Thrissur Read latest news updates from Thrissur District Kerala in English. Watch Videos and Photos of Exclusive Breaking News. Onmanorama en Tue, 25 Jun 2019 05:57:09 GMT Social worker turns ‘kidnapper’, social media to blame Chalakkudy: Social worker Dileep Narayan never had in his wildest dreams that someday he would have to don the role of a kidnapper. Dramatic scenes unfurled after a video mentioning a jeep bearing the registration number of Dileep's vehicle went viral on social media. It said the particular vehicle was used for trying to kidnap a Class VIII student hailing from Nooranad in Alappuzha. Dileep is the project chairman of Rotary Smile project of Chalakkudy. Recently, a panic-stricken student had barged into a house at Nooranad alleging kidnap attempt. The residents of the house decided to upload a video on social media which has the child narrating the incident and mentioning the vehicle number of the jeep that was used for abduction. In no time the police zeroed in on the owner of the jeep to Dileep, residing at Chalakkudy. However, Chalakkudy Additional Sub-Inspector K V Sudheeshkumar, on reaching the house of Dileep sensed that there had been some goof-up in the whole episode after seeing the jeep parked in his house compound. This raised doubts over the veracity of the vehicle number and the message in social media. Meanwhile, some netizens went overboard and managed to trace the phone number and other details of the jeep owner and posted them on social media. Since then Dileep has started getting frequent phone calls, to the extent that some even threatening him for trying to kidnap the child. When phone calls became unbearable, Dileep lodged a complaint with the police. Fri, 12 Jul 2019 00:52:40 GMT RTO's prompt action spares jail for Keralite caught on Lithuanian border Thrissur: Travellers are in for major trouble if caught on the wrong foot abroad. A youth from Kerala avoided a likely jail in Europe as a government officer in his home state showed dedication to his work and a heartfelt concern for .a citizen unmindful of his duty hours. As the student from Thrissur crossed over the Latvia-Lithuania border driving a car, a Motor Vehicles Department officer back home got a call late in the night. If not for the timely help by the Keralite officer, the student would have been put behind the bars in that Baltic country. The hotel management student, a native of Thrissur, was on an international road trip along with his friends. Though a driving licence-holder he was not carrying neither it nor its copy as he proceeded Lithuania from Latvia. Tense hours set in as a Lithuanian border patrol officer flagged them down and asked for papers. The student who was at the wheel meekly informed the officer that though he owned a licence, he did not have it on him then. The information was passed on to the Indian High Commissioner who contacted the Motor Vehicles Department in Kerala. Back in Thrissur, Joint Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Sreeprakash promptly went to his office after he came to know that the student might have to spend 19 days in jail if the Lithuanian authorities were not convinced about him holding a driving licence. Sreeprakash had to open the office at night and send across the licence details via email. The student's parents, who were anxious about their son’s safety in a foreign country, received information on his release that night itself. However, they came to know of the RTO's dedication to turn up at the office in the night for their son's sake only the next day. Wed, 10 Jul 2019 06:25:36 GMT Thrissur village panics after palm civets die of viral infection Wadakkancherry: Infectious diseases spread between animals and humans are on the rise and people in tropical Kerala are especially wary of them after Nipah fever was reported in the state in consecutive years. People of Thekkumkara panchayat near here in Thrissur district heaved a sigh of relief as health officials confirmed that the canine distemper virus (CDV) that struck toddy cats (Asian Palm Civet) here is not spread from animals to humans. District Medical Officer Dr K J Reena said that the virus would not spread to other animals and humans, and there was no cause for concern whatsoever. However, she added that more toddy cats, a nocturnal mammal, would die in the coming days as the chances of virus spreading were pretty high. The chances of the toddy cats overcoming canine distemper virus is very slim. The virus was confirmed after an affected toddy cat tested positive and autopsies were conducted on dead ones. People were on tenterhooks as three toddy cats were found dead in a mana (the traditional house of Kerala Brahmins) near to the Ayyappan Kavu Temple. After the incident came to light, a team of officials from the health, animal husbandry and forest department visited the place on the orders of the Thekkumkara panchayat. Though canine distemper, as the disease is known, is also found in dogs, other animals and humans cannot contract this disease from dogs, officials of the animal husbandry department stated. The virus spreads among those species of animals which are under the distemper virus attack, and the pet dogs are vaccinated against this disease. The veterinary doctors said that there wasn’t any effective treatment to cure the disease. The team including Dr Reena, Health Department Technical Assistant P K Raju, Mass Media officer Haritha Devi, Veterinary doctors Dr V M Pradeep and K Mithun, District Lab Officer Dr Sunitha and Machad forest range deputy ranger (incharge) P T Ignatius thoroughly examined the area. Toddy cats are also known as Asian Palm Civet or Common Palm Civet. Its scientific name is Paradoxurus hermaphroditus. Canine distemper is a contagious and serious disease. It is caused by CDV that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs. Tue, 09 Jul 2019 01:01:49 GMT 177 fisher folk are now Coastal Police Wardens Thrissur: The fisher folk who were involved in the glorious rescue mission during the worst floods of the century witnessed by Kerala last year have been rewarded by the state government by appointing 177 of them as Coastal Police Wardens. “This is recognizing the bravery and big heart they displayed during the tragedy,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while receiving the salute at the passing out parade of the wardens at Police Academy, Ramavarma Puram in Thrissur. “Even though the appointment is on contract for one year, the coastal wardens need not be concerned. Even after the appointment of 177 wardens, there are 23 vacancies,” said the Chief Minister. As many as 177 fisher folk were selected as Coastal Police Wardens and given training at the academy. After the training, K Sudend of Kannur was chosen as best outdoor cadet as well as all-rounder. Meanwhile, G Sheeba of Thiruvananthapuram and William Charmes of Kannur won the prize for the best indoor cadets. Among those who took part in the passing out parade included Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar, DGP Loknath Behera, ADGP Padmakumar, Police Academy Director B Sandhya, DIG (Training) Anoop Kuruvila John, Commissioner Yathish Chandra and assistant directors Uma Behera, Reji Jacob and K K Aji. Wed, 03 Jul 2019 00:36:37 GMT Memories of Madhu, etched on pillars of police academy Thrissur: There was nobody who studied painting in that group. But there was a picture etched in their mind. It took shape on the pillars around the atrium of the main block of the Kerala Police Academy in Thrissur. It was the image of Madhu, hands tied and with a look that could break anybody’s heart. When senior officers saw the picture, they handed over the entire atrium to the police trainees. Now, the pillars are memorials for the tribal youth from Attappadi who was lynched on suspicion of rice theft. A special drive was held to recruit a batch of 74 candidates belonging to tribal communities for police training. Madhu's sister Chandrika was one among them. Though a year has passed after the lynching of Madhu, no one in the group was yet to overcome the grief. Five of them took the brushes, thinking how to do something for Madhu. Though they could paint well, none of them had studied painting. Their talent was discovered by the reserve inspector in the academy Ajaykumar. After getting the permission of ADGP B Sandhya and DIG Anoop Kuruvilla, the atrium of the main block was given to them for their painting. They started with the pillars. The painting materials were provided by the academy. When Madhu's painting was appreciated, the other pillars were used for illustrating tribal lifestyle. Mothers in traditional clothes, kids, animals that are a threat to the community and the green cover of the forest all came alive on the pillars. In the middle on the atrium, a model of their hut was built. The mud hut has a thatched roof made of hay and bamboo. Meanwhile, the batch completed their training and left the academy before they could complete their paintings on a few pillars. The authorities did not try to get someone to complete the paintings. Like Madhu's life, the paintings too will remain incomplete. Fri, 21 Jun 2019 01:00:09 GMT Major safety lapse as cops open Kuthiran tunnel to clear jam Kuthiran: A major accident on the Kuthiran bridge has forced the authorities to open one of the under-construction twin tunnels temporarily to ease a long-winding traffic snarl on a stretch of the national highway here in Kerala's Thrissur district. Though the tunnel in the mountainous terrain was closed after four hours, the construction company has lodged a complaint with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for opening the tunnel without taking any security precautions. The police, on the other hand, had directed to open the tunnel towards the Thrissur side as the traffic along the highway came to a grinding halt for two hours following a head-on collision involving two trucks. A container lorry heading towards Palakkad rammed a goods lorry coming from the opposite direction in the middle of the bridge around 1.30 am on Friday. Under the impact of the collision both the trucks fell on either side of the roads, completely blocking the traffic on both sides of the highway. As the vehicles lined up in serpentine queues for as far as 8 km, the Peechi police and locals immediately decided to open the tunnel by 3.35 am. Normally, the traffic police ease traffic jam along Kuthiran by allowing vehicles to pass through a single lane of the tunnel. Since the mishap occurred at the iron bridge, the authorities could not find any alternative but to open the tunnel. Earlier, the tunnel was opened with due safety precautions during the August 2018 floods to facilitate the passage of emergency vehicles. But this time concern was raised over opening the tunnel without the presence of any technical expert. What is the risk Opening the Kuthiran road tunnel for traffic has pointed to a major safety lapse. As the entrance of the tunnel is prone to cave-ins, the security wing has cautioned against opening the road without removing the soil and strengthening the walls. Chances of more cave-ins would be high owing to the impact of the movement of heavy vehicles. In case of any catastrophe, neither the police nor the construction firm has the mechanism to tackle the situation. No certificate has been issued validating the completion of the tunnel either. Delayed project The uncertainty prevailing over Kuthiran tunnel still lingers as the stakeholders - the NHAI, the construction company and the state government - are seemingly in no hurry to open the tunnel for traffic. Here’s a look at the present status of the tunnel. Tunnel yet to be ready The construction of the tunnel is getting delayed indefinitely. The officials are not giving a tentative date as to when the work would get over. The company has cited paucity of funds to finish the work. If landslips occur, it has to clear debris at the mouth of the tunnel for which the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests is yet to give its nod. Why sanction is delayed Authorities have not submitted the application with relevant data nor have the state government raised the issue with due seriousness with the Union ministry. Permission can be given only after a special team from the Centre conducts an inspection. This is just one among the hundreds of applications pending before the central ministry. How to expedite steps The state government should take concrete measures to hold an urgent meeting involving the Forest Department, the NHAI and the Union Surface Transport Ministry. It should cancel the agreement with the present company and hand over the job to a new firm with a clause that the latter should clear the pending dues with the previous company. There are reports that the top brass with NHAI is taking special interest to avoid blacklisting the company engaged in road construction. This explains why no action has been taken against the firm even after the construction activities have been stalled for six months. State Transport Minister should apprise the Union Minister for Surface Transport of the situation and seek a time-bound action to sort out the matter. A well-crafted environment impact study is also the need of the hour. Stipulations for planting trees instead of releasing forest land should be incorporated. Sadly, no machinery has so far taken any initiative to this effect. Thu, 20 Jun 2019 00:46:16 GMT Six tribal kids run away from orphanage after they were assaulted Chalakudy: Six tribal children, including a four-year-old, ran away from an orphanage at Chalakduy in Kerala's Thrissur district after elder kids allegedly beat them up. The children walked for half-a-kilometre in the dark before they were spotted by health inspector M K Manjesh who took them to the taluk hospital. The little kids told the police that the elder children hit on their heads with plates. The children have been moved to the Vazhachal tribal hospital. Children of the Mariapalana Society, Poolany, escaped in the wee hours of Sunday. They are from Vachumaram and Pokalpara tribal colonies. Custodians of the children make a living by collecting forest produce. A four-year-old LKG student, two six-year olds, and children aged seven, eight and nine made the escape bid. These children had recently reached the orphanage. The kids said the older children had beaten them earlier also and that they had complained to the caretakers but it was ignored. In their statement to the police, the children said even the people who were in-charge of the orphanage assaulted them. The child welfare committee said that action would be taken after seeking an explanation from the institution. Medical tests revealed that there were no serious injuries. BD Devassy MLA, block panchayat president K K Shiju, Athirappilly panchayat president Thankamma Varghese also reached the spot and took stock of the institution. Earlier too, there were instances of children being assaulted at the orphanage. Those who ran the institute itself assaulted the kids. The local people had then vandalised the centre. Then the MLA had called for a meeting and though a monitoring committee was formed, it did not function effectively. The DYFI, AIYF and BJP workers held protest march to Mariapalana Society, Poolany, and Childcare institute. Case filed The police have filed case against the authorities of the Childcare institute run by the Mariapalana Society for keeping the children in insecure circumstances. There are 65 children at the institute. Twenty-two, including those who made the escape bid, are from tribal families. The children studied at a school in the same institution. Authorities said that the society was recognised by Orphanage Control Board. What the children said: Elder kids hit on our heads with plates. They will hit us again if were to stay here. Did any of those who run the institute harassed you? Not now. But they harass us while studying. Weren't you scared to go out in the dark? It is scarier to live here. If we stay at the institute, they will hit us again. Don't you want to go back? Oh… no Are you ready to go to Vazhachal tribal hostel? We will go there. Some among us had been there earlier Are you not hungry? What do you want to eat? Yes, very hungry. We want porrotta. (As porrotta was not ready at the hotels, block panchayat president KK Shinju bought the kids tea, idli and idiyyapam) Fri, 14 Jun 2019 00:55:14 GMT A tree right at the centre of the kitchen! Chalakudy: Often trees are cut without a sparing a thought while any development work is carried out. Forests and farms are lost due to wanton construction. A family at Nayarangandi here in Kerala's Thrissur district, however, was reluctant to chop down a tree while raising a kitchen. This kitchen at Bahuleyan's house has all the necessary ware used by Keralites. But there is something that stands out in the kitchen. A tree! Right in the middle of the kitchen stands an elegant 'elengi' tree (bullet wood). When Bahuleyan decided to expand his kitchen due to lack of space, the main hurdle was the tree in the backyard. But Bahuleyan and his family members resolved not to cut down the tree, and built the kitchen giving due space to the tree. Now, the family members wake up to the chirping of the birds on the tree and they chill out sitting on the platform built around the tree. A sheet had been spread to ensure that rainwater doesn’t flow through the tree trunk into the kitchen. As per the family's rough estimate, the tree is around 50 years old. Bahuleyan is the CPI local area secretary and his wife Rema is the former vice-president of the Kodassery panchayat. They bought this property 20 years ago and had built a new home after demolishing the old house. Tue, 11 Jun 2019 00:53:04 GMT Elephant calf falls into 40-ft well, rescued after late-night bid Thrissur: A baby elephant that had fallen into a well of a resort at Athirappilly in Kerala's Thrissur district was rescued after more than five hours of rescue efforts. The little jumbo had fallen into the 40-ft well in the evening after the concrete slab on top of it gave away. The rescue operations were completed by 1 am on Tuesday. The elephant did not suffer any injuries in the incident. Cry for help The trumpet of elephants resonates during the night in Athirappilly near the forested areas of Thrissur district in Kerala. However, during the daytime, such sounds are rarely heard. So, the resort workers were baffled to hear an elephant's cry of distress during the day. They traced it to a well behind the resort and noticed that one part of the concrete slab had broken. They immediately informed the forest office, and Athirappilly forest ranger Mohammed Rafi and team rushed to the resort. The resort workers noticed that the elephant did not appear to be injured. The officers and the resort workers then contemplated on how to take the jumbo out of the well. They had to be careful to avoid land slip. The earth-mover was brought in. They first put some soil into the one side of the well so that the elephant can stand properly and then began to create a passage. However, by then the sun began to set, hampering the rescue efforts. They also had to deal with another impending danger. Herds of elephants generally pass through the region and they would be alerted if the little tusker continued its trumpet. The whole area was lit up and people were assigned to check if any herd was moving in the resort’s direction. After around 5.5 hours, the work on the passage from the well was completed and the little jumbo was taken out. The moment it was taken out of the well, the jumbo ran away into the forest. Last year, the forest department had carried out a unique rescue operation to save an elephant that had crossed the river at Athirappilly and got above the rocks. When the Peringalkutthu dam was opened, the water in the river rose and the elephant was stranded. The forest department then requested the KSEB to temporarily lower the dam shutters so as to facilitate the elephant’s rescue. During the 20 minutes allotted by the KSEB, the forest department carried out the rescue efforts and the tusker could return to the forest. Tue, 04 Jun 2019 06:03:03 GMT Problems galore at Kuthiran Kuthiran: The traffic snarls along the national highway 544 here in Thrissur district are a nightmare for motorists. The inordinate delay in opening the twin-tube tunnel here, which is touted to ease the traffic congestion, is putting the travellers in much distress. It was decided to construct a 30 km six-lane corridor between Wadakkanchery and Mannuthy on NH 544. Though work was completed only on 5 km of highway, the six-lane stretch for the remaining distance is motorable. But unfortunately, the width of 3kms of the road there is only 7 meters. The traffic bottleneck is quite natural as vehicles coming from Vazhakumapara in the west and Kombuzha in the east, which have six-lane roads, enter the narrow two-lane stretch here. The traffic jam can only get worse if any vehicle gets stranded on this steep road with many twists and turns. The traffic snarls become inevitable as there is no parallel road to one passing through the mountainous terrain of Kuthiran. The road near to the western tunnel mouth was reinforced with gunny bags filled with mud but now the bags have started to give way. The present highway is at a height of 20 meters from the tunnel mouth, and metallic sheets had been installed to prevent accidents on this stretch. Even these metallic sheets have started to collapse, and the authorities have not taken any steps to ensure the safety of people. The solution is opening of the tunnel The only way out of the traffic snarls here is to throw open at least one tunnel to traffic, and for this many technical processes should be completed. Forest land should be allotted and security checks completed for the project. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the Forest Department and the contract company wasted precious time by pointing fingers at each other, and the wait is still on for the opening of the twin-tune tunnel for which 90 per cent of the work is over. Tarring done out of fear The tarring of the Mulayum road is being done following the verbal direction of the Human Rights Commission, which has called for a sitting on June 24. The commission gave a direction following a complaint by DCC general secretary Shaji Kodagandathu. Meanwhile, the NHAI had informed the Kerala High Court that the construction of highway would be completed by December 31, 2019. But completing the work by that time will be a tall order for the authorities concerned. Though there was an earlier order, based on another complaint by Shaji, to slap murder charges against the NHAI for the accidental deaths on the highway, the Kerala High Court stayed the order following a plea from NHAI chairman. What should be done now The safety of tunnel mouth is a high priority, and the police presence should be ensured. Mud should be removed from the road and requisite warning boards installed. As per the earlier assurance, the width of the 3-km road here should be increased by at least one-and-a-half meters. There is someone to raise issues: T N Prathapan, elected Thrissur MP “The NHAI and the contract company were found wanting in completing the highway construction work at Kuthiran. Earlier there was no one to raise the issues. The people have to suffer because of the shortcomings of the company and officials. I will raise the issue after taking oath as the Member of Parliament,” said Prathapan. He said that a meeting of the NHAI and contract company would be convened and the reasons for the delay in completing the work in a time-bound manner would be looked into. “The officials and contract company will not be spared if it is found that they were deliberately delaying the work. Responsible people are here to raise the issues. A heavy price should be paid for the irresponsibility. Just wait till the oath-taking ceremony is over,” warned Prathapan. Not the right way: Remya Haridas, elected Alathur MP “The condition of the national highway is deplorable. Irresponsibility is quite evident, and efforts will be made to complete the work in a year. This road should not be like this…Necessary action will be taken in consultation with Thrissur MP T N Prathapan,” said Remya. Tue, 04 Jun 2019 00:37:15 GMT Five-star luxury beckons at Viyyur Central Prison Thrissur: It takes only 30 minutes to cook rice for 1,000 persons; machinery to wash, slice and dice vegetables, and grate any number of coconuts; an automated washing machine to clean all your bedsheets. Need not mistake it for the luxury of a five star hotel. But this is Viyyur Central Jail. The changes are not intended to bring a cozy lifestyle to prisoners but to find more time to channelize human labour into other areas. The entire cost of the project runs to more than Rs 2 crores. The facility was inaugurated by Jail DGP R Sreelekha. Most of the facilities here would be extended to the public in future. Automated laundry The washing machines are large enough to clean thick cots and heavy blankets. The machinery which was installed at a cost of Rs 18 lakh has the mechanism to wash the clothes, a drainer to rinse them and a dryer to squeeze off the moisture content. The dryer will be put into use only during rainy season. The bedsheets and blankets of the prisoners are currently cleaned using the automated laundry facility that has the capacity of 60 kg. DGP Sreelekha has opined the facility be extended for the public so as to bring an added revenue for the Prisons Department. The jail authorities are figuring out plans to increase the revenue by procuring bulk orders from hospitals through a permanent mechanism to collect and deliver bedsheets and other laundry items used by patients. Water treatment plant The prisoners require 3,000 litres of water on a daily basis. The RO plant set up at a cost of Rs 17 lakh can eliminate water-borne microbes. The purified water from the plant reaches all blocks through pipelines. The department is also doing the feasibility check on launching bottled water at a cheaper rate in the market using the water treatment facility here. Fully automated kitchen The prison has a new state-of-the-art kitchen furnished with equipment worth Rs 85 lakh. A fuel-efficient steam boiler that has a capacity to boil rice and vegetables for the 900 inmates of the prison is an added attraction. The rice will be ready in 30 minutes, which means less fuel consumption. An automatic vegetable washer and, cutter are all part of the modern kitchen of the prison. The automated mechanism in kitchen will help save time and energy of the prisoners for better productive work. Power trolley The food once ready for serving will be delivered to the prisoners at various blocks using the new power trolley that was purchased at a cost of 3.5 lakh. A fully charged trolley can run up to a distance of 50 kilometres. Thu, 30 May 2019 00:45:39 GMT Ancient metal figurines found in wells; Muziris link likely Irinjalakkuda: Detailed scientific studies have been sought into the discovery of ancient metal objects while digging wells at Padiyoor, Cheloor and Edathirinji on the western part of Irinjalakkuda. Excavations in these areas could throw up more artefacts, it is pointed out. The metal items which resemble pieces of rock were first unearthed while digging a well last year. Close examination revealed that the objects were bird and animal figurines made of iron and cast in clay moulds. The iron content of the items was around 95%, said Dr V T Joy, head of Chemistry Department, Christ College. Shreds of clams were also recovered along with the metal objects. “This indicates that the sea or a river was close to this area in the ancient past,” suggested Joy. Another premise is that a workplace where metal objects were cast functioned here in olden times. At that time, Europeans and other people from the West were unfamiliar with the iron casting technique and this workplace produced metal objects which were bought by the foreigners who visited the nearby Muziris. “But more research has to be conducted into such aspects, especially regarding the Muziris township, before any conclusion is reached,” said Joy. “But are optimistic,” he added. Sat, 25 May 2019 00:44:10 GMT House damaged in flood being lifted with screw jacks by Haryana team Pavaratty: A house that was on the verge of being dismantled due to the damages sustained in last year’s floods is being rescued by lifting the foundation using screw jacks. A team of expert workers from Haryana have been working for the past 20 days on lifting the house of Shyamala, wife of late Gopi Nair, of Vattarangathu Kulangarangath, near Maha Vishnu Temple, Venmened near Pavaratty in Thrissur district. The work will be completed within 40 days, according to the workers. The 25-year-old, 1500 square feet house has damaged to the extent that there was no other option but to dismantle it. The family had to leave the house for many days during the floods. The workers from Haryana are saving the house by lifting the foundation by about 3 feet from the ground level. The team consists of around 30 workers. They will raise the foundation and also repair the damages sustained to the floor of the house. The total cost will be around Rs. 4 lakhs. The expert work of lifting the foundation using screw jacks is drawing a large number of visitors. Wed, 22 May 2019 00:43:03 GMT Railway thief: Robs trains in India, owns a hotel in Malaysia! Chennai: The Chennai Police have arrested a 39-year-old Thrissur native, who had been carrying out robberies on trains along the Kerala-Chennai route. Shahul Hameed, however, is no pauper trying to make money for a square meal. He reportedly owns a hotel in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. He has been married twice and was getting prepared for the third when he was nabbed by the police. Detailed questioning revealed that Hameed had been carrying out a series of robberies on train. The police recovered 110 sovereigns of gold worth Rs 28 lakh among other valuables from him. According to the police sources, Hameed made meticulous planning before carrying out the robbery. Well dressed, Hameed reaches the station one hour prior to the commencement of the journey and identifies his possible targets. He even gathers information about these people on his laptop. He takes sleeper and AC tickets for the same train, and changes coaches to carry out robberies. The stolen jewellery is then sold to make money. Hameed has travelled to 11 countries, and can speak around six languages, including French and Spanish. He reportedly has secured a post-graduate degree from Netherlands. He, his wife and another friend run the hotel in Malaysia. He was caught by a team comprising railway DGP C Sylendra Babu and DIG V Balakrishnan. Sun, 19 May 2019 10:53:41 GMT Four of a family, including two toddlers, killed in accident Kaipamangalam: Four members of a family were killed in an accident on the highway at Perinjanam in Kerala's Thrissur district when a tanker lorry rammed their car. The deceased are a man, his daughter and two granddaughters. The accident occurred round 3 pm yesterday. The dead have been identified as Ramakrishnan (68), Nisha (33), Devananda (3) and Niveditha (2). Devananda is the daughter of Nisha, while Niveditha is the daughter of Nisha’s sister Sheena. Ramakrishnan belongs to Chittanad House at Kizhakkambalam, Aluva, in Ernakulam district. He was a retired shipping yard employee. Nisha’s husband PS Pramod Kumar and son Adidev (7) have been hospitalised with injuries. Pramod, who was driving the ill-fated car, belongs to Prasanth Bhavan of Thuruthi in Kottayam district. He is a civil police officer at the office of Kottayam district police chief. Sheena is a resident of Vazhithala in Idukki district. Her husband is Nishanth. The family was returning after visiting the famed Sri Krishna Temple in Guruvayur. The lorry involved in the accident was heading to Kozhikode. After hitting the car, the lorry hit rammed the boundary wall and gate of a house. Tue, 14 May 2019 04:32:34 GMT Robots may replace Bengali labourers on farmlands in Kerala in the future Increasing mechanisation is a concern for labourers and governments especially in Third World countries. Even the introduction of computers, harvesters and earth-moving equipment had created tensions in Kerala over the last few decades. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotic science make advances it is predicted even robots would start taking up the jobs being done by labourers. Kerala, which witnessed high movement of workforce for over half a century outwards, is now witnessing an influx of labourers from other parts of India. Though it is said Bengali harvest songs could be heard on the farmlands in Kerala of late, there is a likelihood of robots taking centre stage in farming activities. An indication of the things to come is evident at California in the US. All you get in a store at San Carlos in California is fresh robot-grown leafy vegetables! California-based Iron Ox, a company incorporated in October, took the path-breaking move to use robots and opened new vistas in the world of agriculture. After human farmers sow seeds, technology takes over as these smart machines water the plant, apply manure and transplant the crops. The soil-less hydroponic farming system is followed to cultivate vegetables where in the crops grow in a water-based nutrient rich solution. The plants are grown in a specially-made laboratory that has facilities to set seasons according to the needs of the plants. For example, the cultivation of baby lettuce is quite rampant in a place where the weather conditions are quite different from San Carlos. But a conducive climate is created in the lab for the robots to grow the crops. Cultivating Kashmiri apples in Kerala after setting the Kashmiri climate in the southern state is also quite possible! AI makes it happen. Through AI, the amount of water and manure required for the growth of each plant is gauged and a beneficial atmosphere is created. For now, human farmers have to sow seeds but robots with AI brains would step in to take care of the plants. The robot-grown leafy veggies from the Iron Ox farm reach the store once in a week. Three varieties of greens – red-veined sorrel, Genevieve basil and baby lettuce – were grown in the first phase. These leafy vegetables are purely organic and they have never been touched by humans and soil. But the robot-grown produce comes at a price. You will have to shell out the Indian equivalent of Rs 170 for 55 grams of red-veined sorrel. Four baby lettuce will cost you nearly Rs 340 and Genevieve basil comes with a price tag of around Rs 200. Despite the high price, the demand for such veggies is only increasing. Though the robot-induced cultivation is done on an experimental basis, this method of cultivation could be followed when there is acute labour shortage in future, says Iron Ox officials. Currently, 30 percent more vegetables are produced in robot farms compared to the quantity grown in one acre of land, claims Iron Ox. Robotic farming assumes significance at a time when there are reports of climate change, spurt in world population and labour shortage. Robot farmers may rule the roost in farming in the future. Sat, 11 May 2019 00:59:07 GMT Ambulance crew foils bid to assault sleeping gypsy women in Thrissur Thrissur: Ambulance workers came to the rescue of two women who were being attacked by a 41-year-old man near Swaraj Round in Thrissur district. The assailant Jomon V, a native of Bhoothathankettu near Kothamangalam, was arrested by the police. The alleged incident was witnessed by ambulance driver Johnykutty and his aide Shibin Siddharth when they were returning after taking an accident victim to the district hospital. As they neared the MG Road in the heart of the city around Tuesday midnight, they saw a man trying to assault the two women. The women, who were part of a gypsy group from Tamil Nadu, were asleep by the roadside when the man pounced on them. The attacker, who was high on drugs, had chased away other people who were with the women. He even used a piece of marble as a weapon. Shibin got down from the ambulance to stop the attack but the assailant stabbed him with the sharp marble piece. Seeing this, the driver switched on the ambulance siren, awakening the entire neighbourhood. He also managed to disarm the assailant by hitting him with a stick. People, who came out after hearing the ambulance siren at the unearthly hour, caught the assailant, tied him up and dumped him inside the ambulance. He was then handed over to the police. The ambulance belonged to the Accident Care and Transport Service or (ACTS). Johnykutty is a resident of Kottayam and Shibin is from Kunamkulam. Wed, 08 May 2019 10:44:35 GMT Fire force wants ‘prank call’ woman arrested, counseled Thrissur: The Fire Force in Thrissur has approached the city police commissioner with a strange demand: Arrest a woman and provide her necessary counselling! The reason is stranger: She calls on the fire force number a hundred times every day to chit-chat and hurl abuses! This is one of the many prank calls it receives when every genuine call is a matter of life and death. The Kodungallur woman’s frequent calls have made them seek legal help. District Fire Station Officer AL Lasar said she should be arrested and brought to their office to show the difficulties the force goes through to keep people safe. They also receive accidental calls from children when parents let them play with their phones. Some youth call to prank about fire and drowning. Their numbers are usually collected and forwarded to police. Such calls hinder action on real, emergency cases. Hence the fire force has decided to take the legal route. Stopping fire force from executing their duty is as serious as stopping the police and could attract jail term. The numbers 100 and 101 are for emergencies only. Sometimes lives depend on such calls and the forces’ ability to react quickly. Wed, 08 May 2019 01:33:20 GMT Thrissur girl saves bleeding puppy, wins friendship for life Thrissur: When a puppy lay bleeding by the roadside, pleading to end its misery, little Varadha was moved to tears. She had seen the puppy playing on the road on her way to the Sandeepani Vidya Nikethan School in Kuttumukku. The puppy was probably hit by a speeding vehicle and left to bleed to death. Not knowing what to do or think, the little girl along with brother Vasudev ran back to their home at Thiruvambady in Thrissur. When her mother, Sunitha tried to console her Vardha was inconsolable. The mother finally, went to the sitewith her daughter to witness the heart-wrenching scene. The puppy was still by the roadside, perhaps in a more miserable condition. It had lost considerable amount of blood. They borrowed a sheet from a nearby house and took the puppy to a vet. The doctor, however, did not give them much hope and said the puppy would not survive. The duo then tried reaching out to an animal protection group, but their only advice was to abandon the puppy at some far away location. Seeing Varadha's determination to save the little dog, the doctor offered help. He applied medicines on its wounds. "If it survives the night, its life can be saved. We'll look at further treatment after that," the doctor assured much to Varadha's relief. That night Varadha could not sleep. The puppy woke up sometime late in the night and drank milk. It looked up at its rescuer with gratitude. And that was beginning of a strong friendship. Varadha gave a name to her new companion from the road - Ruby. After the incident, both of them are inseparable. Now, it was Ruby's turn to wait for the little girl as she left for the school. However, to ensure that she was nursed back to proper health Ruby was handed over to a dog trainer for a month. Varadha went to meet Ruby after a month, only to find its affection undiminished. Ruby won back its companionship and was back at Varadha's home. Ruby is also close to Varadha’s brother. Another dog, Bolt - the dash hound, too inhabits their home but it happily made room for Ruby when she arrived. These incidents happened more than three years ago. Heroes too The girl and her dog once even helped nab a robber. They were on their regular evening stroll when they saw a man snatching a woman's chain and fleeing. The two of them were too startled to react. They resumed their journey and reached the next street only to find the thief coming in the opposite direction. Barking, Ruby pounced on the thief who was completely taken back. Varadha quickly told the onlookers about the thief and he was immediately apprehended and handed over to the police. Wed, 08 May 2019 01:33:15 GMT Dog gets stuck in a hole on the wall Thrissur: A dog was recently trapped in a hole on the compound wall of a car godown on Vadakkumuri Road in Manali, Amballur. With its head and body stuck on either side of the wall, the dog was finally rescued by some animal lovers. The wall was brought down last year by the floods. When it was rebuilt, a pipe was inserted in it to enable the easy outflow of water. The dog got itself stuck inside this pipe. Scene 1 3am. The dog whines abnormally. A local, Dheeraj, realised the animal’s plight first. Though many passed by, no one cared to help. Dheeraj called a friend and health inspector, Abdul Rasaq. Rasaq brings along a friend Vinish. Scene 2 7am. Abdul and Vinish try to set the dog free. They fail. Scene 3 7.15am. Abdul and Vinish call fire force, but they decline to help considering the frivolous nature of the rescue. Scene 4 7.30am. Abdul and Vinish plan to break the wall to rescue the animal. They seek the nod of owners, Chaldean Syrian Church authorities. They give a go-ahead to the rescue team. The duo decides to rent a concrete cutter from a shop. Shopkeeper asks them to wait until 8 am to open the store. Scene 5 7.45 am. The two make one last attempt to free the dog themselves. They pull the skin of its neck back and slowly frees its entire head. Scene 6 Once outside the hole-in-the-wall, the dog spins a couple of times on the floor and shoots off the scene. Abdul and Vinish go to work as usual. Mon, 06 May 2019 11:51:41 GMT Token system to ease wedding rush at Guruvayur temple Guruvayur: The famed Sri Krishna Temple here in Kerala's Thrissur district is thronged all year round by devotees. The rush intensifies during the famed pooram, holidays and other auspicious days. Holding weddings at the temple is a challenge for the temple administrators - the Guruvayur Devaswom - as well as the families of the bride and groom as they have to make way through the crowd and conduct the rituals in a frenzied ambience. To avoid the extra rush during weddings, the Devaswom has made special arrangements and restrictions at the kalyana mandapam (raised platform for weddings) in front of the temple. It has introduced a token system so that each wedding party will gain access to the mandapams by turns. During one's turn only eight members can accompany the bride and the groom to the stage. As per the new regulation, permission is given to only two photographers and two videographers to capture the wedding moments for which a fee of Rs 500 is charged. Moreover, the three wedding platforms at the East Nada have been separated by steel fences. On February 10 the temple hosted a record 207 weddings. Reportedly, several brides and grooms and their kin had a hard time braving the heavy rush to reach the mandapam. Following reports carried in 'Manorama' on this, Devaswom chairman K B Mohandas intervened in the matter and directed to introduce token system to regulate the crowd. Meanwhile, there are complaints about the Devaswom's decision to levy an additional fee of Rs 500 for taking wedding pictures. The temple already charges a fee of Rs 500 for conducting marriage. Mon, 29 Apr 2019 04:04:58 GMT Operation Cannabis: 141 people in preventive custody after drug mafia murder in Thrissur Thrissur: Four people were taken into police custody in connection with the murder of two youths in a drug gang feud in Mundoor. Brothers Diamond Sigo and Migo, hailing from Varayidam near here, and their accomplices Jino and Akhil, who were part of the six-member gang which killed the youths are held by the police. The gang rammed a van on to the bike of Shyam (24) from Mundoor and Mundathikodu-native Christo (25) and later hacked them to death at 1 am on Wednesday for allegedly ratting them on drug deals. It is known that a police investigation team, with the help of the forest department, combed the Peechi forest area on a tip-off that the gang was hiding there, but the culprits fled from there and later surrendered before the police in Guruvayoor. The van, which was used for the murder, was found abandoned at Viyyur near here. Prasad (Shambu-24) from Varayidam and Rajesh (24) from Vellore, who were also attacked by the gang, are undergoing treatment at the Medical College Hospital here. Rajesh has been shifted to the intensive care unit of the neurology department as he sustained serious injuries to his head. The bodies of Shyam and Christo were handed over to the relatives after post-mortem. Police said that the incident was an act of vendetta for informing the police about ganja sales. Prasad’s statement and the CCTV footage gave a clear picture of the culprits involved in the crime. Police said that they were aggressively pursuing the case and all the accused would be brought to book. 141 people taken into preventive custody Close on the heels of the murder of two youths in Mundoor, the police are taking stern action to clamp down on the goonda gangs operating in the district. As many as 141 people have been taken into preventive custody after police raids under ‘Operation Cannabis’. People, who are part of drug cartels and goonda gangs and out on bail, were picked up by the police in the raids conducted on Wednesday night. Police searched isolated areas used by youth to consume alcohol and use drugs, and collected information relating to those who bought drugs. City Police Commissioner, G H Yatish Chandra said that culprits with more than two narcotic-related cases would be detained for six months under the Kerala Anti-Social Activities Prevention Act (KAAPA) and similar strict action would be taken against the law-breakers. ‘Operations Cannabis’ squads have been formed under each police station and a control room has also been opened in the district. Surveillance along the borders and in the coastal areas has been strengthened to zero in on the routes through which the drugs are flowing into the district. Inter-state buses and trains would also be under the lens. If the general public find any drug-ganja sales, students and youths making illegal money and students bunking classes, they can call the police control WhatsApp number 94460 32353 and pass on the information. Drug gangs worked in unison The ganja mafia of Varayidam, Kuttur and Peramangalam always worked in unison. The mafia was up for anything when the police and excise department raided these places, which were near the Thrissur town, known as the hub of ganja. The ganja was sold in isolated open places and colonies, and people with criminal background were active in these shady deals. Later, the drug mafia split for various reasons and this resulted in rift, vengeance and competition among various small groups involved in ganja sales. These groups, which had no common leader like in the goonda gangs, waited for an opportune time to put their adversaries in a soup. Each group worked on its own terms and these groups had to take drastic measures to stay in the hunt. They started to carry weapons and country bombs. Though these gangs uses to attack each other, they never murdered anyone in the drug gang feud. The murder of two youths in Mundoor is an indication that these groups have changed their strategies, and they are treading the path of the goonda gangs in annihilating each other. Fri, 26 Apr 2019 11:27:23 GMT Young businessman turns scrap into cute articles Pavaratty: Tijo Puthur makes magic out of discarded items. Use-and-throw plastics, bottles, plates and tyres go through his hands to become indispensable pieces of beauty. His creations are also a message to those who pollute the earth with junk. Tijo uses old tyres to make flowerpots, ornate vessels and aquariums. Disposable plates become colourful lamps, flower vase and other curios. Plastic bottles are used mostly on garden installations. An old tyre converted into a vessel that can hold 50 litres of water is a major attraction among locals here. The son of former headmaster Davis was inspired to take up this work because of his love for the environment. The young businessman dedicates the short window from 9pm to 11pm for his passion. His garden and interior of house are decorated with his beautiful creations. Read more District News Thu, 25 Apr 2019 00:55:06 GMT Firemen fight flames all night on poll eve Thrissur: Sporadic incidents of major fire hazards have been reported from across Kerala of late. Firefighters in Thrissur could not sleep or take rest on the eve of the Lok Sabha election in the state as they were busy containing the flames at a plastic waste separation unit all Monday night. The fire that raged at the unit at Pallikkulam here even during rain could be contained by early morning only after 14 men worked nine hours with three units and a water tanker of the civic body. In all 52 tanks of water was used, pumping a total of 1.5 lakh litres continuously to douse the fire. The service of other fire stations was also sought. The firemen managed to stop flames from spreading to the adjacent fisheries office, houses, businesses and the main shed of the municipal corporation building. The fire station received the first call at 9.30pm on Monday. Half of the heap, including plastic covers, had caught fire by them. Fire had engulfed an area of 50 square metres by then. Flames melted AC units fitted on the apartment complex nearby. This building had no firefighting facilities. The collector was apprised of the development when the fire looked out of control and an earthmover was also sought. The machine was used to remove waste from underneath the fire. Though this controlled the fire, the burnt waste started fuming. Though it started raining by 1am, the fire still raged. Firemen continued their effort despite winds and lightning. Water was sprayed onto the entire heap to stop fire from spreading. It was not before 6am they could return to their station. Station Officer AL Lazar, Leading Fireman Paul David, Firemen Satish, Suraj, Faisal, Firoz, Sujeesh, Madhuprasad, Gireesh, drivers Shajan, Edward, Santosh Kumar, Nandan and Arun Kumar took part in the mission. Firemen who suffered nausea after inhaling fumes were treated at general hospital. Most of them went to vote after a 9-hour task at night. Foul play suspected The plant is close to Pallippuram fire station. The team reached within minutes of getting the call. The firemen say the fire spread unnaturally and it had multiple sources of orgin. It came to light only after fire had spread deep into the heap. Major destruction was averted since the fire was restricted from spreading on to the buildings nearby. Wed, 24 Apr 2019 06:06:23 GMT Saleesh scripts a new chapter braving all odds Thrissur: Saleesh is a person with firm resolve. He doesn’t like to waste time in idleness and took to reading in a big way sitting in his wheelchair. Saleesh, who is confined to his home, acquired more knowledge than his friends who went to college for higher studies. To date, he has penned three books - ‘Malakaye Pranayichavan’, ‘Nerukilethumbol’ and ‘Parvatham Samathalangale Thottunarthunnu’. The first two books are Malayalam translation of Persian poet Jalalad-Din Muhammed Rumi’s works. Presently, he is translating some Sufi poems to Malayalam. Saleesh was born at Valarkavu in Thrissur and did his schooling till class X at Ancheri High School. While studying in class X he met with an accident that changed his life upside down. The bed-ridden Saleesh took an interest in writing. The lean Saleesh, who has long hair and clear eyes, is a poet and translator for some and a preacher of spirituality for others. Many on Facebook are admirers of Saleesh’s writing skills. Saleesh got hooked into philosophy after reading the theology books of Bishop Paulose Mar Paulose. After devouring the books of Swami Vivekananda, Osho, Gibran, Rumi and Jiddu Krishnamurti, Saleesh got a ringside view of advaita philosophy. Saleesh, who stays near Ollur in Thrissur district, started writing verses when he fell in love, which finally ended in fruition. Later, he started translating the works of Rumi. Noted writer Ashitha, who passed away recently, was a critic of Saleesh’s posts on Facebook when his writings started to overflow with philosophy. Later, these arguments paled before the mother’s love in Ashitha. The journey through philosophy has taken Saleesh to the doorsteps of Sufism. He loves to focus his camera on butterflies and birds that flutter around his home. For friends, Saleesh is a person who always exudes confidence and positive energy. Sun, 14 Apr 2019 01:14:27 GMT Wild elephants pose a threat to people as fires in forest block their path Athirappilly: Some miscreants are lighting camp fires on elephant paths in the forest here every night. The fires are seen on the banks of the river at Chiklayi area in Thumboormuzhi. This has blocked the path of the elephant herds that venture into the river to quench their thirst. After sipping the water, the elephants are now unable to return to the forest and stray into areas of human habitation. The fires remain throughout the night. The elephants return to the forest only after people leave dousing the fire. All this has resulted in regular sightings of the elephant herds during morning time. Moreover, the elephants feed on the crop at the farmlands and at the oil palm plantations through which they come out of the forest to reach the river. According to the local people, the fires are being noticed over the past one month. Travellers along these roads at night also face the threat of wild elephant herds. Thu, 11 Apr 2019 13:12:20 GMT When a Thrissur comrade lost bet and hair after a poll Thrissur: Election results can lead to bad hair days. Ask Antony Maliyekkal Pyloth, who lost more than a whisker when Congress’s A C Jose beat CPI’s V V Raghavan in the Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency in 1999. A tyre mechanic near Thrissur’s private bus stand, Antony could not resist rebuking his friend’s claim that the Congress would win hands down in the parliamentary constituency. The left sympathiser he was, Antony threw his weight behind Raghavan. While Antony and Thomman Palathinkal, the Congress worker, argued, a common friend suggested that they should put money on their loyalties. ‘Koshanna’ Yakob suggested a wager of Rs 5,000, but Antony and Palathinkal were so confident of their respective candidates that they agreed to raise the bet to Rs 10,000. Just to make it doubly sure, Antony brought in an additional condition. The loser should tonsure half his head and go around the town if he did not want to pay up. Everyone agreed and went back to campaigning for their camps. Little did Antony know that he was destined for instant fame. As the results came pouring in, it was clear that the CPI candidate had let him down. Antony stuck to his bet. He got a barber to shave off the locks on the left side of his head. After all, Rs 10,000 was a big amount for a man who ran a modest tyre vulcanising shop. He held his new-look head high and led an impromptu procession through the bus stand, Thomman and Yakob and other friends in tow. Though he was spared the embarrassment of extending his head-turning tour to the rest of the town, he had already been clicked. The next day’s Malayala Manorama carried a photo of Antony showing off his half-shaved head through a thick tyre. Pyloth was all smiles when we caught up with him last week. He looked almost admiringly at the frame of fame from 20 years ago. At 56, the hair is back with a vengeance but he said he had stayed away from wagers for the last two decades. The man who started it all, Thomman, is still a good friend. The other characters in the strange drama, including the mediator, the barber, and even the two candidates, have died. Tue, 19 Mar 2019 01:39:51 GMT Infant rescued as ambulance covers 161 km under 2 hrs! Thrissur: An ambulance took only one hour and 50 minutes to cover 161 km as it sped from Perinthalmanna in Malappuram district to Amrita Hospital in Kochi with a critically ill 13-day-old infant. It is learnt that the condition of the infant, which was born with a heart condition that could prove fatal anytime, has now improved. The mission to rescue the infant was implemented by Life Save ambulance service, the All-Kerala Drivers Freakers (AKDF) and the police. The ambulance started from MES Hospital, Perinthalmanna at 1.10 pm. At that time, the heart of the infant was so weak that anything could happen anytime. Ambulance driver Lijo Karipperi, male nurse Prince Polakkal and AKDF member Sarat Kakkidippuram took up the mission to take the tiny tot to Kochi. The path was cleared for the ambulance along the entire route from Perinthalmanna to Kochi by the police and AKDF volunteers. They blocked traffic at each junction for the ambulance to pass and this was similar to the scenes in the hit movie ‘Traffic’. Even then, the ambulance had to overcome traffic blocks at some spots but it managed to reach Amrita Hospital by 3 pm. This was the third rescue mission carried out by Life Save ambulance team in a week. One week ago, a five-day-old infant was saved after being shifted from Iqraa Hospital in Kozhikode to Amrita Hospital within two hours and 45 minutes. Another child with a life-threatening heart condition was taken to Amrita Hospital five days ago by the Life Save team from the same hospital. Mon, 18 Mar 2019 08:39:46 GMT Munakkal beach now accessible to disabled Kodungallur: The Munakkal Beach at Azhikode in Thrissur district is now accessible to the physically challenged too. It has become the first in the district where even wheelchair-bound visitors can enjoy the scenic cove here. The District Tourism Promotion Council had made special arrangements in accordance with the Tourism Ministry’s Barrier-Free project that aims at making all tourism destinations in state accessible to people with disabilities. Ramps, a 330-metre pathway, motor wheelchairs, crutches, walking sticks, directions written in Braille, touch-screen kiosks and parking lot have been arranged for easy access to the beach. ET Taison, MLA, presided over the inauguration of the facilities and a family gathering of the physically challenged. In all, 126 major tourism spots will be made accessible to physically challenged by spending Rs 9 crore under the Barrier-Free project. Eriyad Panchayat President Prasadini Mohan presided over the function. Its vice-president PM Abdulla and other leaders and officials spoke at the event. The Munakkal Beach is also known as the Munakkal-Muziris Dophin Beach. Tue, 05 Mar 2019 01:46:19 GMT Jumbos run berserk as festival organizers cross swords Pazhanji: A brawl among festival organizing committee members just before a procession involving 50 elephants resulted in the jumbos running berserk here in Thrissur district. The committee members indulged in fisticuffs minutes before the procession of the caparisoned elephants on Sunday. As the police cane charged, those involved in the fight and people who came to see the procession started to run helter-skelter. In the mayhem, panic-stricken people started running towards the elephants and one of the tuskers Nandilath Gopalakrishnan, which was not chained, became restless and moved towards other elephants. The other pachyderms, which were also not chained, started to run and covered a pretty long distance. A major mishap was averted as mahouts and elephant squad members later brought the jumbos under control. Tue, 26 Feb 2019 10:11:08 GMT Woman, 75, shifted to old-age home as six children disown her Thrissur: Lakshmi’s long wait at the Revenue Divisional Officer’s office here was fruitless. Finally, the RDO was forced to shift Lakshmi to an old-age home as her well-off children were not willing to look after her. Lakshmi, 75, wife of late Kumaran from Iravimangalam, became an inmate of Ramavarmapuram old-age home here in Kerala's Thrissur town, though she has an ancestral house and properties. Lakshmi had seven children, but one passed away, and was living with her daughter for a while. But her daughter expressed her inability to take care of Lakshmi all alone and opined that others should also shoulder the responsibility to look after their mother. Unfortunately, none of Lakshmi’s children came forward to take up that responsibility, and the matter was raised before the RDO. Later, Lakshmi and her children were summoned for a sitting held as part of the district administration’s initiative to ensure justice for senior citizens. But RDO D N Sanu’s efforts to find an amicable solution went in vain as none of Lakshmi’s children came forward to take care of their mother. Though Lakshmi expressed her willingness to stay at her ancestral home, it was decided not to send her there considering the risk factors involved as the house was left abandoned for close to 18 months. Following the suggestion of old-age home superintendent K G Vincent, Lakshmi was moved to the Ramavarmapuram home for senior citizens. Lakshmi left for the old-age home, along with the social justice department officials, on the condition that she would stay at the home for one or two days until any of her children would take her to their home. Sat, 23 Feb 2019 02:07:24 GMT The poignant tale of two tigers… Thrissur: Balan, the tiger, came to the zoo with a gaping wound on his body. After a few months, Gauri joined him. Both became friends as Balan’s injury started to heal, and they stayed in nearby cages for close to three years. First, Gauri died of old-age related ailments, and now Balan followed Gauri after enduring the pain of loneliness for more than two years. Balan had been the gallant face of the Thrissur Zoo since February, 2013. The tiger was snared from the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary after the wild cat frequently strayed into human habitat and posed a threat for people. When the feline was brought to the zoo it had a wound, which the authorities thought was a gunshot injury, in its shoulder. Though a surgery was done, no bullets were recovered but the wound started to heal fast. After a month, Gauri, the tigress, was caught from the Muthanga forest and brought to the zoo here. The tigress was earlier trapped by the Karnataka Forest Department and taken to the Mysuru Zoo. Though it was freed in the forest, the wild cat was later caught and brought to the Thrissur zoo. It took almost three months for both the tigers, who were locked in nearby cages, to settle down in the new environment. They never attacked each other, though the felines were periodically released in the open cage, said the caretakers. Both the tigers were provided special treatment due to their advanced age, and were usually calm inside the cages. Gauri died two years ago and since then Balan was all alone. Caretaker Vipin used to look after the ageing Balan but the wild cat could easily recognize other zoo workers, said Veterinary surgeon Benoy C Babu and curator V Akhil. Balan couldn’t catch a prey as his teeth were worn out. Akash – the mute spectator A calm and silent Akash, the lion, was curiously looking at the caretakers taking the carcass of Balan out of the cage. With the death of Balan, the zoo now has only 8-year-old Akash and tigers Chandu and Rishi, both 17 years, in the section for big animals. Read more Thrissur News Tue, 19 Feb 2019 06:20:00 GMT How this man from a well-off Marad family ended up on Trichur streets This is the strange tale of an elderly man who sleeps in front a shop in Thrissur town. Krishnan was born in wealthy land-holding family. The household owned several acres of rice fields and a granary that could hold 300 'paras' of paddy. When there were signs of rain, the paddy left to dry on the premises would be shifted to the rooms inside the house. It was on this paddy that Krishnan used to sleep. At night, the sharp ends of paddy would prick the youngster, disturbing his sleep. Sixty years later, Krishnan’s sleep is still spoiled by totally unexpected irritants. He now sleeps on the street in Thrissur and is bothered by mosquito pricks. How did such a fate befall a boy from a prosperous family? Krishnan himself reveals his story with a smile that shows his betel leaf-stained red teeth. How are you? As you can see, I am perfectly fine. Though I look like a beggar, I have never sought alms. I get everything I need. There are no regrets. Where did all the riches of your childhood disappear? My ancestral property was at Marad in Ernakulam district. It was a house with three rooms, a kitchen and a large barn. When the Land Reforms Act was implemented all the paddy fields were given to the government, except 26 cents of land and the house. My step brother – son of my father’s first wife - lives there now with his family. How did you reach Thrissur? After passing my Class 5 exams, I ran away from home along with some friends. We boarded a train without ticket and reached Thrissur. Then a checker came and everyone ran helter-skelter. I was alone and spent two-three days near the railway station. Soon I started doing the job of carrying travellers’ luggage from the railway station to the municipal bus stand and back. I also worked as a headload worker at Jaihind Market. But I went back to home soon. What all work have you done? After returning home, I helped my father in the paddy field. Earlier, the paddy grown in our own fields was sufficient to fill the granary in the house. But now we had to work as farm labourers and were given paddy as part of the wages which we brought to our barn. The barn never filled, but my father’s eyes overflowed with tears. I couldn’t bear to watch such scenes and left home again. This time I went to Willingdon Island and carried coal arriving in ships. It was a tough job but the pay was regular. But while taking part in an employees’ march, I slipped and fell, suffering an injury. That was the end of that job. My other work included scrap business, farming and house-keeping in Kozhikode; as watchman at Ramana Madom, an accountant at Oottupura and also as a headload worker at Chalai market in Thiruvananthapuram, Kothaval Savady market in Chennai; and in Benagluru, among other odd jobs. You read newspapers regularly? It is an old habit. I buy the newspaper every morning and go through every item. I love reading about scientific discoveries but hate the obituary page. After reading, I keep the paper in my sack and after a few days sell all the newspapers, which makes me richer by Rs 10-15. It is 'Malayala Manorama' that I read every day. When the ‘Tambola’ game was started for readers, I started playing it. This time, I filled the Mahamela card and won a sari. Along with it I got a bed sheet. What will you do with the sari? I’ll have to give it somebody. Anyway, I don’t have a woman companion. Didn’t you ever marry? I did. It was at age 27 and my wife was Thilothama, who lived nearby. We happily lived together for one-and-a-half years. That was the time I worked carrying coal at Willingdon Island. But my wife died of cholera and I was left alone again. My relatives asked me to marry again but I declined, believing that I was fated to live alone. Warm memories with your wife? During my youth, I was an actor in theatre. Immediately after my wedding, I enacted the role of Pappachan, a dacoit, in a drama called ‘Kadalpalam’. My mother and wife came and sat in the front row. In the drama, another woman played the role of my wife and I was embarrassed. My wife and mother were worried on seeing the police chasing and thrashing me on stage. Another role that I gave life to was Koonan Kumaran in a drama named ‘Ezhu rathrikal’. While in Chennai, I regularly watched films by MGR and Sivaji Ganesan despite the rush for tickets. Do you watch films now? It is difficult to sit full-time for today’s movies. Dr Jojo Joseph, who provides lunch every day for street dwellers like me, took us to a Rajnikanth film some time ago. The doctor also arranged an excursion for us and a circus visit too. He takes us to a good hotel often and brings cake and wine during Christmas. Have you seen God on the street? Yes. A man named Tony comes and bandages my wounds. Nurses from the Jubilee Hospital check my teeth. Sometimes some children provide bed sheets. Then of course there is the doctor who provides lunch. Once a man running a jewellery manufacturing unit affixed an eye lens worth Rs 4,000. He gave me his number but I never called him. You have a watch too. It was given by the owner of the watch shop near Ragam theatre. But I keep time by the calls to prayer at the mosque on Post Office Road and the siren at the Corporation office. Your bed? For the last 10 years, I have been sleeping in front of the Sree Krishna Furniture shop on Post Office Road. I clean the place before sleeping. I also clean it in the morning. Shop owner Shaju has given me a letter on his letter pad which says I don't do any harm to anyone. I show it to the police or others who try to evict me. Have you missed meals any time? Never. I get it from somewhere every time. I have some friends. They are rats. Earlier, I used to share my food with crows, but they made droppings on me after eating my food. Now I keep some food for the rats. They are better. I give them a share just as my father used to give me a morsel with his hand when I had my food. Read more Thrissur News Sun, 10 Feb 2019 07:03:08 GMT Chalakudy's notorious chain-snatcher lands in police net Thrissur: A notorious chain-snatcher, who was involved in as many as twenty cases over the past few months, was nabbed by the Chalakudy police on Wednesday. The habitual criminal, known for his sleight of hand, was identified as Amal, a native of Kuttichira near here. His prime targets were pedestrian women on deserted streets or lanes. The accused used to mortgage the booty with pawn brokers, collect money and spend it to lead a luxurious life. In a span of three-and-half months, the accused had made about Rs 12 lakh by pledging as many as fourteen robbed gold ornaments, the police said. Rattled by the spate of chain-snatching incidents, a special police squad, headed by Chalakudy DySP C R Santhosh had stepped up surveillance and started scanning records of habitual chain-snatchers in the district. They identified the bike used by the accused to carry out the crimes on the basis of CCTV footage recovered from different spots. However, the registration number of the vehicle, which was found fitted with extra accessories, was unrecognisable. With the help of the Motor Vehicles Department, the police collected registration details of about fifty suspicious bikes of same make and zeroed in on eight of them. However, even as they pored over the details of the shortlisted vehicles, chain-snatching incidents continued unabated. Thereafter the cops rounded up several habitual offenders who were involved in chain-snatching cases reported in Thrissur and neighbouring districts over the past few years, but investigation confirmed that they were not present in areas under the jurisdiction of the Chalakudy police station at the time of the crimes. Smart work by police The investigators painstakingly verified thousands of calls that had gone through the closest mobile towers at the location of the crimes. Call data records revealed that Amal had made several calls to people in the business of moneylending and pawnbroking in the region. The police managed to obtain his photograph and approached the operators of those financial firms. All of them identified him and told the police that as many as six gold chains pledged by him were with them. The police kept a close watch on his movements and apprehended him the other day based on a tip-off. Initially he feigned innocence and refuted the charge of his involvement in chain-snatching. However, regarding the chains that he pledged with pawn brokers, he could not give a clear answer. Meagre income, lavish lifestyle The investigators checked his background and found that he hailed from a modest family of daily wagers. Amal’s father drives an autorickshaw to eke out a living while his brother is a tipper lorry driver. Though Amal has been working as a newspaper agent, obviously that income was not enough to provide for his lavish lifestyle. After the cops subjected him to rigorous questioning, asking about his meagre income and extravagant spending habits, Amal had no other option but to confess to the charges against him. He admitted to have committed a series of chain-snatching crimes so that he could live a lavish lifestyle. The money he received by pledging the stolen ornaments was used to visit picnic spots outside Kerala along with his friends, Amal told the investigators. Before being graduated to the ‘greener pastures’ of chain-snatching, Amal used to steal LED bulbs from houses in the neighbourhood. Though the neighbours were certain that he was behind the thefts, they did not approach police due to lack of evidence. Ultimately, the proverbial long arm of the law caught up with him. The police recovered the fourteen gold chains pledged by Amal with different lending firms in the district. Thu, 07 Feb 2019 08:26:39 GMT Kannur family gets back a missing member after 50 years Kannur: A family here got back a long lost member after more than half a century, all thanks to a TV show. Had it not been for the show, C K Balakrishnan and his siblings would not have met their long lost brother after five decades. It was an emotional reunion at Balakrishnan's house at at Alavi, Ottathengu, the other day as he hugged his elder brother Ammu Dasan who had left home 53 years ago. Balakrishnan's younger brother Mohanan, children and grandchildren were all present to witness the reunion. They were all vying each other to give him the emotional embraces. Dasan and all his siblings had the inkling towards art and music like their father Chokyamkandi Chathukutty of Kodiyeri who used to play harmonium blind-folded. Chathukutty's wife had given birth to 14 children of which eight died at a very young age, including their daughter Ammu. So when the couple had a son later, they named him Ammu Dasan in memory of their daughter. A voracious reader, Dasan was smitten by the acting bug at a very young age. He was very much into drama, singing and cycle expeditions.During one such expedition, he met Ammini at Nedumbassery in Ernakulam district and they became close. During his pre-university days at Brennen College in Kannur, the love affair got so intense that Ammu Dasan left his home and village to live with Ammini at her native place. Later, he went to Chennai and Kodambakkam to make his filmy dreams come true, and ended up making small appearances in a couple of films. Dasan settled down in Nedumbassery and saw his children and grandchildren grow up. The recent reunion was possible after Dasan attended the reality programme 'Udan Panam' being aired by Mazhavil Manorama. After his son-in-law Charuhasan had informed him about its shoot going at at Athani, in Thrissur, he proceeded to witness it. The channel crew even asked him to participate in the show and he agreed and this proved to be critical. Back in Kannur, one Dr Bhagyanathan rang up Balakrishnan’s relative Ponnayyam after seeing a promo of 'Udan Panam' to inform him that a person having close resemblance with Balakrishnan is participating in the show. Balakrishnan was half-convinced that the person in the show was indeed Dasan. He had no doubt whatsoever when Dasan sang 'Aadiyil vachanamundayi', based on a Biblical theme, the very same number his brother used to hum during their childhood. Immediately, a letter was sent to Dasan after his personal details were mentioned in the show. As Dasan was a known figure in the panchayat, the letter reached his house at Lakshamveedu Colony at Thuruthissery in Nedumbassery panchayat. This finally culminated in the reunion at Balakrishnan's house. Their eldest brother 84-year-old Raman resides at the ancestral house at Kodiyeri. His sister Kalyani, who lives in Kuttiyadi, along with all other family members later gathered at the ancestral house at Kodiyeri to meet Dasan and his son Kamalahasan, a gesture that underscores that Dasan is irrevocably a part of their lives. Read more Kannur News Fri, 01 Feb 2019 01:49:07 GMT Cops trace youth missing since 2014 Thrissur: The Kerala crime branch located a youth who went missing in 2014 and reunited him with his distraught mother soon after it took over the case recently. The detectives found Deepa and Sateeshan's son Sandeep (26) – natives of Dharmadam, Kannur – from Coimbatore after he left home five years ago due to financial crisis. Though a missing person case was filed in 2014, probe by the local police led nowhere. Tracing Sandeep was not easy as he had no phone, nor did he ever call a friend or relative. Even when the case went cold, the mother kept searching. That is when a relative told her that Sandeep was spotted at Guruvayur sometime back. Deepa filed another complaint and one later directly to the chief minister on January 19. The complaint reached the crime branch through IG MR Ajith Kumar. The team now concentrated on Guruvayur where Sandeep was found to have stayed four years ago before leaving for Coimbatore. Three teams were deployed in Coimbatore. They soon learnt that Sandeep was in Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. He was running his own catering service there. He agreed to come back home after police’s persuasion. SP Babu K Thomas, SI TR Gladston, ASIs NG Suvruthakumar, PM Rafi, K Gopalakrishnan and P Rakesh, CPOs Pazhaniswami, Vipin Das, MS Likesh and TV Jeevan were on the team that found Sandeep. In a Facebook post, the chief minister congratulated the cops, who scripted a happy ending to a mind-numbing tale of separation. Read more Thrissur News Fri, 01 Feb 2019 01:49:41 GMT Thrissur cop reaps success with organic farming Vallikunnam: Organic farming has caught up and more and more people are resorting to sustainable, green practices in agriculture. A police inspector, who has inherited his family's passion for farming, has converted the premises of his station and house into farms. Abdul Latif, an assistant sub inspector at Kurathikad station, has been cultivating mainly organic vegetables and fruits for the past two years. He has used good quality saplings for cultivation in the one-and-a half acre land. Latif has used 85 cents for bio-cultivation. His wife Shamina and children also lend a hand at farming at home, while colleagues join in his effort at the station premises. The Onattukara Farmers Club has honoured Latif. He has also won the best farmer award from the Vallikunnam panchayat. Latif, a resident of Pochatharavilayil house at Kaduvanal, Vallikunnam, in Thrissur district, has also turned a beekeeper of late. The police officer plans to remain a farmer after retirement. Tue, 15 Jan 2019 01:43:30 GMT Trio on countrywide tour plant saplings on the way New Delhi: Three youths from Thrissur spread the message that trees are a boon and they do it in style. After having travelled to various places in the country spreading the message of afforestation, the trio are gearing up to cross the country's border. The young men plant tree saplings, which will be eventually reared by local people, at places they visit during their remarkable journey. They reached New Delhi on Monday and are planning to travel to the neighbouring country, Nepal. Amal Krishna, hailing from Koduganlur, Akhil Subash and Shibin Gopi, both from Cherpu, started their journey with around 100 saplings from Cherpu in Thrissur district on December 28. The saplings were first planted at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu with the support of Isha Foundation. From there, they touched Salem in Tamil Nadu, Bengaluru and Hampi in Karnataka, Jaipur and Ajmer in Rajasthan, Manali in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab, and now the youths are in Delhi. They, with the help of Malayalee Association member Chandran, have planted tree saplings at R K Puram in Delhi. Till now, they have planted 240 saplings. The trio source tree saplings from the places they visit and plant them not only on roadsides but also on school premises and even near to dhabas, wayside eating outlets. And their worthwhile travel continues to reach out to more people. Read more Thrissur News Sun, 13 Jan 2019 01:43:24 GMT Israeli relives his childhood spent in this Kerala town Mala: Hayeem Aharon, a Jew, was back again at Mala in Thrissur district to relive his childhood memories. Aharon and his family migrated to Israel when he was 7 years old in 1954. Aharon and his wife Noga came here to visit the house where he had spent his childhood. His former residence now houses the Mala post office. This is their fifth visit to the erstwhile hub of Jews. Every year many Jews from Israel visit Jewish centres in Kerala such as Mala, and Paravur and Kochi in Ernakulam district, especially during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. Apart from Aharon and Nago, eight others were part of the group and they visited the synagogue and Jewish cemetery, and offered prayers there before returning to Israel. When Aharon visited Mala last time in 2016, he had posted a letter to Israel from the post office that was once his home. Aharon and his family reside at Misilath about 25 km from Jerusalem. Close to 15 percent of people living in Misilath have a connection with Mala, Aharon said. Read more Thrissur News Sun, 13 Jan 2019 01:44:17 GMT Why politicos fear this massive wall in Thrissur Thrissur: Raising a wall of a different kind was the talk of the state for the past few days and that had kicked up a political row or two. But there is an old wall, rather a gigantic one, quite aptly known as ‘aana palla’ (elephant belly), which the politicians like to keep off for certain obvious reasons. The wall surrounding the famous Vadakkunnathan Temple here was a hunting ground for politicians to put up their poll graffiti. Whenever elections were announced during the early days, political workers used to scramble to get a space on the wall behind the Vidyarthi Corner. Everyone eyed this portion as people coming from Karuppam Road and Swaraj Round could have a good view of the posters and writings on this side of the wall. Many political leaders such as Achutha Menon and A R Menon tasted success after their names were splashed on the ‘aana palla’. But later things changed for the worse as many, whose graffiti were put up on the wall, had to bite dust. NDP candidate Mannathu Venugopala Menon, K J George of the Janata Party and the CPM’s C L Varky were defeated in the elections after their names found place on the ‘aana palla’ as part of the poll campaign. Slowly word went around that it was inauspicious to have campaign doodles on the wall, and the politicians started to keep ‘aana palla’ at bay when it came to poll campaigning. Election writings on the ‘aana palla’ wall were allowed till 1980 but later they were banned. The top portion of the ‘aana palla’ wall resembles an elephant belly and the structure is as old as the Vadakkunnathan Temple. During Thrissur Pooram, people sit on this wall to watch the festivities. Unencumbered VIP plot Kerala Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar’s home in Anthikad near here has no boundary walls. When asked about it, the minister said, “There should not be any wall for houses. I have more faith in people rather than any wall.” Interestingly, all the plaques and gifts that Sunil Kumar received during his political career are kept on a bench near to the door steps of his home and are up for grabs for anyone. More interestingly, no one had tried to break into his home. Interestingly, he doesn’t even have a green wall surrounding his home though he is a strong votary of organic farming. Sweet voice from beyond wall Thrissur’s own seasoned actress K P A C Lalitha has a story to tell about a wall. When highly acclaimed writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer’s novel ‘Mathilukkal’ (Walls) was made into a film, Lalitha’s voice had a major role to play in the movie. The protagonist in the film, essayed by Mammootty, strikes a chord with a sweet voice, that of Lalitha, coming from across the ‘woman’s wall’ that separates male prisoners from female prisoners. ‘Mathilukal’ was a milestone in Lalitha’s career as she made an indelible mark on the film just with her voice without appearing on screen. The jump to stardom Actor Anju Kurien gained a firm foothold in the Malayalam film industry after jumping over a wall in the recently released Sathyan Anthikad movie ‘Njan Prakashan’. Anju’s character enters the storyline by jumping off a wall, and seeing this, hero of the film, Fahad Fazil, takes to his heels in fear. Anju is donning a prominent role in a movie for the first time in her short career. Anju would be the first female actor to appear on screen by jumping over a wall, and the shot was taken after many rehearsals. Aesthetic wall One can get an insight into the culture of Thrissur town from the paintings on the inner side of the wall surrounding the Kollengode palace, which now houses the heritage museum. Relief paintings drawn by 60 artists on 60 panels give an aesthetic look to the wall. The art works have been completed with the support of teachers and students of the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi. ‘Thrissur Pooram’, ‘Ilajithara melam’, ‘Anchuvilakku’, ‘Machadu Mamangam’, ‘Guruvayoor Satyagraha’, ‘Kolpadagal’, ‘Punnathur Kotta’ and ‘Pulikali’, among others, are portrayed in the paintings on the boundary wall of the palace. History beckons at the artful wall of the Government College of Fine Arts here, the alma mater of former state chief minister K Karunakaran. The students of the college flaunt their sketching skills on this wall. Besides, many sculptures could be found near to the wall as if they are staring at the passersby on the road. Once students chose this wall, rather than a hall, to organise an art exhibition. Breathing walls Architects Lijo and Reny are of the opinion that walls of a home and the boundary walls should breathe to facilitate proper natural ventilation. A distinctive boundary wall constructed by these architects to provide free flow of natural air for a house constructed on a small piece of land was a subject of discussion on many forums. The house was sandwiched between another house and road, and there was little scope to open the windows for a whiff of fresh air. That’s when Lijo and Reny came up with the idea of erecting a boundary wall made of weathering steel with holes to facilitate smooth flow of natural air to the house. They got many accolades, including the young woman architect award, for this innovative thought. Laurie Baker’s wall The precinct wall of the Lalithakala Akademi has the imprint of renowned British-born Indian architect Laurie Baker. It was Baker who designed both the building and boundary wall. The wall still stands tall in Thrissur town and is a canvas for many artists. A wall in tatters The state’s most popular government-run guest house, Ramanilayam, here has tumbledown boundary walls to the chagrin of many. The guest house is being currently renovated and after that the wall should be redone. Mon, 07 Jan 2019 01:49:43 GMT Thrissur nurse found dead in Vienna, husband held Thrissur: A Malayali nurse was found dead in her Vienna home under mysterious circumstances. Gracy, 46, was found dead in the bathtub with an injury to her arm. The Austrian police have arrested her husband Roy, 51, after he confessed to murdering her. Gracy had a deadly wound at the back of her head, the police said. They said Roy of Koratti has admitted that he murdered her and put the body in the bathtub to create the impression that it was a suicide. The couple had been living in Vienna for many years and were alone at home when the murder took place. Roy and Gracy have three children: Robin, Renson and Rekha. Read more: Latest Thrissur news Thu, 27 Dec 2018 04:26:31 GMT Robot Santa Claus is here, engineer's dream fulfilled “Happy Christmas!” said the Santa Claus, extending his hand to Sevin Vincent. That made the youth so elated that he even shed tears of joy. Making this Santa speak was a long-time dream of Sevin, an engineering graduate from Angamaly. The reason: The Santa was not any man dressed as the bearer of gifts during Christmas, but a robot designed and made by Sevin. It was Sevin’s wish to make a working robot all by himself that came true in the form of Santa Claus. As any parent would feel thrilled when their baby starts speaking, Sevin too experience a boundless joy. Robot at Oberon Mall Sevin’s Santa robot is now displayed at Oberon Mall in Kochi. Along with wishing a Merry Christmas, the robot gives a message related to Christmas to people. The robot speaks based on the voice command and moves on a tyre. Sevin’s efforts Sevin had returned to his native place after completing B Tech from RIT at Hassan in Karnataka with the dream of creating his own robot. However, his parents were apprehensive and were concerned about his future. But Sevin was not prepared to let go off his dream. He worked hard day and night at the workshop in his house. The initial efforts were fruitless but he won over the support of his parents. Delayed project The youth’s first aim was to create a robot in the shape of Mahabali that wished everyone a ‘Happy Onam’. Sadly, Sevin could not complete the work before Onam. His next goal was a robot that welcomed guests at a wedding ceremony. The plan was to surprise everyone at a relative’s marriage. However, that effort too failed. Santa was the third idea to strike Sevin. He concentrated all his energies on making a Santa before Christmas. The two-month-effort finally paid off and Sevin created a life-size Santa. Robots of the future The world was rocked recently when Saudi Arabia offered citizenship to Sofia, a robot. Everyone saw the robot facing interviewers tactfully. Such developments will become commonplace in future, according to Sevin, who has high hopes of building a career in the robotics sector. His aim is to create separate robots suitable for each workplace. Now, having crossed a major milestone, Sevin is preparing to fly to Canada for higher studies. Sevin is the son of Vincent and Selin of Kallrakkal in Angamaly. He has a brother, Senvin. Wed, 26 Dec 2018 11:07:16 GMT Photographer absconding for 10 years arrested over wife's plaint Chalakkudy: A man has been arrested after 10 years for mentally and physically harassing his wife. Kodakara Chembuchira Kizhuppilli Sunil (37) was arrested by crime squad SI V S Valsakumar and Vellikulangara SI S S Shiju. The couple had married after a brief courtship when Sunil was based at Irinjalakuda. Sunil, a photographer, got introduced to the woman when she was a college student. He courted her saying that he was working as cameraman making albums. The two soon married. Sunil, who went to the Middle East for work thereafter, however returned by 2008. The relation soured and the couple started fighting with each other after Sunil got suspicious over his wife's phone calls. The woman, a native of Edathirinju, filed a police complaint after Sunil spoke badly about her at her workplace, threatened her and physically abused her at home. After the police registered a case, Sunil fled to Kodaikanal. When the police reached there looking for him, he moved to Kasaragod area and then to Mangaluru and was hiding there since then. Wed, 19 Dec 2018 05:39:12 GMT Kidney mafia targets housewives in debt trap Ollur: A mafia involved in kidney trade is reportedly luring housewives in debt trap to donate their organs on the pretext of lending a helping hand. In the past two years, four women in Kozhukully near here in Thrissur district lost their kidneys to this racket as the mafia targets housewives who are desperate to clear debts. The racket picks homemakers who had availed small loans through the neighborhood self-help groups (Kudumbasree ayalkoottam) whereby women would mutually stand as sureties for taking loans from three to four agencies. The mafia agent steps in when there is default in repayment and would promise the women Rs 8 lakh each to repay the debt and meet other immediate expenses if they donated their kidneys. Once a woman gives her consent, she will be asked to sign a lot of documents, and the kidney would be removed at a hospital fixed by the agent. Later, money is handed over to the woman concerned. The agent would sell the kidney at a much higher rate and the woman would not even know the recipient of her organ. The plight of the Kozhukully housewives came to light following an investigation by the Kidney Care Foundation. It is said a woman sold her kidney even six months ago. The housewives revealed that the surgeries were done at a private hospital in Kochi. Mon, 17 Dec 2018 01:45:15 GMT Woman rider injured as auto driver nooses her before robbery Kozhikode: The police have identified an autorickshaw driver who threw a rope noose around the neck of a woman passenger before snatching her bag containing money and other valuables. A police team led by sub inspectors M K Anil Kumar and M C Harish found the vehicle number from the CCTV visuals recorded in establishments near the spot of the crime. The assaulted passenger, Divya, 28, has been admitted to a private hospital with injuries on her neck. People returning from a nearby temple rushed Divya to hospital. Divya, wife of Jayan of 'Triteeyanjanam' in Karat Parambu, Pallikkal Bazaar, had hailed the autorickshaw after she missed a bus to reach the private hospital on the bypass road. She asked the auto driver to take her to Ramanattukara. As the vehicle reached the bypass road, he stopped it on the pretext of an engine trouble. Alighting, he went behind the vehicle and threw a rope around her. Divya struggled and fell on to the road in her bid to free herself. As people rushed to her help, the driver fled with her bag, which contained Rs 3,000, her ration card, birth certificates of her children, and Aadhar, Pan, ATM and health insurance cards. Wed, 12 Dec 2018 07:45:05 GMT GPS-tagged Amur Falcon reaches Somalia from Manipur Thrissur: Ornithologists of Manipur had recently tagged GPS satellite radio transmitter to a pair of Amur Falcons to track the places of their expedition after their migratory stopover at the north-eastern state. Surprisingly, going by the signal indicators, it was found that the female Amur Falcon named ‘Tamenglong’ flew to as far as Somalia in Africa. She continued the migratory journey despite losing her male partner midway. Amur Falcons are a member of the longest travelling raptors in the world. Last week, the Kole fields in Thrissur too played host to this avian guest. In December 2013 as many as 20 Amur Falcons swooped down to a spot near Malampuzha dam in Palakkad district. The winged guests are also fascinated by other parts of Kerala such as Madayipara in Kannur and Punchakari wetlands at Vellayani in Thiruvananthapuram. And of late, Thrissur Kole lands have also caught the fancy of the falcons. Long expedition November 5: The male falcon named ‘Manipur’ was released from the Chiuluvan village in Manipur’s Tamenglong district along with his female pair ‘Tamenglong’. During the course of the journey ‘Manipur’ died at Kebuching. However, ‘Tamenglong’ continued its flight, and on November 19 it shot off from the Indian frontiers for a non-stop expedition. November 24: After an incredible flight of over migration lasting five days and 8 hours, ‘Tamenglong’ landed on the shores of Somalia. In 19 days she covered 5,700 kilometres. Expensive procedure Back in Manipur, the scientists started receiving the GPS messages daily in every 4 hours. The GPS tagging is quite an expensive affair with the cost of attaching a satellite radio transmitter on one bird running to Rs 1.5 lakh. The Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, the government of Manipur, ornithologists from Hungary and a few non-government organisations joined hands to embark on the GPS-tracking mission as part of the conservation project of Amur falcons, that are largely harvested by humans. Their aim was to track the migratory routes of the birds, study their duration of flight and scope of survival. The authorities keep a constant watch on the messages received from radio transmitters. They sort the data and update them on online webportal. The Ministry of Forests and Environment is funding the programme as part of the comprehensive development of the wildlife sanctuaries and protect the bird species which are hunted during their famous migratory journey. The satellite tracking method has been yielding good results. Another satellite-tagged female Amur falcon named ‘Longleng’ released on October 30, 2016 from Nagaland, has been sending messages at regular intervals even now. Migration trail The long distance trans-equitorial migrant species sets out for the lengthy flight from north-eastern Siberia. The main breeding ground of Amur Falcons is the Amur region comprising Korea, east Mongolia, north-eastern China and south east Russia. After a brief stopover in India, the birds cross the Arabian Sea in the westerly direction to undertake the longest overwater migration. They alight in the African continent, spend the winter and later flock back to homeland of Siberia with unerring precision. By this time the birds would have covered a distance of 22,000 km (13,676 miles). The course of migration is mainly determined by the direction of wind. During the journey, the falcons feed on dragonflies, the migrant community among the insects. Hub of Amur Falcons In India, Manipur and Nagaland are considered as the hub of Amur Falcon congregation. For, studies indicate that 99 per cent of the raptor species in the world flock in large numbers to these north-eastern states during the months of October and November. Keralite in conservation project The Manipur Government’s conservation project of Amur Falcons has a Malayali brain - R S Arun, hailing from Kozhikode. He is currently the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) under Tamenglong Forest Division. Arun, a graduate in Forestry from the Forestry College of Kerala Agricultural University, has done post-graduation from Punjab Agricultural University. On entering forestry service, Arun secured a post-graduate diploma in Advanced Wildlife Management from the Wildlife Institute of Dehradun. He was first posted as the director of Manipur Zoological Garden at Imphal in 2012. In 2015 he became the chief conservator of Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur. Fri, 07 Dec 2018 06:50:13 GMT Viper gets a new lease of life after a good coat of tar Mullassery, Thrissur: A viper was rescued by forest department officials after it fell into a drum full of tar near the panchayat bus stand and got coated with it. The rescuers on arrival used coconut oil to clean up the snake and took it to the forest office. It will be released to the woods after two days of observation. Autorickshaw drivers near the bus stand noted the snake in the drum first. They couldn't do anything and informed the forest department. M A Rakesh of the Paravattani Investigation and Protection Squad, driver Abdul Rasheed and wild life protector Joju Mukkattukara joined to break up the drum and take the snake out before cleansing it. Local people have sought cleaning up of the Hindu UP School premises next to which the snake was found. The school compound is overrun by shrubs and poses a risk to children who play there regularly. Mon, 03 Dec 2018 16:29:39 GMT Flood rescuer in penury gets a priceless gift Meloor, Chalakudy: James was among the numerous fishermen who saved over a hundred people in the recent floods. Though, he lost his boats in the effort, he carried out the rescue mission swimming in the area close to the Periyar. Now, the local people, who benefited from his help, have returned the gesture by gifting him a new boat. James, a resident of Muringoor, ekes out a living by fishing with his small boat. His family comprises wife and three children. As the great flood raged in 2018, James had rescued over a hundred local people in his small boat, which can carry barely four passengers. However, by the end of the rescue mission his boat sank. He had tied it at a spot near his house, which too was inundated, but the boat was washed away in the rushing waters. James had another canoe, but that also was irreparably damaged in the flood. James’s family faced penury after the floods and realising their plight, Rajesh Menoth, a panchayat member, launched efforts to help them. Rajesh’s friend, an NRI, offered help and work on a new boat began. The new canoe was built using ‘anjili’ wood at a boat building centre in Cherayi in one-and-a-half months. The cost came to Rs 30,000. The boat was handed over to James as a surprise gift. Mon, 03 Dec 2018 16:22:50 GMT Historical 300-year-old kovilakam in a shambles Thrissur: The Erattachira Kovilakam, which once stood tall during the reign of the Kochi rulers, is a pale shadow of its glorious past due to poor maintenance of the historical building. The ancestral palace has a place in history as it was venue to the coronation ceremonies (Ariyittu Vazhcha) of the kings of the erstwhile Kochi kingdom. Sadly, the 300-year-old structure is in a state of dilapidation after the Archaeological department took possession of the heritage palace three years ago. As per the historical records, the kovilakam belongs to the wife of Rama Varma Kunjipilla Thampuran (popularly known as Shaktan Thampuran). The Erattachira Kovilakam was built in the 17th century, and got its name as there are two (eratta) waterbodies (chiras) in front of the ancestral palace. Though the structure can’t boast of any architectural pre-eminence, the 6,000 sq ft building could be converted into a museum or art gallery as part of the conservation process. K V Saji – the savior The State Health Department saved the kovilakam from being razed to the ground. The first DMO office was situated in this building, and later the space was used for stocking medicines for the Medical Service Corporation. At that time, there was a suggestion to construct a new building in place of the old structure. It was K V Saji, the Medical Service Corporation manager, who after realizing the historical importance of the kovilakam wrote a letter to the Health Department officials requesting to restore the old structure where the landmark coronation ceremonies of the Kochi kings were held. The Health Department decided not to bulldoze the structure, and later the Archaeology Department took possession of the age-old ancestral palace on the condition that the Health Department can continue its office on the ground floor of the building. Downslide starts The Health Department stopped maintaining the structure after the Archaeology Department took over the heritage building about three years ago. The roof started to leak as the Archaeology Department didn’t carry out any repair or maintenance work. The roof tiles have not been changed for a while, and during rainy season water seeps through the wooden roof deck and flows onto the floor. Meanwhile, a ceremony, which later turned out to be a sham, was held to dedicate the kovilakam to the nation on February 26, 2016. A plaque was also installed on the wall of the structure to commemorate the occasion. Interestingly, no funds were earmarked for the upkeep of the kovilakam, and later the Archaeology Department officials never paid any attention to the historical building. It is alleged that the structure started showing signs of decay after the Archaeology Department took over the ancestral palace. Sat, 01 Dec 2018 01:45:44 GMT Mukesh Ambani visits Guruvayur temple, seeks blessings for children’s wedding Guruvayur: Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani visited the Sree Krishna temple here and offered his children's wedding invitation before the Lord. His daughter Isha, 27, is set to marry industrialist Anand Piramal, 33, next month in Mumbai; while her twin brother Akash Ambani will tie the knot to diamantaire Russel Mehta's daughter Shloka Mehta in January. Ambani, accompanied by his younger son Anant Ambani and Reliance director P M S Prasad, had the deity's darshan at 9.25 am and offered ghee, bananas and ‘kalabha charthu’ to the deity. Temple head priest Kaliyathu Parameswaran Namboothiri gave the 'prasadam' to the VVIPs. The Ambanis took a special flight to Kochi from Mumbai after visiting the Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala, Tirupati, in Andhra Pradesh. Soon after offering prayers at Guruvayur, Mukesh and his team hurriedly left for Tamil Nadu at 10 am to reach the Sri Ramanathaswami temple at Rameswaram. The billionaire industrialist told Guruvayur Devaswom chairman K B Mohandas that he would be coming back to the temple along with the newly wed couples to offer prayers. Mukesh Ambani was welcomed at Guruvayur temple by a team comprising Devaswom members Mallissery Parameswaran Namboothiripad, A V Prasanth, P Gopinathan, Uzhamalakkal Venugopal, K K Ramachandran, M Vijayan, administrator S V Sisir, deputy administrator P Sankunniraj, manager S Sasidharan and Balu Venkitesh. Wed, 28 Nov 2018 08:01:49 GMT Cherpu villagers' wait for bridge continuous Cherpu (Thrissur): The August deluge has put a village in Thrissur district in tatters after it swept away the small bamboo bridge connecting Cherpu and Chazhoor panchayats. The bridge had been more of a connecting link between the close relatives living on either sides of the Herbert canal of Karuvannur river. It had served as a line of bondage between neighbours who would rush with their daily bit of homemade culinary specials to their dear ones on the other side of the bridge. But for three months the families are in dire straits. Now, the residents have to travel a long distance to reach the main bridge on the state highway, cross the canal and walk in the same direction to meet their dear ones. The families who stay only a few metres away virtually have to walk many kilometres if they have to meet their kith and kin. The situation is more or less the same for the labourers who work in the paddy fields on the other side of the canal. Usually, Chazhoor panchayat undertakes the renovation work of the bridge. But this time the local residents have demanded an iron bridge by incorporating the project in the Chief Minister's Distress Relief fund. A memorandum has been submitted to the District Collector in this regard. Fri, 23 Nov 2018 07:21:43 GMT Thrissur Mayor's office locked over rat menace; Deputy Mayor cries foul Thrissur: The Mayor’s office and chamber have been ransacked in the name of rat control and locked. The table and chairs have also been removed reportedly for carrying out maintenance work. However, Deputy Mayor Beena Murali of CPI alleged that all this was done with the connivance of some CPM leaders to prevent her from occupying the space. Beena Murali was given the charge of Mayor after the incumbent Ajitha Jayarajan, a CPM member, stepped down from the post on November 17. According to an agreement arrived at during the election, the Mayor's post has to be held by a CPI member for the next one year. Meanwhile, Beena Murali alleged that the office was locked without obtaining permission from the corporation secretary and engineer. It was unfortunate that those who are in charge of the office had resorted to such measures, she added. During the last council meeting, Beena had charged former Deputy Mayor Varghese Kandamkulathi with interference in her ward hampering the projects there. The Mayor's chamber was found locked by some employees who arrived there on Monday morning. The Mayor's chair was shifted from the spot and the seats of the standing committee chiefs were found piled up in the room. The name board of the Mayor's car was removed and the vehicle was shifted to a workshop citing maintenance. According to the agreement between the ruling parties, Beena took charge as Deputy Mayor in December last year after Varghese Kandamkulathi completed a two-year term. A political seesaw CPI had earlier refused to accept CPM's proposal for the resignation of Mayor and Deputy Mayor together. According to the CPI, its member would quit only in December after completing the one-year term. Beena had also said at the last council meeting that corporation officials were ignoring her directives. She had warned of an agitation if they did not correct their stand. There were also allegations that corporation officials were obstructing the construction of an Anganwadi in the Deputy Mayor's division. The latest incidents have taken place against this background. However, the CPI leadership has not intervened in the issue. Thu, 22 Nov 2018 06:29:50 GMT Expelled salon hand gets Rs 6,000 salary dues in coins! Thrissur: Change is definitely not welcome in this case! Haseena, a former staff of a beauty parlour at Kizhakkekotta here, was surprised when she received her salary arrears the other day; not by the amount of money she got but by its weight. She did not know how to react when her ex-employer handed a bagful of 50 paise and Rs 1 coins to her as the one-month pending salary of Rs 6,000. Haseena, 29, wife of Raheem of Puthanveettil, Varanthappilli, and another staff Mareena, a native of West Bengal, had been terminated from their jobs last week. Following which, the two lodged a complaint with the Thrissur Town (East) police station. After negotiations, the owner of the beauty parlour agreed to pay them the pending one month’s salary. As per the instructions of the cops, Haseena went to meet her former employer on Monday to receive the amount, but she was stunned when he handed her salary in stacks of 50 paise and Rs 1 coins. Though Mereena too was paid in coins, she refused to accept the money. She alleged that her identity card was in custody of the beauty parlou owner. “I will return to my native place after getting my ID card back,” she said. Haseena had a harrowing time taking the ‘hefty payment’ home as the carry bag tore and coins fell on the road en route. Later, her husband came and took the bag home. Wed, 21 Nov 2018 07:30:08 GMT Youth 'netted' after threatening to kill self Thrissur: A youth, who threatened to commit suicide by jumping off a two-storey building, was rescued by police and Kerala Fire and Rescue personnel at Nellikunnu near here. He had resorted to the extreme step after stabbing his neighbour. the man was wielding a knife and an iron ladder, and did not allow anyone to come near him as an attempt was made to rescue him. The youth dodged the efforts of the police and fire force to secure him by throwing ropes from nearby buildings. Meanwhile, he threw the iron ladder at the parked police van below. When the youth found that the police and fire force were closing on him, he lied on the net which was spread on the sun-shade of the building. Later, the youth, who became unconscious, was brought down after tying his hands and wrapping him in cloth. The youth was admitted to the district hospital. Wilson, 53, who sustained injuries in the youth's knife attack, was admitted to a private hospital. Earlier, the youth had attacked the police when Manuthy police nabbed him. Fire force district station officer A L Lazar, Leading fireman Anil Kumar, firemen Naveen, Nidhin Vincent, Navneeth Kannan, Ananthu, Vipin Babu, Shajan, Sumesh and Shivadasan were part of the rescue team. Tue, 20 Nov 2018 10:19:23 GMT Thrissur Corporation to have disaster management force Thrissur: In a bid to provide specialist response to people during natural disasters, the corporation here is planning to form its own disaster management force. The corporation council has approved the formation of the force after getting nod from the directorate of urban affairs. The force will be created after imparting requisite training to a 15-member team, comprising youths, from each ward. The corporation will also buy necessary equipment for the disaster response team. The primary objectives of the force are: to chalk out a disaster prevention blueprint for malls, high-rise buildings, schools and hospitals; to make sure that casualty wards and blood banks of the hospitals are equipped to function during disasters; to ensure that various alters reach people, and the culverts are cleaned before each rainy season; and to start flood mitigation activities in the city. Besides, the force has to look into the dangers of dilapidated buildings, and overaged and shriveled trees. The team also has the responsibility to control crowd on the city roads during festivals. A set of rules will be framed for the functioning of the force based on Disaster Management Act, 2005. A three-tier system The force will have three tiers – Disaster Prevention Management team, City Crisis Management team and Response team. Health supervisor will be the nodal officer of the Disaster Prevention Committee. The officials of the engineering, revenue and health departments, and the heads of the zonal offices and water authority will be the members of the committee. Corporation additional secretary will be the captain of the City Crisis Management team, and its members will be health supervisor, accounts officer, executive engineer and assistant secretary. The third team, the Response team, will consist of health officials, assistant engineer, overseers and volunteers. Many employees of the electricity wing of the Thrissur Corporation have joined the force. First in Thiruvananthapuram Thiruvananthapuram Corporation was the first one in the state to start a local disaster management force. The local self-government institutions across the state formed the disaster response teams on the lines of the force created by the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. The fund needs of the force would be presented yearly before the district planning committee. The corporation could also raise funds for the functioning of the disaster management teams. Goals 1. To ensure precautionary and preventive measures in a bid to cushion the impact of natural disasters. 2. To develop soft skills of the employees. 3. To streamline the working of the corporation in relation to disaster management. 4. To initiate research on disaster management. Read more Thrissur News Sat, 17 Nov 2018 14:14:06 GMT More farmers testing soil quality after floods Thrissur: There is a marked rise in the number of farmers visiting the Soil Survey Analytical Laboratroy near here to find out the impact of recent floods on soil properties in the affected regions. The report will help the ryots to make requisite changes, if any, in their fertilizer mix to increase the fertility of the farming land. The test is being conducted free of cost under the central government’s Soil Health Card scheme in panchayats selected by the soil conservation district offices. The lab also has facilities to test the pH level of water bodies used for aquaculture. The lab at the mini station building at Chembukavu also gives advice to the farmers on fertilizer management to increase productivity. It has won kudos for the efforts to popularise soil testing in the state. Preliminary studies have proved that the soil properties have changed after the deluge, and comprehensive comparative studies are being carried out to throw more light on the issue. Farming companies and farmers can utilise the facilities of the lab, said senior chemist Simi Sathyasheelan. Contact number: 0487-2327140. Fri, 16 Nov 2018 10:46:36 GMT Nothing can stop this paraplegic teacher Irinjalakuda: Her indomitable spirit to not give up on things and engage in what she loves the most in the face of adversity is appreciated by many. Stella, who is paralysed from chest down, makes it a point to teach school children mathematics from her sick bed, and her teacher husband, Varghese, gives ample support to her. Stella was a math teacher at St John’s High School in Andheri, Mumbai but was forced to return to her home town in Madayikonam near here as her health conditions worsened. Stella’s health problems started after complications in administering anaesthesia during her childbirth. A viral infection in her spinal cord slowly paralysed her body from chest down. Her daughter, who is now 18-years-old, was born differently-abled and is now studying in a special school. Though Varghese sourced all his savings to treat Stella, there was no improvement in her health. Now, the family is living in a rented house at Madayikonam near here. Their only income is the rent from their house in Mumbai. Many lend a hand for the treatment of Stella. The teacher couple used to run a centre to teach destitute children in Mumbai. Though their students are occupying plum positions in various organizations, the duo hasn't informed them of their present situation. Malayala Manorama Nallapadam coordinator Sumathi of the SN HS School in Irinjalakuda brings children to Stella for their math classes. Fri, 09 Nov 2018 02:05:27 GMT Mumbai students help rebuild house for flood victim Kodungallur: A group of students from Mumbai is doing their bit to rebuild a house which was destroyed in the recent floods. The students, 11 girls and six boys, of Churchgate Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work decided to forgo their Diwali celebrations and help rebuild house for Rosily Cleetus, 63, at Kottapuram Kotta near here. They are sweating it out by getting involved in carrying, by hand, sand and stones in the initial phase of construction. An amount of Rs 30,000 was allotted for laying the foundation of the house under the PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yogana) - Life Programme, said Ward Councillor Princy Martin. The Kottapuram Integrated Development Society (KIDS) offered a helping hand as the allocated fund was insufficient to lay the foundation of the house. The students came to Kottapuram after the KIDS authorities were informed of the fact that Rosily, a widow, had no one to oversee the work. The same group of students took part in relief activities in different parts of the Ernakulam district during the recent deluge, and they were instrumental in cleaning 150 wells. Thu, 08 Nov 2018 10:02:44 GMT Garbage dumpers evade CCTV eyes to spread filth elsewhere Thrissur: Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras prove a deterrent to waste-dumping and save people from the garbage menace at many places. But the residents of Thrissur do not have such luck. When CCTV cameras were installed at Fr Vadakkan Road to prevent dumping of garbage there, the miscreants started targeting the Balya Hospital Road nearby Heaps of slaughter, kitchen and hotel wastes are seen on one side of the Balya Hospital Road now. With a nauseating stench prevailing in the entire area, the local people’s representatives submitted a complaint to the Health section of the City Corporation. But no action has been taken to remove the garbage. Earlier, miscreants used to focus on the Fr Vadakkan Road to dump wast as it is deserted at night. When severe stench, environmental issues and health problems developed, the local people set up CCTV cameras on this road which stretches from Mundupalam Junction to Sakthan Thampuran bus stand. When the miscreants realised that they would be identified, leading to possible legal action, the problem abated and the area became clean. However, the culprits in no time found a new spot very near Fr Vadakkan Road for depositing waste – the Balya Hospital Road. Garbage bags are thrown indiscriminately from moving vehicles here and the bags often burst, spreading the stinking contents all around. This attracts street dogs to the area, posing another problem to the residents and passersby. Sacks of waste materials from barber shops, hotels, slaughter houses and chicken shops can be seen dumped all along the road. The worst affected are the pedestrians heading to Sakthan Nagar from Kokkala side, who cannot even properly breath while passing this stretch due to the stench. Big mounds of plastic waste are now covering the marshy areas along the road also. What makes the situation graver is that there are two hospitals and a place of worship along the Balya Hospital Road. Sun, 04 Nov 2018 01:59:24 GMT Thrissur woman, lover arrested for bid to kill husband Thrissur: In a sordid affair, a woman who gave a contract to kill her husband has been arrested along with her paramour and the goons hired for the purpose. According to the police, those nabbed are, Sujatha, a native of Tirur in Thrissur, her lover Suresh Babu and four gang members. The goons had made an attempt to kill Sujatha’s husband Krishna Kumar with a hit-and-run strategy on Monday. Krishna Kumar, who suffered severe injuries in the incident, is now undergoing treatment. An unusual accident The plot and its execution came to light with a car accident that took place at Tirur early on Monday. At 5.30 am, Kumar, a farmer who has leased land in Wayanad, was hit by a car. He had set out from his house very early to proceed to Wayanad. While walking along the road, Kumar noticed a car parked on the road. The vehicle soon reversed and hit him. Kumar was thrown to the ground on the impact and suffered fractures on his shoulder and leg. Luckily, his life was spared. But doubts crept into Kumar’s mind. Why did the car hit him even though he was walking on the side of the road? Wasn’t the incident deliberate? Meanwhile, Sujatha reminded Kumar that there would be no use filing a complaint. He felt something was amiss as he was aware of the affair between his wife and Suresh Babu, a bus driver. Kumar soon traced the registration number of the vehicle that caused the accident and called the SI of police at Viyyur to inform him of the matter. Police probe The first thing that the police did was to trace the vehicle owner. As the owner said that he had let out the car, the police enquired about the persons who had rented the vehicle. They found that Omanakuttan, a man with criminal record hailing from Vadakkanchery in Thrissur, had taken the car. Soon the police were able to pick up Omanakuttan. His aides Sharafuddeen, Muhemmadali and Sarath too were subsequently taken into custody. Omanakuttan opened up before the police and told them everything that he knew about the case. The deal Babu, a native of Kinalloor, hired the goons by offering them Rs 4 lakh. He gave an advance of Rs 15,000. The target and the ways to identify him were handed over to the killers. A plan was prepared to carry out the murder when Kumar headed to Wayanad on Monday. The killers assembled in a car which was parked on the road near the victim’s house. Kumar woke up by 4.30 am that day and when he went to the washroom, his wife called her lover, who passed on the information to the goons. Lucky move The goons presumed that Kumar would walk along the left side of the road and parked the car accordingly to hit him. However, Kumar, after covering a small distance on the left, crossed to the right. This forced the gang to reverse the car. The unusual movement of the car made him cautious and he walked very carefully along the side of the road. As several people were engaged in morning walk, the goons left in a huff after hitting their target. Touching scenes When the mystery behind the accident was unravelled, the police arrested his wife, paramour and the goons. When the police arrived at their house to arrest Sujatha, she told Kumar, “I’ve committed a folly; pardon me.” To which he replied, “I loved you so much, still you wanted me dead.” The words even moved the police officers who were witness to the scene. Sujatha used to take their children to school in a private bus when Kumar was in Wayanad. Babu was the driver of this bus. Sujatha’s plan was to live with Babu after killing her husband. Tue, 30 Oct 2018 10:21:23 GMT Tribal hamlets in the grip of exam fever Thrissur: As many as 2,179 people belonging to the tribal communities residing at 100 hamlets in Kerala are preparing for their literacy examination. It will be held on November 25. The literacy programme titled ‘Samagra’ is being implemented jointly by Kerala State Literacy Mission and Scheduled Tribe Development Department. The organisers aim to achieve 100 per cent success. Among the candidates, 1,600 are women. The classes started last March after the ST Department identified the tribal hamlets which had the lowest literacy rates. Candidates successful in the exam will be able to pursue higher studies through equivalency exams. Classes in social literacy are also provided. The classes are conducted by tribal people themselves who are familiar with the respective tribal language. The number of trainers appointed for implementing various projects stands at 1,057. Among the trainers, 800 people are tribals themselves. The tribal literacy panels at the panchayat level and monitoring committees at the district and state levels are the other agencies involved in the project. The projects include the special literacy-equivalency project at Attappady, Wayanad Adivasi literacy project and Comprehensive Adivasi literacy-equivalency project. Palakkad and Wayanad districts have the highest number of hamlets included in the project – 25 each. From Idukki, 15 hamlets are part of the initiative. A first-phase exam conducted at 282 colonies in Wayanad district had secured a success rate of 95.5%. Fri, 26 Oct 2018 10:37:49 GMT Artist trumps disability with bold strokes Thrissur: Shijo Jacob is affected by polio, yet he produces some of the most beautiful and intricate paintings one can imagine. He did not let his physical disability come in the way of his goal of being an accomplished artist. A native of Changanassery, Shijo triumphed over his disability by unleashing his imagination on the canvas. His compassion towards nature is reflected in his 54 paintings displayed at the exhibition titled ‘Displaced-Misplaced’ at the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi’s Art Gallery here. Shijo’s landscapes are absolutely flawless with fine lines and intricate details. He has used hard and striking colours on his canvases to capture Nature in all its glory. There are realistic and abstract works as well as three-dimensional paintings. The works that depict the various moods of Nature have been done using mixed medium — acrylic, silk screen and acid-free paper. Shijo, who has been working as a drawing teacher at the Raja Ravi Varma College of Fine Arts at Mavelikkara for the past 26 years, was struck by polio in childhood which left both his legs paralysed. He earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree from the College of Fine Arts in Thiruvanthapuram and completed the Master’s degree from the Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi. He was the recipient of the best artist (painting) award, instituted by the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi, in 2006. Shijo started to travel across the country exhibiting his creations after several institutions came forward to offer him scholarships and fellowships in recognition of his artistic skills. Remarkably, he has never availed benefits of reservation for the physically challenged. The solo exhibition was inaugurated by artist Ajayakumar. Lalithakala Akademi secretary Ponnyam Chandran presided over the function. The exhibition is open from 10 am to 7 pm till October 27. Read more from Thrissur Thu, 25 Oct 2018 01:50:34 GMT Another bid to loot ATM, cops suspect local robbers Thrissur: Close on the heels of burglars making away with Rs 35 lakh from two ATMs (automated teller machines) in Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, a theft attempt was made at an ATM attached with the Canara Bank branch at Kizhakumpattukara near here. The CCTV footage showed two men, wearing masks, trying to break open the kiosk with an iron rod in the early hours of Tuesday. One person was seen waiting outside on a bike. Though the robbers, who were at the facility only for a short time, were able to open door of the vending machine, they couldn’t open the chest, which had Rs 5 lakh. Police are hopeful of identifying the miscreants from the footage of the CCTVs installed in the vicinity of the ATM. Police are also trying to trace a phone number as one of the robbers was seen talking over the cellphone. The modus operandi of the robbery bid was quite different from the recent ATM break-ins of central Kerala. The robbers used an iron road to break open the machine, and the police suspect the involvement of local youths in the theft attempt. The robbers are not part of any inter-state gangs going by the body language of the robbers, police said. A police team under City Police Commissioner G S Yatish Chandra collected evidence from the spot. Wed, 24 Oct 2018 07:56:05 GMT Art show to raise funds for flood-hit students Thrissur: Students and alumni of the Kerala Varma College in the city have moved to raise money for supporting students of the institution who have lost their houses in floods. The first of the art show, named 'Snehathoni' (love boat), was inaugurated at the Sahitya Academy Hall. On sale are paintings done at the camp dubbed 'Chitrathoni' (boat of paintings). Some 160 students, who have been victims of the August flood, are in need of help. Fifteen students of the college lost their houses entirely. The full collection from the art show will be utilised to support the affected students, many of whom have lost study material too. The Guruvayur mural painting centre had cooperated in the painting camp held on the college campus. The work of students and alumni will also be on show at the event, which will run until Wednesday. Also on show are art work from the 'Colouring Kerala Varma' programme of the 1980s. Music composer Mohan Sitara inaugurated the exhibition. College Principal K. Krishnakumari presided. Entry is free to the show, which opens at 10 am and runs until 7 pm. Wed, 24 Oct 2018 01:55:25 GMT Ivory smugglers find it safe on Kolkata-bound trains Thrissur: Poaching of elephants is rife in forests in south India. A Thiruvananthapuram-based racket involved in the poaching of elephants for ivory has been taking its loot by train to Kolkata's Shalimar and New Market areas and smuggling them out to Nepal, it is learnt. The hunters rely on trains for smuggling the tusk. Cabins under the seats of railway staff is a safe place. The storage spaces in trains are also used to hide the contraband. Eighteen elephants have been victims of the poaching gang in Kerala forests alone in the past three years. Their crime also covered areas like the Mysore division in Karnataka, and the Erode division in Tamil Nadu, from where they have taken away ivory worth crores by train to Shalimar. The forest department is aware of the Thiruvananthapuram gang that 'exports' the ivory from southern states, but inquiries on the crime often stopped with middlemen. Poaching in Kerala has come down after the Idamalayar jumbo slaughter racket was exposed, but forest department documents have proof that the hunters are indeed active. The department has information that a group of 30 sculptors in Shalimar and New Market are crafting the looted ivory at a hideout. The gang then smuggles the ivory sculptures to Nepal, where they fetch three times the price of the raw material. Middlemen pay Rs 40,000 to 45,000 per kg to those who slaughter wild elephants and hand over the tusk. The loot gets Rs75,000 per kg in Kolkata. Once it becomes a finished art work, the price shoots up to Rs 1.25 lakh. Mon, 22 Oct 2018 10:05:51 GMT Conman, 80, caught in TN amid bid to sell 'iridium' Thrissur: An 80-year-old man, who posed as a retired judge, was caught by Tamil Nadu police near Madurai while trying to sell some metal by claiming it was precious iridium. Balakrishna Menon, a resident of Alagappa Nagar, Pudukkad, was arrested from Rajapalayam in Virudhunagar district amid his bid to sell a metal that he claimed was segregated from the ornamental dome of a temple. The police said Menon, who was nabbed from a lodge on Lakshmi Perumal street, was using his fake status as a “retired judge” to win the confidence of prospective buyers of his metal. Along him, cops arrested Ravi Chandran and Sino Philip besides Punjab natives Subbier Singh and Iqbal Singh, along with Balamurugan and Balan of nearby Sundararajapuram. The arrests were made after the police were tipped off by the driver of a cab in which Menon and his team were travelling. The man behind the wheel, overhearing the conversation of the travellers and being made to do several rounds, got suspicious about them. As the police began to follow them, the men made an effort to flee near the Andal Kovil at Rajapalayam, 85 km southwest of Madurai, which is Tamil Nadu’s third biggest city also known for its sprawling vintage temples. The cops however managed to arrest them. Earlier, Menon had been into similar fraudulent deals by posing as a retired naval doctor. On interrogation, the Trichur native confessed that he was neither a legal or medical professional. Sat, 20 Oct 2018 12:11:39 GMT Pencilman makes a mark with unique help for flood-hit Thrissur: Gifting humble pencils is his way to say he cares! Meet K Venkatraman, a Dubai-based philanthropist who has donated 100,000 pencils to children across the state who lost their basic tools of education and study materials in the devastating floods. A native of Tamil Nadu, Venkatraman’s noble gesture has made an indelible impression on the children and provided a fresh hope to them. Pencilman, as he is fondly called, returned with a bagful of used and worn-down pencils collected from these children. For the past decade, he has been reaching out to needy students with study materials across the globe. Venkatraman handed over a consignment of 1 lakh pencils to Col H Padmanabhan, commanding officer of the 7 Kerala Girls Battalion of the National Cadet Corps (NCC), for distribution among students in areas identified by rescue and relief workers. The Battalion will help him identify the areas and deliver the remaining packs of pencils as per the requirement. Conceding the NCC officer’s request to come down to Kerala, Venkatraman, a charted accountant by profession, visited a number of schools in the district. He gave away school stationery and interacted with children at the model anganwadi at Ilanjikulam, and schools at Palissery, Nanthikkara, Athirapilli, and Vazhachal. When he told the children that he had distributed used pencils in poverty-stricken regions of Africa where even used stationery items are a luxury, they handed over their old pencils to the ‘Pencilman’ and requested him to give them to their counterparts in Africa. With this kinds gesture, the children have proved it is often the little things that make a huge difference. Venkatraman has already distributed pencils in schools in flood-affected areas in Attapady, Wayanad and Kozhikode districts. Venkatraman also has plans to supply free stationery items and uniforms to needy students on Children’s Day in association with the NCC. Wed, 17 Oct 2018 06:04:16 GMT Cops grope in the dark as newgen robbers have it easy Thrissur: The townsfolk is alarmed by a spate of robberies in and around Thrissur despite heightened police patrol and proactive vigilance by residence associations. Thieves are getting more imaginative, if the latest incidents are any indication. Gone are the days when everyone used to blame unwanted visitors from the notorious villages of Tamil Nadu. The modern-day robber can come from anywhere in India. By the time the police trace the robbers by analysing their modus operandi, another gang would have struck. The new breed of robbers are dangerous. They not only loot the houses but even pose a threat to the lives of the inhabitants. The robbery in a house at Peramangalam on Friday has left the whole area sleepless.Bank ATMs, jewellery shops and even temples had also been targeted in the area. And all these break-ins point to organised crime. No clue Many of the thefts in the houses in the area remain untraced for want of evidence. Many of the houses did not have a surveillance system. Even in those places with cameras, the footage was not clear enough to pinpoint the accused. Daring strikes The police are yet to make much headway in all the five of the major robberies in the district this year. It started with a jewellery heist at Chalakkudy in January. The police are yet to trace 12 kilos of gold. Investigations into robberies at Thaikkattussery and Ponnookkara have also hit a stonewall. At the former place, an empty house was robbed of 50 sovereigns of gold and Rs 1 lakh as the family of Balakrishnan had gone to visit a temple in the wee hours. A similar break-in happened at a house at Ponnookkara when the residents were away to consult a doctor. By the time they returned, 30 sovereigns of gold and Rs 5,000 were gone. The latest theft was in a house at Mathilakom near Kaypamangalam last week. Thieves made away with 120 sovereigns of gold and Rs 80,000 from an empty house on October 6. As many as 11 houses were broken into in a single night in Panjal panchayat. Though the thieves prised open many doors, they did not got in; however, many people lost their money, gold, watches and motorbikes. One of the thieves tied up a pensioner and made away with her Rs 6,000. The crime scene gets crowded with several more cases of chain snatching in buses. Some people were targeting the hundi in temples. The jewellery on station road at Chalakkudy was targeted on January 27. The leads obtained from the surveillance camera footage helped the police chase a professional robbers' gang which called itself the 'Uduva Holiday Robbers'. The police nabbed four suspects after days of surveillance in Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal. Yet they could recover only one kilogram of gold as the prime suspect fled with the booty to Bangladesh. The robbers are becoming more daring. A gang of robbers caused a road accident on the national highway to rob smugglers of their gold when they were on their way from the airport. Though passers-by stopped to respond to the apparent road accident, they fled as the situation got out of hand. The police traced the eyewitnesses to get a lead to the accused but the arrests were delayed. The police said that the case had 11 accused, all from Koduvally. Three of them had surrendered before the police. The police, however, have a face saver in the theft case at Edamuttam. The police have nabbed a gang of thieves, including a couple, which robbed the house of non-resident Malayalis. Tue, 16 Oct 2018 05:39:50 GMT Burglar kills pigeon to divert attention, steals money using pole Cherpu, Thrissur: In a bizarre incident, a thief used a pole to lift a bag containing Rs 16,000 through the window grilles of a home at Kodannur near here. The theft took place at the residence of Thekkoottu Kuttan, who lives adjacent to the Kodannur Subramania Temple, around 2.30 am on Friday. Kuttan, who is undergoing treatment at a local hospital, had kept the bag containing the money on top of the refrigerator. The thief inserted a long pole through the gap between the grilles and fished out the bag. Kuttan’s two daughters were at home when the incident took place. Though the two shouted after they saw a man’s figure outside the house’s window, the thief disappeared into the darkness in no time. Hours before the incident, a miscreant, presumably the same person who stole money from Kuttan’s home, had attempted to snatch gold chain of a woman living in their neighbourhood. The chain-snatching attempt took place at the residence of Sheeba Gopinath, which is situated about 300 metres away from Kuttan’s house. The crook diverted the attention of the occupants by hurting a pigeon and making it flap its wings uncontrollably. The noise was enough for the thief to distract the woman who woke up hearing the bird screeching in pain. The thief tried to snatch the gold chain of Sheeba’s mother when she woke up and looked out of the window upon hearing the bird’s noise. The man fled the scene when she screamed in panic. She woke the family members up and searched the premises, only to find the bird lying in a pool of blood with a cut mark on its neck. A razor blade was also spotted near the carcass. Read more: Latest Thrissur news Sun, 14 Oct 2018 09:23:46 GMT Letter from Sachin turns schoolboy a star Thrissur: “Dear Sachin, you should drop in at our school when you pass this side...besides, you need to drop some of those useless players in Kerala Blasters team..” This was what Midhun M. Menon, a Class-5 student at Sreeramakrishna Boys High School, Puranattukara, wrote to cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. He was inspired by another boy's Facebook post that claimed a reply from the cricket legend to his letter. Midhun wasn't disappointed. Sachin, the master batsman, replied to the boy with his pen. “Dear Midhun, I'm a bit busy with journeys and other things in the second innings of my life. I would have come to your school if I could find time. My strength is the adoration of fans like you. Wish you all the best. As a symbol of my affection, I'm sending a favourite, signed picture alongwith. Your own Sachin.” The letter from the legend has made Mithun a star in his school. He is the son of Manoj and Jayalakshmi of 'Aiswarya' of Kadharipalam, Chittilappalli. Sachin had recently shed his stake in the ISL team Kerala Blasters. Mon, 08 Oct 2018 06:00:58 GMT How a faint clue helped to trace the family of an unsound teen Thrissur: When the 17-year-old boy ended up getting down from a train that had taken him to lands far from his native place, all that the teenager could do was to make weird sounds in extreme panic. At this, Childline India functionaries in Kochi took the boy to Thrissur: to the Government Medical College, 10 km north of the city, to be precise. Their efforts to normalise the mentally disturbed patient proved fruitful, following which he was shifted to the Children’s Home. A good eleven months were spent there, during which fellow inmates stumbled upon his name on questioning. Bilal, he would say. Nothing more. No details about his parents, family, town or village. Simultaneously, officials with the NGO began moving papers to shift Bilal to another home meant for ‘adults’. At the Children’s Home, caretaker Prajith P used to get into conversations of sorts with Bilal. That is how the word ‘Okhla Mandi’ spilled from Bilal’s mouth last month when Prajith asked the boy about his native place. A search on Google led the caretaker to learn that it is a market in Delhi. Soon the Home contacted the police in the national capital. No official in khaki could confirm about a missing boy under their jurisdiction. The probe then spread to finding a trader in the marketplace. A breakthrough on that happened through Facebook. Further information came that one of the businessmen in Okhla Mandi had indeed lost his son a year ago. The Children’s Home thus came into touch with the person: Mohammed Rais. On being asked over WhatsApp to appear over a video call, the middle-aged person came on line the next day as suggested. When the father and son saw each other on the phone screen 3,000 km away, they burst into loud wails. The man beckoned his screen; the son showed eagerness to be with him. The emotional reunion was poignant for the onlookers at the Home. Rais, with his brother, took the next day’s flight to land at Kochi airport. From Nedumbassery, they reached the Home in Thrissur, 50 km north. The father-son reunion turned many eyes around misty. It was only then the officials at the Home knew that Bilal was from a millionaire’s family. And that Bilal was the only son of Rais and his wife, who had otherwise eight daughters. An overwhelmed Rais, while leaving to his city, said he would pay a visit with his family to the Home, where Bilal spent a critical year that ended dramatically. Sun, 07 Oct 2018 07:32:45 GMT Poor driver gets a roof over head, thanks to students Mannuthy: A good neighbour can indeed change your life for the better. Thekkepurakkal Ramesh was lucky to have not just one but the entire students of the school next door to come to his aid during bad times. The students of Don Bosco School, Mannuthy, have built a new house for him in place of the old one which collapsed during the heavy rains that lashed Kerala in August. The key of the house was handed over by city police commissioner G H Yatheesh Chandra. Ramesh, an autorickshaw driver, and family lived in single-room mud house with a tile roof which was built with a loan. When the house crumbled, the family was in despair. Seeing their plight, the Fr Geo Kalladanthi, the principal of Don Bosco school, Thomas, an engineer, and the staff of Seven Seas Distillery came to the rescue. Around 100 student volunteers of the school’s NSS wing promised their services to build a new house. Work was completed in a month. During this time, Ramesh and family stayed at the house of one Shamsudeen nearby. With the support of good-hearted people, household items like fridge, mixer-grinder, cot and mattress were handed over to the family. The house construction was carried out under the leadership of teachers Sajeev, Rakesh and Litty George and students Rahul, Shelna, Basil Sunny and Ansha. When Ramesh’s family shifts from one-room hut to a three-room house, they have no words to thank the selfless students who gave them a fresh lease of life. Sun, 07 Oct 2018 01:53:42 GMT Couple climbs southern mountain passes on a scooter The vehicle chosen by Augustine and his wife for his journey through the forests of south India is a humble scooter. Undeterred by his hearing impairment, the 57-year-old Kottanellur native has covered numerous forests and clocked thousands of kilometres. They have already conquered the ghats of Nilgiri hills, Nadukani, Gudalur, Ooty, Coonoor, Mysuru, Srirangapatna, Bandipur, Nagarhole, Muthanga, Mudumalai and Thirunelli and the mountain passes of Kuttiyadi, Nadukani and Thamarassery. During their trips, they carry with them medicines, water, food, route map and tools to repair in case the scooter develops a snag. Since he is hearing impaired, Augustine uses an earphone while riding the scooter. While talking about their trips, he recalled that they had a miraculous escape from a wild elephant while they were travelling through Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. For the past 33 years, Augustine has been a Manorama agent in Kottanellur. Passionate about reading and forest travels, Augustine has been the secretary and librarian at Kottanellur library since 1978. Augustine, who has decided to donate his organs after his death to Thrissur medical college, is already preparing for his next trip in December. Emily does not even care about her health while travelling with her husband. Their passion for travelling, which is five years old, is growing younger with them. Sat, 29 Sep 2018 04:52:12 GMT Christ College on cloud nine as football, kabaddi teams enter D-zone Irijnalakuda: Christ College, Irinjalakuda is literally on cloud nine. The members of both football and kabaddi teams have moved to the critical D-Zone, after beating their respective opponents. Inter-college competitions are categorised into several zones of which the D-zone contests are highly competitive. In the football match against Saint Theresa College of Mala, Christ College team trounced its opponent 7-0. Striker Jamsher scored the first, followed by a barrage of goals. The first goal of this one-sided game also happened to be the third in Jamsher's kitty. Jamsher was ably supported by his team mates Nidhin Wilson, Lionel and Lipin Yohannan. In another match held at the Sree Krishna College ground against MD College, Lipin made Christ College proud by striking a goal in the dying moments and won the match comfortably, 4-0. Sreejith, the Christ College team coach attributed the success of his team to the teamwork and expressed his desire that his team entered into Inter-Zone and becomes the champions. When it came to Kabaddi, the Christ College team trounced the Kerala Varma College 49-11. Led by Anoop Krishnan, the team was in its elements and played an outstanding match. Bintu Kalyan, the coach of the team, said, "We had a solid defence and that had helped our raiders attack and break the cordon of the opponent's defence and score more points and eventually win the game." Father Joy, the head of the Physical Education Department, said, "After several months of practice, our team could employ the right kind of strategies and played with excellent tactics, which paid rich dividends. This is the first time our Kabaddi team is winning, that too with an excellent record." Fri, 28 Sep 2018 03:24:00 GMT Freaks win hearts as they spend a day with the aged Thrissur: They were tagged as being sloth, unkempt, rude, and what not. But the ‘freaks’, the face of new generation, with long locks of hair and flowing beard proved every one wrong during the recent flood rescue and relief operations in Kerala as they helped those in distress zealously. They are at it again with their altruism, now at a Pakalveedu, day-care home for the aged, at Olari near here. The members of Kerala Hair Club, a band of hair lovers, from across the state spent a day with around 200 aged women inmates by preparing and serving food, singing and dancing with them. Akshay, one of the members of the club, said that they aim to remove the negative outlook of police and society about them by engaging in social activities. They group was engaged in rescue operations during last month's floods and even took part in cleaning operations as the floodwaters receded. Meanwhile, it was a new experience for the 200-odd inmates of the home as the club members regaled them. Later, the members took a group photo at the historic Thekkinkadu ground. Tue, 25 Sep 2018 05:26:01 GMT Toddler's body found in bush Thrissur: The body of a toddler girl was found in a bush near Aloor bridge here on Sunday. The girl, wearing a tee-shirt, is estimated to be one-and-a-half-year old. The left leg of the girl was found broken. The two-day-old body had started decomposing when it was found. Dog squad and forensic officials will arrive at the spot soon. The police are investigating whether anyone in the area has filed child-missing complaint. It is also being probed if the child was subjected to any sort of attack. Sun, 23 Sep 2018 07:48:03 GMT Kuthampully sari printers in a tight spot amid cut in production Women workers engaged in the embroidery of the popular Kuthampully saris are facing job loss as production has been slashed after the recent floods. The number of working days in embroidery units has come down to one-third. Workers here print exquisite designs of peacocks, peacock feathers and gods on the traditional wear synonymous with the Kuthampully village in Thiruvilwamala, Thrissur district. Around 500 workers have been engaged in printing works at Thiruvilwamala, Pazhayannur panchayat and the villages on the border areas of Palakkad district. Printing gave the women workers a steady source of income, which has been stalled now. The situation has forced many women to leave the field altogether. Some printing units have given one-month’s forced leave to their workers. “Earlier, I used to employ 24 workers for printing; but now eight persons, in rotation, carry out the job for two days. If I resort to retrenchment, 16 women will lose their jobs,” said V Manikandan, who takes up contracts for printing works. Production had to be scaled down as a large stock of saris is still remaining with traders due to little sales during the festive Onam season, which corresponded to the recent calamity that struck Kerala. Another challenge faced by the sector is that there is no upcoming festive season which could boost the demand for Kuthampully saris. Currently, the weavers are producing plain saris, i.e. those without designs now and printing is rarely done on them. The women engaged in supplementary tasks associated with sari production also have little work now. Those stitching the border of saris get fewer saris to work on now. Many of these women are housewives looking for an extra income, however small. Saris are delivered to them at their houses for stitching the border and on completing the work in the evening, they are paid the wages at the rate of Rs 35 per sari. There were housewives who earned even Rs 175 per day. Around 300 women are in a tight spot as this means of income is drying up. Even before the crisis struck the sector recently, weavers are aggrieved over poor pay. All these factors have together led to stagnation in the sector, it is pointed out. Kuthampully, which is 50 km from Thrissur town, is renowned for traditional handloom industry. Its Kasavu clothing is much sough-after by Keralites. Apart from sari, dhoti, set mundu and veshti are also produced here. Wed, 19 Sep 2018 02:00:27 GMT Flood fury leaves music academy in disarray Annamanada, Thrissur: The Achutha Marar Vadya Kala Kendra here, which was tormented by the last month’s devastating floods, is staring at an uncertain future after several percussion instruments worth lakhs of rupees got damaged in the monsoon fury. The memorial institute, which is located on the banks of the Chalakudy river, was almost entirely inundated by flood waters, leaving a trail a destruction. The authorities had made all the arrangements to initiate new learners into Percussion Symphony (Panchavadya Melam) in connection with Vijaya Dasami celebrations on October 19 when the flood played spoilsport. Several percussion and wind instruments were damaged beyond repair. As many as thirteen 'thimilas', six 'chendas' and three 'maddalams' and several 'kombus' were destroyed after lying immersed in floodwaters for several days. The Achutha Marar Vadya Kala Kendra was established in 2001 under the patronage of the grama panchayat as a mark of respect to the legendary percussionist and with an objective of imparting training to interested youngsters in Kerala’s traditional percussion. So far, around twenty batches of students have passed out from the institute after completing training in different percussion and wind instruments. The students are trained by Annamanada Muraleedhara Marar (Panchavadyam and Thimila), and Koratty Raman Aasan (Melam). With the flood causing extensive damage to the institute, the authorities and percussion lovers in the area are now on a mission to restore its past glory. They are now striving hard to conduct the annual initiation programme as scheduled. Though the building, which was filled with slush and debris dumped by the floods, was cleaned with the help of forest officials, the reopening of the institute has been delayed as most of the instruments used to train students were rendered unusable after becoming damp in the floods. Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:39:32 GMT Flood-hit family donates govt aid to man in the same boat Kadukutty: The recent flood calamity in Kerala has prompted many to contribute generously to those badly affected. Donations are being made by people from various walks of life in the form of money and goods. A bank officer from Koratty, who had spent three days at a relief camp during the floods, didn't think twice before donating the money he had received as solatium. He handed over the aid to someone who was in greater need. Payyapally Suresh, a cooperative bank officer and library activist, had lost his belongings as his house was inundated. Suresh had spent three days at a camp with his mother and wife. They recently received the first instalment of relief money from the government representatives, but the family decided to donate it to Chempakassery Jose, a resident of Vynthala who had lost his house entirely to the flood. Suresh decided to help Jose as the latter was found extending help to others despite his own overwhelming loss. Jose had returned from the camp with his wife, but was seen supplying drinking water to the needy. Suresh soon decided to support Jose in whatever way he could help. Apart from the first tranche of the compensation, Suresh added from his own pocket what is due to him as the second instalment of the government aid. The money was then delivered to Jose. On top of all this, Suresh, a resident of Thrissur district, has donated one month's salary to the Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund (SMDRF). Fri, 07 Sep 2018 07:52:03 GMT Newborn at camp gets impromptu gold gift from govt employee Vaadanapally: Baby Adikhesh was born less than 100 days ago, but he has been a mute witness to a deadly flood which claimed many lives and displaced millions of people including his family. On the 90th day since his birthday, his naming ceremony was conducted at a flood relief camp here in Thrissur district in the presence of other residents. When the baby’s mother bemoaned whether her son was so unfortunate not to have received a gift for his naming ceremony, a female block panchayat official there couldn’t hold herself back. She immediately removed her own gold bangle and gave it to the baby as a gift. It was Rekha K Nair, a head clerk at the Chovannur block panchayat, who gifted her own gold bangle to Adikhesh, the son of C N Ragesh and Ramya. She had arrived there along with block panchayat officials as part of a cleaning drive undertaken by the local governing body. Ragesh and his family were initially accommodated at the relief camp opened at the Bodanandavilasam school and then at the Darul Iman Arabic College. It was only a few days ago that the family shifted to the current camp at the dining hall of the Vadanapally Bhagavathy temple. Payasam (dessert) was served at the relief camp to celebrate the naming ceremony of Adikhesh. Sat, 01 Sep 2018 01:42:34 GMT Cherpu LP school's warm gesture delights flood-hit kids Thrissur: Many kids of Cherpu CNN Girls Lower Primary School here, hailing from flood-ravaged areas, returned after holidays to inform teachers about a genuine concern. Their clothes, including uniforms, have been washed away in the deluge and hence they would not be able to attend classes. Their teachers, though, did not remain passive listeners to the concerns of their students. Instead, they roped in the parent teachers association of the school to find a way out so that the kids do not miss classes for no fault of them. Nearly 50 children of Class I to IV, who had lost their clothes to floods, were delighted as their caring teachers took them to a shop and bought them clothes of their choice. The school has also decided to prepare notes for students who had lost their note books. The worst floods in a century wreaked havoc in the state claiming hundreds of lives and forcing more than a million people to take refuge in shelter camps. Many schools in the state are still functioning as relief camps. Thu, 30 Aug 2018 07:13:53 GMT This 94-year-old is witness to two great floods in Kerala Thrissur: Ask her when she was born, and pat comes the reply, "During the '99 flood time." If you ask her about the memories of the flood, 94-year-old Chankarath Padmavathiyamma will go back from one flood time to another. And, showing her bare gums, she rattles out stories. She has heard about stories when her father and mother left their house with her, who was a baby then, and her siblings. There were days of poverty when there was nothing to eat and wear. "There were no camps like this then," she said. Padmavathiyamma is quite happy in the company of kids at the relief camp at Tharakan's School at Aranattukara in Thrissur district, telling stories to the fourth generation. Born in 1924 to Narayanan Nair and Mookambika at Thrippunithura in Ernakulam district, she came to Aranattukara when floods destroyed her home. She studied till fourth at the Sree Ramakrishna Math at Puranattukara. In 1945, when she was 21, she got married to Ravunni Nair and left for Deshamangalam in Thrissur. When her husband got a job at the Cochin Malleables at Kizhakkepuram in Aranattukara, she once again returned to her maternal home after two years. Of her two children, daughter Usha is no more. Padmavathiyamma now lives with Usha's daughter Reshma and husband. Her great grandchildren Swaraj and Suraj are among the kids listening to her stories. At times, asthma troubles her. Otherwise the nonagenarian has no health problems. Reading newspapers is her main hobby. Though her eyesight is not good enough, it doesn't trouble her reading. Ask her what caused the floods and she will tell you, "The wrath of god, what else." Sat, 25 Aug 2018 05:50:23 GMT CRPF cleans flood-hit school, houses at Mala Mala: We have seen many heroes who helped keep the flood-hit Kerala afloat. These CRPF men are heroes to the school-going kids in Mala, a small village in Thrissur, which was severely hit by the flood. A team from the Central Reserve Police Force helped the children get their schools and libraries back by cleaning the institutions in the Mala panchayat which, were buried in water and slush. As many as 300 CRPF personnel took up the cleaning operations and cleared the mud off several institutions and houses in the area, including Chakkamparambu DPM UP School. Armed with shovels, spades and bills, the CRPF team reached Mala by Friday morning. They were received by a team led by V R Sunil Kumar MLA and a meeting was held to explain the clean-up plan. The team members were given precautionary medicines and sent to work at Annallur, Ambazhakkad, Chakkamparamb, Mala, Neythakkudi and Kunnathukad wards. The schools and other buildings were swept clean by the team on the first day, much to the relief of the locals. The operations were led by IG Giriprasad, Commander N Pradip and Assistant Commander Alex George. About 150 more personnel will be deployed for the work and the operations will be intensified in the coming days, the officials said. Fri, 24 Aug 2018 11:52:40 GMT Many areas in Chalakudy remain under water Chalakudy: With heavy downpour in the catchments and huge inflow, water level in the Chalakudy river rose by over 16 feet in the last 24 hours, leaving the Muringoor bridge on the NH 544 inundated and isolating the Chalakudy town from the mainland. Apart from Chalakudy town, key routes and areas surrounding Meloor, Pariyaram and Kodassery have also been heavily flooded, leaving several hundreds of people stranded. The water rose up to the level of the Muringoor bridge and started running over the roadway. The bridge connecting Annamanada and Koratty has also been inundated. At four different points on the NH stretch between Thrissur and Ernakulam, water has gone up by four feet since Wednesday night. There are many areas that remain inaccessible to rescue and relief workers. The Chalakudy river started overflowing after the combined water discharge from the dams at Thunakadavu, Parambikulam, Upper Sholayar and Peringalkuthu. Around 7 km of low-lying stretch close to the banks of the river was heavily flooded following the sudden inflow of water from the Periyar into the Canoli canal and downstream areas. Flood waters marooned many houses and commercial establishments in the panchayats of Athirappilly, Pariyaram, Kodassery, Meloor, Kadukutty, Annamanada, and Kuzhoor. Severe water logging has made life miserable for hundreds of families in Mala, Mambra and Cheruvaloor. Read more from Thrissur Sat, 18 Aug 2018 07:46:02 GMT Rain, landslides kill 19 in Thrissur Thrissur: As many as 19 people died in rain-related incidents in Thrissur district alone on Thursday. Rescue personnel have recovered the bodies of 14. Rescue operations are on to find the missing seven. The 14 were buried in a landslip that hit their semi-hilly Kuranchery village, near Mulankunnathukavu, in Thrissur district on Thursday. Two of them managed to call for help from beneath the mounds of earth that buried them. It was not known if they were among the deceased. Two of the four houses are completely under earth. Ten earth removers have been deployed, even as only the roofs of two of the houses remain visible. Earlier, Erumappetty, 11 km northwest of Kuranchery, too experienced a landslip, burying three people. Rescue operations are on in that area as well. At Poomala, again near Mulankunnathukavu, a house collapsed, killing two people. At Kuttur, near the railway gate not far from Kottekkad, a person died when his fence wall collapsed. One casualty was reported following a landslide at Vettikuzhi in Athirappilly, east of Chalakudy. Leela, 62, of Pandanpara House died immediately. Two panchayats in the southern part of Thrissur remain cut off. Helicopters have been pressed into service to rescue people from Annamanada and Kuzhur villages of Mala belt. Further southwest, Kodungallur region alone reported 5,000 people shifting to refugee camps. High alert has been sounded among people on the banks of an overflowing Chalakudy river. Landslides have been reported from Thanippadam and Vadakkumpara near Mannuthy. Peechi canal breached its banks in some parts, leading to water-logging in the locality. The Peechi dam shutters did not operate automatically, following which they were lifted up from 31 inches to 42 inches after cutting the chains. Thrissur-Palakkad traffic hit Bus service has been suspended on the arterial Palakkad-Thrissur national highway. The rain and flood have made traffic impossible on this stretch as well as the Shoranur-Ottapalam roadways as well. From Thrissur to Shoranur northward, traffic remained slow along the water-logged stretch at suburban Viyyur. Service has been temporarily suspended at the Thrissur KSRTC bus-stand that remains inundated. NH highway along the Thrissur-Chalakudy stretch, too, was partly suspended. Orders have been issued to avoid transportation on this route. Road service to Thrissur has also been disrupted from cities like Palakkad and Kozhikode. Thu, 16 Aug 2018 13:57:22 GMT In rare gesture, dam shutters closed for jumbo to cross river | Video Athirappilly, Thrissur: As torrential downpour has been battering Kerala, reports of people helping those in need are pouring in from all quarters. Going a step ahead, the Peringalkuthu dam authorities closed the shutters to reduce water flow to help a wild tusker wade to safety. The elephant, stranded on an islet of rocks on the raging Chalakudy River downstream of the dam, was spotted by wildlife rangers in the wee hours of Monday. The spot was between Charpa and Ittani. The dam safety authorities were forced to lift the shutters of Peringalkuthu dam on Thursday, August 9, after water level rose to capacity following incessant rain in the catchment areas. This had created a flood like situation in the downstream areas. The sudden surge in the water level of Chalakudy River could have trapped the mighty jumbo on the rocks. The mighty task The dam safety officers closed all three shutters of the dam, after receiving an alert from forest officials. By 11 am on Monday, after waiting for four hours for the water to recede, the elephant crossed the river safely. Landslides and flash floods had claimed 39 lives and rendered over one lakh homeless, wiping out tribal colonies and alienating towns in hilly and low-lying areas alike. Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:09:43 GMT Athirappilly tourist spot closed as waterfall turns dangerous | Video Thrissur: With the incessant rain continuing to batter Kerala, rivers in Kerala are in spate once again and waterfalls are showcasing all their might. The Athirappilly waterfalls in Thrissur district was at its majestic best on Tuesday, but the sudden surge in the waterfall prompted authorities to ban travellers' entry to the tourist hotspot. The Athirappilly-Vazhachal tourist centre was shut down and vehicular traffic through Athirappilly and Malackappara were banned. Tourists are also not allowed to enjoy the Charppa waterfalls near Athirappilly from its base. The forest department has decided to keep the restrictions in place until the strength of the waterfalls comes down. A video of the Athirappilly waterfalls with muddy water making a mighty fall into the base has gone viral. Water level at Chalakudy River also rose, flooding nearby areas. As heavy rains lashed different parts of Kerala, the shutters of three dams were opened, officials said. The shutters of three dams in Thiruvananthapuram -- Neyyar, Aruvikkara and Peppara – were opened with the water level rising, a state disaster control room official said. The water level in the Idukki reservoir has reached 2,395.38 feet and there is heavy rain in the catchment areas. Last night, orange alert was issued and people living in the catchment areas and low-lying areas were asked to remain cautious. This orange level warnings is for weather conditions which have the capacity to impact significantly on people in the affected areas. Sea condition is likely to be very rough over south west, central and north Arabian sea. There is a possibility of surging waves during high tides in the low-lying areas of coasts, and fishermen have been warned not to venture into sea along and off the Kerala and Lakshadweep coasts. (With agency inputs) Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:07:48 GMT Prez offers prayers at Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple Guruvayur, Thrissur: President Ram Nath Kovind today offered prayers at the Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple along with his family members. The dignitary was received with Purna Kumbham, the temple sources said. Clad in a kasavu mundu, the traditional Kerala attire, Kovind spent about half-an-hour at the shrine. He gave ghee as offering to Lord Krishna, they said. Governor P Sathasivam also accompanied the president to the shrine. There was heavy security at the temple complex during the Kovind's visit. The Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple is one of the most significant Vaishnava temples in south India. Purna Kumbham literally means a full vessel and symbolically it is a sign of plenty. Read more Thrissur stories Wed, 08 Aug 2018 05:09:28 GMT Businessman finds solace by doling out groceries to needy Perumpilavu: If distributing food for free is a divine activity, then Puthiyakath Abbas is a messenger of god for no less than 25 poor and hapless families in his village for the past four years. Without fail every month, this youngster would provide rice and groceries on a monthly basis to families around Akkikavu in the northern region of Thrissur district. The streak of charity stems from the days of Abbas as the manager at a neighbourhood orphanage. During those days at the Mary Matha Destitute Home earlier this decade, he was assisted by a set of friends, making it an inspired activity of altruism. Down the course, his fellow volunteers withdrew for varied reasons, but a tenacious Abbas, as a trader, chose to continue with the work. Come a new month, and Abbas’s vehicle will begin its trips to a clutch of local houses that has members incapacitated in one way or the other: left alone by siblings or spouse, cancer-afflicted, handicapped.... Each of them has more than a story to talk in praise of Abbas about his activities that began in 2014. “They wait for my arrival,” says Abbas. “There is nothing more gratifying that providing solace to people who are unable to meet even the basic requirements of life. It is punyam.” Abbas is, himself, not going through a smooth phase in his business. But he notes to his happiness that help comes from friends and relatives whenever he faces financial crunch. “I concede that there is an occasional dip in the measure of items I gift for my people,” he shrugs. “But then it is my mission to continue this activity till my end.” The benefactor is simultaneously looking for monetary aid from good-hearted people. Sat, 28 Jul 2018 02:58:05 GMT Man, wife arrested in honey trap case Kodungallur: Two more accused in the bid to fleece an engineer after snaring him in a honey trap have been arrested. They have been identified as Naseema (30) of Vythiri, Meppadi, and her husband Akbar Shah (33) of Blangad, Chavakkad. They were held by the police while trying to escape to Karnataka. Six persons, including the couple, are now in the police net in connection with the case. Naseema had met Shah while working in Qatar. She had been employed in Bahrain also. Shameena, another accused, and Naseema had also met in Qatar. The Two women had honey trapped a youth, brought him to the flat and blackmailed him. Afterwards, the gang split into two and went to Thrissur and Wayanad to evade arrest. The incident took place at a flat here last Sunday. According to the complaint, the youth was lured to a flat where he was thrashed and his photos, along with the women, taken by a few members of the gang after intruding into the property. The gang had demanded Rs 3 lakh from him. The youth went out of the apartment in guise of transferring the money from his account and escaped. The police team which carried out the arrests comprised Irinjalakuda DySP Famous Thomas, Kodungallur Inspector P C Biju Kumar, SI S Vinod Kumar, squad members senior CPO Muhammed Ashraf, M K Gopi, T K Shibu, E S Jeevan, Kodungallur Additional SI A Mukundan, ASI P J Francis, Senior CPO T M Sanjayan, CPOs P G Gopan, C T Rajan, M V Unnikrishnan and women cops Sheeja and Kavitha. Read more: Latest in Districts Tue, 24 Jul 2018 03:56:58 GMT Pulikali teams in a spot as funds dry up Thrissur: The Kerala Tourism Department has defaulted on a payment of Rs 10.50 lakh to ‘pulikali’ teams performing at Swaraj Round in Thrissur every year. Nine teams which performed in 2015 are yet to receive the promised Rs 50,000 each, while six teams who took part in the event in 2017 are yet to get Rs 1 lakh each. Pulikkali, the recreational folk art, is often performed on the occasion of Onam. The only ‘remuneration’ for the pulikali teams is the Rs 1.25 lakh allotted by the Thrissur Municipal Corporation. Out of this civic aid, Rs 75,000 is paid during the preparation for the event and the rest during the prize-distribution ceremony. For long. the necessary funds are pooled in from the local people as well as sponsors. Major businessmen donated money in 2016, but the trend was not witnessed the next year. In 2017, only the teams from Naykanal, Vadakke Angadidesam, Kottapuram centre, Ayyanthol, Viyoor and Mylipadam took part. However, the teams point out that expenses for a single performance amounts to around Rs 10 lakh. Each team should comprise 35-51 ‘pulis’. The money needed for a player would be Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000. Those with special tummies get Rs 15,000. Accompanying drummers – around 30 in number – can be obtained only at Rs 1.15 lakh and above. Floats would cost Rs 1.50 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. The Tirupati temple model presented by Naykkanal team last time cost Rs 4 lakh. An additional Rs 75,000 would be needed for spot lights, vehicles, sound system and pickup vans. More expenses are in the form of trousers for players, decorations, paint and food. The Corporation provides 30 litres of kerosene; which is insufficient to remove the paint. A meeting was held at corporation office to discuss the arrangements for Pulikali. Representatives of seven teams took part in the meeting. Several complaints and suggestions were raised. The organising committee will be formed on July 19. The teams should register before August 10. Mayor Ajitha Jayarajan presided over the meeting. Tue, 24 Jul 2018 01:49:51 GMT Man falls in honey trap, thrashed for zero balance Thrissur: The police are seeking two women who set a honey trap for an engineer from Kannur with a plan to corner large sums of money. Three men linked to the racket are in custody, but the women and the husband of one of them are absconding. Interestingly, the gang could not extract much money from the engineer because his bank account was empty. The engineer met Naseema of Kodungallur four years back. He developed an intimacy with her female friends swiftly, but all of a sudden Naseema went out of focus. Recently he checked her WhatsApp profile and found another woman along with her. His fancy for the alluring new face led him to a trap. The engineer asked Naseema to arrange a meeting with her friend. “Come over to Kodungallur,” she said. “I will introduce her to you at my flat.” On a trip to Kochi, the young man landed at Kodungallur. Naseema and her friend Shemina were waiting on the roadside, from where he picked them up and drove to Naseema's flat after buying lunch on the way. As they were having lunch at Naseema's flat, some men entered, and assaulted the engineer, shouting against what they called immoral traffic. They demanded money, but when the engineer refused, they shot photos and videos on the mobile phone. Naseema and Shemina cried aloud and pleaded with the engineer to pay some cash and send the men away. They took Rs 35,000 which the engineer had in his wallet, and seized his ATM card. But once they checked at the ATM kiosk, they found the engineer was running a zero balance account. Disappointed, they came back to the flat and beat up the engineer again. The women were crying out all the while and the engineer put up a fight to defend them. He tried to call the police, but the man seized the phone, switched it off and assaulted him again. They threatened to take away his car unless he deposited Rs 3 lakh in his account for them to draw. The engineer agreed. The men threatened that the video and the photos would be posted on the social media if he spoke to anyone about it. Naseema and Shemina begged him to pay the money, saying that they risk being maligned. The engineer had enough. Emerging from the flat, he went straight to Kodungallur police station and explained everything. The police soon found that it was Naseema and Shemina who had organised the whole blackmail drama with the idea of extracting money. The “moral goons” were in fact their friends who joined the plot. Everyone vanished once the police entered the scene. Three men Shyam Babu, Anish and Sangeeth, who had acted as moral goons and were staying with Shemina in a flat at Aranattukara in Thrissur, were taken into custody. Naseema and her second husband Akbar Shah are absconding. The police say Shah is in Wayanad and will be seized soon. The gang had hoped to grab the engineer's car and money in lakhs, but never knew he was in zero balance. The police said they could dig up the plot because the engineer opened up. Sun, 22 Jul 2018 09:14:47 GMT Probe on as cars with identical numbers found at parking lot Thrissur: Two cars with the same registration number spotted at a parking lot of a hotel at Kokkala, near here, prompted the cops to commence a probe asap. The cars of different brands and make were found to be bearing the same registration number (KL 63 B 9900). The primary assumption is that one of the vehicles was having a fake number plate and documents. The Thrissur City (East) police impounded both the vehicles and took a person into custody in connection with the incident. The Honda City and the Hyundai i10 carrying the same number were spotted at the hotel’s parking area around 2.30 pm on Monday. Upon being alerted by local people, the police reached the spot and verified the registration certificates (RC) of both the cars with the Motor Vehicles Departments. The documents produced by the owner of the Honda City, which was registered with the Joint RTO office in Angamaly on August 18, 2014, were found to be genuine. The police, suspecting that the fake registration number was being used to indulge in illegal activities, have launched a thorough probe into the matter. It is suspected the car bearing the fake number was registered in Puducherry. Though the cops searched both the vehicles, nothing suspicious was found. Wed, 11 Jul 2018 02:13:07 GMT Thrissur cops recover lost bag of passenger asap Thrissur: The Kerala police has been receiving lot of flak of late, but its personnel can prove effective if they wish. This was proved at Irinjalakuda recently as the cops promptly recovered a lost bag of a bus passenger on receiving a complaint in this regard. M T Smitha, who was on the way for a certificate verification to join a teacher post, inadvertently left the bag containing all her original certificates in a crowded private bus. She could not remember even the name of the bus, but contacted the police immediately after she realised that the documents were missing. But the response of the police was reassuring. “Go and attend the verification at the school. The certificates will arrive there,” said the official. True to his word, Smitha’s original certificates reached the school within 20 minutes and she saved her job. Smitha, a native of Kodungallur, had secured a temporary job as teacher at Irinjalakuda government school. As the bus she had boarded was crowded, she gave the bag to a girl on a nearby seat. When the bus, which was bound for Thrissur, reached Irinjalakuda, Smitha got down, but soon realised that her bag was still in the bus. She immediately called up a relative who had a contact at Thrissur ACP office. The police promptly checked all the buses on the route and located the bag, which Smitha’s brother later brought to the school. Read more: Latest in Districts Wed, 04 Jul 2018 06:16:03 GMT Want to carry the World Cup on your head? Mark this man Meloor (Thrissur): Can’t get football out of your head? Head straight for Meloor in Thrissur. Biju has the task cut out. The hairstylist is the man to watch this World Cup season. He is sought out by die hard football fans who wants to carry the FIFA cup on their head! Biju who runs the ‘Hair Port’ barber shop at Meloor specialises in trimming hair to the shape of the famed cup. He can even recreate your favourite player’s hair style on your head. Messi, Neymar, name it and Biju knows where to trim. Biju said that most of the customers want to look like Neymar. The cup is the next big favourite. Biju said that the skill was hard earned. He drew the shapes on paper several times before he perfected the art. He takes up to two hours to trim a cup on a head. He said that the hairstylist and the customer had to be patient to get the best result. He charges Rs 500 for the cup. Biju opened his barber shop at Meloor five year ago after he returned from abroad. Wed, 04 Jul 2018 01:48:04 GMT Student turns Good Samaritan as onlookers refuse to help accident victim Kunnamkulam: A 13-year-old boy turned Good Samaritan and offered help to take an injured person to hospital, while many others remained mute spectators to an accident that occurred near the Sakthan Thampuran bus stand here the other day. Kannan, an eighth standard student of Holy Cross CBSE Senior Secondary School, Arthat, acted swiftly and rushed the victim, Kaniyambal Chemmannur Roy, in an autorickshaw to the taluk hospital with the help of the driver and another kind-hearted soul. While the man lay writhing in pain, passers-by were busy recording the scene on their mobile phones. According to the police, Roy lost balance and fell on the road from his scooter while giving way to a bus which was entering the main road from the terminal. He sustained head and leg injuries and was bleeding profusely, but none of the onlookers bothered to hire a vehicle or take him to hospital till Kannan intervened. The incident took place around 8.30 am and Kannan, son of Sreedharan-Preetha couple of Pookkottil, Akathiyoor, was on his way to school. He picked up the scooter which was lying on the road all alone and tried to stop a passing autorickshw, but the driver sped sway. He finally got support from a woman, incidentally a nurse working with a private hospital in the city. The two stopped an autorickshaw and with the help of the driver, they rushed the victim to the intensive care unit at the taluk hospital. The nurse, Shilpa, a native of Chowannur, also accompanied them. One of Roy’s acquaintances alerted his family and Kannan left the hospital only after they reached the hospital. He was discharged in the afternoon after being administered first aid. Kannan informed his teacher about the incident when the latter asked him about the reason for being late to school. A special assembly was called to appreciate his exemplary act. A meeting of the PTA committee was also convened to congratulate him. After the classes, Kannan went to meet Roy at his house. He is an active member of the Malayala Manorama Nalla Paadam project. Fri, 29 Jun 2018 01:45:08 GMT A police station which turns paediatric clinic on Sundays Thrissur: The Town East police station, one of the child-friendly stations in the state, has started running a unique paediatric clinic on Sundays, offering free consultation and medicines. The clinic, set up in association with the District Medical Office, will function between 9 am and 11 am every Sunday. The station compound walls have been decorated with colourful posters, and the room, which doubles up as the clinic, has special furniture and toys to provide children with a congenial atmosphere, officials said. A team of doctors, led by Dr Jayadevan of the District General Hospital, will attend to cases and conduct medical tests free of cost. The Town East police station was declared child-friendly a couple of months ago as part of the community policing initiative. Wed, 27 Jun 2018 01:52:54 GMT Thrissur's Prakshan does a 'surgical' strike at many hospitals Kodakara: The operation theatres at most of the leading hospitals in South India and Mumbai have a connection to the small village called Nooluvalli in Kodakara. The surgical equipment used at these hospitals are made at the mini surgical equipment factory run by one Prakasan near Kodakara. Doctors from Bengaluru travel all the way to Kodakara in search of Prakasan’s surgical equipment. All the major hospitals in Thrissur too are his customers. A German made high-end surgical equipment which would cost at least Rs 70,000 would be made for just Rs 7,000 at Prakasan’s factory without making any compromise on the quality of the product. Prakasan, 58, who has been in the surgical equipment industry for the past two decades, began his career in Mumbai at the age of 16 when he got a job at the surgical equipment industry. Years later, he began his own enterprise at Nooluvalli. Prakasan began by making the instruments used for intricate heart surgeries. Now he makes many kinds of surgical equipment staring from Rs 1000 to 5 lakhs, at his own mini surgical equipment factory. Surgical instruments used for key-hole and laparoscopic surgeries, cardio vascular and open surgeries are made by Prakasan. Besides, machines to crush urinary and kidney stones, and equipments used for uterus removal surgeries too are made at the factory in Kodakara. A chain of about 200 doctors are Prakasan’s loyal customers, who vouch for the quality of the surgical instruments that are made at the latter’s factory. Read more Kerala news Sun, 24 Jun 2018 01:56:21 GMT Thrissur village celebrates Messi’s baptism in style Thrissur: Argentina is religion for Vinu. He has been following the faith for the last 27 years. In the tradition of the deeply devout, Vinu recently named his son after the presiding deity of his faith: Messi. And by some strange quirk of fate, which Vinu attributes to the handiwork of his 'gods', his little Messi resembles the childhood pictures of football legend Lionel Messi. The baptism of the child also had an Argentine flavour. Everything related to the ceremony, from the cake to the decorations, had the colour of the Argentina jersey. The ceremony was all immersed in blue and white colours. The invitation card also sported the same hues. The cake cut at the ceremony had the shape of a football in blue and white. The awning, decorations and even the table cloth reflected the same colours. Also, the covers for chairs, decorative flowers, balloons and the food counter were all similar to the Argentina flag. Little Messi is the second child of Vinu and Anu of Thuluvathu house, at Kodali near Mattathur. Vinu has been a totally dedicated fan of the Argentina football team since 1990. When his son was born, he had no doubts about what he should be called. Messi J Thuluvathu is his full name. Vinu also ensures that his Messi always wears the Argentine jersey. While the young Messi of Mattathur was born in a family of football fans, the original Lionel Messi hailed from a family of players. The real Messi’s father and mother had no family tradition of football, but were admirers of the game. George was a steel worker in a factory and Celia, a part-time cleaning worker. However, two of Lionel Messi’s elder brothers – Rodrigo and Mathias – took up the game in earnest and became professional footballers. Little Messi learnt the first steps of the game from his elder brothers. His half-brothers Maximilano and Immanuel Bianochi also joined the little lad in the games. Their father was the first coach. He noticed that little Messi matched his elder brothers, who were much older to him, in football skills. They realized that he was a prodigy and took him at the young age of four to the local club, Grandoli. During his trips to the club, Messi was always accompanied by his grandmother. Messi later became desolate when his grandmother passed away when he was barely 11 years old. However, Messi remembers his grandma even after becoming one of the biggest stars of the game. After each goal he scores, Messi raises his hands and gazes at the heavens as a sign of thanksgiving to his caring grandmother. Read latest Thrissur news Wed, 20 Jun 2018 06:51:29 GMT Celebrating a wedding with world cup theme Thrissur: A wedding held here had all the elements of a world cup football match between Argentina and Brazil. The venue was decorated with the colours of the Argentine flag. Topping it all, the groom, an Argentine fan, was presented with a ‘world cup’ by his ‘Brazilian friends.’ The unique wedding took place between Jobin of Vidhayathil house, Elthuruthu and Irene of Thycadan house, Villadam. The newly weds were greeted with balloons having the colour of the Argentine flag. The wedding cake also had the same colour. After it was cut, the feast began. The food was served by guys in Argentine jersey and caps. Meanwhile, the men in yellow reached the stage and presented the couple with a gift. It was modelled on the gold cup presented to winners of the football world cup. The Brazilians left only after both the bride and the groom lifted the cup. Mon, 18 Jun 2018 13:52:41 GMT