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BCCI announces schedule for home series against Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Australia

AMN/ WEB DESK The BCCI has announced the schedule for the upcoming Border Gavaskar Trophy as well as the limited-overs home series against Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Australia in January and February 2023. The contest will start with a T20 match in Mumbai on January 3rd and will end with an ODI in Thiruvananthapuram Continue reading BCCI announces schedule for home series against Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Australia

The Indian Awaaz 9 Dec 2022 8:42 pm

Prison taught me how suffering is created: Iranian filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi to TNM

IFFK The filmmaker and womens rights activist, who has been jailed many times and banned from travelling abroad, is the winner of the Spirit of Cinema award at the International Film Festival of Kerala. Cris In a letter that was sent to the Cannes Film Festival, where a movie she acted in was premiering, Iranian filmmaker and womens rights activist Mahnaz Mohammadi wrote, I am a woman and a filmmaker, two reasons sufficient to be treated like a criminal in this country. The letter was read aloud because she could not make it there, owing to a travel ban imposed on her for her film work. This December, she was supposed to come to Thiruvananthapuram for the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), but she could not, again because of the travel ban. As a symbolic gesture, however, she sent a lock of her hair to the IFFK through Greek filmmaker Athina Rachel Sangari. Mahnaz is the winner of the Spirit of Cinema award, which the IFFK launched in the last edition to honour filmmakers whose passion for the art was unflinchingly carried forward in spite of the adversities faced by them. And she has faced many, many adversities. Her first film, a documentary called Women Without Shadows on women living in a shelter, came out in 2003. But it was her second film, called Travelogue, where she interviewed people who were leaving the country on a train, that brought her the first travel ban. By then Mahnaz had already faced her first arrest in 2007, when she protested for other womens rights activists who were undergoing trial. In 2011, she acted in a film, Ethereal Marriage, where she played a widow in a relationship with her brother-in-law. It was for this films premiere that she was invited to Cannes, and her letter got read by another filmmaker, Costa-Gavras. That same year, she was arrested again, and kept in prison for two-and-a-half months. After several documentaries, Mahnaz made her first fictional feature in 2019, titled Son-Mother. It tells the story of a widow raising two children, and receiving marriage proposals from a bus driver that she begins to consider. Three years after that, Mahnaz is once again making her voice heard, protesting along with the thousands of Iranian women against the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, three days after she was taken in by the morality police for allegedly not following the dress code for women in the country. The months-long protests led Iran to reportedly abolish the morality police. In an interview to TNM, Mahnaz talks about her journey from being discriminated against as a female child to becoming the woman who keeps fighting for human rights, despite everything she has been through. After reading about you, the first thing I wondered is how you were driven to be this person who questioned the inequalities in gender, who began fighting for what she thought was right, and who did not mind going to jail for it. How and when in your life did this journey begin for you? The first year I entered school, I was happy to go to school with a red ribbon in my hair and white collar. But the revolution of 1979 happened in the same year. In the New Year, they forced us to wear dark black shawls covering our hair and shoulders. I was always being blamed for forgetting to wear it. I am still living with those reprimands. In the same year, our teacher Mrs Abbasi, who was kind, did not force us to wear dark black shawls at class. Many times, we have watched her putting her shawl in her bag, far away from school. She didn't last long as a teacher. She was rumoured to have been fired. Do you think this is not enough for a girl who felt the wind in her hair and whose only hobby was running in the wind? At what point did you decide to make films, to talk about the subjects you cared about? I used to write for children and teenage magazines and radio, but when I met certain women, I was very influenced by them. I also had many questions, and hence I made documentaries to find the answers. What led to Women without Shadows? Though incarcerated under weird circumstances, they (the women in shelter homes) managed to elicit feelings of love and hope. I remember how after watching that film, my brother wrote a note to me saying the director has depicted her life. I still have that note. Do you feel films have a way of reaching out to more people, the ideas that you want to express? Yes, I believe in the power of film. You said in one interview that you did not think much of your early arrests but the one in 2011, in a small prison, shattered you. What happened, and how did it affect you and your work? It was a torture centre. The most important impact it had was that it proved to me this regime does not follow any moral principles. It lies, tortures, and executes. Today, as I am writing to you, a 23-year-old man named Mohsen Shekhari was executed for protesting in a closed court without access to legal advice. There are many others awaiting execution. That prison taught me how suffering is created. It is essential not to be a part of them. You acted in a film. Ephemeral Marriage also touched on the state of women's lives in Iran. Is that what made you say yes to acting? I am not an actor. Reza Sarkanian (the director) came to Iran to make this film. But almost all the actors he chose said no to him, because they were worried about the government's reaction. At the same time, I was helping him research parts of the script. Reza then asked me [if I could act]. At first it was difficult to accept, but I knew what a strenuous path he had to tread to get the permission. I just wanted this film to be made. But that film was also banned in Iran and was never allowed to be screened. What is the one thing that makes you keep fighting, despite the repeated arrests, bans and confiscations of your property? Living a lie is disgusting. A totalitarian regime forces you to live according to their wishes, which are often miles away from your principles. Still from Son-Mother / Courtesy - IMDB Son-mother is your first venture into fiction. Why fiction, after all these years? All stories are rooted in reality. My preference is to make documentaries, but there are stories that you will never be allowed to make. Everything is according to their will, so I have to choose another way. Mahsa Amini is one of the latest victims of this oppression. You are fighting for her too. Do you have hope that things will change for women one day? Not just in Iran, but everywhere? Right now, many things have changed despite the resistance by the regime, due to the will of the people who are no longer willing to go back. Certainly, change is essential in Iran and similarly everywhere else in the world. Inequality exists anywhere. Also read:IFFK highlights: Silent films with live piano, 32 female directors, LGBTQIA+ narratives

The News Minute 9 Dec 2022 8:18 pm

Meet Dhanya Ananya, a Malayalam actor who pulls off striking characters with ease

Interview In a short span of time, the Saudi Vellakka actor has played quite a few remarkable characters with lasting impact. Cris Hers is a face that stays with you, even if she is on screen only for a few precious shots. The characters somehow leave that imprint a tribal policewoman caught up in the revenge drama between two men, a woman who fights against cybercrime when a fake video of hers goes online, a student driven to suicide by a casteist professor. Dhanya Ananya says that it began to happen shortly after her foray into films from theatre. The actor, only a few years old in Malayalam cinema, has just played another impressive character in Saudi Vellakka, a film that released last week, made by Tharun Moorthy, the director of the acclaimed Operation Java. My very first appearance in a film was in Athiran, in which I played an insignificant role, just to start from somewhere in cinema, Dhanya says candidly. She displays an admirable clarity when she talks about the choices she has made in life. Films were nowhere in the picture until she reached her college years in Mar Ivanios of Thiruvananthapuram. There, like quite many of her generation, she began getting involved in short films and music videos. Dhanya soon realised she enjoyed acting. I wanted to learn more about it and began attending theatre workshops. I decided to do my Master of Arts to learn acting at the Sree Sankaracharya University, she says. Dhanya in Saudi Vellakka After two years though, she still didnt plunge head first into acting. Doubts still lurked in her mind and she had to go through a few other alternatives a Biennale project, a temporary training assignment in Lucknow before deciding that acting was her calling and nothing else would work. She headed to theatre arts, to the sets of her teachers production Thuramukham. While there, someone asked her about playing a role with not much to perform in Athiran. She said yes. After that came Lal Joses 41, and Dhanya got more screen space. From 41 she went to Ayyappanum Koshiyum, playing the short role of a tribal policewoman with lasting impact. The student who is traumatised by her teachers taunts appeared in Jana Gana Mana. Mammoottys Bheeshma Parvam, Tharuns Operation Java, and now Saudi Vellakka also followed. In Saudi, however, her familiar, accented voice is missing. Actor Srindaa dubs for Dhanyas enterprising character of Naseema. Dhanya is remarkable as the nagging woman to her rather vulnerable husband, picking fights with the aged mother-in-law, while also looking after her. Naseema is annoyingly never quiet. She is self-centred, but also one who does not take societys norms so seriously. If I land in the situations that she comes across, I would probably not react the way she does, Dhanya says with a short laugh. Watch: Trailer of Saudi Vellakka She would have preferred to dub for her character, but she respects the directors decision, Dhanya says. Her next Arik also sounds like a film to look out for, coming from VS Sanoj, a journalist turned filmmaker, who was chosen by the Kerala State Film Development Corporation in its project to fund two new directors from the SC/ST community. Read: Saudi Vellakka review: An old woman leads this sweet film that celebrates the ordinary

The News Minute 9 Dec 2022 6:08 pm

Protest against Vizhinjam sea port in Kerala called off for now

AMN / WEB DESK The anti port protest in Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram called off for now after the reconciliation talks between the leaders of the agitation and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The calling off of the agitation by fisherfolk against the under-construction Vizhinjam sea port was announced by Vicar General Eugene Pereira, who has been Continue reading Protest against Vizhinjam sea port in Kerala called off for now

The Indian Awaaz 9 Dec 2022 5:06 pm

Kerala authors account of a couples private video going online is scary and funny

Books Author Aravind Jayan effortlessly gets into the head of his characters and brings out their varied reactions in a humorous manner. Cris Aravind Jayan It sounds like a risk, naming a book Teen Couple Have Fun Outdoors. Judges of book titles, ones like this reporter, might take one look at it, write it off as some teenage romance meh, and walk away. Luckily, not every reader and critic takes such a skewed view of books, and quite a few lovely reviews have popped up in the months after the books release this July. Turns out, the book has little to do with teenage romance, and more to do with the video of a couples intimate moments in a public place taken without their knowledge spreading most naturally like wildfire all over the internet. To make things worse, the said couple is in Thiruvananthapuram, where the sight of a short skirt can send shock waves down passersby, let alone a video like that. Aravind Jayan, the Thiruvananthapuram-raised author, was not entirely sure if it should be written about at all, a video like that. The question was why write about it, is it even a big deal? But then that would also be the question that the characters have in their minds. Then it became about that, he says in an interview to TNM. Strangely enough, he has not come across any such incidents in his personal life or heard about it from someone he knew. He has heard about the existence of such videos, and grew curious about how the situation would play out if it happened in his family or the family of someone he knew. If thats the case, Aravind is unusually empathetic. He seems to effortlessly get into the heads of his characters and bring out their very different reactions. The protagonist couple, Sreenath and Anita, appears rather cool and indifferent about it at least on the outside, while the parents predictably see it as a major catastrophe. In the middle of it all is Sreenaths brother, narrating the whole story. Funnily enough, though he is telling the story of anothers life and the reactions of everyone around him, he doesnt become a voice in the background you dont take note of. He is right in the thick of everything and his thoughts are as much out there as his words. The best part of it all is his innate sense of humour. It is comforting to realise this in the very first chapter, where he is put in charge of a bunch of neighbourhood kids and he says, I had to make sure their kids didnt eat sand or throw themselves in front of a vehicle. This humour is very handy when the traumatic part of the story unfolds two people caught up in the drama surrounding a video of their very private moments. To convey, for instance, what it would mean to the parents, he writes: They were the type who had to change the channel if they saw people getting romantic while one of us was around sometimes it didnt even have to be people; once it was Bugs Bunny and his rabbit girlfriend. The parents are more or less typical the father is all tough love, and the mother, though not stereotypically soft, seems a little meek and almost almost English in her attempts to avoid confrontations. In the narrators words, the mother is someone who tries to diagnose a fever when anyone in the house went through some form of turmoil that was unreachable to her. A fever diagnosis put her in control. And the father, tough as he is, is like every other typical Malayali who is ready to please in the event of a police station visit. The younger son, who accompanies Appa to the police station with a request to get the video removed, describes the policemans condescending attitude in very relatable terms. After firing the father of a young man who had a few consensual romantic moments with his adult girlfriend for ruining the girls life, the police could have got Appa to admit anything. Though his situation calls for sympathy, you cant help but laugh when the narrator writes, You could have got him to admit anything. Did he smuggle drugs? Yes. Did he assassinate Kennedy? Sure. Was he in cahoots with Judas? Indeed. It is a whole different story with Sreenath. Aravind says Sreenath chooses to act like it is nothing because that is his defence mechanism. He knows that the minute he caves into shame, he doesnt have his last line of defence. He has taken a stand that it is not a big deal and he sticks to it, the author says. You dont learn much about Anita, except that she too acts cool in the limited scenes she is present. She is atypically inexpressive, having you guess forever what her state of mind is. No tears, not even a good laugh, just a lot of bad headaches and tired expressions. Perhaps because it is another gender entirely, Aravind didnt want to dwell too much on her mind and make the wrong guesses. Same reason he didnt make the narrator a woman. It is curious though, how Sreenath would have behaved if it was a sister he had. He is the difficult guy here, not the sibling. Sreenath is extremely irritable, all the time. He is never nice to anybody, except to Anita and sometimes to his friends. You try to figure out why he is so mean to the younger brother our narrator every time he knocks on the door and tries to talk peace. Youd imagine brothers so close in age one is 22, the other 20 to be thick, share stories that their parents dont learn about, and that one will call the other at the first sight of trouble. But Sreenaths brother is kept pretty much entirely out of the picture, despite his many attempts to help. In Aravinds book, the brother is not exactly meant to be a nice guy. He is supposed to be that annoying mediator that one normally associates with older middle-aged men, the kith of a family in trouble who tries to make everything right by talking to both sides in a duel. To a reader, he neednt come across like that. He was only 20, wanting everyone in his family to be in it together, wanting both sides to be happy. Aravind agrees that he should have cut the narrator some slack. Poor guy doesn't even get a name. It occurred to the author that he doesnt have a life or identity of his own, and so he doesnt have a name. Throughout the book, he is solving someone elses problem. You tend to further disagree with the author if you have noticed the characters many traits that carve him out as a different individual. He happens to take an interest in the lives of the people around him. He has his own tiny romantic escapades, not afraid to experiment, is a bit of a slacker when it comes to work, and is rather caring of his parents in a way Sreenath in no way is. Every time he tells Sreenath but that is the way they think, it is like he is the older, more mature brother. Aravind says that even the younger readers did not find fault with the way the parents reacted. They understand where the parents come from. On the other hand, the mother on the other side meaning Anitas side is hard-core annoying. Somebody please take her and her car and park it on top of the Jadayu rock. She will likely not even notice, as long as she has people she could irritate around her. But my biggest rue is the way the author puts down Thiruvananthapuram as such a boring place to be in. You couldnt squeeze a lot out of it besides the beach, a few awkward bars, and half a mall, he writes. In a line after that, he calls the place so quaint there was nothing left to do but kill yourself. Aravind! It is because he thinks of it as his home, and universally everyone wants to get out of their hometown at some point, Aravind says. When you have that level of comfort about a place you can talk poorly about it. Like, this is my place, I can talk about it the way I want. It could also be any place, it is the point of view of the character that makes a difference. You could be in New York and still want to get out of there badly, the author says. You could forgive him for Thiruvananthapuram though, the book really is one to be read and recommended.

The News Minute 9 Dec 2022 4:58 pm

Chrisanghis: The rise of the Christian right in Kerala

Religion Though the term Chrisanghi has been around for some time, it became popular in August 2021 after it featured in a speech delivered by a young priest named James Panavelil. Haritha John Photo: CASA | Facebook The ancient rivalry between the two Abrahamic religions Christianity and Islam has often degenerated into bloody conflicts in other parts of the world. But in India, the relationship between Christians and Muslims has been shaped less by their differences and more by their shared experience of living as minorities among a Hindu majority. This common ground is beginning to erode in Kerala with the emergence of a virulently Islamophobic generation of upper-caste Catholics who are building deep ideological bonds with right-wing Hindutva over a shared hatred of Muslims. Dismissed as fringe elements by the Christian intelligentsia until a few years ago, they were disparagingly labelled Chrisanghis for pursuing the agenda of the Sangh Parivar. These right-wing Christians have gone on to own the label and today many of them proudly self-identify as Chrisanghis. One such self-defined Chrisanghi is 33-year-old George M who migrated to Canada two years ago but continues to watch political developments in Kerala with a hawk-eye. George is an active member of the Christian Association and Alliance for Social Action (Casa), a group in north Kerala defined by its contempt for Muslims. He is an active participant in district-level Casa WhatsApp groups and other groups like the Warriors of Cross. They tend to be confused with the other CASA (Churchs Auxiliary for Social Action), a humanitarian arm of 24 Protestant and Orthodox churches, but their agenda is diametrically opposite. The Casa and Warriors of Cross have one thing in common their revisionist stands on Christianity and their unbridled hatred for Islam and Muslims. Like every other person in these groups, George also believes most of the hate speech and propaganda he hears, such as that the Muslim population is skyrocketing, or that Muslims are taking over the country. George states clearly that he doesnt mind being called a Chrisanghi. Though the term has been around for some time, it became popular in August 2021 after it featured in a speech delivered by a young priest named James Panavelil. James is an assistant vicar at St George Church in Ernakulams Varapuzha. He was criticising the controversy over the Malayalam film Eesho, directed by Nadirshah, who happens to be a Muslim. Many Christian fundamentalists, including priests, had questioned giving the film the Malayalam version of Jesuss name. Be a human first, then you will be a saint. When the film was titled Eesho, Christians here lost their cool. There were many films in the past with similar names but this time they have started a war. In social media, we have a new name Chrisanghi. We were not like this earlier. Now, we have more hatred in us than others. This is religiosity, we dont need that. We need spirituality, which is to love each other, the priest had said in a viral speech. Following the speech, he was subjected to massive cyber bullying. Though James used the term to criticise fundamentalists, it ended up lending legitimacy to the word itself. Soon, many people started saying Proud to be a Chrisanghi on social media profiles, comments, and shows. Growth of Christian extremist groups in Kerala Casa is a growing organisation with committees in every district. They were one of the first among the many Christian extremist groups that emerged in Kerala in recent times. Several other groups and YouTube channels with preachings that are capable of harming communal harmony have also gained popularity. Groups like Casa have a ready roster of issues around which they mobilise Christians against Muslims. They run social media campaigns about narcotic jihad, love jihad, halal food, and the hijab. Never mind that there is no evidence to back these conspiracy theories. George regularly posts crime stories on his social media profiles in which Muslims are the accused. Casas social media pages are filled with posts on love jihad, narcotic jihad, and the anti-halal campaign. They bombard their audiences with content about Christian persecution in Islamic countries but conveniently ignore the state of affairs in India, where attacks against Christians and their institutions by Hindutva groups have seen an alarming spike since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power. Even the 2021 attacks on Karnataka churches were not condemned by Casa or other such groups. It is common to find posts calling for an economic boycott of Muslims, an idea also advocated by a handful of mainstream politicians. We have WhatsApp groups, discussions of current situations, and some casual meetings in church. We keep a keen eye on all the girls in our church. Any attempts by them to get into any relationship with Muslim boys will be blocked, a youth from Kasaragod, who is an active member of Casa, said. I know that Casa might be linked to the BJPs Minority Morcha or some Sangh Parivar groups, I am not sure, but we share common interests with the BJP. We have a common enemy, we will not let India turn into an Islamic country, George added. Preventing interfaith marriages, particularly those where the groom is Muslim, is one of Casas top priorities. The recent death by suicide of college student Nanda Vinod (19), where the man accused of abetting the suicide MK Abdul Shuhaib (20) is a Muslim, was used by Casa and its satellite groups to run a massive hate campaign against Islam and Muslims. Whether it is the Coimbatore car blast or the Mangalore RSS workers murder, all are employed to run political campaigns against Muslims by Casa. Most heated discussions organised by these new-age Christian right-wing groups take place on the Clubhouse app. It has several groups that hold discussions on Islam. Most of the discussions are framed to challenge the historic fact that both Muslims and Christians have a common prophetic tradition started by Ibrahim or Abraham. They do not believe that Moosa and Isa are Moses and Jesus. Many even claim that these similarities were spread by Islam to target Christianity. Christheeya Viswasa Prathirodikal (Defenders of Christian Belief), Proud Catholics, Apologists Preach Islam, Warriors of Cross, and Christian Youths are some of the organistaions that hold discussions on such topics. Even priests, pastors, and nuns participate in these talks. Love jihad was the most popular topic until sometime ago, many citing certain interfaith marriages to prove that it exists. Historical issues between Islam and Christianity in Armenia to Hagia Sophia have been discussed in these groups. These discussions stress that Christianity should not have a fraternal relationship with Islam. Besides the hatred and mistrust towards Islam, Keralas contemporary politics, in which the Hindu right is making deep inroads, has also paved the way for the growth of these groups. Though most of the Christian population has traditionally been supporters of the United Democratic Front (UDF) headed by the Congress, two factors have led to their estrangement. One factor is that a section of the Catholic church has drifted towards the BJP and the second is the traditional rivalry between Christian groups and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a powerful party within the UDF formation. Among these, Christian right groups believe that UDF is ruled by the IUML. According to them, IUML functions only for the Muslim community. The rift between Muslims and Christians had resulted in a split in the vote share too. PC Georges defeat in Poonjar in the 2021 Assembly elections has been attributed to the alienation of the Muslim population owing to his Islamophobic comments. The IUMLs vote share also decreased in some prominent Christian areas. Syro-Malabar Christians, also known as Syrian Christians, are a traditionally wealthy, landed community who claim Hindu-Brahmin origins. They have also accumulated enormous social capital compared to the Latin Catholics. In an earlier article published in TNM, G Pramod Kumar explained the reasons that attract the BJP to the Syro-Malabar population. They carry with them the same caste-based elitism thats associated with Hindus. They are considered to be upper-caste Hindu converts, he wrote. Many leaders of the church have cited an inequality in the distribution of minority scholarships between Christians and Muslims. They blame the IUML and the political pressure it exerts as the major reason for this. A Kerala High Court order on May 29, 2021, quashed a state government order from 2015 providing scholarships in 80:20 ratio to Muslims and to Latin Christians and converted Christians, saying it was legally unsustainable. Kerala witnessed much tension between various groups leading up to the judgement. Casa and its connections Though some group members believe that Casa has links with the Sangh Parivar, the leadership has always denied this. Casa president Kevin Peter had participated in the Hindu Maha Sabha conference in April in Thiruvananthapuram. However, he denied any connections with the Sangh Parivar. Are the Catholic churches in Kerala, especially the oriental rite of Syro-Malabar, backing the extremist group? Though none of the dioceses have openly extended support to the group yet, many of the leaders have been supporting Casa covertly. We have huge support from many priests. During the last Assembly elections (2021), we had gone to different parishes to campaign for BJP candidates. We were welcomed by the parishes, a Casa member from Kasaragod said on the condition of anonymity. The fact that they do not openly endorse the BJP allows these groups to gain a wider audience among those Catholics who are wary of the Hindu right but also Islamohobic in their outlook. On May 26, a video of prominent Catholic preacher Xavier Khan Vattayil extending support to Casa appeared on social media. He said that the organisation is in the hearts of many Catholics across Kerala and that the organisation is not alone. The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) had extended support to the love jihad and narcotic jihad claims. But on September 12, Father Joshy Mayyattil, a representative of KCBC, posted in his Facebook page that Casa is a terrorist organisation within the Christian community. He condemned Xavier Khans post supporting Casa. These saffron flag-bearers who pray by making the sign of the cross make us think that the Syro-Malabar Church is moving towards saffronisation. These people persuaded Achan [Xavier Khan] to openly support a movement that had rooted itself in hatred and joined hands with the Hindutva forces, Joshy said. The priest also lashed out at the YouTube channel Shekinah News for allegedly supporting Casa by spreading false news. The priest also spoke about how Casa originated and alleged that it has close connections with the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Casa was seeded through an RSS network called Christian Helpline, but now BJPs Minority Morcha is behind it. A considerable number from the Syro-Malabar Church is within their net. It is also true that the extremist Chaldeans and those caught up in their social media groups Modi devotees have started proudly calling themselves Chrisanghis. But there can be no doubt that the synod, bishops, priests, monks, and laity of the Syro-Malabar Church are committed to preserving Christian love, the unity of the Church, and the secularism of India, he said. Christian Helpline was instituted in 2017 by the Kerala BJP Minority Morcha with the intention of campaigning against love jihad. The helpline was initiated by Renjith Abraham Thomas, who is the former Malappuram district secretary of the Minority Morcha. Church and Islamophobia It is not just groups like Casa that are spreading Islamophobia. Many Catholic churches do this both directly and indirectly, with the endorsement of the higher clergy. During the Sunday mass on September 4 in a Catholic church in Kasaragod, the parish priest was furious that the attendance in a meeting held for mothers was low. He said, What are you waiting for, the evil has reached your homes. Your daughters are going on the wrong path. There are predators from terrorist groups waiting for your daughters. The girls of our community are easily falling for them. Mothers are responsible for their daughters. That is why you should participate in the class. This warning from the priest came only a few minutes after a circular from the Thalassery Archbishop Joseph Pamplani was read out. In the circular, the bishop had said that the eight-day Lent from September 1-8 is a remembrance of the incident where Christian women gathered inside a church seeking protection for their virginity from gentile kings. He went on to add that the Lent should be dedicated to protect Christian girls from religious terrorist groups. In the last few years, the Catholic church in Kerala has never failed to find a reason to speak about love jihad and about how to prevent their women from marrying into the Muslim community. Various bishops have spoken about love jihad and alleged that Christian women are being lured by Muslim men. Last September, the Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangat added the accusation narcotic jihad as well, which triggered a huge row, and barely avoided blowing up into communal violence. A huge rally, which had the potential of causing clashes, was conducted by Muslim and Christian groups in response to the bishop. A parish priest under the Thalassery diocese said, We had classes in the church under the leadership of KCBC and the Kerala Catholic Youth Movement (KCYM) for nuns and priests. Special classes will also be given to parents, separately and together. They cannot be careless and later grieve. We give them awareness that love jihad is not a bogey, that it exists in our society. He added, Mothers are responsible for what path their daughters choose. The different Syro-Malabar Catholic dioceses in the state receive frequent circulars from their respective bishops regarding this. In January 2020, a synod (a high profile meeting of bishops) of the Syro-Malabar Church was held, where it stated that love jihad is real and that Christian women are under the threat of being forced to undergo religious conversion after being allegedly trapped in fake relationships. A circular was sent by Cardinal George Alencherry based on the discussions in the synod over love jihad. However, some of the churches under the Ernakulam-Angamaly diocese refused to read them. This may not be seen solely as an expression of dissent towards the churchs view on love jihad. The Ernakulam-Angamaly diocese is also in the midst of a huge row sparked by financial discrepancies and liturgical conflicts that have turned a large section of the priests against Alenchery. Following this, a few other dioceses also issued circulars warning about Christian women falling in the trap. The Thamarassery diocese even published a handbook on love jihad, which claimed that more than 160 girls had fallen prey to it. The book was meant for class 11 and 12 catechism students. Antony Tharekkadavil, a north Kerala priest, is popular for his talks that are telecast on different Christian YouTube channels. His statements, such as those referring to characters in the Quran as fictional, have provoked the spread of religious hatred. He argued that Christian women are the most easy target of Jihadis. The church and the organisations associated with it, such as the KCYM, have openly supported him and have given him a heroic status. He was one of the torchbearers of the anti-halal campaign that claimed that it is a sin for Catholics to consume halal food. The church and love jihad Many consider the developments in the church as a reflection of the Islamophobia present all over the world. J Prabhash, former pro-vice-chancellor and head of the department of Political Science in the University of Kerala, said that globally there is a tension between the two religious communities, which is being reflected here also. What we see in Kerala is a reflection of the global scenario, he explained. Prabhash, however, added that in reality, there are many interfaith marriages between Christians and Muslims, Christians and Hindus, and Muslims and Hindus. Highlighting the inherent patriarchy of religious communities, he pointed out, It is not that a particular religion targets girls from other religions, but these communities are worried only about their girls marrying men belonging to other religious backgrounds. Many church reformists have pointed out that the Catholics in Kerala are insecure about losing their members. Even earlier too, Hindu-Christian marriages received more acceptance than Muslim-Christian ones. Hinduism was not considered a major threat then. But Islamophobia was always present in the church, as was the case with any other community, Jaiby Joseph, social critic and popular YouTuber said. According to him, love jihad discussions have now become more explicit after 20 Keralites left the country and joined Islamic State (ISIS). Some among them were Christians who converted to Islam. Jaiby also alleged that the church has close connections with the BJP. Even when it came to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the KCBC supported the BJP government. Father Varghese Vallikkatt, spokesperson and secretary of the KCBC, wrote an opinion piece in the RSS mouthpiece Janmabhoomi on January 7, 2020 supporting CAA. He stated, No other party except the BJP has understood or taken a stand on how to tackle political Islam. None of the political parties in the country which focus on the minority vote bank will have the courage to do this. In January 2021, the heads of all three Catholic denominations (Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, and Latin) met with PM Modi to reportedly discuss various issues, including the Kerala Catholic churchs stand on love jihad. The bishops also raised the issue of their discontent with the distribution of scholarships for minority students. A month before that, in December 2020, Modi had met with representatives of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, both Syrian denominations although not Catholic, to broker peace in a decades-old property feud. The Supreme Court had ruled in favour of the former in July 2017. The churchs sudden affinity with the BJP has been cited as the next reason for its explicit Islamophobia. Indulekha Joseph, a lawyer and member of the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement (KCRM), said that the Catholic leaders who spew hatred are opportunists who dont have any ideology of their own. They go with the politics that are beneficial to them. The church has great wealth and it serves their need to go with Sangh Parivar interests as they can hide all their illegal wealth accumulations, she alleged. Edited by Maria Teresa Raju Also read: Kerala Catholic Church taking right-wing stand on Love Jihad and CAA: Reformists The right turn by a section of Keralas Catholic church is sheer opportunism Kerala Church and the BJP: A shift towards the right or seeking patronage?

The News Minute 9 Dec 2022 4:26 pm

IFFK: Delegates can check out some late-night street food favourites in Thiruvananthapuram

Hungry after a busy day at the IFFK? Here are some delectable roadside food options for the film buffs

The Hindu 9 Dec 2022 11:13 am

Kerala police begins probe after unqualified student attends MBBS classes

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Police on Friday commenced a probe after a student, who did not even qualify for medical entrance examination, was found attending first year MBBS classes in the Kozhikode Medical College for a few days. Last month, the girl from Malappuram district had announced on social media that she had secured admission to Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 9 Dec 2022 10:44 am

Construction resumes at Vizhinjam port after fisherfolk call off months-long agitation

Vizhinjam port Visuals of the project site shared by a source in Adani Group showed the trucks loaded with construction materials rolling in and the surrounding area being devoid of protesters. PTI pti With the fisherfolk calling off their over 130-day-long agitation, for now, against the Vizhjinjam sea port here two days ago, construction resumed there on Thursday with trucks full of material rolling into the project site. Visuals of the project site shared by a source in Adani Group showed the trucks loaded with construction materials rolling in and the surrounding area being devoid of protestors who were camped there for over four months. The agitation was called off on Tuesday and on the next day the protesters informed the Kerala High Court that the tent set up at the protest site outside the port was being removed. The submission was made during hearing of a plea moved by Adani Group for contempt action against the protesters for not complying with the court's orders to not obstruct the way to the project site. With the agitation being called off and the protesters assuring to remove the tent at the protest site, the High Court had closed the contempt pleas. Subsequently, on Thursday, the construction work commenced at the port and the source said that the barge movement will start soon and in a few days it will be working at full swing. The priority would be given to completing the construction of the 2,960 metres long breakwater of which around 1,400 metres have been completed, the source said. Piling required for berth construction, main power sub-station, port operation building, gate complex, workshop and a third of the port approach road -- including two bridges forming part of it -- stood completed, the source added. The source also said that 60 per cent of the reclamation for backyard construction has also been completed. The over four-month long protest was called off on Tuesday after discussions between the leaders of the agitation and the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. A large number of fisherfolk had been staging demonstrations outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose sea port at Mulloor near Thiruvananthapuram for over four months. They had been pressing for their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping the construction work and conducting a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project. The agitators had been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls as part of the upcoming port, were some of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion. The protesters had attacked Vizhinjam police station on the night of November 27, injuring several policemen.

The News Minute 9 Dec 2022 8:59 am

Thiruvananthapuram to be made AI hub: CM

Pinarayi inaugurates deployment of 9,000 robotics kits in 2,000 high schools through LIttle KITEs units

The Hindu 8 Dec 2022 8:52 pm

IFFK highlights: Silent films with live piano, 32 female directors, LGBTQIA+ narratives

IFFK The International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) will be held between December 9 and 16, across various theatres in Keralas Thiruvananthapuram. Cris Delegates have fun at the previous edition of IFFK On December 7, a Wednesday, there are just a few odd people hovering around the make-shift film festival offices at the Tagore Theatre. A vast campus placed at an enviable spot in Thiruvananthapuram, the premise will turn into a whole different place in the next two days. December 9 is the first day of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which will be held across different venues in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. Owing to COVID-19 the last two editions suffered delayed schedules, making this the second fest to happen in a year. But going back to its routine, the IFFK is ready to welcome 12,000 and more delegates into its fold this December. It was not easy, says the new artistic director of the festival, Deepika Suseelan. We had only two and a half months in all to do the whole programme. By that, she means everything from inviting entries to selecting movies to fixing a jury and accommodating the guests. The last IFFK, held in March this year, was handled by renowned film editor Bina Paul Venugopal, a veteran in overseeing the IFFK, having been the artistic director for most of its 27 editions. Deepika, with her experience of handling three back-back-back IFFIs (International Film Festival of India), which happens in Goa every November, and an edition of the IFFK in 2014, says it is a misconception that all the selection is done from the movies sent in applications. Only the Indian and Malayalam cinema sections come through applications. But the majority of the world cinema and competition films are chosen after a lot of research, scouting through previous festivals, using contacts, and convincing those who are little reachable to come, she says. Deepika Suseelan She is glad that many big names could make it despite the last-minute planning. Bela Tarr, a legendary filmmaker from Hungary, is one of the people who agreed to come despite health issues. He will be receiving thelifetime achievement award this year, and six of his films have been included in a package charmingly titled, The Melancholy Worlds of Bela Tarr. This is a filmmaker who began with ordinary films for ordinary people and then fell into stories of pessimism. Silent films with piano and Serbian masterpieces Another promising package is the series of silent films in two different sections. One of these is coming with live piano, by Jonny Best, resident pianist at the BFI Southbank, a cinema house in the UK. It will begin with the screening of the German horror film, Nosferatu, a straight-off-the-coffin vampire film from a hundred years ago, made by the legendary FM Murnau. Murnau, who died in 1931, has a separate package, apart from Jonny's five. Poster of Nosferato/ IFFK It is also new to IFFK that Serbia becomes the country of focus this time. At a fest that mostly focuses on films from Latin America, Asia, and African countries each year, the newest and best works from a different nation become a highlight every year. Serbia as a country of focus has not been done before. Neither were Serbian films chosen for any recent big film festivals. And the IFFK is a festival that always initiates things. Films like the Working Class Heroes from Serbia blow you away. We have also included four of Emir Kusturicas movies, Deepika says. Emir, a maestro from Serbia, is known for telling stories of people from the margins. 32 films by women filmmakers There are 32 films by female directors in a fest that features more than 185 movies from 17 countries. That was not a planned move, Deepika says. The only consideration came in reaching out to as many women filmmakers as possible to bring their works to the decision table, she adds. After that, there is no special consideration and no woman filmmaker demands it. They make great films. As a rule, I dont look at the filmmaker's name while watching films and taking a call, so there is no bias. I was amazed when 32 names came to the final list. You should watch films like Night Siren, written by a woman and directed by another. It is just wonderful. On the other hand, I was surprised to see that a film like A room of my own was done by a male filmmaker, she says. Unruly, by Danish filmmaker Malou Reymann, is among the 32 films by women directors Of the movies she mentions, Night Siren is a horror drama about a Slovakian woman who goes back to her hometown to solve the mysteries of her childhood, while A Room of my own is a Georgian film about a woman who rents a room from another and discovers what it is like to be free. LGBTQIA+ centric films As always, 14 films are in the competition category, two of these in Malayalam, and another two from other Indian languages. Lijo Jose Pellisserys first Mammootty film, Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam, will have its premiere while Mahesh Narayanans Ariyippu, which has already been to festivals, will feature in the competition category. A Manipuri film called Our Home and a Hindi film called A place of our own are the other Indian films in competition. The latter is about the struggle of two transgender persons in finding a home. The fest includes quite a few films on the LGBTQIA+ community. Deepika mentions Paloma, a Brazillian film about a transexual woman who decides to get married in a church, and Lord of the Ants, a biopic on Italian poet and playwright Aldo Braibanti, who was jailed in 1968 under an anti-gay law. Lord of the Ants Two categories celebrating golden jubilees are one for Adoor Gopalakrishnans Swayamvaram, and another is a retrospective for American scriptwriter Paul Schrader. Ninety-three-year-old Alejandro Jodorowsky, making Chilean-French avant-garde films, also gets a package. Read: Legacy of Adoors debut film Swayamvaram lives on 50 years since its release Special screenings including restored classics last editions Kummatty still lingers in the mind auteur odes, and the midnight screening of a horror film (an Indonesian one, aptly titled Satans Slaves), are all to look forward to. The only thing left to decide is the guest for the opening day, December 9. Sadly, Mahnaz Mohammadi, the Iranian filmmaker who was declared the winner of IFFKs Spirit of Cinema award, cannot make it. The opening film is however fixed a French feature titled Tori and Lokita, from the Dardenne brothers. Deepika says it is unlike their usually slow-paced films on a big canvas. This is a shorter canvas and a more paced one. Quite a few cute and fun-to-watch films are there, she promises. The IFFK ends on December 16.

The News Minute 8 Dec 2022 7:57 pm

KMTA board mulls delegating select powers to Mayor

Apprehension that the Transport Minister and senior officials, all based in Thiruvananthapuram, hardly available to look into transportation woes of city

The Hindu 8 Dec 2022 7:52 pm

IFFK: 27th edition of International Film Festival of Kerala kicks off in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday

With the IFFK now back to its full-fledged version, after floods and the pandemic, the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, the festival organisers, is gearing up to put up its best show yet

The Hindu 8 Dec 2022 5:51 pm

Nandita Dass Zwigato to premiere at International Film Festival of Kerala

Cinema The film had its international premiere at the 47th Toronto International film festival in September this year. PTI Twitter/ Applause Entertainment The film Zwigato, directed by Nandita Das, will be premiering in India at the 27th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK). The makers shared the update with fans on Thursday, December 8. Set in Bhubaneswar, the film starring Kapil Sharma and Shahana Goswami, will open the gala's Kaleidoscope section. It will have screenings on December 10 and December 13. Sharing the announcement, Applause Entertainment, the production banner that produced Zwigato, wrote on Twitter, An exciting delivery is on its way! After soaring high at Toronto & Busan, we are thrilled to share that our film 'Zwigato' helmed by Nandita Das, starring Kapil Sharma & Shahana Goswami, is all set to premiere in India at the International Film Festival of Kerala. They also added, Selected as the opening film in the festivals Kaleidoscope section, the film will be screened on the 10th and 13th of December. Co-produced by Nandita Das Initiatives, the movie features Kapil Sharma as a food delivery executive exploring the world of the gig economy. Shahana Goswami stars as his wife, a homemaker, who takes up a job for the first time to support the familly. Zwigato had its world premiere at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival in September, followed by Asian premiere at the 27th Busan International Film Festival in October this year. The upcoming edition of the IFFK will showcase 184 movies from around 70 countries across 15 theatres in Thiruvananthapuram. The festival is scheduled to be held from December 9 to December 16. An exciting delivery is on its way! After soaring high at Toronto & Busan, we are thrilled to share that our film 'Zwigato' helmed by Nandita Das, starring Kapil Sharma & Shahana Goswami, is all set to premiere in India at the International Film Festival of Kerala. pic.twitter.com/lzGXxfFT4y Applause Entertainment (@ApplauseSocial) December 8, 2022

The News Minute 8 Dec 2022 3:19 pm

India Announces Home Schedule With Series Against Sri Lanka, New Zealand & Australia

India men's team will be hosting Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Australia in series featuring all formats, including the four-match Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, in the 2022/23 home schedule announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). India men's 2022/23 international home season comprising nine ODIs, six T20Is and four Tests will commence with a three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka in January. The matches will be played on January 3, 5 and 7 in Mumbai, Pune and Rajkot respectively. After that, three ODIs between the two teams will be played on January 10, 12 and 15 at Guwahati, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram respectively. Sri Lanka last toured the country in February-March 2022, where they lost T20Is and Test series. The action will then move to a three-match ODI series against New Zealand wherein Hyderabad, Raipur and Indore will play hosts to matches on January 18, 21 and 24. The second ODI on January 21 between India and New Zealand will be a marquee ODI for the city of Raipur as they will host their first international fixture. India will also play a three-match T20I series against New Zealand, who visited the country in November-December 2021. Matches between the two teams will be played on January 27, 29 and February 1 at Ranchi, Lucknow, and Ahmedabad respectively. February will also mark the start of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Nagpur from February 9-13. The next three Test matches between India and Australia will be played in Delhi (February 17-21), Dharamsala (March 1-5) and Ahmedabad (March 9-13). Delhi will be hosting a Test match after five years. India will also play a three-match T20I series against New Zealand, who visited the country in November-December 2021. Matches between the two teams will be played on January 27, 29 and February 1 at Ranchi, Lucknow, and Ahmedabad respectively. Also Read: Roston Chase Picks Up His All-Time XI, Includes 3 Indians This story has not been edited by Cricketnmore staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed

CNMSports 8 Dec 2022 2:12 pm

Indias longest elevated 6-lane flyover to come up in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: The decks have been cleared for the work to begin on the construction of the countrys longest elevated 6-lane flyover in Keralas Alappuzha district at a cost of Rs 1,668.50 crore. The 12.752 km-long elevated flyover will run between Aroor to Thuravoor and will be positioned above the existing NH 66. Sources said the Get the latest updates in Hyderabad City News , Technology , Entertainment , Sports , Politics and Top Stories on WhatsApp & Telegram by subscribing to our channels. You can also download our app for Android and iOS .

The Siasat Daily 8 Dec 2022 10:23 am

Kerala HC closes contempt pleas against Vizhinjam port protesters

Vizhinjam protest Justice Anu Sivaraman was told by the state government that the agitation was over and the protesters committee informed the court that the tent set up at the protest site would be removed during the day. PTI pti A day after fisherfolk called off their over 130-day long protest outside the under-construction Vizhinjam sea port, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday, December 7, closed the Adani Group's pleas seeking contempt action against the protesters. Justice Anu Sivaraman was told by the state government that the agitation was over and the protesters committee informed the court that the tent set up at the protest site would be removed during the day. Taking note of the submissions, the court disposed of the pleas by Adani Group seeking contempt action against the protesters for allegedly violating its earlier orders not to obstruct access to the project site or hinder the construction there. The court, however, did not accept Adani Group's plea for special permission for entry of vehicles with construction material and orally observed not to aggravate problems in the area. The court also said it would consider later the plea of Adani Group seeking police protection. The over four-month long protest was called off on Tuesday after discussions between the leaders of the agitation and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. A large number of fisherfolk had been staging demonstrations outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose sea port at Mulloor near Thiruvananthapuram for over four months. They had been pressing for their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping the construction work and conducting a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project. The agitators had been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls as part of the upcoming port, were some of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion. The protesters had attacked Vizhinjam police station on the night of November 27, injuring several policemen.

The News Minute 8 Dec 2022 8:56 am

Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, Novgorod city corp hold discussions on cooperation

Novgorod and Thiruvananthapuram are two cities that are culturally and historically very special.

The New Indian Express 8 Dec 2022 7:31 am

Thiruvananthapuram: DYFI local leader, 7 others arrested under Pocso Act

The police said Jinesh, 29, who is the Vilavoorkal regional committee president, and seven others were arrested after the victim told the police about the sexual abuse.

The New Indian Express 8 Dec 2022 7:30 am

Protests have caused huge financial loss, hit functioning, Thiruvananthapuram Corporation informs HC

Shortage of 2,21,00,396 in counter remittance at head office in November

The Hindu 7 Dec 2022 9:06 pm

If anyone benefitted from Vizhinjam protests, it is Adani group: Thomas Isaac to TNM

Interview In an interview with TNM, the former finance minister asked which investor would come to Kerala if a contract signed by one government is cancelled by the next. Saritha S Balan A several months-long protest staged by the Vizhinjam Action Council, backed by the Thiruvananthapuram Archdiocese of the Latin Catholic Church, concluded on December 6 after a discussion with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. This phase of the protest began in July this year. Former finance minister and senior CPI(M) leader Thomas Isaac spoke to TNM on why the government cant step back from the project. Excerpts: How much does the government stand to lose if the project is stopped now? I am not aware of the exact figure. The government had guaranteed a loan of Rs 4300 crore for Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL), primarily during the term of the previous government [the first Pinarayi government]. With this, the company has done many related developmental activities. Rs 1300 crore was given as cash. The work completed so far has been finished using this amount. In total, the government has spent Rs 5000-6000 crore and it is feared that this will be in vain [if the project is stopped]. From the developmental view point, the Vizhinjam port is envisaged solely as a transhipment port. A four-lane ring road, which can later be developed as six-lane, from Vizhijam to the National Highway has been sanctioned. What is the purpose of such a ring road? Logistic parks, industrial estates, townships, and knowledge cities can be developed on both sides of it. A developmental project of this tune would be a blessing for rubber farmers in Thiruvananthapuram because rubber farming won't be much profitable anymore in the future. All these developmental works will be stopped (if the project is abandoned). An investment to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore is expected in connection with this project in the next 10-15 years. This also will be lost if we abandon the project. You were the finance minister in the first Pinarayi Vijayan government. Why was the project not abandoned during that time? It has been 30 years since the project became a topic of discussion in Kerala. Alternative governments have examined this, expert committees studied it, and feasibility studies were also done. The idea was to build a port in Vizhinjam which is a deep coastal region close to the international shipping channel. Now the shipping traffic of this channel passes through Colombo and Singapore. Containers from Kochi and Chennai are diverted [to Colombo or Singapore] to sail on mother ships. Hence the idea was to develop a logistic hub. There is an opinion against this, but the majority opinion is for it. There is a consensus that such a port is good for the development of Kerala. But we [the state] do not have the capability to build and run the port. The company that runs the port should be capable of bringing traffic to the port, and hence should be influential in Colombo and Singapore. The bid was hence invited. A Chinese company applied for the contract during the time of VS [VS Achuthanandan-led Left government] but the then Union government did not give its approval. Later, Adani came as the bidder [in 2015, during the time of the Oommen Chandy-led Congress government]. The contract with Adani was totally one-sided and that is what the Left had then opposed. It is the same contract that is still in place, as per which Adani needs to make very little investment. The port will be completely managed by Adani, the state only has some monitoring rights. The profit will go to Adani for 40 years. This is unjust and unilateral which we [the Left], have been opposing. The Adani group was looking for its own gain and the UDF did not have the strength to bargain with them. Shashi Tharoor [Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP] had claimed that only Adani came forward for the bid and that he had spoken to him about this when the two met on a flight. Tharoor's claim was that the discussion about this port happened in Delhi because of this [because he talked to Adani about it]. However, the discussion held by officials and ministers without much knowledge about this finally led to the signing of the agreement. This is what the Left criticised as robbery. The same Latin Catholic Church which is now backing the protest had agitated against delaying the project when the Left was in the opposition. Even while we were criticising the contract, we had made it clear that the project will not be cancelled. Because if we cancel the contract, the Adani group will move for compensation and the project will be stuck, whereas a tender has been invited for a port in the neighbouring Colachel (in Tamil Nadu). If Colachel port is materialised, there will be no significance for Vizhinjam. The drawbacks (of the project) should be analysed and addressed. Instead of that, what is the logic in protesting now after seven years [after the commencement of the project]. What a huge loss will it cause? Which investors will have the guts to come to Kerala if a contract signed by one government is cancelled by another? What will be the implications of that? What should have been done was to patiently convince the people that the government wont be able to give up the project. Watch the interview here Going by what you said, are the fisher folk and the people of the coastal regions mere pawns in the hands of the Church in some political conspiracy? Why did the government fail to convince them despite getting a second consecutive term? I clearly remember what all the governments have done for the fishing community, including building sea walls in different parts of the state. A project like Punargeham [to rehabilitate inhabitants of coastal regions] implemented by the government is not there in any other state. A systematic intervention has been done for the educational upliftment and quality of health for the coastal community. Possible interventions at the local level are also being done and [the government] is not being mere spectators. It is not possible for any government to step back halfway through such a huge infrastructure project. Why was there no opposition in 2019 [when the project commenced]? Why were no safeguards taken so far against the ecological impact and the predicted coastal erosion? The Ecological Impact Assessment is done by a Union government body and not the state government. As per that, every six months a report should be submitted on the impact of the project on the nearby coastal regions. This is being done. The scientists who study this opined that coastal erosion is mainly caused by other factors. But it is said [by those who oppose it] that it is not convincing enough. Hence, an expert committee was formed to study this. But until then, the project cannot be stopped. It is admitted that there are certain drawbacks in getting things done, but there are some vested interests that say that the government has done nothing. In a reply to a Right to Information query in October this year, it was said that only 33% of dredging and construction of breakwaters have been completed. How can it be said that the first ship will come in a few months to the port, as you did in your latest article on the issue? Yes, breakwater construction and dredging have not been completed. I went to the port site in August to see the progress in construction. I was told then that, by the end of this year, commercial operations will start. Four months have passed since then. Earlier, there was a contract stating that the work should be finished in a stipulated time. However, that contract does not exist now. If anyone benefitted from the protest, it was the Adani group. The company wont incur any loss because of the delay, but the government will. The Adani group can no longer be held accountable for the projects delay, the protest secured this for them.

The News Minute 7 Dec 2022 8:09 pm

ED finds secret chamber with five kilos of gold jewellery during raids in Kerala

Money laundering The ED was conducting searches in connection with the Kerala gold smuggling case in Malappuram, at various properties related to Aboobacker Pazhedath, a jewellery businessman. IANS Twitter/Enforcement Directorate The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday, December 7, said that it has conducted searches on the premises of prominent jewellers in Kerala and seized 5.058 kg gold worth Rs 2.51 crore. Malabar Jewellery (Malappuram), Fine Gold (Malappuram), Atlas Gold Super Markets Pvt Ltd (Kozhikode) and the residential premises of Aboobacker Pazhedath (Malappuram) were searched by the probe agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. During the course of searches, a secret chamber for concealing gold jewellery was found on one of the premises, which resulted in the recovery and seizure of 5.058 kg of gold jewellery worth Rs 2.51 crore, along with Rs 3.79 lakh in cash. The ED lodged the case on the basis of an FIR registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Kochi, under sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, consequent to the seizure of 30.245 kgs of smuggled gold by Customs (Preventive) at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, which was camouflaged as diplomatic baggage of UAE Consulate, Thiruvananthapuram. Accused Sarith PS, Swapna Prabha Suresh and Sandeep Nair were arrested in 2020 by the economic intelligence agency. A prosecution complaint was also filed in 2020 against the three. Further investigation revealed that M Sivasankar, IAS, the then Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Kerala was also allegedly involved in assisting the accused in gold smuggling and projection of proceeds of crime as untainted property. Hence, Sivasankar was also arrested by ED and he was arraigned as an additional accused. A supplementary prosecution complaint against the accused, including Sivasankar, was filed in 2020. During the course of an ongoing investigation relating to the seizure of smuggled gold by Customs, it was learnt that Rs 14.98 lakh was handed over by Sarith to his cousin Akhil S for keeping in safe custody. Money laundering investigation further revealed that Aboobaker Pazhedath of Malappuram is part of the alleged gold smuggling syndicate headed by Sarith, Swapna and Sandeep Nair, under the patronage of Sivasankar IAS, the ED press release said, adding that Pazhedath was one of the beneficiaries.Of the smuggled gold seized by the Customs, 3 kg gold belonged to Pazhedath, the promoter of Malabar Jewellery & Fine Gold Jewellery, both based in Malappuram, Kerala and one of the shareholders of Atlas Gold Super Markets Pvt. Ltd., Kozhikode, Kerala. On examination under PMLA, Aboobacker Pazedath had admitted that 3 kgs of gold seized by Customs belonged to him and apart from that, he had also admitted that he had smuggled 6 kg gold in a similar manner in the past through diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate, the ED said.The amount for buying the said smuggled gold was raised from his business firms viz. Malabar Jewellery, Fine Gold & Atlas Gold Super Markets Pvt. Ltd. Discreet inquiries conducted have further revealed that Pazhedath was still indulging in gold smuggling-related activities through his above firms, said the ED. Further investigations into the matter are on.

The News Minute 7 Dec 2022 7:39 pm

Mammootty-Lijo Jose Pellisserys Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam to premiere at IFFK

Mollywood This years International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) is scheduled to take place between 9th and 16th of December. TNM Staff Twitter/ Mammootty Mollywood star Mammootty announced on Tuesday, December 6, that his upcoming film with director Lijo Jose Pellissery Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam is set to premiere at the 27th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK). It is written by S Hareeh. The director-screenwriter duo have earlier teamed up for critically acclaimed films like Jallikattu and Churuli. IFFK is scheduled to be held at Thiruvananthapuram between December 9 and 16. The film stars actor Ramya Pandian in the lead. She rose to fame with her performance in the 2016 Tamil film Joker. Earlier on September 7, conveying her wishes to actor Mammootty on his birthday, she noted that she had a good experience working with the actor. Happy birthday @mammukka sir had a great experience working with you wishing you happiness,health and lot of blockbuster movies, Ramya wrote. Ramya also became popular through the Tamil reality show Cooku With Comali. The teaser, which was unveiled in July this year, featured Mammootty recreating a dialogue from the popular 1973 Tamil film Gauravam. We see two types of lights - red and green - visible in the setting, dividing the frame in two halves, and Mammootty plays characters appearing in both halves. Mammootty is also seen shifting from one side to the other, as he recreates the scene wherein Sivaji appeared in a dual role as a barrister and his nephew who is an amateur lawyer. Mammoottys last film was the revenge thriller Rorschach, while he has the film Kaathal: The Core co-starring actor Jyothika in the pipeline.

The News Minute 7 Dec 2022 5:59 pm

Kerala govt tables Bill to remove Governor as Chancellor amid controversies

The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government on Wednesday tabled a Bill seeking removal of Governor as Chancellor amid controversies over appointments in the Thiruvananthapuram corporation

Business Standard 7 Dec 2022 5:58 pm

Bengaluru recorded highest digital payments in July-Sept quarter: Study

Economy Across India, in Q3 2022, UPI, debit and credit cards, mobile wallets and prepaid cards executed 23.06 billion transactions amounting to Rs 38.32 trillion, according to the Worldline India study. TNM Staff IMAGE FOR REPRESENTATION: PICXY.COM/GANGSAP Bengaluru recorded the highest number of digital payments among Indian cities in the third quarter (July September) of 2022, according to a report. Hyderabad ranked second, followed by Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore and Thrissur, according to the Worldline India Digital Payments Report Q3 2022. According to The Hindu, Worldline found that people in Bengaluru made 14.82 million digital payment transactions between January and October 2022, amounting to Rs 3,620 crore. In the same period, Hyderabad saw 10.36 million digital payment transactions amounting to over Rs 3,050 crore and Chennai witnessed 9.76 million such transactions valued at Rs 2,250 crore. Mumbai saw 9.4 million digital payments amounting to Rs 2,740 crore and Pune had 7.88 million digital transactions worth Rs 1,730 crore, according to the study. Among states, Maharashtra ranked first followed by Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana and West Bengal. Across India, in Q3 2022, UPI, debit and credit cards, prepaid payment instruments like mobile wallets, and prepaid cards executed 23.06 billion transactions amounting to Rs 38.32 trillion, according to the study. In Q3 2022, frequently visited physical merchant categories like grocery stores, restaurants, clothing and apparel, pharmacy and medical, hotels, jewellery retail, speciality retail, household appliances, and departmental stores together accounted for over 61% in terms of volume and about 58% in terms of value. In the online space, e-commerce (shopping for goods and services), gaming, utility & financial services contributed to over 86% of the transaction in terms of volume and 47% in terms of value, the study said.

The News Minute 7 Dec 2022 5:07 pm

Rehabilitation of people in Vizhinjam is a priority: CM Pinarayi

Vizhinjam protest The months-long protest against the Vizhinjam International Seaport being developed by the Adani group ended on Tuesday. PTI pti A day after the months-long protest against the under-construction Vizhinjam sea port was called off in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday, December 7, said rehabilitation of local people and protection of their livelihood are top priorities of his government while implementing development projects. The Left government has assured this in all development projects and the approach is the same in the case of Vizhinjam port as well, he said in a statement made in the Assembly under Rule 300. Noting that the government is committed to the infrastructure development of the state that lays the foundation for Kerala's sustainable economic growth, he said it is also particular about the fact that the projects should be implemented with a humane approach. He said the protest committee had decided to call off the strike during a high-level talk held in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. Read:Vizhinjam port agitation called off for now after discussions with Kerala CM The CM also informed the House about the details of the demands raised by the agitators and the decisions taken on them. Construction of flats (for rehabilitating fisherfolk) would be completed within one and half years. Two months' rent will be paid in advance. As per a government order dated September 1, 2022, Rs 5500 will be given as monthly rent, he said. Assuring that rehabilitation initiatives would be expedited, Pinarayi said discussions would be held on the design of the houses being built. An exclusive space would be provided for the upkeep of fishing nets and other livelihood equipment of the community. Operations regarding the Vizhinjam port would continue and the panel appointed by the government to study coastal erosion would hold discussions with the expert representatives of the fisherfolk soon. Conversion of existing kerosene engines (of fishing boats) to diesel, petrol and gas engines would be implemented soon, and a one-time subsidy would be provided for the same. Taking into account the loss of employment during the days the Disaster Management Authority barred them from venturing into sea, steps would be taken to provide compensation to the fishermen who are included in the list of Fisheries department, he added. The Fisheries department would hold talks with the Pune Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS) and the representatives of fishermen within two weeks to resolve the issues in Muthalapozhi, where several fishing accidents had been reported in recent years, the CM added. Pinarayi also specially thanked Baselios Cleemis, the major archbishop-catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church for the efforts taken to resolve the stalemate over the Vizhinjam issue. The over 130-day-long protest by fisherfolk against the under-construction Vizhinjam sea port was on Tuesday called off for now after discussions between the leaders of the agitation and CM Pinarayi Vijayan. The announcement on calling off the agitation was made by Vicar General Eugene Pereira, who has been at the forefront of the protests. A large number of fisherfolk have been staging demonstrations outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose seaport at nearby Mulloor for the last more than four months. They attacked Vizhinjam police station on the night of November 27, leaving several policemen injured. Watch TNM interview with former Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on why the government cannot step back from the Vizhinjam project

The News Minute 7 Dec 2022 4:51 pm

ED seizes Rs 2.51 cr worth gold from Malappuram-based jewellery house owner

The ED said on Wednesday that it has seized gold worth Rs 2.51 crore from a secret chamber at the premises of a Malappuram-based jewellery house promoter, who is an alleged beneficiary of the Kerala 'gold smuggling through diplomatic bag' case. The federal agency said in a statement that the action has been taken against Aboobacker Pazhedath, the promoter of Malabar Jewellery and Fine Gold Jewellery, both based in Malappuram in Kerala and one of the shareholders of Atlas Gold Super Markets Pvt. Ltd., Kozhikode. The Enforcement Directorate (ED), NIA and Customs department are conducting separate investigations into the racket that was unearthed with the seizure of gold worth Rs 15 crore from the diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate at Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5, 2020. Probe found, the ED said, that Aboobaker Pazhedath of Malappuram is part of the gold smuggling syndicate headed by Sarith P S, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, under the patronage of IAS officer M ...

Business Standard 7 Dec 2022 4:22 pm

Vizhinjam port agitation called off for now after discussions with Kerala CM

Vizhinjam protest The calling off of the agitation was announced by Vicar General Eugene Pereira, who has been seen at the forefront of the protests. PTI pti The over 130-day-long protest by fisherfolk against the under-construction Vizhinjam sea port was on Tuesday, December 6 called off for now after discussions between the leaders of the agitation and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The calling off of the agitation was announced by Vicar General Eugene Pereira, who has been seen at the forefront of the protests.For now we are calling it off. Protests do not always come to an end only after achieving their objectives. Each protest has several phases. One such phase of the protest has ended in a consensus, Pereira told reporters after meeting the Chief Minister. He, however, said the protest was not being called off because they were satisfied with the steps taken or promises made by the state government. We have not arrived at this decision because we are satisfied, he said and added that if required, they will take up the agitation again. A source in the Chief Minister's Office told PTI that several rounds of discussions were held during the day before the protest was called off. Initially, the protestors' representatives held discussions with a cabinet sub-committee after which the latter held a meeting with the CM, the source said. Thereafter, the CM and the sub-committee met with representatives of the protestors, the source also said. Meanwhile, a source in Adani Group, which is carrying out the port construction, told PTI that the company will commence work only after receiving an official communication from the state government. Speaking to reporters in Thiruvananthapuram in the evening, Pereira said the discussions did not result in a satisfactory outcome as far as the seven demands raised by them were concerned. He also said that while the government, at every discussion, said that a representative of the protesters would be included in the committee studying the coastal erosion in the area, no steps have been taken till now in that regard. He further said that while the protest was being called off for now, the protesters were still sticking to their claims regarding the impact of the project on the lives and livelihood of the fisherfolk of the area. Therefore, they were going to carry out an independent study of their own regarding the project's impact on the area and the extent or severity of the same and would inform the general public about their findings. On the issue of the state government providing them the money for rented accommodation, for those displaced from their homes due to coastal erosion or natural disasters, Pereira said the administration has increased the amount to Rs 8,000 from the earlier Rs 5,500. However, they decided they only wanted Rs 5,500 as the remaining amount of Rs 2,500 was going to come from the CSR fund of Adani Group, he said. Pereira also said that the offences enumerated in the various cases, lodged against the protesters and the priests leading the agitation, were not even made out and that is why they had sought a judicial probe into the incidents of violence. He said they plan to approach the courts for the same. Earlier in the day, the state assembly witnessed a heated debate on the ongoing agitation against the under-construction Vizhinjam sea port project with Pinarayi expressing doubts whether any external forces were controlling the stir from outside. While the Chief Minister said the government wanted to resolve the issue amicably within the framework of law and sought the support of everyone to participate in the process, he made it clear that the massive infrastructure project would not be abandoned as it was inevitable for the development of the southern state. The opposition, while vehemently criticising the handling of the issue by the LDF government, said they were not favouring the abandoning of the multi-crore project. Opposition Leader V D Satheesan said the fishermen community was the one facing hardships including issues like loss of houses and means of livelihood due to coastal erosion, soaring prices of kerosene and diesel and so on. He also expressed doubt whether there was any secret tie-up between the government and the Adani group and the recent violent incidents were part of plans to get a favourable judgement from the high court in this regard. The CM strongly rejected the opposition charge and said several rounds of official talks had been held under the aegis of a ministerial sub-committee and a number of unofficial discussions through other channels as well. The heated discussions took place pursuant to a notice for an adjournment motion moved by the opposition to discuss the Vizhinjam protest issue in the House. A large number of fisherfolk have been staging demonstrations outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose seaport at nearby Mulloor for the last more than four months. They have been pressing their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project. The agitators have been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls as part of the upcoming port, was one of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion. The protesters attacked Vizhinjam police station on the night of November 27, injuring several policemen.

The News Minute 7 Dec 2022 9:18 am

Protests against Vizhinjam port project called off

Protests against Vizhinjam port project called off The protests in Kerala against the Vizhinjam port project by the fishing community which were underway for almost 140 days has been called off on Tuesday following hectic deliberations between the protesters and the state government which was also attended by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Thiruvananthapuram: The protests [] The post Protests against Vizhinjam port project called off appeared first on Mangalorean.com .

Mangalorean 6 Dec 2022 10:06 pm

Tharoors support base grows in Kerala as Kurien bats for him

Tharoors support base grows in Kerala as Kurien bats for him Congress Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor, who has been touring Kerala for sometime now, found a strong supporter in veteran Congressman and former deputy chairperson of the Rajya Sabha Prof P.J. Kurien. Thiruvananthapuram: Congress Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor, who has been touring [] The post Tharoors support base grows in Kerala as Kurien bats for him appeared first on Mangalorean.com .

Mangalorean 6 Dec 2022 3:44 pm

Kerala Cabinet panel to hold talks with Vizhinjam protesters on December 6

Protest The government has decided to set up a three-member panel led by the chief secretary to assess the day-to-day progress of the rehabilitation work of fisherfolk who lost houses and land to coastal erosion. TNM Staff pti After over four months of protests, the standoff at Vizhinjam appears to be easing after mediation efforts led by Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis, the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. The cabinet sub-committee, under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, will hold talks with the Latin Catholic Church-led agitators at around 5 pm on Tuesday, December 6. The government has decided to set up a three-member panel, led by the chief secretary, to assess the progress of the rehabilitation of fisherfolk who lost houses and land to coastal erosion. Cleemis told The New Indian Express that the Latin Archdiocese has sought time to discuss the proposals. He said some minor issues remain and within a few days, both parties can reach an agreement. Leaders of various religious groups in Kerala on Monday met with the fisherfolk protesting against the under-construction Vizhinjam seaport in Thiruvananthapuram. The meeting was held as part of the ongoing efforts to bring peace in the area, which witnessed violent agitations recently. On November 27, thousands of protesters attacked the police station, demanding the release of five protesters who were detained by the police the previous day. The attack led to at least 40 police personnel being injured and damage to property. Earlier in the day, CPI(M) MLA Kadakampally Surendran raised the more than 130-days long Vizhinjam protest issue in the assembly. He said that the agitation was turning into an embarrassment for the state, and urged the government to take steps to resolve the matter and complete the project. He said it was a dream project for the state as well as the country as the port was close to international shipping lanes and would have several advantages. It would bring major changes to various sectors, including tourism, commerce and transport, in the state, he said. Responding to concerns raised by Surendran, Kerala Ports Minister Ahammed Devarkovil said, in the assembly, that the state government has been taking a stand that was favourable and practical with regard to the demands of the protesters. He said the state government has agreed to most of the demands of the protesters and was taking steps to rehabilitate those displaced due to coastal erosion. As part of the same, land has been acquired to build flats for those who were and till that was completed, it was also decided to provide Rs 5,500 per month towards rented accommodation. The amount has been disbursed since September and the Adani Group is contributing to this, the minister said. A large number of people have been staging demonstrations outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose seaport for the last few months. They have been pressing for their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project. The agitators have been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls as part of the upcoming port, was one of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion. With PTI inputs

The News Minute 6 Dec 2022 12:51 pm

How a journalist played a part in getting justice for a European murdered in Kerala

Interview Sunith Sukumaran, a Thiruvananthapuram-based journalist, had been helping Ilze, the sister of the Latvian woman who went missing and was later found killed in Kovalam in 2018. Saritha S Balan Ilze was in tears when she first met Sunith in 2018 soon after her sister went missing. The death of a 33-year-old Latvian woman garnered international attention after it was proved that she was raped and murdered. The Additional Sessions Court in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, December 6 sentenced the two accused in the case to life imprisonment. The court found the two accused, Umesh (27) and Udayan (31) guilty of all charges including rape, murder, abduction, and destruction of evidence on Friday. The victims sister Ilze Skormane was instrumental in fighting the case, and it was Sunith Sukumaran, a Malayali journalist, who stood with her, extending the kind of support she needed. I met Ilze when I was in Thiruvananthapuram in 2018 as part of a start-up that was also running an English news channel. She asked if I could help with the story when her sister went missing. I did the story and helped in whatever way possible. She was in tears and that evoked sympathy in me. The next day too, I helped her in designing posters and other things. It (the search for the woman) continued for 30 days. We became good friends in the meantime. I became a driver, a guide, a personal assistant, and a journalist as and when needed. I was with her till she returned to Latvia in May 2018, Sunith told TNM. The Latvian woman was living in Ireland and came to Kovalam in February 2018 for Ayurvedic treatment and went missing in March. Her body was found decomposed and beheaded in a mangrove forest at Thiruvallam near Kovalam in April 2018. Six men were taken into custody by the police who arrested two of them Umesh and Udayan who were released on bail soon after as the police delayed filing a chargesheet. We all are aware of the troubles a woman can face, especially when it is a foreigner who does not know the local language or places. I was scared that she would be in danger if she ventured alone and that prompted me to help her. I used my contacts as a journalist with the belief that this would help to fight the case. This helped with the investigation which was a relief for her, said 35-year-old Sunith. Sunith, who works with Doordarshan, admitted that being a journalist had a positive impact on fighting the case. Ilze told me several times that none would have stood with her as I did. Her parents were keen on Ilze returning to Latvia as they had already lost one child. The parents were aware of the developments and they allowed Ilze to continue here only with the confidence that I was with her, Sunith recalls. Ilze flew back home with the ashes of her sister, who was cremated in Thiruvananthapuram. She later returned to Kerala and moved the High Court in 2021 to expedite the trial. When the hearing began, the accused got support from certain corners. This impacted the family adversely. They were scared to send Ilze back to India and they did it only because I was here. By that time, Ilze had become close to my parents and my friends. From the beginning, the accused got support from their religious community, they even held a press meet and they attempted to pressure the police, Sunith added. During the search, Sunith kept reassuring Ilze that her sister would be found even though he had begun to suspect something might have gone wrong. I told her that a tourist would not be killed in my land. But then, her body was discovered more than a month after she went missing, he recalled. Read: A great day for us: Sister of Latvian tourist killed in Kerala welcomes judgement Ilze was so determined to find her. From the very day her sister went missing, she started searching in Kovalam and nearby beaches. The victim was someone who used to walk a lot as it gave her relief even when she was depressed. Ilze feared that she would have fainted due to sunstroke while walking, or would have collapsed or been kidnapped. I had no clue about what could have happened, so I just helped her with whatever she asked, Sunith described. Sunith recalled how Ilze searched beaches from Mangalore in Karnataka to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu in summer under the scorching sun. Ilze would not even drink water and Sunith found himself struggling to match her pace. According to him, Ilze was sure that her sister wouldn't die by suicide in an alien land and that she would return if she came to know about the widespread search for her as she never would allow state resources to be used on her. It was a relief for Ilze when her sisters body was traced on April 30, because she was beginning to fear that her family would have a long wait to know what happened to her. When she heard the news, she was very calm. I thought she would break down, but she was unusually calm and in control. The body was found on Ilzes birthday. She was 100% sure after seeing the body that her sister had not died by suicide. The body was found in a very secluded place. Ilze and I walked to this place from where the victim came by auto, to figure out if it was possible to walk to that place. She also examined the premises and when she met the media she said that her sister was killed. There were also attempts to portray the victim as a drug addict. It was not true. She used to have a life different from what we assume to be led by Westerners. She was involved in several charity works and was a good human being. People from Ireland even raised funds to find her with an international agency, he asserted. Dr Sasikala, former head of forensics at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, in June this year, deposed before the court that the death of the woman was not by suicide. Dr Sasikala stated that the injuries clearly indicated a case of homicide. Advocate G Mohanraj, who handled the prosecution case in the deaths of Uthara and Vismaya was the Special Public Prosecutor in this case too. Read: Uthara, Vismaya and a Latvian woman: The lawyer who secured justice for all The crucial role in the trial was that of Special Public Prosecutor Mohanraj. From the beginning of the trial, I was there at the court attending the hearing. The prosecutor anticipated that witnesses might turn hostile and prepared accordingly. Two witnesses did turn hostile and impacted the case adversely. The most crucial evidence to crack the case was the post-mortem report. The homicide was established through meticulous cross-examination. These would seem simple viewing from the outside. But the prosecutor presented them so aptly at the court. This proved crucial for the case, Sunith said. Manoj Abraham, who is now the Additional Director General of Police, was updating Ilze on the developments of the case. The officer also assured her that the accused would get a befitting sentence. The trial could be completed in four years because of the follow-up by the sister and because of the determined approach by the investigating team. At least six officers, who were part of the investigating team, were designated by Manoj Abraham throughout the trial, he added. Sunith was confident that the accused would get the maximum sentence from what he gathered from the prosecution's part. I am so happy they got the maximum sentence.

The News Minute 6 Dec 2022 12:00 pm

Latvian woman murder case in Kerala: Guilty sentenced to life

Court The two men accused of the crime that happened in 2018 were pronounced guilty by a court in Thiruvananthapuram on December 2. Saritha S Balan Udayan and Umesh, the two men convicted of raping and murdering a Latvian woman in Kovalam of Kerala four and a half years ago, have been sentenced to life. On Tuesday, December 6, the Additional Sessions Court in Thiruvananthapuram pronounced the sentence, which will put both the convicts in prison for life. Special Public Proseuctor Adv G Mohan Raj told reporters that under 376 A (rape and murder), they have been sentenced to life, till the end of their biological life. Section 302 (punishment for murder) has warranted one more life sentence. For sections 328 (administering stupefying drug with intent to hurt), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety ofothers), 342 (wrongful confinement), 376(1) (rape), 376D (gang rape), 201 (disappearance of evidence), they were punished for five years, another five years, six months, 10 years, 20 years and five years respectively. Possessing narcotic drugs brought on another three months. The total fine for each convict would come to Rs 1,60,000. The SPP said that he was content with the sentence. The order also said that a portion of the amount will be given as compensation to the family, as per the victim compensation scheme after enquiry by legal service authority. After the order came, both convicts reacted with rage, asking that they be subjected to lie detection tests and claiming that a Yoga instructor was seen running away from the scene of the crime. However, the SPP said that these statements came too late, and they had many opportunities to raise it at any stage of the trial. The court had pronounced the men guilty of the crime on Friday, December 2. In April 2018, the Latvian woman from Ireland was found to have been raped and murdered in a forest near Kovalam, her body by then decomposed, and beheaded. She had been missing for over a month. The woman, along with her sister Ilze, had come to India on February 2 and spent more than a month at an Ayurvedic centre in Thiruvananthapuram. The deceased was undergoing treatment for mental health issues. There was criticism of the lackadaisical investigation of the police in the early days when the woman was still missing. At the time, Ilze knocked on every door, from police to politicians to local people, who could help her with her search for the missing sister. Posters were pinned up and videos uploaded online. Read: How Ilze helped secure justice for her sister who was raped and killed in Kerala When the victim was finally found, the police had rounded up a few suspects within a week. However, they zeroed in on two of them, Udayan and Umesh, then in their 20s. Both of them were arrested, but because of a reportedly delayed charge sheet, the men were released on bail. Andrew Jordan, the deceased womans partner, spoke out about his disappointment in the polices handling of the case. Ilze, who had flown back home with her sisters ashes after the cremation in Kerala, came back for the trial. However, when the trial was delayed for years for years before she moved the High Court for a speedy trial in 2021, three and a half years after her sister was found murdered. The trial began in June this year and Ilze was permitted to watch the proceedings online. On Friday, when the verdict pronounced the accused guilty, Ilze posted a video saying how happy she and the family were to hear it, and thanked a number of people including the prosecution team. Read: How Ilze helped secure justice for her sister who was raped and killed in Kerala

The News Minute 6 Dec 2022 11:15 am

Karuvannur bank scam: ED seizes assets worth Rs 30 crore of commission agent

Scam According to ED, the attached assets include 20 immovable properties consisting of land and buildings in Kerala, two premium cars, Rs 3,40,000 and foreign currency totalling Rs 2,08,124. PTI Image for representation The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 30.70 crore of a commission agent of Karuvannur Service Co-operative Bank Ltd, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in a cheating case. According to ED, the attached assets include 20 immovable properties consisting of land and building in Kerala, two premium cars, Rs 3,40,000 and foreign currency totalling Rs 2,08,124. The sleuths attached bank balances also in A K Bijoy's 57 accounts worth Rs 35,86 990. The central agency said he illegally sanctioned and disbursed loan to the tune of Rs 26.60 crore in cash without any collateral due to systematic conspiracy hatched and perpetuated by the secretary and committee members of the bank since 2010. The ED initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of the FIRs registered by the Kerala police under section 420 of the IPC. Kerala police (Crime Branch) has registered more than 16 FIRs in Thrissur District regarding fraud in Karuvannur Service Co-Operative Bank Ltd, ED said in a release. The agency said the money laundering investigation carried out so far has revealed that multiple bogus loans were sanctioned by the bank on the same property without the knowledge of members of Society. It said the loan amounts were disbursed in cash and also huge cash deposits were found in books of accounts of the bank. The Karuvannur Service Co-Operative Bank was also under the scrutiny of the Registrar of Co-Operative Societies in Thiruvananthapuram. TNM had earlier reported that the multi-crore scam at the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank in Keralas Thrissur came to light in 2019, after which the Joint Registrar of Cooperation (Thrissur) had ordered a probe into the allegations at the time, which was completed in October 2020, but no action was taken. The scam got media attention a year later in 2021, when 63-year-old TM Mukundan, a former member of the Porathissery panchayat, died by suicide after receiving a foreclosure notice for recovering amounts that he never borrowed. On August 10, ED conducted searches at six locations including a branch of the Cooperative Bank at Irinjalakuda in Thrissur. Another raid was conducted on August 25. The agitated depositors are on a warpath against the management of the ruling CPI(M)-controlled Karuvannur Cooperative Bank, located at Irinjalakuda, demanding their invested money back. After a brief interval, the bank again triggered a controversy in July over the death of a woman depositor Philomena Devassy, whose family had alleged that she was denied money for advanced treatment by the management despite having lakhs of rupees as deposit in the scam-hit bank. They also staged a sit-in protest in front of the bank with the woman's corpse, which triggered a political row in the state as opposition parties came out against the ruling CPI(M) which controls the bank. The loan scam was reported in the bank, located in Thrissur district, in July 2021, following which a case was registered against six bank officials and an inquiry launched. After several people including local customers raised apprehensions about the bank's functioning, an audit was conducted there recently, in which the charges were reportedly found to be true. Following the charges, the 13-member committee of the Marxist party-ruled bank was disbanded.

The News Minute 6 Dec 2022 10:53 am

Vizhinjam police station violence: Kerala HC dismisses plea seeking NIA probe

Court Several police officers were injured when those protesting the Adani port project attacked the station, demanding the release of detained protesters. PTI The Kerala High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the recent Vizhinjam violence, in which over 3,000 anti-seaport protesters vandalised the police station there injuring over 40 police personnel. A division bench of Kerala High Court, headed by Chief Justice S Manikumar, dismissed a petition filed by a Thiruvananthapuram native seeking an NIA probe. The court accepted the state government's submission that cases were registered and investigation has begun in the matter. Investigation is at the preliminary stage, the court observed while dismissing the petition. Fisherfolk of Vizhinjam have been protesting for more than four months against the under-construction seaport, which led to violence on November 26 and 27. The protesters attacked Vizhinjam police station on the night of November 27, demanding the release of five other protesters who had been detained the previous day. The agitators also attacked media persons who were present at the site. ACV local channel camera person, Sherif M John was attacked by the protesters, who damaged his camera and snatched his cellphone. A large number of people have been staging demonstrations outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose sea port at nearby Mulloor for a few months. They have been pressing for their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project. The protesters have been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls as part of the upcoming port, was one of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion. The High Court, in its interim order on October 19, made it clear to remove obstructions created by protesters at the entrance of the port and asked the state government to implement it. Read: Vizhinjam agitation turns violent: Protesters attack police station, 25 cops injured

The News Minute 6 Dec 2022 9:34 am

Letter row: All-party meet fails to end Thiruvananthapuram corporation impasse

An all-party meeting called by LSG Minister M B Rajesh and General Education Minister V Sivankutty to resolve the crisis failed to reach a consensus.

The New Indian Express 6 Dec 2022 8:05 am

Tharoor meets Cardinal Alencherry

Tharoor had a breakfast meeting with Alencherry of Syro-Malabar Church on Monday, in a move that is seen as the Thiruvananthapuram MPs attempt to reach out to heads of all communities in Kerala.

The New Indian Express 6 Dec 2022 7:06 am

Hope deadlock over Vizhinjam seaport ends soon: Tharoor

Vizhinjam protests Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said that he expected the state government to accept the reasonable demands of the fishermen community but was disappointed that nothing much materialised. PTI PTI Senior Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday, November 5 urged the anti-seaport protesters at Vizhinjam not to insist on halting the project but said their agitation was justified, and expressed hope that it will be resolved soon. Addressing the media here after his meeting with the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, the Lok Sabha member said it was wrong to call the protesting fishermen 'anti-national'. Tharoor was referring to the statement of Kerala Fisheries Minister V Abdurahiman that the attempts to obstruct the Vizihinjam seaport construction would be viewed as an 'anti-national' activity. Meanwhile, Alencherry, who also spoke to the reporters, said the Vizhinjam issue will be discussed in the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council meeting. The Cardinal urged the protesters and the government to come together and resolve the issue. Both Tharoor and Alencherry said that their meeting was not to discuss any one particular issue but talked about various matters in the state. When asked about the Vizhinjam seaport deadlock, Tharoor said he discusses the matter on a daily basis with Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, the major archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. Cleemis had on Sunday, December 4, held discussions with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as part of a reconciliation effort to arrive at an amicable solution. Tharoor said he expected the state government to accept the reasonable demands of the fishermen community. ...but it was a disappointment that nothing much materialised. But now we see some progress and hope everything will resolve soon. I feel that the protesters should not insist on halting the project but on other matters, I feel that their agitation can be justified, he said. The parliamentarian recalled that the fishermen community stood by the state during the 2018 floods. It's wrong to call them anti-nationals. They always stood with the development of this state. They risked their lives to save people during the 2018 floods, Tharoor said. The Lok Sabha member added that the Vizhinjam project will contribute in a major way to the development of India and south India in particular. We want to ensure peace and both sides should not take extreme steps, he said. Alencherry said some demands of the agitators were reasonable. We all want these issues to be resolved. That was our stance from the beginning. The people protesting there too have some demands and many are reasonable. Both sides should come together to resolve the matter, Alencherry said. Meanwhile, the cabinet subcommittee is expected to hold peace talks today with the protesters who have been agitating in front of the under-construction Vizhinjam seaport for over the past 130 days.The protesters had recently vandalised the Vizhinajm police station injuring over 40 police personnel demanding to release an accused and a few others who were in custody for one earlier protest case. A large number of people have been staging demonstrations outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose sea port at nearby Mulloor for a few months. They have been pressing for their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project. The protesters have been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls as part of the upcoming port, was one of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion. The High Court, in its interim order on October 19, made it clear to remove obstructions created by protesters at the entrance of the port and asked the state government to implement it.

The News Minute 5 Dec 2022 7:25 pm

Legacy of Adoors debut film Swayamvaram lives on 50 years since its release

Films Swayamvaram was an important film, made at a time when audiences in Kerala were not used to independent cinema. Adoor became a pioneer in many ways, saying here is another way of making films. Cris Film stills courtesy - YouTube / Malayalam Movie Channel (Music Zone) A bus journey lasts several minutes, during which a couple seated next to each other exchange many shy smiles. In the unhurried introduction of the two main characters in this 50-year-old film, you spot the familiar touch of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, one of the most beloved filmmakers of Malayalam cinema. This was his debut, Swayamvaram, made a decade after he attended the Film and television Institute of India in Pune. It was funded by Chitralekha, a film society and organisation that he founded with friends. Saradha and Madhu, two leading stars of the time, became the leading couple in Adoors script, co-written with KP Kumaran, another great Malayalam filmmaker. The film was released on November 25, 1972, at the Sri Padmanabha theatre in Thiruvananthapuram. Film groups and enthusiasts across the state are honouring Adoor for completing 50 years in cinema. Quite coincidental that I am alive for the 50th anniversary, I had nothing to do with it, Adoor said with wry humour, at a recent screening of a documentary on Swayamvaram. Madhu Eravankaras documentary The Journey Swayamvaram At Fiftyhad Adoor narrating the events that led to the film and the aftermath of it, with bytes from Saradha, Madhu, and others. Swayamvaram was an important film made at a time when the audience in Kerala were not used to independent cinema. Adoor became a pioneer in many ways saying here is another way of making films, that it doesnt all have to be loud and elaborate. Adoor Gopalakrishnan Sharada, as Sita, never narrates her backstory for the viewer. From watching her trail Viswam (Madhu) to a hotel, then a lodge, and later to a wretched house, you are to make out that she chose this life, distancing herself from family. It comes out in shards from a bad dream Sita wakes up from, the silences she gives, to the questions about her family. The writers didnt seem to believe in going to parts of her life that have little to do with the future she has chosen. Whether Adoor and Kumaran meant it to be so or not, Sita is the one that pulls you into the story, making you want to know what will happen to her. Viswam, with his kind eyes and warm smile, looks at her with love, asking her if she regrets her choices. He has dreams to fulfil and sometimes seems to forget that there is a woman with him. As days pass, he snaps at her when she asks about his writing dreams. Madhu and Sharadalook and behave a world away from the scores of characters that they had enacted until then. We were all commercial artists and there would be a little bit of overacting [in those days]. But this (Swayamvaram) was art, it had to be all natural. If at times I overacted a bit, the director would slowly come near me and tell me to lessen it a little, it would be nice, Sharadasaid, laughing, in the documentary. Madhu, who had trained in the realistic approach to drama at the National School of Drama, was quite comfortable to work with someone who looked at cinema so seriously, he said. The couple in the film, who were initially in the excitement of beginning a new life, is pulled into tougher times. Money is short and Viswam loses his job as a lecturer at a tutorial college. He shelves his dreams of becoming a writer and takes up a job at a saw mill. Sita, never uttering a word of complaint, looks merry in the face of adversities, joking with a little boy next door, making do with whatevers left in the house. But there was hardly any dialogue, no songs at all, and the background music was a theme, beautifully created by MB Sreenivasan. Through Swayamvaram, Adoor and team introduced many firsts to the audience. You could start a film and not include any dialogue for several minutes, you could not have songs, or you could hear the real sounds of the location unhindered. In the film, you hear a speech, watch protest marches of workers to the Secretariat asking where their jobs were, and even devotees chanting Hare Rama Hare Krishna'' on the street. All of these, Adoor said, were real occurrences that he simply shot and used as backdrop in the film. He set his fiction comfortably among the real events of Thiruvananthapuram. The capital city is hardly recognisable in the 50-year-old movie. It had very little traffic on the roads and many buildings that no longer exist. It was exciting to watch Madhu walk hurriedly past the New Theatre, which still bears the same font to display its name. Adoor had wanted new actors in the lead. But when he approached young women, they were hesitant to be seen in a film, a profession not considered honourable at the time, he said. He got in touch with Sharadathrough his production manager. She did not know who was behind the project and named her amount Rs 25,000 which was a huge amount for our production. Our budget allocation was Rs 5,000 but we said yes, and got the remaining money from other sources. Recently, at a function when I mentioned this, Sharadawas very upset. She said she didnt know and wouldnt have done that if she did, and I told her it was fine, how would she know, Adoor said. The money for production was not easy to come by. They had applied for a loan which was at first rejected but later came through after they submitted the script. It had taken seven years for the script to be complete. Two years ago, there was a controversy circling the script when Adoor was quoted in an interview to the Mathrubhumi magazine that his co-writer KP Kumaran had only done the job of a scribe. Kumaran, in a later interview to The Hindu, did not respond to Adoors comments but added that he was never known for his work in Swayamvaram but only the films that he had gone on to make. In the documentary too, Kumarans absence is conspicuous, when everyone else associated with the film is mentioned and appreciated. But Adoor is a man who doesnt seem to forget problems of the past. In the documentary, he spoke of the disappointment he felt when Swayamvaram won no recognition at the Kerala state film awards, and attributes it to the influences of outsiders on the jury. The film did win four national awards, which had surprised everyone, including Adoor. KP Kumaran In those days, regional committees from the states would choose the films to be sent for the national awards, and Adoor had learnt that Swayamvaram was not recommended by two members of the state film awards jury. They shot off a letter to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, requesting the jury to watch the film. There was no reply to their letter, so it came as an unbelievable piece of news when one evening, Adoor and friends, drinking tea at a restaurant, heard on the radio that Swayamvaram had bagged four awards. He believed it only the next day when the newspapers printed it. The film won the awards for best film, best director, best female actor, and best cinematography (Mankada Ravi Varma). After the awards, Swayamvaram, which had little acceptance from the audience in the early days, went on to run successfully for weeks. The team made a profit large enough to repay the loan they took. Meera, a Thiruvananthapuram-resident who was a teenager when the film first came out, said that she had liked the film even back then, despite its unfamiliar making. I was a big fan of Sharada, and anything she played in was dear to me. But I was really saddened by the ending. After all that struggle they went through, I was hoping things would get better for Viswam and Sita, she said. She was talking about Viswams death, after he catches a flu that gets worse by the day. Sita is sitting by his side when he takes his last breath. Adoor does drown the scene in her uncontrolled sobs but there is no sad music in the background, only the sound of wood cut in a saw mill, played symbolically before everything goes quiet. My use of sound is always psychological. When you suddenly hear that someone dear to you is dead, then everything stops and there is no sound for you, he said. That Adoor dives deep into every little heartbeat of his characters is perhaps what makes them leave lasting impressions on the audience. All you have to do is give them time.

The News Minute 5 Dec 2022 4:10 pm

'Not Going to NCP': Shashi Tharoor Rejects PC Chacko's 'Warm' Invite To His Party

Chacko had said that if Tharoor comes to NCP, we will be accepted warmly and will continue to remain as Thiruvananthapuram MP even if the Congress party rejects him.

News18 5 Dec 2022 2:16 pm

Kerala Assembly will have an all-women panel of chairman

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The Kerala Assembly will have an all-women panel of chairmen in the current session, a first for the state, said the newly appointed Speaker A.M. Shamseer, who made the announcement on Monday as the House convened on the opening day of the session. The panel is made up of opposition legislato K.K. Rema, U. Prathibha of the CPI-M, and C.K. Asha of the CPI. The deputy speaker fills in for the speaker when he or she needs a break, and when none of them are present, a panel member takes the chair. The speaker moderates the proceedings in the Assembly. In any case, Shamseer made the decision and declared it on the first day as he was seated in the Speaker's chair this morning. Speaker M.B. Rajesh was appointed the state's LSG and Excise Minister following M.V. Govindan's resignation to seek the position of CPI-M state secretary, which allowed Shamseer to succeed him as speaker. Members are selected on the first day of a new session and serve through its conclusion. Even though the current session has only been in session for nine days, there is a strong possibility that the ongoing dispute between the Pinarayi Vijayan-led administration and Governor Arif Mohammed Khan would continue into the new year. And if that takes place, Vijayan will be able to prevent Khan from reading the traditional Governor's address to the Assembly during the opening session of a new calendar year. So, when the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year is presented in the new year, the panel made up entirely of women will be able to preside. Only 32 of the 515 legislators who have been nominated for the panel since Kerala's founding have succeeded in joining it. Kerala: Literature Festival to be held from Jan 12-15 at Kozhikode Beach Kerala: Court dismisses PIL against Governor Arif Khan... 'Not born in Kerala, but I can tie 'Mundu' better than them..,' says Governor Khan

News Track 5 Dec 2022 11:49 am

Finnish academic delegation in Thiruvananthapuram

The visiting delegation will continue the discussions held during the Finland visit of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and a delegation of Ministers a couple of months ago.

The Hindu 4 Dec 2022 11:44 pm

Anti-Constitution remark: Police to close case against ex-Kerala minister

Anti-Constitution remark: Police to close case against ex-Kerala minister The police in Kerala would close the case registered against former minister and CPI-M leader, Saji Cheriyan over his remarks against the Constitution at a public programme while he was the minister for Fisheries, Culture and Youth Affairs in the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Cabinet. Thiruvananthapuram: The police [] The post Anti-Constitution remark: Police to close case against ex-Kerala minister appeared first on Mangalorean.com .

Mangalorean 4 Dec 2022 9:25 pm

No need for deployment of union govt forces at Vizhinjam: LDF and Congress

Vizhinjam protests We do not need help from union government forces to maintain law and order. Kerala Police is capable of handling that, Kerala Ports Minister Ahammed Devarkovil said. PTI The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the opposition Congress in Kerala were in agreement on Sunday, December 4, that there was no need for union government forces to maintain law and order at Vizhinjam which saw incidents of violence recently in connection with the seaport being built there. Kerala Ports Minister Ahammed Devarkovil was of the view that Adani Group, which is carrying out the port construction, can seek protection from union government forces at the work site, but outside it, the police were capable of maintaining law and order. We do not need help from union government forces to maintain law and order. Kerala Police is capable of handling that. It is Adani who has sought aid from union government forces and not us. We are providing them protection, the minister said to reporters. On Friday, the state government had told the Kerala High Court that it does not have any objection to the deployment of the union governments security forces at the under-construction Vizhinjam seaport in Thiruvananthapuram which was hit by violent protests recently halting the work there. The High Court asked the state and union governments to discuss the possibility of deploying the union government forces there on a plea by the Adani Group seeking the same. Congress Member of Parliament and former president of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee K Muraleedharan was also opposed to the stationing of union government forces. The protest cannot be stopped through intimidation by bringing union government forces. If the state government objects, union government forces will not come, he said.However, if the state government wants union government forces here under the garb of helping Adani, then Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would be responsible for any action taken by them, Muraleedharan, son of Congress leader and former Chief Minister K Karunakaran, said. He said that discussions are the only way to resolve the issue. We started the project and therefore, we want it to be implemented, but not at the cost of the tears of the fisherfolk. Their concerns have to be resolved, he said. Minister Ahammed Devarkovil said that discussions were going on, even unofficially, with the protesting fisherfolk. With the Assembly session set to convene from December 5, the Chief Minister and other ministers would be in the state capital and therefore, more talks were possible, the minister said. He also said that no one with common sense would seek to halt a project which costs thousands of crores of public money and also that there was no need for a fresh study by putting the work on hold. The minister added that a high-level committee was already conducting a study and it submits reports every six months. There is nothing to indicate in any of the studies that there could be adverse impacts due to the project, he claimed. Around 40 police personnel were injured in the Vizhinjam police station attack in which 3,000 protesters took part on November 27 after which Adani moved the High Court seeking protection from union government forces. The state government had told the court that cases were registered against numerous persons, including a bishop, with regard to the violence and five persons were arrested. It had also said that steps would be taken to recover the loss suffered due to the violent protests over the Vizhinjam seaport construction from the protesters. A large number of people have been staging protests outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose seaport at nearby Mulloor for a few months. They have been pressing for their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project. The protesters have been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls as part of the upcoming port at Vizhinjam, was one of the reasons for increasing coastal erosion in the area.

The News Minute 4 Dec 2022 9:19 pm

Petty group politics have no place, Congress unity need of the hour: Tharoor

Politics The Thiruvananthapuram MPs visits to other districts in recent days had drawn flak from various quarters within the party. TNM Staff Image courtesy - IANS Senior leader of the Congress and third-time Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat, Shashi Tharoor has said that a unified party was the need of the hour and the petty group politics did not have any place in the state unit. Tharoor was addressing a function at Bodhigram in Pathanamthitta on Sunday. The former UN diplomat said that the party needed to be united and there was no need for 'A' and 'I' groups in the Congress of Kerala. He was referring to the two prominent groups in the state Congress which have always been calling the shots in the party hierarchy. While former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy leads the 'A' group, former state home minister, Ramesh Chennithala heads the 'I' group. Shashi Tharoor said that he was updating the respective District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents about his visit to the respective districts. He has drawn flak from several senior Congress leaders, including state opposition leader VD Satheeshan, who commented that he had to intimate the respective DCC presidents on his visit to those districts. Kottayam DCC president Nattakam Suresh and Kozhikode DCC president Praveen Kumar had said earlier that they did not know of Tharoor's visit, and the DCC presidents not knowing about the visit of a senior leader in their respective districts was not in lieu of the organisational hierarchy. However Tharoor said that his office had intimidated the Kottayam DCC president of his visit, and added that there was proof for it. Meanwhile, the statement of Natakam Suresh drew criticism from senior Congress leader and Member of Parliament from Vadakara seat, K Muraleedharan. He said that whatever a DCC president had to say, he should tell it within the party. Nattakam Suresh retorted by stating that this was applicable to K Mualeedharan as well. The Congress in Kerala appears divided over the entry of Tharoor into the state's active politics. The alliance partner of Congress in Kerala, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), said that it was unfortunate to have such a controversy over Tharoor's visit to various districts of the state. (With IANS input) Also read:Why Kerala Congress heavyweights are not behind Shashi Tharoor

The News Minute 4 Dec 2022 7:43 pm

The Higuita row that has left Kerala film & literature enthusiasts divided

Controversy Acclaimed writer NS Madhavan has alleged that a new Malayalam films proposed title Higuita was depriving him of his rights to the title of a movie based on his short story of the same name. Lakshmi Priya The title of a debutant directors film starring Suraj Venjaramoodu and Dhyan Sreenivasan has triggered a row in Kerala, with acclaimed writer NS Madhavan alleging that the films proposed title Higuita was depriving him of his rights to the title of a movie based on his short story of the same name. The film's director Hemanth Nair, however, has stated that his movie was in no way connected to Madhavans short story, and that the name was finalised as a symbolic reference to former Colombian goalkeeper Ren Higuita, who had also inspired the writers story. The controversy has left the states film and literature enthusiasts divided, with many claiming that it was Madhavan who popularised the name Higuita in Malayali minds, due to which he reserved the rights to the name. Kerala Sahitya Akademi president K Satchidanandan and Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan are among the several prominent literary and political figures who soon came out in support of the writer. At the same time, however, a significant section of critics have also pointed out that the writer did not have monopoly over the name especially considering how it did not belong to a fictional character, but is the actual name of a real-life maverick footballer. How can one person have exclusive rights to the name of a global star, they ask. Jos Ren Higuita Zapata, a former star goalkeeper of Columbia, is a global football figure known for his iconic 'scorpion kick', high-risk 'sweeper-keeper' playing style, and a flair for the dramatic. He was ranked the eighth best South American keeper in history by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. It was in 1990 that NS Madhavan published his short story Higuita, which tells the story of a devout and well-meaning Christian priest, Father Geevarghese a deep admirer of the Colombian goalkeeper. In the story, the protagonist takes inspiration from his real-life hero to save a tribal girl in dire circumstances. The current controversy sprouted after the poster for Hemanths film was released by Thiruvananthapuram MP and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on his Facebook page on November 29, Tuesday, following which it was shared by a Twitter user who tagged Madhavan, stating that he had always associated the name 'Higuita' with his short story. The writer responded to this with a tweet that he was saddened by the film's title, even going on to state that he wished no writer in any language had o suffer his plight. Malayalam cinema has always loved and respected writers. What this venture has done is it has taken away my rights on title of a movie based on my story, which generations have studied in schools. I wish no writer in any language to suffer my plight. https://t.co/4iTUiqvqHb N.S. Madhavan (@NSMlive) November 29, 2022 Speaking to Onmanorama later, Madhavan said that he was shocked after hearing of the film's title. Higuita was not a well-known goalkeeper. If you go through the 1986 reports, his name might have cropped up twice or thrice. The player came into Keralas consciousness through me. Had I not written that story, there is no logic in naming the movie Higuita. They are trying to piggyback on my storys popularity, he alleged. Hemanth, however, clarified that only the name of the film carried any resemblance to Madhavans story. The story revolves around a politician. A political leader is someone who defends his party like a goalkeeper. We wanted a name with a punch, which is why we decided to name the film Higuita. I never wanted to hurt NS Madhavan in any way. I deeply respect him, he said. The filmmaker added that he found the controversy unfortunate. Higuita is my first film. I have no plans to change its title as of now. The title was officially released on November 8, 2019, with the help of eight prominent stars in Malayalam cinema. After facing COVID-19 and many other crises, it is only now that we are getting the opportunity to release the film. I wonder why such an issue has come up now when nobody has had a problem with it so far, he later told the media. Further questioning the allegations that the story of his film was similar to that of Madhavans, Hemanth asked how anyone can arrive at that decision when not even the preview of the film has been released yet. The final verdict on the heated debate, however, seemed to have come in favour of Madhavan by Friday morning, with the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce reportedly rejecting the title for Hemanths film, citing the writers complaint that the films makers had not taken his consent to use the title. The people behind the movie should have consulted the writer before finalising the title, said chamber president G Suresh Kumar. Thanking the chamber for its decision, Madhavan tweeted: I have been informed that the name Higuita will not be used for the movie. I am grateful to Kerala Film Chamber for facilitating this. Thanks for all the support. I wish young director Hemanth Nair and his film all success. May people flock to see Suraj-Dhyaan movie (sic). I have been informed that that the name Higuita will not be used for the movie. I am grateful to Kerala Film Chamber for facilitating this. Thanks for all the support. I wish young director Hemanth Nair and his film all success. May people flock to see Suraj-Dhyaan movie. N.S. Madhavan (@NSMlive) December 2, 2022 Hemanth, however, has said that he wasnt made aware of the Film Chambers decision. He also added that he hoped the chamber would be open to hearing his side of the story before taking a final decision on the matter.

The News Minute 3 Dec 2022 10:13 am

A Latvian womans fight to convict the men who raped and killed her sister in Kerala

Latvian Woman case From regularly posting videos online, to sticking flyers and following court proceedings for years, Ilze had to fight a long battle for justice. Cris Shortly after the verdict came on a four and half-year-old case of the rape and murder of a Latvian woman in Kerala, the victims sister appeared on a video, expressing her happiness and gratitude in a few quick words. Ilze with her glasses and a light smile on her face looked a world apart from the teary-eyed woman who posted video after video in the immediate days after her sister went missing in Kovalam in early 2018. It has been a terribly long battle for Ilze Skromane, but in the end, she is happy with the judgement, she said -- as Umesh and Udayan, the two men who raped and murdered her sister in a mangrove near Kovalam were convicted for the crime. Ilze and her elder sister had come not merely as tourists to Kovalam, where hundreds of tourists come every season, drawn by the beauty of the beach and the abundance of green that Kerala is known for. The deceased was also suffering from mental health issues and had sought Ayurvedic treatment at a centre in Pothencode. Ilze had accompanied her. The sisters came down to Kerala from Ireland where they lived, on February 2, 2018. A month and a half later, on March 14, Ilze could not find her sister anywhere. Long, daunting search for her sister Frantically, she went to the police, asked the people in the neighbourhood, and sought everyones help. But her sister remained unfound for far too many days. Ilze began posting videos online, asking for help to find her sister, showing flyers that announced rewards of Rs 100,000 and phone numbers to call. My sister has been missing for 8 days!! Please help us to activate the search by sharing and getting more people involved! (sic), Ilze wrote on March 22, 2018. In a video where she is trying hard to suppress her sobs, Ilze said that it was very tough, and they had to mount pressure on the police by going to the ministers and the media so that a proper search would be conducted. Ilze still had hope in those early days, even weeks after she could not locate her sister. At the end of two weeks, a calmer-looking Ilze came on a video and said that the police have been looking intensely for the last few days but there were no leads yet and that people have spoken about seeing her sister but there was nothing concrete to go on with. People in the locality were helping in the search and she hoped that her sister would be found soon, Ilze said. Yet another week passed by with no news of the missing sister. Ilze posted a proper video, showing her walking around the neighbourhood and posting flyers with her sisters photo, asking for information and promising rewards. The reward money had gone up to Rs 200,000 by then. Height 170, Hair brown and Eyes blue, said the flyer. The video introduces the sister as a charming and vibrant personality who truly believed that her true wealth is the good she does in this world. I keep wondering how she could disappear so suddenly and the only logical conclusion I can come to is that she must have trusted somebody and got in a car and that they took her somewhere. I have no idea of their intentions or whether she is safe or if she is taken care of. I just really want to tell them that we have no intention of judging somebody or pressing charges; all we want is to have her back safe and bring her home, Ilze said in the video, looking visibly upset. Recovery of the corpse, battle for justice On April 20, the sister was found murdered in a forest in Thiruvallom, about eight kilometers away from Kovalam. Her body had decomposed and her head was separated from the body. She was sexually assaulted and murdered. From here began the arduous battle for justice. Ilze was always vocal about her disappointment at the half-baked investigation of the police into the missing case. In media interviews in those initial days, she said she suspected foul play since the police had suggested all too soon that the sister might have died by suicide. While she admitted that her sister, clinically depressed, had made suicide attempts before, she had been getting better. Making up for all the lost time the time that the victims family believed might have saved her the police rounded up a few suspects within days and arrested two of them Udayan and Umesh, both then in their 20s. But they were released on bail soon after, reportedly owing to the polices delay in filing the charge sheet. For Ilze, the discovery of her sisters death was in one way, a closure. In an earlier interview with TNM, she said that it would have been worse if they had not found her sister, not knowing what happened to her, and wondering about it for the rest of their lives. She did not see it as going back home without her sister. You can take away a body, but not a person, Ilze said. On May 6, 2018, Ilze participated in a commemoration event for her sister in Thiruvananthapuram, put together by the tourism department. She, with her sisters partner Andrew Jordan, planted a tree in the Kanakakunnu Palace grounds. She spoke of her sister as someone who trusted the goodness in people so much that she believed the worst criminals could still turn to goodness in life. She saw people as one and the same, Ilze said, wearing a Sari and a bindi for the occasion. She flew back to Ireland, choosing to cremate her sister in Kerala and take the ashes home. But she kept returning to follow the trial. When after more than three years, it was still not over, she moved the High Court for a speedy trial. The trial finally began in June this year and the court allowed her to watch the proceedings online. She told the Times of India that she was writing a book about her sister and waiting for the verdict in the case to complete it. Letting her emotions stay on her face, Ilze once again came on video on December 2, saying how happy she was with the verdict and what a great day it was for everyone who loved her sister and supported the family. After thanking everyone who stood with her, Ilze expressed as she always does, clearly and genuinely, how she hoped that all of this would encourage other people also to stand up for what is right. She hoped, she said, that women and men alike can go out on the streets safely and that people can come to Kerala and enjoy its beauty, feeling safe and protected, and knowing that they will be taken care of. That is her wish for everyone, Ilze said. Video: Latvian woman who fought for her sister killed in Kerala finally gets justice

The News Minute 3 Dec 2022 9:51 am

Uthara, Vismaya and a Latvian woman: The lawyer who secured justice for all

Crime For those who have been following some of the most talked about crime cases in Kerala in the recent past, Mohan Raj would be a familiar name. Korah Abraham This is not my personal success. It is the success of the Indian judiciary, senior lawyer G Mohanraj told TNM, standing outside the Thiruvananthapuram district court complex, on Friday, December 2, just moments after the court found two people guilty of rape and murder of a Latvian woman in March 2018. Mohanraj was the Special Public Prosecutor in the case. This was not the only high-profile case where Mohanraj secured a conviction. He was also the public prosecutor in the Uthara murder case as well as in the dowry death case of 22-year-old Vismaya, both of which led to convictions of the accused. While Uthara had been killed by her husband using a venomous snake, Vismaya was the victim of dowry and domestic violence and died by suicide. The murder of the 33-year-old Latvian woman drew media attention from outside Kerala as well, given that the victim was a foreign tourist. When asked whether all the media attention and public scrutiny, along with the prolonging of the case added to the already existing pressure, Mohanraj replied, There was no pressure. Being an Indian, it was my duty to fight for justice and ensure that the woman and her family get that justice. That was what I was focussing on. The trial which happened at the Additional Sessions Court of Thiruvananthapuram was challenging as two of the key witnesses turned hostile. The prosecution had to rely heavily on scientific evidence to make their case, ensuring that the two accused men were found guilty of all charges, including rape, murder, abduction and destruction of evidence. It was in May 2020 that 25-year-old Uthara was found dead at her parents home in Keralas Kollam district. A year later, in October 2021, the Additional Sessions Court in Kollam sentenced her husband Sooraj S Kumar to life imprisonment for murdering Uthara, using a snake as the murder weapon. In his media interviews following the verdict of the case, Mohanraj had said that analysing judgments in similar snake bite cases in the past from various parts of the country was crucial to the case. His team chose two such cases to focus on one in Nagpur and another in Indore both where the prosecution teams were unable to prove their case. After studying these cases, it became clear that proving the snake bite was unnatural was crucial as the husband had denied the crime. In Utharas case, the police and the team of lawyers focused on three things: prove that the cobra did not enter the house naturally, that it was provoked to bite the woman and a deep study of the fang width to show that it was a forced bite. While it was scientific evidence that Mohanraj and team focused on in Utharas case to make sure her husband Sooraj was convicted, in Vismayas case they wove together a coherent narrative using witnesses and digital evidence. Vismaya Nair, a student of Ayurveda medicine, was found dead at her marital home in Kollam in June 2021. She was 22 years old and hailed from Nilamel, also in Kollam district. Her death came days after she had sent messages to her cousin telling him that her husband Kiran Kumar had brutally beaten her many times over a car that was given as part of her dowry. A year later, on May 23, her husband Kiran Kumar was convicted for her death after the court found him guilty under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 498A (cruelty by husband or a relative), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. Mohanraj, who was the Special Public Prosecutor in the case, faced the challenge of establishing that what was considered as an unnatural death or a case of death by suicide was a result of dowry related harassment. The police retrieved thousands of calls and messages from Vismaya and her husband Kiran Kumars phones. These records showed that the harassment started exactly a day after the wedding as Kiran was unhappy with the car given as dowry. As harassment is mostly a crime committed in secrecy, in this case within the walls of their house, the prosecution meticulously put together these calls and lined up a string of witnesses who had known about the harassment at various stages. In an interview to a YouTube channel, Mohanraj spoke about how he felt emotional in court recalling the physical violence inflicted on Vismaya. I know I am doing my job, but talking about her suffering in court affected me. Vismaya case: Audio clips helped secure husband Kiran Kumars conviction

The News Minute 2 Dec 2022 7:37 pm

Adani Group moves HC seeking assistance of central forces at Vizhinjam port

Court The court asked the state and union governments to file their reply with regard to the petition by the Adani Group and said that the matter will be further heard on December 7. PTI File Photo The Adani Group, on Friday, December 2, moved the Kerala High Court seeking the assistance of central forces to continue with construction at the Vizhinjam seaport in Thiruvananthapuram, which was marred by violent protests recently halting the work. Justice Anu Sivaraman, while hearing a plea filed by the Adani Group against obstruction and blockade due to protests, asked the state and union governments to discuss the possibility of deploying the central forces. The court asked the state and union governments to file their reply with regard to the petition by the Adani Group and said that the matter will be further heard on December 7. Meanwhile, the state government informed the court that cases were registered against numerous persons, including a bishop, with regard to the violence and five persons were arrested. However, the Adani Group told the court that many accused in the case, including many priests, are still at the protest site. The Group also alleged that the police investigation in the matter was a farce. The Kerala High Court was, on November 28, informed by the state government that steps will be taken to recover the loss suffered due to the violent protest and attack over the Vizhinjam port construction. The state government had earlier informed the court that 40 police personnel were injured in the Vizhinjam police station attack in which 3,000 protesters took part. The court had multiple times asked the protesters not to block the road to the port premises and had asked the government to remove the shed erected by the agitators as part of their protests. However, the government had, on November 7, told the court that it was unable to demolish the protest tents at the port due to the presence of children, pregnant women and aged people among the agitators. Adani Group had earlier claimed that the court's order to provide police protection for the construction work was not implemented. It has also sought demolition of a tent set up at the protest site. A large number of people have been staging protests outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose sea port at nearby Mulloor for a few months. They have been pressing for their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project. The protesters have been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls as part of the upcoming port at Vizhinjam, was one of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion. The High Court, in its interim order on October 19, made it clear that obstructions created by protesters at the entrance of the port be removed and asked the state government to implement it.

The News Minute 2 Dec 2022 6:49 pm

Keralas IFFK to screen 32 films by women directors from 17 countries

IFFK The festival will honour Iranian filmmaker and womens rights activist Mahnaz Mohammadi with the Spirit of Cinema award. TNM Staff Mahnaz Mohammadi / IFFK Of the 185 films that will be screened at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), 32 are directed by women from 17 countries. The 27th edition of the festival which will be held between December 9 and 16 in Thiruvananthapuram will honour a woman filmmaker with the Spirit of Cinema award. The felicitation was introduced in the last edition of the festival held in March this year, and the award was presented to Kurdish filmmaker Lisa Calan. In this edition, Iranian filmmaker and womens rights activist Mahnaz Mohammadi will receive the award on the inaugural day of the IFFK. Mahnaz's first documentary, Women without Shadows, told the story of homeless and abandoned women in a shelter home. She has directed several other documentaries including Travelogue, in which she interviews on a train, people who are leaving Iran. Son-Mother is her first fiction film which follows the story of a widow with two children who receives a marriage proposal that could help her financial situation. Women have always been the biggest minority in the world and cinema can be used as a medium to talk about their pain and to try to make a difference, Mahnaz told the IFFK media centre in an email interview. Fearlessness is not something you have by birth but what you need to acquire, she added, explaining how she had no other way than to pave a path for herself in life. Among the other films by women directors, 25 will be screened in the World Cinema category, and two in the Malayalam Cinema Today category. The world cinema films include Klondike, directed by Marina Er Gorbach, a film that traces the lives of Ukrainian women. Other notable films include Mia Hansen Love's One Fine Morning, Maryam Touzani's The Blue Caftan, Valentina Maurels I have electric dreams, Marie Kreutzers Corsage, Alli Hapazalos Girl picture, Carla Simons Alcarra, and Julia Murats Rule 34. Claire Deniss film Both sides of the Blade is scheduled under the Auteur Odes category and Nandita Dass Zwigato is included in the kaleidoscope section. Two films that Agnes Hrantizky co-directed with renowned Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr -- The Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies -- will also be screened at the IFFK. Bela Tarr is also the winner of the Lifetime Achievement award this time and there will be a retrospective of his films at the IFFK. The award will be presented on the closing day of the fest.

The News Minute 2 Dec 2022 5:15 pm

Assaults on doctors: Kerala HC directs cops to file immediate FIRs

Court A Division Bench comprising Justices Devan Ramachandran and Kauser Edappagath said the violence against doctors was certainly distressing as statistically there were at least 10 or 12 such incidents being reported every month. PTI Expressing concern over the rising number of physical attacks against doctors and other healthcare professionals in the states hospitals, the Kerala High Court on Thursday, December 1, directed the police to file an FIR (First Information Report) within an hour of receiving any complaint alleging such violence. A Division Bench comprising Justices Devan Ramachandran and Kauser Edappagath said the violence against doctors was certainly distressing as statistically there were at least 10 or 12 such incidents being reported every month. As a first step, in addition to the earlier directions, we are of the firm view that every incident of attack on a doctor or a healthcare professional, including any other staff of the hospital be that security or other will have to be taken cognisance of by the Station House Officer of the police station concerned not later than one hour from the time on which it is reported to him, the court ordered. This can be under the Special Law applicable, or under the Indian Penal Code; but an FIR will be needed to be registered within the aforementioned timeframe, which alone will ensure that the perpetrator/s understands that action is swift and quick, it said. Read: Thiruvananthapuram medical college doctors protest assault on senior resident The court gave this directive as part of a suo motu impleading the state police chief in a case related to the attacks against doctors and healthcare professionals in state hospitals. Needless to say, swift action thereafter shall be initiated, including to apprehend the offenders, as and when it requires so, leading to prosecution and such other, as the law warrants, the court said. The Bench said that it was more concerned because the court had been issuing orders in the past, under the hortative hope that the official system would function faultlessly; and that the citizens would also be aware of the imperative requirement to treat the healthcare system with the respect it deserves. It said that the discussions at the Bar clearly show that, unless a sense of fear of law is instilled into the citizens, nothing can really change. Experience has shown us that citizens are not fearful of law, but of apprehension in case of misconduct or infraction, it said. The government submitted that every step as ordered by this court in the earlier orders, including the establishment of police outposts in hospitals, had been implicitly adhered to by the government. It added that it was willing to accept any other suggestion to be made, either by the court or by the stakeholders in this regard. Read: Assaults against healthcare workers on the rise, how can they be prevented

The News Minute 2 Dec 2022 2:51 pm

A great day for us: Sister of Latvian tourist killed in Kerala welcomes judgement

Latvian Woman Case The victim's sister had approached the Kerala High Court last year to speed up the trial. She had returned home three and a half years after the crime, disheartened from waiting so long for the end of the trial. TNM Staff Ilze / Facebook It is a great day, a very good day for me, my sister, for my family, said a young Latvian woman after a Kerala judge convicted the accused in the rape and murder of her sister, four and a half years after the crime. The Additional Sessions Court in Thiruvananthapuram foundUmesh and Udayan guilty of the sexual assault and murder of the woman who had come for medical treatment to Kovalam in February 2018. Her sister, Ilze, who had accompanied the woman, has since been fighting for justice. She hoped that the verdict will encourage other people to stand up for what is right, and that women and men alike will be able to go out safely on the streets of Kerala. Thanking everyone from the special public prosecutor Mohanraj to the people who had stood by the family through the various stages of the case, the sister said, There are not enough words to express my gratitude to all the people who helped me achieve this. Special thanks to Mohanraj and Daniel and the whole prosecution team who have been my guardian angels all the way and a few anonymous others who are close friends but are too humble to want their names mentioned. I say thank you also to Abraham (Manoj Abraham who was the Thiruvananthapuram Range Inspector General at the time) who was always making sure that things were getting done. So grateful to all the journalists as well who supported me, posted my news, and helped me come this far. There are so many great people. So many at home also whose faces I have not seen, but it has been in their hearts that justice has to be done to my sister and now it is done, said the visibly excited sister. She had approached the Kerala High Court last year to speed up the trial of the case. She had returned home three and a half years after the crime, disheartened from waiting so long for the trial to end. But Friday's verdict has made her very happy, she said, and she wished she had been in Thiruvananthapuram. She expressed hope that this will encourage other people also to stand up for what is right. It matters what kind of society we live in, that women and men alike can go out on the streets safely, and people can go to Kerala and enjoy its beauty, feeling safe and protected, and knowing that they will be taken care of. I wish that for you all, she said, smiling heartily.

The News Minute 2 Dec 2022 2:10 pm

2 Convicted For Latvian Tourist's 2018 Rape-Murder In Kerala

A local court in Kerala today convicted two persons for raping and murdering a Latvian woman tourist who went missing in 2018 from Kovalam near Thiruvananthapuram.

NDTV 2 Dec 2022 2:01 pm

Two men found guilty of rape and murder of Latvian tourist in Kerala

Court The deceased who came to Kerala from Ireland for Ayurvedic treatment was sexually assaulted and murdered near Kovalam in 2018. Korah Abraham Saritha S Balan A court in Keralas Thiruvananthapuram convicted the accused in the rape and murder of a Latvian woman on Friday, December 2. The crime happened in March 2018 near Kovalam, and the Additional Sessions court in Thiruvananthapuram pronounced Umesh (27) and Udayan (31) guilty of all charges, including rape, murder, abduction and destruction of evidence. The quantum of sentence will be announced on Monday. A 33-year-old Latvian woman who lived in Ireland came to Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram in February 2018 for Ayurvedic treatment. She went missing a month later, on March 18, after which the family lodged a police complaint. The search continued for over a month, and her decomposed, beheaded body was recovered from a mangrove in Thiruvallom near Kovalam in April 2018. The police took six men into custody and arrested two of them Umesh and Udayan. However, both the accused were let off on bail soon after. In June this year, Dr Sasikala, former head of forensics at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, deposed before the court that the death of the woman was not by suicide. She stated that the injuries clearly indicated a case of homicide. The prolonging of the case disheartened both the deceaseds sister and her partner who stayed back for years in Kerala to follow up on the proceedings. The sister initially flew back home with the ashes of the deceased, but returned to Kerala later on and approached the High Court last year to expedite the trial. Her partner also flew from Ireland for preliminary hearings and told TNM in an earlier interview that he was disappointed with the police investigation. He also brushed away rumours of the deceased having been lured by drug peddlers into the forest, firmly stating that she was strongly against the use of drugs.

The News Minute 2 Dec 2022 11:15 am

Latvian woman rape and murder in Kerala: Verdict on December 2

Court Liga Skromane (33) was sexually assaulted and murdered near Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram in 2018. TNM Staff On Friday, December 2, the additional sessions court in Thiruvananthapuram will pronounce the verdict in the case of the rape and murder of a Latvian woman that happened in Kovalam four and half years ago. Liga Skromane, who had come for medical treatment at an Ayurvedic resort in Kovalam, was found murdered in a forest in Thiruvallom in April 2018. Although two people had been arrested initially, they were later released on bail. Ligas boyfriend Andrew Jordan and her family have been fighting for justice all this while. Thirty-three year old Liga, who lived in Ireland, had reached Thiruvananthapuram in February 2018. She went missing on March 14 that year, after which a police complaint was filed by her sister Ilze. Lookout notices were issued by the police and searches conducted, but there was no information about Ligas whereabouts for more than a month. In April 2018, her decomposed and beheaded body was found in a mangrove forest in Thiruvallom, near Kovalam. Within a month, the policezeroed in on two of the six men they had taken into custody and charged them for Ligas sexual assault and murder. But the two accused Udayan (27) and Umesh (31) were later released on bail. In an earlierinterview to TNM, Andrew rubbished stories that Liga was lured by the men on the pretext of smoking cannabis. She had always disapproved of drugs, he said. Andrew said that he had been disheartened by the police inaction. Last year, Ligas sister Ilze returned home after staying in India for more than three years awaiting justice for her sister. In the latest development, in June this year Dr Sasikala, former head of forensics at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College,deposed before the court that Liga had not died by suicide, and that it was a clear case of homicide.

The News Minute 1 Dec 2022 8:52 pm

Vizhinjam: Police register 163 cases; NIA to check role of banned outfits

Sources said the NIA officials stationed in Thiruvananthapuram to check the activities of the former leaders and members of the PFI in the backdrop of its ban were told to proceed to Vizhinjam.

The New Indian Express 1 Dec 2022 7:36 am

Assaults against healthcare workers on the rise, how can they be prevented

Health In the backdrop of the attack against a doctor in Kerala, TNM spoke to doctors on why such incidents are rising and what can hospitals and the government do to prevent them. Azeefa Fathima Facebook/KGMOATrivandrum A senior resident and neurosurgeon in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital was assaulted and kicked in her stomach on November 23. The only fault of Dr Merry Francis Kallory, who was attacked, was that she informed a person named Senthil Kumar from Kollam about his wifes death. However, this is not the first instance of doctors and Healthcare Workers (HCW) facing abuse and assault at the hands of the public. Earlier last year, a woman doctor and other staff in Thiruvananthapuram Fort Taluk hospital were abused and assaulted by two men. The inebriated men even tried to pin the doctor on the wall. The reason: they who came with minor injuries were asked to wait. The same month, another doctor in Parassala was attacked by a group of four men, who were asked to wear masks before entering the hospital. In yet another case in Mavelikkara, a doctor was slapped by a police official, after the latters mother, a COVID-19 patient, was declared dead upon arriving at the hospital. The situation looks grim in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. Earlier in 2022, a doctor in Madurai was assaulted by two men, interfering in the treatment process. Speaking to TNM, Dr GR Ravindranath, general secretary, Doctors Association for Social Equality, said that while there are laws in place to take action against the perpetrators, there is no sustained effort to follow up the cases. If a HCW is attacked, the concerned hospital tries to smoothen the issue. Even when a case is filed, the hospital or the clinic does not come into picture to go forward with the case, fearing disrepute. Only if there is a continuous follow-up, people will refrain from indulging in such activities, he says. Ravindranath feels that such incidents are recurring because people have lost trust in the healthcare system. Their frustration and disbelief towards the system is manifesting in the behaviour towards the HCW, who are in direct contact with the public. He believes the attacks have increased in the past two decades due to privatisation, commercialisation, and corporatisation of healthcare. Touching upon a similar law in Kerala the Hospital Protection Act Kerala Government Medical Officer's Association (KGMOA) state president Dr GS Vijayakrishnan says that while the Act, which makes assaults against HCW a non-bailable offence, is in place since 2012, it is not being implemented properly. Arrests are recorded only in half the cases, he points out. Dr CN Raja, national vice-president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), says the increasing healthcare costs is another major issue. People are under stress due to mounting medical expenses, which they take out on HCW. After the Consumer Protection Act became applicable for the sector, the doctor-patient relationship ceased and customer-service provider relationship became the norm. This has made people forget that doctors are also human beings. Lack of communication and trust between doctors, patients and their relatives is another major reason behind these assaults. We all know that cent per cent success (in treatment outcome) is not possible, and the limitations are not accepted by people. Further, there are infrastructural issues despite the government trying to improve facilities. These issues frustrate the public, which they take out on doctors, who are easy targets, says Dr R Premalatha, president, Obstetric and Gynaecological Society of Southern India. The entire health system is under stress due to less manpower. The doctor-patient ratio is skewed. So the public doesnt get the service care that they expect and get frustrated. Now, as doctors are soft targets and won't attack back, they are assaulted by the public, says Dr CN Raja. Dr Premalatha is also critical of the media reporting on incidents of alleged medical negligence. No doctor gives wrong drugs or keeps patients inside ICU after they are dead,'' she says. The inaccuracies in portrayal in cinema and exaggeration of medical accidents are another issue, according to her. What happens when doctors are assaulted Dr CN Raja says most doctors are stressed and overworked. Doctors, especially women doctors, are scared to work, particularly at night. They fear for their safety. Even if other supporting staff makes a mistake, the doctors will have to bear the brunt. Dr Vijayakrishnan says when doctors are attacked, service offered to other patients is affected and that there is an overall morale dip. Dr Ravindranath feels the government should rectify the issues within the public healthcare system, including lack of manpower, and bring in a progressive work culture. Steps should be taken to increase social responsibility of the doctors and improve their wages. More importantly, a sense of social responsibility and commitment should be inculcated within the doctors and the patients, he said. He also adds that if any mistakes happen, they must be probed properly. All doctors follow treatment protocol to the best of their ability. However, mistakes should not be taken lightly. At the same time, the media should also not exaggerate an issue. It is important to note that doctors are targeted from every side. The Kerala Medical Post Graduate Association (KMPGA), in a letter to the Kerala Health Minister Veena George, have put forth eleven measures that can increase the safety of health care personnel in hospitals. They include setting up police outposts with adequate police personnel in medical colleges and general hospitals and linking them with hospital intercom. According to them, in Tamilnadu, major hospitals have police outposts dedicated to the hospital. The other measures proposed are having a Bad News Breaking Protocol and a console rooms in ICU where the prognosis and death of the patient can be explained in a safe environment with CCTV coverage; an emergency code to indicate threat perception to hospital personnel, a dedicated team which can respond immediately, display boards creating awareness on Hospital Protection Act and relevant sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure, addressing staff shortage, measures to reduce public grievances and setting up a grievance cell for health workers. Read: Betrayal, fear, sadness: When doctors are attacked

The News Minute 30 Nov 2022 2:22 pm

Kerala govt says obstruction to Vizhinjam port construction an anti-national activity

Vizhinjam port Kerala Fisheries Minister V Abdurahiman said that no one who loves the country, who is a patriot and wants to see the nation develop, would seek stopping the port construction. PTI The Kerala government, on Tuesday, November 29, made it clear that the Vizhinjam sea port will become reality and attempts to obstruct its construction would be viewed as an anti-national activity. Kerala Fisheries Minister V Abdurahiman said that there was a limit to which a government can be patient and it would be good if everyone understands that. He said that no one who loves the country, who is a patriot and wants to see the nation develop, would seek stopping the port construction. To obstruct something which is going to be the backbone of the economic growth of the country is equivalent to anti-national activity. Neither the state nor the country would allow stopping of the project. There is a limit to which a government, including the LDF [Left Democratic Front] administration, can be patient. It would be good if everyone understands that, Abdurahiman said while speaking at an expert meet and seminar, on the technical aspects of the under-construction port, organised by the Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL). Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was expected to inaugurate the event, but could not be a part of it in person or via online mode reportedly due to health issues. However, other ministers of his cabinet were present there. State Ports Minster Ahammed Devarkovil, who also spoke at the event, said unlike what is being said in some media reports and also by some vested interests, it was not an 'Adani port' but that of the Kerala government. Ahammed Devarkovil said that of the Rs 7,500 crore cost of the project, more than half -- amounting to around Rs 4,600 crore -- was being borne by the state government and around Rs 818 crore has been sanctioned by the union government as Viability Gap Fund (VGF) -- the first time in the country that this was being provided by the union government for a port construction. The remaining costs would be borne by Adani, the concessionaire, which would also take care of construction and operation of the port for a limited period of time, the Ports Minister said. Though the project was to be completed by 2019, work was delayed due to the natural disasters in the state and the subsequent pandemic, but in September 2023, Keralites would get a Onam gift in the form of the first ship berthing at the port, he said. Both ministers also said that no land of the fisherfolk was acquired, no one was displaced, the coastal erosion in the nearby areas was not due to the project work and there has been no decrease in fish availability in the area as claimed by some persons. They said that there will be huge economic gains for the state and the country when the port becomes a reality and urged the protesters to withdraw their agitation. Fisherfolk of Vizhinjam and other coastal areas have been protesting for the last more than four months and also led to violence on November 26 and 27. On November 27, after some persons associated with the protests were detained, a huge mob gathered outside the Vizhinjam police station and later violently attacked it, resulting in injuries to around 40 police personnel and damage to several police vehicles. In the wake of the violent attack, Kerala police decided to appoint Thiruvananthapuram Range DIG R Nishanthini as a special officer who would be in charge of security arrangements and law and order in areas under police stations of Vizhinjam, Thiruvananthapuram City and Rural areas as well as coastal police stations of Kollam district, a release issued by the State Police Media Centre said. It also said that ADGP Law and Order M R Ajith Kumar has directed Thiruvananthapuram City Police Commissioner G Sparjan Kumar to form a special team to investigate the cases registered in connection with the Vizhinjam port strike. The ADGP has also ordered mobilisation of the entire state police for the next two weeks in view of the incidents of violence at Vizhinjam on November 26 and 27. Meanwhile, at the protest site near the port, where things appeared peaceful on Tuesday amidst heavy police presence according to visuals shown on channels, one of the priests spearheading the agitation said the Kerala CM and his cabinet have etrayed the fisherfolk. He said that if the Chief Minister and his ministers cannot provide any relief to the fisherfolk, they should resign from their positions instead of allegedly making claims of having accepted their demands. Regarding Monday's all-party meet held in the wake of the attack on the police station, the priest said that the meeting was set up to fail by those who organised it. He said that the fisherfolk were ready for talks if the government was ready to follow through on its promises made to them. On Monday, an all-party meet called for by the Kerala government in connection with the violent attack on Vizhinjam police station unanimously agreed that peace should prevail in the region but the Latin church -- which represents the anti-sea port protest council remained non-committal on the issue of their ongoing agitation. The government also said that the cases registered would not be withdrawn. A case in connection with the attack on the police station was registered against 3,000 identifiable people from the region. Police, in the FIR, said around 3,000 people gathered at the station on Sunday to release one accused in a case registered on Saturday and other suspects - Leo Stanley, Muthappan, Pushparaj and Shanki - who were taken into custody. On Sunday, the police had lodged an FIR against at least 15 Latin Catholic priests, including metropolitan Archbishop Thomas J Netto, over the violence at Vizhinjam on Saturday.

The News Minute 30 Nov 2022 10:33 am

Obstruction to Vizhinjam port construction an anti-national act: Kerala govt

The Kerala police decided to appoint Thiruvananthapuram Range DIG R Nishanthini as a special officer who would be in charge of security arrangements and law and order in areas under police stations of Vizhinjam, Thiruvananthapuram City and Rural areas as well as Coastal police stations of Kollam district, a press release said

Mid Day 29 Nov 2022 10:32 pm

Natyaveda anniversarycelebrations held

The Thiruvananthapuram-based art school, Natyaveda College of Performing Arts organised its 22nd annual celebrations as a grandeur affair.

The New Indian Express 29 Nov 2022 6:30 am

Keralas SilverLine project on pause as staff sent for land acquisition called back

Politics PTI The ruling Left government in Kerala, which had been defending its move to lay survey stones for a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study regarding the proposed SilverLine semi-high speed rail corridor, has decided to redeploy all the staff posted for the same. This will temporarily halt the implementation of the ambitious project. According to a government order issued by the revenue department on Sunday, November 27, all the staff posted in land acquisition units for the project may be called back immediately and be redeployed to other essential projects. The order also states that fresh notifications for an SIA study with regard to acquisition of 1,221 hectares of land in several villages of the state for SilverLine may be issued after getting approval for the project from the Railway Board. The decision was welcomed by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), which has been at the forefront of those opposing the project, by saying that the Left government was withdrawing the plan in phases as it was ashamed to do so in one stroke. Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly VD Satheesan said that the SilverLine rail corridor cannot be implemented in Kerala under any circumstances. He said that the state government had, till the previous week, been saying that the project would not be withdrawn and now it was withdrawing it in phases as it was ashamed to stop it in one go. If the decision is to stop the project, it is welcome. If they decide to go ahead with it, the state government will face even more agitations, Satheesan said to reporters. Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev stated that the government has repeatedly said that it cannot implement the project without the Union government's approval, and that it was the media which was interpreting it one way or the other. During the laying of the survey stones by the government, the state had witnessed Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as well as local residents protesting against the project by uprooting the stones and throwing them away. The Congress has been claiming that the project was financially unviable, besides posing a threat to the environment and the homes and livelihoods of thousands of people. The SilverLine project would cover a 530-kilometre stretch from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod and be developed by K-Rail, a joint venture of the Kerala government and the Ministry of Railways. The semi-high-speed rail line would have 11 stations, and is planned at an estimated cost of around Rs 64,000 crore. The project aims to ease transportation along the entire north and south stretch of Kerala, and reduce the travel time to less than four hours as against 12 to 14 hours at present.

The News Minute 28 Nov 2022 7:08 pm

Kerala govt says violence by Vizhinjam port protesters unacceptable

Protests Over 3,000 persons have been booked in connection with violent clashes that took place during an ongoing protest against the Adani port project in Kerala's Vizhinjam area on Sunday night. PTI The attack on a police station in Vizhinjam area by a large mob, allegedly composed of those protesting against the Adani port construction, was termed as unacceptable by the Left government on Monday, November 28. Meanwhile, the Latin Catholic church has claimed that outside forces were behind the attack and sought a judicial probe into the same. Kerala Minister of Ports Ahammed Devarkovil said that the government has been very patient till now where the protest was concerned, but if the agitation attains a criminal nature where police personnel are attacked and injured and police property is destroyed that was unacceptable. Especially in a secular state like Kerala, we will not allow any kind of communal conflict, the minister said, claiming that the mob had attacked houses and establishments of those not belonging to their community. We will go to any extent to ensure communal harmony in the state, the minister said while speaking to reporters in Kozhikode. On being told that the Latin Catholic church, which is leading the protest against the port construction, has claimed that external forces were in play, Ahammed Devarkovil said that the government has received several reports in this regard and they are being investigated. He added that he can discuss the reports in detail only after the proceedings in the Kerala High Court on the issue gets over. Meanwhile, Vicar General Eugene Pereira, who has been seen at the forefront of the protests, claimed that outside forces were behind the port-related violence in the past two days and sought a judicial probe. He also said that the attack on the police station, injuries caused to the police personnel, and the damage to property were not justifiable. He said that before the violence took place, some women had gone to the police station to enquire about the persons who had been detained. They claimed that some outside forces interfered and caused damage to police vehicles, throwing stones from nearby houses, he added. Read: We want Adani port project to be halted, not abandoned: Latin Catholic Church Thereafter, things escalated and unfortunately resulted in the violence. I am not justifying the violence or injuries caused to the police personnel, he said, speaking to the media in Thiruvananthapuram. Finance Minister KN Balagopal pointed out that these unfortunate incidents of violence were happening when the project was at the finishing point. This is an important project for the state, he said, further expressing hope that the matter can be resolved amicably and the port construction can be completed in a time-bound manner. Ahammed Devarkovil too said that the project, which cost around Rs 7,500 crore, was important for the overall development of the state and therefore its work cannot be stopped as was one of the seven demands put forward by the anti-port protesters. Five demands have been accepted. Besides the stopping of the port construction, the only other demand that remains was providing kerosene at subsidised rates to fisherfolk, he said, adding that kerosene was provided by the Union government and hence it was not up to the state to provide it at subsidised rates. The Ports Minister also blamed the protesters for not abiding by repeated orders of the Kerala High Court not to obstruct construction work or movement of materials for the project. So if there is an action, there will be a reaction, he said, but added that till date the government has not tried to suppress the protest by force, keeping in view its public nature and presence of women and children at its forefront. However, we will have to implement court orders, he said. He further stated that when the protesters were not abiding by court orders, it made no sense for them to seek a judicial enquiry into the incidents of violence. Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president VM Sudheeran said the protesters were seeking a proper study of the impact and consequences of the project on the coastal regions, but it has been twisted into an anti-port agitation. The state government should not be stubborn on the issue, he said, and added that there should be an amicable and fair resolution to the problem. Over 3,000 persons have been booked in connection with violent clashes during an ongoing protest against the Adani port project in Kerala's Vizhinjam area on Sunday night. Police said cases have been registered against 3,000 identifiable persons for vandalising a police station and injuring police personnel. As many as 36 police personnel were reported to be injured in the violence that ensued. Read: Vizhinjam agitation turns violent: Protesters attack police station, 25 cops injured Earlier on Sunday, the state police lodged an FIR against at least 15 Latin Catholic priests, including metropolitan Archbishop Thomas J Netto and Pereira, over the violence at Vizhinjam. Additional Director General of Police MR Ajith Kumar told the media that around 36 police personnel injured in the Sunday evening attack by the mob were admitted to various hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram.

The News Minute 28 Nov 2022 4:17 pm

Vizhinjam agitation turns violent: Protesters attack police station, 25 cops injured

Protest Protests against the seaport, which is being developed by the Adani group, have been going on for the past several months, with people living in the coastal regions citing that the port would destroy the coastal ecosystem, disrupting their livelihoods. TNM Staff Mathrubhumi News The ongoing protests against the Vizhinjam sea port in Keralas Thiruvananthapuram district took a violent turn on Sunday, November 27, as the agitators attacked the Vizhinjam police station, demanding the release of five of their fellow agitators who were detained following protests on Saturday. The mob targeted the police station using sticks and bricks and over 25 police officials were reported to have been injured during the violence. At least 29 policemen have been injured and admitted to various hospitals, a special branch police official told PTI. Over 1,000 agitators including women and children had gathered at the site of protest. Protests against the seaport, which is being developed by the Adani group, have been going on for the past several months, with people living in the coastal regions citing that the port would destroy the coastal ecosystem, disrupting their livelihoods. Considering the sensitive situation prevailing in the area, the Kerala government has deployed more police officials from the other districts. The agitators also attacked media persons who were present at the site. ACV local channel camera person, Sherif M John was attacked by the protesters, who damaged his camera and snatched his cellphone. He has been shifted to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. Meanwhile, the district administration has initiated a peace talk with the church authorities and its representative, Fr Eugene Perera said the church wants to maintain peace. We will speak to the protesters. I came here to resolve the matter in a peaceful manner, he told the media. Earlier in the day, the state police lodged an FIR against at least 15 Latin Catholic priests, including metropolitan Archbishop Thomas J Netto and Perera, over the violence at Vizhinjam on Saturday. The protesters had destroyed various poles and flex boards that were put up in front of the police station and later went on to attack the police with the poles. Television channels aired visuals of the vandalised Vizhinjam police station as well as overturned vehicles, including a police van and jeeps. Senior officials, including district collector, city police commissioner and sub-collector, have called a reconciliatory meeting with the protesters at Kovalam animation centre. Meanwhile, the Kerala Catholic Bishop Council (KCBC) in a statement said that it is not justifiable to book people including the Arch Bishop instead of reaching a solution through deliberations. Cardinal Mar George Alencherry in a statement said that the attempt to resolve the issue through discussions with the Latin Catholic Church and the people's representatives should continue. The church authorities and government officials are expected to talk to the media after the meeting. Police have arranged tight security in the Vizhinjam region. With inputs from PTI

The News Minute 28 Nov 2022 9:03 am

'Not spoken against anyone or acted against party directive: Tharoor on Malabar tour

Politics I have no problem seeing everyone as one and neither do I have any reservations about speaking to anyone, Tharoor said before an event in Kochi. PTI PC/PTI Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday, November 27 said he was not upset or angry with anyone in the Kerala unit of the party and has no reservations in speaking to anyone as we are not in kindergarten to refrain from talking to each other. Speaking to media in Kochi, where he came to attend a state-level conclave of the All India Professionals' Congress, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said he has not spoken against anyone in the party or acted against its directives and has no clue why such a controversy has been created.I am not upset or angry with anyone. I have not blamed or accused anyone. There are no complaints or issues from my end. I have no problem seeing everyone as one and neither do I have any reservations about speaking to anyone, he said before the event. On being asked whether he would be speaking to Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state assembly VD Satheesan and Kerala PCC (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran at the event, Tharoor said that the latter was not well and would be participating via video conference. Regarding Satheesan, he said that if we see each other at the venue, then we will see.If they talk to me, will I not respond? We are not in kindergarten to refrain from talking or speaking to each other. But if we are not in the same place at the same time, how will we talk or speak to one another? he asked. Satheesan, without naming Tharoor, had recently said that any kind of sectarianism or parallel activities would not be allowed in the party and warned that such moves would be dealt with seriously. It was one of several remarks made by him in the wake of Tharoor's Malabar tour which seems to have rattled a significant section in Congress in the state with a few of them sensing an agenda behind his move. Tharoor's opponents in the party feel that through his programmes, he was trying to position himself as an ideal chief ministerial candidate of the Congress-led UDF for the 2026 Assembly polls to end the rule of the CPI(M)-led LDF, which has been in power since 2016. In the wake of the brewing controversy over his recent tour, the disciplinary panel of KPCC, on Saturday, issued a strict directive to its leaders not to bypass the respective party forums while attending programmes in each place and directed the leaders to intimate them in advance. When this was pointed out to the Thiruvananthapuram MP by reporters on Sunday, he said that District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents are always informed whenever he attends any public event. However, if it was a private event, there was no need to inform DCC presidents about the same, he added. Read: Tharoors Malabar Tour: How the once outsider hopes to rise as a Kerala leader

The News Minute 27 Nov 2022 5:06 pm

Vizhinjam port agitation: Kerala police register nine cases against protesters

Protest Going against the assurances given to the Kerala High Court, the protesters agitating in front of the under-construction Vizhinjam seaport had on Saturday blocked the trucks carrying construction materials to the site. PTI The Kerala police have registered at least nine cases after Saturday's anti-seaport protests at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram district turned violent. Going against the assurances given to the Kerala High Court, the protesters agitating in front of the under-construction Vizhinjam seaport had on Saturday blocked the trucks carrying construction materials to the site. The protesters, led by the Latin Catholic church, had on November 22 assured the High Court that they would not block any vehicles coming to the Vizhinjam seaport. During the blockade, a section of local people who are in support of the project came out opposing the protesters leading to a minor scuffle. During the protest, there was a minor scuffle too. Now, we have registered nine cases against the protesters and those who oppose the protest at Vizhinjam, a senior police official of the district told PTI. Police said that the case was registered against a few church priests also. Fr Eugene Perera, a leader of the protests, said that the government was not ready to properly rehabilitate the coastal community. The government which is not ready to properly rehabilitate us are not threatening us with police cases. We will not back down. Tomorrow, the government will move against us in the court, he told the media. Watch: Fr Eugene Perera talks to TNM Fr Eugene said that the protesters will file an appeal against the court's order on various matters related to the Vizhinjam protest. Earlier on Thursday, the government had scheduled a meeting with the protesters but they failed to turn up. The High Court had on November 22 warned the protesters that stern action will be taken against them if they failed to remove the obstructions. The port, a Kerala government initiative, is currently being developed in a landlord model with a Public Private Partnership component on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer ('DBFOT') basis. The private partner, Adani Vizhinjam Port Private limited, commenced the construction on December 5, 2015 at a cost of Rs 7,525 crore. The Vizhinjam International Transhipment Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport authorities said that 70 % of the work has now been completed. Earlier, the state government had made it clear that almost all the demands of the protesters were met except halting the construction work at the port. The High Court has multiple times asked the protesters not to block the road to the seaport premises and have asked the government to remove the shed erected by the agitators as part of their protests.

The News Minute 27 Nov 2022 4:33 pm

We are not nursery students to not talk to each other, says Tharoor

We are not nursery students to not talk to each other, says Tharoor Senior leader of the Congress party, Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said the party leaders in the state were not nursery students who did not talk to each other. Thiruvananthapuram: Senior leader of the Congress party, Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said the [] The post We are not nursery students to not talk to each other, says Tharoor appeared first on Mangalorean.com .

Mangalorean 27 Nov 2022 4:25 pm

Kerala Police to temporarily shut down St Marys Cathedral Basilica after group clashes

Kerala Police to temporarily shut down St Marys Cathedral Basilica after group clashes The St Marys Cathedral Basilica in Keralas Ernakulam district witnessed a clash between two groups of believers on Sunday over the issue of unified Holy Mass following which the police decided to shut down the premises till matters were resolved. Thiruvananthapuram: [] The post Kerala Police to temporarily shut down St Marys Cathedral Basilica after group clashes appeared first on Mangalorean.com .

Mangalorean 27 Nov 2022 2:38 pm

Thiruvananthapuram school arts festival: South sub-district emerges champions

Kilimanoor got second position in the high school category with 289 points, while Thiruvananthapuram North came third (284 points).

The New Indian Express 27 Nov 2022 6:36 am

Protests resume against Vizhinjam port despite High Court order

Protest The High Court had, on November 22, warned the protesters that stern action will be taken against them if they failed to remove the obstructions. PTI Youtube/ Media One Violating the assurances given to the Kerala High Court, those protesting against the under-construction Vizhinjam seaport on Saturday, November 25, blocked trucks carrying construction materials to the site. The protesters, led by the Latin Catholic Church, had on November 22 assured the High Court that they would not block any vehicles coming to the Vizhinjam seaport. However, on Saturday, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the gate of the seaport, where the agitators blocked the road by erecting a shed across the road and stopped the vehicles. The High Court had, on November 22, warned the protesters that stern action will be taken against them if they failed to remove the obstructions. Read: Adani files contempt case against Kerala govt for not giving security at Vizhinjam port The Adani Group, which is constructing the seaport, told PTI that the works restarted today based on the court order. It's been 102 days since the work has been halted here due to the protests. We had approached the state High Court, which gave us a favourable ruling. The court had asked us to restart the work but this is the situation today also. Now, let the court take a decision, a company spokesperson said. The protesters blocked five trucks carrying construction materials. The port, a Kerala government initiative, is currently being developed with a Public Private Partnership component on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis. The private partner, Adani Vizhinjam Port Private limited, commenced the construction on December 5, 2015, with a cost of Rs 7,525 crore. Read: Kerala government appeals to Vizhinjam protestors to end agitation The Vizhinjam International Transhipment Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport authorities had said that 70% of the work has now been completed. The protesters have been demanding that the construction of the deepwater port be stopped and a proper environmental impact study should be carried out. They have also put forward six other demands including rehabilitation of families who lost their homes to sea erosion, steps to mitigate coastal erosion, financial assistance to fisherfolk on days weather warnings are issued, compensation to families of those who lose their lives in fishing accidents, subsidised kerosene, and a mechanism to dredge the Muthalapozhi fishing harbour in Anchuthengu in Thiruvananthapuram district. Read: Ground report: Vizhinjam fisherfolks blackflag protest has seven main demands Earlier, the state government had made it clear that almost all the demands of the protesters were met except halting the construction work at the port. The high court has multiple times asked the protesters not to block the road to the seaport premises and have asked the government to remove the shed erected by the agitators as part of their protests. Read: Vizhinjam port construction: Protests should not affect project, says Kerala HC Also Read: We want Adani port project to be halted, not abandoned: Latin Catholic Church

The News Minute 26 Nov 2022 6:57 pm

Thiruvananthapuram medical college doctors protest assault on senior resident

Crime Senior resident Dr Merry Francis Kallory informed Senthil about his wifes death, following which he allegedly kicked her in the stomach. TNM Staff Photo : Dr Sulphi Noohu, Facebook page The resident doctors of Thiruvananthapuram Medical College kept away from inpatient and outpatient services on Friday, November 25, in protest of the increasing atrocities towards doctors by patients and bystanders. While they attended duty at the Emergency and Intensive Care Units (ECU/ICU), they questioned the delay in the arrest of Senthil Kumar from Kollam, who allegedly assaulted a resident on Tuesday, November 23. The said incident happened after senior resident and neurosurgeon Dr Merry Francis Kallory informed Senthil about his wifes death outside the ICU of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital where she was under treatment. Enraged, Senthil allegedly kicked the doctor in her stomach. Dr Merry is still under treatment and the Medical College police have registered a case under Sections 354 (Assault or criminal force against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Health Minister Veena George said that strict action will be taken. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) Kerala Chapter strongly condemned the assault against the doctor. I don't want this job. I don't want to be a neurosurgeon, I don't want to be a doctor. I am leaving the country this is what the doctor said to me yesterday while holding her tears. She was kicked by a man on her abdomen. A patient with a tumor in her brain who was in a very critical condition passed away despite the best efforts of the neurosurgery department. The doctor came out of the ICU and informed the patient's husband at 1 am in the morning. The husband kicked her brutally, IMA Kerala President Dr Sulphi Noohu recalled in his Facebook post. The female doctor who got kicked is in the ICU, unable to scream or cry. The suspect is still safe, while the doctor is ready to leave her own profession. Women and women doctors are not safe. This is the second woman doctor attack in the capital city within a month, he added. Many of the times, bystanders of patients we deal with are a bit arrogant. But we understand their situation and keep calm. However, this has crossed limits and escalated into an assault. Even in the recent Alappuzha assault case, the doctor was attacked after declaring the death of the patient. How can we work if we are being attacked for declaring deaths? Dr Philip Sunny, General Secretary of the Kerala Medical Post Graduates Association (KMPGA), Thiruvananthapuram Medical College asked. He added that the police delayed the arrest citing various reasons. Initially, the police said they did not make an arrest considering the accuseds feelings. Then they cited the funeral of his wife, and now, they are citing some health issues of the accused. They exhibit a cold response to this case, he alleged. A month ago on October 30, Dr C M Shobha, senior general surgeon of the Thiruvananthapuram General Hospital fractured her hands following an alleged assault from Waseer, a 25-year-old man who sought treatment for stomach pain. The said doctor examined his scan reports and advised him to get admitted. Suddenly in a fit of rage, the patient tore off the reports and allegedly assaulted the doctor. He was later arrested and remanded.

The News Minute 26 Nov 2022 1:19 pm

Kerala seeks higher GST share, expedition of Silverline from Union govt

Finance Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal made the demands during the pre-Budget consultations with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. PTI File Photo/PTI Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal, on Friday, November 25, urged the Union government to provide more fiscal powers to the states as well as increase the shareable proportion of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections. Besides, he asked the Union government to expedite approval for the controversial semi-high-speed railway line or the Silverline project from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod. The demands were raised during the pre-Budget consultations with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Budget for 2023-24 is to be presented on February 1 next year. The state economies are in the stage of transition from recession ushered in by the pandemic, and neo restrictions in the form of fiscal consolidation at this stage could only help the transitional cycle to move reversely, the minister said. We submit that states must be given more fiscal powers/ autonomy to ensure cooperative federalism and encourage state-specific efforts to attain growth and ensure social justice, he added in the submission. With respect to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the demand is for increasing the shareable proportion of GST collection from the 50:50 ratio to the 60:40 ratio in favour of the states, as well as extending the GST compensation period. The five-year GST compensation period ended in June this year. According to the submission, the share of central surcharges and cesses have been increased from around 10% to 20% of the Gross Tax Revenue (10.4% in 2011-12 and 19.90% in 2020-21) over the last decade. This has reduced the share of states from the divisible pool as a percentage of the Gross Tax Revenue of the Union... the Union may restrict surcharges and cesses as a fixed per cent of Gross Tax Revenues (GTR) so that the divisible pool of taxes does not shrink substantially, it added. Further, the minister has urged the Union government to rationalise cess and surcharges, and also enhance revenue-neutral rates by taxing luxury items more. Among others, the state has mooted the proposal of linking part of the additional borrowing limit with capital expenditure. It will be a welcome move to have an expert committee to examine the specific liquidity problems faced by the states, and Ways and Means and overdraft limits are redefined. Kerala has also sought a special package for the economic rehabilitation of the return migrants in the Budget.

The News Minute 26 Nov 2022 11:27 am

Thiruvananthapuram school arts festival: South sub-district set to emerge overall champions

On the fourth day, the festival venues reverberated with drama, mimicry, mono-act, mime, games and shield dances taking centre stage.

The New Indian Express 26 Nov 2022 6:54 am

Yuva Morcha lays siege to Thiruvananthapuram corporation office

KSU march turns violent as protesters attempt to jump barricade | Museum police register case against 10 activists

The New Indian Express 26 Nov 2022 6:50 am

Akasa Airs entry likely to lower domestic Thiruvananthapuram sector rates

The operator has flexible tariff giving it competitive advantage over rival airlines

The New Indian Express 26 Nov 2022 6:27 am

Write to political prisoners, they need your support: Teesta Setalvad

Theatre The civil rights activist was speaking at the inaugural of a three-day conference of the Network of Artistic Theatre Activists Kerala being held in Thiruvananthapuram. TNM Staff After 70 days of incarceration, civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad had received 2,700 letters with words of support. All political prisoners deserve such letters because of the sense of strength it gives, she said while inaugurating the three-day state conference of the Network of Artistic Theatre Activists Kerala (NATAK), in Thiruvananthapuram on November 25. Requesting theatre artistes to be aware of the dangers of the Union governments Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that her organisation, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), has been fighting against, Teesta said that happenings in Assam would affect every city and village. While politically Muslims are the target, Assam shows us that every caste and community would be affected, she said. Anyone who feels they will be safe because of caste and privilege will be proven wrong, Teesta said. She said that India is currently experiencing proto-fascism, the stage that leads to fascism. One of their tactics is fear, intimidation and violence for fragmenting us. They attack one section, and that section gets isolated. Then they attack another section, she said and cited the examples of the writers, journalists and comics who have been attacked and not allowed to write or perform. Teesta spoke against the silence being practised at a time people were violently and physically attacked. Even when she was jailed, the message she gave her team was to continue the work they were doing. After the initial shock they did that, she said. She ended the talk by mentioning her post from May 16, 2014 when the Modi government first came into power. She had quoted German playwright Bertolt Brecht -- Will there be singing in the dark times? Yes there will also be singing. About the dark times. What can art do at a time when every space in society has decayed, what debates can we engage through theatre, what are the responsibilities of a theatre person in these times these are some of the questions that would be raised in the three-day conference, said a statement released by the organising committee of the conference. On Sunday, November 27, the concluding day of the NATAK conference, actor and activist Prakash Raj will be speaking as the chief guest. Theatre performances will be held in the evenings as part of the event.

The News Minute 25 Nov 2022 9:35 pm

Kerala journo death case: HC stays order dropping charges against Sreeram Venkitaraman

Court The Kochi sessions court recently dropped charges under section 304 of the IPC, which deals with culpable homicide, against the IAS officer. PTI The Kerala High Court on Friday, November 25, stayed a lower court order dropping the culpable homicide charge against IAS officer Sreeram Venkitaraman. The IAS officer was booked in connection with a road accident case that resulted in the death of journalist KM Basheer in 2019. Justice Ziyad Rahman AA stayed for two months the order of the Thiruvananthapuram sessions court, while accepting a criminal revision petition filed by the state government. The court issued notice to the IAS officer and his friend, whose car he was driving at the time of the accident. The lower court recently dropped the charge under section 304 of the IPC, which deals with culpable homicide. However, the court said other charges, including Sections 304a (causing death by negligence) and 279 (rash and negligent driving) stand. Venkitaraman was drunk while driving the car and fatally knocked down the journalist in Thiruvananthapuram in August 2019. The car belonged to his friend Wafa Firoze, who was also travelling with him and is the second accused in the case. She was charged with abetting the officer to drive the car rashly. The car hit journalist Basheer, who was on his motorcycle, killing him on the spot. Venkitaraman, a doctor himself, allowed police to collect his blood sample for examination nine hours after the mishap and after getting himself admitted to a private hospital. His arrest was recorded nearly 17 hours later. He was later suspended from service and his driving licence cancelled. Venkitaraman, suspended two days after the incident, was reinstated in March 2020 and appointed as Joint Secretary- Health. Later in July this year, he was appointed as the Alappuzha Collector, but was removed due to criticism from the public and political parties. He is currently appointed as the general manager of Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited. Read: With protests mounting, Kerala govt removes Sriram Venkitaraman as Alappuzha Collector

The News Minute 25 Nov 2022 6:54 pm

Have Keralas Ente Koodu and One-Day Home worked out for women?

Human Interest Though most women say these spaces have proved hugely useful as a safe and convenient option to stay for a day or night, they come with a few restrictions. Cris In four years, Ente Koodu, perched on top of the Kerala Road Transport Corporation's curvy white building in Thiruvananthapuram, has found many takers. On a Monday evening, Sumangali, reaching the city for a trip to the Vettukad church, talks to two staff members familiar to her through previous visits. Placed across the road from the central railway station and atop the Thampanoor stand where all long-distance buses stop, Koodu opened by the Women and Child Development (WCD) department as a safe space for women to spend a night - has become a popular haunt for women commuting between districts at odd hours. But it has quite a few restrictions including the number of times a person can come in a month, and the WCD has opened another shelter for women who need short stays -- a one-day home right next door to Koodu. In Malayalam, koodu means nest, and ente koodu, translates to my nest. For Sumangali, Koodu is a familiar place. This is the first time that I brought my sister along. She wanted to see what it is like, Sumangali says, pointing to another woman sitting on a bed. It is a dormitory with bunk beds spread across a large hall. Remya, a daily wage employee at Koodu, says that about 30 women visit the centre on average every night. They just need to show one of their identity cards and give a couple of phone numbers to get a bed. The centre is open between 6.30 in the evening and 7.30 the next morning, Remya says. The Koodu scheme started in 2015, during the time of the previous UDF government in Kozhikode, as a night shelter for destitute women. In 2018, when the LDF government opened the centre in Thiruvananthapuram, the idea was extended to include all women who might be stranded without a place to go to at odd hours. Two months ago, the third centre of Koodu was opened at Kakkanad in Ernakulam district. TNM found that while Koodu has mostly proven helpful to many women who need to travel alone, there are some aspects that need attention. #EnteKoodu, the free shelter for women who need a safe space for a night, tucked into a corridor overlooking the Central Railway station. On the 8th floor of the #ksrtc bus stand in Thampanoor, #Trivandrum pic.twitter.com/C0R2lTuZlX Cris (@cristweets) November 25, 2022 In the Koodu centre at Thiruvananthapuram, there are 50 beds in the dorm, but only two bathrooms. Sometimes women come with children and on a busy day, there could be more than 50 people. There are two members of the staff who stay there every night to look after the needs of the occupants. Sharanya, posted as a multitasking staff, says that the centre is free for everyone who comes before 4 in the morning. For those who come after 4 am, the charge is Rs 100. One person can only visit the centre for a maximum of three days a month. In exceptional cases, they are allowed two days more, for a charge. We allow boys up to the age of 12. Of course, children are not allowed in on their own, there has to be an accompanying adult, Sharanya says. Partygoers not encouraged On the door outside are the phone numbers of the staff and police officials of the Thampanoor station. The centre runs in close association with the police. If anything at all goes wrong, we ring the officers at Thampanoor and they come immediately. Even otherwise they sometimes drop by, especially if there are any missing cases (to see if the missing persons are here), Sharanya adds. Sharanya and Remya at Ente Koodu Three years ago, TNM reported the experience of a few young women who had sought accommodation at Koodu at 1 am the night but were turned away. The reason was that they had come there after a film show at night. The film was at a movie hall in the same building, a few floors below. Even now, women who reach there late in the night after a DJ party or a film are not encouraged to stay. Though the centre is meant for every woman who might be stranded alone and needs a place to stay, it gives preference to those who are from financially poor backgrounds and do not have many other options. If there are enough beds, of course, everyone is welcome, regardless of where they come from. But on the nights we are short of beds, we are cautious about who we give the bed away to, in case someone who is more desperate doesnt get the space, Sharanya says. Those who come after 10 at night have to state the reason for their visit. Most of the time, it would be students who reach on a late-night train and have an exam the next morning, or else it could be those who come for hospital checkups. Once they register their names and take a bed, they are not expected to go out. This is because we cant take responsibility for their possessions. If they are willing to carry it as they go out, it is alright, Sharanya says. The centre also offers a plate of chapati and vegetable kurma for free for the first five women who ask for it. One-day home As we talk, there are multiple mentions of the one-day home next door, which opened in 2020. Kavitha, the staff in charge for the night, shows a similarly large hall, but with single beds spread around it, in place of a dorm, and a few cubicles if visitors prefer a private space. There are 29 beds here and two bathrooms, plus an air conditioner. It is also open 24 hours, unlike Koodu, which is just for the night. Only, this one is not free. It comes at a price of Rs 150 a day for the beds in the hall and Rs 250 for the cubicles. A cubicle at the one-day home The rate increases for every consecutive day they want to stay. For the first 24 hours, it is the base charge, for the next day it will be Rs 50 more, so Rs 200 for the hall bed and Rs 300 for the cubicle. A third day would mean another 50 Rs more, Kavitha says. Like in Koodu, a person can stay only for a maximum of three days in a month, whether at a stretch or with gaps. Affordable, but limited number of days Perhaps the only complaint that Prabhha Balachandran, a senior citizen who came to stay for the night on Monday, 21 November has about the one-day home is that it is limited to a few days. I have come here a few times now and think really great of this place. I lived in Thiruvananthapuram earlier, but am now settled in Ernakulam with my [grownup] children. I need to visit the capital to see my grandson who is a student at the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH). Every time, I stay here, and it has always been great. The staff here is also excellent. But it would be great if the stay can be extended to five or six days a month, Prabha says. In the beds next to hers are two women who have come from Munnar to visit their children who go to college in Thiruvananthapuram, and another woman who makes the occasional pilgrimage to Vettukad church. All three of them hail the one-day home, calling it a very convenient arrangement for women who come alone to the city, located right next to the central railway station and bus station. It is great that it is affordable, says Jancy, who works in a tea estate in Munnar and speaks Tamil. It is her friend who has accompanied her on this trip who first came to know of the one-day home. I came to know from the hostel warden of my child, who is a college student in the city, she says. Kozhikode centre too far away Martha Wilfred, the occupant on the far bed, who came for her church visit says that no other district has such a convenient setup, not even Kozhikode where she works as a home nurse and where another centre of Koodu is open. That is far from the city, you have to take a vehicle and travel several kilometres from the bus or rail stations. That is not so safe in the dead of the night. But this location here in Thiruvananthapuram is perfect. Kavitha at the One Day Home Like in Koodu, the women are expected to be in by 6.30 pm. Those who need to go out after that must enter in a diary the time they will return. They can leave their luggage and go as the centre has a locker facility. But every woman who registers is asked the purpose of their visit and where they need to go. This is in case any issues occur later and we need to have information about the women. It is also for the safety of others. If something goes wrong, we call either the pink police or the officials at Thampanoor station, Kavitha says. Prabha remembers how once there was a woman who appeared to have mental health issues and kept talking aloud to herself. Kavitha took charge of the situation and calmed the woman down, Prabha recalls appreciatively. Sharanya, from Koodu, says that they dont welcome women who have shown problematic behaviour before. Once, a woman who seemed unstable came to the one day home, and we contacted the police. The next time officials of another police station brought her in and we said no. We always ask our department officers in any such case, she says. It would seem the centre is not welcoming of women with mental health issues or problems at home, although this could be in consideration of other shelter seekers. A step forward would be to direct these women to proper channels that could help them deal with the issues.

The News Minute 25 Nov 2022 5:00 pm

Kerala govts decision to hike sales tax on liquor is corruption, alleges Congress

Alcohol The criticism comes a day after the state cabinet approved a 4% increase in the general sales tax on IMFL. PTI Representative image /Pixabay -Michelle Bryant The Congress in Kerala on Thursday, November 24, termed the Left government's decision to hike sales tax on Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and forgo the five per cent Turnover Tax (ToT) levied on distilleries as corruption and said it could lead to increase in drug use. The criticism comes a day after the state cabinet approved a four per cent increase in the general sales tax on IMFL. Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state assembly V D Satheesan said the state government's decision was not only unscientific, but it would also lead to an increase in liquor price which in turn could push more people towards drug consumption. Moreover, there are those who would not cut down on alcohol consumption irrespective of the rise in its price and therefore their household expenses would be affected by the latest decision. Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala dubbed the state government move as corruption and said it was an outcome of a mutual understanding between liquor companies and the ruling CPI(M). Speaking to reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, he said liquor companies have been for years demanding doing away with Turnover Tax, which is imposed by the state government on the distilleries in Kerala. Therefore, the state government decided to forgo the five per cent Turnover Tax (ToT) levied on distilleries, which are manufacturing and selling foreign liquor within the state. At the same time, the state government also decided to increase the sales tax on liquor by 4 per cent. Satheesan claimed that the sales tax was increased to make up for the loss of revenue of around Rs 1500 crore due to forgoing the Turnover Tax of 5 per cent. As a result, the sales tax on IMFL will increase from 247 per cent to 251 per cent, he noted. The LoP termed the decision as daylight robbery and said it would be a blow to the consumers and beneficial to the liquor companies. He contended that frequent hike in liquor prices to tide over the financial crisis allegedly caused by government extravagance and mismanagement of tax collection was a 'flawed' economic practice. Satheesan also sought an investigation into the allegations that CPI(M) leaders intervened on behalf of big liquor companies to exempt them from ToT. A cabinet meeting on Wednesday chaired by CM Pinarayi Vijayan decided to do away with the Turnover Tax on distilleries and increase the sales tax on liquor. It also gave its nod to the Kerala State Beverages Corporation to increase its warehouse margin by one per cent. It was also decided that the price of foreign liquor will be increased by 2 per cent for customers. The waiving of ToT on distilleries would result in loss of revenue to the southern state and to cover that, the present Kerala General Sales Tax rate would be increased by four per cent, a CMO statement had said.For that, a Bill will be presented in the Assembly to amend the Kerala General Sales Tax Act, 1963,'' it had said.

The News Minute 25 Nov 2022 8:49 am

Malayalam writer Satheesh Babu Payyanur found dead at his residence

Death According to reports, preliminary assessment shows no abnormality in death, but the post-mortem report is awaited to ascertain the exact cause. TNM Staff Facebook/Satheesh Babu Payyanur Malayalam writer Satheesh Babu Payyanur passed away on Thursday, November 24. The 59-year-old writer was found dead in a flat in Thiruvananthapuram, where he lived with his wife. He was alone in the house after his wife went to her maternal house yesterday. As he did not pick any phone calls, the door was broken open and he was found dead. The cause of his death is not known yet and a probe is underway. According to reports, preliminary assessment shows no abnormality in death. However, the post-mortem report is awaited to ascertain the exact cause of his death. Satheesh Babu Payyanur was born at Pathiripala in Palakkad. He underwent his education in Kanhangad Nehru College and at Payyannur College. He was also the person to edit and publish Calicut Universitys first campus newspaper under the name Campus Times. He later joined the State Bank of Travancore and also worked as the editor of a weekly Eyachaazhcha. Satheesh Babu Payyanur is also the author of several works, including Peramaram, Daivapura, Manja Suryante Naalal. In 2012, he was awarded the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for his short story collection Peramaram. He has also received the Karur Award, Malayatur Award and Thopil Ravi Award, and is also a member of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, as well as the Kerala Film Academy. Satheesh Babu has also served as the member secretary of Bharat Bhavan. He was also the screenplay writer for the 1992 film 'Nakshatrakudaram'.

The News Minute 25 Nov 2022 8:37 am

Thiruvananthapuram district School Arts Fest day 3: Carmel GHSS leads

The host, GHSS Cotton Hill reached the fourth position with 121 points.

The New Indian Express 25 Nov 2022 6:43 am

Kerala government appeals to Vizhinjam protestors to end agitation

Protest While the government has claimed that it had accepted almost all demands of the protesters, the agitators alleged that the government has not given any written assurances on their demands even after many minister-level discussions. PTI The Kerala government's ambitious Rs 7,500 crore Vizhinjam Seaport, being developed by the Adani group in the southernmost part of the state, has been facing deadlock due to the over 100-day protest by the locals led by the leadership of the Latin Catholic Archdiocese in Thiruvananthapuram. Keen to finish the project as early as possible, the state government has appealed to the church authorities to end the protest as it was crucial for bringing changes to the industrial and economic sector of the country. The government claimed it had accepted almost all demands of the protesters. However, the protesters are not ready to budge, alleging the project will adversely affect the livelihood of the fishermen, coastal ecosystem and the ecology of the Western Ghats due to mining of granite stones for the same. The agitators also alleged the government has not given any written assurances on their demands even after many minister-level discussions. The Vizhinjam International Transhipment Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport is being developed in a landlord model with a Public Private Partnership component on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis at an estimated cost of Rs 7,525 crore. Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Limited, the private partner, commenced the construction work on December 5, 2015. The port authorities clarified that 70% of the work has now been completed but for the last few months, the construction was halted due to the protests. The protesters have been demanding the construction of the deepwater port be stopped as it has affected the coastal ecosystem. They have urged the government to conduct a proper environmental impact study of the project, besides putting forward six other demands including rehabilitation of families who lost their homes to sea erosion, steps to mitigate coastal erosion and financial assistance to fisherfolk on days weather warnings are issued. The protesters have also urged the government to provide compensation to families of those who lose their lives in fishing accidents, subsidised kerosene for fishermen and a mechanism to dredge the Muthalapozhi fishing harbour in Anchuthengu in Thiruvananthapuram district. Read: Ground report: Vizhinjam fisherfolks blackflag protest has seven main demands Eugene H Pereira, a church priest who represents the protesters, told PTI the project is planned in a high eroding coastal area which may adversely affect the fisherfolk. He said that they have demanded an expert panel to study the impact. Read: We want Adani port project to be halted, not abandoned: Latin Catholic Church Multiple ministerial level meetings were held with the protesters to solve the crisis but the agitators claim that their demands were not met. The government has not yet given us any written assurances on anything. Our demand on kerosene has not yet been met. With regard to rehabilitation of displaced families and providing rent for their housing, the government needs to be proactive, he said.The rent assistance is very less. The poor fishermen have to pay a huge deposit or advance for renting a house in a city area like this, the priest said. The state Fisheries and Port department authorities sought to pacify the protesting fishermen, saying the shoreline changes and other environmental aspects are being continuously monitored over a distance of 20 km on either side of the port. Read: Why Adani Ports keep seeking extension to complete Vizhinjam project Kerala Minister of Ports Ahammad Devarkovil said National Institute of Ocean Technology and the National Centre for Earth Science Studies have been constantly studying the environmental parameters and the Shoreline Monitoring Cell appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has not yet made any observation regarding coastal erosion. The state government wants to finish the project as early as possible because it is a huge commercial activity which will bring major changes to the industrial and economic sector of not only Kerala but the country also, Devarkovil told PTI. Accepting the demands of the fishermen, the state government had on October 6 appointed a four-member expert panel to examine whether there has been any such coastal erosion consequent to the work done for constructing the Vizhinjam port. The protesters complained the expert panel constituted by the government does not have any of their representatives. The port is said to be the only transshipment hub in the Indian sub-continent, closest to the international shipping routes, and is centrally located on the Indian coastline. Meanwhile, the Adani Group, which has already moved the state High Court and secured a favourable order to continue the construction of the port, said if the protests continue, their deadline of December 2023 might get extended. We are losing a golden hour. The time period between September to May is best for undertaking work at sea as it will be comparatively calm. Now we have already lost three months. Our aim was to finish the project by December 2023. It might get extended due to this delay caused due to the protests, a company spokesperson told PTI. The company said that almost 70% of the total work of the port has been completed but only 50% work of the berth construction and the breakwater work could be finished till now. Of the 2,960 metre-long breakwater, around 1,400 metre work was finished using around 30 lakh tonnes of granite boulders. A total of 70 lakh tonnes of granite boulders are required to complete the breakwater construction. Earlier we were dumping around 15,000 tonnes boulders per day but now we plan to increase it by 30,000 tonne per day, Port Department sources said. However, agitators claimed the Adani Group was cheating the Kerala government and the people of the state by giving false claims on work completion and environmental impact.The work has not reached 70% as claimed by Adani Group. They are cheating the Kerala government and the people of the state. They claim that they have purchased some cranes and other equipment. But those are still abroad. Now they need to mine Western Ghats for the boulders for the rest of the construction. All these are going to adversely affect the environment, Pereira said. On August 23, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had told the Assembly that the protest seemed orchestrated and that the government was ready for talks, and wanted to resolve the concerns faced by the fishing community. We have accepted almost all of their demands, a senior official from Minister Devarkovil's office said.It's not possible for the government to stop the project and conduct a study as it will invite huge compensation for delaying the project. The project was sanctioned after numerous studies as directed by the Supreme Court and the NGT. However, accepting their demand, the government has formed an expert panel, the official said. On reducing price of kerosene, the official said it was decided by the union government and added since bringing down the price was not an option, the state government has agreed to bear the cost of one-time conversion of such engines to diesel or CNG. We are already giving Rs 25 as subsidy on kerosene. The official said nowhere in India, fishermen are given compensation for the day when weather forecast warning is issued. A large number of people have been staging protests outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose seaport at nearby Mulloor for a few months. Armed with the latest High Court order to continue with the construction works, the government said the construction related vehicles will reach the port on Friday. The High Court has issued multiple stern warnings to the protesters asking them not to block the road or the construction. The court has also issued an order asking the Kerala police to provide security for the construction of the Port. Read: Vizhinjam port construction: Protests should not affect project, says Kerala HC

The News Minute 24 Nov 2022 2:21 pm

Tharoors Malabar Tour: How the once outsider hopes to rise as a Kerala leader

Opinion Drawing energy from his defeat in the Congress presidential elections, Tharoor embarked on a tour of Keralas northern districts to become powerful in the states politics. Saritha S Balan Facebook Only a month after his defeat to Mallikarjun Kharge in the race for Congress president, Shashi Tharoor embarked on a tour of the northern districts of Kerala. The Thiruvananthapuram MPs Malabar Tour' commenced on Sunday, November 20, and concluded on Wednesday. For someone who landed in the states politics as an outsider in 2009, after he lost the United Nations Secretary General elections in 2006, it has been a rewarding journey for Tharoor so far. The former diplomat has metamorphosed into a pragmatic politician who knew that he would gain considerable mileage from contesting the Congress presidential election and that it would eventually help him emerge stronger in politics. He has now diverted his attention to state politics, with the aim of becoming a powerful leader of the Congress in Kerala. Tharoor, who has always stood as a brand of his own, does not belong to any faction of the state unit of the Congress. He has not endorsed the traditional group equations in the party, but has kept equal distance from the I-group headed by former Opposition Leader and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, and the A-group led by former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Neither of the current power centres of the party Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran or Opposition Leader VD Satheesan have accepted him as one among them. Tharoor, despite his global fame as a writer and orator, has remained as Thiruvananthapuram MP and not a Kerala leader, at least in the eyes of the party heavyweights. For an ambitious careerist, Tharoor has never relented to the definitions given him by his party colleagues, instead evolving himself above them in national politics and now trying the same in the state. Tharoor aims big. And since he did not make it to the Congress chief post, he chose to make it louder in the state unit. Speculations and even news reports suggest that Tharoor is eyeing the Chief Minister post. He did not become a three-time MP without anyone to back him within the party. Three-time Kozhikode MP MK Raghavan and Youth Congress state vice president and former MLA KS Sabarinadhan have been vocal in supporting him. They were among those who seconded Tharoors contesting the AICC (All India Congress Committee) presidential election. Raghavan is the one coordinating the Malabar Tour while the Youth Congress had organised a debate in which Tharoor was invited to give a lecture during the tour. The event was later cancelled due to an alleged red signal from the Congress top brass. However, that did not deter Tharoor. This could perhaps be the first time a leader of the Congress or any other political party has embarked on a tour that is not orchestrated by the party. Tharoors senior colleagues like Chennithala, former state chief Mullappally Ramachandran, and many others have taken out state-wide campaigns from one end to the other, under different names like Aiswarya Kerala Yatra and Janamaha Yatra. It is not like those leaders lacked the individual political aspirations to travel in open vehicles under the scorching sun, but their campaigns were also rallies organised with the blessings of the party. Those rallies were hence eventually perceived as party rallies. Tharoors tour, on the other hand, is conceived and carried out by himself with his supporters, who are a minority in the party. He seems to be leaving no stone unturned to make the tour a louder statement from him, more for his colleagues rather than for the public. The Malabar Tour was, in fact, his way of telling the party leadership to face the 2024 Lok Sabha elections or the 2026 Assembly elections with him as the party face. For this, he is projecting his acceptance among certain sections of people as a secular, pro-development leader with a global vision and an elite intellect. This, he seems to believe, will help win over the hearts of people, which would make more Congress leaders line up in favour of him, eventually making him stronger than his contemporaries. But it is the same contemporaries that Tharoor has to deal with as he begins his journey to become the Congresss face in Kerala and sustain it. After Tharoor began the tour, Satheesan said that no sectarianism or parallel activities would be allowed in the party, warning that such moves would be dealt with seriously. Satheesan added, he state unit of the Congress is on a comeback path after two consecutive debacles in the Assembly elections and it is not healthy enough to bear any parallel activities by anyone. Satheesan and Sudhakaran are among the two prominent Chief Minister aspirants in the Congress who are eyeing the next Assembly elections. Tharoor joining the gang will not go down well with the other leaders, even though the former has said that no one needs to fear him and that he fears none. Tharoor has played it down with the same ease with which he landed in the states politics with no previous experience, without any open allegiance to any faction, and having never been a mass leader yet securing a three-time win. His tour is no exception, it is meticulously planned. In Malappuram, Tharoor met the leaders of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) at the residence of Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal, terming it a courtesy call. In Kozhikode, he had dinner with the Bishop Remigiose Inchananiyil of Thamarassery diocese. After the tour, Tharoor will be inaugurating Nair Service Societys (NSS) Mannam Jayanthi (birth anniversary of social reformer Mannath Padmanabhan) celebrations in January next year. The anniversary is held every year at Perunna in Kottayam, the headquarters of the NSS that has appropriated Mannam as their leader. NSSs invitation of Tharoor is yet another loud sign for leaders of the Congress in Kerala. The partys high command in Delhi has a history of favouring Tharoor. He was made a minister following his first electoral victory and has been made chairman of parliamentary standing committees. Chennithala said in a recent interview that Tharoor has been given his due as minister and chairman of the committees. None of this ever threatened the power equations in the Kerala unit. These equations are what Tharoor will now have to overcome to emerge victorious in the state.

The News Minute 24 Nov 2022 1:36 pm

International indie music rocks Keralas Kovalam for five days

Music The indie music fest, a rarity in the state, included seven bands from outside the country and 14 from within. Cris JK of the thrash metal band Chaos Passing through the Kovalam bypass road, kilometres away from the buzz of Thiruvananthapuram city, no one would suspect that there exists a large sprawling campus brimming with arty things on a side lane. The Arts and Crafts Village, located at the end of a bylane near Vellar, was opened for craftspeople from remote areas to create, exhibit, and sell their work. Extending its scope, in the last five days the ground also turned into a venue for a rare indie music fest in Kerala. Twenty-one bands from India and abroad participated in the festival, which was put together by two city musicians, Jay and Manoj, who had left behind their band dreams in the 1990s and came back to it a quarter of a century later. Jay and Manoj joined hands with the Kerala Tourism Department's Arts and Crafts Village to organise the show, which hosted seven bands from outside the country. On Saturday, November 12, when we drove into the campus, small groups of young people, mostly in black metal T-shirts, were trickling in for the music fest. Outside the main venue, a young woman strummed a guitar and sang Elvis Presley for a few gatherers. Saturdays schedule had four bands on the menu three of them metal and one Carnatic rock. Inner Sanctum and Chaos, calling each other brothers, performed heavy, explosive music that shook you from miles away. Even those who claimed not to enjoy metal found themselves nodding their heads vigorously in step with the head-banging fans upfront. Nikhil gets down from the stage and plays his mad solo amid the crowd during @Chaos_Metal 's performance at the Indie International Music festival in Thiruvananthapuram yesterday. #iimf #chaos pic.twitter.com/CzcOA6KTUN S.R.Praveen (@myopiclenses) November 13, 2022 While Inner Sanctum is from Bengaluru, Chaos is from Thiruvananthapuram. Returning to their home turf was always great, said Chaos vocalist JK, and proceeded to sing a Malayalam metal song the band composed for the film S Durga. Rudra, singing Sanskrit metal and coming from Singapore, was the third band of the day. After them, it was Agam led by Harish Sivaramakrishnan, a familiar figure who not only has a huge vocal range but also occasionally makes speeches on social issues. #Agam at the International Indie Music Fest #IIMF in #Kovalam on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/vg2oy9KZEf Cris (@cristweets) November 13, 2022 On the first day November 9 it was a Kerala band singing Malayalam protest songs, Oorali, which opened the fest. Two foreign bands followed up the act. Among them was Anslom, a reggae musician from Papua New Guinea, who is the cultural ambassador of his country. Sami Chohfi from the US, who has made albums in India, performed on the second day. Job Kurian, who is active in film and independent music in Kerala, had a rocking show, complete with his famous single, Padayathra. The third day, When Chai Met Toast, another popular indie folk band with roots in Kerala, performed after a pop band from the UK and a rock act from Malaysia. The fest ends on Sunday with a show by playback singer Sithara Krishnakumars band featuring Indian folk numbers. Organisers Lazie J Jay and Manojs band will perform classic rock, while Will Johns from the UK will end the show.

The News Minute 13 Nov 2022 6:48 pm

Kerala airport halts flights, do you know why?

The Thiruvananthapuram airport stopped its operations for the ceremonial procession of Padmanabha Swamy temple. The post Kerala airport halts flights, do you know why? appeared first on Fusion - WeRIndia .

Fusion WeRIndia 2 Nov 2022 11:12 am

PFI bandh turns violent in Kerala; High Court takes suo moto case against outfit

The bandh or hartal called by the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Kerala against the nationwide raids and arrests of its key leaders by the NIA turned violent. Several incidents of vandalism and violence have been reported across the state and stones were pelted in various districts such as Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Alappuzha.

The New Indian Express 23 Sep 2022 6:33 pm

IGNITED RSS SHORTS, RAHUL GANDHIS BURBERRY T-SHIRT AND MORE: BHARAT JODO YATRAS MYRIAD CONTROVERSIES IN ITS FIRST WEEK

As Congress Bharat Jodo Yatra completes a week today, the foot march has continued to make headlines. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday kick-started the fourth day of the Kerala leg of the 3,570-kilometre padyatra by offering obeisance to social reformer Sree Narayana Guru at Sivagiri Mutt in Thiruvananthapuram. Sharing pictures from the visit, Continue reading IGNITED RSS SHORTS, RAHUL GANDHIS BURBERRY T-SHIRT AND MORE: BHARAT JODO YATRAS MYRIAD CONTROVERSIES IN ITS FIRST WEEK The post IGNITED RSS SHORTS, RAHUL GANDHIS BURBERRY T-SHIRT AND MORE: BHARAT JODO YATRAS MYRIAD CONTROVERSIES IN ITS FIRST WEEK appeared first on OurVoice | WeRIndia - Analysis & Opinion .

Our Voice WeRIndia 15 Sep 2022 10:47 am

BHARAT JODO YATRA: RAHUL GANDHI TO ABANDON HIS LUXURY CONTAINER FOR THE NIGHT AND SLEEP IN A SCHOOL AFTER LEFT-WING STUDENTS PROTEST AGAINST CONTAINER CAMP

On September 11, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi willspend the nightat a school in Thiruvananthapuram instead of the containers meant for leaders during his Bharat Jodo Yatra along with the staff and other leaders. Initially, permission was taken by the local administration to establish the camp for the containers at Agriculture college in Thiruvananthapuram but the Continue reading BHARAT JODO YATRA: RAHUL GANDHI TO ABANDON HIS LUXURY CONTAINER FOR THE NIGHT AND SLEEP IN A SCHOOL AFTER LEFT-WING STUDENTS PROTEST AGAINST CONTAINER CAMP The post BHARAT JODO YATRA: RAHUL GANDHI TO ABANDON HIS LUXURY CONTAINER FOR THE NIGHT AND SLEEP IN A SCHOOL AFTER LEFT-WING STUDENTS PROTEST AGAINST CONTAINER CAMP appeared first on OurVoice | WeRIndia - Analysis & Opinion .

Our Voice WeRIndia 12 Sep 2022 10:32 am

latin-catholics-not-anti-development-they-fear-for-fishing-communitys-existence-tharoor

This is a story with a difference. At a time when the Latin Catholic archdiocese of Trivandrum has entered the news for leading an agitation of the fishing community against the development of Vizhinjam port, and thereby incurred the tag of anti-development, I want to challenge that narrative. The Church agrees with those who believe that the rampant problem of coastal erosion has been worsened by the port construction. That is grounds for a separate discussion, since many argue that the vexed problem of sea inundation precedes the development of the port. But one thing that I, as MP for Thiruvananthapuram, can vouch for is that the Church is not anti-development. To explain why, let me go back six decades. When our nations scientists, led by the legendary Dr Vikram Sarabhai, began to develop the contours of Indias nascent space programme in the early 1960s, the coastal village of Thumba was identified as an ideal location, given its latitude and natural features, to allow for rocket launches and allied research. The catch, however, was that the land the community of scientists had identified in Thumba housed the St Mary Magdalene church and bishop Peter Bernard Pereiras official residence. In any other community or for that matter in any other part of the world, the matter might have been put to rest then and there. After all, the idea of displacing an active spiritual establishment would certainly have evoked outrage and fury, especially in todays India. But in this then relatively obscure part of Thiruvananthapuram district, when a decision of national importance and scientific progress presented itself, the community chose to make a remarkably patriotic choicea choice for development and progress. When initial conversations with local politicians and bureaucrats made little headway, Dr Sarabhai turned to bishop Pereira for his guidance. The bishop, after understanding the proposed mission of the scientists, asked Dr Sarabhai to come to the church on the following Sunday. During the service, bishop Pereira presented the proposition before the congregation. My children, I have a famous scientist with me who wants our church and the place I live in for the work of space science research, he explained. Dear children, science seeks truth by reasoning. In one way, science and spiritualism seek the same divine blessings for doing good for the people. My children, can we give Gods abode for a scientific mission? The answerquite literallywas a resounding Amen. The church and the bishops house as well as other neighbouring inhabited areas were handed over to Dr Sarabhai and his team. Thus was established, in 1962, the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS, which would be renamed Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, or VSSC, after the death of the legendary scientist nine years later). A year later India launched its first two-stage rocket from TERLS, marking our first foray into space. As the late president Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was part of the original launch team, and who went on to work from the church building himself, wrote later, looking back at this memorable episode: Today, among us, Prof Vikram Sarabhai is not there, Rev Dr Peter Bernard Pereira is not there, but those who are responsible for the creation and make the flower and blossom will themselves be a different kind of a flower as described in the Bhagwad Gita: See the flower, how generously it distributes perfume and honey. It gives to all, gives freely of its love. When its work is done, it falls away quietly. Try to be like the flower, unassuming despite all its qualities. Those qualities have been typified by the members of the Latin Catholic Archdiocese of Trivandrum. They are not anti-development. But they fear for the very existence of the Catholic fishing community when they see their homes topple into the sea from fierce inundations. That is a problem that needs attention and resources, to build sea-walls and groynes to save the coast, and to provide compensation and rehabilitation for the devastated fisherfolk. It is not going to be solved by unjustly abusing those who have proved their patriotism time and time again. editor@theweek.in

The Week 11 Sep 2022 2:49 pm

COMMUNISTS ARE LOOTING HINDU TEMPLES RETD. SC JUSTICE INDU MALHOTRA

On Sunday, Indu Malhotra, a retired Supreme Court justice, blamed the leftist governments in Bharat for occupying Hindu temples to profit from their wealth. She had come to the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram for Bhagwan Vishnus blessings. The retired judge spoke to devotees near the temple premises after the darshan. She is in Continue reading COMMUNISTS ARE LOOTING HINDU TEMPLES RETD. SC JUSTICE INDU MALHOTRA The post COMMUNISTS ARE LOOTING HINDU TEMPLES RETD. SC JUSTICE INDU MALHOTRA appeared first on OurVoice | WeRIndia - Analysis & Opinion .

Our Voice WeRIndia 30 Aug 2022 11:27 am