Sunday, May 31, 2015

Win of LDF under leadership of Pinarayi impossible, says RSP

ALAPPUZHA: The win of the LDF in the Aruvikkara bypolls is impossible under the leadership of CPM politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan, said RSP national general secretary T J Chandrachoodan. The Left Front will suffer a setback in the polls if they hold the hands of R Balakrishna Pillai, he said.

When Pinarayi Vijayan was at the helm of the party, the LDF was ruined and weakened the allied parties, charged Chandrachoodan. It is not the RSP who should rectify the mistakes but the CPM. The RSP is least interested in going back to the Left Front, he said.

KSU opposes Shabarinath’s candidature

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KSU State president V S Joy has given a letter to KPCC president V M Sudheeran,  requesting him and the party not to field the late Former Speaker G Karthikeyan’s  son Shabharinath  as the Aruvikkara candidate for the Assembly by-election. He said there is no success chance for him.

“There is a long line of senior leaders and youth leaders in the party. If Sulekha is not ready to become the candidate, Sudheeran should come forward to take up that job,” he added.

Monsoon may visit Kerala in June

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala will start getting monsoon rains from June 3. Earlier forecast was that monsoon will reach the State on May 30. The condition for the monsoon is just building up and hence the delay, opines Met officials.

Strong winds are likely to blow at 60-70km/hr inside the sea region. This phenomenon is known as low level jet flow.
However, the Met department has informed that the wind's pace will be only between 45-55km. This could also be an indication that the monsoon will not be strong this time.

Meanwhile, Monsoon has reached Mali, Lakshadweep, Sri Lanka and Andaman and Nicobar island.

Night club party :Four persons arrested

KOCHI: A Special investigation team has arrested four persons who allegedly handed over hashish to Kakkochi Mithun during a night club party at a five–star hotel here. The arrested are Vasim (28), Muhammed Shabib (26)Janath (25) and Fhavas (27) all hailing from Kozhikode.

The gang which fled Kozhikode soon after the arrest of Kakkochi was nabbed from Coimbatore. Four persons are absconding.
Kakkochi arranged hashish for night parties through Interior designer and DJ Vasim. Vasim, who is a DJ in a famous international hotel in Qatar, had taken part in a number of DJ parties in places including Kochi. In one such party time, he got acquainted with Kakkochi.

UDF Govt steeped in corruption, says M Vijayakumar

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The UDF Government in the state is steeped in corruption, said M Vijayakumar, CPM leader and the LDF candidate contesting the Aruvikkara bypolls.

While talking at Keralam Engottu organized by the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, he alleged that corruption had reached its climax.

Aruvikkara elections are crucial. The fate of ‘Keralam Engottu’ will be decided through the Aruvikkara by polls. The defeat of the UDF in the polls is sure. The present political situation in the state is favourable for the LDF, he said.

It's politics that matters and not sympathy, he said on a by-election necessitated by the death of former speaker G Karthikeyan.

He made the comment a day after the ruling Congress announced it would field K S Sabarinathan, the younger son of Karthikeyan, for the bypoll.

The bye-poll in the rural constituency in the capital district -- Aruvikara, is scheduled to take place on June 27.

"During elections, it's the politics what matters and not sympathy," he said.

Vijayakumar in his debut election in 1987 beat Karthikeyan but in a different constituency in the capital district.

However, a glance at the previous by-elections held in the state following the death of a sitting member shows that the kith or kin of the dead member, whenever fielded, has always won.

Sabarinathan, a bachelor of 31 years of age, has quit his job with the Tatas in Mumbai to contest the polls.

"Development in Aruvikara has taken a beating and of the 14 assembly constituencies in the capital district, Aruvikara is ranked 14th," said 65-year-old Vijayakumar, who is a former speaker and also a state minister.

Vijayakumar ruled out any sort of factionalism in the CPI-M and said he has always been a loyal follower of former chief minister V S Achuthanandan.

"Let me make it very clear that there exists no factionalism in the CPI-M and the LDF is safe in Aruvikara," said Vijayakumar.

O Rajagopal is BJP candidate for Aruvikkara

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The BJP has decided to field senior leader and former union minister O Rajagopal, as the party candidate from Aruvikkara. The decision was taken at the BJP core committee meet held Sunday morning.

A tough triangular fight will be witnessed in Aruvikkara. K S Sabarinath, son of former speaker G Karthikeyan is the UDF candidate and CPM leader and former minister M Vijayakumar is the LDF candidate.

The party Thiruvananthapuram district committee proposed the name of C Sivankutty. However, the party decided to field Rajagopal as they wanted a strong candidate.

Rajagopal obtained 2, 82,336 votes in the Lok Sabha polls held in 2014.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Police officials not shifted, says Chennithala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: None of the police officials have been shifted, said Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala. When two officials retired, the other two was elevated, he said. He said this while replying to the media in appointing vigilance ADGP as fire force DGP.

Chennithala said the elevation of Jacob Thomas is a natural step. The number of crimes in the state has been reduced. 64,166 persons have been arrested as part of Operation Suraksha in the past three months. The home department will go forward with stringent action against those involved in anti-social activities. Clean Kerala, Safe Kerala projects will start again from Monday onwards.

Those selling ganja and drugs in school premises will be sternly dealt with. Action was not taken against former MD Riji R Nair over the corruption in consumer fed as there was no clarity in the vigilance report.

District collector granted leave due to flaw in Operation Anantha ?

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  There are hints that flaws in Operation Anantha has cost District Collector Biju Prabhakar dearly. The alleged mess in the execution of the project is said to be the reason for the government’s decision to grant him two week’s leave to go for training in America. Whether he would be asked to resume his job as Thiruvananthapuram district collector is also not certain now.   

Operation Anantha is the project to check the water-logging at East Fort and Thampanoor. The aim is to complete the project before May 31. Though the work is progressing at fast pace, some top officials are of the opinion that there has been some errors in the project. Many complaints were also raised against demolishing certain buildings and avoiding some others.
Biju had asked leave to go to John Hopkins’ University in Washington for two weeks’ training. The leave was granted yesterday evening. He has been replaced with Kollam Collector J A Koushik.

Jacob Thomas elevated as DGP

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Hours before T P Senkumar assuming charge as DGP, the home department Saturday reshuffled the police top level. Vigilance ADGP Jacob Thomas has been elevated as DGP and was appointed as the chief of fire and rescue. North zone ADGP N Shankar Reddy is the new vigilance ADGP.

Loknath Behra, ADGP in the police headquarters, has been raised as DGP and appointed as jail chief. Arun Kumar Sinha is the new ADGP of police headquarters. ADGP Anil Kanth was appointed as the managing director of police Construction Corporation.

DJ Party: Kokkachi’s friends held in Coimbatore

KOCHI: Five more Keralites have been arrested in connection with the DJ party held in a five-star hotel in Kochi. Those taken into custody are Wasim, Shafeez, Jaleel, Fawaz and Jannath, natives of Kozhikode. The investigating team arrested the five-member team from Coimbatore last evening. 150 grams of hashish were recovered from them at the time of arrest.

Though the police went in search of them in Kozhikode, they left the state soon after Kokkachi Mithun was arrested. The police left for Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in search of them. They were in the flat in Kakkanad on the previous day of the party. The deal on drugs was held at the flat in Kochi. The youths mainly aimed at the party attended by Russian musician Vasily Markelov (37) aka Psykovsky.

Sabarinathan hopes to win election

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Aruvikkara UDF candidate K S Sabarinathan is optimistic that he would win from Aruvikkara constituency in the by-election.

Sabarinathan said his main agenda is to materialise the development dreams of G Karthikeyan. “ There were several things started by father for Aruvikkara constituency. To complete those things a UDF MLA will have to come. That should be a person who has personal bondage with Aruvikkara,” he said.  

Friday, May 29, 2015

DJ Elbin held in night party case

KOCHI:  The police Thursday arrested Hyper Black alias Elbin, native of Edapally for supplying drugs to five star hotels. Though the police are aware of the involvement of film personalities in the case, no initiative is seen from their side for a further probe.

DJ Kokkachin Mithun, who led the DJ party, told police about the use of drugs by many including him, an actress and a new generation director. He told police that he supplies cocaine and LSD to many in the film field and revealed the names of 18 film personalities using the stuff. Six persons supply drugs for night parties and Elbin is one among them.

PC George’s candidate too in Aruvikkara!

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former Government Chief Whip P C George MLA has said that a candidate from Anti-corruption Democratic Front under his leadership will also contest in the Aruvikkara Assembly by-election. “In Aruvikkara UDF will drop to the fourth place,” he said at a press conference.   

“The newly formed Front consists of Kerala Congress Secular, SDPI and DHRM. Six persons have been selected initially and they have no previous experience as MLAs or MPs. A shortlist of three persons out of the six will be prepared during the meeting to be held in Ernakulam on May 30. Out of the three, one person will be selected through populist scrutiny. The name of the candidate will be announced on June 4 in Thiruvananthapuram,” George said.

Centre cancels permission for Aranmula airport

NEW DELHI: Dealing a major blow to Kerala government’s Aranmula airport dream, the Central government has cancelled the permission for the project. Union Aviation Ministry on Wednesday officially passed on this information to project developers KGS Group.

Though the Union government had earlier given the permission for the airport project, the National Green Tribunal scrubbed the permission following a petition filed by Aranmula heritage protection committee. After that, the Supreme Court also upheld the Green Tribunal’s order and the Union Defence ministry too cancelled the permission.

The plan was to build the airport at a cost of Rs 2000 crore and the permission was received for conducting the environmental impact study. The Green Tribunal, however, cancelled the permission, citing the reason that the environmental impact study was not conducted by a competent authority.

After this, a new company approached the Central government with a new application in April but then the Central government took the stand that permission could not be granted as the Supreme Court and Defence Ministry had denied the permission.  

Three-member panel to probe complaint against Siddique

KOZHIKODE: The KPCC entrusted a panel to probe the complaint against Congress leader T Siddique. KPCC vice president Bharathipuram Shashi will lead the panel. The investigating report will be handed over to the KPCC president.

Siddique had resigned his KPCC general secretary post following allegations of domestic violence by his former wife.

Minister Babu assured to settle case against Rajkumar Unni, says Pillai

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai Friday said Excise Minister K Babu had assured to settle the case against bar association president Rajkumar Unni. Talking to the media, Pillai said that is why Unni was reluctant to give his statement in the bar bribe case.

Pillai said, “Unni has cheated the government. He promised to give spirit to Travancore Sugars, but later pulled out from it. The government incurred a loss of 80 lakh through it. Babu had assured to settle this case. Vigilance SP Sukeshan told court that the report has been handed over to his seniors and nothing is in his control again.  He said this due to severe pressure from the government. This is an insult to Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala in charge of vigilance.”

Pillai said that he will work for the defeat of UDF in Aruvikkara. The LDF will easily win here. The UDF Government is an insult for the state and the latter has not witnessed a rule like this before.  I don’t think P C George will work for the win of the LDF.

CPM state secretariat approves M Vijayakumar’s candidature

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPM has approved the candidature of former speaker and former minister M Vijayakumar, as the party candidate for the Aruvikkara by-election. The district committee meet had yesterday decided to field him. The state secretariat which met here Friday approved the decision. The CPM has issued a press release announcing his name as the LDF candidate. The CPM will inform their decision at the LDF meet on Sunday and his name will be announced officially later.   

ISIS terrorists in Kerala

KERALA: Terrorists of the Islamic State (IS), shocking the world by their cowardly acts, are slated to be active in Kerala. They have entered the state after starting a blog in Malayalam. The central intelligence department has started investigation on the blog titled ‘Ansarul Khilafa’ which started on May 25. The security agencies assess that the blog supports the finding that twenty youths including Keralites have been recruited in India by ISIS.

It has not been found from where the blog was created and who are all behind it. The Kerala police has been directed to be alert. Those who visited the blog are being observed. The security agencies have temporarily freeze the entry to the blog. The blog addressed ‘news seeker 90’ are justifying the heinous acts of IS.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Vigilance inquiry against Anoop Jacob

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vigilance department has ordered an inquiry against Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob. The inquiry was initiated based on the complaint filed by Kerala congress (B) chairman R Balakrishna Pillai. 

A month ago, Pillai had given a complaint to Vigilance director, alleging corruption in the recruitments made in Consumer redressal forum. The Vigilance director has given orders to Special Cell SPs to consider the complaint and give a report on it.

One killed in accident

CHAVARA: One person was killed after a mini bus overturned at Neendakara in Kollam. Twelve persons sustained injuries. The dead has been identified as Babu of Alappuzha. The seriously injured has been admitted at the Alappuzha Medical College and the others at Kollam district hospital.

The incident happened early Thursday morning on the national highway near  Cheelanthimukku at Neendakara. The bus carrying fishermen from Punnapra in Alappuzha overturned after one of its tyre burst.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The car used by Minister Muneer belongs to party member: Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Ooommen Chandy has said that the car used by Social welfare department minister M K Muneer belongs to a party member. There is no harm in ministers using private vehicles. 

The chief minister was replying to media persons’ question regarding a recent incident in which Minister’s vehicle that appeared like a State car  knocked to death a teacher.

“If there is beacon light and red board on a car, one should not misunderstand it as a state car. Expect the guest houses in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam, others have only two or three government vehicles. It is in this circumstance, one will have to use private vehicle. It is not wrong,” he said.

Regarding the Malabar cement, he said the law would take its own course. “There will be legal follow-up in the case. I don’t see politics in such cases,” he added.

Rs 2017 crore to extend Kochi Metro till Kakkanad

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that Rs 2017.46 crore project will be prepared to extend Kochi Metro till Kakkanad. The metro will be extended from Kaloor to Kakkanad. In between them, there will be 11 stations. Chief Minister Oomen Chandy informed this during Cabinet briefing.  

“The cabinet also decided to form Thanneerthada authority. Rs six crore was set apart to open Alappuzha Komalapuram spinning mill. It was decided to disburse Rs 4.5 crore arrears to farmers towards Pumping subsidy in Alappuzha. Urban affairs minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali headed cabinet subcommittee comprising Health, Revenue, Public department ministers was appointed by the cabinet to continue with the works under Operation Anantha. The committee will meet today,” the minister has said.

Hit by train, two fish workers die

KARUNAGAPALLY: Two fish workers from Tamil Nadu who were walking on the railway track were hit by a train and they died on the spot on Wednesday. Another worker sustained serious injuries.   

It was Mangalapuram-Thiruvananthapuram Maveli Express that had knocked them down. However four persons escaped un hurt.  

The dead have been identified as Felix (20) and Nixon (20) from Thirunelveli Nadapuram panchayat. Their friend Xavier who was with them has been admitted to Karunagapally Taluk hospital. The bodies have been shifted to mortuary after the inquest.   
The accident happened Wednesday morning  at around 5:30 am near Karunagapally Railway station. Seven-member fish workers were travelling from Nagercoil to Karunagapally. But as they dozed off in train, they didn’t get off the train at Kollam station. When they woke up, the train was at Karunagapally. 

Later when the train stopped at a crossing, the fish workers got off the train and started walking towards Karunagapally station through the track. Their intention was to catch some other train to Kollam but they were hit by a train that came along that way then . 

Monday, May 18, 2015

My statements were not aimed at anyone: Antony

ALAPPUZHA: Congress Working Committee member A K Antony has said that the statements made by him in connection with corruption were not aimed at anyone. “I don’t make statements with some hidden agenda. Nobody should start giving public statements in the name of my statements,” he said.

“I didn’t mean to hurt anyone and just wanted to point out certain rotten phenomena in society. There are certain problems in the Congress and Front. That is natural. All these should be solved through discussions and not through  public statements. If all in the UDF stand united, they can return to power. Kerala’s UDF leadership that include Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala and V M Sudheeran can do that. I have not even thought of a change in UDF leadership,” Antony said. 

Ambili subjected for lie detector test in bar case

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The investigating team probing the bar bribe case against Finance Minister K M Mani subjected Ambili, driver of bar owner Biju Ramesh, for a lie detector test. The test was conducted at the forensic lab.

Ambili was the driver of the car carrying bar owners to offer bribe to Mani. He had given statement that he had witnessed handing over money to Mani at his official residence. The vigilance had conducted an inspection at the premises of Mani’s official residence to examine it.

Three injured after mud caves in

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Two persons sustained injuries when a mound of mud caved in at the DPI Junction in the capital city. The condition of one is stated to be serious. The mud caved in at a place where the construction of a building was going on.

Govt decides to implement Light Metro in public sector

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government Monday decided to implement the Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode Light Metro Projects entirely in the public sector. The decision was taken after rejecting finance department’s directive to implement it in private participation. An agreement was reached between the state government and the DMRC to hand over the project to them and the charge to chief advisor E Sreedharan.

Sreedharan, who met the chief minister this morning made it clear that he would withdraw from the project if it is not implemented in the public sector.

Talking to the media after holding talks with Sreedharan, the chief minister said all problems in connection with the execution of the Light Metro Project have been solved and the next cabinet will take a decision in giving the project to DMRC.
Other things of the project will be decided after discussions with Sreedharan. Loan from JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) would be obtained only if the project is implemented in public sector. The cabinet also has to agree to the loan conditions. The state government will bear the expense of 20% of the project and the remaining 80% by the center. 80% of the project’s expense exempting price of land and tax would be obtained as loan.

CM interfered because Veerendra Kumar beat his chest and cried: Sheikh P Harris

MALAPPURAM: Janata Dal (U) general secretary Sheikh P Harris has said that the chief minister interfered because MP and party president  Veerendra Kumar beat his chest and cried. 

He was inaugurating the valedictory function of the conference of State Youth Janatadal cadre. “There is no circumstance now that necessitates JD(U)’s breaking away from the UDF. If one has to get something done in the UDF, he will have to cry aloud,” he added    

Rays of justice have started to appear: Madhani

NEDUMBASSERY: PDP leader Abdul Nasar Madhani has said that the rays of justice has started to appear . “I am thanking God for being able to reach Kerala,” said Madhani who reached Nedumbassery airport  after the Supreme Court granted him five days’ bail to visit his ailing parents in Kerala.

.”I am happy to come to Kerala to see my parents. The Supreme Court’s understanding that my case is being unnecessary delayed is a sign that the rays of justice are showing up. Now I think that the case will speed up. I thank media and unbiased people in Kerala for supporting me. I also thank all advocates who took up my cases,” he said.

When asked whether the Karnataka government was unnecessarily prolonging the case, he said since the matter was sub-judice, he was not responding to that question. “A special court had first started the trial and later the case was transferred to a different court,” he informed 

Madhani reached Nedumbassery in a flight from Bangalore at around 2:30 pm. PDP activists gave him a warm welcome at the airport and after that, they followed him in procession from the airport to Anwarseri.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Family bars, graft in govt increased: Antony

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: AICC working committee member A K Antony has said that as bars were shut down,  the number of family bars increased by 30 per cent and there is also an increase in corruption at government level. He made this remark while inaugurating the valedictory function of the golden jubilee celebration of Kerala Secretariat Association.

“Family bars will destroy families completely. Kerala is tourists’ land. The utmost discipline here is seen at retail alcohol shops. Teachers, government officials and daily labourers here queue up before the shop with discipline and they don’t need any police constable to control them.” he said

“Awareness programmes against increasing alcoholism should be intensified. The government alone can’t do this… service organisations and political institutions should take it up. Family relations are fallign apart. The number of divorces is on the rise. Happy family life becomes a distant dream. The reason for this is western countries’ family atmosphere making inroads into Kerala,” he added.

State leadership will decide on RSP and JD (U), says Yechury

NEW DELHI: The state leadership will decide on accommodating the RSP and the JD (U) back to the Left Front, said CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury. Talking to the media after the politburo meet, he said that he is not aware of the statements of opposition leader V S Achuthanandan against the former leadership of the state.  

Yechury said, “I have not come across the statements of VS. He may have said something in Malayalam and will examine it. There is nothing wrong in holding talks with the RSP. Re-organisation of the politburo commission has been left for the central committee. The statement of senior congress leader A K Antony against the government is quite serious.”

Muslim League seeks immediate convention of UDF meet

MALAPPURAM: The Muslim League Sunday sought an immediate convention of the UDF meet at a time when the congress leaders are on a race on the statements of A K Antony in connection with corruption. When a solution was found to the problems of the UDF, group squabbles are on in the congress. So an immediate discussion should be held, the League demanded at the high powered panel meet held in Panakkad.

In the present situation, will the central zone rallies of the UDF do any good? So the UDF should convene a meet tomorrow itself, said League state general secretary K P A Majeed. The rallies are aimed to boost the image of the UDF. There is no meaning in conducting it at a time when verbal fights and disputes are on, he said.

Three found brutally murdered in Kottayam

KOTTAYAM: A laundry owner, his wife and their son were Sunday found brutally murdered in their house with police suspecting migrant labourers, engaged by the dead, behind the killing.

The incident came to light this morning when Lalapan, his wife Prasanna, a nurse in a government hospital, and their son Praveen, were found dead by some people who had come to collect their clothes from the laundry adjacent to the victim's house.

Acid was poured on the three as they were bashed with an axe and electrocuted at Parambuzhayil in this district, police said.

Police said they suspect involvement of some migrant labourers, who were working in the laundry, behind the crime.

The motive for the gruesome act was under investigation, police said.

Mani wants probe in corruption cases fast-tracked

KOCHI: Probe in the corruption cases should be fast-tracked, said Finance Minister K M Mani. Talking to reporters in the district, he termed as right the opinion of senior leader A K Antony that there is corruption in all areas.

Mani said, “There is corruption in the political and official levels and it is not a new thing. We should eradicate corruption. A person is not found guilty only because corruption is alleged against him. A probe should be conducted and truth should be revealed at the earliest.”

The minister refused to opine on the present problems in the congress. All parties should try to avoid public statements.”

Rubber will be procured for Rs 180 per kilo from June onwards, he said. 

Voicing against leadership is not factionalism, says VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After a short break, opposition leader and central committee member V S Achuthanandan came down heavily against the CPM stare leadership. There is nothing wrong in voicing against the party leadership and it should not be seen as factionalism. Factionalism is like helping the opponents, he said this while responding to the formation of the CPM state secretariat.

VS also criticized state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. He has the same stand as that of the old secretary. Some of his opinions hint that, he said.

Secular parties like the RSP and Veerendra Kumar faction were expelled from the Left Front. I’ll take the initiative to bring them back. The leadership which came after 2004 is the reason for the disintegration of the Left front, he said.

Veerendra Kumar was not duly considered and given the deserved seat. The leadership after joining hands with communal parities denied seats to those in the front, he said.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Corrupt may escape from law, says Chandy

KANNUR: Those involved in corruption are cutting their own branch they are sitting, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. They may escape from the hands of law, he said. Inaugurating a function in the district, he said the faith in the minds of the people is likely to be lost.

The strength of democracy is the faith of the people and if that is destroyed, then there is no existence. Though everybody says they are against corruption, people will not believe it. The number of political leaders who practice what they preach is dipping, he said.  

The government will take over the Pariyaram Medical College, he later told reporters. Steps will be taken as soon as the collector’s report on the college including the assets and liabilities are obtained. Kannur district collector P Balakiran is preparing a comprehensive report on the number of employees, qualification and the college. A special team has been formed to assess everything. The panel includes cooperative health and revenue departments. The study which started two months back will be completed soon, he said.

Kerala files plea for new dam in Mullaperiyar

NEW DELHI: Kerala Friday filed a plea to the union ministry of environment and forests for constructing a new dam in Mullaperiyar. The plea has sought environmental clearance to construct the new dam. The permanent panel of the national board of wild life had recommended the centre to permit the state to conduct an environment study for the dam.

In December, the standing committee of the national board of wild life permitted the state to conduct a study. Tamil Nadu approached the centre demanding cancellation of the permission given. When it bore no result, they approached the Supreme Court. Kerala moving forward bypassing the Supreme Court verdict that the dam is safe, is contempt of court. The court order says that one should think about a new dam only if both the states reach a consensus.

Corruption on the rise in all sectors, says Antony

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Corruption is on the rise in all sectors, said senior congress leader and AICC working committee member A K Antony. Inaugurating the valedictory function of the golden jubilee celebrations of secretariat staff association, Antony asked government employees to take the initiative and come forward to eradicate corruption.

Corruption is not decreasing instead it is increasing in all sectors. It can be seen in government, local self-governing sectors, appointment of teachers in private college and in admission of students. No department can be singled out. The government should have their own stand in corruption cases against ministers. Corruption is the cancer of our society. With

Student attacked

PALAKKAD: A group of students Friday attacked a student when he came to write his exams. Vishnu (19), a parallel college student of MES College in Mannarcaud was attacked when he opposed ragging. Vishnu, who sustained injuries has been admitted in a private hospital.

A case has been registered against the students for ragging and murder attempt.

Jiji Thomson can be charged with conspiracy in palmolein case, says SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday said there is no obstacle in charging present chief secretary Jiji Thomson with conspiracy in the palmolein corruption case. The court said it is not required to consider his plea seeking exemption from the case immediately. Jiji was the managing director of civil supplies corporation when the palmolein deal took place and is the fifth accused in the case.

Jiji Thomson had filed a plea in the Kerala High Court as well as the trial court to discharge him from the palmolein import case. Both the courts had rejected his pleas. He approached the Supreme Court stating the act of rejecting his acquittal plea was without judging the real facts.

However, the apex court pointed that the Kerala Government has given permission for his prosecution.

SC order on govt ads against federal system: Kerala govt

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress-led UDF government in the state Friday came out against the recent Supreme Court verdict banning photos of political dignitaries in government advertisements, as not in tune with federal system.

"We disagree with the judgement, but will implement the order," Minister for Information and Rural Development K C Joseph told reporters here.

"We do not agree with the judgement that bans photos of chief ministers in government advertisements... If the Prime Minister's photo can be included, what is the reason for banning the photo of chief minister?," he asked.

In a federal system, the chief minister is the head of the administration in state.

"The order that permitted the photo of Prime Minister and disallows that of the Chief Ministers is contradictory," he added.

Joseph questioned the necessity for allowing the photo of Chief Justice of India.

"The order allows the photo of Chief Justice of India to be included in advertisements, what is the necessity for that?" he said.

Decrying "personality cult" as an anti-thesis of democracy, the Supreme Court had barred publication of photos of leaders in government advertisements except those of the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.

Two Keralites among 14 killed in Kabul

KABUL: Four Indians including two Keralites were among the 14 killed in an attack claimed by Taliban on a Kabul guesthouse on Wednesday night.

Mathew George (68), a native of Kochi and Martha Farrell (56) of Kollam, were the two Keralites killed.

George, a chartered accountant located at Kadavanthra in Kochi, had gone to the Indian Embassy in Kabul for auditing purposes. Martha Farrell was the spokesperson for a training programme conducted by the Aga Khan Trust. She represented Delhi-based Participatory Research.

The other two Indians killed are R K Bhatti and Satish Chandra. Among the others killed in the five-hour assault were an Italian, his Kazakh wife, a US national, an Afghan holding a British passport and two Pakistani nationals.

Madhani gets permission to visit ailing mother

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday gave consent for PDP chairman Abdul Nazar Madhani, arrested and jailed in Karnataka Jail in the Bengaluru blast case, to visit Kerala. The court granted him five days to visit his ailing mother. The court directed Karnataka police to arrange the required security for Madhani. The court passed the favourable verdict on Madhani’s plea seeking relaxation in his bail conditions.

The apex court expressed displeasure in delaying his trial and asked the Karnataka Government the reason for it.  As the time allotted to complete the trial ended yesterday, the Bengaluru additional city civil and sessions court informed them yesterday that it would take two years to complete the trial.

Madhani is likely to reach Kerala tomorrow. He will get a copy of the court’s order this evening and later he will have to inform his travel details to the court. After reaching Thiruvananthapuram from Bangalore, he will go to Kollam by road.  

If Verendrakumar leaves UDF, Minister Mohan will head for Cong

KANNUR: There are hints that Minister Mohanan will migrate to Congress, if Janata Dal (U) leaves the UDF. Mohanan loyalists feel that leaving the UDF will be suicidal as Veerendra Kumar and his son and MLA M V Shreyamskumar have been offered a safe position in the next “expected” LDF government.

There are also a group in the JD(U) which has taken exception to Veerendra Kumar’s policies.

The group including Veerendrakumar and son M V Shreyams kumar has mentally taken the preparation to leave UDF. But circles close to Mohanan is not ready to accept that stand. However, Mohanan has not revealed anything about Veerendra Kumar’s future plans.   

Meanwhile, CPM State Committee is also ready to welcome the entry of  Janata Dal (U) headed by M P Veerendra Kumar into the LDF. The green signal for this was received when CPM State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that the ball was JD(U) ‘s court and just, they had to take a final decision.

Man found dead in canal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 43-year-old-man was found dead in a canal. The man identified as Ravi of Kattakada was found lying dead in the canal near the small bridge in Kattakada.

He was an employee of a granite quarry in Kattakada. The police said that he may have accidentally slipped into the 10-feet canal while going home after work.

He was living alone after estranged from his family. He leaves behind his wife Ambi and children Rahul and Raveena.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bribe offered as per CM’s order, P C George tells vigilance

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former Chief Whip P C George told vigilance that the bar association had offered bribe to Ministers K M Mani and K Babu as per the instruction of the chief minister. Rajkumar Unni, representative of bar association, revealed this to me, George told vigilance.

Rs 10 crore was given to Babu and one crore to Mani. The amount of one crore was given to Mani in three instalments at Pala and Thiruvananthapuram. Mani was annoyed for offering more to Babu and demanded 5 crore.  Mani’s wife Kuttiyamma and son Jose K Mani are misusing the minister’s power.

The vigilance recorded the statement of George as per his instruction at the MLA hostel.

‘Murali Kannampally’s arrest unlawful’

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Now it is alleged that Maoists leader Murali Kannampally’s arrest was not legal. It is criticised that Murali had no criminal cases against his name and hence, his arrest is against the Supreme Court’s direction.  

As there is no case against him, police can’t seek his custody. Justice J B Koshy said that Murali couldn’t be made an accused just because he is a member of a banned organisation. Meanwhile, Murali loyalists say efforts are being made by the police to make him an accused in old cases. 

Murali, a native of Ernakulam Irumpanam, was arrested from Pune on Saturday. Along with him, ‘Maoist’ Ismail was also arrested. The alleged mastermind of Maoists activities in Kerala, Moideen is a native of Pandikkadu and Ismail’s brother.       

Murali was made an accused in Kozhikode Kayannayil Police Station attack case of 1970. He had been absconding for the past 40 years. Under the pen name Ajith, he has brought out several books on Maosism. 

After dropping out from Kozhikode Regional Engineering College, he fled from Kozhikode. Being a student, he joined Naxalism and later formed an organisation called Naxalbari. When it split, he sided with Naxal K Venu. Later when Naxal groups merged, Murali became the head of Naxalbari.

Three-member panel to probe errors in SSLC results

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  A three-member panel has been appointed as per the directive of education minister to probe the errors in the SSLC results announced. The panel was appointed following the report of the DPI.

The DP had submitted a report to the education secretary on the errors noticed in the results. The report pointed errors in everything. The minister has ordered to submit a report at the earliest after conducting a further probe.

The results were announced officially on April 18. There were complaints that grades of many students were recorded wrongly and in some cases, it was not recorded at all. The minister’s clarification was that it was due to the error of the software. After correcting it, the results were later announced on April 26. The hurry in announcing the results was the reason cited for the errors.

Anomaly also in team selection in SAI, allege parents

ALAPPUZHA: The parents of the athletes in Alappuzha SAI centre, who had attempted suicide, have given the statement to the police that the rowing athletes were harassed at the hostel and certain officials behaved in a biased manner.  

The incident related to the case took place on May 6 at the SAI centre at Punnamada in Alappuzha. Four rowing athletes had taken poisonous fruits to kill themselves. Among them Aparna (17), the daughter of Panakkal Chembathara Ramabhadran and Geetha and the athlete who had won four medals including gold in national events, had passed away. Other girls Shilpa (17), Tresa Jacob (17), a national games kayaking gold medallist and Sabita (17) are still under treatment in the Alappuzha medical college. 

Aparna’s post-mortem report was received by the investigation team on Wednesday. The cause of death has been mentioned as the consumption of poisonous fruit. No another unnatural reasons for death are mentioned in the report. 

Shilpa’s parents are former athletes of SAI. They disclosed to the investigation team that seniors in the centre used to mentally harass their juniors and during the selection procedures, the officials favoured certain students. “Even in the recently held national games, some athletes were side-lined in this manner. Juniors didn’t dare to disclose the harassment stories, for they were scared of seniors. The girls planned to commit suicide as they could no more tolerate the harassment,” they told the police.

Police will take the statements from the girls in hospital once their conditions improve. The investigation is being led by Alappuzha Crime Detachment DySP Parthasarathy Pillai and ASP Merlin Joseph.

Mittai Theruvu to be renovated, says Muneer

KOZHIKODE:  Steps will be taken to renovate Mittai Theruvu, said Minister Dr M K Muneer. Further steps will be taken after visiting the place and compensation would be given to the traders, he said. An amount of Rs 30 lakh would be given from the MLA fund for safety measures, he said.

An emergency meet presided over by Minister Muneer would be convened at the district secretariat this afternoon to discuss the loss. The police, dog squad and finger print experts reached the Koyenco Bazar in Mittai Theruvu where a fire broke out last night and inspected the whole place this morning.

Meantime, KSEB executive engineer said short circuit has not been confirmed as the reason for the incident.

Several shops were gutted in the fire, which broke out last night. A loss of Rs 26 crore has been estimated.

Android App for EKTA short film festival !

KOCHI: The EKTA Short Film Festival, the upcoming short film festival scheduled to take place in Kozhikode this week from May 15th to May 17th, announced the availability of their Android app to enable users to access all festival information through their mobile phones. The app has been designed and developed by Muzik 247, the prominent music label in the Malayalam film industry.
Organized by Emerging Kerala Talent Association (EKTA), the film festival will be screening a variety of short films from around the globe for judgement at Calicut Gujarati School.

Selected short films will be rewarded in over 25 different categories including the best director, camera man, editor, music, actor, actress, etc. The best short film will be presented a cash prize of Rs One lakh with trophy and certificate. The organizers had received more than 200 short film entries for film festival from which 145 films have been chosen for screening after a preliminary assessment. The judgement of films and crew will be done by a jury committee involving experts from the film industry. The winners will be awarded on the last day of the festival at the award ceremony which will see participation of celebrities and cultural programmes.

The chief patron of EKTA Short Film Festival is MT Vasudevan Nair - the renowned author, screenplay writer and film director. The writer and director, Ranjith Balakrishnan and Film producer, PV Gangadharan are also involved with this festival as patrons. Minister for Panchayath and Social Justice M K Muneer is the chief advisor. Sanjeev Sivan, the film maker is the festival director. EKTA Short Film Festival is headed by eminent personalities from the film fraternity such as Rasool Pookutty, Santhosh Sivan, Joy Mathew and Anjali Menon. EKTA will be honouring veteran cinematographer Vipin Mohan for completing 100 outstanding movies and legendary musician M B Sreenivasan at the film festival.

The android app of EKTA will contain complete information about the film festival, including the schedule of - screening of short films, seminars & open forum discussions lead by film personalities and glittering stage shows. Post the event, the app will also feature select short films from the festival that users will be able to watch and enjoy.

The EKTA app can be downloaded for free from Google Play store at or by SMSing 'EKTA' (without quotes) to 56060.

Schools without toilets will not be allowed to function, says Abdu Rabb

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb Thursday said that from this year onwards schools without toilets would not be allowed to function.

The inspection conducted by the health department found that there are 772 schools in the state without toilets. The report of the health department would be considered seriously and steps will be taken after examining it, he said.

Textbooks will reach all schools by the first week of June, he said.

59 teachers to be appointed in 13 govt colleges

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 59 teachers will be appointed in newly-begun 13 government Arts and Science colleges in the State. The decision was taken at the cabinet meeting today and it comes as part of the government’s move to allot government colleges in Assembly constituencies that don’t have such colleges.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said at the cabinet briefing that permission has also been given for recruitment to 28 guest-lecturer posts, which demand working hours of 8 to 12.  

“All casual labourers working in Chettachal Jersey farm on rotation basis have been given permission to continue as casual workers, so as to assure them of job security. The above decision follows the finding that the Agriculture department’s earlier order regularising just 69 casual workers was not as per law,” he said.   

“Special officer V K Beeran has been entrusted with the duty to prepare a report on forming a regulatory board to take care of senior citizens’ rights. He will enjoy advocate general’s position and  get a fixed amount as honorarium . He has been asked to submit the report within six months, after making necessary changes in the existing law in this regard,” the chief minister added.

Govt assures early action in SAI athlete suicide

NEW DELHI: The government Tuesday termed as "shocking and tragic" the recent incident at a water sports centre in Kerala where four young female athletes attempted suicide and asserted that urgent action would be taken to prevent such happenings in the future.

In the incident, which happened at the Sports Authority of India's (SAI) Special Area Games Water Sports Centre in Alappuzha last week, one athlete died and three others are serious and undergoing medical treatment.

The incident shows the urgent need to strengthen SAI's training system and government was looking into the recommendations made by SAI Director General who enquired the matter, Minister of State for Sports Sarbananda Sonowal told the Lok Sabha in a statement.

"The shocking and tragic incident that occurred at SAG Water Sports Centre, Alappuzha does point out an urgent need to strengthen the SAI training system," the statement, read out by his ministerial colleague Rajiv Pratap Rudy, said.

Noting that several external probes are currently underway including police investigation, preliminary enquiry conducted by the district administration, enquiry by State Sports Secretary and enquiry by State Human Rights Commission, it said "hence it would not be appropriate to make any specific comment in this regard."

After probing the incident, SAI's DG has made many suggestions like having a "robust institutional mechanism" to maintain close rapport and co-ordination with state sports department.

Another suggestion was to set up an expert committee to study the authority's existing training system, which should submit a report along with recommendations within two months, the statement said.

"We would examine these suggestions and take necessary action at the earliest to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future," it said.

Of the four girls who attempted suicide by consuming a poisonous fruit 'Othalanga', 15-year-old Aparna Ramabhadran died while three others are undergoing treatment.

"A team of doctors at AIIMS expressed satisfaction over the treatment procedure adopted by the Alappuzha Government Medical College, but suggested certain modifications in the treatment management, which was duly followed," it noted.

The AIIMS Director set up a medical board to provide necessary advice and support for the treatment of the surviving girls.

Bribe offered as per CM’s order, P C George tells vigilance

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former Chief Whip P C George told vigilance that the bar association had offered bribe to Ministers K M Mani and K Babu as per the instruction of the chief minister. Rajkumar Unni, representative of bar association, revealed this to me, George told vigilance.

Rs 10 crore was given to Babu and one crore to Mani. The amount of one crore was given to Mani in three instalments at Pala and Thiruvananthapuram. Mani was annoyed for offering more to Babu and demanded 5 crore.  Mani’s wife Kuttiyamma and son Jose K Mani are misusing the minister’s power.

The vigilance recorded the statement of George as per his instruction at the MLA hostel.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Film award: Rs lakh each for best director, director of best film

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a major development in the cabinet meeting today, the government has decided to raise the film award amount for the best director as well as the director of the best film to Rs 2 lakh.   

The awards for the best comedy actor and the director of the best children’s film will be withdrawn. Award guidelines have also been modified to increase the award amount for the best actor/actress to Rs One lakh.

 The best second actor/actress will become best character actor/actress. For the best child star there will be separate award for male child and female child. There will also be award for best script with independent creativity, best live sound and best sound design. All these categories will get Rs 50,000 each. Short fiction/documentary films will be excluded from the awards.

As the government order regarding the awards will be issued today, the film academy will issue notification in this regard tomorrow.

Other important instructions

Best second film’s director: Rs 1,50,000

Best children’s film director: Rs 1,00,000

Best second film’s producer: Rs 1,50,000

Rs 50,000 award amount for best story writer, script writer, cameraman, lyricist, music director, back ground music director, male/female playback singer, editor, art director, sound mixing, processing lab colourist, makeup man, costumes, female/male dubbing artiste and choreographer .  

The producer and director of the best popular film with artistic value will get Rs One lakh each. The debutant/debutante director will  get Rs One lakh.  

Another important clause accepted by the cabinet was, when applying for the award, the applicant should furnish an affidavit on Rs 100 stamp paper, stating that jury committee’s judgement will not be questioned.

Ragging not behind suicide pact in SAI, says report

NEW DELHI: The report of Sports Authority of India (SAI) director Sreenivas ruled out ragging in the girl athletes’ suicide pact case in Alappuzha. In the incident, one girl had died and the other three are still undergoing treatment in a hospital in the district. The report also said the girls had not suffered any mental harassment in the hostel.

Some senior students of the hostel advised the girls and informed the warden after some unpleasant deeds were noticed from the girls’ side in connection with some issues. The warden too advised them. As the girls were from financially backward communities, they feared that they may be sacked from here and this may be the reason for them to take the extreme step.

Two injured in auto-car collision

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An auto driver and a passenger sustained injuries when their vehicle collided with a car in front of the fire station at Chenkalchoola Wednesday morning.  The injured has been identified as Vinod (42) of Thirumala and Anandavalli (65) of Rajaji Nagar. Anandavalli sustained serious injuries and was immediately taken to the medical college hospital by the fire force officials. A swift car coming from Thampanoor part hit the auto.

Congress mouthpiece criticises JD (U)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The JD (U) led by M P Veerendra Kumar has invited a sharp reaction from Veekshanam, the mouthpiece of the Congress, at a time when speculations are rife that they will return to the Left Front. Though they have not mentioned the name of Veerendra Kumar, the mouthpiece have given a message asking them not to be ungrateful.  

If anybody tries to betray the congress, history will not pardon them and their place will be with Judas who betrayed Christ and Brutus who stabbed Caesar. The mouthpiece came down heavily on Veerendra Kumar soon after the CPM state committee gave a green signal for the entry of JD (U) to the LDF.

CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and opposition leader V S Achuthanandan had held talks with Veerendra Kumar. Not only that the absence of Veerendra Kumar from the UDF meet convened must have provoked them in writing the article.  The meeting with CPM leaders has also been criticized.

The mouthpiece has reminded that M V Raghavan and K R Gowri Amma, ousted by the CPM, were given shelter. When the RSP were ousted from the LDF, their honour were safeguarded by giving them a sitting seat, claimed the mouthpiece.

Bangalore Accident: Recently married couple dies

KANNUR: A recently married couple, hailing from Kannur, died in an accident near Krishnarajapuram in Bangalore on Tuesday. Another person was seriously injured. The accident happened at around noon.

The dead have been identified as Bangalore Narayana Hridayalaya hospital H R Manager Tony Mathew (28), a native of Aalakkad and his wife Rinu. Tony’s father who got injured has been admitted to a private hospital in Bangalore.

Tony had married Rinu,  a native of Iritti Kiliyanthara and a nurse in the same hospital just one month ago. Tony was the only son of Mathew and Vatsamma.

The car in which they were travelling had hit the divider, lost control and collided with a bus that was coming from the opposite direction. The couple died on the spot. The accident victims were returning to Bangalore on Monday evening after attending their relative’s marriage in Kerala.

Rain to intensify in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala will experience isolated heavy to very heavy rains accompanied by  wind till Sunday morning, according to Met department.. 

The change in the weather has been attributed to the formation of trough in the air over Kanyakumari region. More rains can be expected in South Kerala.

Fishermen and those living near coastal areas have been issued warnings about possible dangers from sea waves. Disaster management centre chief Dr Sekhar Kuriakose has said that temporary withdrawal of sea from the shore should not be misunderstood as the calming down of the sea. This phenomenon, however, doesn’t have any connection with earthquakes and Tsunami.

Director board approves Adani’s tender on Vizhinjam project

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The director board headed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy decided to hand over the charge in the construction of the Vizhinjam Seaport Project to the Adani Group. The director board meet approved the report of the high powered panel led by chief secretary to hand over the project to Adani Group.  Ports Minister K Babu after the meeting told reporters that the next cabinet meet will consider the approval.

The Adani Group was the lone bidder for the project. If the project is not executed now, then it will never happen and so the government wants to make the project a reality at the earliest, the minister said.

Once the approval of the cabinet is obtained, then the Vizhinjam Harbour Company and the Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Limited will sign a deal. After handing over the project to Adani Group, a viability gap fund (VGF) of Rs 1634 would be obtained. Out of that, 817 crore would be given to the Adani Group by the centre and the rest by the state government. The project is worth Rs 4,089 crore.

Family from Kerala found dead in London

THRISSUR: A woman and her children from Thrissur were found dead in London. It is suspected to be a murder. The dead has been identified as Shiji (37) of Thrissur, and her twin daughters Neha and Niya aged 13.

Shiji, wife of Ratheesh, was working as a social worker in a private hospital in London. Their bodies were found in their flat.

The London Police informed the news to their families in Kerala.

Court orders to reinstate HM of Valakam School

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court Wednesday ordered to reinstate K R Geetha, wife of Krishna Kumar, a teacher attacked in Valakam and headmistress of Valakam VNM School, into service. The court directed the school management to take steps within two seeks to reinstate her.

Geetha had earlier alleged that it was R Balakrishna Pillai who attacked Krishna Kumar. Following that, she was suspended from the school. She was suspended for flouting the directives of the school management and the orders of the education department. Geetha approached the court questioning her suspension and cited Pillai’s personal enmity the reason for it. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

T J Jose shifted, no proof for copying, says report

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: T J Jose involved in the copying controversy has been shifted from the Thrissur range IG post. A crime branch probe has also been announced against Jose. DGP K S Balasubramanyam directed to shift him following the report of north zone ADGP N Shankar Reddy.

The report of the ADGP said that he was not found copying. As the invigilator and college librarian Binu stood firm in their stand that Jose was found copying, the report recommended a detailed investigation by the crime branch.

The incident happened on May 4. Jose was caught copying during the second year exam held at the Kalamassery St Paul’s College, off campus centre for LLM Course of the M G University. The report said the invigilator was not able to confiscate the piece of paper used by Jose. There are mistakes in his answer sheet. If he had copied from the piece of paper, then there are no chances for mistakes. The invigilator was not able to find the piece of paper when he was caught for copying.

The report of deputy registrar A C Babu handed over to exam controller mentioned that when the invigilator tried to get hold the pieces, IG T J Jose ran outside with the hall ticket and the pieces. However, Jose told ADGP that the deputy registrar has some personal enmity towards him and that is why such a report was given. With this, a crime branch probe was recommended after shifting him. The home department had suspended Jose when he was caught for copying

Engineering seat fraud: Couple’s home raided, evidence seized

KOCHI: Police on Tuesday raided the house of alleged con couple who fraudulently took about Rs 10 crore from many students after offering them engineering seats outside Kerala. Important evidence was seized from their flat during the raid. 

The raid took place in the morning at their Kochi flat. Many certificates and mark lists of students as well as the documents related to the lands they had bought and bank deposits were found by the officials.  

Meanwhile, the police said the accused had close links with medical seat fraud case accused Kavitha Pillai. The couple planned their move as per her instruction and if necessary, Kavita Pillai would also be questioned, after making her also a party in the case.

Ernakulum South Police on Monday arrested Jayesh J Kumar (37) and wife (27) from  Ranni Karikulam for allegedly cheating about 200 students of money to the tune of Rs 10 crore. They operated from an office from Panampilli Nagar after giving it the name Adithya Instituion to make it appear as Adithya Group of Engineering Institutions, which is Andhra’s prominent education centre.

Jishnu extols nurses on nurses day

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Today (May 12) is international nurses day and actor Jishu, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, has come out with a Facebook post, praising ‘the ladies with the lamp’. The post comes with an old photo of him posing with nurses.  

Jishu through his post specially remembers Malayali nurses working in various hospitals across the world. Of the 20 lakh nurses registered with Indian Nursing Council, 18 lakh are working in Kerala. 75 per cent of families in India will have at least one nurse in each family.
There is also reference to Government Nursing College Professor Ambika’s statement that Malayali nurses work without any laziness, irrespective of how much they are paid. 

“In several private nursing institutes, nurses are not given appointment order and they are made to work without pay under the pretext of training. Not only this, in case they want to go on maternity leave, they will be asked to put in their papers. Often nurses take huge amounts as loans for making payments at recruitment agencies, in order to go abroad. But their prospects are shrouded in uncertainty and may have to undergo harassments from hospital managements there,” he writes

Jishnu concludes by recalling an incident in which a nurse solaced him, understanding his mental state, when he lost his temper. “Even now I regret for losing my cool that day,” he adds.

Six killed, 21 injured in quake in Bihar

PATNA: Six persons were killed and 21 others injured in incidents of wall and roof collapse after two high intensity quakes and five more of moderate intensity rattled Bihar Tuesday, over a fortnight after the April 25 temblor that claimed 58 lives in the state.

Two deaths have been reported from Darbhanga while one each have been confirmed from Patna, Siwan, East Champaran and Samastipur.

There has been report of 21 people being injured in different parts of the state in the wake of the temblor.

Darbhanga district magistrate Kumar Ravi confirmed the death of one person at Manigachi in the quake, while additional district magistrate Jay Chand Yadav confirmed death of another at Khagaul village in the district.

Patna senior superintendent of police Jitendra Rana told reporters that one person died due to wall collapse following the temblor in Danapur area.

State Disaster Management control room said they have received report of death of another person in Siwan district due to wall collapse after the quake.

Superintendent of police of East Champaran Sunil Kumar said a woman died at Ajgarwa village in the district in the quake related tragedy.

Samastipur district magistrate Om Ramchandra Tuddu said one person died due to wall collapse at Brisham village.

Principal Secretary Disaster Management Vyas Jee said he has information about 16 people being injured in events related to the earthquake. While 10 people were injured in Motihari - two of them were sent to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) with serious injuries, three each have been injured in Munger and Gopalganj districts.

According to state Meteorological department, the first temblor measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale was felt in Patna and other parts of the state at 12.35 pm.

A second quake was experienced at 1.09 pm which measured 6.2 on the Richter scale, the Met office said adding five more temblors of moderate intensity were recorded in the state after this.

Four killed as 7.3 magnitude quake strikes Nepal; tremors felt in India

NEW DELHI:  A major earthquake has hit Nepal near the Chinese border between the capital of Kathmandu and Mount Everest, with at least four confirmed dead less than three weeks after a massive quake struck the South Asian country.

An official with an International Organization for Migration said a number of buildings collapsed in the isolated town of Chautara after Nepal's earthquake, with at least four people were killed.

IOM spokesman Paul Dillon said a search and rescue team had already begun searching through the wreckage of the little town.

Chautara has become a hub for humanitarian aid in the wake of the April 25 quake, with dozens of aid workers now based there to send help deeper into the countryside.

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit with a magnitude of 7.3 around 12.35 pm today, 68 kilometres west of the town of Namche Bazar near the Everest base camp. Tuesday's quake was deeper, however, coming from a depth of 18.5 kilometers (11.5 miles) versus the April 25th quake that hit 15 kilometers (9.3 miles). More shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage at the surface.

The tremors in Kathmandu lasted close to a minute according to an AFP correspondent in the city, with the ground swaying. Sirens could be heard soon afterwards.

 In India, the Home Ministry said there were not one but two earthquakes -- one in Nepal and the other in Afghanistan (6.9 on the Richter scale).

This comes after an earthquake on April 25 killed more than 8,150 people and injured more than 17,860 as it flattened mountain villages and destroyed buildings.

 The quake's epicentre was close to the Everest Base Camp, which was evacuated after an avalanche triggered by the April 25 earthquake killed 18 climbers. Mountaineers seeking to scale the world's tallest peak have called off this year's Everest season.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Man who attempted suicide after sedating wife and children, dies

VENJARAMOODU: A man who was admitted in the hospital after he tried to set himself on fire by dousing kerosene on his body died here Sunday. He took the extreme step after sedating his wife and children by giving sleeping pills. The dead identified as Sathyan (50) of Vattappara died last night at the medical college hospital.

Sathyan offered juice mixed with sleeping pills to his family last Tuesday. His wife Vatsala (48), daughter Divya (20), son Vishnu (17) and a relative Nithya (28) are undergoing treatment. 

Doctor held for selling abortion pill at exorbitant price

THRISSUR: A doctor was held for selling abortion pills at an exorbitant price at a private clinic near educational institutions.  Dr P Abdul Jaleel, owner of Sins Clinic in Kozhikode was taken into custody by the drugs controller intelligence. A case has been registered against the doctor as per drug control act and the offence is sure to imprison him for atleast  seven years.

Dr Jaleel misused the act relaxed for private doctors to sell medicine without license. The price of the tablet kit containing four is Rs 850. The company will give three as free when the seller buys one and the maximum price for it is Rs 230, but the doctor used to charge Rs 2900.

Though abortion is legalized in India, it will be permitted only in emergency situations. The doctor should directly examine the health condition of the woman undergoing abortion. However, Dr Jaleel supplies medicine whoever goes there. The drugs control department obtained secret information about it four months back. The sudden financial growth of the doctor surprised everyone. His clinic in a rented building was soon shifted to his own building. He owned many vehicles.

Medicine demanded was given to an official of the drugs control department without any question. As a bill was not provided, the official sought the help of a panchayat member. According to that, he reached the clinic along with the panchayat member with specially marked notes. The doctor was caught red-handed when he was trying to give the medicine after accepting money. Almost ten tablets were seized from the clinic.

Deputy drugs controller Ravi S Menon said that this is the first case registered in India. The team consisted of drugs intelligence inspector Shaji M Varghese, regional drug inspector Subhash Menon, inspectors Harish Kumar, Deny Mathew, Mahalakshmi and Shanthikrishna.

One dies in accident

ALAPPUZHA: One person was killed and eight injured after three cars collided at Harippad Monday morning. The condition of four is stated to be serious. The dead has been identified as Gopalakrishna Kurup (70).

The car in which Kurup was travelling with his family and proceeding to Amritha Hospital for treatment first collided with one Sharat‘s (27) car. Another car which came behind struck the other two cars.

Kurup’s children Sreejith, Sreeja, her children Anakha and Ashwin, car driver Shashi Kumar, Sharat’s father Rajendran and mother Shantha are the injured. The condition of Sreeja, her children and Shashi Kumar are very serious and have been admitted at the Alappuzha Medical College Hospital.

Bar scam: Nod for subjecting driver Ambili for lie detector test

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Thiruvananthapuram vigilance court Monday permitted to subject Ambili, driver of Biju Ramesh, bar association working president, for a lie detector test, in connection with the bar scam involving Finance Minister K M Mani. The court directed forensic lab officials to fix a date for the test.

Ambili had told vigilance that it was he who transported Rs 35 lakh from the one core to Mani at his house in Palai. He had stated that the money was safely kept in bar owner Sreevatsan’s house and later handed it over to Mani after making sure that he was in his house. Meantime, Ambili told reporters that he will not run away from the lie detector test.

Jayalalithaa acquitted, set to return as CM

BENGALURU: AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa was Monday acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in the 19-year-old disproportionate assets case, a verdict that is sure to put her back in the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's seat.

"All the appeals have been upheld and the convicts have been acquitted," Justice C R Kumaraswamy said as he read out the operative part of the judgment at 11 am sharp, a minute after entering the jam-packed court and the whole proceedings wrapped up in about four minutes.

Setting aside the trial court verdict, the single bench judge also exonerated AIADMK chief's close aide Sasikala Natarajan and the latter's relatives J Elavarasi and V N Sudhakaran, disowned foster son of Jayalalithaa, giving relief from the conviction of four years for all.

As the judge was still in his seat completing formalities after reading out the operative portions, AIADMK supporting advocates present in large numbers in the court hall congratulated each other and also gestured to the judge raising their hands in gratitude.

As the judge left the court room, the advocates lifted one of their senior colleagues on their shoulders raising slogans praising Jayalalithaa, to which few senior lawyers and police officials objected asking them to respect the decorum of the court.

Welcoming the verdict, Jayalalithaa said, "It has confirmed that I have done no wrong. The case was foisted by political enemies.

The judgment came on appeals filed by Jayalalithaa and three others against the verdict of Special Court Judge John Michael D'Cunha who had on September 27 last held her and three others guilty of corruption. He had awarded four years jail term, due to which the AIADMK supremo attracted disqualification as an MLA.

The lower court judgment automatically disqualified Jayalalithaa as an MLA and unseated her from the chief minister's post. Now with the High Court's clean chit, she is expected to assume reins of office at Fort St George, with the judgment coming as a significant political turnaround just one year ahead of Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

EC sources said Jayalalithaa will have to contest the election again to become a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, B Kumar, senior counsel for Jayalalithaa said the prosecution case made by the "then DMK government now stands dismissed".

"The consequence of this pronouncement is that she is entitled to resume the office of Chief Minister," a beaming Kumar said.