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Indian Coast Guard intercepts suspicious Iranian boat in high seas of Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Coast Guard intercepted a suspicious Iranian boat in the high seas of Kerala early Sunday, escorted it to a berth near the famed Kovalam beach, and handed it over to police, an official statement said.

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A Coast Guard press release issued here Sunday said that on Friday, the state police had informed them about movement of a suspicious fishing trawler, likely to be involved in transfer of high value contraband on the high seas, about 100 kms west of Alleppey.

On receipt of the information, a Dornier aircraft was deployed on surveillance sorties, while ships Samar and Abhinav also sailed from Kochi at maximum speed to carry out effective surveillance and interdict the suspect entity.

The aircraft, after prolonged area surveillance in rough weather conditions, sighted one suspicious contact around Saturday midnight and the ships shadowed the vessel “Barooki” , remaining out of visual range to avoid detection.

Before the break of dawn, a Coast Guard team of ICGS Samar boarded the suspected vessel and took control of it and its 12 crew members. A search resulted in seizure of a Thuraya satellite communication set and a Pakistani identity card.

The boat, which had sailed from Iran on May 25, was then escorted to Vizhinjam harbour and it and its crew handed over to Kerala Police who have started a joint interrogation along with central agencies. (IANS)

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Kerala Government Decides to Revise The List of Women Who Prayed at Sabarimala

The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media

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Stung by widespread criticism over the numerous errors in the list of women who prayed at the Sabrimala temple, the Kerala government has decided to re-prepare the list.

A counsel of state government had presented the list in the Supreme Court on Friday, which reportedly had discrepancies in the age and names of women. The list was taken from the records of the online system, through which pilgrims register for having “darshan”.

The row erupted over flaws in the actual age of some of the 51 women, whom the counsel had referred to in the list as “banned” — on account of they being of menstruating age group of 10 to 50 years — who prayed at the temple this season.

State police chief Loknath Behera on Saturday asked senior officials to revise the list, which included even the name of men, besides several of the women above 50.

State Devasom (temples) Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the media that his department has no role in the preparation of the list, while the president of the Travancore Devasom Board – custodian of the temple, A. Padmakumar said they are not responsible for this as they do not prepare statistics of the pilgrims in the temple.

Kanam Rajendran, state secretary of the Communist Party of India – the second biggest ally of the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government, said the entire responsibility of what has happened lies with the state government.

Sabarimala
Kerala to revise list of women who prayed at Sabarimala.

But the Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, the closest aide of Vijayan, defended him by saying that it is not just 51 women, but so many women have had “darshan” at the temple.

Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini, both in the “banned” age group of 10 to 50 years, prayed at the Sabarimala temple.

It was after they approached the apex court seeking security for having safe “darshan” that a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed the state government to arrange adequate protection for them.

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The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media.

“This goof-up reveals the abject failure of the way Vijayan is running the state,” said state BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.  (IANS)