2 more deaths take Telangana student suicide toll to 10

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Two more intermediate students in Telangana on Wednesday committed suicide, taking the number to 10 since the results were declared last week, even as protests continued over the Telangana Board of Intermediate Education (TBIE) goof-ups.

Depressed over failure in examinations, Chakali Raju hanged himself in his house in Chinna Shakarampet village of the Medak district. Another student Malothu Naveen of the Warangal Rural district ended his life by jumping before a train.

With these two suicides, the number of students who ended their lives increased to 10 since April 18 when the TBIE declared results for intermediate first and second year (11th and 12th standard) examinations.

Those who have committed suicide include 17-year-old Dharma Ram, nephew of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Rajya Sabha member C.M. Ramesh.

The opposition parties have claimed that 18 students have committed suicide and blamed the TBIE for it.

While admitting lapses in declaring results, the authorities have denied that the suicides were related to this. They said efforts were being made to address the students’ grievances.

Education Minister Jagdish Reddy alleged that the opposition parties were trying to politicise the issue.

The TBIE bungling has come under criticism from all quarters as it shocked many students and their parents. Many students who had passed the first year with distinction failed in the second year. In a rude shock for them, they were awarded zero, one or two marks in each subject.

Meanwhile, protests by the student groups continued for third day over the TBIE fiasco.

Activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI) tried to lay siege to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s residence. Police arrested dozens of protesters who were raising slogans against the government and demanding action against those responsible for goof-ups.

Students groups also staged protest at the TIBE office. Senior Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao was arrested when he reached there to show solidarity with protesting students and parents.

About 900,000 students had appeared in the intermediate examinations in February-March. The pass percentage was just above 60.

The Telangana High Court on Tuesday heard a petition filed by an NGO fighting for children’s rights, seeking free re-valuation of all answer sheets. It asked the government to inform it by next week about the time required for re-valuation of answer sheets of students who have failed in the examinations.

AP student arrested for making derogatory video of KCR

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The Telangana Police on Wednesday arrested a student from Andhra Pradesh for making and sharing online a “derogatory” video about Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

The 20-year-old undergraduate student from the neighbouring state had made the objectionable video using the Tik Tok app.

Rachakonda police, one of the three police commissionerates which cover Hyderabad and its outskirts, arrested Thagaram Naveen, a native of Tiruvuru in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh.

The accused was charged under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act for promoting enmity between different groups. Police also seized two smart phones from the accused.

“It is a case of promoting enmity between the people of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by making a video and using derogatory language against the Chief Minister and the people of Telangana,” said Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M. Bhagwat.

The video was made and uploaded on social media on April 14.

On a complaint by V. Ram Narasimha Goud, president of the students’ wing of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the Cyber Crimes Wing of Rachakonda police had registered the case against Naveen.

Ravishing Rakul Preet

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Rakul Preet Singh is going to set the screens on fire with her sizzling act in De De Pyaar De in which she romances Ajay Devgn. The trailer of the film is a smash hit with over 50 Million views on YouTube.

Rakul plays an interesting role in the film where she plays a young woman who falls for a man who is double her age.

While the senior actress Tabu takes care of the drama department, Rakul will handle the glamour department.

First song from De De Pyaar De is a decent hit with Rakul looking at her ravishing best. Here is a glimpse of the second song that is about to be launched soon.

Tough Days Ahead for Jersey

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Nani’s ‘Jersey’ has crossed coveted $1 million mark but this is not an exceptional achievement for a Nani starrer. The sports drama ought to cross $1.5 million to set a record for Nani.

From long time, Nani’s films are not moving beyond $1.1 million gross. “Jersey” has got great reviews and the word-of-mouth is also strong. This is a right film to go beyond and become number one hit in his career at USA box-office.

But it will face major problem of retaining enough screens in its second weekend as “Avengers: Endgame” will occupy all of them. This is the major worry for Nani’s movie.

Nani’s aim is to join $2 million club as stars like Varun Tej, Nithin, and Vijay Deverakonda have such movies in their kitty.

“Jersey” theoretically is right film to achieve this feat but the timing of the release is bad.

When Will Sharwanand Release a Movie

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Sharwanand has been working on director Sudheer Varma’s gangster drama from long time. The film went to the sets last year and is still progressing with no date for release.

Although first look of the movie was released in March this year on the eve of Sharwanand’s birthday, the makers have not yet announced the title.

There is no buzz or promotion about this film. Many people have forgotten that Sharwanand is doing this gangster movie. Such is the confusion about Sharwanand’s films.

Sharwanand who scored massive flop with “Padi Padi Leche Manasu” needs to pull his socks up to generate buzz about his movies.

The untitled gangster drama stars Kajal Aggarwal and Kalyani Priyadarshan

Nani Investing Heavily in Film Production

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Looks like Nani is quite serious about film production. He didn’t take remuneration for his recent “Jersey” since the budget went beyond stipulated target and it was not an out and out commercial film.

He guessed the film would have limitations at the box-office. So, he took partnership in the film thus involved in its film production indirectly.

Last year, he produced “Awe” which was also decent successful venture. This year, he will be teaming up with Dil Raju and Swapna Dutt to co-produce films.

He will be taking partnership in Dil Raju produced Indraganti’s multi-starrer. He will also be acting in and this film will be launched this month end.

On the other hand, he is also bankrolling a small-budgeted movie in the direction of Anudeep that will star comedians Rahul Ramakrishna and Priyadarshi. Nani will not act in it. He will produce it with Swapna Dutt of “Mahanati”.

Besides acting in two or three movies a year, he also wants to produce small films.

Heavy betting not on CM, but on majority!

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With less than a month left for the announcement of election results in Andhra Pradesh, it is time for the punters to make big money through large scale betting.

At many places, huge money is said to be changing hands among the people on the victory of candidates in their respective candidates.

Expectedly, the hot favourite is YSR Congress party in several constituencies, particularly in Rayalaseema and so people are betting less money on it and huge money on the rival Telugu Desam Party.

The subject for betting is not who the next chief minister would be since the choice is obvious – either Y S Jaganmohan Reddy or N Chandrababu Naidu. But, more money is being bet on which party would get more seats.

While those who are betting on Jagan are expecting that he would get a majority between 100-125 seats, the pro-TDP camps are not so optimistic: they say the TDP will come to power with 90-100 seats.

Interestingly, there are people who are betting on the margin of victory of both TDP president and the YSRC president.

The stakes are high on Jagan who is expected to get more majority in Pulivendula than Naidu in Kuppam. But the TDP leaders say Naidu had done a lot for Pulivendula in the last three years and it would definitely bring down the victory margin of Jagan.

It is learnt the punters have engaged private call centres to do telephonic surveys to fnd out which section of people had voted for whom. They are making use of IVRS system and also online mechanism to find out the pulse of the people.

Based on the response of the people, the betting equations are changing with every passing day, sources said.

Have good friends in Oppn, Mamata sends personally selected kurtas: PM

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that he has many “good friends” in the Opposition and added that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sends personally-selected Kurtas and sweets to him.

“I have many good friends in the Opposition. We do eat food together once or twice a year. Long time back when I was not even the Chief Minister (of Gujarat), I had gone to Parliament for some work. There Ghulam Nabi Azad and I were having a friendly conversation. When we came out media people asked, how can you be friends with Azad as you belong to RSS. Ghulam Nabi gave a good answer. Hum dono saath khade se, bola dekho bhai bahar jo aap log sochte ho, aisa nahi h. Shayad ek family ke roop me hum log jitne jude hue hain sabhi dal ke log, wo shayad bahar kalpana nahi kar sakte (While we two were standing, he said that what you people think outside, it’s not like that. Maybe the way we the people of all the organisations are connected as a family it can’t be imagined outside),” Prime Minister Modi said in an interaction with actor Akshay Kumar.

“Mamata didi saal me aaj bhi mujhe ek-do kurte wo khud select karne jati hain (Even today Mamata didi herself selects one-two Kurtas for me in the year). She sends one-two Kurtas for me. Even Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sends sweets to me three-four times in a year especially from Dhaka. When Mamata didi got to know this, then she also sends sweets for me one or two times in a year,” he added.

Interestingly, Mamata has mostly been critical about Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government and has openly opposed their various initiatives including Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation.

On Sunday, Mamata had accused Prime Minister Modi of causing hardships to the people through demonetisation and said the electorate in West Bengal will pay back by not casting a “single vote” for him.

“In the (2014) elections, Narendra Modi’s BJP party had won. But, in the last five years, the government has betrayed Bengal. He (Modi) is coming here and saying lies. He comes flying to Bengal at the time of elections and is nowhere to be seen in other times,” she said at a public rally.

Before that on April 4, Mamata Banerjee had even termed Prime Minister Modi as “Hitler’s uncle”.

A day before that she called Modi as “expiry babu” and said, “His government has expired. You (Modi) said in Siliguri that we did not do anything for the poor. What have you done in the last five years? I have never seen a Prime Minister telling these many lies. Do not speak lies every day.”

On April 3 itself, Prime Minister Modi had called Banerjee as “speedbreaker Didi”.

Sri Lanka: 8 of 9 bombers identified, two millionaire brothers, 1 woman

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Poverty has been widely considered as the root cause of violence allowing religious fundamentalists to brainwash the poor to commit gruesome attacks. However, the recent terror attacks in Sri Lanka may change this narrative completely. Eight of the nine suicide bombers involved in the horrific attacks on the Easter morning have now been identified. Imsath Ahmed Ibrahim, aged 33 and Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim, aged 31, the two sons of respected Sri Lankan millionaire businessman Mohammed Yusuf Ibrahim were amongst those eight suicide bombers. The Deputy Defence Minister of Sri Lanka has said that amongst the bombers was a woman too.

It is interesting that a prominent Sri Lankan family’s involvement has come into discussion even after Islamic State has claimed the responsibility of these attacks. It is pertinent to note that the Islamic State has, in the past, claimed the responsibility of attacks it was not involved in.

The Ibrahim family has been interrogated by the authorities after the attacks and it has been reported that three policemen have lost their lives while searching the house of Yusuf Ibrahim which was booby trapped with explosives. The authorities are hoping to get some leads from Ibrahim’s youngest fugitive son on training camps and jihadist network.

India had warned Sri Lanka of another possible attack after interrogating an Islamic State sympathiser Zahran Hashmi. Hashmi’s organisation named Tamil Nadu Tauhid Jamaat has been quite vocal about issues faced by Muslims in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Hashmi, along with Ibrahim brothers, was actively involved in recruiting people for Islamic State from Sri Lanka.

The death toll of the blasts has risen to 359 as confirmed by the official sources amongst which 11 are Indians.

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KCR wakes up to Inter results fiasco finally

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The massive goof-up in declaration of Intermediate public examination results, leading to thousands of students failing the examinations and nearly 18 students committing suicide, has landed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government in the most embarrassing situation.

TRS president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who had been in deep slumber for the last five days despite massive protests in front of the Intermediate Board office and agitations across the state, suddenly woke up from slumber, after realizing that the episode brought a very bad name to the TRS and personally to him.

What alerted KCR was the large scale criticism against him in the social media. Several parents, leaders and social organisations attacked KCR and his government for not taking minimum precautions in conducting the Intermediate examinations.

Though the pro-TRS media sought to downplay the agitation stating that KCR cannot be held responsible for the mistake committed by a few officials in the Intermediate board, he could not escape the public wrath.

“When KCR can take credit for the construction of Kaleshwaram project, why can’t he take the blame for the goof-up in the exam results?” a netizen asked.

Another netizen also wondered how KCR was dreaming about providing better administration than the BJP and the Congress at the Centre, when he could not conduct a simple examination like Intermediate public exams.

Apparently realizing that he is getting a bad name, he instructed education minister G Jagadish Reddy to personally supervise the investigation into the lapses in the conduct of intermediate exams.

The minister held a meeting with the three-member committee appointed to probe the fiasco and sought a report by Thursday.

The committee members visited the Intermediate Board of Telangana located in Nampally and interrogated the secretary Ashok and CEO of Globarena VSN Raju for more than five hours.