Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ban on toddy cannot be implemented quickly, says K M Mani

KOTTAYAM: A ban on toddy cannot be implemented quickly, said Finance Minister K M Mani. A decision can be taken only after examining all sides, he said.

Policies protecting the health of the people should be formed. Many will lose their jobs if the ban is implemented quickly. The government will take a suitable decision after holding discussions, he said. He said this while responding to Kerala High Court’s statement asking the government to impose prohibition of toddy in the state to save the poor from the evils of alcohol.

Theatre actor P.G. Antony passes away

FORT KOCHI: Theatre actor, playwright, and director, P.G. Antony (76) passed away on Sunday. A member of Pallipparambil family in Fort Kochi, Antony first entered comedy-drama in the 1950s.

Antony penned and also directed the play ‘Manushya Pishahsu’. He acted in the plays of Tiptop Aziz. He also appeared in many films. The screenplay and dialogues of film ‘Agamanam’ in 1978 were written by Antony.

He is survived by his wife Baby and three daughters, Sindhu, Priya and Seema.

His body will be buried on Monday at Santa Cruz Basilica Church graveyard in Fort Kochi on Monday evening at 3.

Kudankulam is Tamil Nadu’s issue, says Kodiyeri

KOTTAYAM: Kudankulam is Tamil Nadu’s issue, said CPM politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. The problems of Kerala should be discussed here, he said. The party had earlier clarified the party’s stand on the issue, he said.

The Mundur issue will be solved amicably, he said. A chance should be given to the party to take a decision on the issue. Nobody will be allowed to tarnish the image of the party, he said.

Delhi bank robbery: Police arrests 3, recovers Rs 2.36 crore

NEW DELHI: Two days after the audacious Rs 5.25 crore heist in south Delhi, police on Sunday claimed to have cracked the case with the arrest of three persons including a robber and recovered Rs 2.36 crore.

Police said it has recovered over Rs 2.36 crore out of the money looted from a cash van of a cash replenishment agency in upscale Defence Colony on Friday afternoon, after a security guard who resisted the five robbers was shot. The guard succumbed to the bullet wound.

Investigators said at least four more robbers are to be apprehended in the case though the first arrest was made on Saturday.

The breakthrough in the case came after police managed to fish out dossiers from its records as victims, eye-witnesses and informers providing detailed description of suspects who were spotted in south Delhi's Malviya Nagar and Khirki areas.

Vivek Gogia, Joint Commissioner (South-West), confirmed the arrest of Deepak Sharma, who was allegedly involved in the crime with four others, at a press conference here though he kept silent on the arrest of the relatives of another accused who had hidden a big chuk of the looted money.

Police sources said two relatives of the another accused, who is on the run, were arrested and were produced before court. However, they refused to divulge the names of the arrested saying it could impede the investigations.

The gang had waylaid the cash van, pinned down a security guard and shot him after he tried to snatch their weapons.

They fled the spot in the cash van leaving behind the car in which they were following the vehicle.

They abandoned the car in Hauz Rani and later empty cash boxes were found in Khirki village where police deployed personnel in plain clothes on surveillance.

Detailing on the line of investigation, Gogia said four youths were spotted by some locals in Khirki with big boxes and with their description; a portrait of one of the suspects was developed.

India crush Pakistan by 8 wickets to stay in World T20 semis hunt

COLOMBO: Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuvraj Singh set it up with a superb display of spin bowling before Virat Kohli took centrestage with an unbeaten 78 as an inspired India thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan by eight wickets to keep their title hopes alive in the ICC World Twenty20 on Sunday.

Ashwin (2/16) and Yuvraj (2/16) snapped up four wickets between themselves as Pakistan were shot out for a meagre 128 in 19.4 overs. Lakshmipathy Balaji also complemented the 'spin twins' with impressive figures of 3/22 in 3.4 overs.

Kohli, who has been Pakistan's nemesis in the past, hit a scintillating unbeaten 78 off 61 balls as India won with three overs to spare. The Delhi lad hit nine boundaries and two sixes to take the team home in the high-voltage contest watched by a capacity crowd.

However, Pakistan are still ahead in terms of net run rate of -0.426 which is shade better than India's -0.452. Had India won with 20 balls to spare, they would have been No. 2 in the group.

India will now have to defeat South Africa in their last group-2 match on Tuesday to make it to the semifinals.

India's unbeaten record against Pakistan in ICC World Cups has thus been kept intact having beaten them five times in the 50-over version and thrice in the T20 format.

Kohli started with a thickish outside edge off Raza Hasan for a boundary but then played some lovely strokes. A backfoot cover drive off Saeed Ajmal and lovely cover drive off Yasir Arafat were glorious strokes.

He also lofted Shahid Afridi over long-off for a six. Whether driving on the up or playing off his hips, Kohli was a treat to watch.

Virender Sehwag, on the other hand, was happy to play the second fiddle during the 74-run partnership for the second wicket but did play a lovely lofted shot off Umar Gul's bowling.

Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez's decision to bat first on a slow Premadasa track failed to produce the desired result as Ashwin and Yuvraj frustrated the opposition batsmen by maintaining superb line and length.

Ashwin, who operated from round the wicket, had superb figures of two for 16 from four overs while Yuvraj also had identical figures but from three overs.

The duo snapped four Pakistan wickets for only 32 runs in seven overs and it was the reason why Hafeez and Co could not reach a respectable total. Lakshmipathy Balaji also complemented the 'spin twins' with impressive figures of 3/22 in 3.4 overs.

The only notable partnership was of 47 runs between Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal. Malik was the top scorer with 28 before he gave an easy catch to Rohit Sharma. Last match's hero Umar Akmal played a pull shot off an Ashwin delivery but couldn't clear Suresh Raina in the deep.

India versus Pakistan matches are never short of drama and this match was also not an exception. Zaheer Khan's first over saw him bowl three wide deliveries and then being square driven by Imran Nazir for a boundary before Virender Sehwag dropped the opener at first slip.

Irfan Pathan started off the collapse by removing Nazir who had shuffled a long way but the umpire thought that left-arm seamer's incoming delivery would have hit the stumps. Nazir stood his ground for a while before leaving.

To everyone's disbelief, Shahid Afridi walked in at No 3 and smashed the first delivery from Pathan over his head and then another boundary off the bowler through the cover region.

However, with the former Pakistan captain, opposition teams always fancy a chance and Balaji bowled a short one which Afridi tried to pull it over mid-wicket boundary but was caught by Suresh Raina at the boundary ropes. Afridi made only 14.

Yuvraj then got into the act as he removed left-hander Nasir Jamshed and wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal in quick succession to reduce Pakistan to 49 for four. Both hurried onto their shots.

Jamshed tried to play a slog-sweep which was smartly taken by Dhoni while Kamran tried an expansive cover drive of an arm ball only to give the Indian captain his second catch.

Pakistan captain Hafeez scratched around for 28 balls for his 15 before he dragged one onto his stumps off part-timer Virat Kohli's bowling.

Umar and Malik then got together to conjure a partnership but Ashwin dismissed both of them in quick succession to end Pakistan's chances of a big score.

Three women held for theft

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The cantonment police arrested three migrant women on the charge of lifting a gold necklace of a bus passenger. They identified the suspects as Singari, 20; Manishwari, 18; and Pechi, 30, all residents of a Railway Poramboke colony in Coimbatore. The police said other bus passengers had caught the women and handed them over to the police when a woman passenger complained that they had snatched her necklace on the crowded bus. The police said they recovered the chain from the suspects. The accused were produced before the court and remanded in judicial custody.

Toddy is not injurious to health, says Chennithala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Toddy is not a drink which is injurious to health, said KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala. Toddy industry is one of the hereditary industries of Kerala. It is impractical to impose a ban on it, he said.

The government is aiming to prohibit it but is possible only in phases.

Impractical to close toddy shops, says Minister Babu

KOCHI: Closing down toddy shops and banning the sale of toddy in the state is impractical, said Minister K Babu. A judge has no right to decide what a person should drink, opined the minister.

A complete ban on toddy shops in the state is the opinion of the League and not of the UDF, he said. 

Sales of induction cookers booming

Power curbs or not, more and more families in the city are turning to the induction cooker as an alternative to the LPG stove. The curbs in the number of LPG cylinders allotted for homes in a year is making them a favourite in the households.

 Though the electricity tariff has increased, the sales of induction cookers are on the rise. The petition filed by the KSEB before the State Electricity Regulatory Commission for imposing power restrictions in the state says that “the restriction in the use of the number of gas cylinders at subsidised rates may lead to the increase in the use of ‘induction cookers’ by domestic consumers.” Underscoring this statement was the response from the market.

 ‘’Every day, we sell around 25 induction cookers. Many consider this an essential home appliance these days. The sales of induction cookers in comparison with other household equipment are also high,” said K K Nair, manager of United Electronics in the city.

Amicus Curiae visits Padmanabhaswamy Temple

The Supreme Court appointed amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium, in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple case, visited the temple to collect first-hand information and held discussions with the expert committee, on Saturday.

Subramanium said that he would submit his report within the next 10 days. The Supreme Court had posted the case for October 9. He would submit the report on security, the present status regarding the inventory of assets and other aspects of the temple. He held discussions with SC-appointed expert committee and monitoring panel.   On Saturday morning he visited the temple and later held discussions with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

The court had given him the permission to visit the temple to get first-hand information and to meet the members of the committee. He had asked the court time to go through the reports and other records.

 The committee, in its previous interim report submitted to the Supreme Court, had stated the progress made in the evaluation of the temple riches and the steps taken towards strengthening the security.

Body found in river

The body of a man was found in the Karamana river near Thrikkannapuram within the Nemom police station limits.

 The deceased has been identified as Aji alias Kuttan,(30) son of Gopinathan of  Thunduvilakam house, Kallummoodu, Peta in Kadakampally village.

 Police said the body was found floating in the river by 3.15 p.m. The body has been shifted to the Medical College mortuary for autopsy examination.

 A case has been registered in this regard.

Teachers’ salary: HC dismisses government plea

The Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by the state government seeking three months more to take a final decision to hike the salary of teachers and ayahs in government pre-primary schools.

The court had earlier asked the state to increase the salary of teachers and ayahs working in government pre-primary schools to  Rs 5,000 from Rs 900 and to Rs 3,500 from Rs 600 respectively on an appeal filed by the Kerala Pre-primary Teachers’ and Ayahs’ Association.

The court said that it had already explained the need to implement its earlier judgment. The state government on Friday submitted before the court that the appointments made by parent-teacher associations (PTAs) are not statutory appointments and are not sanctioned posts. It is quite likely that every year the number of such posts can increase. The appointments are made overlooking government directions in this regard.

 The Director of Public Instructions submitted the details of teachers in five districts and said that time is needed to obtain the details of other districts. The government also plans to make it a policy decision. The state needs to examine whether there are adequate number of students in classes to justify the posts. The number of eligible posts based on the pupil-teacher ratio fixed by government is 1:30.  The state also said that the details of teachers are not available in any of the AEO and DEO offices, since the appointments of such teachers were made by PTAs.

Naval base workers stage protest meet

Protesting against the state government’s move to privatise Defence institutions and Armament factories, the Cochin Naval Base Civilian Workers Union and the  Southern Naval Command Civilian Employees’ Association staged a protest meet before the Southern Naval Command headquarters here on Friday.

The meet was part of the nationwide protests launched by the AITUC. Inaugurating the event,  former MP Sebastian Paul said that the economic reforms that began in 1991 had an adverse effect on the life of ordinary citizens.

 The revision of the pay scales for the Central Government employees once in five years, appointment of the Seventh Pay Commission, implementation of pay revision from January 2011, addition of 50 per cent dearness allowance to basic salary, the provision of a minimum of one month’s salary as bonus, doing away with complimentary pension, providing a permanent status to the contract and casual employees and 39 other demands were put forward by the organisations at the protest meet. 

Compensation ordered for Emirates' passenger

The Ernakulam Consumer Disputes Redressel Forum (CDRF) has ordered  Emirates Airline to pay Rs 2.8 lakh as compensation to a person who sustained injuries following the mid-air turbulence of its flight from Dubai to Kochi in April 2010.

The petitioner Siju Paul, native of  Cherkunnam, Ernakulam and working in Ireland, had approached CDRF against Emirates Airline. The drafted order of the case came out on Thursday. As per the petition filed by the complainant, he along with his family boarded the aircraft on April 25, 2010 from Dubai to Kochi. While airborne, the aircraft suddenly stooped from 20,000 ft to 5,000 ft owing to air turbulence. No advance information was given to the passengers to fasten the seat belt. Following the impact, Siju Paul sustained right clavicle  fracture. The airline company did not provide medical service to the complainant and his family at Kochi Airport.

Varapuzha sex case: HC grants bail to Shobha John

The Kerala High Court on Friday granted bail to Shobha John, an accused in the Varappuzha sex scandal case. Justice P Bhavadasan held that prolonged custody of the petitioner will be an injustice to her.

 The petitioner had purchased the victim girl of tender age. But the girl had been thrown into the flesh market by none other than her mother, the prosecution said. The girl who was sold by her mother to Shobha John for Rs 5 lakh at Thiruvananthapuram, was sexually exploited at several places in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts.

 Counsel for the petitioner submitted that all the other accused in the case have been released on bail, except Shobha. There were three crimes against the petitioner and she was granted bail in two cases and there was no complaint that she had violated bail conditions.

 The court said that allegations against the petitioner are serious in nature. The records indicate that the mother took her daughter from place to place and offered her to various persons.

It was nearly after three years the victim was brought into the trade by the petitioner. However, the prime accused, the mother of the victim, has been released on bail, the court said.

 The prosecution vehemently opposed the plea and submitted that the court had on an earlier occasion dismissed the plea of Shobha and observed that she was not entitled to the privilege of a woman owing to her criminal antecedents. If she is released on bail she will threaten the witnesses and blackmail several persons, the prosecution said.

 The court directed Shobha to furnish a bond for Rs 1 lakh along with two sureties for the like amount and asked to appear before the investigating officer on all Mondays. The court made it clear that if any of the conditions is violated, the bail should be cancelled.

IOC to begin operations from Monday

Ending all the LPG cylinder shortage woes, District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth has been informed by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) officials that their plants in the state will begin operations from Monday.

 A meeting between various petroleum companies and gas distributors in the presence of Sheik Pareeth was held at the Collector’s chamber in Kakkanad on Saturday. During the meeting, the Collector said  the petroleum companies should make the public aware of the reason for the shortage. Later, at a press meet, he said that the IOC bottling plant in Udayamperoor will resume operations from Monday.

 “The issues with the bullet tanker lorry operators are over. The government has relaxed the rule of having two drivers in a tanker lorry. Now it has been brought down to one driver and an assistant (cleaner). Following this development, drivers have gone to Mangalore to refill the tankers. Within a month, the backlog of the current shortage will be cleared. For this, the bottling plants will be operational even on Sundays. There are no issues with other companies like BPCL and HPCL. Furthermore, a proposal to transfer some of the customers to other companies in the wake of the current issue is under discussion,” said Sheik Pareeth.

He added that more clarity on the filling of the ‘Know Your Customer’ forms was brought up at the meeting. From now on, the KYC form will be applicable only for gas connections under the following categories - new connections, transfer of connections, taking additional cylinders, multiple connections and switching to connections of other companies.

VS Achuthanandan condemns Koshy’s remarks

Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan has condemned Human Rights Commission chairman Justice J B Koshy’s statement that people should handle those who call for and observe hartal.

 He said in a statement here on Saturday that the remarks would prompt one to doubt that Justice Koshy had the wrong notion that ridiculing popular agitations would be protecting human rights. “A former Chief Justice, now holding an exalted position in the society, should not have asked the people to take law into their own hands,” he said.

 The government is making all efforts to usurp the fundamental rights of the people by various anti-people policies. He said that the Human Rights Commission should clarify how to handle the government for its anti-people policies.

Report on tiger reserves not to affect pilgrimage

The Union Government’s report on tiger reserves will not affect Sabarimala pilgrimage and tourism activities in core forest areas as the Forest Department had already prepared the guidelines to preserve the area.

 Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had submitted a report to the Supreme Court for restricting pilgrims in forest core areas and allowing tourism activities in 20 per cent of the reserve area. As Sabarimala is on the buffer zone of the forest reserve, there is no need for any restriction here.

 Forest officials pointed out that the Department is yet to assess if 20 per cent of the area is used for tourism purpose. If more tourism activities are allowed in Periyar Tiger Reserve, it is likely to damage the ecosystem.

 Sources said that the tourism activities in tiger reserves are planned according to the guidelines prepared by the Forest Department. Tourism was not allowed in any of the core areas of the forest, they pointed out.

Kitex decision a pressure tactic, says action council

Claiming that Kitex Garments’ plan to abandon its new investment project in Kerala as bogus, the Kitex Action Council has said that the company’s threat intends to pressurise the government for their own gain.

At a press conference here, the Kitex Action Council members alleged that the Pollution Control Board(PCB) and the panchayat were about to take action against the company for the lack of a waste disposal system at the factory in Kizhakkambalam.

The Kitex Action Council is an agitation council formed by the local people protesting against the poor waste management of the company in the Kizhakkambalam plant.

 Kitex Action Council convener P M Abdu Rahamam said that ever since the setting up of the processing unit in Kizhakkambalam in 2008, the lives of the local people were in danger because of the constant health issues.

Farmer commits suicide in Wayanad

After a brief interval, the district witnessed another debt-ridden farmer committing suicide on Saturday. Kumbaleri Mathokki Abraham (Babu), 48, from Ambalavayal, allegedly killed himself by consuming pesticide after failing to withstand the pressure of piling debts.

According to the family members, he had taken loans to the tune of Rs 7.5 lakh from various banks and money-lenders. He had also availed an educational loan of `6.5 lakh from the South Malabar Gramin Bank apart from a loan from the Ksheera Sangham. Though Babu was rushed to a private hospital at Sulthan Bathery late on Friday, he died in the early hours of Saturday.

Babu, who owns around one acre of land, was indulged in cultivating ginger and banana on leased land. He was in deep financial trouble after the prices of both crops crashed. Though the government announced last month that a sum of Rs 13 crore would be allocated towards the subsidy to ease the burden on the crisis-hit ginger cultivators in the district, the amount has not been distributed yet.

The price of banana, which was trading at Rs 40 per kilo a couple of months ago, fell to Rs 12-14 in September, and it was alleged that the authorities failed to stabilise the price or offer support to the  farmers.

‘No differences of opinion with SNDP’

Coming out heavily against the reports that the alliance between Nair Service Society (NSS)and Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam has reached a hard surface owing to differences of opinion on electing Devaswom Board president and members, the NSS has come to the fore dismissing all such allegations.

In a press release here, NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair said that the NSS has not suggested ‘anyone else’ for the post of Devaswom Board president. 

“The only demand raised by the NSS is that the designate should have administrative expertise and transparency. Moreover, he should be a believer of God. It is learnt that the SNDP general secretary Vellappally Natesan too keeps a similar perspective. We do not have any differences of opinion,” Sukumaran Nair said.

“The government has asked the opinion of both the organisations on some terms in the ordinance that is drafted for constituting the new Devasom Board. However, the news on differences of opinion between the two organisations over constituting Travancore Devaswom board are baseless and misleading,” he added.

No clues on motive of Nazeer Ahammed's murder

The car of murdered businessman Nazeer Ahammed was found abandoned in front of a vacant house near Presentation School at Chevayur, which is nearly five km from Pachakkal. Police also got two mobile phones from near the car. However, the car’s key was found inside the pocket of Nazeer.

Some abusive words were written on the car alleging moral turpitude. However, police suspect that this could be an attempt to divert the attention of the investigators.

Nazeer, a member of a traditional business family, was elected as the new secretary by the annual general body meeting of the MCC at its office at Cherooty Road on Friday evening. 

‘’The meeting began  around 4 pm and Nazeer was the unanimous choice for the post. After that, Nazeer was at the MCC office till around 7.30 pm. He was a very active member of the MCC and was earlier in the executive committee,’’ said P G Anoop Narayanan,  former president of MCC.

Alok Kumar Saboo, the newly-elected president of MCC, said as per his knowledge Nazeer had not much financial problems other than the usual ones in business.

‘’Nobody has a clue of what could have happened. It’s totally unexpected and shocking. After the meeting, members asked both of us to sit on the chairs as a symbolic swearing-in ceremony. It had a happy ending and Nazeer left the office after his partner came. We were supposed to attend the World Heart Day observance on Saturday morning,’’ he said.

Nazeer, son of Koya Moideen and Mariyambi, is survived by wife Wafa, a native of Kozhikode, and children Raswa, studying B Arch in Mysore University, Nasla, a Plus-One student and Fazeer Ahammed, who is studying in fourth standard. Wafa, who was on a family tour in Ahmedabad, reached Kozhikode on Saturday night.

Nazeer’s body will be interred at Shaduli Mozque at Francis Road on at 9.30 am on Sunday. The body was handed over to relatives after autopsy on Saturday evening.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

'Tallest' Christ statue in the country unveiled

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 33.5 feet-tall statue of Jesus Christ, claimed to be the tallest Christ statue in the country, was unveiled in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.

The statue was unveiled and blessed by Major Archbishop of the Malakara Syrian Catholic Church Moran Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholicos at the campus of Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology here Saturday morning.

The pristine white-colour figure of Christ, with arms spread, has been placed on top of a 22.5 feet-high car porch of a building at the campus.

Noted art director Premachandran, sculptor of the statue, said it was built on the request of the parents of one Midhun Markose, a former student of the college who died in a road accident, as a memorial.

It is taller than a Christ statue unveiled recently in Bangalore which had been billed as the tallest such statue in the country so far, he claimed.

The statue, made out of a mixture of fibre, wax, resin and so on, had been given a marble finish, the sculptor said.

About 30 workers toiled hard in the last 35 days to complete the works within the scheduled time.

Malabar Chamber Secretary found dead

KOZHIKODE: Newly elected Malabar Chamber of Commerce Secretary and renowned businessman P P Nazir Ahamed was found dead at nearby Chevayoor on Saturday in a suspected case of murder, police said.

The body of 50-year old Ahamed with multiple injuries was found lying at roadside and his car found abandoned a few kilometres away from the spot, they said.

There were many bruises in Ahamed’s body and his face was deformed.  A blood-stained towel was also found near the body. His car was found abandoned beside the Shanthigiri Colony Road at Chevayoor. Police suspect that Ahamed was brought to a vacant house and killed. A mobile phone of Ahamed was found near a jackfruit tree in the compound. Police believe that a six-member gang is behind the murder.

Ahamed was elected Secretary of the chamber on Friday at its annual general meeting.

Top police officials visited the spot and investigations were on.

Congress, Muslim League split over banning toddy in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress and the IUML, the main constituents of the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance government in Kerala are split over banning toddy in the state.

The Congress party described the move as "unrealistic" while the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) wants toddy to be banned. The Kerala High Court recently had asked the state government to take steps to end the sale of toddy.

At a high level meeting of the IUML held here Saturday the party concluded that toddy should be banned and the state should in a phased manner go for a total prohibition.

"Its high time that the sale of toddy in the state (Kerala) be banned because in the name of toddy what is made available is spurious spirit. We fully support the observation made by the high court recently with regards to toddy and also restriction in the timings of bars in the state," IUML spokesperson and Lok Sabha member E.T. Mohammed Basheer told reporters here.

Toddy is tapped by professional tappers from either the coconut or the palm trees and after then it is given to the toddy shops in the locality and then sold to tipplers.

A 750 ml bottle of toddy from the toddy shops costs around Rs 45.

The state has 5,200 shops that sell toddy and in the current fiscal 4,100 shops have been opened after the tendering process was completed.

But speaking to reporters here, state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala however differed on closing down toddy shops and banning the sale of toddy in the state.

"The IUML's stand on liquor and toddy is quite well known and in Kerala, we do not think its going to be practical to ban toddy because as such is not harmful. With regards to the high court's observation on restriction of bar timing, the United Democratic Front will meet and discuss on this issue," said Chennithala.

Govinda Pillai bags award

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Marxist ideologue and writer P Govinda Pillai has been selected for the P N Panicker award for this year. The award comprises Rs11,111 in cash, a citation, and plaque. The jury headed by chairman of the P N Panicker Foundation V RKrishna Iyer and including Pannian Ravindran, M Vijayakumar, Palode Ravi, and N Balagopal unanimously selected Pillai for the award for his contributions to society as a political leader, library activist, people’s representative, writer, journalist and orator. The award will be given away at a function to be held in November.

Man held in murder case

KOCHI: One person wanted in a murder case was arrested by the Town Central Police. Jolly, 40, of Mallappuzhassery, Pathanamthitta was wanted for the murder of Man Singh. The police said that Jolly along with two others entered into an altercation with Man Singh at a bar in the city on November 5, 2006. Even though he was arrested in this case, he went into hiding after coming out on bail, the police said.

Rs 250 cr central grant for Malabar tourism development

KOZHIKODE: The Centre has allocated Rs 250 crore for tourism development in Malabar region in Kerala, Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar said. Inaugurating a seminar on Tourism and Sustainable Energy organised by the Kozhikode District Tourism Promotion Council on World Tourism Day, he said a master plan had been prepared for tourism development in Wayanad and Kasargod districts in the first phase. The work was being coordinated by an agency, the Northern Tourism Circuit, he said, adding expenditure for the entire project would be borne by the Centre. He said efforts would be made to involve common men while taking up projects relating to tourism development in the state, he said. The government, which emphasized on the growth of tourism and agriculture sectors, would not compromise on environmental protection, he added.

Friday, September 28, 2012

CBI probe not necessary in TP murder case, says legal experts

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A CBI probe is not necessary in the murder case of RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan, legal experts informed the state government. They said that if the case is handed over to the CBI mid-way, it will help the accused to escape.They can escape saying that the charge sheet has been filed without completing the case.

Not only that a senior counsel has informed the government that if the case is now handed over to the CBI, the image of the police will be stained. The state police had earlier opposed a CBI probe citing the same reason.

Hartal callers should be strongly dealt with, says J B Koshy

PATHANAMTHITTA: Justice J B Koshy, Human Rights Commission chairman said that those who call for a hartal should be strongly dealt with.  

Unleashing violence in the name of hartal is violation of human rights. No one has the right to block vehicles on the particular day. Atrocities carried out in the name of hartals are ridiculous, he said.

Koshy said, 80 percent of the cops live by fooling the poor. There are many cases where DySPs accept bribes from granite and sand mafias.

Bail pleas of Karayis rejected

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court Friday rejected the bail pleas of CPM regional leaders Karayi Rajan and Karayi Chandrashekaran, jailed in connection with the murder case of NDF activist Fazal.  This is the third time the court is rejecting their bail plea.

Explosive substances seized

KANNUR:  Excise and sales tax departments recovered 300 kg of ammonium nitrate, 1000 detonators and 16 rolls of fuse wires from a pick-up jeep at Kuttupuzha check-post in Kiliyanthara on the border with Karnataka Friday and arrested two people in this connection.

According to excise sources, the explosive substances were recovered during a routine raid at the check-post around 0600 hrs. The explosives were kept under vegetable bags, in the jeep coming from Mysore. The ammonium nitrate was kept in six bags while the detonators were packed in ten packets. Excise officials led by Inspector Rejimon arrested two people, the driver T Ranjith (35) of Kallerikara and M P Bilu (30) of Elambra near Mattanur in this district. The excise department handed over the explosives and the two arrested people to Iritty police. The explosives would be defused by a bomb squad later, police said.

No new gas connections

KOCHI: Oil companies decided to temporarily stop delivering new gas connections.  New connections will be sanctioned only after examining the documents of those having gas cylinders. The new decision would be a severe blow to fresh applicants.

The government decided to impose a six-cylinder-a-year-cap on subsidized cooking gas for households. Only three cylinders will be obtained till March.  The households would be supplied extra cylinder but double price will have to be paid.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

'India-What It Can Teach Us?'-Malayalam version hits market

Malayalam translation of German linguist Max Mueller’s book ‘India-What It Can Teach Us’ an anthology of lectures written in the 18th century is available in market now. K K C Nair, former editor of the National Book Trust of India has done the translation.

Prof M K Sanu released the Malayalam version, a few days back in Kochi.

The book contains seven lectures given by Max Mueller to the ICS students of Cambridge University.

In his book, he has described India as an epitome of virtuosity. Giving more details about the author’s Indian connect, K K C Nair says, “Mueller is one of the founders of the western academic field of Indian studies. Since, Sanskrit was thought to be the oldest of the Indo-European languages, Mueller had devoted several years towards learning the classical language. Swami Vivekananda had once paid a visit to Mueller in Oxford. Impressed by Mueller’s spirituality and physical brightness, Vivekananda described him as “Vedantins of Vedantins”.

Govt curbs movement of fuel tankers in state

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The high level meet convened by the chief minister decided to curb the movements of fuel tankers in the state.

The meet decided not to allow the lorries to conduct services from 8 am to 10 am and between 4 to 6 pm. But they will not be restricted during night time. The meet decided to make mandatory of having two drivers for all tanker lorries.

The safety of the tankers will be in the hands of oil companies and contractors. If accidents occur, case will be registered against oil companies.

Ministers Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Minister Aryadan Muhammed, oil company officials and owners of tanker lorries attended the meeting.

Court asks govt to consider working hours of bars after 5 pm

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court directed the state government to consider allowing the sale of liquor in bars after 5 pm. The court said the suggestion was proposed considering the interests of the people. The government can consider it if they want, said a division bench consisting of Justices C N Ramachandran Nair and P S Gopinathan.

The bench observed that if the bars are open during office hours it may prompt many to drink even while on duty. Restricting timings of bars would help to bring down the liquor sale, the court said. The court asked ministers and leaders to take the directives in a good sense.

Final decision on Mundur issue not taken, says VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The final decision on the problems of the Mundur area committee has not been taken, said opposition leader V S Achuthanandan. In reply to a question, he said the party will take a decision only after examining all sides.

Supporters of P A Gokuldas yesterday walked out of the general body meeting of the CPM Mundur area committee convened at the Town Hall in Palakkad to solve the factionalism issue. 

Committee constituted to study milk price hike

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A programming committee was constituted to study the proposed hike in the price of milk.

The committee will study about the hike required to compensate the loss faced by dairy farmers due to the hike in the prices of cattle feed.  

The committee will submit report within a week.

Milma chairman P T Gopala Kurup said that it is absolutely necessary to hike the prices of cattle feed and the directorial board will meet after the report is presented to decide on the hike in milk price.

Police had earlier arrested those DYFI and AIYF activists who barged into the meeting hall and raised slogans against the hike in price of milk.

Unified labour policy for nurses, says Shibu

NEW DELHI: Minister for Labour and Rehabilitation Shibu Baby John said that a unified labour policy will be constituted for the nurses in India.

He added that this will be put forth in the state labour ministers’ meet.

He said that unification is required in the clauses regarding the service and salary of nurses and added that the help of the centre will be sought in arranging for higher education opportunities in the professional stream.

Man kills daughters in Thrissur

THRISSUR: In a ghastly incident, a man killed his own daughters by throwing them into a pond. The two have been identified as Aditya Veni (six) and Krishna Veni (3). The police have taken into custody one Surendran in connection with the incident.

The man took the children from the hospital where their mother is undergoing treatment for fever in Kunnamkkulam Hospital, in the pretext of leaving them home

Swetha Menon delivers a baby girl in front of camera

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “My happiness has no limits”. Mollywood actress Swetha Menon was on cloud nine on Thursday lying at the labour room of the Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai for two reasons—one, as she has been blessed with a baby girl, and two, her pregnancy period including delivery has been captured by the cameras directed by renowned filmmaker Blessy for the film Kalimannu.

There were no ‘actions’, ‘cuts’ or ‘retakes’ for the “labour room” shoot. But the camera installed by cameraman Jibu captured the pains amidst joy of Swetha as she was slowly being transformed into a mother. Clock said 5.26 pm when she delivered her baby girl. That moment itself the little Swetha became a part of the film as well.

Swetha’s husband Sreevalsan Meno and her parents T.V. Narayanan Kutty and Sarada were at the hospital with her.

Swetha was more than six months pregnant when she gave a nod to Blessy to make a film highlighting on her various stages of pregnancy. She had said then "The sufferings, every moment a pregnant woman facing should be known by the partner and I am taking this opportunity to make proper use of it to make people aware of a mother's sacrifice. When a woman is carrying, the society treats her like a patient. This is injustice. So both of us are taking this opportunity to oppose this practice of society."

It was two years ago that Blessy planned the movie that showcased conversation between a mother and foetus.

Calves adopted at minister’s residence

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Department of Animal Husbandry has formally adopted two calves at the official residence of the Minister for Agriculture K P Mohanan here to signal their registration under Surabhiraksha, a calf protection programme sponsored by the central government. Officials from the department formally adopted the two animals on Wednesday and gave them ear tags to indicate that they were insured under the scheme aimed at encouraging scientific dairy farming. The programme seeks to improve the growth rate of calves and enhance their milk yield through better feed and care. Dairy farmers, irrespective of financial status, are entitled to a subsidy of Rs 12,500 per calf under the scheme. A farmer could register up to three calves.

Warrant issued in Palmolein case

THRISSUR: The Thrissur Vigilance Court ssued a warrant against the seventh accused in the palmolein case, Sivaramakrishnan, former Director of the P&E Private Limited, as he failed to appear before it. The court posted further hearing on discharge petitions filed by four accused in the case for November 7. The petitions were filed by former Food Minister T H Mustaffa, former Chief Secretary S Padmakumar, former Additional Chief Secretary Zachariah Mathew, and former Director of the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation Jiji Thomson.

Woman killed, robbed of ornaments

KOLLAM:  In a gruesome murder for gain, a 78-year-old housewife, Lakshmikuttyamma, was hacked to death at her house in Puthur on Wednesday. One man has been taken into custody by the police in connection with the incident. Police said the culprits had even sliced away the right ear of the housewife to take away the earring she was wearing. Following her husband’s death, Lakshmikuttyamma was living alone in her house while her daughter lived in the adjacent house. Food was served to her every day by her daughter. It was while bringing lunch shortly after 12 noon that the daughter saw her mother lying in a pool of blood inside the bedroom. She raised an alarm and neighbours who rushed to the scene took her to the Kottarakara Taluk Hospital. But she could not be saved.

Kannur University registrar suspended

KANNUR: Registrar of the Kannur University and Chief security officer A V Hareendranath was suspended for failing in arranging necessary measures to ensure the smooth conduct of the Syndicate meeting of the university. The syndicate meetings are obstructed by various staffs organizations controlled by CPI (M) and SFI at several times since last six months. The SFI activists barged into the syndicate meeting hall and damaged files, microphones and distracted the meeting.

Later Kannapuram Police used small force to remove the SFI activists and arrested seven SFI activists in this connection. The Syndicate had given instructions to the registrar to obtain an order from High Court of Kerala to conduct the meeting, but the registrar failed to follow up actions. Meanwhile, the college union elections would be held on October 5 between 0930 to 1230 and the result would be declared in the evening. The college union election was postponed from the earlier date following a High court order, a university release said.

Unified labour policy for nurses, says Shibu

NEW DELHI: Minister for Labour and Rehabilitation Shibu Baby John said that a unified labour policy will be constituted for the nurses in India.

He added that this will be put forth in the state labour ministers’ meet.

He said that unification is required in the clauses regarding the service and salary of nurses and added that the help of the centre will be sought in arranging for higher education opportunities in the professional stream.

Load shedding till Nov 30

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Load shedding will come into effect from Thursday and will be imposed till November 30. The cabinet on Wednesday decided to impose 30 minute cyclical load shedding both in the mornings and evenings. The power regulatory commission today permitted to impose load shedding in the state.  

Meantime, the regulatory commission will give permission only after a sitting on the board’s demand to charge domestic consumers in excess of 200 units a month.

Drunk man stamps wife to death

KOTTIYAM: A drunken brawl ended in the man identified as Thankachan killing his 33-year-old wife Kavitha in front of his three children. The incident happened last evening in Mayyanad. Thankachan consumes liquor daily and gets into a fight with his wife.

The incident which happened on Wednesday night came to light only on Thursday morning after Thankachan informed his wife’s sister staying nearby. Though she was taken to the nearby hospital, her life could not be saved. 

Youth falls into well, rescued

NEYYATTINKARA: The fire-force rescued a youth, who tried to commit suicide by falling into a 80-ft deep well. The 32-year-old youth identified as Anil Kumar of Chaykkottukonam, fell into the well last night. He sustained injuries as there was not enough water in the well and was screaming. Later the fire force arrived and rescued him from the well.

Mild tremors at Kollam and Pathanamthitta

KOLLAM: A mild tremor was witnessed in some places of Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts. The tremor was felt at Sasthamcotta, Mannadi and Ivarkala of Kollam and Enath of Pathanamthitta at 7.30 am on Thursday.

No casualties have been reported.

SNDP men mess up traffic

KOCHI: The march taken out by the SNDP on Wednesday as a protest against the anti-Sree Narayana Guru remarks made by DCC president V.J. Poulose, turned violent as the protesters clashed with the police near the Ernakulam government hospital.

The march, comprising thousands, commenced from Marine Drive and was en route to the DCC office when it was stopped near the hospital junction where the police had placed barricades.

Though the protesters attempted to break the police block by jumping the barricades, the SNDP leaders managed to control the mob and bring the situation under control.

SNDP state vice president Thushar Vellappally, who inaugurated the march, demanded the immediate resignation of V.J. Poulose from his post as DCC president.

“Poulose needs to learn the history of Kerala state, the Guru and Jesus Christ. The Guru and Christ lived in this world as human beings and Poulose has to accept that truth”, he said.

Thushar also demanded strong action against those who attempted to tarnish the image of Sree Narayana Guru.

He also alleged that political leaders were trying to cut the SNDP down to size in educational and industrial sectors.

A large police force led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Gopalakrishna Pillai, was present at the place to control the protesters.

Police have registered cases against leaders who led the march and 8,000 others who could be identified.

Mata Amrithanandamayi’s 59th birthday today

KARUNAGAPPALLY: The 59th Birthday Celebrations of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi will take place today at Amritapuri Ashram. It is expected that about 3 lakh devotees will attend the function. The celebrations begin with Maha Ganapathi Homam, followed by Satsangam under the headship of her first disciple Swami Amrithaswaroopanandapuri. Padapooja will also be held. Then follows dharshanam.

Narayana Guru’s teachings to be included in school curriculum

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The cabinet on Wednesday decided to include Sree Narayana Guru’s teachings in the curricula ranging from school level to plus-two level from next academic year onwards.

A committee headed by Prof. M.K. Sanu had been appointed by the Sree Narayana Study Centre at Chempazhanthy, which comes under the Cultural Department, to submit a report after studying the possibility of including Guru’s teachings in the curricula.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said to media persons after the cabinet meeting that the decision was taken on the basis of the report submitted by the committee.

Guru’s teachings will be included in the Malayalam and Social Studies textbooks pertaining to standards up to Plus-Two. Third and fourth standards are exempted.

The director of NCERT, under the Education Department, had earlier recommended that it would take procedures for including the teachings from next academic year onwards. The necessary steps will be taken by the curriculum committee.

ISRO trespassing case: B'lore police in Kerala

KOLLAM: A team of Karnataka police on Wednesday held inquiries in Punalur in Kerala's Kollam District as part of investigations in the case pertaining to the arrest of a Keralite woman for allegedly trespassing into ISRO premises in Bangalore last week using a fake ID card.

The 41-year-old woman Buela N Sam of Punalur, working in Ahmedabad, created a scare after she breached security to gain entry into the ISRO headquarters using a fake identity.

She had visited her hometown recently and allegedly made a fake identity card using which she gained access to the ISRO guest house and its headquarters.

According to local police sources, the investigators from Bangalore questioned the owner and employees of a studio in Punalur from where Beula had taken her photo and proceeded to the lamination centre in nearby Kottiyam from where she was suspected to have made the fake ID card.

The team also collected details about the antecedents of the woman. According to local police, Beula was in Punalur earlier this month in connection with a family bereavement. Her relatives said she had undergone treatment at a mental clinic near her hometown two years ago.

Using the fake identity card, she stayed at the ISRO Satellite Centre guest-house at Jeevanbheema Nagar for two days from September 19. On September 21, she gained entry into the high-security "Anthariksh Bhavan", ISRO headquarters.

She roamed around in the building premises for a couple of hours before some ISRO staff growing suspicious, reported the matter to the security and arrested her.

In Bangalore, city police commissioner Jyothiprakash Mirji said "nothing concrete" has emerged so far in the probe.

He said he had asked the investigating officer to take the accused to National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) for a medical checkup as she was stated to be "mentally unsound". "We are still awaiting the details from the IO", he said.

The woman was yesterday remanded remanded to four days police custody by a local court which had earlier sent her to judicial custody till October 6.

Janashree is not anybody’s private property, says Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Janshree is not anybody’s private property, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Briefing reporters after the weekly cabinet meet, he said those leveling allegations against Janashree should prove it.

Chandy said, “Janashree is a self-help organization. I know that M M Hassan has only shares worth Rs 50,000 in that. Janashree is one of the organisations getting relief from the centre.  Kudumbashree is one functioning under the state government. There is no doubt that the UDF government has given more assistance to it than the LDF Government.” 

Nelliampathy: Final report on Oct 22

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The report on the Nelliampathy estate issue will be submitted on October 22 following differences of opinion at the UDF sub panel meet convened to discuss the issue. The panel convenor A N Rajan Babu said further proceedings should be taken in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict that the estate is forest land.

But chief whip P C George and Johnny Nelloor opposed the verdict. George wanted to extend the dater for submitting the report. The panel later decided to submit the report on Oct 22.

HC orders issue of notice to govt in Madhani's bail plea

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court Wednesday ordered issue of notice to government on the bail petition by Kerala-based PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madhani, an accused in 2008 serial bomb blasts here, on health grounds.

Justice H N Nagamohan Das also directed the Superintendent of Parappana Agrahara Jail, where Madhani is lodged since his arrest on August 17, 2010, to submit a medical report about his health condition by October 3 when the matter will come up for further hearing.

Madani submitted that he was a chronic diabetic, wheelchair dependent with one of his legs having been amputated. He also suffered from cardiac problems, disc prolapse, cervical spondylosis and has been diagnosed with "diabetic retinopathy" (eye ailment).

He contended that ever since he was arrested and remanded to judicial custody, no proper medical treatment was given to him for any of the above ailments despite court directions.

He claimed that he had already lost vision in his right eye and has only 30 per cent vision in the left eye.

The petitioner pointed out that he had to take permission for treatment at his own cost and though laser treatment was given to him at Narayana Nethralaya here, it was "done hurriedly without adequate precaution" as he was in judicial custody.

No further probe in Lavalin case

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CBI court in the capital city rejected the three pleas seeking further probe in the SNC Lavalin case. The CBI probe in the case is satisfactory and impartial. The plaintiffs were not able to prove their version, the court observed.   

Social activist Neyyattinkara Nagaraju, crime editor Nandakumar and EMS Samskarika Vedi approached the court for further probe.

The pleas demanded to probe the role of former power ministers Pinarayi Vijayan and G Karthikeyan stated to have made monetary benefits from the deal with the SNC-Lavalin Company. They also sought to probe the role of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the then board member.

Cabinet for one-hour load shedding in state

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The cabinet on Wednesday decided to impose one hour load shedding in the state. The one hour duration will be split into two half an hour periods. The first half will be between 6 am and 5 pm and the next one will be between 6.30 pm and 10.30 pm.

Electricity Minister Aryadan Muhammed said the decision was taken against the backdrop of low water level in major reservoirs and cut down of power from central pool.

The decision was taken after KSEB recommended load shedding as it was suffering a daily loss of over Rs. 10 crore.

After revealing the decision in a press conference, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said one-hour load shedding was imposed to tide over acute power crisis in the state.

If the Electricity Regulatory Commission permits, load shedding will be imposed on Thursday itself. The KSEB would approach the commission on Thursday to discuss on this.

About 2 million units of electricity could be saved per day if load shedding is implemented. But KSEB says this, however, will not completely solve the problem.

Those domestic customers who use more than 200 units of power per month will have to pay higher tariff. Industrial customers will be provided with 75 percent of the power they use presently. The amount equal to that spend by KSEB to buy power will be levied for the remaining 25 percent.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Couple from Kottayam murdered in Karnataka

KOTTAYAM: A couple from Kottayam was found murdered at Kodimbala near Puthur of Karnataka. They have been identified as Baby Thomas (60) and Mary (55). For the past two years, they have been residing here. Mary’s body was found in the bedroom and that of Baby inside the car.

Man held on charge of torturing infant

ALAPPUZHA: Saji (40), of Kayamkulam, was arrested on charge of tying up his brother’s three-and-a-half-year-old child to a cradle inside a locked house. The police said the incident happened on Monday when the child’s mother, Jincy, went out for work. Saji and his wife, Jasmin, allegedly tied the child to a cradle and locked the house and went away. Local people alerted the police when they heard the child’s cries.

The police forcefully opened the door of the house and rescued the child. The tired child was admitted to the Government Hospital in Kayamkulam. According to Jincy, Saji and his wife had been torturing her and her two children after her husband had left them. They had been living in Saji’s house. The police found several bruises on the body of the children. The child will soon be shifted to the government children’s home in Nooranad in the district, said district child welfare committee member M K Abdhul Samad.

Aircraft shortage problem to be addressed soon: Ahamed

KANNUR: Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Human Resource Development E Ahamed said shortage of Air India Aircraft for Kerala was partially due to arranging aircraft for Haj pilgrimage. Talking to newspersons at a function here, he said the problem of aircraft shortage would be addressed by the Centre. Turning to other issues, he said unmanned level crossings in Kerala were a matter of concern and expected railways would take necessary action to convert them into manned crossings. He also said IUML would not allow destruction of communal harmony in Kerala. He released 'C H Muhammed Koya Ithihasa Pariveshamulla Rashtriya Nayakan, written by Vanidas Elayavoor and published by Middle East Chandrika. Mr Ahamed released the first copy of the book and handed it over to Former Kerala Forest Minister Binoy Viswam. Former Devaswom Minister Ramachandran Kadanappally and former state BJP president C K Padmanabhan attended the function.

Bhaskaran remanded to 14 days judicial custody

KANNUR:  Mattanur Municipality Chairman K Bhaskaran, who is also husband of K K Shylaja, State unit Secretary of Janathya Pathya Mahila Association (AIDWA), was sent to Kannur Central jail. He was arrested in connection with the attack on Mattanur police station and police aid post following a CPI (M) state level hartal to protest against the arrest of CPI (M) district secretary P Jayarajan in Shukkoor murder case on August 2 last. Police said Bhaskaran came to Mattanur Police station in the morning and surrendered.

He was produced before Mattanur JFCM who remanded him 14 days judicial custody. Police said Bhaskaran was fourth and second accused respectively in two cases. Mattanur Municipality Council election was held on September 4 and he became chairman on September 15. He won with 281 votes from Perincheri Ward and CPI (M) led LDF retained the Mattanur Municipality, consecutively fourth time by claiming 20 out of 34 seats. Meanwhile, Magistrate T P Anil Kumar of Kannur JFCM-2 gave permission to IUML activist P P Badusha of Mayyil, who was remanded at sub jail, in connection with attacking a club (Red star recreation club), which was controlled by CPI(M) at Mayyil on August 2, to write the whole plus two examination in Valapatnam higher secondary school.

Boy drowns

KATTAPPANA: A tenth standard student at the Government Higher Secondary School, Vazhathoppe, drowned while taking bath along with two of his friends. The Vazhathoppe police said that the boy Vazhathoppe Pallithazhath Shone, 16, slipped into a deeper portion of the river.  Though his friends alerted the neighbours, they could not save him.

New gate, watchman at Aroor

AROOR: Twenty-four hours after the accident, involving the Hapa-Tirunelveli superfast express, that killed five persons at an unmanned level crossing here, the train passed a newly installed gate on the very spot on Monday. A watchman too has been appointed to man the gate. Karan Singh, a native of Rajasthan was on duty from 8 pm on Sunday to 8 am on Monday, while Ganesh Chaudhary from West Bengal manned the gate from 8 am. Electricity and telecommunication facilities were already in place at a shed that had been set up near the gate.

Anil Kumar, Chief Engineer, Southern Railway from Chennai, inspected the track and gate for technical deficiencies. “Railways are planning to eliminate the 24 unmanned level crossings between Aroor and Kayamkulam in Alappuzha. Priority will be given to constructing underpass or overpass and closing level crossings [if more than one exists in close proximity], and the remaining will be manned. The Alappuzha railway station master has 16 manned level crossings under his jurisdiction. Communication to all these 16 level crossings is practically difficult. Railways are holding talks with the local bodies on providing alternatives to level crossings,” he said. The local people had organised protests on Sunday demanding the manning of the crossing.

Orphanage secretary held on charge of assaulting girls

KANNUR: The police arrested a secretary of Yatheemkhana ( an orphanage) at Peralassery under Chakkarakkal police limits for allegedly sexually assaulting seven girls below the age of 15 years continuously for the last few days. According to Kannur DySP P Sukumaran, after receiving complaints from some orphanage inmates police arrested Ahamed Kutty A P (42) of Poomangalam near Thaliparamaba. Ahamed was secretary of the orphanage for the last 20 years.

As many as 65 students, including girls, were residing in the orphanage. Seven girl students contacted Chakkarakkal police and lodged a complaint that the secretary was sexually assaulting them. Later, police team led by City Circle Inspector Rathnakaran took the statements of the girls before the child line activists and conducted medical examination. Ahamed Kutty has married twice. His second wife is the mother of three children who stay in the orphanage. The interrogation was going on, police said, adding Ahamed would be produced before the Kannur JFCM.

V R Raghu Varma suspended

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has suspended V R Raghu Varma, Superintendent of Police, Crime Records Bureau, from service for having obstructed discharge of official duties by the Chief Secretary. A press note said that the decision had been taken on the basis of a recommendation from police chief K S Balasubramanian. Varma was in the news for having allegedly created a ruckus at the Chief Secretary’s office recently.

Railway to launch campaign over level crossing

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Rajesh Agrawal said the railway will launch a campaign to sensitise the people over unmanned level crossing in the state. Addressing a press conference here, he said the campaign was aimed at reducing accidents at level crossing to zero level with the help of local administration. 'Kerala witnesses as many as 5,000 road deaths each year due to rash and negligent driving.

The campaign will also help to reduce road accidents in the State. Most of the accidents in rail crossing cause due to negligent driving,' he added. Stating that all the level crossing would be manned by 2013 in the State, he said the Railway would cooperate with the state government to speed up all the pending Rail Over Bridge works. The DRM told this in the wake of yesterday's accident in which five were killed at Aroor in Alappuzha. The accident occurred when the car in which they were travelling attempted to cross an unmanned level crossing hit with a speedy-train.

Manjula Chellur sworn in as Chief Justice of Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur assumed office as the Chief Justice of Kerala. The oath of office was administered to her by Governor H R Bharadwaj at a function held at the Raj Bhavan at 11.30 am Wednesday morning. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Law Minister K M Mani and many others attended the function.

She was appointed as the acting chief justice of Kerala last November while serving as the high court judge of Karnataka.

A full bench sitting including Chief Justice Manjula Chellur will be held at the Kerala High Court at 11. 15 am tomorrow morning.  She was appointed acting chief justice when Justice Chelemeswar, the then Chief Justice of Kerala, was elevated to the Supreme Court.

V J Paulose apologises to SNDP

KOCHI: Ernakulam DCC president V J Paulose has apologized to the SNDP for his statements denigrating the teachings of Sree Narayana Guru, on the Samadhi day of Guru.

Paulose met yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan on Wednesday and apologized to him. KPCC Ramesh Chennithala intervened and directed Paulose to apologise after Kothamangalam SNDP Union came to the fore seeking the resignation of the latter.

Meantime, Natesan said agitations will not be staged against him till Sept 28. The council meet to be convened on Sept 28 will decide the future course of action.  

In the meanwhile, the march staged by SNDP yogam activists to the Ernakulam DCC office was stopped by the police.

Minister C N Balakrishnan hospitalised

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister C N Balakrishnan has been hospitalised. The minister felt uneasiness during the cabinet meet and was immediately taken to the medical college hospital.

He has been admitted at the intensive care unit of the hospital. Doctors attending on him said that his condition was satisfactory.  

The cabinet meet has been suspended following the incident.

CPM to hold march against cancellation of AI services

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Protesting Air India's cancellation of 168 services to Gulf countries, CPI (M) will hold a people's march to airports in Kerala on September 28.

The party's state secretariat said in a release here today that the services were cancelled without any prior information causing untold difficulties and sufferings to Keralite passengers bound for Gulf regions.

As per the present indication, the cancellations would continue till December, it said.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Internet facility in govt schools soon, says minister

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister for Education P K Abdu Rabb declared that all government schools in the state shall be provided with broadband internet facility within a month.

Fr Job Chittilappilly case: Double life sentence for accused

KOCHI: Special CBI court in Ernakulam has ordered double life imprisonment for Raghu, the accused in Fr Job Chittilapilly murder case.

The court maintained that the accused deserves no mercy. It was ordered that he also has to pay a fine of Rs 35000 which would be used for charitable purposes.

Fr Job Chittilappilly was killed on August 28, 2004 at his parish church of Our Lady of the Graces in the village of Thuruthiparambu.

The court found Raghu guilty from the witness statements.