Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Man held on charge of sexually assaulting girl

KANHANGAD: The police arrested a 45-year-old labourer accused of sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl here recently. Maruthi from Davangere in Karnataka was arrested on a complaint by his wife’s younger sister that he had sexually assaulted her daughter. He was nabbed from the town late on Sunday night. The complaint said a medical examination had established that the girl was sexually assaulted. The accused had committed the violation in their house at Alamipally locality here a few days ago. The girl had complained of severe pain in the abdomen. The man went absconding and was trapped on being called by his close friend to reach the town. A court in Kasaragod remanded him in judicial custody for two weeks. The police have registered a case under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act, 2012.

No comments on statements of community leaders, says Chennithala

PALAKKAD: KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala refused to comment on the criticisms leveled against him by the NSS. Talking to reporters as part of the Kerala Yatra, he said that he usually doesn’t reply to the statements of community leaders. 

I’m obliged to the people of the state and they know about my life, he said

CM, Congress, UDF responsible for communal disharmony

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI (M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan alleged on Sunday that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the Congress party and the UDF are responsible for the communal harmony in Kerala.

Congress and UDF are keeping mum at a time when they should oppose casteist organizations. Chief Minister has not yet opposed the visit of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, he said.

Kerala Police collect Rs. 1.5 million as fine from smokers

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Police have collected around Rs.1.5 million as fine after stepping up vigil in the past five months against those smoking in public places, according to information available on the website of the state police.

"A total 9,885 people were fined across 20 police districts, netting Rs.15.75 lakh (Rs. 1.57 million). For the sake of administrative convenience, 14 districts in the state have been grouped under 20 police districts," Kerala police website said.

The fines were collected from October 1 last year to February 28 this year.

The ban on smoking in public places was found to be most strictly enforced in Ernakulam rural where 3,793 people were fined.

Kannur district came in second with 3,172 people penalised for smoking in public places.

With no case reported in October, police consistently stepped up their vigil in Kannur and collected Rs.6.34 lakh between November and February.

The fines collected in Idukki district also showed an upward trend. From six cases of violations in the district in October, the number rose to 65 cases in February.

Sale of tobacco products to minors has also invited police action with 1,248 people fined and Rs. 2.26 lakh collected from violators from across the state, according to the website.

Smoking is prohibited in public places in India under Section 4 of the provisions of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) 2003.

CPI (M) censures senior party leader Lawrence

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI (M) in Kerala Sunday decided to censure a senior leader M.M. Lawrence for making adverse remarks against party leaders including V S Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan in the context of the long-drawn factionalism in the state unit.

The action against octogenarian Lawrence, a former convener of the LDF and a frontline trade unionist hailing from Kochi area, was announced at a press meet here by CPI (M) state secretary Vijayan.

"Action against Lawrence is being taken for committing some mistakes that put the party in poor light," Vijayan told reporters in reply to their queries.

He, however, declined to elaborate.

A trenchant critic of Achuthanandan, the imminent cause for organisational action against Lawrence was his accusation, in a newspaper interview, that not only his bete noire but others including Vijayan were responsible for the persisting factional trends in the party in Kerala.

Despite being the LDF convener then, Lawrence failed to get into the state committee at the state meet held in Palakkad in the 1990s allegedly due to machinations by Achuthanandan and his camp followers.

In the controversial interview, Lawrence had alleged that Vijayan and a few others, who later fell out with Achuthanandan, had a hand in "felling" him and some other leaders known as part of the "CITU faction" those days.

Woman kills husband

RANNI: A woman has been arrested for killing her husband. The dead identified as Ramesh of Ranni was killed by his wife Thulasi (37) when he was sleeping. The ghastly incident happened early Monday morning. Though he was taken to a private hospital in Ranni, his life could not be saved.

Initial reports stated that she hacked him on his neck while he was sleeping. Thulasi, who was hiding at the back of her house after committing the crime, was arrested by the Ranni police. The knife used for the crime has been recovered. The police are questioning the woman.

The neighbours told police that the couple used to fight regularly. Ramesh, who was in the Gulf, reached the state a few days back. The body has been kept at the Marthoma Hospital in Ranni.

Their daughters Thushara and Athira were in the hostel at the time of the incident.

Probe against Elamaram Kareem sought

KANNUR: Additional chief secretary V Somasundaram recommended a vigilance probe against many including former industries minister Elamaram Kareem in connection with the corruption in Textile Corporation.

The additional chief secretary approved finance department’s report on it. Action was not taken on an investigation suggested earlier.

The report submitted by the finance principal secretary noticed a corruption of Rs 24 crores in the corporation. Corruption was noticed in the Textile Corporation and in the spinning mills coming under it which started functioning from 2006 at Uthuma, Komalapuram and in Pinarayi.

Corruption worth Rs 14 crores and 10 lakhs were detected in the tenders for buying machines for mills. Corruption worth Rs 9 crores 50 lakhs were noticed in illegal construction. The report states that Kerala Textile Corporation MD M Ganesh and Principal Secretary are responsible for the corruption. A proposal to suspend Ganesh has also been moved.

Pillai against inducting Ganesh in cabinet

PERUNNA: Kerala Congress (B) chairman R Balakrishna Pillai is dead against inducting his son and former minister K B Ganesh Kumar into the Oommen Chanday Government.

Talking to reporters after calling on NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair, he said the problems between the party and Ganesh have not been sorted out. Pillai said the NSS had not informed me about their interests in getting a cabinet berth for Ganesh.

Papers stolen; exam postponed

MANJERI: The Director of Technical Education Department, Dr. J. Latha informed at Thiruvananthapuram on Monday that the Second Year Accountancy examination of Diploma in Secretarial Practice course has been postponed following the detection of theft of question papers at Government Commercial Institute here on Monday.

The examination which was scheduled on Tuesday was to be conducted by Joint Controller of Technical Examination.

The institute runs inside the compound of Govt. Technical High School. The theft was identified when employees found the lock on the grill of the institute broken in the morning. The almirah where the question papers were kept was opened with the key kept inside the cupboard at the room of Superintendent.

The Manjeri Police examined the almirah and demanded the details of students attending the examination. It is not confirmed yet whether the papers were stolen on Saturday or Sunday.

About 800 candidates are appearing for examination to be held at 17 centres in Kerala.

Power tariff hiked in state

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The power regulatory commission announced the decision to hike the power tariff in the state. The new charge will come into effect from Wednesday (May 1).

Domestic consumers consuming 40 units monthly will have to pay Rs 1.50 ps per unit, Rs2.20 ps per unit for those consuming between 41-80 units, Rs 3 per unit consuming between 81-120 units, Rs 3.80 ps per unit will have to be paid for those consuming between 121-150 units, Rs 5.30 ps between 151-200 units, 6.50 ps for those using between 201-300 units.

Slab system has been excluded for those consuming above 300 units.

Rs 5 will have to be paid per unit for those consuming between 300-350 units. Rs 6 will have to be paid per unit consuming between 351-400 units. Those consuming more than 500 units will have to pay Rs 7 per unit.

The charge of power used by industrialists has also been increased.

Chandy’s security beefed up following terror alert

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Security has been tightened for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and at the state Secretariat after the Chief Minister’s office received a letter, signed by Indian Mujahideen, on Saturday, warning that the Secretariat would be bombed and Chief Minister be murdered on 1 May.

The letter will be handed to the Home Ministry soon. The visitors will be allowed to enter Secretariat only after checking.  As part of security arrangement, bomb squad conducted a search at the secretariat.

The source of the letter is being investigated. The authorities said that thought there is no address of the sender in the letter, the source could be traced. The letter contained foul expressions.

Four House Surgeons die in accident in Kottayam

KOLLAM: Four House Surgeons of Kottayam Medical College who were travelling towards Wagamon were killed in an accident on early Wednesday at 1 am when the car they were travelling fell into a 500 metre deep gorge near Kolahalamedu here.

They are identified as Anish, Joseph, Anto and Ratheesh. Two others were injured—Dayal and Alphonse. They have been admitted to Kottayam Medical College Hospital.

No Tamil Nadu spy in secretariat: Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Tuesday rubbished media reports about a Tamil Nadu government employee acting as a spy in the state secretariat and passing on vital documents on the water sharing dispute between the two states.

"Media reports are wrong. I have read the intelligence report. It says that no vital documents or any information was passed on to Tamil Nadu," Chandy told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting here.

Last week, the media in Kerala had reported that the intelligence wing of Kerala Police claimed that a Malayalee, Unni Krishnan from this city, was "spying" for the Tamil Nadu government on inter-state water issues.

Police had said that Krishnan works for the Tamil Nadu government and had been passing on the contents of Kerala government files dealing with water sharing between the two states.

A government employee alerted the intelligence department of the state police after noticing Krishnan's excessive curiosity on Kerala's stance on the Parambikulam-Aliyar water sharing agreement.

A case is currently being heard in the Supreme Court on the water sharing agreement.

Coalgate case: Why was court kept in the dark, asks SC

NEW DELHI: In a big embarrassment to the government in the Coalgate case, the Supreme Court Tuesday termed as "very disturbing" the CBI affidavit on sharing its report with the Law Minister and others and slammed the agency for having kept the court in the dark on the issue.

Hearing the coal blocks allocation scam case in a packed courtroom, the bench said "suppression" of the fact that CBI has shared its probe report with the government is "not ordinary".

A bench headed by Justice R M Lodha observed that there was a "very disturbing feature" in the affidavit filed on April 26 by CBI Director Ranjit Sinha and the agency must be restored to its independent position.

Sinha, in his two page affidavit filed in the apex court, had said that the agency's status report on coal allocation scam was "shared" with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and senior officials of PMO and Coal ministry "as desired by them".

The apex court said that sharing of information with the government about the probe into the scam has "shaken the entire process" and CBI need not take instructions from "political masters" on their probe.

"Our first exercise will be to liberate CBI from political interference," the bench said.

In his affidavit, the CBI Director had said, "I submit that the draft of the same (status report) was shared with Law Minister as desired by him prior to its submission before the Supreme Court. Besides the political executive, it was also shared with one joint secretary level officer each of Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Coal as desired by them."

The CBI Director had also assured the apex court that the agency will not share further status reports in this case with any member of the political executive.

Sinha's affidavit had contradicted the claim made by Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval on behalf of CBI on March 12 that the probe report in the scam has not been shared with any member of the government and it has only been shared with the apex court after being vetted by the CBI director.

The affidavit was filed in compliance with the Supreme Court's order which, in an unprecedented move on March 12, had directed the CBI director to assure the court that the status report in the coalgate scam is not being shared with the government.

Today's hearing came a day after Raval shot off a letter to Attorney General G E Vahanvati in which he alleged that he has been made a "scapegoat" in the matter.

Raval is also believed to have accused Vahanvati of trying to interfere in CBI's probe report.

Earlier, the CBI and the Centre had clashed over the coalgate scam. The agency had told the court that there have been "arbitrary allotments without scrutiny" in the coal blocks allocation during the UPA-I tenure.

The government had refuted its findings saying that the "CBI is not the final word on this."

In the status report filed by CBI on March 8, the agency had said that the coal block allocation during 2006-09 was done without verifying the credentials of companies which allegedly misrepresented facts about themselves and no rationale was given by the Coal Ministry in giving coal blocks to them.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

9-year-old drives Ferrari, father booked

ALAPPUZHA: A man, who uploaded a video of his nine-year-old son driving a Ferrari F 430 on a video sharing website, causing widespread outrage, has been booked.

The police booked Mohammed Nisham under the Juvenile Justice Act and Motor Vehicles act.

Nisham, who owns the Ferrari, had shot the video of his son driving the vehicle and uploaded it on 'YouTube', which went viral.

Peramangalam police immediately swung into action and summoned Nisham on Friday to explain about allowing his minor son drive the heavy powered Italian vehicle.

Nisham was booked under section 23 of the JJ act for encouraging underage driving and under the MV act for allowing unlicensed child drive the vehicle.

Friday, April 26, 2013

South-west monsoon to be "satisfactory":K V Thomas

NEW DELHI: South-west monsoon rains are expected to be “satisfactory” barring some states in South India, Food Minister K.V. Thomas on Friday said ahead of an official forecast later in the day.

“We have an assessment of monsoon. Monsoon will be quite satisfactory in India except the southern tip —— Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” Food Minister K V Thomas told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

Monsoon rains in these southern states may be delayed or could be less than the normal level, he said.

Last week, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said India Meteorological Department was expecting normal monsoon.

Even forecast from private firm Skymet noted normal rains.

The first monsoon forecast for the June—September period of this year will be officially released later in the day.

South—west monsoon begins from June, when sowing of Kharif (summer) crops like paddy are undertaken.

Noting that normal monsoon rains augurs well for the country’s agri—sector, Mr. Thomas said: “Our food production will be comfortably good in the coming year. Wheat production will be as it was in the last year and not less than that.”

Food production in 2012—13 crop year (July—June) is estimated to touch 250.14 million tonnes, of which wheat is expected to be 92.30 million tonnes.

'Popular Front of India has terrorist links'

KANNUR: Popular Front of India (PFI), a Kerala-based confederation of Muslim organizations, is suspected to have terror links, Kerala police said on Wednesday.

Twenty-one alleged activists of the radical outfit have been taken into custody in connection with seizure of country-made bombs and a sword.

The police says the activists, aged between 20 and 25 years, have a criminal background and are accused in some cases, including murder.

Two country-made bombs, a sword, raw material for making bombs, some pamphlets in the name of PFI, an identity card of a person who worked in Iran, some foreign currency and a human dummy were recovered by the police yesterday during a raid in an under construction building allegedly used as a training centre at Narath in Kannur district.

The activists have been questioned and their mobile call details are being verified, the police said.

The Kannur district BJP has demanded a probe by the National Investigation Agency into seizure of the weapons. Alleging that Kannur has become a centre for "terror" activities, BJP alleged that such centres were functioning at various places in the district.

One more girl dies in Attappady

ATTAPPADY: One more girl aged six died of fever in Attappady. She has been identified as Suchitra, daughter of Murukesan of Karathur.

The child admitted in the hospital last week died Thursday morning.

Many child deaths due to malnutrition were reported earlier. Almost 30 children have died in the past four and a half months due to many diseases.

Coal scam report shared with Law Minister: CBI director

NEW DELHI: Setting off a political bombshell, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha on Friday submitted before the Supreme Court that the agency’s status report on coal allocation scam was “shared” with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar “as desired by him” and that senior officials of PMO and Coal ministry had also seen it.

Sinha’s two-page affidavit filed on the direction of the apex court contradicts the claim made by CBI counsel on the last date of hearing that the coalgate scam report was not shared with any member of the government.

“I submit that the draft (status report)of the same was shared with Law Minister as desired by him prior to its submission before the Supreme Court....it was also shared with one joint secretary level officer each of Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Coal as desired by them,” the affidavit said.

The affidavit triggered a political storm with the Opposition saying the Law Minister’s continuance in office has become untenable and demanded his resignation.

The CBI Director said whatever he has to say, it was before the apex court.

In his affidavit, Sinha assured the apex court that the agency will not share further status reports in this case with any member of the political executive.

He also said that the latest status report being filed today has not been shared with any political executive in “any manner whatsoever."

“I confirm that the present status report being filed in this court has not been shared with any political executive in any manner whatsoever.

“In respect of further status reports of the investigation and inquiry required to be filed in this matter before this court, I undertake and assure this court that the same shall not be shared with any political executive,” the affidavit said.

On his part, Kumar said, “Truth will prevail"

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kerala Film Chamber bans Rima Kallingal

KOCHI: Kerala Film Chamber banned actress Rima Kallingal on Tuesday for failing to give an explanation for appearing as an anchor in a TV channel.

The Chamber had earlier asked for explanation from Rima for doing a TV show for a Malayalam channel.

Nitaqat: Saudi will provide free air tickets

NEW DELHI: The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to India, Saud Al Sati, has said on Tuesday that the Saudi government would provide free air tickets to those who are returning from Saudi Arabia following the Nitaqat issue.

Al Sati said this at the meeting with Left MPs P. Karunakaran, K.N. Balagopal, M.P. Achuthan, P. Rajeev, M.B. Rajesh and C.P. Narayanan.

He added that the Saudi government would not give permission to those who do not have legal documents.

Auto driver dies of sunstroke

PALLURUTHI: A driver of a goods auto-rickshaw died of sunstroke here on Tuesday. He is identified as Nisar (42). He was sleeping inside the auto parked near his house. Local people informed the police after they could not wake up Nisar.

Policemen led by Palluruthi SI Rajan examined and found that Nisar was dead. They took the body to Ernakulam General Hospital for postmortem.

It was clarified in the postmortem report that Nisar died of sunstroke. His body was buried. He is survived by wife Sajitha, and two children Nisam and Nasrin.

Acid tanker lorry overturns in Koduvally

KOZHIKODE: A tanker lorry overturned near Koduvally injuring the driver and the cleaner. The incident happened early Wednesday morning at the Koduvally MPC Junction. The tanker lorry involved in the accident was carrying formic acid from Mysore and was on its way to Thrissur.

The two injured has been admitted at the KIMS Hospital in Koduvally. It is suspected that the driver may have slept off at the time of the incident.

The tanker lorry has been shifted from the spot with the help of the fire force from Thamarasseri. The acid has flown onto the road through the air hole of the lorry. As this acid is not as dangerous as the other acids, there is no scope for a casualty. Meantime, transportation in these routes has been temporarily suspended.

'Untouchability' continuing in politics: Narendra Modi

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Apparently alluding to the protest by CPI (M) and resentment by Congress over his visit to Sree Narayana Mutt at nearby Sivagiri, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday regretted "untouchability" was increasing in politics.

"Political untouchability is increasing in society though this great evil had been eradicated in social life to a great extent by works of spiritual leaders and reformers," Modi said inaugurating the golden Jubilee of Sree Narayana Dharma Meemamsa Parishad at Sivagiri Mutt at Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram district.

Though he did not mention any party or leader, Modi apparently had in mind attacks by the Left on the Mutt for inviting him to the function and eyebrows raised by Congress leaders over labour minister Shibu Baby John of its partner RSP (B) meeting him recently.

In an apparent reference to discussions John held with him on skill development for youth, Modi said Gujarat had been recognised as the most advanced state in this area by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Modi devoted most of his speech to the role played by spiritual leaders like Sree Narayana Guru in preparing the ground for the national movement and freedom struggle, saying if their ideals had been fully carried out, many problems faced by the country now could have been resolved.

Stating that India today is a "youthful" country where 65% of the population is aged under 35, he said this factor is the nation's biggest asset for it to forge ahead.

However, uplift of women, depressed and suppressed classes and skill development are some vital areas that needed greater attention to achieve the goals before the nation.

He described Sree Narayana Guru as one who had been a far-sighted spiritual leader, saying his message of "one caste, one religion and one God for men" would provide a solution to problems faced by the present day world, including the scourge of terrorism and global warming.

Efforts taken to saffronize Sivagiri, says Pinarayi

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan harshly criticized the sanyasis of the Sivagiri Mutt in connection with the visit of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Pinarayi alleged that some sanyasis are trying to saffronize Sivagiri.  They are trying to eradicate the teachings of Guru and bring back Chathuvarnyam (the four castes of the Hindu community).

Pinarayi said this while inaugurating a protest strike in front of the secretariat against Modi’s visit to Sivagiri. They will not become sanyasis by just wearing the dress, he said.

Congress to boycott Modi in Sivagiri

KOZHIKODE: KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala said the Congress will boycott the function in Sivagiri attended by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.  

Chennithala said none of the Congress leaders will attend the function Wednesday evening along with Narendra Modi.

Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan had earlier stated that he will boycott the function.  

A decision on those coming to Sivagiri has to be taken by the sanyasis of the Sivagiri Mutt. The mutt is celebrating the post-centenary of installation of Vidyadevatha idol at its premises today.

As the congress cannot accept Modi, it is difficult to share the dais with Modi, he said.

Visiting T P Chandrasekharan’s wife K K Rema at her house in Onchiyam, Chennithala said the witnesses in the case are turning hostile due to the threat of the CPM. The CPM is trying to sabotage the case, he said. Chennithala visited her as part of his Kerala Yatra.

94.17% pass percentage for SSLC exams

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 94.17 % pass percentage has been registered in this year’s SSLC exams conducted in March 2013.

Announcing the results here Wednesday, Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb said when compared to last year, a .53% increase is witnessed this year.

Kottayam registered the highest win of 97.2% and the lowest in Palakkad with 87.99%.

Certificates will be issued from May 15 onwards.

SAY exams for those who have failed in one exam will be held from May 13-18. Candidates can submit their applications from April 30 onwards in their respective schools.

10,073 students have obtained A+ for all subjects. 861 schools have registered a 100% win.
98.2% students are eligible for higher studies in THSLC. 74.06% have won the exams written privately. 98.8% have won the exams written in the Gulf.

4,79, 569 students appeared in the regular section and 5740 privately.

Results would be available at www.keralapareekshabhavan.in, www.results.kerala.nic.in, www.keralaresults.nic.in, www.kerala.gov.in, www.prd.kerala.gov.in and www.results.itschool.gov.in.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bangalore Blast: Two Malayalis arrested in TN

CHENNAI: Two Malayalis have been arrested on Sunday by the Q' Branch police from Coimbatore in connection with the case of the recent blast near the BJP office at Malleswaram in Bangalore.

The two suspects hail from Kottayam. The identity of the suspects is not revealed yet.

Later, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) brought them to Chennai. They are vehicle dealers. It is believed that they were behind the sale of the vehicle which was used for the blast.

JSS an integral part of UDF, says Chandy

MALAPPURAM: The JSS is an integral part of the UDF, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The problems in the JSS will be solved through talks, he said.

Chandy said that he doesn’t want the JSS to leave the UDF. JSS leader K R Gowri Amma is still the senior most leader of the UDF.

I’ve sought an explanation from Minister Shibu Baby John on his meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

SSLC results 2013, announced ,available from Wednesday

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The results for the SSLC exam 2013 will be announced on Wednesday. This is the first time in the history of Kerala the results are being announced very early.

A meeting by the exam board will be convened tomorrow and complete the proceedings for the announcement of the results.  4,79,650 students appeared for the exams which started on March 11 and ended on the 23rd. 5740 students appeared privately for the exam.

Narendra Modi likely to meet Catholic cardinal on Kerala visit

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit here has already kicked up a row in Kerala, but it could become more "colourful" as he may meet a cardinal of the Catholic Church while here.

There are reports that Modi might meet 53-year-old Rev. Moran Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, head of the capital-city headquartered Syro Malankara Catholic Church, in the state capital.

The cardinal was ordained at the Vatican November 24 last year, and became the youngest cardinal in the Catholic Church.

He was also part of the conclave that elected Pope Francis.

According to a top BJP source, Modi is likely to call on the new cardinal at his headquarters here April 24, as the Gujarat Chief Minister arrives in the state to take part in the Sivagiri Mutt's silver jubilee celebrations.

"It's all a question of timing for the cardinal. If the timing is right, the meeting could take place. Modi will drive from the airport to the Church headquarters. If he is not meeting the cardinal, he will take a helicopter to Varkala (where the mutt is located) to take part in the celebrations. After the celebrations, he will fly back in a chartered flight," said a source in the BJP requesting anonymity.

Modi has featured in recent debates in the state, after state Labour Minister Shibhu Baby John met him in Gujarat last week. Top Congress and Left leaders have condemned that meeting, and the engineer-turned labour minister was forced to admit that the visit was ill-advised.

Sunday, CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said it was wrong for the Sivagiri mutt to invite Modi. The general secretary of the mutt, Rithambharananda Swamikel, retorted that the invitation was no political matter, and the religious institution had also extended invitations for the celebrations to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Defence Minister A.K. Antony. Only Modi had accepted the invitation, he said.

State BJP president V Muraleedharan slammed the CPI-M for its "restlessness" over the visit of a chief minister.

"They accuse Modi of the Gujarat riots (of 2002) but the CPI-M shared the stage with Abdul Nasir Maudany, an accused in Coimbatore blasts (he was later acquitted) and in the Bangalore blast case. They have no right to say whom not to invite," said Muraleedharan, asking if the CPI-M would accept advice from the Sivagiri mutt on which leaders to invite to its party meetings.

Income Tax sends notice to former CJI K.G. Balakrishnan's kin

KOCHI: Income Tax Department here has sent a demand notice to the son-in-law and daughter of former Chief Justice of India and National Human Rights Commission Chairman K.G. Balakrishnan, asking them to pay tax dues to the tune of Rs 2.2 crore for 2007-08 and 2009-10 assessment years.

IT sources said the notice sent to V C Sreenijan and his wife K B Sony, daughter of Balakrishnan, was based on an investigation by the department after they received a private complaint.

Sreenijan and his wife have been asked to pay the amount. If they wished to contend the assessment they could file an appeal before the Commissioner of Income Taxes or the appellate authority concerned, sources said.

They said there has been a significant increase in Sreenijan's assets since 2006 from his declared assets prior to that period.

A former Vice President of Youth Congress in Kerala, Sreenijan had unsuccessfully contested the assembly elections from Njarakkal constituency in the past.

He resigned from the party positions after the state government ordered a vigilance probe into alleged amassing of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Three held in Chennai in connection with Bangalore blast

CHENNAI: Three people have been held in Chennai for their alleged involvement in the bomb blast near the Karnataka BJP office in Bangalore. Bangalore police team conducted the operation and they were assisted by Tamil Nadu Police.

A bomb placed on a parked motorcycle exploded near the BJP’s office in the Karnataka capital on April 17, injuring 16 persons.

The Malleshwaram area in north Bangalore was teeming with activity when the bomb went off at 10.30am as there is a temple nearby and it was also the last date for filing of nominations for the May 6 assembly elections.

The Union home ministry as well as state deputy chief minister R Ashok called it a “clear act of terror” and Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde ordered an inquiry.

Further details are awaited.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sachin is India's Don Bradman, says Hayden

NEW DELHI: Sachin Tendulkar has always been showered with the biggest of compliments but former Australia opener Matthew Hayden took it to a new level as he placed the senior batsman above the game itself while calling him India's Don Bradman and a "movement in himself".

"They will write books and do movies on him in the coming years because he has taken Indian cricket to a new level, and played a big part in winning many series at home and abroad. He is India's most prolific player; the country's Don Bradman," said Hayden.

Tendulkar is approaching his 40th birthday and to commemorate the occasion, 'Outlook' magazine has come out with a special issue on the Mumbaikar in which celebrities from all walks of life have heaped praise on the veteran.

"I would place Sachin at the top of any list of the greatest cricketers ever. It's not about his cricket. Sachin is not just cricket anymore; he is an embodiment of abstract superlatives. Sachin is hope personified, of people overcoming adversity and rising out of the ashes. He's more than cricket," Hayden added.

"Sachin is a movement in himself, a phenomenon. It has been scrutinised, reflected upon, analysed for years. There have been tough times and good times, but the truth is he's one of the greatest players ever," he said.

Hayden placed the legendary batsman at the top of his list of greatest cricketers ever.

"None of the great cricketers are simply great cricketers, they are more than that. We don't really see Sachin as Indian anymore; he's more than the game. Beyond the realm of cricket, Sachin is country. He is home. He is hope. He is culture," Hayden said.

The Aussie said the kind of interest Tendulkar generates in people is next to none.

"I have been witness to the kind of hope and interest Sachin generates in people. The level of expectations when the little warrior goes out to bat is staggering, everyone hopes that India's performance will lift around him.

"The euphoria of spectators in the stadium and the buzz around the town when he bats is second to none."

Recollecting his favourite Tendulkar innings, Hayden said, "My favourite innings of Sachin was at the Sydney Cricket Ground where he scored 200 plus. He just played so effortlessly yet with such discipline! It's like the venue - the SCG - was made for him. He has a phenomenal record there. But one of his most skillful innings was in India in 1998. He negotiated spin beautifully.

"We had a world-class spin attack in 1998, with Shane Warne, one of the greatest, versus the king of Indian cricket, Sachin, and he had a well though-out methodology of scoring runs. His performance was exceptional. He just took apart the opposition in a very measured and calculated way."

Hayden insisted it was remarkable the way Tendulkar carried the hopes of 1.4 billion Indians for over two decades.

"He has carried the weight of the Indian cricket team, for a very, very long time. That's the weight of the accumulated hopes of 1.4 billion people. Expectations and stakes are always high. During this, he has a great ability to flow through life with a simple smile and a polite manner.

"It's very hard for me to understand the pressure he goes through because we don't have the numbers, eyeballs and profile like he does. But what I know about Sachin is that he seems to have this great energy.

"It's almost like a membrane around him, where he allows things to come into his space that he needs to deal with. Otherwise, he just flows along with life," he elaborated.

Stating that he has enormous respect for the Indian, Hayden said, "I always believe you can never judge a player until you play with him. I am sure Sachin and I would have got along very nicely. It was always extremely competitive between India and Australia.

Two students killed as bike rams lorry

MALAPPURAM: Two students were killed when their motor-bike collided with a lorry at Aripra in Malappuram. Police said the dead were identified as Shafique Ali and Sajeesh, both physical education students who are in their early 20s.

Move to grant Kochi Medical College autonomous power

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sources close to Kochi Co-operative Medical College revealed that there has been a move to grant autonomous power to the college, thereby satisfying the interests of some political leaders and officials.

The state government had decided to take over the college. This may result in the removal of college director and several officers from their posts. The secret move is to prevent this.

Mani comes to the rescue of Shibu Baby John

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister K M Mani has come to the rescue of Minister Shibu Baby John after the latter’s meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi snowballed into a controversy.

I am not against Modi but only against his politics, Mani said.

Shibu Baby John has not demanded Gujarat model of development in the state and we are not interested in that.

Gowri Amma is a senior leader of the UDF and I don’t think she will leave the UDF.

It is the opinion of NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair to induct Ramesh Chennithala into the cabinet. I don’t know anything about it, he said. 

Murder of Aprani Krishna Kumar: Main accused Peeli Shibu held

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The police Sunday arrested Peeli Shibu, the main accused in the murder of notorious gangster Aprani Krishna Kumar. He was arrested by the Sreekaryam police while hiding in Pathanamthitta.  Peeli Shibu was arrested when the court was to pronounce the verdict in the murder case on April 23.

IT sends notice to former CJI KGB's kin

KOCHI: Income Tax Department here has sent a demand notice to the son-in-law and daughter of former Chief Justice of India and National Human Rights Commission Chairman K G Balakrishnan, asking them to pay tax dues to the tune of Rs two crore for 2007-08 and 2009-10 assessment years.

IT sources said the notice sent to V C Sreenijan and his wife K B Sony, daughter of Balakrishnan, was based on an investigation by the department after they received a private complaint.

Sreenijan and his wife have been asked to pay the amount. If they wished to contend the assessment they could file an appeal before the Commissioner of Income Taxes or the appellate authority concerned, sources said.

They said there has been a significant increase in Sreenijan's assets since 2006 from his declared assets prior to that period.

A former Vice President of Youth Congress in Kerala, Sreenijan had unsuccessfully contested the assembly elections from Njarakkal constituency in the past.

He resigned from the party positions after the state government ordered a vigilance probe into alleged amassing of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

LDF to decide Gowri Amma’s entry, says VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF has to decide in accommodating JSS leader K R Gowri Amma into the Front, said opposition leader V S Achuthanandan.

Talking to reporters here, he said that he personally wants the leader to join the LDF.  

The office bearers of the LDF will consider and take a decision in accommodating the JSS. Many have left the congress earlier and joined the LDF, he said.

VS said this when asked about the JSS taking a decision to leave the UDF yesterday.

Cong resent Shibu Baby John's meeting with Modi

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Labour Minister and RSP(B) leader Shibu Baby John has run into trouble over his recent meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, with leaders of Congress and its UDF allies taking exception to it, holding the BJP leader's development model is unacceptable to Kerala.

With the issue becoming controversial, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today sought an explanation from John, though the latter held that he had only spoken on issues concerning skill development and training during his meeting with Modi.

"I have sought a clarification from John. But I would like to make it clear that the Gujarat model of development is not at all acceptable to Kerala," Chandy said.

Joining issue, CPI(M) veteran and Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan said it was difficult to believe that John had met Modi without Chandy's knowledge.

Sources close to Achuthanandan also said the CPI (M) leader might stay away from a function next week at Sree Narayana Mutt at nearby Varkala, where Modi is chief guest.

Though initially he sought to play down the row holding that the meeting had no political dimension, John later said he should have avoided it.

"I only sought to know Gujarat's model in skill development and training when I met Modi. This is part of my department. I first met the Labour Minister there (in Ahmedabad) and he suggested I meet Modi also, saying he has been in overall charge of the state," John told reporters here.

What apparently annoyed Congress and UDF leaders is that the meeting took place when BJP is thinking of projecting Modi as NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate to take on UPA in the next Lok Sabha polls.

When his reaction was sought, senior Congress leader and Union Minister Vayalar Ravi said the Gujarat model was not acceptable to Kerala. "I don't think there is any area of development for which Kerala should take Gujarat as a model," Ravi said.

Friday, April 19, 2013

12 children injured after bus overturns

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: 12 children sustained injuries after the vehicle of Guru Gopinath dance school over turned. The injuries of none are stated to be serious. The incident happened at Vellaikkadavu in the capital city.

Letter leakage a violation of party discipline: P.C. George

KOTTAYAM: Even as the letter seeking action against Government Chief Whip P.C. George sent by P.J. Joseph faction to Kerala Congress (M) chief K.M. Mani was leaked and Mani censured party members not to make public statements, George remained unstoppable.

P.C. George on Thursday told Kerala Kaumudi that Joseph group was behind the leakage of letter to media. Sending letter on an issue which was settled earlier is a violation of party discipline, he said. George also said he would ask K.M. Mani to take stringent action on this.

Meanwhile, Mons Joesph said he does not know how the letter got leaked. He went on to say that it is the Chairman who is to take action on the issues pointed out in the letter.

Six general secretaries including MLAs Mons Joseph and T.U. Kuruvila had signed the letter.

Dinesh Mani is CPI (M) Ernakulam District Secretary

KOCHI: C.M. Dinesh Mani has been selected as CPI (M) Ernakulam District Secretary on Thursday.

He was selected at the party’s district committee meeting attended by CPI (M) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

Dinesh Mani belongs to the official faction of the party and is also a member of party’s state committee.

Pariyaram: Chandy corrects Ramesh Chennithala

KANNUR: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday said that the state government will not withdraw from the takeover of Pariyaram Medical College. He was speaking to media persons at Payyambalam Guest House.

Chandy’s statement is just opposite to the one delivered by KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday. Ramesh had commented that the government had not decided on whether to take over Pariyaram Medical College or not.

Without hesitation, Chandy said that government has decided to take over Pariyaram and Kochi Co-operative Medical Colleges. He also instructed district collectors concerned to prepare a report on the assets and liabilities of the two institutions.

Chandy also added that he has not heard what KPCC President said on this matter.

Pariyaram: No differences of opinion with CM, says Chennithala

KANNUR: There are no differences of opinion with the chief minister in connection with the taking over of Pariyaram Medical College, said KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala. We have the same opinion on it, he said.

Talking to reporters as part of his Kerala Yatra, he said a final decision will be taken only after holding talks with political parties. This was conveyed to CMP general secretary M V Raghavan when I met him. I haven’t said that the cabinet decision in taking over the hospital will be halted.

Vigilance probe against Minister P J Joseph

KOTTAYAM: A vigilance probe has been ordered against Irrigation Minister P J Joseph.

The vigilance court in Kottayam ordered a probe on the complaint lodged for giving water connection after violating law in the Puramboke land.

The minister has misused his power, the complaint alleged.

Thomas Isaac MLA remanded for a day

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Thiruvananthapuram Judicial First Class Magistrate Court remanded Thomas Isaac MLA, arrested in the case relating to a strike staged in front of the secretariat. He was arrested Friday morning.

He was remanded after he refused to take bail from the court.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gun shots at MIT campus in US, cop killed

BOSTON: Boston descended into chaos on Friday morning as police dramatically arrested a suspect at gunpoint after multiple shots and explosions were heard in the suburb of Watertown - hours after a MIT campus police officer was shot dead late on Thursday night.

Police are urging everyone to stay inside of their homes. The area is considered extremely dangerous.

Law enforcement is reportedly searching for a black 2013 black Mercedes vehicle which a suspect is driving.

Initial reports suggest that one suspect is in custody and a police officer has been injured.

Earlier - Cambridge police and the Middlesex District Attorney's office confirmed an officer was shot dead responding to a report of a disturbance when he was fired upon multiple times.

He later died at a hospital. His name was not immediately released.

State police spokesman Dave Procopio says the shooting took place about 10:30 pm outside an MIT building.

Procopio says authorities are searching for a suspect or suspects. No arrests have been made.

MIT police, Cambridge police and state police are involved in the investigation.

About 11,000 people attend the prestigious school.

The campus website said police were sweeping the campus and urged people to stay indoors.

In a statement issued to the press, law enforcement officials said that no arrests have been made in the shooting and the search for a suspect or suspects is ongoing.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston issued an emergency alert at 10.48 pm on Thursday night reporting that shots had been fired putting an officer was down and that a shooter was on the run.

It has been reported that a 'Hispanic looking man' took the officer's weapon from him before firing on him.
MIT posted this alert to their website.

'At 10:48 pm gunshots were reported near Building 32 (Stata) which is currently surrounded by responding agencies.

'The area is cordoned off. Please stay clear of area until further notice. Unknown if injuries have occurred. Although the situation is considered active and extremely dangerous, an investigation is underway.

'Updates will be provided at this site when more information becomes available.'

The injured officer was from MIT Police and was being taken to Mass. General Hospital where he is currently in a critical condition.

The campus newspaper 'The Tech' posted to Twitter, 'Shots fired near 32 Vassar St (Stata Center), police officer down. Please stay inside.'

Massachusetts State Police initially said the officer has suffered ‘life-threatening injuries.’ He was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital.

The District Attorney's office in Boston later confirmed the officer had passed away.

The school is describing the situation as 'active and extremely dangerous.' - and FBI agents have been witnessed at the scene.

Boston has been on edge after two bombs ripped through the crowd near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injured 183 more.

Musharraf arrested, remanded in police custody

ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was arrested on Friday in a case relating to the imposition of emergency rule in 2007 and was presented before a magistrate, becoming the first former army chief to face such action.

Police officials arrested the 69-year-old former military strongman on Friday morning and took him to the court of judicial magistrate Muhammad Abbas Shah.

The magistrate remanded Musharraf in police custody and directed the police to produce him before anti-terrorism court in two days.

Earlier, the police officials informed the magistrate that they did not need physical custody of Musharraf and he could be placed in judicial custody.

However, lawyers for several persons who have filed petitions against Musharraf for imposing emergency in 2007 and detaining over 60 members of the superior judiciary contended that he should kept in police custody.

They also questioned why Musharraf had not been handcuffed by police after his arrest.

Musharraf's lawyer Qamar Afzal argued that his client should be kept in judicial custody as there were serious threats to his life.

The magistrate reserved his verdict in the matter and Musharraf left the court complex after waiting for some time for a decision.
Footage on television showed Musharraf being led into the magistrate's small office by dozens of policemen and paramilitary personnel. Musharraf looked shaken and was wearing a waistcoat over a shalwar-kameez.

Authorities had asked for Musharraf to be placed in judicial custody as this would allow the administration of Islamabad to declare his farmhouse at Chak Shahzad a 'sub-jail' and detain him there.

Authorities have been focussing on this measure as officials are not keen on holding Musharraf at a jail due to threats to his life.

The arrest came a day after the Islamabad high court ordered the arrest of Musharraf for not cooperating with police officials investigating a case registered against him for detaining dozens of judges, including Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, during the 2007 emergency.

However, immediately after Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui revoked his pre-arrest bail and ordered police to detain him, Musharraf and his security detail fled from the Islamabad high court complex and drove to his farmhouse.

Musharraf's lawyers were unable to file an appeal in the Supreme Court on Thursday as they were unable to complete certain formalities before the court closed for the day.

Analysts said Musharraf's arrest could put the judiciary in conflict with the powerful military, which would not like to see a former chief being humiliated or insulted in public.

The analysts further said that if Musharraf was put on trial, members of the current military leadership, including army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, could be dragged into the matter as they were part of Musharraf's inner circle when he imposed emergency rule in 2007.

Musharraf has had to grapple with numerous legal problems since he returned to the country last month after nearly four years in self-exile.

Earlier this week, Musharraf was disqualified from contesting next month's general election, effectively ending his ambitions for a political comeback. Authorities have also barred him from travelling out of Pakistan.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rahul in Kerala to learn about panchayath raj

THRISSUR:  Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi arrived here Tuesday to learn about Kerala's experience in panchayath raj system.

After a brief reception by Youth Congress leaders at the Kochi airport, the Congress leader drove to Thrissur where he would be attending an academic session at the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA).

The institute, which imparts theoretical and practical training to civic body members and officials on decentralised development from within and outside the state, would be making a 90-minute presentation for Gandhi, KILA Director P P Balan said.

This would be followed by an interaction between Gandhi and selected panchayath members and officials from different parts of the state.

Later in the day, Gandhi is likely to interact with state Youth Congress functionaries.

Police trainee too turns hostile in TP murder case

KOZHIKODE: The police trainee, produced by the prosecution as witness during the trial in the T P Chandrasekharan Murder case, too turned hostile on Tuesday. He has been identified as Naveen, 67th witness and a native of Kannur. He told the court that he cannot remember that CPM leader P K Kunhanandan, an accused in the case, was brought to the CPM Madayi area committee office.

65th witness in the case identified as Vijith also turned hostile today. With this the total number of persons turning hostile has reached 38.

Wife swapping case: Antony promises strong action

New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday promised to take strong action if anybody was found guilty in the alleged Kochi wife swapping case in which the wife of a Navy officer has filed an FIR against her husband and his superiors.

"Whenever there is a complaint, we take strong action. After inquiry, if anyone is found guilty, we take strong action and exemplary punishment is given. This is our track record and this will continue.

"In the Kochi case also, three separate investigations are going on," he told reporters on the sidelines of the IAF Commanders' conference.

In the Kochi case, the Defence Minister has taken a tough stand that a proper investigation should be done and guilty, if any, should be punished.

However, the Navy has been dismissive of the serious allegations levelled by the wife of the officer and had even told the Defence Ministry that there was no merit in the allegations.

At the moment, three investigations are going on into the case which includes two investigations by the Delhi and Kerala police.

Antony has taken strong action against such cases in the armed forces and last week dismissed a Navy officer for having illicit relations with the wife of his superior.

Another officer posted onboard the country's only aircraft carrier INS Virat was dismissed after he was caught allegedly sending lewd messages to several women using multiple SIM cards.

25-35% rise in salary for employees of private hospitals

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A decision has been taken by the labour department and hospital managements to raise the salary of employees including nurses of private hospitals to 25-35%. The new pay revision will come into effect from January 2013.

The basic salary of nurses in multi-specialty hospitals would be Rs 12,916. Their allowances will be increased by Rs 500 to 1250.

Employees working in 20-bedded hospitals will get a 25% rise in their salaries, 31% hike for employees in 25-100 bedded hospitals and 35% rise for those working in 800-bedded hospitals.

Rs 6000 will be given as stipend to those coming under the general nursing section and Rs 6500 to those under the BSc nursing section.

Hundreds of dead expected after Iran quake: Official

ANKARA/ DUBAI: An Iranian government official said on Tuesday he expected hundreds of deaths from a major earthquake that struck Iran near the border with Pakistan. Though, Iranian state TV says at least 40 people have been killed in this earthquake.
Pakistani officials said the quake has killed at least five people in Pakistan

"It was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Seismologists say a major earthquake has struck a region near the Iran-Pakistan border, less than a week after a quake in Iran killed at least 37 people.

The US Geological Survey says the 7.8 quake struck the slightly populated region. There were no immediate reports of injuries, but the quake was felt as far away as in New Delhi and Gulf cities of Dubai and Bahrain. The USGS report says Tuesday's quake was at a depth of 15.2 kilometers (nine miles).

Across the Gulf, high-rise buildings swayed and officials ordered evacuations. Dubai has the world's tallest tower, the 828-meter (2,717 -foot) Burj Khalifa.

Last week, a deadly 6.1 magnitude quake about 96 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Bushehr, the site of Iran's reactor.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Three killed in bike accident in Kozhikode

KOZHIKODE: Three persons were killed in a bike accident at Kakkoor near here at 8.15 pm on Saturday. They have been identified as Binu Mathew (22) of Koottalida, Abin Das (20) of Pulikkul and Dhanesh of Nanmanda. Two others—Sanju and Anish (21)—were seriously injured.

The bike carrying three persons was heading towards Kozhikode. It collided with another bike with two persons, who travelling to Nanmanda from Kozhikode.

Gold price falls

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A fall has been witnessed in the price of gold. The price of gold per eight grams is Rs 20,800 after a fall of Rs 400. The price per gram is Rs 2600 after a cut of Rs 50. A fall of Rs 960 was seen in the price of gold during the past two days.

The cut in the price of the yellow metal in the international market reflected in the domestic market also.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Vishu Wishes to all readers

Malayalis celebrate Vishu, the cultural festival of Kerala, today. Kerala News Online wishes all readers a happy and prosperous Vishu.

Three killed in bike accident in Kozhikode

KOZHIKODE: Three persons were killed in a bike accident at Kakkoor near here at 8.15 pm on Saturday. They have been identified as Binu Mathew (22) of Koottalida, Abin Das (20) of Pulikkul and Dhanesh of Nanmanda. Two others—Sanju and Anish (21)—were seriously injured.

The bike carrying three persons was heading towards Kozhikode. It collided with another bike with two persons, who travelling to Nanmanda from Kozhikode.

King Khan in Munnar

MUNNAR: King of Bollywood Sharukh Khan arrived in Munnar for his upcoming film Chennai Express in which Sharukh Khan and Deepika Padukone casts the leading roles.

Khan and Deepika Padukone reached Nedumbassery Airport at 9 am and drove to Silver Tips resort at 11 am.

Chennai Express is an upcoming romance comedy film directed by Rohit Shetty and produced by Gauri Khan under her production banner Red Chillies Entertainment.

The shoot, which lasts for 10 days, began at Devikulam Lake. The locations of the film are Silent Valley, Meesappuli Mala and Lakkam Waterfalls.

Load shedding time not increased, says KSEB

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Load shedding time has not been increased in the state, informed the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). The board said a two hour load shedding has been imposed with an hour in the morning and night.

Pipe bursts in Kochi, water supply to be disrupted

KOCHI: Authorities informed that water supply will be disrupted in some places of the city following pipe burst at Kathrikadavu in the district. Water supply will be disrupted in Vaduthala, Mulavukkadu and Pachalam areas.

The local residents alleged that even after noticing leak in some of the pipes, the authorities ignored it. Work has started to restore the water supply.

Environmental clearance for Kannur Airport

NEW DELHI: The environmental panel coming under the ministry of environment and forests recommended conditional environmental clearance for the Kannur airport. The panel directed to produce the reports of the second approach road, power, water conservation and filling up of land. The final clearance for the airport has to be given by the ministry of environment.

91,263 trees should be planted in place of the 30,421 trees felled for the airport. Directions were given to develop the 12 metre road to 24 metres. Ground water should be used with the consent of the central board. Those evicted should be rehabilitated. Waste should not be dumped in open places.

KSRTC plunges into deeper crisis

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The KSRTC has again plunged into deeper crisis. The loss of KSRTC has increased even after getting subsidized diesel.

A loss of 152.89 crores was registered in March. When compared to the month of February, an additional loss of 25.5 crores has been noticed.

Meantime, the revenue of KSRTC which was 123.73 cores in February rose to 141.46 crores in March. An increase of 17.73 crores was noted. The reason for the loss was the increase in expense along with the revenue. The corporation had to spend 72.37 crores for diesel in March.  

Meantime, the pension for this month has not been given. Pension for the month of February was given in two phases.

When family pension for 18,000 persons was given on February 6, pension for 22,000 service pensioners was given on February 14.

Pension for the month of March was not given as the corporation plunged into deeper crisis. Pension for month of March was given on April 3.