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Solar scam: probe panel summons Oommen Chandy

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Kerela: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy found himself in the middle of trouble when he appeared before a probe panel on Monday in relation to solar scam.

The scam was incorporated by the CM in 2013 after massive protests by the Left-led opposition. It is being probed by a commission led by Justice G Sivaraman.

Oommen Chandy is an Indian politician and is the current Chief Minister of Kerala since May 2011.

The prime accused in the solar scam case is Biju Radhakrishnan.

Biju had in December alleged that a bribe of Rs 5.5 crores has been paid by him to Chandy, out of which Rs 5.1 crore was collected personally by the chief minister while the rest was paid to the Chief Minister’s personal staff.

The CM, while jerking his hands off any such wrongdoings, said he is prepared to face any probe.

The solar scam claims several persons being cheated of crores of rupees by Saritha Nair and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions.

With the arrest of a person believed to have close personal ties with Chandy and alleged to possess links with the accused, the scam took a political turn. The scam further resulted in the removal of two other employees of his personal staff. (Inputs from Agencies)

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Indian priest and nun in Aden attack still missing, Sushma Swaraj assures aid

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Sushma Swaraj
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Thiruvananthapuram: Following Friday’s attack on a care home for the elderly in Yemen’s Aden, the missing Catholic priest from Kerala taken away by unidentified gunmen has not been traced till now. However, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has assured all help.

An Indian nun was among the four nuns killed in the attack on the home run by the Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.

Speaking to reporters, Chandy said that he just now spoke to Sushma Swaraj and it was she who told that a nun, who belongs to Chhattisgarh, has also gone missing from the care home in Aden.

“I spoke to her about the reports of a missing Kerala priest and sought help to locate him. She said the Indian embassy has now been closed down and also expressed doubts about the efficacy of the government there, but she has assured that the centre will do its best,” he said.

Earlier, an aide of Chandy, who is keeping in touch with Keralites in Yemen, told reporters that the mother superior of the home, Sister Sally, had a narrow escape when the gunmen opened fire at the care home.

“The priest Tom Kuzhuvennal, who hails from Kottayam district, has been taken away by these unidentified gunmen who opened fire while Sally was moved to a safe place in the convent by the local people there after hearing the gunshots,” said the official.

“We are in close touch with our people in Yemen who are closely following the developments there,” added the official.

In the gunfire, four nuns of the Missionaries of Charity, including one from India, were killed. The Indian nun has been identified as Sister M Anseleme, 57, from Jharkhand. Of the other three nuns, two were from Rwanda and another from Kenya.

The home, set up by Mother Teresa in 1992, houses 61 elderly destitute and the Kerala priest had come to the home from an insecure place in Yemen.

News reports indicate that these unidentified gunmen belonged to the Yemen-based affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) group. (IANS)

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