Dengue outbreak kills 21 in Kerala

In the past three weeks, a dengue outbreak has killed at least 21 people in Kerala. According to a government official, there has been a shortage of medicines and health workers to tackle the crisis in the state.

Reuters reported that more than 11,000 people have been infected with this mosquito-borne dengue virus that causes flu-like symptoms and can develop into a deadly hemorrhagic dengue fever. This has forced the state to buy new hospital beds and cancel medical staff leave.

Expressing concern over the issue, Kerala’s director of health services, R.L. Sarita said, “We are staring at a massive health crisis. There’s a shortage of medicines and health professionals to tackle the situation.”

Sarita also revealed that more than 40,000 people are suffering from high fever in the tourist hotspot and that the government is planning to set up emergency medical camps in school and temples.

The experts believe that the stagnant water left behind after torrential rains is contributing to the spread of dengue in the state. However, the authorities have claimed that they are trying to prevent breeding of mosquitoes by insecticide fogging.

Sources: NDTV, Reuters

CPM attacks RSS men, leave them seriously injured

Amid the violence going on in Kerala between the CPM and RSS, a group of CPM activists allegedly attacked three activists of the RSS in Kerala’s Kozhikode. They have been admitted to the Government Medical College and doctors there say one of them has been gravely injured.

The three injured men identified as Sudheesh, Bineesh and Rahul are all in their early twenties. Police revealed that while the RSS activists were on their way home, they were ambushed by CPM workers. The police told NDTV that local political rivalry triggered the assault.

On Thursday, two BJP workers were left wounded after a country-made bomb was hurled at the RSS office in Kozhikode’s Nadapuram. Almost within an hour, the CPM office was set ablaze. As incidents of clashes involving CPM and BJP are on the rise in Kerala, it can be linked to RSSS leader Kundan Chandravat’s preposterous announcement of offering a bounty of Rs 1 crore bounty for beheading Kerala Chief Minister Pinari Vijayan.

While BJP has blamed poor law-and-order in the state, the CPM has said such incidents of violence are the brainchild of the RSS.

News Source: NDTV, DNA

Image Source: PTI

RSS expels Kundan Chandravat for announcing 1 crore bounty on Kerala CM

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member Kundan Chandravat has been expelled from the right-wing organisation, following his provocative statement at a protest in Ujjain. On Thursday, Chandravat created an uproar after he announced a 1 crore bounty on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “If anyone gets me the head of Vijayan, I will give him my property, which is worth around 1 crore,” said Chandravat.

Chandravat called up the meeting to protest the alleged killing of RSS and BJP workers in Kerala at the hands of CPM people. However, after facing the criticism, he withdrew the statement and expressed his regret on the whole issue.

RSS has expressed its disagreement with Chandravat, and has stated that it does not support any violent practice. It also urged the people to not consider the statement of one member as the view of the Sangh.

However, Pinarayi Vijayan has not paid much heed to this threat. He said “RSS has beheaded many earlier, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t walk free. I don’t take such comments to face value.”

Chandrawat’s comment came a day after RSS, BJP and many other right wing organisations exhibited their displeasure against the CPI(M) led LDF government in Kerala, holding it accountable for the killing of several party members.

Sources: NDTV, Firtspost

RSS expels Kundan Chandravat for announcing 1 crore bounty on Kerala CM

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member Kundan Chandravat has been expelled from the right-wing organisation, following his provocative statement at a protest in Ujjain. On Thursday, Chandravat created an uproar after he announced a 1 crore bounty on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.”If anyone gets me the head of Vijayan, I will give him my property, which is worth around 1 crore,” said Chandravat.

Chandravat called up the meeting to protest the alleged killing of RSS and BJP workers in Kerala at the hands of CPM people. However, after facing the criticism, he withdrew the statement and expressed his regret on the whole issue.

RSS has expressed its disagreement with Chandravat, and has stated that it does not support any violent practice. It also urged the people to not consider the statement of one member as the view of the Sangh.

However, Pinarayi Vijayan has not paid much heed to this threat. He said “RSS has beheaded many earlier, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t walk free. I don’t take such comments to face value.”

Chandrawat’s comment came a day after RSS, BJP and many other right wing organisations exhibited their displeasure against the CPI(M) led LDF government in Kerala, holding it accountable for the killing of several party members.

News Source: NDTV, Firstpost 

Image Source: PTI

Free internet for poor people in new Kerala Budget

On Friday, March 3, Kerala government presented the 68th state Budget in the Assembly. This was Pinarayi Vijayan government’s first full budget. The Budget focused on the social welfare measures such as reservations for the differently-abled, increase the statewide internet connectivity and the creation of jobs in health sectors and education.

Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas said, the internet will be the right of the people, and the two million “poor families” will be getting free access to the sites. The government also announced to give 20 lakh free internet connections.

He also added, “Internet will now become a right for the people and within 18 months the internet gateway would be set up through the K phone network at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore,”.

Nonetheless, the assembly was in chaos, as there was a high – level drama because the opposition members boycotted the Budget session over the alleged disclose of the major portions of the document on social media. It was reported that some members had entered the wall of the Assembly when Thomas was in the mid of his speech.

News Source: New Indian Express, Business Standard

Image Source: News18.com

Woman injured in Nadapuram during black magic ritual

A 37-year-old Keralite from Purameri was apprehended by the Nadapuram police on Monday for performing black magic on a woman. The accused, A. Najima was detained and remanded to judicial custody on 20th February, after the victim, Shemina (27) was severely burnt when a black magic ritual went awry.

The victim approached Najima, who was staying in Purameri, to enlist her services, seeking remedy for some personal problems, according to the Nadapuram police. Shemina allegedly told the local police that a fire broke out in the flat due to the Najima’s failed attempts to stoke a fire. Najima poured petrol directly into the “Homa Kundam,” a ceremonial fire which was prepared as part of the ritual. Shemina, a citizen of Vellayil, was admitted to a private hospital in Nadapuram.

The victim suffered 60 per cent burns in the incident, and will require extensive treatment. The arrested individual was charged under sections 324 (voluntarily inflicting harm by dangerous weapons) and 308 (attempt to carry out culpable homicide). The accused was later sentenced to a 14-day stint in judicial custody.

 

SOURCES-

1.DNA INDIA-http://www.dnaindia.com: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-woman-held-for-practising-black-magic-injuring-one-in-kerala-2329775

2. THE HINDU-http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/black-magic-practitioner-arrested-from-nadapuram/article17337953.ece

3. Image Source: ipleader.in

Stray dog menace: Magic collars to the rescue

In the wake of rapidly increasing stray dog nuisance in Kerala, the state government hastily announced to cull ‘violent dogs’, setting off a huge uproar among animal lovers galore, earlier in August.

Pressures have been mounting upon the government, whilst instances of the menace intensified in the state. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court while accepting compassion towards the animal also declared firmly that these strays shouldn’t be an annoyance to the public.

With the stray dog population steeply snowballing, dog bites aren’t the only concern to be looked closely at. These canines are also the cause of numerous hit and runs, an on-going nightmare to motorists. Tackling this problem with a novel initiative is Chennai based animal welfare NGO, People for Cattle in India (PFCI), which has introduced glowing, reflective collars for strays, in an aim to prevent road mishaps.

“Low-visibility on roads is one of the pivotal reasons for the motorists to get into accidents. Wandering stray dogs aren’t doing these drivers any help,” explains Arun Prasanna, founder of the project.

PFCI which started out as an animal rescue service, used to get abundant calls regarding animal accidents in the city. Disturbed by the alarming number, the organisation first approached local truck drivers and motorists, which triggered Arun to ideate magic collars.

Made of reflective cloth with orange nylon, the collars are claimed to be visible at a distance of 1000 feet in the dark, giving the motorist enough time to swerve without any setbacks. Menially priced at Rs 65 a piece, these magic collars are not just restricted to canines. The NGO is looking at fitting these glowing Velcro collars to cattle too.

Inspired by a similar initiative in Pune (motopaws), PFCI has now covered over 2,000 dogs in the city and 4,000 in other parts of the country. They are further looking at a target of 10,000 dogs just for Chennai, by the end of the year.

“Stray dogs play a very important role in the society. To call them a menace is anything but appropriate,” he retorts to the SC announcement. “Culling programs are often futile and new dogs will replace the space in no time,” he continues.

“When the Government can tackle various problems like garbage, rodents, burglars and many others, why can’t they find an amicable solution to handle stray dogs,” he declares.