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Drug racket: SIT grills top Tollywood director Puri Jagannath

HYDERABAD: The nearly 12-hour-long interrogation of ace Tollywood director Puri Jagannadh
by sleuths of the prohibition and excise department on Wednesday had all the makings of a nail-
biting thriller.

With Puri being the first of 12 Tollywood personalities to be summoned by the excise department
for their alleged links with drug peddlers, his marathon quizzing had many in the two Telugu
speaking states glued to TV.

The film fraternity , Puri's family and friends spent hours on tenterhooks with speculation rife that he
may be arrested. SIT officials initially started questioning Puri about his links with arrested event
manager-turned-drug peddler Calvin Mascarenhas and others using a questionnaire. The
questioning was reportedly done incamera.

Later, they produced Calvin's photographs and asked Puri to identify him. The director was also
asked to give details about where he generally partied and with whom, how frequently he visited
pubs and travelled abroad.He is likely to be questioned again in first week of August.

Enforcement director Akun Sabharwal told media persons that cinematographer Sham K Naidu
has been summoned on Thursday . One of the investiga tors, Srinivas told TOIthat Puri co-
operated and gave them "certain clues" pertaining to the case. Puri's blood sample was taken and
sent to the lab to ascertain if he had abused drugs.

`Told cops I did not know Calvin'

Puri Jagannadh released a video on his twitter handle after 11pm saying that during questioning, he
denied knowing arrested drug peddler Calvin and told probe officials he had never met him. "The
officials posed several questions and I replied. Basically, I am a responsible person. I will not do
anything which is illegal, not just about drugs," he said.
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Presidential elections 2017: Kovind likely to sail through as numbers favour NDA

Election for the next President of India will be held tomorrow where NDA candidate Ram Nath
Kovind is pitted against opposition nominee Meira Kumar.

The counting of votes will take place on July 20 in New Delhi where all the ballot boxes will be
brought from various state capitals.

The electorate, comprising elected Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and members of state
assemblies, is tilted in favour of the NDA, but the opposition is still working to seek support of
some regional parties in favour of their candidate.

Both Kovind, a former Bihar Governor, and Kumar, the former Lok Sabha Speaker, have held a
series of meetings across states to garner support for their candidature.

The tenure of incumbent Pranab Mukherjee comes to an end on July 24. So far 13 stalwarts,
including Mukherjee, have held the post.

The electoral college which elects the President through the system of proportional representation,
comprises MPs and members of state legislative assemblies.

A total of 4,896 voters — 4,120 MLAs and 776 elected MPs — are eligible to cast their ballot.
MLCs of states with legislative council are not part of the electoral college.

While the Lok Sabha Speaker, an elected member, can vote, the two nominated members in the
Lower House from the Anglo-Indian community cannot. Twelve nominated members in Rajya
Sabha are also ineligible.

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KTR pitches for digitisation of health records

“The Health Department has commenced a pilot project and digitisation process at Sircilla is under
way,” IT Minister K T Rama Rao said.

Hyderabad: Information Technology Minister K T Rama Rao on Thursday called for steps towards
digitisation of health records of every citizen and said such a move would go a long way in
improving the efficiency in health delivery system in the State.

Addressing the State-level orientation workshop for senior functionaries of urban local bodies here,
Rao said digitisation of health records would serve many purposes, especially in case of emergency
situations.

During an untoward incident, precious time is lost in ascertaining the blood group and other
parameters of patients. If such details are digitised, it will be convenient in extending quality
treatment on time, said the Minister.

Efficient and timely care would also result in instilling confidence among people over the services
offered in public health institutes, he said adding, “The Health Department has commenced a pilot
project and digitisation process at Sircilla is under way.”

Taking a dig at the previous government, the Minister said they were responsible for public

health sector losing patronage. “They made people get treatment at private hospital and reimbursed
the cost and eventually the public health sector lost its sheen,” Mr. Rao pointed out.

After the introduction of KCR Kits, institutional deliveries increased by 20 per cent and nearly 3.79
lakh pregnant women had registered under the programme, he said.

The Minister said if the Health Department handed over the urban primary health centres, the
municipal administration was prepared to maintain the centres and deliver health services.

There are 249 urban primary health centres in the State, of which 149 are in Hyderabad.

The convergence of these services in urban settings was a big challenge. Already, a few municipal
corporations in the country were maintaining the urban public health centres and Greater
Hyderabad Municipal Corporation would work in coordination with different departments and
deliver quality health service, he said.

He announced that Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu would be declaring
all the urban local bodies in the State as open defecation free on August 16 at a programme in
Mahabubnagar.
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