Kerala ice cream parlour sex scandal case makes news

Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Friday said if needed the government could order a re-investigation in the sensational Kozhikode ice cream parlour sex scandal case.
This case saw the downfall of then powerful state industries minister P.K. Kunhalikutty of the Indian Union Muslim League as a witness in the case, Regina, made alleged revelations that she was sexually exploited by the minister in the early '90s.
Kunhalikutty stepped down as minister in January 2005 following an opposition onslaught, thanks to a media trial in the case after Regina went to the media repeating again what happened to her in the early '90s.
The issue made headlines again Friday when a series of press conferences were held by Kunhalikutty (twice), his brother-in-law K.M. Rauf and Achuthanandan.
Kunhalikutty out of the blue told reporters at Malappuram Friday that he faces a threat to his life from his estranged brother-in-law Rauf and he might be blackmailed with a forged CD, according to what he has heard from many sources.
Hours later, at Kozhikode, Rauf in an hour-long press conference telecast live by TV channels here told reporters that Kunhalikutty got away in the ice cream sex case by influencing the judiciary and also by paying money to the witnesses.
'I have all the documents to prove that Kunhalikutty paid money to influence the witness in the ice cream case. At the appropriate time I will come out with all the documents,' said Rauf.
Friday evening, Achuthanandan told reporters in response to the Kunhalikutty-Rauf spat that truth will come out one day.
'Look, not long ago both the characters who spoke to the media today were thick pals and for some reason they have parted ways. So slowly things will come out and truth can never be hidden for long because one day, the truth will come out. We will wait and see and if need be government will look into this case and even look if there is a case for a re-investigation,' said Achuthanandan.
Kunhalikutty, again appearing in front of the media in Kozhikode, said the allegation of his name figuring in the ice cream case has been summarily dismissed by even the Supreme Court.
'I have no issues at all even if the case is re-investigated. I have already told Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan that I have no problems if the government is to order a probe into my wealth. It is now my need that Rauf has to be exposed,' said Kunhalikutty.


Shweta Assaulted By Ex-Husband Again

Bigg Boss 4 winner and television star Shweta Tiwari has been assaulted by ex-hubby Raja Chaudhary again, reported a tabloid. Shweta lodged a complaint accusing Raja of physical and verbal abuse.

Senior Inspector R Prabhu of Malad police station said, "Raja Chaudhary forcefully entered Shweta's house and assaulted her and her friend Abhinav Kohli. As per court order, Raja is not supposed to go to Shweta's residence. But he breached the order. We have booked him for assaulting, trespassing, and abusing Shweta and Kohli. He already has a number of cases against him, some at Oshiwara police station. And now we will extern him."

Shweta Tiwari has demanded police protection after continuous harassment. Raja came to Shweta's house and abused her and tried to take away their daughter with him. Earlier he had barged into the house in October when Shweta was in the Bigg Boss house.

The police tried to find Raja but he is absconding. He has fled from his Lokhandwala residence.


Dhoni wants runs from middle order

As India failed to secure a historic series win thanks to a spineless batting in the fourth one-dayer against South Africa, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday called the middle-order batsmen to show some responsibility.

India lost the rain-hit match by 48 runs via Duckworth and Lewis method to allow South Africa level the series 2-2.

Dhoni acknowledged the smart batting by young Virat Kohli but did not hide his disappointment over an otherwise poor show by the other batsmen.

"It's (Kohli's batting) a big positive for us. It's good for us at number three. He has carried through the innings but the other batsmen also need to chip in. The middle order has not clicked and it's true for South Africa also," Dhoni said after the match.

Dhoni conceded that India let slip the game despite dominating it in the early part of the South African innings when the hosts were 118 for five but said no effort yielded any result.

"We tried our best. We used most of the bowlers and as a captain it's more pressure when you have to get that one more wicket. Every time it does not go your way," he said.

"We had fancied our chances but it becomes difficult with Duckworth Lewis method when you are batting second. And the approach at the start has been conservative in this series, not to lose too many wickets in the beginning. So when D/L method comes after the start of the second innings, it becomes tough," he added.

About the series deciding fifth match in Centurion on Sunday, Dhoni said, "It will be interesting. The team that handles pressure better will win."

Man-of-the-Match JP Duminy for his fighting 71-run unbeaten knock was pleased with his effort.

"The plan was to take it as deep as possible and got a defendable total in the end. We were not scoring boundaries but the run-rate was between four and six. When we reached near 45 overs, we knew we will get 250 but we managed to cross that. Very pleased with that," the South African left-hander said.

Winning captain Graeme Smith was all praise for Duminy, who batted through the innings to lift the team from 118 to five to 265 for seven in the end.

"It was an excellent effort from him. He showed a lot of determination to get us to that total. It was nice to win. And it's big Sunday coming up. The two teams have a lot of respect for each other and it's been so competitive."


Saurabh Tiwary is brand ambassador of JPL

Local boy Saurabh Tiwary has been made the brand ambassador of the Jharkhand Premier League (JPL), an 8-day tournament beginning March 12.
Jharkhand thus becomes the second state after Karnataka to host a state T20 league.
"The JPL will be organised jointly by Jharkhand State Cricket Association and Elite Sports Management (ESM). The BCCI has permitted for the franchise bidding and taking 100 players as marque," ESM director, Nishant Dayal, told reporters here.
The auction will be held on February 6 for five teams -- Ranchi Rangers, Bokaro Bulls, Singhbhum Shers, Dhanbad Diamond and Jamshedpur Jaanbaaz, he said.
Any corporate entity in the country can bid for a minimum of Rs 15 lakh a team during the players auction on February 13.
The hundred players, to be put on marque by the organisers, would be from teams like India A, India under-19 and India Seniors (Group A), Ranji Trophy (Group B), under-19 under-22 (Group C) and district represented players (Group D).
While the minimum auction money for players in Group A would be Rs two lakh, the amounts for groups B, C and D would be Rs 50,000, Rs 35,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively, he added.
"Tiwary will also be available for auctioneering," Dayal said.


Egypt church blast toll rises to 21

A car bomb explosion outside a Christian church in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria has killed 21 people and wounded more than 20 others.

The interior ministry says the wounded included several Muslims.

The blast happened as worshippers left the Coptic Church after a New Year's Mass.

An earlier toll from the interior ministry said seven people had been killed and 24 wounded.

Following the attack, hundreds of local Christians are reported to have clashed with the police and some Muslims.

There was no immediate responsibility for the attack.

The governor of Alexandria, Adel Labib, describes what happened.

"The blast happened around 12.40am local time," he said.

"One passer-by saw someone getting out of the car and after a while the car exploded.

"Security forces rushed to the scene straight away and put the situation under control."

Police and troops deployed en masse around the scene of the explosion as ambulances rushed to the area.



Big scams, small names in 2010

NEW DELHI: For scams, whose total size runs into 13-digit numbers, the names they are known by are short -- 2G, CWG and IPL.

Going by the estimated size of these scams, the total for the year 2010 could be well beyond Rs 2,00,000 crore -- a 13-digit figure -- although much of the loss is presumptive in nature.

The scam with the shortest name -- 2G -- alone, according to various accounts, deprived the government coffers of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in potential revenue. 2G is the acronym for second generation mobile telephony and it ran into a scam cloud over allocation of spectrum, or radio waves, at prices that were not market-determined.

Acronyms were hot favourites for not just scams, but also for the likes of whistleblower website Wikileaks, with Wiki standing for 'What I Know Is'.

Wiki is used as prefix by websites where netizens can read and also create content. Such websites are made on a computer language called WYSIWYG, which stands for 'What You See Is What You Get'.

Back home, the names of various scams mostly read like those taken out from primary school alphabet colouring books, often limited to two or three letters, with a few numerals thrown in-between in some cases.

And while the small names were certainly not beautiful for those at the receiving end of these scams, the large size of these would have definitely helped the perpetrators make a bounty.

Adding to the acronym frenzy, the government wants a probe into the 2G scam by a PAC (the acronym for Public Accounts Committee), but the Opposition wants the investigation by a JPC, again an acronym for a Joint Parliamentary Committee. And for the record, the CBI is probing the scam under the supervision of the SC (Supreme Court).

Other major scams during the year were that of the IPL and CWG. These were related to the Indian Premier League, an annual short-format cricket tournament, and the Commonwealth Games, which the country hosted this year.

The reports suggest that CWG involved irregularities worth Rs 8,000 crore, while those in the IPL were to the tune of Rs 1,200-1,500 crore, although there are no official figures for either.

Toward the end of the year, there was also a LICHF scam, which involved some top officials of LIC Housing Finance and a few other private and public sector financial sector firms and reportedly involved irregularities to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore.

On the global front, whistle-blower website Wikileaks has been releasing classified messages sent out by American diplomats from across the world to the US administration for about a month now and many of these leaks have caused a furore in many countries, including India.

Back home, too, it is mostly acronym-named entities that have been either blowing the lid off or investigating various scams. To name a few, capital market regulator Sebi continued to crack down on various scams related to the stock market, although it could not make much headway into its probe into the largest in the previous year, the estimated Rs 14,000 crore Satyam scam.

For the record, the Satyam fraud was the biggest in many years for India when it comes to the list of the largest scams.

Also, it was the Satyam fraud that put an end to the trend of big scams being called by proper names and not abbreviated ones, such as those that surfaced during 2010. Globally, as well as locally, big scams have mostly derived their names from the names of the people or entities involved and rarely have any of those been acronyms.

Till last year, the big league of scams in India included Satyam, Bofors, Harshad Mehta, Ketan Parekh, Home Trade, Telgi (fake stamp) and the UTI scam, the last being a rare exception.

Globally also, there has been a similar trend where proper names have been there in the names of scams in the past, as has been the case in Ponzi scams (named after Charles Ponzi, the pioneer of such scams), the Maddoff scam (a Ponzi scam named after the perpetrator) and Enron and WorldComm scams (both of which were named after the companies where the scams took place).

Going by the trend, it would not come as a surprise if the names of the scams fall into single characters, either alphabets or numerics, in the New Year, even as their size keeps on growing, and there would be names like '1' scam, '2' scam or 'A' fraud and 'B' fraud.