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Briefly

Lawyers' conference

KOLLAM Sept. 16. The district conference of the All India Lawyers Union (AILU) will be held at the KGOA Hall here on September 18. Varkala Radhakrishnan, MP, will inaugurate the conference and function to be presided over by the AILU district president, E. Shahnavas Khan. The State secretary of the Union, N.A. Ali, the CPI (M) district secretary, K. Rajagopal, the Kollam MP, P. Rajendran, and the Bar Council of India member, Paripally R. Raveendran, will address the conference.

Campus cultural meet

KOZHIKODE SEPT. 16. The M.E.S.Women's College bagged the first place in the campus cultural meet `Chingamasam', organised by the Rotaract Club of Calicut at the Snehanjali auditorium here on September 15. The Centre for Fashion Designing, Calicut University, won the second prize and the National College cornered the third place in the meet. The Rotract president, Sujeesh Nair, and the secretary, M.K. Naveen, among others addressed the participants.

LIC agents' protest

LIC agents will create a symbolic `protection circle' around the LIC divisional office in Kozhikode at 12.05 p.m. on September 20. The programme will be inaugurated by M.P.Veerendrakumar, MP. At a press conference here today, the office-bearers of the Kozhikode Divisional Committee, T.K. Viswan and P. Velayudhan, said that the protest was part of an initiative at the national level to highlight the various demands of LIC agents. These demands include withdrawal of the proposal to hike foreign direct investment (FDI) in the insurance sector and introduction of a welfare fund among others.

Inaugurated

PATHANAMTHITTA SEPT 16. The NSS general secretary, P.K. Narayana Panicker, inaugurated the newly constructed Nadappanthal and Alankara Gopuram at the Govindankulangara Devi Temple at Mathilbhagom, near Thiruvalla, today. The NSS taluk union president, N.S. Prabhakaran Pillai, presided and the secretary, Radhakrsihnan Venattu, presented the report. Swami Samagrananda of the Thiruvalla Sree Ramakrishna Ashram delivered the keynote address.

Concert

Noted ghazal singer of Malabar Shabir Ali will perform at the Ghazal Sandhya to be organised by the Specs, a cultural forum in Pathanamthitta, at the Municipal Park here on September 25. In a statement issued here today, the secretary of the forum, G. Anish, said that the ghazal evening is being organised as a tribute to the departed singer, Brahmanandan. Brahmanandan's son, Rakesh Brahmanandan and Mr. Pramod Nilambur will also participate in the concert.

Bus operators drop strike plan

Thrissur Sept. 16 . The proposed indefinite strike by private bus operators in Kerala from tomorrow to press their demands was put off this evening following the fare hike effected by the Government last night. After its State committee meeting here, the Kerala State Private Bus Operators Federation decided to indefinitely postpone the proposed stir, even though it was not happy with the hike in fare. The federation president, Khalid Mundapally, told newspersons that the hike could not be accepted. The federation was still demanding that the students' concession should be limited to 25 per cent. The All Kerala Bus Operators Organisation, the other association of bus owners, had pulled out from the proposed strike after the Government announced the increase in minimum charge by 50 paise and per km charge by seven paise. - UNI

Illegal lotteries seized

PALAKKAD SEPT. 16 . Illegal lottery tickets worth Rs. 50 crores were seized from a godown of A.M. Traders at Kurudikkad, Pudussery, near here, in a raid conducted by officials of the Department of Lottery and the police. The lottery tickets were brought from outside the State in violation of the Lottery Regulation Act. The seized tickets were of Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.

KSSP State meet

PATHANAMTHITTA Sept 16. The 42nd State meet of the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) will be held in Pathanamthitta from February 11 to 13, according to the Parishad district secretary, M.G. Gopinath.

CPT sends LoI to Dubai firm

KOCHI SEPT. 16. The Cochin Port Trust (CPT) despatched on Wednesday its Letter of Intent (LoI) for the International Container Transshipment Terminal on the Vallarpadam Island to the Dubai Ports International (DPI), the successful bidder for the project. A Port Trust official said the DPI had four weeks time to respond to the letter. The DPI has to finalise the formation of a company to implement the project and also provide a bank guarantee in its reply.

Children's bodies laid to rest

KOTTAYAM Sept. 16. The bodies of the two sisters, Shehna (4) and Shefna (3) who were drowned in the Meenachil river by their father, Shaji, on Wednesday, were buried at the Thirunakkara Puthenpally Kabristan this evening. According to the police, Shaji had asked his wife, Shahina who is employed in the Gulf, to return home to look after the children. However, she had refused to return owing to financial constraints. As per the police version, Shaji, who lives in the Muttanbalam Railway colony, took the children to the municipal park on Wednesday evening and bought them food. Later, he told his relatives that he was going along with the children to the river for a bath. The children were drowned in the river.

Nod for SEZ at Vallarpadam

NEW DELHI SEPT.16. In yet another move to boost exports, the Government has cleared the proposal of the Cochin Port Trust to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Vallarpadam with an investment of Rs. 800 crores. ``Port-based SEZ has been sanctioned for the development of Kerala. The Government of India will assist both the promoters and participants in the zone,'' the Commerce and Industry Minister, Kamal Nath, said here on the sidelines of an official function. He said the project would come up in an area of 448 hectares, which would be developed by the port in association with the private sector. - PTI

Lok Ayukta order

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM SEPT. 16. The Lok Ayukta has directed the State Pollution Control Board, Alappuzha, to give clearance certificates for houseboats to operate in the Punnamada backwaters only after ensuring that they were not discharging contaminated water or oil into the lake. The direction was issued on the basis of a complaint filed by the Alappuzha Town Consumers' Association.

The houseboat owners should be given one month's time to obtain the certificate from the environmental engineer of the Board, the order said.

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