Friday, April 30, 2010

Pregnant woman dies of burns

KILIMANOOR: In a ghastly incident, a pregnant woman died of burns after catching fire from the kerosene lamp Thursday night in Kilimanoor.

The dead has been identified as Nincy (20), wife of Shyam Kumar of Kaaret. Shyam suffered injuries while trying to save his wife. Though she was taken to the medical college hospital, her life could not be saved

Pregnant woman dies of burns

KILIMANOOR: In a ghastly incident, a pregnant woman died of burns after catching fire from the kerosene lamp Thursday night in Kilimanoor.

The dead has been identified as Nincy (20), wife of Shyam Kumar of Kaaret. Shyam suffered injuries while trying to save his wife. Though she was taken to the medical college hospital, her life could not be saved

SSLC results on Monday

TPURAM: The results of this year�s SSLC exams will be announced on Monday. As many as 4,54,000 students appeared for the exam this year. A meeting will be held at the Pareeksha Bhaan today evening.

Girl killed as bus rams shop

KANNUR: A 13-year-old girl was killed when a private bus rammed a shop near Koothuparambu here on Friday morning.

The girl, identified as Safnath from Safnas Manzil at Nirmalagiri near Koothuparambu, died when the bus rammed the shop at Moonampeedika at around 7 a.m. She was at the shop to buy some items.

The police said the accident occurred when the private bus running in the Iritty-Guruvayur route lost control and hit a tipper lorry before running into the shop.

The police said nearly 15 bus passengers were injured in the accident. They were admitted to a nearby hospital.

Park Hotels opens first luxury resort in Kerala

MUHAMMA: Targetting the high-end domestic and international luxury travellers, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels has forayed into the resort segment by opening its first 10-room luxury resort in the country in Kerala at Muhamma on the banks of Vembanad Lake in Alappuzha.

Kerala is the perfect destination for our entry into this segment because the state has always been synonymous with luxury and high-end tourism which is exactly how we have positioned our properties -- to cater to well heeled tourists and leisure travellers, The Park Hotels chairperson Priya Paul said in a statement issued by the company.

The Rs 15-crore resort, built in an over-an-acre plot, has 10 luxury rooms, a suite, two tented spas offering Ayurvedic and contemporary treatments, a gymnasium and Hyacinth restaurant, associate vice-president Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Lemuel Herbert told reporters here

Joseph sacked from the LDF cabinet

TPURAM/KOTTAYAM: Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan Friday sacked PWD Minister P J Joseph shortly after the latter announced his party Kerala Congress (J)s decision to quit ruling LDF and merge with Congress-led UDF partner Kerala Congress (Mani).

Hitting back swiftly after Joseph made public his plans in Kottayam, the Chief Minister sent a letter to Governor R S Gavai recommending his removal from the cabinet.

I have decided to remove Joseph from the ministry. He has betrayed the Front by holding talks with a UDF partner while remaining in LDF cabinet, Achuthanandan told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

Josephs supporters claimed their leader had already faxed his resignation to the Chief Ministers office.

Earlier in the day, KC (J) suffered a split as the anti-merger faction led by former union minister P C Thomas ousted Joseph as party chairman.

Kerala Congress rebels �expel� Joseph

KOTTAYAM: Kerala Congress (Joseph) rebels under the leadership of former MP and party secretary general P.C. Thomas, has �expelled party chairman P.J. Joseph at a meeting of the �State Committee� held here on Friday for what they termed �gross indiscipline. The meeting, through the same resolution, elected Mr. Thomas in his place.

The rebels� move comes in the wake of the scheduled merger of the party with the Kerala Congress (M) only hours before the commencement of a crucial meeting of the party State Committee scheduled by the official leadership.

The resolution passed by voice vote noted that for the past 20 years the party had continued as a responsible member of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and had shared power whenever the coalition had come to power. No new developments have emerged in the near past which had necessitated a rethink in the affiliation to the coalition. As such the party would continue to be a member of the LDF, the resolution noted

Kerala initiates signature campaign for using elephants in temple festivals

THRISSUR: Scores of elephant-lovers and owners in Kerala are undertaking the task of collecting one million signatures on a petition to save the centuries-old tradition of parading caparisoned elephants during temple festivals, following a demand for a ban from animal protection agencies.

The main objective behind the campaign is to collect as many signatures as possible and send them to President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and state Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, for consideration before taking any decisions to ban the presence of elephants during the temple festivals.

Cong organisational polls: KPCC puts gag on leaders

TPURAM: Congress in Kerala has put a gag on its leaders from making public statements on matters connected with coming organisational polls in view of the fresh factional tendencies in the party.

Participation of leaders in television channel discussions also would be seen as part of groupism. So, they have been told not to take part in such talks, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Ramesh Chennithala told reporters after a meeting of the state unit.

The polls would be held as per schedule from May 14 to 29 and arrangements had been completed, he said.

Chennithala announced that the party would hold a state-wide picketing of district collectorates on May 5, intensifying its stir against the LDF Governments failure to tackle law and order problem and price rise.

The Party would organise secretariate blockade on May 6 as part of the stir

Kerala seeks Rs.169 crore central aid for drought relief

TPURAM: Kerala Government has sought a financial assistance of Rs.169 crore from Centre to meet drought relief operations, Revenue Minister K P Rajendran said here Friday.

An all-party delegation led by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next month, would take up this matter also, he told reporters.

The Centre had promised to send a 10-member team to assess the drought damage in the state. The team was expected to vist the state on the thrid week of May, he said.

However, by that time, situation in the state was likely to change with the monsoon setting in, Rajendran said. Centre should help the state in tackling the drought relief, he said

Lt General Chengappa calls on Achuthanandan

TPURAM: Lt General B K Chengappa, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, called on Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan here Friday.

Lt. Gen Chengappa held wide-ranging discussions with the Chief Minister on the prevailing security scenario in the region and issues related to welfare of ex-servicemen.

He discussed the various aspects of coastal security in the state. The General assured the Chief Minister of spontaneous assistance of the Army whenever required.

He also took up with the Chief Minister issues relating to allotment of land in various districts for ex-servicemen health scheme, employment opportunities for retired soldiers and reservation for wards of serving and retired soldiers in professional colleges.

He visited various military installations in the state on his maiden visit after assuming charge as GOC of the region.

He also had a meeting with Uthradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the erstwhile Maharaja of Travancore

Leopard trapped residential area

KANNUR: A leopard which strayed into a residential locality near Azhikal beach here was trapped Friday by forest department personnel.

Acting on complaints from the locals about the movement of a wild animal, the forest officials traced the footprint marks of the man-eater and placed a cage with a bait in the area Thursday night and the leopard was trapped Friday morning, Forest Range officer M P Prabhakaran said.

A large number of people from various parts of the town gathered at the spot to have a glimpse of the caged leopard.

The animal would be released into the Muthanga Forests in neighbouring Wayanad district, he said

Russian vessel calls at Kochi

KOCHI: Russian Federation Naval ship RFNS Moskva, a Guided Missile Cruiser, arrived at the harbour here Friday on a three-day visit.

The ship is commanded by Captain Ist Rank Sergey Ivanovich Tronev and has 51 officers and 464 enlisted men. Captain Ist Rank Igor Vladimirovich Smolyak, Deputy Commander of the Naval Formation Black Sea Fleet, is also onbaord the ship, Naval sources said.

INS Bangaram received the Russian visitor at the entrance of the harbour.

Several professional and social activities have been lined up before the ship departs for Vladivostok, a Russian port city, on May 2.

Russian Consular General at Chennai, Russian Military Attache to India, Colonel K M Vasiliev and senior officiers of the visiting ships called on Vice Admiral K N Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of Southern Naval Command.

DYFI to stage Parliament march for higher foodgrain quota

KANNUR: Pro-CPI (M) DYFI would stage a march to Parliament on May 3 seeking to press the Centre for a higher foodgrain quota to Kerala, its State unit Secretary T V Rajesh said Friday.

The protest would be inaugurated by CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechuri, Rajesh told reporters here.

The Centre continued to slash the rice quota even during the Onam and Vishu festivals despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh giving assurance of increased foodgrain allocation due to the State, Rajesh alleged.

As part of safeguarding the environment, the DYFI has decided to plant 10 sapplings each by its 25,000 units across Kerala during June, he said

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vincent M Paul appointed as Crime Brance chief

TPURAM: ADGP Vincent M Paul has been appointed as the chief of Crime Branch and the former chief ADGP Desmond Netto has been made the chief of Vigilance.

Nine Malayali pilgrims killed in road accident near Thiruvarur

THIRUVARUR: Nine Malayali pilgrims of a family were killed and four others injured when a Scorpio van in which they were travelling hit a parked lorry carrying gravel at Ammaiyappan village near here on Thursday at 5.30 am.

The injured were admitted to the Tiruvarur Government Hospital and Thanjavur Medical College Hospital.

There were altogether 13 people inside the van. They hail from Ernakulam and they were en route to Velankanni in Nagapattinam district when the accident occurred.

The deceased were identified as Thengassery Josephs wife Shiny (29), her children Shan Joseph (12) and Sona Joseph (10), Joseph�s uncle Kurien (70), Kurien�s wife Thankamma (58) their daughter�s husband Mathews (38), Mathew�s son Derin (6), Kurien�s cousin Leela (48) and her son Renju (26).

Those injured are Joseph, Laimi, their son Ann Mathew (one and a half years old) and Kurien�s son Aby.

Tiruvarur taluk police have registered a case.

Joseph�s expulsion in the morning; mergence in the afternoon

KOTTAYAM: An unusual political drama is going to be staged in Kottayam district today with the going off of two separate and notable meetings�one of expulsion and the other of merger�of a party in the same day.

In the first meeting of the Joseph group proposed to be held at Public Library Hall here in the morning, its Chairman P J Joseph will be officially expelled from the party for his anti-party activities. The meeting will be convened under the leadership of P C Thomas and vice chairman Scaria Thomas. A resolution will also be passed that promises the partys presence in the ruling Left Front.

In the afternoon the second meeting of the party will be convened at the party�s state committee office. And here the party chairman and former minister P J Joseph will lead the meeting where he will officially declare the quitting of the party from the LDF side and its mergence with the Kerala Congress led by K M Mani in the UDF side.

It is believed that the first meeting in the morning under P C Thomas is to formally create a smokescreen that the �quitted leaders who have no moral right to represent that party in the afternoon�s meeting. The ousting out of P J Joseph and his supporters will be justified by driving home the reason that the decision to merge with Mani�s party is taken without discussion in the party committee. Most probably seven district presidents of the party may attend the meeting.

Kerala Cong groups� merger move runs into trouble

TPURAM: The move of Kerala Congress (KC-Joseph group) to desert ruling LDF and merge with KC-Mani outfit to be part of the United Democratic Front has run into problems with Congress set to resist it.

Kerala Congress-Joseph itself is on the verge of a split with a faction led by former Union Minister P C Thomas calling a meeting in Kottayam today to mobilise opinion against Josephs merger plans.

Congress leaders have clearly put it across to Kerala Congress leaders that the party would not provide any additional assembly seats to united Kerala Congress than what the Kerala Congress-Mani was given in the last elections.

Assembly elections are due in Kerala next year.

AG backs off from Thachankary case

KOCHI: Giving a new angle to the Thachankary issue, CP Sudhakara Prasad, Advocate General informed the government of his inconvenience to present the case.

Sudhakara Prasad requested the government to relieve him of the charge considering the controversies surrounding the case. Additional Advocate General would be representing the government in the case. Manoj Kumar, government pleader too requested to relieve him from the case. Allegations were there that the AG had failed in filing the original affidavit before the CAT and the government pleader did not present the governments views in the case.

The state government would approach the high court today against the central administrative tribunal verdict staying the suspension of Tomin J Thachankary IPS. Office of the Advocate General informed that the plea would be moved as soon as consent from the chief secretary is obtained. The government would be seeking squashing of the state government order

Export of coconut and coir products goes up

KOCHI: Export of Coconut and coconut products other than coir has gone to 34.19 per cent during 2009-10 fiscal, Coconut Board Chairman, Minnie Mathew, Thursday said.

Value wise the growth was 34 per cent and quantity wise 30 per cent, she told reporters here. During 2009-10, about Rs 442 crore coconut and coconut products were exported against Rs 329 crore in 2008-09, she said.

India was exporting to 84 countries with activated carbon forming a major component of the export basket worth Rs 150 crore to Rs 212 crore. Desiccated coconut, ball copra, oil cake, coconut shell and activated carbon are among the products being exported.

The coconut sector in the country has witnessed a significant growth in many areas during the past five years due to the multi pronged development activities carried out by Board, she said.

Lavalin: Governor should explain

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Thursday directed the Attorney General to present the Kerala Governors argument regarding granting sanction to prosecute Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI (M) Kerala secretary in SNC Lavalin case.

The court was hearing a plea submitted by Vijayan pleading a stay on the Governors order and squashing of the charge sheet filed by the CBI. The apex court observed that it would be appropriate for the AG to represent the Governor since another advocate cannot be deputed in his presence.

The AG in turn informed the court his inability to represent both the Governor and the CBI in the case. He informed willingness to represent the Governor, if another counsel is appointed for CBI. The AG pointed out that presently he is representing the premier investigating agency regarding the plea by Vijayan, the seventh accused requesting squashing of the charge sheet

Platform Supply Vessel delivered

KOCHI: The Cochin Shipyard (CSL) has delivered a Platform Supply Vessel to M/s Purple Fleet Ltd, an affiliate of M/s Tide Water Marine International, USA.

This was the 15th Platform Supply Vessel being built at CSL and the 7th in the Rolls Royce UT755 LN Series, a CSL press release said.

The protocol documents of the ship named Davis Tide was signed by Jose Mathew, Chief General Manager (Shipbuilding), on behalf of Cochin Shipyard and Philip Grema on behalf of the owners in the presence of N M Paramesh, Director (Finance) and Cmde K Subramanian, Director (Operations).

The Shipyard is presently constructing 16 Offshore Support Vessels for various foreign and Indian owners. The yard is also entrusted with the construction of the prestigious Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Project for the Indian Navy.

INL to firm up ties with UDF ahead of upcoming polls

KOZHIKODE: Having agreed to forge ties with the Indian Union Muslim League in the upcoming local body polls in Kerala, Indian National League (INL), an estranged ally of the ruling Left Front, Thursday said it would strive to hold talks with opposition United Democratic Front to firm up alliance ahead of future elections.

The INL for the moment has decided to adopt strategic policy with both the LDF and UDF partners in the local body polls while it would not initiate any talks with the LDF to forge electoral pacts, party State General Secretary P M A Salam, MLA, told a press conference here.

Refuting media reports that the INL was facing rift among the ranks and file against forging ties with the IUML, with which it had severed ties some 14 years back, Salam said the party had unanimously endorsed the moves to forge ties with the parent party.

Plans to start 5 more Cricket Academies in Kerala

Plans to start 5 more Cricket Academies in Kerala

KOCHI: Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) plans to start 4-5 more state Cricket Academies and district Academies throughout the state this year to train 350 students.

The state Academies would come up at Palakaad, Perinthalmanna, Thalassery, and Wayanad. Fifteen district academies would be started in the state this year, KCA Secretary, T C Mathew, told reporters here.

During last year, two cricket academies-- Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram and two sports hostels at Mannanam, Mutholi were started in which 56 students were trained. The success of the academies has encouraged the association to go to start more academies this year, Mathew said.

Cong will examine political aspects of KC groups� merger

PALAKKAD: As the lead partner of the UDF, the Congress would examine the political impact of the merger move of Kerala Congress factions led by P J Joseph and K M Mani, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala said Thursday.

Though the Congress was keen to avoid any open debate on the issue, the sentiments of its supporters and people at large would be taken into account before formulating its position on the development, Chennithala told reporters.

Chennithala said Kerala Congress (M) leader K M Mani, whose outfit is part of UDF, spoke to him on the issue only Wednesday.

On strong reservation expressed by the youth and student outfits of the Congress on allowing Joseph to have a smooth entry to the UDF from the LDF, Chennithala said though the feeder outfits enjoyed freedom of expression they need not be taken as the views of the parent party.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said in Thrissur that KPCC had communicated to Mani the partys views on the merger plan but it was not proper on his part to disclose it now.

8 modern PSUs to come up in Kerala: Minister

KALPETTA: The Kerala government would set up eight modern industrial units in the State during the current financial year, State Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Sports M Vijayakumar said Thursday.

A cabinet meeting held recently had decided to provide a budgetary allocation of Rs 128 crore for setting up the units, Vijaya Kumar said, inaugurating a handloom dress manufacturing unit of the Wayanad Handloom and Multi Purpose Industrial Cooperative Society at Thirunelli in the district.

The works for the proposed enterprise would begin in May and commissioned within a year, he said.

As many as 41 public enterprises in the state were operating in loss. The Left Democratic Front Government could turn 35 of them into profit making ones while all the public sector units would make profit within a year

Russian vessel to call at Kochi

KOCHI: Russian Federation Naval ship RFNS Moskva, a Guided Missile Cruiser, would call at Kochi port today.

Captain Ist Rank Igor Vladimirovich Smolyak, Deputy Commander of the Naval Formation Black Sea Fleet, is also onboard the ship, a naval press release Thursday said.

The ship is commanded by Captain Ist Rank Sergey Ivanovich Tronev and has 51 officers and 464 enlisted men.

Before her entry to the port, RFNS Moskva would execute traditional Naval ceremonials by firing 21 Gun Salute and INS Dronacharya would reciprocate the gesture on behalf of the President of India, the release said.

INS Bangaram would receive the Russian visitor at the entrance of the harbour. The Southern Naval Command band would also be in attendance during the reception at the Cochin Port Trust berth.

The Russian Consular General at Chennai Russian Military Attache to India, Colonel K M Vasiliev and senior officiers of the visiting ships would call on Vice Admiral K N Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command today.

Tribal woman found dead under \"mysterious\" circumstances

MALAPPURAM: A tribal woman, engaged as maid servant in a house at nearby Tirur town recently, was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

Police have registered a case of unnatural death.

According to a complaint lodged by the womans brother-in-law at the Tirur police station, the womans death confirmed after she was taken to the Tirur Government Hospital Wednesday evening, police said.

The 20-year-old woman was a resident of Odampoyil tribal colony at Thiruvambadi in Kozhikode district.

She was working in a house at Pariyapuram.

According to police, the woman was taken to a hospital after she developed uneasiness on Tuesday last.

The womans relatives later took her to the Tirur Government Hospital where she was pronounced dead by the attending doctors Wednesday.

The body was taken to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital Thursday morning as the preliminary report did not reveal any mark of injury on the womans body, a senior police official said.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Award presented

Thrissur: The Vijnana Vardhini Sahitya Puraskaram, instituted by the Vijnana Vardhini Samithi, was presented to Thrissur-based physician and poet K.G. Balakrishnan at a function at the Indira Nagar East Cultural Association Hall in Bangalore on April 25.

Team visits lightning-hit areas

PATHANAMTHITTA: A two-member team led by K.G. Thara, head of the Disaster Management faculty, inspected various lightning-hit areas, including Athikkayam, Ranni-Angady and Vadasserikkara in Ranni on Wednesday

Trains to be delayed due to bridge work

PALAKKAD: Trains are likely to be delayed by up to 45 minutes between Parappanangadi and Kadalundi station on April 29 and 30 due to rebuilding of two bridges.

The following trains will be delayed between 7.30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 29. Train No. 615 Thrissur-Kannur Passenger; 610 Kannur-Coimbatore Passenger; 6350 Mangalore-Thiruvananthapuram Parasuram Express; 6345 Lokamanya Tilak-Thiruvananthapuram Netravathi Express; 6305 Ernakulam-Kannur Intercity Express; 6108 Mangalore-Chennai Egmore Express; 6605 Mangalore Central-Kochuveli Eranad Express; 2076 Thiruvananthapuram-Kozhikode Jan Shatabdi Express; 2075 Kozhikode-Thiruvananthapuram Jan Shatabdi Express and 387 Coimbatore-Managalore Passenger, a release here said.

On April 30, between 12 noon and 4 p.m., the following trains will be delayed.

Health, legal awareness camp for tribal people

MALAPPURAM: The Directorate of Field Publicity will join hands with the Police Womens Cell to create health and legal awareness among the tribal population in the district.

The district administration, the Department of Health, grama panchayats and the Integrated Tribal Development Project will cooperate with the drive, C. Udaykumar, Field Publicity assistant, said here on Wednesday.

�We have decided to address the tribal population in the wake of increasing incidence of exploitation taking place in tribal colonies, Mr. Udayakumar said

Councillor drives home a green message

MALAPPURAM: Scientists agree that trees are important tools in the fight against global warming. Plant as many trees as possible to save the earth, they say. Now, a councillor from Nilambur grama panchayat here is using his bus as canvas to take this message to the masses.

Mustafa Kalathumpadikkal, councillor of ward 7 in the panchayat, has painted his buses green and inscribed on their sides the message to plant trees to counter global warming

Toilet facilities: Ombudsman cautions Corporation officials

Kozhikode:The Ombudsman for Local Self-Government Institutions has said that Corporation officials will have to pay damages from their own pockets if they failed to take action within two weeks to provide toilet facilities to women in the city.

In his order, issued on a petition filed by K.S. Jayasree, general secretary of Sree Chetana, Ombudsman M.R. Hariharan Nair said on Wednesday that damages would have to be paid by the Corporation Secretary, the Health Officer and the Engineer.

In the petition filed before the first sitting of the Ombudsman, Dr. Jayasree had pointed out that four toilets situated at Mananchira, S.M. Street, Palayam bus-stand and mofussil bus-stand were unfit for use.

Patients unhappy with Thalolam scheme

Kozhikode: Complaints are rife that children afflicted with chronic diseases like thalassemia, sickle cell anaemia and haemophilia are not getting full benefits of the State governments Thalolam free treatment scheme because of ambiguities in the government order concerned.

Thalolam scheme envisages free medicines and treatment for children with chronic diseases. The problems on account of vagueness in the government order have been brought to the attention of Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy in a memorandum by the Blood Patients Protection Council, which has been campaigning for improving facilities for treatment of blood-related disease.

Muttathu Varkey award for P. Valsala

KOTTAYAM: Writer P. Valsala has been selected for this years Muttathu Varkey award. She has been selected for her total contribution to Malayalam short-story writing. The award carries a purse of Rs.33,333, a citation and statuette.

Ms. Valsala is the 19th recipient of the award. Earlier, writers Paul Zacharia, Kamala Suraiya, T. Padmanabhan, and M. Sukumaran have been given the award for their contribution to short-story writing. The office-bearers of the Muttathu Varkey Foundation that has instituted the prize said tThe award for literary contribution from campus has gone to Vimeesh Maniyoor of Malabar Christian College for his entry �Parisheelanam. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.4,000 and a citation. The awards will be presented at the Kerala Sahithya Akademi Hall, Thrissur, on May 28, the 21st death anniversary of Varkey.

Kollam-Punalur rail line to be opened on May 12

KOLLAM: Defence Minister A.K. Antony will inaugurate the gauge converted 45-km Kollam-Punlaur rail line at a function here on May 12.

It was Mr. Antony who laid the foundation stone in 1998 at Punalur for the gauge conversion work.

The work began after May 1, 2007. The train services from Punalur to Kollam were withdrawn on that day for facilitating the work.

But the conversion work was not a smooth affair. The Railways had to face many hurdles, even resistance from the local people, which delayed the work.

At one stage, the work had to be carried out with police protection as workers from outside the State engaged for the purpose were beaten up by a group of local people who demanded that the work be entrusted to them.

Headmasters\' State meet from today

KOLLAM: The 49th State conference of the Kerala Private Secondary School Headmasters Association (KPSHA) will be held here from April 29 to May 2. The conference will be formally inaugurated on April 30 by former Minister R. Balakrishna Pillai and Kollam Bishop Stanley Roman will deliver the benedictory address.

At a press conference, KPSHA president P.U. Thomas said the government should allocate advance funds for conducting the SSLC examination on the model of the allocation made for conducting HSS and VHSE examinations. The amount spent for conducting SSLC examination has not been reimbursed by the government for the past four years, he said.

Devotees throng Mangaladevi temple on Chitrapournami

KATTAPPANA: Thousands of devotees from the State and the neighbouring Tamil Nadu thronged the Mangaladevi temple inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve, near Kumily, on the occasion of Chitrapournami festival on Wednesday.

The temple, believed to have been built over a thousand years ago, opens only once a year, on the Chitrapournami day. To reach the temple, devotees have to travel over 15 km from Kumily through the forest. Only trip jeeps and taxis are allowed to take devotees to the temple.

The temple opened at 6 a.m. and closed at 5 p.m. Pujas were offered by priests from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Heavy rush was witnessed from early morning and the entry at Kumily was closed at 3.30 p.m.

CITU opposes �nokku kooli\'

KANNUR: Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) president A.K. Padmanabhan has said the union has taken steps to strengthen political awareness among its cadres and to correct the wrong practices, if any, among workers.

Speaking at a �meet the press programme here on Wednesday, Mr. Padmanabhan said the CITU could not accept the practice of loading and unloading workers accepting �nokku kooli or wages for just watching things being loaded or unloaded. He said �nokku kooli was a wrong practice which could not be accepted by any trade union.

The CITU had taken steps to create awareness among its members and to correct the mistakes, he said.

Court panel visits Wayanad

KALPETTA: A three-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court, headed by P.V. Jayakrishnan, former Central Forest Secretary, visited various parts of the district on Wednesday to examine the land earmarked by the government for the tribal people under the Central Forest Rights Act.

Collector T. Bhaskaran and Sub-Collector N. Prasanth received the team at Lakkidi. Mr. Bhaskaran briefed the issues related to land distribution to the team at the guest house of Pookode Veterinary College.

Mr. Jayakrishnan told the media that the team would submit a report to the Supreme Court on land-related issues after the visit.

The team visited the distributed forestland under the Forest

Health quiz for school students

KOCHI: A health quiz will be organised for high school students of the district. The quiz, jointly organised by the National Rural Health Mission, district administration, Health and Education Departments and the Indian Association of Paediatrics, will cover areas like public health, health and family welfare mission, health insurance and job opportunities in the health sector, District Collector M. Beena told media persons.

Entries should reach the National Rural Health Mission, 9 Anchorage, Palliyil Lane, Foreshore road, Kochi-16 before June 20. More details can be obtained from 0484-2354737.

Demand for more staff

Kochi: The Kerala Panchayat Employees Association on Wednesday demanded appointment of more staff in all the panchayats. K.R. Rajan, General Secretary of the association, said that sufficient staff had not been appointed commensurate with the workload of the panchayats

Applications invited

KOCHI: IGNOU has invited applications for its postgraduate diploma in management in industrial safety, health and environment programme. The course is being offered by IGNOU in technical collaboration with the Institute of Industrial Management for Safety, Health, and Environment (IIMSHE), Bhopal. K. S. Divakaran Nair, Regional Director of IGNOU Kochi, said here on Wednesday that the course has been approved by the State government.

The course fee for the programme (two semesters) is Rs.45,000 per semester. Forty seats are available at the Kochi centre. Selection is based on an interview and group discussion. The last date for applying for the course is May 15. Details can be had from IGNOU Kochi Regional Centre, Kaloor. Phone: 0484-2533021; 2340203; 2348189.

Golden jubilee fete of film

Kochi: The golden jubilee celebrations of the Malayalam film �Nayarupidicha Pulivalu will be held here on April 30.

Produced by T.E. Vasudevan of Jayamaruthi Pictures, the film had kept the cash registers ringing for as many as 135 days after its release. It was in fact made on a shoestring budget of less than Rs. 1 lakh, recalled Mr. Vasudevan.

Released in 1958, it was his fifth film. He recalled that films used to be made on a budget of Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh at that time. The flop of some of his previous films at the box-office had forced him to think of producing a low-budget film. It was his sheer determination that enabled him to embark on such a risky venture.

�Nayarupidicha Pulivalu� was a resounding success because it had a good story line

Cooperative Medical College to cut fee: Sudhakaran

KOCHI: Cooperation and Coir Minister G. Sudhakaran has said that the professional colleges in the State were facing a dearth of faculty. He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for the nursing college and hostels on the premises of the Cooperative Medical College, Kalamassery, here on Wednesday.

The faulty policies on higher education and professional education for 40 years have resulted in such a situation, said the Minister. The situation has affected medical colleges the most. Understanding the situation, the Co-operative Academy of Professional Education (CAPE) has taken the initiative of creating institutions that would provide more professionals in various fields of medicine, engineering and management.

P. Prabakaran is Chief Secretary

Thiruvananthapuram: The State Cabinet on Wednesday decided to appoint Additional Chief Secretary P. Prabakaran as Chief Secretary.

He was given charge of the Chief Secretary last week following the deputation of incumbent Neela Gangadharan to the Centre.

Mr. Prabakaran, the senior-most IAS officer serving in the State, had held the posts of District Collector, Kasaragod, Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Secretary (Rural Development), and Additional Chief Secretary (General Administration and Fisheries).

Stir against price rise

Thiruvananthapuram: The Residents Apex Council of Kerala has accused the Central and State governments of failure in controlling the spiralling prices. The State committee of the councildecided to launch a State-wide agitation against the apathy of the governments.�

VS not to press for Joseph\'s resignation

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said here on Wednesday that he would not press the Kerala Congress (J) to remain in the ruling Left Democratic Front.

Reacting to reports about the move of Public Works Minister P.J. Joseph and his supporters in the party to leave the front, the Chief Minister said Mr. Joseph could have perhaps taken such a decision because of irresolvable inner-party issues. �Let us wait and see.


Online C-Form registration begins

Thiruvananthapuram: Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, on Wednesday, launched an online facility to enable hoteliers, resort owners, home stay managements and private individuals hosting foreign guests to easily and promptly communicate the details of their overseas visitors to the State police.

He said to avail the online �C-Form registration facility, hoteliers had to first register themselves as authorised hosts with the government by logging on to

The portal will assign a user name and password to the authorised host, who will then be able to file C-Form online. It will also issue an online receipt once the registration is successfully executed

Engineering students develop all-terrain vehicle

Thiruvananthapuram: A group of mechanical engineering students of Marian Engineering College, Kazhakuttom, has built an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

Known as quad bike or quad, the ATV travels on low pressure tyres with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control. As the name implies, it is designed to handle a wide variety of terrains.

The ATV was designed by a team comprising Anand, Niyas, Prem, Saran and Vivek of the Mechanical Department in three months.

�The sport model was built with performance rather than utility in mind, says Prem.

Athirappilly: A.K. Balan hopeful

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Electricity Minister A.K. Balan has said a big conspiracy has been going on against the proposed 163 MW hydro-electric project at Athirappilly in Thrissur district, but the State is hopeful of surmounting the difficulties.

In a press release on Friday, he said the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) had presented before an expert appraisal committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests its reply to the objections certain environmental groups had raised against the project.

City schools facing severe drop in student strength

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to salvage government schools in the city with dwindling student strength, the city Corporation has asked school authorities to make constructive intervention to increase admissions to their institutions in the new academic year.

At a meeting of school headmasters held here recently, Corporation education standing committee chairman G.R. Anil directed them to form school-level support groups, involving teachers, parents, respective ward councillors and other stakeholders, to conduct house-to-house campaign to create awareness on the infrastructural and academic facilities in their schools.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Man kills wife

TPURAM: Suspecting infidelity a man hacked his wife to death yesterday. Stephen, 38 murdered his wife Mary Suni , 35 by slashing her neck at their house at Poonthura. Mary died on the way to hospital .The couple is survived by three daughters and a son . The Poonthura police registered

Pressure on Joseph group to leave LDF

TPURAM: Following news from the Kerala Congress last week about the merger of Joseph group with Mani group, the newest news has to tell about the plight of the Joseph group that pressures it to leave the LDF haven.

The P J Joseph group hitherto has not rejected the news of the merger. The CPI (M), leading the Left Democratic Front (LDF), is nonetheless not taking steps to retain Joseph group either. This should be read along with the stance of CPI (M) on year 2000 when they tried their best to restrain Joseph group from dissolving in Mani group. Even an agreement between P J Joseph and K M Mani took place at Kumarakom in Kottayam district then, but merger did not happen.

But this time CPI (M) has not taken a redeemer�s role. Moreover, LDF Convenor Vaikom Viswom had said that it is not fair to discuss about a merger while remaining at the LDF side.

Strengthening the CPM�s present stance, party�s mouthpiece in its weekly report conveyed its good wishes to those who are leaving the Front. The report says: �All who raise the flag of caste and religion are treading towards Right. The left front after all the dirt is gone will reach a situation of gold which underwent fire burn

CPI (M) State Secretariat begins

TPURAM: The Kerala CPI (M) Secretariat meet commenced on Tuesday here with no talks on controversial issues.

This is the first complete meet convened after the arrival of State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan after his Gulf expedition.

Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan did not attend the meeting as no government owned vehicles were used on Tuesday�s hartal.

Decision takings on letters from the party�s district committees were Tuesday�s highlight.

The meet would continue Wednesday also.

Governor cancels order dismissing teachers of Calicut Uty

TPURAM: Governor R S Gavai also the chancellor of the Calicut University Tuesday cancelled syndicate�s order dismissing three teachers of botany department of the Calicut University.

The governor cancelled the order after the three teachers approached him. He also directed the university to hear their version. Meantime, the university registrar informed that they will take steps to consider the teachers argument.

Left should strike against VS Govt, says Chennithala

KOTTAYAM: If the Left Front is staging a strike against price rise, then it should be staged against the V S Government, said KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala.

Talking to reporters in the district, he said the hartal staged Tuesday is sponsored by the government.

Hartal in other parts of the country including Bengal has not crippled normal life.

The UDF is not keen in calling a hartal as it would paralyse the life of the people

Prasin Susan murder case accused gets life imprisonment

KALPETTA: A gruesome murder incident involving killing of a girl in 2006, reached its conclusion Tuesday, when the Mysore Fast Track court handed down life imprisonment to accused Arun Bhaskar, an advocate and a resident of Sulthan Bathery. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10, 000 on the advocate.

The girl identified as Prasin Susan was murdered on November 20 in 2006 while she was working as an accountant in BSNL, Kalpetta.

Arun murdered her in Gundelpet, Karnataka as she asked him to return the amount of Rs 14 lakhs borrowed from her.

Keralite among two shot dead in Manipur

IMPHAL: In a fresh case of fratricide in Army, a jawan belonging to 12th Maratha Rifles allegedly shot dead two Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) in Manipurs Churachandpur district, officials said here Tuesday.

The incident took place Monday at Khengjong outpost, about 70 km from here, after a quarrel broke out between the JCOs -- identified as Mrinthunguan and Thanattan-- and jawan Ambeti Narayan, they said.

Mrithyunganan, a Keralite hails from Alappuzha.

Narayan shot at his colleagues with his service rifle, killing them on the spot, the officials said.

Narayan fled soon after the incident, but was arrested Tuesday, they said

AMMA should be diffused, says Thilakan

TPURAM: Veteran actor Thilakan, who recently locked horns with Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) and superstars, has come down hard on AMMA on Tuesday by declaring that the organization should be diffused.

He was talking in an interview to a private television channel at Thiruvananthapuram.

Thilakan also said Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) and AMMA are both mafia organizations.

Two killed by lightning

PALAKKAD: Two persons were struck dead by lightning at Payalur near Kollangode in the district Tuesday.

The deceased, identified as Ponnan (45) and Babu (31), were working in a brick kiln when the thunder bolt hit them, police said.

Another worker was admitted to hospital with injuries.

Governor R S Gavai admitted to hospital

TPURAM: Kerala Governor R S Gavai was Tuesday admitted to a hospital here after he complained of uneasiness, officials said.

81-year-old Gavai was admitted for investigation and observation for general weakness, a bulletin from the Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences said.

His condition is stable and a team of doctors is closely monitoring his health, it said.

Government has turned to a �Hartal Government�

KOCHI: The government which is bound to protect the life and property of its citizens has changed to a �Hartal Government, says Kerala Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy.

Chandy said the hartal on Tuesday was the 9th one sponsored by the LDF government. Those on the UDF account were only two.

The hartal supporters were given a free rein to do anything. Even though hartal affected Kerala badly, vehicles went smoothly in West Bengal.

Left hartal disrupts rail, road traffic in Kerala

TPURAM: The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Left and their allies Tuesday to protest the Governments failure to check price rise disrupted rail and road traffic in Kerala, throwing normal life out of gear.

India Government Survives Confidence Vote

NEW DELHI�The Indian government survived a key confidence vote Tuesday, clearing the way for passage of the budget and dashing opposition hopes of bringing down the government over an unpopular hike in fuel and fertilizer prices.

The Congress party-led coalition easily secured 246 votes in the 545-member lower house of Parliament against a so-called cut motion over rising prices moved by the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party that would have tripped up the budget. The opposition tallied 162 votes.

The government was given crucial support Tuesday when Kumari Mayawati, leader of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party, a party representing the lower rung of Hinduisms caste hierarchy, announced her partys support at a television press conference. The BSP holds 21 seats in the lower house of the parliament. While calling for a change in government policies over price rises, Ms. Mayawati said: We will support the government on cut motion to defeat the communal forces from coming to power.

Raavan my most challenging film: Abhishek Bachchan

He dived from a 90-ft cliff into water, stood under a waterfall for two hours, braved snakes and leeches in Keralas forests � Abhishek Bachchan says shooting for Raavan was emotionally and physically challenging for him.

The actor revealed that he decided to jump from scary heights despite a no from director Mani Ratnam.

I did jump. There was a professional diver to train me how to do it, Abhishek, who has teamed up with wife Aishwarya Rai in the movie, told IANS in an interview.

Delhi unaffected by strike over price rise

New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) Life went on as usual in the national capital Tuesday, unaffected by the 12-hour nationwide strike called by 13 opposition parties to denounce the government over rising food prices.Shops were open, offices, business establishments and educational institutions functioned normally and public transport pied as usual.

Bandh against price rise hits normal life in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, April 27: Normal life was badly hit in Odisha on Tuesday when seven parties, including the ruling Biju Janata Dal, observed a bandh against price rise as part of the countrywide bandh called by non-Congress and non-BJP parties.

BJD leaders and workers along with the activists of CPI(M), CPI, Forward Bloc, CPI(ML) Liberation, JMM, and Samajwadi Party stopped trains and blocked highways and arterial roads across the state to enforce the bandh.

Ruling BJD took part in the bandh actively although it caused serious inconveniences to the people who were stranded in trains, railway stations and bus terminals for most parts of the day.

Samuthirakani makes his Malayalam debut

ollowing Prabhu and Sarath Kumars lead, popular Tamil director-actor Samuthirakani, is set to make his Malayalam debut. Samuthirakani directed the recent success Naadodigal, which also had a Telugu remake Shambo Shiva Shambo by the director himself.

Buzz up!

He will be debuting in Malayalam with Mohanlal�s film Shikaar. It is directed by Padmakumar. Apparently, he was recommended by Mohanlal for the role. Mohanlal was impressed by Samuthirakani�s acting in Subramaniapuram and the way he p

Ajmal Ameer returns to Malayalam with Makara Nilavu

Ajmal Ameer, the handsome young doctor, had made his debut in Pranaya Kaalam opposite Vimala Raman and had moved to Tamil films after this movie. Later, he was also seen in a role in Mohanlals film Madambi. Now, he has returned to Malayalam films. Ajmal will be doing the lead role in the film Makara Nilavu.

Patchy Pre-Monsoon Rains May Pare India Coffee Output, Exports

April 27 (Bloomberg) -- Patchy pre-monsoon showers in some parts of Indias main coffee-growing regions may hurt the crop this year, state-owned Coffee Board said, likely paring sales from Asias third-biggest producer.

Rainfall over the southern states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu was not consistent and uniform, said G.V. Krishna Rau, chairman of the board. The agency will announce its post- blossom forecast by the middle of May, he said in an interview.

Catholic Syrian: God\'s own bank

A community bank in Kerala finds the church, a rival and a tycoon from Thailand all interested in its future.

The tropical district of Thrissur in the heartland of Kerala has always attracted outsiders. It was here that Christianity and Islam entered India within years of their founding. But sitting right in the middle of this melting pot of cultures and heading a community bank that represents one of Indias oldest Christian denominations, V.P. Iswardas is in no mood to entertain outsiders.

�My job is to focus on my customers, the man who took charge as the managing director of Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB) last December, says. He is in the middle of a multi-pronged battle for the control of this community bank. Backed by little more than the benign presence of Jesus Christ in a portrait in his office, he is trying to ward off takeover attempts and protect the bank�s independence.

Nationwide bandh affects life in WB, Kerala

New Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) The nation-wide bandh called by 13 non-NDA and non-UPA parties today to protest against price rise paralysed normal life and hit air and rail services in Left-ruled West Bengal and Kerala while it evoked a partial response in some states.

The 12-hour Bharat Bandh that ended at 6 pm had some impact in Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkand. Normalcy prevailed in Delhi and in states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu barring sporadic protests.

Besides the four Left parties, the 13-party grouping which gave the call for the bandh consists of AIADMK, BJD, SP, RJD, TDP, RLD, LJP, JD-S and INLD. The grouping is pressing for a roll-back in the hike in prices of petrol, diesel and fertiliser.

Roads in West Bengal and Kerala where educational institutions and offices were closed wore a deserted

Monday, April 26, 2010

Former MP Varkala Radhakrishnan dies

TPURAM: Senior CPI-M leader and former Lok Sabha member Varkala Radhakrishnan died here Monday following complications resulting from an accident last week.

84-year-old Radhakrishnan, a former Kerala assembly Speaker, was undergoing treatment at the Medical College Hospital for the last few days after he was hit by a vehicle while on a morning stroll. He suffered fracture in the ribs which affected the functioning of his lungs, doctors said.

Hartal: Uty exams postponed

TPURAM: All exams scheduled for today have been postponed following the hartal called by the LDF in protest against the centre�s inefficiency in controlling the spiraling prices of commodities. The renewed dates will be announced later.

The dawn to dusk hartal would most probably turn into a bandh. Hospitals, milk, supply of drinking water, medical stores and media have been exempted from the hartal.

Trains will be picketed at Parassala, Neyyattinkara, Thiruvananthapuram, Kazhakoottam, Chirayinkizhu and Varkala

A personal loss, says VS

TPURAM: Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and cabinet colleagues condoled the death of CPI-M leader and former MP Varkala Radhakrishnan here Monday.

The state has lost a good parliamentarian. His death is a loss to democratic institutions in the country, Achuthanandan said in a message.

As a MP, Radhakrishnan was at the forefront in taking up issues of the state in the Lok Sabha, he said. As a Speaker of the state assembly, he upheld the values of democratic principles, Achuthanandan added

DGCA official inspects Emirates plane

KOCHI: An official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation early Monday completed inspection of the Kochi-bound Emirates aircraft from Dubai, which experienced a major air turbulence prior to descent leading to injuries to as many as 23 people.

Dorairaj, Assistant Director of DGCA Chennai office, inspected the Boeing EK530 aircraft from Sunday night till 4 am Monday, airport officials said.

There were 364 persons, including crew, on board the flight.

The DGCA has already ordered an inquiry into the incident.

The UAEs General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has said it had also launched an investigation and was coordinating with Indian civil aviation authorities.

The GCAA said 23 people, including three crew members, were injured, but the airline put the number at 20.

The aircraft encountered a weather cloud at 35,000 feet over Bangalore region. A short period of heavy turbulence prior to descent into India caused minor injuries to about 20 persons, including a child, Emirates said in a statement Sunday.

The drop in altitude was minor -- a descent of 200 ft -- and the aircraft landed safely, it had said.

Two killed, eight injured in accident

ALAPPUZHA: Two persons were killed and eight injured when the ambulance in which they were travelling crashed into a road side shop at Poochakkal near here Monday morning.

The dead were identified as Parameswaran and Sasi, police said.

The ambulance, carrying Parmeswaram, who allegedly tried to commit suicide, was on its way to hospital when the accident occurred.

Doctors call off strike in MCH

TPURAM: The doctors of medical college hospital have called off their strike following an assurance from Health Minister P K Sreemathy that attacks towards them would be protected. The minister said that an act protecting them would be implemented soon.

The doctors, who began the strike last Thursday, agreed for talks with the minister as it entered the fourth day. Doctors are observing black day Monday in protest against the attack towards them after a patient died at the hospital Sunday.

CPI-M IUML clash trigger tension

KOZHIKODE: At least a dozen people were injured, including a woman, and several houses damaged in a clash involving CPI (M) and IUML activists at Thodannur near Vatakara in the district, police said.

A complaint filed by an IUML leader said some persons belonging to CPIM attacked some Youth League activists when they were playing cricket near Thodannur Sunday evening.

Minutes later, a group of suspected IUML workers attacked houses of two CPI-M activists, triggering tension in the area.

Additional police forces have been deployed in the area, police said.

Police have registered two cases including attempt to murder in connection with the incident.

IUML is observing a hartal in Thodannur town Monday to protest the attack.

Rain occurred at a few places in Kerala

TPURAM: Rain occurred at a few places in Kerala and dry weather prevailed over Lakshadweep.

According to meteorology sources here, chief amounts of rainfall reported in cm are Konni and Kollam 4 each. Kochi airport 3. Cherthalai and Mankompu 2 each.

Kannur recorded the highest maximum temperature of 37 degree celsius.

Forecast valid until the morning of April 28, rain or thunder showers will occur at a few places in Kerala and at isolated places in Lakshadweep.

IUML to join hands with INL in local body polls: Kunhalikutty

KOZHIKODE: The Indian Union Mulsim League would forge electoral understandings with the Indian National League, an estranged ally of ruling Left Democratic Front, in the upcoming local body elections in Kerala, party state General Secretary P K Kunhalikutty said Monday.

IUML state Working Committee meeting held here Monday endorsed the move to seek the support of the INL in the elections and the party would strive to accommodate interests of all the like-minded parties willing to join hands with the opposition UDF, Kunhalikutty told a press conference here

Road traffic hit as summer showers lash city

KOZHIKODE: Summer showers, accompanied by strong winds, lashed the city and nearby areas Monday uprooting several trees and snapping electricity supply.

No casualty was reported in the rains that provided much needed respite to the sultry heat.

The trees fell on roads causing traffic snarl during the evening peak hour.

Most parts of the city went without power as power cables snapped with trees falling over them.

The city has been experiencing summer showers for the last couple of days.

Governor condoles Varkala\'s death

TPURAM: Kerala Governor R S Gavai Monday condoled the passing away of senior CPI-M leader and former Lok Sabha member Varkala Radhakrishnan.

Recalling his associations with the departed leader, the Governor said his contributions as a competent and committed parliamentarian were outstanding.

A stalwart among legal expert, he was always on the forefront of the peoples struggles for social justice, Gavai said.

The Governor shared the grief of the bereaved family and admirers of the departed leader.

Left\'s nationwide hartal may hit normal life in Kerala

TPURAM: The nationwide hartal called by Left and non-BJP opposition parties today to protest against the UPA Governments policies triggering price rise may affect normal life in Kerala.

Left parties and their trade union wings in the state have urged the people in all walks of life to join the protest.

The hartal enforcers have also plans to block rail traffic at selected spots across the state. They urged the people to avoid train journeys today in view of the protest.

Besides the parties in the Left alliance like CPI-M, CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc, non-BJP opposition parties like SP, RJD, AIADMK, BJD, TDP, INLD extended support to the hartal, Left sources said here.

Universities in the state had postponed examinations scheduled for the day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Student drowned

KOTTAYAM: A 19-year-old boy was drowned at Kodoor river at Nattokam near here Sunday, police said.

The incident happened when Nithin Antony, an ITI student, went for a bath in the river, police said.

Education bill; All party meet on Wednesday

KOTTAYAM: Stating that Kerala government has already achieved the merits in the Right to Education Bill passed by the Centre, Education Minister M A Baby Sunday said an all party meet would be convened before implementing the bill.

Laying the foundation stone for the Rs 2.35 crore district education complex here, he said the meeting would assess problems and find out remedies prior to implementing the bill

VS hints at filing plea against order staying IG\'s suspension

TPURAM: Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan Sunday hinted that government would move the High Court against the Central Administrative Tribunal order staying the suspension of IG Tomin Thachankary.

There are higher courts. The government is dealing with the matter in all its seriousness, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan told reporters on the sidelines of a function here when asked about the CAT order.

Sources said the government was yet to receive a copy of the CAT order after which a decision on the next legal step would be taken.

Kerala government had suspended Thachankary, who was IG (North), on April 17 for travelling abroad without prior permission. On his appeal against the government order, the CAT had granted stay on April 23 and directed the government to reinstate him forthwith.

However, Thachankarys plea to reinstate him in the post he held was not allowed by the Tribunal in its interim order vacating the stay.

Meanwhile, CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan termed as utterly baselss the reports that he had met Thachankary during his just concluded trip to the Gulf countries

LDF asks people to reject campaign against Apr 27 hartal

TPURAM: The ruling LDF in Kerala Sunday asked people to reject the `false campaign from various quarters against the hartal called on April 27 on the price rise issue.

The Centre was turning a blind eye to the burning issue of price rise despite several agitations and the Left was forced to resort to such a mode of agitation as it affected all sections of people, LDF convener Vaikom Viswan said.

Even the President Prathiba Patil and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had openly admitted that price rise was a serious issue the country ought to address, he said in a statement.

The price situation had turned worse due to the policies of globalisation being followed by UPA government, Viswan alleged.

He said the April 27 stir was not `hartal for the sake of a hartal. Those who were opposing the agitation had `not learnt from history and their efforts would only help the monopoly interests, Viswan said.

13 injured after Kochi-bound plane encounters heavy turbulence

KOCHI: About 13 passengers and crew of an Emirates flight from Dubai to Kochi were injured Sunday when the aircraft ferrying 361 people encountered severe turbulence while flying over Bangalore region shortly before landing at the airport here.

Immediately after the incident at 08.50 am, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) launched an inquiry into the incident and grounded the plane.

The Boeing aircraft EK530 with 347 passengers and 14 crew members on board encountered a weather cloud near Bangalore. A short period of heavy turbulence prior to descent into India caused minor injuries to about 20 persons, Emirates said in a statement.

DGCA said officials have started recording the statements of the injured, cabin crew and pilots as part of investigations into the incident.

One of the passengers, Biju Thomas (40) has been admitted to the Little Flower hospital at nearby Angamally with shoulder dislocation. A child was among those injured.

Sources said the pilots requested for medical assistance while landing at the International Airport here.

Most of the passengers in the flight were in a state of shock and looked worried, the sources said.

Tharoor calls on Karunakaran

TPURAM: Former union minister Shashi Tharoor, who reached the state after resigning from the Manmohan Singh Government, Sunday called on senior leader K Karunakaran.

He met the leader at his residence in the capital city. After meeting the leader, he told reporters that he has nothing to say about the IPL issue

�I saw death from close quarters on Emirates flight\'

KOCHI: A passenger, who was onboard the Emirates flight which fell almost 15,000 feet in an air pocket Sunday morning, said he was shocked at seeing death from close quarters.

The passengers suffered anxious moments when the aircraft from Dubai to this city fell sharply from 20,000 feet to 5,000 feet around 7 am before the pilot could bring the plane back under control.

Some of the passengers were shouting and crying for help. And for three minutes no one knew what was happening. Many were thrown out of their seats; some had their heads hitting the roof of the aircraft. A child was thrown out of the seat. We felt that everything was coming to an end, a relieved Elsy told reporters here.

He said he was shocked at seeing death from close quarters.

Sreenath will not commit suicide, says brother

TPURAM: I don�t think my brother will commit suicide, said actor Sreenath�s brother Sathyanath. The actor was found dead after his wrist was found slashed in a hotel room in Kothamangalam on Friday. The actor�s mother Kamaladevi too alleged suspicion over her son�s death.

Talking to reporters, Sathyanath said that he doesn�t think that his brother will commit suicide. He said that he is not aware of any problems haunting his brother. Somebody may have cheated him or something else might have happened. I�m not an investigating official to say what have happened

Pak Malayalees behind terrorist activities in South India

KOZHIKODE: The National Security Agency (NIA) has found that the first phase of conspiracy behind the terrorist activities in South India including the Kozhikode twin blast was carried out at Saudi Arabia under the leadership of two Malayalee brothers who have Pakistan citizenship.

The brothers are Muhammed Fahad (Al-badr terrorist) and Shahad. They along with Sarfraz Nawaz, LeT leader Thadiyantavide Nazir, Shafaz and Sabir of Kannur and other top militant leaders were the conspirators. It was at this camp that plots of attacks at Kozhikode (twin blast), Bangalore Vidhana Soudha (the seat of Karnataka Legislature), Central Institute of Indian Languages and the like were carried out.

Strike enters third day at Medical College Hospital at capital city

TPURAM: The continuing strike by junior doctors and house-surgeons of the Medical College Hospital here affected the functioning of the hospital on Sunday also. Only emergency surgeries were carried out.

Most of the patients at wards are vacating. Meantime, a patient named Raghunadan (70) of Ambalathara who has been under treatment at ward number 16 died.

The irate relatives of the deceased patient made uproars at the hospital on Sunday. There are allegations that the relatives attacked the doctors on duty and caused damages at the wards. At the same time, the hospital authorities said the patient died of cardiac arrest.

This is the third day of the strike. Even then the state government has not interfered in the issue. Protesting against the inactiveness on the part of the government, the doctors at the Medical College Hospital under the aegis of KGMCT will boycott the OP for two hours today.

Unified medical practitioners� bill soon: Achuthanandan

TPURAM: Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan said steps would be taken to bring a unified medical practitioners� bill applicable to all around the State at the next cabinet meet.

PC Chacko Group in Congress launched

TPURAM: Congress is all set to house yet another group led by P C Chacko besides the A, I and the group led by Padmaja Venugopal.

Besides Chacho, other leaders in this group are M M Jacob, K V Thomas, Mullapally Ramachandran, T H Musthafa and K K Ramachandran Master. The first meet of the group was convened at Kochi on Sunday

LDF to observe hartal; trains to be blocked

TPURAM: The state would observe its hartal led by LDF tomorrow (April 27) from 6 am to 6 pm in protest against the central government�s inefficiency in controlling the soaring prices of commodities. Trains will be picketed at Parassala, Neyyattinkara, Thiruvananthapuram, Kazhakoottam, Chirayinkizhu and Varkala