Sunday October 22, 2017
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Court orders FIR against Oommen Chandy

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s ruling Congress UDF party was shocked when a court ordered an FIR against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy following the solar panel scam, who claimed innocence and rejected to resign.

And even as Saritha Nair, one of the main accused in the scandal and who hurled bribery allegations against the Chief Minister on Wednesday, threatened on Thursday to prove that Chandy was very much guilty, the UDF lost an RSP legislator, who said he was disgusted with Chandy’s government.

A court in Thrissur told Kerala’s vigilance department to file a First Information Report (FIR) against Chandy on corruption charges in what has come to be known as the “solar scam”.

The Thrissur Vigilance Court also directed an FIR to be registered against Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed.

This followed a petition by activist P D Joseph after Saritha Nair told a judicial commission that she gave Rs 1.90 crore in bribes to Chandy in two instalments.

The developments have come at a time when the United Democratic Front faces assembly elections only months away. The opposition Left immediately asked Chandy to resign.

CPI-M leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said, “The court has made its intentions clear through the FIR, and Chandy has only one way now to go forward and that is to quit at the earliest.”

In New Delhi, BJP leader and Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “The charges against the Chief Minister and the Power Minister are of very serious nature and we demand their resignations.”

Chandy maintained in Malappuram that he had a clear conscience.

“I have done no wrong. I will face the probe and cooperate with it,” he said. Asked if would resign, Chandy shot back “For what?”

The scam erupted in 2013 when a company, Team Solar, allegedly used two women to weave political contacts and duped several influential people of large sums of money by offering to make them business partners or by setting up solar panels.

Saritha Nair said on Wednesday that the money she paid to Chandy was part of the Rs 7 crore demanded by him. She said she also gave Rs 40 lakh to Minister Mohammed.

Even as Chandy said he had done no wrong, she said the truth was otherwise.

“After the unbearable tension of carrying all this on my head for the past more than three years, now I feel very relaxed as I am speaking the truth. I will prove through evidence that Chandy is wrong and I am right.”

Nair and her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan were arrested in the scandal in 2013 on charges of cheating numerous investors, who paid money for solar panels. While Saritha Nair is out on bail, Radhakrishnan is in jail after being accused of murdering his first wife.

In Thiruvananthapuram, RSP’s Kovoor Kunjumon quit the Kerala assembly, saying he was disgusted with the UDF government, and pledged to rejoin the Left.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party has three legislators. With Kunjumon leaving, the strength of the house has come down to 138 and Chandy now has the support of 72 legislators. The Left commands 66 legislators in the 140-seat house.

Kunjumon said “For seven months, I am unable to show my face to cashew factory workers (in my constituency) as all the factories are closed.

“Others may not know their feelings, but I know it because I am the son of a cashew factory worker. Along with our supporters, we will form the real RSP and will align with the Left,” he said.

Kunjumon was elected to the assembly in 2001, 2006 and 2011 when his party was with the Left. Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he joined the UDF.(IANS)

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‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’ Witnesses escalating BJP-Left Confrontation

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Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Wikimedia

Hurling anti-left maneuver during Janaraksha Yatra Kerala, Indian BJP National President Amit Shah launched serious allegation against the ruling CPM government for triggering political violence and imputed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan the culpability for the mass killings of party workers in the state.

The BJP Chief traced back the origin of violence-centric politics in ”God’s Own Country” to the inception of the Communist regime. “Left always paralyses the state it rules. West Bengal and Tripura witnessed similar political vehemence under the CPM government”, elucidated the President.

Criticizing the Human Rights Activists of the nation, Amit Shah pointed out that they are very selective when it comes to what they support. “You turn your eyes away when our workers die. Why is there no march in Delhi? Violence has no color. More than 120 workers of the BJP have succumbed due to political violence so far. What was their fault? They were working for the betterment of Kerala”, complained the BJP Chief.

Acclaiming BJP’s ideology enthusiastically, Shah called upon the people to join as workers. Addressing the gathering at ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’, the President added that family members of the deceased have stood by the BJP and he wouldn’t let the martyrdom of the workers go waste.

Amit Shah inaugurated the ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’ at Payyannur to protest against alleged killings of party workers. The “padayatra” was led by the party’s State President Kummanam Rajashekhharan.

The National President of BJP attributed the diminishing power of the CPM to their increasing reliance on political violence. Apart from CPM, the once dominating Congress is also losing momentum thereby giving BJP the opportunity to flourish with their ideology. “More the mud of violence, more the lotus will bloom” added Shah.

The BJP Chief assured his party workers and volunteers that BJP would fight the war with CPM until emerging victorious. Shah declared, “We must all unite against the rule of the Left Government.”

Shortly after the launching of the yatra, three BJP workers adorning the National Highway 66 were ambushed by anonymous men on Monday. During his address, Shah alleged that the assailants were CPM cadres who have also destroyed BJP flags in the area.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is ready to augment the saffron stand with his visit to Kerala on Wednesday. As per the report of Times Now, Adityanath will basically be in the Muslim-dominated district of Mallapuram.

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Kerala Catholic Priest Tom Uzhunnallil Abducted by ISIS Rescued from Yemen: Sushma Swaraj

The priest's release was achieved through the intervention of the Oman government

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Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil
Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil. Sushma Swaraj Twitter handle

Thiruvananthapuram | New Delhi, Sep 13, 2017: Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil, abducted by terrorists in Aden in March last year, has been rescued from captivity from an undisclosed location in Yemen.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about the release of the Catholic priest, who was abducted in March last year.

“I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,” she said.

The priest’s release was achieved through the intervention of the Oman government.

According to reports reaching Kerala, after his release the priest was flown from Yemen to Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.

He has left Oman on a chartered flight — either for New Delhi or for the Vatican, reports said.

The media in Oman confirmed the news of the release of the priest and posted a picture of him — standing in a room with the picture of the Oman king in the background.

He will be flown to Kerala later in the day.

Expressing happiness at the news, the priest’s brother Mathew Uzhunnallil said their prayers have been finally answered.

A spokesperson of the church Fr C. Jimmy told the media that the news has been received with a great sense of happiness.

In March 2016, militants barged into a care home for the elderly set up by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Yemen’s Aden and shot dead many people, including four nuns of the charity organisation, among whom one was from India.

After the shooting, the militants took away the Catholic priest. Since then, other than a few videos released from time to time, there has been no news of his whereabouts.

Uzhunnalil’s ancestral home in Ramapuram in Kottayam district is presently shut as two of his brothers live abroad, while another lives in Gujarat. (IANS)

 

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After Gorakhpur Tragedy, in UP 49 Children die in a Farrukhabad hospital due to lack of oxygen

The death of 49 children at the newborn unit of Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital happened over the past 30 days due to lack of oxygen supply

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Lack of oxygen supply causes death of 49 children in Farrukhabad hospital
Lack of oxygen supply causes death of 49 children in Farrukhabad hospital. Pixabay
  • The death of 49 children at the newborn unit of Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital happened over the past 30 days due to lack of oxygen supply
  • the Uttar Pradesh government has denied that the reason for deaths was lack of oxygen supply but said that it happened due to various other causes
  • A team led by Director General Health is visiting the hospital soon to inquire in detail

Farrukhabad , Uttar Pradesh, September 4, 2017: A case similar to BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur happened in a Farrukhabad hospital that is Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where as per the initial report of the City Magistrate Jaytendra Kumar Jain stated that the 49 children died in farrukhabad Hospital due to lack of oxygen supply.

The deaths at the newborn unit of Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital happened over the past 30 days.

Jaytendra Kumar Jain, City Magistrate of Farrukhabad, on Sunday night asked the Station House Officer (SHO) of City Police station Farrukhabad to take required action against the hospital and its doctors.

But, the Uttar Pradesh government has denied that the reason for deaths was lack of oxygen supply but said that it happened due to various other causes. They gave a similar statement in Gorakhpur Tragedy initially.

Also Read: Gorakhpur Tragedy: UP Police arrests Pediatrician Dr. Kafeel Ahmad on grounds of Medical Negligence

The police at city Police station registered a FIR immediately. After which the UP government today removed Ravindra Kumar, District Magistrate, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the district and Chief Medical Superintendent of the hospital. “The FIR has been registered under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 176 (omission to give notice or information to public servant by person legally bound to give it) of the IPC.”

The city magistrate, Jaytendra Kumar Jain, on the basis of the preliminary findings, has stated “perinatal asphyxia” (it is the medical condition resulting due to the deprivation of oxygen to a newborn infant) as the reason for death in 30 cases. The parents complained that their children were not given adequate oxygen and medicines during treatment.

But, the state government refused to accept the initial findings of the City Magistrate and said that the Director General Medical leading a technical team of doctors is being sent to Farrukhabad to inquire about the cause of deaths.

According to Indian Express reports, Prashant Trivedi, Principal Secretary, Medical and Health, Uttar Pradesh Government said “Oxygen is in proper supply at the hospital. There is no basis to blame lack of oxygen supply (for the deaths) at the hospital. A team led by Director General Health is visiting the hospital soon to inquire in detail.”

He also informed that in the hospital total 468 births took place out of which 19 were still born. He added that though 66 were admitted to the hospital, 6 had died.

Trivedi also said, “145 children were referred to this hospital from other places, out of which 24 died at the hospital while others recovered.”

Also Read: What if Another Gorakhpur Tragedy Happens? 15-Year-Old Khushi Chandra Launches Initiative ‘Oxygen Gorakhpur’ to Combat Oxygen-Related Emergencies

Avanish Awasthi, Principal Secretary, Information Department, said, “Out of these 49 deaths, 19 were stillborn and the remaining 30 children died of different causes.” But he accepted that one of the causes of death of 30 children was “Perinata Asphyxia” indeed.

Awasthi said that the exact cause of the deaths would be known when the Director General Health who would lead the technical team of doctors would inquire into the incident.

It has not even been 30 days when over 60 children died in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical and College Hospital due to the alleged lack of oxygen supply.


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