Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Have no information about Vigilance examination near Mani’s house: CM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that he has no information about vigilance examination near Finance Minister K M Mani’s official residence.

 “I have not got any complaint that Vigilance officials went to Mani’s house to take certain measurements. I also don’t know whether tape or rope was used to take measurements. How can I say about things that I don’t know,” he told media persons during Cabinet briefing on Wednesday.

“It was on the basis of news reports that I said that nobody had given statements against Mani. I have been meeting Mani for the past several days for official matters. How can a meeting between a chief minister and finance minister be news?,” he quipped.     

When asked about Aranmula airport project, Chandy retorted, “Ask concerned union minister that question. The State government has only one stand always. The previous government had given complete sanction to the Aranmula project. The present government will not oppose it. It is the responsibility of the project developers to get permission of the Centre. Only after that sanction is obtained, the State government will do what is necessary.” 

Chief Minister said there have been attempts to delay the Vizhinjam project after creating the impression that a Malaysian company is interested in the project. “It is Kerala’s dream project. There have been some cirses. We have tried our level best to avoid single tender. Further delay in the project will spell doom for the project,” he added.

'There is proof for Biju’s car reaching Mani’s house'

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vigilance officials have got evidence to substantiate Bar Owner Biju Ramesh’s driver Ambili’s statement that bribe was paid at Mani’s house, say reports.

In the register kept at Mani’s house Prashanthi, records of Biju’s car entering the house on April 2 and May 3 are there. Earlier, Ambili had given the statement that Rs 35 lakh was taken in Biju’s KLO1 BB 7878 car to Mani’s house. 

The new evidence has put Mani in a fix. Vigilance had also conducted examination of areas near Mani’s official residence to check whether Ambili’s statement was right.      

Meanwhile, Bar Owners’ Association president Rajkumar Unni has complained that Vigilance SP has been forcing him to give statement.

Nisham included in Goonda list

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Businessman and the accused in Chandrabose murder case Nisham Muhammed has been included in the goonda list. The Home Ministry has taken this action on the recommendations of Kerala Anti-Social Activities Prevention Act (KAAPA) advisory committee.  

The order stating the inclusion of Nisham in goonda list has been sent to Kannur jail where he is housed. Nisham could now be kept in preventive detention for six months as he is included in the goonda list. Police had much earlier submitted a charge sheet against Nisham.     

Vigilance to question Mani

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vigilance director Winson M Paul has given permission to Bar bribery case investigation team head S P Sukeshan to question Finance Minister K M Mani once again. At a special meeting held on Tuesday morning to review new evidence and statements, the decision was taken to question Mani again.

Vigilance has found out that Biju Ramesh’s black Tyota Etios car reached Mani’s official residence on April 2, 2014. In the guard’s room, it is recorded in the visitors’ register that Biju’s.  

K L 01 BB7878 car passed through the main gate in Cliff House compound. Vigilance team has seized this register.   
Vigilance reached Prashanthi at 11:30 am on Monday and collected evidence. Vigilance procedures took about half an hour. The evidence was taken as part of preparing Mahazar.   

Chandy dismisses reports of leadership change

THIRUVANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday dismissed reports relating to demand for leadership change in Kerala from a section of Congress workers.

"It is all your (media) creation," Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting here.

Asked about the comment of dissident KC-M MLA P C George that UDF government would not last its full term, Chandy quipped "anyone can say anything. There is no gag on anyone for making statements".

Chandy's remark came against the backdrop of reports that "I" faction loyal to former KPCC President and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala was reportedly unhappy over government's functioning hit by solar and bar bribery scams.

To a question on KGS promoted Aranmula airport, Chandy said the project was accorded sanction by the previous CPI-M-led LDF government.

"UDF government has made its stand clear on the matter.

It will not oppose the project cleared by the previous government," he said, adding, it was the responsibility of the promoter to get necessary clearance for the project and it was the duty of the Centre to give clearance.

"If the promoter comes with necessary sanction, state government will provide full support," he added.

Centre had recently given approval for KGS group to conduct an environment impact study on the project, opposed by environmentalists and Opposition parties including BJP in the state.

The proposed project in Pathanamthitta district had run into trouble from the very beginning with environmental activists and local Aranmula Heritage Protection Committee coming out against the project. National Green Tribunal has found violations in getting sanction for the project and denied sanction for it.

A CAG report tabled in Parliament last year had also found a series of violations in the process of getting clearance for the project.

On the Vizhinjam International Deepwater Seaport project here, Chandy said nobody would be allowed to sabotage the 'dream' project of the state and effort now was to implement the project transparently by protecting state's interest.

"Only one company submitted the tender now and a decision would be taken soon," he added.

Gujarat based multinational Adani Ports is the only bidder for the development of the multi-crore Vizhinjam International Deepwater Seaport project when deadline for tender bids expired on April 24.

Dr Abhin Soory admitted to AIIMS

NEW DELHI:  Dr Abhin Soory, who has sustained severe injuries in Nepal earthquake has been admitted to All India Institute of Medical Science. He was flown to New Delhi in a special army aircraft by 5 am on Wednesday. At the airport, he talked to his relatives and friends. He is currently being treated at Trauma Care Unit of the hospital.    

According to doctors, Abin has injuries in areas below his abdomen, which has affected his kidney functions. 

Abin’s mother, a native of Vadakara and Manathavadi Govt College principal Anitha Kumari, brother Dr Arjun Soory and sister and medical student Ajana Soory and uncle Balakrishnan have reached Delhi.

Dr A S Irshad and Dr Deepak K Thomas who was travelling with Abhin had died in Nepal.

Native of Alappuzha goes missing in Nepal

ALAPPUZHA: One more Malayali has gone missing in the quake-hit Nepal. The missing person is Sarath from Alappuzha and the search is on to trace him. Meanwhile six persons from Kasargod are reportedly stranded in a place called Thattoppani. The rescue workers are conducting search for them also.

The bodies of doctors who died in Nepal – Dr Irshad, son of Shamshuddin from Kasargod  and Dr Deepak Thomas, son of Thomas Kalappurakkal from Kannur Kelakam will reach Kerala by night. Their bodies are now kept in mortuary at Kathmandu hospital. By noon, they will be embalmed after post-mortem and flown to New Delhi. From Delhi, bodies will be flown to Karipur or Mangalapuram airport.    

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said the government will bear the treatment expense of Abhiman Soory. Earlier, Chandy had talked to Soory.

Bar bribery inquiry: Examination near Mani's official residence

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the investigation into bar bribery enters the final phase, Vigilance officials have conducted search in areas close to tainted Minister K M Mani's official residence.

The examination was on the basis of the statement given by Bar owner Biju Ramesh. But according to reports, the officials have not entered the official residence of the minister.

Biju Ramesh had given the statement that those who handed over money to Mani had stayed in his hotel and travelled in his car. Based on this information, statement was taken from Biju’s driver Ambili. According to sources, Vigilance conducted search on Tuesday to verify the authenticity of Ambili’s statement. They also checked whether one could view from outside what was happening inside.   

Though there is evidence to support the allegation that bar owners had reached the minister’s house with bribe amount, there is no evidence to prove that money was handed over to him. The search outside was also to look for some evidence in this regard.

Meanwhile, Bar Hotel Owners’ Association President Rajkumar Unni complained that Vigilance SP had been forcing them to give statement.

Motor workers’ 24-hr strike from Wednesday midnight

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: All India motor workers will hold 24-hr strike from Wednesday midnight, demanding withdrawal of Road Transport and Safety Bill to be introduced in Parliament. The strike will be held under the aegis of Trade Union Samyuktha Samra Samithi. 

Samithi has informed that the KSRTC buses, auto rickshaw, taxi, tempo, trucker, lorry mini lorry and private bus will stay off the road. However, private vehicles, milk transport, paper services, vehicles for hospital/wedding purposes will be excluded from the strike. 

Organisations such as ITU, AITUC, INTUC, BMS, UTUC, HMS, STU, KTUC will take part in the strike.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sheela Peter held in visa fraud case

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It has been hinted that Sheela Peter, accused in a visa cheating case has been taken into custody. After snatching money from people promising them jobs abroad with a good salary, she was absconding for months. She took 50 lakh from almost 25 persons.

After receiving cash from them, she created fake visas on her own and issued them, the medical college police said.

Demand for leadership change in Congress may spell doom for government

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There are hints that the I Group in Congress may demand leadership change just before or after the polls to local self-government bodies. The government has just one more year in power and the I group may run out of time if it doesn’t act immediately.     

The local body election will happen in either September or October. The I group’s aim is to raise Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala to chief minister’s post as it  feels government’s loss of popularity day by day will destroy the UDF. There have been a number of scams such as solar scam, bar bribery scam, land grabbing scam and all such cases were somehow related to chief minister’s office. In all these cases, the I group has not tried to show the chief minister or the CMO in bad light. It has only supported the A group but now the present situation has forced the I Group to think otherwise.      

On the other hand, A group may take a dispassionate decision as the JDU also shows tendency to stray away from the UDF. However there are several speculations surrounding the above discussed issue. One is, the A group may dissolve the assembly without giving chance for leadership change. 

Defeat in Palakkad: Action against three congress leaders

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The report of the sub panel who conducted a study on M P Veerendra Kumar’s defeat in Palakkad constituency in the last Lok Sabha polls recommended action against three leaders.

Action was sought against Palakkad DCC president C V Balachandran, C Chandran and P Balagopal. Lapses in poll activities, approaching things lightly are the allegations against them.

UDF convenor P P Thankachan said the report will be soon handed over to the chief minister. The UDF’s coordination committee will decide whether the report should be made public or not, he said.

Ice-cream parlour case postponed to July

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court postponed to July considering opposition leader V S Achuthanandan’s plea demanding CBI investigation in the ice-cream parlour case. A three-member division bench led by Justice Anil R Dave said the case will be considered after summer vacation.

The apex court had earlier sent a notice to the CBI.

Workshops, houses in Kannur attacked:Eight vehicles damaged

KANNUR: In the attack unleashed by a six-member team at Anjukandi in Kannur City on past Monday midnight, eight vehicles were damaged.

The houses of Egworth Mohandas, Vendra Devadas, their nephews Shabin and Shamoj were attacked. Fit fine workshop run by Shamoj and located near his house was also attacked. The miscreants smashed everything they could lay their hands on. The incident happened past Monday midnight.

Two cars and one auto parked in front of Mohan Das’ house were totally damaged. The window panes of his house were damaged using iron rods. The houses of Shabin and Shamoj, the nephews of Mohandas and Devas were also attacked. The gang who went in three bikes damaged four cars in Shmaoj’s workshop.  

A few days ago Shamoj had entered into a  brawl with a gang in Kannur town. This is suspected to be the reason for the attack. City police have started investigating the case.

Blast in Moolamattam, no casualty

THODUPUZHA: A blast was witnessed at the Moolamattam Power House at 12.15 pm Tuesday afternoon.

The circuit breaker of the third number generator of the switch yard exploded with a big noise. No casualty has been reported. The fire force and the police soon reached the spot.

On examination, no damages have been noticed in the generator.

K Sachidanandan bags Muttathu Varkey Puraskaram

KOTTAYAM: Noted poet K Sachidanandan has bagged this year’s Muttathu Varkey Sahithya Puraskaram.

The award is given to him for his poem ‘Malayalam’ published in 1996. As part of the platinum jubilee year of Athmanjali, the first poetry of Muttathu Varkey, the award is given to poetry for the first time. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 33,333 and a citation.

The award would be presented to him on the death anniversary of Muttathu Varkey on May 28

Former PRD director Firoz’ suspension cancelled

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala government has taken former PRD director and ADB loan scam accused Firoz back in service. He has not been given any post, yet. The government’s decision follows the instructions of a committee chaired  by the chief secretary.

Firoz was arrested for allegedly offering ADB loan to flat builders and taking back money from them in quid pro quo . Solar scam accused Saritha S Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan are the other accused in the case. 

Feriz was suspended after he was made an accused in the loan scam case on June 19, 2013.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson has said the re-examination committee had considered cancelling Feroz’ suspension on the basis of court orders.  

No separate probe against Babu

THIRUVANANTHPUARAM: The vigilance Tuesday obtained legal advice that a probe need not be conducted against Excise Minister K Babu after registering a separate FIR in the bar bribe case. The advice also stated that a probe against Minister V S Sivaskumar is also not needed. Vigilance additional director of prosecution P Sasheeendran gave the legal advice to vigilance director.

A probe is being conducted against Finance Minister K M Mani presently. The advice said the allegation against Babu need be probed along with it. There is no proof to register a new FIR against Babu. In this situation, the exact situation of the allegation should be probed.

The vigilance sought legal advice on whether a new case should be taken against Babu based on Biju Ramesh’s secret statement. 

Nepal quake: Missing Malayali doctors found dead

KATHMANDU: Two Malayali doctors who were seriously injured in the Nepal earthquake have succumbed to their injuries. The dead has been identified as Deepak Thomas from Kannur and A S Irshad from Kasargod. Their relatives have identified the bodies at a Kathmandu hospital.

Deepak, Irshad and their friend Abin Soory, also a doctor, had gone to Nepal on summer excursion. Abin Soory, who has sustained severe injuries, will be flown to Delhi Ail India Institute of Medical Science by Tuesday evening.

Monday, April 27, 2015

IT Park to be executed in Kozhikode, says Chandy

KOZHIKODE: An IT Park would be executed at the place of Gwalior Rayons with public and private participation at Mavoor in the district, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Talking at the function organized as part of his second phase of mass contact programme, the chief minister said a nine plan project would be implemented for the development of the district.

A mobility hub would be established in Kozhikode. The government will not go back from the light metro project in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. There are practical difficulties for the metro and so the light metro is planned. Will hold talks with E Sreedharan and has full faith in him, he said.

Doctors stranded in Nepal safe, says Minister

NEW DELHI: The three doctors from Kerala are safe in Nepal, ravaged by a major earthquake on Saturday, said Minister K C Joseph. The chief minister has intervened to bring back Dr Abin Suri from Nepal. Suri, who was injured in the quake is undergoing treatment in a hospital, the minister said.

Joseph reached Delhi to see that the Keralites brought from Nepal are sent to their native places safely. A meeting was chaired by the minister at the Kerala House Monday morning. The minister has sought the help of helicopters for rescue operations. The centre is providingthe maximum help to Nepal.

Man lodges complaint against wife’s illegal relationship

CHENGANNUR: A complaint was lodged to the home minister alleging illegal relationship of his wife, a woman panchayat president, with a CPM local secretary and also an advocate. The local committee secretary and the panchayat member are the villains of this story.

The man’s wife and children were staying in their house when he went abroad in 2009. During this time, his wife was fielded in the panchayat polls as a LDF candidate. She won the polls and became the panchayat president.  The complaint alleged his wife’s illegal relationship with the party local secretary after that. When the husband came for leave, she used to fight with him for silly things, leaves the house and goes to her own house which is nearby.

The complaint stated that she used to spend the money sent unnecessarily. In the meantime, the local secretary’s wife left him.

The complaint said the local secretary threatens him regularly and traps him in bogus cases. The complaint lodged to the home minister and chief of Alappuzha district police alleged threat to his life and children.

Over 100 Keralites trapped in Nepal, says Chandy

THIRUVANATHAPURAM: More than 100 Keralites, including tourists, are trapped in quake-hit Nepal, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here Monday.

In a Facebook post, he said Minister K C Joseph has gone to Delhi to initiate steps to get the stranded persons back to Kerala.

"Cabinet Minister K C Joseph is in Delhi to coordinate the efforts of getting the affected persons back to Kerala', Chandy said.

The chief minister also congratulated the Indian Army for their rescue effort.

"Indian Army's rescue mission in Nepal is commendable. I wish them all the best for their efforts in Nepal," he said.

Black flags shown to Minister Babu

OCHIRA: A minor clash was witnessed after black flags were shown to Minister K Babu when he came here to inaugurate the harvest of fish farming. The black flags were shown by DYFI activists.

The incident happened Monday morning at 9 am near the Aayiramthengu fish farming. The activists shouted slogans ‘Corrupted Minister Babu Go Back’ when he came forward to the inaugural venue.

Though it was an unexpected move, a team led by Ochira sub inspector K Vinod intervened and took them into custody.

P C George criticizes CM’s mass contact programme

KOZHIKODE: Former Chief Whip P C George came to the fore criticizing the mass contact programme conducted by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The chief minister is doing the job of a village officer and asked him to stop it.  The programme is an insult, he said. George criticized the chief minister at a time when the latter started the second phase of his mass contact programme in Kozhikode.

The UDF Government is neck deep in corruption. The chief minister is even scared of facing the assembly. Allegations levelled against Excise Minister K Babu is the same faced by Finance Minister K M Mani. Still, a case has not been registered against him. The fight against corruption will continue, he said. The budget presented by Mani is anti-farmer. Nobody has ever presented a budget like this before, he said.

Loco pilots’ strike causes trouble for passengers

KOCHI: Train passengers had a tough time after the loco pilots staged a flash strike in protest against the railways decision to conduct alcohol tests using breath analyzer before the commencement of train services.  Four trains have been cancelled after they announced non-cooperation.

Ernakulam-Palakkad Memu, Ernakulam-Kottayam, Kottayam-Ernakulam Memu and Ernakulam-Kollam Memu are the ones cancelled. Janashatabdi will be delayed, informed the railways.

The problems started after the railway decided to conduct the test using breath analyzer to know if a person is drunk or not. The flash strike started after the supervisors submitted a report to the seniors that the loco pilot of Ernakulam-Kayamkulam passenger and all India loco running staff association secretary P K Varghese disagreed for the breath analyzer test.

Sushma promises to bring back Keralites from Nepal, says Joseph

NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has assured the Kerala government that around 250 Keralites stranded in quake-hit Nepal would be brought back, a state minister said on Monday.

Minister for Diaspora K C Joseph along with parliament members from the state - including Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P J Kurien met Sushma Swaraj in the capital.

"We have been able to understand that there are around 250 Keralites who are still in Nepal, while 115 of them are now travelling by road to Gorakhpur (in Uttar Pradesh) and 47 have already reached Delhi," Joseph told the media in Delhi.

"The minister (Sushma Swaraj) has promised us that all efforts will be made to bring back our people from Nepal. The weather conditions, however, at times become bad and as a result aircraft are unable to land there," he said.

Joseph said his visit to Delhi reflects the "seriousness" of the Kerala government when it comes to crunch situations.

"The state government has made all arrangements for all Keralites who arrive from Nepal to come to the Kerala House here if they want. All those whose air tickets have expired for onward journey to Kerala will get revalidated tickets," he said.

Joseph told the media they should appreciate the good work the Kerala government was doing.

"If a Kerala minister would not have come here, you would have asked, 'Why is the government not sending a minister?' Now that I have come, you ask, 'Was there a need for a minister to travel from there to here?'."

"Remember it was only the Kerala government that followed up every activity when Indians were evacuated from Iraq, Libya and Yemen," said a peeved Joseph.

He also spoke about the condition of Ebin Soorya, a medical professional from Kozhikode who, along with two of his colleagues, has now been tracked down in Nepal.

"Soorya is under medical attention in Nepal and Sushma Swaraj has promised to airlift him to Delhi at the earliest," he said.

Meanwhile, Soorya's mother told the media in Kerala that she managed to speak to her son who is currently in a hospital in Nepal. She said he underwent dialysis after doctors said his renal condition was not good.

The devastating quake that struck Nepal on Saturday has left over 3,300 people dead and thousands of others injured

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A good man only can become a good communist: Yechury

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has said that only a good man become a good communist. “In CPM, decisions are taken jointly by the party leaders. Different opinions may emerge. That is natural and it shows that the party has life. When a general opinion is moulded out  from diverse ones, it becomes party’s decision,” he said on Saturday, taking part in a face-to-face programme organised by Kesari Memorial Trust.

Informing that the party has taken decisions on the issues raised by Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, after discussions, Yechury said, the campaign that he had no support from Kerala faction is false. “It is just a story created by the media. The general secretary was elected unanimously,” he said.    

The veteran leader said the party welcomed the preparedness of certain ex-LDF partners to return to the Front. It would be viewed positively. 

Yechury also spared some time to criticise the Modi government. “Modi government is adopting anti-farmer policies. Agitation against the Centre will be intensified in Parliament. Politburo will meet on May 16-17 to chart out agitation plans,” he said, adding, “though Janata parties have united, their policies need more clarity”.

VS removed from CPM State secretariat

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, Vaikom Viswan and P K Gurudas have been removed from CPM State Secretariat. They have been replaced by M M Mani, T P Ramakrishnan and K J Thomas. Meanwhile it has been left to the discretion of Central Committee to decide on the faction in which VS should be included.

New State Secretariat members were selected at a meeting chaired by politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan at AKG centre on Saturday.

The new secretariat members are Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Pinarayi Vijayan, P Karunakaran, E P Jayarajan, T M Thomas Issac, P K Sreemathy, A K Balan, M V Govindan, V V Dhakshinamoorthy, Elamaram Kareem, Baby John, Anathalavattom Anandan, M M Mani, T P Ramakrishnan and K J Thomas.

Antony for solution through talks

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Senior Congress leader A K Antony has said that all issues in the Congress will resolved through talks and nobody should think that there will a war of words within the party. He said he was yet to see the issues.   

When asked whether Rahul Gandhi would be made the Congress president, Antony said Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi would take a call on that. Right decision would be taken at the right time.

CPM candidate will contest in Aruvikkara

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM candidate will contest in the Aruvikkara by-election and the decision was taken by the Left Front meeting held today.

The leaders also decided to intensify the strike against tainted Finance Minister K M Mani. As part of this,  blockade will be organised in front of the Secretariat on May 7. The LDF has also decided to seek the participation of Kerala Congress (B) chairman R Balakrishna Pillai in the strike.

SSLC: Pass percentage rises to 98.57 after rectifying errors

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When the SSLC results were re-published Sunday after rectifying the errors, the pass percentage has set a record.

The new pass percentage is 98.57%. When the results were announced last Monday, the pass percentage was 97.99%. An increase of 0.58 has been witnessed now.

The students eligible for higher studies have risen to 4,61,542 from 4,58,841.

The highest pass percentage is in Kottayam and Kozhikode with 99.38%. 2700 students have obtained A+ when the results were announced after rectifying the errors. The number of students who have secured A+ has risen to 14,897.

The results would be obtained at Preeksha Bhavan’s website

Engineer from Kerala dies in Kuwait

KOZHIKODE: An engineer from Kerala was found dead in Kuwait. He has been identified as Ramiz Abdul Salaam of Perambra. The body was found buried. He was reported missing from Tuesday.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fireworks accident in church: Case against priest

KOTTAYAM: Errattupettah police have registered a case against certain persons including church priest in connection with the incident in which one student was killed and nine including a policeman were injured in a fireworks accident during Aruvithura Church festival. The person who conducted the fireworks has also been booked. The police have started initial investigation.

Forensic experts reached the accident spot yesterday itself and collected evidence.    

Earlier, the police had officially informed the church officials not to conduct fireworks as the church didn’t have sufficient safety measures for it. The fireworks was conducted, neglecting these instructions. The church priest and church committee members have been made accused in the case. As one person was killed in the incident, the case will be filed for homicide without intent.
The primary assessment is that the mishap occurred because the church authorities hurried to finish the fireworks session as it was drizzling.

Three persons with injuries have overcome dangerous condition, according to doctors. Alan (17), Jiyo Roy (17) and Jose (61) have been shifted to wards from ICU.

Senior Civil police officer K M Mathew (43) from Vaikkom police station and Alan (15) from Chemmannoor Alummoodu are under treatment in a private hospital.

CPM candidate will contest in Aruvikkara

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM candidate will contest in the Aruvikkara by-election and the decision was taken by the Left Front meeting held today.

The leaders also decided to intensify the strike against tainted Finance Minister K M Mani. As part of this,  blockade will be organised in front of the Secretariat on May 7. The LDF has also decided to seek the participation of Kerala Congress (B) chairman R Balakrishna Pillai in the strike.

VS attends CPM State committee meeting

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM State committee meeting started on Saturday. In this first State Committee meeting, being held after the party congress, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan took part. 

New General Secretary Seetharam Yechury and PB member S Ramachandran Pillai will also participate. The main agenda of the congress will be formation of a new secretariat.

VS, who had walked out of Alappuzha party congress, had been avoided from State Committee. He had absented himself from the committee meetings held after that. But today morning he arrived at AKG centre, the party head quarter, as he was specially invited by party leadership. New General Secretary Seetharam Yechury is a VS loyalist and he may have personally invited him.     

A decision was reached by Central committee members in the morning on who should be Secretariat members. However, the state committee will have to accept this. 

By today evening, it will be known whether VS will be in the party Secretariat. 

It is heard that P K Gurudasan will be avoided from the secretariat. Certain Central committee members will also be avoided. The names of new probables making the rounds are M Vijayakumar, T P Ramakrishnan, K Rajagopal, K Radhakrishnan, K Chandran Pillai, K K Shailaja and T N Seema.

Chances for liquor tragedy; high alert in State

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of closing down of three-star and four-star bars, the chances are more for smuggling and sale of spurious liquor, which could entail liquor tragedy - this is the point stressed in the report submitted by Excise Commissioner Radhakrishnan. Following this report, the government has given instructions to the excise department to be on high alert in order to avoid such situations . 

The report says spurious liquor could be sold out through toddy shops and sale of fake foreign liquor and arrack could be on the rise. Taking this point into consideration, the Excise department has decided to conduct more frequent inspections at toddy shops and other such outlets. Deputy commissioners will head the inspection or raids, if needed.

The report, as well, points out the increase in ghanja and drug trafficking following the non-availability of liquor.

State Excise Intelligence has also given a similar report. The source of ghanja and narcotic items have been traced to states like Andhra and Odisha. The Excise department is keeping a close watch on places and trains where the contrabands are likely to be kept hidden.

Youth electrocutes himself

NEYYATTINKARA: A 29-year-old-youth took his life by electrocuting himself. The victim has been identified as Satheesh, son of Sathyanesan and Kamalamma of Kulathur. He was found electrocuted in his bedroom last night. His hands were found tied using a wire.

Satheesh was found electrocuted by his brother Santhosh when he broke open the door as it was not opened till night. Satheesh was a victim of brittle bone disease.

Rekha and Latha are his two sisters.

Lok Ayuktha for action against ministers in bar scam case

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Lok Ayuktha Friday clarified that action can be taken against ministers based on the secret disclosure of Biju Ramesh, bar association working president, in the bar case. However, the court directed to register case as per the criteria of the Supreme Court.

The court asked vigilance why action was not taken if there is evidence against the ministers.The court directed the investigating official to submit the report of the investigation by June 22. Along with the report it should be mentioned what action has been taken against ministers.

Nursing recruitment: CBI arraigns Uthup Varghese as third accused

KOCHI: The CBI Friday submitted a report at the special CBI court in Kochi after naming Uthup Varghese, native of Puthupally in Kottayam, as the main accused in the case of embezzling an amount of Rs 3.5 crore in the name of nursing recruitment in Kuwait.  

The CBI asserted that Uthup has a crucial role in the misappropriation.  The report says that he has amassed millions under the Al Zarafa Agency. The CBI informed the court that he is trying to influence the witnesses.

Protector of Emigrants and Adolfus Lawrence of Kollam are arraigned as the first accused and Al Zarafa Travel and Manpower Consultants as the second accused.

As per government norms, Rs 19,500 was to be paid as service charge for getting recruited to companies in Kuwait. But, Al Zarafa is alleged to have charged as much as Rs 19.5 lakh from each candidate. An investigation conducted by the CBI revealed that the fraud was committed with the knowledge of Adolfus.

Uthup has amassed an amount of Rs 230 crores. The CBI has obtained some statements on the conspiracy of Adolfus with Uthup for recruiting nurses. The CBI is likely to seek support from Interpol to bring Uthup, who is in Kuwait, to Kerala.

RSP not to return to LDF

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: RSP has made its stand clear when CPM State Committee is all set to convene a meeting to discuss plans to bring JD(U) and RSP back to the Left front. The meeting will be held on Saturday.

RSP leaders are of the opinion that the CPM need not expect RSP to be back in the Left front, for now.  

“Don’t count on us. We are now staying with a Front based on a collective decision and now there is no reason for leaving the Front. When asked about Saturday’s CPM meeting to discuss the matter , A A Aziz said, “ let them discuss; they can discuss and take a decision on whatever they want.”

There is a strong opinion in the CPM to coax JD(U) and RSP into returning to the LDF. The CPM State committee is going to discuss this though the election of the new Secretariat is its main agenda. The LDF expansion will also be a main point discussed.

George files plea against Mani

KOCHI: Former chief whip P C George filed a plea against Finance Minister K M Mani in the Kerala High Court. The plea cited bearing ministerial berth post and the chairman post of the Kerala Congress (Mani) party together is against constitution. The plea alleged that Mani concealed this before the commission while filing nomination papers.

George’s plea also stated that there is a lot of difference in the details given to the election commission and the present situation.  As per the details given to the election commission, a person cannot bear together the party chairman post and the ministerial berth. There is also a change in other party posts. Bearing posts like this has violated the assurances given to the election omission.

SSLC controversy: Move in League to remove Abdu Rabb

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There are hints that there is a move within the Muslim League to remove Abdu Rabb as education minister as he has cut a sorry figure before society and drawn flak from all quarters after a botched-up SSLC exam valuation. It is reported that a group within the League will strongly demand for the removal of Rabb as the minister.   

It is rumoured that if Rabb is removed, he will be replaced by Abdussamad Samadani. Meanwhile, K N A Khadar MLA coming into the scene with criticism against Rabb and his ministry is also notable.

The MLA’s criticism went public through some of the articles he had written for newspapers. “What was the need for exam if all who wrote the exam were to win,” the MLA had quipped. In reply to this, Rabb said that he had not deliberately given marks to anyone and the MLA has freedom to speak his mind.

League leadership’s meeting will be held at Kozhikode League house on May 27. Besides Sate office-bearers and district presidents, MLAs have also been invited for the meeting. In all probability, Rabb will face criticism at the meeting. However, certain leaders say the reports that there is anti-Rabb move in the party is wrong. Muslim community and a group in the league will also come to support the minister  

DPI slams minister 

Meanwhile, Director of Public Education has criticised the education minister. His explanation is that flaw in evaluation camp, i.e. in the data entry operation had resulted in the wrong results. DPI will soon submit a report to the government in this regard.

More counters at beverages outlets

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In order to control the rush witnessed at the outlets of the beverages corporation, the government decided to open more counters. New machine will be installed to issue token at these counters. Such counters will be opened at the outlets which have enough space. Liquor will be provided only if a person goes with the token.  Not only that the excise department has decided to amass cheap liquor by giving more orders for it.

An unprecedented rush is being witnessed in the outlets of beverages corporation following government’s policy that bar license be issued only to five star hotels. An increase of 12 lakh from the ten lakh is seen. Rush is mostly seen at the outlets on the national highways. Minor scuffle and deterioration of law and order were seen when the rush goes out of control.  The government decided to permit more counters following the rush

Snake caught by locals gets stolen

PATHANAPURAM:  A python which was caught by locals and bundled up in a sack was stolen by  a three-member team who reached the spot on Wednesday. Based on the locals’ complaint, Forest Range officials later recovered an Alto Car, suspected to have been used for snake smuggling. The vehicle has been taken in custody.  

The snake was seen in the evening in front of Varghese’ house at Vilakkudi Grama panchayat. Many came to see the snake after it became the talk of the locality. The locals after hours’ attempt managed to push the snake into the sack. The forest officials were then informed. 

As soon as the crowd dispersed, the three-member team slowly walked towards the bundle, grabbed it, put it in their car and drove away. Later, when the locals came to know that they were being duped, a mobile clipping shot by an onlooker came to their help. The car number was visible in the clipping. 

By Thursday evening, the car was spotted by a team led by Pathanapuram Range Officer Chandran Pillai. The car’s owner was found to be a resident of Punalur. The search is on for the snake and snake thieves.

Aranmula airport: Environmental impact study again

NEW DELHI: Giving a new lease of life to Aranmula airport project, the expert committee of Union Forest and Environment ministry has given the nod to conduct the environment impact study on Aranmula airport project once again. The committee’s decision came after Project promoters KGS group gave  an application for the same. 

Earlier the project had obtained environmental clearance but it was cancelled by Chennai bench of National Green Tribunal following a petition filed by Aranmula Paithrika Grama Samrakshana Samithy. This was upheld by the Supreme Court later. KGS group submitted a new application on April 13.

The committee totally rejected the argument that that the project site is unsuitable for the project. After the study, the KGS will have to approach the ministry again. Earlier the Green Tribunal had declined sanction, pointing out that the Enviro Care India Pvt Lts that conducted the study didn’t have sufficient qualification to conduct the study.  

No revised SSLC results today: Rabb

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The corrected results of SSLC exams will not be announced today. The announcement has been postponed to tomorrow as more complaints lodged have to be solved, said public education secretary Gopalakrishna Bhatt. If tried to announce the results in a hurry, errors happened earlier may recur again, he said.

Meantime, Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb said like previous years, small errors happened this time also. The minister said the results can be announced late night. Thought the results were updated from valuation centers, some mistakes occurred and that is being solved now. Rabb said that he is taking over the moral responsibility of the mistakes noticed in the results. Whether I should resign or not can be considered later, he added.

Giving grace marks, correct the wrong marks are the things done now. As many as 3338 complaints including grade obtained for the absentee have been obtained. Out of that, 2456 are grade missing ones.  The cases of 1741 have been solved last evening.

'Never rushed to Well to stall House proceedings'

KOCHI: Retired Rajya Sabha member P Rajeeve today said he never rushed to the Well of the House to stall proceedings but by effective Parliamentary intervention.

"I have never rushed to the Well to stall the House proceedings but I have done it by making effective Parliamentary intervention," said Rajeeve, who was given a grand farewell yesterday by his colleagues in absentia.

"You need not troop into the Well to stall proceedings of the House. One can stall the proceedings of the House through effective parliamentary intervention on real issues concerning the people and the country," the CPI(M) leader said at a Meet the Press Programme organised by Ernakulam Press Club here.

He was responding to queries on his six year experience as a Rajya Sabha member.
Rajeeve, who has not been nominated by his party for a second term, said Rajya Sabha proceedings were stalled on more than 10 occasions due to the serious nature of the issues raised by him.

He narrated how the then UPA government was forced to defer introduction of a bill in Rajya Sabha for setting up an agriculture university in Bundelkhand region in 2011 after he argued that as per the Union List, the Central Government had no right to bring a legislation for incorporation of a university.

"I did not troop into the Well of the House. But the House was adjourned two, three times over the issue. I could see slogan shouting members of the SP and BSP in the Well moments after I raised the matter," he said.

A day after members cutting across party lines asked his party leader Sitaram Yechury, the new CPI(M) General Secretary, to consider getting him elected again to the Rajya Sabha, Rajeeve said he feels humbled by the love and affection showered on him by the members of the Upper House while bidding farewell to him and two other colleagues in absentia.

He said he had learnt a lot during his six year tenure in Rajya Sabha.
During their farewell speech, leaders cutting across party lines, including Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, BSP chief Mayawati had asked Yechury to consider getting Rajeeve elected again to the Upper House.

Earthquake: Aftershocks in Kerala also

KOCHI: Aftershocks of the earthquake that occurred in Nepal was felt in Kerala also. Small vibrations was felt in Kaloor and Kadavantra in Kochi also. Following this, the sitting of solar commission was postponed.

CPI former  State Secretary Pannyan Raveendran who had gone to give evidence in the solar case said that even he could feel the vibration.

In North India, the tremor was felt two times at 11:50 am and 12.18 pm. The first quake lasted for 20 seconds and was of 7.9 Richter scale and in the second time it was 6.6.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced rescue-relief measures for those who are in need of it. He held talks with Bihar-Sikkim chief ministers and asked the respective governments of the affected states to speed up rescue operations. 

Youth dies after falling into well

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a tragic incident, a youth slipped and fell into the well while talking on his mobile. The dead has been identified as Vishnu (24), son of Vamanan and Geetha of Mannanthala.

The incident happened at his uncle’s house last night. Vishnu, who went out with his phone was not seen after a long time. He was found lying dead in the well in a search conducted. The Mannanthala police said he may have slipped into the well while talking on the phone. Vamanan and his family who were in Odisha for years returned to their native place recently. He leaves behind his sister Vidya.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

No connection with bar bribery: Sivakumar

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister V S Sivakumar has said that charges levelled against him in connection with bar bribery scam is baseless. “There is no grain of truth in the allegation that I had collected donation during Neyyattinkara election. It is sad that my name is being unnecessarily dragged into the bar scam issue. It is a result of the conspiracy to assassinate my character,” he said.  

Magistrate, AG, law secretary sabotaged Saritha’s statement: PC George

KOCHI: P C George MLA has alleged that Law secretary, Chief Judicial Magistrate N V Raju and Advocate General had sabotaged Solar scam accused Saritha S Nair’s statement.  

“In Saritha’s first statement, there was the name of Jose K Mani MP and a youth MLA from Ernakulam. After listening to Saritha’s statement, Raju had called up Law Secretary. In the solar deal, Saritha was just an agent. The scam involved an amount of Rs 16000 crore and the chief minister, Anto Antony MP and Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan also had roles in it,” George told media after giving his statement before the Solar commission.

KSTA seeks inquiry into flaws in SSLC results

THIRUVANANTAPURAM: Kerala School Teachers’ Association (KSTA) has sought a comprehensive inquiry into the alleged anomalies in the SSLC valuation.

In a press note, KSTA has said that government’s move to get the valuation done in a haste and show it off as its achievement had resulted in the whole mess.

“Because of the flaws in the publication of the exam results, about five lakh students and their parents are undergoing anxious moments. The government which had not taken pains to sort out issues in the conduct of the exams and valuation of answer papers had virtually ridiculed the students through erratic announcement of results,” KSTA press release said.

Student gets two grades for unattended SSLC exam

ALAMKODE: T A Dhanesh from Alamkode Nellippara had not attended the SSLC exam but when the result came, he got C plus for Maths and E grade for computer science. For all other subjects, he was marked absent.

Earlier Dhanesh's parents had informed the school headmaster that he would not be attending the exam due to illness. The headmaster had forwarded their application to cancel his registration for the exam to DPI. Later, the education department also issued an order stating that Dhanesh's registration had been cancelled.

The parents were shocked to see the result as they were having a look at Education department's website. They soon informed the matter to the school headmaster. When he contacted the education department, the officials said the goof-up was due to technical issues.

SSLC results removed from websites

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The SSLC examination results have been removed from the websites following huge anomalies noticed in it.

The results have been removed from It@school and Pareeksha Bhavan. It is heard that all the errors will be corrected and fresh results are likely to be announced tomorrow.

Details have been collected from 54 valuation centres, as the results announced in many districts were incomplete.

Vigilance seeks report on Biju Ramesh’s statement

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The vigilance director Thursday sought a report from the investigating official on the secret statement of  bar owner Biju Ramesh revealed before the magistrate.  Directions have been given to examine whether there is any new revelation in his statement.

The main allegation in his statement was that Rs 10 crore was given to Excise Minister K Babu via bar owner Krishnadas as  bribe. He had also mentioned cash was offered to Ministers V S Sivakumar and K M Mani. A decision on whether a new case should be registered would be decided after examining in detail the statements against the ministers.

Meantime, there would be no special investigation against Minister Babu in the bar bribe case.

Youth found hanging in house

NEYYATTINKARA:  Shafeeq (31), who was staying in a rented house in Neyyattinkara Aralummoddu, was found dead, hanging from the ceiling of his rented house. He was staying with his second wife here.

There was some issues between Shafeeq and his neighbour, a youth. He had complained to the Jamaat against his neighbour. Following this, a compromise talk was held. In between, Shafeeq is said to have assaulted the youth and as result, the talk failed finally.

For the past two days, Shafeeq’s house looked deserted, after which the locals came to enquire about him. It was then they spotted Shafeeq’s body hanging and his mouth gaged with towel.
Shafeeq’s neighbour said there was something mysterious about the death. Neyyattinkara police have started investigation.      

Accused goes amuck in police station

NEYYATTINKARA: A goon who was taken in police custody and taken to the police station went amuck inside the police station, causing damages to the station infrastructure and injuring cops.

It was Shibu S Nair (35) from  Kanjiramkulam Chavadimukku who caused damages to the police station.  

Kanjiramkulam Station constable Yokkob has got injured in the attack. Shibu, who has about 14 cases against him in several police stations, was arrested only on Wednesday evening by Kanjiramkulam police. 

The accused turned violent as soon as he was brought out of the cell. Later other police men came, overpowered him and put him back in the cell. Kanjiramkulam SI said the goon had attacked police several times earlier also.

VS seeks Rabb’s resignation on SSLC issue

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan Thursday sought the resignation of Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb in connection with the anomalies noticed in the SSLC examination results. The minister is trying to conceal the unpardonable errors by putting the blame on the software, VS alleged.

The reason for all these irregularities is that the minister appointed his favourites for the task after avoiding experts.  The office of the minister too intervened in the issue, he said.

Meantime, former education minister M A Baby sought a detailed probe on the mistakes and held the minister responsible for the whole issue. 

Case should be taken against excise minister, says Kodiyeri

KANNUR: A case should be registered against Excise Minister K Babu based on the statement of bar owner Biju Ramesh, said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

Charge sheet against Finance Minister K M Mani involved in the bar case should be filed soon and in the wake of serious allegations against them, the two should resign, he said.

HANS sale: Kerala’s wholesale dealer nabbed

KOTTAYAM: A wholesale dealer who supplied HANS in areas stretching from Palakkad to Kayamkulam has been nabbed by the police. The arrested person is Chandran (57) from Alappuzha Muhamma Manikyamangalam and he was picked up from Kottayam. He will be presented in the court on Thursday. 250 packets of HANS have been recovered from him.                                                                                                                                                
He reportedly confessed to the police that he bought HANS from Coimbatore. “Ten thousand packets are brought in a single time and supplied to retail dealers from Palakkad to Kottayam. Just one time in a month he goes to Coimbatore to buy the product. On days he is not able to reach there, his friend will sent it to him by bus,” the police said, adding that earlier also he had been arrested for the same reason.   

According to the police he bought HANS for Rs 4 per packet and sold it here for Rs 30 to 35. He supplied the goods to most shops, mainly wayside shops, in Kottayam.

Police under the instruction of DySP V Ajith raided the rented house of the accused in Eerayilkkada after District police chief M P Dinesh was tipped off. Kottayam West CI Sakkariah Mathew, SI T R Jiju and shadow police I Sajikumar and Praksh Babu carried out the arrest.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Minister Babu to move court against Biju

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A case will be filed against bar association working president Biju Ramesh in a week, said Excise Minister K Babu.

Talking to reporters here, the minister said Biju along with the opposition are trying to topple the government. His allegations could be seen only as a liquor baron’s blabbering.

Any person can level baseless allegations and I have responded to al that earlier, he said.

Nod for light metro in T’puram, Kozhikode

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The cabinet Wednesday granted sanction to implement the light metro project in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. Briefing reporters after the weekly cabinet meet, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said as part of the project, the Mananchira-Meenchantha Road in Kozhikode and the Kazhakkoottam-Kesavadasapuram Road in the capital city would be widened.

The government has full faith in E Sreedharan, advisor to Kochi Metro. His services are appreciated. He is the one behind the achievements gained so far in the Kochi Metro Project. The government is concerned if any worry has caused to him in connection with the Light Metro Project. Further processes on the project  will be decided after consulting with Sreedharan.  

Permission has been given to the airport company to directly buy 11.44 acres of land for the Kannur Airport.

Pillai against Anoop Jacob

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Congress (B) chairman R Balakrishna Pillai has levelled allegations against Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob. He alleged corruption in the appointment of employees to the consumer court.

Pillai said allegations were voiced when he was in the front but no action was taken. He said more complaints would be handed over to the vigilance.

Pillai said he will support the LDF siege on Wednesday and will join hands with them in their campaign in Aruvikkara. The LDF is sure to win in Aruvikkara, he said.

Marks obtained won’t come down, says Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There are no serious problems in the results of SSLC exams announced two days back, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The marks obtained by a student will not come down, the chief minister said while briefing reporters after the cabinet meet.

The SSLC results was not found to be a set of errors. The results were announced on the scheduled day. Some technical problems broke as usual. There is no need for concern and the problems will be solved soon. Some changes will be seen in the results. However, the marks obtained by a student will not come down. He asked the media not to scare the students on the issue. Complaints on the grace marks not included have been levelled. Directions have been given to solve it as soon as possible.

When brought to notice Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb’s statement that some external forces intervened in the results, the chief minister refused to reply and asked them to ask the concerned minister itself. The chief minister ended the press meet soon without responding on more questions.

Heavy rains pound Thiruvananthapuram

THIRUVANANHTHPURAM: Strong summer rains pounded Thiruvananthapuram district on Tuesday evening, entailing heavy damages to properties and vegetation. According to reports, it rained continuously for about five years so that low-lying areas witnessed flooding.

Meanwhile, District Collector has issued high alert across the district. Taluk-Village officers have been asked to report for duty.  
Tuesday evening’s heavy thunder and lightning snuffed out the life of a Kunnumkuzhi youth, besides two others. Most roads including the ones which had been dug up for various maintenance work remained inundated for hours. Railway services were also affected as the railway tracks were submerged in flooding water. Even water seeped into records room in the Secretariat.

The Met department has informed that strong rain would continue for the next two days.

LDF lays siege to secretariat seeking Mani’s resignation

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF is laying siege to the secretariat pressing for Finance Minister K M Mani’s resignation in the bar bribe scam.They besieged in front of the secretariat and other district collectorates. More than 10,000 activists took part in the siege.

Four gates of the secretariat were blocked. The activists blocked the gate of the cantonment part Wednesday in order to prevent the entry of the chief minister and other ministers. Though it was decided to open the gate with tight police security, they could not do so. A team led by V Sivankutty MLA blocked here.

The police later intervened and removed them after courting arrest. The ministers with the escort of police reached the secretariat to partake in the cabinet. The police arranged tight security for the chief minister and the finance minister.

Saritha stayed in Jose K Mani’s flat in Delhi, says P C George

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Whenever Saritha S Nair, main accused in the solar case, reaches Delhi, she used to stay in Jose K Mani’s flat, said P C George. Talking to Kerala Kaumudi Flash, he said that he will produce all documents with proofs when he deposes before the Solar Commission today. It was Anto Antony and Jose K Mani, who introduced Saritha to union ministers.

George said, “The letter showed by Saritha at the press meet and the one I read are the same. What Pillai said before the commission and the contents of the letter asserted by him are the same.”

It is also hinted that he will give statement against the chief minister and the ministers before the commission. The solar case came to light after a conspiracy was hatched by the political leadership to obtain 60,000 crore. He is likely to mention the name of the chief minister and the ministers here. He will depose before the commission as per the notice of them.

Governance takes place during night time, says Kodiyeri

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The smooth functioning of the government takes place at the night time, said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. Inaugurating the secretariat siege of the LDF, he said the ministers bribe deal takes place after 5 pm. They are accepting bribe without any embarrassment. Why are they suffering so hardships and functioning.

The stained K M Mani has no right to continue in office. Strong agitations will continue till he resigns, he said.

Teacher found dead

VELLARADA: A teacher was found dead in the river. The dead has been identified as Reji (40) of Kudayal. His body was found early this morning near the Thurathimula Bridge at Mullalivuvila. He is a teacher of a school in Kanjiramkkulam. His bike was found parked on the roadside nearby.

10 crore was given to Minister Babu as bribe, reveals Biju Ramesh

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The secret statement of Biju Ramesh, Kerala Bar Hotels Association working president, that an amount of Rs 10 crore was given as bribe for Minister K Babu, has been revealed. His statement to the court said the amount was given for reducing the fees for renewing the bar license.

The money collected by the bar association was given to Babu by bar owner Krishnadas. Cash is offered to Babu every year. His statement stated that by giving 10 crore, the fees was reduced from 30 lakh to 23 lakh. The minister also demanded 11 lakh for beer and wine license.

Finance Minister K M Mani had demanded Rs 5 crore, revealed Rajkumar Unni, bar association president, at the meeting. Unni and Elegance Bar owner Binoy participated in the meeting held before the budget presentation for the year 2012-13, alleged Biju in his statement. From the amount of one crore given to Mani in three phases, 50 lakh was handed over to him at his house in Pala. Cash was also given to Health Minister V S Sivakumar.

Jail superintendent ready to hang Antony

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It seems there will be no need to scout for hangman to execute Aluva mass murder case convict Antony as Thiruvananathapuram Poojappura Central Jail Superintend Sam Thankachan has expressed his willingness to perform the job. It is known that Thankachan himself has informed DGP about this.   

The Superintend doesn’t have previous experience in hanging but earlier he had witnessed one. Gossipers in his department says Sam’s only courage to do the task is his earlier experience.

The last hanging incident in Kerala was in July 1991 when ripper Chandran was hanged to death in Kannur Central jail. As part of his duty as a jail officer, he witnessed the event then.  

Now that the superintendent has come forward to hang the convict, it is not known whether the jail department will search for a hangman. Meanwhile all preparations are going on in Poojappura Central jail to carry out the capital punishment. 

At present there is no official hangman in Kerala. To hang ripper Chandran, a hangman was called in from Pollachi in Tamil Nadu. It is known that about Rs 2 lakh is the wage given for hanging a person. 
The last hanging incident in Poojappura Central jail happened in 1978;  a native of Kaliyikkavila was hanged then.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Change in SSLC results

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When the results of the SSLC exams were published in record time, it is now heard that there would be a change in the results. A difference would be seen in the pass percentage of all districts. As the results published yesterday were incomplete, details are collected from 54 valuation centres.

Presently Kozhikode district obtained the highest pass percentage. Kannur that was announced the topper yesterday secured the third position. The number of schools with 100% pass percentage has also increased. As per the new list,   1555 schools have obtained 100% win from the 1501 announced yesterday.

A day after the results were out, discrepancies still exist. Many students have not obtained their results. Meantime, Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb said the errors occurred due to a snag in the software and it would be rectified within two days. 

Nursing recruitment scam: BJP, Congress trying to help main accused?

KOCHI: The CBI will have to sweat a lot in order to deport 230-cr nursing recruitment scam accused Uthuppu Varghese to India from Kuwait. Uthup’s alleged close relationship with Central BJP ministers will come to his advantage. It  is reported that some BJP-Congress leaders had helped Uthup to flee from India, as soon as the scam broke out. 

Despite coming to know that Uthuppu was in Kuwait, Central and State governments are not taking any step to arrest him. In the Kuwait office of Alzarafa, Uthup is still active with his recruitment job. TV channels had also flashed the clippings of his office. But no political party has come out against him. It is alleged that attempts are on to influence the CBI to delay the legal procedures and  help the accused flee to a country with which India has no mutual agreement on deportation.

Duel over walkway: Accused student remanded

ALUVA: A student, who allegedly killed an old woman after quarrelling with her over walkway adjacent to her land, has been remanded by the Aluva court.

Ajumal alias Aju (21) from Meykkadu, Chengamanadu has been remanded to 14 days’ custody.  Ajumal is a third year BCom student of Ankamali St Andes College.

After the death of his parents years ago, Aju had been living with Aju’s father’s mother Ammini. Aju on Saturday night stabbed his neighbour Ammini (62), wife of Meykkadu Panangadan house Kumaran.

For the past several years Aju’s relatives and the neighbour had been on warpath over the walkway  issue. The path that led to the house of the accused lie adjacent to the late Ammini’s house. The formation of puddles and slush on the path was what that had led to the brawl.  

On the Saturday, Aju’s grandmother and Ammini had a heated argument, which provoked Aju to commit the crime. Ammini had been stabbed several times by the time locals reached to save her. Though she was soon rushed to hospital, she died Sunday morning.

The case is being investigated by a team led by Angamaly CI.

Not thought about leaving UDF: Shibu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister Shibu Baby John has said that he had not thought about leaving the UDF. 

“Any passer-by need not say talk about RSP’s stands. RSP is a party which has an identity and no one needs to cast doubt on the party. The Rajya Sabha polls have proved that there is no threat to the UDF government,” he said.

UDF would move forward unitedly, says Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amidst the discontent voiced by JD (U), a partner in the UDF, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy expressed confidence that no partner in the Front would leave from it.

"The UDF would face the next assembly polls in 2016 with the same constituents and any issues among the partners would be sorted out", Chandy told reporters here.

The chief minister said the charges levelled by Janata Dal (United) leader M P Veerendra Kumar are somewhat true and it would be looked into. The complaints of the allied parties will be considered seriously and required steps will be taken. The UDF will move forward collectively after solving all the problems, he added.

Udayamperur IOC plant strike called off

KOCHI: LPG gas workers under Udayamperur IOC plant, who had been on strike  for the past several days, have called off the strike.  The decision was taken to withdraw the strike after certain agreements were reached in the discussions held in a meeting headed by Assistant Labour Commissioner on Monday evening.

The IOC officials said the workers would resume work on Tuesday  and the supply mechanism will normalise within 15 days. 
The workers had started strike from Thursday last under the aegis of Joint action council, following which the supply of LPG cylinders had been badly affected in eight districts. 

Meanwhile, Paripally IOC plant strike has not ended and as result shortage of supply has become severe in southern districts.

Mark was given to questions just attended: Education minister

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb has said that he was not denying the fact that marks were given to SSLC questions that were just attended.   At a press conference conducted to announce the SSLC results on Monday, he made this ‘confession’ when a reporter asked whether the marks were not given for just attending questions.

The minister, who claimed that year by year the SSLC pass percentage showed an upward trend, was also asked about a student who was declared pass in the SSLC though he had just secured four marks for a subject. But to this question, he said he didn’t think that information was right.

JD (U) an inseparable part of UDF: Chennithala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala has said that JD (U) is an inseparable part of the UDF and all issues could be sorted out amicably through  talks. He was speaking to the media in Kollam on Monday.

“There is no big brother or small brother attitude in the UDF. No ally will leave the Front. CPM’s wish to  snatch away coalition partners from the UDF won’t work,” he added.

Raid at Janasree office

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a raid conducted in the Venjaramoodu Janasree office, police recovered stamp paper worth Rs 40 lakh and fake seals, says news report.

Police are said to have conducted the raid following complaints from the locals.

More details are awaited.

JD (U) not to cooperate with UDF jatha

KOZHIKODE:  The Janata Dal (United) has taken a strong stand against the neglect towards them inside the UDF. They have decided not to attend the UDF’s jatha in Kozhikode. JD (U) state president M P Veerendra Kumar said that he would not inaugurate the jatha beginning on May 19 at Kozhikode. The decision was taken at the office bearers meet convened on Sunday.

The state president had earlier stated that they were not given the consideration given to RSP. Due consideration was not given at the Lok Sabha polls also.  Meantime Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Tuesday said the charges levelled by the state president are being examined.

Biju Ramesh again levels allegations against Minister Babu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bar owner Biju Ramesh has again levelled allegations against Excise Minister K Babu. Three persons together handed over the money to the minister at my hotel and they left after having food from there, he said.

Jose K Mani’s greed towards money has not ended and that he is why he sent a legal notice demanding a crore, alleged Biju Ramesh. They are trying to sabotage cases using political influence and the VSDP along with Sree Narayana Dharma Vedi will strive hard against corruption, he said.

SSLC Results: Errors due to software snag, says Rabb

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The reason for the errors noticed in the announcement of the SSLC results is the snag in the software, said Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb.

All the confusions following it would be solved within two days, he said. The change in the software led to the confusion.

The allegation that a lenient approach was taken in the evaluation is wrong, he said. Pareeksha Bhavan and it@school have been directed to publish the correct details after solving the errors, he said.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Man drowns in Ambalappuzha River

ALAPPUZHA: A 20-year-old man drowned in the Pookaitha River in Ambalappuzha while he was taking a bath along with his friends on Sunday. The dead has been identified as Muneer, who hailed from Puthuval house in Kakkazham, Ambalappuzha North grama panchayat. The incident occurred when Muneer tried to rescue one of his friends who lost balance while swimming in the river. Muneer’s body was recovered in a search operation that lasted nearly two hours. The body was later shifted to the Alappuzha Medical College.

My last vote for UDF, says P C George

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After casting his vote for the Rajya Sabha polls, P C George MLA said this could be his last vote for the UDF. I would consult with the people whether to cast votes for the cabinet consisting of pilferers like Finance Minister K M Mani.

The UDF is a front which is going to deteriorate. I’ll cast votes for the UDF only after considering the emotions of the people. Mani, who sells budget, has cheated the people and the farmers.

The UDF directed George to vote for IUML candidate Abdul Wahab. George had stated earlier that he would vote for the UDF in the Rajya Sabha polls. 

Student stabs neighbour to death

ALUVA: In a tragic incident, a B.Com student stabbed his neighbour to death. The dead has been identified as Ammini (62) near Nedumbassery. The police have taken into custody the 21-year-old youth, a student of a private college in Angamaly identified as Aju, into custody.

Aju, who lost his parents at a very young age, was staying with his aunt. His aunt and Ammini was not in talking terms for quite some time. A fight broke out between the two last night and in a fit of rage, Aju took a knife and stabbed her to death.

VS requests votes from JD (U), RSP

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI Parliamentary party leader C Divakaran Monday revealed that opposition leader V S Achuthanandan had requested Janata Dal (U) and RSP to vote for the LDF candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls. VS hoped a favourable decision on it, Divakaran told reporters.

Meantime, VS refused to respond to the reporters on it after casting his vote in the Rajya Sabha polls.

However, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that he is not aware of the discussions held.