Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pinarayi Vijayan and 18 others take oath as new Kerala CM and Ministers.

CPM strongman Pinarayi Vijayan was today sworn in as chief minister of Kerala heading a 19-member ministry of the party-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) that had 13 new faces including two women.The CPM or Communist Party of India-Marxist will have 12 ministers, the Communist Party of India or CPI will have four and three other LDF constituents - the Janata Dal-S, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress-S - will have one each. Last week, the LDF wrested Kerala back from the Oomen Chandy-led Congress. "This will be a people's government and will function for the welfare of the people. There will be no caste, religious and political barriers and we will function with that spirit," Mr Vijayan has promised. Among the pledges his newspaper ads this morning are safety for women and minorities, welfare of students and the elderly and a promise of new jobs and control of inflation. The son of a toddy tapper, Mr Vijayan was picked to be chief minister over Mr Achuthanandan, the CPM's star campaigner.
Pinarayi Vijayan will take oath today as chief minister and is "committed to turn Kerala into a truly God's own country." Pinarayi Vijayan served for 17 years as the CPM's Kerala state secretary, the longest tenure ever. He has been elected to the state assembly five times and won this year's election from Dharmadam constituency by a margin of 36,000 votes. The Cabinet of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government comprises 19 members. Governor P. Sathasivam administered the oath of office and secrecy to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and 18 members of his Cabinet at the Central Stadium here.
Live updates: 04.47 p.m.: The swearing-in ceremony, a 48-minute affair, comes to a close. The Ministers will now attend their first Cabinet meeting.
04.44 p.m.: T.M. Thomas Isaac takes oath as Finance Minister. The former Economics professor from Alappuzha was Finanace Minister in the previous LDF government too. He has been credited with spearheading the People's Plan Campaign. 04.42 p.m.: P. Tilothaman will be the Public Distribution and Civil Supplies Minister. He is the third Minister from Alappuzha district. 04.39 p.m.: V.S. Sunil Kumar takes oath as Agriculture Minister. 04.38 p.m.: CPI(M) State committee member G. Sudhakaran will handle Public Works and Registration portfolios. The first president of the SFI in Kerala, he was earlier a part of Mr. Achutanandan's Cabinet too. 04.35 p.m.: K.K. Shylaja takes oath as Health and Social Welfare Minister. 04.33 p.m.: C. Ravindranath takes oath as Education Minister. 04.29 p.m.: T.P. Ramakrishnan takes oath as the Minister for Excise and Labour. Formerly the Kozhikode district secretary of the CPI(M), he won from Perambra. He is a member of the State secretariat of the party. 04.28 p.m.: K. Raju of the CPI, who won from Punalur, takes oath. He will handle the Forest, Wildlife and Environment portfolio.
04.25 p.m.: A.C. Moideen takes oath as Tourism and Cooperation Minister. The Kunnamkulam MLA had had a stint as CPI(M) Thrissur District Secretary. 04.23 p.m.: Mercykutty Amma, who won from Kundara, and one of the only two women in the Cabinet, takes the oath as the Fisheries Minister. She is also the CITU national president. 04.22 p.m.: The Minister for Electricity and Devaswoms is Kadakampalli Surendran. He won from Kazhakoottam and it is his second term as MLA. 04.18 p.m.: E.P. Jayarajan of the CPI(M) takes oath as Sports and Industry Minister. A three-time MLA and a first-time Minister, he is a CPI(M) central committee member. 04.16 p.m.: K.T. Jaleel takes oath as Minister for Local Self Government. At 48 years, he is the youngest Minister in the Cabinet. He was earlier the general secretary of the Muslim Youth League. He won as an LDF-backed independent. 04.15 p.m.: A.K. Balan of the CPI(M) takes oath. He was Minister for Power in the V.S. Achuthanandan government. The MLA from Tharoor will now handle the Law, Culture and SC/ST Affairs. 04.11 p.m.: Kadannappalli Ramachandran takes oath as Ports Minister. 04.08 p.m.: Actor Mammootty is in attendance at the ceremony. 04.07 p.m.: A.K. Saseendran of the NCP takes oath as Transport Minister. A five-time MLA, he won from Elathoor. 04.05 p.m.: Mathew T. Thomas of the JD(S) takes oath as Water Resources Minister. He won from Thiruvalla. He was the Transport Minister in the previous LDF government before resigning over differences with the LDF leadership. He takes the oath in the name of God, a rarity in LDF ceremonies. 04.03 p.m.: E Chandrasekharan of the CPI takes the oath as Revenue Minister. The CPI's State treasurer won from Kanhangad. He is a first-time Minister. 04.02 p.m.: CPI(M) Leaders V.S. Achutanandan, Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat are present at the swearing-in ceremony at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. 04.01 p.m.: Pinarayi Vijayan takes oath as Chief Minister. 4 p.m.: Governor P. Sathasivam arrives for the swearing-in ceremony.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Proposed Ministers from CPM and CPI

Vijayan was elected to lead his party at a meeting of his party leadership on Friday. Pinarayi Vijayan would be sworn-in as Kerala's 12nd chief minister on May 25 at the Thiruvananthapuram central stadium in the state capital. Generally, the new cabinet takes oath at the Raj Bhavan but this time, deviating from the routine, the LDF is expecting a larger turnout of invitees and hence a bigger venue. Like in 2011, the LDF is contemplating a 19-member ministry. There would be 12 members from the CPM, including the chief minister, 4 from the CPI and one each from the Janata Dal (S), Kerala Congress (S) and the NCP. The ministry will have eight new faces from the CPM, sources said. The names believed to be finalized E.P. Jayarajan, K.K. Shailaja, A.K. Balan, T.P. Ramakrishnan, J. Mercykuttiyamma, G. Sudhakaran, T.M. Thomas Isaac, A.C. Moitheen, K.T. Jaleel, C. Raveendranath and Kadakampally Surendran. Ponnani MLA and CPM leader P. Sreeramakrishnan is likely to be the Speaker. CPI ministers to be new faces
Meanwhile, it is believed that all the four ministers from the CPI, the second largest constituent of the LDF, will be new faces. E. Chandrasekharan, V.S. Sunil Kumar, K. Raju and P. Thilothaman are likely to be the ministers from the CPI.
Chirayinkeezhu MLA V Sasi will be recommended for the post of Deputy Speaker.It is believed that Thomas Isaac will handle finance while the department of industries will go to E.P. Jayarajan. Shailaja is likely to be the health minister. The decisions were taken by the CPM state secretariat, which met at AKG Centre, the party headquarters, here.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Pinarayi Vijayan named Kerala chief minister

Pinarayi Vijayan is set to become the next chief minister of Kerala after the Left Democratic Front (LDF) emerged triumphant in the 16 May state assembly election. The Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, chose Vijayan, 72, over V.S. Achuthanandan, 92, a former chief minister of the southern state, who led the Left’s election campaign. “We are very happy that in a unanimous decision we have decided that comrade Pinarayi Vijayan has been proposed as the leader of the LDF legislative party,” CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said while addressing a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram. “We will put this forward with the other parties of the Left Front as well.” The Left Front had refrained from announcing a chief ministerial candidate in the run-up to the election and both Achuthanandan and Vijayan had been seen as front-runners for the position. The two leaders in the past have had their differences.Vijayan is the only politburo member who has been elected to the assembly this time. In the 140-member state Assembly, CPM-led LDF won 91 seats , UDF headed by Congress got 47 while BJP and Independents bagged one each. Soon after the decision to nominate Vijayan to the CM's post became known, party workers at AKG Bhavan started celebrations and began distributing sweets.
“...considering comrade Achuthanandan’s age and physical limitations, we have come to the conclusion that comrade Pinarayi Vijayan will be our chief ministerial face,” Yechury said. Commenting on the future role of Achuthanandan, Yechury said, “Achuthanandan is like the Fidel Castro of Kerala. He will guide and inspire the party.” The decision was taken in a state secretariat meeting held in Kerala on Friday where a majority of the members were in favour of Vijayan’s selection. The meeting was attended by party general secretary Yechury and former general secretary Prakash Karat. The move also comes as the party is making attempts to revive its organisational structure after fielding state and central committee members. This year, Vijayan contested elections for the first time since 1998. The CPM is the largest party in the LDF, which secured 91 seats in the 140-member Kerala assembly in the vote count on Thursday. Analysts are hopeful of the state’s growth under Vijayan’s stewardship.
“Vijayan has a record of being a good minister and a reasonably modern-minded leader. Being a first-time chief minister, he would want to prove himself. Vijayan can provide a decent administration if he creates a good team from the 91 members that have been elected,” said Paul Zacharia, a Thiruvananthapuram-based political commentator and writer. He added, “While making the announcement, Yechury shared the dias with VS (Achuthanandan) which in itself is a good sign. VS may have resigned himself to being a figurehead. If VS decides to keep his ambitions in control it will be a fairly smooth government.” Born in 1944 to a toddy tapper family in Kannur, Vijayan served as CPM state committee secretary from 1998 to 2015. He is the longest serving state secretary and is known to be a grassroots leader. He has been elected to the state legislative assembly four times.
Vijayan became the minister for electricity and cooperation in 1996. Currently, he is a member of the central committee and the politburo of the party. He won the assembly election from Dharmadom in Kannur district with a margin of 36,905 votes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Kannur airport: Vigilance Court orders quick verification against CM & Minister Babu

Thalassery Vigilance Court’s order came on Tuesday following a plea filed by one K V James seeking investigation into the irregularities in handing over the land and the illegal tree-felling at the project site.Court ordered a quick verification against chief minister Oommen Chandy, Minister K Babu The court has also ordered a quick verification against Jiji Thomson, Tom Jose, and KIAL MD G Chandramauli. The petitioner has alleged that the government suffered a loss of crores of rupees due to the irregularities in the deal. Even KIAL MD V Chandramouli, V J Kurien and Tom Jose, among other officials will fall under the probe net. According to the complainant, the govt had suffered a huge loss of Rs 30 cr from the illegal activity. The court ordered the Vigilance to conduct a quick verification and submit the report
There were irregularities found in cutting of trees and land takeover for the Kannur airport project. The expenses incurred in cutting trees were not incorporated in the project cost and the complaint stated this was done with the knowledge of the chief minister and minister Babu who were incharge of the project .

Monday, May 16, 2016

Exit polls hint at anti-incumbency and corruption in Kerala

Kerala Election 2016 Exit Poll Pollsters UDF LDF BJP+ Others India Today-Axis UDF 43 LDF 94 BJP 3 OTH 1 CVoter UDF 58 LDF 78 BJP 2 News Nation UDF 70 LDF 69 OTH 1 0 Chanakya UDF 57 LDF 75 BJP 8 OTH 0 Summary of Kerala Assembly Election 2016 Opinion Poll
According to a pre-poll survey conducted by IMEG (Institute for Monitoring Economic Growth), Thiruvananthapuram, the CPI(M)-led LDF is coming to power in Kerala in 2016. It appears that voters of Kerala are going to reject both the BJP and Congress-led incumbent UDF. The IMEG survey has projected the LDF to win 83-90 seats in the 2016 Assembly elections while the UDF will have to satisfy itself with 50 to 57 seats. The BJP-led NDA may see an increase in its vote share but it may not be sufficient to open its account in the Assembly. The IMEG survey was conducted among 60,000 voters from south, central and north regions of Kerala. You may also like to read Kerala Election Date 2016 Kerala Assembly Constituencies LDF Candidate List 2016 Kerala Assembly elections: Times Now-CVoter opinion poll hints at the return of Left According to a pre-poll survey by Times Now-CVoter and CNN-IBN suggests a whopping victory for the LDF as the anti-incumbency factor will lead to the defeat of ruling UDF. The LDF is likely to get 86 seats in the 140-seat assembly. The ruling UDF is expected to bag only 53 seats during the elections scheduled to be held on 16 May. The NDA, which is likely to eat into the vote share of UDF, will see 10% votes going in their favour. Party/Alliance Seat Projection Seat Share % LDF 86 44 UDF 53 41 NDA 1 10 Others 0 5 Kerala Opinion Poll by India TV C-voter The opinion poll conducted by C-voter for India TV indicated that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) may stage a comeback in Kerala. If the report of the survey is taken at a face value, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s UDF will be ousted from power since it is expected to win only 49 seats. The LDF is likely to come back to power by winning 89 seats in the 140-member Assembly. There’s a slight probability of BJP-led front winning one seat. Party Seats LDF 89 UDF 49 BJP-led front 1 Kerala Opinion Poll by Party/Alliance Seat Projection LDF 82 UDF 55 NDA 3 Kerala Opinion Poll by Asianet poll
(Feb 2016) As Kerala gears up to hold elections for the 140-seat assembly, the opinion poll survey indicates that the Left will win the polls. According to C for Survey conducted for Asianet, BJP will open its account in the state for the first time, and that too with 18% vote share. The 2016 Kerala Assembly elections opinion poll has predicted that LDF will win between 77 and 82 seats, thus securing the majority. The survey results indicate that the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) will emerge as the second largest party with 55 to 60 seats. The BJP is likely to gain three to five seats. It is to be noted that the Oommen Chandy-led UDF will get 37% of the vote share despite being mired in controversies and the LDF’s
vote share will reduce from 44.94% in 2011 to 41%. The reason, according to pollsters, is eating away of the UDF and LDF vote shares by the NDA. The survey, which continued from 1-16 February, was conducted in 70 constituencies comprising 568 villages and 148 towns. Party No. of Seats Vote Share LDF 77 – 82 41.00% United Democratic Front 55 – 60 37.00% BJP 3 – 5 18.00% Polling Agency: Asianet Survey Date: 1 Feb to 16 Feb 2016 Kerala Legislative Assembly Election 2011 Results
Party Seats Communist Party of India (CPI) 13 Communist Party of Indian (Marxist) (CPM) 45 Indian National Congress (INC) 38 Janata Dal (Secular) JD(S) 4 Kerala Congress (Jacob) (KEC)(J) 1 Kerala Congress (M) (KCM) 9 Kerala Congress (B) KEC(B) 1 Kerala Revolutionary Socialist Party(Baby John) (KRSP) 1 Muslim League Kerala State Committee (MUL) 20 Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) 2 Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) 2 Socialist Janta (Democratic) (SJD) 2 Independent (IND) 2 Total 140

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Dismissing the petition filed by three accused in Kerala Palmolein import case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said the trial must continue in the case and that no one can be acquitted at this stage .The court was hearing a petition filed by former Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas and Congress leader T H Mustafa, seeking acquittal from the case.
The court also criticised the state government for trying to “mislead” the apex court. The government pleader had informed the Supreme Court that a review petition in this regard has been submitted to the High Court. However, the lawyer who appeared for CPI (M) leader V S Achuthanandan pointed out that this is wrong. Further, the bench headed by the
Chief Justice inspected the documents and censured the government Jiji Thomson, present chief secretary; PJ Thomas, former Kerala IAS officer; and TH Mustafa, then food minister are among eight accused in the case. In March, the Kerala High Court had rejected Jiji Thomson's plea seeking to stop all further proceedings in the case against him until the Supreme Court disposes Special Leave Petition (SLP). Earlier, his plea seeking dismissal of the case was rejected by both the lower court and high court. The Palmolein case relates to the import of 15,000 tonnes of palmolein oil from a Malaysian company in 1991 when the late K. Karunakaran was chief minister. The import had allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 2.32 crore for the state.

Monday, May 9, 2016



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Kerala shocked by brutality of Perumbavoor girl's murder (Kerala's Nirbhaya )

A 30-year-old law student in Kerala was raped and murdered and her body was found with the intestines hanging out in an incident that has chilling echoes of the 2012 gangrape of Delhi student Jyoti Singh, who came to be known as Nirbhaya. The woman was found dead inside her home in Ernakulam on Thursday with signs of strangling and 30 wounds on her body. She is believed to have been brutalized with a sharp instrument and also had a head injury. She was last seen by neighbours in the afternoon when she had gone to fill water near her house. The police suspect she was assaulted between 1 and 5 pm. The neighbours say they didn't hear anything.
The woman lived with her mother, who, the police say, is mentally unstable and has been admitted to a hospital. Her father had left them years ago and the family was struggling financially. No arrests have been made in the past four days. Ahead of voting for assembly polls in the state, the case has drawn political attention. Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told reporters that investigations are on and those responsible would be dealt with severely. "The incident is terrifying and a reminder of how such things are on the rise in Kerala and other states," said TN Seema, a Left candidate for the May 16 polls.
In December 2012, 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh was gang-raped on a moving bus by five men who tortured her with an iron rod. She died 13 days later amid angry protests in India. The outrage led to new laws on crimes against women. According to the police, the incident took place in broad daylight but none of the neighbours staying nearby intervened. It has been five days since the incident took place, but the police are yet to arrest anyone, and relatives allege that no political leaders or activists have come forward to offer help. Friends of the victim, who was staying with her mentally challenged mother in a single room house, came to know about her death two days later from a local newspaper. They feel the perpetrator could have been inside the house for a long time considering the number of wounds and the manner in which the victim was assaulted. The assault and murder is reminiscent to the December 16, 2012 gangrape of Nirbhaya, a physiotherapy intern, who was assaulted by six men on a private bus in Delhi. The CPI-M has latched onto the murder which occurred on April 28 to accuse the Congress-led UDF government in the poll-bound Kerala of 'inaction' to trace the culprits. "Police have failed to get any lead about the culprits even five days after the incident," CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said in Thiruvananthapuram.
Rejecting the charge, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said a "scientific" probe was being conducted into the incident and asserted that the culprits would be brought to book. Police said Ernakulam Range IG Mahipal Yadav is supervising the probe by a team of officials, headed by Perumbavoor Dy SP after it was reported that 30-year-old Jisha was subjected to rape and fatal assault at her small wayside home in Kuruppampadi police limit. Jisha was found dead in a pool of blood at 8 PM by her mother when she reached home after her daily menial job. "It was a brutal murder. There were stab injuries on her body. We suspect she was subjected to smothering and strangulation," Yadav told PTI.
He, however, refused to share details about the investigation. Police said whether the woman was subjected to sexual assault before or after the murder would be clear only from the postmortem report.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Attingal twin murder death for Nino Mathew, double life term for Anushanthi

The Thriruvananthapuram Principal sessions judge on Monday awarded death sentence to the prime accused Nino Mathew in the Attingal twin murder case.Calling it a rarest of rare crime Judge V Shircyalso awarded co-convict Anu Shanthi to life saying she is an insult to motherhood.Both the accused also have to pay a fine of Rs 50 lakh.The Thiruvananthapuram Principal Sessions court today found former Technopark employees Nino Mathew and Anushanthi guilty of twin murder of Anushanthi's mother-in-law Omana, and her three-year-old daughter Swastika. While Nino Mathew was awarded a death sentence, Anushanthi was sentenced to double life imprisonment. After the prosecution examined 49 witnesses, 85 exhibits and 41 material objects, Judge V Shircy found Anushanthi equally guilty as she was aware of Nino Mathew's plans. The duo has been charged of murder, conspiracy, attempt to destroy evidence and theft. The twin murder happened in April 2014 in Kerala's Attingal when Anushanthi's husband Lijeesh objected to her extra marital affair with Nino Mathew. However, Lijeesh escaped the murder attempt and sustained injuries. Subseqeuntly, Nino Mathew and Anushanthi were arrested. The police recovered murder weapons from his Mathew's house - a matchete and a baseball bat, a towel that was used to wipe the weapons clean and gold ornaments that he stole from the bodies to make it look like a robbery attempt. Nino Mathew had told the court that he did not commit the crime and had requested the court to give him minimum punishment. Background
Former Technopark employees Nino Mathew and Anu Shanthi were found guilty of murder by the Thriruvananthapuram Principal sessions judge on Friday, on charges of twin murder of Anu Shanthi’s mother-in-law Omana (60), and her three-year-old daughter Swastika. The murders happened in April 2014 in Attingal, after Anu Shanthi’s husband Lijeesh objected to her extra marital affair with Nino Mathew. Lijeesh, however, escaped the murder attempt and sustained injuries. Nino Mathew was nabbed the same day and after he confessed to the crime, Anu Shanthi was also arrested. After recording their arrests, the police recovered murder weapons from his house- a matchete and a baseball bat, a towel that was used to wipe the weapons clean and gold ornaments that he stole from the bodies to make it look like a robbery attempt.
The duo has been charged of murder, conspiracy, attempt to destroy evidence and theft. After the prosecution examined as many as 49 witnesses, 85 exhibits and 41 material objects, Judge V Shircy found Anu Shanthi equally guilty as she was aware of Nino Mathew’s plans. A case of transmitting obscene material in electronic form was also charged against the duo, after the police found self-shot videos of his sexual acts with Anu Shanthi in his laptop and mobile phone that were recovered. The crime was solved within 24 hours and charge sheet filed on the 83rd day of the crime. A day after the macabre incident, police arrested Anu on Thursday, for aiding the murder of her 3.5-year-old daughter and mother-in-law. Her husband has been undergoing treatment for injuries sustained in the attack. Police have found that Anu had during the past week sent several photographs of her house, various rooms, the premises and also a small bylane along a paddy field nearby, through which Nino escaped after committing the crime, through WhatsApp . ''Nino had used these pictures as a blueprint... He had escaped easily from the neighbourhood after the murders with the help of them," Attingal circle inspector M Anil Kumar said.
Anu had told the police that it was to secure the custody of her daughter, Swastika, that she asked Nino's help to 'eliminate' her husband Lijeesh from her life. Earlier, when Lijeesh came to know of her illicit relationship with Nino, he had told her to move out, leaving the little girl. But, ironically, the girl was killed along with her grandmother while Lijeesh survived. Police said Nino killed Swastika and her grandmother Omana so that there would not be any witness. Nino, who is also married, was not in good terms with his wife. His wife also worked in a prominent IT firm at Technopark. Nino was living alone in a room on the first floor of his residence while his wife lived in the ground floor with their four-year-old daughter and Nino's aged parents ever since she came to know about Nino's affair with Anu.
Attingal DSP R Prathapan Nair said Nino, a soft-spoken guy and who maintained very few friendships, deliberately committed the crime in a barbaric fashion to derail the probe. Both Nino and Anu were confident that the police would never suspect two IT professionals, who belonged to the upper strata of the society, to commit such a crime, he said. The police on Thursday took Nino to his residence at Kulathoor and recovered a bag containing the murder weapons, which he had hid in his wardrobe. The bag contained a matchet used to hack the victims, a golf stick cut short to fit inside his bag and which was used to bludgeon Lijeesh's mother Omana, the remaining portion of the club, a hacksaw blade used to cut the club, a towel that was used to wipe blood from the matchet and club, a pair of trousers and a shirt, the nuptial chain of Omana and a gold necklace and bracelet of the toddler.
The arrests were recorded by a team led by rural SP Rajpal Meena. Police have charged Anu under IPC section 120 (b) (conspiracy) and 115 (abetment of crime) and Nino under sections 120 (b), 449 (house-trespass to commit offence), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 404 (dishonest misappropriation of property possessed by deceased person at the time of death) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous means). Both of them were produced in the court and remanded in judicial custody. The mortal remains of Omana and Swastika were laid to rest in the presence of a huge crowd on their house premises at Alamcode on the day.

Monday, April 11, 2016

kollam paravoor pootingal fire accident

India woke up to the terrible tragedy at Puttingal temple in Paravur at Kollam, Kerala, on Sunday morning. A huge fire broke out following an explosion during the fireworks display at the temple in the wee hours of Sunday. At least 102 people have been declared dead so far, and several hundreds have been admitted to hospitals in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. - See more at: t has been established beyond doubt now that the temple authorities did not have the required permission to conduct the fireworks display. Read our story, with documents, here. So what exactly happened? Here is a crystal clear explanation. Every year, during Meenabharani celebrations, the Puttingal Temple in Paravur provides a visual treat for the devotees: a massive fireworks display. This is an old tradition. Thousands of people assemble at the temple grounds to witness the spectacle. Here’s how the fireworks look, this is how huge they are. But it is not just a fireworks display, it is also a competition. Judges would witness the fireworks and declare a winner each year. At the temple, every year, there is a fireworks face-off. Two sets of people form groups and try to outdo each other in the fireworks. The competition is to see whose fireworks are more grand, the explosions louder and the sights magnificent. According to sources in Kollam, till Saturday afternoon, there was no clarity over whether the fireworks competition will happen since permission had been denied.
And then word spread that the event will go on, but not a competition. A reporter with Asianet, also a resident of the village, Lallu, said, “The fireworks started around 11 50PM on Saturday, but there was no competition.” The Superintendent of Police, Kollam told the media that despite the ADM's refusal, the temple committee informed the police that they had sought "oral permission". The SP said that the festival went on in spite of the police asking them not to. The Kerala government has promised an investigation to determine the cause of the incident. Sometime between 3AM and 3 30AM, just few minutes before the fireworks display was to end, one of the fireworks, called “amittu”, which was supposed to explode in the air and fizzle out, instead fell on the ground, and the sparks flew around causing a fire. This fire then spread to 12 huge “amittus” which were kept nearby, on the shed made of concrete.
When those 12 fireworks caught fire, there was a huge explosion, which could be heard hundreds of meters away. As soon as the explosion happened, people panicked and did not know what to do. Even as people started trying to control the fire and rescue the injured, the shed on which the explosives were kept collapsed. This collapse of concrete on people after the explosion, worsened the tragedy. ALSO READ: These documents show Kerala temple did not have permission for fireworks, how did it go on? Massive fire in Paravur temple at Kollam in Kerala, at least 102 dead
Hospitals in Kollam and Travancore Medical College struggle to save those injured in temple fire Kerala Home Minister says all possible steps to help Kollam fire injured being taken Here is a list of 65 people injured in Kollam fire, admitted to TVM medical college PM announces compensation of Rs 2 lakh for those dead in Kollam fire Modi, Rajnath assure Kerala CM Chandy of all help from centre for Kollam fire tragedy
Sitharam Yechury met the injured and the families of the deceased and said that the state government should provide employment to the injured and the kin of the deceased. "Monetary compensation is not enough. The state government should announce employment for the kin of victims so that they have some future," Yechury told reporters after meeting the victims. "The guilty should be punished," he added. "The Prime Minister was here. I chose not to come here yesterday because the priority of the administration should be to provide relief. When that was over, I decided to come here," he said. Yechury also said that this disaster "definitely merits to be considered a national calamity." Families struggle to find their loved ones After scouring six hospitals and three morgues, NP Anoop is no closer to finding his father who was caught in a massive blast and fire at an Indian temple that claimed more than 100 lives. Like thousands of others, his father had gone on Saturday night to the Hindu temple in southern Kerala state, renowned for its beaches and tranquil backwaters, to see the annual fireworks display.
But in the chaotic hours after the explosion that ripped through the Puttingal Devi complex, the increasingly desperate 32-year-old could find no trace of his father, Vishwanathan, and feared the worst. "I don't know if he is alive or dead. All I want is to see him, we are ready for the worst but this search is painful," he told AFP after questioning ICU staff at a medical college hospital in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. "My father had gone to the festival with his friend. We were able to find the body of his friend but have yet to get any information on my father," the weary-looking Anoop said, before heading off to yet another hospital.
At hospitals, morgues and police stations, families are involved in a heartwrenching search for loved ones feared swept up in the blast that tore apart concrete buildings. But the task is being made more difficult by the fact that some of the more than 100 people killed are unrecognisable

Monday, March 21, 2016

Case filed against eight in connection with Kalabhavan Mani's death

The mystery surrounding the death of actor Kalabhavan Mani still continues. The presence of a chemical substance known as Chlorpyrifos –usually used in insecticides found in Mani’s body and multiple statements made by friends and family has further complicated the issue. Various Malayalam media houses have been on a marathon taking interviews of everyone with the slightest connection to the actor. Here is a synopsis of who said what. Jomon, Mani’s friend who brought arrack to Mani’s outhouse in Padi according to police: “I gave arrack to Mani’s friends one month ago. On that day Mani did not consume it, his friends did and I took the remaining back. Mani had helped me financially to complete my studies. It was on February 7 that I gave the arrack, after that on 15 February I left to Abu Dhabi. I don’t know from where did Mani got arrack which lead to his hospitalisation”. RLV Ramakrishnan, Mani’s brother: “There are attempts to make Mani’s death look like a suicide. We will fight it legally till end. He would not have commited suicide. As some media reports say he did not have any family issues. If the liquor was spurious, how did only Mani get poisoned? Too many people have used him for his money.”
Jafar Idukki, actor and Mani’s friend who has been questioned by the police as him he was with Mani a day before the drinking incident. “I had visited Mani that day, it was to discuss about a movie. Some friends were there along with Mani that day. He had beer that day, nothing else. If somebody tried to harm him the it should come out. He will not commit suicide, he had no family issues.” Nimmi, Mani’s wife: “There is a mystery regarding his death. I never knew that Mani had any serious liver ailments. Mani only used to consume beer. We never had any family issues, but he used to consume alcohol due to the pressure from his friends. He would never have commited suicide.” Sabumon Abdusamad, Mani’s friend and TV anchor. Police have interrogated him and there were allegations that he was involved in the incident: “I had visited Mani the night in Padi, but I did not give him liquor. I had left the place that night at 11 pm. We were good friends. All allegations against me are false. If it was an unnatural death, the truth should come out.”
Jayaraman, Kalabhavan Mani’s make up man: “I am not in police custody. I will file case against media who reported that I am arrested. I have visited Mani only for official reasons." - See more at: The mystery surrounding Kalabhavan Mani’s unnatural death thickens as the police probes the possibil... Read more at: March 4, 5 pm: A party starts at ‘Padi’, which would eventually result in Mani’s death. More friends... Read more at: Kalabhavan Mani's friend Jomon, who is working in Abu Dhabi, admitted to have brought arrack to 'Pad...
Jomon said that he came to Padi on February 14 to bid adieu to Mani and returned to Abu Dhabi the ve... Kalabhavan Mani’s friend and a psychiatrist at the Alappuzha Medical College said he found the actor... In a new turn in the mysterious death of noted actor Kalabhavan Mani, a highly poisonous insecticide has been found in his viscera samples even as Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday said government was prepared to order a comprehensive probe in the matter. Mani’s samples had been sent to the Regional Chemical Examiner’s Laboratory at Kakkanad in Kochi for testing after his death and the report came out on Friday. The “very dangerous” insecticide Chlorpyrifos was found in the samples, Joint Chemical Examiner K. Muralidharan Nair told PTI. Methyl and Ethyl alcohol contents were also found in the actor’s samples, he said.
Mr. Chandy told reporters in Kasaragod that if the actor’s family sought a probe, government was prepared to order a high-level inquiry. However, he maintained that the present probe was going in the right direction. “Government will take a decision after getting to know the views of the family on the issue,” he said. Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the DGP has been asked to conduct a foolproof probe. “All new revelations will be inquired into… the inquiry report will soon be submitted in court,” Mr. Chennithala added. Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes president Innocent also sought a probe and said the guilty should not be spared.
Mani’s brother R.L.V. Ramakrishnan said he feared that his brother’s friends could have allegedly given him liquor and a case for murder should be registered and probe ordered against those who were with the actor during the last moments at his Chalakudy outhouse. Mani was undergoing treatment for liver and kidney diseases at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences for some time when he died on March 6, 2016.
Police had registered a case of unnatural death after AIMS doctors informed them that traces of methyl alcohol was found in his blood.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is a Hindu religious shrine at Attukal in Kerala, India. The temple is renowned for the annual Attukal Pongala festival, in which over three million women participate.[1] A festival that has figured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the single largest gathering of women for a religious activity, the Attukal Pongala continues to draw millions of women with each passing year. According to the Attukal Temple Trust, around 4.5 million devotees are expected to attend the pongala in 2016.Attukal Temple is situated within 2 kilometres of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Goddess Kannaki (Parvathi) is the main deity in this temple. The mythology behind the temple, relates to the story of Kannagi who was married to Kovalan, son of a wealthy merchant. After marriage, Kovalan met a dancer and spent all his riches on her forgetting his wife. But when he was penniless, he went back to Kannagi. The only precious thing left to be sold was Kannagi's pair of anklets. They went with it to the king of Madurai to sell it. But an anklet was stolen from the Queen which looked similar to Kannagi's. When Kovalan tried to sell it, he was mistaken for the theft and beheaded by the king's soldiers.
Kannagi got infuriated when she heard the news and rushed to the King with the second pair of anklet. She broke one of the anklets and it contained rubies while the Queen's contained pearls. She cursed the city of Madurai, and it is said that due to her chastity, the curse came true. Kannagi is said to have attained salvation after the Goddess of the city appeared before her. It is said that on her way to Kodungallur, Kannagi passed Attukal. She took the form of a little girl. An old man was sitting on the banks of a stream, when the girl went to him and asked him whether he could help her cross it. Surprised to find the young girl alone, he took her home. But she disappeared. She came back in his sleep and asked him to build a temple where he found 3 golden lines in his grove. He went ahead and did the same, and it is said that this is at the location of the present Attukal temple.
Attukal Pongala is the main festival of this temple. Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam is a 10 days festival which falls on February - March every year (Malayalam month of Makaram - Kumbham). The festival begins on the Karthika star with the traditional Kappukettu and Kudiyiruthu ceremony, the idol of Devi, is embellished with Kappu (Bangles). The 9th day of the festival is the major attraction, The Attukal Pongala day and the festival will conclude with the Kuruthitharpanam at 10th day night.[2] Millions of women gather every year in the month of Kumbham around this temple and prepare Pongala (rice cooked with jaggery, ghee, coconut as
well as other ingredients) in the open in small pots to please the Goddess Kannaki. Pongala (literally means to boil over) is a ritualistic offering of a sweet dish, consisting of rice porridge, sweet brown molasses, coconut gratings, nuts and raisins. It is done as an offering to the presiding deity of the temple - the Goddess - popularly known as Attukal Amma. Only women are allowed to participate in the Pongala ritual.
The most famous and important among Pongala festival happens at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala where around 3.5 million people participate. The festival in Attukal is considered by the population of the city, across their relegious beliefs, as the biggest festival in the city.
Rice, coconut and jaggery are brought by women devotees along with round earthen pots for cooking. Women participating in the Pongala squat on roads, bylanes, footpaths and shop fronts in a radius of several kilometres around the temple to cook the mixture of rice, jaggery and coconut in earthen pots that is offered to the goddess seeking divine blessings. The Chief Priest of the temple lights the main hearth from the divine fire inside the sanctum sanctorum. This fire is exchanged from one oven to another. Devi is essentially the mother goddess of ancient people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In this part of India this concept is evolved from the deity
'Kottave' worshiped on the peak of 'Aiyramala'. During ancient times, the entire population from the nearby villages converge on this hill and they stay there during the entire festivities lasting for several days. During this time social cooking used to take place by the women which was considered to be holy and liked by the goddess. Such social cooking naturally strengthened the bonds between these villages. This custom is still continued in the form of Pongala offering. This is one side of the character of the goddess. She is also the deity who brings victory in wars and therefore the goddess is offered blood sacrifice as stated in Sangam Literature. The word used for this is 'Kuruthi'. It means killing. The Tookaam ceremonies in some temples is a reminder of the ancient practice of blood sacrifice. This custom was modified later on to give 'Kuruthi' to the deity by killing cocks, which however is not practiced now. Pongala festival is mainly celebrated at Attukal Temple, Puthiyakavu Bhagavathi Temple, Mulluthara Devi Temple, (Sree Bhadra kali & kriam Kali Moorthi Devi), Malamekkara, Adoor), Kovilvila Bhagavati Temple, Chakkulathukavu Temple, Karikkakom Temple, Kanjirottu Valiaveedu Temple, Panekavu Bhagavati Shastha Temple and Thazhoor Bhagavathy Kshetram in Kerala.
The annual Pongala festival of Attukal Bhagavathi temple, has been entered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest congregation of women in the world.[4][5] The festival draws over 2.5 million women on a single day in March to perform the Pongala ritual, and has been a center of attraction for devotees as well as tourists who visit Trivandrum during this season. Pongala festival at Vellayani Devi temple is also very famous,The pongala,Alpindi vilakku,Kalamerzuthum pattum, Kali pooja, Devi pooja,Ethirealppu festival,Sarppam thullal Sarppam pattum,Navarthri pooja, traditional pooja of Uthiradam pooja(Kurthi pooja) festival at Mulluthara Devi Temple,(Sree Bhadra Kali & Kariam Kali Moorthi Devi)Temple is also very famous. The History and Mythology
A few centuries ago, the head of Mulluveettil family was met with a young girl who asked him to help her cross the Killi river in which he was performing his ritualistic prayers. The Karanavar (family head) knew it was no ordinary girl, because of her charm and charisma. He bowed before her and willingly took her to the other side of the river. He invited her to his home nearby and the whole family was preparing to receive this girl. However, they couldn't find her as she had disappeared by the time Mulluveettil family was ready to receive her.
The Karanavar and his family were a little puzzled. The Karanavar saw the girl once again in his dream, in the same day as he saw the little girl. The girl appeared as an icon and told him to give her an abode in the nearby Kavu (a grove where shrubs and wild animals including snakes are left undisturbed). She told him that he would see three lines at a specific point in the kavu and she wanted her abode erected there. With joy, the old man reached the Kavu and to his surprise, he found three lines marked on the ground. He knew it was a sacred spot and he wasted no time erecting a temple. The temple became the abode of the goddess, who later came to be known as Attukal Devi (Attukal Amma). Local devotees offered their prayers in this temple and soon the fame of this temple spread far and wide.
The people also offered to renovate the temple and a bigger temple with a new icon was installed. The goddess was represented as a woman with four arms, each bearing a spear, sword, skull and shield. The then high priest of Badarinath Temple led the consecration ceremony.
The girl that appeared before the Karanavar of Mulluveettil family is known to be Kannagi (Kannaki). Kannagi is the famous heroine of Chipathikaram, a Tamil epic written by Elenkovadikal. She is the incarnation of Sree Parvathy, the consort of Lord Siva. She took this incarnation of destroyer goddess, to destroy the evil and to preserve good. Kannagi was returning from Madurai, a city which she has destroyed, when she took a sojourn at Attukal and let the Karanavar see her as a little girl. She was on her way to Kodungalloor.