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Puttingal Temple fire: Kerala high court grants bail to all 43 accused

On 11 July, the Kerala High Court granted bail to all 43 people accused in the Puttingal Devi temple fire, almost three months after the tragic blaze.

At least 107 people were killed and 383 injured when a fire broke out during an unauthorised display of fireworks at the Paravur temple, south of Kollam, on 10 April.

According to reports, the mishap occurred when sparks from the firework display made their way to the storeroom, where a huge cache of fireworks were stored - to mark the end of the Meena-Bharani festival.

21 persons missing from Kerala, says CM Vijayan on Islamic State link

Amid reports that a group of Keralites have joined the terror outfit, the Islamic State, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the Assembly on 11 July that a total of 21 persons have been missing from the state.

While replying to a submission raised by opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, Vijayan told the Assembly that according to the preliminary information, 17 of the 21 missing persons were from Kasaragod while four of the persons hailed from Palakkad.

"The missing persons from Kasaragod included four women and three children. Two women were among those missing from Palakkad," he said. These people had left their homes stating different reasons, he said.

As per the media reports, these people had gone to Syria and Afghanistan and they were in IS camps, he said.

Quoting media reports, Vijayan said that one Firoz from Kasaragod has been taken into custody from Mumbai airport on 10 July in connection with the development.

Flood fury: No respite for Madhya Pradesh and Assam as death toll mounts to 17

Pregnant woman from Kerala suspected to have joined Islamic State

The mother of a young woman who is among the 17 people from Kerala suspected to have joined terror group Islamic State, today met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and sought help.

"Chief Minister told me that probe in the matter is progressing," said Bindu, the mother of 25-year-old Nimisha, who has been missing since May.

Bindu said her pregnant daughter visited her on 16 May along with her husband. Two days later, she received a call from Nimisha and she said that she was going to Sri Lanka for business.

"She did not reveal where she was calling from even though I asked her repeatedly. I tried to prevent her from proceeding, but failed," Bindu said.

Nimisha was a final-year dentistry student in Kasaragod when she got married to a Christian man in November 2015. The couple later converted to Islam, the mother said.

Bindu said her family did not know much about Nimisha's husband except that he was 32-year-old MBA graduate.

Five other families in Kasargod have also filed complaints about missing members and have sought an investigation.

Zakir Naik linked to 2 missing Kerala men suspected to have joined ISIS

The father of two young men among the 20 people from Kerala suspected to have joined terror group Islamic State said on Sunday that they had been followers of controversial Muslim spiritual leader Zakir Naik.

"My two sons, Yahya, 23, and Eeza, 30, took my nephew to Zakir Naik last November in a bid to convert him. They asked him to look into the eyes of the spiritual leader for some time, and later meet him in person," said K Vincent.

He added that Yahya and Eeza used to watch Peace TV, Naik's Islamic television channel, says the Hindustan Times.

Congress to revive National Herald, Swamy's case weakens

The Congress party, facing a case of income tax violations over its ownership of the Associated Journals group of newspapers, is planning to revive the English language National Herald and two other newspapers that closed down eight years ago.

The revival is likely to weaken the case of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi. Swamy had accused them of income tax violations and filed a court case against them, says the Hindustan Times.

MP monsoon tragedy: 15 dead, 7 in last 24 hours

Fifteen people have died in heavy rains in Madhya Pradesh, seven of them in the last 24 hours, said chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday.

The state administration is gearing up to meet the crisis, said Chouhan, after a meeting that included chief secretary Anthony de Sa and director general of police Rishi Kumar Shukla to review the situation, says NDTV.

Heavy to very heavy rains are likely over Indore, Ujjain and Hoshangabad divisions as well as parts of Bhopal over the next 24 hours.

Children riding pillion on two-wheelers will have to wear helmets

Amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act that will be passed in Parliament in its Monsoon session will include a law making it mandatory for children aged four and above to wear helmets while riding pillion on two-wheelers.

A senior official at the Union road transport and highways ministry said: "A detailed analysis has shown that about 34 children are killed every day in road crashes. We are seeking ways to curb this alarmingly high number."

Last year, about 12,500 children under 17 were killed in road accidents, mostly on two-wheelers, says The Telegraph.

UP constable, 3 private detectives held for selling phone call detail records

Three private detectives and a police constable were arrested by the Delhi police last week for selling phone call detail records of individuals for prices ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh over the last two years.

The CDRs were allegedly collected by Narendra Choudhary, an Uttar Pradesh Police constable working in the surveillance cell of the Inspector General's office in Kanpur, who used the official email IDs of senior UP police officers to gather them from nodal agencies and mobile service providers, says the Hindustan Times. The private detectives used these CDRs to gather information for their clients.

Pokemon Go player finds dead body

With the release of Pokemon Go, users, young and old, have hit the streets in their quest to catch 'em all. However, one gamer in Wyoming, USA, got more than she bargained for when she found not a wild MewTwo, but an actual dead body.

Shayla Wiggins found the body by the riverside when trying to find a Pokemon from a natural water resource. Wyoming police say that the cause of death appears to be accidental.

UN's World Food Programme needs $610 million for southern Africa drought relief

The United Nations' food agency has said that it needs $730 million to counter the drought crisis in seven southern African nations over the next 12 months.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has said that it is facing a $610 million shortfall in relief for Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Madagascar, Swaziland and Zambia.

The El Nino pattern has triggered severe drought across the region.