Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Notice served on 28 hotels

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The health squad of the city corporation issued notices to 28 hotels which were found functioning in unhygienic conditions over the past one week. The squad inspected 50 hotels during the period. Action was also taken against 18 persons for dumping garbage in public places, and a total of Rs.15,320 was levied as fine. Eight shops were found to be using plastic carry bags of less than 40-micron thickness, and a fine of Rs.5,510 was collected from them, according to a press note issued.

Woman killed in accident

KOTTAYAM: A 31-year-old woman was killed and three others injured in an accident that occurred near the Kottayam Medical College hospital on Tuesday. According to the police, the incident occurred when a private service bus that was parked on a slanted platform at the bus station at Gandhi Nagar moved and hit passengers who stood nearby. There was no one in the bus. The dead has been identified as Resmi (31) of Puthuparambil house in Panamattom near Ponkunnam. She succumbed to her injuries after being run over by the bus. However, her sons, aged seven years and six-months-old, who were with her at the time of the incident, escaped miraculously.

Govt to relook at Muslim wedding age circular

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With a recent circular on Muslim marriage age triggering a raging debate in Kerala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said government would take a re-look at it and come out with clarifications as the order's true intent had been "misunderstood" and "misinterpreted."

He was replying to queries on the circular issued by the state Local Self Governance department, allowing civic authorities to legally register the marriage of Muslim girls above 16 years of age.

"The purpose of the circular is not to reduce the Muslim marriage age (from 18 in the case of women and 21 in the case of men). But we will examine the circular and come out with necessary clarifications and explanations since it has been misunderstood," Chandy said.

He said the circular was intended to give relief to those who had already married and its provisions are not applicable in future marriage. However, reports and debates in the media had created a wrong impression about it.

Chandy, however, discounted the possibility of the circular being withdrawn entirely.

Left parties and their women and youth outfits have come out strongly against the circular, alleging it was meant to reduce the marriage age by circumventing legislations passed by Parliament and the orders on the Apex Court on the matter.

The Department had, however, justified the circular on the ground that it was meant to overcome difficulties posed to Muslim couples, who were already married, in getting passports and other documents for migration to foreign countries for work.

The circular assumed a political dimension as Local Self Governance department is under Indian Union Muslim League, the second largest partner in the ruling coalition led by the Congress.

Pilot killed in Uttarakhand copter accident a Keralite

UTTARAKHAND: The pilot of the helicopter which crashed during rescue operations in Uttarakhand yesterday was a Keralite. He has been identified as flight lieutenant K Praveen. The accident happened yesterday during rescue operations.

12 bodies have been recovered so far.

CM’s addl PA Jikkumon Jacob resigns

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Jikkumon Jacob, additional personal assistant of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, has resigned. He resigned following the allegations of his involvement with Saritha S Nair, accused in the solar panel case. He accompanies Chandy when he goes out of the district. His resignation has been handed over to the chief minister.

Action was not taken against Jikku even after his name was voiced along with Tenny Joppen, personal assistant of the chief minister, removed for his connection with Saritha S Nair.

I hope Thettayil will resign soon, says VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former LDF minister Jose Thettayil JD (S) may resign in the next two to three days in wake of sexual harassment case being registered against him by police and take a 'proper stand' on the matter, said opposition leader V S Achuthanandan.

"I hope Thettayil will take a decision to resign in two to three days. I hope he will take a proper stand on the matter," V S Wednesday told reporters at a press conference here.

VS said people of the country would not tolerate any incident that hurt women, an indicator of which was widespread protests in Delhi after the gang rape last year.

Asked if the LDF meet yesterday had discussed the Thettayil issue, he merely said certain suggestions had come up and that the general view was to allow Front partners take their own decision on the matter.

"The Front did not want to impose its decision on its partners. There is still time for talks," he said when told about JD (S) view that Thettayil need not quit immediately.

VS said it was a fact that parties have different viewpoints on this matter. "But it is not possible to overlook the people's protest on such matters," he said.

In her complaint, the woman alleged she was sexually abused by Thettayil and his son at a flat at Aluva near Kochi last year.

Thettayil, a former transport minister, is the first accused in the case and his son Adarsh the second accused in the case.

Thettayil had said he would face the case legally and that it was a 'political conspiracy' against him.

Sanyasis should react after understanding situation, says K C Joseph

NEW DELHI: Minister K C Joseph said the government had done all that they could do to save those stranded in Uttarakhand in the heavy rains and landslips. The sanyasis should react after understanding the situation. The strike staged by them could have been avoided, he said.

23 of the 33 Keralites stranded have been traced in Uttarakhand. Search operations continue to trace the remaining 10. State’s help centre has been opened in Uttarakhand and Haridwar, he said. 

LDF not adopting double standards on Thettayil issue: Vaikkom Viswan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Let the investigation continue in the sexual allegation case against Jose Thettayil MLA, said LDF convenor Vaikkom Viswan. Talking to reporters after the LDF meet, he said the Front is not adopting any double standards on the allegation.

Viswan said, “Our stand will be the same even if it is an MLA of the UDF or the LDF. The Thettayil issue was not discussed in the LDF meet and even the JD (S) did not voice the issue. We are not aware of the complaint lodged by the woman. We cannot react without understanding the details as the issue cropped up all of a sudden.”

The agitations seeking the resignation of the chief minister in the solar case will be strengthened. Activists will be asked to stage protests in assembly constituencies as part of it. The chief minister should reveal the family issue discussed with the first accused Biju Radhakrishnan.

CM’s former gunman Salim Raj suspended

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Salim Raj, former gunman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, has been suspended from service for his relation with Biju Radhakrishnan, the first accused in the solar panel case.

Salim has been suspended following the report of ADGP A Hemachandran, who investigated the allegations against him.

He was avoided from the security charge of the chief minister following the allegations.

DIG Sreejith reinstated in service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: DIG S Sreejith, who was suspended from service for his connection with noted industrialist K A Rauf, has been reinstated into service. The decision was taken by a panel including the chief secretary and police chief.

Meantime, departmental inquiry against him will continue.

He was suspended when he was the joint director of the Thrissur police academy following a report submitted by the intelligence in connection with his continuous links with Rauf.

3,000 more Malayalis to return from Saudi Arabia

NEW DELHI: About 3000 Malayalis will leave Saudi Arabia as the Saudi authorities have implemented the Nitaqat rule.

NORKA and Kerala Rural Development Minister K C Joseph said on Tuesday that he has informed the central government to provide air tickets at cheap rates to those Malayalis in Saudi Arabia.

The number of Indians who have no legal documents and who have registered at the Indian Embassy is 72,421. Of this, 5167 are Malayalis. Some of these Malayalis are expected to get jobs again. Therefore, only about 3000 Malayalis will leave Saudi Arabia.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Noted industrialist M K Kuruvila arrested

THRISSUR: The Peramangalam police arrested noted Keralite industrialist M K Kuruvila of Bangalore.

He was arrested following a complaint lodged by a native of Aamballoor for swindling money from him.

Paravoor case: Father gets 10-yr sentence

KOCHI: The Ernakulam additional sessions court awarded 10 year sentence to the victim’s father Sudheer in the fourth case in connection with the Paravoor sexual case.

Her mother has been sentenced to seven years. They have been asked to pay a fine of Rs 40,000 and 20, 0000 respectively.

The accused will be sent to Viyyur Jail later today. The third accused and the victim’s neighbor Rajasekharan Nair had committed suicide earlier.

I tried to express complaint of CM’s son-in-law, says VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan Monday said that he tried to express the things stated in the divorce plea of the former son- in-law of the chief minister. The chief minister and the speaker were mum when I tried to disclose it. Later, my mike was switched off, VS told at the press meet.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is trying to protect his gunman. Chandy’s former son- in-law had complained that Salim Raj is a womanizer. Why Chandy is so keen in protecting him, asked VS.

Cutting short the assembly session without discussing with the opposition is an unilateral act, said VS
VS said Jose Thettayil is a democratic person and he can take a decision of his own. He said this when asked about the resignation of Thettayil. I haven’t seen the video and cannot respond without seeing it. A decision will be taken after hearing his version.

Ice-cream case: Girls join as clients in VS’ plea

KOCHI: Kozhikode ice-cream parlour case victims Rosilin and Bindu joined as clients in the plea filed by opposition leader V S Achuthanandan. They said they were threatened to retract their statements and are willing to reveal the truth in the court. The girls told the court that Minister P K Kunhalikutty paid Rs 4 lakhs to retract their statements.

The plea filed by VS alleging that the investigation in the case registered when he was the chief minister following the revelations of industrialist K A Rauf, co-brother of Kunhalikutty, had been at a standstill, is under the consideration of the government. 

Three students drown in Varkala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Three students drowned while bathing in the pond of the Janardhanaswamy Temple in Varkala. They have been identified as Ebin, Tony and Anu, students of Kollam S N College.

Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal leaves Chandrika

KOZHIKODE: Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal has left the printer and publisher post of Chandrika, the mouth piece of Muslim League.  P K K Bava will be the new publisher.  The change is part of starting a new daily titled Samastha by the E K Sunni section. The new daily will be launched in November.

This is for the first time in the history of Kerala that a person not belonging to the Thangal family holding the publisher post of Chandrika.

Meantime, Thangal said that he had held the post temporarily. I’m still the managing director of Chandrika. I left the publisher post as I didn’t want to hold two posts at the same time.

Jose Thettayil need not resign, says JD (S)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Janata Dal (S) Tuesday decided not to seek the resignation of former minister Jose Thettayi MLA, accused in a sexual abuse case. The party will inform their decision to the Left Front. Party leaders also decided to face the case politically and legally.

None of the MLAs have resigned when these kind of allegations were leveled before.

When contacted, JD (S) leader Mathew T Thomas said they did not convene meet instead held talks with senior leaders.

Details on accommodation of Chennithala cannot be divulged, says Vasnik

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Mukul Vasnik, AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala, told reporters that he cannot divulge the details in connection with the accommodation of KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala into the cabinet with the media.

Talking to reporters after holding talks with MLAs, he said the allegations leveled against Oommen Chandy in the solar case will be faced politically. The opposition is voicing baseless allegations against him. They just want to blemish his image in the solar case, he said.

KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala said that he will respond after knowing the stand of the LDF and JD (S) in connection with the resignation of Jose Thettayil.

Chennithala said the Congress MLAs and MPs will donate a month’s salary for the victims of Uttarakhand.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Police records Manipal rape victim’s statement

UDUPPI: Manipal rape victim told the police that she was assaulted for nearly three hours by three persons. She told them that three including an auto driver assaulted her many times at an isolated police and then abandoned her. She also told them that from there she went alone to her flat.

Her statements were recorded in the presence of women cops and councilors. The police are trying to prepare a sketch of the accused with the help of police.

Karnataka Home Minister K J George visited the victim at the Kasturba Medical College hospital. The minister said nobody has been taken into custody so far and the police are questioning many. Reports said three persons have been taken into custody in connection with the incident. 

Jose Thettayil booked for sexual harassment

KOCHI: Former Kerala transport minister and opposition legislator Jose Thettayil has trouble on his hands, as a 30-year-old woman has filed a case on Sunday alleging that the legislator and his son "exploited" her.

The woman approached the Aluva police Sunday and handed over a 15-page complaint, along with a CD, claiming that the father-son duo "used" her. The 30-year-old alleged that the 62-year-old former minister reneged on a promise that his son would marry her.

Meanwhile, TV channel here aired visuals of the former minister and the woman in bed.

The Aluva police registered a case against the Janata Dal(S) legislator and his son Adarsh.

State Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said the crime branch of the police would probe the matter. A special team under the leadership of Ernakulam Crime Branch SP Ajitha Begum would carry out probe.

The woman, who holds a Master's degree in computer applications, reportedly testified before a team of police officials, offering details of the manner of her "exploitation" by the father-son duo.

Reacting to the allegations, Thettayil said he has a nearly four-year-old acquaintance with the woman, but there was no question at all of his son marrying her.

"She is three or four years elder to my son. The visuals aired were morphed, the lady is a computer expert. There is a big conspiracy behind this," Thettayil, who served as transport minister in the V.S. Achuthanandan cabinet, told the media.

Thettayil also said he would resign the post if LDF demands. 

Janatha Dal (S) informed that the allegation against Thettayil was a fabricated one and that some top leaders in the UDF and a newspaper owner were behind the allegation.

This case comes close on the heels of the flak the Oommen Chandy government has been facing in the assembly and outside it, over the associations of members of his staff with a woman arrested for fraud.

On Monday, the Left opposition is set to stage a massive protest in front of the assembly, reiterating the demand that Chandy must quit over the scandal.

Allegation against Thettayil should be probed: Panniyan Raveendran

KOZHIKODE: CPI State Secretary Panniyan Raveendran said on Sunday that the sexual harassment allegation against former minister and opposition legislator Jose Thettayil should be probed.

He said action should be taken against Thettayil if the allegations are proved.

He added that the allegation against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will not get weakened with the present allegation raised against Jose Thettayil.

14 restaurants closed

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 14 restaurants in the district were issued improvement notices by the Food Safety officials for violation of the 30-point regulations for hygiene stipulated by the Food Safety Department. (These 14 hotels would have to be closed down. Others served improvement notices can function but works should be carried out to raise standards). As many as 18 hotels were shut down on Friday. In the two-day action, 52 hotels were served improvement notices. As many as 12 hotels were fined, total fines amounting to Rs.1.20 lakh. The hotels that were shut down were Hotel Dhanya, Chakka Bypass; Ali Resturant, Manacaud; Hotel Ajanta, Vazhuthacaud; Hotel Aryas, Vazhuthacaud; Hotel Malabar, Statue; Hotel Chandra, Thirumala; Food&Style, Palayam; Mobeena Bakers, Pettah; Hotel Ameenas, Safa Hotel, and A-one hotel and fastfood (all three at Vattiyoorkavu); Hotel Shine, Mannanthala; Hotel Smart, Kaimanam; and Arun Tiffin Centre, Killippalam.

Defamation case to be lodged against P.C. George

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A. Siju, the security guard of Opposition Leader V.S. Achuthanandan, has submitted a letter of request before DGP for permitting him to file a defamation case against Chief Whip P.C. George.

George had alleged that Siju was in constant touch with fraudsters Biju and Saritha in the solar panel scam.

Malayalam actress Swarna on ventilator support

KOCHI: Malayalam actress Swarna Thomas, who was seriously injured after she allegedly fell from the balcony of her fourth-floor apartment here, is critical and is on ventilator support, sources at the private hospital where she is undergoing treatment said today.

Hospital sources said the 18-year-old actress, who is in the intensive care unit for spine and pelvic fractures and liver contusion, is unconscious and on ventilator.

Swarna fell from the balcony on Wednesday night and was in the Neuro ICU.

The actress came to the limelight after participating in some dance reality shows of various television channels.

She is the heroine in the film `Buddy`, shooting of which is in progress here. The actress has also essayed roles in a few other films, including `Pranayakadha`, `Flat`, and was to act in two Tamil films.

New Circular to be issued on Muslim marriages

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The official circular that directs local bodies to register marriages of Muslim girls above the age of 16 and men who have not attained the age of 21 years, issued by Local Administration Department principal secretary, will not be withdrawn.

However, a new circular which strictly adheres to Child Marriage Prevention Act will be issued. The new circular directs the panchayat secretaries to strictly abide by the law, says Local Administration Department.

Those who sternly oppose the earlier circular hold that it is against the very spirit of the Constitution and violated a Supreme Court order which had fixed specific age limit for marriages.

According to lawyers, any executive order which is against the statutory law, can be challenged in court.

Salu Menon questioned

THIRUVALLA: Malayalam film and television actress Salu Menon and her mother Kala Venugopal were questioned on Saturday by special investigation team for their involvement in Solar Panel Scam case. The interrogation lasted for 2 hours.

Code of conduct for personal staff of ministers, says V D Satheesan

KOCHI: There should be a code of conduct for the personal staff members of ministers, said AICC secretary V D Satheesan. Talking to reporters after arriving from New Delhi, he said if it is made mandatory while appointing personal staff, then it will help to avoid controversies.

The problems in the congress will be solved in the state itself as the intervention of the national leadership is not needed, he said.

Murali back in ‘I’ group

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: K Muraleedharan MLA said there is no use standing in the congress without any group. Even the high command is approving groupism. Talking to reporters in the capital city, he said that he is returning back to the ‘I’ group.

Murali said, “KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala is the leader of the ‘I’ group. I don’t have any ego problems with him as I was in the group earlier. Ramesh Chennithala is facing the same situation faced by me nine years before in connection with the cabinet entry.”

In reply to a question he said that he is with the chief minister in the solar issue. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Defamation case to be lodged against P.C. George

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A. Siju, the security guard of Opposition Leader V.S. Achuthanandan, has submitted a letter of request before DGP for permitting him to file a defamation case against Chief Whip P.C. George.

George had alleged that Siju was in constant touch with fraudsters Biju and Saritha in the solar panel scam.

Contract employee dismissed on sexual allegation

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A contract employee at the office of the chief minister has been dismissed in connection with sexual allegation. The employee identified as K P Gireesh Kumar, was working in the complaint cell.

A complaint has been lodged against him after he misbehaved with a teacher who contacted the chief minister’s complaint cell.

The teacher contacted the office of the chief minister on a complaint regarding her job. The employee called her back and said that he would arrange a meeting with the chief minister if she obliges him.  

When she refused that, the employee’s friends Jaffer and Unnikrishnan, contacted her and asked her to please him.

Chandy intolerant of Chennithala’s entry, says NSS

PERUNNA: NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair came to the forefront harshly criticizing Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Nair said Chandy is intolerant on the entry of KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala into the cabinet.

While talking at the budget presentation of NSS, he said the reason for the crisis in the UDF is this intolerance of the chief minister.

Nair said the congress state leadership broke the deal made with the NSS during election time. A deal was made after late congress leader Vilasrao Deshmukh arrived at the NSS headquarters.

The NSS also decided to initiate legal proceedings against Chandrika for publishing an article criticizing the organisation and its general secretary. The resolution presented said the reply of the daily was not satisfactory.

Nair presented a budget of Rs 105 crores after offering floral tributes to the   samadhi mandapam of its founder leader Mannathu Padmanabhan. NSS president P N Narendranathan presided over the function.

Saritha has visited the CMO many times, says driver

PATHANAMTHITTA: Saritha S Nair, an accused in the solar panel case, had visited the office of the chief minister many times, said her driver Sreejith. He said that if anybody wants to verify it, just look at the book registering the details of the vehicles of visitors visiting the secretariat.

The driver said, “Tenny Joppen and Salim Raj, former staff members of the chief minister, used to telephone her very often. I don’t know what they talked as I used to stand outside the vehicle.”

Former minister Ganesh Kumar and Saritha S Nair, who were very close, parted ways in the solar panel issue. Saritha had sent me to Chief Whip P C George to inform him about their relationship, he said.

Medico gang raped near Manipal University

MANIPAL: A medical student from Kerala was gang raped in Manipal late on Thursday night.

The girl has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Kasturba Hospital and is in a state of shock. The girl is a fourth year student of the Kasturba Hospital.

The girl was gang raped by an auto driver and his associates after she boarded the vehicle to reach her residence last night outside the university campus.

She was later left near her residence in an auto. Her roommates alerted the university administration and she was rushed to the hospital. The hospital authorities then informed the police, said Superintendent of Police M B Boralingaiah.

According to the police, the girl is not yet in a position to make a statement on the incident but her condition is stated to be satisfactory.

Manju Warrier is making her comeback

KOCHI: There was buzz that Mollywood actress and dancer Manju Warrier is making a comeback to movies through the films of Sathyan Anthicaud, Renjith and Geethu Mohandas. However, the news was refuted by everybody.

This time yes, the actress will face the camera not for a film but for an advertisement.

She will appear before the camera along with Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan for a jewellery advertisement. The ad will be most probably shot by the end
of this month in Goa.

The Keralites all over the world are eagerly waiting for the actress to make a comeback. In one way, they were quiet satisfied with her entry through dance shows.

The actress and her husband Dilip have always maintained a stoic silence when quizzed about whether they are for a split.

Saritha S. Nair remanded till July 4

ALAPPUZHA: Saritha S. Nair, the second accused in the solar panel scam, was remanded to judicial custody till July 4 by Ambalappuzha Judicial First Class Magistrate on Friday. 

Saritha has been shifted to Kakkanad Sub Jail. The court will consider her bail plea on Monday.

Meanwhile, the investigation team has found that Saritha and Biju Radhakrishnan, the prime accused, have not received any help from the government. The chief minister has also not given letter of recommendation to Biju or Saritha.

The team has also confirmed that the duo has returned more than Rs. 2 crore to the clients. The team examined the bank accounts of both the accused.

The police have registered 23 cases against Biju and Saritha.

Both were being interrogated by team headed by South Zone ADGP A. Hemachandran IPS and Crime branch A.D.G.P Vincent M. Paul.

36 dead in Kerala in rain-related incidents

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Torrential rains across Kerala since the onset of monsoon have claimed 36 lives, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters after holding a video conference with district collectors to review the flood situation, he said the government would request the Centre to release additional quota of rice to give free rations to those affected.

He said 72 relief camps have been opened. Free ration, food articles and Rs. 2,000 will be given to those in camps.

Free ration for two weeks would be given to tribal families, fisherfolk along coastal areas and coir workers, he said.

Fully damaged houses and unsafe houses certified by an engineer will be given Rs. 1 lakh. Owners of partially damaged houses will be given a maximum of Rs. 30,000, he said. Collectors have been instructed to document details of rain affected areas using new technology.

Meanwhile, parts of the state experienced a respite from rain on Friday

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Unruly scenes in Kerala Assembly over solar scam

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the stand-off over the solar scam continuing, CPI (M)-led LDF opposition and the UDF headed by ruling Congress virtually came face-to-face in the Kerala Assembly Thursday, forcing Speaker G Karthikeyan to adjourn the House during zero hour.

As soon as the question hour was over, the LDF raised the issue through an adjournment notice and rushed to the well of the House not heeding the Speaker's plea to exercise restraint.

As the placard-wielding LDF members kept on shouting slogans, several members from the Treasury Benches rushed to the Well and engaged in heated exchanges with the opposition, forcing the speaker to adjourn the House temporarily.

The solar panel scam pertained to financially cheating a large number of people by fraudsters Saritha S Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan by offering them solar energy solutions.

It assumed a political dimension after two staff members of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were allegedly found to have made and received phone calls to and from Saritha and they were last week removed from the Chief Minister’s Office. Both Saritha and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan were arrested and remanded in custody.

The opposition has been disrupting the House since last week demanding the resignation of Chandy over the issue which the latter has rejected categorically.

VS attacks home minister

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan should be slapped for his statement against them in connection with the solar fraud case.

Talking to reporters after the assembly was adjourned, VS said, “I was not able to slap him as I was sitting far away from him and also my hands didn’t reach him.”

Thiruvanchoor had stated that teargas shells were used when the protestors attacked the cops.

VS said Chief Whip P C George should be given a chance to reveal what he knows about the solar case. One should not disbelief George who saved the chief minister in the vigilance case. Even though two staff members of the chief minister were removed, no action has been taken against them. This shows that the chief minister is involved in it. We want the chief minister to resign in the case.

PRD director Feroz suspended

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A Feroz, director, public relations department, facing investigation in the fraud case of Rs 40 lakhs involving Saritha S Nair, an accused in the solar panel case, has been suspended from service. A Feroz is the third accused in the case. He has been suspended following the report submitted by the public relations secretary after conducting an investigation against Feroz. The report was handed over to the government Wednesday morning.

Saritha S Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan impersonating as the south zone head of Asian Development Bank (ADB) cheated Rs 40.9 lakhs from Salim Kabeer, a noted builder and industrialist, in 2009. The couple told Salim that they can help him in getting an ADB loan for windmill and various construction projects. Salim told police that it was Feroz who introduced Biju as the south zone head.

World Bank offers $216 mn loan for Kerala road project

NEW DELHI: The government Wednesday said it has signed pact with World Bank for USD 216 million loan for Kerala State Transport Project to improve road conditions and safety in the state.

"The Loan and Project Agreements for World Bank assistance of USD 216 million for Kerala State Transport Project were signed between the central government, Kerala government and World Bank today," an official statement said.

The Loan Agreement was signed by Nilaya Mitash (Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs) on behalf of Centre and Onno Ruhl, Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank.

The Project Agreement was signed by T O Sooraj, Secretary, Public Works Department on behalf of the Government of Kerala.

"The Objective of the project is to improve road conditions, traffic flow and road safety with a focus on vulnerable road users on selected roads in Kerala," the statement said.

The project will look at upgrading 363 km strategically important State Highways to complete network connectivity in the state with the objective of reducing travel time between key socioeconomic centers.

It will support the strengthening of the road safety management systems in Kerala with the objective of arresting the increase of crash fatalities in the state.

This component will finance various initiatives building on the work already undertaken during the first project including a safe corridor demonstration project, implementation of a local level challenge fund, and advisory support for road safety activities.

And it would also work towards improving sustainability of Kerala’s state road network with respect to its functional adequacy, financial viability and capacity of key state road sector institutions to deliver road infrastructure and services responsive to road user needs.

The projects will be implemented over a period of six years, it added.

Code of Conduct for CM and Ministers

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state cabinet has decided to form a new code of conduct for Chief Minister and Ministers in the state on the sidelines of the solar panel scam case.

From now onwards, ministers shall not be permitted to attend the functions of private financial institutions. They can only attend functions arranged by public/co-operative financial institutions.

The Vigilance Wing should examine and ensure beforehand that nothing problematic prevails in the functions conducted by private institutions which are to be attended by Governor, Chief Minister or Ministers.

Attendance register and monitoring system will be introduced at the offices and houses of Ministers. The cabinet also decided to implement visiting hours at Chief Minister’s Office.

Biju, Saritha conned Rs. 6.5 crore from victims

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The special investigation team probing the solar panel scam case has got info that Biju Radhakrishna and Sarita S. Nair, the accused, had conned Rs. 6.5 crore from victims. The figure may rise with the completion of the probe, police says.

The police have collected evidence about the telephone calls made by Biju and Saritha to VIPs. Most of these VIPs have been cheated.

The special investigation team has decided to request Speaker to permit them to interrogate K.B. Ganesh Kumar in the solar panel case.

In her statement to ADGP A. Hemachandran, Saritha S. Nair had revealed that she and Ganesh were very close to each other, and that Ganesh had helped her in business. Besides, Biju’s revelation about Ganesh also put the latter in the shadow of suspicion.

The probe team has also decided a secret place for questioning Ganesh Kumar once permission is got from the Speaker.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Engineering rank list published, boys bag first three ranks

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The rank list for the engineering entrance exams have been published. As usual, boys have bagged the first three ranks. Albin Jose of Kottayam, R Sreehari of Kochi and S Sivaprasad of Thrissur have obtained the first, second and third ranks respectively.

The ranks have been published after standardizing their plus two marks along with the entrance exam score. Out of the 74,226 students who passed the entrance exam, 58,169 students have been included in the rank list. Only seven girls have been included in the first 100 ranks.
Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb said the allotment procedures will start on June 21st.

Saritha was arrested during LDF Govt, says Kodiyeri

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Deputy opposition leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said Saritha S Nair, arrested in the Solar fraud case now, was first arrested during the previous LDF Government. After she was granted bail, she fled to Tamil Nadu.

Talking to reporters here, he said when the UDF Government came to power later, she emerged with the company.  Kodiyeri said this while responding to the statement of Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan that the LDF Government failed to take action against her.

Kodiyeri said the chief minister is trying to escape by misleading the case. A judicial probe should be conducted to find out the truth. The government’s attitude that a judicial probe cannot be conducted as a criminal case has been registered is not correct. Two investigations were conducted in the 2G Spectrum issue. A judicial probe can be completed within three months. If any lapses have been noticed during the LDF tenure, it can be probed, he said.

Court says trial can start after splitting charge sheet in Lavalin case

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court directed to start the trial after splitting the charge sheet in the SNC Lavalin case. The court order came after considering the plea of CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, accused in the case.

The CBI court considering the case had earlier directed that Pinarayi has no right to seek an early trial. Pinarayi later approached the Kerala High Court.

The court had ordered to start the trial of Lavalin Company and company vice president Claus Trendel, the sixth and ninth accused, separately.  Even though summons was sent to these accused, it had returned back.

Finally, a mobile phone for CM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oomen Chandy will soon be flaunting what all others have had all this while - the ubiquitous mobile phone.

All these years Chandy could only be reached through the mobile phones of his personal assistant or his security staff since he did not have his own mobile phone.

Chandy Tuesday told reporters here that he would make certain changes in his style of working.

"Yes, I am considering a few changes and one is that, I might have my own mobile soon. On the other changes, once I make a decision, I will let you all know," said Chandy.

The sudden decision to own a cell phone came after his personal assistant Teny Jopan and his gunman Salim Raj lost their jobs following a media expose.

The media published the call details of Saritha S Nair, a con-woman who is now in custody after cheating numerous people to the tune of crores of rupees.

The published call details shows that the two of his staff members, who have been booted out, have been regularly in close contact with Saritha.

Nair and her former live-in partner Radhakrishnan had formed a company "Team Solar", which was engaged in erecting solar panels at offices and homes. They managed to collect crores of rupees on the promise of providing the equipment to tap green sources of energy.

Following numerous complaints of cheating, Saritha was arrested on June 3 and Radhakrishnan was arrested from Coimbatore on Monday.

"All of you know that my office is open to all and anyone can just walk in and meet me. For some time my colleagues, my party top leaders and others have been requesting me that I should bring some restriction on meeting people," said Chandy.

"But, I feel I should be with the people and apart from owning my own mobile, a few changes are going to be made...," said Chandy.

Chandy's staff told IANS that if he finally owns a mobile phone, it will still be difficult to get him on that.

"If he has his own mobile, then the next complaint would be that it is always engaged," said one of his staff members.

Allegations against chamber sad, says Karthikeyan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Speaker G Karthikeyan said the allegations leveled by the opposition against the chamber that it is not functioning impartially is sad. I’ve been impartial to the post. But before sitting in the post and after that, I am a politician, he said.

Karthikeyan said the zero hour has been cancelled even before. I’ve the right to suspend the assembly proceedings when found that it cannot be continued due to opposition pandemonium.

Biju’s bail plea rejected, can quiz him in jail

KOLLAM: The Kottarakkara Judicial First Class magistrate court rejected crime branch’s plea seeking the custody of Biju Radhakrishnan, arrested in connection with the murder of his wife and an accused in the solar panel case. But the court permitted to question him in the Kottarakkara sub jail.

The court rejected the bail plea of Biju. The police also registered the arrest of Biju in the solar case.

VS attacks home minister

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan should be slapped for his statement against them in connection with the solar fraud case.

Talking to reporters after the assembly was adjourned, VS said, “I was not able to slap him as I was sitting far away from him and also my hands didn’t reach him.”

Thiruvanchoor had stated that teargas shells were used when the protestors attacked the cops.

VS said Chief Whip P C George should be given a chance to reveal what he knows about the solar case. One should not disbelief George who saved the chief minister in the vigilance case. Even though two staff members of the chief minister were removed, no action has been taken against them. This shows that the chief minister is involved in it. We want the chief minister to resign in the case.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Man beaten to death

ATTINGAL: A 50-year-old man was beaten to death by his younger brother and relatives at their family house last night. The dead has been identified as Surendran.

Even after he fell unconscious, his relatives refused to neither take him to the hospital nor inform his family. His brother Madhavan and relatives are absconding after the incident.

Surendran, who reached the family house, had a fight with his brother. When the situation turned worse, their relatives intervened.  Seeing him lying on the ground, one of the neighbours informed his family. Though he was taken to the hospital, his life could not be saved.

He leaves behind his wife Baby and children Soumya and Sajeev.

Opposition to boycott Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Opposition LDF in Kerala has decided to boycott Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for his alleged involvement in the Solar Scam.

LDF Convener Vaikkom Viswan told media persons that protest march will be held to the Legislative Assembly on Friday.

The Opposition has been vociferously demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister since his office had been exposed in the ‘shameful controversy.’

Both V.S. Achuthanandan, leader of Opposition, and Pinarayi Vijayan, State secretary of CPI(M), have asked Chandy to resign and face judicial probe.

Speaker shielding CM in solar case, says VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan blamed the speaker for shielding Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the solar panel fraud case. He termed the speaker’s behavior as unfortunate.  VS said this at the dharna staged soon after the assembly was adjourned for the day.

VS said, “Chandy is protecting Biju Radhakrishnan, the accused in his wife’s murder case. Millions have been swindled in the solar case. The chief minister also met Saritha S Nair, an accused in the case, in Delhi. What they conversed is not known. Saritha has something to attract others.”

VS said they would stage strong agitations in the coming days. Chandy should resign and face judicial probe. The silence of Union Minister A K Antony in the case is not correct. A person like Antony who has a clean image should make his stand clear in the case.   

S Balaramran collapses, dies

KOLLAM: Former acting chairman of human rights commission Dr S Balaraman died here Monday. He was also the head of the panel entrusted to study the problems of nurses.

He died after collapsing in front of the ATM counter in the district. Even though he was taken to the hospital, his life could not be saved.

Man attempts to kill wife

MALAYANKEEZHU: A pregnant woman has been admitted at the Thycaud Hospital in a serious condition after her husband tried to strangulate her.  The woman has been identified as Sini (20), daughter of Dilip of Anthiyoorkkonam.

Renjith, running a finance company in Anthiyoorkkonam, married Sini after the two loved each other. The relatives of Sini were first against the marriage but later they cooperated with it. Renjith used to quarrel with his wife frequently for dowry. The police have registered a case against Dilip.

Biju Radhakrishnan held in solar case

KOCHI: Biju Radhakrishnan, the first accused in the solar panel scam case has been taken into custody by the special police team from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu on Monday. He had gone underground soon after the case raged a controversy in the state.

He was trapped by a team led by Kollam DySP through his mobile phone with the help of Tamil Nadu ‘Q’ branch. The police had intensified search operations in four teams to trace him.  

State Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan confirmed the arrest of Biju Radhakrishnan.

"A team of Kerala Police with the help of Tamil Nadu’s Q branch made the arrest today (Monday) afternoon. I did speak to him last week. Now, in 24 hours, the police must produce him in court," Biju’s counsel said. 

Biju had shaved off his moustache and made changes in his hair style so that nobody could identify him.

The other accused in the case, Saritha S. Nair, was arrested on June 3.

Saritha S. Nair, and her former live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan, had formed a company “Team Solar”, engaged in erecting solar panels at offices and homes. They had managed to collect crores of rupees from influential people in the state on the promise of providing the equipment to tap green sources of energy.

Following numerous complaints of cheating, Saritha Nair was arrested.

Since her arrest, a TV channel came out with a list of calls made by her, which showed that she had maintained close links with the office of Chandy.

Biju Radhakrishnan has been brought to Kollam Crime Branch Office, where a criminal case is being made against him, dating back a few years, when his wife was murdered. He would be produced before a court at Kottarakkara on Tuesday.

The assembly witnessed uproarious scenes on Monday, with the Left opposition reiterating that Chandy should resign and order a judicial probe. The demands were flatly denied by the chief minister.

Meanwhile, the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) met and gave a clean chit to Chandy.

”The UDF has given a clean chit to the chief minister and the Left opposition is simply trying to kick up a needless controversy. He has already taken action and the probe is currently on,” state Labour Minister Shibu Baby John said, after the meeting.

Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) convenor Vaikom Viswan, however, said the arrest of the prime suspect is nothing but a stage-managed affair.

”The police will now do the job of cleaning up Chandy. But he has no other option but to quit and face a probe. We will not budge from this demand,” Viswan told reporters here. 

DYFI march seeking CM’s resignation turns violent

KOCHI/KOZHIKODE/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The march staged by youth organisations owing allegiance to the LDF seeking the resignation of the chief minister turned violent in many parts of the state.

The march staged by the DYFI to the collectorate in Kochi and Kozhikode and to the assembly in the capital city turned violent.

DYFI activists reached the assembly at 12 noon shouting slogans seeking the resignation of the chief minister. The police stopped the march on the road leading to the assembly. The police burst water cannons and tear gas towards the activists when they tried to pull the barricades down.

The police stopped the march leading to the collectorate in Ernakulam. The police resorted to lathicharge when they tried to push down the barricades.

The march staged to the collectorate in Kozhikode too turned violent.

Saritha remanded till July 1

PERUMBAVOOR: The Perumbavoor First Class Judicial Magistrate Court remanded Saritha S Nair, arrested in the solar case, till July 1. The magistrate remanded and completed the proceedings as soon as she was produced in the court.

Meantime, the court will consider her bail plea later today.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Police raid Biju Radhakrishnan’s house and Saritha’s office

KOTTARAKKARA: The police Sunday conducted a raid at the house of Biju Radhakrishnan in Kottarakkara, the first accused in the solar fraud case and at the office of Saritha S Nair in Thripunithura.

The raid was conducted as per the order of ADGP Hemachandran, head of the special investigating team entrusted to nab Biju.

The raid was conducted by a team led by Perumbavoor DySP.

Solar scam: Police to question actress Salu Menon

KOTTAYAM: Malayalam film and television actress Salu Menon may be questioned by police in connection with the Solar Panel Scam, after the petitioners revealed to the police that she was seen along with Saritha’s husband Biju Radhakrishnan when he was taking money from them.

There is an allegation that Salu Menon made way for Biju to escape. Earlier, Salu said that she had no connection with Biju. Later, it was proved to be a lie when photographs picturing both Biju and Salu leaked out.

It was Salu who rented a room for Biju at a resort in Changanassery. The employees at the resort say that Salu visited the resort frequently.

Meanwhile, Salu Menon and family left their house 'Aravindam' at Changanassery.

The police also got information that Biju went into hiding in Tamil Nadu. A police team under the guidance of two DySPs, along with the support of Tamil Nadu Police, started search for Biju. 

VS demands resignation of Chief Minister Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the solar panel scam linked to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's office hotting up, opposition leader V S Achuthanandan Sunday demanded his resignation and a judicial enquiry into the whole issue.

"As the CM's office and Chief Minister himself is under a cloud of allegation, the investigation being carried out by ADGP (South Zone) is inadequate. Only a judicial probe would bring out the truth," he told reporters here.

He alleged that the UDF ministry has become a cheating company and warned that LDF would launch an agitation in support of its demand for a judicial probe.

VS alleged that telephone calls were being made from the landline in the Chief Minister's office to Saritha Nair, the woman arrested in connection with the scam, and that she had also made calls to the office.

"Under the circumstances, Chandy should explain his relation with Saritha Nair. Chandy is trying to put the blame on two personnel staff-- Tenny Joppan and gunman Slim Raj, whom he removed after the scam broke out", Achuthanandan said.

He also said Chandy appointed Salim Raj, ignoring an intelligence report that he had a criminal background.

LDF opposition has been raking up this issue in the assembly during the past few days.

The allegation involving the CM's office came to the fore after media reported the telephone calls made by the two staff members to Saritha Nair.

The woman was arrested in June 3 in connection with the financial cheating cases registered against her. She is now in judicial custody.

She and her estranged husband Biju Radhkrishnan, who is absconding had allegedly cheated a number of potential clients to the tune of crores of rupees.

They promised to put up windmill farms and install solar panels in their buildings in return for large sums of money.

Since 2000, Saritha has allegedly been involved in more than 13 cases of cheating.

Keralite stabbed to death in Delhi

NEW DELHI: A Keralite youth was stabbed to death in Delhi. The incident happened last night at Madengeer near Saket in Delhi. The dead has been identified as M Subin, son of Subramanyan of Palakkad.

Some unidentified goons stabbed him when he came to help his father running a store. It is suspected that the incident may have happened in between a theft attempt.

A north Indian youth has also sustained injuries. Subin was awaiting entrance results after plus two. The Saket police have started investigation. The body of Subin is kept at the Max Hospital.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I’ll not resign, says Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy denying the allegations leveled against him in connection with the solar fraud case told the assembly that he will not resign over unnecessary things. He also rejected the opposition demand for a judicial probe in the case. The present investigation in the case is satisfactory, he said.

Chandy told the assembly that he has met Biju Radhakrishnan, first accused in the solar fraud case, at the Guest House in Ernakulam. An employee of a famous daily newspaper too accompanied Biju. While replying for the adjournment motion seeking a discussion on the meeting with Biju, Chandy said they spoke only family matters.

Chandy said Thomas Kuruvila is his friend in Kottayam. When I reach Delhi, he helps me a lot.

Chandy said Saritha S Nair has cheated him also. The cheque of Rs 25 lakhs given to the chief minister’s relief fund has bounced.

Chandy said some misused his office. I haven’t held discussions with Saritha S Nair, another accused in the case, in Delhi. I met Beena Madhavan, an advocate appearing for the state in the Supreme Court. The chief minister produced a photo in the assembly to prove it. One cannot be found guilty on the basis of just a phone call. What they conversed is the most important.

Chandy termed as baseless claiming that a letter was given to Team Solar for partaking in Emerging Kerala. The opposition is trying to create a smoke screen. The present investigation in the solar case is satisfactory, he said.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Antony refuses to comment on solar panel scam

KOTTAYAM: Underplaying the raging solar panel scam linked to the office of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Defence Minister A K Antony today refused to comment on the issue.

"Government has ordered an enquiry. Let the report come", he told reporters when asked for his comments.

On the sexual harassment case filed by the estranged wife of a Naval officer here, Antony said his ministry had ordered a probe, whose report was awaited.

One of the main accused in the solar panel scam, Saritha S Nair reportedly contacted the Personal Assistant and gunman of the Chief Minister by phone a couple of times.

The Opposition LDF had raised the issue in the assembly demanding the Chief Minsiter's resignation and a judicial probe to expose the multi crore fraud.

The two personnel of Chief Minister's office were removed yesterday.

The accused woman had also tried to contact three state ministers.

Asked about the controversy, Union minister Vayalar Ravi said everyone should be careful about whom they appoint as personal staff.

In Kottayam, State Finance minister K M Mani dismissed the the allegations as rumours.

Ganesh has close connection with Saritha, says P C George

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Whip P C George revealed that he had directly informed Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that Saritha S Nair, an accused in the solar plant fraud case, has contacts with Teny Joppen and also about K B Ganesh Kumar’s close connection with the woman.

George said that he had asked the chief minister to be careful and as per his quick reaction, the police were able to arrest the woman. Chandy is innocent in the case, he said.

George said, “Saritha had met me in connection with the installation of Solar Plant in his constituency Poonjar. She had also called me many times. I had also called her back. Later I came to know that she was a fraudster. She had also met me at my official residence in the capital city. On suspicion, I questioned her driver and he told me all the truth. I immediately informed the chief minister the whole issue. Ganesh has an extra martial affair with this woman. She met me as per the instruction of Ganesh. She was also entrusted to meet R Balakrishna Pillai’s secretary Manoj Kumar. “

George said that he had also told Joppen about the woman.

I’ve no links with solar case accused, says Shalu Menon

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Serial actress Shalu Menon said that she has no links with Solar fraud case accused Biju Radhakrishnan. She reacted after reports said that a serial actress is involved in the case.

The actress said that Biju had approached her for an advertisement in connection with the solar panel. An amount of Rs 20 lakhs was paid to Biju for installing a solar panel at my residence and dance school. She said that a complaint has been lodged against him.

Saritha S Nair had also approached her to learn dance in the actress’ school. Apart from that, I don’t have any links with the two of them, she said.

Saritha telephoned Aryadan, Muneer and KC Joseph

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Television channels reported that Saritha S Nair, the accused in the solar fraud case, had also telephoned Ministers Aryadan Muhammed, M K Muneer and K C Joseph apart from the two staffs of the chief minister’s office.

Saritha had telephoned Minister Aryadan at 5.30 pm on May 31and Joseph at 6.04 pm on the same day.

She had also contacted Jikku Mon, another personal assistant of the chief minister. KPCC general secretary N Subramanyan is also in the list.

Sreesanth prays at Sabarimala, says he is innocent

SABARIMALA: Out-on-bail Indian pacer S Sreesanth sought divine intervention in his efforts to emerge clean from the IPL spot-fixing scandal as he paid obeisance at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, insisting that he has not done anything wrong.

"I haven't done anything wrong to get accused in the spot fixing case. Some minor lapses might have happened on my side in the past. But I am totally innocent in the present case. I am confident of proving that," he told reporters after offering prayers at the hill shrine.

"With the blessings of Lord Ayyappa, I will come out clean and that will be a new Sreesanth," he added.

Accompanied by his father Santhakumaran Nair and other close family members, Sreesanth arrived at the temple last evening, trekking the five km path from the base camp to the shrine located atop the Sabari hill.

Sreesanth and Rajasthan Royals teammate Ankeet Chavan were released on bail on June 11.

The duo and another RR player Ajit Chandila were arrested on May 16, along with 11 bookies, from Mumbai by Delhi police and charged under Indian Penal Code Section 420 and 120B, which deal with fraud, cheating and criminal conspiracy.

Solar fraud case: Chandy’s PA, gunman removed from duties

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With CPI-M led LDF demanding a judicial probe into charges of links between his office and a financial fraud accused, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Friday informed the state assembly that two staff allegedly involved in the matter have been removed from their duties.

Putting pressure on Chandy over the issue, LDF members protested and moved to the well of the House and later walked out when their demand for judicial probe was rejected.

Replying to a submission on the issue by CPI-M deputy leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Chandy said gunman Salim Raj and additional personnel assistant Tenny Joppen of the Chief Minister's Office had been kept out of their duties on the basis of the interim report of the investigation by ADGP (Intelligence) T P Senkumar.

A detailed probe would be conducted by ADGP (South Zone) A Hemachandran, who was investigating the fraud case involved by the accused Saritha S Nair, Chandy said.

Kodiyeri said Chandy should resign and face a judicial probe in the light of new revelation by Government Chief Whip P C George that he had already informed chief minister about the alleged link between the woman involved in the fraud and his office staff.

Replying to the charge, Chandy said George informed him about the issue on June 4, a day after the woman involved in the case was arrested. "So it has no relevance," he added.

The allegation involving CM's office with the Saritha Nair came to fore after media reported the telephone calls made by the two staff members to the woman.

Saritha Nair was arrested for allegedly cheating people on the promise that she would secure them solar energy distribution agencies using her influence within and outside the state.

Later talking to reporters, Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan rejected the LDF demand for judicial probe and said as it was a criminal case, the investigation under the CRPC would only bring the truth.

"The government's intention is to bring the truth in the matter," he added.

Drunk drivers’ licences to be cancelled

KOZHIKODE: Don’t mix drink with driving. Your driving licence will be cancelled forever. This was informed by Transport Commissioner Rishiraj Singh on Friday.

He was talking to media persons after visiting Payyoli and Iringal where accidents happened recently.

Rishiraj said 90 cameras will be installed at various roads in the state to detect any violation of law. The tender procedures for installing cameras are nearing completion, he said.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

B.Tech. in the navy

The Navy has invited applications from unmarried male candidates to join the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala, under the Plus Two cadet B.Tech. entry scheme. The course starts in December.

Apply online on till June 20. Applicants should be Indian citizens born between July 2, 1994, and January 1, 1997 (17 to 19-and-a-half years of age) who have passed Plus Two with at least 70 per cent marks in aggregate in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and at least 50 per cent in English in Class 10 or 12. The candidates must be physically fit, with at least 157 cm of height and correlated age-appropriate weight. Eye sight for distant vision should be 6/6, 6/9 correctable to 6/6, 6/6 with glasses.

Before submitting the e-application, keep educational certificates, e-mail address, mobile-phone numbers and softcopy of a latest photograph of size less than 10 kB at hand. Fill the online registration form. On submitting the online application, the system will generate an application number, which will be displayed on the screen and in the printout of the application.

Send the signed printout by ordinary post to Post Box No. 04, R.K. Puram (Main) PO, New Delhi – 66 to reach there on or before July 1.

Three of family killed in accident

KOZHIKODE: Three members of a family hailing from Keezhariyoor were killed when the car they were travelling in collided with a private bus at Mannooppara, near Iringal, in Vadakara on Wednesday evening. The victims were identified as Thaikkandi Babu Kannan, 49; his sister Girija Rajan, 47; and her son Vishnu Narayanan, 21. Four others, including two children, from the family sustained injuries in the accident and were admitted to the Government Medical College Hospital. The condition of two of them was critical, the police said. Girija Rajan was a teacher at Vasudevashram High School at Keezhariyoor, and Vishnu Narayanan was pursuing his BDS at a college in Bangalore. The family was on a trip to Vadakara. The victims were taken out from the vehicle by a police team from the Payyoli station and Fire and Rescue Service personnel from Koyilandy.

LDF accuses Chandy of shielding staff under scanner

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the second consecutive day, the CPI (M)-led LDF opposition Thursday targeted Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the Kerala Assembly over the telephone calls allegedly made by his personal assistant to a woman arrested recently for serious financial offences.

Staging a walk-out in the house, opposition deputy leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan accused Chandy of shielding his PA Joppan, who had allegedly made a large number of calls to one Saritha Nair, arrested earlier this month in connection with several financial cheating cases.

The opposition demanded to know whether Chandy was ready to order a judicial inquiry into the matter since his office had come under the shadow of suspicion.

Responding to the charge, the chief minister said a special police team would be set up to investigate the cases against the woman. The probe would also ascertain if his PA had intervened in the matter.

"I don't want to protect anyone. But I would not sacrifice anyone to save my skin. Let us wait for the investigation", he said.
Chandy said since the opposition had taken the matter seriously, he would seek an interim report from the police and decide whether action should be taken against the PA.

The chief minister said most of the cases against Saritha Nair pertained to cheating people promising that she would secure them solar energy distribution agencies using her influence within and outside the state.

Earlier, seeking an adjournment on the issue, Raju Abraham (CPI-M) alleged that frequent phone calls had been made by the PA on the days preceding Saritha's arrest. Apart from his personal mobile, the official phones at the Chief Minister's office and residence were also used for making calls to the woman by the PA.