Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ambalapuzha Ramavarma dies

KOTTAYAM: Noted writer and Kathakali critic Prof Ambalapuzha Ramavarma (87) died here Sunday. He was undergoing treatment for heart ailments for quite some time.  His body will be cremated at the premises of his house Monday evening at 3 pm. His wife Sathy Bai of Krishnapuram Kuttiyil Kovilakam had predeceased.

He leaves behind his children Ramani Bai (Dhanalakshmi Bank, Cherthala), Raja Sreekumar Varma (Aryagayathri Publications, Kottayam), Madhu Kumar (DC Books, Kottayam) and Geetha Bai (late).

He began his official life by working as a lecturer in Aluva U C College. He had also served as the head of the Malayalam department in Kottayam CMS College.

He had bagged the MKK Nair award for Kathakali, Gurupuja Puraskaram of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy.

He had written almost 40 books.

Five die in two separate accidents in Alappuzha

ALAPPUZHA: Five people were killed in two separate accidents in the city on Saturday morning. Four members of a family died when a tipper lorry collided with a car in the Alappuzha-Changanassery road near Manaladi junction around 7.45 am.

The deceased were identified as Biju Thankachan (43), his wife Princy (38)and their kids Aron (16) and Sharon (10).  The family hails from Ummannoor, Kottarakkara.

In another mishap in the city, Siyad Muhammed (52) was killed as a lorry hit his scooter on the National Highway near Paravoor Public Library around 8 am.

Berlin Kunhanandan meets VS

KANNUR: P.K. Kunhanandan Nair, the expelled CPI (M) ideologue, popularly known as 'Berlin Kunhanandan Nair', met leader of the opposition V S Achuthanandan, at the guest house here on Saturday.

After the meeting, Nair told mediapersons said it was a courtesy visit and they did not discuss politics.

Achuthanandan was in Kannur to attend a seminar, held as part of the coming All India CITU conference scheduled to be held here in the first week of April.

A controversy had broken out sometime back when Achuthanandan visited Nair at the latter's residence here. Nair, a Berlin based journalist for three decades, was expelled from CPI(M) sometime back for his forthright views, for 'violating' party discipline.

Easter celebration: bishops give out message of hope

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Christians in Kerala Sunday celebrated Easter, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ after crucifixion on Good Friday.

Thousands of devotees congregated in churches across the state for mid-night Easter mass, where senior Bishops and priests gave out the message of hope and promise as symbolised by the sacrifice of Christ.

Devotees attended special prayers in the wee hours ending the Holy Week which marked prayers and penance.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan and leaders of various political parties greeted the people on the occasion.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

What Ganesh said were false, says Pillai

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Congress (B) leader, R. Balakrishna Pillai on Thursday said that the problems between the party and Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar have not ended. He added that Ganesh’s behaviour towards the party has become worse than before, and that situation is very bad.

Ganesh Kumar had visited Pillai at the party office on Wednesday when the latter returned after he fainted at Pamba.

After the visit, Ganesh had told media persons that if there prevails tension within the party it would be solved.

But Pillai told later that what Ganesh told media persons were false, except that he came to see his ailing father (Pillai). He said he and Ganesh discussed family matters only.

He went on to say that he will not go for another talk with Ganesh. By inviting him for the sixth time, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and others had actually insulted him.

To one question, Pillai replied that Ganesh has self-confident so long as Oommen Chandy is with him.

Nitaqat: Kerala in despair

JEDDAH: Thousands of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia including Malayalis have started returning to their homelands even as the Arab country made the Saudization programme, called Nitaqat, stricter from Friday onwards.

Indians constitute the largest chunk of expatriates in Saudi. Among Indians, Keralites are the largest group. According to a recent study by the Centre for Development Studies, the stock of Keralites in Saudi in 2011 was 574,739.

The labour ministry has classified about 250,000 small and medium enterprises that have failed to comply with the Nitaqat provision of employing at least one Saudi in their firms in the ‘red’ category. The deadline for complying with the direction ended on March 27.

According to the Nitaqat provisions, the ministry will not renew the work permits of the employees in the ‘red’ category. This means they will have to leave the country. The Saudi cabinet has already passed a law to arrest and deport such workers.

The Nitaqat will affect Keralites the most as a substantial number of them are working in small and medium enterprises. Many of them are also running such firms in the Kingdom. Majority of Keralites in Saudi Arabia are from Malappuram.

Saudi is the second largest employer of Keralites, the first being the United Arab Emirates. Therefore, any development in the labour front in Saudi is bound to have ripples in the southern Indian state.

No panic situation due to new Saudi job law: Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Saudi Arabia's new labour policy, which is expected to affect expatriate workers of the state, has not created a panic situation and India is trying to find a solution to the issue based on its cordial relations with that country, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said today.

"We expect to resolve the matter amicably as India has a good and friendly trade relation with Saudi Arabia," he said while addressing a press conference here.

There was no "panic situation" due to the labour policy titled 'Nitaqat,' part of Saudi Arabia's effort to strengthen localisation of jobs. The decision has triggered apprehension among lakhs of Keralites working in that country regarding their jobs.

The state has already taken up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. It has approached Central ministers hailing from Kerala -- A K Antony, Vayalar Ravi and E Ahamad -- seeking the Centre's intervention so that Saudi Arabia takes a liberal view on the issue.

Chandy said though the policy came into force in July of 2009, "Now Saudi government had decided to strictly implement it, under which 10 per cent of total jobs should be for locals."

Efforts were underway to see that there was no exodus of expatriates from Saudi Arabia, he said.

However, the government would work out a rehabilitation package for those returning from that country. Steps would also be taken to arrange for their air travel on concessional ticket rates, he added.

Around 5.7 lakh Keralites are working in Saudi Arabia as per a 2011 estimate. According to a report, out of the total population of 1.87 crore there, 87 lakh were foreigners.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

State against toll collection

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state has sent a letter to the centre stating that toll should not be collected in the name of development of national highway. Toll should not be collected in the name of maintenance work.  

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said many complaints have been obtained in connection with the national highway development and we cannot go forward without seeing it. He said this while replying to the letter of secretary, road transport and highways, criticizing the state.

Pillai indisposed

SABARIMALA: Kerala Congress (B) chairman R Balakrishna Pillai has been admitted to a hospital as he felt sick. Pillai felt uneasiness during his visit to Sabarimala.

He was first treated at a hospital in Pampa. Variation in blood pressure was the reason cited for the giddiness.

Case against Tharoor cannot be withdrawn, says court

KOCHI: The Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court made it clear that the case against Union Minister Shashi Tharoor for disrespecting the national flag cannot be withdrawn. The petitioner Joy Kaitharath made a submission in the court that he did not want to continue with the case as the latter had apologized. But the court refused it. The court posted to April 10 the hearing in the case.

Joy Kaitharath had alleged that Tharoor on December 16, 2008 interrupted the national anthem at a function of the Federal Bank here and had asked the audience to sing it by keeping the right hand on the left side of the chest like the Americans, instead of the attention posture.

Court issues notice to Kurien in Suriyanelli rape case

IDUKKI: In a setback for RajyaSabha deputy chairman P J Kurien, a court in Kerala on Wednesday ordered issue of notice to him on a criminal revision petition filed by the Suryanelli rape victim.

The Thodupuzha sessions court judge, Abraham Mathew, admitted the plea and issued notices to Dharmarajan, a prime accused in the case, and two other accused Jamal and Unnikrishnan and the state government.

The petition has been posted to May 29. The court said Dharmarajan, who is presently lodged at Thiruvananthapuram Poojapura jail, should also be produced in court on May 29.

The petition was filed by the victim challenging the dismissal of her earlier complaint filed before the Peermedu judicial first class magistrate court seeking further investigation into the 'involvement' of Kurien in the case.

The victim's advocates also produced before the court the 'revelations' made by Dharmarajan to a television channel shortly before his arrest recently after he had jumped bail, that he had escorted Kurien to a guesthouse on Feb 19, 1996 where the girl was allegedly sexually exploited.

The victim had filed a complaint before the Peermedu court on March 1 this year against Kurien on the basis of Dharmarjan's revelations.

She had last month filed a complaint in a police station at Kottayam against Kurien, seeking that he be made an accused in the case. That complaint was not registered.

The case relates to the victim hailing from Suryanelli in Idukki being abducted in January 1996 and transported to various places and sexually exploited by over 40 persons. Though she had named Kurien as one among those who had exploited her, he was not made an accused in the case.

The Suryanelli case once again came into the limelight after the apex court recently stayed the Kerala high court judgment of 2005 acquitting 35 accused in the case and asked them to surrender before the special court. The apex court had also stayed the high court judgment reducing the life term awarded to Dharmarajan.

Dharmarajan, who had jumped bail, was recently arrested from Karnataka and sent to jail to undergo the rest of his prison term. Kurien has maintained that he had been cleared of the charges by the apex court.

Following the Supreme Court order, the victim had also sent a letter to her advocate seeking to explore the possibility of filing a review plea in the apex court seeking a fresh probe against Kurien.

The victim had filed a petition in the high court seeking to appoint two special prosecutors to conduct the case. The petition has been posted to April 2 for hearing the government's views.

She had submitted that the director general of prosecutions (DGP) had given her 'adverse' legal advice in her complaint against Kurien and that she would be 'greatly prejudiced' if he conducts her case.

Spl prosecutor turns DCC president

KASARGOD: Advocate C K Sreedharan, noted criminal advocate and the special prosecutor in T P Chandrashekaran and Shukkoor murder cases, made Kasargod DCC president is badly affecting the trial in the case.

Sreedharan did not appear for the case twice. The reason cited is due to his busy political schedule.

The witnesses in the case had twice turned hostile. If the present situation continue, majority of the witnesses is likely to turn hostile. This will badly affect the verdict.

Removing P C George not in agenda, says Mani

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Congress (Mani) chairman K M Mani said removing P C George from the post of chief whip is not in the agenda. Talking to reporters here, he said the party has not discussed about it.

The issue has not been discussed in the KC (M) meeting. There is only one Kerala Congress and there are no differences of opinion in the party.

It is not necessary to discuss permitting new taluks in the UDF. The decision to permit new taluks was taken after discussing with the chief minister.

The party will contest in the seats for the Lok Sabha polls.

Film fraternity bids adieu to Sukumari Amma

CHENNAI: The body of actress Sukumari, who died yesterday, was consigned to flames with full state honours at the crematorium in Basant Nagar. Many film personalities from Kerala paid homage to the Amma of Malayalam cinema. Minister K B Ganesh Kumar representing Kerala paid homage to the actress.

The body of the actress was brought to her residence in T Nagar after conducting postmortem at the Royapetta Hospital. The actress died at the Chennai Global Mission Hospital yesterday evening while she was undergoing treatment for burns.
Many from different walks of life thronged at her residence to have a glimpse of the actress.

Lyricist Sreekumaran Thampy, directors Sethumadhavan and Hariharan, actors Mammootty, Dilip, Krishna, Dileep, Manoj  K Jayan, Anoop Menon, producer Suresh Kumar, Lissy, Rekha, Menaka, Tamil actors Sharat Kumar, Khushboo and Manorama were present at her residence.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Veteran actress Sukumari dies in Chennai

CHENNAI: Noted versatile actress Sukumari died at a private hospital in Chennai Tuesday evening. She was 73.

The end came while she was undergoing treatment at the Global hospital I Chennai for burn injuries. She suffered burn injuries while she lighted the lamp in her pooja room in Chennai. She had suffered 40 % burn injuries. Both her kidneys were dysfunctional and were undergoing dialysis.

Her only son Dr Suresh Kumar, working in Chennai Medical College, was at her bedside at the time of her death.

Sukumari has primarily acted in Malayalam and Tamil films. She has been acting since she was 10 years old and has acted in various roles.

The total number of her films is presumed to be about 2500. In 2003, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions towards the arts recently and won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Namma Gramam in 2010.

She has received Kerala State Film Awards for best supporting actor four times.

She was born in Nagercoil in 1938. Sukumari was first cousin to Travancore Sisters, Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini. She learned dance with them and mastered Keralanadanam, Kathakali and Bharathanatyam.

Sukumari was noticed by a director when she went to the sets of a film with Padmini, and debuted in the lead role in Orarivu, a Tamil film. She was married to director A Bhimsingh and died when she was only 30.

She has played many notable mother roles. She has acted in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi films and used her own voice in all languages without using dubbing artists.

Lizy Priyadarshan, wife of noted director Priyadarshan, said Sukumari had expressed her wish to cremate her body in Kerala.

Central Teacher Eligibility Test(CTET)

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has invited applications for the Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET) to be held on July 28.

Qualifying in the test is mandatory for appointment as teachers from classes I to VIII.

The CTET shall apply to schools of the Union government, such as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas, and schools owned and managed by the State governments and local bodies and aided and unaided schools in the States which do not conduct their own teacher eligibility tests.

Apply online on or till April 16.

The test will have objective-type multiple-choice questions.

There will be no negative marks. Paper I of the test will be for qualifying for appointment as teachers for classes I to V and paper II for classes VI to VIII.

The test fee is Rs. 500 a paper and Rs. 800 for both papers (Rs. 250 and Rs. 400 for those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the differently abled).

The fee can be paid using a challan to the CBSE account with Syndicate Bank; by e-post office in favour of the Secretary, CBSE, Delhi; or by debit or credit card using an online payment gateway.

The candidate should take a printout of the computer-generated confirmation page, which, along with the original copy of the challan, should be sent by registered post to the Assistant Secretary (CTET), Central Board of Secondary Education, PS1-2, Institutional Area, IP Extension, Patparganj, Delhi – 110 092 so as to reach there on or before April 22.

Those who have passed the senior secondary or equivalent examinations with at least 50 per cent marks and a diploma in elementary education may appear for Paper I.

Those appearing for the final-year examination of the diploma course may also do so. Those who have a degree with at least 50 per cent marks and a B.Ed. degree may take Paper 11.

Those appearing for the B.Ed. final-year examination may also do so.

IMU admissions

The Indian Maritime University of the Union government of India has invited application for a common entrance test to be held on June 1 for admission to various programmes on its campuses in Chennai, Kochi, Kandla Port, Kolkata, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam and at its affiliated institution. Apply online on before May 10.

The courses are:

DNS course leading to B.Sc. Nautical Science
B.Sc. Nautical Science
B.Sc. Maritime Science
B.Tech. Marine Engineering
B.Sc. Shipbuilding and Repair
B.Tech. Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
A pass in Plus Two with 60 per cent marks in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and 50 per cent in English is required for admission.

Postgraduate Diploma in Marine Engineering: Graduates in Mechanical or Marine Engineering may apply.
M.Tech. Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering.
M.Tech. Dredging and Harbour Engineering.
MBA Logistics and Infrastructure: Graduates in any discipline with 50 per cent marks may apply.
LL.M. (Maritime Law).

Income limit to determine creamy layer be hiked: Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPUARAM: chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said the government was of the view that income limit to determine "creamy layer" among Other Backward Classes (OBCs) eligible for reservation should be raised from the existing limit of Rs 4.5 lakhs.

Considering the present inflation rate and other factors, income limit to determine 'creamy layer' should be raised, Chandy said while replying to a calling attention moved by K Muhammedunni Haji (IUML) in the Assembly.

Chandy said the state has not received any official information from the Centre with regard to raising the income limit as recommended by a Union Cabinet sub-committee that looked into the issue.

However, it has been learnt from media reports that the Centre would fix the income limit to determine creamy layer in OBC to Rs six lakh, Chandy pointed out.

Haji wanted to fix the income limit to Rs 12 lakh in urban areas and Rs nine lakh in rural areas as suggested by National Commission for Backward Classes.

In 1993, when the creamy layer was introduced, it was Rs one lakh. Subsequently, in 2004 it was revised to Rs 2.5 lakh and to Rs 4.5 lakh in 2008.

Government protects black marketers, says Vaikom Viswan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF Convener Vaikom Viswan on Monday said the government was protecting black marketers. He was inaugurating the LDF protest march towards Secretariat against the state-central governments’ anti-people policies and increase in essential commodities.

Package for endosulfan victims

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala government on Monday announced a comprehensive package, including free treatment, ration and pension, to people affected by the aerial spraying of pesticide endosulfan in Kasargod district.

There has been an apprehension that the current financial assistance to victims of endosulfan would come to an end after five years, which was totally baseless, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters here.

Shashi Tharoor to host quiz show for Kerala Tourism

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor will host an online video quiz show to promote tourism in Kerala, Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar said Monday.

"We are delighted to present Tharoor as the quiz master of our first online video quiz show," said Anil Kumar.

Tharoor will ask one question every day for 60 days on subjects related to Kerala's geography and culture. Participants will get two hours to answer the questions online.

The show will begin early May and go on for two months. The online registration will begin April 20 on, and the winners will receive gifts on daily, weekly and monthly basis, a state tourism official said.

Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa said he has no doubt that the quiz master would be an instant hit with the global audience.

Tharoor is a member of parliament from the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency and is a former United Nations under-secretary general.

Suryanelli rape victim's plea to appoint two new special prosecutors

KOCHI: The Suryanelli rape victim on Monday approached the Kerala High court seeking appointment of two new special prosecutors to conduct the case in the court.

The victim complained that the present Director General of Prosecutions (DGP), T Asaf Ali, had tendered legal advice adversely to her in her complaint against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, PJ Kurien and if he conducts a hearing on the appeals, she would be 'greatly prejudiced'.

The earlier prosecutors-- Suresh Babu Thomas and CS Ajayan, who conducted the case successfully at special court, Kottayam, were conversant with all details of the case and would only take minimum time to prepare the case and hence they should be appointed, she submitted.

Despite new evidence cropping up as revealed by key accused Darmarajan against Kurien, the government and police on the DGP's advice refused to take action against him. If the DGP conducts the case, she will be 'greatly prejudiced'.

The case is likely to come up on Tuesday.

The Suriyanelli case relates to the rape of a 16-year-old girl of Suriyanelli in Idukki district in 1996. The victim, a school girl, was allegedly abducted and taken to different places and sexually exploited by 40-odd persons.

The victim had also filed a complaint against Kurien, listing him as an accused in the case along with three others in the light of revelations by Dharmarajan to a TV channel.

Kurien had maintained that all allegations against him had been cleared by the High Court and Supreme Court.

On March 2, a local court had rejected a plea by the victim for a fresh probe into the alleged involvement of Kurien in the case, holding there was no new ground for a fresh investigation.

Income limit to determine creamy layer be hiked: Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPUARAM: chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said the government was of the view that income limit to determine "creamy layer" among Other Backward Classes (OBCs) eligible for reservation should be raised from the existing limit of Rs 4.5 lakhs.

Considering the present inflation rate and other factors, income limit to determine 'creamy layer' should be raised, Chandy said while replying to a calling attention moved by K Muhammedunni Haji (IUML) in the Assembly.

Chandy said the state has not received any official information from the Centre with regard to raising the income limit as recommended by a Union Cabinet sub-committee that looked into the issue.

However, it has been learnt from media reports that the Centre would fix the income limit to determine creamy layer in OBC to Rs six lakh, Chandy pointed out.

Haji wanted to fix the income limit to Rs 12 lakh in urban areas and Rs nine lakh in rural areas as suggested by National Commission for Backward Classes.

In 1993, when the creamy layer was introduced, it was Rs one lakh. Subsequently, in 2004 it was revised to Rs 2.5 lakh and to Rs 4.5 lakh in 2008.

Four Keralites killed in Saudi Arabia

MALAPPURAM: Fire engulfed a sofa godown named Ha’il in Saudi Arabia killing five including four Keralites, early this morning. The fifth person is from Uttar Pradesh. The condition of two among the many injured is stated to be serious.

The furniture shop is owned by Saji, a native of Edakkara in Malappuram.

The four has been identified as Siddique (49) of Nilambur, Lalu (27) of Kalkkulam, Sasikumar (42) of Chemmamthitta and Saddique of Angadippuram. The body of the native of Uttar Pradesh has not been identified.

Seven engineering students among eight killed in Idukki

IDUKKI: Seven engineering students and an elderly man were killed and several others injured when the bus they were travelling in rolled 150 feet down a hillside in Idukki..

The students of the Sarabhai Institute of Science and Technology, Vellanad here had got together and planned the trip.

The dead has been identified as Sreejesh of Thrikunnippuzha, Alappuzha, Vignesh of Jawahar Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram, Jithin of Nanthencode, Thiruvananthapuram, Sharatchandran of Ambalamedu, Shaiju of Kalamasseri, Manju of Kannur, Hemant and Raj Kumar of Kazhakoottam.

The principal of the college said the college authorities were not involved in it, and were yet to ascertain the identities of the students who were killed in the accident.

Meantime, the director of the college Kaimal said the students went for the trip without their consent. They were given 10 days study leave for the exams starting on April 1st.  

One of the killed engineering students was a girl. The elderly man was part of the bus crew. The incident occurred about 170 km from the state capital.

There were 41 students of the final year batch at the college on the trip. They included 13 girls.

Eyewitnesses said the bus was coming from Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, and driving towards Munnar when it skidded off the road and rolled downhill.

The condition of two of the injured is said to be serious.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said the medical expenses for all those injured would be borne by the government.

"Right now, our aim is to see that the injured get the best treatment and authorities are ensuring that," Radhakrishnan said.

Health Minister V S Sivakumar has left to visit the accident site. The government will bear the medical expenses of the injured. Decision on giving compensation will be taken later.

A control room has been opened in Adimali following the accident. Number 04864 222145, 949799005

Pillai seeks ouster of Minister Ganesh

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Congress (B) chairman R Balakrishna Pillai has sought the removal of his son and Minister K B Ganesh Kumar. He raised this demand during discussions held with UDF convenor P P Thankachan Tuesday morning.

Pillai complained that Ganesh was not ready for any talks with him and is not been maintaining any contact with the party. Pillai has asked to discuss the issue at the next UDF meet to be convened on April 2.

Pillai had raised the demand earlier also. But Pillai decided to give one more chance to Ganesh and the latter had promised to maintain a good relation with the party.

Six Keralites killed in ambulance-tanker collision

HASSAN: Six Keralites including a patient were killed and two others seriously injured when their ambulance collided head on with a tanker at Khatri Ghata on NH-48 near Channarayapanta in the district Tuesday.

Police said the incident occurred when the ambulance was carrying a patient from Sai high tech hospital to Mangalore along with others while the tanker was carrying dumber to Mysore from Mangalore. Five people were killed on the spot and another one succumbed to injuries in the hospital.

The victims have been identified as Ravi, Shekhar, Suman, Edward, Thomas and Jaffi, patient who was injured in the accident died in hospital. Two injured have been admitted to hospital.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Banks to accept tax up to March 31

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: All branches of banks doing government business and regional offices of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) handling government business will function on March 29, 30, and 31 for accepting taxes from the public. A press communiqué issued by the RBI said facilities for payment of taxes online and through select ATMs would also be available. It urged tax payers to remit tax well in advance of the last date to avoid last-minute rush.

SFI not to demolish column of Che Guevara at Kannur varsity

KANNUR: Students Federation of India (SFI) Kerala unit Secretary T P Bineesh said SFI would not allow demolition of the Che guevara column, which it had put up at Kannur university campus. Talking to newsmen at a press conference Bineesh made the statement when asked about the order of the university to demolish the column. He said the people and students revered Che Guevara. Their view on this matter has already been informed to the University authorities. The SFI will strongly oppose demolition of the column at any cost, he warned. Dr K M Abraham, Vice Chancellor in charge of the university issued a direction to SFI demolish the column which he said was built without permission before March 31. Otherwise, the University would demolish it and the expenditure for this would be collected from SFI.

Man arrested for son’s murder

KANNUR: In a grievous incident, a father allegedly stabbed his son to death, following a verbal duel at Eruveshi under Kudiyanmala police station limits. The father has been arrested. The accused, identified as Chacko, 77, stabbed his son Sunny, 52, at their residence, after the duo entered into an argument regarding property. The son, who was deeply injured, was rushed to hospital but could not be saved. Pappachan was an accused in a murder case at Pala in 1972 but was acquitted by the court later, the police said.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

DYFI activists wave black flag at Aryadan

KASARGOD: Activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) waved black flags at Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed demanding immediate solution to the problems of endosulfan victims. Some 30 DYFI activists waved black flags at the Minister as he reached the government guest house around 10 am. The ongoing indefinite hunger strike, seeking a comprehensive rehabilitation package for the victims, entered the 35th day on Sunday.

The protesters were arrested and removed by the police from the spot. Cases had been registered against 18 activists for waylaying the Minister, the police said. The arrested activists, later, staged a protest march on the new bus station premises after being released on bail. Mohammed, who was here to attend a series of functions, including the inauguration of the KSRTC sub depot at Kanhangad, said the government was committed to resolving the issue faced by the victims.

Molestation attempt on MEMU train

THRISSUR: The police arrested a Tamil youth on the charge of attempting to molest a 12-year-old girl on the newly started MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Unit). The police took Selvan, 23, of Thanjavur, into custody from Puthukkad railway station at 11 am following a telephone complaint by passengers. According to the Puthukkad police, the youth was handed over to the railway police.

KSEB doesn’t want power; Kayamkulam stops production

HARIPPAD: The Kayamkulam Thermal Power Plant has stopped generating electric power since the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) did not demand it. The authorities said KSEB informed them that they did not need electric power and so the power plant stopped its functioning completely on Saturday night at 8. KSEB had on Sunday resumed load-shedding in the state.

Govt fails to keep word; KSEB in crisis

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has entered into a crisis as the state government failed to keep its word of giving Rs. 200 crore to the Board.

The KSEB has been now unable to pay for the last two months the arrear amount of Rs. 450 crore to National Thermal Power Corporation.

Kerala TET Model Question Paper, date and results

More details

V M Radhakrishnan remanded

KOCHI: Noted industrialist V M Radhakrishnan arrested in connection with the death of Malabar Cements Ltd former company secretary V Sasidharan and his two children, has been remanded till April 5. He was remanded by the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. 36 documents including four intelligence reports were recovered from his house, the CBI revealed. The documents recovered were crucial ones, they said.

Two killed as car overturns in Kozhikode

KOZHIKODE: Two persons were killed and another injured seriously when the Innova car in which they were travelling overturned at Mampuzhapalam near Koodathumpara Junction on Thondayad Bypass Sunday.

Police identified the dead as Jasin (19) and Rasheed (28), hailing from Taliparamba in Kannur adding Mohammed Faizal (20), who sustained serious injuries, was admitted to Kozhikode Medical College.

They were proceeding to Malappuram from Kannur when the tragedy struck early this morning.

Congress to cooperate with Left front in Lok Sabha polls, says Vayalar Ravi

KOTTAYAM: In the coming Lok Sabha polls we should cooperate with the Left Front, said Union Minister Vayalar Ravi. Talking to reporters here, he said there are no differences of opinion with them in the national level.

Ravi said discussions can be held with them before the polls, but the final decision has to be taken by the high command.

The minister criticized the statements made by Chief Whip P C George against veteran leader K R Gowri Amma. He termed it as unfortunate and said that if he was the KPCC chief then nobody would have made statements like that.

Load-shedding to resume Sunday

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Load-shedding in Kerala will resume on Sunday following the completion of SSLC and Plus Two examinations.

KSEB had lifted the load-shedding on March 2 considering the examinations. The period of lifting saw high power consumption across the state.

The power consumption touched almost 63 million units (63 mu) on Saturday. With the resumption of load-shedding, it is expected that power consumption would be reduced by 2 million units.

Moreover, the reservoir hardly contains water enough for producing 1000 million unit of power. Since the power consumption has risen steeply, at least 13 million unit of power is required per day.

Unless the power consumption is restricted to 60 million units per day, the state will have to face acute power shortage in near future.

Faithful crowd churches in state on Palm Sunday

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Across Kerala, churches witnessed a good number of Christians turning up for the Palm Sunday service.

Palm Sunday is observed with lots of reverence as churches distribute palm leaves freshly cut from coconut trees to commemorate Jesus Christ's entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in his path, before his arrest and crucifixion on Good Friday.

"Even though I am not a regular church goer, this is one Sunday when I make it a point to go and I feel some sort of fulfillment too. In our church the service is a bit lengthy and it takes more than two hours but I enjoy it," said a church goer who did not wish to be identified.

The palms that are distributed to the faithful are either cut from the coconut trees in the church compound or are brought in by devotees the previous day and stacked up in the churches to be given away the following Sunday.

After getting the palm leaf, people return home and keep it near the picture of Jesus Christ till the Christmas time, when it is returned to the church.

Across the churches in the state, the Palm Sunday services were led by bishops of various churches.

Christians account for 22 percent of the state's 32 million population and Catholics comprise 50 percent of the Christians in Kerala, followed by the Orthodox Church with a population of around 2.5 million.

Jacobites, Mar Thoma, the Church of South India and the Pentecostal churches make up the rest.

Starting Sunday, till Easter Sunday (March 31), the devout Christians turn vegetarian and some of them have only the gruel (kanji-rice without removing the water) with pickle.

On Good Friday, all churches serve this after the service is over.

Musharraf returns to Pakistan for elections

KARACHI: Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf returned home on Sunday after nearly four years of self-imposed exile despite the possibility of arrest and a threat from the Taliban to kill him.

Musharraf hopes to regain influence and run in a general election scheduled for May 11.

The former army general seized power in a 1999 coup, resigned in 2008 when his allies lost a vote and a new government threatened him with impeachment. He left the country a year later.

Musharraf faces charges of failing to provide adequate security to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007. He also faces charges in connection with the death of a Baluch separatist leader.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Death of Saseendran: Chakku Radhakrishnan arrested

PALAKKAD: Noted industrialist Chakku Radhakrishnan alias V M Radhakrishnan was arrested in connection with the death of Malabar Cements former company secretary V Saseendran and his two children. He was arrested after calling him for interrogation by the CBI, Thiruvananthapuram unit.

The case is investigated by additional SP Nandakumaran Nair.

The police had submitted the first information list after including the name of Malabar Cements MD Sundaramoorthy as the first accused, his personal staff member Surynarayanan as the second and V M Radhakrishnan as the third accused.

The case was handed over to the CBI by the Kerala High Court following the plea of Saseendran’s wife. Saseendran and his two sons were found hanging in their home in Palakkad on January 24, 2011.

KSU state president seriously injured in accident

THRISSUR: KSU state president advocate V S Joy and his friend were seriously injured when the car in which they were travelling collided with a lorry early Tuesday morning in Kuttippuram.

Joy and his friend advocate Jaleel have been admitted at the Aswini Hospital in Thrissur. Joy suffered multiple fractures on his body. The car was driven by his friend Jaleel.

15 crore bribe scam against Minister Babu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Corruption charges have been leveled against Minister K Babu for the second time in the assembly today.

Raju Abraham alleged in the assembly that corruption of Rs 15 crores was detected in giving tender to gather water plants included in the Kuttanad package.

He said that if the hands of the minister are clean, then he should face vigilance probe. While replying, Babu said the tender was not invited during his tenure.

Babu M Pallisery of the CPM yesterday alleged that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Excise Minister K Babu had accepted Rs 100 crore as bribe from liquor companies to increase the price of liquor in the state.

Saseendran was murdered, says brother

KOCHI: The death of Malabar Cements former company secretary V V Saseendran was not a suicide but a murder, alleged his brother Sanal Kumar. He said that he has evidence to prove it. The police failed to examine the injuries seen in his body at the time of his death.

Sanal Kumar alleged that industrialist Chakku Radhakrishnan alias V M Radhakrishnan arrested in connection with the death of Saseendran had threatened the latter and his relatives.

Three killed in accident

PERUMBAVOOR: Three persons were killed after a car struck a bike. The dead has been identified as Shaji Varghese (28) of Kakkanad, Davis (25) of Cherthala and Davis (40) of Perumbavoor. Both Davis were passengers of the car. The car which struck the bike stopped after hitting a lorry laden with timber.

Raju who was pillion riding with Shaji and Ameer, a passenger of the car, have been admitted at the Sanjo Hospital in Perumbavoor with injuries. The incident happened Wednesday morning on the Perumbavoor-Puthenkurissu road near Vengola electricity office. 

Man sentenced to life for impregnating step-daughter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Principal Sessions judge B Sudheendra Kumar awarded life imprisonment to a man for impregnating his 17-year-old step-daughter. The man sentenced to life imprisonment has been identified as P Ashokan, a native of Karakkonam.

The prosecution charge was that Ashokan, on February 16, 2007, raped his step-daughter. He continued to rape her often after that and threatened to kill her if she told this to anyone else. Though she later moved to a hostel, he continued to rape her whenever she came home.

Gangster hacked to death in Alappuzha

ALAPPUZHA:  A notorious gangster of Kalavoor ITC Colony identified as Emmachan alias Saji (37) was hacked to death. The incident happened Wednesday morning near Kalavoor KSDP at the Pannisseri Junction. Emmachan was a last grade employee of Thiruvalla electrical section.

According to police, Emmachan was on a bike when the attackers who came in two bikes stopped him and hacked him to death. He sustained injuries on his head and neck. As the incident happened in an isolated place, there are no eyewitnesses for it.

Emmachan who was lying on the road bleeding profusely was taken to the hospital by the police. Two iron roads were recovered from the spot.

Even though there were many cases against him, he was not engaged in goonda activities for quite some time. He got a police clearance certificate after clearing some cases. The police suspect the involvement of a rival gang in the incident.

Monday, March 18, 2013

DMK pulls out of UPA

CHENNAI: The DMK on Tuesday pulled out of the UPA government over the issue of alleged human rights' violations of Sri Lankan Tamils.

The DMK ministers are likely to resign from the UPA government later today.

Addressing a press conference in Chennai, DMK chief Karunanidhi said that our ministers will submit their resignations shortly.
"The DMK has always worked for the Tamils and has been demanding a tough stance against the Sri Lankan government over war crimes against Tamils," Karunanidhi said.

Karunanidhi had yesterday said he felt "let down" by the "lukewarm" response of the Centre and had demanded amendments in the resolution on Sri Lanka.

One of the amendments was to "declare that genocide and war crimes had been committed and inflicted on the Eelam Tamils by the Sri Lankan army and the administrators."

The second one was "establishment of a credible and independent international commission of investigation in a time bound manner into the allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law and crime of genocide against the Tamils."

Karunanidhi said Parliament should adopt the resolution incorporating these two amendments.

13 National Film Awards for Malayalam movies

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Malayalam films did not win any of major National Film Awards, but they jointly secured 13 awards.

The awards were announced in Delhi Monday. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy applauded the efforts of all the awardees for keeping the Malayalam film's flag flying high with 13 awards.

The 13 nods include four awards, which were shared, including the Indira Gandhi Award for the best debut film of a director, which was jointly picked by 101 Chodiyangal with Hindi film Chittagong.

The award for the best popular film for providing wholesome entertainment has been shared by Ustad Hotel with another Hindi film Vicky Donor.

Actress Kalpana won the best supporting actress for Thanichalla Njan, and the award was shared by Dolly Ahluwalia for Vicky Donor.

Reacting to the award, Kalpana, a popular comedy artist, said she is certainly delighted by this recognition.

"Through this role, to which I am hugely indebted to the director, I have proved that not only can I handle comedy, but also serious roles. Moreover, all this while I have got small awards and this award is like getting a distinction in ones studies. Am really excited," said Kalpana.

The best child artist award too has been shared by Minon for 101 Chodiyangal and Virendra Pratap for Dekh Indian Circus.

The other awardees include the best dialogue to Anjali Menon for the film Ustad Hotel, which also won a posthumous special mention for ace actor Thilakan, who passed away in September last year.

The Nargis Dutt Award for the best feature film on national integration went to Malayalam film Thanichalla Njan, directed by Babu Thiruvalla.

The film Spirit, directed by Renjith, in which Mohanlal plays the central role, won the award for the best film on social issue.

Renjith said that he is elated and pointed out that if filmmakers move away from the beaten path, then success can be limited. But he added that his film did that, and managed to succeed.

Black Forest won the National Award in the category on best film on environment conservation.

S Radhakrishnan, who was the location sound recordist in the film Annayum Rasulum, bagged the award in that category.

Bijibal won the award for the best background score in the film Kaliyachan. Filmmaker-actor Lal won a special mention for his role in the film Ozhimuri.

Lal, who got a special mention, said that he is happy about the award but would have been happier had the film got more visibility.

PS Radhakrishnan won the best film critic award for his analysis of the history, aesthetics and politics of cinema.

"Malayalam film industry can certainly be proud because of the 31 film awards, Malayalam won 13," said jury member and award winning director Jayraj.

Ethics Committee to look into PC George's remarks

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The Committee of Privileges and Ethics will look into the controversial statements by Government Chief Whip P C George.

Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan informed the House Monday that the Chief Whip's controversial remarks against JSS leader K R Gowri Amma and TV Thomas would be looked by the committee.

The committee would submit its report immediately, based on which action would be taken against the Chief Whip, he assured the opposition members, who were on their feet seeking action against the Chief Whip over the issue.

Driver held for indecent behaviour towards woman

KOCHI: The police have arrested a bus driver for indecent behaviour on Monday.

The arrested was identified as Balachandran (42), native of Maramkulangara, near Eroor, police said.

The police registered a case under section 509 IPC and 119(a) of KP Act, the sources said adding he was later released on bail.

The complaint was the driver, who was not on duty, made an indecent gesture towards the woman passenger in the bus.

Following a complaint, the Tripunithura Joint RTO suspended his driving licence for one year.

Appoint Thomas public prosecutor in Kerala rape case

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The mother of Suryanelli victim Monday demanded that the state government appoint Suresh Babu Thomas as the public prosecutor when the case comes up in the state high court.

The victim's family also requested that C S Ajayan be appointed the additional public prosecutor in the case, in which the family has accused Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien of sexually exploiting the girl.

She met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy along with some women leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and asked in writing that the state government should appoint Thomas as the special public prosecutor but expressed doubt that Chandy will entertain her request.

"In the past, we had put up requests but nothing happened from his side. So, in this request that we put up today (Monday), I have doubt if it would be accepted," her mother said.

"Anyway, we have done what we have to do," the victim's mother told reporters here.

Incidentally, it was Thomas who appeared for the victim at the trial court and hence her family has been demanding that the state government appoint Thomas when the case shortly comes up in the high court.

The sex scandal took place at Suryanelli in Idukki January 1996 when the then 16-year-old was threatened, abducted and abused by a bus conductor and was later confined and sexually assaulted for 45 days by 42 men.

The case was back in the spotlight after the Supreme Court ordered a re-trial in the case Jan 31 while setting aside the 2005 acquittal by the Kerala High Court of all but one of the 35 accused convicted by a special court.

Corruption charges against Minister K Babu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Charges of corruption have been leveled against Excise Minister K Babu in the assembly.

Babu M Palisseri alleged that the minister accepted Rs 100 crore as bribe from liquor companies. The allegation was leveled during budget talks and he sought a judicial probe on it.

Palisseri alleged that the deal incurred a loss of Rs 40 crores for the exchequer. The contract to stick holograms in liquor bottles was given to companies in Karnataka after avoiding C-Dit.

Babu M Palisseri said the amount was handed over to Shafi Methar, economic advisor of the chief minister.

Thrissur RDO, driver die in accident

KOLLAM: The Thrissur RDO and his driver were killed when the Bolero jeep in which they were travelling collided with a private bus near Shakthikulangara in Kollam on Monday. RDO Raveendran (53) and his driver M.V. Das (55) were the two killed in the accident.

The Bolero jeep proceeding to the Thiruvananthapuram from Thrissur collided with the private bus named “Aswathy” coming from the opposite side near the Shakthikulangara police station on the national highway Monday morning at 8.30 am.

Even though the two were taken to the district hospital, their lives could not be saved. After autopsy, the bodies were kept at Kollam Civil Station for the public to pay homage. The bodies were carried to native places around 2 pm.

Raveendran’s body will be cremated at Thrissur Paramekkavu Shanthighat crematorium at 10 am today (Tuesday). Das’ body will be cremated at Vadukkara SN Samajam crematorium at 11 am.

The incident happened when Raveendran was on his way to attend the official meeting convened by Agriculture Minister in the capital city.

Friday, March 15, 2013

KSRTC cannot be rescued with amount in budget, says Aryadan

THIRUVANANTHAPUTRAM: The special package of Rs 100 crores announced in the budget cannot rescue the debt ridden KSRTC, said Transport Minister Aryadan Muhammed.

The amount sanctioned for KSRTC is inadequate. Other sectors have got adequate amount, blamed Aryadan.

Govt facing crisis from UDF, says Chennithala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The government is now facing crisis from the UDF itself and the allied parties of the government are responsible for staining the image of the government, said KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala.

Meantime, chief whip P C George said that he is ready to resign if Kerala Congress (M) chairman K M Mani seeks it. He said only Mani has the right to reprimand him and will resign only if he says.

Protest against George in assembly

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Some unruly scenes were witnessed in the assembly against Chief Whip P C George for his derogatory statements against K R Gowri Amma and T V Thomas.  

The opposition came to the assembly carrying placards seeking the ouster of George. Amidst the uproar, V S Sunil Kumar of the CPI removed his shoes and showed it to George.

Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said George is ridiculing veteran leaders and is continuing with it. VS said his party is not controlling him and the chief minister is least bothered about the incident.

Ridiculing leaders respected by the state cannot be accepted, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. I’ve said this before also, he said.

P C George got up and apologized for his statements. He said the statements recorded secretly using a hidden camera were aired by a cheap channel

Cigars, liquor to cost more

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The price of tobacco products except beedi will increase.  The rise is due to the increase in the tax of tobacco products from 15% to 20% .

Finance Minister K M Mani while presenting the budget said the price of liquor except beer and wine will cost more. It is due to the rise in the tax from 100 to 105%. The tax of disposable plates, glass and leaf has been raised to 20% and it will also cost more. The price of luxurious cars and items will increase as the tax has been raised to 14%.

The price of broken rice, avil and malar has been exempted from tax. The price of these items will cost less. The price of slippers till Rs 500 will decrease.

The tax in the sale of cardamom through spices board has been reduced. The price of food in house boats will be cost less.

Pension age raised to 60 for those joining govt service from April 1

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The pension age has been raised to 60 for those joining government services from April 1, 2013 onwards. Finance Minister K M Mani did not announce it while presenting the budget in the Kerala Assembly.

There were widespread protests in increasing the pension age earlier.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dr Yamini seeks Rs 50 crores as alimony

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The reconciliatory talks between Minister K V Ganesh Kumar and his wife Dr Yamini Thankachy which is on the verge of a divorce will continue.  Ganesh Kumar who had gone to Mookambika is back in the capital city and the talks are expected to resume Tuesday.  The UDF which met here decided not to immediately press for his resignation over the issue.

It has been reported that Dr Yamini has asked Rs 50 crore as alimony. The minister has clearly stated that he doesn’t have so much money to give as alimony. Yamini has clearly stated that there will be no compromise on the amount.
Meantime, efforts are on to dissuade the couple from divorce. The stand of Yamini is crucial.

The differences of opinion between Ganesh and his party are almost resolved. The party had the other day stated that they would accept the minister if he agrees to abide by them.  The minister too had welcomed the party’s stand.

As the party’s issue has been solved, the next is to solve the family matters. Minister Shibu Baby John, who took the initiative to solve the differences of opinion between the father and son, is now on to his next task.

Those close to the couple wants the issue to be settled without approaching the court. The dispute continues with the maintenance. If the issue cannot be solved in an out of court settlement, they can approach the family court through a joint petition.

Proficiency in Malayalam must for Govt jobs in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a significant decision, the Public Service Commission (PSC) in Kerala today approved a government proposal to make proficiency in Malayalam compulsory for getting state government jobs.

A meeting of PSC members presided over by its Chairman K S Radhakrishnan cleared the proposal submitted by the Administrative Reforms Department of the state government, a PSC spokesperson said.

This would mean those candidates who have done studies in non-Malayalam medium will have to qualify a proficiency test in Malayalam during their probation period after joining.

Those who had studied in Malayalam medium up to 10th standard would be exempted from such examination.

According to PSC sources, the examination would test the reading and writing ability of the candidate in Malayalam.

Cultural leaders and academics in Kerala have been pressing for this decision for quite some time, especially after proliferation of English medium schools in the state with people increasingly preferring to send their children to such schools.

Some recent studies have shown that the number of children who cannot read and write Malayalam have increased sharply in recent times.

Welcoming the PSC's decision, eminent writer Akbar Kakkattil said, "This is most appropriate, though it came a bit late."

"This is not just a decision that has come as a boost to Malayalam but also a major step forward in further democratising the governance," Kakkattil, also vice president of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, told reporters.

"Even after five-and-a-half decades of formation of the Kerala state on the basis of language, there are government offices where files are prepared in English," he added.

Italian marines happy not to return to India for trial

NEW DELHI:  The two Italian marines, Salvatore Latorre and Massimiliano Girone, have expressed their happiness after their Foreign Ministry made it clear that the marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen would not return to India when their court-allowed leave ends this month.

The two marines were allowed to go back to Italy to vote in February's General Elections.

The marines, who had allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen in the Arabian Sea, said they were happy to stay back in Italy and join work.

"Now we are finally happy. We are happy to go back to work," Latorre told Italy's ANSA news agency.

However, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing, Tariq Anwar is hopeful of resolution of the Italian marines' crisis.

"The Indian External Affairs Ministry is examining the issue. I think the MEA has taken view of this decision and they have chosen to review the situation and talk to their Italian counterparts, after talks some solution will come out," said Tariq Anwar, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing.

Two Italian sailors charged with killing two Indian fishermen lost their Supreme Court bid in January this year to be tried on home soil.

The sailors, members of a military security team protecting the cargo ship Enrica Lexie, said they mistook the fishermen for pirates off the southern Indian state of Kerala in February 2012.

Italy challenged India's right to try the sailors in Supreme Court, saying the shooting took place in international waters, outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Indian authorities accuse the sailors of shooting unarmed fishermen in a "contiguous zone" where Indian law applies.

Dead fisherman's wife seeks justice

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The two Italian marines who had fatally shot two Indian fishermen must be brought back to India to stand trial, demanded the wife of one of the two fishermen who were killed. Italy has decided not to send the marines back to India.

The two Italian marines being tried for murder in India will not return to the country as New Delhi does not have jurisdiction over the case, the Italian foreign ministry announced Monday.

Dora, wife of Gelastine, said: "This is nothing but a conspiracy at the highest level and the Indian government should see that they bring back the two marines to stand trial in the case in our country."

The two marines have been at the centre of a year-long international row for allegedly shooting dead two Indian fishermen Ajesh Binki and Gelastine after mistaking them for pirates near the Kerala coast in February 2012.

Nod to buy diesel via civil supplies

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government has approved the package of the panel led by chief secretary to buy diesel for the KSRTC through civil supplies.

Briefing reporters after the cabinet meet, Chandy said permission has been given to buy diesel after paying the full amount.
The government will give a compensation of Rs 5 lakhs to the family of the teacher trampled to death by a wild elephant in Kuttambuzha.

126 crores have been granted for the maintenance of the road which is in a bad condition due to natural calamity. The amount given as compensation to the loss caused by the attack of wild animals has been increased.  The amount given for the loss of cattle, agriculture and huts has been increased to Rs 75,000 from Rs 5000. Rs 75000 will be given to persons as per the seriousness of injuries. The compensation which was earlier given once in a year will now be given in four times in a year.

34 posts have been created in the coir factory to be functioned shortly in Alappuzha. The Fort Hospital in the capital city will be raised to the level of taluk hospital. 36 posts will be created for it.

Amount will granted for three works in connection with railways in Kozhikode. The cabinet has also decided to give 1.2145 hectares of land in Thaliparambu to Kalagramam which is coming under the cultural department.