Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A role with a difference

Action hero Suresh Gopi is doing a main role in a film directed by Aji John. The film titled ‘Sapnom ki Rani’ is a big budget romantic thriller.

As the name suggests, the story revolves around an actress who goes missing when she is still at the peak of her career. Suresh Gopi’s will be a role with a difference this time, unlike in other thriller movies he has acted, says the director.
However the heroine is yet to be decided. The shooting will take place in Kochi, Goa, Bangkok and Delhi.

30 hurt as bus rams truck

MALAPPURAM: Thirty passengers of a KSRTC Super-Fast bus were injured when it rammed behind a container truck at Venniyoor on the National Highway 17 on Monday. The bus, heading from Kottayam for Kozhikode, suffered heavy damage. The injured were admitted to the Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, and a private hospital at Kottakkal. Local people led the rescue work as the late-night accident left all the passengers in shock.

Interpol nabs murder accused

KANNUR: Shammi Kumar, a native of Azhikode and accused in the murder of his wife, Ramya, at Payyannur here nearly four years ago, has been arrested by the Interpol in Abu Dhabi. Steps were being taken to bring him to the state and a team was expected to go to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to secure his custody, the police said. The murder case was being investigated by the Payyannur police. Though the accused had been nabbed by the Interpol in the UAE a couple of times earlier, he was released on technical grounds, the police said. Ramya was found dead in a hotel room at Payyannur in January 2010. The accused had checked-in at the hotel with his wife and their one-year-old child on January 20. Two days later, the cleaning staff found Ramya hanging from the ceiling of the room.

Kejriwal recovering, expected to attend office tomorrow

GHAZIABAD: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has skipped office due to ill health, is recovering well and is expected to attend office tomorrow, Health Minister Satyendra Jain said today.

Jain said the Chief Minister is feeling better.

"He (Kejriwal) is feeling better as he is taking rest. He will join office tomorrow," the Health Minister told reporters.

Jain had earlier in the day met Kejriwal at his Kaushambi residence and hoped the Chief Minister would be able attend the session of the Delhi Legislative Assembly beginning tomorrow.

"We hope that he would be able to attend the Assembly Session," Jain said.

Kejriwal's doctor Dr Vipin Mittal has advised him two-day bed rest.

"Kejriwal wanted to attend office for two hours today, but I advised him not to do this. Kejriwal's blood pressure is normal and he is recovering well. As he recently went on a fast, he is feeling weak," Dr Mittal, who is treating the newly elected Chief Minister, said this morning.

"His BP is 110/70 and sugar is 76. He still has fever.

He will also require drips," the doctor said, adding hospitalisation is not required.

Rajendra Kumar, principal secretary to the Chief Minister, also visited Kejriwal's house this morning besides senior AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh.

Dr Mittal said Kejriwal wanted to meet the family of Delhi Police constable Vinod Kumar, who was beaten to death by liquor mafia in Githorni area in south Delhi, but he has advised him against going out.

"I have got to know that Vinod Kumar's family lives in Muzaffarnagar. I have clearly asked Kejriwal not to go there because he is not in a condition to go out of Delhi," he said.

However, Dr Mittal said that he has known Mr Kejriwal for a long time and he might not follow his advice.

The Chief Minister, who had skipped office due to ill health, had yesterday chaired the meeting of Delhi Jal Board at his residence in Kaushambi and took a decision on supplying free water of 667 litres a day to each household.

Govt doctors strike work on January 16

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Government doctors will take mass leave on January 16 and protest against government order, seeking to increase their working hours.

Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) members said the doctors would go for indefinite strike if the government tried to suppress the strike.
They also urged the government to withdraw its order as “it demanded 18-hour continuous working hours”.

Chennithala to join Chandy ministry

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a move to set factional and community equations correct ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala is all set to join the UDF ministry headed by Oommen Chandy.

The high command's proposal in this regard was broached by senior leader A K Antony during his interactions with party leaders here.

Indications from the Congress circles are that Chennithala is expected to get the Home portfolio, replacing incumbent and Chandy protege Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan.

The official word from the party spokespersons, however, is that all things will become clearer by this afternoon.

The dramatic New Year eve development brought to an end all uncertainties regarding Chennithala's induction in the ministry, which has been a hot topic of speculation in Congress circles and local media ever since he contested and won the 2011 Assembly polls from his home turf Harippad.

Chennithala is likely to continue as KPCC president for the time being and Radhakrishnan to be retained in the cabinet with another portfolio.

According to Congress sources, there could be a reshuffle of Congress nominees in the ministry and selection of a new KPCC president after the budget session of the state assembly, beginning on January 3, is over.

A thinking has been strong in the Congress in Kerala that induction of 57-year-old Chennithala will help Congress firm up its support base among the majority community in general and that of the Nair community in particular.

Influential Nair outfit NSS had in the past came down heavily on the UDF alleging that the coalition leadership breached its poll-eve promise of giving Chennithala a "key position" in the cabinet, in which nominees from Christian and Muslim communities outnumber those from various Hindu sections.

Ever since the UDF wrested power from the LDF, though with a thin margin, Chandy had said Chennithala could join the cabinet any time.

But Chennithala, identified with "I" group in local Congress parlance, has stood firm that he would not be joining the ministry unless he was given a plum portfolio like Home

Thiruvanchoor to continue as minister

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala will enter Oommen Chandy’s cabinet as Home Minister shortly, present Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan would continue as a minister with some other portfolio, according to sources. This information was out Tuesday morning, notwithstanding the early reports that Thiruvanchoor would cease to be a minister for the time being and will resume the post of a minister after the cabinet reshuffle.   
The presumption is that Thiruvanchoor will get Forest ministry, now handled by the chief ministe and also Vigilance. A clear picture about this is expected to evolve by Tuesday evening and the chief minister is expected to announce the final changes at a press meet in the evening.

Thiruvanchoor on Tuesday morning met Defence Minster A K Antony at the latter’s residence in Thiruvananthapuram. When asked about the meeting, Thiruvanchoor didn’t divulge any details, while Antony said the Chief minister and KPCC president will make announcements regarding the change of ministers in the evening.   

NSS has not profited from Chennithala

PERUNNA: There is no special opinion on the induction of KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala into the cabinet, said NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair. The NSS has not profited from persons including Ramesh Chennithala, he said.

Chennithala was not sincere enough to say that he is the representative of the majority community. Chennithala had earlier asked not to brand him. The NSS has not gone after them and hereafter will never do it also, he said.

The NSS is least bothered on anyone’s entry and exit in the cabinet. It is the internal affairs of the congress whom to induct and discard. A member of the majority community attaining a key post is good. The NSS had demanded this earlier.  

The majority community had been getting a raw deal from the government. The NSS exists for social justice and it will continue. The NSS had never achieved anything in the name of caste like other community organisations. Injustice will be pointed out. Anyone who runs the government smoothly will be supported, he said.

The NSS is against the educational policies of the government.

League, Mani welcome Chennithala’s induction

THIRUVANATHAPURAM: The Muslim League and the Kerala Congress (Mani) welcomed the induction of KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala into the cabinet.

Minister P K Kunhalikutty said the induction was discussed with the League. The decision will bring more confidence to the Congress and the UDF, said Kunhalikutty.  This will help to fortify the foundation of the UDF and is not a mere political formula, he said.

Minister K M Mani too welcomed the decision.  The ministerial post of Chennithala is the internal affair of the congress. We need not opine on that, he said.

No ministerial post for Ganesh

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Kerala Congress (B) leader K B Ganesh Kumar is unlikely to get a ministerial berth in a situation of the induction of Ramesh Chennithala. The congress leadership has informed the decision to party chairman R Balakrishna Pillai.

Meantime, in a situation where a berth is denied, the Kerala Congress (B) has decided to convene a meeting on January 3rd. A decision on quitting the posts the party obtained will be taken on Jan 3.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Chennithala get home ministry

NEW DELHI: The long suspense over KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala’s entry into Oommen Chandy government’s ministry may end soon. The Congress high command, it is speculated, has asked the government to give home ministry to Chennithala and make G Karthikeyan the KPCC president.

The decision at high level comes in the wake of Lok Sabha election and Cabinet meeting, it is said. However, if these speculations turn right, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan will lose the home ministers’s post.
Earlier, on several occasions, discussions had centred on Ramesh’s elevation as a minister, but nothing tangible happened as there was no consensus within the party in this regard.

Later, Ramesh himself expressed his unwillingness to become a minister. The present step reportedly follows specific instructions from Congress central leadership.

Two children drown

PALAKKAD: Two children drowned while bathing in Bharathapuzha. They have been identified as Amritha (9) and Anand (8), children of Dinesh and Sandhya of Kongod.

I’m not as cheap as George, says Murali

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: I cannot be as cheap as Chief Whip P C George, said K Muraleedharan MLA. I’ve not taken his statement seriously and I am not a person who speaks anything on seeing a mike, he said. George is an insult to the UDF. He just wants to stain the cabinet. The front will suffer a setback if a person like George is not restrained. My culture doesn’t allow me to give a reply to his statements, said Murali.

Sale of CPM mouthpiece land to Chakku haunts party

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A new controversy has broken out in the CPM after the land of party mouthpiece Deshabhimani in Manjalikkulam in the capital city was sold to controversial industrialist V M Radhakrishnan alias Chakku Radhakishnan.  The daily’s 32.5 cents and the building were sold for 3.30 crores to Radhakrishnan’s Capital City Hotels & Developers Private Limited based in Coimbatore.

The registration procedures were held at the sub registrar office in East Fort on July 17 in 2012.  The land was not directly bought by Radhakrishnan. Instead the deal took place after making Danish K Chacko, a native of Thiruvalla and an employee of the charitable society where Radhakrishnan is a member, as the mediator.

The documents produced before the registrar between June 2 and 11 mentioned   Radhakrishnan as the managing director. But on July 6th, Radhakrishnan resigned his managing director’s post and it was replaced by Danish. When the deal took place Danish was the MD. Form 32 given to the registrar after three days included the name of Radhakrishnan. It has been alleged that this is to hide the deal between the CPM and Chakku Radhakrishnan.

The advertisement of Radhakrishnan’s Surya Group carried in the party mouthpiece during the CPM plenum in Palakkad had created a controversy.

Aranmula: Transfer of Registry executed during tenure of UDF Govt

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government’s argument on the transfer of registry (pokkuvaravu) of land for the Aranmula airport has proved untrue. Documents exposed claim the transfer of registry was performed during the tenure of the Oommen Chandy Government. As per the documents, the transfer of registry took place after February 17, 2012.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters the other day that the transfer of registry was executed by the previous LDF Government and further steps were taken by this government.

The Pathanamthitta district collector ordered for the registry on November 18, 2011. The next year in February, the collector sent a letter to the chief secretary on it. The collector in the letter had stated that the registry was not implemented till February 17 in 2012.

In the meanwhile, the collector cancelled the permission given for the pokkuvaravu and released a further order. The KGS group approached the high court against collector’s order. The case is still under the consideration of the court.

Meantime, senior congress leader V M Sudheeran harshly criticised the government on the issue. The leader asked the government to re-examine it.  
Things are moving in such a way badly affecting the credibility of the government. These controversies will affect other developmental projects, warned Sudheeran.

LDF calls off Cliff House blockade

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The opposition LDF Sunday decided to call off the Cliff House blockade seeking the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the solar case.

The decision was taken at the LDF meeting held here today. Meantime, LDF convenor Vaikom Viswan briefing after the LDF meeting said the strike will continue in front of the assembly.

Viswan said they decided to call off the strike as the polls are round the corner. The strikes staged in the solar case have been completely stopped. The LDF will not boycott the chief minister from now on.

The government is fleeing by stopping the assembly session. The LDF said they will not permit the chief minister to flee once the session convenes on January 3rd.

Rishiraj Singh hospitalised

KOTTAYAM: Transport commissioner Rishiraj Singh has been admitted to a hospital after he suffered a chest pain. He developed uneasiness in between a traffic adalat held in the district.

Fire at cracker unit: Operator, daughter held

PATHANAPURAM: The police Monday arrested the operator and his daughter in connection with the fire which broke out at their cracker unit at Pattazhy near Kollur Junction in Pathanapuram on Sunday killing one person and injuring five on Sunday.

A team led by Punalur circle inspector Manju Lal arrested the two identified as Ajaya Kumar (55) and his daughter Swathi (29), the licensee of the unit, last night itself.

Ajayan was arrested from Kottarakkara while he was on his way to meet his wife Shylaja (52) admitted in the medical college hospital with serious burns sustained in the fire and Swathi from Pattazhy itself. The police are questioning the two.

The dead person was identified as Paramasivam (32) from Sattur in Tamil Nadu. Meantime, the condition of Ajayan’s wife Shylaja, Mani Raj (23), Ponnuchami (47), Periyaswami (49) and Vinnarasu (30) continues to be serious. All except Shylaja are from Tamil Nadu.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal taken ill

NEW DELHI: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who took over the reins two days ago, is suffering from fever and cold and will not attend office on Monday. Kejriwal was scheduled to chair a meeting of Delhi Jal Board officials to discuss ways to provide free 700 litres of water per household as promised by him.

However, due to ill health he would not attend office and might take some important decisions from home itself.

In a series of tweets on Monday morning, 45-year-old Kejriwal said, "Running 102 fever since yesterday. Severe loose motions. Sad that I won't be able to attend office today.

"It was so important to attend office today.We had planned the water announcement. God, bahut galat time par bimaar kiya. (God, you have made me ill at the wrong time)", he tweeted.

Doctors have advised him complete bed rest and have taken his blood samples.

Dr Bipin Mittal, who is treating Kejriwal, said, "The chief minister has been administered antibiotics to contain his diarrhoea and advised complete rest."

"He will rest for the day. As the day progresses we will see. He was very keen on going to the secretariat because he has very important announcements to make. I strictly advised him against going out," Kejriwal's doctor said.

Kejriwal has been suffering from cough and cold since last month.

On Sunday, he had cancelled his meeting with people who had come to visit him due to fever. He later made a brief appearance and sought some time to put in place a system to redress their grievances.

Guru’s teachings to be included in plus two syllabus, says Chandy

SIVAGIRI: The government will include the teachings of social reformer Sree Narayana Guru in the higher secondary (plus two) syllabus from the next academic year onwards, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The chief minister said this at the 81st annual Sivagiri Pilgrimage meet on Monday.

The teachings of Guru had an important role in the growth of the education sector in the state. The relevance of the ideals preached by Guru had much value in the higher education sector. All sections of the society accepted the teachings of guru. The public and private sectors should join together as a leap is again needed in the higher education sector.

For Guru there was only one caste, creed and religion. The Sivagiri Pilgrimage convened every year is gaining importance on the ideals of teachings of guru, the chief minister said.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rosamma Punnoose dies at 100

SALALAH: CPI leader and member of the first Assembly Rosamma Punnoose died on Saturday morning due to age-related ill heath. She was 100.

Rosamma was the first person to be sworn in as a legislator soon after the first assembly polls in Kerala in 1957. The death happened at Salalah in Sultanate of Oman on Saturday morning. She is the wife of ex-MP P T Punnoose. She is survived by wards Thomas Punnoose and Geetha Jacob. The burial will take place at Thiruvalla Marthoma Church.
Punnoose was also the first pro-tem speaker of the Kerala assembly, as she had also administered the oath to other legislators at that time. She was staying in Oman with her son for the past two years.

Rosamma was born on May 13, 1913 at Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta. Though she began her political career with the Travancore State Congress in 1939, she joined the Communist Party of India in 1948. A law graduate, she returned to the Kerala assembly for the second time in 1987. She quit politics in 1998, when she stepped down as chairperson of the Kerala State Women’s Commission.

Her sister Accama Cherian was a popular freedom fighter. Both sisters were jailed in 1939. Her husband was also a prominent Communist Party of India leader, and was elected to the second Lok Sabha in 1957.

No one is there to tame person walking like unchained temple ox: Muraleedharan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Without mentioning the name of Government Chief Whip P C George, MLA K Muraleedharan said on Saturday that there was no one to control someone wandering like an unchained temple ox. For that, nobody has even a fraction of courage that housewife Sandhya showed while taking on the LDF protesters.

"That person is criticising the very government from which he has received benefits," he said.

Kerala Congress P C Thomas group splits

KOTTAYAM: ‘Ceasefire’ bid has been aborted and Kerala Congress P C Thomas group witnessed a split in the group. The process will be complete once the Skariah Thomas group meeting in Kottayam on Saturday takes disciplinary action against P C Thomas.

Though a ‘ceasefire’ was declared by the two groups following CPM leader Pinarayi Vijayan’s ‘threat’ to expel both the groups from the LDF if group fights prevailed, situation worsened so as to make the split indispensable.    

Party Chairman P C Thomas was assigned by leaders in his group at a meeting in Kochi to take action against Skariah Thomas. Decision was also made then to take action against Party general secretary George Sebastin for going to housewife Sandhya’s house to tender an apology over Cliff House blockade.

Skariah’s new decision is a fallout of  Thomas group’s decisions against Skariah group at the meeting.  Sakariah group will also take action against P C Thomas for attending an RSS function, “bringing shame to the LDF”. In Kottayam both groups have separate offices.

Meanwhile Skariah blamed PC Thomas for splitting the Thomas group by calling a separate meeting of the latter’s new group in Kochi first, violating the ‘ceasefire’. On the other hand, P C Thomas said Skariah had become a pawn in the hands of a Congress group in the UDF who wanted to prevent his Kottayam MP seat in the coming Lok Sabha election.

Saritha makes bail plea in two more cases

KOCHI: Solar scam accused Saritha submitted bail pleas in two more cases on Saturday. The first  case pertains to registration of her company using fake license and the other one is Solar scam-related money fraud case.

The first bail plea over fake license was made at the High Court and the second one over money fraud was made at Ravipuram Additional CJM court in Kochi.

If Saritha gets bail in these two cases, she would be able to walk out of jail. As many as 37 cases are registered against Saritha.

Alleged medical negligence: Doctor’s car damaged

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Alleging that the death of a Democratic Mahila Association leader was due to negligence, a gang of people caused severe damage to a doctor’s car parked in front of his house in Pettah-Enchackal road.

The deceased was Nargees (50) from Nettayam (Vattiyoorkkavu). She was admitted to a private hospital in Peroorkkada for uterus removal on December 23. After the operation, she developed swelling all over the body. Following this the relatives managed to get her discharged from the hospital after a heated argument. They also settled the hospital bill to the tune of Rs 1 lakh, though the doctor had said that the operation would cost only Rs 40,000.

Nargees was then taken to another private hospital, where the doctors there found out that an accidental incision in the large intestine had fatally complicated her health. She was put on ventilator on serious state for days and finally she succumbed to the internal injury at 8pm on Friday.

AAP to contest in Kerala also

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the coming Lok Sabha election, Aam Admi Party will contest in a few seats, AAP leader and Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan has said. Later, decisions would be taken on which all seats the party should contest.   

Addressing media persons after receiving Advocate Pirappincode Sreedharan Nair Award from CPM leader V S Achuthanandan here on Saturday, he said the AAP would hold political parleys with Achuthanandan. Bhushan, who lauded V S as an honest leader, was also all praise for the CPI.

Bhushan said: “Aam Admi’s aim is to overhaul the power centres in the administrative framework. Governments, Parliament and legal authorities are all in the unholy clutches of corporate mafias. It is high time the situation changed. For this, change should also happen in the democratic set up. It is not enough that people vote; they should also take part in the formulation of laws and policy making processes. Aam Admi will strive for this.”

He also added that corruption and vested interest in administration had saw the rise of  the AAP.

Shobana wins Prem Nazir award

CHIRAYIKEEZHU: This year’s Prem Nazir award instituted by Chirayinkeezhu Pauravali will be presented to actress Shobana, Prem Nazir commemoration committee Chairman R Subhash and General Convenor S V Anilal has said. “This is for the first time a woman is winning the Prem Nazir award,” they said.
The award comprises Rs 50,0001 given by Chirayinkeezhu grama panchayat and a sculpture designed by artist B D Dathan. The award ceremony will be held at 6 pm on January 22 at Sharkara ground.

Gangster Bhai Nazeer held in Mysore

KOCHI: The police Sunday arrested Bhai Nazeer, a notorious gangster and accused in many cases and his aide Praveen in Mysore. A special investigating team from Kochi arrested him as per the goonda act early Sunday. The two will be brought to Kochi. An arrest warrant was issued against Bhai four months before.  

A team of Bhai Nazeer had clashed with Marad Aneesh, a notorious criminal, in front of the Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on Dec 20th. The brawl broke out when Praveen of Nazeer’s team came to give evidence against Aneesh in a case.

P C George asks KPCC to control Murali

PALAKKAD: In a befitting reply to K Muraleedharan for his statement against Chief Whip P C George, the latter said the benefits receiving from the government are not from the pocket of the former’s family. George asked the KPCC to control Murali. George said this while reacting to Murali’s statement that the former is attacking the government after accepting benefits from them like an unchained temple ox.

George said, “Murali turned against A K Antony in 2004. He has the history of forming a new party against the congress. When everybody snubbed him, he was re-accommodated into the party by the courtesy of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala.”

Manju Warrier out from Renjith’s film

The Malayalam film industry was elated after hearing the return of Manju Warrier and that too with Mohanlal. The audience was anxiously waiting to see the on screen chemistry between the two when news came in that she will be paired opposite the superstar in a film directed by Renjith named G for Gold. But the latest news has disappointed all as the actress is not in the film.  

Her comeback film will be Roshan Andrews How Old Are You.

Mohanlal posted in the Facebook that actor Prithviraj too has a role in Renjith’s film.  But he is also not acting in the film.

Manju is not a part of the film as the female lead has not much importance in G for Gold. Sources close to the director said he is not interested in casting the actress in a simple role where she has nothing to perform. Reports said the actress has been informed about it.

The shooting of the film directed by Antony Perumbavoor under the banner of Ashirwad Cinemas will start in January.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Actress Ranjtha is now Ma Anandamayi

BANGALORE: Actress Ranjitha, who was once embroiled in a controversy with self-styled Godman Nithyananda of Bidadi ashram, accepted sainthood from the latter on Friday.

From now, she will be known as Ma Anandamayi.

Ranjitha was made a sanyasini (ascetic) during the 37th birthday functions of Nithyananda. Apart from the actress, 45 others also accepted sainthood from the swami at the colourful occasion at the ashram.
Ranjitha looked jubilant in a saffron Sari and blouse.

However, certain Kannada organisations staged protest against Nithyananda in front of the ashram and burnt his effigy. Police security was in place.

Wandering woman and child held

KOZHIKODE: Police on Friday held a woman who had been roaming around the new bus stand for the past two days with a nine-year-old child.

The police said they could not confirm her name as she was making contradictory statements. She told the police that her name was Ambili and the child’s, Ranjith and they hailed from Alappuzha; later they changed the names to Shajitha and Shahal respectively during religious conversion.

When repeatedly questioned, she said he was her grandson and when pressed further she revealed that she had bought the child for Rs 50,000 from a couple in Alapra in Kottayam.

The police suspect that the woman might have stolen the child from his parents. However, the child has been sent to Vellimadukunnu Child line. The police have started probe to collect more details about the woman and child.

Man who made pesky calls to women nabbed

NEYYATTINKARA: Nemom police on Friday nabbed a man whose main hobby was to make pesky calls to women. The arrested guy is Aji (34) from Thalappally, Chelakkara in Thrissur. The arrest followed a complaint by a woman from Nemom.

The police said he had already sexually harassed a number of girls after offering to marry them. Interesting, he got in touch with women who participated in TV programmes that discussed family problems.           
His modus operandi was to collect contact numbers of widows and estranged wives first. He would then contact them one by one, gift them with marriage dreams, exploit them sexually and finally disappear from the scene. The police said many cases in this connection were against him and the main tools he used for luring women were mobile phones and internet.

Relatives of Keralite family stuck in Pak seek help for release

KANNUR: Relatives of a Keralite family stranded in Pakistan submitted a memorandum to Minister of State Mullappally Ramachandran for their release. Haneef, a native of Panur in Kannur and his wife Hazeena are stuck in Pakistan. The memorandum was submitted to the minister by Haneef’s mother.

Haneef along with his wife went to Pakistan to sell the property of his father, a Pak citizen. The proceedings of the sale delayed and he got stuck there. In between a son was born to the couple. Even though an application was submitted in the Indian high commission of Pakistan to register the birth of the child as per the Indian Citizenship Act, the procedures were delayed. In recent times, a baby girl was also born to them.

The couple has so far not obtained the birth and emergency certificates of their children. Pakistan has asked the couple to leave the country as they haven’t obtained the emergency certificate and if not, they will be jailed.  

But the high commission is of the stand that an emergency certificate can be issued only after a report is obtained from the Indian home ministry.

Fernandes moots elevated highways in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes said on Friday that in Kerala the difficulty in building National Highways that consume large space could be sorted out by building elevated highways. "The Central government has been mulling over such kind of road developments in states like Kerala, Goa and some other south-east states,” the minister told media persons on Friday.

In countries like China there are elevated roads. Vehicles with less weight could ply on such roads while other vehicles could use the normal road. The problem of space constraints could be solved thus, said Fernades.

When asked whether special consideration would be given to Kerala in the construction of narrow NH roads, the minister didn’t give any specific reply. “National Highway Authority has certain criteria for building high ways. They will put forward suggestions if they face any difficulty,” he said and added that discussions were going on those aspects.

Accused bites off Inspector’s ear

KOZHIKODE: An accused - held by the police for transporting spurious liquor in an auto rickshaw – has bitten off the ear of an Excise inspector. The inspector from District Narcotics Special Squad, K Satheeshan, has been admitted to Medical College hospital with serious ear injury.

The police have arrested K K Ranjith, 41, and C P Prakasan, 43, who were in the auto. As many as 240 bottles of Mahe liquor were also seized from them.   

The incident happened on Friday at around 9 in the morning when the police were conducting vehicle inspection at Koyilandi. The auto which sped past the officials was followed by the police team and brought to a halt. Ranjith, who managed to escape from the police clutches, was again chased and nabbed. Ranjith asked for bail and having denied that, he bit off the cop’s ear, in a fit of rage.

The police have arrested him and his accomplice and a case has been registered against under various sections.

23 charred to death as fire breaks out in train

ANANTAPUR (AP): At least 23 people, including two children, were charred to death when an AC coach of Nanded-Bangalore Express caught fire in the district early today.

The fire broke out at 3:30 AM at Kothacheravu railway station between Pennukonda and Dharmavaram stations.

"Rescue operations are underway. 23 persons including two children were charred to death in the accident,", District Collector, Anantapur, Lokesh Kumar told reporters.

Senior Railway officials have rushed to the spot and relief and medical team have been pressed into service, the collector said.

I was shaken to core by 2002 riots, says Modi

Special Investigation Team (SIT) report investigating the 2002 Gujarat riots, Chief Minister and BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Friday said he was "shaken to the core" due to the riots which claimed more than 1000 lives.

For the first time after the riots, Modi shared the "harrowing ordeal" he had gone through during the last 12 years at a personal level.

Here is the full text of Modi’s blog

My dear sisters and brothers,
The law of nature is that Truth alone triumphs – Satyameva Jayate. Our judiciary having spoken, I felt it important to share my inner thoughts and feelings with the nation at large.

The end brings back memories of the beginning. The devastating earthquake of 2001 had plunged Gujarat into the gloom of death, destruction and sheer helplessness. Hundreds of lives were lost. Lakhs were rendered homeless. Entire livelihoods were destroyed. In such traumatic times of unimaginable suffering, I was given the responsibility to soothe and rebuild. And we had whole heartedly plunged ourselves into the challenge at hand.

Within a mere five months however, the mindless violence of 2002 had dealt us another unexpected blow. Innocents were killed. Families rendered helpless. Property built through years of toil destroyed. Still struggling to get back on its feet from the natural devastation, this was a crippling blow to an already shattered and hurting Gujarat.

I was shaken to the core. ‘Grief’, ‘Sadness’, ‘Misery’, ‘Pain’, ‘Anguish’, ‘Agony’ – mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity.

On one side was the pain of the victims of the earthquake, and on the other the pain of the victims of the riots. In decisively confronting this great turmoil, I had to single-mindedly focus all the strength given to me by the almighty, on the task of peace, justice and rehabilitation; burying the pain and agony I was personally wracked with.

During those challenging times, I often recollected the wisdom in our scriptures; explaining how those seating in positions of power did not have the right to share their own pain and anguish. They had to suffer it in solitude. I lived through the same, experiencing this anguish in searingly sharp intensity. In fact, whenever I remember those agonizing days, I have only one earnest prayer to God. That never again should such cruelly unfortunate days come in the lives of any other person, society, state or nation.

This is the first time I am sharing the harrowing ordeal I had gone through in those days at a personal level.

However, it was from these very built up emotions that I had appealed to the people of Gujarat on the day of the Godhra train burning itself; fervently urging for peace and restraint to ensure lives of innocents were not put at risk. I had repeatedly reiterated the same principles in my daily interactions with the media in those fateful days of February-March 2002 as well; publically underlining the political will as well as moral responsibility of the government to ensure peace, deliver justice and punish all guilty of violence. You will also find these deep emotions in my recent words at my Sadbhavana fasts, where I had emphasized how such deplorable incidents did not behoove a civilized society and had pained me deeply.

In fact, my emphasis has always been on developing and emphasizing a spirit of unity; with the now widely used concept of ‘my 5 crore Gujarati brothers and sisters’ having crystallised right at the beginning of my tenure as CM itself from this very space.
However, as if all the suffering was not enough, I was also accused of the death and misery of my own loved ones, my Gujarati brothers and sisters. Can you imagine the inner turmoil and shock of being blamed for the very events that have shattered you!

For so many years, they incessantly kept up their attack, leaving no stone unturned. What pained even more was that in their overzealousness to hit at me for their narrow personal and political ends, they ended up maligning my entire state and country. This heartlessly kept reopening the wounds that we were sincerely trying to heal. It ironically also delayed the very justice that these people claimed to be fighting for. Maybe they did not realize how much suffering they were adding to an already pained people.

Gujarat however had decided its own path. We chose peace over violence. We chose unity over divisiveness. We chose goodwill over hatred. This was not easy, but we were determined to commit for the long haul. From a life of daily uncertainty and fear; my Gujarat transformed into one of Shanti, Ekta and Sadbhavana. I stand a satisfied and reassured man today. And for this, I credit each and every Gujarati.

The Gujarat Government had responded to the violence more swiftly and decisively than ever done before in any previous riots in the country. Yesterday’s judgement culminated a process of unprecedented scrutiny closely monitored by the highest court of the land, the Honourable Supreme Court of India. Gujarat’s 12 years of trial by the fire have finally drawn to an end. I feel liberated and at peace.

I am truly grateful to all those who stood by me in these trying times; seeing through the facade of lies and deceit. With this cloud of misinformation firmly dispelled, I will now also hope that the many others out there trying to understand and connect with the real Narendra Modi would feel more empowered to do so.

Those who derive satisfaction by perpetuating pain in others will probably not stop their tirade against me. I do not expect them to. But, I pray in all humility, that they at least now stop irresponsibly maligning the 6 crore people of Gujarat.

Emerging from this journey of pain and agony; I pray to God that no bitterness seeps into my heart. I sincerely do not see this judgement as a personal victory or defeat, and urge all – my friends and especially my opponents – to not do so as well. I was driven by this same principle at the time of the Honourable Supreme Court’s 2011 judgement on this matter. I fasted 37 days for Sadbhavana, choosing to translate the positive judgement into constructive action, reinforcing Unity and Sadbhavana in society at large.

I am deeply convinced that the future of any society, state or country lies in harmony. This is the only foundation on which progress and prosperity can be built. Therefore, I urge one and all to join hands in working towards the same, ensuring smiles on each and every face.
Once again, Satyameva Jayate!
Vande Mataram!

Project on Onam wins support from Heritage Lottery Fund in UK

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Malayalee Association of the UK (MAUK) will get financial support from the UK-based Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an interesting project – Our Story – which tells the story of ‘Onam’

 MAUK , based in the London Borough of Newham, is a leading East London organisation representing UK’s Malayalam speaking community. Our Story is an 18 month project which is due for completion in November 2014.

“This project focuses on the significance of Onam of the Malayali community through various mini projects. The first is a reminiscence project that will capture on film the memories of Malayali elders’ experience of the rituals and customs associated with Onam, both in Kerala and in England. This will be transformed into a DVD and an oral history booklet, which will be archived in local libraries and study centres, forming part of an educational resource on world heritages,” said Project director Salila Vipinachandran at a press conference here on Thursday.

According to her, the second will be a pilot project that links MAUK in a partnership with Hartley Primary School in Newham to develop learning resources about Onam which, it is anticipated, will subsequently become part of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 2 children. Another aspect of the ‘Our Story’ Project will enable the public to experience and enjoy the cultural significance of Onam through events consisting of illustrated talks, workshops, music and dance and demonstration of traditional sports and games played during Onam.

“The project will enable Onam to be recognised as part of the different heritages celebrated by various communities living in the UK, thus preserving it for the future generation of Malayalis in the UK, as well as for the wider community. MAUK will be actively promoting the learning resources, book and DVD on its website www.mauk.org by enabling the public to download them for free,” she added.

The corrupt should be shot dead: Siby Mathews

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Those who are corrupt should be shot dead as is the practice in China, State Chief Information Commissioner Siby Mathews has said. “The government has no plans to punish the corrupt,” he said during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of vigilance department here on Thursday.

“Vigilance department is like a caged parrot. For the past 50 years the department has not go a free-hand in dealing with cases. If it is given the full authority over its rights, it will stop to exist like a caged parrot,” Mathews said.

“The follow-up of cases related to corruption is being prolonged indefinitely. There have been huge backlog of such cases in courts, which has helped many politicians. The government expresses no strong will to take action against the corrupt and the Vigilance department has been functioning according to the whims and fancies of politicians,” he added.

Court order on Kadakampally land deal thrown to the winds: VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan on Thursday alleged that the government had thrown to the winds the court order on Kadakampally land deal.

He said in a statement here on Thursday that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had been keeping quiet even after one week since the court order came.
The CM’s silence itself showed his hand in the deal, Achuthanandan said and asked why the government was not ready to shunt out Land Revenue Commissioner T O Sooraj, who is facing allegation in the land deal.

I’m not involved in Delco land deal, says James Mathew MLA

KANNUR: The allegations levelled against me in connection with the land deal of co-operative organisation Delco is totally baseless, said CPM Taliparambu MLA James Mathew. Addressing the media, he said that he had resigned the chairman post of the organisation in 2006.

James Mathew came forward with an explanation after Raju, a native of Andhra Pradesh, alleged that the former snatched Rs 75 lakhs from him promising to give land at Kakkad in Kannur. I deposited the money in the account directed by James Mathew, Raju had revealed the other day.

James Mathew said, “Five persons including me intervened to solve the problems in the land deal. I interfered as those involved in the deal approached me, but I have never mediated on the issue. There is also no proof for the money given.”

Drunken SI manhandles P J Kurien’s escort team

CHANGANASSERY: Boozing on Christmas day seems to have landed an SI from Mullapally and his friends in trouble. They entered into a brawl with the policemen who were part of the escort team of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Prof P J Kurien on Wednesday. The SI, working in Pathanamthitta, is reported to have seriously attacked the members of the escort team.

The incident happened at Nedungapally in the noon. The police team had come to give escort to Kuiren at Kottayam-Pathanamthitta border from Nedungapally to Karukachal station. The team, on a tip-off, raided the shop in Negungapally where the SI and his friends were on a drinking spree. Despite tough physical resistance put up by the drunkards, the team was able to huddle them into the police jeep. A case was registered against them for the disruption of official duty and for attacking the escort team.

However, the SI and others got bail in the evening. The SI, an accused in several cases of police high-handedness, is known to have high influence in the home ministry. He most often escaped the clutches of law due to this reason. On Wednesday also, he returned to the place within a few hours of arrest and threatened the local people, according to reports.   

Jagathy injured again

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Veteran actor Jagathy Sreekumar got injured again on Thursday at his brother- in-law’s house at Thambalakkadu in Kottayam, where he had gone two days before to celebrate Christmas, along with his family.

The relatives said it happened as he was trying to get up from the wheel chair. In the process, he fell down, hitting his head against the floor.    

He has been admitted to a private hospital in Kanjirappalli with head injuries. Doctors said though the head injury needed stitches, there was nothing to worry about.

Jagathy had been on bed rest for some time now after surviving a near-fatal car accident.  

Govt failed to inform centre facts on Aranmula Airport

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  It has been alleged that the government had failed to inform the centre some facts in connection with the Aranmula Airport. A complaint has been cropped up that the government failed to inform Union Forests and Environment ministry about the filling up of the paddy fields and wetland by the KGS Group, promoters of the airport.

The ministry had sought an explanation from the government over the filling up of the paddy fields and wetlands in February 2012. The director of the environment department conducted an examination on the place and in his report had written that the KGS Group had filled the wetlands. Filling fields without permission is violation of law. The report had mentioned to inform centre about some construction work done without the permission of the forests and environment ministry.

After examining the file, the chief minister forwarded it to the industries minister. The portion where it was mentioned ‘fields filled up’ had been written ‘exemption’.  But it is not clear whose hand writing it is. The chief minister signed the file and handed it over to the centre. The ministry gave permission for the KGS following the report that the fields were not filled.

After examining the file, the chief minister forwarded it to the industries minister. The portion where it was mentioned ‘fields filled up’ had been written ‘exemption’.  But it is not clear whose hand writing it is. The chief minister later signed the file and handed it over to the centre. The ministry gave permission for the KGS following the report that the fields were not filled up.
Meantime, Minister P K Kunhalikutty said the file on the filling of paddy fields is not looked by the industries department. The department is in charge of the re-notification of the sector. 

Woman jumps before train with baby

CHANGANASSERY: A woman ended her life by jumping before the train with her baby in her arms over a family dispute in Changanassery. The woman has been identified as Ebina (28), wife of Rajesh of Morkkulangara. After a fight with her husband, she left the house with her one and a half year old baby girl and jumped before the train. Rajesh fled the place soon after the incident.  A police team led by sub inspector Joy Mathew is investigating the case.

Celebrities in trouble for tax evasion

KOCHI: It has been hinted that many more celebrities will be in trouble on the charges of service tax evasion. The last to receive a notice for not paying service tax was noted singer Rimi Tommy.

Recently actor Dileep was questioned by the central excise department on charges of service tax evasion.The department had issued notices to 22 noted personalities seeking explanation for their alleged failure to pay service tax. The singer too is expected to give an explanation.

The notice was sent to the singer after she failed to produce the concerned documents on the income obtained from film and stage shows conducted inside and outside the country.  She has been asked to give a reply directly or indirectly to the department and if she fails to do so, action will be taken.

Advisory committee will decide on budget dates: Speaker

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Cabinet’s Business Advisory committee will decide on whether to change the budget dates or not, Speaker G Karthikeyan has said. January 17 was the date fixed for introducing the budget in the assembly. The budget session will begin from January 3.  

“In the assembly nothing fruitful is happening. For this, everyone present there is equally responsible. If the assembly is not able to meet, it means there exists a dangerous situation for the democracy. For the smooth conduct of budget session, a meeting of LDF and UDF allies will be called,” he said.  

AIYF leader's health continues to be serious

KOLLAM: The condition of AIYF’s Mangadu Village Secretary Vinesh (28), a resident of Karikkode Vikas Nagar, continues to be serious. He was allegedly hacked by SDPI activists at around 9 pm at Kallun Thazhatthu on Thursday.

Kikollore police has confirmed that the assailants are SDPI activists and they have intensified the search for them. The situation has remained tense since.       

Vinesh was returning home after taking part in the inaugural function of the Kollam edition of Janayugam daily. According to the police, the gang wearing masks and brandishing dangerous weapons came in the bike and hacked Vinesh. He was later admitted to a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.
For quite sometime now, Karikkode has been witnessing clashes between CPI and SDPI. The police said the recent incident was a continuation of the rivalry.

AIYF State Vice-president Adv. A Sajilal has demanded action against SDPI activists involved in the incident.

Kejriwal questions CNG price hike in Delhi

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister designate Arvind Kejriwal on Friday questioned the move by the Centre to hike CNG prices when a new government was to assume power in Delhi in two days’ time even as he suggested that auto fares in the national capital may be revised as a result of the steep increase.

He said he would examine the files and also ask the Centre about the reason for its haste in increasing the prices.

“What was the need to increase CNG prices when a new government is to take over in Delhi. It raises suspicions about their intention. I will look at the files once I take over tomorrow and see if the hike can be rolled back,” Kejriwal said.

The compressed natural gas, or CNG, rate in the national capital was on Thursday raised by a steep Rs 4.50 per kg in a second increase in rates in three months.

CNG will now cost Rs 50.10/kg in Delhi and Rs. 56.70/kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad, Indraprastha Gas Ltd. (IGL) has said. The hike came into effect from Thursday midnight.

When told that autorickshaw drivers were unhappy with the hike and planning to go on a strike, Kejriwal said, “They have been associated with us for a long time... When I take charge tomorrow, I will hold consultations with them and try to find out a solution. If necessary, we cannot rule out the possibility of a hike in auto fares in Delhi.”

Meanwhile, commenting on a sting operation carried out by a news channel purportedly showing that files were being torn, the Aam Aadmi Party leader said it was the Chief Secretary’s responsibility to take care of files.

“This also shows there is large scale corruption in these departments and officials who are seeking transfer are understood to have been involved in it,” he said.

HC rejects MG Uty vice chancellor’s plea

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court rejected M G University vice chancellor Dr A V George’s plea filed against Governor’s notice to state the reason for not ousting him from the post. Rejecting the plea, the court said they cannot intervene in governor’s notice. So now the vice chancellor will have to give an explanation in a week’s time.
Meantime, the court has granted him two weeks time to give an explanation.

The Governor also the chancellor of the university issued the show-cause notice to the vice chancellor on December 24 after the allegation regarding his ineligibility was found true.

George’s bio-data showed that he was the head of the department of Environmental Science at Central University of Kasargod. But on investigation, it was found that he was only on deputation for six months in the university.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

No magic wand but nothing is impossible: Kejriwal

GHAZIABAD: Set to be sworn-in as Delhi Chief Minister on Saturday, Arvind Kejriwal Thursday said he does not have a magic wand to solve all the problems but nothing is impossible if honest people join hands.

45-year-old Kejriwal, who will be administered oath of office along with six AAP MLAs, at the historic Ramlila Maidan here said there will be no VIPs at the ceremony and "everyone is invited".

"It is open for all. No VIP is there. All 'aam admi' will be present. You are all invited," he told reporters.

Portfolios of the new ministers will be announced in the next two days, he said.

The cabinet ministers who will take oath along with Kejriwal are Manish Sisodia, Rakhi Birla, Somnath Bharti, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Girish Soni and Satendra Jain.

The Chief Minister-designate asked honest officials and employees of Delhi government to contact him through SMS or email so that they can be deployed at places where they can work to solve Delhi's problems.

"I would request them to contact me through SMS or email, we will depute good people at good places and want to move ahead with them. I don't have a magic wand to solve all the problems, but if good, honest and efficient people join us nothing is impossible," he said.

"For the first time, there is a Chief Minister who is looking for honest officials to work for him, otherwise whenever a new CM comes, he or she looks for those officials who can earn them commission through corruption," he said.

If honest officials join us, it can help us giving a corruption-free government, he said.

Asked how AAP would verify if somebody is honesty, he said, "We have a network and we will find out. A team of officials like present education secretary Rajendra Kumar are looking for honest and dynamic officials".

Kejriwal reiterated that as soon as he assumes power he would ensure 700 litres of water supply to each household and said all the necessary groundwork is being done.

While calling upon people to come in large numbers at Ramlila ground for the swearing-in ceremony, Kejriwal said he will speak to his guru Anna Hazare and ask him to grace the occasion.

"Anna Hazare is my guru and I would personally talk to him on phone to invite him for the ceremony," he said.

Hazare unwell, not to attend Kejriwal's swearing-in ceremony

RALEGAN SIDDHI: Anna Hazare today said he would not be attending his one time protege Arvind Kejriwal's swearing-in ceremony in Delhi on Saturday owing to ill-health.

"I am not well," Hazare said when asked whether he will be travelling to Delhi on December 28 to attend the ceremony.

When questioned again, Hazare said, "I can't say right now, I am not well."

The Delhi Chief Minister-designate had said earlier in the day that he would personally invite his "guru" Hazare .. for the ceremony.

"Anna Hazare is my guru and I would personally talk to him on phone to invite him for the ceremony," he said.

"The invitation would be sent from the government's side and I had asked them to send an invitation to Hazare, Kiran Bedi and Justice Santosh Hegde," Kejriwal said.

The Gandhian had two days back said that he is yet to receive an invitation for the swearing-in ceremony but would not attend even if he got one owing to ill-health.

Hazare had earlier declined to comment on the Kejriwal-led AAP's decision to form the new government in Delhi, but added he would express his views when his former protege acts on the Lokayukta issue.

Hazare had parted ways with Kejriwal following his decision to form a political party.

The relations between the Gandhian and the AAP convener had hit a new low when he recently ordered a frontline leader of Kejriwal's party Gopal Rai to leave his fast venue and village after he engaged in a spat with former Army chief General V K Singh. Singh had slammed Kejriwal and others for having deserted Hazare and formed a political party.

The AAP had immediately recalled Rai from Hazare's fast venue.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Petrol pumps to remain closed tomorrow

KOZHIKODE: The All Kerala Federation of Petroleum Traders (AKFPT) will stage a token strike from 6 am to 6 pm on Friday, December 27 by closing down petrol pumps to press for their demands, said north zone chairman K P Sivanandan at a press meet.

Their main demands are the implementation of a Supreme Court directive on guidelines to allow new petrol pumps in the state and to protect the pumps from antisocial elements during night time.

Notice to Air India in gold smuggling case

CHENNAI: Revenue Intelligence issued a notice to the Air India seeking action to prevent some employees smuggling gold and some aiding others to smuggle the stuff. The notice sent by revenue intelligence director Najeeb to Air India chairman and managing director Rohit Nandan has asked to make strict examination of employees.

The DRA has asked the full details of the employees involved in the smuggling. The revenue intelligence had seized gold worth 1.84 crores from the Air India Express flight from Dubai to Kozhikode and 32 kilos of gold biscuits from the toilet near to the cockpit of the Air India flight to Chennai.

Six-year-old-boy dies in front of parents

NEYYATTINKARA: In a ghastly incident, a six-year-old-boy died after he was dragged underneath by the strong undercurrents of the sea. The incident happened in front of his parents.

The body of the boy was later washed into the shore. The only son of Musthafar and Mini of Pozhiyoor died yesterday afternoon after he was caught in the strong waves.

The boy identified as Jinu was a first class student of Kulathur School. Nobody present there was able to save the boy.

Body found

THRISSUR: The body of a man was found in a paddy field on Monday. The dead was identified as Manoj, 38, of Challiyil House of Vandithavalam. The body was found around 7 am. He had been reported missing since 9 pm on Sunday. The police said that he suffered from epilepsy.

Private bus strike in Thiruvalla

PATHANAMTHITTA: Private buses are off the roads in protest against the attack on their buses halted at the bus stand. Anti-social elements are suspected to be behind the incident.

The window panes of nine buses parked in the bus stand were found smashed. No employees or security were at the stand due to Christmas.

The vehicles were found smashed when the employees came for work Thursday morning.

Cong all set to pick right candidates for LS election

NEW DELHI: KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala said on Tuesday that the party high command had given instructions for immediate selection of candidates for the coming Lok Sabha election. The discussions will first take place in Kerala and the follow up of that will happen in Delhi in January under the supervision of the high command.

He said the controversy over former chief minister K Karunakaran’s statue was unnecessary. All had seen the statue and did not make any suggestion for modification at that time.

When asked about P C George’s issue, he said he had nothing more to say than what Kerala Congress (M) K M Mani had said in that regard.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dileep appears before I-T officials

KOCHI: Actor Dileep on Tuesday appeared before Central Excise officials to face interrogation over defaulting in service tax payment. He was asked about the source of money that was seized from his house during a recent raid.     

The officials had seized unaccounted money of Rs 13 lakh and foreign currencies from Dileep’s house and Production Company in Kochi. The Central Excise has also sent notice to other famous actors for defaulting in the payment. They have been asked to respond with explanation before December 31.

Will keep mum for time being : P C George

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: During the auspicious occasion of Christmas, Government Chief Whip P C George wants to maintain silence. “I am not game for arguments and discussion for the time being. But I am waiting for controversial businessman Abhilash Murali’s legal notice. Let me get that. After that I will respond. No going back in that,” George said on Tuesday.     

He told Kerala Kaumudi he would bring the ‘dubious’ relation between Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrsihnan and Abhilash Muralidharan before the public once he got the legal notice. “No body can make me tell lies or make me do something unfaithful,” he said. His statement follows Kerala Congress (M) chairman K M Mani’s strictures against George's on and off comments on certain political leaders made through the media.

Georoge’s remark linking Abhilash and Thiruvanchoor’s son had created political furore over the past few days. Surprisingly, Mani on Monday came out with statements refuting George’s stand; the reason for this is said be pressure from the Congress party, which had taken exception to George’s comments.

It is also rumoured that Mani’s sudden U-turn is to favour his son Jose K Mani’s prospects in politics.

Govt declares awards for performing arts

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Government has declared the awards for performing arts. Nelliyodu Vasudevan Namboothiri gets the award for Kathakali. The award comprises Rs 1lakh and memento.   

Other similar awards were won by two more eminent artistes. Pallavoor Appu Marar award goes to Sadanam Vasudevan and Keraleeya Nrityanatya award goes to Kalamandalam Rama Chakyar.

Cong all set to pick right candidates for LS election

NEW DELHI: KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala said on Tuesday that the party high command had given instructions for immediate selection of candidates for the coming Lok Sabha election. The discussions will first take place in Kerala and the follow up of that will happen in Delhi in January under the supervision of the high command.

He said the controversy over former chief minister K Karunakaran’s statue was unnecessary. All had seen the statue and did not make any suggestion for modification at that time.

When asked about P C George’s issue, he said he had nothing more to say than what Kerala Congress (M) K M Mani had said in that regard.   

Rape victim gives birth

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 17-year-old girl, who is a rape victim, gave birth to a baby in a private hospital in the City on Monday. The girl from Thrissur had reportedly gone to her cousin’s house in Jagathy to celebrate Christmas. There she complained of stomach pain and got admitted to the hospital.

In her statement to the police, the girl said she was gang-raped by three anonymous persons when she was a student. However, the Poojappura police have registered a case and started an investigation.

Tampering with bio-data: MG varsity VC gets Governor’s notice

KOTTAYAM: Governor has sent show cause notice to MG University vice-chancellor Dr A V George, seeking his explanation on why he should not be removed from the post. The action comes following allegations that he tampered with the bio-data he had submitted during his appointment.     

The governor, who is also the chancellor of the university, had also asked government to conduct an inquiry based on the allegations and submit a report.
Following this an inquiry was conducted by Chief Secretary and a report was submitted. The report had endorsed the allegations. In a petition filed in the high court questioning the VC’s appointment the governor had also been made an opposite party.

In the bio-data given for VC’s post, George allegedly had included qualification which he actually didn’t posses. Later it was corrected. Many who were eyeing for the post had got flustered by George’s appointment.

Meanwhile, George after becoming the VC is known to have locked horns with the government. Though he came as a nominee of Kerala Congress, the party ditched him later due to certain issues. When a group in the Congress and the varsity Congress union came out against Geroge, he found himself in a difficult position. The government also started turning against him as he took some disciplinary action against Registrar M R Unni.

Kejriwal picks his team of ministers

GHAZIABAD: Arvind Kejriwal is understood to have finalised his team of ministers that includes his trusted associate Manish Sisodia and five others to be inducted into his ministry that will be sworn in later this week.

Besides Sisodia, a former journalist who won from Patparganj constituency, the Cabinet will include Rakhi Birla, the giant killer who defeated PWD Minister Rajkumar Chouhan, Somnath Bharti (defeated Women and Child Development Minister Kiran Walia) Saurabh Bhardwaj, Girish Soni and Satendra Jain, said Bharadwaj after a meeting with Kejriwal.

However, party sources said there could be changes before the team is finalised.
Kejriwal may be sworn-in as Chief Minister at an oath- taking ceremony in Ramlila Maidan once President Pranab Mukherjee clears the Lt Governor's proposal in this regard.

Throughout the day Kejriwal held discussions at his residence here with party leaders including Sisodia.

Meanwhile, Kejriwal is understood to have decided to pick up senior IAS officer, Rajendra Kumar as Chief Minister's Principal Secretary.

Like Kejriwal, 47-year-old Kumar, at present Higher Education Secretary, is an alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur.

Kumar met Kejriwal at his residence here. Chief Secretary D M Spolia also met Kejriwal. They were described as courtesy calls. Birla, Bharti, Jain and Soni met Kejriwal.

Arvind Kejriwal's cabinet include:

Manish Sisodia: A 41-year-old former journalist who came to light during the Jan Lokpal movement, Sisodia routed Nakul Bhardwaj of the BJP by 11,478 votes from Patparganj. He holds a diploma in journalism. He was born in a Rajput family in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh.

Saurabh Bhardwaj: A computer engineer by profession, he completed his BTech from Indraprastha University. Bhardwaj also studied law from Osmania University. The 34-year-old was born and raised in Delhi. He defeated Ajay Kumar Malhotra, son of veteran BJP leader V.K. Malhotra, by 13,092 votes in Greater Kailash.

Somnath Bharti: He pursued a degree in law from Delhi University after doing his Masters in Science from IIT-Delhi. He was also president of the IIT-Delhi alumni association. Born in Bihar, the 39-year-old moved to Delhi in 1992. He defeated two heavyweights - BJP's Arti Mehra and Kiran Walia of Congress - in Malviya Nagar.

Rakhi Birla: Another former journalist, she is the youngest in the likely ministers' list. The 26-year-old holds a Masters degree in journalism from the National Broadcasting Academy in Sarojini Nagar in south Delhi. She defeated Raj Kumar Chauhan, a minister in the Sheila Dikshit government, from Mangolpuri by 10,585 votes.

Satyendra Jain: He is an architect by profession and used to work with the Central Public Works Department. The 49-year-old Jain won the Shakur Basti seat defeating Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Shyam Lal Garg by 7,062 votes.

Girish Soni: The 49-year-old businessman defeated BJP's Kailash Sankla by 1,103 votes from the Madipur seat. Soni, who owns a leather goods business in Madipur, studied up to Class 12 from the Senior Secondary School, Madipur, and has always resided in Delhi. He has been associated with the party since India Against Corruption days.