Saturday, December 29, 2012

Govt orders employees to wear Khadi on Wednesdays

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State government has directed all the government employees and teachers in Kerala to wear Khadi-Handloom apparels on Wednesdays.

The order will come into effect from January 1 onwards. An order regarding this by minister C.N. Balakrishnan was approved by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

The previous government had directed, in vain, to wear Khadi-Handloom apparels on Saturdays.

The move is a part of the effort to involve employees and teachers in the protection of the Khadi-Handloom sector.

Seven killed as car collides with bus in Nilamel

KOLLAM: Seven people, including four women, were killed when their Toyota Qualis car collided with a KSRTC bus at Nilamel in the district today. All those killed were travelling in the car and are natives of Bharathannur in Thiruvananthapuram.

Those deceased were identified as Ajith Kumar (36), his wife Suneesha (30), their son Amal Sunder (4), Ajith Kumar’s mother Vijayamma (65), Suneesha’s mother Usha Kumari (65) and wife of Ajith Kumar’s brother Rajendran, Rugmini Amma (45).

The tragedy struck the family while returning home in the car after reaching Thiruvananthapuram in the wee hours by train from Mookambika, a temple town in Karnataka.

Twenty-five people, most of them passengers of the bus, were injured in the mishap and they were admitted to hospital and the condition of two of them was serious.

The bodies of the victims were extricated from the mangled car by police and local people. The deceased included the driver of the car, police said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy visited the accident spot and expressed grief at the loss of life caused by the accident.

Panchayat president dies in accident

KILIMANOOR: N C George (49) grama panchayat president of Mariyapuram, Idukki, was killed after the Bolero jeep in which he was travelling hit a tipper lorry near Karet Junction on the M C Road. Panchayat member Santhosh (35) and driver Shaji have been seriously injured.

Shaji has been admitted at the medical college hospital in the capital city and Santhosh at Gokulam Medical College Hospital in Venjaramoodu.

The incident happened early Friday morning at 2 am. The vehicle Bolero belonging to the panchayat struck the tipper going to the capital city from behind. Even though the seriously injured George was taken to Gokulam Medical College Hospital, his life could not be saved.

MVR rubbishes merger issue

KANNUR: CMP general secretary M V Raghavan said no discussions were held with the CPI in connection with the merger of both. It is true that CPI leader Kanam Rajendran had come to meet me, but there is no need for a CPI-CMP nexus, he said.

There were reports that the CMP had expressed its displeasure in continuing with the UDF and was all set to join the CPI. It was hinted that CPI leader Kanam Rajendran had held talks with M V Raghavan regarding the merger.

Funeral prayers for Kasab in Kochi; IB starts probe

KOCHI: A funeral prayer was offered at a mosque in Kochi for Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the Mumbai attacks, who was hanged in Pune Jail on November 21.

No sooner had the news leaked out, than the person who led the funeral prayer was removed from the mosque committee.  The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has begun a probe on the funeral prayer.

It is learnt that the prayer, which was offered on a Friday soon after Kasab was hanged, was led by a native of Chelakkulam in Perumbavur. The funeral prayer was offered after the usual prayer.

The name of Ajmal Kasab was included in the list of persons to whom funeral prayers were to be offered. Besides, in the speech delivered after the prayers, the hanging of Kasab was severely criticized.

Only a very few believers remained at the mosque to attend the funeral prayer as many have left after the usual prayer. One section of believers who were present there protested against the inclusion of Kasab’s name in the list. They also demanded to take stringent action against the man who included the name of Kasab, who was part of a team of ten terrorists who killed 166 people during three days of carnage in Mumbai four years ago.

Subsequently, the person who led the funeral prayer was removed from the committee. The issue had been concealed. But it was made public when there was move to include the person back to the mosque committee. It has been said that the funeral prayer was secretly supported by some organizations.

Sivagiri Pilgrimage begins today

SIVAGIRI: The 80th annual Sivagiri Pilgrimage will begin at Sivagiri Mutt near Varkala today (Sunday). After the hoisting of flag at 7.30 am, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will inaugurate the programmes at 9.30 am. Swami Amruthananda will light the lamp. Swami Prakashananda would preside over the function. Minister K.C. Venugopal will be the special guest and Minister Adoor Prakash will be chief guest.

Indu murder case: Lover under arrest

KOZHIKODE: The mystery behind the death of O.K. Indu (25), a research scholar at the National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NIT-C), was unravelled at last. The Crime Branch probing the death has revealed that K. Subhash, Assistant Professor, NIT-C, who was the lover of Indu, murdered her.

Subhash was arrested at Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. He will be produced before the house of Kozhikode Judicial Magistrate and later will be taken into custody.

Indu went missing from the Thiruvananthapuram-Mangalore Express train on 24 April 2011. Her body was recovered from Periyar River. Indu and Subhash were in love with each other. Indu’s refusal to marry Subhash led him to push her out of the moving train.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Man collapses, dies inside car

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A man who was driving back home after seeing off a relative at the international airport here collapsed and died at Pettah on Sunday. He is identified as Girish Mohan (50) of Pattoor. He braked the car just before he breathed his last.

Man killed after theft

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a ghastly incident, a man was murdered after robbing him at Kanjirampara in the capital city. The dead identified as Dr. B. Harihara Varma (59), staying in a rented house in Puthurkkonam near Vattiyoorkavu, was killed after robbing his gems and diamonds. Varma is a member of the Mavelikkara royal family. The incident was informed to the police by Varma’s aide Advocate Haridas.

Haridas brought two persons identified as Premraj and Yogesh to Varma’s house for the sale of precious items. Varma and Haridas fainted after they were forced to smell choloform by the team while examining the stuff.

Haridas, who regained consciousness found Varma lying dead. He immediately informed police about the incident.

Haridas told police that the team landed in the capital city Monday morning by Air India flight. The police are searching the airport and railway station following the incident. The list of names of those arrived Monday is also being inspected.

Bhima Jewellers MD Balachandra Kiran bereaved

KANNUR: Swati Kiran (32), wife of Bhima Jewellers managing director Balachandra Kiran, was killed and four others, including their three children, were injured when the car in which they were travelling hit a tree at Chunkam at Kannur-Pappinisseri National Highway on Monday.

Police said they were proceeding to Mangalore from Kozhikode when the tragedy struck as the driver apparently lost control hitting the vehicle against the tree this morning. Their children- Thrishna, Dhanush and Theerthan- and driver Vineesh sustained injuries. They were admitted to A K G Hospital, Kannur, police added.

14-year-old drowns in pond

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: One among the two boys, who went for a bath at the Mitranandapuram pond in West Fort, drowned here Monday. The boy aged 14 has been identified as Arun.

'Black man' caught in Varkala

VARKALA: The colony residents of Varkala who had sleepless nights for the past two weeks in the name of black man, finally caught a migrant worker with black mask on his face. Two others fled to safety.

A sword, iron rod and a blade have been recovered from him. The residents refused to hand over the black man to local cops as they wanted top officials to reach the spot. He was caught at 2 am Monday morning from Ambedkar Colony in Edava.

The black man talked in Hindi and his face was covered with a black cloth. For the past few days, this man continuously disturbed women and created a tense situation in houses. When the resident saw a three-member team coming they immediately switched off power.  Soon they tried to flee the place but the residents caught one when two others fled.  

It is suspected that the man caught is a Bengali. People flocked in to see the black man caught. The police have taken the man to the police station. Details will be obtained only after questioning him.

Baby electrocuted

ALAPPUZHA: An eleven-month old baby was electrocuted while her mother tried to work on the induction cooker. The baby has been identified as Abayanath, son of K V Lal of Karuthakandamparambu near Kattoor College Junction. The baby touched the plug while her mother tried to switch on the cooker. The child’s mother and a relative too sustained shock.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gang robs petrol bunk

KOTTAYAM: A gang of bikers raided a Mundakkayam fuel bunk on the midnight of Saturday and robbed cash. According to the complaint, a six-member gang rode up to the bunk staff and sought permission to park their bikes at the station. When he objected, the gang attacked him and sped away with the bag containing cash.

Italian marines leave for home after Christmas reprieve

KOCHI: Two Italian marines, arrested ten months back for shooting dead two Indian fishermen, on Saturday flew back home for Christmas in a chartered flight, but will have to return within two weeks as per the court order.

The marines boarded the plane at 5:00 am, the Kochi airport authorities said.

The marines - Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone - secured their passports from Kollam Additional District Sessions court on Friday after submitting an unconditional joint undertaking to return to the state by January 10 and appear before the trial court in Kollam on January 15.

The Italians also executed Rs 6 crore bank guarantee as directed by the Kerala high court on Thursday allowing them to leave for two weeks, following which they sent necessary clearances.

The marines, were arrested on February 19 after they shot and killed two Indian fishermen - Ajesh Binki (25) and Jelestine (45) - off Alapuzha coast on February 15 from the merchant vessel ‘Enrica Lexie.’

Italian defence minister, Giampaolo Di Paolo was here last weekend to meet the marines.

Italian President had also spoken to the marines through video conferencing two days ago.

The Congress-led UDF government on Friday came under attack from Marxist veteran V S Achuthanandan for not challenging the court order.

Kerala Government had on December 18 opposed the plea by the marines to facilitate their visit to Italy, saying it was a ruse to “smuggle them out” and would “torpedo” the ongoing trial.

Archbishop Susai Pakiam backs release of marines

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Major Archbishop Susai Pakiam of the Latin archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram has said there was nothing wrong in the decision to allow the two Italian marines, accused of having shot dead two Kerala fishermen, to go home for Christmas.
Stating that the two Italian marines have been ‘living in pain, away from their families’, the Archbishop told journalists on Saturday that no harm would come on account of the ‘humane gesture’ shown to the marines. He did not also see anything wrong in the stand taken by the Central and State governments in the matter. The Italian government had assured the Court that it would bring back the two marines to stand trial and hoped that the Court decision would help improve the ties between the two countries. The State government may have decided to go along with the Court decision seeing it as a humane gesture, he added.
Praising the Italian government and people for the ceaseless manner in which they had pursued the two marines’ case, he said there was much for India to learn from them. “There are many from our land languishing in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, but we are doing little to secure their freedom,” he said and pointed out that an Italian Minister himself had come down to India to assure the Court that the two marines would be brought back to stand trial. 

Sachin announces retirement from ODIs

NEW DELHI: One of the game's all-time greats, Sachin Tendulkar, on Sunday announced his retirement from one-day cricket, bringing to an end a glorious 23-year-old career in the format during which he rewrote numerous batting records.

"I have decided to retire from the One-Day format of the game. I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup winning Indian team. The preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015 should begin early and in right earnest," the 39-year-old said in a statement released by the BCCI today.

"I would like to wish the team all the very best for the future. I am eternally grateful to all my well-wishers for their unconditional support and love over the years," he added.

Sachin, considered the most complete batsman in modern cricket and one who was considered next only to the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, retires from the ODI format at the top of the run-getters' list.

Tendulkar goes out after amassing 18,426 runs in 463 one-dayers at an average of 44.83. The diminutive right-hander has an astonishing 49 hundreds in the format, including a double hundred -- the first in this form of the game.

Sachin made his ODI debut against Pakistan way back in 1989 and interestingly he is quitting the scene just ahead of another series against the arch-rivals.

The Mumbaikar, who made himself unavailable for Twenty20 after playing just one game in 2006, will now remain active in only the Test arena.

The brightest moment of his ODI career came last year when he finally became part of a World Cup winning Indian team after five previous appearances.

Speculation over Sachin’s future had grown after his continuing failures in the past one year.

His last ODI hundred came in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March this year--a feat that completed an unprecedented 100 international tons.

He was stuck on 99 tons for quite a while after scoring two hundreds during India’s successful World Cup campaign.

Sachin also has a mammoth tally of 96 ODI 50s to his credit.

Despite the recent slump in his form, Sachin’s overall tally of runs is unlikely to be matched anytime soon given that the distant second-best in the list, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, has already retired from the game with 13,704 runs under his belt.

Sri Lanka’s retired great Sanath Jayasuriya occupies the third spot in the overall chart with 13,430 runs.

Besides his batting, Sachin was an effective partnership-breaking bowler and finishes his ODI career with 154 wickets, including two five-wicket hauls.

Sachin’s Test records are as awe-inspiring. The right-hander has 15,645 runs at an average of 54.32 in 194 Tests that he has played so far. The tally includes 51 hundreds and 66 half-centuries.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Serial Actress Veena Nair Engagement Photos

Happy Rajesh murder case handed to CBI

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court Justice S.S. Satheesh Chandran ordered on Thursday that Happy Rajesh Murder case should be probed by the CBI. The decision is followed by a plea filed by Rajesh’s wife Bindu. The court rejected the chargesheet submitted by Crime Branch at a court in Kollam.

Vigilance case against K Sudhakaran dismissed

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance Court dismissed the case registered against K Sudhakaran MP for his controversial speech in which he alleged that he was witness to a Supreme Court judge being bribed. The court approved the vigilance report seeking closure of the case.

Sudhakaran had made the controversial speech at a meeting in Kottarakkara on February 12, 2011. He alleged that he was witness to an apex court judge being bribed by certain persons on behalf of some bar owners from the state for getting a favourable order in a bar license case several years back. He made the statement at a meeting organised by supporters of Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai, shortly after he was sentenced to one year imprisonment in a corruption case by the Supreme Court.

The case was registered suo motu by the vigilance on charge of concealing from authorities an alleged act of corruption despite being aware of it.

Household wastes catch fire; Woman dies

ALUVA: A 56 year old woman on Thursday evening died in fire while she was burning the household wastes in the backyard of her house at Aluva in Ernakulam district.  The victim was identified as Annie, wife of Joy.

The wastes exploded and Annie’s dress caught fire. Though her husband and neighbours doused and took her to Ernakulam Medical Centre hospital, she died on Friday morning.

It is suspected that a perfume bottle present in the wastes exploded. Annie and Joy have two children—Deepu and Dinu.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Paravoor assault case: Seven years RI for father

KOCHI: The court awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment to the first accused Sudheer, father of the minor raped in the second case in Paravoor sex scandal, third accused and film producer Janatha Vijayan and also slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 each.

Fourth and fifth accused Unnikrishnan and Soby Sugunan get ten years RI and imposed a fine of Rs 75,000 each.

The court acquitted the girl’s mother Subaida and production executive Biju.

The girl was sexually assaulted in a private resort in Varkala in February 2010. Sudheer has been charged for offences like rape and abduction.

Sudheer was awarded rigorous life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 in the first case in connection with Paravoor assault.

Plea of K K Ragesh in T P murder case dismissed

KOZHIKODE: The Eranjippalam court dismissed CPI state panel member K K Ragesh’s plea requesting to exempt him from the list of accused in the T P Chandrasekharan murder case. 

Ragesh was included as an accused after he helped CPM Panur area committee member P K Kunhanand arrested to go underground.

Two acquitted in TP murder case

KOZHIKODE: Two accused in the murder case of RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan has been acquitted. Those acquitted are the 54th and 61st accused Valsan and K Madanan.

The court found that there was no prima facie evidence that the two acquitted helped the other accused in the case to go underground. Meantime, the court said legal steps against the other 16 accused in the case will continue.

Cop found dead

THRISSUR: Senior civil police officer Shyam Kumar (43) of Attingal DySP office, who came for a four-day computer training in Thrissur Police Academy, was found hanging.

When he was not found for the training Wednesday morning, his colleagues went in search of him and found him hanging. Training was given to officials of Thiruvananthapuram city, Thiruvananthapuram rural and Ernakulam city as part of computerizing documents including FIR.  The inauguration of it in the national level will be on Dec 25.

TECIL denies allegation

KOTTAYAM: The allegation of opposition leader V S Achuthanandan that the state had waived power dues to Kottayam based TECIL (Travancore Electro Chemicals Limited) at Chingavanam in Kottayam is baseless, informed its general manager G M Vijayan.
TECIL had power dues and liabilities worth Rs 50 crores.

The KSEB had relaxed the dues to Rs 14.75 in one-time-settlement. The chief minister or the home minister had not done anything beyond that. He said that he is ready to face any kind of investigation in connection with it.

Paravoor assault case: Seven years RI for father

KOCHI: The court awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment to the first accused Sudheer, father of the minor raped in the second case in Paravoor sex scandal, third accused and film producer Janatha Vijayan and also slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 each.

Fourth and fifth accused Unnikrishnan and Soby Sugunan get ten years RI and imposed a fine of Rs 75,000 each.

The court acquitted the girl’s mother Subaida and production executive Biju.

The girl was sexually assaulted in a private resort in Varkala in February 2010. Sudheer has been charged for offences like rape and abduction.

Sudheer was awarded rigorous life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 in the first case in connection with Paravoor assault.

Malayalam likely to get classical status

NEW DELHI: Malayalam language is likely to get classical status.  A decision has been somewhat taken at the sahitya academy meet convened in New Delhi. The academy has recommended for the status after considering the heritage and culture of Malayalam language.

Monday, December 17, 2012

All support will be given for proposed Kannur airport

KANNUR: Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal said Union Government would give all support for the development of the proposed Kannur airport. Speaking after inaugurating the sixth edition of the Grand Kerala Shopping festival (GKSF) at Jawahar Municipal Stadium, he said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was monitoring development of Kannur and Goa airports. He said environment clearance certificate would be obtained on December 18 for Kannur airport. The central and state government would set up infrastructure facilities for the development of airports in the Kerala to invite more tourists, he said. The minister pointed out that more funds would be allotted in the state budgets for the development of tourism sector. He said last year about 101 lakh tourism, including eight lakh foreign tourists, visited the state and the Kerala Government was aiming to make GKS festival like Dubai festival. For a beginning a global village would be functioning from December 22 to January 9 at Kochi. Kerala had high potential in Handloom, handicrafts, spices, and enough skill man power and the innovative products of Kerala would be introduced before the domestic and international tourists in GKSF, he added.

Man held on charge of sexual abuse

ALAPPUZHA: A 60-year-old man was arrested on charge of molesting a Class V student. The Poochakkal police arrested Thankappan of Kuttikara, near Panavalli, Cherthala, following a complaint lodged by a teacher of the school where the girl is studying. The girl informed the teacher of the incident and the teacher in consultation with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) reported the matter to the police. The police said that the incident happened a month ago. The girl was subjected to a medical examination. The accused was produced before the magistrate and was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. He was sent to Alappuzha sub-jail.

Missing civil police officer traced

KOLLAM: A civil police officer on Sabarimala duty who went missing two days ago was located on Sunday at Pathanapuram. He was found to be in a highly disturbed state of mind and was taken to the Punalur police station. Police sources said he would be admitted to a hospital. The police officer, identified as Suresh, is attached to the Paripally police station in Kollam. He had kept his uniform and wireless set at the police control room at Sabarimala before he went missing. Though a search was launched by the Forest authorities and the police in various places, including the dense forests, he could not be traced. On Sunday, Suresh was found wandering around Pathanapuram town wearing only a lungi. Police sources said Suresh had some personal problems. There are also reports that he was reluctant to be on duty at Sabarimala because of these problems.

Officer found dead

KATTAKADA: An excise civil officer was found dead in the excise range office. He has been identified as Sushanthi Raj (40) of Kattakada. He was found lying dead by his colleagues Monday morning.  Cardiac arrest is suspected to be the cause of his death. He leaves behind his wife Sathyaraji and children Sreejith and Sreeja.

Priest involved in human trafficking removed from posts

KOCHI: Father Jaison Kollanoor has been removed from the post of secretary of youth wing of KCBC (Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council) for his involvement in the human trafficking case.

Shadwells, an education management company functioning in Kakkanad, was found to be involved to smuggle people to the US for an educational conference organized by NAFSA.

The investigating team had submitted a report in the court including the names of Raju Thomas, Tittu Thomas and Jomon Thomas as accused.

MLAs can use iPad, laptop in assembly

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: From now on, members of the Kerala Assembly can use iPad and Laptop. The permission to use the two was given by Speaker G Karthikeyan. Kerala would be the first state in the county getting permission to use the two.

Karthikeyan specially directed the members not to misuse the facility and reminded them of the Karnataka incident.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What Mani said is wrong, says VS

PEERUMEDU: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan on Friday said the sensational speech of CPM Idukki former district secretary M M Mani in connection with the Ancheri Baby murder case is wrong.

Talking to reporters after visiting M M Mani in jail, he said, I came to see him as he is my colleague in politics.

 VS said no action has been taken against those who killed Nalppadi Vasu. Cases are only against the Left Front activists.

Father, mother in custody for teen rape

KOCHI: A 17-year-old girl from Kerala was allegedly raped by her father, step-father and several others over a one-year period. The father, mother and step father were among eight persons taken into custody by police at nearby Paravoor on Saturday, police said.

A case has been registered against the accused and they are being questioned and their statements being recorded, police sources said. The parents of the girl had separated. Autorickshaw drivers saw the girl at night and brought her to the police station. When questioned by woman cops, the girl narrated her plight, sources said.

In another incident from Ernakulam district recently, a six-year-old girl from Kurumpady was allegedly sexually abused by her 40-year-old father for six months after forcing her to drink alcohol. Police have registered a case against the accused, who is absconding following a complaint from the girl's mother that the child's father had been sexually abusing her for the past six months.

Case has been registered against the girl's father under Protection of children against Sexual Offences Act and Section 328 of IPC (giving liquor to a minor). Incidents of fathers sexually abusing and raping their daughters had been reported in from Kottayam and Kannur districts recently. In Kottayam, police had arrested a man who had been alleged sexually abused his two minor daughters for the past two years. The man, a hotel employee, has been charged under sections 376 (rape) and 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC.

While in Dharmadom, Thalassery in Kannur district, a 13-year-old girl was raped by her father, 15-year-old brother and uncles for nearly two years. One of the accused died two days ago.

Friday, December 14, 2012

No power cut in state, says Aryadan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There will be no power cut in the state but only load shedding, said Electricity Minister Aryadan Muhammed in the assembly. He said this is the biggest crisis faced after the commissioning of the Idukki Project.

Aryadan said this in reply to the adjournment motion brought by the opposition on power crisis. An amount of Rs 700 crores was spent to purchase power from outside. Following minister’s reply, the speaker denied permission for the motion. The opposition boycotted the proceedings in protest against it.

A K Balan from the CPM sought permission for the adjournment motion. Balan, former power minister, said that administrative inefficiency was the root cause for the power crisis in the state. The government failed to take steps to reduce the consumption of power. Cutting short centre’s share of power was not disclosed to anybody, alleged Balan. 

No action against officials in spy case, says Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  No action will be taken against officials alleged to have caused lapses in the investigation in the ISRO spy case, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy informed the assembly.

Meantime, the government is examining the memorandum obtained in the case.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sreevalsan J. Menon in final list of Academy Awards

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Noted Carnatic vocalist and music composer from Kerala, Dr. Sreevalsan J. Menon has found a place in the final list of Academy Awards.

Sreevalsan's music for ‘Saint Dracula’ has been qualified for original score category for 85th academy awards. The film is directed by Rupesh Paul.

Sreevalsan has also done the music of Rupesh Paul’s upcoming movie Kamasutra 3D

Murder of TP: Case postponed to Dec 15

KOZHIKODE: Initial argument in the murder of RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan has started at the special court in Eranjippalam. Accused in jail and those out on bail were present in the court. The court postponed the case to Dec 15.

The charge sheet will be read to the accused on Dec 20.

Girl commits suicide, father kills lover’s mother

ALAPPUZHA:  In a fit of rage, a man killed his daughter’s lover’s mother. The man identified as Haridas killed Haritha’s lover Anish’s mother Padmini. The police have arrested him.

Haritha and Aneesh were in love. When Anish came home Wednesday morning with the mangalsutra (thali), Haridas threatened him and sent him back. Depressed over it, Haritha committed suicide. In a fit of rage, Haridas hacked Padmini to death.

No vigilance probe against K Jayakumar

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance Special Court judge S Mohandas dismissed the plea alleging widespread irregularities against K Jayakumar, former chief secretary, during his tenure as vice chancellor of the Veterinary University.

The plea against Jayakumar was filed by INTUC leader Manacaud Chandrankutty.

The allegation against him was that he incurred a loss of Rs 15 crores to the university while serving as the vice chancellor of Veterinary & Animal Science Uty.

Power charges hiked, excess charge for additional consumption

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The regulatory commission permitted the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to levy double charge per unit from consumers using above 300 units in a month. The new rate will come into effect from Dec 15 onwards and will last till May 31, 2013.

A 25% power cut has been imposed on high tension, extra high tension consumers and if it is violated, a fine will be imposed. Excess fare will be charged form industries if more than 80% of electricity is used.

Woman killed after hit by train

MALAPPURAM: A woman was killed after she was hit by a speeding train at Vallikkunnu in Malappuram Wednesday. Police said the dead was identified as Rehmath (24), a native of Parappur Murikkunu in the district.

Upa-Lokayukta issues notice to Kerala VC

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Upa-Lokayukta Justice K.K. Dineshan issued a notice to Kerala University Vice Chancellor Prof A. Jayakrishnan and Registrar on Wednesday in connection with a petition alleging violation of OBC reservation in the notification for appointment of teachers to the university. The notice directs both to be present at Lokayukta office on January 3.

Private helicopter service to Sabarimala

THRISSUR: Delhi-based Chipsan Aviation has launched helicopter service from Nedumbassery airport to Sabarimala.

Operations Manager (Kerala) Soman George told reporters that the company has owned a helipad at Perinadu near Pamba and trial run was held in August.

There was daily service since November 15 carrying six Ayyappa devotees to Sabarimala. The charge for a group of six persons was Rs 1,11,111 inclusive of all expenses to be incurred at Sannidhanam, he said.

The rate per devotee would be Rs 22,000 in case individual booking, he said.

Kerala High Court criticises KSEB

KOCHI: Kerala High Court on Wednesday criticised the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) for ‘double standards’ in a power theft case.

Justice V.K. Mohanan suo motu impleaded board secretary and directed him to explain the KSEB’s stand regarding compounding of offence in which one year imprisonment and Rs 29 lakh fine was ordered.

The observation was made while considering an appeal by Stanley A. Antony of Mukundapuram, who was convicted and sentenced by Additional Sessions Court, Kollam, to undergo one year RI and a fine of Rs 29 lakh.

The case against him was that he had caused a theft of electricity of Rs 9.6 lakh on Feb 1, 2006 when power supply was given to Vembanad lake resort.

When compounding petition came up for consideration, Assistant Engineer in the office of standing counsel of KSEB and legal advisor for KSEB took different and inconsistent stands against compounding of offence.

While the official took a view that a lenient stand may lead to unnecessary practice thereafter, the legal adviser said there was no legal impediment in compounding the offence.

The court said officials of KSEB failed to take specific and definite stand on the issue.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One more held for attack on collector

KOZHIKODE: One more person has been arrested in connection with the attack on Kozhikode district collector when he tried to block sand mining. The arrested has been identified as Aashiq (33) the owner of the tipper lorry, which unloaded sand on top of the collector’s car. The police had yesterday arrested N V Riyaz (21), the driver of the tipper lorry and K P Rashi Kapoor (27) who escorted the lorry.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

One killed, three hurt as car overturns

KANNUR: A 17-year-old was killed and three others were injured when the car in which they were travelling overturned at Muzhupilanagad Drive, about 15 km from here, Sunday. Police said the dead was identified as Vaishnav (17), studying plus two. The injured were admitted at Thalassery Cooperative Hospital.

Youth hacked to death in Thiruvananthapuram

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 24 year old youth was hacked to death by a gang of thugs at Thumba, Poundukadavu in Thiruvananthapuram. He is identified as Anand, son of Gangadharan and Lakshmi. The police has arrested four—Goonda Blacky Shibu (35), his brother Subhash (30), Binu (20) and Dennis (19).

VS says CPM not involved in conspiracy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan Sunday said his party was not planning to dislodge him. Talking to newspersons here, he said he had clearly mentioned that the ruling party was trying to dislodge him from the post. 'I have not said that my party was planning to remove me from the post of opposition leader,' he added. Earlier, the opposition leader alleged that the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty were hatching a conspiracy to remove him from the post by framing cases against him in connection with the transfer of land to his relative during his previous tenure as the Chief Minister.

Father sexually abused 6-year-old, made her drink alcohol

KOCHI: In yet another shocker, a six-year-old girl from Kurumpady in Kerala's Ernakulam district was allegedly sexually abused by her 40-year-old father for six months after forcing her to drink alcohol.

Police have registered a case against the man, who is absconding, following a complaint from the girl's mother that he had been sexually abusing the child for the past six months.

Police said the case has been registered under Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act and section 328 of IPC (giving liquor to a minor).

Ajeesh Ramachandran, psychiatrist of the government district hospital, Aluva, who treated the child, told PTI the girl had stated that her father used to give her alcohol every day before sexually abusing her. She has also named 4-5 friends of her father who also abused her, he said.

The incident came to light after the child was first taken to a paediatrician and then a psychiatrist of a hospital at nearby Aluva when she showed some behavioural problems.

After some counselling sessions, the child informed Ajeesh that she had been sexually abused by her father and few others.

The mother then decided to file a police complaint.

The girl's parents are separated. The mother, who was with her two minor daughters, was living in orphanage and a year ago, she urged the father to take care of one of the daughters. The man took the six-year-old child with him six months ago.

The latest incident comes close on the heels of two other similar instances from Kottayam and Kannur districts.

In Kottayam, police arrested a man who had allegedly sexually abused his two minor daughters aged 13 and 15 for two years, while at Dharmadom in Kannur, the father, 15-year-old brother and an uncle of a 13-year-old girl had been arrested last month on charges of raping her.

Actor Jaganathan dies

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Noted film, serial actor Jaganathan (74) died here Saturday.

He breathed his last at his residence in Poojappura while undergoing treatment for liver ailments. He leaves behind his two children. 

He has acted in almost 170 films. His entry to the Malayalam film industry was through Oridath in 1986.

His last film was Pattanathil Sundaran released in 2003.

Friday, December 7, 2012

17th International Film fest Kerala begins today

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The 17th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) will get underway here on Friday with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of the south Indian Kerala state inagurating the eight-day movie extravaganza.

The annual movie gala will showcase around 200 handpicked movies from 54 countries in 15 different categories in select theatres in the city.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Division Bench stays single judge's order quashing FIR against VS

KOCHI: Ending a brief relief for former chief minister V S Achuthanandan, a Kerala High Court Bench Thursday stayed within hours a single judge's order quashing an FIR against him in a land allotment case. VS secured relief from Justice S S Satheesh Chandran who held that framing a case against him on 'false and frivolous' allegation was 'unworthy of any merit', while allowing his plea to quash proceedings against him.

But moving swiftly, Congress-led UDF government challenged the order and the Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A M Shaffique admitted the appeal. The bench made it clear that the charge sheet will not be laid in the case till the appeal was disposed. The stay order came as a huge relief for the government which was embarrassed by the quashing of the FIR and strong observations made by the court in the morning.

In a 64-page order, Justice Satheesh Chandran said some features presented in the case were 'too disturbing', that in fact 'gives enough room to generate' suspicion that the machinery of vigilance is misused and abused to silence political opponents.' The case pertains to alleged violation of norms while allotting 2.33 acres of land to T K Soman, an ex-serviceman and Achuthanandan's close relative, in Kasaragod when he was Chief Minister heading the LDF ministry during 2006-11.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Government had not shown any haste in launching prosecution proceedings against Achuthanandan. 'We are not seeing this case politically, but legally', he said. 'Government has not taken any decision in the case in haste. We have taken legal advice and launched proceedings,' he said, adding, the law would take its course.

Elated over the single judge's order, Achuthanandan said in Thiruvananthapuram that it was a 'mortal blow' to Congress-led UDF Government and its attempts to frame him in a corruption case. Besides, Achuthanandan, his personal assistant Suresh and former Revenue Minister K P Rajendran (CPI) and some officials have been listed as accused in the FIR filed in a court in Kozhikode after a vigilance probe found prima facie evidence. The government had yesterday informed the court that the chargesheet in the case would be filed soon.

Bengali youth held for murder

KANNUR: Police Thursday arrested a Bengali youth, Rathan Mandol (30) of Chunagali village in Pargan district of West Bengal, in connection with the murder of another Bengali youth Subarato Mandal (30), a construction worker from the same district on December 3. Subarato Mandal's body was found with a deep slash in his neck by fellow workers around 0600 hrs.
Five Bengali youths were staying in a house under construction at Thrichambram near Thaliparamba where they were engaged in construction works. All of them were staying in a room.

At first, his friends Prabosh, Rathan Mandol, Shymod and Sameer, all hails from Bengal, disclosed to police that Subrato Mandal's body was found when they returned from the market around 1900 hrs. During interrogation, police revealed that Rathan Mandol killed Subarato Mandal with an axo blade. Police also recovered the alleged axo blade from the parapet wall of the same building yesterday. Police traced the mobile of four youths and found that Prabosh and Rathan had not visited the market.

Police said a dispute between Subarato and Rathan led to the murder. Rathan planned to return to Bengal and borrowed Rs 2000 from the contractor. The body of Subarato Mandol was kept at Pariyaram medical college hospital mortuary after the post-mortem. Subarato is survived by his wife and two children.

Police produced Rathan Mandol before the Thaliparamaba judicial first class magistrate late this evening.

Reprieve for VS in land controversy

KOCHI: Senior CPM leader V S Achuthanandan, who is the prime accused in a land controversy, Thursday got reprieve when a single-judge bench of the high court quashed the FIR -- but the state government decided to go in appeal.

Single-bench judge S S Satheesh Chandran asked the first information report (FIR) to be cancelled because it had no merit in it.

The court said that it appeared that Achuthanandan misused his office to do favouritism, but there was no proof to validate it. It also pointed out that the investigating officer knew little about the procedure.

The state vigilance had arraigned Achuthanandan as the prime accused in the land controversy involving his relative.

Reacting to the verdict, Achuthanandan said the game plan of both Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty to replace him with someone else had failed.

"...See if you can unearth any conspiracy to malign me. The people have now come to know of the truth," said VS.

In June last year, the Chandy government ordered a vigilance probe related to the land transfer to T K Soman, a relative of Achuthanandan.

The cabinet also decided to cancel the land allotment at Kasargod to Soman, a former defence official.

The alleged land transfer took place at the fag-end of Achuthanandan’s tenure as chief minister in early 2011.

On Wednesday, Chief Minister Chandy and Achuthanandan had lashed out at each other on the case.

Achuthanandan had said that he is being targeted, to which Chandy had replied that the law will take its own course.

Home and Vigilance Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said they will go for appeal to the appellate authority.

"We always respect the courts and we will certainly go in appeal against the single-bench verdict to the concerned appellate authority," said Radhakrishnan.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Youth trampled to death by elephant

SULTAN BATHERY: A youth was trampled to death by a wild elephant near Moolankkavu in Sultan Bathery.

The youth identified as Vineesh of Kottanadu native was trampled to death early Tuesday morning.

The officials of the Kerala-Karnataka forest department shot dead a tiger on Sunday for attacking many domestic animals.

Nod to prosecute VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The home department Tuesday gave permission to prosecute former chief minister and opposition leader V S Achuthanandan in the land allotment case.

Home department secretary Sajan Peter handed over the file regarding it to the office of the chief minister. A final decision will be taken by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan.

The Vigilance deputy director of Prosecutions G Saseendran had given legal advice to charge VS in the case. The investigating officials had also collected evidence against him.

Mystery shrouds on the death of security guard

KANNUR: Mystery shrouds on the death of a security guard whose body was found on a cot in a scrap godown with injuries on the neck at Kandikkal near Eranholi Bridge under Thalassery police limits Sunday.

According to Thalassery DySP Dheeraj Kumar Guptha, it was suspected that the guard would have been hacked to death.
Raghavan (68) of Mambaram-Pinarayi was found dead by his colleagues in a scrap godown around 0730 hrs this morning.

He was employed as the security guard at night time for the last four years. The owner of the godown Muhammed Rafeek said he had spoken to him on telephone last night around 2200 hrs. Many North Indian migrants and Keralites, including women were employed in the scrap shop during day and night hours.

Districts police chief Rahul R Nair visited the spot. A dog squad and finger print experts also conducted an examination at the spot to unravel the truth. Investigation was going on, police said.

Spicejet launches Male service

KOCHI: Spicejet Ltd, a low cost airline, launched its first international flight to the Maldivian capital of Male from Kochi International Airport. Announcing the launch of the international flight, Spice jet Chief Commercial Officer Harish Kutty said that 'this is the first international launch of Spicejet on any international route from Kerala.' He also disclosed that Spicejet would operate its international flight to Dubai from Kochi from December 10. 'Kochi is an important destination for Spicejet. We are launching two international flights from Kochi connecting Male and Dubai,' Mr Kutty said adding, 'besides this, is our strong presence on domestic routes from Kochi.

Doc, Principal's son suspended for ragging

KANNUR: A doctor and a principal's son were suspended from Ayurveda Medical College at Parassinikadavu in connection with ragging and attempt to misbehave with a first-year BAMS girl student. The ragging and misbehaving incident occurred in a bus while the girl and seniors were going to Kannur from their college as part of a National Service Scheme (NSS) Project Health Survey. College authorities suspended House Surgeon Dr K Prabeesh Lal and second year BAMS student Aswin B Basu. Dr Prabeesh Lal allegedly misbehaved with the girl while traveling in bus. Following this, the girl's parents gave a complaint to the college authorities and the police.

Security employee found dead

KANNUR: A security employee was found strangulated to death near Eranjolippalam in Thalassery. The dead identified as Raghavan of Mambaram, was the security employee of City Plaza in Thalassery.  The body of the employee was noticed by other employees of the organization Sunday morning. The police have started investigation.

Three killed as mud caves in

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Three persons were killed when mud caved in on them while cleaning a well at Uchakkada in Balaramapuram in the capital city.

Those dead have been identified as Praveen, Sreejith Chandran and Sathish alias Tinku, all natives of Aattaramoola.

When Praveen and Sreejith died before reaching the hospital, Sathish died after reaching the hospital.

Three killed as mud caves in

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Three persons were killed when mud caved in on them while cleaning a well at Uchakkada in Balaramapuram in the capital city.

Those dead have been identified as Praveen, Sreejith Chandran and Sathish alias Tinku, all natives of Aattaramoola.

When Praveen and Sreejith died before reaching the hospital, Sathish died after reaching the hospital.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kerala criticises Gadgil report on Western Ghats

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has raised serious objections to the Madav Gadgil Committee report on the Western Ghats conservation, arguing that many of its recommendations would adversely affect the state's interests.

The state's response to the report, to be submitted to the Experts' Panel of the Environment Ministry, held that it did not take into proper account the specific socio-economic and geographical features of Kerala.

This was made clear by the UDF Government in its response to the Gadgil report, drawn up by an expert committee and approved by the cabinet earlier this week. Apart from its adverse fallout on the farm sector in the state, the suggestions would seriously affect electricity generation of the state, which mainly depends on hydel sources, the state's response release here today said.

"The Gadgil Committee recommendations will impose serious constraints on existing and proposed hydro-electric projects," it said.

Questioning the basic approach of the panel towards Kerala, the state complained that the recommendations did not take into account the fact that the state had for long been categorised into three geographical zones--highland, midland and coastal area.

However, the Gadgil report, which overlooked the fact that Kerala is not part of the Deccan Plateau, took the state into a single unit as far as conservation issues were concerned. As a result, Economically Sensitive Zones within the state had been extended up to the coastal area by the panel.

The report also did not recognise such state-specific issues as its peculiar land utilisation, population pressures and socio-economic factors, it said.

Stating that it recognised conservation as a vital issue, Kerala's response said the state already has 10 state legislated laws and 29 central laws, which are sufficient to protect nature from further degradation.

The state viewed seriously the Panel proposal to form a Western Ghats Conservation Authority as it feared it would upset the government's activities and procedures.

On the report's fallout in the power sector, it said though Kerala's total hydel potential was estimated to be 6,000 MW, only 35 per cent of it had been harnessed so far.

"The panel had suggested decommissioning of dams which were 35 to 40 years old. This would pose a question mark on the existing and proposed power projects and would plunge the state into darkness," it said.

Similarly, the panel had put the state's irrigation projects at stake.

Apart from its recommendations that would hit the state, the panel did not make concrete proposals on offsetting liabilities to be suffered by the state while implementing the recommendations, it added.

Kerala CPI-M cooks food on highways to oppose LPG cap

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPI-M in Kerala Saturday staged a protest against the central government's decision to cap the number of subsidized LPG cylinders by cooking food at various points along highways in the state.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist activists set up about 7.75 lakh temporary ovens on the highways and women were asked to join the 775-km-long 'fire chain' protest in all the districts of the state.

Participating in the protest were wives of leader of opposition V.S. Achuthanandan and state secretary of Kerala CPI-M Pinarayi Vijayan, who cooked rice and tapioca in temporary ovens set up in the heart of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

Vijayan launched the protest at 4.30 p.m. He was later joined by Achuthanandan.

"Generally it's the males in our party who take to the streets. But the restriction of six LPG cylinders and the price rise is affecting women in every family," said Pinarayi Vijayan's wife Kamala Vijayan.

The cooked food was later distributed among all those present. CPI-M politburo member M.A. Baby and his wife Betty Baby also joined the protest.

In Manjeswaram town of Kasargode district that borders Karnataka, CPI-M's district secretary K.P. Satish Chandran led the protesters, while in Kalyikavilla that borders Tamil Nadu, CPI-M state committee member A. Nagappan led the protest.