Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Seven-day state mourning but no holiday

NEW DELHI: Government has announced a seven-day state mourning in honour of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, however there will be no holiday.

"As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, seven days of state mourning will be observed throughout India from July 27, 2015 to August 2, 2015, both days inclusive," an official statement said.

However, all central government offices will remain open and no holiday has been declared.

During the period of state mourning, the national flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings throughout the country where it is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment.

The date, time and venue of the state funeral will be intimated later, it said.

Kalam, who would have turned 84 in October died after suffering a massive cardiac arrest during a lecture at the IIM Shillong yesterday.

Tributes to Kalam, last rites to be held in Rameswaram tomorrow

NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of dignitaries Tuesday paid their homage to former President A P J Abdul Kalam, whose mortal remains were brought here from Shillong, where he died last night.

The dignitaries placed wreaths on the body that was wrapped in a tri-colour and placed on a deck on the tarmac at the Palam technical area after it was brought down from a special IAF aircraft that ferried it from Guwahati.

Earlier the body of Kalam, who collapsed during a lecture and died of cardiac arrest, was taken from Shillong in an Air Force helicopter to Guwahati, where Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi paid his respects.

The President and other dignitaries stood in silence as a guard of honour was given before the former President's body was taken in a flower-bedecked gun carriage to his residence at 10 Rajaji Marg, where it will lie in state for people to pay homage from 3 pm onwards.

The gun carriage was taken in a procession from the airport to Kalam's residence, a distance of about 12 km.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, three service chiefs and the Marshal of the Indian Air Force 96-year-old Arjan Singh were among the dignitaries, who paid their last respects to the departed soul.

The last rites of Kalam will take place at his birthplace in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu tomorrow at the request of his family members, sources in the government said after a Cabinet meeting that adopted a resolution condoling the death hailing his services to the nation.

After paying their tributes, the President and the Prime Minister were seen involved in a conversation. Later, Modi also had a word with Vice President.

Meghalaya Governor V Shanmughanathan, who accompanied Kalam's body from Shillong, was also seen talking to the Prime Minister.

Assembly pays homage to Kalam

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Assembly Tuesday paid rich tributes to former President A P J Abdul Kalam, who passed away at Shillong, and noted that a simple lifestyle and humility were the hallmarks of his personality.

Reading out an obituary reference, Speaker N Sakthan said Kalam was a "different" President the country had seen. He had a special place for Kerala, as he had spent more than two decades in the state capital while working as a scientist at ISRO, he said.

Kalam's life was an inspiration for youths and students in the country. "As a scientist, he earned the respect and recognition of all," he said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy recalled the 10-point agenda put forward by Kalam during his address to state Assembly when he was the President and said production of Neera, a sap extracted from coconut trees, one of the major programmes proposed by Kalam has been successfully implemented by the government.

"Kalam is a President Kerala can never forget", Chandy said."

CPI-M veteran and opposition leader V S Achuthanandan described Kalam as "people's president" and said breaking protocol rules, Kalam mingled with common man.

Other party leaders from ruling UDF and opposition LDF also paid tributes and later, the House was adjourned for the day.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Air ambulance in two weeks

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told the assembly that the service of air ambulance will be made available within two weeks for making arrangements for surgeries on organ transplantation.

Private companies have come forward to implement it jointly with private hospitals. They have assured to provide its service free for 48 hours. Chennithala while replying to the submission of Shafi Parambil said that he and health minister are holding talks on it.

Chandy said in between the talks on the service of air ambulance theharvested heart of a brain-dead person was airlifted from a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram to another hospital in Kochi for transplant. It was a collective victory, he said.

The heart of Neelakantan Sharma declared brain-dead at Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology was recently transplanted to Mathews. Steps will be taken to give maximum encouragement for donation or organs, he said.

I cannot stay mum if asked to close AG’s office, says Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has come forward again attacking the high court judge who criticized the advocate general. I am not a chief minister who will stay mum if asked to close the office of the AG. The office of the advocate general is for government advocates and so it is my duty to protect them, he told the assembly.

The chief minister turned against the judge while replying to the point of order raised by deputy opposition leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan stating the act of the former criticizing the judge is violation of assembly rules.

Chandy said, “The government respects and approves judiciary. I haven’t said the judge should not forget the way he came. I just said he should not forget the glory of the post he holds. The judge made the statement on the things not related to the case. The office of the AG is a constitutional body and how can one ask to close it. The act of criticizing the attorney general who appeared for the bar owners in the bar case is right. It will continue tomorrow also. Top most legal advisor of the centre appearing for bar owners questioning government’s liquor policy is not right.

State opposes bank's decision in education loan segment

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government Monday flayed the decision of State Bank of Travancore to entrust the recovery proceedings of bad loans in education segment to Reliance Assets and Reconstruction Company, saying that it was contrary to the spirit and interest of bank nationalization.

Replying to a submission on the matter in the assembly, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy objected to the public sector bank's decision and expressed hope that the Centre would also oppose the decision.

The matter would be brought to the notice of Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, he said.

Chandy said the SBT's decision went totally against the spirit and interest of the concept of bank nationalization.

With the co-operation of LDF opposition, a resolution protesting the decision would be passed in the assembly and sent to the Centre, he said.

SBT has given contract to Reliance to recover the bad loans in education segment that comes to around Rs 100 crore in the state, Chandy said.

Moving the submission, P C Vishnunath (Cong) said the company would get about Rs 50 crore as commission from SBT for recovering the bad loans.

The company would employ sub-agents for the recovery leading to harassment of the hapless parents and students who had taken education loans, he said.

Premam film will mislead students, says Kamal

ALAPPUZHA: Director Kamal has come to the fore attacking Alphonse Puthran’s film Premam. This film is taken in such a way misleading the students, he said.

Being in love with a teacher and taking liquor in a class room is sure to lead the studentsin a bad way.

The film is giving a wrong message, he said.

This is not the first incident a film’s fake compact disc is out. An unnecessary controversy has broken out in this issue, he said.

Five killed in suspected terror attack in Punjab

GURDASPUR: In a suspected terror attack, gunmen wearing army uniform Monday went on a rampage attacking a bus, a health centre and a police station, leaving five persons, including a policeman, dead and several injured in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.

Army has launched an operation against the militants numbering about five who are holed up in Dinanagar police station complex.

The assailants also targeted a building where the families of police personnel reside and threw grenades.

According to police, the mayhem started at about 5 am when the attackers first targeted a roadside eatery and took off in a car after killing a person who was sleeping near Dinanagar bypass.

They opened fire on a moving bus, in which four passengers were injured, they said.

They also targeted a community health centre adjacent Dinanagar police station, in which a policeman and three civilians including a woman who were present in the premises were killed.

The gunmen entered the Dinanagar police station and opened fire on policemen there in which five policemen were seriously injured.  They then targeted other part of the building where the families of police personnel reside.

Man from Kashmir held with brown sugar

ALUVA: Excise officials have taken into custody an orphaned youth with one and a half kilo brown sugar. The stuff was given to him along with a visa to Kuwait and flight ticket.

The youth identified as Vishnu Subramanyan (29) of Aluva was arrested by a team led by excise special squad circle inspector Sasikumar. Four persons identified as Ebin Jose (24), Shafi Noushad (21) and Abiq (27) have been taken into custody earlier for trying to smuggle 1.650 kilo of brown sugar. The excise has intensified search to nab the main accused in the case--Ibrahim of Karumalloor, his aides Shamjith, Sinto and Ameen. They are also engaged in smuggling hawala money also.

Mudslide kills two in Kannur


KANNUR: Two people died in a mudslide at Puthavacheri in Kannur. They have been identified as Subair (50) of Perlasseri and Babu (45). Earth had caved in behind Subair’s house earlier.

Three censor board employees arrested for leak of ‘Premam’

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The anti-piracy cell Monday arrested three temporary employees of the censor board in connection with the leak of the censor copy of blockbuster Malayalam film ‘Premam’ directed by Alphonse Puthren.

The arrested has been identified as Arun, Lijin, natives of Nedumangad and Kumaran, native of Kovalam. The three are being questioned. The three were arrested based on solid evidence and the film was leaked from the censor board, said DySP M Iabal.

It was earlier found that the film was leaked from the copy given for censoring. The DVD of the film was handed over to the board on May 18. Two DVDs were taken but only one was handed over to them and the other one was destroyed as it did not have enough clarity.

As per censor board’s directive, ‘drinking & smoking is injurious to health’ was written in big letter in the DVD handed over to the board. The changes were made at the studio in the capital city. The copy with the changes made at the last minute was uploaded in the internet. Three students were earlier arrested in connection with the leak.

Court rejects anticipatory bail plea of CPM area secretary

THALASSERY: The Thalassery Principal Sessions Court Monday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of CPM Payyannur area secretary T I Madhusoodanan, accused in the murder case of RSS leader Kathirur Manoj. The charge against Madhusoodanan is that he helped the main accused Vikraman to go underground and for making arrangements for his treatment.

The CBI is likely to arrest Madhusoodanan after his bail plea has been rejected. The CPM had given him leave from area secretary’s post after charged as accused. The court had earlier rejected the anticipatory bail plea of P Jayarajan.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Headgear controversy unfortunate, says Sudheeran

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Reacting on the headgear controversy on Sunday, KPCC chief, V M Sudheeran said the decision of the authorities not to allow the nun to write the examination was 'unfortunate'.

"The decision went against the Constitutional right given to citizens to preserve their faith and follow (religious) practises," he said in a statement.

"The central government should take steps to avoid these kind of moves that would hurt the sentiments of the faithful," he said.

Meantime, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that he will react after studying the issue. How could I react on a thing unknown to me, he asked.

Headgear: Those not ready to accept verdict should abandon citizenship

PALAKKAD: BJP state president V Muraleedharan has blasted the Muslim League on the issue in connection with the headgear. Those not ready to accept the Supreme Court verdict should examine on their own whether they are eligible to continue as an Indian citizen.

League’s stand disagreeing to approve the verdict is anti-constitutional. The league is playing dirty politics on issues from GAIL to headgear. This is like challenging law.  By opposing the court verdict, the league is committing treason, he said. 

Sreesanth arrives home to emotional welcome

KOCHI: Cleared by a Delhi court of charges pertaining to the IPL spot-fixing case, including the one linking him to Dawood Ibrahim, S Sreesanth today said if he had any connection with the country's most wanted fugitive, he would not have been a cricketer.

"If I had any link with him, I would not have been here.

I would have been in Dubai or some other place. If I had known people like him, I would not have been cricketer," said Sreesanth, who was discharged in the sensational 2013 IPL-6 spot-fixing case by a Delhi court yesterday.

The former India pacer was accorded an emotional welcome at the Kochi international airport on his arrival from Delhi this morning by his fans, friends and relatives.

Speaking on the occasion, the Kerala cricketer said he was grateful to all particularly Keralites who stood with him throughout his career and troubled times.

"The money I earned...it is hard earned. The question was about my personality and my commitment. I am happy now...I am discharged from all charges," the cricketer said when asked about the trauma he underwent when charges were framed against him linking him with dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhotta Shakeel.

The three cricketers including Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, banned for life from the sport by BCCI immediately after police action in the alleged scam two years ago, were clubbed with the fugitive dons.

They were accused of involvement in organised crime syndicate run by the dons.

The court, which dropped all charges against 16 accused, held that the Special Cell of Delhi Police has been unable to establish any "nexus" or link between accused and crime syndicate allegedly run by Dawood and his close aid Chhota Shakeel who have been declared as proclaimed offenders in the case along with one Sandeep.

Sreesanth said he was happy that he was able to recapture his life and career which were shattered because of the cases.

"I will resume my practice today," the cricketer said hoping that the BCCI would lift the life ban imposed on him from playing cricket.

SC verdict on headgear ‘not right’, says ET

KOZHIKODE: The verdict pronounced by the Supreme Court in the headgear controversy is not right, said Muslim League national secretary E T Muhammed Basheer. It can be seen as a law. Talking to reporters, he termed as ‘unfortunate’ not allowing the nun to write the exam. The court can simply say it but this was a matter that involves certain issues of faith, he said.

ET replied to K M Shaji on the lamp controversy. The League is firm in their stand of not lighting the lamp. It is a culture followed by the League for long and we don’t have plans to change it. Some are trying to create a controversy on it, he said.

Meantime, Social Welfare Minister Dr M K Muneer rejected ET’s stand. Lighting the lamp and not doing it is one’s personal thing. It is not practical from the side of any political party saying not to light the lamp.  League alone taking that stand is narrow minded, he said.

Samvritha denies divorce news

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Several divorce rumours are doing the rounds in Mollywood. The most recent is that of actress Samvritha seeking divorce from her husband. Responding to the rumours of her divorce, the actress posted in her Facebook page, “To everyone who might be concerned about my marital status... I am happily married and leading a peaceful life by God's grace. I have a five-month-old baby who is keeping me very busy and I barely have the time to even post this message. Please ignore all rumours in future”.

Some online sites had reported that actress Samvritha Sunil is heading for a divorce.  When it became strong, the actress came forward denying it.

Her parents had also denied the divorce news earlier.

Daughter of Sunil Kumar of Kannur and Sadhana, Samvrutha came to the film field through Lal Jose’ Rasikan in 2004.

Samvrutha tied the knot with US-based engineer Akhil Raj, a native of Kozhikode and an engineer in Walt Disney Company in California on November 1 in 2012. The actress has been away from media glare ever since she left for the US after her wedding.

Her last film was Shafi’s 101 Wedding. She has acted in almost forty films. She got married when she was loaded with offers in Malayalam.  She bid goodbye to films to be with her husband and claimed that she had no plans to return to acting in the near future. The couple was blessed with a baby boy Agasthya Akhil on February 21 in 2015.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Former Kerala Governor R S Gavai passes away at 86


NAGPUR: Former Governor of Kerala and Bihar R S Gavai died this afternoon after a prolonged illness at a private hospital here. He was 86.
Gavai is survived by wife Kamal and two sons. The elder son Justice Bhushan Gavai is a Bombay High Court judge of Nagpur bench and younger son Rajendra is leader of RPI (Gavai faction).
The body was taken to Justice Bhushan Gavai's residence in the city and later kept at Deekshabhoomi for his followers to pay the last respects, his family said.
 The funeral will take place at his native village in Daryapur in Amravati district tomorrow, they said.
Gavai was a former Chairman of the State Legislative Council and Lok Sabha member from Amravati Constituency.
He was the Chairman of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak Samiti, which manages the Deekshabhoomi, the historic place where Ambedkar embraced Buddhism in 1956.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Gavai would be accorded a state funeral.
"I have directed the officials to accord a state funeral to Gavai, who was the Governor of Kerala and Bihar," Fadanvis told .
Paying tributes to the veteran Dalit leader, Fadnavis said that with his death, Maharashtra has lost an "ajat shatru" (a person with no enemies).

Nun refuses to take AIPMT without veil, cross


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A Keralite nun was Saturday denied permission to take the the All India Pre Medical Entrance Test (AIPMT) here after she refused to remove her veil and Holy cross as required under the CBSE's new dress code.
Sister Saiba, who was to take the test at the Jawahar central school here this morning, said she sought permission to write the examination with her veil and cross.
However, the school Principal told her about the guidelines issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). She then requested for a separate room to write the examination without the veil and cross, but it was not accepted by the school authorities, she told mediapersons.
"I requested that I may be given a separate room where I will remove the veil and cross and write the test, but that was not allowed," she said.
The Principal told her that she was also a Christian and understood her plight, but as per CBSE guidelines, veil and Holy cross cannot be permitted inside the examination hall.
Many students were seen removing head scarfs, ear rings and all other articles banned before entering the hall at various examination centres in the state. They were allowed inside only after body frisking.
The Supreme Court had yesterday refused to entertain plea of an Islamic organisation that Muslim girl applicants be allowed to wear 'hijab' (scarf), a customary religious dress, while appearing for the AIPMT.
"Faith is something different from wearing some kind of cloth," a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu stated, adding the AIPMT was being held again at its direction and some "reasonable restrictions" were needed.
Kerala High Court had earlier granted conditional permission to two Muslim girls to appear for the test wearing hijab.
In the backdrop of large scale irregularities in the AIPMT held in May this year, the apex court had directed CBSE to conduct a second test following which CBSE imposed a strict dress code, banning jeweleries, hair pins, head scarf or veils, shoes, watches and all electronic devices.
Reacting to the incident, Syro Malabar Church spokesperson Father Paul Thelekkat, said it was "unfortunate" that the nun was not permitted to write the test.
"The Catholic church does not consider veil as the most important religious symbol of the Catholic faith. At the same time, we do not subscribe to the view of the Supreme court Chief Justice that 3-4 hours without veil does not make any difference. It does make and it is up to the citizen to take the decision", he told here.

Govt has good relation with judiciary: Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after expressing his reservation over High Court's criticism of the functioning of the Advocate General's office, Chief Minister Ommen Chandy Saturday said his government has good relation with the judiciary.
"The government is moving ahead by maintaining a very good relation with judiciary. There is no doubt on it," he told reporters here.
The government only made its stand clear when certain remarks were made against the AG's office, Chandy said, adding, it has full faith in AG's office, AG and government pleaders.
"There is good relation between government and judiciary and I do not want to make this issue a dispute between government and judiciary," Chandy added.
In a submission in the assembly yesterday, Chandy had expressed reservation and termed remarks of the Judge as "very unfortunate" and said the government totally disagreed with the court's observations.
Kerala High Court Judge Justice Alexander Thomas during the hearing of cases related to police had criticised the functioning of AG's office.



‘I’ Group leaders meet CM for dy speaker post

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A dispute has broken out in the UDF after the ‘I’ Group and RSP have strengthened their respective stands for the deputy speaker post.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and UDF convenor P P Thankachan met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for the post to be given to K Muraleedharan. ‘I’ Group strengthened their stand at a time when the ‘A’ Group was in a move to accommodate Palode Ravi for the post.

Meantime, RSP too have demanded the post. If the congress arbitrarily takes a decision on this issue, then three MLAs of the party will not vote for the polls, Aziz told Kerala Kaumudi Flash.

IG security to probe hurling of black flags at CM's vehicle

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Security wing IG has been entrusted to examine the security breach in connection with the attack towards the open vehicle carrying Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Minister M K Muneer. Black flags were waved at the chief minister yesterday when he came for the inaugural function of the Rajiv Gandhi National Swimming Pool at Pallichal. Minister Adoor Prakash informed the assembly that a report has been sought from the IG after examining whether there was any security breach.

The issue was raised by Benny Behanan as a submission. Speaker N Sakthan blamed the LDF for such an action against the ruling members.

Protestors led by CPM Pallichal local committee secretary Shashi shouted slogans and showed black flags yesterday. A case has been registered against fifty CPM activists in connection with the case. No untoward incidents have been reported.  Police officials stepped into action and stopped the protestors.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Minister K C Joseph harshly criticizes HC judge


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister K C Joseph came forward harshly criticizing high court judge Alexander Thomas for his statement against the advocate general. Justice Thomas does not know law and his statement asking the chief minister what right he has to criticize the attorney general shows his ignorance on laws, the minister posted in his Facebook page.

Thomas has no right to drag the chief minister in the case not involving him.

The chief minister does not need anybody’s permission to comment for the state’s interests. Mukul Rohatgi is India’s attorney general.Doesn’t he know that India consists of centre and states? The centre is liable to protect the state’s interest in the federal system. Attorney General appearing in the Supreme Court for bar owners cannot be justified.

Judge who turned a spokesperson for the attorney general never spared the advocate general of the state.  The office of the AG should not have been blamed in the open court. It should have been via the chief justice or direct to AG.

Govt has won main cases under AG, says Chandy


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government had won all main cases after K Dandapani assumed power as advocate general, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The government has full faith in the AG and do not agree with the high court statement. The chief minister said this while replying to the notice for the adjournment motion seeking discussion on the criticism against the AG.
The government has full faith in the office of the advocate general. It has been functioning efficiently and that is why I am justifying the AG. The chief minister indirectly criticized high court judge Alexander Thomas for levelling the criticism.  One should not forget the glory and responsibility of the post availed, the chief minister added. Following chief minister’s reply, the speaker denied permission for the motion and the opposition staged a walk out. 
Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said the high court’s observation is a slap on the face of the Chandy government.
Mathew T Thomas, who sought permission for the motion, said the criticism against the AG is serious. What is the relation between the chief minister and the AG outside constitution, asked Thomas?

One held for helping Vasu to hide


KOCHI: The forest department Friday arrested Manoj, a plantation owner, for helping Aikkaramattom Vasu, accused in elephant poaching and who committed suicide, to go underground. He will be produced in the court Friday evening. He was hiding in the pineapple farm of Manoj at Dodapur in Maharashtra as an employee. The investigating team has found that Vasu had contacted Manoj many times before his death.
Manoj reached Maharashtra a year before and the Keralites don’t know much about Manoj. Only when the employees of the farm were questioned, the details of Manoj were obtained. In the meanwhile, two guns were obtained from the raid conducted at Manoj’s house. It is suspected to be used for elephant poaching.

No complaint against Rishiraj Singh, says Chennithala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: I have no complaint against ADGP Rishiraj Singh for not saluting me, said Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala. The minister said this when asked about an explanation sought from Singh.

The central service comes under the chief minister. The show cause notice may have been issued based on the complaint of MLAs. This is only a normal procedure. There is no change in my stand that I do not have any complaint on the matter, he added.

The incident happened at a passing out parade of women cops held in the police academy in Thrissur.

HC comes down heavily at office of AG

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court came down heavily at the functioning of the office of the Advocate General. Errors were noticed from the side of government advocates in conducting cases, the court observed.  The court made the statement while considering pleas in connection with Operation Kubera.
Though there are 120 government counsels, the manner in conducting government cases is not effective. Efficient government pleaders are not been appointed. Many of the government advocates are nominees of abkaris. One should study from Tamil Nadu the functioning of the AG office, the court advised.
The court harshly criticized Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for criticizing the attorney general, who appeared in the Supreme Court in the bar case. He should try to make effective the office of the AG in the state. If the government cannot do it, then hand it over to private advocates, directed the court.
Meantime, Chief Minister said the functioning of the AG office is effective. I have full faith in the functioning of the office. However, the chief minister reiterated his stand and criticised him for appearing in the Supreme Court against the liquor policy of the state. 

P Jayarajan denied anticipatory bail in Manoj murder case


KANNUR: A court on Friday denied anticipatory bail to senior CPM leader P Jayarajan, who was questioned by the CBI last month in the murder of Kathirur Manoj, a RSS activist.
The Thalassery district sessions court pointed out that anticipatory bail could not be considered as the case had been filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Jayarajan, 62, is on leave from the post of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)'s Kannur district secretary since being hospitalised following a heart ailment.
Counsel for Jayarajan told reporters after his application was rejected that they would now move the Kerala High Court for anticipatory bail. Currently out on bail in another murder case, Jayarajan is a former legislator.
Jayarajan was questioned for over four hours by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last month in connection with the murder of Manoj last year.
Jayarajan's decision to seek anticipatory bail came after four CPI-M workers were arrested by the CBI earlier this month, bringing the number of people arrested to 23 in the Kathirur Manoj murder case.
Manoj, one of the accused of making an unsuccessful bid on the life of Jayarajan in 1999, was attacked by a seven-member gang on September 1, 2014, in Kathirur near Kannur.
His assailants first threw a bomb on the RSS activist's vehicle and later hacked him to death.
The state police probed the case first but it was later handed over to the CBI.

Samvrutha, husband heading for splitsville?

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If the latest buzz is to be believed, online sites have reported that actress Samvrutha Sunil and her husband are planning to get divorced. However, her parents have denied the news. When contacted, her parents said the couple Samvrutha would be at home for Onam.
Recently actress Priyanka had approached the court for divorce. The news of Samvrutha heading for a splitsville has shocked the Kerala audience. Recently, an increase has been witnessed in the divorce cases of actors.
Daughter of Sunil Kumar of Kannur and Sadhana, Samvrutha came to the film field through Lal Jose’ Rasikan in 2004.
Samvrutha tied the knot with US-based engineer Akhil Raj, a native of Kozhikode and an engineer in Walt Disney Company in California on November 1 in 2012. The actress has been away from media glare ever since she left for the US after her wedding.
Her last film was Shafi’s 101 Wedding. She has acted in almost forty films. She got married when she was loaded with offers in Malayalam.  She bid goodbye to films to be with her husband and claimed that she had no plans to return to acting in the near future. The couple was blessed with a baby boy Agasthya Akhil on February 21 in 2015.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Salute controversy: Show cause notice served to Rishiraj Singh

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy sought an explanation from ADGP Rishiraj Singh on the incident for not saluting Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala. The notice has sought to detail the reason for not saluting the minister at the function. The notice was issued by the home department as per the directive of the chief minister.

The notice has asked him to convey if there are any reasons for not taking action against him. The action of Singh is not suitable for an official and it is the duty of police men to respect people’s representatives, the chief minister has made it clear in the notice.

The incident happened at the passing out parade at the police academy in Thrissur.

State mulls schools in Middle East‍‍

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb told the assembly on Thursday that the education department would conduct a feasibility study to see if state-run schools can open in Middle East countries.

Rabb was responding to a submission raised by Congress legislator Anwar Sadath.

"There are lots of practical difficulties in opening a state-run school in the Middle East due to technical and diplomatic reasons," said Rabb.

"Despite all such difficulties, what we have decided is to see how we can help our people and the education secretary will be preparing a feasibility report on what can be done and if a state-run school can be opened in the Middle-East countries," he added.

Sadath said that the backbone of Kerala's economy is thousands of people from the state, who are working in Middle-East countries.

"The situation is such that while a large majority of the Kerala diaspora is unable to fund for the very high fees that is being charged by the present educational institutions in these countries, many of them are forced to leave back their wife and children in Kerala," Sadath said.

"Hence, there has been a long standing demand from our people that if a state-run school is opened there, they will be able to live with their families," said Sadath.

The latest study report of S. Irudayarajan of Centre for Development Studies here stated that 90 percent of Kerala's 23.63 lakh diaspora is in various Middle-East countries of which UAE accounts for 38.7 percent of the Kerala emigrants followed by Saudi Arabia -- 25.2 percent.

Appropriation bill passed amidst LDF protest

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Assembly Thursday passed the State Appropriation bill-2015 amidst protest by CPI-M-led LDF Opposition against Finance Minister K M Mani over the bar bribery scam and adjourned for the day.

As soon as Mani stood up to introduce the bill, Opposition members were on their feet and raised slogans demanding resignation of the Finance Minister, against whom an FIR has been registered by Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in the bar bribery case.

CPI-M veteran and Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said Mani being a 'tainted' minister should not introduce the Bill.

He alleged that government by using the Vigilance department exonerated Mani from the case.

With Opposition continuing their agitation in the House, Speaker N Sakthan carried on with the process of introduction and passing of the Appropriation bill. Later, the House passed the bill without discussion.

Mani said he was not making his customary speech on the bill, but was placing it on the table.

Members from the ruling bench who spoke on the bill came down heavily on the Opposition members' approach in the House and said LDF was only trying to hoodwink the people by their stir as all the agitations carried out by them against the government in the last four years failed miserably.

They also highlighted the achievements of the UDF government, especially the dream scheme 'Karunaya benevolent fund' that provided medical treatment expenses to people, envisaged by Mani.

The Opposition, on the other-hand, sat in the well of the House and raised slogans demanding the resigantion of Mani over the bar bribery case.

The Vigilance had recently submitted a report in the court of Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge (Vigilance), seeking closure of the case.

Vigilance held that there was no evidence to frame charge sheet against Mani that he had demanded and accepted bribe as alleged by Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners Association Working President Biju Ramesh.

The case is pending in court.

Appropriation bill passed amidst LDF protest

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Assembly Thursday passed the State Appropriation bill-2015 amidst protest by CPI-M-led LDF Opposition against Finance Minister K M Mani over the bar bribery scam and adjourned for the day.

As soon as Mani stood up to introduce the bill, Opposition members were on their feet and raised slogans demanding resignation of the Finance Minister, against whom an FIR has been registered by Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in the bar bribery case.

CPI-M veteran and Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said Mani being a 'tainted' minister should not introduce the Bill.

He alleged that government by using the Vigilance department exonerated Mani from the case.

With Opposition continuing their agitation in the House, Speaker N Sakthan carried on with the process of introduction and passing of the Appropriation bill. Later, the House passed the bill without discussion.

Mani said he was not making his customary speech on the bill, but was placing it on the table.

Members from the ruling bench who spoke on the bill came down heavily on the Opposition members' approach in the House and said LDF was only trying to hoodwink the people by their stir as all the agitations carried out by them against the government in the last four years failed miserably.

They also highlighted the achievements of the UDF government, especially the dream scheme 'Karunaya benevolent fund' that provided medical treatment expenses to people, envisaged by Mani.

The Opposition, on the other-hand, sat in the well of the House and raised slogans demanding the resigantion of Mani over the bar bribery case.

The Vigilance had recently submitted a report in the court of Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge (Vigilance), seeking closure of the case.

Vigilance held that there was no evidence to frame charge sheet against Mani that he had demanded and accepted bribe as alleged by Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners Association Working President Biju Ramesh.

The case is pending in court.

Walkout in Assembly over price fall of coconut

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) Thursday staged a walkout in Kerala Assembly in protest against the denial of an adjournment motion seeking discussion over price fall of coconut affecting the livelihood of 40 lakh farmers in the state.

Seeking the leave of the House to move the adjournment motion in this regard, opposition member K V Vijayadas alleged that import of coconut oil and the wrong economic policies of the centre and the state governments led to the price fall of coconut. Urging the government to allocate separate fund in the budget to arrest the price fall and provide support price to the farmers on the line of scheme implemented for rubber growers, he said the import of coconut oil from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Philippines were continuing.

The ASIAN agreement was also another reason for the price fall of coconut in the State, he added. In his reply, Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan said the import of 2000 tonnes of coconut oil by the Centre through State Trading Corporation led to the present crisis in the State. Stating that various Government agencies including Krishi Bhavan and Kerafed are procuring coconuts from farmers ensuring support price of Rs 25 per kg, he said. Following the reply, Speaker N Sakthan denied permission to move the adjournment motion. In protest against the government stand, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan trooped the opposition members out of the House.

Death of serial actress: Absconding lover held

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A youth identified as Lijin, who was absconding and suspected to be behind the death of film-serial actress Shilpa has been arrested. A team led by Thampanoor circle inspector Suresh Nair arrested him from Kattakada.

The body of Shilpa, who went to her friend’s house in Balaramapura on Saturday afternoon, was recovered from the Maruthur Ghat in Karamana River the same night. Her parents said that Shilpa’s friend informed them that she fought with them and left the place leaving her mobile there.

Her parents said that a dispute broke out between their daughter and her friends. Her parents had lodged a complaint to the DGP claiming the case to be a murder.

Kalamassery land grab: CBI’s charge sheet without accusing Salim Raj

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CBI Wednesday filed a charge sheet in the CJM Court in Ernakulam without accusing Salim Raj, former gunman of the chief minister, in the controversial Kalamassery land grab case.

Second accused and Salim Raj’s co-brother C H Abdul Majeed, other relatives Abdul Salim, Thrikkakara north village officer Sabu K S, village assistant Murad, clerk Geevarghese E C of Ernakulam collectorate and Krishnakumari are the six accused in the case.

The case is that Abdul Majeed and his brothers made some changes in the thandaper and usurped land of 25 crore from the hands of N A Sharifa. It has been alleged that the changes were made with the help of Salim Raj’s wife, an official of the office of land revenue commissioner.

Though the single bench ordered to collect the phone details of Salim Raj, the government approached the high court and bought a stay on the order.

Kalamassery land grab: CBI’s charge sheet without accusing Salim Raj

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CBI Wednesday filed a charge sheet in the CJM Court in Ernakulam without accusing Salim Raj, former gunman of the chief minister, in the controversial Kalamassery land grab case.

Second accused and Salim Raj’s co-brother C H Abdul Majeed, other relatives Abdul Salim, Thrikkakara north village officer Sabu K S, village assistant Murad, clerk Geevarghese E C of Ernakulam collectorate and Krishnakumari are the six accused in the case.

The case is that Abdul Majeed and his brothers made some changes in the thandaper and usurped land of 25 crore from the hands of N A Sharifa. It has been alleged that the changes were made with the help of Salim Raj’s wife, an official of the office of land revenue commissioner.

Though the single bench ordered to collect the phone details of Salim Raj, the government approached the high court and bought a stay on the order.

Three of family found dead

KOLLAM: Three members of a family were found dead at Chithara in Kollam. They have been identified as Prasannan, his wife Shailaja and son Gopi Krishnan. Prasanan and his wife Shailaja were found hanging.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Body of Akhil drowned in Kovalam recovered

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: One of the bodies of the five drowned at the light house beach in Kovalam was recovered Wednesday. The body has been identified as that of Akhil P Jayan, son of Jayan of Statue, TC 26/1698, Krishnapriya. The body was recovered from Mandacaud seashore near Nagercoil. The Tamil Nadu police informed that another body was also found. Police said they need the help of navy to bring the body ashore.

Anoop Giri (21) of Varkala, Akhil P Jayan (21), Jithin G Karmal (21) and Nidhin Raj (20) and basketball coach identified as Abhishek drowned last Saturday. Abhishek drowned while trying to save the boys. The body of Anoop was recovered the next day.

Akhil is a second year MBBS student in Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.

Man strangles three-year-old-son to death


KANHANGAD: A man strangled his three-year-old-son to death in an inebriated condition. The child has been identified as Rahul, son of Raju and Padmini of Panathur coming under the Rajapuram police station limits.

Raju, who reached home in an inebriated condition last night, had a fight with his wife.After the fight, Padmini went to her house nearby along with her son. He went after her, brought the child back and strangled him to death.

The accused brother and DYFI local leader Sujesh, who reached home, together brought him under control. The child, who was lying unconscious was first taken to a primary health center nearby. He was later taken to the community health centre in Poodamkallu. The body of the child has been shifted to the mortuary of Kanhangad district hospital. Rahul has an eight-month-old brother. Raju is at present in the custody of the Rajapuram police. Circle inspector T P Sumesh has reached the spot.

Gold falls to two-year low in Kerala

KOCHI: The gold price fell on Wednesday in almost two years in the state. The price of gold per sovereign is Rs 19,080. There has been a fall of Rs 120 per sovereign today and Rs 15 per gram to reach Rs 2385. The fall in the price of the yellow metal in the international market reflected in the domestic market.

Gold falls to two-year low in Kerala

KOCHI: The gold price fell on Wednesday in almost two years in the state. The price of gold per sovereign is Rs 19,080. There has been a fall of Rs 120 per sovereign today and Rs 15 per gram to reach Rs 2385. The fall in the price of the yellow metal in the international market reflected in the domestic market.

Supply of school textbooks to be completed soon: Abdu Rabb

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb told the state assembly that printing of 10 lakh school text books has been completed by the education department and its distribution would be completed Tuesday itself. Replying to a submission in this regard, the minister said the copies of the text books were made available to the district headquarters yesterday itself and its distribution to the schools was delayed due to torrential rains in many parts of the state. Out of ten lakh printed books, nine lakh should be collected by unaided schools, he said, adding the books required for government and aided schools have already been supplied. Opposition deputy leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan alleged that the government failed to distribute the books before July 20 as assured by the Education Minister in the State Assembly on July 7.

State takes steps for market intervention during Onam

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has initiated steps to ensure market intervention to control the prices of essential commodities during Onam festival season in the state.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who convened a meeting in this regard in his chamber in the assembly, directed to supply essential commodities in a satisfactory manner through Consumer Fed, Supply Co, ration shops and other government agencies during the festival season.

"Effective market intervention is needed to control price rise during the Onam season. Onam fairs should be conducted so that essential items can be provided to the consumers." The next cabinet meeting would take a decision on providing free kits to school students coming under the BPL category during the festival season.

Minor dies falling from school van

KOLLAM: A third class student died after falling from a school van near Kalluvathukkal. He has been identified as Kevin Prakash, a student of Chirakkara Raghvendra School.

Pastor attacks DySP while taking statement

NEYYATINKARA: The police Tuesday brought under control a pastor when he attacked a DySP while taking statement. The person taken into custody has been identified as T John of Kanyakumari. The incident happened at the DySP office in Neyyatinkara last night. He is the pastor of Shalom Church in Paliyode and stays in a house adjacent to it.  

He was called to the DySP office following a complaint lodged by a widow of a scheduled tribe.  He attacked DySP S Suresh after being provoked. He was soon brought under control by other policemen. A case has been registered against him.

Passport Officer held on graft charge

MALAPPURAM: The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Regional Passport Officer for accepting bribe from a passport applicant in Malappuram.

Sources said Tuesday, Malappuram RPO P Ramakrishnan was arrested by the CBI Kochi unit last night for taking Rs 50,000 from an applicant.

Middleman Abdul Majeed has also been taken into custody, they said.

The sleuths, in a raid at Ramakrishnan's residence, unearthed Rs 13 lakh, 80 sovereigns and documents for landed properties in different places, they added.

SC refuses recognition to two private medical colleges

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to order grant of recognition to two private medical colleges of Kerala. A division bench led by Justice M Y Iqbal refused to grant recognition to P K Das Medical College in Palakkad and D M Institute of Medical Sciences in Wayanad.

The court also criticized the colleges for approaching the Supreme Court directly questioning the medical council of India for not granting recognition for the courses. Don’t think that if you have money anything can be done, the court said. The court said they cannot intervene in the case now and asked the medical college to approach the high court.

The division bench criticized them for approaching the Supreme Court instead of the high court. Do you think that a favourable verdict can be obtained if you bring top advocates, asked the court? The Supreme Court is an organization which has reliablity and stability, warned the bench.

The court said the decision whether the same plea will exist will be informed later.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Aluva mass murder: SC refuses to cancel Antony’s death sentence

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday refused to cancel the death sentence of Antony, the only accused in the sensational Aluva mass murder case. A division bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu rejected the public interest litigation filed seeking it. The President had earlier rejected Antony’s mercy plea.

Antony single-handedly killed six members of a family of Aluva town in Ernakulam on January 6 in 2001 to fund his dream to go abroad for a better future.

Antony's victims were the town's Manjooran House residents Augustine, his wife Mary, their children Divyamol and Jesmon, besides Augustine's mother Rahel and sister Kochrani.

Antony was known to the Manjooran House family. He visited them on the fateful evening when the couple and their children were readying to go for a film show at a local cinema hall.

As Augustine left for the show, Antony stayed back and first hacked to death his mother and sister and then waited for the couple and their children to return. He then killed them in the same brutal manner.

A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta confirmed the death sentence on M A Antony alias Antappan.

Aluva mass murder: SC refuses to cancel Antony’s death sentence

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday refused to cancel the death sentence of Antony, the only accused in the sensational Aluva mass murder case. A division bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu rejected the public interest litigation filed seeking it. The President had earlier rejected Antony’s mercy plea.

Antony single-handedly killed six members of a family of Aluva town in Ernakulam on January 6 in 2001 to fund his dream to go abroad for a better future.

Antony's victims were the town's Manjooran House residents Augustine, his wife Mary, their children Divyamol and Jesmon, besides Augustine's mother Rahel and sister Kochrani.

Antony was known to the Manjooran House family. He visited them on the fateful evening when the couple and their children were readying to go for a film show at a local cinema hall.

As Augustine left for the show, Antony stayed back and first hacked to death his mother and sister and then waited for the couple and their children to return. He then killed them in the same brutal manner.

A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta confirmed the death sentence on M A Antony alias Antappan.

Youth dies of fever in Andhra

KALLARA: A youth from Kerala died of fever in Andhra Pradesh. He has been identified as Sharat (20) of Bharathanur. He died yesterday morning while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Nelloor.

Sharat, who was working in an aluminium fabrication company in Ernakulam, reached Nelloor three months before.

His body would be cremated today. He was the son of Rajappan and Shakunthala. Sharanya is his only sister. 

11 hospitalized after eating poisonous mushroom

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: 11 persons have been hospitalized at the medical college hospital after eating poisonous mushroom. Those in the hospital are from Peringamala in the capital city and Chithara in Kollam.

The mushrooms which grow during the rainy season were kept for sale. Those who bought and ate this developed uneasiness.

The condition of none is stated to be serious.

Student dies after being run over by JCB


PEROORKADA: An 18-year-old plus two student was killed on the spot and her two friends’ sustained injuries after a JCB knocked them down at a place in between Peroorkada and Vazhayila Monday morning. The dead has been identified as Athira, daughter of Prasanan of Kachani.  

The JCB ran over Athira when she fell on the road after an auto hit the scooter she was travelling in along with the two sisters-Ashwathy and Athulya. She died on the spot itself. The other two are undergoing treatment at the Peroorkada hospital. The two sisters, who were on their way to the college, gave her a lift. Her body is kept in the mortuary of the medical college hospital.

Konni incident: Police could have averted tragedy, says VS

KONNI: The death of the girls could have been averted had the police been more vigilant, said opposition leader V S Achuthanandan. Many including top officials could have been more vigilant, he said.

Talking to reporters after visiting the houses of Athira and Raji, he said the police failed in finding the three missing girls. 

Konni incident: Condition of Arya serious, tab recovered from Bengaluru

THRISSUR: The condition of Arya, native of Konni, who sustained injuries after falling from a train, continues to be serious. She is not responding to medicines, and is on life support, the doctors attending on her said.

Meantime, the tablet used by the girls were found sold in Bengaluru. The police team, who reached Bengaluru for investigation, recovered the tab from a mobile shop in Chamrajpet. The police conducted an inspection on all mobile shops near the Majestic Railway Station to retrieve the tab.

The police recovered the tab found stolen from the shop SMS Mobile City, four kilometers away from the station.  The owner of the shop identified the girls from the photo. The tab was sold to another person and it was later recovered.  The police team hope to get some crucial information from the tab.

Body of one of missing youths recovered from Kovalam

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The body of one of the five youths who went missing from Kovalam beach on Saturday, has been recovered. The body of Anoop (21), a hotel management student in Bengaluru, was recovered late last night.  

The five drowned while having bath at the Light House Beach in Kovalam.

Those reported missing are Nithinraj (21) of Vattarappara and a student of P A Aziz Engineering College in Karakulam, Nithin (21), a student of Marian Engineering College in Kazhakoottam, Akhil of Statue and a MBBS student of Kozhikode Medical College and Abhishek (33) of Vellayani Poongulum, a basketball coach of MGM College. The coastal police department has launched a search operation.

The youths had ignored the warning by life guards not to enter the sea in view of rough conditions.

Five youths feared drowned in Kovalam beach

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Five youths are feared drowned after they went for a bath in the sea nearby Kovalam, police said.

Those reported missing are Nithinraj of Venjaramood, Jithin of Kazhakuttom, Anoop, Akhil of Statue and Abhishek, a basketball coach hailing from PTP Nagar in the city, police said. Three of the missing persons are engineering students, and one a Hotel Management student studying in Bangalore.

Marine enforcement and Coastal Police are involved in the search operation to trace the five missing persons.

The youths, hailing from here, had ignored the warning by police to not enter the sea in view of rough conditions and were swept away by waves at around 7 PM, police said.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Muslims in Kerala today celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr with religious fervor, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan spent in fasting, prayers and charity.

Mosques and idgahs across the state witnessed heavy rush of devotees since early morning.

Religious scholars delivered sermons at mosques urging devotees to uphold values of love, compassion, fraternity and social harmony.

Charitable organisations distributed new clothes and gifts among inmates of 'yatim-khanas' (orphanages managed by Muslims) in various parts of the state.

Sumptuous feasts with an array of ethnic delicacies were prepared as part of the festivities in Muslim homes.

Kerala Governor Justice (retd) P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan greeted people on the occasion.

"It is a solemn custom highlighted by self-discipline, sacrifice and actions of charity and generosity. This year's Ramadan, I am sure, will add to the social harmony, strengthening the bond of brotherhood, mutual love and fraternity among the people," the Governor said in his message.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Kasturirangan: Six-member panel to be appointed

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that they would conduct an examination on the ecologically fragile land before giving the final report to the centre on the Kasturirangan report regarding the protection of Western Ghats.

A decision has been taken at the meet convened in the capital city to appoint a six-member panel to examine 119 villages coming under the Western Ghats. Talking to the media after the meeting, Chandy said a panel led by the panchayat president will be appointed.

If there are any agricultural land in forest areas, then it would be given a special division with a survey number. The report will be made after the panel visits the places on July 23 and 24. The chief minister said there is no change in government’s stand in connection with the Kasturirangan report.

The chief minister said Elamala Mountain Hills is not forest land but revenue land and they have the status of plantations. The map given by the forest department will not be accepted. The functioning of the forest department on their own will not be permitted, he said.

VS refuses to respond in Jayarajan case

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan Friday refused to respond on the news that CPM Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan will be made a party in the Kathirur Manoj murder case. On queries from the media, VS said that he will respond after understanding the truth.

The charge sheet filed by the CBI in the court has alleged that Manoj was murdered for attacking Jayarajan.Vikraman, the first accused in the case, is a family friend of Jayarajan.  The charge sheet also stated that the conspiracy to murder Manoj was hatched by Vikraman.

BJP, Congress using power to target CPM leaders, says Kodiyeri

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With local bodies’ polls in the state barely three months away, the BJP and Congress are using their respective power to target CPI-M leaders to keep them behind bars, said party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said here on Friday.

Talking to reporters, Kodiyeri said both the parties were doing their best to ensure that the CPI-M leaders remained enmeshed in various cases registered against them.

"The state BJP is using the Centre to use the CBI, while the Congress government in the state is using its own powers. They know that if they are able to keep our state and district-level leaders behind bars, it will be beneficial to them in the local bodies elections," Kodiyeri added.

The local bodies’ elections are likely to be held in October as all new elected local bodies have to assume office latest by November 1.

The CPI-M has turned jittery as one of their senior state leaders P Jayarajan is facing the heat from the CBI and is waiting to hear from a court on the anticipatory bail plea moved by him fearing arrest.

The CBI has already questioned Jayarajan in the murder of an RSS activist Kathirur Manoj last year. According to CBI sources, Jayarajan is likely to be arrested if the court denies him anticipatory bail.

Incidentally, early this week, Jayarajan was given leave from the post of Kannur district secretary by the party, after he underwent an angioplasty and the doctors advised him rest.

Gas tanker overturns, driver dies


MALAPPUARAM: A man was killed after a gas tanker fell into a 50 feet depth. The incident happened early Friday morning at Edarikode in Chankuvetti on the national highway. A major tragedy was averted as the tanker was empty. The dead has been identified as Manoharan, native of Thiruchirappalli and the driver of the tanker.

The tanker overturned at a canal adjacent to the paddy field below 50 feet from the road. The incident happened when the tanker was going to IOC’s Chelari Plant. Transportation came to a standstill following the accident but by 6 am it was restored.

A small fire broke out following the incident. The fire was doused by the fire force team from Tirur. The local people became active in the rescue operations after knowing that the tanker was empty. Fire force team from Malappuram and Kozhikode units too reached the spot.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mystery shrouds girls’ death

KONNI: The police are keeping hope on Arya, undergoing treatment at the Thrissur Medical College Hospital, to collect details from her when she regains her consciousness. The police are examining her tab also.

Meantime, police have not yet obtained any clue on the things which led to the death of the girls. Mystery shrouds death of the girls.

Athira (17), daughter of Ramachandran Nair and Raji (16), daughter of Sujatha and students of Konni Govt Higher Secondary School, were found dead on the railway track in between Mankara-Lakkidi railway stations near Ottapalam. Arya (16), daughter of Suresh, who sustained serious head injuries is undergoing treatment at Thrissur Medical College Hospital.

Arya had used what’sapp and Facebook. Cyber experts of the police department are examining her tab. A youth, who is in custody, had texted to meet her on July 11.

The girls were financially unsound. Arya’s father, who is in the Gulf, presented a tab to his daughter. The tab was given so that she may utilize it for her studies. She had taken a SIM card for it and also started a Facebook account without the permission of her parents. A post that she is moving to death was seen in her Facebook page yesterday. 

Information has obtained that out of the three students only Raji attended the 10-day NSS camp last December.Parents of Raji and Athira were not aware that their daughters used mobile phones.However, their friends said the three had mobile phones. Two phones were obtained along with the bodies.

Meantime, the police are interrogating the lover of one of the three girls. He is the lover of Arya, who is in the ventilator. The lover, a native of Perambra in Thrissur, told police that he was her Facebook friend and had not met her even once.

The bodies of Athira and Raji would be cremated today. The bodies were brought to their houses after post mortem early this morning. IG Manoj Abraham has reached Konni.

Konni incident: Girls visited Bengaluru twice, says police

KONNI (PATHANAMTHITTA): IG Manoj Abraham Tuesday said the girls missing from Konni and later found dead on the railway track had visited Bengaluru twice. They first planned to go to Delhi from Chenganoor, but when they reached Mavelikkara, they got off after knowing they had caught a wrong train. They reached Ernakulam by bus and from there went to Bengaluru.

The bus and the train tickets taken by the three were in their hands and a fourth person had not accompanied them. After visiting the Botanical Garden in Bengaluru, they returned back to Kochi. The ticket for visiting the Garden was found in the bag. From Kochi, they went to Angamaly by bus and bought medicine for headache from a medical shop. They left for Bengaluru later and visited the Botanical Garden again, said Manoj Abraham.

The officer said, “I don’t think the girls were murdered. As a fourth person was not there, the fingers point to that. Money may have been raised after selling their ornaments. The tablet which they had is missing, they may have sold it. Police is of the conclusion that they may have committed suicide. Financial difficulties and family problems may have forced them to take the extreme step.”

Meantime, the identity card used for acquiring a SIM card is that of their neighbour Molly’s. The SIM card was taken without Molly’s knowledge. Only when police reached her house, she knew about it. She told police that she had not given her identify card.