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Conditional SR2,000 dole disbursement begins

Govt to pay Rs 50,000 to parents of kids mauled by dogs

Pathanamthitta: The Kerala government has been ordered to pay Rs 50,000 as urgent compensation to the parents of two children mauled by stray dogs a month ago.

State Human Rights Commission Chairman, Justice J.B. Koshy, ordered the government to pay up from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

A stray dog mauled a two-year-old boy playing in front of his house at Pappanchira near Kurichi on June 27. His five-year-old brother was also attacked when he tried to save the infant. Their father Shymon Valiyathra Veettil, a daily-wage labourer, had approached the human rights panel, saying that he had to get his sons treated using expensive medicines and that he did not have any money left for follow-up treatment.

Justice Koshy pointed out that the Supreme Court had called for the sterilisation of stray dogs. There is a law for that, he said.

The state government and the local self-governments, however, failed to act on the order. They have not even implemented the High Court order to kill the dogs suspected to be rabid. The state government and the local self-governments were duty-bound to pay compensation to victims of stray dog attacks because they failed to perform their duties, the human rights panel’s order says.

The order has been dispatched to the Revenue Secretary and the Kottayam District Collector. The collector and the Kurichi panchayat secretary have to explain the actions taken on the matter when the human rights panel conducts a sitting in Kottayam on August 11.
  • Published in Kerala

Student falls off moving school bus; dies

Kollam: A Class 3 student who fell off a moving school bus, died at Kalluvathukkal here on Tuesday.

However, the bus crew failed to notice the incident that happened around 3.30 pm. The auto divers witnessed it rushed the boy to hospital, but the doctors pronounced him brought dead.

The victim, Kevin Prakash, is a student of Raghavendra School in Chirakkara.
  • Published in Kerala

Eight year old boy stabbed to death by insane man

Kasargod: There has been a new twist to the case of murder of an eight year old boy by a man said to be mentally ill at Periya Kaliyath. It has now been gathered that the accused had killed the boy to settle scores as he had a grudge against the latter’s father.

It may be recalled here that Mohammad Fayad, son of Ayesha and Abbas couple was reportedly stabbed to death on July 10, Thursday by one Vijayan (32) when the former was on way to school along with his little sister and another child. The accused was later caught hold of by locals and handed over to police after thrashing him.

What has been gathered now is that Vijayan who used to earn a livelihood by peeling coconuts, had nurtured a grudge against the boy’s father Abbas since a year. As already reported a year ago Vijayan was arrested for calling up the police and making a false claim that a bomb had been planted on a railway track. Upon his release he used to tell people that he was arrested after being tipped off by Abbas. When Vijayan’s photo appeared in newspapers, he blamed Abbas saying he had provided the photo to the media.

When Vijayan’s cat had died a few days ago, he had passed the blame on Abbas and the same was the case when Vijayan was hospitalised some time back for psychiatric treatment.

The police who gathered the above information during interrogation of Vijayan have now learnt that unable to target Abbas, Vijayan had chosen to attack his son.

The accused has been produced before the court and remanded to judicial custody. There is information that police may seek his custody for further interrogation.

In the meantime, it is said the accused is a BJP-RSS activist and that he was branded ‘mentally ill’ just to get him out of the case. A demand has been put forth by several parties and organisations for an in-depth investigation into this case.
  • Published in Kerala

Kerala Plans Law Against Superstition

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala government plans to bring out an anti-superstition legislation, but wants consensus in society to curb cruel practises held in the name of religion, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said today.

He was replying to a calling attention moved by K Sivadasan Nair (Congress) in the assembly to the necessity for enacting a law to prevent the uncivilised and cruel practise of piercing of spears in body parts, including that of children as part of religious customs.

The Minister said that certain practises are part of age-old religious customs and traditions. "They cannot be banned by law. They can be curbed only after arriving at a consensus in society by discussion."

However, government was planning a legislation against superstition and uncivilised practises similar to the one introduced by Maharashtra Government, he said.

The draft of the bill is being prepared and government expects the legislation to be introduced in the house either during the current session or the next session, he said.

The bill was in the backdrop of recurrence of tragic sorcery cases, he pointed out.

Mr Nair wanted government to ban the body piercing in the name of religious rituals being held during the festival period in several Lord Muruga temples in the state.

"Even small children are also subjected to such cruel practises', he pointed out.

'I do not think, any God will be happy by watching such a painful ritual', he said.
  • Published in Kerala

Kerala welcomes rain on environment day; Mumbai awaits

Kochi: World Environment Day on Friday heralded the onset of monsoon in Kerela. Rain-bearing clouds showered the southern state of India with relief from the climbing temperatures in the afternoon.

Although Maharashtra will have to wait awhile before its date to welcome the rains arrives, Mumbaikars would do well to carry umbrellas with them, as the Indian Meteorological Department forecast predicts a chance of rain or thunderstorm in the city.

Deputy director general of the IMD Dr KS Hosalikar, "We are not talking about Maharashtra yet, we only release 48-hour forecasts once the monsoon reaches the land. Depending on the monsoon currents and the winds, we may be able to determine its arrival in a day or two."

"According to the present 48-hour forecast, rains will be reaching parts of Tamil Nadu, Central Arabian Sea, Karnataka, some parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh and Bay of Bengal," he added.

Earlier, Hosalikar had said statistically monsoon rains reach Maharashtra 10 days after they arrive in Kerala.

The weather in Mumbai remained pleasant throughout Friday, with the sky being partially cloudy throughout the city. The IMD forecast, however, predicts chances of rain or thunderstorm in the next week.

The maximum temperature in the city stood constant at 34 degrees Celsius and minimum at 28 degrees Celsius. The humidity was relatively high at 80%.
  • Published in Kerala

Mathew George's Body Brought Home

KOCHI: The body of Mathew George, the charted accountant from Kochi who was killed during an attack by suspected Taliban militants outside a government guest house in Afghanistan on Wednesday night, was brought to Cochin International Airport on Friday night by an Air India flight from Delhi. After formal checks, the body was taken to the morgue of the Medical Trust Hospital in Kochi by a special ambulance.

The family members of George, including his wife Philomina, son Deepak, his brother Joseph George and other relatives were present at the airport to receive the body. According to family members, the body of the victim would be taken to his house at Kathrikkadavu near here on Saturday for his relatives to pay homage.

Later, the body would be taken back to the morgue on Saturday as his son, Vinod, who is settled in the US would reach only by Sunday morning. The funeral will be held at the Little Flower church cemetery at Elamkulam at Sunday afternoon.

George, who was working as an auditor with the government department in Afghanistan, was one among the four Indians killed in the Taliban attack. Another Delhi-based Malayali Martha Farel, director of a private NGO, was also killed in the attack. Though she belongs to Kollam in Kerala, her funeral will be held in Delhi as she was settled there, said the authorities.
  • Published in Kerala

No legal hurdle in framing conspiracy charges against Jiji Thomson: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday observed that there was no legal hurdle in framing of conspiracy charges againt Jiji Thomson in the palmolein corruption case.

The apex court also refused to immediately intervene in to the plea submitted by Jiji Thomson.

The case pertains to alleged corruption in import of palmolein through a Singapore-based firm when Karunakaran was Chief Minister in 1992. Jiji Thomson was the MD of the state Civil Supplies Corporation.

The case had haunted Karunakaran during his last stint as Chief Minister with the Opposition as well as rivals in the Congress seizing on the issue to run him down.

The vigilance inquiry into the deal was ordered by the LDF ministry led by E K Nayanar in 1999.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was the Finance Minister then.

  • Published in Kerala

Slain Malayali was in Touch With Family Until the End

KOCHI:  Mathew George spoke to his son over the telephone just before he was shot dead allegedly by the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday night.

Mathew’s relatives and family friends who gathered at his residence at Kumaranasan Nagar said they received a call from the Indian Embassy on Thursday morning, confirming his death. Jiji Joseph, one of the relatives, said Mathew George was working at Delhi-based Nanda Associate, which is doing auditing work for the Afghanistan Government.

“Mathew’s elder son Deepak had called him over the phone around 9.30 pm on Wednesday, after hearing news about firing at the rest house where Mathew was staying. Then, Mathew told Deepak that firing was going on, and that he was hiding in his room.

Later, when Deepak tried to contact him again around 10.30 pm, there was no response from Mathew. By 1 am, the Indian Embassy in Kabul called and informed about the firing, but did not confirm Mathew’s death. It was in the morning the Embassy confirmed his death,” said Jiji.

After retiring from the Baroda unit of Apollo Tyres three years ago, Mathew George, 69, of Vellathottam, had been working at Nanda Associates as a chartered accountant on part-time basis.

He used to visit Afghanistan on assignments that lasted for six months. This year, he left for Afghanistan in January, and was expected to return in June. There was another chartered accountant with him, who was also killed in the terrorist attack,” said George Pootakaran, another relative of Mathew.

Mathew George is survived by wife Philo; sons Deepak (engineer, Pune) and Vinod (engineer, USA); and daughter Anitha (engineer, Bengaluru).
  • Published in Kerala
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