Friday, May 20, 2016

CPM names Pinarayi Vijayan as CM of Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPM Friday chose politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan as the 22nd chief minister of Kerala.

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury had already arrived for the meeting of the part's state committee and his predecessor Prakash Karat also joined the meeting to decide who will lead the state for the next five years.

Pinarayi, 72, obtained a brute majority in the state committee.

However, 92-year-old V S Achuthanandan was the star campaigner for the party and largely instrumental for its massive win of 91 seats in the 140-member assembly.

Much of VS’ first tenure as chief minister (2006-11) witnessed an embarrassing face-off between the two leaders.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Big blow for RSP as it is left with no seat

KOLLAM: After 1957, this is for the first time, in the history of Kollam, that RSP is being wiped off the Kerala Assembly. RSP which contested five seats including three in Kollam district, could not win from any place. Moreover, the defeat of Labour minister and Baby John’s son Shibu Baby John was a blow for the party.

This time also the party, which has a great influence in the Kollam district, tried to retain that. RSP, which was an LDF constituent left it and joined the UDF during the last Parliament election. This was a great respite for the UDF then. When N K Premachandran contested as the UDF candidate, CPM leader M A Baby lost the election. He also got a good majority against Baby in Kundara. RSP leaving the Left had estranged its relationship with the CPM.

Former Kunnathur MLA Kovur Kunjumon leaving RSP was also shocker for the RSP. Kunjumon who later formed a party called RSP Leninist was given a seat by the LDF in Kunnathur.

 Kunjumon has now won that seat, defeating RSP candidate Ullas Kovur, who was interestingly from the Kunjumon family.

Meanwhile, the RSP leader N K Premachandran said the party would evaluate the reason for its defeat.

People have rejected 'corrupt' UDF govt: Karat

NEW DELHI: CPI (M) leader Prakash Karat Thursday said the big win for Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala was due to the people of the state having rejected the corrupt United Democratic Front government.

"LDF has registered a big victory in Kerala because the people have endorsed a platform for a corruption-free government. The people have rejected the UDF government, its misrule and corruption," the former CPI (M) General Secretary said.

Karat said the party's Kerala unit is likely to meet tomorrow and hold discussions on who will be the next chief minister of the state.

Party veteran V S Achuthanandan and politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan, both of whom have won, are in the race for the CM's post.

Four Chandy ministers, speaker lose

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Four ministers in the Oommen Chandy cabinet as well as the speaker and deputy speaker bit the dust as the Left Democratic Front swept the Kerala elections, winning 91 seats in the 140-member assembly.

With the Congress-led UDF only retaining 47 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party opened its account in the state for the first time, the ministers who lost were Shibhu Baby John (labour), P K Jayalekshmi (scheduled tribes welfare), K Babu (ports and excise), and K P Mohanan (agriculture).

Besides Speaker N Sakthan and Deputy Speaker Palode Ravi (both Congress), government chief whip Thomas Unniyadan (Kerala Congress-Mani) also lost.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy talking to the media soon after the election results were out

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I’ll win with a huge majority, says P C George

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: I will win in Poonjar with a huge majority, said P C George. I will get a majority of 40,000 votes. If the LDF is voted to power and if V S Achuthanandan becomes the chief minister, I will vote for him. I will not support anyone else in the LDF. But if someone else other than VS becomes the chief minister, a decision on the support will be taken after consulting with the people of Poonjar, he said.  

The relation with the Kerala Congress (Secular) has been shelved completely. I’ve plans to form a new party in the name of Janapaksha Party. As I have a previous experience, I would be the chairman of the new party, he said.

Jisha murder: Lapses on side of police, says Justice Kurup

KOCHI:  Police Complaints Authority chairman Justice K Narayana Kurup alleged lapses on the side of the police in handling the murder case of Jisha, a law student brutally raped and murdered in Perumbavoor. He blamed the police for being unprofessional in handling the case.

Justice said the police did not guard the crime scene. The autopsy was not video graphed. Permitting to cremate the body in a hurry was a wrong procedure. The police did not follow the rules to be followed in such cases of unnatural deaths.

The house was sealed only after five days of her death. After losing crucial evidences which could have been obtained in the initial stages of the probe, what investigation is being conducted now, asked Justice Kurup.

Keralite youth, son die in Dubai accident

THRISSUR: A Keralite youth and his son died in an accident in Dubai. The dead has been identified as Sunny (45) of Thrissur and his ten-year-old eldest son. His wife and youngest son have been admitted at Dubai Rashid Hospital with serious injuries.  

The accident happened at Muhaizina industrial area on Monday night. The car in which they were travelling collided with another vehicle. His wife and children reached Dubai in a visitors’ visa where her husband is working. They were scheduled to return back on May 28. His eldest son is in the sixth standard. The bodies have been shifted to the mortuary.

Bribing to vote: Case against C P Muhammed

ATTAMBI: Police have filed a case against Pattambi UDF candidate C P Muhammed on the basis of the complaint that he tried to influence voters by bribing them. Earlier, police had approached the court seeking its permission to file a case against him.

CPM leader Pinarayi Vijayan earlier leaked the video of Muhammed allegedly giving money to a housewife. But, Muhammed refuting the allegation said later that he was just consoling the woman who is a cancer patient.

But the police went ahead with filing the case following the complaint lodged by Pattambi constituency LDF convenor.

It’s not counting of exit polls tomorrow, says Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The counting to be held in the state tomorrow is not the counting of the exit polls, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The counting is of the votes exercised by the people of the state. The chief minister said this while pointing the exit poll results not favorable for the UDF.

Chandy said the UDF will be voted back to power. I am not saying how many seats we will get. However, the win of the UDF is sure. The BJP will not open an account this time also. I am saying this because in 1977 the BJP contested after joining hands with the Marxist party. The CPM was not able to win in their influential constituency Uduma. Then how will they win now, asked Chandy?

When brought to his notice the statement of Minister C N Balakrishnan that the UDF will not be voted to power, he said that was his opinion and I have already said mine. My post is till the results are out. In reply to a question, he said the rest will be decided by the high command.

Case against G Sudhakaran for peeping into voting enclosure

ALAPPUZHA: The police Wednesday registered a case against CPM leader and Ambalapuzha candidate G Sudhakaran for peeping into the voting enclosure of opposition leader V S Achuthanandan and his wife. The case was registered by the Punnappra police under the directive of Alappuzha SP. Chief election officer E K Majhi directed to register a case on the incident.

The complaint is that Sudhakaran violated the code of conduct of Election Rules. The rule is that he should not indulge in any kind of activities in the polling booth without the permission of the presiding officer. The chief election officer has given a report to the central election commission on it. The case was registered for not protecting the secret nature of the ballot and for forcing to cast votes.

Lapses were noticed from the side of Sudhakaran.  VS and his wife voted at the Paravoor Govt School polling booth in Ambalapuzha constituency. Meantime, Sudhakaran has rubbished reports that he had peeped into the voting enclosure of VS and his wife. The police violated rules by allowing all the people to enter the polling booth without any control, he said.

Unwavering mind and Simple Food: VS’ advice for Pranoy Roy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “You are 92 but still strong and keep going with all that vigour. We are at our 60s. We don’t know whether we would reach your age. As that is the case, what are the things we should care for? What is the secret behind your health?” These were the questions posed at veteran Communist leader V S Achuthanandan by NDTV co-founder and executive co-chairperson Pronnoy Roy.

Pronnoy Roy had reached Malampuzha to interview VS ahead of the Assembly poll result day on May 19. He was also accompanied by his wife Radhika (Vrinda Karat’s sister) and prominent journalist Sekhar Gupta.

VS replied thus: “Strong mind, Simple food and Good Exercise.” This reply is said to have made Pronnoy Roy also a fan of this most revered Communist leader in India.

During the last one and half months of election campaign, VS travelled 3200 metres. He didn’t take helicopter for his journey. He vigorously spoke in 150 venues including 70 big general meetings. Others who accompanied him looked exhausted but not VS. He didn’t discontinue his routine exercises. When he caught cold, he inhaled steam and defeated that also.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Onset of monsoon over Kerala to be delayed by six days: IMD

NEW DELHI: Onset of monsoon over Kerala is likely to be delayed by six days beyond its scheduled date of June 1, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said its latest forecast Sunday.

This is expected to delay monsoon in other parts of the country as well.

"Forecast suggests that monsoon onset over Kerala this year is likely to be slightly delayed. The Southwest monsoon is likely to set over Kerala on June 7 with a model error of plus or minus four days," the IMD said in its onset forecast for monsoon, released today.

June 1 is the official onset date of monsoon in India when it hits Kerala.

Interestingly, forecast of monsoon onset issued during the past 11 years (from 2005-2015) except 2015 has proved to be correct. This includes the error margin of plus or minus 4 days.

IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said the delay in the monsoon onset was not an "unusual" phenomenon.

He, however, said there would be some relief to South Indian states from the intense heat as there could be some rainfaill in the coming days.

"Currently there is a low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal which will become a depression and hit Tamil Nadu coast by tonight. This will bring good amount of rainfall to the state, parts of South Interior Karnataka and parts of Kerala," Rathore said.

Skymet, a private forecasting agency, in its forecast for monsoon onset, had said that monsoon will hit Kerala between May 28 and 30.

The IMD has already made a forecast that monsoon will be "above normal" this year.

Voting begins in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At sharp 7 am on Monday, polling got underway across Kerala to elect 140 new legislators to the 14th Kerala Legislative Assembly.

The electoral battle in the state is principally between the traditional rival fronts -- the Congress-led UDF and the CPI-M-led LDF.

But the BJP-led NDA alliance after a massive election campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also having high hopes.

The cloudy skies and rains in some places appears not to have dented the interests of the voters as in most places people had come well before time and in many places the queue of voters started to grow.

A total of 1,203 contestants, including 109 women, are in the fray.

As per the election officials, the state has 2,60,19,284 voters comprising of 1,25,10,589 male, 1,35,08,693 female and two voters belonging to the third gender.

In all there are 21,498 regular polling booths and 148 auxiliary polling booths, of which there are 1,233 categorised as critical and including 119 booths that are in Maoist-influenced areas.

A record 1,11,897 polling officials and more than 52,000 personnel from the Kerala Police besides around 100 companies of central forces, 2,000 officials from the excise department and another 2,027 home guards is responsible to ensure the poll passes off peacefully.

Voting ends at 6 pm.

LDF will win with a huge majority, says VS

PALAKKAD: The LDF will win the assembly pollswith a huge majority, said opposition leader V S Achuthanandan. I’ll also be elected in Malampuzha with a big majority, he said. The people of the state is against the anti-people policies of the UDF and it would be reflected in the polls, he told reporters here.  

The people’s hope in the UDF has faded. The government has not been able to contain price rise and the LDF is going to benefit from it. The BJP will not open an account in Kerala. The blabbering of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not do anything. He had made a statement that black money would be recovered and used for the developmental activities of the country. Later his aides had asserted that the billionaires are amongst us.   

The government has failed in nabbing the accused in the Jisha murder case. Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala visited her house on the sixth day of her demise. Chief Minister visited her mother after seven days. The government did not do anything in the first few days of the case. The people has understood that it is all government’s gimmicks, he said.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Jisha murder: Search intensified for 'Ottappallan' Rajan

KOCHI: The probe in the murder case of Jisha, a law student, brutally raped and murdered in Perumbavoor, has taken a new turn. With the nature of the injury and the way the murder was committed, the probe now focusses on those who have committed such murders earlier.

The probe is now progressing centering on Ottappallan Raja, a notorious thief and a pervert. His act is to sexually abuse the victim first, commit the murder brutally and then escape with the stolen articles. He is a native of Puthukotta in Tamil Nadu.

The police are investigating his role after the brutal injuries seen on her body. He is an accused in the murder case of Mary at Ernakulam in 2004. He murdered her during a theft attempt at an old age home.

Though he was arrested in 2006, he was released after he served a short term of punishment. The police have intensified search for him.

Body of housewife found on railway track

CHELAKKARA: The body of a housewife who had gone missing from the train during her journey from Mumbai to Thrissur was found today on the railway track.

The dead has been identified as Ajitha (40), the daughter of Sreedharan and Radhamani residing in Killimangalam Karuvaril and the wife of Ottapalam native Muraleedharan. Her shawl was seen tightly wound around her neck. The body was found on the railway track near the outer signal of the Uduppi station.  

The Police have not confirmed the possibility of rape or murder in the case. The initial presumption is it is an accidental death as the police have spotted injuries on her head. The relatives of the woman have left for Uduppi soon after receiving information the police.

Ajitha had been working in Mumbai for the past 15 years. She along with her husband Muraleedharan and daughter had started the journey on May 8 from Kalyan Station in an AC compartment of Mangala Express.

At about 9 they took dinner at Madgaon station and slept on the same train. At around 2 am,  Muraleedharan found her wife missing, when he woke up. She was sleeping on the lower berth. Soon after this, he informed the Railway protection force officials, who accompanied the father and daughter from Kozhikode to Shornur.

And, on Monday morning they gave complaints to Shornur Railway police and Chelakkara Police. The body was found in the search that followed.

I feel ashamed of Suresh Gopi: Kamal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Director Kamal has come out to criticise actor and Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi. He said he feels ashamed when thinking about Suresh Gopi. “For the sake of Rajya Sabha seat, Suresh Gopi became a slave of PM Narendra Modi.

It is a shameful thing to see artistes becoming slaves of politicians.

Earlier, director Vinayan had called Suresh Gopi innocent fool.

Defamation case against VS: Oommen Chandy files affidavit

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has filed an additional affidavit in the defamation case filed by him against Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan.

In the affidavit submitted today on the vacation district court, he said, 31 cases were not registered against him as alleged by V S.  “All the 31 cases being referred by him are just complaints. In all these 31 complaints the police have neither filed an FIR nor sent summons.”

In the affidavit, the chief minister has also asked his defender VS to clarify whether he was ready to submit the details of the so called cases against him before the court.

The court informed that the argument on the case would be heard today itself.

The chief minister had filed a defamation case against VS, pointing out his election speech at Dharmadam in Kannur that had mention of “31 cases” against Chandy. The CM had also demanded a compensation of Rs One lakh.

Meanwhile, VS is said to have filed a counter affidavit, with details and documents in support of his claim.
Earlier, while considering the case, the court had asked the parties in the case not to make the court room a playground for politicians.

Both Centre, Kerala claim they bore expenses for evacuation

NEW DELHI/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amidst the fierce electoral battle in Kerala, a war of words Thursday broke out between Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for taking credit for evacuation of 29 Indians from war-torn Libya.

The political fight erupted a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government has evacuated the families from Libya and that the Centre was committed to work for welfare of Indians living abroad. Kerala goes to polls on May 16.

Modi is already under mounting attack from the opposition parties for his controversial comment in an election rally comparing Kerala and Somalia while talking about the infant mortality rate among tribals in the state.

A total of 29 Indians have been evacuated from Libya out of which 16 are from Kerala and they reached Kochi this morning.

"Mr.Chandy - We evacuated thousands of Indians from Kerala from Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Who paid for them?

"Mr.Chandy - You said 'Kerala paid for 29 Indians evacuated from Libya,'" Swaraj said in a series of tweets.

The External Affairs Minister, who is recuperating in AIIMS where she was admitted on April 25, blamed Chandy for triggering the debate.

"Mr.Chandy - You started this debate - as to Who paid ? Not me. We always did this because this is our pious duty towards our citizens," she said in another tweet.

Earlier, Chandy said the State government is bearing the travel expense of the families, indicating that the Centre had not extended the financial assistance for their travel.

"Sushma Swaraj paid for the earlier evacuations. This time we are paying for their travel," Chandy said.

In an election rally, Modi had yesterday said "Our government has saved six families and evacuated 29 people. The Indian government is committed to working for people who go abroad to work, we have always tried to help them. It gives me immense pleasure and happiness to tell you that they are coming back and will be united with their families soon," Modi said.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Severely punish Jisha’s killers, says Kejriwal

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday sought "exemplary punishment" to those who brutally murdered a young woman in Kerala.

"One feels sick. Give exemplary punishment to guilty. But we all need to work together to prevent such incidents," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader tweeted.

The 27-year-old was found murdered on April 28 at her home near a canal in Perumbavoor in Ernakulam by her labourer-mother. Her body was mutilated, according to police. Activists say she may have been raped.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Man tries to molest 13-yr-old girl in bathroom

ADOOR: A police team led by Adoor SI K S Gopakumar arrested O P Manoj (29), a resident of Vettipuram Kairalipuram Odalikkal house for trying to molest a 13-year-old girl after following her to the bathroom.

The man allegedly entered the bathroom adjacent to her house after she entered it. He gagged her mouth using his palm when, fortunately, his mobile phone started ringing. Hearing the commotion her grandmother  rushed to the bathroom to see what was happening. Sensing this, the culprit got out of the bathroom and took to heels.

The police arrested the driver from Mailapra on Tuesday night. He is a friend of the girl’s relative. He has been remanded by Adoor court.

Lover held in Varkala gang rape case

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The police have taken into custody Dawood alias Zaheer in connection with the gang rape of a nursing student in Varkala. He was taken into custody from his hiding place in Varkala. Search has been intensified to nab his friends Shaiju, an auto driver and Rasheed.

The police are questioning Zaheer in a secret place. He is being questioned by a team led by rural SP Shefin Ahamed including DySP Chandrashekharan Pillai and circle inspector Vinod. The 19-year-old victim, a resident of Anayara in the capital city, was found abandoned after the gang rape near Varkala Ayanthi railway cross. She was taken to the hospital by the police after informed by the local residents.

The police have taken into custody ‘Chakkara’ the auto KL 16 J 1112 used for the crime. Various opposition parties and organizations have come to the fore protesting the event.

The magistrate has recorded the statement of the victim undergoing treatment at the SAT Hospital.

In the meanwhile, one person has been taken into custody in connection with the rape of an aged woman at Anchuthengu. However, it has not been confirmed whether this person is really behind the incident.

Jisha was strangulated to death, says postmortem report

KOCHI: The postmortem report of Jisha, a law student in Perumbavoor, said she was strangulated to death. The report also revealed that she was subjected to smothering and strangulation. There were 38 wounds in her body.

There were also some bite marks in her body and it may have occurred during rape attempt. Her private parts were seriously damaged. It may have happened while trying to resist rape.    

Monday, May 2, 2016

Law student Jisha was raped before her death: Post-mortem report

PERUMBAVOOR: In the post-mortem conducted on the body of Nisha (29), a law student and Perumbavoor native, who was found dead in her house last week, it has been found that she was brutally raped before her death.

Police said it is a case that could be compared to New Delhi Nirbhaya case. There were about 30 injuries on her body and even the small intestine was visible outside. There were deep wound on her neck caused by knife. In the post mortem report it is also said that the injury in her head had caused her sudden death.

The Forensic expert may again conduct examination of the crime spot.

It was on last Thursday that Nisha, the daughter of Perumbavoor Rayamangalam, Iravichira Vattolippadi Kuttikadu parambil Rajeswari, was found dead in her house, which was located on the Purambokku land (waste land) at Canal bund. She lived along with her mother here. She was found dead first by her mother when she came back home in the night after her daily chores.
On her body there were only churidhar and top.

Nisha was a student of Ernakulam Government Law College. Though she had completed her course, she had to pass a few more exams and was preparing for that. Her father had ditched the family years ago.

Elder sister is with her grandmother in Pulluvazhi.

Law student Jisha was raped before her death: Post-mortem report

PERUMBAVOOR: In the post-mortem conducted on the body of Nisha (29), a law student and Perumbavoor native, who was found dead in her house last week, it has been found that she was brutally raped before her death.

Police said it is a case that could be compared to New Delhi Nirbhaya case. There were about 30 injuries on her body and even the small intestine was visible outside. There were deep wound on her neck caused by knife. In the post mortem report it is also said that the injury in her head had caused her sudden death.

The Forensic expert may again conduct examination of the crime spot.

It was on last Thursday that Nisha, the daughter of Perumbavoor Rayamangalam, Iravichira Vattolippadi Kuttikadu parambil Rajeswari, was found dead in her house, which was located on the Purambokku land (waste land) at Canal bund. She lived along with her mother here. She was found dead first by her mother when she came back home in the night after her daily chores.
On her body there were only churidhar and top.

Nisha was a student of Ernakulam Government Law College. Though she had completed her course, she had to pass a few more exams and was preparing for that. Her father had ditched the family years ago.

Elder sister is with her grandmother in Pulluvazhi.

Details of cases against Chandy to be informed to court: VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan has said that he sticks to his statement that there are 31 cases against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. As these cases are before the court, the details of it will be informed to them and will make sure Oommen Chandy lands in jail, he posted in his Facebook page.

FIR should be registered on complaints by the police and the vigilance. However, both Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and the vigilance director are delaying it. The people of the state knows that both police and the vigilance have pawned their backbone before the chief minister.

Petty cases are not filed in the Lok Ayuktha. They have recorded 47 cases regarding corruption in their website. This information was obtained through the RTI. But, when it was exposed, a person from the chief minister’s office came down heavily on the Lok Ayuktha.  

That retired judge, who got a job via the chief minister claimed that there is no case against him. However, it is my duty to explain the truth if the chief minister misleads the public, he said.

No case against me, says CM again

MALAPPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has reiterated that there is no case registered against him. “I have submitted my nomination paper for the Assembly election after making sure that no case exists against me,” he said on Monday.

The chief minister was responding to Lokayukta Justice Pius C Kuriakose’ disapproval over Upalokayukta giving clean chit to ministers including him.  He also asked why people who had complaints against him didn’t say it earlier.  

Lok Ayuktha unhappy over giving clean chit to CM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Lok Ayuktha Justice Pious Kuriakose expressed dissatisfaction on the proceedings of the Upa Lok Ayuktha giving clean chit to the chief minister and other ministers. They gave clean chit saying that presently there are no cases against the chief minister and ministers either in the Lok Ayuktha or in the Upa lok Ayuktha. The Lok Ayuktha said that he was abroad when the news came. Opining on the cases considered by me was inappropriate, he pointed.

Lok Ayuktha made the statement when the case in connection with the re-appointment of the daughter of a KPCC member as against the high court order was considered. As per the reply of the RTI, the state information officer had replied that there 18 cases against the chief minister and 45 against the ministers. The order giving clean chit to the chief minister and ministers was given following a complaint by the chief minister’s private secretary against it.  

Neither a declaration was submitted under section 14 nor an order for trial was given under section 15 in any of the cases.