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High Court rejects Rehana Fathima’s anticipatory bail

Kochi : The High Court today turned down anticipatory bail plea submitted by activist Rehana Fathima in connection with case regarding spreading religious hatred.

Pathanamthita police had charged a non-bailable offence against Rehana for hurting Hindu sentiments, by putting up social media post showing her in suggestive pose, dressed in Sabarimala pilgrimage attire.

Like a few other women Rehana tried to trek the hill and visit Sabarimala shrine amid a ring of hundred policemen thrown about her. However she could not enter the temple after the priest shut the shrine saying pooja for the day was over.

Sensation Addict
Rehana caught headlines last year after dancing on the streets of Thrissur as “pen puli”(tigress)  in puli kali – a traditional all-male ritualistic dance performance during Onam.

She also appeared bare chested with melons placed on breasts, in reaction to a professor’s comments that women should use melons to cover themselves.

The apex communal council also noted her nude role in film Eka to mark displeasure.

Rehana struck a suggestive pose dressed in Sabirimala pilgrim attire, in a post she put out on Facebook.

In the last of her controversy series, she  trekked the holy hill of Sabarimala with a ring of hundred policemen thrown about her, but failed to enter the temple after the priest shut down gateway there, just minutes before she reached there.

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India Kerala Top Today

Devotion vs Feminism : Kochi airport under siege;Trupti Desai stranded unable to head for Sabarimala

Kochi : Nedumbassery airport transformed into protest venue Friday morning, as devotees staged demonstrations blocking Trupti Desai’s bid to head for Sabarimala temple.

Interestingly she does not have the traditional irumudikettu or other symbolic accessories of a true pilgrim, prompting several protesters to allege that she is a govt import who aims to trigger clash at the holy hills.

It is seven hours now that Trupti and her activist friends reached airport from Pune, but has not been able to leave its premises owing to protests there. There are large number of women participating in the protest.

Sentiments run high at the airport where uproar and ridicule aimed at Trupti and group has heated up. One woman protester said “She is no devotee. Just here to prove herself. She is a govt import’.

At the time of this article, chaotic scenes continue to unfold with police unable to get Trupti gang past any exit there.

Standing unperturbed amid demonstrations, Trupti said she will not return without darshan.

The famed temple opens Friday evening for its two-month pilgrimage season. The hills witnessed unprecedented clashes between devotees and police on both times the temple opened post the controversial Supreme Court on 28 Sept which ruled that, all women can visit Sabarimala irrespective of age.

The Backdrop
24 News Sabarimala Supreme CourtA group of five women challenged Kerala state rule that bars entry of women between ages 10 – 50 at the famed Sabarimala Temple. The petitioners argued that the rule violates fundamental right to equality and discriminates women. The Kerala High Court previously upheld the restriction on entry of women and the case came before Supreme Court in 2006.

On 29 Sep, 2018 Supreme Court ended the age-old ban holding that, devotion cannot be subjected to discrimination and patriarchal notion cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion.

For centuries, women of menstrual age were restricted from entering the temple as its presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is considered celibate.

The state has been witnessing rallies against the Supreme Court verdict, putting pressure on the hesitant ruling Left to file a review petition or bring in an ordinance.

The holy hills has become venue of massive conflict after thousands of devotees, including women and children, continue to thwart police attempts to reach young women to the shrine.

 

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Kerala Top Today

Strict dress code ordered for police at Sabarimala

Pampa : In a step towards greater security at the hill that faces potential violence, police on duty at Sabarimala have been directed to observe strict dress code.

Uniform, caps, tucked shirt is a must apart from the protocol of saluting superiors has been instructed in the circular issued by IG Vijay Sakhare.

Saluting seniors is exempted at 18 golden steps and Sopanam.

Cops at Nadapandal are directed to carry lathi and shield.

 

 

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Kerala Top Today

Dignity in Death : DySP Harikumar could not bear life as convict, says co-accused

Thiruvananthapuram : The suicide by accused DySP Harikumar, that shocked the force, was his unwillingness for a deplorable existence, says his friend and co-accused K Binu.

Neyyatinkara sub jail, where Harikumar could have landed if alive, was filled criminals, many of whom were  nabbed by the officer himself, said Binu recalling the DySP’s concerns during their evasive time together.

The mental torture of sharing cell with convicts was inconceivable and hence he preferred to stay a fugitive as long as possible, the DySP had said, Binu told interrogators.

Sanal Kumar
Sanal Kumar

According to Binu, they were mostly on the road those days, except once when they  stayed at a lodge owned by a friend’s son in Thirparappu in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district.

The DySP’s picture was all over on screens and hence they avoided hotels and lodges, Binu  said.

They stayed, ate and slept in the car moving between states, he said. Harikumar kept himself tucked low at check-posts to ensure he is not captured on CCTV cameras there, Binu said.

Soon after the fatal incident, DySP remained lay low at his Kallambalam house, hoping to get anticipatory bail. But when that possibility crumbled, the DySP decided  to stay outside law, Binu said.

Binu a private money-lender, surrendered before Crime Branch on 13 Nov, hours after Harikumar was discovered dead. The driver of the car, Ramesh, too gave himself up to police the same day.

The Case
At late night of 6 Oct, Neyyatinkara DySP B  Harikumar came out  after, what is being described as ‘regular’ visit to the house of a moneylender-cum-jeweler  K Binu. He was irked to find another car parked in front of his.

The DySP was suddenly enraged and started shouting , prompting the car owner Sanal, who was eating at the wayside stall, to come running.

Eyewitnesses say the officer, in plain clothes, beat up Sanal, twisted his arms and pushed him by neck onto the road and a car that came speeding from opposite direction ran  over.

A few onlookers chased the officer, but he sped away with his friend Binu and later went into hiding .

Sanal was rushed to the hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.

 

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India Kerala Top Today

Sabarimala Pooram : Over 800 young women book online for darshan

War at holy hills now looks unstoppable, with  at least 800 young women  e-booking their darshan at Sabarimala, for the temple’s peak pilgrimage of 3 months beginning tomorrow, 16 Nov.

The e-booking has assigned each female devotee a time slot for darshan as well as KSRTC bus tickets to ferry them to Sabarimala.

Majority of the young women are native to Andhra Pradesh while others come from Delhi and Calcutta.

However with thousands of devotees  braced up for renewed protests, authorities doubt if these women will actually show up at the hill.

For security reasons, officials have been strictly warned against releasing details of the young women who could potentially visit the shrine.

Th e-booking
Bookings can be made online at newly launched portal sabarimalaq.com till January 19, 2019. A ticket is generated and devotees have to carry a print of it during their trip there. The ticket is then exchanged for a digital entry card at the hill and will display the date of darshan and can proceed to the shrine.

The ticket has a validity of 48 hours. Only KSRTC bus tickets are issued for the trip as no other bus will be allowed to ply the Nilakkal-Pampa route, this time around.

Court Ruling
The Supreme Court on Tueday ruled that its earlier verdict that allows women of all ages to visit the shrine until it takes up the review petitions in open court on 22 January.

The Case
24 News Sabarimala Supreme CourtA group of five women challenged Kerala state rule that bars entry of women between ages 10 – 50 at the famed Sabarimala Temple. The petitioners argued that the rule violates fundamental right to equality and discriminates women. The Kerala High Court previously upheld the restriction on entry of women and the case came before Supreme Court in 2006.

On 29 Sep, 2018 Supreme Court ended the age-old ban holding that, devotion cannot be subjected to discrimination and patriarchal notion cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion.

For centuries, women of menstrual age were restricted from entering the temple as its presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is considered celibate.

The state has been witnessing rallies against the Supreme Court verdict, putting pressure on the hesitant ruling Left to file a review petition or bring in an ordinance.

The holy hills has become venue of massive conflict after thousands of devotees, including women and children, continue to thwart police attempts to reach young women to the shrine.

 

 

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Kerala Top Today

CM firm on facilitating women entry; Cong, BJP walk out of all-party meet

Thiruvananthapuram : Opposition majors Congress and BJP walked out of all-party meeting summoned by govt, after chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan stated how the state was bound to implement SC order and allow women to visit Sabarimala, irrespective of their ages.

BJP president Sreedharan Pillai called the meet a “sheer waste of time” while Chennithala told waiting media that, CM was adamant and did not listen to UDF suggestions on the issue.

The two-month long annual pilgrimage season of Mandala Makaravillaku is due to begin on Saturday, 17 Nov.

The hill witnessed unprecedented protest during the two times the temple opened post the controversial verdict.

With more that 800 young women on virtual que  darshan after registering online, the govt is braced for potential conflict expected to be worse this time around.

 

 

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India Kerala Top Today

Cyclone Gaja to hit Tamil Nadu; Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Idduki to have heavy rains

Cyclone Gaja, originating from Bay of Bengal, is forecast to make landfall in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu today.

The storm, expected to hit Tamil coast between Cuddalore and Pamban, will bring heavy downpours in a couple of places in Kerala including Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Idduki.

The Indian Navy and NDRF are on high alert, with two naval ships, Ranvir and Khanjar on the stand by. These vessels will move to spots affected once the storm visits mainland.

As many as 30,500 rescue personnel also wait in ready mode to deal with the situation.

Schools and colleges will stay shut in Ramanthapuram, cuddalore, Nagapatttinam, Tiruvaruru, Pudukottai and Thanjavur. All academic institutions will remain closed in Puducherry and Karaikal regions too.

Among damages likely to occur , the storm might blow off sheeting from roof tops and cause power outages.

Also sea water is expected to rise up to 1 meter high and flood low lying places of Karaikal district of Puducherry and Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram and Pudukkottai districts of Tamil Nadu.

 The cyclone after passing Kerala is predicted to weaken out.

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Kerala Top Today

War ahead : Cant stop women from entering shrine, says legal advice to TDB

Lending  clarity to Supreme Court Tuesday’s  ruling  senior legal advisors  told the Travancore Devaswom Board(TDB) that, for now it cannot prevent women from entering the shrine irrespective of age.

Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear all review petitions in open court on Jan 22, but refused to impose stay on its earlier verdict.

Advocate Chander Uday Singh told TBD officials that Tuesday verdict vividly indicates  there is no change in status to Supreme Court verdict dated 28 Sept which  paved way for women entry to shrine no bars.

TDB had sought legal advice following conflicts in Sabarimala originating with devotees’ sentiments against the verdict.

 

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India Kerala Top Today

Wary : Govt calls Tantris, Pandalam royals for talks

Thiruvananthapuram : With just a day to go before Sabarimala opens for its peak 3-month pilgrimage season and  stage all set for potential clashes, govt has called  the temple tantris and Pandalam royals for conciliatory talks.

Protesters with support from the royals and right-wing organisations had face -off with police during the two times the temple opened recently for monthly poojas . Protesters clashed with police and slammed govt for its decision to implement the controversial Supreme Court judgement and facilitate women of menstrual age from visiting the deity.

When nearly 50 petitions seeking review of the previous judgement, came up before Supreme Court yesterday, the the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, agreed to hear them all on 22 Jan in open court but fell short of granting a stay on the controversial verdict.

Apparently unnerved by the volatile situation, govt held its  all-party meet this morning at 11am and will consult Pandalam royals and tantris in a bid to work out peace.

The royals and tantris had declined a similar invite the last time after govt clarified that it would not budge from its decision to execute the verdict.

The Burning Issue
24 News Sabarimala Supreme CourtA group of five women challenged Kerala state rule that bars entry of women between ages 10 – 50 at the famed Sabarimala Temple. The petitioners argued that the rule violates fundamental right to equality and discriminates women. The Kerala High Court previously upheld the restriction on entry of women and the case came before Supreme Court in 2006.

On 29 Sep, 2018 Supreme Court ended the age-old ban holding that, devotion cannot be subjected to discrimination and patriarchal notion cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion.

For centuries, women of menstrual age were restricted from entering the temple as its presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is considered celibate.

The state has been witnessing rallies against the Supreme Court verdict, putting pressure on the hesitant ruling Left to file a review petition or bring in an ordinance.

The holy hills has become venue of massive conflict after thousands of devotees, including women and children, continue to thwart police attempts to reach young women to the shrine.

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Kerala Money Top Today

Yusuf Ali acquires 4.99 percent stake in ESAF Bank

Kochi : Malayali billionaire Yusuf Ali has purchased 4.99 percent shares of ESAF based in Thrissur. Ali shelled out Rs 86 crore for the acquisition.

With this, the Lulu Group chairman co-owns all banks headquartered in Kerala.

Ali’s other share holdings stand at 5 percent in Federal Bank, South Indian Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank and Dhanlaxmi Bank.

ESAF Small Finance Bank was established in 2017. Post the deal, Ali said Small Finance Bank could be helpful in backward areas of the society and has good potential for expansion.