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“India’s first voter” dies

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The man dubbed “India’s first voter” has died at the age of 105.

Shyam Saran Negi is thought to have been the first person to cast a ballot when India held its first general election after gaining independence from British rule.

Mr Negi has voted in every election since then.

The centenarian had cast his ballot just three days ago before his death on Saturday, in the assembly elections for his state of Himachal Pradesh.

The retired teacher is thought to be the first person to vote in an independent India because his state opened polling booths five months early in 1951 for the 1952 election to avoid heavy snow.

The result was a landslide victory for the Indian National Congress and Jawaharlal Nehru became India’s first democratically elected prime minister, following nearly 100 years of British colonial rule between 1848 and 1947.

Earlier this week, officials from the Electoral Commission laid out a red carpet for Mr Negi when he cast his postal ballot ahead of the 12 November election.

Indian media reported it was the first time Mr Negi had not attended a polling booth, opting to post his ballot instead due to ill-health.

In 2014, Mr Negi was made a brand ambassador for the Electoral Commission in a bid to encourage voting and starred in a Google video encouraging people to vote in the year’s general election.

As he posted his papers on Wednesday, India’s The Tribute newspaper reported that Mr Negi made a statement urging young people to vote.

“Youth should come forward to participate in the democratic process as it is not only our right but also our duty to participate in the elections by exercising our franchise,” he was quoted as saying.

Speaking at an election rally on Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Mr Negi. The government has said he will be cremated with full state honours at his village in Kalpa.

(BBC News)

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Sri Lanka Railways GM passes away

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Sri Lanka Railways General Manager H. M. K. W. Bandara passed away today (23) due to a sudden illness.

He  was appointed as the railways chief in November 2023.

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Chinese communist party vice minister Sun Haiyan visits Sri Lanka

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Vice Minister of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party, Sun Haiyan, is set to arrive in Sri Lanka today for a two-day official visit, as reported by The Thinakaran Newspaper.

During her visit, Sun Haiyan is scheduled to engage in discussions with high-ranking government officials, including President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

The discussions are anticipated to cover various bilateral matters of mutual interest between China and Sri Lanka.

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Two killed in police shooting following failed checkpoint stop

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Two people died in police fire on Tuesday (23) morning.

The Police Media Division said that officers opened fire at a three wheeler that failed to comply with orders to stop at a checkpoint near the Meegoda – Delketiya junction.

The incident took place at around 1:50 AM.

Sri Lanka Police said that after officers ordered the three wheeler to stop, the driver had slowed down the vehicle, and those inside had opened fire at the police and fled to Moragahahena.

Accordingly, the Moragahahena Police was immediately informed of the shooting.

A group of officers from the Colombo South Crimes Division who were at the Moragahahena Police for a separate inquiry upon hearing the incident had attempted to stop the three wheeler from fleeing.

The three wheeler that continued to disregard orders to stop had proceeded to the Tyre Factory located along the Meepe Road in Moragahahena, where shots were fired at them by officers from the Colombo South Crimes Division.

Sri Lanka Police said two people who were injured in the shooting succumbed to their injuries upon admission to hospital.

Another person who was in the three wheeler had fled the scene.

The deceased were 42 and 35 year old males from Thanamalvila.

Police said a firearm was also recovered from the three wheeler’

(newsfirst.lk)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by newsfirst.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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