India: Secularism cannot be protected unless there is strict separation of religion from politics, govt: Yechury

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 17 (PTI) Unless there is a strict separation of religion from politics and government, secularism cannot be protected, defended or put into operation in a proper sense,CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Saturday.

Yechury said forces like the RSS want to "take India into the darkness of the past" by changing the country's history, culture, education policy "to give a monolithic Hindu identity to India" instead of its syncretic cultural identity.

India: Kerala HC stays CBI probe against Life Mission CEO

Kochi, Oct 13 (PTI) In a relief to the LDF government, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday stayed for two months the CBI probe against the CEO of LIFE Mission, a state housing project, over alleged FCRA violations in respect of funds received from a foreign sponsor for construction of dwelling units in Thrissur district.

Justice V G Arun granted the interim stay on a plea by Life Mission CEO U V Jose challenging the registration of the FIR by the central agency against unknown officials of Life Mission.

India: Kerala govt sets up welfare board for farmers

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 8 (PTI): In a first in the country, the Kerala government has decided to form a Welfare Fund Board for the uplift of farmers in the state.

The state cabineton Wednesday decided to set up the board to be known as 'Kerala Karshaka Kshemanidhi Board'.

The cabinet also decided that Dr P Rajendran would be appointed as the chairman of the Kerala Farmers Welfare Fund Board.

"This is the first time in the country that such a board has been set up for the welfare and uplift of farmers," an official press release said.

India: CPI(M) leader stabbed to death in Kerala

Thrissur (Ker), Oct 5 (PTI) A 26-year old local CPI(M) leader was stabbed to death and three others were injured on Sunday night allegedly by a group belonging to right wing outfits including the RSS.

P U Sanoop, a branch secretary of ruling CPI(M), was attacked at around 10.30 pm on Sunday after aminor scuffle, police said.

"Three others, who were with Sanoop were also stabbed and the condition of one person is serious," police officials told P T I.

A case has been registered under various provisions of the India Penal Code including Section 302.

India: 2 Navy personnel dead as glider crashes in Kochi

Kochi, Oct 4 (PTI) Two Navy personnel died as a glider on routine flight crashed here on Sunday morning, a Defence spokesperson said.

He said the naval power glider was on a routine training sortie and took off from INS Garuda. It crashed near Thoppumpady bridge close to the naval base at around 7 am.

Lt Rajeev Jha and Petty officer Sunil Kumar, who were in the glider, were rescued from the crash site and shifted to INHS Sanjivani.

However, they were declared brought dead, the spokesperson said.

India: Kerala CM slams Cong, IUML for dragging Quran into row

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 19 (PTI): Under attack over the gold smuggling case, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday slammed theCongress-led UDF for dragging the Holy Quran into a controversy and alleged the Opposition was towing the BJP-RSS line on the issue and they need to introspect.

It was the RSS and the BJP which had first made the allegation that gold had been smuggled in the guise of importing Quran from the UAE.

This was later picked up by the UDF's Congress and Muslim League leaders, Vijayan told reporters here.

India: Kerala Minister Jaleel appears before NIA team

Kochi, Sep 17 (PTI) Kerala Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel on Thursday appeared before the NIA teamprobing the sensational Kerala gold smuggling case.

Visuals aired by TV news channels showed the Minister, who is facing the Enforcement Directorate probe into allegedFCRA violation in accepting consignments of Holy Quran brought from UAE through diplomatic channel, arriving at the NIA office here at 6 am in a private car.

There was no official word either from the NIA or from the Minister's office about the development.

India: Jaleel has committed no wrong, says Kerala CM

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 15 (PTI) Continuing to defend his cabinet colleague, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said Minister K T Jaleel, who had appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged FCRA violation case, had committed no wrong and the Congress, the Muslim League and BJP were targeting him due to his "political stand."

Death toll in Air India Express flight crash rises to 20

Kozhikode, Aug 22 (PTI): A 53-year-old man, injured in the Air India Express plane crash here on August 7, died at a hospital on Saturday, taking the toll in the mishap to 20.

V Ibrahim from Wayanad district died here this noon, a senior district official said.

Eighteen people, including the pilot and co-pilot, were killed and several others injured when the flight from Dubai with 190 people onboard overshot the tabletop runway at the Karipur airport and fell into a valley. It had broken into pieces in the impact.

India: Landslide toll climbs to 63 as woman's body recovered

Idukki (Kerala), Aug 19 (PTI): The death toll in the Pettimudilandslide climbed to 63 on Thursday with the recovery of an unidentified woman's body while search is on for seven missing people.

The remains were found near a river bank at Puthukuzhi, about 14 km, from the landslip site, an official press release said.

Two ground-penetrating radars (GPR) from Chennai was also being used for the search operations.

A massive mound of earth and slush triggered by heavy rains had flattened a row of 20 one-room houses on August 7.

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