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KL This Week: Political Parties, Journalists, Youth Organisations Extend Solidarity to Newsclick 

Neelambaran A |
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has issued a circular making travel of students from extremely poor families free in government and private buses from November 1. 

Image: Prakash R

Newsclick brings key developments from Kerala this week, including the solidarity protest in support of Newsclick, free bus travel for students belonging to extremely poor families from November 1, death of veteran trade union leader Anathalavattom Ananthan, distribution of state government awards to stat- owned public sector undertakings (PSUs) and the inauguration of seven new projects in the Kochi International Airport. 


Led by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, several political parties and leaders, civil society, youth and students’ organisations have strongly condemned the raids on Newsclick, and journalists, contributors and other staff by the Delhi Police under the draconian anti-terror law UAPA. Vijayan condemned the efforts to stifle the alternate media that highlight the issues sidelined by the mainstream media.

Writing in 'X', Vijayan said, "Silencing opposing voices is a fascist tendency. GoI should uphold the freedom of the media to function independently, fearlessly & truthfully". 

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) Kerala state secretary M V Govindan, senior leaders T M Thomas Isaac, John Brittas, Rajya Sabha MP, expressed their solidarity with Newsclick and condemned the actions of the Delhi Police for arresting its Editor in Chief Prabir Purkayastha and human resources head Amit Chakravorty.

Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor also registered his support to Newsclick and condemned the raids in the houses of present and former journalists associated with the organisation.

The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) condemned the Delhi Police raids and termed it as 'an encroachment on freedom of media and violation of democratic rights'. 

The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) state committee held state-wide protests against the raids. V Vaseef, the state president of DYFI accused the BJP-led Union government of framing journalists under draconian laws for carrying out their work. 


The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has announced free travel for students belonging to 64,006 extremely poor families identified in Kerala. The free travel would be applicable from November 1, in both private and government buses, an order issued by the department of transport said. The scheme is being implemented as part of the poverty alleviation programme to eliminate extreme poverty in the state. 

Students completing class X will be given priority for admission in nearby schools. The government will also provide higher education scholarships, stipend and free food in the college canteens for the eligible students. 


Three-time member of the legislative Assembly, state president of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and a  former state secretariat member of the CPI(M), Anathalavattom Ananthan, 86 passed away on October 5 after a prolonged illness. He was cremated with state honours in Thiruvananthapuram on October 7. 

Born in a poor family of workers, Ananthan began his political career in 1954 in a protest seeking higher wages for coir workers. Ananthan was elected to the Kerala Assembly thrice, in 1987, 1996 and 2006, from Attingal constituency and was the chief whip of the LDF between 2006 and 2011. 

He led several struggles of beedi, coir and transport workers en route his  journey of becoming the Kerala State president of CITU. Anathan led the unions of several workers, employees and officers’ union of organisations including Kerala Financial Enterprises, Kerala State Cooperative Bank, Khadi Board and Travancore Titanium Officers Association. He had also functioned as the chairman of CoirFed, vice chairman of National Coir Research and Management Institute and Chairman of Foam Mattings India Limited. 


The government of Kerala has announced awards for PSUs under the department of industries on the basis of performance, instituted from the current year. The Travancore Cochin Chemicals was selected as the best among the companies with more than Rs 100 crore turnover. 

The Malappuram Cooperative Spinning Mills won the award for the companies with turnover between Rs 25 crore and Rs 100 crore. Kerala Ceramics won the award in the Rs 25 crore and below turnover category. 

The Kerala Artisans Development Corporation won the award in the non-manufacturing section. The awardees were selected based on the performance of the past three years, the minister for industries P Rajeev said in a statement. 


Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated seven large-scale projects of the the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) on October 2, including operation of the import cargo terminal, DigiYatra services and airport emergency services.

The first phase of expansion of terminal 3, 0484 luxury lounge, intrusion detection system along the 12-km-long compound wall and gold resorts were also inaugurated. 

The airport is owned and operated by CIAL, a public limited company incorporated by the government of Kerala, the first of its kind in the country. 


The Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)] announced its decision to remain in the LDF block despite the party’s national leadership's decision to ally with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The JD(S) officially joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) recently.

State president of JD(S), Mathew T Thomas MLA, announced that the party would remain in LDF, the ruling alliance in the state. The party has two members in the Assembly, while it has a representative in the cabinet in K Krishnan Kutty holding the electricity portfolio. 

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