singh during wreath-laying ceremony, in New Delhi on Wednesday.  Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI Photo
20:42  Railways announces 2 more exam special trains for exams:  
A day after announcing special trains for its computer-based exam, the railways said today that two more trains would run between Bihar's Muzaffarpur city and Secunderabad in Telangana.

Nearly 48 lakh candidates will appear for the first set of the computer-based tests for 66,502 vacancies of assistant loco-pilots (ALP) and technicians.

The exams will be conducted in a phased manner till August 31. The next set of exams is on August 10, followed by exams on August 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, 29, 30 and 31.

The 05289 Muzaffarpur-Secunderabad special train departed from Muzaffarpur this noon and will arrive at Secunderabad at 1 pm on Friday, a statement said.

The return 05290 Secunderabad-Muzaffarpur train will depart Secunderabad at 9 pm on Friday and arrive at Muzaffarpur at 2 am on Sunday.

It will stop at Samastipur, Barauni, Mokama, Bakhtiyapur, Patna, Ara, Buxar, Dildarnagar, Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Allahabad Cheoki, Satna, Katni, Jabalpur, Itarsi, Nagpur and Balharshah stations.

Yesterday, the national transporter had announced three special trains -- Patna-Indore-Patna, Danapur-Secunderabad and Darbhanga Secunderabad -- for the exam.  -- PTI
20:38  Four terrorists gunned down in J&K's Baramulla; soldier also hurt:  
Four terrorists were killed by security forces in an encounter in the forests of Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir today, officials said.

A soldier was also injured, they said.

Security forces had launched a search operation in the Ladoora forests in Rafiabad area on Monday following information about the presence of terrorists, a police official said.

The search operation turned into a gunbattle this morning with both sides exchanging fire, he said.

One soldier was injured in the initial firefight, he said.

An Army official said four terrorists were killed in the operation which was still on.  -- PTI

Image for representation only.
19:17  21 gun salute for Karunanidhi :  Karunanidhi was accorded a state funeral. Jawans from the three services -- army, navy and airforce -- gave the 21-gun salute as the lid of the coffin was closed and lowered into the grave. 
19:15  Karunanidhi laid to rest :  The coffin holding Karunanidhi's body is lowered to the ground. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes. Slogans like 'Kalaignar pugazh vazhga vazhgavey' (long live the glory of Karunanidhi) rent the air as tri-service personnel lifted the glass casket containing the mortal remains and walked up to the flower bedecked military gun carriage before the body was kept at the memorial ground for final farewells.
19:04  Karunanidhi laid to rest :  Karunanidhi laid to rest. A 21-gun salute later, the coffin is lowered to the ground. Not a dry eye among his family. Even Alagiri, who was cast out of the fold by this father, weeping copiously.
18:57  Family says farewell to a father, leader, patriarch :  The tricolour has been removed from Karunanidhi's body and handed over to Stalin. After which the body is moved from the cortege to the coffin, where an emotional family says its final farewells. Stalin weeping in front of his father's body, as Kanimozhi gently touches her father's cheeks and says her goodbyes. Karunanidhi's body is still draped in the DMK flag.
18:38  Family says goodbye:  Finally, the family now paying their respects: Karunandihi's wife Dayaluammal, Stalin, Alagiri, Kanimozhi, Selvi, offering flowers at the feet of Karunanidhi, in a final goodbye.
18:33   All the VVIPs now paying tribute before the body of Karunanidhi draped in a tricolour.  The hauntingly beautiful Last Post is being played.
18:26  Ceremonial farewell for Karunanidhi begins at Marina beach:  Karunanidhi will be accorded a state funeral but there will be no religious ceremony as the DMK patriarch was an atheist.

The family putting up a united face in a time of grief. Remains to be seen whether the siblings will accept Stalin's leadership in the absence of the patriarch.


Deve Gowda in his condolence message said, "His (DMK chief's) understanding and emphasis on social welfare stood out. Firmly committed to democratic ideals, his strong opposition to the Emergency will always be remembered."
18:21  Karunanidhi's body reaches Marina beach:  At Marina Beach where M Karunanidhi will be buried, MK Stalin personally goes up and meets the gathered dignitaries seated under a canopy. Every VVIP with the exception of PM Modi, who paid their tributes to the DMK patriarch at Rajaji Hall, are here. There's Rahul Gandhi, Chandrababu Naidu, Ghulam Nabi Azad, the TN governor, Deve Gowda and Derek O' Brien. Stalin held Gowdas hands and spoke to him quietly after which the JD-S leader gestured to Stalin to move on and greet the others. Karunanidhi's family have taken  their seats under the canopy. The cortege has just entered the Marina beach area. Kanimozhi is seated next to Stalin, which puts paid to reports that in the aftermath of Karunanidhi's death, others in the family will stake claim to the throne. 


UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi today termed the death of the DMK patriarch as a "personal loss", saying he was like a "father figure" to her and the country has become poorer without his wise statesmanship. In a letter to Karunanidhi's son and DMK chief M K Stalin, Gandhi said 'Kalaignar' was a towering figure in the world of politics and public service in both Tamil Nadu and the country.


IMage: Stalin with Alagiri and his sister Selvi.
18:20  Karunanidhi's body reaches Marina beach:  At Marina Beach where M Karunanidhi will be buried, MK Stalin personally goes up and meets the gathered dignitaries seated under a canopy. Every VVIP with the exception of PM Modi, who paid their tributes to the DMK patriarch at Rajaji Hall, are here. There's Rahul Gandhi, Chandrababu Naidu, Ghulam Nabi Azad, the TN governor, Deve Gowda and Derek O' Brien. Stalin held Gowdas hands and spoke to him quietly after which the JD-S leader gestured to Stalin to move on and greet the others. Karunanidhi's family have taken  their seats under the canopy. The cortege has just entered the Marina beach area. Kanimozhi is seated next to Stalin, which puts paid to reports that in the aftermath of Karunanidhi's death, others in the family will stake claim to the throne. 


UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi today termed the death of the DMK patriarch as a "personal loss", saying he was like a "father figure" to her and the country has become poorer without his wise statesmanship. In a letter to Karunanidhi's son and DMK chief M K Stalin, Gandhi said 'Kalaignar' was a towering figure in the world of politics and public service in both Tamil Nadu and the country.


IMage: Stalin with Alagiri and his sister Selvi.
18:10  Have full faith in CBI: Bihar minister:  Bihar's social welfare minister Manju Verma, who resigned today over the  Muzaffarpur Shelter Home scandal says she resigned because media and opposition had created a furore. "But I have full faith in the CBI and the judiciary. I am sure the truth will be out and my husband will come out clean. Call records of accused Brajesh Thakur should be made public, we will then see who all he used to talk to."
18:02  Gujarat ATS nabs 2002 Ghatkopar blast accused in Maharashtra:   In other news, an absconding accused in the 2002 Ghatkopar blast incident in Mumbai was today arrested by the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad, an official said.

ATS officials nabbed Yahya Abdul Rehman Shaikh (45) from Aurangabad in Maharashtra and handed him over to the Maharashtra police, said a senior ATS official. Shaikh had fled to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia immediately after the blast, and returned to Aurangabad only two days ago, he said. -- PTI
17:51  Karunanidhi's cortege inches its way to Marina beach:  Heart-rendering slogans like 'Kalaignar pugazh vazhga vazhgavey' (long live the glory of Karunanidhi) rent the air as tri-service personnel lifted the glass casket containing the mortal remains and walked up to the decked up military hearse.


Sobbing family members, including the late leader's sons M K Stalin and Tamizharasu, followed them.


The hearse is still inching its way to the Marina beach about 1.7 km from Rajaji Hall with thousands of people lining up on the roads to catch a last glimpse of the departed leader.


Hundreds of people sporting black shirts and carrying pictures and banners of the late leader followed the hearse. Karunanidhi's body was draped in the national tri-colour with his trademark black glasses, yellow shawl, white shirt and dhothi on. -- PTI
17:14  21 injured in fire at Bharat Petroleum refinery in Mumbai:  Twenty-one people have been injured in the fire that broke out at a refinery of Bharat Petroleum in Mahul, Chembur, after explosions this afternoon, a Fire Brigade official said. One person is said to be critical. The plant at Mahul road of Mumbai caught fire at around 3 pm, the official said. The fire is still raging, even as seven fire engines and two foam tenders have been pressed into service to douse the blaze, the official said.
17:06  Cries of 'Long LIve, Karunanidhi' escort DMK patriarch to Marina beach:  Long live Karunanidhi, chants ring out as the gun carriage with the DMK patriarch's s body is being taken for burial to Marina beach.

Mixed emotions from the crowd lining the 2-kilometre road to Marina beach, some weeping, others singing and playing music in celebration of the life that Karunanidhi lived.

The Madras High Court granted permission for Karunanidhi's burial at Marina beach this morning, in a huge relief to the party. If the court had not decided in the DMK's favour, the images of relative calm in Chennai, would have been quite different.


The DMK patriarch will be laid to rest at Anna Square memorial along Chennai's Marina beach.


Hundreds of supporters are escorting the gun carriage to the Marina beach.

At Marina Beach, the moment of the court order came in, the ground was prepared for his burial. The memorial, will quite naturally, be built at the place, later on.

Karunanidhi died on Tuesday in Chennai. He was 94. The Tamil Nadu government has announced a seven-day mourning in his honour.
16:55  The VVIPs who paid homage :   Several chief ministers and political leaders paid tribute to late DMK chief M Karunanidhi at the Rajaji Hall in Chennai today. Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and senior party leader Prakash Karat, CPI national secretary D Raja, former chief ministers of Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, Oommen Chandy and Akhilesh Yadav respectively, among other leaders paid homage to the departed leader. Kerala Governor P Sathasivam accompanied Vijayan and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala. "He was a tall political leader of our country and a very good administrator. When he was a chief minister, he was very considerate towards Kerala and Keralites. I remember our good relationship," Chandy said.


Also, those from the Tamil film fraternity paid tribute to the departed DMK patriarch. Writer and lyricist Vairamuthu broke down while speaking to reporters as he quoted a poem written by Karunanidhi after Periyar E V Ramasamy's demise. "Can we accept destruction of Taj Mahal just because it is an old structure? Just like what Karunanidhi wrote for Periyar's demise, we cannot accept the fact that Kalaignar is no more," he said.


Image: Writer and lyricist Vairamuthu broke down as he consoled MK Stalin
16:52  Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma, embroiled in Muzaffarpur shelter home scandal, hands over resignation to CM Nitish Kumar. 
16:35  Editors Guild accuses NDA govt of attempting to curb press freedom:  The Editors Guild of India today decried "all attempts" by the government to "interfere" with the independence of the media, taking strong note of senior journalists of two TV channels quitting and frequent instances of broadcast signals being blocked of programmes seen to be critical of the ruling dispensation.


The Guild, in a statement, demanded suitable action against those responsible for "nefarious activities" aimed at "throttling" press freedom and urged media owners not to "cow down" to political pressure being put on them by the government or any other forces. It demanded that the government take note of the cases of disruptions in television programme signals, investigate and explain how and under what circumstances these "egregious violations" are taking place.


The Guild, an umbrella body of media organisations, said such attempts strike at the root of media freedom and the foundations of India's democracy.


"It (government) must also assure the nation that either directly or through any proxies or agencies it isn't involved in this activity. And if it isn't, these saboteurs must be brought to book. Freedom of airwaves cannot be tampered with," said the Guild.


The strong statement comes days after the managing editor and two anchors of a prominent TV channel resigned. The Congress has alleged that they quit due to pressure from the government for airing stories critical of the Modi dispensation. Asserting that such instances were "disconcerting", the Guild said it decries "all attempts on the part of the government to interfere in the free and independent functioning of journalists, either put under pressure directly, or through the proprietors". It said the past few days have seen senior journalists of at least two electronic media channels come out in the open to assert that their employers attempted to either "tailor" or "tone down" content to make it less critical of the government, leaving them with no choice but to resign. The Guild said at least one such instance was reported formally in writing to it. "The Editors Guild of India condemns the manner in which the right to practise free and independent journalism is seen to be undermined by a combination of forces -- some media owners' inability to withstand covert or overt pressures from the political establishment and frequent instances of blocking or interference in the transmission of television content that is seen to be critical of the government," it said. The Guild said one TV channel has also shared with it screen-shots and details indicating such interference. "Even more worrying are the recent instances where signals of television programmes critical of the government have seemingly been blocked or disrupted in a manner almost Orwellian," it said.


"These undermine the right to be informed and to hold the establishment accountable. This seems a brazen attempt to punish 'unfriendly' news channels and silence inconvenient voices," the statement said.
16:20  That's the gun carriage with Karunanidhi's body being taken to Marina beach. 
16:13  NC chief Farooq Abdullah, flanked by NCP leaders Praful Patel and Sharad Pawar.
16:11  
NCP chief Sharad Pawar at Rajaji Hall, moments earlier.
16:09  AIADMK minister's vehicle accosted :  The vehicle of AIADMK minister D Jayakumar who was heading to Rajaji Hall was accosted by DMK supporters, who banged on the vehicle refusing to allow it to pass. The DMK cadre were upset after MK Stalin addressed them in the wake of the stampede at Rajaji Hall blaming the AIADMK government for the inadequate security measures which he said led to the stampede. Two people have died and at least 33 were injured in the incident.
16:03  Lakhs line the streets as Karunanidhi begins final journey :  The last journey of M Karunanidhi from Rajaji Hall to his final resting place next to his mentor Annadurai at Marina Beach, has just begun.
Draped in the tricolour wearing his iconic black spectacles, the glass coffin is being carried by the army to the gun carriage.  Karunanidhi was an atheist, so there will be no rituals.


The funeral procession will work its work through the lakhs of mourners via Sivananda Road and Thanthai Periyar Road to reach Anna Square.
He will be buried adjacent to mausoleum of former Chief Minister and his mentor C N Annadurai on the sands of Marina, it said. "Party supporters and public are requested to stay calm during the procession and pay their respects to the unparallelled leader," it said.


The golden casket in which the mortal remains of Karunanidhi would be laid to rest is engraved with the words in Tamil, "Oivu edukamal uzhaithavan, idho oivu eduthu kondu irukiran, meaning "one who worked hard without taking rest, is resting in peace here".

 
The Tamil Nadu government has announced a public holiday today as a mark of respect to Karunanidhi. All educational institutions, shops, business establishments, fuel outlets remained closed in the city. Cinema theatres have cancelled shows for the day.


Most roads wore a deserted look as state-owned transport corporation operated skeletal services and other public transport vehicles including autorickshaws stayed off roads in the city. Train services, however, operated as usual. 
15:53  India uses rumor of Dalai Lama's ill health to mend China ties:  Rumors are flying around in this northern Indian city, home to the Tibetan government-in-exile, that the 14th Dalai Lama is suffering from terminal cancer.


With Tibetan exiles deeply worried about the 83-year-old religious leader, the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been using the situation to take a more conciliatory approach to China. Modi also seems to be lowering the standing of the Tibetan government-in-exile.  Read the report here.
15:40  Suspected terrorist held in J-K's Awantipora :  Jammu & Kashmir: Security forces apprehended a terrorist identified as Abdul Majid Shah in Awantipora, yesterday. Arms and ammunition and other incriminating material were recovered from him. Case registered under Arms Act at Awantipora police station, further probe underway.
15:28  Explosion, fire, at BPCL plant in Chembur :   In other news, reports of an explosion followed by a fire at Mahul, Chembur, at the Bharat Petroleum plant. Residents say the blast shook windows of buildings kilometres away. Fire tenders at the spot.

Details awaited.

Image: Smoke rises from the BPCL plant in Mahul, Chembur. The picture was tweeted by @rgada73
15:18  Kerala CM pays tribute :  Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Governor P Sathasivam, and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala paid tribute to the DMK Chief Karunanidhi. 
15:08  2 dead, 33 injured in stampede at Karunanidhi funeral :  Even as preparations are underway for a state funeral of M Karunanidhi at Marina beach in Chennai, reports coming that two people have died and 33 injured in the scuffle and stampede outside Rajaji Hall in Chennai.


The funeral procession of Karunanidhi will start at 4 pm today and he will be laid to rest at Marina beach near the Annadurai memorial, the party said. A party statement said the procession would begin from Rajaji Hall, where his mortal remains are kept for public homage, by 4 pm, and proceed through Sivananda Road and Thanthai Periyar Road to reach Anna Square.


He would be buried adjacent to mausoleum of former Chief Minister and his mentor C N Annadurai on the sands of Marina, it said.


"Party supporters and public are requested to stay calm during the procession and pay their respects to the unparallelled leader," it said. The golden casket in which the mortal remains of Karunanidhi would be laid to rest will have the engraving in Tamil, "Oivu edukamal uzhaithavan, idho oivu eduthu kondu irukiran, meaning "one who worked hard without taking rest, is resting in peace here".

Meanwhile, preparations were on in full swing at Marina beach for the burial of the departed DMK patriarch.
14:55  Chennai: Chief Minister of Telangana K Chandrasekhar Rao paid tribute to M Karunanidhi at Rajaji Hall.
14:38  Moments before Rahul Gandhi's arrival, that's  Akhilesh Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav at Rajaji Hall.  
14:32  Rahul pays tribute :  Congress president Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to Karunanidhi at Rajaji Hall. Placing a large wreath of yellow flowers, he spoke briefly to Stalin, likely words of consolation.

Rahul arrived in Chennai at least two hours ago but could not reach Rajaji Hall after the security breach that led to a lathi-charge.
14:20  DMK cadre breach security :  A DMK supporter breaches security and climbs into the balcony at Rajaji Hall. Calm has been restored now, but it's still pretty much push-and-shove for even the VVIPs arriving to pay their respects to Karunanidhi.

RJD's Tejaswi Yadav and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav have just paid tribute.

TN governor Banwarilal Purohit pays tribute.
14:14  Poetry for a poet:  A close-up of Karunanidhi's casket with the words, 'A person who continued to work without rest, now takes rest'. 
14:13  Stalin calms DMK cadre, but asks, why was security reduced?:  DMK Acting President MK Stalin addressing the rank and file at Rajaji Hall to calm frayed nerves and ostensibly to appeal for peace.

"I am requesting you as a worker and brother of the DMK to please keep the peace. The cortege has to move from Rajaji Hall to Marina beach at 4 pm, so please keep the peace and cooperate in giving a fitting farewell to Kalaignar.

"I have never sought anything for myself. All I want is a fitting tribute to #Kalaignar. Yesterday, I met CM E Palaniswami to request space at Marina beach, but I was flatly refused. That was when we decided to move the court.

"Today when the court decision came in our favour the government strangely reduced security deployment here. Those who are in power are trying to create chaos, but you have all shown the strength of the cadres. I appeal to everyone to maintain peace.

"So please do not create any trouble and bring a bad name to Dravidian culture and to the DMK. I appeal as a brother and as a worker of the DMK to the cadre to remain calm."


Image: DMK acting president MK Stalin addressing the crowd at Rajaji Hall. Behind him is his nephew Dayanidhi Maran.
14:04   Pall of gloom descends on native village of Karunanidhi:  Villagers paid floral tributes at a portrait of the DMK patriarch at his house. Karunanidhi was born on June 3, 1924 in the village and spent his childhood in Nagapattinam.


Situated in the heart of the village, his ancestral house -- a modest blue and white structure -- now houses a statue of his mother and two libraries named after his parents -- 'Muthuvelar Noolagam' and 'Anjugam Padippagam'.


A huge collection of rare photographs of a young and vibrant Karunanidhi in various poses adorn the house now. Karunanidhi received his primary education in the Panchayat Union Middle School at the village.


He ordered the setting up of a primary health care centre and an industrial training institute at the hamlet, besides upgrading the facilities at his alma mater.


When he served as the chief minister during 2006-11, Karunanidhi visited the village twice. His last visit to the village as chief minister was in 2009.


The name 'Karunanidhi' is the pride of this tiny village and in his passing away, its residents feel that they have lost their identity. The 94-year-old leader, a five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu, breathed his last at Kauvery Hospital in downtown Chennai at 6.10 pm yesterday after waging a grim battle for life for 11 days. --  PTI


Image: The list of VVIPs arriving for Karunanidhi's funeral. Some of the VIPs like the PM have already paid tribute, but others like Rahul Gandhi, who is already at Chennai have yet to arrive at the Hall. Rahul, say reports, has been kept waiting after DMK cadre broke barricades at the Hall creating a security scare.
13:46  Curtains down on personality-driven bi-polar politics in TN?:  The passing away of Dravidian stalwart Muthuvel Karunanidhi has signalled the virtual end of personality-driven bi-polar politics in the state, dominated by charismatic individuals of arch-rivals DMK and AIADMK in the past five decades.


While it was Karunanidhi and MGR (M G Ramachandran) who held sway over the masses in the initial phase, later it was the DMK veteran and MGR's protege late J Jayalalithaa.


Incidentally, the year 2016 saw both Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi recede from limelight as she died after 75 days of hospitalisation in December, while the DMK chief suffered illness from which he never recovered fully till his demise.


Karunanidhi, known for his trademark baritone, lost his voice owing to a tracheosteomy procedure, and he subsequently faded away from active politics with his public appearances becoming rare till his death aged 94 last evening. The illness forced the ever accessible nonagenarian leader to confine himself to his Gopalapuram residence as his son M K Stalin took charge of the day-to-day affairs of the party, assuming a new post of Working President.


Following his ascent to the Chief Minister's chair for the first time in 1969 following the death of incumbent and DMK founder C N Annadurai, Karunanidhi enjoyed unbridled success till 1972 when the charismatic Ramachandran decided to play spoilsport.


Kicked out of DMK following his differences with Karunanidhi, Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, floated AIADMK and in the 1977 general elections steered his party to a massive win against DMK.


Since then, the state politics was dominated by the two individuals till MGR's death in 1987 and the trend of bi-polar politics continued for next four decades with Jayalalithaa emerging as the new rival to Karunanidhi.


Though the AIADMK split post-MGR's demise, Jayalalithaa unified the two factions to take forward his legacy. Observers of Tamil Nadu politics are of the view that Karunanidhi may have suffered reversals in electoral terms on many occasions, but was never down.


In the political spectrum dominated by Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, leaders like Vijayakant of DMDK made some noise making impressive electoral shows.


However, their short-lived glory proved time and again that the bi-polar nature of Dravidian politics was intact. The exit of Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa from the scene, however, seems to have created a political vaccum in the state politics. Observers are of the view that it would be a challenge for any leader to match their charisma and political influence and hence the personality-driven politics of the state could come to an end..
-- PTI
13:31  40 DMK supporters injured in lathi-charge at Rajaji Hall :  At least 40 people have been injured in a stampede outside Rajaji Hall. They have been taken to a government hospital.

The police had to resort to a lathicharge after DMK cadres broke the barricades around the casket holding Karunanidhi's mortal remains when they spotted a gap in the security.

As we said earlier, only the VVIP can pay homage at Rajaji Hall. The PM had paid his respects at Rajaji Hall this morning, but thereafter all hell broke lose as emotional DMK cadre broke through the barriers.

The commissioner of police is at the spot to control the situation.    

Even yesterday, after news of Karunanidhi's demise, riot police were called in to handle any untoward situation.
13:19  Army called in at Marina Beach:  Just in: Army deployed at Marina Beach to keep the peace. The Tamil Nadu government is taking no chances. 
13:15  Close shave :  In Coimbatore, a DMK supporter gets his head tonsured as mark of respect for Karunandhi. 
13:12  DMK cadre break barricades at Rajaji Hall :  Complete chaos at Rajaji Hall where Karunanidhi's body is lying in state. DMK cadres come to blows with the police after they were lathi-charged when the barricades around the casket were broken.

Only VVIPs are allowed inside Rajaji Hall to pay tribute to the mortal remains of DMK stalwart M Karunanidhi.

The police even tried to move the casket inside Rajaji Hall but were prevented from doing so by the milling, unruly cadres. Karunanidhi's last journey from Rajaji Hall to Marina Beach is expected to take place at around 5 pm. The distance between the two places is just 2km and should not take more than 10 minutes in normal situations. But today it could take up to 2 hours if not more.


However, frustrated DMK cadre pushed through the barricades to get a glimpse of the body even though DMK MLAs have been making constant announcements asking the cadre to get a hold of themselves as this kind of unruly behaviour was not in keeping with Kailaignar's teachings.

Chennai police commissioner AK Vishwanath at the spot to take control of the security measures.

TV reporters at the spot say the police numbers are woefully inadequate to control the crowds.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi has already landed at Chennai but is not allowed to arrive at Rajaji Hall given the security threat here.


12:55  Had called PM to allow Marina burial: Mamata :  Mamata Banerjee on paying tribute to Karunanidhi yesterday: "Yesterday, I had gone to their residence to pay tributes to Karunanidhi-ji. He was the senior most leader and politician, legendary figure. So, it is a great loss. I was unhappy yesterday, as the govt did not allow the Marina beach burial. I had called the CM but he was unavailable. I also personally called the PM in this regard." 
12:51  What the DMK's lawyer said in court :  A quick rewind. At the Madras High Court hearing, the DMK's s lawyer Saravanan has accused the AIADMK for showing "double standards" over the issue.


In an interview with ANI, Sarvanan said: "The AIADMK government does not have the courage to claim that it's a political decision. They are hiding behind legal niceties, which we exposed inside the court yesterday. Lakhs of cases are pending before the High Court. Has the government come to a grinding halt? Why these double standards?"


Sarvanan further claimed that Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami is feeling threatened by the cases filed by the DMK. "The government is proposing to construct a 3,400-3,500 square feet building for Jayalalithaa's memorial, but is refusing to give 6 feet of land for Karunanidhi. How are we violating any legal provision? Is there any prohibition in giving that land for our leader (Karunanidhi). Jayalalithaa was allotted the land just a year back," he said.However, the state government in its counter affidavit told the Court that DMK can't challenge press release issued on their behalf expressing inability to allot space at Marina beach for Karunanidhi."
12:36  Who will be at Karunanidhi's funeral?:  The VVIPs in Chennai today

PM Modi,
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman,
Congress President Rahul Gandhi,
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal,
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor Justice (Retd) Sadhasivam,
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad,
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy,
Chief Minister of Telangana Chandrashekhar Rao,
Former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy,
Former Karnataka CM Veerappa Moily,
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu.
12:25  Near stampede at Rajaji Hall :  Free for all at Rajaji Hall as barricades have been broken. Nobody is being allowed to go near Karunanidhi's casket. Lakhs waiting to catch a glimpse of their leader lying in state inside Rajaji Hall and the waiting is clearly getting to them. Emotions have been running high in Tamil Nadu ever since Karunanidhi was hospitalised two weeks ago.  His body was taken to his Gopalapuram residence last night, followed by CIT Colony, after which it was taken to Rajaji Hall.
12:13  Preparations for Karunanidhi's burial at Marina Beach begins:  Earth moving equipment arrive at Marina Beach after the Madras HC nod for the Karunanidhi's burial here. The Dravida movement leader will be buried next to his mentor, C N Annadurai or Anna as he is popularly called. Annadurai was the founder-leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and was considered to be more than a comrade to Karunandihi, who referred to him as his brother.


Tamil Nadu's main opposition party had moved the court last night after the AIADMK government rejected its request for allowing the burial of Karunanidhi on the famed Marina sands.
11:56  In Chennai, this is what the scene outside the high court looked like as the  hearing on the burial was happening. 
11:55  Stalin's poem for Karunanidhi: Can I call you Appa one last time?:  Last night MK Stalin tweeted a moving tribute for his late father and party supremo M Karunanidhi.


In a hand-written poem, Stalin wrote, "For once, shall I call you father, my leader?"

"For one last time, can I call you as my father. I've spent an entire life calling you as a leader," the post read. Read the full story here.


Karunanidhi himself, began penning scripts as a 20-year old for plays which became a vehicle for propagating principles of the Dravidian movement. A voracious reader and prolific author, he went on to write screenplays and dialogues for over 50 movies, prominent among them being "Parasakthi" starring Sivaji Ganesan in 1952, and scripted the story for several of them.


Age did not wither his pithy prose as Karunanidhi wrote his last script at the age of 90 for a television serial based on the 11th century reformist Hindu saint Ramanuja, who strove for an egalitarian society.
11:50  Sea of red and black outside Rajaji Hall :  This is what it looks like outside Rajaji Hall where the mortal remains of M Karunanidhi are kept. Most of the mourners are wearing the DMK colours -- red and black.


VVIPs expected to arrive at Chennai are Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
11:47  After the Madras high court victory preparations for the burial have already begun at Marina Beach. Karunanidhi will be accorded a state funeral, but before that happens, the lakhs upon lakhs of DMK supporters will have to be allowed to first pay their respects. The distance between Rajaji Hall and Marina Beach is not more than 2 kilometres, but with the sea of people there, it could take hours.


Image: PM Modi pays his respects before the casket with Karunanidhi's body.
11:38  PM consoles Stalin, Kanimozhi :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks to MK Stalin and Kanimozhi after paying his respects to M Karunanidhi at Chennai's Rajaji Hall. The PM held Kanimozhi and Stalin's hand and consoled them. Kanimozhi, who is Karunannidhi's youngest child, the daughter of this third wife, Dayaluammal, looked more stoic than Stalin, who broke down on hearing the news of the positive verdict on the burial.
11:34  Huge win for Stalin :   A huge win for DMK and the party's acting president and an equally huge setback and loss of face for the Tamil Nadu government. TN E Palaniswami could have played the elder statesman and been gracious enough to grant the space at Marina Beach without having it wrested by the high court. Karunanidhi will be buried next to Annadurai.

It is a bandh in Chennai today and there is not a single vehicle on the roads which has now become largely pedestrian occupied by the DMK rank and file.


Image: RS MP Kanimozhi speaking to the PM at the Rajaji Memorial.
11:22  PM pays tribute to Karunanidhi :  DMK supporters outside Rajaji Hall react to the positive verdict on the HC nod for Karunanidhi's burial at Marina Beach.


A division bench of the court comprising Acting Chief Justice H G Ramesh and S S Sundar passed the order on a petition filed by the DMK at a special hearing. Tamil Nadu's main opposition party had moved the court last night after the AIADMK government rejected its request for allowing the burial of Karunanidhi on the famed Marina sands alongside his mentor and former chief minister C N Annadurai.
11:19  PM pays tribute to Karunanidhi :  PM Narendra Modi with Nirmala Sitharaman meets Stalin, Kanimozhi, A Raja at Rajaji Hall where DMK founder M Karunanidhi lies in state.  
11:08  Karunanidhi to be buried at Marina, emotional Stalin breaks down :  That's surely the picture of the day, a emotional Stalin hugged by A Raja and comforted by his step-sister and one-time rival Kanimozhi. Alagiri, who was cast aside by his father, Karunanidhi, in favour of Stalin, is together with the family, for now. 


In Delhi, a obituary reference is being made in the Lok Sabha.  The Speaker ends the 2-minutes of silence with a solemn 'Om Shanti'.
11:01  Stalin breaks down on hearing verdict :  Karunanidhi's son and DMK acting President Stalin breaks down as the news comes in that they have won the case. He is being hugged by former telecom minister, A Raja.

DMK cadres erupt in joy.

It has been a tense few hours for the family and the party after the Tamil Nadu government refused permission to bury Karunanidhi at Marina Beach.  

This is a huge embarrassment for the Tamil Nadu government which could have been gracious and allowed the Dravida movement's tallest leader a resting place at Marina Beach.
10:51  Madras HC nod for Karunanidhi's burial at Marina Beach:  Just in: The Madras High Court grants permission to the DMK to bury M Karunanidhi at Marina Beach next to Annadurai's memorial also called the the Anna Memorial.

After arguments came to an end it took around 20 minutes for the judges to dictate the orders giving the green signal for the burial.  

DMK cadres cheer the news.
10:41  PM Modi at Chennai airport. He will head to Rajaji Hall directly from the airport to pay his respects to Karunanidhi. 
10:40  Karunanidhi burial: Arguments end, verdict shortly :  Arguments end at the Madras High Court which is hearing a DMK plea to allot space on the Marina beach for burial of party leader M Karunanidhi.
Point to note is that the family members of Karunanidhi have not approached the High Court, as Justice SS Sundar tells DMK's lawyer. The case has been filed by the DMK. However, when doctors at Kauvery Hospital told the family that there was no hope of revival, they met TN CM E Palaniswami asking for space at Marina beach for a burial.

The DMK moved the court hours after the state government announced its inability to allot burial space on the Marina beach citing legal hurdles. In a special late night hearing before the first bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice S S Sundar, the counsel for DMK questioned the government's legal ground for not allotting space for burying Karunanidhi at the Marina beach.


Hearing the matter, Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh adjourned it to 8 am. The DMK argued that there was no legal impediment to allotting space within the memorial of former Chief Minister C N Annadurai on the beachfront.


Image: Karunanidhi's body lies in state at Chennai's Rajaji Hall.
10:33  PM Narendra Modi has just reached Chennai. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Congress president Rahul Gandhi are also expected to reach Chennail for Karunanidhi's funeral.


Image: Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan pays last respects to former CM M Karunanidhi at Chennai's Rajaji Hall.
10:31  TN govt takes no chances, pulls out all stops to ensure security :  Rapid Action Force has been deployed outside Anna memorial at Marina beach in Chennai. Hearing in the case against denial of burial land by Tamil Nadu Govt at Marina beach for M Karunanidhi is underway at Madras High Court. The state is on high alert, with 10,000 security personnel deployed between Rajaji Hall where the body is lying in state, and his house at Gopalpuram. 


DMK last night announced a seven-day mourning for its chief M Karunanidhi and said party flags would fly at half-mast during the period. Hailing its leader as a "historic hero" who reigned supreme as party president for half a century since July 1969 and as Chief Minister for five terms, the DMK said in a release that all party programmes and events stand postponed for a week. 
10:22  Periyar not buried at Marina beach, argues TN govt lawyer :  The Madras High Court today dismissed all pending petitions challenging burials on the Marina in Chennai as it resumed hearing on a petition by the DMK seeking allotment of space at the famous beach for laying to rest its leader M Karunanidhi.

Highlights of the hearing that is happening right now.


DMK's lawyer says 'You (state govt) have announced state mourning, why not give land for burial? There's no prohibition under Central Govt protocol to allot land at Marina beach for ex-CMs.

The DMK's lawyer says, "Anna,  (Annadurai) who is the founder of the DMK, used to say my life and soul is Karunanidhi. Burying Karunanidhi next to Gandhi Mandapam cannot be termed as a decent burial."


"There are 1 crore DMK followers in Tamil Nadu out of a 7 crore population of the state. They will be offended if burial land is not allotted for Karunanidhi at Marina beach."


The Tamil Nadu government's lawyer responds saying DMK is pursuing political agenda by filing this case. Periyar was the tallest leader of Dravidian movement. Was he buried at Marina beach?"

The first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice S S Sundar dismissed the petitions, including one by social activist Traffic Ramaswamy, when it resumed hearing this morning. After a special sitting that commenced late last night, the court had adjourned the matter at 1.15 am for resumed hearing at 8 am.
10:03  S Gurumurthy, Satish Marathe appointed to RBI board:  
The Centre has appointed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch co-convenor Swaminathan Gurumurthy and businessman Satish Kashinath Marathe to the central board of the Reserve Bank of India.

The names were approved on Tuesday as per provisions of Section 8 1C of the RBI Act, 1934 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

They have been appointed as a part-time, non-official director for the period of four-year.

With the two new appointments, the total number of government-appointed directors on the RBI board has reached 10. -- ANI
09:48  Vijay Mallya's 10-year reign ends as Force India secures future with rescue deal:  
The future of the Force India Formula One team was secured after its administrator accepted a bid backed by a consortium of investors, effectively ending Vijay Mallya's 10-year-old reign at the midfield squad.
   
The team was put into administration ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix last month following the legal action taken by its Mexican driver Sergio Perez.
According to a statement issued on behalf of administrator Geoff Rowley, all 405 jobs at Force India will be saved following a deal with the team management, joint administrators and consortium of investors led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who happens to be the father of Williams driver Lance Stroll. 
Commenting on the deal, Force India Chief Operations Officer Otmar Szafnauer said: This outcome secures the future of the Force India team in Formula 1 and will allow our team of racers to compete to our full potential.
I am delighted that we have the support of a consortium of investors who believe in us as a team and who see the considerable business potential that Force India has within F1 now and in the future.
He also acknowledged Mallya's contribution in the success of the team.
At Force India, our expertise and commitment has meant that we have always punched above our weight and this new investment ensures that we have a bright future ahead of us. I also would like to thank Vijay, the Sahara Group and the Mol family for all of their support and taking the team as far as their circumstances would allow, added Szafnauer.
Mallya and Sahara had a 42.5 percent stake each in Force India while Mol Family owned 15 percent.
India is currently seeking Mallya's extradition from the UK over unpaid loans linked to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Since their first season in 2008, Force India have gone on to become a strong midfield team, finishing fourth in the past two seasons. -- PTI 
09:35  Hearing underway in HC on space for Karunanidhi's burial at Marina:  
As the hearing underway in the Madras high court over a plea to allot space on the Marina beach for burial of DMK chief M Karunanidhi, the DMK has filed a fresh affidavit justifying that there will not be any violations if the party patriarch is buried at Marina Beach.

The high court has dismissed petitions filed by Traffic Ramaswamy, K Balu and Duraisamy challenging construction of memorials at Marina beach.

Four out of five petitions have been withdrawn.

In the court, the Tamil Nadu government argued that Karunanidhi didn't allot the land for MGR's wife Janaki Ramachandran's burial after understanding the protocol manual when Karunanidhi was the CM.

The DMK counsel said that burying Karunanidhi next to Gandhi Mandapam cannot be termed as a decent burial.

The lawyer said, "Anna, who is the founder of the DMK, used to say my life and soul is Karunanidhi. Burying Karunanidhi next to Gandhi Mandapam cannot be termed as a decent burial."
09:21   :  BK Hariprasad will be Congress candidate for the post of deputy chairman in the Rajya Sabha, news agency ANI reports quoting sources. 
08:58  Karunanidhi, MGR, Anna should be put to rest at same place: Kamal Haasan:  Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan took to Twitter and said, "When Anna was alive, MGR and Karunanidhi held the fort together with him. It is only behooves the state for all three to be put to rest in the same place. It is saddening that political (cubs) who joined much after don't understand this."
08:48  Karunanidhi gifted his house in 2010 for a hospital:  
Departed  Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi gifted his residence at upscale Gopalapuram in Chennai, in 2010 for setting up a hospital for the poor.
     
On the eve of his 86th birthday, he donated it to Annai Anjugam Trust, (named after his mother) to run a hospital for the poor after his and his wife's lifetime.
     
In 1968, he registered the house in the name of his sons Alagiri, Stalin and Tamilarasu and after getting their consent in 2009, the DMK veteran had donated it to the trust.      

Former union minister A Raja and noted Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu are among the trustees of the trust.
    
Karunanidhi purchased the house in 1955. -- PTI
08:48  Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit pays last respects to former Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi at Chennai's Rajaji Hall.
08:34  Superstar Rajinikanth pays his homage to M Karunanidhi.
08:32  Madras HC hears plea on Karunanidhi's burial at Marina Beach:  
The Madras high court has started the hearing on the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam'splea against Tamil Nadu government's refusal to allow party patriarch Karunanidhi's burial at Marina Beach in Chennai.

Hearing the plea late Tuesday night, the court directed the state government and the Chennai Corporation to file their replies and adjourned the case to Wednesday morning. 

At the hearing the state government had opposed the allotment of space at Marina Beach for burial of Karunanidhi's body. 

On Tuesday, the DMK party and family members of Karunanidhi had requested the state government for allotment of space near DMK founder CN Annadurai's memorial at the Marina Beach.
08:20  People throng Rajaji Hall to pay last respects to Karunanidhi:  
People queued up in large numbers early this morning at Rajaji Hall in Chennai to pay their last respects to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam  president M Karunanidhi who died yesterday after prolonged illness.
   
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, senior state ministers, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader and RK Nagar MLA TTV Dinakaran, superstar Rajinikanth and his family, and actor Sivakarthikeyan among others paid homage to Karunanidhi.
 
Speaking to reporters, Palaniswami said Karunanidhi's demise was a "big loss to Tamil Nadu".
 
He extended his sympathies to DMK working president and Leader of Opposition, MK Stalin, Karunanidhi's family, and the DMK workers.
 
Palaniswami and Panneerselvam had a brief conversation with Stalin during which they apparently extended their sympathies to him over the loss.
 
Karunanidhi's body was earlier brought to the stately Rajaji Hall from his CIT Nagar residence for the public to pay homage to the former chief minister.
 
The Indian tricolour was draped over the body of Karunanidhi. His relatives, including children Stalin, MK Selvam and Kanimozhi, were seen standing beside the mortal remains of the Dravidian stalwart.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi among others are scheduled to pay homage later in the day to the leader, fondly addressed as Kalaignar (artiste).
 
Grim-faced party leaders and MLAs were seen seated along the stairs of Rajaji Hall.
 
Supporters and mourners started pouring in at Rajaji Hall early in the morning, with some of them raising slogans hailing their 'thalaivar' (leader).
 
Chants of supporters seeking a space at the Marina beach for the burial of Karunanidhi could also be heard, especially during the visit of the AIADMK delegation. -- PTI
02:01  2 Indians abducted in Malaysia rescued: Swaraj:  
Two Indians, who were abducted while on a business trip to Malaysia have been rescued, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday night.

R P Vaidya and K P Vaidya, who had gone to to Malaysia for business purposes, were abducted on August 3, 2018, Swaraj said.

'I am happy to inform that with the efforts of our High Commissioner Mridul Kumar and his team, Malaysian Police has secured release of both Indian nationals on 6th August 2018,' she said on Twitter.

Swaraj also said that -- Rohit Pal and Rishab Gupta -- crew members of MV Maharishi Vamdeva from Fujairah, were being repatriated after they suffered heat stroke because there was no air conditioning and light in the ship.

Consulate General of India, Dubai, provided provisions to crew members and is repatriating other members of the crew, she said.  -- PTI
01:17  Hearing on burial site for Karunanidhi adjourned till 8 am:  
Hearing of DMK's plea over burial site for Karunanidhi adjourned till 8 am on Wednesday as the government sought more time to submit a reply.

The government will submit its reply at 8 am on Wednesday.
00:30  Hearing underway over burial site for Karunanidhi:  
Acting Chief Justice of Madras high court H G Ramesh hears Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's plea against Tamil Nadu government's refusal to allow party patriarch Karunanidhi's burial at Marina Beach in Chennai.

The hearing is underway at the acting chief justice's residence.

Meanwhile, advocate Doraisamy, who had filed a petition against burial on Marina, said he will withdraw all his cases so as they pose no legal hurdle to the state government.

"I withdraw all cases in this regard because Kalaignar Karunanidhi is important for us. So now, there are no legal hurdles for the government," he said.

Earlier, a government statement said it was 'unable to allot space at Marina beach owing to several pending cases in the Madras high court and legal complications'.

IMAGE: Mortal remains of DMK chief M Karunanidhi being taken to his Gopalapuram residence in Chennai on Tuesday. Photograph: PTI Photo

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