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COCHIN: In view of the alerts issued by global health authorities following the confirmation of 9 deaths due to a Coronavirus outbreak, the Kerala government has issued a state-wide alert.

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KATHMANDU: In a tragic incident, eight tourists from Kerala, including four children, died on Tuesday after they fell unconscious due to a possible gas leak in their room at a resort in Nepal, according to a media report.

The Himalayan Times quoted Superintendent of Police, Makawanpur District Police Office, Sushil Singh Rathaur as confirming that the Indian nationals were pronounced dead on arrival at HAMS Hospital in Kathmandu.

The deceased were identified as Prabin Kuma (39), Saranya (34), Ranjith Kumar T. B. (39), Indu Ranjith (34), Sree Bhadra (9), Abhinav Surya (9), Abhi Nair (7) and Vaishnav Ranjith (2), according to a report in Mathrubhumi.

They were part of a group of 15 people travelling from Kerala to Pokhara, a popular mountainous tourist destination, the Himalayan Times reported.

They were on their way back home and stayed at Everest Panorama Resort in Daman in Makawanpur district on Monday night.

According to the resort manager, the guests who arrived at around 9:30 p.m. on Monday from Pokhara were staying in a room and turned on a gas heater to keep warm. Although the group had booked a total of four rooms, eight of them stayed in a single room while the remaining in the other rooms, the manager said. He said all windows and the room door were bolted.

Police suspect that they might have passed out due to lack of ventilation, the report saiddue.

Union Minister for State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said that the bodies of deceased bodies have now been brought to Kathmandu and will be taken to Thiruvananthapuram.

The eight Indian nationals, two couples and four children, were part of a group of 15 people who had travelled to Pokhara from Kerala, and were returning home. Police said on the way back they had stopped at Everest Panorama Resort in Daman.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the government was making arrangements to bring the body. The officials of the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department are in touch with the Indian embassy officials in Kadmandu.

He said that the government was hopeful to bring the bodies after the post-mortem on Wednesday (with inputs from IANS)

Image credit: Gulf News  

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TRIVANDRUM: A lot of dust is being brushed off the Constitution and rule books these days. And that is in addition to the heat and dust raised over the Citizenship Amendment Act and its ramifications.

While analysts across India have been poring over constitutional clauses regarding the act, socio-political pundits in Kerala are busy studying the governor vs chief minister shadow war, which has sent subtle ripples through the federal structure of India.

On the one hand, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is making tall claims of not implementing the CAA, and also blocking the National Population Register processing and the probable setting up of a National Register of Citizens. On the other, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has been steadfast in cutting Vijayan & Co. down to size using his gubernatorial powers.

Khan has been so vehemently defending the CAA and countering Vijayan’s claims that many commentators opined that the governor has overshadowed most BJP leaders in the state. Some even quipped that he was acting like the de facto state BJP chief. One imp went on to edit Khan’s wiki profile, describing him as the “acting president” of the BJP’s state unit!

Some political observers say it is unbecoming of a governor to engage in realpolitik, but Khan and his supporters argue that he has been acting well within his constitutional authority. The governor, who has been engaging the media quite often these days, told reporters that he had no intention to be a “mute spectator”.

Clearly, the ‘gov vs guv’ tussle has, if nothing, spiced up the political discourse in the state.

Even as he acknowledged that "dissent is the essence of democracy", Khan slammed the state government’s moves such as passing a resolution against the CAA and challenging it in the Supreme Court, without keeping him in the loop. He has sought an explanation from the government on the need to approach the apex court.

“I have no problem with the government, opposition, or anybody holding a different view on CAA, NPR or NRC. Everyone is free...,” he told the media. But, he added, there are rules and procedures to be followed, and they should not be violated.

"My role is to see that the state works according to the rules; I'm not claiming supremacy," said Khan. "As far as I am concerned, the rules of duties are clear; it's already established how the chief minister is supposed to approach me. The CM is duty-bound to approach me before he passes any such orders."

Trashing allegations that he was speaking at the behest of the Central government, Khan said: "I am my own spokesperson."

As questions were raised over his locus standi in the issue, Khan pointed out that the state government was using public funds for petitioning against the CAA in Supreme Court, and, hence, it was indeed the governor’s duty to look into it. Earlier, the governor had criticised the government for spending public money on anti-CAA ads in mainstream newspapers in north India.

Amid this CAA din erupted another hot potato in the form of an ordinance. The state government recently promulgated an emergency legislation to amend the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act 1994, to increase the number of wards under civic bodies. Khan refused to give his assent. This came two days after Kerala opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala requested Khan to reject the ordinance.

“I make it clear the Constitution doesn't expect me to be a rubber stamp,” said Khan. “I have to apply my mind. I will need time to go through what the ordinance is all about. With the House session to be convened soon, what was the need? I have raised some questions. After getting answers, I will apply my mind. I never said I will not sign.”

The governor also reiterated that there was “nothing personal” about his stance towards the Vijayan government. But, he did take a veiled dig at Vijayan as he stressed that “no one is above the law”.

Vijayan, meanwhile, was at his unrelenting best. “Those who are speaking now, should spend time reading that book (Constitution); everything is written in it,” he said, without naming Khan, at a rally in Malappuram district. “This is a country where democracy prevails and not the yesteryear's 'resident' who reigned supreme over local kingdoms. No resident is above the Assembly.”

The situation seems to be throwing up an irresistible force paradox—an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. It is safe to assume that the answer to who is right ultimately lies somewhere deep in that dusty, old book.

Image Credit: The Lede

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KOCHI: Kerala’s IT hub of Kochi, employing over 40,000 employees, is gripped by an acute water crisis.

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TRIVANDRUM: The standoff between Kerala’s Left Democratic Front government and Governor Arif Mohammed Khan over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act has taken a turn for the worse with the latter deciding to seek a report from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for bypassing him in filing a suit in the Supreme Court challenging the law.

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 KOCHI: The endorsement of allegations regarding ‘Love Jihad’ targeting Christian girls in Kerala by the Syro-Malabar Church, the largest of the three Catholic rites, has kicked up a debate in the political circles in the state.

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 MALAPPURAM: The Kerala Police have registered a case against Shobha Karandlaje, a BJP MP from Karnataka for her tweet with potential to cause enmity between different groups of people on the grounds of religion, race etc.

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BANGALORE: One person who allegedly planted the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) at Mangalore airport on Monday has surrendered before the police on Wednesday.

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BANGALORE: The Burhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has suspended Mahadevapura assistant executive engineer Narayana Swamy in connection with the demolition of about 300 huts in three settlements of Bellandur on the pretext that they were illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

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BANGALORE: Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) rendered hundreds of immigrants in the eastern periphery of Bangalore city homeless by razing down their sheds without any prior notice.

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MANGALORE: Large number of people from Kerala’s northern district of Kasargod are queuing up before the Mangalore city police for the last couple of days.

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Bengaluru: Water supply will be affected in almost half of the city on January 23 due to repair works being undertaken at Cauvery I, II and III stage pumping stations.

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CHENNAI: Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a case filed against Tamil superstar Rajnikanth over his remark on Thandai Periyar (EV Ramaswamy), reports ANI.

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CHENNAI: Tamil superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday, January 21, refused to apologise for his comment on social reformer EV Ramasamy "Periyar", which has triggered protests across Tamil Nadu.

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CHENNA: The simmering feud between the Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam (DMK) and Congress in Tamil Nadu has taken a turn for the worse with DMK treasurer Durai Murugan saying that his party won’t care about the alliance.

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UDUPI: The Tamil Nadu Police have arrested the two main suspects in the murder of a special sub-inspector of police at Kalliyakkavilai on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border earlier this month.

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CHENNAI: The move by a pharmaceutical company to seek income tax exemption for bribe they have paid to doctors in the form of commission for promoting its products has bounced back with the Madras High Court taking suo motu cognisance of the unethical practices in the medical industry.

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CHENNAI: Accusing Chennai police commissioner A K Viswanathan of compromising her privacy, Gayatri Khandhadai, a human rights lawyer who organized a kolam protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Chennai, has urged the officer to ensure her safety and security.

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VISAKHAPATANAM: The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh Police on Thursday registered cases against two former Telugu Desam Party (TDP) ministers and over 797 others, for allegedly indulging in illegal land transactions in five Mandals of Amaravati capital region during 2014 and 2015, reports ANI.

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AMARAVATI: The Andhra Pradesh police have registered a case against three cameramen belonging to different channels for allegedly filming a video of a woman constable while she was changing her clothes inside the room in a school in the capital region.

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AMARAVATI: A bandh called by Amaravati Parirakshana Joint Action Committee (JAC) in the capital region in protest against the police action on people protesting against trifurcation of the state capital has affected normal life.

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AMARAVATI: A three-day special session of Andhra Pradesh assembly began on Monday morning that may pave the way for three-way division of the state capital.

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VIJAYAWADA:  In a major political development, the fledgling Jana Sena Party (JSP) led by actor-turned politician Pawan Kalayan has forged an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, said a News Minute report.

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NEW DELHI: With the two days left for the release of schedule for the upcoming local body polls in Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the proceedings on petitions challenging the legal validity of increasing the reservations beyond the stipulated 50 per cent, said a report in hansindia.com.

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HYDERABAD: The high percentage of polling witnessed in the elections to 120 municipalities and nine municipal corporations across Telangana on Wednesday has left the political parties guessing about its impact on their fortunes.

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HYDERABAD: The zero FIR system introduced by the Telangana government following the rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in November last year has failed to gain traction in the state.

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VIJAYAWADA: The protest against the YSR Congress government’s proposal to shift the political capital from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam has spiralled with one Mohammed Jani attempting suicide on Saturday.

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HYDERABAD: Amid rising US-Iran tensions, security was on Wednesday tightened outside the US Consulate in Hyderabad by the city police.

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HYDERABAD-The Telangana capital of Hyderabad has topped in banking frauds in south India, according to CBI data.

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HYDERABAD: A woman will be back at the helm of Greater Hyderabad, the biggest urban local body in Telangana, after a decade.

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