Thursday, January 31, 2013

Three Keralites killed in Uduppi accident

UDUPPI: Three Keralites were killed in an accident in Uduppi, Karnataka. The dead were identified as Joy Sebastian of Pala and his parents. The accident happened when the car in which they were travelling collided with a lorry. More details are awaited.

Name P J Kurien as accused, says Suryanelli victim

KOTTAYAM: The letter sent by Suryanelli victim seeking the inclusion of P J Kurien, Rajya Sabha deputy chairman, as an accused in the case, has been publicized. She sent the letter to the Supreme Court counsel, who appeared for the case on January 29. The Supreme Court had acquitted Kurien in the case earlier.

The letter was publicized soon after the Supreme Court set aside the Kerala High verdict acquitting the 34 accused in the case. The victim’s parents had the other doubted the involvement of Kurien in the case. They said that he escaped with police influence. 

The letter says that the victim is firm on her allegation that Kurien had sexually abused her at the guest house in Kumily. Her statement was recorder after she filed a private litigation against him in the Peerumedu court.

Though he was asked to appear before the court, he failed to do so and no offence was charged on him by the investigating officials. He escaped influencing the police and even got a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court.

Unsatisfied party members may say anything: Pinarayi Vijayan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI (M) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday told media persons that unsatisfied party members may say anything they like to and that media persons should not fabricate news in line with their words.

Vijayan was talking after launching a book titled ‘Cheriyan Philip Prathikarikkunnu’ penned by his co-worker Cheriyan Philip at a function organized at Press Club, Thiruvananthapuram.

He said religious or community organizations should not be given the right to determine any posts in a political party or government. They should be reined in. If they are let free, then Kerala would become a “mad house” as Swami Vivekakananda once remarked about the state.

VS welcomes SC verdict over Suryanelli rape Case

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on Suryanelli rape case. The Supreme Court today quashed the Kerala High Court order acquitting 35 men allegedly involved in the rape of a 16-year old girl from Suryanelli in Idukki. Addressing a press conference here, VS alleged that the state government was trying to sabotage the case at various levels as a top Congress leader was involved in the rape. The SC said the High Court did not consider evidences properly while delivering the order. It also directed the HC to rejudge the case within six months. The minor girl was abducted and raped by 42 men over 40 days.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NSS firm on stand

KOTTAYAM: I’m still firm on the statement made in the capital city yesterday, said NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair.

Nair said Chennithala was made to contest not to just become an MLA. The issue will not end unless Chennithala is given a key position like the ones obtained by the A group.

If Chennithala wouldn’t have been in the race, the UDF would have sat in the opposition. The NSS wants the government to continue and we are trying to shield the congress and the UDF.

Fifth ministerial post is not the issue; the pact given to the NSS was broken. The congress broke the pact given by Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is no more.

College teachers in Kerala to get UGC arrears

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The college teachers in Kerala would get arrears of UGC pay with effect from 2006, said Finance Minister K.M. Mani on Monday. The teachers would get the arrears of increased pay from 1 January 2006 to 28 February 2010. The arrears would benefit about 7899 college teachers. Total arrears amount to Rs. 998 crores. The first installment of Rs. 314 crores will be allowed now.

Malayali student dies in accident in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A Malayali girl student died in a road accident in Saudi Arabia. She has been identified as Ruhailla from Kasargod. Her parents—Dr. Ashraf and Nafeesath—got injured in the accident.

30 injured after bus overturns

MALAPPURAM: As many as 30 persons were injured after a mini bus overturned at Chembara in Tirur. All the injured have been admitted at the Tirur taluk hospital in the district.

I’ve not spoken to judges about Lavalin case, says VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: I’ve not spoken to Justices H L Dattu and Bali in connection with the SNC Lavalin case, said opposition leader V S Achuthanandan.

Talking to reporters here, VS said Rajendran, who was my private secretary during the tenure of my chiefministership, is levelling allegations out of anger as he was ousted.

VS said, “Many including chief justices have come to meet me when I was the chief minister. Rajendran had assumed that they came to see me to discuss the Lavalin case. By doing this, he can enter into the good books of Pinarayi Vijayan. The people will understand everything.”

The kin of the victims of Kiliroor and Kaviyoor cases came to meet me as investigation was moving in a slow pace. I met the then union home minister Shivraj Patil to discuss about it and not about the Lavalin case.  

VS said, “I don’t have any relation with the litigation agent Nanda Kumar. Rajendran may have mistaken crime editor Nanda Kumar who is behind the Lavalin case as the other Nanda Kumar.”

Nobody dares to threaten govt, says Thankachan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Nobody should try to threaten the government, said UDF convenor P P Thankachan. All sections of communities have given their due importance in the cabinet, Thankachan told reporters after the UDF meet.

Thankachan said that he doesn’t have anything more to say from what he had said yesterday in connection with the statement of NSS.

NSS wants high command to respond in Chennithala case

PERUNNA: The high command should make her stand clear on the induction of KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala in the cabinet, said NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair. Talking to reporters here, he said that he will not hold any more talks with the congress leaders of the state.

Chennithala contested the polls as per the deal made between the congress and the NSS. But Chandy sabotaged that deal. The statement of Chennithala that he is not interested in the cabinet post is due to pressure, alleged Nair. 

Man kills wife, children, commits suicide

KASARGOD: Four members of a family, including two children, were found dead in a car at Mayippadi in Kasargod. Police said the dead were identified as Sonikutty (43), his wife Thressyamma (35), son Jerry (13) and Jewel (10). Quoting a suicide note found in the car, police said the man committed suicide after killing his wife and children, who are students of class seven and fifth respectively.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kerala HC planning exclusive bench for crime against women

KOCHI: In the backdrop of Delhi gang-rape incident, the Kerala High Court was planning to set up a single and division bench to exclusively hear crimes against women, Chief Justice Manjula Chellur said Sunday.

"In the high court a new bench-- single and division bench can be thought of to deal with crime against women", she said at a function where Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir inaugurated an Additional District and Sessions Court for trial of cases relating to sexual violence and atrocities against women and children.

She said that the Kerala Government had promised to sanction two more similar courts -- in Malabar and in Thiruvananthapuram so that the entire state would be covered.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had also sanctioned additional staff required for the special court, she said.

"We will identify which courts do not have much work and we will see if such courts can be converted into special court to deal with such cases in a fast track manner", she said.

When the entire country was talking of fast track courts, Kerala should show the way, she said, adding, it would not be long to achieve that dream and vision.

There were also plans to constitute a committee of senior judges and lawyers to monitor the activities of child welfare committees and boards, she added.

League, Congress lock horns over aided status issue

MALAPPURAM: The differences of opinion between the Muslim League and Congress in connection with the aided status to 33 schools in Malabar, has turned serious. Muslim League general secretary KPA Majeed said they are firm in their earlier stand seeking the status to 33 schools in Malabar. He termed as meaningless  to attitude of the congress rejecting it.

Majeed said, “The UDF government had granted aided status to 11 schools. I don’t understand why caste is being dragged into it now. Some are trying to indulge in caste-based separation.”

Meanwhile, KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala said the congress had already made their stand clear. Salary and benefits will be provided to the teachers in Malabar.

Elephant runs amok in Triprayar

THRISSUR: An elephant brought for ezhunallippu in Triprayar ran amok Monday morning. The elephant of the devaswom board has been identified as Achuthankutty. All efforts are being taken to bring it under control.

An elephant which ran amok during a temple festival near Perumbavoor yesterday had killed three.

Nurse commits suicide

KOTTAYAM: A nurse of a private hospital committed suicide. She has been identified as Savitha, a nurse of St Thomas Hospital in Chethippuzha. In the suicide note recovered, she had mentioned that she is taking this drastic step due to the mental harassment of the management.

Three women killed as tusker runs amok at temple festival

KOCHI: Three women were killed and several others injured when a tusker ran amok during festivities at Lord Subramania temple near Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district on Sunday night. The deceased have been identified as Nani (65), Thankamma (55) and Indira (60).

The elephant's mahout was seriously injured.

There were seven elephants taking part in the festivities. At least 1000 people had gathered at the temple complex when the pachyderms were brought and a tusker ran amok, police said.

One of the victims died en route to hospital.

The injured have been admitted to various hospitals.

Seven women have been hospitalised at the Kolencherry Medical College Hospital, police said.

Following the incident, the temple has been cleared and all festivities stopped, Saju Paul, local MLA, said.

NSS lashes out at Chandy, pitches for Chennithala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Nair Service Society (NSS) on Sunday accused the Oommen Chandy-led UDF government of "upsetting the communal balance" in governance and made a strong pitch for installing KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala in a key position at the ministry.

Addressing at 'Nair Mahasammelanam' organised here by NSS, its General Secretary G. Sukumaran Nair alleged that the Congress leadership went back on the promises it made to the outfit before the 2011 assembly polls.

"The Congress leadership had given a word to the NSS that Chennithala would be given a key position in the ministry. Now, Chandy says a cabinet reshuffle is not on the cards. How can he take such a unilateral stand?" he asked.

Nair said the NSS would take up this issue with the Congress high command if the chief minister continued to ignore its demands.
Holding that the majority community had been getting a raw deal from the government, Nair said the ministry had not bothered to follow a "common policy approach" in education sector satisfactory to all communities.

NSS, which has a network of grass-root level units called "Karayogam" across the state, has several educational institutions under its management including aided colleges.

For quite some time, NSS has been complaining that the interests of the majority community had been neglected by the Education Department held by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in the ministry.

Bunty chor brought to capital city

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Devinder Singh alias Bunty Chor, arrested in Pune for burgling an NRI at the Pattom-Marappalom Road in the capital city, was brought to the capital city Monday morning.

He was brought to the capital city by Air India’s Mumbai-Thiruvananthapuram flight at 8.30 am. Strict security was beefed up in the airport. The hitech thief was brought to the capital city by a team led by Peroorkada circle inspector Prathapan Nair. He was taken straight to Nandavanam A R Camp from the airport.

He will be later taken to the NRI’s residence for taking evidence.

He had lifted a Mitsibhish Outlander worth Rs 28 lakhs, laptop, two mobile phones, a gold ring and a small lamp from the NRI’s house. The car which was found abandoned at Krishnagiri on the Karnataka border was brought to the capital city on Friday.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

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Rajnikanth backs Kamal Haasan, speaks against banning the film

CHENNAI: Backing actor-director Kamal Haasan,Tamil superstar Rajnikanth Friday spoke against a complete ban of his controversial movie "Vishwaroopam" and appealed to his "Muslim brothers" to end the impasse through talks.

The 'Enthiran' star described Haasan as his 40-year friend and said he knew him as a person who does not hurt anybody.

"The fact that Kamal Haasan held a special screening of the movie to Muslim brothers meeting their demand despite being cleared by the Censor Board shows his respect for the community," Rajnikanth said in a statement in Chennai.

He said he his heart went out for his peer for the hardships faced by Haasan in investing around Rs 100 crore towards production of the movie.

"Kamal is not an ordinary artiste. He is a great artiste who had taken Tamil cinema to the global level. I request my Muslim brothers to factor in this and change their stand of demanding for a complete ban.

"I request them to help him in releasing the film by having talks with him upon his return (from the US) and by making corrections to the film without affecting its storyline," he said while extending his Meelad-un-Nabi greetings.

Tamil Nadu government has banned screening of the film for two weeks following protests from Muslim groups who alleged that the community was depicted in a bad light in the movie, prompting Haasan to move the court.

The Madras High Court had Thursday stayed the release of the film till January 28, with the Judge scheduled to watch the film on Saturday.

Class XII girl allegedly raped and murdered near Delhi

FARIDABAD (HARYANA): A girl studying in class XII was allegedly raped and murdered by a youth here on the outskirts of Delhi, sparking protests in the area, police said on Friday.

The incident took place on Thursday night when the accused Sonu abducted the girl as she was going for tuition classes and raped her in a guest house, they said. When she did not returned home by late evening, worried family members stepped out to trace her.

They were shocked when the police recovered her body bearing multiple stab wounds and with her throat slit.

As the news spread in the morning, angry residents of the area protested against the heinous crime, demonstrated in front of the police station and blocked the roads. They also stormed the house of the accused and pelted stones besides setting a motorcycle on fire.

In view of tension in the area, additional police force was deployed to maintain law and order. The accused was arrested on Friday after a case of murder against him was registered, SHO Anil Kumar said.

Kumar said it appeared to be a case of one-sided love affair. Meanwhile, the body of the girl has been sent for post-mortem.

Don't take for granted India's hand of friendship, President tells Pakistan

NEW DELHI: Sponsorship of terrorism through non-state actors is a matter of deep concern, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday making it clear to Pakistan that India is ready to offer a hand of friendship but that should not be taken for granted.

In his address to the nation on the eve of 64th Republic Day, he said in the recent past, serious atrocities on the Line of Control (LoC) on Indian troops have been seen, an apparent reference to the beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistan Army.

Following is the text of the President’s address on the occasion:

“My Fellow Citizens:

On the eve of our 64th Republic Day, I extend warm greetings to all of you in India and abroad. I convey my special greetings to members of our armed forces, paramilitary forces and internal security forces.

India has changed more in last six decades than in six previous centuries. This is neither accidental nor providential; history shifts its pace when touched by vision. The great dream of raising a new India from the ashes of colonialism reached a historic denouement in 1947; more important, independence became a turning point for an equally dramatic narrative, nation-building. The foundations were laid through our Constitution, adopted on 26 January 1950, which we celebrate each year as Republic Day. Its driving principle was a compact between state and citizen, a powerful public-private partnership nourished by justice, liberty and equality.

India did not win freedom from the British in order to deny freedom to Indians. The Constitution represented a second liberation, this time from the stranglehold of traditional inequity in gender, caste, community, along with other fetters that had chained us for too long.

This inspired a Cultural Evolution which put Indian society on the track to modernity: society changed in a gradual evolution, for violent revolution is not the Indian way. Change across the knotted weaves of the social fabric remains a work in progress, impelled by periodic reform in law and the momentum of popular will.

In the last six decades there is much that we can be proud of. Our economic growth rate has more than tripled. The literacy rate has increased by over four times. After having attained self sufficiency, now we are net exporters of food-grain. Significant reduction in the incidence of poverty has been achieved. Among our other major achievements is the drive towards gender equality.

No one suggested this would be easy. The difficulties that accompanied the first quantum leap, the Hindu code bill, enacted in 1955 tell their own story. It needed the unflinching commitment of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Babasaheb Ambedkar to push through this remarkable legislation. Jawaharlal Nehru would later describe this as perhaps the most important achievement of his life. The time has now come to ensure gender equality for every Indian woman. We can neither evade nor abandon this national commitment, for the price of neglect will be high. Vested interests do not surrender easily. The civil society and the government must work together to fulfill this national goal.

Fellow Citizens:

I speak to you when a grave tragedy has shattered complacency. The brutal rape and murder of a young woman, a woman who was symbol of all that new India strives to be, has left our hearts empty and our minds in turmoil. We lost more than a valuable life; we lost a dream. If today young Indians feel outraged, can we blame our youth?

There is a law of the land. But there is also a higher law. The sanctity of a woman is a directive principle of that larger edifice called Indian civilization. The Vedas say that there is more than one kind of mother: birth mother, a guru`s wife, a king`s wife, a priest`s wife, she who nurses us, and our motherland. Mother is our protection from evil and oppression, our symbol of life and prosperity. When we brutalise a woman, we wound the soul of our civilization.

It is time for the nation to reset its moral compass. Nothing should be allowed to spur cynicism, as cynicism is blind to morality. We must look deep into our conscience and find out where we have faltered. The solutions to problems have to be found through discussion and conciliation of views. People must believe that governance is an instrument for good and for that, we must ensure good governance.

Fellow Citizens:

We are on the cusp of another generational change; the youth of India spread across villages and towns, are in the vanguard of change. The future belongs to them. They are today troubled by a range of existential doubts. Does the system offer due reward for merit? Have the powerful lost their Dharma in pursuit of greed? Has corruption overtaken morality in public life? Does our legislature reflect emerging India or does it need radical reforms? These doubts have to be set at rest. Elected representatives must win back the confidence of the people. The anxiety and restlessness of youth has to be channelized towards change with speed, dignity and order.

The young cannot dream on an empty stomach. They must have jobs capable of serving their own as well as the nation`s ambitions. It is true that we have come a long way from 1947, when our first Budget had a revenue of just over Rs.171 crore. The resource base of the Union government today is an ocean compared to that drop. But we must ensure that the fruits of economic growth do not become the monopoly of the privileged at the peak of a pyramid. The primary purpose of wealth creation must be to drive out the evil of hunger, deprivation and marginal subsistence from the base of our expanding population.

Fellow Citizens:

Last year has been a testing time for us all. As we move ahead on the path of economic reforms, we must remain alive to the persisting problems of market-dependent economies. Many rich nations are now trapped by a culture of entitlement without social obligations; we must avoid this trap. The results of our policies should be seen in our villages, farms and factories, schools and hospitals.

Figures mean nothing to those who do not benefit from them. We must act immediately, otherwise the current pockets of conflict, often described as "Naxalite" violence, could acquire far more dangerous dimensions.

Fellow Citizens:

In the recent past, we have seen serious atrocities on the Line of Control on our troops. Neighbours may have disagreements; tension can be a subtext of frontiers. But sponsorship of terrorism through non-state actors is a matter of deep concern to the entire nation. We believe in peace on the border and are always ready to offer a hand in the hope of friendship. But this hand should not be taken for granted.

Fellow Citizens:

India`s most impregnable asset is self-belief. Each challenge becomes an opportunity to strengthen our resolve to achieve unprecedented economic growth and social stability. Such resolve must be nourished by an avalanche of investment, particularly in better and greater education. Education is the ladder that can help those at the bottom to rise to the pinnacles of professional and social status. Education is the mantra that can transform our economic fortunes and eliminate the gaps that have made our society unequal. So far education has not reached, to the extent desired, to those most in need of this ladder. India can double its growth rate by turning today`s disadvantaged into multiple engines of economic development.

On our 64th Republic Day, there may be some reason for concern, but none for despair. If India has changed more in six decades than six previous centuries, then I promise you that it will change more in the next ten years than in the previous sixty. India’s enduring vitality is at work.

Even the British sensed that they were leaving a land which was very different from the one they had occupied. At the base of the Jaipur Column in Rashtrapati Bhavan there is an inscription:
“In thought faith…
            In word wisdom…
            In deed courage…
            In life service…
            So may India be great”          

The spirit of India is written in stone.


Bunty Chor confesses to theft

PUNE: Devinder Singh  alias Bunty Chor confessed for his involvement in a burglary at the house of an NRI in Thiruvananthapuram earlier this week. Bunty chor, arrested Saturday morning confessed the crime to the Kerala police.

Bunty Chor was arrested from Hotel Sai Executive in Malta Chowk, Pune. The Keralites in the hotel recognized him and informed the Kerala police, who in turn passed the message to Samarth Police in Pune. The police surrounded the hotel and took him into custody.

Meantime, Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said he will be brought to Kerala after the legal proceedings are completed. His arrest brings a sigh of relief, the minister added.

Four TN tourists drown as boat capsizes

ALAPPUZHA: In a tragic incident, four tourists from Tamil Nadu, including two women and two girls, drowned and two seriously injured when a passenger boat capsized at Punnamada lake in the backwater city on Saturday.

The dead were identified as Rohini (37), Susmitha (12), both hailing from Chennai and Subishini (26) and her daughter Ilakhiya (4), hailing from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, police said.

The accident occurred when the ill-fated passenger boat, used to ferry tourists to house boats anchored in the backwaters, capsized because of overloading, the sources said. The accident could also have occurred with the passengers boarding the boat from the same side and tilting it, the sources pointed out. According to the sources, about 60 passengers boarded the boat.

Friday, January 25, 2013

President’s police medal for ADGP Sreelekha

NEW DELHI: Eight Keralites will get the President’s police medal. ADGP R Sreelekha will be conferred the President's police medal for distinguished service.

B Vijayan, P Ashok Kumar, B M Muhammed Rafeeq, M J Mathew, R Sukeshan, P K Chandran and K Surendran will get the president’s police medal for meritorious service.  

Medals for jail service will be awarded to P K Baburaj and K J Thomas.

Goons sever legs of paralysed person

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a shocking incident, goons severed the legs of a 45-year-old middle aged man, bedridden for the past 12 years with spinal cord injury. The legs of the victim identified as Vijayakumar of Bharathanoor was severed by two masked men.

When his wife came back from work in the afternoon, she found her husband lying in a pool of blood. She immediately called the 108 ambulance and took him to the medical college hospital. He will be subjected for an operation and his condition is stated to be serious.

The police inspected the house after Kilimanoor circle inspector reached the spot.

Chennithala expresses satisfaction in job

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala expressed satisfaction on the job offered by the party and said that he is least interested in joining the cabinet.

Addressing reporters here, he said that he has nothing more to say from what he had said earlier.

Chennithala said, “I’m interested in discharging my duties as the KPCC chief and is quite satisfied with it.”

He asked the state government to take immediate steps to save the KSRTC without waiting for centre’s decision. The rise in price in the international market led to the increase in the price of diesel here, he said.

The strike staged by teachers and government employees under the leadership of the CPM was a failure. The government has granted land for one lakh out of the two lakh landless people.

Chennithala said a jatha will be conducted from Kasargod to the capital city to explain the decisions of Chintan Shibir held at Jaipur. It will be led by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, KPCC chief, UDF convenor P P Thankachan and former KPCC chief Thennala Balakrishna Pillai.

Kirti Chakra for Major Anoop Joseph

NEW DELHI: Major Anoop Joseph Manjali, a Keralite, will be conferred with President’s Kirti Chakra. 11 persons will get Shaurya Chakra and 56 will be conferred with service medals. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

'Bunty chor' suspected behind burglary in Thiruvananthapuram

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Delhi-based burglar Devinder Singh alias "Bunty chor" is suspected to be behind the hi-tech burglary at the residence of an NRI businessman in the city.

The thief drove off in a luxury car parked in the house after entering the premises breaking its hi-tech security systems like surveillance and intruder warning alarm.

The house of K V G Nair, an NRI residing in the city, was burgled in the wee hours on Monday. The thief entered the house breaching the hi-tech security systems such as surveillance cameras, intruder warning alarms and bullet-proof windows.

The police team investigating the case on Tuesday claimed they had strong reasons to believe the burglary was committed by Devinder as the images of the thief caught in the hidden camera installed at the house bore striking resemblance to that of the upcountry criminal.

The suspicion has been corroborated by the modus operandi of the burglar and other circumstantial evidences, police sources here said.

Devinder is allegedly involved in scores of burglaries across the country and targets affluent homes and drives off in luxury cars once he set his eyes on them, sources said.

"The mode of operation showed that the thief is an adept in handling hi-tech security systems and devices. It appeared that he had operated on his own," police sources said.

Kerala police are in touch with their counterparts in other states, including Delhi and neighbouring states, as the burglar could have crossed state borders in the car he stole.

Who is Bunty Chor?

A compulsive thief, Devinder Singh aka Bunty's exploits border on the audacious usually. The super thief is a class nine dropout and he began his life of notoriety in 1993 when he was arrested in New Delhi but gave police the slip.

Bunty is reported to have committed over 500 burglaries with impunity across the country. From Delhi to Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai, almost all the big cities have been privy to his silken craft. He is a master escape artist, giving the police the slip in Delhi, Chennai and Chandigarh after being captured.

The one thing that helped Bunty pull off his audacious robberies was how he tamed dogs, ensuring they hardly came in the way of him pulling one daring theft after other. While Bunty was not very picky about what he stole, he did have a weakness for fancy cars and luxury watches.

He was known to be a compulsive womaniser.

Dibakar Benerjee's movie Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye starring Abhay Deol was reportedly based on his life. In the fourth season of reality TV show Bigg Boss Bunty was one of the contestants.

Oye Lucky plot

Bunty Chor, the thief par excellence, has given the police the slip quite a few times. But in 2008 he was finally captured for real on reel.

Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye directed by Dibakar Banerjee is a black comedy. The lead character in the film goes by the name of Lucky Singh, a loveable thief.

Enamoured by the lifestyles of the rich and famous in Delhi, Lucky socialises with them and then proceeds to rob them.

In the film, Lucky is projected as a modern day Robin Hood with a twist as he robbed both the rich and the poor without prejudice. Nothing was too big nor was anything too insignificant to escape his attention.

The film opens with his trial and charts his rise from the projects of crime ridden suburban Delhi to the very heart of the corridors of power. Along the way he makes lifelong friends, falls in love and manages to outwit the entire law and order machinery.

Bunty eyes Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple treasure?

The Kerala police now doubts whether Bunty arrived in the capital city to plunder the treasure worth 1.45 lakh crore rupees at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here. They have started a probe on this.

The police officers believe that burglars like Bunty will not come to steal just a car worth Rs 28 lakh. The police on Tuesday examined the video clippings at the temple recorded for the last six days. The police control room has 40 days long video of the temple premises with them.

Former 'Mr India' Rex Varghese commits suicide

THRISSUR: Former 'Mr India' Rex Varghese allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of his house in Thrissur on Tuesday, police said.

Body of the 34-year-old was found hanging at his house at Koratty near here Tuesday morning, they said.

Rex, a bachelor, won the 'Mr India' title in 2007 and worked in Railways for a short period. Presently he was unemployed.

Investigations are on to ascertain the reason of suicide.

Major gold heist in Thiruvananthapuram

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  In a major burglary, 130 sovereigns of gold were stolen from the house of the owner of Variety Fancy Centre in Statue. The house owned by John is located near Thampuranmukku in Pattoor. The inmates of the house came to know about the incident only Wednesday morning.

John, his wife Stella John, children Johnsy, Rejina John and daughter in law Deepthi John were in the house. Only the gold kept in Deepthi’s room were stolen.

Initial reports say the burglars entered the house through the kitchen door. The house was fixed with latest security facilities but it was not functional.

The doors of the house were locked. Remains of food items were seen in front of the house and in front of the dog’s kennel for the past few days.

On Monday, the house of an NRI was burgled. A Mitsubhishi Outlander, an expensive laptop, two mobile phones, a ring and some cash were stolen from the house in Pattom-Marappalam Road.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Petrol Pumps to give diesel at normal price to KSRTC

KOCHI: Extending a helping hand to Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) which has been driven into deeper trouble with diesel price hike, the petrol pump owners in the state have promised on Monday to give diesel at normal prices to KSRTC. The office bearers of Kerala State Petroleum Traders’ Association on Monday said that it is necessary to maintain KSRTC on which common man depends.

Govt should shelve move to issue bar licenses

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan asked the government to shelve the move to issue 49 new bar licenses.

The minister’s statement that new licenses will not be permitted is fake, he said.

The action of the Karnataka government registering a case against former minister M A Baby is a conspiracy hatched by them, he said.

Govt help sought for securing bail to Madhani

KOZHIKODE: Kerala-based People’s Democratic Party Monday sought the state government’s intervention in securing bail for its leader Abdul Nasser Madhani, arrested in 2008 Bangalore serial bomb blast case, and hospitalised now in view of his health condition.

Madhani, undergoing treatment at the multi-speciality Manipal Hospital in Bangalore, was suffering from various ailments and the medical bulletins of doctors said his health condition was in “a bad shape”, PDP vice-chairman Subai Sabahi told reporters here.

After the Karnataka High Court in November last year permitted him to avail treatment in a hospital of his choice with police escort, Madhani was recently admitted to Soukhya Hospital in Bangalore. He was shifted to Manipal Hospital on January 19 after he complained of giddiness.

Sabahi alleged that Madhani faced harassment from police at the Manipal Hospital when he was shifted there. Emergency medicines, which had to be administered to Madhani, were delayed by the police, he charged and claimed his family members were held up for hours with no access to food.

A convention would be held here on January 25 to chalk out further action, he said.

Madhani, lodged in the Central Prison at Bangalore since his arrest in August 2010, was admitted to Soukhya Hospital on January 7 for treatment of diabetes and related eye complication.

The Karnataka High Court had rejected the bail plea of Madhani, who was among 31 persons charge-sheeted in the case relating to the July 2008 bomb blasts that killed one person and injured 20 others in Bangalore.

Vigilance probe on purchase of vehicles in fire force

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A vigilance probe will be conducted in connection with the purchase of vehicles for the fire force. The minister said that an official not below the rank of SP will be in charge of the probe.

Senior Congress leader V M Sreedharan had sought a vigilance probe on the corruption noticed in the purchase of vehicles.  The minister said the probe is being conducted following the letter of Sudheeran.

Keralite student suffers burns in ragging

MANANTHAVADY: A 19-year-old Business Management student sustained burns during the alleged ragging by senior students at Tumkur in Karnataka following which he was admitted to a hospital, police said Monday.

Mohammed Rafi was physically assaulted and his head dipped in hot water last Saturday, resulting in burns to his neck and face, his relatives said. He was ragged as he did not attend a function in the college organised by the seniors, they said.

Rafi, hailing from Vellimunda in Kerala's Wayanad district, was a first year BBM student of Sri Siddharth Institute of Business Management, police said.

Rafi was hospitalised yesterday, relatives said, adding, a police complaint has been filed.

Bungalow burgled in capital city

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Thieves struck the bungalow of the close relative of city mayor early on Monday and ran away with valuables. A car worth Rs 30 lakhs and laptop were stolen from the house.

The bungalow located on Pattom Marappalam-Muttada Road is owned by Venugopalan Nair alias KVG Nair (NRI), a close relative of mayor’s husband. The house was burgled early morning when Nair, his wife and daughter were at home.  

The thieves entered the house after removing the glass and stole a laptop worth a lakh, mobile phone of Rs 40,000 and another mobile of Rs 15,000 and a ring of half sovereign and Rs 2000 of cash.

A Mitsubishi outlander worth Rs 30 lakhs was stolen after opening the gate using a remote.

Cameras were installed on four sides of the house. Bullet proof glasses were fixed on the window panes. There were alarm facilities on the doors. The thieves were able to enter the house as there were no grills on the windows.

Police said that it will be easy to nab the thieves as the cameras were all functioning. Not only that the cars had the latest facilities including the GPRS.

Prithviraj warned by producers’ assn

KOCHI: A final warning for actor Prithviraj by the producers association. The association has asked him to complete Shaji Kailas’ film Reghupathi Raghava Rajaram. The association has given a letter to FEFKA and theatre owners asking them not to cooperate with the actor’s films without completing the halfway stopped film.

Some scenes of Reghupathi Raghava Rajaram were shot before Shaji Kalias’ Simhasanam which bombed at the box office. A K Sajan scripted for the film.

The director, actor and the script writer got into new films after the shooting of Reghupathi Raghava Rajaram was stopped half way due to some problems which occurred during the shooting.

The producer Palakkottil Murali approached the producers association with the complaint after the crew got into new films.

The actor is now busy with the shooting of Mumbai Police. The association has asked to stop the shooting of the film.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Racing cyclist dies in Thiruvananthapuram

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A racing cyclist died and four other cyclists injured on Monday night after hit by a car at Kazhakkoottam in Thiruvananthapuram. The deceased is identified as Vijay (21) hailing from Jamnagar in Gujarat. The injured—Bhoomika, Solanki, Preetham, Sooraja—were admitted to Medical College Hospital here. All of them belonged to Saurashtra University. They arrived here to participate in cycling championship.

Kozhikode retains top spot in School Kalotsavam

MALAPPURAM:  Defending champions Kozhikode won the gold cup for the seventh time in a row at the 53rd Kerala State School Arts Festival which concluded here Sunday.

Kozhikode's 907 points ensured their victory while Thrissur finished second with 893 points.

Hosts Malappuram came third with 876 points, Palakkad fourth with 865 points, Kannur with 858 points.

Thiruvananthapuram is in the eighth position with 796 points.

Bus fare will not be hiked , says Aryadan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Transport Minister Aryadan Muhammed said the bus fare will not be hiked even after the KSRTC is in deep crisis following the increase in diesel price.

Now itself the KSRTC has a financial loss of Rs 900 crores.

The corporation cannot go forward in this present situation, he said.

Three killed in cracker unit blast in Pathanapuram

KOLLAM: Three people were killed and four others seriously injured in a blast at a fireworks unit at Maloor in Pathanapuram in Kollam Sunday.

Police said the victims were identified as Adarsh, son of fireworks unit owner Prasanan, Kesavan and Podiyan.

All the injured, belonging to Tamil Nadu, were admitted to the Government Taluk hospital here. However, the condition of two is said to be serious.

The intensity of the blast was so powerful as the bodies of the workers flung several feet away.

Fire service personnel rushed to the spot and doused the flames. The cracker manufacturing unit was supplying crackers to a temple at Pathanapuram.

The government has announced a compensation of Rs 10,000 as immediate relief for the kin of the victims.

Five persons arrested for hunting Sambar Deer

KASARGOD: Five persons were arrested for allegedly poaching a Sambar deer at Ranipuram in the district, sources said Sunday.
A jeep and two rifles were also seized from their possession, official sources said.

The five-member gang had allegedly gone hunting and four of them were returning in the jeep with the carcass, when Forest department officials caught them, sources said.

A motorcycle-borne person accompanying the gang was also taken into custody, they said.

A case has been registered.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Action against VS aides in next CC, says Karat

KOLKATA: Action against the three personal aides of opposition leader V S Achuthanandan on the charge of leaking out party information to the media will be discussed in the next central committee meet, said CPM general secretary Prakash Karat.

The state leadership of the party had decided to take action against the three. Karat said that even though the report seeking action against the three was submitted for approval, it was not discussed in the central committee.  

Briefing reporters after the central committee meet, Karat said the party had announced earlier that a probe would be conducted. More details on it cannot be revealed now as the case is under the consideration of the court.

Sigh of relief for VS, no action against three

KOLKATA:  No action will be taken now against the personal staff members of opposition leader V S Achuthanandan. It has been stated that the politburo has not directed the central committee to approve the decision of the sate leadership to oust VS’ personal assistant A Suresh, press secretary K Balakrishnan and additional private secretary V K Sasidharan on the charge of leaking out party information to the media.

VS had earlier requested party general secretary Prakash Karat not to take action against the members of his personal staff. The demand seeking action against them did not get much support in the politburo also.

When majority of the members of politburo were against taking action, the state members were firm in their decision.

Madhani shifted to Manipal Hospital

BANGALORE: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Nasser Madhani, arrested in connection with the 2008 serial bomb blast in the city in which a woman was killed and 22 others sustained injuries, was shifted to Manipal Hospital from a private Hospital.

Madhani had been suffering from multiple ailments, including diabetes and blood pressure and was shifted to the super specialty hospital as his health did not show any improvement, police said. The Karnataka High Court had permitted him to be admitted in a hospital of his choice at his own expense. He was first admitted to Soukya Hospital a few days back and today he was shifted to Manipal Hospital, sources said.

Heavy bandobust has been made in the Manipal Hospital by deploying police force near his room and hospital. Madhani was arrested by Bangalore Police on August 17, 2008, from Kerala. Even Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was in the city recently, had met Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to allow Madhani to have proper medical treatment since he was ailing from multiple ailments.

KSRTC in deep financial crisis

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The decision of the centre allowing public sector oil companies to raise diesel prices will be a blow to the KSRTC which is already facing a grave financial crisis.

The centre has also permitted to levy market price from big companies using diesel.

Oil companies handed over a letter to the officials saying that KSRTC is in the list of major consumers.

After an increase of Rs 11.54, the diesel bought for Rs 48.71 will now be charged Rs 60.25 per litre. This will incur an excess liability of Rs 15 crores for the KSRTC monthly.

The corporation is spending a huge amount as salary and pension. The increase in diesel price will be another blow for the KSRTC.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Can’t accept expulsion of personal aides VS to Karat

KOLKATA: CPI (M) stalwart and Kerala Opposition Leader V.S. Achuthanandan has conveyed to party General Secretary Prakash Karat at the three-day CPI (M) Central Committee meeting at Kolkata on Thursday that he could not accept the decision taken by the CPI (M) State Committee to expel three members of his personal staff from the party on the charge of leaking out party information to the media.

Achuthanandan is learnt to have told Karat that his personal staff had not leaked out party information and that action against them was part of taking vengeance on him.

Meanwhile, sources say the party State Committee has complained to Central Committee that Achuthanandan has breached the party discipline and is challenging the State Committee.

CPI-M central committee meeting starts in Kolkata

Keeping an eye on the upcoming budget session of Parliament and the general elections in 2014, the central committee members of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) met here to discuss prevailing economic situation in the country on Thursday.

The CPI-M top leadership, including party General Secretary Prakash Karat, politburo members Sitaram Yechury and former chief minister of West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee were also present during the first day of the three-day long brainstorming session.

"Very soon the budget session is going to commence. The economic situation is very bad right now; there is a very severe economic slowdown. So in that situation the people demand for a better livelihood. So, we will decide that what shorts of initiative party should take along with the left parties," said Yechury.

"Another agenda before the central committee is to discuss the current political situation and also to discuss the party's tactics that we will employ in elections that are going to come in this year, in various states and in preparation for the next year's general elections," he added.

A growth rate below 6 percent for the third quarter in a row is damaging for a country that aspires to near double-digit expansion to provide jobs for its burgeoning population.

Capital investment dropped to 32 percent of GDP in the fiscal year that ended in March 2012.

The slump makes it tougher for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to fund flagship welfare programmes ahead of a national election due in mid-2014.

Marines case: Victim's wife says justice is important

KOLLAM: The wife of one of the two fishermen killed in the firing from Italian ship 'Enrica Lexie', today said what was important is that the victims' families get justice whether the case is conducted within Kerala or outside the state.

Reacting to the Supreme Court order that a special court should try the case, Dora, wife of Valentine Jalastine, one of the deceased, said, "What is important is that justice is done. We are the losers. Wherever the case is tried, what is important is that justice is delivered."

Dora declined to make any further comment.

The apex court today turned down the Italian government's plea that Indian courts had no jurisdiction in the case and directed that the trial be conducted by a special court.

It did not specify where the special court is to be set up for the trial and left it to the Centre to decide on the issue after consulting the Chief Justice of India.

Jalastine, who belonged to Neendarakara in Kollam, and Ajesh Pink, who hailed from Colachel in Kanyakumari district, were killed when the marines-- Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone -- on board 'Enrica Lexie' allegedly opened fire at their fishing boat off Alappuzha coast on February 15 last, mistaking them for pirates.

10-year-old hospitalised after eating Shawarma

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Food safety officials ordered the closure of Sindoor Palace located in the capital city following hospitalisation of a 10-year-old boy after eating shawarma.

The three-member family had shawarma from the hotel Thursday evening. As soon as they reached home, they started vomiting. The family after going to the hospital lodged a complaint to the food safety department.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Devotees witness Makarajyoti

SABARIMALA: Thousands of Ayyappa devotees on Monday witnessed `Makarajyothi' at the Ayyappa Sannidhanam in Sabarimala.

Before their insatiate eyes, appeared Makara Sankranti star on the eastern horizon of the Sannidhanam. They also witnessed the light at Ponnambalamedu which flickered thrice.

The celestial star appeared after the Deeparadhana at 6.30 in the evening, when Lord Ayyappa was adorned with ‘Thiruvabharanam’ brought from the Pandalam Palace.

This was followed by the light at Ponnambalamedu. The Sannidhanam was filled with the divine chanting by devotees.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Over 250 actors to participate in Theatre Festival

THRISSUR: Over 250 actors from abroad are set to perform at the fifth edition of the International Theatre Festival of Kerala beginning here from Tuesday.

It is being held under the patronage of the Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Akademi (KSNA).

"In all 44 dramas would be staged in the festival of which 13 would be from Europe and the US," Akademi Chairman Soorya Krishnamoorthy told reporters here.

Sisters killed in accident

THRISSUR: In a ghastly incident, two sisters riding pillion on their father’s scooter were fatally knocked down by a private bus in Wadakkancherry. They have been identified as Somiya and Siliya, daughters of Thomas hailing from Ponparambil in Wadakkancherry. The incident happened near Parlikad and the enraged mob damaged the bus. 

DYFI to carry forward strike against PF pension

KOZHIKODE: The pro-CPI (M) Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) said it would carry forward the strike against the contributory provident fund pension scheme from the next fiscal. Talking to reporters here, DYFI state president M Swaraj and secretary T V Rajesh, MLA said though government employees and teachers had called off the strike, the youth organization would carry forward the agitation against the decision to implement the PF pension scheme replacing the statutory pension scheme in the state. Though the strike was withdrawn, they were able to register their protest against the government's stand, they claimed.

Accusing the community-based organizations in the state for attempting to divide the society on caste basis, they said these outfits, apparently referring to the Nair Service Society and Indian Union Muslim League, claim they were the only forces spearheading the causes of these sections of the people. Another community based outfit, the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) formed to propagate the teachings of social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, virtually turned out to be a 'Natesa Dharma Paripalana Yogam,' by implementing dictates of its general secretary Vallappalli Natesan, they charged.

Elamaram CITU secretary, Anathalavattom Anandan president

KASARGOD: The twelfth meet of the CITU which concluded here selected Elamaram Kareem as the new general secretary and Anathalavattom Anand as the president.

K N Raveendra Nath and M M Lawrence, the outgoing president and general secretary will serve as vice presidents. K M Sudhakaran will be the treasurer.

The state council having 456 members will have 13 vice presidents and 14 secretaries. A 156-member state committee has also been selected along with it.

Participatory Pension: Govt Employees’ strike withdrawn

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The ongoing strike called by pro-Left government employees and teachers against the participatory pension was withdrawn on Monday early morning at 2 am, after consensus was reached during separate meetings with Minister K.M. Mani and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

The teachers have agreed to co-operate with the 53rd State School Festival which commences today in Malappuram.

The participatory pension will be implemented from April 1 onwards. Oommen Chandy told media persons after the meeting that if employees find any problem with the new scheme they can inform him and necessary steps will be taken to examine it.

The parliamentary standing committee has recommended that minimum pension should be ensured from the income of Employees Provident Fund. Chandy assured the employees that once the renewed pension bill becomes law the assessment return of the employees will be considered.

Those employees who entered the service up to 31 March 2013 will get the existing statutory pension.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Two youths drown

KULATHUPUZHA: Two youths drowned while trying to bathe in the Kallada River. The duo has been identified as Vipin (19) and Jithu Methew (19), natives of Anchal.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Three found dead in Kollam

KOLLAM: A woman, son and her lover were found dead at their residence in the district. The dead have been identified as Anikumari (42), a nurse of Kollam district hospital, her son Akhil (14) and lover Hemant (43). The bodies were found early Friday at their rented house in Kadappakkada.

The nurse, separated from her husband was staying with her lover Hemant, a married man, for quite some time. The woman’s son was a ninth standard student of a private school in the district.

Hemant, who was an employee of a famous hotel in the district, resigned the job and started his own business. He had to close it due to financial liabilities.

The legal proceedings taken by Hemant’s first wife, a teacher, disturbed him a lot.

Anikumari, who was on long leave till yesterday, was about to join duty on Friday. A suicide note recovered said that they are committing the crime due to financial liabilities.

Police said they committed suicide by injecting some medicine. After completing the proceedings, the bodies will be sent to medical college hospital in the capital city for post mortem.

Vigilance probe ordered against Minister Anoop Jacob

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Special Vigilance Court in Thrissur on Thursday ordered a probe against Kerala Food and Civil supplies Minister Anoop Jacob over allegations of illegal allotment of wholesale ration depots and accepting bribe just when he was facing the charge of failing to control the rising prices of essential commodities.

Probe has also been ordered against Johny Nelloor, chairman of the Kerala Congress (Jacob) of which Anoop is the lone MLA. The Thiruvananthapuram unit of the Vigilance has been given the charge of the investigation and the court ordered that the report should be filed before April 17.

Ice Cream Parlour Sex Abuse: Government approaches HC

KOCHI: The Kerala Government on Friday filed an appeal at the Kerala High Court against the decision of the First Class Judicial Magistrate Court in Kozhikode to give V.S. Achuthanandan the right to get copies of the witness statements related to the sensational Ice Cream Parlour Sexual Abuse case in which State Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty was allegedly involved.

The government has stated in its appeal that Achuthanandan is legally ineligible to get the copies. Meanwhile, Justice T.R. Ramachandran absented himself from considering the appeal.

Short circuit in train, two suffered burns

THRISSUR: Two passengers travelling in the AC compartment of Kollam-Chennai Special Train suffered burns in a short circuit incident on Friday night. The incident happened soon after the train left Angmaly railway station around 7 pm.

Both the passengers—a man and a woman—are natives of Pathanamthitta. They received injuries in their legs. They were shifted to another coach when the train reached Thrissur station and were given first aid by railway doctors. Fire and smoke had risen from the AC connection wire inside the B2 compartment.

The train halted for about 43 minutes after the incident. Both the passengers boarded from Pathanamthitta and were about to alight at Chennai.

Chandy toughens stand towards strike by Left unions

KANNUR: Toughening his stand against the ongoing employees’ strike organised by pro-Left unions, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said he would not invite union leaders for another round of talks though they could come and meet him at any time.

Making it clear that the Government would not yield to the unions’ demand to drop the decision to implement the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) for employees and teachers joining the service from April this year, Chandy said he did not think that the negotiations were going to be fruitful.

“I am not going to invite the union leaders for talks. They can come and meet me any time,” he told presspersons here.

Reiterating the Government’s position, Chandy said the decision to introduce CPS was taken in the larger interests of the State and the employees.

Right from the start, the Government had held that the fiscal realities of Kerala did not allow the State to continue the statutory pension scheme as 80 per cent of its revenue was spent on salaries and pension.

Chandy also dubbed the strike as “politically motivated” as the Government had not taken away any benefit enjoyed by the existing employees and teachers.

Reacting to Chandy’s stand that the unions would not be called for talks, CPI State Secretary Panniyan Raveendran said it only betrayed his “arrogance.”

Functioning of offices and schools has been partly affected by the strike, which started on Tuesday last. Stray incidents of violence have been reported from some parts of the State in connection with the stir in the last few days.