peoples march

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Archive for the ‘KERALA’ Category

Former IGP convicted in Verghese case

Posted by ajadhind on October 28, 2010

Central Bureau of Investigation special judge S. Vijayakumar on Wednesday convicted the former Inspector-General of Police, K. Lakshmana, in the Verghese fake encounter case. Naxalite leader A. Verghese was killed 40 years ago in Wayanad.

The judge, however, acquitted P. Vijayan, former Director-General of Police and third accused, in the absence of sufficient evidence against him.

The judge found Mr. Lakshmana, the second accused, guilty of the offence punishable under Section 302 (murder) read with Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

The sentence will be pronounced on Thursday.

Mr. Lakshmana and Mr. Vijayan were present in the court when the verdict was delivered. Mr. Lakshmana was later remanded to a sub-jail in Kochi.

The CBI took over the investigation on a directive from the High Court in 1999.

The directive came on a writ petition alleging that the Naxalite leader was killed in a fake encounter in 1970 in the Thirunelli forest in Wayanad.

The police version that Verghese died in an encounter was blown apart by the former police constable, P. Ramachandran Nair, who came out with an astonishing revelation in 1998 — some 28 years after the incident — that he had shot Verghese dead on the orders of the then Superintendent of Police, Mr. Vijayan, and the then Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr. Lakshmana.

Ramachandran Nair died in November 2006.

As many as 31 witnesses, including Verghese’s brother, were examined before the court after the trial began in April.

The special judge mainly relied on the evidence of A.K. Mohammed Haneef, a former policeman who was present in the forest along with Ramachandran Nair; Prabhakara Warrier, a classmate of Verghese, and agricultural labourer Jogi, for convicting the second accused.

The court observed; “It is proved beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that Verghese, who was caught alive, was brutally killed by A1 [Ramachandran Nair], who was a stooge at the hands of A2 [Mr. Lakshmana], who on his order/command brought about his plan. It is thus satisfied that the theory of Verghese’s death in police encounter is an advance defence moulded as a pretext to commit the crime.”

The court said the deposition of Mr. Haneef was sufficient to prove that it was Ramachandran Nair who fired the shot on Mr. Lakshmana’s orders. Mr. Haneef’s statement established the presence of Mr. Lakshmana on the spot.

“The offence of murder had been committed as good as by the second accused.”

The judge also said that the chances of the Naxalite leader, who was alone in the forest, engaging in an encounter with a team of armed policemen “were remote.”

Acquitting Mr. Vijayan, the judge said that the evidence “was not sufficient to prove the involvement of the third accused in the crime beyond reasonable doubt.”



Posted in Comrades, KERALA | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Itching Towards Death

Posted by ajadhind on January 25, 2010

Endosulfan may be banned in more than 60 countries, but India is the world’s largest producer of the deadly pesticide, says BHAVDEEP KANG
Invisible killer Birth defects, skin diseases and motor ailments are linked to the use of endosulfan

THE KARNATAKA government acknowledged the link between the spraying of endosulfan in South Canara district and the incidence of congenital birth defects, skin diseases and motor ailments, saying victims would be given financial aid. The government was spurred into action when MLA and former minister Shobha Karandlaje presented disturbing statistics and pictures of deformed children in the Assembly.

Karandlaje’s report came in the wake of a declaration by Minister of Agriculture Sharad Pawar last month that the pesticide — a potent neurotoxin which can disrupt the human endocrine system — will not be banned in India. He was responding to a global campaign against endosulfan and increasing pressure from the EU to stop its use on cotton crops.

A couple of months ago in the UK, a “pants down” protest was staged by celebrities against endosulfan use on cotton crops after pesticide residues were allegedly detected in underwear. It was claimed that the underwear was itchy as pesticide residues lingered even after the raw cotton had been turned to cloth.

South Canara adjoins Kerala’s Kasargod, where aerial spraying of endosulfan on cashew plantations in the 1990s severely affected locals. Pictures of physically and mentally handicapped children shocked the world, compelling the Kerala government to ban endosulfan in 2001.

The pesticide is also used on cotton in Punjab’s Malwa region, known as the state’s “cancer belt”. Endosulfan was detected in measurable quantities in the blood of farmers from this region.

Karandlaje says its effects continue to be felt in the South Canara region many years after spraying was stopped. She has demanded that Karnataka, too, ban the pesticide. “In one village alone, I found 137 cases of severely affected children. Endosulfan persists in the environment for many years”.

The link between the health of farmers and the use of pesticides is well established worldwide. A study by Chandigarh’s Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research linked the incidence of cancer in the Malwa region to pesticide use. Most of the victims go to Bikaner’s cancer hospital for low-cost treatment. So high is the incidence of cancer in the region that the Bhatinda- Bikaner train has been dubbed the “cancer express”.

In Bikaner, an industry has grown around the cancer patients coming in from Punjab. There are thousands of laboratories promising “sameday” test results. “It is a racket. Imagine the authenticity of some of those tests, especially those for which results cannot be obtained in a day. We need to do an extensive study on the patients coming from Punjab,” says a senior oncologist of the Bikaner Medical College. Although it has not been proven that endosulfan directly causes cancer, it has been linked to a host of other ailments, particularly those of the nervous system, which afflict agricultural workers in Malwa.
The pesticide lobby maintains that withdrawing endosulfan will negatively impact agriculture

ENDOSULFAN HAS been banned in more than 60 countries. In 2007, the prime manufacturer, Bayer, withdrew it from the US market but continued to sell it abroad.

India is the world’s largest producer of endosulfan. The pesticide lobby maintains that withdrawing it will negatively impact Indian agriculture, apparently by destroying bee colonies! The argument goes like this: endosulfan is less toxic to bees than other pesticides. If it is banned, farmers may opt for pesticides lethal to bees, thereby destroying colonies and preventing pollination, which would “harm our country’s natural wealth of flora and fauna”. It has also accused the EU of using NGOs to unfairly target endosulfan.

The Ministry of Agriculture has sided with the pesticide lobby, even blocking the addition of endosulfan to the Rotterdam Convention on hazardous chemicals. Itchy britches notwithstanding.

Posted in IN NEWS, KARNATAKA, KERALA | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Thallappavu -A Movie on Com Varghese

Posted by ajadhind on October 26, 2008

Link to Video
Review of Movie Thallappavu

Onam comes every year, but “Thalappavu” comes once a decade. There couldn’t be a better Onam gift for Malayalis and Malayalam cinema than “Thalappavu”. Watched the movie today, First day, at SreePadmanabha and I’m still searching for a fault line. This one goes right up there – An All time Classic.

Madhupal makes a dream debut as a director, Prithviraj and Lal give their best performances till date, Babu Janardanan delivers a world class script which will stand its ground in any film festival ,and Azhagappan mesmerises with the Camera. “Thalappavu” is one movie which puts to rest any doubts about the class and scope of malayalam movies. We rank right up there!

“Thalappavu” is a gripping movie, immensely watchable, it doesn’t drag a bit, there is no suspense (starts with the death of the central character), no violence, no comedy, no love lines. Its almost like a Rohinton Mistry novel with tragedy heaped over tragedy, and finally topped with some very sad tragedy. I hate sad movies, and this is not one of them. Its a classic.

In a recent article from the Rupesh PaulAmal Neerad junta, Rupesh had pointed out that “Story” is not an important part of a movie. While nobody liked his movie, the point remains that, if Cinema is for telling a story then you could as well publish a short story. Making a movie for telling a story is as good as using Google for searching for porn alone, or using your Blackberry for incoming calls alone. Cinema as a medium has immense potential which needs to be tapped. “Thalappavu”, kudos to Madhupal, does exactly that. It uses the medium’s untapped potentials for handing down a classic.

A still from the movie Thallappavu

Story: Thalappavu is a movie about Naxal Varghese who was killed in one of the state’s most controversial police encounters, and P Ramachandran Nair the police constable who shot him (and after 3 decades brought to book his superiors Laxmana and Vijayan who ordered the murder). Lal plays Ravindran Pillai, the constable, who carries with him the burden of the crime for three decades and along the way loses his family, his home and his sanity. Prithvi plays Naxal Joseph and his ghost, which keeps Ravindran Pillai company. The story moves in multi dimension with threads falling in line at their own pace, with every character getting their own space and piece of the tragedy, with recurring and repeating scenes shot from varying perspectives. Dhanya Mary is a find, and she must be here to stay.

Excerpt from the film website,

‘Thalappavu’ (headgear or turban) is a symbol of authority. In many societies, those in the upper social strata wear the turban as a symbol of power and authority. For the working class it provides shade from the hot sun and pelting rain.2.jpg

The relationship between a hardcore revolutionary and the masses is usually distressing as far as governments are concerned. Everywhere in the world, it is a common practice for the ruling class to fetter one who is ready to sacrifice his life for social causes. The basis of a constitution is that whatever the crime, it is the law of the land that has the right to mete out punishment. The Malayalam movie ‘Thalappavu’ tries to portray that it is the very watchdogs of law who shamelessly violate the rules that they bound to defined.


1. Script, Screenplay & Direction: “Vasthavam” flopping is one thing I hold against the malayalam audience, then “Thaniyavarthanam” flopped too. Babu Janardanan of “Vasthavam” and “Achanurangatha Veedu”, delivers a water tight script. One can see the effort that has gone into writing this marvel. Madhupal, as a director delivers the script with finesse, but ends up delivering more than the screenplay. It is an exceptional “Director’s movie”, which I guess would catapault Madhupal to Blessy’s seat, now that the latter has started making trash. The story line is spoon fed to the audience multiple times in the first half that we are ready with the details when the movie speeds up in the second half. The delivery is subtle, forceful and passionate. If you look close enough you could even see a Jesus thread hanging around. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in KERALA, NAXALISM | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Gulmohar – Malayalam movie on Naxalite Maoist Movement in Kerala

Posted by ajadhind on October 26, 2008

Link to video

Review of Malayalam Movie Gulmohar

Once a revolutionary, always a revolutionary’ should have been the tagline of Jayaraj’s much talked about new Malayalam film Gulmohar. The acting debut of writer-director Ranjith has added to the curiosity value of this endeavour.

Scripted by Didi Damodaran (daughter of T Damodaran, the hit script writer of yesteryears) Gulmohar tells the story of a group of friends who were revolutionaries in their younger days. The tale is told from the point of view of Induchoodan (Ranjith), who now is settled as school teacher with his wife, two kids and mother-in-law.

Induchoodan – The protagonist of the movie

As Induchoodan jogs down the memory lane, we get glimpse of their adventurous existence mostly lived on the edge as they took on the establishment and fought for the voiceless.

The script as such is packed with lot of layering. The current generation ridicules the suffering and the sacrifices their elders made to make the world a better place. Their relatives never empathised or appreciated the zeal with which they followed their heart’s calling or even their sense of justice.

Still from the movie

Induchoodan was an orphan (maybe it is used as a tool to justify why he is moved by the plight of others, as conveyed in a scene in the beginning where he tackles a complaint against an orphaned boy in the school) with only an elder sister to call his own. A person with a creative bent of mind, he uses his writing skills to propagate his ideas on revolution.

We fear that Induchoodan’s character may go overboard any moment as any conventional multi-talented hero’s would. But it is discreetly held back at the script level itself.

The narrative moves from the past to the present, giving us the story of Induchoodan’s past and how his present is made.

Ranjith’s performance does not look like he was the last minute replacement for the role of Induchoodan (Suresh Gopi [Images] was to play the role). He makes us feel that the part was written with him in the mind. He gives the impression that he has rehearsed well for the part.

Debutant Neenu Mathew is the other performance that impresses us.

Technically too, Gulmohar is in a league of its own, helping Jayaraj to bounce back in form.

Posted in KERALA, NAXALISM | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Poster girl of kerala’s Naxalism

Posted by ajadhind on April 6, 2008

Kerala’s Naxalbari: Memoirs of a young revolutionary, Ajitha, translated by Sanju Ramachandran, Srishti, Rs. 195.
It may not be worth much but it is a testimony to Ajitha that a random Google search of just her name brings up correct links in the first instance itself. No need to add either her initial or key words like Naxalite (the movement she was associated with in the 1960s) or P.K. Kunhalikutty (the powerful former Indian Union Muslim League minister in Kerala whose involvement in the ice cream parlour sex racket she tried to expose in 2005).
A familiar name in Kerala — courtesy her role in the Pulpally revolt in which she along with other Naxal comrades stormed a police station 40 years ago — it was her campaign against Kunhalikutty three years back that got her some national attention after the late 1960s when newspapers had flashed photographs of a defiant Ajitha under arrest.
Though the translation itself leaves much to be desired, Sanju Ramachandran and Srishti Publishers must be thanked for making Ajitha’s memoir accessible to a larger audience. So what if Ajitha has since moved away from Naxalism and become a feminist, there can be no denying the spirit that saw a school girl choosing revolution over a comfortable and carefree existence.
Not the best of reads — replete as it is with revolutionary rhetoric besides a touch of self-glorification — Ajitha’s memoir, however, doubles up as a window into the mind of a foot soldier of the short-lived Naxal movement of Kerala


Posted in KERALA, NAXALISM | 1 Comment »

People’s March Banned by District Magistrate on 14-02-2008

Posted by ajadhind on February 29, 2008


Proceedings of the District Collector & District Magistrate, Ernakulam
(Present: Sri A.P.M.Mohammed Hanish. I.A.S.

M6.7364/08 Date 14-02-2008

Sub: Publication of “People’s March” – Prohibitory orders issued- Reg.
Read: 1. Report No: 324/T/2008/TS dated 6-2-2008 of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Thrikkakkara
2. Order dated 1.2.2008 in Bail application No: 265/2008 of the Hon. High Court of Kerala.

As per the reference read as 1st above, it has been requested to cancel the registration of “People’s March”, since the said magazine (RNI No: KER/ENG/2000/2051), edited, owned, printed and published by Sri Govindan kutty S/o Sangunny Menon, Peroor house, Vadakkekkota bhagom, Tripunithura, contained materials that are seditious in nature, bringing about contempt and disaffection against the Government of India by projecting ideologies and activities of CPI (Maoist), banned in many states. It has been reported that a case (Cr.780/07 of Thrikkakkara Police Station) was registered against Sri Govindan kutty, on the basis of the report of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Govt. of India, relating to the blocking of the website http// for hosting anti national contents. The bail application moved by Sri Govindan kutty has been rejected by the Sessions Court, Ernakulam on 5.1.2008 in Crl. MC.2/08 and by the Hon. High Court of Kerala on 1.2.2008 in B.A.265/2008.

Further, in its order, as per the reference read as 2nd above, the Hon. High Court of Kerala has observed that a reading of “People’s March” published and edited by Sri Govindan kutty is sufficient to prima facie drive home the allegations against him.

In these circumstances, the publication, sale, distribution and circulation of the magazine named “People’s March” is hereby prohibited in the district of Ernakulam, since the said magazine is found to be containing materials that are seditious subversive in nature, bringing about contempt and disaffection against the Government of India.

The Commissioner of Police, Kochi city and Superintendent of Police, Ernakulam Rural,, Aluva, shall implement this order forthwith.

The Additional District Magistrate, Ernakulam shall take immediate necessary steps to take up the matter with the Registrar of Newspapers of India, New Delhi, so as to get the registration of the said magazine, cancelled.

Dated this the 14th day of February, 2008.

District Magistrate.

All Concerned.

Posted in IN NEWS, KERALA | Leave a Comment »

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