Ramesh Babu

Ramesh Babu is HT’s bureau chief in Kerala, with about three decades of experience in journalism.

Articles by Ramesh Babu

Walayar siblings case: Kerala Pocso court rejects charge sheet, calls for fresh CBI inquiry

The girls, aged 9 and 13, were found dead inside their one-room house in Walayar 52 days apart — the elder sister was found dead on January 13, 2017; and the younger one on March 4 that year.
The case against the four was filed under relevant IPC sections as well as sections of the Pocso Act in 2019. The Pocso court had freed the four accused. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The case against the four was filed under relevant IPC sections as well as sections of the Pocso Act in 2019. The Pocso court had freed the four accused. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Aug 11, 2022 12:38 AM IST

Walayar siblings case: Court rejects chargesheet, orders CBI for reinvestigation

The CBI had filed a chargesheet two months ago agreeing to the conclusion of the state police that girls were driven to suicide
In 2019, the POCSO court had freed four accused in the case. (File image)
In 2019, the POCSO court had freed four accused in the case. (File image)
Published on Aug 10, 2022 02:53 PM IST

Kerala CM Vijayan helped UAE man flee, claims Swapna Suresh

Swapna Suresh claimed that the UAE national had arrived at the Kozhikode airport (north Kerala) on June 30, spent four days in the state and he was apprehended while going back. She alleged that the “CM had misused his power to help a foreign national whose antecedents were suspicious.”
National Investigation Agency officials during a raid in Bathindi area of Jammu district on Monday. (PTI)
National Investigation Agency officials during a raid in Bathindi area of Jammu district on Monday. (PTI)
Published on Aug 09, 2022 12:27 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

UAE national caught with satellite phone in 2017, CM helped him escape: Swapna Suresh

Interacting with media persons in Kochi, she said that on July 4, 2017, an Egypt-born UAE national was detained by CISF personnel at the Cochin airport with a Thuraya satellite phone
Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh speaks to media persons. (ANI File Photo)
Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh speaks to media persons. (ANI File Photo)
Published on Aug 08, 2022 05:46 PM IST

Kerala tribal youth’s lynching case: Mother alleges attempts to weaken case

The latest to turn hostile was Kakki Moopan, 19th witness in the case, in the special court in Mannarkkad (Palakkad) on Saturday.
So far, nine witnesses have turned hostile and two public prosecutors have been changed in the case. (Representational image)
So far, nine witnesses have turned hostile and two public prosecutors have been changed in the case. (Representational image)
Published on Aug 01, 2022 12:17 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Deceased Kerala man tested positive for monkeypox in UAE: Health minister

The state government will confirm the infection only after getting swab results from the National Institute of Virology, the minister said.
A 22-year-old man who died in Thrissur on Saturday had tested positive for monkey pox in the United Arab Emirates before returning to India, Kerala health minister Veena George said on Sunday. (ANI)
A 22-year-old man who died in Thrissur on Saturday had tested positive for monkey pox in the United Arab Emirates before returning to India, Kerala health minister Veena George said on Sunday. (ANI)
Updated on Aug 01, 2022 02:30 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala health officials baffled as man suspected to have contracted monkeypox

A senior official of the Kozhikode airport said it was really baffling how he jumped the screening and thermal test at the airport. After the first monkey pox case was reported in the country on July 12, also a returnee from the UAE in Kollam in south Kerala, screening of passengers in all four airports had been intensified
A 22-year-old man who died in Thrissur on Saturday had tested positive for monkey pox in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (HT PHOTO.)
A 22-year-old man who died in Thrissur on Saturday had tested positive for monkey pox in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (HT PHOTO.)
Updated on Aug 01, 2022 02:12 AM IST

Kerala tribal man lynching : Victim’s mother alleges attempts to weaken the case

The number of witnesses who turned hostile in the 2018 Kerala tribal man lynching case rose to nine with one more witness turning hostile on Saturday
Some of the accused even posted selfies with the tribal man, Madhu, who was lynched by a mob accusing him of stealing food. (File)
Some of the accused even posted selfies with the tribal man, Madhu, who was lynched by a mob accusing him of stealing food. (File)
Published on Jul 31, 2022 06:25 PM IST

Suspected monkeypox patient dies in Kerala: Health officials

  • Relatives of the deceased said he returned to the country from the UAE three days ago and was suffering from high fever.
A senior Union health ministry official said people should not panic till the man’s reports are out.(AFP)
A senior Union health ministry official said people should not panic till the man’s reports are out.(AFP)
Published on Jul 31, 2022 12:42 PM IST

Kerala trekking group formed during lockdown spreads green message

What started with a small group of 10 people in 2020, now boasts of a presence of 600 members with units set up across multiple districts in the state and even in the UAE.
What started with a small group of 10 people in 2020, now boasts of a presence of 600 members with units set up across multiple districts in Kerala and even in the UAE. (HT Photo)
What started with a small group of 10 people in 2020, now boasts of a presence of 600 members with units set up across multiple districts in Kerala and even in the UAE. (HT Photo)
Published on Jul 29, 2022 12:27 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala bishop let off by ED after 10-hour questioning

At least 19 cases were registered against the diocese in four years alleging that it took huge amount of money from students promising them MBBS and post-graduate seats at Somervell Memorial Medical College in Karakonam in Thiruvananthapuram district
A day after enforcement directorate (ED) aborted his trip to Britain, the central agency on Wednesday questioned the Church of South India (CSI) bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam for 10 hours in Kochi in connection with alleged money-laundering and corruption cases. (HT)
A day after enforcement directorate (ED) aborted his trip to Britain, the central agency on Wednesday questioned the Church of South India (CSI) bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam for 10 hours in Kochi in connection with alleged money-laundering and corruption cases. (HT)
Published on Jul 27, 2022 11:55 PM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Cong call fails to woo LDF allies in Kerala

The two parties — Kerala Congress (Mani) and Loktantric Janata Dal (LJD) — that had left the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) before the assembly elections, on Monday made it clear that there is no scope for political realignment in the state.
The call given by opposition Congress, during its recently concluded ‘Chintan Shivir’ session, to win back some of the allies that crossed over to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) -led Left Democratic Front (LDF) has failed to elicit positive response from allies of the ruling front. (Representative Photo)
The call given by opposition Congress, during its recently concluded ‘Chintan Shivir’ session, to win back some of the allies that crossed over to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) -led Left Democratic Front (LDF) has failed to elicit positive response from allies of the ruling front. (Representative Photo)
Published on Jul 26, 2022 12:09 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Congress sends out open invite to ex-allies in Kerala. 2 swift rejections follow

Kerala Congress chief K Sudhakaran said the state’s ruling LDF’s policies were similar to that of the central government and many of the ruling coalition’s constituents were unhappy
The Chintan Shivir in Kozhikode was similar to the national-level session held at Udaipur in Rajasthan and was aimed to prepare the party for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. (Twitter/INCKerala)
The Chintan Shivir in Kozhikode was similar to the national-level session held at Udaipur in Rajasthan and was aimed to prepare the party for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. (Twitter/INCKerala)
Updated on Jul 25, 2022 04:53 PM IST

Nanjiamma: Herdswoman to national award winner for best female singer

Tribal singer Nanjiamma (62) won the national award for best female playback singer for her song in Malayalam movie ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum’
The tribal song, for which Nanjiamma won the national award for best female playback singer, is written by her in Irula language.
The tribal song, for which Nanjiamma won the national award for best female playback singer, is written by her in Irula language.
Updated on Jul 23, 2022 09:04 AM IST

Kerala reports India’s 3rd case of monkeypox; contacts in isolation

Kerala health minister Veena George said the 35-year-old man with monkeypox returned to the country on July 6 and after three days, he developed a fever. The minister said he was rushed to Manjeri medical college hospital on July 15 after he showed symptoms and all his contacts were quarantined after he was found to be infected.
Kerala reported the country’s third case of zoonotic viral disease monkeypox on Friday after a resident of Malappuram who returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was found to be infected. (Agencies/Representative use)
Kerala reported the country’s third case of zoonotic viral disease monkeypox on Friday after a resident of Malappuram who returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was found to be infected. (Agencies/Representative use)
Published on Jul 23, 2022 12:12 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala reports India’s 3rd monkeypox case

The state started testing for monkeypox on Tuesday at the regional centre of NIV in Alapuzha after getting testing kits from the National Institute of Virology in Pune
All three cases are from Kerala, returnees from the UAE. (File image)
All three cases are from Kerala, returnees from the UAE. (File image)
Updated on Jul 22, 2022 11:47 PM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala healer killer behind twin murder in UAE: SIT

Harris was found dead with his wrist slit and Densi was suffocated to death, and police believed that Harris had killed Densi before committing suicide.
A special investigation team (SIT) of Kerala police probing the killing of Mysuru-based traditional healer Shaba Shareef came across another twin murder allegedly committed by members of a gang headed by Shaibin Ashraf, said a senior official of the SIT. (Representative Photo)
A special investigation team (SIT) of Kerala police probing the killing of Mysuru-based traditional healer Shaba Shareef came across another twin murder allegedly committed by members of a gang headed by Shaibin Ashraf, said a senior official of the SIT. (Representative Photo)
Published on Jul 21, 2022 12:05 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala healer killer and mastermind behind twin murders in UAE, reveals SIT

The main accused Shaibin Ashraf reportedly plotted to kill his erstwhile business partner TP Harris and his manager Densi Antony
Shaba Sharif was a traditional healer from Rajiv Nagar in Mysore. (File image)
Shaba Sharif was a traditional healer from Rajiv Nagar in Mysore. (File image)
Published on Jul 20, 2022 04:24 PM IST

Kerala NEET frisking case: Testing agency forms panel, 5 women officials held

The incident came to light on Monday, when the father of an undergraduate medical aspirant told reporters that his 17-year-old girl daughter, who was sitting for her first NEET exam, was traumatised after being forced to sit for the over 3-hour-long exam without a brassiere.
In a statement issued on Monday, the NTA said the dress code for NEET does not permit any such activity alleged by the parent of the candidate.(Keshav Singh/HT Photo)
In a statement issued on Monday, the NTA said the dress code for NEET does not permit any such activity alleged by the parent of the candidate.(Keshav Singh/HT Photo)
Updated on Jul 20, 2022 02:30 AM IST
ByRamesh Babu and Fareeha Iftikhar, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram/new Delh

Kerala NEET controversy: 5 women arrested after girl students register complaint

The state women rights commission has registered a case and the human rights commission too sought a report from the Kollam SP
Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Jul 19, 2022 11:00 PM IST

28-yr-old drug case returns to haunt Kerala minister

The case had unfolded with the arrest of Australian citizen, Andrew Salvatore Cervelli, in Thiruvananthapuram airport on April 9, 1990 on charges of carrying 61.5 gm of hashish. He reportedly concealed the contraband in a small pocket in his underwear. The inner was produced as the key evidence when he was produced in a court. A junior lawyer then, Raju, was one of his counsels.
A three-decade-old case has returned to haunt Kerala transport minister Antony Raju as a Thiruvananthapuram court is scheduled to hear allegations of tampering key evidence in a 1990 drug haul case next month. (HT)
A three-decade-old case has returned to haunt Kerala transport minister Antony Raju as a Thiruvananthapuram court is scheduled to hear allegations of tampering key evidence in a 1990 drug haul case next month. (HT)
Published on Jul 19, 2022 12:55 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

IndiGo bans ‘unruly’ Kerala LDF convener from flying for 3 weeks

The two Youth Congress workers have been handed out a two-week flying ban by the airline under aviation rules governing unruly passengers, a person aware of the development said.
Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) convener EP Jayarajan, a veteran leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) , called the airline’s decision a “huge insult” and declared that he will never fly IndiGo again. (HT)
Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) convener EP Jayarajan, a veteran leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) , called the airline’s decision a “huge insult” and declared that he will never fly IndiGo again. (HT)
Published on Jul 19, 2022 12:54 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Row after women told to take off innerwear at Kerala NEET centre

According to NEET (UG) 2020 guidelines, “any ornaments/metallic items” are banned at examination centres. The guidelines do not describe the nature of such items in detail
The NTA said that it has taken note of the incident and will take appropriate action. (Hindustan Times)
The NTA said that it has taken note of the incident and will take appropriate action. (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jul 19, 2022 06:32 AM IST

Kerala CPM leader EP Jayarajan banned from flying IndiGo for 3 weeks. He hits back

The IndiGo airline’s investigation into the June 12 incident concluded that the conduct of the two Congress workers, who raised slogans against chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, and the CPM leader EP Jayarajan who tried to stop them was unruly
LDF convenor EP Jayarajan said the IndiGo airline’s probe was punishing him instead of praising him for preventing an assault on chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
LDF convenor EP Jayarajan said the IndiGo airline’s probe was punishing him instead of praising him for preventing an assault on chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Updated on Jul 18, 2022 02:31 PM IST

Kerala reports India’s first monkeypox case

The patient, hailing from Kollam district, arrived in Kerala from the UAE on July 12 and subjected himself for treatment the same day after his close contact in the West Asian country tested positive for monkeypox, state health minister Veena George said.
Health workers inspect passengers arriving from high risk countries for monkeypox symptoms, at Chennai International Airport. (ANI)
Health workers inspect passengers arriving from high risk countries for monkeypox symptoms, at Chennai International Airport. (ANI)
Published on Jul 15, 2022 12:18 AM IST
By, , New Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram

One-km-long buffer zone around forests: Kerala to move SC on Monday

On June 3, the apex court ordered that all protected areas, including national parks, wildlife reserves and sanctuaries, need a one-km buffer zone banning all other activities.
Kerala forest minister AK Saseendran (right) with Union environment minister Bhupendra Yadav in Delhi on Thursday. (Twitter Photo)
Kerala forest minister AK Saseendran (right) with Union environment minister Bhupendra Yadav in Delhi on Thursday. (Twitter Photo)
Published on Jul 14, 2022 07:55 PM IST

Kerala court holds three guilty of recruiting for IS

The quantum of sentence against the trio — U K Hamsa, K V Abdul Razaq and M Midilaj, all from Kannur district —will be announced on Friday.
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Kochi on Tuesday found three people guilty of recruiting youth into the Islamic State (IS) with the intention of widening the terror outfit’s activities and wage war against the country. (HT PHOTO)
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Kochi on Tuesday found three people guilty of recruiting youth into the Islamic State (IS) with the intention of widening the terror outfit’s activities and wage war against the country. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 13, 2022 06:02 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthapuram

NIA court finds 3 Kerala men guilty in Valappattanam IS recruitment case

The NIA court in Kochi will pronounce the quantum of sentence against the three convicts in the Valappattanam IS recruitment case on Friday
The trio recruited at least 20 youngsters to the Islamic State-held areas of Syria in 2015. (File Photo)
The trio recruited at least 20 youngsters to the Islamic State-held areas of Syria in 2015. (File Photo)
Published on Jul 12, 2022 05:45 PM IST

Kerala: Bombs hurled at RSS office in Kannur district

CCTV visuals of the area showed assailants who came on two motor cycles were reportedly scanning the area before hurling the bombs at the office
The window panes and gate of the office were damaged in the attack (ANI)
The window panes and gate of the office were damaged in the attack (ANI)
Updated on Jul 12, 2022 11:41 AM IST

Ex-DGP’s clean chit to Dileep in actor abduction case triggers row

In her YouTube channel, Sreelekha, the state’s first woman IPS officer, said the actor was a victim of media trial and investigating team was forced to arrest him because of pressure in 2017.
Former director general of police (DGP) R Sreelekha’s disclosure that Malayalam actor Dileep has no role in the woman actor abduction and assault case and many evidences against him were fabricated triggered a controversy in Kerala. (PTI)
Former director general of police (DGP) R Sreelekha’s disclosure that Malayalam actor Dileep has no role in the woman actor abduction and assault case and many evidences against him were fabricated triggered a controversy in Kerala. (PTI)
Published on Jul 12, 2022 12:29 AM IST
By, Thiruvananthpuram
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