Ramesh Babu

Ramesh Babu

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

Articles by Ramesh Babu
The Congress called the strike in support of the 12-point charter of demands that included proper health services at the Govind Ballabh Panth (GBP) hospital, the state’s lone dedicated Covid-19 hospital in Agartala and other Covid Care Centres, giving <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>10 lakh to the kin of Covid-19 victims and withdrawal of chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s anti-media remark. (Image used for representation).(HT PHOTO.)
The Congress called the strike in support of the 12-point charter of demands that included proper health services at the Govind Ballabh Panth (GBP) hospital, the state’s lone dedicated Covid-19 hospital in Agartala and other Covid Care Centres, giving 10 lakh to the kin of Covid-19 victims and withdrawal of chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s anti-media remark. (Image used for representation).(HT PHOTO.)

Congress high command summons 3 top Kerala leaders to Delhi

By Ramesh Babu, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 08:47 PM IST
  • There are also reports that some of the slighted leaders like Professor KV Thomas were planning to leave the party.
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Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram
Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram

‘Not the time to lower your guard’

By Ramesh Babu, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 03:08 AM IST
“It is a good beginning. But it is not the time to lower our guard,” Dr Jose Chacko Periappuram said. The government has warned recipients of the vaccine to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread before the second dose of the vaccine is given.
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A health worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine to a health worker at the Dr. R N Cooper Municipal General Hospital, in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. India launched one of the world�s largest coronavirus vaccination drives on Saturday, setting in motion a complex deployment plan aimed at stemming the wide spread of infections across a nation of more than 1.3 billion people. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)
A health worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine to a health worker at the Dr. R N Cooper Municipal General Hospital, in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. India launched one of the world�s largest coronavirus vaccination drives on Saturday, setting in motion a complex deployment plan aimed at stemming the wide spread of infections across a nation of more than 1.3 billion people. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)

1,300 to get Covid-19 vaccination on the first day

By Ramesh Babu, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:55 PM IST
Kerala has received 43,50,00 vials of the vaccine for the first phase of the vaccination.
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With the assembly elections due in four months, Kerala finance minister TM Thomas Issac presented the last budget of the Pinarayi Vijayan government for now(PTI)
With the assembly elections due in four months, Kerala finance minister TM Thomas Issac presented the last budget of the Pinarayi Vijayan government for now(PTI)

Kerala earmarks fund for mental health

By Ramesh Babu, Thiruvanathapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 04:23 AM IST
The state has earmarked Rs.64 crore for mental health programmes, usually a neglected sector. According to a survey conducted by the state mental health department last year, at least 15% of the youth between 18 and 25 years suffered from depression and other mental health problems.
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Kerala finance minister Thomas Issac presenting the budget.(ANI Photo )
Kerala finance minister Thomas Issac presenting the budget.(ANI Photo )

Kitchen loans, sops for startups, industrial corridors in Kerala budget

UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 05:14 PM IST
In the budget speech, the Kerala finance minister Thomas Issac also criticised the Centre’s move to put severe restrictions on states for borrowing.
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Usually five to six lakh pilgrims throng the hill temple on Makara Vilakku day marking the end of the pilgrimage season, but this time policemen and officials outnumbered pilgrims. (ANI PHOTO).
Usually five to six lakh pilgrims throng the hill temple on Makara Vilakku day marking the end of the pilgrimage season, but this time policemen and officials outnumbered pilgrims. (ANI PHOTO).

Sabarimala sees subdued ‘Makara Vilakku’, cash-strapped temple seeks govt help

By Ramesh Babu | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 14, 2021 09:55 PM IST
  • The meagre footfall at the temple has drained the plush coffers of the temple and it has asked the government for a bail-out package.
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Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. (File photo)
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. (File photo)

Congress links Kerala chief minister to gold smuggling

PUBLISHED ON JAN 14, 2021 04:16 PM IST
Congress MLA PT Thomas claimed Vijayan was aware of the activities of his former principal secretary M Sivasankar, who was arrested three months back in connection with the gold recovery at the Thiruvananthapuram airport
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Kerala High Court.
Kerala High Court.

Kerala HC rejects govt plea questioning CBI probe into Life Mission project

By Ramesh Babu | Edited by Sohini Sarkar, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 02:45 PM IST
  • A flagship project of the government, aimed at building free houses for the poor, it ran into rough weather after Congress MLA Anil Akkara filed a complaint with the CBI saying the project violated the Foreign Currency Regulation Act (FCRA).
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The Mermaid sculpture on Shangumugham beach in Thiruvananthapuram is one of the major works of famous artist Kanayi Kunhiraman.(Vivek Nair/HT PHOTO)
The Mermaid sculpture on Shangumugham beach in Thiruvananthapuram is one of the major works of famous artist Kanayi Kunhiraman.(Vivek Nair/HT PHOTO)

Kerala art lovers fume after chopper installation near iconic Mermaid sculpture

By Ramesh Babu | Edited by Sabir Hussain
PUBLISHED ON JAN 11, 2021 06:17 PM IST
  • Art lovers say tourists line up before the helicopter to take selfies and group photos these days ignoring the sculpture and it was a deliberate move to outshine the art.
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File photo: Kerala assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan.(@cpimspeak/Twitter)
File photo: Kerala assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan.(@cpimspeak/Twitter)

Customs officials set to grill Kerala Speaker in gold smuggling case

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 09:03 PM IST
A senior official said that the probe is at a crucial stage.
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Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan welcomes Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on the first day of Kerala Assembly session on Friday.
Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan welcomes Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on the first day of Kerala Assembly session on Friday.

Opposition in Kerala boycotts Governor’s address, stages protest outside Assembly

By Ramesh Babu | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 11:40 AM IST
The opposition legislators, who came with banners and posters, raised slogans against chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying it is the most corrupt government the state has seen.
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Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan is at loggerheads with the customs department in the gold smuggling case.(Courtesy-Facebook)
Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan is at loggerheads with the customs department in the gold smuggling case.(Courtesy-Facebook)

Kerala Speaker and customs face off in gold smuggling case

By Ramesh Babu | Edited by Abhinav Sahay | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2021 03:15 PM IST
The Opposition Congress and legal experts have criticised the Speaker’s move as an attempt to scuttle the on-going probe into the gold smuggling case.
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Devang Subil with his drone. (HT Photo)
Devang Subil with his drone. (HT Photo)

Armed with drone, 19-year-old rescues 4 drowning fishermen off Kerala coast

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 06, 2021 03:56 PM IST
The Kerala Fishing Boat Operator’s Association said it was the first time a drone camera was used to save fishermen from seas in south India.
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The accused in the Wayalar sisters’ rape-murder case has been asked to surrender before the trial court by January 20. (HT Photo)
The accused in the Wayalar sisters’ rape-murder case has been asked to surrender before the trial court by January 20. (HT Photo)

Kerala High Court sets aside aquittal in Walayar minors’ rape-murder case

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 06, 2021 03:02 PM IST
The bench comprising Justices A Hariprasad and MA Anitha ordered a retrial in the case and directed the special court to hear it.
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HT Image
HT Image
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The Kerala gold smuggling case came to light on July 5 after 30 kg of the yellow metal was seized by the Customs from a package camouflaged as diplomatic consignment addressed to the UAE consulate in the state capital.(PTI PHOTO.)
The Kerala gold smuggling case came to light on July 5 after 30 kg of the yellow metal was seized by the Customs from a package camouflaged as diplomatic consignment addressed to the UAE consulate in the state capital.(PTI PHOTO.)

Kerala gold smuggling: NIA files chargesheet against 20 accused

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 05, 2021 10:28 PM IST
The NIA filed the first chargesheet since some of the accused were planning to move court for bail citing their 6-month long judicial custody.
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File photo: Workers spray to sanitize the area in front of bird enclosure.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
File photo: Workers spray to sanitize the area in front of bird enclosure.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Nearly 25,000 birds die of 2 strains of bird flu, states on alert

By Sachin Saini, Shruti Tomar, Naresh Thakur, Ramesh Babu | Edited by Sparshita Saxena | Hindustan Times, Jaipur/Bhopal/Shimla/Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 05, 2021 09:03 PM IST
Forest department officials said the source of bird flu was migratory birds which probably came from Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries and have spread to native species.
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Thiruvananthapuram: An elderly woman pumps sanitizer on the hands of students before entering the premises of a university.(PTI)
Thiruvananthapuram: An elderly woman pumps sanitizer on the hands of students before entering the premises of a university.(PTI)

6 cases of new Covid-19 strain detected in Kerala

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 04, 2021 10:18 PM IST
According to medical experts, the new UK strain is at least 70 per cent deadlier than the normal one and its contagion rate is also very high.
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Asaduddin Owaisi’s brand of politics is not suitable for Kerala, said Muslim League senior leader PK Kunhalikutty. (Photo @aimim_national)
Asaduddin Owaisi’s brand of politics is not suitable for Kerala, said Muslim League senior leader PK Kunhalikutty. (Photo @aimim_national)

Youth urge Asaduddin Owaisi to launch party in Kerala, Muslim League cautious

By Ramesh Babu and Srinivasa Rao Apparasu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 04, 2021 05:49 PM IST
In Kerala, the League has been enjoying the support of the Muslim community for more than four decades and political observers often attribute its presence to peaceful communal co-existence in the state.
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Fresh cases were detected after ducks started dying in large numbers, said Alappuzha district veterinary officer K Lekha. (HT File photo)
Fresh cases were detected after ducks started dying in large numbers, said Alappuzha district veterinary officer K Lekha. (HT File photo)

Alappuzha, Kottayam in Kerala on high alert after bird flu cases detected

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 04, 2021 03:50 PM IST
Bird flu, also known as avian flu, is a variety of influenza caused by a virus in birds. It can spread to humans and can trigger a person to person transmission, experts say.
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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan moves resolution against Centre's farm laws in the special session of State Assembly, in Thiruvananthapuram.(ANI)
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan moves resolution against Centre's farm laws in the special session of State Assembly, in Thiruvananthapuram.(ANI)

Kerala passes resolution against farm laws

By Ramesh Babu | Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON DEC 31, 2020 11:15 PM IST
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan introduced the resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the new laws and heed the demands of farmers who have massed on Delhi’s borders to protest against the legislation. “The Centre wants to corporatize the farm sector. It must come forward to allay farmers’ fears. The entire country is with them. It should recognise public sentiments and withdraw the new laws,” Vijayan said
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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan moves resolution against Centre's farm laws in the special session of State Assembly, in Thiruvananthapuram.(ANI)
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan moves resolution against Centre's farm laws in the special session of State Assembly, in Thiruvananthapuram.(ANI)

Kerala passes resolution against farm laws

By Ramesh Babu | Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON JAN 01, 2021 02:34 AM IST
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan introduced the resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the new laws and heed the demands of farmers who have massed on Delhi’s borders to protest against the legislation. “The Centre wants to corporatize the farm sector. It must come forward to allay farmers’ fears. The entire country is with them. It should recognise public sentiments and withdraw the new laws,” Vijayan said
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Many Left leaders have praised BJP’s O Rajagopal for his stand against the new farm laws.(TWITTER/@BJPRajagopal.)
Many Left leaders have praised BJP’s O Rajagopal for his stand against the new farm laws.(TWITTER/@BJPRajagopal.)

Kerala’s lone BJP MLA backs assembly resolution against farm laws

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2020 09:06 PM IST
The nonagenarian leader, who was minister of state for railways in the Vajpayee government, spoke against the resolution in the house initially but when it was put to voice vote he did not stage a walkout and supported it much to the surprise of the treasury and opposition benches.
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BJP’s lone MLA in Kerala, O Rajagopal.
BJP’s lone MLA in Kerala, O Rajagopal.

Lone BJP MLA backs resolution passed by Kerala Assembly against farm laws

By Ramesh Babu | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2020 01:04 PM IST
The BJP-led central government has said that the “landmark” laws are beneficial for small farmers and will give them choice to sell their produce as per their choice.
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Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan moved a resolution in the Assembly against the three farm laws passed by Parliament in September.(ANI Photo)
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan moved a resolution in the Assembly against the three farm laws passed by Parliament in September.(ANI Photo)

Kerala Assembly’s one-day special session begins, CM Pinarayi Vijayan moves resolution against farm laws

By Ramesh Babu | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2020 10:25 AM IST
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had on Monday given his assent for convening the state assembly for a one-day special session on December 31.
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A Anandavalli (46) takes charge as the block panchayat president in Pathanapuram in south Kerala’s Kollam district on Wednesday.(HT PHOTO)
A Anandavalli (46) takes charge as the block panchayat president in Pathanapuram in south Kerala’s Kollam district on Wednesday.(HT PHOTO)

Kerala woman who worked as part-time sweeper at panchayat office is now its president

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON DEC 30, 2020 08:49 PM IST
A Anandavalli was elected on a Communist Party of India (Marxist) ticket in the recently concluded local body election and elevated to the post of block president on Wednesday.
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The teen digging the grave for his father while police are trying to stop him. (Videograb)
The teen digging the grave for his father while police are trying to stop him. (Videograb)

Video of teen pleading with cops to let him bury his father sparks outrage

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram:
UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2020 04:28 PM IST
The boy’s parents had ‘accidentally’ immolated themselves on December 22 in Neyyatinkara in Thiruvananthapuram after police came to their house to evict them following a court order.
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All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Tariq Anwar.(ANI)
All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Tariq Anwar.(ANI)

After poll debacle, revamp talk gets stronger in Kerala Congress

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON DEC 27, 2020 10:24 PM IST
Party insiders said a major surgery is unlikely as the state is set to go for the assembly elections in four months.
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In December first week, Swapna Suresh had told a court dealing with economic offences in Kochi that her life was in danger and sought special protection in jail and for her family members too.(PTI PHOTO.)
In December first week, Swapna Suresh had told a court dealing with economic offences in Kochi that her life was in danger and sought special protection in jail and for her family members too.(PTI PHOTO.)

Kerala gold smuggling case: Customs to move high court against jail dept

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON DEC 26, 2020 05:13 PM IST
Lodged in a women’s prison in the state capital under Cofeposa (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act), recently, the customs had issued a directive to the jail that it should be informed about anyone visiting her and a customs official will accompany the visitor.
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Arya Rajendran became a member of Bala Sangam, a children’s outfit affiliated to the party, at the tender age of six. Now she is its state president and also an office-bearer of the Students Federation of India.(Vivek R Nair/HT PHOTO.)
Arya Rajendran became a member of Bala Sangam, a children’s outfit affiliated to the party, at the tender age of six. Now she is its state president and also an office-bearer of the Students Federation of India.(Vivek R Nair/HT PHOTO.)

Arya Rajendran, 21, chosen country’s youngest Mayor from Thiruvananthapuram

By Ramesh Babu | Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON DEC 25, 2020 07:25 PM IST
Basking in the glory of recent local body elections, in which it won the majority of corporations, panchayats and block bodies, the ruling party sprang a surprise by giving the mantle of the prestigious corporation to a first-time councillor.
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