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Namesake : SC allows disqualified MLA KM Shaji to attend Assembly

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that KM  Shaji, disqualified by Kerala High Court on grounds of ballot manipulation, can take part in the state Assembly sessions that commences 27 November.

However the apex court rejected his plea for urgent hearing to stay the High Court order, that bans him from holding office for six years. The bench also clarified that, Shaji cannot claim perks warranted by MLA position.

The Azhikode MLA’s dethronement came about on a petition filed by his political opponent Nikesh Kumar who ran for office on LDF ticket and ended up 2nd in the race.

In his petition, Nikesh alleged that, Shaji won by margin of 2,287 votes, after violating norms prescribed under various sections of Representation of Peoples Act. Shaji was found guilty  accused of distributing communally toned pamphlets to appeal people belonging to the minority religion.

 

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House of woman planning to visit Sabarimala attacked

Malappuram : The house of one among three women who addressed a press conference, asserting their plan to visit Sabarimala temple while still being in their menstrual age, has been attacked.

Malappuram native Aparna told police that unknown persons who arrived on bikes pelted stones at her house, breaking window panes. The gang retreated after the sudden attack that was carried out close to midnight yesterday, she said.

Aparna along with two other young women had expressed their Sabarimala darshan  and sought support for their journeys, at the conference three days ago at Ernakulam press club. They were willing to wait till the society and police agreed to provide a safe environment for their mission, the women had said.

Ayyappa hymn-chanting protesters surrounded the press club and police arrested a handful to rescue the women after they were confined to the club for quite some time.

Post her announcement at the conference, Aparna has allegedly been receiving threats since.

Police have registered a case against unidentified persons and opened a probe.

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Police stop Union Minister’s car at Pampa; Apologises

In a case of mistaken identity, police at Pampa flagged down a car from Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan’s convoy, taking it to be protester vehicle. SP Harishankar letter handed over a written apology over the confusion that delayed minister’s journey by 30 minutes.

The incident took place near KSRTC bus stand around 1 am when Radhakrishnan was returning from Sabarimala temple after darshan there.

Incidentally, the minister had a mild rough-up with Harikumar earlier, while proceeding to the shrine.

The minister then had got out of his car asking, why  devotee vehicles were not allowed past Nilakal to reach Pampa, while state transporter KSRTC was running up to the point.

The SP reportedly told the minister, he was prepared to allow the convoy upto Pampa if the minister sought the same in writing.

“He asked me if I would take responsibility. Can the SP demand so to a state minister of Kerala?” Radhakrishnan told reporters later.

Asked of his view on the controversial Supreme Court verdict, the minister said “I dont want to get into that… Harassing devotees should be stopped, that’s all.”

Pon Radhakrishnan is Union Minister of State for Shipping and commenced his journey to Sabarimala from from Nagercoil on Tuesday.

Sabarimala on 16 Nov opened the third time after the Supreme Court verdict that  triggered massive protest at the hills, where protesters in large numbers thwarted police time each time they tried to escort a young woman to the shrine.

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Tamed : Police lift night curfew on devotees at Pampa

Hours after being rapped by High Court on restraints imposed, the Kerala police lifted its ban on Sabarmala devotees camping at base camp late night into dawn.

Earlier authorities disallowed devotees proceeding to the shrine between 9.30 to 2 am.

The High Court had pulled up the govt on Tuesday, questioning it’s Sec 144 imposition in the region and hurled questions like why the devotees were stopped from resting at Valiya Nadapanthal and restrained at base camp during late hours.

The Court sought clarification on whom Sec 144 was applicable and also how authorities could tell devotees apart from protesters, in it’s zeal to implement the Supreme Court verdict.

Faced with the shake-up, the lawyer representing the govt said it would file an affidavit.

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Clipped : K Surendran gets bail; Prohibited from entering Ranni for 2 months

Pathanamthita : 39 Sabarimala protesters arrested for violating prohibitory order were released on bail, including BJP general secretary K Surendran.

The bail for Surendran and all those arrested on Saturday from Nilakal, came with conditions that they shall not enter Ranni taluk for two months. In effect this means, Surendran cannot near anywhere around the sacred shrine, till mandala pilgrimage season is over.

Surendran was allowed bail on bond of Rs 20,000 from two sureties.

Despite the release order, Surendran might linger in jail a bit longer pending another case against him at Kannur, pertaining to obstructing road traffic.

 

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HC pulls up govt; Questions Sec 144 at Sabarimala

Kochi : After police drawing flak for adding to pilgrims’ woes at Sabarimala, govt today came under reprimand from the High Court for imposing Sec 144 in the region.

With petitions regarding the curfew on hand, the court asked how govt would distinguish between pilgrims and protesters at the shrine.

It further sought vivid clarification from govt on who would come under the restraints of Sec 144.

Faced with the shake-up, the lawyer representing the govt said it would file an affidavit. The Court agreed to the proposition that Advocate General will appear before the court before noon.

The hill shrine has unprecedented security blanket in terms of heavy police deployment, face detection cameras, commandos, in a standoff between protesting devotees and govt agencies bent on implementing the controversial Supreme Court verdict.

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Court intervenes, Pilgrims can once again rest at Valiya Nadapanthal

Sabarimala : Following reprimand at High Court, IG Vijay Sakhare, informed pilgrims that they can take rest at the Valiya Nadapanthal (roofed aisles) at Sabarimala.

The IG was lost for answer when asked by court as to why the devotees were stopped from resting  at Valiya Nadapanthal and restrained the way they were at other points.

Devotees were not allowed to camp at  Valiya Nadapandal for past four days, as part of police strategy anticipating potential violence.

Congress MP V Muraleedharan said he was happy to hear the restriction to rest there had been lifted.

IG however made it clear that nobody would be allowed to sleep at the Nadapanthal or rest in front of Vavaru Swami temple.

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Man accused of assaulting daughter cuts own genitals in jail

Kottayam : A man accused of assaulting his daughter, cut his genitals with a blade in prison on Tuesday.

He threw away the partly-cut organ. Police learnt of the self-harm when the man cried in excruciating pain. He had used the razor given to him for shaving.

Police rushed him to the hospital where doctors conducted an emergency procedure and stitched the severed portion together.

The man’s condition is now stable.

Incidentally, he was granted bail but continued in remand with no one coming forward to stand as surety.

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Wayanad MP, MI Shanavas, passes away in Chennai

Kochi : Senior Congress leader and MP representing Wayanad, MI Shanavaz, has died at a private hospital after being critical in its Intensive Care Unit for days now. The end came at Dr Rela Institute of Medical early Wednesday at 1.30 am. He was 67.

Shanavaz has been ailing following pancreatic surgery earlier. He was admitted to the hospital on 1 Nov from liver complications and underwent a transplant the next day.

The lawmaker’s condition was critical owing to inflammations.

Shanavas was elected to Lok Sabha in 2009 and again in 2014.

He was one of the three newly-appointed working presidents of the Congress in the state. In his passing, the state Congress loses one of its trusted and prominent Muslim leaders.

His body will be brought to Noorjahan Manzil near North Railway station in Kochi by noon and cremation will take place at Thottathumpadi mosque in the city on Thursday 10 am.

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Revenge Attack : Bomb hurled at house of RSS worker in Kozhikode

Kozhikode : A politically motivated counter attack in Kozhikode happened with explosion of steel bomb at RSS worker’s house, in wee hours today in Kozhikode.

The Right activist Sudeesh said the attack took place a little after midnight yesterday when a bomb hurled at his house broke window panes and traumatised the family inside.

Sudeesh had earlier headed a gang that attacked CPM district secretary P Mohanan’s house and daughter-in-law on hartal day Saturday.

On that day, P Mohanan’s son Julius Nikthas(33) and wife Saniyo Manomi(25) were stopped in their car by RSS hartal supporters. The couple were allegedly dragged out of the car and beaten up. Saniyo was  kicked repeatedly on her chest, she claimed. Locals and party activists later took the couple to govt Taluk Hospital.

Then again, when Julius and Saniyo were being shifted to the Medical College, hartal protesters accosted them at Naduvannur and harassed the couple.

Based on their complaint a case was registered and Sudeesh, whose house was attacked today, was first to be arrested.