Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rail Budget futuristic and passenger centric: Modi

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday termed the rail budget as "futuristic" and "passenger centric" and said it lays out a clear roadmap to make the national transporter the key driver of the country's economic growth.

"Rail Budget 2015 is a forward looking, futuristic & passenger centric budget, combining a clear vision & a definite plan to achieve it," he tweeted.

He said the budget is a watershed moment for Railways, marking a paradigm shift from discussing coaches & trains to comprehensive railway reform.   “I am particularly delighted that for the 1st time there is a concrete vision for technology upgradation & modernisation of the Railways,” he said in another tweet.

“Rail Budget lays out a clear roadmap to make the Railways the key driver of India’s economic growth & playing a key role in India’s progress,” Modi added.

He said the budget stands out for its focus on the common man, putting speed, scale, service and safety, all on one track.

I am particularly delighted that for the 1st time there is a concrete vision for technology upgradation & modernisation of the Railways.

Rail Budget lays out a clear roadmap to make the Railways the key driver of India's economic growth & playing a key role in India's progress.

No new trains introduced in rail budget

NEW DELHI: No new trains were announced in the Railway Budget Thursday by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu who assured Parliament that these would be announced in the ongoing session itself, pending completion of track renewal work and review of line capacity.

"At present, due to over-utilised line capacity and backlog in track renewals, there are speed restrictions which lead to delay in running more number of trains.”

"The review will be completed soon so that we can announce new trains and increase frequency in this session," Prabhu said in his maiden rail budget speech.

Government's proposal of not announcing new service, arguably the first time in decades, comes despite heightened demands from states as well as Members of Parliament for announcing new trains in the Budget.

Prabhu said more berths would be made available with the increase in number of coaches to meet the growing demand for confirmed seats on trains.

"Trains which are fully patronised throughout the year, will be augmented with additional coaches from trains which have relatively lower occupancy levels. "Further, capacity of identified trains will be augmented to run with 26 coaches from existing 24 coaches. More general class coaches will be added in identified trains to benefit the common man," the Minister said.

Provision store catches fire in Kadavanthra

KOCHI: A provision store in Kadavanthra was gutted by fire around 4 am on Thursday. The shop belonged to A K Abdul Nasar, a native of Kozhikode. The firemen could bring the fire under control only after a hour’s toil. The shop owner said the damage resulted in a loss of Rs 20 lakh for him.

The shop was located near St Sebastian Church at Kadavanthra Gandhinagar and it sold groceries, and fruits. The go-down attached to the shop also caught fire. The mishap occurred after workers in the shop put down the shutter and went off to sleep. The four workers usually slept on the fourth floor of the building. They informed the fire force after they came to notice fire and smoke billowing out of the shop.

Middle-aged woman’s body found in Periyar

ALUVA: The body of a middle-aged woman with a deep wound on her leg and blood stains all over her nose was found in Periyar on Thursday. There is also an injury at the back of the head. The injuries didn’t appear to have happened long before. The police’ primary assessment is that some mystery shrouds the death of the woman.   

The body was spotted in the morning at around 7. It was seen stuck in the middle pillar of the temporary bridge extending from Kottarakkadavu to Manappuram. It was the pedestrians who were going towards Manappuram who noticed the body and informed the police. The woman appeared to be of 50 years of age. She was wearing a red Churidar, black shawl and black pants. Her complexion was fare. The body has been shifted to Aluva district hospital.    

Solar: Don’t try to blackmail me, says Chandy

KOCHI: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that he will not surrender to black mailing in the solar case. He said this while responding to the audio records exposed indicating that he had tried to release Manilal, technical advisor of team solar and also an accused in the case, lodged in jail.

Chandy said Manilal is still in jail as I did not help him. The phone dialogues were recorded to blackmail me. Rijesh contacted me as a Youth Congress leader. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Aircraft suffers tyre burst while landing in Nedumbassery

NEDUMBASSERY: About 161 passengers onboard an Air India flight had a narrow escape when one of its back tyres burst while landing at the Nedumbassery Airport. The incident happened Thursday morning at 9.15 am. The pilot without losing his confidence landed the flight from Delhi to Sharjah via Kochi safely. Officials said all passengers of the flight are safe.

The flight has been shifted to the parking bay for replacement. The flight could depart only after replacing the damaged tyres. Passengers have been accommodated in hotels. If there is a delay in the work, the passengers will be sent in another flight.

CPM activist injured in attack dies

KANNUR: A CPM activist hacked at Chittariparambu near Koothuparambu died here Thursday morning.

The dead identified as Preman was a toddy shop worker. Seriously injured Preman admitted at the Pariyaram Cooperative Hospital died at 6.30 am this morning.

He was hacked last night. RSS activists are behind the incident, alleged the CPM.

A hartal will be observed from 2 pm to 6 pm in Kannur in protest against his death.

Govt job for Chandrabose’ wife

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Jamanthi, widow of Chandrabose, the security guard killed by Muhammed Nisham, an industrialist in Thrissur, will be given a government job, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Briefing reporters after the weekly cabinet meet, he said appointment will be given based on her qualification.

Traditional Knowledge Innovation Kerala coming under ayurveda medical education department will create 14 temporary posts for three years. Till they are made permanent, the staffs will be permitted to continue on remuneration system and others on deputation.

Baseless demo is on in connection with the paddy procurement. The government is procuring paddy for Rs 19. The amount for the paddy procured till January 31 will be given before February 28 and the one procured after February 15 will be given before March 15.

The permanent employees of the Kerala Health Research & Welfare Society will be eligible for ninth pay commission with effect from July 2009. Sanction has been given for the project submitted by Rosy House Boat for the construction of dry dock in Alappuzha.

Bar scam: Vigilance raid at association office

KOCHI: The vigilance team conducted a raid at the office of the bar hotel association at Palarivattom in Kochi in connection with the bar bribe case against Finance Minister K M Mani.

The raid was conducted in the afternoon by a team led by vigilance SP Sukesan. Bar association president D Rajkumar Unni was in the office at the time of the raid.

The team examined the income and expenditure accounts of the association. The team mainly examined from who all the association has collected donation and to whom all they have given donations.

Probe against Jacob Job recommended

THRISSUR: IG has given a report to ADGP, recommending a detailed probe against former Thrissur Police Commissioner and current Pathanamthitta SP Jacob Job for allegedly meeting controversial businessman Nisham in jail. Nisham is in jail for allegedly slamming his posh car against security man Chandrabose, who eventually died in hospital.

The IG’s report points out that Jacob Job going alone to question Nisham was against norms and it gave rise to several doubts.

Jacob had met Nisham on February 10, a day before his custody term ended and he had avoided other officers' presence then.

Nisham’s custody report was not ready at that time and the timing of the meeting was that turned controversial.     

However, Jacob explained that he had questioned Nisham, as he had the authority to do so as a commissioner. “I had questioned him about the allegation that he was taken to Bangalore for a pleasure trip. Even I have been receiving threats and duress from Nisham’s side,” he added.   

Moral policing again in Kozhikode

KOZHIKODE: Moral policing again reared its ugly head in Kozhikode on Wednesday. This time it was a one Vivek from Kuttiyadi who became the victim of ‘moral goondaism’.

Vivek had gone with his sister to get the hall ticket for her examination when a gang of five students beat him up.
Interestingly, the five students are his sister's classmates. Police have taken the accused in custody. 

Operation Suraksha:1090 to trap goons

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has started ‘Operation Suraksha’ to crush down goons and hooligans and ensure safety of the ordinary ciizens. “As part of this mission about 1769 persons were arrested recently. All criminals including goons will be arrested. Any kind of political interference will not be allowed and if any policeman tries to help any law-breaker, he or she will not be in the service anymore,” Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala informed at a press conference here on Tuesday.

Police department in coordination with the Intelligence wing will carry out the operation and ADGP Arun Kumar will be in charge of it. Chennithala also made a request to the public to call up crime stopper number 1090 and give information on goons. The caller’s number will not be known and even the caller need not reveal his identity. The first preference will be to attend calls on crime cases against women and children.

Serial actor Sharath Kumar dies in accident

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A serial actor was killed after his bike collided with a tipper at Mayilakkadu in Kottiyam. The actor has been identified as Sharath Kumar (23) of Parippally.

Sharath, who was riding the bike lost control at a turning in Mayilakkadu and came under the tipper. The driver of the tipper lorry immediately rushed him to the medical college hospital but died on the way.

The accident happened while he was proceeding to Kollam for a serial shoot. He entered into acting through Rajasenan’s Krishnakripasagaram.

He became famous through the serial Autograph aired in Asianet. He had played
main characters in Chandanamazha and Sarayu telecasting now. His role in Five Fingers was very strong.

He was the son of Sasikumar and Thankachi. He has a brother Sreekumar.

Pranav to be in front of the camera soon

Actor Mohanlal’s son Pranav Mohanlal will soon shift his position from behind the camera to its front, according to reports. Pranav who is currently assisting director Jeethu Jospeh on his ‘Life Of Josekutty’ project may turn the hero in a new film shortly. 

He would make his debut in IDI (Inspector Dawood Ibrahim) to be directed by Sajid Yahiya. This will be his first direction though he had acted in Friday, Theevram, Sakariayude Garbhinikal and Bangalore Days. Sources say Pranab who has wished to keep off the acting profession was so tempted by the character that he didn’t want to miss it.
Dawood Ibrahim is a name that a police officer would find hard to digest. The plot revolves around this thread with interesting twists and action scenes, says the director, who will also double up as its scenarist. 

Pranav had made his entry into films as a child actor in Onnaman (2002), directed by Thampi Kannanthanam. In the same year he won the State award for the best child artiste in Major Ravi film Punarjani. 

Cocaine case: Remand extended

KOCHI: The Ernakulam District and Principal Sessions Court on Tuesday extended the remand of the five accused persons, actor Shine Tom Chacko, Reshma, Blessy Silvestre, Tincy Babu and Sneha Babu, in the cocaine case to March 5. The accused were produced before the court as their remand period ended on Monday.

Swaraj issues clarification on his remark against VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM State Committee member M Swaraj has come out with his clarification on his remark he allegedly made against Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan during the CPM conference.

A baffled Swaraj stated in his Facebook page that he had not made comments like ‘ VS should be given capital punishment’, ‘ VS should be cut into pieces and thrown to dogs’. VS is a veteran leader and he has only respect for him. The posting was made under the title “Heenamaya Nunakalkku Satyathe Thakarkkanavilla”, which mean Cruel lies cannot destroy truth.  

“In the history of mankind, there are lots of instances when attackers target people they don’t like by spreading rumours and lies. Some are resorting to such practices even in this modern age. That is surprising and their mental state can be termed only weird… I have had similar  experiences before and my mind has become hardened after such repeated instances… But the present allegation has crossed all limits… 

“After the news appeared on a prominent Malayalam daily, its online edition and on another online paper, I have been receiving lots of rebukes, verbal abuse via online and social media… Those making derisive comments against me should now stop it, but if they get some mental pleasure by doing so, they can continue with it…” the post read.              

Private bus strike withdrawn

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The indefinite strike called by private bus employees from tomorrow seeking a hike in wages has been postponed. Bus employees’ panel decided to postpone the strike following the talks held with Labour Minister Shibu Baby John. The organization withdrew from the strike after the minister assured to take a favorable stand on the things voiced by the employees. The office bearers of the organization told reporters that they would begin the strike from March 11 if their demands are not met.

Five from labour unions, bus owners and state labour commissioner took part in
the meeting. The employees’ main demand was an increase of Rs 5000 in their monthly salary. However, the bus owners agreed for a hike of Rs 2000.

Bombs hurled at CPM area-local committee offices in Kannur

KANNUR: Bombs were hurled at the CPM Ancharakandy area committee office near the Chakkarakkal Govt Hospital and Iriveri local committee office early Wednesday morning.

Two activists sleeping in the office have been admitted at the AKG Cooperative Hospital with injuries. BJP-RSS activists are suspected to be behind the attack, alleged the CPM.

O K Rajesh (30) and Lipin (19) of Chakkarakkal were the two injured.

The injured told police that almost ten persons entered the office and hurled the bombs. A ten-member team led by RSS activist Sooraj is suspected to be behind the attack. The window of the village office adjacent to the office has been damaged.

A team led by Chakkarakkal sub inspector examined the office which came under attack. The TV, furniture, glass panes have all been destroyed in the blast. The miscreants set fire to the furniture also.

CPM politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan visited the area committee office soon after the incident. He asked the RSS to stop violence or else things will lead to a tense situation.

BJP leader hacked

CHAKKARAKALLU: A BJP panchayat committee president was hacked at Muthukutty in Chakkarakkallu where the CPM area committee office was attacked. The injured has been identified as C P Renjith of Chembilod.

Renjith was first taken to Thalassery Indira Gandhi Hospital and later shifted to a private hospital in Kozhikode.

He was attacked while he was proceeding for work. CPM activists are behind the attack, alleged the BJP.

Man hacks brother to death

KALLARA: In a shocking incident, a man in an inebriated condition hacked his brother to death. The dead has been identified as Raveesh (29), son of Reghu of Kallara.

The man identified as Praveesh (31) has been taken into custody by the Pangode police. Family problems are suspected to be behind the incident.

Both,daily wage labourers are bachelors. Their mother Prashobana had died earlier.

Cinematographer A Vincent dies

CHENNAI: J C Daniel award recipient, noted cinematographer and director A Vincent passed away Wednesday. He was 86. He breathed his last at 11 am today at a private hospital in Chennai where he was undergoing treatment for pneumonia.

He was born on June 14 in 1928. After his intermediate, he became a studio boy in the Gemini Studio. He later became an assistant to cameraman K Ramanathan. He first began his career as a cameraman in Neelakkuyil. He has worked as a cameraman along with Sreedhar in Tamil. He has wielded the camera for almost 30 films in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

His first directorial debut was Bhargavinilayam. Murappennu, Nagarame Nanni, Ashwamedham, Asuravithu, Thulabharam, Nizhalattam, Triveni, Gandharvakshetram, Chenda, Achani, Nakhangal, Wayanadan Thampan, Kochu Themmadi are some of his memorable films. He has bagged state government’s best director award for Thulabharam in 1969.

He has two sons and two daughters.

Police van accident: Case against driver

PATHANAMTHITTA: In connection with Tuesday’s accident in which a police van crushed to death three persons at Ezhamkulam in Adoor, a case has been registered again ASI Thave Vettipram Shaji, who was driving the vehicle. He has been charged  for culpable homicide and for driving vehicle after consuming liquor. But, Shaji who was manhandled by the locals at the spot, has been admitted to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College for urgent operation.   

The accident happened around 7 pm on Tuesday at Ezhamkulam Milk society junction when a group of people were returning after attending a temple festival. The police van lost control and rammed into the group, killing three persons including a couple. Two persons including a woman were injured and the condition of a person is serious. The dead were identified as Sivashankara Pillai (72), his wife Ratnamma (65) and Unnikrishnan Achari (48).

The crowd were returning from Kumbabharani festival of Ezhamkulam Devi Temple when the police van from Pathanamthitta A R Camp that came that way turned killer vehicle.  

Vagueness in Cabotage Law reason for withdrawal of Adani Group

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The reason for the -withdrawal of the Adani Group from the Vizhinjam Harbour Project is the vagueness of the Cabotage Law, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Held talks with the representatives of the company. Briefing reporters after the weekly cabinet briefing, the chief minister said they brought to our notice the vagueness in the law and we in turn assured them to solve it.

Chandy said talks will be held with the other two companies who withdrew from the tender. The problems in connection with the Cabotage Law have been brought to the notice of the union government. Hope to get relaxation, he said.

The LDF has the right to expand the front. In reply to a question, he said none from the UDF will go to the LDF. They have faith in UDF’s strength.The government was able to function smoothly in the last four years due to public support and it would continue.

Chandy said sarcastically, ‘Let the LDF split into two or three parties and expand the CPM.’

I have not helped the accused in the solar case in any way. When accused Manilal’s brother called, asked him to contact Manaloor MLA. In reply to another question, Chandy said he spoke to his brother as he is a relative of a jailed person

Move to sabotage Vizhinjam project: V S

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a statement, Opposition leader  V S Achuthanandan has said that  boycotting the tender procedures for Vizhinjam project by companies shows the government’s disinterest in implementing the project. It is a reflection of Oommen Chandy’s conspiracy to sabotage the project from the beginning itself.    

“The UDF government had subverted the Landlord port concept devised by the former LDF government and converted it to PPP mode. The present situation is a setback received to the change of concept. It is a project that needs lots of research works and international campaign before its commencement. But the government had jumped into a decision to begin the project as if they are making an offering.” VS said.    

“To build the basic infrastructure for the project, the former LDF government had acquired 64 hectre land. To raise the capital,  a consortium of banks under SBT was also formed and through this steps were taken to collect Rs 2500 crore. Besides this, Rs 450 crore was set apart in the budget to develop the infrastructure. The present government has not made any progress from that position even by an inch,” he said in the statement.

Photos show Rahul Gandhi in Uttarakhand

NEW DELHI: A Congress worker Wednesday released pictures of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Uttarakhand, but the Congress refused to comment.

Jagdish Sharma released the pictures on Twitter showing Gandhi camping in the hills.

"Rahul Gandhi is in Uttarakhand. He will stay there for four-five days," Sharma told Times Now.

The Congress, which has already defended Gandhi's leave during the budget session saying he was going to reflect and chart a course for the future of the party, refused to comment on the photos.

"These days anyone can post anything on social media. We won't comment on it. We have already said earlier that he has gone to introspect," Congress leader Rajeev Shukla said.

Police van rams into festival crowd, killing three

PATHANAMTHITTA: A police van rammed into a crowd of people who were returning after a temple festival on Tuesday and three persons died in the accident. Several people were also injured and they have been admitted to a nearby hospital.

Among the injured, the condition of one is serious.

Three persons who died in the accidnet have been identified as Sivasankara Pillai (72), his wife Ratnamma (65) and Unnikrishnan Achari (48) from Kottarakkara.

The police van had lost its control and found its way into the crowd of people who were returning from Ezhamkulam Devi Temple festival, according to witnesses. The locals alleged that the driver was in inebriated condition.

A tense situation prevailed in the area for hours.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nisham's wife to be made witness

THRISSUR: In the Chandrabose murder case, business and accused Nisham's wife Amal will be made a witness, the police have said. On the basis of whatever evidence is available with the police, she can’t be made an accused.

Amal has reportedly told the police during interrogation that she also had had to undergo harassment and physical torture at the hands of Nisham.

She was questioned at her father's house in Mannuthy.

Meanwhile, City police commissioner Nishanthini has said that all formalities will be completed this week itself to invoke Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act (KAAPA) against Nisham.

Vizhinjam: Tender extended, CM to hold talks with companies

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If the companies have any kind of anxiety in connection with the Vizhinjam harbour project, it would be solved legally and transparently, said Minister K Babu in charge of harbour department.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will hold talks with the company representatives who showed interest in the project. Talking to the media after a high level meeting, he said a re-tender would be conducted as there were no bidders for the project.

It is a shock for the government as none of the companies came forward to submit tenders. The government is responsible to solve the anxieties of the companies if there are any. The government alone cannot fulfill the Vizhinjam project. The government had sought a relaxation in Cabotage Law for the Vizhinjam project.  The centre had assured to give relaxation as and when the project becomes operational. It would be informed to the companies, he said.

The minister said the government will take steps after taking the companies into confidence. What all changes should be made will be decided after understanding their requirements? Whether it should be done immediately or at the time of re-tender will be examined.

VS rejects politburo directive to attend party conference

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Pushing state unit of the party further over the edge, CPI-M founding-leader V S Achuthanandan Monday rejected the central leadership's directive to attend the concluding session of party state conference from which he walked out over sharp differences with the state leadership.

Sticking to his stand, the 92-year-old Achuthanandan, who has boycotted the three-day conference after walking out of it on the opening day on Feb 21, said a state secretariat resolution that termed him as an anti-party activist still exists and this prompted him to keep away from the meet.

His boycott had triggered speculation that he would take hard steps like demitting the post of the opposition leader in the assembly.

Terming Achuthanandan's action as a serious lapse, the CPI (M) politburo yesterday directed him to attend the concluding session of the meet today.

However, the veteran Marxist chose not to comply with the directive.

"A party state secretariat resolution terming me as an anti-party activist still remains. In the present circumstances, I kept away from the meeting as I am convinced that it is not proper for me to participate in the meet," Achuthanandan said in a statement today.

"Due to the above reasons, I am not able to attend the concluding session of the meet today and I also have informed my position to party General Secretary," the leader said.

However, he welcomed the removal of certain critical remarks against him in the party's state conference working report and expressed hope that the remaining comments would also be dropped after the politburo examined them.

He also wanted the party to take action against party members, who were facing charges in the murder of rebel CPI-M leader T P Chandrasekheran.

Yesterday, a meeting of the "available" politburo members presided by General Secretary Prakash Karat, held that the boycott of the conference by Achuthanandan was a serious mistake and wanted him to return to the meet.

The latest crisis in the party was precipitated on the eve of the party's state conference, which began on February 20, after a dissenting note of Achuthanandan citing serious flaws in the conduct of the state unit meet under his arch foe Pinarayi Vijayan got published in a section of media.

The issue got flared up after the state secretariat came out with a virtual indictment of the senior leader for shooting off a letter to the central leadership castigating party affairs under Pinarayi.

VS party’s inseparable part: Karat

ALAPPUZHA: CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat said on Monday that Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan is an inseparable part of the party and he hoped that the veteran leader would partake in the future activities of the party with discipline.  

He was delivering his inaugural speech during the valedictory function of the CPM conference held at the EMS stadium in Alappuzha on Monday.

Expressing his disappointment over Opposition leader V S Achuthanadan’s absence in the conference, Karat said V S is a leader who had fostered  the party across the length and breadth of the State. “We had requested him to return to the conference after he kept off the venue on the second day of the conference. Our hope is that he would return to the forefront of the party, upholding party discipline. Nobody, no individual or group is above the party,” he said.    

Karat said that people had decided that CPM-led Left is the apt alternative for corruption-tainted UDF government in the State. “The coming days will see agitations against non-populist UDF rule. In order to counter the communal-Right wing forces, a unity group of secular democratic Left parties should be nurtured,” he added.  

Four Keralites killed in Riyadh accident

RIYADH: Five persons including four Keralites were killed in an accident that happened in Saudi Arabia. The dead has been identified as Haneef of Kollam, his wife Noorjahan, their family friends Salim of Guruvayoor and Sherif. The driver, a native of Uttar Pradesh, of the vehicle in which they were travelling also died. His name has not been obtained.

The incident happened last night at 7.30 pm (Saudi time) when they were returning after picking Salim from the airport.

The car in which the Keralites were travelling collided with the vehicle driven by a native of Saudi while proceeding to Thadik from Huraimila. The bodies are kept at the mortuary of the Huraimila hospital.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Govt not against vigilance court monitoring bar case

KOCHI: The state government Monday informed the Kerala High Court that they are not against vigilance court monitoring the investigation in the bar bribery case against Finance Minister K M Mani.

The vigilance informed their stand for the government on the plea of Biju Ramesh, bar association working president. So far the statement of 25 witnesses have been recorded, vigilance informed the court.  

The plea was filed asserting that many including K M Mani are taking efforts to sabotage the investigation and pressure is forced on main witnesses for not giving statements. The court will consider the case on March 4.

Bengaluru police issues arrest warrant against Nisham

BENGALURU: The Bengaluru police Monday issued an arrest warrant against Muhammed Nisham, accused in the murder case of Chandrabose in Thrissur.

The warrant was issued against him for threatening a Bengaluru native, who questioned him for rash driving.

A team from Kambanpark police station handed over the warrant to the Viyyur Central in Thrissur. 

Nun expelled for preventing priest’s 'molestation bid'

ALUVA:  A nun is allegedly facing life threat for taking guard against a priest’s molestation attempt. She is also facing threat of expulsion from the church, for that reason. Her fear is whether she will also have to face a similar situation faced by Sister Abhaya years ago.    

This was revealed to Kerala Kaumudi by the nun herself. She has now taken refuge in Aluva Janaseva Sihubhavan , after being denied permission in Aluva Church convent. She told the reporter that she would give a complaint to top police officials once her relatives  from Kannur reached Aluva.  

The complainant has been serving the convent under Italy Janova for the past thirteen years. Before that she had served in another convent for 12 years. She had to leave the convent as she allegedly came to witness immoral activities of the priest there. Thus, she was transferred to St Aagatha convent. Here she did three years’ formation course after which she awarded nun’s apron.  

She said,  she came under attack while she was staying in a convent at Pachar in Madhya Pradesh. The priest, who was from Idukki, had made sexual advances on her but she managed to escape from him. After that she was shifted to Italy. For two years she worked as  a teacher in a convent there. On January 1, she received an order from Mother Superior to renounce the nunhood.

VS will be given all consideration: Kodiyeri

ALAPPUZHA: New CPM State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said on Monday that Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan was not branded as anti-CPM in the resolution  passed by the State Secretariat. It just criticised VS for his anti-CPM attitude.

He was speaking to media persons after being elected as the new State party chief. He added that the party had no intention to make corrections in the resolution passed against VS. 

Kodiyeri said: V S Achuthanandan could have explained his stand in the party secretariat on Sunday. But he didn’t turn up even after a request made by party general secretary. It was unbecoming of him to lay preconditions for returning to the conference. The condition that he would return if his demands are met doesn’t suit a communist cadre. Nevertheless, all due consideration will be given to VS. Even now, he can and has the right to take part in the committee and for that, he need not be a State Committee member; after all he is a Central Committee member. A seat was left vacant in the State committee to help the party take an appropriate decision later. VS is a senior leader and he is still the party’s hope.
Kodiyeri said that the party would intensify its strike against Central State government’s “anti-people policies”. The chief minister should prevent Finance Minister K M Mani from presenting the budget, or else the government will have to face a massive mass agitation. He didn’t forget to add that Left-led agitations in the past including the Solar scam agitation were never a failure.       

“ I have been entrusted with a big responsibility. The Kerala unit of the party was formed with P Krishna Pillai as Secretary. Great personalities  like him and Pinarayi had guided the party till now. People and the party have bestowed great trust on me and try my level best to raise to the occasion,” he said.

Not right to partake in public meet for being ‘anti-party’, says VS

ALAPPUZHA: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan will not attend the public meet being held in the district Monday marking the culmination of the CPM state meet. The leader informed this through a press release.  

The press release says that it is not right to attend the party state meeting in the wake of the resolution of the party secretariat against me for being anti-party and indiscipline. Though the leader had informed that he would meet the media at 11 am today, a press release was issued by him at the last minute.  

The release says, “I came to know that some untrue statements included in the organisational report of the CPM state meet have been removed. I hope the remaining part would also be removed.

Likewise, three party members have been sentenced to life imprisonment after the court found them guilty in the T P Chandrasekharan murder case. I’ve been continuously requesting action. The party took action against one due to the intervention of the central leadership. No action was taken against the other two and not only that the others were given posts in party committees. I had requested to expel them from the party and to remove the stain the party sustained.

I am not attending the party state meeting as the resolution of the state secretariat against me still exists. I’ve informed party general secretary Prakash Karat my helplessness to attend the meeting in writing.

VS out from state panel, 15 new faces included

ALAPPUZHA: The name of opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, who boycotted the state meet after locking horns with the state leadership, has been removed from the state committee. His name has been excluded from the panel decided by the state secretariat Monday morning. However, the party central leadership is pressuring to include his name and only if they toughen their stand something positive can happen.  Maintaining it, a post has been kept vacant in the 87-member state panel for VS.

There are 15 new faces in the panel. N N Krishnadas has been returned back to the panel. Kollayil Sudevan, Susan Kodi, Kottayam district secretary V N Vasavan, P Nandakumar, V Sivankutty, M B Rajesh, Puthalath Dinesan, Pathanamthitta district secretary K P Udayabhanu, Kozhikode district secretary P Mohanan, N V Balakrishnan, M Swaraj, A Sajeevan, Alappuzha district secretary Saji Cherian, Dr V Sivadasan are the new faces.

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan new CPI (M) state secretary

ALAPPUZHA: Senior leader and politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan was Monday elected as the new CPI-M Kerala unit secretary at the party state conference.

Deputy opposition leader in the state assembly, Kodiyeri succeeds veteran Pinarayi Vijayan, who had been holding the post for the last 16 years.

61-year old Kodiyeri was elected unanimously on the concluding day of the three-day conference which also nominated 177 delegates for the party Congress to be held in Vishakhapatnam in April.

Though the party decided to have an 88-member state committee, it kept one seat vacant and elected 87 persons.

Briefing reporters at the conclusion of the session, Kodiyeri said the state conference was a 'great' success. It chalked out agitational programmes against "the wrong economic policies" of central and state governments.

He also said his priority as the party chief would be to broaden the party base further in the state.

"Party has entrusted me with a heavy responsibility. My elevation as the state secretary shows the trust the party and people have in me and I will try my best to keep it up to the mark," he said.

Hailing from the party bastion of Kannur, Kodiyeri entered the party politics through CPI (M)'s student wing Students' Federation of India (SFI).

After becoming the party branch secretary in Kannur at a younger age, Kodiyeri became a state secretariat member in 1995.

A five-time MLA, he had served as home and tourism minister in the previous LDF Government led by V S Achuthanandan during 2006-11.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Contents against VS will not be rejected

ALAPPUZHA: The contents against opposition leader V S Achuthanandan in the resolution prepared by the CPM state secretariat will not be rejected. The decision was taken at the available politburo convened amidst the state meet.

The politburo had assured to discuss the complaints voiced by VS with the central committee. The central leaders have also decided to communicate with VS on this issue.  The meet convened by party general secretary Prakash Karat was attended by S Ramachandran Pillai, Sitaram Yechuri, Brinda Karat, Pinarayi Vijayan, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and M A Baby.

Though Yechury demanded to remove the contents from the resolution, the others were against it. If it is rejected, one would think the party has surrendered before VS. This would badly affect the party, many including Pinarayi Vijayan said. Karat too agreed to the stand taken by the state leadership.

India beat South Africa by 130 wins

MELBOURNE: India has beaten South Africa by 130 runs in a group B league encounter of the ICC Cricket World Cup here Sunday. The Proteas were bundled out for 177 runs in 40.2 overs.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan blazed his way to a career-best century as India posted a commendable 307 for seven against title contenders South Africa.

Courtesy Dhawan’s 137 off 146 balls and Ajinkya Rahane, who blasted his way to 79 off 60 deliveries, India posted their highest total in a World Cup game against the Proteas surpassing their previous highest of 296 in Nagpur, during the last edition of the mega-event.

It was yet another mini-collapse at the death as India lost five wickets for 46 runs in the last 6.3 overs.

En route his seventh ODI ton, that had 16 boundaries and two sixes, Dhawan earned the distinction of achieving the highest score by any batsman in a World Cup game against South Africa.

The Delhi left-hander’s love affair with South African bowling continued. This was his second ODI hundred against the Proteas in successive ICC tournaments, after having scored one back in 2013 in a Champions Trophy game in Cardiff.

The Indian top-order once again fired beautifully. Dhawan and Virat Kohli again had a productive partnership that yielded 127 runs for the second wicket.

Kohli (46, 60 balls) again played the role of an anchor before a moment’s indiscretion saw him gift his wicket to leg-spinner Imran Tahir by posting his long hop straight to Faf du Plessis at short mid-wicket.

However, Rahane was in a mood to make amends for his failure in the Pakistan game as he matched Dhawan stroke for stroke during their rollicking 125-run stand for the third wicket in only 16.3 overs.

Rahane hit seven fours and three sixes with Dhawan, who has regained his form just when it mattered the most, started his innings from where he had left off against Pakistan.

It started with a clip off Vernon Philander to the square leg boundary followed by a square drive off Dale Steyn. Then came an attractive cover drive as Dhawan got going.

Yechury’s attempt to mollify VS fails

ALAPPUZHA: Politburo member Sitaram Yechury’s  efforts to calm down Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, who quit the CPM’s Allappuzha conference, failed, on Saturday.

Yechury tried for a compromise following central leadership’s instructions after TV channels started playing up VS’ walkkout . Though he tried to contact VS over phone, the veteran leader didn’t budge. “I am not going to be there (at the conference venue) until the delegates stop cornering me and criticising me,” this was his reply.     

The central leaders had the feeling that VS would return to the conference if Yechury, who has a good relationship with the leader,” talked to him. But, now as the attempt has failed, the Central leadership is on a sticky wicket.

In the wake of the awkward happening at the conference, available politburo meeting was convened today. General Secretary Prakash Karat, PB members S Ramachandran Pillai, Brinda Karat, Pinarayi Vijayan, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and M A Baby attended the meeting.

An ad hoc CPM State committee has also called a meeting today at 8pm to discuss the matter.    

Meanwhile, the leaders have taken VS’ walkout in a lighter vein. When media confronted an irate Pinarayi, he asked the media men to keep away. While S Ramachandran Pillai said that VS had not walked out for ever, M A Baby said leaders hoping in and out of the conference venue was a usual thing. Kannur District Secretary P Jayarajan’s stand was that VS is part of the State conference and Central committee member E P Jayarajan said there was no issues in the CPM.

VS sticks to his stand, returns to capital city

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, who walked out of the CPI (M) state meet venue on Saturday, stuck to his stand and returned to the capital city. The leader who started from his house in Punnappra at 3.45 am reached Cantonment House, his official residence, at 5.30 am. He informed his son Arun Kumar and left for the capital city.

The efforts taken to mollify him were not positive. It was hinted that VS would partake in the meeting today following the assurance of the politburo members that the issues voiced by him would be discussed. However, VS changed his decision late last night. VS had told his loyal that if he stays here, the people are likely to think that he is waiting for the party’s kindness.  

VS had clarified that he would not compromise unless some of his demands like -withdraw the resolution against him and oust P K Kunhanandan and Manoj, accused in the TP murder case, from the party, are approved. 

VS comes under attack

ALAPPUZHA: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan Sunday also came under attack from delegates at the CPM state meet in the district. 16 delegates, who attended the discussion, criticized the leader for violating all boundaries of discipline and said that it could not be continued. VS was harshly criticized for hijacking the party.

VS is holding the party captive like how the terrorists hijacked the Kandahar flight. R S Babu said his attitude is like adding salt in the palpayasam of Ambalappuzha. SFI all India president Sivarajan criticized saying his sacrifice for the party is today’s act of a self-willed person. A N Shamseer said VS is demanding ransom after the holding the party captive. He is continuously violating party discipline.  

SFI leader Chintha Jerome too criticized the leader. The time is for those taking a stand against the party’s attitude to make a second entry. He criticized the leader by reciting a poem named ‘Ottukkaran’.

Hope CPM will not destroy, says VS’ son

ALAPPUZHA: I hope the CPM, the party formed by my father will not be destroyed, said V A Arun Kumar, son of opposition leader V S Achuthanandan.

The present crisis will change and all the problems will be solved.

Things are seen positively. My father is going through a bad time and it will be changed soon, he said.

KAAPA Act can be framed against Nisham, says DGP

KOZHIKODE: There are no hurdles in framing Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act (KAAPA) against Muhammed Nisham, the accused in the murder case of Chandrabose, the security guard in Thrissur, said DGP K S Balasubramanyam. Nisham has committed the crime coming under this act, he said. He also told reporters that the discussion held between Nisham and the former police commissioner are being examined.

Meantime, Nisham’s wife Amal was questioned in connection with the incident. Her statement was recorded by a team led by Peramangalam circle inspector. Witnesses had stated that Amal was with Nisham when the incident happened but she did not take an attempt to stop him from the crime.

A notice was sent to Amal on Saturday.The statements of the main witnesses in the case-Anoop, Ajeesh and Azanar were recorded as per Act 164.

Nisham in Maoists’ hit list?

KOCHI: Nisham, who allegedly killed security staff Chandrabose using his posh car recently is in the hit list of Maoists, says sources. Their aim is to put Nisham under trail in people’s court and award him strong punishment. They feel that Nisham may escape serious punishment as he has strong links with police and politicians and hence, they are preparing for direct, clandestine action against him, according to Intelligence report.

The death of Chandrabose created sympathy wave in the State and at the same time it has ignited  people’s anger . Maoists’ plan is to turn this sentiment into their advantage and murder Nisham on the lines of punishments being carried out in interior North Indian villages and Arab countries.

The plan is to attack multi-millionaire Nisham on his way to courts from the police station. The Intelligence unit has issued sufficient warning to the police though they feel that Maoists’ plan will not work as Nisham is under strong security cover.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Miffed V S walks out of party meet

ALAPPUZHA: Former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan Saturday walked out of the state CPI-M conference here after being pulled up for breaching party discipline, a source said. During the morning session of the conference which began Friday, a grim-looking Achuthanandan walked out of the session. (Read: V S Achuthanandan slams party leadership for failing to work policies)

He was followed by a battery of reporters but the veteran headed for his home near here at Punnapara, and did not speak to anyone Sources in the know of things said he was deeply hurt after a party report, tabled at meeting Friday which has more than 50 pages attacking the party veteran for his constant breach of party discipline, was being discussed. On Friday evening, state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan went hammer and tongs against his arch rival and after an hour, Achuthanandan hit back at Vijayan.

Trouble between the two has been a long standing problem for the cadre party and over the years, Vijayan’s hold on the party has turned stronger, while Achuthanandan has been losing his ground in the party.

Friday, February 20, 2015

No bidders for Vizhinjam project, minister expresses shock

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A major setback for state’s dream Vizhinjam Harbour project. Three companies who submitted applications to partake in the tender withdrew from it at the last minute. Three companies-Adani Ports, Essar Ports and a consortium of SREI and OHL accepted the applications for tender, but none of them submitted it. One more month has been permitted to submit the tenders. The time allotted for submitting the tender was till 11 am today.

Meantime, Minister K Babu in charge of the harbour department has expressed shock as there were no bidders. He said they will examine whether any sabotage has taken place.

The tender for the construction work by the government and the tender for the supervision of the harbour were jointly invited. The government will construct the tetra pods and the fishing harbour. A private company will be in charge of the operation of the harbour and the expense estimated is Rs 4089 crores.  40% of it will get union government’s viability gap funding. Contractors will get the amount.

Technical consultant Ernst & Young and legal consultant Hemant Sahay Associates will assess the project’s tenders. The high powered panel led by chief secretary will take a decision and it will be presented before the cabinet. A final decision in handing over the project to contractors will be taken by the cabinet.

Fire breaks out in Dubai’s 79-storey skyscraper

Medics said there were no casualties. At least a dozen fire engines were able to extinguish the blaze several hours after the fire alarm went off around 2 am local time.

However, some residents said they had been told by staff that the building's fire alarms did not immediately sound and that the reception at The Torch was alerted to the fire by staff in an adjacent building.

"They (the Torch receptionists) got a call from Princess Tower telling them the building was on fire. The alarms were not operating automatically," Archibald Jurdi, who lives on the 76th floor, said.

Residents said the fire had been fanned by high winds, dislodging chunks of metal and raining glass down on the area below the building, including onto a nearby road more than 330 feet away.

Traffic in the area was diverted and residents of two other nearby buildings in the emirate's Marina district were also evacuated, the witness said.

Residents of neighbouring towers were returning to their homes around 0430 local time, but residents of The Torch were told they would not be allowed back into the building until the fire officials gave approval later on Saturday. Residents of upper floors that were most affected were told it would be days before they could return.

Dubai civil defence officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and the cause of the fire remained unclear.

CPM’s organisational report slams VS

ALAPPUZHA: The organisational report of CPM has made a scathing attack against Central Committee member V S Achuthanandan.  

The main criticism is that the veteran leader had tried to trap Pinarayi Vijayan in SNC-Lavalin bribery case. This has been backed by P Karunakaran report that endorses this criticism.

VS’ former private secretary Ranjendran had also given a statement against VS before the commission. In the report, about 31 pages contain only criticisms against VS.

“In the cases such as Lavalin, Koodankulam and T P murder case, VS had taken an anti-party stand. The stand taken by him in the Lavelin case that Pinarayi is an accused in the case is a total breach of party discipline as he had bypassed party’s opinion. Later VS himself confessed to his mistakes, following the party publically warning him. After a lull, he has again come out to violate party discipline. When the party persistently maintained the stand that it had no role in the TP murder case, VS took an opposite view, “ says the report which also lists down the past instances when VS had breached party discipline.

The report also criticises politburo member M A Baby for not attending the Assembly after he lost in the Kollam Lok Sabha seat.

I’ve not seen VS’ letter, says Yechuri

KOCHI: I have not seen opposition leader V S Achuthanandan’s letter sent to the central leadership, said politburo member Sitaram Yechuri.

Talking to reporters after reaching the Nedumbassery Airport to partake in the CPM state meet, he said if there is a letter I will respond after seeing that.

M V Jayarajan released from jail

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM state panel member M V Jayarajan, sentenced to four weeks in jail for his derogatory remarks against a high court judge, has been released from jail. Jayarajan who came out of the Poojappura Central Jail at 11 am was accorded a warm welcome by his supporters.

Jayarajan, was sentenced to six months in jail in November 2011 by the High Court for contempt of court, but the politician moved the Supreme Court against the order. The top court upheld the high court's sentence but reduced his punishment.

Meantime, Jayarajan told reporters that the court punished him in a biased manner. However, he asked who will punish the judge for calling him an insect.

The stand of the Lok Ayuktha in the Pattoor case is surprising, he said.

Volvo bus overturns, killing three

NAGARCOIL: Three persons died when a Nagercoil-bound Volvo bus from Thiruvananthapuram  overturned on Friday, killing three passengers. Twelve passengers got injured in the mishap that occurred at Kavil Kinar region between Nagercoil and Thirunelveli.    

The reason for the accident has been attributed to bursting of the rear tyre at a turning. The bus belongs to Kallada transport.  
The dead have been identified as Albert (59) from Thirunelveli, Shamsudhin (49) from Kulasekharan and Ashiq Chaudhary from Dhanpath. They fell under the bus and died on the spot.

The bus was later lifted using a crane by the fire force and a team of policemen led by District Police Superintendent Narendran Nair. Police later informed that though there were Malayali passengers were inside the bus none of them sustained any worrisome injury.    

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Governor displeased with govt’s explanation on appointment of PSC sec

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Governor P Sathasivam was displeased with government’s explanation in connection with the appointment of PSC secretary. The government did not support government’s explanation. He rejected the explanation on the decision in appointing Saju George as the secretary.

He expressed displeasure on government’s stand. He said the explanation given do not have relevant materials. He directed to produce more documents including the criteria on the secretary’s first appointment and reservation.

The cabinet meet convened on January 29 appointed Saju George as the PSC secretary when he was holding the post of exam controller. There were many complaints before the government after appointed as the secretary.

Enough evidence to slap murder charge against Nisham: Public prosecutor

THRISSUR: District Public prosecutor K B Ranendranath has said that he is in possession of sufficient evidence to implicate business man Nisham in the murder case in which he allegedly rammed security officer Chandrabose with his high-end car, leading to his eventual death. Thus it could be considered as one of the rarest of rare cases, inviting even capital punishment for the culprit.

He said that the prosecution will be submitting before the court a loophole-free report which includes all evidence against him such as witness accounts and CCTV footages. .

P B Commission will examine VS’ report

NEW DELHI: CPM Politburo commission will examine Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan’s disagreement with CPM’s political-organisational report. They will also see how the contents of VS’ report got leaked to the media. The Commission’s evaluation and findings will be presented before the Central Committee.   

The commission comprises six persons including General Secretary Prakash Karat. It will examine the contents in the letter but may not go for a detailed discussion on it.     

PB Commission Bureau S Ramachandran has said that he had not seen VS’ letter and if he has sent such a letter, it would be examined by the PB Commission.  

The Opposition leader in his letter had apparently lashed out at the party leadership, saying that it was carrying out two kinds of justice within the party. The initial decision of the leadership was not to discuss the letter but later it changed that stand.   

DYFI march turns violent in capital city

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The secretariat march staged by DYFI seeking  a probe on the corruption in national games and the resignation of Finance Minister K M Mani in the bar bribery scam turned violent in the capital city.

The  enraged mob pelted stones at the police when they stopped the activists using barricades.

The police used water cannons to disperse them from the spot.

Will Kodiyeri succeed Pinarayi?

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When Pinarayi would step down as CPM State Secretary after his ten and a half year tenure of the office, on Friday at the CPM State committee conference, the next big question is who will succeed him.

Till now not even a hint is there about a replacement for Pinarayi and only speculation, expectations and anxiety are high among the party cadres as to who would be the next Secretary.    

The conference will begin in Alappuzha tomorrow and end on February 23. Secretary election will happen only on the last day. When activists and leaders are eager to know about the new Secretary, the party leadership has been silent on the matter. 

As of now, the top preference is for Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, unless there is some unexpected reverse move in the party. The other probable are leaders like M A Baby, Dr Thomas Issac, A Vijayaraghavan, M V Govindan, E P Jayarajan and Vaikom Viswan.

Pinaray’s aspirations are also important in the election of new Secretary. He became the Secretary in 1998. Once he leaves his post in the party he will enter the parliamentary area. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cocaine case accused sent to a day’s custody

KOCHI: The Ernakulam additional session’s court sent Blessy, assistant director and model Reshma, accused in the Kochi cocaine case, to a day’s police custody. The police had filed a plea seeking their custody for more interrogation.

The court passed the order after accepting the argument of the police that they should be questioned on the money amassed through illegal sources.

National Games: VS seeks AG auditing

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan has demanded that Accountant General be entrusted with the job to conduct the auditing of the expenses incurred by the State in organising the National Games.

He pointed out that the auditing conducted by the Finance department was not satisfactory.    
The plan of the cabinet was to complete the auditing within 45 days.

Three of Keralite family killed in Karnataka accident

BENGALARU: Three Keralites were killed in an accident at Chikkamagaluru in Karnataka. The dead has been identified as Sherif, his wife Sainaba and son Shagil of Sulthan Batheri.

The accident happened after the car losing control struck a rock on the roadside.

Suicide of HM: First accused held

KANNUR: One of the accused in the suicide of a teacher, E P Sasidharan, surrendered here Tuesday while the other accused in the case, a CPI-M legislator, is yet to do so.

Sasidharan, who was the headmaster of Tagore Vidyanikethan Higher Secondary School at Thaliparampa, hanged himself in a hotel room in Kasargode on December 14 in 2014. He left a suicide note blaming CPI-M legislator James Mathew and fellow school teacher Shaji for his suicide.

Earlier, a lower court and subsequently the Kerala high court last week rejected the anticipatory bail plea of both the accused.

Shaji has been on the run ever since the suicide note was found, while Mathew, a legislator, was moving around freely even after the high court rejected his anticipatory bail plea.

Shaji, who surrendered Tuesday, is now in police custody and will be brought before a magistrate later in the day.

An action committee formed soon after the suicide of the headmaster had been demanding the arrest of the two accused who are alleged to have caused mental harassment to Sasidharan over the administration of the school.

Sasidharan's wife also alleged that political higher ups were shielding the accused.

Meanwhile, with the CPI-M's state party conference scheduled to begin later in the week and with Mathew a member of the powerful state committee of the party, he is likely to appear before the police once the party conference concludes.

Mathew, who represents the Thaliparampa assembly constituency in Kannur district, is a first time legislator.

Three Keralites killed in Tamil Nadu

RAMANATHAPURAM: Three Keralites were killed and nine injured in an accident at Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu. They have been identified as Salim, Sameer and Riyaz, all natives of Malappuram.

The team involved in the accident was proceeding to Mathura. The van in which the Keralite team was travelling hit the halted lorry from behind. Those injured have been admitted in the hospital.

Police failure to record Chandrabose’ statement shrouded in mystery

THRISSUR: There is some enigma surrounding the police’ inability to record the statements of security staff Chanrabose, who had died after an attack by businessman Nisham.

The police had explained that Chandrabose’s health condition was so weak that he could not speak. But, interestingly, Doctor Rennis David who tended to him revealed on Tuesday that while under treatment, Chandrabose had spoken to him.   

Now it is alleged that police deliberately avoided recording his statement at it could have been counted as his dying declaration. The statement, if recorded , would  ultimately lead to Nisham getting punished. This foresightedness must have prompted Nisham’s protectors to put pressure on the police not to record statements. 

The doctor who knew Chandrabose earlier said that he was in a position to speak in the initial days of the treatment. “He could identify people. In the attack his internal organs and ribs got damaged,” the doctor said.

Sivaratri celebrated in state

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Maha Sivaratri was celebrated with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm in the state Tuesday. Hundreds of devotees thronged various Lord Siva temples, including Sreekandeswaram, Aruvippuram, adakkunathan, Aluva, Chengannur, in the morning to offer prayers.

Thousands of people thronged the holy Sivaratri Manalpuram on the banks of Periyar river in Aluva to offer 'Tharpanam' (paying obeisance) to their forefathers on Sivaratri day. Police made elaborate security arrangements for the smooth conduct of the festival at all the major temples in the state.

Case against inspector for not recording Chandrabose’ statement

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Upa Lokayuktha Wednesday registered a case against Peramangalam circle inspector Biju Kumar for not recording the statement of Chandrabose, the security guard, who died after attacked by the noted industrialist Muhammed Nisham. Upa Lokayuktha Justice K T Balachandran has sought an explanation from him for not recording the statement of Bose when he was in a condition to talk.

The clarification of the police was that Bose was not in a situation to speak as his health condition did not permit that. However, doctor Reneez Davis, who treated the victim, said Bose was able to speak.There were allegations that his statement was not recorded due to pressure and intervention from top levels as it may turn as his last statement and if it is so Nisham would be found guilty. The Upa Lokayuktha registered a suo motu case as per media reports.

Murder of Chandrabose: Nisham’s bail plea rejected

THRISSUR: The Thrissur district sessions court Wednesday rejected the bail plea of sensational industrialist Mohammed Nisham in connection with the death of  Chandrabose, the security guard.

The court denied bail to him asserting that the accused has top level links and using that cases have been settled. He has financial and political influence and was freed in many cases by that.

Meantime, the police today informed the court that a murder charge has been registered against him.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

India beats Pakistan by 76 runs

ADELAIDE: Defending champions India launched their Cricket World Cup campaign in style as they produced a clinical performance to spank Pakistan by 76 runs, maintaining their unbeaten record against the arch-rivals in the mega event here today.

In the high-voltage contest between the bitter rivals, India again emerged victorious in a rather one-sided affair, thus maintaining their magnificent record against Pakistan by winning the sixth consecutive World Cup game since the rivalry started way back in 1992.

It was a commendable all-round effort by Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men who first posted a competitive total of 300/7 riding on Virat Kohli’s 22nd ODI hundred and then dismissed the opposition for 224 in 47 overs at the Adelaide Oval to secure two points.

Mohammad Shami (4/35), Umesh Yadav (2/50), Mohit Sharma (2/35) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1/41) were the pick of the Indian bowlers as they kept taking wickets to put pressure on the Pakistani batsmen. Captain Misba-ul Haq (76), Ahmed Shehzad (47) and Haris Sohail (36) were the notable contributors.

Mohit Sharma took the last wicket of Sohail Khan to bring about India's moment of glory, sending the seizable Indian crowd at the stadium into a frenzy while the players hugged each other to celebrate the triumph, their first victory in Australia since landing here in November last year.

Pakistan were well placed at 102 for two at one stage but a middle-order collapse effected by the trio of Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Yadav ended any hopes that Misbah ul Haq and his men harboured of bucking the trend of losing to India in big-ticket ICC events.

Electing to bat, Virat Kohli marked his return to form with a crafty 107 while Shikhar Dhawan (73) and Suresh Raina (74) were the other notable performers to steer India to a competitive total of 300 for seven in hot conditions.

Kohli continued his love affair with the Adelaide Oval as his century knock came off 126 balls with eight boundaries and he shared a 110-run partnership with Raina for the third wicket.

India could have got a bigger score had it not been for some excellent death bowling by the Pakistani pace bowlers. Their young fast bowler Sohail Khan (5/55) checked the Indian surge by bowling a tight line and length.

India wobbled in the last five overs, losing five wickets for only 27 runs which stopped them short of the projected score of 325.

Tiger attack: Two forest officials assaulted by villagers

UDHAGAMANDALAM (TN): Two forest officials were assaulted Sunday by villagers at Pattavyal, where a tiger killed a woman estate worker, after they allegedly ridiculed them, police said.

The two have been hospitalized, they said.

The angry villagers also ransacked the forest office at Bidirkadu and damaged a jeep parked there, police said.

Meanwhile, the dead woman's relatives and people of surrounding eight villages squatted on the road with her body, refused to send it for post-mortem or perform last rites, protesting government alleged 'inaction' in preventing entry of carnivores into hamlets, despite repeated pleas.

They demanded that authorities shoot dead the 'man eater' and sought Rs 10 lakh solatium for the next of kin of the 30-year-old woman and a government job to a family member, police said.

Forest department sources said steps were being taken to set up cages in the area to trap the elusive tiger, which reportedly has an injury on its back.

Police said adequate number of personnel have been posted in the area to prevent escalation of the situation.

They said shopkeepers in eight surrounding villages like Nilakottai, Pattavayal and Bidirgadu downed shutters in protest against government's alleged inaction and also to condole the death of the woman.

Wildlife and police officials had said yesterday that Mahalakshmi, a tea estate worker at Pattavayal, about 90 km from here, was plucking tea leaves when the tiger pounced on her from a bush, caught her by the neck and dragged her for some distance. Other workers raised an alarm after which the carnivore left her and ran back into the nearby jungle.

The woman died on the spot due to the deep injuries.

A few days back, a farmer was mauled to death by a tiger at nearby Noolpuzha on the Kerala side. Wildlife guards believe the same tiger had killed the woman.

After his death, the Wildlife department had installed camera traps in the area but had failed to get any image of the big cat. Efforts to lure it into a trap and move it to the zoo also failed.

I don’t want to show pride by sitting in any chair, says Thiruvanchoor

KOTTAYAM: I am not a person who wants to show pride by sitting in any chair, said Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan. He said there was some confusion in arranging seats for two ministers at the valedictory function of the national games. Thiruvanchoor chose to sit on the second row when seats for Ministers V S Sivakumar and A P Anil Kumar were arranged there.

Seats were arranged for opposition leader and speaker on the front row. Not arranging seats for the two ministers is a lapse, said Thiruvanchoor. Some trouble makers were produced to spoil the games; they left the place after doing their duty, he said.

Tourist home owner, family 'killed'; ornaments 'stolen'

ADIMALI: In a shocking incident, a tourist home owner and his family members were allegedly found murdered and their ornaments stolen. Adimali Parekkattil Kunju Muhammed, his wife Aishumma (58) and mother Nachi (85) were seen allegedly killed in a room adjacent to the lodge. 

The incident happened at Rajadhani tourist home along Adimali-Munnar route.  The ornaments worn by Ishumma and Nachi were missing. The cupboard and other drawers were found pried open. Two pages of the register book containing information about those checking in and checking out were found torn off. About 25 sovereign gold had gone missing.        

A police team led by Munnar DySP K B Prafulla Chandran, Adimali CI Saji Markose and SI E Soljimon have reached the spot and started primary investigation. Dog squads and finger print experts have also been called in.