Human Rights There is some debate about what led the young woman to take the extreme step, given the family said she was also having differences with her fiance in the days preceding her death. Haritha John Image for representation/ Pixabay An 18-year-old woman died by suicide in a rented house near Thenhipalam in Malappuram district on January 20, 2022. While there are some reports that suggest that the woman took the fatal step after recent fights with her fiance, a previous note allegedly written by her reveals that she was upset over being insulted and ridiculed by the local police, with whom she had filed several complaints accusing multiple people of sexually abusing her. The woman is a victim in six cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The complaints pertained to abuse that allegedly happened in a span of two years and the accused included the relatives of the deceased too. What was more shocking is that her suicide note, which was revealed two days ago, said that then Circle Inspector of the Feroke police station in Kozhikode district insulted her by calling her sex worker. She also accused him of threatening her fiance. This note was written a few months ago when she had made another suicide attempt.CI sir insulted me by calling me a sex worker. He told the people around about the sexual abuse. Now I cannot go out. The accused and the police are responsible for my current situation, she had written in the letter. She also said in the letter that her fiance was assaulted and threatened not to marry her. The alleged ordeal came to light after the victim opened up to her fiance about the sexual abuse. As per reports, he supported her to complain about it to police. In March 2021, she filed all the complaints, all six were registered under the POCSO Act: one in Kondotty of Malappurama and five in Feroke. Speaking to the media, her mother said that the young woman had been going through severe mental distress and did not receive any support from the state. The mother said that though she had informed some police officials about her daughters precarious state, nobody was ready to help her or provide counselling. She also alleged that the young woman was having issues with the fiance that they had a quarrel over the phone in the last few days preceding her suicide. Authorities pass the buck The Inspector of Feroke police station had filed a report with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Kozhikode, giving details of the FIR filed based on a complaint filed by the victim on On March 22, 2021. However, the family of the woman has alleged that the CWC did not take any further action on this case, even after they were intimated. The CWC has denied these accusations. Neither family nor police had asked for help for counselling. The police just gave a general report. We have a proper system to protect and give support to POCSO victims. If we were informed we could have given proper support, Advocate PM Thomas, CWC Chairperson Kozhikode told TNM. However, when TNM asked the police in Feroke, they claimed that they had followed all procedures after filing an FIR. We had given a detailed report to CWC soon after the cases were filed. We have given all details and it is they who have to decide on how to support or move the victim to a shelter, said G Balachandra, the Feroke Station House Officer. Balachandra was the officer who filed chargesheets in the cases. The allegations raised in the suicide note of the victim were against another officer who was in charge before Balachandra took charge. Child-friendly practices not observed The Model Guidelines of the POCSO Act state that once the police is informed of the sexual abuse of a child, they have the responsibility of making urgent arrangements for the care and protection of the child, such as obtaining emergency medical treatment for the child and placing the child in a shelter home, should the need arise. The police are also mandated to bring the matter to the attention of the CWC within 24 hours of receiving the report, so the CWC may then proceed where required to make further arrangements for the safety and security of the child. Chapter 5 of the POCSO Act places a similar responsibility on the police, mandated for officials to get the child medical help as well as shelter, as prescribed, within 24 hours of the report. The guidelines also acknowledge that the victim is often retraumatised at the hands of the justice delivery process. A common example is the handling of cases of child victims by unspecialized police, prosecutors, and judges who are not trained in justice for children, childrens rights or how to deal and communicate with victim children and their families. Former High Court judge Kemal Pasha told TNM that the present case demonstrates a failure on the part of the police. A special team with proper training should be investigating such cases under POCSO. They should be trained to deal with sensitive cases. Think about the trauma the woman went through after she heard those words (sex worker), he said. Edited by Geetika Mantri If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organizations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families. Tamil Nadu State health department's suicide helpline: 104 Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu) Andhra Pradesh Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930 Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584 Karnataka Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222 Kerala Maithri: 0484 2540530 Chaithram: 0484 2361161 Both are 24-hour helpline numbers. Telangana State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104 Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200 SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm) Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one. 24x7 Helpline: 9820466726 Clickherefor working helplines across India.
Film Commentary The title can be read as the past and the time of demons and the film is simultaneously about both. How does the past sow the demons that we have to confront in the present? Sowmya Rajendran *Major spoilers ahead. This is not a review but a closer look at the film and its themes. Malayalam film Bhoothakaalam premiered on SonyLiv on January 21 and has become an instant favourite with fans of the horror genre. With a minimal cast and hardly any dependence on visual effects, the film has emerged as one of the scariest horror films to come out in recent times. At the heart of Bhoothakaalam, directed by Rahul Sadasivan, who co-wrote it with Sreekumar Shreyas, is the troubled relationship between a mother and son, Asha (Revathy) and Vinu (Shane Nigam). The title can be read as the past and the time of demons and the film is simultaneously about both. How does the past sow the demons that we have to confront in the present? The film opens with an elderly woman (Valsala Menon) slowly dragging herself around with her snow-white hair trailing after her. She reaches her grandsons bed and sits on it, waking him up. The grandmother is frail and harmless but she is also discomfiting, her cloudy eyes wandering and suddenly finding focus. While Asha deeply cares about her mother and performs her duties as a daughter without question, Vinu sees his Ammamma as a burden. Though she has lost her memory, the grandmother seems to sense his resentment. When Asha and Vinu change her diaper, with the latter asking why they had to change it so many times in a day, her eyes fall on him for a second and he looks away, perhaps suddenly pricked by guilt. The grandmother dies soon after (it appears to be a natural death but her eyes focus on someone or something right before she passes away, leaving room for multiple interpretations) and Vinu starts to unravel. Just when hes on the verge of freedom, he finds himself feeling trapped again by a presence he senses in the house. The haunted house premise is a well-worn trope in horror films, and its usually the house pet, mother or child who notices that something is amiss. This, one supposes, is because of the gendered assumption that men are not as sensitive or vulnerable to the presence of something evil/sinister. In a shift in Bhoothakaalam, it is Vinu, a young man, who first notices the signs of another presence. His mother, who has been diagnosed with clinical depression just as his grandmother was too, becomes increasingly concerned about his outbursts and strange behaviour. Also read: How to tell a ghost story without showing ghosts: Bhoothakaalam director Many horror films and series have explored mental illness and the parent-child relationship, particularly The Shining, The Babadook, Hereditary and The Haunting of Hill House. But the protagonists of Bhoothakaalam meet on a more equal plane; theyre both adults, dependent on each other but also free to break away if they so wish. What is it that Vinu fears? Are we to take what we see at face value and accept that the house has an evil presence? Or is it that Vinu is haunted by the thought that he will never be able to break free from his familys bhoothakaalam (past)? When he hears Asha sobbing, grieving over her mothers death, he puts his eye to the keyhole to see whats happening. He sees a figure with snow-white hair, the image of his grandmother who was the reason why Vinu couldnt leave town and find a good job. Is he afraid that it will be his mothers turn next and he will have to become a caregiver once again, curtailing his freedom? Does he worry that one day, the past will catch up with him too? The film constantly makes us wonder if what were observing is supernatural phenomena or the inner workings of a troubled human mind. When Vinu tells his mother that hes planning to leave town for a job, she threatens to lock him up inside a room and never let him go. After this, Vinu finds himself to be actually locked in inside his grandmothers room. He sees a shadow in the empty attached toilet, and is convinced that there is an evil spirit haunting the house. Does the incident really happen or is it Vinus fears that we see manifested on screen, following his mothers threat? Asha, a school teacher, is on medication for her clinical depression. She also says that since her mother had the same issues, shed been very supportive of Ashas illness. Though shes struggled with her mental health all through her life, Asha has single-handedly brought up Vinu. She is hurt by his alcoholism, his unwillingness to push himself academically, and thinks that hes like his father, who departed leaving behind a huge debt. But Vinu, too, seems to harbour the same demons that haunted his mother and grandmother. Interestingly, the first time Asha also observes something supernatural happening in the house is after her therapist is transferred to another hospital and she is unwilling to speak to the new person who has replaced her. Does Asha then really see the rattling washing machine, or is this a sign that she too is unraveling like Vinu? Rahul plays up the haunted house premise by including a nosey neighbour who is convinced that the bhoothakaalam of the house is responsible for what transpires within it. A counsellor (Saiju Kurup) who tries to help Vinu is nearly convinced that the neighbour is right. After all, two families had been ruined by the house. But Rahul also places skeptical voices within the narrative. Can a house be blamed for the actions of the humans who inhabited it? In real life, there have been many cases where people have murdered their entire families for no apparent reason and blamed it on demonic possession. But are those demons real or are they a manifestation of mental illness? Asha almost takes the drastic step, frustrated and angry that her son is losing his way despite her best efforts. She mixes poison in the dosas that theyre to eat for dinner, but throws them away after mother and son have a cathartic conversation. Vinu reaches out to Asha and tells her that nobody understands him [his uncle, girlfriend, friends distance themselves from him as he spirals] and asks her if she will support him; its what Ashas mother, Vinus grandmother, had done for her, understanding the reason for her behaviour. Asha, in turn, tells Vinu that shed done everything for his sake, so he could avoid the mistakes that shed done in life. But can they really avoid the past? It is when Asha and Vinu have this open-hearted, empathetic conversation, finally reaching a place of mutual understanding, that the house seems to convulse and throw up all the demons that it had been hiding until then. The last 15 minutes of the film is terrifying, as Asha and Vinu confront the previous residents of the house who surround them, seemingly trying to stop them from escaping. But are these ghosts truly present or do they represent the obstacles that Asha and Vinu need to overcome to unlock a happier future? When they finally manage to open the door [the same background score, like that of a childs musical toy, plays at this instance as it did at the beginning of the film when the title Bhoothakaalam appears], it is as if they have escaped the past. The last thing Vinu sees as they tumble out of the house is a grubby, elderly hand, holding the door. Is the hand really there or does this mark Asha and Vinus severance from their troubled past? The film ends with the house stripped down and ready for its next occupants. It looks plain and ordinary [unlike the creepy mansions we are used to seeing in films of this genre], without the terrified humans who escaped it. Is it a monster waiting to consume another family, or is it just another house where the residents blame their actions on it? Bhoothakaalam is open to interpretation at every phase of the story arc, and thats what makes it such an intriguing watch. Horror films seldom hold up beyond the first viewing, when they have revealed all their jump scares and boo moments. Bhoothakaalam is a rare exception that becomes more rewarding with every watch. Watch: Trailer ofBhoothakaalam
Justice From the Kerala governments delay in appointing a special public prosecutor to the detached approach of the SPP, the 2018 case is fraught with alleged political influence, as most accused are local leaders of the ruling CPI(M) party. Haritha John It has been four years since my son was lynched. We dont know why the trial has not started. We just want justice, said a despondent Malli, the mother of a 30-year-old tribal man, A Madhu, who was lynched on February 22, 2018, in Palakkad districts Attappadi, for stealing rice from a grocery shop. A special investigation team had filed a 3,000-page charge sheet in May 2018, named 16 persons as accused, and charged them with murder and offences under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Come February 22, it will be four years since Madhu was brutally beaten to death. And Madhus mother is still perplexed about why the trial has not commenced yet. They (the police) cite different reasons, which I do not understand. We have no money and influence. All the accused men have been walking freely all these years, said Malli, who is clueless at this point on whom to meet to seek justice. When the case came up for hearing in the Mannarkkad SC / ST Special CourtTuesday, January 25, 2022, there was no legal representation for Madhu. The Special Public Prosecutor assigned to the case resigned from the post a week ago. The road to a trial was pocked with setbacks from the beginning. From the governments delay in appointing a special public prosecutor to the detached approach of the SPP, the case, today, is fraught with alleged political influence as most accused in the case are local leaders of the ruling CPI(M) party. One of the accused,Shamsuddin,was elected as the CPI(M) branch secretary in September 2021, although the decision was withdrawn after much opposition. Although Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other CPI(M) leaders condemned the incident, many blamed state inaction in promptly securing justice for Madhu. Madhu was captured by a group of men in the buffer zone area of forest near Attapadi, where he was residing. The men accused him of stealing rice from a grocery shop, and brutally assaulted him. The mob then handed him over to the Agali police in Palakkad. However, on the way to the police station, Madhu collapsed and died in the police jeep as he was being taken to a Government Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara. People across Kerala decried the incident and widely criticised mob justice. Read: What he stole is rice. The reason, hunger: Shock over Kerala Adivasi mans death The protracted trial After the charge sheet was filed, the hearing did not take place as the Mannarkkad SC/ST special court in Palakkad, which is looking into Madhus case, did not have a permanent judge. Then, the CPI(M)-led Kerala government took a long time to appoint a special public prosecutor in the case. The Justice for Madhu action council, which was formed soon after the Adivasi mans murder, was strongly against the government-appointed public prosecutor, as they believed he had political connections. They then sought a special public prosecutor. Initially, the Kerala government appointed Advocate P Gopinath the Special Public Prosecutor. Later, in November 2018, the government cancelled this appointment order as Gopinaths demands for temporary accommodation and office in Attapadi was not approved, Suresh, the present chairman of the action council said. The fee had also become a point of contention. The LDF government was reportedly not willing to afford the expenses for hiring P Gopinath. However, according to OnManorama, an RTI revealed that the government had spent more than Rs 2.59 crore towards the fees of senior counsels in at least five cases in the Kerala High Court. P Gopinath had contented the claims of fee and said there he was only asked to sign a consent letter, the report said. AK Balan, then Minister for SC/ST Development in Kerala, had reportedly said that the appointment was delayed as the government did not feel the need to have an SPP for a single case. The action council and family were not ready to hand over the case to the public prosecutor of the court as the post is mainly a political appointment, and most of the accused were part of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M) party. Meanwhile, the initial members of the council withdrew from the body, alleging harassment. We were all government servants. Ever since we started getting involved in this case, we had been receiving troubles. So we had to step down and some others took charge, said a former leader of the Justice for Madhu action council. This is when an organisation called the Central Human Rights Forum (CHRF) stepped in to offer assistance to Madhus family. Advocate VT Raghunath was the president of CHRF. The forum offered us help and Raghunath told us he would attend the case without any compensation. That is when the family and I filed a petition with the government to appoint him as the special prosecutor in the case. The government approved it and advocate Raghunath took charge in 2019, Suresh said. However, the family and the action council say they are regretting their decision now. Lapse by Special Public Prosecutor Advocate Raghunath appeared as the special public prosecutor for the official proceedings only twice. We learnt that he did not even prepare the brief for the case. He never appeared in court. Every time the court called the case, it was postponed as the prosecutor was absent, Suresh alleged. A former member of CHRF, who sought anonymity, alleged that the organisation lacked credibility. There should be an inquiry into the organisation. The Attapadi court had also criticised his continuous absence, he said. When Madhu was being assaulted, a few members of the mob captured the incident on the phone camera, with one man even clicking a selfie while the hapless Adivasi man was being hounded. These videos and pictures have served as digital evidence. However, the police told TNM that all the accused persons have sought a copy of digital evidence, which has further delayed the case. In 2019, when one accused sought the digital evidence of the case, VT Regunath did not object to it, alleged the former CHRF member. The court ordered the police to give the evidence to the accused. We all were shocked. One after the other, each accused started asking for it in court. Currently, there are some procedural delays in officially handing over the evidence to the accused, but the police have to give them, the member said. VT Raghunath has to explain why he did not appear in the court these three years and why he did not object to giving digital evidence to the accused, Suresh said. A week ago, on January 14, 2022, VT Raghunath resigned as the special public prosecutor in the case, citing health issues. This was not the first time advocate Raghunath was embroiled in controversy. In the 1992 Sister Abhaya murder case, VT Raghunath had alleged that retired High Court judge, AV Ramakrishna Pillai tried to sabotage the case by transferring him from the CBI special court. However, human rights activist Jomon Puthenpurackal, who led the Sister Abhaya Case Action Council, alleged that it was VT Raghunath who tried to sabotage the case, by accepting the CBIs initial version that Sister Abhaya had died by suicide. Read: Sister Abhaya murder case: 28 years later, both accused found guilty The Kerala government should have done due diligence before appointing him as the special public prosecutor in an important case like Madhus lynching, Jomon added. Was Madhu subjected to custodial torture? Meanwhile, there are also allegations that Madhus death was not just the result of the mob attack but also police custodial torture. After Madhus death, the Circle Inspector of the Agali police station had told TNM that Madhu had three cases of theft registered against him and that they had been trying to nab him for quite some time. Forensic experts at the Thrissur Medical College, who conducted Madhus postmortem, had said that the young tribal man had died due to severe internal injuries. Apart from the injuries on his body and back of the head, his ribs, too, were broken in the brutal assault. Some reports also said that Madhu was allegedly assaulted a day before the killing, too. Eyewitness statements to the Agali police also alleged inaction by forest officials despite being present at the site at the time of the assault, the Deccan Chronicle had reported. Madhus sister Chandrika alleged that it was a forest staff member who tipped off the accused about the young mans presence in the forest. A Kundumbashree worker alleged that a forest jeep followed the mob of men as they were making Madhu walk to the town, making him carry a heavy bag on his shoulder. Madhus post mortem report said his body had bruises caused due to rolling sticks on him. We suspect lathi was used against him. Besides, it will take only 15 minutes to reach the Kottathra hospital from where the incident took place. But the police vehicle took an hour to reach the hospital with Madhu. We believe police and forest officials, who were present at the spot, are also involved in his assault, Suresh alleged. The Adivasi Bharat Mahasabha, a tribal organisation, had also demanded a comprehensive inquiry on Madhus death, and expose the role of police and forest department in this killing. The action council is also in the process of seeking a CBI inquiry into these allegations of police torture.
Kerala sexual assault case This weeks episode of Let Me Explain looks at Dileeps counter to filmmaker Balachandrakumars allegations. TNM Staff Actor Dileep filed his reply in the trial court on the allegations made by filmmaker Balachandrakumar. It was based on Balachandrarkumars recent allegations that the Kerala police is conducting a further investigation into the sexual assault case. An FIR was also registered alleging Dileep conspired to kill police officers. In this episode of Let Me Explain, Anna Isaac looks at Dileeps counter to his former friend Balachandrakumars allegations against him. What do his statements to court mean? And will they have any bearing on the sexual assault case?
Court An appeal was filed against an earlier HC order which dismissed the plea and imposed Rs 1 lakh as costs on the petitioner. TNM Staff Representative Image Noting that a photo is not an advertisement and that the Prime Minister has the right to give a message, a division bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday, January 25, dismissed an appeal against the Prime Ministers photograph on the vaccination certificate. A single-judge bench of the Kerala High Court had last month dismissed a plea seeking the removal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph from COVID-19 vaccination certificates obtained via the CoWIN portal. The plea was filed by Peter Myliaparampil, a Congress worker in Kaduthuruthy and a state coordinator of the National Campaign for Peoples Right to Information. Earlier, the High Court had dismissed his plea calling it frivolous, and also imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioner, who filed an appeal before a division bench of the High Court. Peter, appearing through advocate Ajit Joy, argued that the single judge had dismissed the petition and imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh without properly appreciating the facts and the Constitutional provisions involved, reported LiveLaw. However, the division bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly dismissed the appeal. The High Court held that the Prime Ministers photograph on the vaccine certificate is not an advertisement and that the Prime Minister has a right to give a message. Right to vote cannot be linked to it. The Kerala High Court in December had questioned the validity of a plea seeking the removal of the Prime Ministers photograph from the COVID-19 vaccine certificate, asking why the petitioner should be ashamed of the PMs photo and told the petitioner that he was wasting judicial time. The petitioner had said in his petition that the vaccination certificate was issued in his name, with personal details and record of a medical event and was his personal space. He said that adding the PMs photo on the certificate is a violation of his fundamental rights. The petitioner had also said that a prominent exposure to the PMs photo also colours his rational and critical thought. However, the division bench did not interfere with the single-bench order and dismissed the appeal without reducing costs imposed on the petitioner earlier.
However, the court declined the plea of the state government to extend the time till the completion of further investigations now being undertaken by the Crime Branch against Dileep and five others
Technology Graphene is known for its extraordinary electrical and electronic properties, and as per latest research, it could replace indium and bring down the cost of OLED screens in smartphones. TNM Staff Representative Image | Pixabay Indias first innovation centre for graphene will be set up in Kerala by the Digital University Kerala (DUK), along with Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) in Thrissur, for Rs 86.41 crore. This will be the first graphene Research and Development (R&D) incubation centre in the country. Tata Steel Limited is set to be the industrial partner of the centre. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, has given approval for the project. The project, which will be implemented with the support of the Kerala government, is expected to accelerate the states growth in the knowledge industry sector. The chief investigators of the project, who will also lead it are Dr AP James of DUK and Dr A Seema of C-MET. The main collaborators include scientists from the National Graphene Institute, University of Manchester, and other industrial partners from around the world. We expect the centre to offer students, researchers, established industries and budding startups to test and experiment new innovative products, and make it a thriving environment for innovative graphene-based product development, said Saji Gopinath, Vice Chancellor of DUK. Graphene is known for its extraordinary electrical and electronic properties, and as per latest research, it could replace indium and thereby bring down the cost of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens in smartphones. Graphene has good chemical stability, high electrical conductivity and a large surface area while being transparent and lightweight. The emerging 2D materials will have a wide range of commercial and industrial applications in biomedical, defence, electronics, energy, and sensors in the next decade. The centre will also help develop skilled manpower by anchoring doctoral and masters students through DUK, with applied research focus in the areas of electronics product design, sensors, and energy applications.
Crime 28-year-old Anannyah, who underwent a sex reassignment surgery in a private hospital in Kochi, had died of suicide in 2021 after raising complaints about a botched surgery. TNM Staff Screengrab | The Cue The Kerala government, on Monday, January 24, ordered a probe into the death of Anannyah Kumari Alex, a 28-year-old trans woman, who was found dead in her apartment in Kochi in July last year. According to the police, Anannyah had died by suicide in July 2021, days after she alleged that she was a victim of gross medical negligence in a sex reasssignment surgery held at a hospital in Kochi. Based on a complaint filed by Prijith PK that Anannyahs suicide was caused by the hospitals gross negligence and an investigation is needed in the regard, the state government has now ordered a probe into the issue. Members of the community had been alleging that Anannyah suffered severe complications from the sex reassignment surgery. Though she approached the same private hospital, they had allegedly failed to help her. Kalamassery police in Ernakulam district had registered a case following her death. Anannyah, in an interview with The Cue, had spoken about the difficulties that she had been facing, due to the surgery which she alleged was not a success. She also said that she had been experiencing severe pain in the vaginal area and that she could not even stand for a long time or sit, due to the pain. Even when I stand for a longer time, sneeze, laugh or even brush my teeth, I have severe discomforts. I have also been experiencing breathing difficulties. I had wished for a sex reassignment surgery that will give me a vagina like a womans, but my private part looks as if it has been cut ruthlessly with a knife. It cannot be called a vagina. It is a surgery which is conducted very neatly and cleanly in India and elsewhere. Im standing before you as a victim of gross medical negligence, she had said. Anannyah was said to be Keralas first transgender radio jockey. She had also contested in the 2021 Assembly polls from the Vengara constituency in Malappuram district.
Upon informed by some local residents, police, forest and fire officials reached the spot and conducted rescue operations.
Solar Scam A local court on Monday ordered Achuthanandan to pay Rs 10.10 lakh in the defamation case filed by Chandy in 2014. IANS Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who came under heavy attack from the then opposition led by V S Achuthanandan in the solar scam, on Monday won a moral victory when a local court ordered the latter to pay Rs 10.10 lakh in the defamation case filed by the former in 2014. The solar scam rocked the Chandy government when in 2013 a woman Saritha Nair and her then live-in partner cheated people by offering solar panels and not supplying them after collecting the money. The scam took a heavy toll on Chandy's government, when it surfaced that three of his staff members had personal contacts with Nair. With the Opposition breathing down his neck, Chandy dismissed the three of them. The present case pertains to an interview that Achuthanandan gave to the media where he alleged that Chandy had gone to the extent of starting a new company to siphon off the scam money. Chandy in 2014, filed the defamation case and testified before the court and on Monday the Thiruvananthapuram Sub Court said the petitioner failed to produce any evidence to substantiate his allegation and ordered him to pay a sum of Rs 10.10 lakh. Even though Chandy had originally filed for Rs one crore, he later reduced it to meet the court expenses. The counsel for Achuthanandan said he will file an appeal in the Thiruvananthapuram district court. Achuthanandan is now 98 years old. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been remaining indoors and is presently convalescing at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram after turning COVID positive last week. The then Left led by Achuthanandan had launched a campaign against Chandy and when he was all likely to return to office in the 2016 assembly polls, the sustained campaign against Chandy saw the Left winning a huge victory in the polls. However, the CPI(M) sidelined Achuthanandan and named Pinarayi Vijayan as the Chief Minister. After the 2016 defeat of the Congress-led UDF which he led, Chandy refused to accept any post and remained a legislator only. In the 2021 polls, he won and now his health also has deteriorated and with the pandemic striking hard, he remains confined to his home and party offices. Chandy's stock statement ever since the scam surfaced has been that he has done no wrong and his conscience is clear and he has nothing to fear.
Gold medal winners are felicitated by the Prime Minister. Out of six batons that the PM would be giving, three would be received by the Kerala directorate.
Ward-level Rapid Response Teams will be activated | Civic body to start loudspeaker announcements as part of awareness campaign
The state government wants to ensure that the state and its people are benefited directly and indirectly from the sector.
The state government has allowed the State Institute of Encyclopaedic Publications (SIEP) to remove 171 damaged books from its library.
Chandy himself had testified before the court in 2019 that the allegation against him was baseless and had created an image before the public that he was corrupt.
Only 20 people allowed in functions; gyms, cinemas and swimming pools to be closed
With spread of Omicron variant this month, occupancy goes down to mere 5 per cent
Around 33% of the people eligible for preventive dose have also been inoculated. The vaccination rate in the 15-18 year age group is 66%, the chief minister said.
Says project more practical for state than high-speed rail, efforts on to chalk out clear-cut rehabilitation plan
According to sources, the Governor has started perusing files relating to university affairs that were sent to the Raj Bhavan.
S Sasi, 65, the youngest son of legendary Communist leader and first CM of Kerala late EMS Namboodiripad, died in Mumbai on Monday.
Directors Rafi and Arun Gopi summoned to identify persons whose voices are in clips
The petitioners submitted that the secretary had no locus standi to represent the organisation of RSS.
The health department has initiated an investigation into the death of transwoman activist Ananya Kumari Alex, six months after she committed suicide.
The body of Rathnam of Attappadi, which was lying in the mortuary of the Thrissur Medical College for one month, was handed over to relatives after postmortem on Monday.
The abuse came to light when the childs mother took him to a doctor after noticing changes in his behaviour.
The accused persons planned and presented forged documents to the bank and availed loan worth Rs 242. 40 crores and have not repaid the money, the ED statement said.
Crime Police said that the arrested man helped the assailants flee after the public murder of RSS worker A Sanjith in November 2020. PTI A Sanjith The Kerala Police on Monday, January 24, arrested a prime accused and conspirator in the murder case of an RSS worker in Palakkad district in November last year. Police said Mohammed Haroon, who was involved in the conspiracy of killing RSS worker A Sanjith, was arrested from Cherpulassery in the district. The 27-year-old was hacked to death on November 15 while he was taking his wife to her workplace. Police said Haroon was the tenth accused arrested in the case, and there was a lookout notice against him. They also said that Haroon is an SDPI office bearer. There was already a lookout notice against him. He had active involvement in the conspiracy. He selected the assailants for the murder and also helped them flee, Palakkad District police chief R Viswanadh told the media. Police said they are searching for one more person who had direct involvement in the murder. Recently, another prime accused, Salam, was given bail by a local court against which police are now planning to move an appeal. Currently, the arrested include two Popular Front of India (PFI) activists and one SDPI office bearer. Sanjiths wife Arshika had recently moved the Kerala High Court seeking an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into her husbands killing, and the court has directed the state to file a report on the status of investigation. Earlier, Arshika narrated the gruesome incident of Sanjiths death to the media. She had said that while the two of them were travelling to her workplace by two-wheeler in the morning when the incident occured. Their bike was allegedly hit by a white car, in which the accused were travelling, causing the couple to lose their balance and fall. She said that she was pushed to the side of the road, while her husband was killed. She further added that the attackers were not wearing masks, and that she would be able to identify them.
Police said that SDPI office bearer Haroon was the tenth accused arrested in the case and there was a lookout notice against him.
A museum in Alappuzha displays typewriters, some nearly a century old
Court The apex court had in September 2020 granted time till February 16, 2022, to complete the trial in the 2017 actor assault case. TNM Staff The Supreme Court on Monday, January 24, disposed of the application filed by the Kerala government seeking an extension of six months to complete the trial in the case. A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Khanwilkar said that the apex court will leave it to the discretion of the trial court to take an appropriate view of the case. The apex court had in September 2020 granted time till February 16, 2022, to complete the trial in the 2017 actor assault case, which was the third time the apex court granted an extension. Actor Dileep is the eighth accused in the 2017 sensational actor abduction and assault case, a crime believed to have been masterminded by him. We dispose of this application with liberty to the trial court judge to take an appropriate view in the matter. We give liberty to the trial court to take appropriate action in that regard, the SC said. Earlier this month, on January 5, the Kerala government had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking an extension of six months to complete the trial in the case after fresh allegations emerged against Dileep. A new FIR was filed against Dileep after an audio clip in which a voice is heard talking about an alleged conspiracy to murder Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Baiju Paulose, who is also the investigating officer in the actor assault case. Appearing for Dileep, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi opposed the state governments application and said that the state is playing a mischievous game to delay the trial. State was attempting to delay the trial in many ways. The first attempt was an attempt to change the judge, which became unsuccessful. The second was the resignation of the Prosecutor, Rohatgi told the apex court. Dileep has reposed his faith multiple times in the trial happening in the court of Principal District and Sessions Judge of Ernakulam, Judge Honey Verghese. Khanwilkar J: Keeping application pending will give a diff indication of the trial court. Let the trial judge submit the report. #ActorAssaultCase #Dileep Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) January 24, 2022 The trial of the case began in November 2019, more than two and a half years after the assault on the actor. The actor, prominent in south Indian films and especially Malayalam, was assaulted in a car in Kochi by a gang of men in February 2017, when she was returning from a shooting location. The assault was also filmed. A few days later, Pulsar Suni was arrested by the police and charged as the main accused in the case. Months later, Dileep, alleged to be the mastermind of the attack, was arrested and jailed for nearly three months before he got out on bail. In the two years following this, Dileep filed various pleas in courts, demanding several documents including the video of the sexual assault, delaying the trial. During the trial, many witnesses of the prosecution also turned hostile. The prosecution had asked for a transfer of the case to another court after derogatory remarks were allegedly made by the trial court judge against the Special Public Prosecutor. However, this did not happen and by the end of 2021, two Special Public Prosecutors had resigned from the case. It is following this that the state government asked for an extension of the trial. In the meantime, a filmmaker called Balachandrakumar, a former friend of Dileep, came out with fresh allegations against the actor, bringing out incriminating audio clips against him. Some of these audio clips contain snippets of a conspiracy to kill police officials who investigated the actor assault case. Alleging that these voices are of Dileep and his relatives, police officer Baiju Paulose registered a complaint against Dileep and six others. Dileep went to court seeking anticipatory bail in the new case. The court allowed the police to question Dileep and the other accused in the case for three days before the next hearing on Tuesday. Amid this, Dileep filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court in response to the governments application and asked the court not to allow the extension of the trial, which he claimed was nearly over before Balachandrakumar came up with the new allegations.
The team had 15-members, all women, of whom Shahana had acquaintance with only a single member, Suhaila T, the trip coordinator.
The recently unveiled sculpture of the Holy Family at St Mary's Church, Peringottukara in Thrissur, shows St Joseph cradling baby Jesus in his arms as Mother Mary takes well-deserved rest.
The Beverages Corporation can handle this. It is a viable plan and the government is yet to take a final call, he told TNIE.
Crime The Kerala High Court had directed Dileep and four of his associates to appear before the Kerala Crime Branch for three days for questioning. TNM Staff The interrogation of Malayalam actor Dileep and the others accused in a case related to hatching a conspiracy to attack the investigating officials in the actress abduction case started for the second day at the Crime branch office in Kerala. The Kerala High Court on Saturday had directed Dileep and four of his associates, including his brother, brother-in-law and two friends, to appear before the Kerala Crime Branch for three days starting Sunday, January 23 for questioning. On Sunday, the actor and the others left the crime branch office after 8 pm. Likewise, on Monday, January 24, the actor along with his brother and brother-in-law arrived in the same car for interrogation at 8.45 am. The court, in its interim order on Saturday, said the accused should not be arrested till January 27 and that they can be interrogated for three days from January 23 from 9 am to 8 pm. It also directed the prosecutor to place before it a report on the interrogation on January 27. Apart from Dileep, his brother Anoop, brother-in-law Sooraj, his aide Appu, alias Krishnadas, and close friend Byju Chengamanad are those being interrogated. The questioning is being led by Crime Branch Superintendent of Police C Mohanachandran. In the new FIR filed against him, Dileep is accused to have plotted a conspiracy with five others to murder five police officials including DySP Baiju Paulose, who investigated the actor assault case of Kochi. The new case was registered against Dileep after revelations by Balachandra Kumar, who said that Dileep had conspired to teach the investigating officer a lesson. He had alleged that Dileep, while watching a YouTube video of the then Superintendent of Police AV George, had spoken about eaching a lesson to the officer and engaging rowdy elements for it. Dileep's accomplices, according to Blalachandra, had said that they would have to spend Rs 1.5 crore for this. Balachandrakumar made the deposition before a magistrate's court along with a few audio recordings he had made at Dileep's residence. Dileep and two others had moved the Kerala High Court seeking pre-arrest bail after this FIR was filed. In an interim order, the High Court granted Dileep interim relief but gave a stern warning to Dileep, saying that if he does not appear before the police for questioning, his bail will be cancelled. Also read: Kerala HC says cops can question Dileep for 3 days, and gives a warning to the actor
On Sunday, the actor and the others left the crime branch office after an 11-hour long interrogation, by 9 pm.
A man was stabbed to death by his friend in an inebriated state at the latters house in Thodupuzha at 8pm on Saturday.
The forest department authorities with the ENP are hopeful that more tahrs will be born this year because of the early onset of the breeding season.
To rein in the spread of Covid and to stem a possible outbreak, more medical staff will be deployed in the district announced District Collector Afsana Perween.
The second tallest statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Kerala is nearing completion at Thrikaripur.
Free Fire game, which is similar to the banned PUBG, is the favourite among traffickers to fix the deals because of its clandestine features.
Kodumon police have registered a case against 10 DYFI workers for attacking two CPI men. The video of the attack went viral on social media on Sunday.
The letter reveals that the probe officer of the Pocso case then Feroke Inspector Alavi C had caused the girl a lot of mental stress.
Banks can lend up to Rs 7.5 lakh for studies in India and up to Rs 15 lakh for studies abroad.
Scrapping section on transfer of ownership and transport may lead to elephant trade.
The kits were introduced in the market in June last year and it became an instant hit among the people in cities.
Kodiyeri said the Sangh Parivar politics and Sree Narayana Gurus vision were contradictory.
During a media interaction at Indira Bhavan, Chennithala also claimed that the state has seen a huge number of casualties over the past seven months due to Covid.
68 cases were registered and 31 arrested for defying lockdown restrictions.
He saidthe present deputation rules are themselves heavily loaded in favour of the Union and bringing in further stringency will weaken the very root of cooperative federalism.
Revelations made when examination of investigating officer set to begin
Initiatives at Kochi school include greening drive, use of renewable energy
The restrictions were put in place in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19, which has affected the capital district severely.
Court The Kerala High Court on Saturday heard the actors anticipatory bail plea in the conspiracy case to murder police officials. TNM Staff An interesting question arises in the new Dileep case after his bail plea hearing on Saturday, January 22 in the Kerala High Court. Is the voice in the audio clips that surfaced recently and led to the case against him really Dileeps? The voices allegedly belonging to Dileep, his brother and Dileeps brother-in-law are heard talking about harming police officials who investigated the 2017 actor assault case, another case in which Dileep is an accused. When the audio clips emerged and it was clear that a case would be filed against him, supporters of the actor claimed that these were fake. They said it is not the voice of Dileep and the whole story was born in the imagination of Baiju Paulose, DySP and investigating official in the actor assault case. Dileeps lawyer Raman Pillai, however, said in the Kerala High Court on Saturday that everything is on the basis of stories, not on the basis of any evidence and added that they could not get Dileep in the other case, so they have filed this case to get him. The other case he mentions is the actor assault, the trial in which case is not over yet. After making the claim, the advocate stated that the story about the conspiracy to kill police officials was invented to extend the trial. However, immediately afterward, he spoke of the conversation in the audio clip as an outburst. In one of the audio clips, a voice, purportedly Dileeps, is heard saying, All five officials, you watch what youre going to get. His male relatives also allegedly made threats against the police officials, which were recorded in the audio clips. The only allegation is regarding a natural outburst, how one sometimes curses a person. That is all, Raman Pillai said, and added, Where is the offence? Is cursing someone an offence? The advocate did not openly deny that the voice in the clip is Dileeps but merely called it an outburst by the actor and an act of cursing. However, the question of the authenticity of the audio clips has not been taken up for discussion at the court. The defence has neither stated explicitly that it is Dileeps voice nor has it denied it. However, by calling it an outburst and curse, they seem to imply that the voice is Dileeps. Read:Kerala HC says cops can question Dileep for 3 days, and gives a warning to the actor The audio clips surfaced after director Balachandrakumar, a former friend of Dileeps, released them to the media, along with a number of other recordings concerning the actors role in the assault case. The assault happened in February 2017 when the woman actor was travelling in a car in Kochi. Watch: Why do we keep covering the Dileep case: Dhanya Rajendran
Kerala HChad granted interim protection to Dileep from arrest but directed him and other accused to appear before the investigating officers.
Cultural czar and creative artist 'Soorya' Krishnamoorthy, who pioneered the epoch-making Surya Festival -- the biggest cultural extravaganza in the state -- has called off the latest edition.
Health Minister Veena George has asked people to contact the COVID control room for clearing doubts on the treatment and quarantine of patients.
A major fireat the Secretariat last year had given rise to much hue and cry, after the Opposition alleged a sabotage attempt by vested interests.
With no one at home and hernative place beingThiruvananthapuram,her nine-year-old daughterShishira, tows with her on the backseat of her delivery vehicle.
Those with comorbidities, including cardiac, cancer, liver and kidney complications, are among the most vulnerable to develop severe illnesses.
For the past six months, Bhat - a farmer by profession and traditional medical practitioner by descent - was not keeping well, and his son was in charge of the clinic.
The court also pointed out that the sole witness - film director Balachandra Kumar - was disgruntled by the accused.
As part of preempting future disasters and strategies for mitigating miseries, KSSP, in the report, asked to ban all building constructions near first and second order streams in steep slopes.
A section of CPM leadership felt that at a time when the state is reeling under a renewed COVID surge, the government should opt for a more practical approach.
The government felt that with thousands of people getting infected daily, providing leave for contacts would mean paralysing the administration.
The party has decided to launch help desks at the level of all local committees and public will get assistance from these help desks regarding treatment and vaccination.
Jose also pointed out that only some amendments were needed in the Indian Rubber Act instead of repealing it citing that it was an outdated one.
The commission was referring to the incident in which the body of Mallikamma, wife of Kurppu Swami of Thenmala colony in Kollam, was carried on a bamboo stretcher to the crematorium.
With the martyrdom of Variyankunnath Haji completing a century, K M Jafar, aka Jafar Erattupetta, a member of the Chakkiparamban family to which Haji belonged, remembers the martyr.
The department asked private hospitals to hand over details of daily admissions in the ICUs, use of ventilators and beds to the District Medical Officers.
Court The Kerala High Court observed that it has received material in a sealed cover from the prosecution, which indicates there is a need to conduct further investigation. TNM Staff The Kerala High Court has granted the Kerala Crime Branch three days to question actor Dileep and four other accused in connection with the fresh FIR filed against them for allegedly conspiring to kill police officers investigating the 2017 actor assault case. The court was hearing an anticipatory bail plea filed by Dileep after he was booked along with others. The case was filed based on audio clips submitted by a man named Balachandra Kumar, who has also given statements claiming that he was present in Dileep's house when the conspiracy was allegedly hatched. In an interim order, Justice Gopinath P of the Kerala High Court said that while Dileep may not be arrested till January 27, the actor must appear before the police for questioning on January 23, 24 and 25, from 9 am to 8 pm. Justice Gopinath said Dileep, his brother Anoop, brother-in-law Suraj and other accused shall be available for interrogation & such other investigation as may be necessary. The court also gave a strict warning to Dileep. Any attempt to interfere with the course of investigation will be viewed very seriously by this court. The Senior Public Prosecutor shall place a report of any material of investigation in a sealed cover, the High Court said. It is made clear that any attempt to subvert the investigation will result in declining bail. Please tell your clients that I am very very serious and that any violation will be dealt with seriously. Don't attempt to do anything unnecessary. Don't even think about it, the HC reiterated. The court observed that it has received material in a sealed cover which indicates there is a need to conduct further investigation. Though the court was not willing to disclose the evidence which has been given by the Prosecution, it opined that the submission showed Dileep's influential nature. INTERIM ORDER (contd) It is made clear that petitioner shall fully cooperate with investigation. Any attempt to interfere with course of investigation will be viewed very seriously by this court. Senior PP shall place a report of any material of investigation in a sealed cover. Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) January 22, 2022 In the new FIR filed against him, Dileep is accused to have plotted a conspiracy with five others to murder five police officials including DySP Baiju Paulose, who investigated the actor assault case of Kochi. Dileep and two others had moved court seeking pre-arrest bail after this FIR was filed. The High Court said that the allegations against Dileep are serious and the state has the right to probe those. I'm very worried about the investigation not progressing in the proper manner if they are released on bail, Justice Gopinath remarked during the hearing. The High Court said that if the prosecution makes the case that Dileep has interfered in the investigation, Dileeps bail will be cancelled. The HC also said that the prosecution has submitted certain material in a sealed cover, which indicated that a further investigation is necessary. Appearing for Dileep, advocate Raman Pillai contested that there is no evidence to link Dileep to the actor assault case and hence this new case has been filed against the actor. The defence argued that Dileep had an outburst, which cannot be an offence. Court: Philip (for #dileep), please tell your clients that I am very very serious and that any violation will be dealt with seriously. Don't attempt to do anything unnecessary. Don't even think about it. Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) January 22, 2022 The court noted that in the 2017 sexual assault case too, many prosecution witnesses have turned hostile. But the submission shows the influential nature of the accused, it has weighed on me, the court remarked, adding Arguing against the actors bail plea, the prosecution, represented by Director General of Prosecution TA Shaji, said that whenever they try to get evidence, the accused and others with him are there to pounce on the witness. Referring to the trial in the actor assault case, the defence counsel said that 20 witnesses had turned hostile, suggesting how influential the accused can be if he is out on bail. The police argued in court that they are not just mere allegations against Dileep and that they have digital evidence to prove that Dileeps outburst, allegedly caught on audio, is not an isolated outburst. The prosecution counsel added Dileep is not an ordinary man, he has the power to influence the probe. The court will hear the matter further on January 27. The hearing comes on the backdrop of fresh allegations against Dileep, who is the eighth accused in the 2017 actor abduction and assault case. Dileep, his brother P Sivakumar and brother-in-law TN Suraj had approached the court after a non-bailable case was registered against them by the Crime Branch of Kerala Police. The FIR was filed after an audio clip in which a voice, which reportedly belongs to Suraj, is heard talking about an alleged conspiracy to murder Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Baiju Paulose, who is also the investigating officer in the case. On January 19, the Kerala Crime Branch which is investigating the new case, filed a 68-page affidavit with the court, strongly opposing Dileep's anticipatory bail. Read: Kerala police oppose Dileep's bail plea, allege 20 witnesses in case influenced by him
Sanal Kumar threw acid on his wife and daughter over an argument and later committed suicide by jumping before a train.
There are currently 2,640 pharmacies functioning in the district. Of the total, around 200 function as hospital dispensaries.
Political, social and religious gatherings banned till further notice | Shop owners asked to restrict the number of customers
On Sunday, only medical stores and outlets selling essential food items will be allowed to function. Restaurants can function on take-away and home delivery basis from 7 am to 9 pm.
In all, 55 per cent of students have been vaccinated, according to the data uploaded on the portal till Friday evening.
Technology firm Ospyn secured the order from IOB close on the heels of it being selected by private sector Dhanlaxmi Bank to upgrade its banking and administrative processes.
Uthaman touched the girl inappropriately under the pretext of sensitizing her about the hygienic aspects that ought to be followed while using the lavatory.
According to NHAI, 104 lights and panels, 10 security cameras and a dust detection sensor were destroyed over a length of 90m by the lorry proceeding from Palakkad to Thrissur.
After loss of last two festival seasons, they want leniency as shown to movies, political meets
However, the doctors say that the demand is mostly panic driven and there are much cheaper alternatives to treat the severity of Covid in the third wave.
As on Thursday, Thrissur and Kasaragod had 614 and 230 Covid patients admitted in hospitals respectively.
The public prosecutor said Nisha, along with her daughter aged 15, drowned the baby in a bucket of water.
However, the chairperson refused to divulge the findings of the committee saying the Justice Hema Committee was not formed as per the Enquiry Commission Act.
Meanwhile, Mayor M Anilkumar suspended one officer and transferred another person for troubling the woman entrepreneur.
Chandy said the Covid first-line treatment centres should be reopened in all panchayats and municipalities.
Plan is to put an end to red-tapism, corruption when an investor approaches govt depts
The state government decided to impose restrictions based on hospitalisation and not TPR.
They are already booked for abetment, criminal intimidation and concealing design to commit crime, following directors revelations
The others fled the spot, said the police, adding that their bikes did not have number plates.