This Week Kerala: VS wants CBI to probe murder

VS wants CBI to probe murder

Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan has demanded a CBI probe into the brutal murder of Satnam Singh in a government mental hospital in Thiruvananthapuram in August. Singh, who hailed rrom Gaya in Bihar, had been arrested from the ashram of spiritual leader Mata Amrtanandamayi on charges of a murder attempt after he had rushed to her podium for a darshan. What added to the panic was that he had chanted, "Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim". Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan had rushed to the ashram. Achuthanandan said the incidents at the ashram, in police custody, and at the mental hospital should be investigated. He said the police had blamed two employees of the hospital and four mental patients for Singh's death, and he found that mysterious.

Loan default

Defaults on educational loans have send alarm bells ringing in the state's banking sector. Till June 30 this year, 36,616 students had defaulted on loans totalling Rs 638.35 crore. Till 2010, the defaulted amount had been Rs 67 crore. As per statistics from the state-level bankers' committee, banks in Kerala have so far given Rs 7,268 crore as educational loan, including Rs 1,370 crore in the year that ended this June. The demand for educational loans has gone up since the previous UDF government allowed private players to invest in professional education. Hundreds of students have rushed to banks for loans. Banks have been under pressure to give such loans liberally after a student committed suicide for want of a loan a few years ago.

Softer on rebels

The CPM is known for treating its rebels with an iron hand, but not this time. It has taken a lesson from its citadel of Onchiyam, where a local communist party floated by rebels has won mass support. The CPM has adopted a more accommodating strategy in Palakkad, where district-level leader P A Gokuldas had formed a popular parallel movement in an area committee, and recently held a massive convention where he openly challenged the CPM in Malampuzha, the constituency of V S Achuthanandan. Demoted in the party, Gokuldas declared the formation of a new outfit in Mundoor. Instead of ousting the rebels, the CPM decided to bring them back into the party fold. The party has put a freeze on the earlier disciplinary action against Gokuldas.

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