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Kerala Boat Accident 22 Killed, Multiple rules broken

Malappuram boat accident death toll rose to 22 on Monday. The incident happened in the Malappuram district in Kerala, where a tourist boat capsized near the Tanur coast. As per officials’ statements so far 22 bodies recovered, and the exact number of people on the boat remains unknown. More victims were trapped in the mud.

The incident took place around 7 pm near Tuvalthiram beach in the Tanur area of the district. A case has been registered against the boat’s owner for culpable homicide. Although the exact number of passengers on the boat is still unknown, 40 were with tickets while many others were without one. The boat reportedly did not have a safety certificate either. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Indian Coast Guard personnel are engaged in rescue work. Underwater cameras are being used to track down those who are still missing.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George called an emergency meeting of the State Health Department at midnight following the incident and directed the officials to ensure better treatment for the injured.

Deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives in the Tanur boat accident in Malappuram. Have directed the District administration to effectively coordinate rescue operations, which are being overseen by Cabinet Ministers. Heartfelt condolences to the grieving families & friends,

Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident and announced an ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.

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NIA raids against ISIS across TN, Kerala, Karnataka in blast cases

In a major crackdown against ISIS sympathizers, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) early Wednesday morning started raids at multiple locations across Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu in two separate blast cases under investigation, sources said.

According to sources in the elite anti-terror probe agency, the searches are being conducted in connection with last year’s blasts in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore and Karnataka’s Mangaluru which occurred on October 23, 2022, and November 19, 2022, respectively.

Sources said that nearly five dozen locations across the three states were raided simultaneously, including those Kodungaiyur in Tamil Nadu and Mannadi in Kerala. The NIA began a probe on October 27 last year in a bomb blast in a car laden with explosives in front of Kottai Eswaran Temple of Coimbatore district in Tamil Nadu on October 23, last year.

Eleven accused persons were arrested earlier by the anti-terror agency in the case in which Tamil Nadu Police initially registered a complaint on October 23 last year.

The deceased accused, Jamesha Mubeen, after swearing bayath (allegiance) to ISIS was planning to carry out a suicide attack and cause extensive damage to the Temple Complex with the intention to strike terror in the community, said the NIA in a statement. “Investigations have revealed that the accused persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy in the interior of forested regions of Asanoor and Kadambur areas of Sathyamangalam forest, Erode district, in February, 2022,” the NIA stated.

“The meetings were led by previously arrested accused Umar Farook and participated by deceased accused Jamesha Mubeen, Mohammed Azharudin, Sheikh Hidayatullah and Sanofar Ali, where they conspired to prepare for and execute terror acts,” it added.

In December last year, the NIA took over the investigation into the November 19 pressure cooker blast in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru wherein a passenger, identified as Mohammed Shariq, was carrying a pressure cooker bomb made from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

The auto-rickshaw exploded leading to injuries to the passenger, Mohammed Shariq, who was carrying a pressure cooker turned into an IED, and the auto-rickshaw driver Purushottam Poojari.

The cooker bomb was designed to carry out a large-scale attack to fuel communal tensions in the coastal region and in the state, the agency said. Shariq was en-route to a pre-decided location for carrying out the blast when the explosion took place.

The NIA started its investigation under the provision of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the investigating officers then questioned the main accused Shariq, as the state police found his links with the Islamic State (IS) during its investigation. It also learned that he had radicalized his schoolmates, Syed Yasin and Muneer Ahmed, and introduced them to IS as well.

Together, the three of them had experimented and rehearsed the explosion on the banks of the Tunga river in the Shivamogga district, sources said, adding that the practice explosion was also reportedly successful. Further, according to sources, the main accused, Shariq, had a handler who was orchestrating and instructing him regarding all these activities.

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Singer Vani Jayaram Passes Away, Days After She Was Awarded The Padma Bhushan

Vani Jayaram is a veteran Indian singer who has made a significant impact in the world of Indian classical music. With her melodious voice and stunning stage presence, she has enthralled audiences all over India and beyond.

Vani Jayaram was born in 1949 in Andhra Pradesh, India. She began her musical journey at a young age, learning the basics of Indian classical music from her father, who was a well-known singer in his own right. Under his guidance, she developed a deep appreciation for Indian classical music and honed her singing skills.

Vani Jayaram’s rise to fame began in the 1960s when she recorded her first song for the Tamil film industry. Her voice quickly became popular, and she went on to record a large number of songs for the film industry in various languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and Malayalam. She also recorded devotional songs and ghazals, and her voice became synonymous with many of these songs.

In addition to her film songs, Vani Jayaram has also made a significant contribution to Indian classical music. She has performed in many prestigious classical music concerts across India and has been recognized as one of the leading classical singers of her generation. She has collaborated with several leading musicians and has received numerous awards and accolades for her contribution to Indian classical music.

Vani Jayaram’s contribution to Indian music goes beyond her own singing. She has been a mentor and inspiration to many young musicians, and her passion for music has inspired a new generation of musicians. Her dedication to the art form has made her a role model for aspiring singers, and her voice will always be remembered as one of the most beautiful and soulful voices in Indian music.

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Malayalam Actor arrested for Drug Peddling

The Karnataka police have arrested three persons, including a small screen actor in Kerala, for drug peddling and seized 191 grams of MDMA and 2.80 kilograms of ganja valued at Rs 12.50 lakh from them on Friday, reported news agency IANS. The accused are identified as Siyaz, Mohammad Shahid, and Mangal Thodi Jathin. All the accused are from Kerala and accused Shiyaz worked as an actor in Malayalam television.

According to police, the accused sold drugs to students of reputed colleges and the elite public in Karnataka. They ran an inter-state gang and the police slapped the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) 1985 on them.
Gathering inputs, the police nabbed two accused persons from a place close to NIFT College in Bengaluru and seized Rs 6 lakh worth 101 grams of MDMA and 2.80 kilograms of ganja. After grilling the two accused, the police got information about the third accused selling drugs near the service road at Agara Lake. DCP South East C.K. Baba appreciated the efforts of the policemen for breaking an inter-state drug cartel.

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Widespread Stone Pelting, Sporadic Incidents Of Violence In Kerala

Kerala on Friday witnessed widespread stone pelting at public transport buses, damaging of shops and vehicles, and sporadic incidents of violence in many places during the statewide dawn-to-dusk hartal called by radical Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI). The hartal was called by the PFI to protest against the raids in the offices and residences of its leaders and their subsequent arrests on Thursday by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

Hartal supporters took out protest marches, blocked vehicles and forcefully downed the shutters of shops in various places, where the outfit has a strong presence. Besides police personnel, some bus and lorry drivers and commuters suffered injuries in stone pelting and other related incidents.

The Kerala High Court took a case on its own over PFI’s hartal and subsequent sporadic incidents of violence in the state today. The court said holding hartals were banned by it earlier and the destruction of public property cannot be accepted.
The court also directed the state administration to take stern action against those who violate the court order banning hartals.

In Erattupetta town of Kottayam district, police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse hartal supporters when they tried to block the vehicles after gathering in large numbers, closed the shops, and threatened the people who were traveling on private vehicles.

Hundreds of PFI activists were reportedly detained in local police stations as a precautionary measure, sources said.
More police personnel were deployed in and around the town as tension continued to prevail in the area.
A hartal supporter allegedly hit two police personnel, who were on patrolling duty, with his bike when they tried to stop him from abusing commuters at Pallimukku in Kollam.

Though he managed to escape from the spot, a manhunt was on to nab him, police said.

A lottery shop, kept open at Sankranthi Kavala in Kottayam, was destroyed by the hartal supporters while some freight lorries, which were on their way from Mangaluru, were stopped and its keys were snatched away by them on a national highway in Kannur which caused blocked traffic in the area.

Local media reported that a petrol bomb was hurled at a vehicle that was carrying newspapers for distribution at Narayanpara in Kannur in the morning. Stones were pelted at Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses (KSRTC) in almost all districts including Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Alappuzha.
Several buses were largely destroyed as their glasses were broken and seats were damaged.

However, Transport Minister Antony Raju said there was no move to stop the services in the wake of widespread attacks against the KSRTC buses. “Our intention is to provide maximum service to the commuters who are facing difficulty to travel during the hartal day. Police will surely take action against those who resort to violence and destruction,” he said.
A 15-year-old girl and an auto-rickshaw driver suffered minor injuries in the stone pelting allegedly by PFI activists in Kozhikode and Kannur respectively.

A lorry driver, who was on his way to Erode in Tamil Nadu, suffered severe injuries on his nose and eyes after the hartal supporters hurled stones and broke the glass of his vehicle in Kozhikode.
“They attacked us deliberately with an intention to destroy the lorry. The vehicle was parked on the roadside when they came and attacked it. I went to a private hospital for first aid and now I am going to the government hospital for a detailed check-up,” he said.

As soon as the PFI called for a hartal on Thursday, the state police chief had given directions to beef up security across Kerala and to take stern action against those who violate the law. But, there were complaints that police did not act swiftly in many places when hartal supporters tried to block vehicles and forcefully shut down the shops on Friday.
Though a large number of hartal supporters, who indulged in violence and criminal activities, were taken into custody across the state, no exact figure was available at the moment, sources said.

The PFI on Thursday had said a hartal will be observed in the state today “against the RSS-controlled fascist government’s attempt to silence dissenting voices using the central agencies”. The hartal would be held from 6 AM to 6 PM, A Abdul Sathar, state general secretary, PFI, had said in the statement.

On Thursday, PFI workers had taken out marches to the places where raids were carried out and raised slogans against the Centre and its investigating agencies. However, central forces were already deployed in all such places as part of strengthening security.
Multi-agency teams spearheaded by the NIA had arrested 106 functionaries of the PFI on Thursday in near-simultaneous raids at 93 locations in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country. Kerala, where PFI has some strong pockets, accounted for the maximum number of 22 arrests, officials said. PFI state president C P Mohammed Basheer, national chairman O M A Salam, national secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram, former chairman E Abubacker, and others were among those arrested.

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PFI Stages Protests in Various Cities of Kerala; Calls For Statewide Strike

Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi: Activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI) on Thursday staged protests across Kerala against the raids carried out in their organization’s offices, houses of leaders, and other premises by multi-agencies led by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country. The outfit also called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the southern state on Friday to mark their strong protest against the central agencies’ act.

A PFI statement here said its state committee observed that the arrest of the leaders was part of “state-sponsored terrorism”. “A hartal will be observed in the state on September 23 against the RSS-controlled fascist government’s attempt to silence dissenting voices using the central agencies,” A Abdul Sathar, state general secretary, PFI, said. The hartal would be held from 6 AM to 6 PM, he said in the statement.

As news of the early morning searches broke out, PFI workers took out marches to the places where the raids were carried out and raised slogans against the Centre and its investigating agencies. However, central forces were already deployed in all such places as part of strengthening security.


A PFI source here said protest marches were carried out in almost all districts including Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Thrissur. “The searches were mainly carried out in the offices of the state and district committees and the houses of its office-bearers. Though initially we thought the searches were conducted by the Enforcement Directorate, it has become clear later that it was by the NIA,” the source told PTI.


As many as 14 office-bearers of the PFI, including national, state and district leaders, were taken into custody from the state by the central agencies, the source said. PFI state president C P Mohammed Basheer, national chairman O M A Salam, national secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram and others were among those in custody, the source added. Local media reported that all the leaders and workers, who were taken into custody from various parts of the state, would be brought to the NIA office in Kochi.


The house of a Thrissur-based leader of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) was also raided, the outfit’s state president Ashraf Maulavi said. Addressing a press conference here, he said those who believe and act in accordance with the Constitution of the country should expect any such fascist move against them in RSS-ruled India. “Through such deeds, the Centre is actually indulging in anti-constitutional activities. The public society should raise its voice against such practices to protect the country,” he said.

He said the central investigating agencies were trying to create a smoke screen against the outfits which have been functioning in a democratic manner and legal steps would be taken against such acts after consulting with the national leadership. The leader also claimed that those documents reportedly seized during the raids, were only public relations stuff used by the outfits for its campaign.

What is the Popular Front of India?

The PFI was created in 2007 through the merger of three Muslim organizations in southern India, the National Democratic Front in Kerala, the Karnataka Forum for Dignity, and the Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu.

A decision to bring the three outfits together was taken in November 2006 at a meeting in Kozhikode in Kerala. The formation of the PFI was formally announced at a rally in Bengaluru during what was called the “Empower India Conference” on February 16, 2007.

The PFI, which emerged in the aftermath of the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), has projected itself as an organization that fights for the rights of minorities, Dalits, and marginalized communities. It has frequently targeted the alleged anti-people policies of the Congress, the BJP, and the JD-S in Karnataka, even as these mainstream parties have accused one another of being in cahoots with the PFI to gather the support of Muslims at the time of elections.

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Will restore old pension scheme if elected to power in Gujarat: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused the BJP of making the elderly dependent by abolishing the old pension scheme.
He assured that the Congress, if elected to power in Gujarat, will restore the old pension scheme, saying it is the right of government employees who strengthen the nation. “By abolishing the old pension, the BJP has made the elderly dependent from self-reliant. The government employees who strengthen the country have a right: The old pension,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

“We restored the old pension in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh. Now the Congress government will come in Gujarat and will bring the old pension,” Gandhi also said, using the hashtag #CongressDegiOldPension.
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia had said on Monday that his party would implement the old pension scheme in Gujarat just like Congress governments have done in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan if it is voted to power in the Assembly polls.

Thousands of retired government employees in Gujarat recently held protests demanding the re-introduction of the old pension scheme. The Gujarat Assembly elections are due in the next few months and the Congress is seeking to wrest power from the BJP in the state.

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We will not allow ideology of BJP and RSS to divide our country: Rahul Gandhi

Addressing a massive crowd of Congress workers, Gandhi said it is impossible for the country to progress if it follows policies of hatred and anger. Expressing his gratitude for the massive turnout seen in Kerala for his 150-day long yatra, Gandhi said people are joining his walk as they understand that the future of the country was at risk.
“Do you think a country that is divided can solve problems like unemployment? Do you think a divided society can build hospitals, and roads and can educate our children? It is impossible for India to solve such problems if we are following the path of hatred,” Gandhi said.

He said it’s the common people, on whose shoulders this country runs, who pay the price of hatred that is being spread.
“How is it that we have the richest persons in the world but our people pay the highest price for essential items? Is it something that we could just accept? We will not allow the ideology of the RSS and the BJP to divide this country and we will not accept India where millions of Indians are jobless. We will not accept an India where millions of people are drowning in high prices for essential items,” he said.

Gandhi said he has seen a confident Kerala in the last few days of his walk as the state does not believe in hatred, anger or violence. “Today, India is full of anger, violence, and hatred. The BJP spreads this hatred and violence. Its in their DNA and the result is a handful of people make billions in profits,” he said.
The senior leader said the yatra has the support of not only the Congress workers but that of the commoners and some Left workers.

“It’s because everyone understands that this country is at risk. You are not supporting an individual. Individuals are not important. Individuals come and go. You are supporting an idea and you are supporting the culture, the history and the tradition of our country,” he said.

Gandhi said if social reformers like Sree Narayana Guru or Chattambi Swamikal or Mahatma Ayyankali were alive today, they would say Bharat Jodo. He asked Keralites not to lose their ability to love. “It is what defines the people of this state and it is what makes you a successful state. It makes your nurses successful all over the world. It allows you to build cities like Dubai. So I would like to thank you for all the love and affection you have given me. I am in debt to you but I doubt whether I will ever be able to repay it,” he said.

Gandhi said he opted to walk through the nation and rejected the suggestion of using a car as he respects those who cannot afford a car in this country. Earlier in the day, Gandhi met representatives of the tourism industry in Kerala in a houseboat in Vembanad lake.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted a photo of the meeting and said they discussed issues related to the tremendous loss of revenue and jobs in the tourism industry due to the pandemic, the lack of financial assistance from the government, and the lag in revival. Later, Gandhi also participated in a mock snake boat race arranged by the KPCC in Vembanad lake.

Gandhi was seen rowing the snake boat along with around 50 other oarsmen accompanied by two other snake boats.
Earlier, he had met the fisherfolk at Vadackal beach in Alappuzha and discussed their challenges — rising fuel costs, reduced subsidies, dwindling fish stock, lack of social welfare and pensions, inadequate educational opportunities, and environmental destruction — with them.

Senior Congress leaders K Muraleedharan, Kodikkunnil Suresh, Ramesh Chennithala, K C Venugopal, Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly V D Satheesan, Pawan Khera, and others accompanied Gandhi. The 12th day of the yatra which began from Vadackal beach concluded at Kanichakulangara in the Alappuzha district.

The yatra will reach the Ernakulam border on September 20 night and will traverse through the district for two days. The Congress 3,570 km and 150-day-long foot march started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and will conclude in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which entered Kerala on September 10 evening, will go through the state covering 450 km, touching seven districts over a period of 19 days before entering Karnataka on October 1.

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SC seeks reply of Kerala, others on plea of Guruvayur temple panel on issue of temple funds

The Supreme Court Monday sought responses from the Kerala government and others to a plea of the Guruvayur Devaswom Managing Committee (GDMC) challenging a 2020 high court verdict holding all properties of the famous Lord Krishna temple in Guruvayur vest in the presiding deity and its management has no power to divert the funds.

The dispute arose after the GDMC donated Rs 10 crore to the Chief Ministers Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) for flood victims in the state and Rs 5 crore for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kerala High Court, on December 18, 2020 held that all movable and immovable properties dedicated to the presiding deity of the famous Sri Krishna temple in Guruvayur shall vest in the idol of Lord Guruvayurappan and its managing committee had no power to divert the funds to the government or any other agency.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justices Ajay Rastogi and S Ravindra Bhat took note of the submissions of senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for the temple management committee GDMC, and issued notices to the state government and 28 others including officials supervising the Devaswom board.
The bench, meanwhile, asked the parties to hold their hands with regard to finances till it decides the appeal of the GDMC against the high court verdict.

The senior lawyer said there were two aspects of the matter- one pertained to the rules and the other to the culture and tradition of the temple. This is a Lord Krishna temple…What money has been given? The money has been given for flood relief and for COVID victims, he added.

Issue notice returnable on October 10, 2022. Dasti in addition, the bench said. Dasti summons means one is willing to serve it to the opposite party personally without the appointment of a process server. Meanwhile, KSR Menon, President of the Democratic Social Justice Party (DSJP), filed a caveat in the top court in the matter, saying he be also heard as he was among the parties who had initially approached the Kerala High Court on the issue challenging the decision of the Guruvayoor Devaswom Board to divert funds.

The high court, in its verdict, had held that all the properties vest with the presiding deity. A full bench of the high court had made the observations on a batch of petitions challenging the decision of the GDMC to donate the temple funds to the Chief Ministers Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) for flood victims in the state. The high court had overruled a 2019 order of a division bench, holding that its view on Section 27 of the Guruvayur Devaswom Act of 1978 related to the authority of the GDMC to incur “certain expenses” out of the Devaswom funds.

The division bench had incorrectly interpreted the word “certain” as it could be taken as a clear indication of the non-exhaustive nature of items wherein the GDMC could have the authority to expend the Devaswom funds, the high court had said.

In an over 100-page order dealing with the role of the committee and aspects related to the expenditure to be incurred as per the devaswom act, it had said the GDMC was bound to administer control and manage all the properties belonging to Guruvayur Devaswom and that its status was that of a trustee.

“All the properties, including movable and immovable properties and money, dedicated to or endowed in the name of Lord Guruvayurappan or any property acquired in any manner by Guruvayur Devaswom shall vest in the idol of Lord Guruvayurappan, consecrated in the Sree Krishna Temple, Guruvayur,” the court had said in its order.

“None of the provisions in the Act of 1978, including Section 27, authorizes GDMC, or the Administrator or the Commissioner to contribute or part with or give away in any manner any amount from the funds belonging to the Guruvayur Devaswom, either to the CMDRF or to any other governmental agency, for any purpose specified under the Act….,” it had said.

The petitioners before the high court had contended that the decision was in total violation of the provisions of the Guruvayur Devaswom Act and the diversion of the Devaswom funds to CMDRF also violated their fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 25, and 26 of the Constitution.

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