Friday, January 30, 2015

Ithihasa Actor Shine Tom Chacko,Sneha Arrested Dubai Travels Mart Owner

Kochi: Upcoming film star Shine Tom Chacko who had appeared in a few Malayalam films in prominent roles of late has been detained by the Kochi police along with four women from a flat for possessing cocaine. On a tip off, the police raided the flat in Kadavanthara in the wee hours of Saturday and recovered 10 grams of cocain, which is believed to be left behind after use.

The flat is owned by business baron and King's Group owner Muhammed Nizam, who was detained by the police a couple of days ago in connection with attempt to murder a security guard of the flat by hitting him with the car that Nizam was driving.

Shine Tom Chacko had essayed the lead role in the film Ithihaasa, which was released in October last year.

The four arrested women included assistant director Blessy, models, Tinsy and Reshma and Travel Mart owner in Dubai Sneha. The police are interrogating five arrested.

Police had stepped up strict vigil following information about rampant use of drugs in night parties in Kochi. The police also had information that drug abuse is spreading fast among those involved in films.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Maoists strike again; vandalise NHAI office

KOCHI: Suspected Maoists attacked the office of National Highway Authority of India at nearby Kalamassery and vandalised it Thursday morning, police said.

Some files were found strewn on the floor and others found burnt, police said.

The incident is said to have occurred at around 9 am.

Some pamphlets of Maoists were also found from the spot.

Kochi Police Commissioner K G James, who visited the office, confirmed there was an attack and said they suspected it to be the handiwork of Maoists.

A forensic team also visited the office.

This is the second attack by Maoists in Kochi after the one on the corporate office of Nitta Gelatin India Ltd at Panampilly Nagar in November last year.

Today's attack comes close on the heels of the attack by Maoists on a tourist resort at Wayanad on January 25. The Maoists had escaped into the forests after vandalising the premises and writing slogans against US President Barack Obama's visit to the country.

The six-member masked group, carrying firearms had barged into the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation's resort located in the forests and damaged computer and glass panes at the reception in the wee hours.

Mani, George throw tantrum

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The demand for Finance Minister K  M Mani’s resignation following bar bribery controversy has been gathering momentum over the past few months. Kerala Congress high power committee which was convened on Thursday to discuss the present scenario in the party saw heated arguments between Mani and Government chief Whip P C George.

George alleged that Mani had cheated him after assuring him a minister’s post. Mani had also said that the party would have three ministers. On the other hand, Mani rebuked George for issuing reckless statements about Mani and his son, “Who is he to demand my resignation. George should avoid making controversial statements,” he said.        

As if to placate Mani, George then said that he would not allow Mani to resign and whatever he said was his personal opinion. “I had fallen prey to media’s provocation… I didn’t mean to hurt anyone or conspire against any one,” George said,.

It was Geroge’s close associate T S John who had demanded Mani’s resignation. “Mani should have resigned when the bar controversy broke out. If Mani was reluctant to resign alone, others could have joined him,” he said in the meeting, while Joseph group chose to remain silent.     

However, a decision was taken in the meeting by the party members to fight unitedly against bar bribery controversy. PC George said after the meeting that Mani himself would present the budget and a bar owner’s allegation can’t destroy the UDF.

Shops near Ernakulam North Rly station gutted

KOCHI: In the fire that broke out at shops near Ernakulam North Railway station on Thursday, five shops selling old items were gutted. The fire incident happened early morning around 2 O’ clock. 

The shops were the ones that had stocks of used iron, plastic and other materials thrown out after use. However, no casualty was reported.

Fire force personal from Gandhi Nagar, Thrikkakara and Club Road, who had reached the spot, toiled for about 45 minutes to bring the fire under control. The reason for the fire is yet to be ascertained.

I will not attend any UDF meetings, says Pillai

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even after being given a long rope by the Congress-led UDF to mend his ways, senior UDF leader R Balakrishna Pillai showed no restraint Thursday and continued to hit back.

The UDF leaders under Chief Minister Oommen Chandy met Wednesday night and expressed their displeasure in the conduct of Pillai but decided to give him, yet another chance while asking him to behave himself and work for the good of the ruling UDF, of which his party- Kerala Congress (Pillai) is an ally.

But Thursday morning, Pillai told reporters that he has done no wrong and hence he need not correct himself.

"Since me and my party was being ignored for the past four years, it's the UDF leadership which should correct first and then tell us to mend our ways. I have done no wrong and I do not intend to go out of the UDF. But I will not attend any UDF meetings," said a defiant Pillai.

The UDF for the past few days has been cut up with Pillai and decided not to invite him to Wednesday's meeting after an audio conversation between him and whistle blower bar owner Biju Ramesh came out in the open last week.

In it Pillai is heard telling Ramesh that he should go ahead by filing a case in the Kerala High Court for a CBI probe into the bar graft allegation levelled by the former in October that Finance Minister K M Mani was given Rs1 crore as the first instalment of the Rs.5 crore he demanded to help reopen bars in the state.

"I have told him (Chandy) about the corruption allegations of a few minister's in his cabinet, even before Ramesh came out with his statements. But Chandy ignored me. Am now happy that even V S Achuthanandan has appreciated me in my tirades against corruption," said Pillai.

Pillai's has just one legislator, his son K B Ganesh Kumar who is also unhappy with the UDF, as he has not been taken back to the cabinet after he resigned two years back following a domestic issue with his then wife.

He has also been booted out of the UDF meetings after he last December went hammer and tongs against his former cabinet colleague and on the floor of the Kerala assembly raised allegations of corruption.

Reacting to the new developments of Pillai again hitting back at the UDF, Chandy told reporters that he has not heard anything and hence he cannot comment on Pillai's statements.

Jiji Thompson to be new chief secretary

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: IAS official Jiji Thompson will be the new chief secretary of Kerala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced here Wednesday.

Chandy said this to reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting.

The 1980-batch Kerala cadre official's appointment comes despite former chief minister VS Achuthanandan asking the Chandy government earlier this month to not consider Thomson for the chief secretary's post as he is an accused in the controversial palm oil case.

But Chandy brushed aside the suggestion and said the decision had been taken, and that Thomson would join when incumbent E K Bharath Bhushan retires at the end of this month.

Thomson, early this month, rejoined the state service after a stint as director of the Sports Authority of India.

The import of 15,000 tonnes of palm oil was undertaken in 1992. A case was registered in 1999 when the Communists led by EK Nayanar were in power.

Former chief minister K Karunakaran, then food minister TH Mustafa, and bureaucrats PJ Thomas (who had to quit as chief vigilance commissioner during the UPA-II regime) and Thompson were charged with causing a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the state by importing oil at an enhanced price from Malaysia.

Tearful adieu to Mala Aravindan

MALA: Thousands bid adieu to the noted comedian and character artist Mala Aravindan, who passed away yesterday. He was cremated at the premises of his house with full state honours. The artist’s son Kishore and nephews lit the funeral pyre at 8.30 am Thursday morning.

A sea of humanity converged at his house to pay last respects to the actor. Actors Mammootty, Jayaram, Dilip, AMMA president Innocent, Harishree Ashokan, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Maniyan Pillai Raju, Spadikam George, Kunchan, Siddique, Kalabhavan Mani, Sreejith Ravi, Idavela Babu, music director Vidyadharan Master, directors Vinayan, Kamal, Sibi Malayil, Siddique, Sathyan Anthicaud, Minister A P Anil Kumar, MLAs T N Prathapan, K V Abdul Khader, Babu M Palisseri, V D Devassy reached the actor’s house to pay homage. 

BJP leader hacked to death in Alappuzha

ALAPPUZHA: A BJP activist was found hacked to death in the district. He has been identified as Venugopal (46), son of Gopinath Pillai. Venugopal was the mandalam secretary of the party. He was found lying in a pool of blood in front of his house at Kalavoor IT Colony Thursday morning at around 6 am.

He was the first accused in a case in connection with the murder of a CPM activist Yemmachan two years back. Previous enmity is suspected to be the reason for the murder. The police have so far not obtained any hint on the miscreants. A large contingent of police led by Mararikkulam circle inspector K G Aneesh is camping in the area. A hartal is being observed in places like Kalavoor and Mannancheri panchayat in protest against the murder.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Black flags shown to CM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: DYFI activists showed black flags to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy when he came to inaugurate the shooting range for the national games. They protested alleging corruption in conducting the games.

The police intervened and removed them from the site. The chief minister later inaugurated the shooting range.

No CBI probe in bar scam, says HC

KOCHI: In some relief for Finance minister K M Mani, facing bribery charges in the bar bribe case, Kerala High Court Thursday turned down the prayer for a CBI probe into the controversial scam, saying there was no ground at this stage to issue any direction to transfer it to the central probe agency.

"Investigation being still in progress and there being no material to come to the conclusion that vigilance probe, now being carried out, was not free and impartial and the report of investigating agency was yet to be filed, we are of the view that at this stage no ground has been made out to issue any direction to transfer the case to CBI," a division bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A M Shaffique said.

The bench stated this while closing the petition by former MLA A V Thamarakshan, general secretary, RSP (B).

'We cannot also draw any conclusion that the investigation is invariably delayed', the bench held.

Advocate General K P Dandapani had earlier submitted that the complainant in the scam Biju Ramesh, working president of bar owners association, had been making disclosures on different occasions. Recently, he had submitted an audio tape which has to be scientifically examined. This was causing delay in the probe, he stated.

Ten witnesses had so far been examined by vigilance, the court was informed.

The petitioner submitted that 'inaction' on the part of vigilance to conduct a fair probe into the alleged corruption was illegal. The audio tape released by Biju Ramesh also points to the allegations of corruption against Mani, it was stated.

According to the petitioner, neither Mani nor his relatives had been questioned in the case. No raid had been conducted at their residence so far in Pala, Kottayam where the bribe amount was allegedly handed over. Hence, no fair and transparent enquiry would be held, it was stated.

The scam pertains to an allegation by Ramesh that hefty sum was paid to Mani for his help in reopening some closed liquor bars in the state. Based on this, government initially ordered a "quick verification' and later lodged an FIR for a detailed probe.

League hits out at Pillai and George

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Muslim League leader E T Muhammed Basheer Wednesday hit out at Kerala Congress (B) chairman R Balakrishna Pillai and Chief Whip P C George. Making public statements after standing in the Front is wrong, he said. The people are only discussing the controversies nowadays.

The UDF will suffer a setback in the polls held to self-governing bodies, he told a channel.He slammed Pillai’s statement on his fight against corruption. The League will make their stand clear in the UDF meet to be convened here today, he said.

Nobody can warn me, says P C George

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Nobody can warn me, said Chief Whip P C George. He said this while bringing to notice the demand of the Muslim League to warn him.

George said, "I started my political career without fearing anybody. My life is based on some values such as truth, ethics and justice. I will attend the UDF meet and the executive Mani Group. As a party chairman, I will attend the meeting and give my opinion."

Man, children killed in cylinder explosion

PALAKKAD: Three members of a family were charred to death following an LPG cylinder explosion in their house at 6.30 am Wednesday morning. The dead has been identified as Babu (44), son of late Raman of Palakkad, Abitha (5) and Akshaya (2).

The incident happened when Babu’s wife Prameela went to her tharavadu which is nearby to send her eldest son to school. She went after locking the house as her husband and two children were sleeping. When the neighbours saw fire spreading, they came rushing and broke opened the door. By the time, the three were charred to death.

K N Balagopal CPM district secretary

KOLLAM: Rajya Sabha member K N Balagopal was Thursday selected as the CPM Kollam district secretary. Non-district committee member Balagopal was raised to the new post after inducting him in the new committee. The meet approved the 43-member-panel submitted by district secretary K Rajagopal, who vacated his post.

State panel members like J Mercikutty Amma, P Rajendran and Vardarajan have been avoided when eight fresh faces were included in the committee.

M A Rajagopal, P K Gopan, N Jagadeesan, G Muraleedharan, Prasanna Ernest, S L Sajikumar and P K Balachandran are the new faces.

A big responsibility has been handed over to me and will strengthen the party and move forward strongly, said Balagopal.

Mala Aravindan no more

COIMBATORE: Noted actor Mala Aravindan, best known for his work as a comedian and character artist in Malayalam films, died here Wednesday morning. He was 76. He died at 6.30 am this morning at the Kovai Medical Centre Hospital in Coimbatore where he was undergoing treatment for heart ailments.

His body was brought to Thrissur and kept at the Kerala Sahithya Akademi Hall for public viewing and at the St. Antony's High School, Mala. His mortal remains would be taken to Mala in Thrissur for cremation on Thursday.

He leaves behind his wife Geetha  and children Muthu and Kala.

He was born in 1941 at Vadavucode in Ernakulam as the eldest son of Ayyappan, an excise department employee and Ponnamma, a school teacher.

Aravindan started his career as a tabla artist. He joined stage plays and started playing tabla as a background artist. When his mother got transferred, his family relocated to Mala and he started using the place name as a prefix to his name. Later, he moved into acting and started acting in professional stage plays of Kottayam National Theaters, Nadakashala, Suryasoma Theatres etc.

He has won Kerala State Nataka Academy's Best Actor award for his role in Sooryasoma's play Nidhi. Aravindan started his film career with the 1968 movie Sindhooram, directed by Balakrishnan. Since then he has acted in over 400 films and established his own style which became his trademark. During the initial stages of his career, the Mala-Pappu-Jagathy trio was a guaranteed crowd-puller among Malayalam film audiences.

The last film he acted was Punyalan Agarbathis in 2014. Mimics Parade, Kanmadam, Agnidevan, Aalorungi Arangorungi, Poochakkoru Mookkuthi, Vengalam, Uppukandam Brothers, Bhoothakannadi, Joker, Kandu Kandaranju, Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal, Madura Nombarakkattu, Vadhu Doctoranu, Meesha Madhavan, Mahayanam, Pattalam, Sethuramayyar CBI, Rasikan, Sandhesam etc.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mithra Kurian Marriage Photos Mithra Kurian William Francis Reception Photos - Mithra Kurian got engaged to her boyfriend music director William Francis.

League, RSP support Mani

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Muslim League and RSP came forward supporting Finance Minister K M Mani in the bar bribe scam. Mani has the full support of the League, said Minister P K Kunhalikutty. A decision will be taken on Pillai issue after tomorrow’s UDF meet, he said.  

RSP leader and Minister Shibu Baby John said Mani need not resign in the name of the bribe scam. The controversy has affected the front’s image, he said. RSP’s stand on the scam will be asserted at the front’s meet, he said.

VS indirectly supports Pillai and George

KOLLAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan indirectly supported the stances of Kerala Congress (B) chairman R Balakrishna Pillai and Chief Whip P C George. VS said that he will support Pillai and George if they take a stand in the fight against corruption. Fight against corruption is the stance of the Left front, he told reporters in Kollam.

The LDF will support the two if the revelations of Pillai and George against corruption are found to be true. When pointed out that Pillai was convicted in the Idamalayar case due to VS, he said that one should now see what stand they take against corruption.

BJP hartal seeking resignation of Mani near total

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Normal life across the state was Tuesday disrupted due to a day-long state-wide hartal called by BJP demanding the resignation of Finance Minister K M Mani in the wake of graft charges against him in the bar bribery scam.

Buses, taxis and autorickshaws kept off the roads and shops remained closed all over the state.

No untoward incidents were reported from any part of the state, police said.

Government offices, including the secretariat here functioned with very thin attendance.

Calicut and Kannur Universities have postponed the examinations scheduled for the day.

All major roads in the state wore a deserted look as people stayed indoors due to hartal.

However, passengers who arrived at Railway stations and Airports unaware of the hartal call found it difficult to get transport for their onward journey.

The bar bribe scam pertains to graft allegation leveled by hotelier Biju Ramesh against Mani.

In November last, Ramesh had alleged that Mani had been given a hefty sum on the promise that he would help reopen some closed liquor bars. An FIR has been lodged in the matter for a detailed probe.

Mani, who handles Finance and Law and is supremo of key UDF constituent Kerala Congress (M), had rubbished the charge, saying Ramesh had no credibility as he had been making contradictory statements on the issue.

Both Congress led ruling UDF and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had rallied behind Mani and expressed confidence in the Finance Minister and maintained that he (Mani) would present the budget this year too.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Don’t crucify Mani without proving corruption: NSS

PERUNNA: NSS came forward supporting Finance Minister K M Mani facing allegations of corruption in the bar bribery scam. There is no need for Mani to resign, said NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair. Don’t crucify him unless the corruption allegation is proved. The NSS will not support him if found true, he said.

The NSS has a good rapport with Mani and the UDF Government. The NSS wants the government to complete their tenure. However, some will not allow the government to function smoothly, he said.

Nair refused to respond to the resignation of R Balakrishna Pillai from the chairman post of Forward Development Corporation. 

UDF will turn ugly if Kerala Congress leaves, says Pillai

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The face of the UDF will turn ugly if the Kerala Congress (B) and the Kerala Congress (M) leave the Front, said R Balakrishna Pillai. I’m resigning the chairman post of the forward commission given by the UDF. The resignation is ready and will hand it over to the chief minister as soon as he reaches the capital city, Pillai said while talking to the media.

Pillai said, “I’m pained by the attitude of the UDF. The statement of the chief minister wait till the 28th is like insulting me. I had mentioned about the corruption of ministers to the chief minister. Biju Ramesh is playing blackmail politics in the bar scam. I don’t want to blackmail anybody. I’ve the letter of Saritha S Nair, accused in the solar case but I don’t want to blackmail anybody with that”.

Mani’s programmes in Kottayam cancelled

KOTTAYAM: Finance Minister K M Mani cancelled his trip to Kottayam fearing the protest of left organizations in connection with the bar bribe scam. He usually goes to Kottayam on weekends to attend the programmes held in his constituency. The Kerala Congress decided to cancel his programmes which were scheduled to happen in Kottayam today.  

Mani cancelled his trip as the programmes were all unimportant. The Left parties had stated earlier that they would boycott Mani. Political parties including the BJP are also against him.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bar bribery case is being subverted: V Muraleedharan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: BJP State president V Muraleedharan has said that the UDF government and Minister Mani have been trying to sabotage the bar bribery case. He demanded that the case be investigated by the CBI.

Muraleedharan was inaugurating the Secretariat march organised by Yuva Morcha on Saturday. “To take people into confidence, the case will have to be handed over to a Central agency. What AG said in the court was that every day new evidence was coming out. The UDF should not daydream about ruling the State with the help of the CPM. The hartal declared on January 27doesn’t belong to the BJP alone, it is also people’s strike against corruption. And, BJP will continue agitations until the corrupt minister steps down,” he said.

Bar scam: AIYF organise protest march on Jan 28

KOTTAYAM: AIYF State secretary Advocate K Rajan announced at a press conference here on Saturday that the party will intensify its protests, seeking Finance Minister K M Mani’s resignation.

“A protest march will be taken out to government offices on January 28 and Mani’s public programmes will be boycotted. Mani had misused his official power in various sectors and illegally earned crores of money. New evidence are coming out on this fact. If Mani continues as Finance Minister, the probe will not proceed in proper direction,” Rajan pointed out.

No point in discussing Mani’s resignation, says Jose K Mani

KOTTAYAM: "There is no point in discussing the resignation of Finance Minister K M Mani embroiled in the bar bribery scam," said Jose K Mani MP. The allegations against Mani are unbelievable.

The party had not discussed the media reports on his resignation, he said. He termed as unfortunate dragging his name into replacements for Mani as minister. "I’ll continue as a MP," he said.

Chief Whip P C George had mentioned earlier that Jose K Mani would not be allowed to replace Mani.

Mani scorns controversy on bar allegations

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance Minister K M Mani on Saturday scorned the controversies on the allegations in connection with the bar scam. He asked whether anybody had obtained any ample evidence on the allegations leveled against him, even after 85 days.

Talking to reporters in the district, he mockingly said that if anybody says anything from anywhere, it is not necessary to take up the issue and start discussions on it. 

Woman pretends to be prospective bride, cons men

MOOVATTUPUZHA: Here is a woman who marries, not to lead a happy life but to make some quick bucks. Any number of time she would marry for money…for leading a posh life. She is Jiji Mathew, an expert in conning men with marriage offers. Jiji (40), hailing Perumbavoor, was arrested recently by Moovattupuzha police. However, she is known to his victims in different names.

The modus operandi was that Jiji would call up men who advertised in matrimonial columns. She would talk to them over phone in sweet voice for hours and days on end. Once they fell into the  virtual honey trap, she would arrange for a meeting with them, promise to marry them and take money and gold gifts from them. She would soon drug them and flee the spot. Sometimes she herself advertised in matrimonial columns and got in touch with men  

Based on the complaint by a prospective bridegroom from Mooovattupuzha, police prepared a sketch of Jiji, published that in newspapers and finally trapped her.  

P C George takes a dig at Jose K Mani

KOTTAYAM: Chief Whip P C George said on Saturday that Jose K Mani, son of Finance Minister K M Mani, is a tender leaf. George said that he joined the Kerala Congress not to call Zindabad for Jose K Mani. "I don’t have any godfathers in the Kerala Congress. I grew up in the party without anybody’s help," he told the media.

"There are senior leaders like C F Thomas and P J Joseph who could become ministers in the party. A person who is not an MLA need not become a minister. Kerala Congress is nobody’s family asset," Geroge said.  Sarcastically rejecting the allegation against Mani, he said, "the party stands firm with Mani."

George said "as a party leader, I cannot demand Mani’s resignation. Mani need not resign in the name of the allegation. If he resigns then he will not be able to make a comeback. The government has only one more year. I have kept in pending my panel against corruption for two months. Controversies in bar scam have blemished the party’s image. Those saying that the allegation has not affected the party are its enemies".

When asked whether Mani would present the budget, George retorted "how many of us will be alive to see the budget presentation. There is no guarantee for that, It is the same with the budget presentation also."  

"Liquor business is not a bad job. My father did the same job for 40 years." He attacked bar association working president Biju Ramesh by calling him a ‘fraud’. "Biju’s father slept in a shanty forty years back. Biju had sold petrol mixed with kerosene," he alleged.

Nilambur Radha murder case: Verdict on Feb 7

MANCHERY: In case relating to the alleged murder of Radha, who was the sweeper in Nilambur Congress Block office, the order will be pronounced on February 7. The trial was completed in 39 days in the presence of Manchery First Additional Sessions Court judge P S Sasi Kumar.      

The accused are Minister Aryadan Muhammed’s personal staff member Biju Nair, a resident at LIC road and his friend Chulliyodu Shamshuddhin. According to the prosecution’s  verdict, after killing Radha, the accused stuffed her body inside a sack and dropped it into a pond at Chulliyode. The incident took place on February 5, 2014. 

Exams to be held on Jan 27 postponed

KOCHI: All examinations supposed to be held by Kochi and Calicut Universities on January 27 have been postponed to January 31. The Examination controller has informed this. There is no change in the timings and venue of exams.

The Kerala University also has changed the exam dates. The new date will be announced later. 

KTDC hotel attacked in Wayanad

WAYANAD: A six-member team including two women attacked a KTDC hotel at Thirunelli in the district. The reception counter and restaurant of Tamarind Hotel, was vandalized by the gang. The hotel attacked allegedly by Maoists early Sunday morning at 2 am damaged the computers and furniture of the office and left posters protesting against Obama’s India visit.

The Maoists did not harm any of the inmates of the hotel. Police reached the spot and conducted an inspection. The posters expressed concern over growth of tourism in the district at the cost of farmers and tribals.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Trisha’s engagement,Actress Trisha Marriage Photos ,wedding reception

Pakistan bans Akshay Kumar's 'Baby'

ISLAMABAD: Akshay Kumar starrer 'Baby', about an Indian spy mission to catch a dreaded terrorist, will not be shown in Pakistan as the censor board of the country refused to allow it screening.

"Censor boards in Islamabad and Karachi have decided to ban the film because it portrays a negative image of Muslims and the negative characters in the film also have Muslim names," the Dawn newspaper said.

All CDs and DVDs of the film have also been banned in Islamabad. A representative of the film's distributor, Everready Pictures informed the paper that the film has been banned in Pakistan.

Although, the film was set to release on January 23 across Pakistan, cinemas in Karachi had removed it from their websites leading to speculations about its imminent screening.

The film stars famed Pakistani TV drama actor Mikaal Zulfiqar as well as Rasheed Naz, who played the villainous cleric in Shoaib Mansoor's 'Khuda Ke Liye'.

Earlier, director Neeray Pandey was quoted as saying that the film was not "anti-Pakistan."
The board routinely bans films deemed to have 'anti- Pakistan' themes. In the past, the local censor board banned 'Ek Tha Tiger' that featured an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agent.

RSP (B) demands CBI probe into bar bribery case

ALAPPUZHA: Revolutionary Socialist Party (Bolshevik) leader A V Thamarakshan has demanded the resignation of Finance Minister K M Mani and a CBI probe into the bar bribery case. Speaking at a press conference here on Friday, Thamarakshan said an investigation by the CBI was necessitated “as the ongoing probe did not appear to bring out the actual facts” in the issue. He also alleged that other Ministers were involved in accepting bribes from bar owners.  Thamarakshan, who heads a constituent party of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), added that he had petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi to constitute a special investigation team to probe the alleged benami accounts held by several politicians in the State in the Middle East.

Pak move to ban Hafiz Saeed's JuD a significant move: Army

SRINAGAR: Army Saturday said the announcement of ban on Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawah by Pakistan were "good moves" but the effect of these steps needs to be gauged on ground.

"It is a significant move (by Pakistan). We are waiting and watching as to how the ban on JuD would manifest on ground," General Officer Commanding of Army's Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt General Subrata Saha told reporters here.

He said all necessary precautions have been taken in view of the high profile visit of US President Barack Obama.

"Adequate care is being taken to foil all (nefarious) designs in view of the visit of the US President," Lt Gen Saha said.

He said while security forces had good success against militants during the last year, there were reports of over 150 militants waiting at various launch pads on the other side of the Line of Control (LoC) to infiltrate in the Valley.

"According to our assessment, there are 150 to 160 militants waiting at launch pads to sneak in ... there are around 17 launch pads," he said.

Security has been beefed up across the Valley, especially in the summer capital of the state, to thwart any militant attacks ahead or during the visit of the US President, who will be arriving in New Delhi tomorrow.

Large number of police and paramilitary forces has been deployed around sensitive installations to ensure peaceful conduct of Republic Day

Special security check points have been set up at all entry and exit points celebrations and an incident-free Valley during Obama's stay in India.into the city and major towns of the Valley, where random frisking of pedestrians and checking of vehicles are being conducted to keep militants at bay.

Police and other security forces have been asked to intensify area domination patrols especially during the night hours to check the movement of suspected persons.

In addition, sharp shooters are being deployed in the close vicinity of Bakshi Stadium, the main venue of Republic Day function in the Valley.

Almost all separatists including leaders of different factions of Hurriyat Conference have called for observance of "black day" on January 26 to press for early resolution of Kashmir issue.

Chief of Al Umar Mujahideen Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar alias Latram, who was one of the three militants released in exchange of passengers of hijacked Indian Airlines plane in 1999, also called for strike.

Obama cancels Agra visit

LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: US President Barack Obama has cancelled his much-publicized visit to Agra and would be leaving for Saudi Arabia from New Delhi on January 27.

While Obama has retained the programme of his address to a select gathering in Delhi on January 27, a visit to Agra to see the iconic Taj Mahal has been cancelled as the President will leave from New Delhi to Saudi Arabia whose king Abdullah died on Thursday night.

After Americans informed the change in the programme of the President, all concerned security agencies and local administration has been conveyed the same.

A senior UP government official in Lucknow said that Obama has cancelled all his personal programmes as he would be travelling to Saudi Arabia.

He was scheduled to visit the city of Taj with his wife Michelle Obama on Tuesday next for which elaborate security arrangements had been made.

The US President, who will be arriving in India tomorrow for talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and be the chief guest at the Republic Day, will leave India on January 27.

Reason for delay in bar scam case probe is Biju Ramesh, Govt tells court

KOCHI: The government has informed the high court that Bar association working president Biju Ramesh’s steps have delayed the investigation procedures in the bar bribery scam. Ramesh, who had raised allegations against Mani, has been coming out with new evidence every now and then. 

The government made this submission in response to a petition filed by former MLA A V Thamarakshan that sought handing over of the bar bribery case to the CBI. 

“In connection with the case, ten witnesses have been questioned till date. No one among them has given statements against Mani. But, Biju Ramesh releasing audios as evidence is resulting in prolonging the case. The CD handed over to the Vigilance has edited version of the controversial talks.  So its credibility has to be checked and for that it has to be to forensic lab,” AG explained in the court, pleading that more time should be allotted for completing the probe.

The bench headed by acting judge Ashok Bhushan will pronounce the order in the case on Wednesday.

Locals manhandle SI, police woman

THALIPPARAMBU: SI and his team including a woman police officer who went to pick up an accused in a case were rounded up and bashed up by the locals and relatives of the accused on Friday.

The SI and three police officers have been admitted to a government Taluk hospital. Thalipparambu SI K J Binoy (40) got his hands and legs injured in the melee. The incident happened at 7:10 in the morning.

Woman police officer P Sheena (27) and policeman AP John (48) were kicked in their chest and both have sought medical care. Policemen T P Raghavan, M E George, P Raveendran, M G Chandran and K Muhammed Ali also got injured.

CPM man Karakkadan Babu was attacked by one Muhammed Sherif and his gang. The police team had gone to arrest Sheriff. Though Sheriff was caught after a chase, about 30 people crowded around the police team and manhandled them.  

Hartal in Pala for Mani’s resignation

PALA: The hartal called by the LDF seeking the resignation of Finance Minister K M Mani in the bar bribe scam began here Saturday morning. A large contingent of police has been deployed here to avoid any untoward incidents. Shops remain closed. Private buses are not seen on the roads. Though some KSRTC buses were seen on the roads in the morning, they stopped services when the LDF protest began.

The hartal is observed in Pala assembly constituency and nearby panchayats like Kadaplamattom, Narangattupally, Uzhavoor and Veliyannoor. Almost 500 cops are deployed in Pala city by a team led by Pala DySP.  The protest meet was inaugurated by CPM district secretary V N Vasavan.

Two more hacked in Nadapuram

KOZHIKODE: Violent attacks are still continuing at Thooneri in connection with the death of a DYFI activist in League-CPM clash Thursday night at Velloor coming under the Nadapuram police station limits.

Many houses were set ablaze early Saturday morning. Reports say that even though a large posse of police led by ADGP Shankar Reddy is deployed in the area, the attacks cannot be controlled. Many families are fleeing the place and some with the intervention of police have been shifted to some other places. An all-party meet led by the chief minister will be convened this evening at the Kozhikode collectorate. 

Car falls on top of house, passengers escape miraculously

KALLARA: Two persons sustained injuries after a car losing control fell on top of a house. The injured has been identified as Shobi Krishnan (42) and Vipin (23) of Palode. The incident happened Saturday morning at 6 am near Mylamoodu Kottayappankkavu Junction.

The incident happened when the car was coming from Pangode to Palode. The inmates of the house woke up hearing the noise and saved the passengers of the car. It is suspected that the driver may have dozed off, resulting in the accident.

Yuva Morcha march turns violent in capital city

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The police used water cannons, teargas shells and force to disperse the Yuva Morcha activists after a Secretariat march taken out by them on Saturday turned violent. The activists were protesting seeking the resignation of Finance Minister K M Mani involved in the bar bribe scam.

The march started by 12 noon. The police stopped the march by lifting atop the barricades in front of the secretariat. The police used water cannons and tear gas shells when the activists tried to pull down the barricades shouting slogans seeking the arrest and resignation of Mani. The police also resorted to lathicharge to disperse the mob. More police reached the spot and removed them from the site.

C F Thomas to become minister if Mani resigns

PATHANAMTHITTA: Jose K Mani MP, son of Finance Minister K M Mani will not replace the latter if he resigns in the name of bar scam, said Chief Whip P C George. Senior leader C F Thomas will replace him. George had mentioned this earlier also.

George said when there are eight other MLAs, there is no chance for a MP to take over. The party will not permit Jose K Mani to become the party chairman also and will oppose if there is any move like that.  There is a big leadership like me, C F Thomas and P J Joseph to take over the chairmanship in the Kerala Congress. The bar scam has feeble the activists. The leaders are not able to face the activists, he said.

Kadakampally to continue as CPM T’puram district secretary

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kadakampally Surendran will continue as the CPM Thiruvananthapuram district secretary. The decision was taken at the secretariat and district committee meetings held here Saturday.

Nine new faces have been inducted in the 44 member district committee after leaving three people. Pirappancode Murali, S S Potty and K O Habeeb have been left out. Pattom Vamadevan, AA Rasheed, W R Sheeba, P Biju, I B Satheesh, V Joy, R Sub hash, S Pusphalatha and Madavoor Anil are the new faces.

Meantime, action will be taken at three area committees-- Chalai, Kovalam, and Neyyattinkara after the district meet. A probe will be conducted on it after the party meeting completes the process. A commission will be appointed by the party for it.

The report submitted by district secretary Kadakampally Surendran said there are remains of factionalism in the party. It was witnessed in the voting held to area committees in Chalai and Neyyatinkara. There was factionalism in selecting area secretary in Kovalam, blamed the report.

Diverse talks in Kerala Congress over future course of action

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Secret parleys are going on within the Kerala Congress regarding Finance Minister K M Mani’s resignation as more evidence are coming out against him in bar bribery case, according to sources. Though nobody is openly demanding Mani’s resignation, secretly they are doing so.

Many in the party eye Mani’s ministerial post and hence an internal strife can be expected over who would replace Mani. When some in the party want C F Thomas to be elevated to that position, others are batting for Mani’s son Jose K Mani. But Kerala Congress leader P C George has come out against Jose K Mani becoming the minister.      
Meanwhile, some in the party wish for the resignation of P C George and P J Joseph, in case Mani resigns so that the party can give external support to the government. But Joseph group is against this and they even see Joseph as a suitable replacement for Mani .

No point in discussing Mani’s resignation, says Jose K Mani

KOTTAYAM: There is no point in discussing the resignation of Finance Minister K M Mani embroiled in the bar bribery scam, said Jose K Mani MP. The allegations against Mani are unbelievable.

The party has not discussed the reports on his resignation, he said. He termed as unfortunate dragging his name to replace Mani. I’ll continue as a MP, he said.

Chief Whip P C George had mentioned earlier that Jose K Mani will not be allowed to replace Mani

Mani scorns controversy on bar allegations

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance Minister K M Mani Saturday scorned the controversies on the allegations in connection with the bar scam. He asked whether anybody had obtained any ample evidence on the allegations leveled, even after 85 days.

Talking to reporters in the district, he mockingly said that if anybody says anything from anywhere, it is not necessary to take up the issue and start discussions on it. 

Woman pretends to be prospective bride, cons men

MOOVATTUPUZHA: Here is a woman who marries, not to lead a happy life but to make some quick bucks. Any number of time she would marry for money…for leading a posh life. She is Jiji Mathew , an expert in conning men in the name of marriage. Jiji (40), hailing Perumbavoor, was arrested recently by Moovattupuzha police. However she is known to his victims in different names. 

The modus operandi was that Jiji would call up men who advertised in matrimonial columns. She would talk to them over phone in sweet voice for hours and days on end. Once they fell into the  virtual honey trap, she would arrange for a meeting with them, promise to marry them and take money and gold gifts from them. She would soon drug them and flee the spot. Sometimes she herself advertised in matrimonial columns and got in touch with men  

Based on the complaint by a prospective bridegroom from Mooovattupuzha, police prepared a sketch of Jiji, published that in newspapers and finally trapped her.   

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Muraleedharan welcomes Suresh Gopi to BJP

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: BJP State president V Muraleedharan declared that he was welcoming actor Suresh Gopi to the BJP fold. He said he had discussed the matter with the actor and the latter replied that he would announce his decision at an appropriate time.

Let UDF expel me, says Pillai

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “If the UDF wants to expel me, let them do that on January 28 when the members meet. Only then can I go before the people and expose more evidence on corruption,” Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai said on Thursday. 

Thursday’s editorial on Congress mouthpiece Veekshanam, had mocked Pillai, saying “if Pillai jumps, he will, only till the height of his knee.” Pillai’s statement is in reply to this. “I am the person who made a horn called LDF and I therefore have the right to cut it,” he said.    

“Mani, who is tainted by corruption allegation, can decide on whether to present the budget or not. But he himself has to decide whether he has the moral right to do that. Even before Biju exposed the scandal I had mentioned it to the chief minister,” Pillai said.   

Pillai also welcomed the observation in the editorial that his son Ganesh Kumar was more mature than him. “As a father, I feel happy to hear such words about my son. The same paper had criticised Ganesh two weeks ago,” he added.

Veekshanam editorial severely censures Balakrishna Pillai 

Congress mouthpiece Veekshanam has come down heavily on Balakrishna Pillai, whose statements have put Minister K M Mani in the docks. It asks Pillai to confess his wrongdoings in the past and bath in Papanashini (a river that washes away ones sins, according to beliefs).  

The editorial also delves on the reason for his defeat in the Assembly election. Pillai’s threat that he would expose more corruption in the government once he goes out of the UDF is like “threatening using snake made of palm leaves”. Pillai is one who can’t be trusted. 

Pillai is safe since Kerala is currently ruled by a cool-headed chief minister like Oommen Chandy. What he deserves is the kind of action late chief minister K Karunakaran had taken against him for making a Punjab model speech (Pillai was stripped of his ministerial post ). 

The editorial also reminds that his hands once had the taint of corruption. “Before coming out with allegations regarding corruption, he should first wash off the blemish on him in the Idamalayar case in which he was convicted and jailed, and Graphite case, which could not be proved.

BJP to observe hartal on Jan 27

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The BJP will observe a dawn to dusk hartal on January 27 seeking the ouster of Finance Minister K M Mani from the cabinet.  

The party has decided to organise protests all over the state.

Biju Ramesh seeks police protection

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  In the wake of the handing over of evidence, my life is in danger and need police protection, said bar association working president Biju Ramesh. A letter seeking police protection will be given to the chief and home ministers.

Biju said that he would go forward until truth is proved in the case.  Biju had produced a disc containing the conversation with allusion to Mani first receiving Rs 5 crore and then returning it to prevent the closure of 312 bars following the closure of 418 bars.

He said the evidence was not concocted and if examined you will be able to know who all paid money. However, the real hard disc will not be handed over. Nobody is supporting me from outside and in this situation, I am welcoming the support of V S Achuthanandan, he said.

HC not to interfere in bar bribery case

KOCHI: Kerala High Court has pointed that the situation at present doesn’t warrant its interference in bar bribery case. The mere reason that a minister is involved in the scam doesn’t necessitates the supervision of  the court in the case. If there is irregularity in the investigation, the court can be approached again.

Though the court asked the government about the current status of the case, the Accounts General  couldn’t give a proper reply. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vigilance director is in charge of bar case, says Chennithala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala clarified that vigilance director Vinson M Paul is in charge of the bar bribe case involving Finance Minister K M Mani. The news that vigilance ADGP Jacob Thomas ADGP was elevated to DGP rank in order to subvert the case, is totally baseless, he said.

The bulletin that four ADGPs were given the DGP rank is baseless. The cabinet only approved screening committee’s recommendation that six including M N Krishnamoorthy and Vinson M Paul, who were made DGPs earlier, are entitled for the status of DGP. This was misinterpreted.

The committee’s recommendation that IPS officers Arun Kumar Sinha, Dr Jacob Thomas, Loknath Behra and Rishiraj Singh of 1984-85 batch having 30 years’ service are entitled for the DGP status will be produced before the union home ministry. They will be posted as DGP as and when vacancies are informed. Senkumar recommended for DGP status by the screening committee in 2013 was posted to the rank after a year, he said.

Arrest Mani: VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan has demanded that Finance Minister K M Mani be arrested as more evidence regarding bar bribery scam has come out.

“Bar owners’ revelation that there is a counting machine in Mani’s house points out that bribe received was a huge amount. And, hence Mani should resign,” V S said in a statement. 

“Mani has been selling off the government’s budget amount. The minister who is under the cloud of suspicion in the bar bribery scam should not be allowed to present the budget. Even Chief Whip P C George and Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai have clarified that Mani had taken bribe. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s cabinet has become a ‘tent’ of corruption,” the statement said.

Sit down Sudhakaran, roars Sudheeran

KANNUR: Blame game within the Congress party regarding the dispersal of Pallikkunnu Cooperative Bank administrative committee surfaced in front of AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik, as well. 

In the face-to-face programme held on Tuesday, it was DCC general secretary Shahul Hameed who had opposed disbanding of the administrative committee. KPCC president V M Sudheeran and DCC president K Surendran were on the dais at that time. 

Former MP K Sudhakaran and his coterie entered the chamber hall then after savouring a cuppa from outside . In the meantime former Pallikkunnu Gramapanchayat president P K Rakesh gave complaint against K Sudhakaran and K Surendran. Shahul Hameed also chipped in at this point. K Sudhakaran argued that an issue put before an inquiry commission by the party should not be discussed in face-to-face programme. 

The face of V M Sudheeran, who was mediating the programme at this time blushed. When ‘I’ group also joined Sudhakaran in the commotion, Sudheeran’s mood worsened. He roared at Sudhakaran: Sit Down! I’m telling Sudhakaran to sit down. Sudhakaran and team sat down as if in a reflex action.  

Mani will present his budget, says Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has come to the fore giving full support to Finance Minister K M Mani in the bar bribe scam. Briefing reporters after the weekly cabinet meet, Chandy said Mani will present the budget this time also. I don’t want to reply to baseless allegations, he said.  

Everybody knows how the audio clippings come, Chandy said while replying to the question why he is not seeking the resignation of Mani even after bar owners came with the audio clippings. Nobody can topple the government by these allegations. Is it good to raise unnecessary allegations when the investigation is on?, he asked.

Chandy said that he will reply to the allegations of R Balakrishna Pillai after the UDF meet on January 28.

Vigilance ADGP Jacob Thomas has not been shifted from the post. It is a normal procedure to prepare the list of officers to be elevated to DGP rank, he said.

Monday, January 19, 2015

I had informed CM about Mani, says Pillai

KOLLAM: Kerala Congress (B) chairman R Balakrishna Pillai Monday said that he is firm on his stand that he had informed the chief minister about the K M Mani episode.  I told the chief minister about it when I went to his official residence along with Ganesh Kumar MLA. It happened before Biju Ramesh voicing it. Talking to the media Pillai asked whether Chandy is willing to promise it at the Parumala Church.

The phone dialogues exposed by Biju Ramesh are mine. But recording the dialogues was wrong.  Acquitting Mani before investigation is unjust, he said.

Pillai has not told me anything, says Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Congress chairman R Balakrishna Pillai has never told me that Finance Minister K M Mani had accepted bribe to open the bars, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The chief minister said that he came to know about it only when somebody telephoned him soon after the revelation of the phone dialogues telling bar association working president Biju Ramesh that I was informed.  

Chandy said, “I’ve never met Pillai after the bar bribery scam was revealed. I met him once at the centenary celebrations of NSS at Perunna. I saw him sitting in the dais but couldn’t speak to him. When asked whether Pillai was lying, he said he never said it.  Nobody can weaken the government which has the support of the public.  There were many controversies. The government had won the bypolls and the Lok Sabha polls. That is only because of the support of the government. Nobody can weaken the government which has the support of the public even if the majority is less in the assembly.”

Ensure no cross-border terror incident during Obama's India visit: US warns Pakistan

NEW DELHI:  Ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to India, the US has asked Pakistan to ensure that there is no cross-border terror incident during the trip and subtly warned of "consequences" if any such attack is traced back to the country, sources said.

The warning has been issued keeping the track record of Pakistan-based militant groups that have carried out attacks in India that have coincided with high-profile visits from the US.

Militants had shot dead 36 Sikhs in March 20, 2000, in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, coinciding with the visit of the then US President Bill Clinton to India.

Obama will travel to New Delhi later this week to attend the Republic Day parade on January 26.

Ahead of the presidential trip, there is an unprecedented level of intelligence sharing between India and the US.

At least 10,000 paramilitary troops will be deployed along with the 80,000-strong Delhi Police to ensure fool-proof security in and around Rajpath -- the main venue.

A seven-layer security ring will be thrown around the Very Very Important People or VVIP enclosure at the venue and the airspace over the area would be monitored by a radar to be specially set up.

This will form part of the planned unprecedented ground-to-air security drill that will turn the national capital into an impregnable fortress during Obama's visit.

The US forces in Afghanistan are also keeping a close eye on the activities of the terrorist groups in the region.

Tharoor likely to be quizzed in two days

NEW DELHI: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor may be questioned in a day or two in connection with the mysterious death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said Monday.

The police chief maintained that all those people relevant in the case are being examined by the Special Investigation Team so that a consistent story emerges in the high-profile case.

"No, he has not been questioned, we will soon do that. He is out of town and probably will come back in the evening. He is returning at seven in the evening. May be tomorrow or day after tomorrow we will talk to him," Bassi told reporters when asked whether Tharoor has been questioned in the case.

Asked about reports that the then I&B Minister Manish Tewari who was travelling on the same flight from Thiruvananthapuram to Delhi on January 15 on which Tharoor and Sunanda had a bitter spat can also be questioned in the case, Bassi did not rule out the possibility.

"See I would like to tell you that everybody who has information in this case, we will talk to them…and look at specifics which throw light. Sharing specific details will not be possible," he said.

Asked whether the Delhi Police will issue Tharoor a formal notice to join the probe, he said that these are minor details which are with the SIT.

"I have told you that we want to proceed as fast as possible in this case and for that purpose our intention is to quickly finish questioning all the people related to the case so that we can decide whether there is any need to question others after examining," he said.

51-year-old Sunanda was found dead in her suite at a five-star hotel in south Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014, a day after she was involved in a spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on micro-blogging website twitter over the latter's alleged affair with Tharoor.

Her viscera samples have to be sent to a foreign lab in the US or the UK to determine the nature and quantity of the poison which caused her death, according to the police. The police chief also informed that the process to send the viscera samples of Sunanda Pushkar to a lab abroad is on.

Some of those questioned in the case so far include Narain Singh, Tharoor's family friend Sanjay Dewan, the hotel doctor who pronounced her dead and hotel's staff including its manager.

Sources said that police will also question in a day or two a woman journalist with whom Sunanda had spoken before her death and Tharoor's P S Abhinav Kumar who had informed the then SHO of Sarojini Nagar police station about the death.

Bar scam: Telephonic conversation among P C George, Pillai, Biju Ramesh out

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The telephonic conversations among Bar Association Working President Biju Ramesh, who had made allegation against Finance Minister K M Mani in the bar scam case,   Government Chief Whip P C George and Kerala Congress B leader R Balakrishna Pillai have come out. The telephonic talks have taken place on November 1 and 2.  
Biju and George talked over phone on November 2. Biju said that he was calling George as per the latter’s instruction, which was passed through another person.  

The Conversation between Biju Ramesh and George goes thus

Biju: Hello I’m Biju Ramesh speaking.
Geroge: Hello Biju I was about to call you. We should meet soon.
Biju: When?
George: I f you come over to Eerattupettah on fourth or fifth of this month, we could meet.     
Biju: Sorry I would be in Thiruvananthapuram on those days
Ramesh: Brother (George), you know the allegation I made against Mani Sir is true.
To this, George laughs.
George: But, You know I’m a Kerala Congress man and in public I would be with Mani Sir, Any way we shall meet in person…

Balakrishna Pillai called up Biju Ramesh on November 1O November 

Pillai: Hello. Biju I’m suffering from leg pain… I know what is going on.     
Pillai : I had brought bar scam to CM’s notice and at that time he was sitting with his chin resting on his palm. Rs 15 crore was collected from bar owners. Rs 2-3 lakh was collected from each bar owner. I know that. Since you have raised the allegation, you yourself should demand for a CBI inquiry. You should not backtrack from the case. I can arrange advocate.   
Biju: By the way, Bakery owners had told me that Rs 2 crore was taken from them
Pillai: I also hear that Mani took Rs 19 crore from jewelleries. Rs 2 crore was taken from mill owners who supplied processed rice to Civil Supplies Corporation. First they bargained for Rs 50 lakh, then for Rs 1 crore and finally he agreed on Rs 2 core.  

Case against conductor for misbehaving with girl

WAYANAD: The police have registered a case against a KSRTC conductor for allegedly misbehaving with a girl in the bus. A case has been registered against the conductor identified as conductor Shaji of Ernakulam depot.

The incident happened early Monday morning on the bus proceeding to Mysore from Ernakulam. He misbehaved with the girl in the bus and when found unbearable, she informed other passengers. The bus was later taken to the Meenangadi police station and a complaint was lodged. However, the conductor was released after asking the girl to sit in the police station.

The police version was that the conductor was left so that no difficulty is caused to the passengers. When the incident sparked a controversy, the police had to register a case.

The conductor is believed to be the husband of a woman cop of traffic station in the capital city.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gold smuggling: SIs’ share is 'Rs 50,000 per kg'

KOCHI: The CBI has started primary investigation into Thursday’s gold haul at Nedumbassery airport. It has now become clear that Emigration SIs Manu and Ijaz, who were arrested in the day, have close link with smugglers.

For facilitating one kilogram gold, they allegedly got Rs 50,000 as commission. By now, they have taken a huge amount as commission. Even they are said to have gone on foreign tours with the accused in the gold smuggling case. Their bank accounts will be frozen. The gold smuggled to Kerala  thus are sold to jewelleries. The officials have also been able to trace the jewellers to whom the gold have been sold.

Meanwhile, even after Central Intelligence Agency taking over the Emigration department, illegal deals have been going on in the department. The department, which was under State police department, was brought under Bureau of Emigration, a wing of the Central Intelligence agency, after incidents of human trafficking were reported at airports in Kerala. 

Ending solar strike gave rise to suspicion, says CPI

KOTTAYAM: The report of the CPI harshly criticized the CPM for ending the solar strike seeking the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The report says one cannot say that it is baseless the suspicion that the strike ended after a compromise.  

A suspicion grew amongst the people and those attending the strike that there was a deal between the CPM and the UDF for withdrawing the secretariat siege as part of solar strike. A suspicion grew after some incidents happened in the Kerala politics then.

The decline of the CPI (M) helped the BJP to grow. In the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP strongly encroached Left Front’s influential areas. The report of district secretary C K Shashidharan said it is the fault of the CPM that they were not able to prevent it. RSP leaving the front is also one of the reasons cited. The report says the CMP and the JSS are cooperating with the front as per the interests of CPM.

A new district secretary will be selected tomorrow after completing talks. It is heard that Shashidharan, who has completed a term, will continue.

CPI to move court again in bar scam, says Panniyan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI state secretary Panniyan Raveendran said they will move the court again in the bar scam case. Effort is on to scuttle the case. The vigilance has already registered a case but the situation of it is not known. Talking to the media, he said it will be brought to the notice of the court.

Evidence will be given to the judicial commission in the solar case. Jiji Thomson is made the chief secretary as part of protecting those involved in corruption, alleged Panniyan.

Panniyan said that he will quit his post soon after the CPI state meet, but will remain in the party leadership. There are many eligible persons to lead the party. I don’t think that everything will happen only if one person should continue in the post.

Murder of headmaster: James Mathew to be arrested

KANNUR: James Mathew MLA is likely to be arrested soon in connection with the suicide of E P Shashidharan, the headmaster of Thalipparambu Tagore Vidya Niketan. It is also heard that Mathew may surrender as there is no other option for him after the Thalassery district session’s court rejected his anticipatory bail plea.  He may take a decision after holding talks with the party leadership. His arrest may come under attack amongst representatives in the CPM meet.

Allegation of corruption in the DELCO land deal, a cooperative organization of the CPM, was raised earlier.

A case has been registered accusing Mathew as the second accused in the suicide case. Judge V Shercy rejected his bail plea after approving prosecution’s argument that as a political leader he may try to influence the witnesses.

Shashidharan was found dead in a lodge in Kasargod on December 15. The suicide note had mentioned the MLA’s name.

M V Shaji, another teacher of the school is the second accused in the case. His anticipatory bail plea will be considered on January 19. The report of the police cited that pressure from the first and second accused led the headmaster to commit suicide.

CBI seeks polygraph test of Salim Raj

KOCHI: The CBI is all set to move court here seeking permission to take a former security personnel of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for a lie detector test, according to officials.

Salim Raj, Chandy's gunman, lost his job in 2013 after it was alleged that he was in close contacts with Saritha Nair, one of the key accused in the infamous solar panel scam case.

Raj, a Kerala Police constable, landed in another trouble when a Kerala High Court bench headed by Justice Haroon Rashid in March last year handed to the CBI the case of two land deals. The 45 acres of land worth Rs 400 crore was believed to have been usurped by Raj and his accomplices.

It is in this case that the CBI will seek the chief judicial magistrate court' permission to subject Raj and his accomplices to lie detector tests.

The CBI has also informed the high court that it expects to close the case in four months' time.

At the height of the opposition onslaught against him in this case, Chandy last year informed the assembly that the government has filed an affidavit seeking a CBI probe into the case.

Chandy has, on numerous occasions, said his conscience is clear and that he has done no wrong, and has nothing to fear.

This case first surfaced in 2007 during CPI-M leader V S Achuthanandan's tenure as the chief minister when home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, after a probe by police team, closed the case stating that there was nothing criminal in nature, and it was just a civil case.