Vishnu Varma

Vishnu Varma is Assistant Editor and reports from Kerala for the Hindustan Times. He has 10 years of experience writing for print and digital platforms and has worked at The New York Times, NDTV and The Indian Express in the past. He specialises in longform reportage at the intersections of politics, crime, social commentary and environment.

Articles by Vishnu Varma

A suspicious husband, an interstate labourer and a blameless victim

How a police team cracked a 17-year-old murder that rocked a small Kerala village, despite shoddy investigation by earlier teams and the murderer's red herrings

The house in the small village of Pullad in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district where the murder took place(Courtesy: The Author)
Published on Sep 28, 2023 05:42 PM IST

Six detained for smuggling gold worth 3cr at Calicut airport

The six accused have been identified as Sameer, Abdul Sakkeer, Azeez Kollandavida, Ligeesh, Muhammad Midlaj and Muhammad Basheer

The accused people were caught by the Customs in a period of 14 hours, from Sunday night till Monday morning (HT Archives)
Published on Sep 26, 2023 01:18 AM IST
By, Kochi

‘Misquoted’: IUML MP after remark on Muslim women’s support to BJP

The MP on Friday claimed that he made the remarks in a sarcastic tone and that he was ‘misunderstood’.

Indian Union Muslim League MP PV Abdul Wahab(HT File)
Updated on Sep 23, 2023 03:26 AM IST

‘Was being sarcastic’: IUML MP on Muslim women with BJP post triple talaq law

The MP on Friday claimed that he made the remarks in a sarcastic tone and that he was ‘misunderstood’

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP PV Abdul Wahab (Facebook Photo)
Published on Sep 22, 2023 03:41 PM IST

FIR filed against worker from UP for assault on minor in Kerala

While playing, the tyre reportedly hit the migrant worker named Salman a couple of times who took offence and grabbed the stick from the boy’s hand and beat him with it

Kerala police have booked a case against the migrant worker from UP under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and section 324 (causing hurt using dangerous weapons or means) of the IPC (HT Archives)
Updated on Sep 22, 2023 01:14 AM IST

Kerala: No new Nipah cases in last six days, restrictions lifted

The Kozhikode district administration on Thursday lifted restrictions after no fresh cases of Nipah virus were reported in Kerala for a sixth straight day

The Kozhikode district administration lifts restrictions after no fresh cases of Nipah virus were reported in Kerala. (AFP)
Updated on Sep 22, 2023 03:25 AM IST

After ICMR nod, Kerala to conduct tests to detect Nipah virus

On Wednesday, no fresh Nipah infections were reported in the state with 61 more samples of high-risk contacts testing negative

Kerala Health Minister Veena George (ANI)
Published on Sep 21, 2023 01:01 AM IST
By, Kochi

Kerala minister sticks to caste discrimination allegations, rejects priest’s explanations

Kerala's Minister for Temple Affairs and SC/ST Welfare, K Radhakrishnan, has stuck to his allegations of caste discrimination at a temple in Kannur district, despite counter-clarifications from the temple's priest and a body of chief priests. No case has been filed by the police in connection with the incident. The minister, belonging to the Scheduled Caste community, alleged that two priests of the temple declined to hand him the flame used to light a bigger lamp and instead put it on the ground. The priest claimed he was only maintaining sanctity by not touching anyone during the rituals.

K Radhakrishnan (Wikimedia Commons)
Updated on Sep 21, 2023 01:00 AM IST
By, Kochi

Nipah virus not confirmed in samples taken from 36 bats, says Kerala CM

Bat samples mainly collected from areas close to the home of the 47-year-old who tested positive for the virus, and subsequently died, in Maruthonkara panchayat of Kozhikode district

Health workers shift a man with symptoms of Nipah virus to an isolation ward at a government hospital in Kozhikode in Kerala on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated on Sep 20, 2023 11:51 AM IST

Efforts on to ensure release of Indians held in kuwait: Muraleedharan

Local media reports, citing the relatives of the nurses, said that they have been working at the particular clinic for many years and have valid visa and sponsorship documents.

V Muraleedharan (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 19, 2023 12:54 AM IST
By, Kochi

Social activist Gireesh Babu found dead at home in Kerala

Gireesh Babu, a prominent social and RTI activist, was found dead at his home in Kochi. He had filed legal challenges in corruption cases in Kerala.

Gireesh Babu (HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 19, 2023 12:51 AM IST

Kerala high court stays proceedings against Mohanlal in ivory possession case

The Kerala high court has stayed trial proceedings in the ivory possession case against actor Mohanlal for six months. The court has ordered the actor to appear before the trial court on November 3. The case dates back to 2011 when elephant tusks were found at the actor's residence. The forest department had issued an ownership certificate for the tusks, which was later challenged. In 2020, the state government attempted to withdraw prosecution but was denied by the magistrate court.

Mohanlal (HT Achives)
Updated on Sep 19, 2023 12:47 AM IST
By, Kochi

Kerala youtuber rejects charge of sexually harassing woman from Saudi Arabia

Suban claimed that the woman had cooked up the allegations against him as she wanted ‘reach’ or attention on social media

Suban, currently on a tour in Canada, posted a video on his YouTube account dismissing the charges against him as fake. (HT Archives)
Published on Sep 18, 2023 12:31 AM IST
By, Kochi

Kozhikode: Locally grown fruits record decline in sales due to Nipah outbreak

The Nipah outbreak causes plummeting sales of local fruits like rambutan, guava, and dragon fruit, leading to financial losses for farmers and retailers.

Members of a medical team from Kozhikode Medical College carry areca nut and guava fruit samples to conduct tests for Nipah virus in Maruthonkara village in Kozhikode district, Kerala on September 13. (REUTERS)
Updated on Sep 17, 2023 07:30 AM IST

Nipah virus: Health department tightens restrictions in Kerala

All 38 wards of Feroke Municipality and seven wards of Kozhikode Municipal Corporation have been declared as containment zones, the collector said.

Health workers wearing protective gears shift a man with symptoms of Nipah virus to an isolation ward at a government hospital, in Kozhikode in Kerala on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated on Sep 17, 2023 12:19 AM IST
By, Kochi

A familiar fear in Kozhikode as Nipah resurfaces

Five years later, Nipah has returned to Kozhikode, and while fear persists, there is now a greater sense of familiarity, with some fatalism

Health workers collect clinical samples and investigate the home of a Nipah virus victim, in Kozhikode on Friday. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 16, 2023 12:07 AM IST

In Kerala, 1 more tests positive for Nipah, tally at 6

A 39-year-old man in Kerala has tested positive for the Nipah virus, bringing the total number of infections to six. The man contracted the virus after coming into contact with a previously infected patient who later died. The Nipah virus is highly pathogenic and often fatal, causing brain swelling and respiratory distress. There is currently no cure or vaccine for the virus. The Indian government is working to evaluate preventive measures to tackle the outbreak.

Health workers and security personnel control entry at an emergency ward at the medical college amid an outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala in Kozhikode on Friday. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 16, 2023 12:05 AM IST

One more person tests positive for Nipah in Kerala, total cases now at 6

Restrictions have been tightened in Kozhikode district where all the cases have been reported. Schools and other educational institutions are shut

Health workers shift people who have been in contact with a person infected with the Nipah virus to an isolation centre at a government hospital in Kozhikode, Kerala. (AFP Photo)
Published on Sep 15, 2023 09:49 AM IST

Nipah outbreak: Bats spotted at farmland owned by index case, say officials

Fruit bats are considered the natural carriers of the Nipah virus which spreads through contact with body fluids of infected animals.

Health workers wearing protective gear shift people who have been in contact with a person infected with the Nipah virus to an isolation centre at a goverment hospital in Kozikode. (AFP)
Updated on Sep 15, 2023 09:01 AM IST

Nipah virus: Past outbreaks, scrutiny helped in case detection

Nipah is mainly a zoonotic disease — when a pathogen jumps from a non-human host to humans — with some documented cases of transmission among humans

A patient being admitted to a Nipah isolation ward at the medical college in Kozhikode (PTI)
Published on Sep 15, 2023 12:43 AM IST
By, Kochi

Covid era-like containment zones back in Kerala as Nipah resurfaces

The panchayat is also holding daily meetings, co-ordinating with the police, and officials from the state’s animal husbandry and health departments

A patient being admitted to a Nipah isolation ward at the medical college in Kozhikode (PTI)
Updated on Sep 15, 2023 04:56 AM IST
By, Kochi

Kerala shuts schools as Nipah virus fears mount

Authorities in Kerala are working to contain the spread of the Nipah virus, with around 950 people potentially exposed. Five people have tested positive for the virus, with two deaths. The government has set up containment zones and closed educational institutes in the affected area. Testing is being carried out on those in contact with the infected individuals, and experts from three organizations have arrived to assist with treatment and surveillance. The Nipah virus causes fatal encephalitis and can be transmitted through contact with infected animals or contaminated food.

A patient being brought to an isolation ward in Kozhikode. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 15, 2023 12:09 AM IST
By, Kochi

Nipah: Preparing facilities, identifying high-risk contacts, says Kerala health min

Authorities declared containment zones in seven villages of the Kozhikode district, closing down schools, banks and other institutions

This is the fourth Nipah outbreak in Kerala since 2018. (PTI Photo)
Published on Sep 13, 2023 12:27 PM IST

2 die as Nipah resurfaces in Kerala, Centre rushes team

The state minister said three of the five samples that had been sent for testing to the National Institute of Virology lab in Pune came back positive

Health workers collect blood samples from goats in the neighborhood for testing after a 12-year-old boy died of the Nipah virus in Kozhikode, Kerala state, India, Tuesday, Sept.7, 2021. The southern Indian state is quickly ramping up efforts to stop a potential outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus, even as it continues to battle the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country. (AP)
Updated on Sep 12, 2023 11:56 PM IST
By, Kochi

Kerala reports 2 suspected Nipah virus deaths in Kozhikode, state on high alert

Four people, including three children, who were in contact with the first deceased on August 30 are currently under treatment. The condition of one of the children is said to be critical

Doctors and patients wear masks as a precautionary measure after the 'Nipah' virus outbreak in Kozhikode, Kerala in 2018. (PTI File Photo)
Published on Sep 12, 2023 10:13 AM IST

Moideen, Sudhakaran appear before ED in two different cases

Moideen is being quizzed by ED officials for the first time in connection with alleged fraud at the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank in Thrissur district

AC Moideen (HT Archives)
Published on Sep 12, 2023 01:18 AM IST
By, Kochi

LDF, UDF trade barbs over charges of conspiracy bid in solar scandal

Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan demanded that the state government allow the CBI to probe the allegations of criminal conspiracy in the case

Oommen Chandy (HT Photo)
Published on Sep 12, 2023 01:17 AM IST
By, Kochi

ED summons CPM MLA, Congress state chief in two separate cases in Kerala

MLA Moideen was quizzed in connection with alleged fraud at a cooperative bank while Congress chief Sudhakar was questioned in a cheating case

The Enforcement Directorate questioned the two politicians in two separate cases . (File photo)
Updated on Sep 11, 2023 03:48 PM IST

No role in bank fraud, says former CPI(M) MP

Former CPI(M) Lok Sabha MP PK Biju underlined that if summoned by the ED as part of probe into the case, he would certainly go and clarify his position

The Enforcement Directorate is probing the fraud at the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank in Kerala. (HT Archives)
Published on Sep 11, 2023 12:56 AM IST

Kerala top police officer suspended over ‘role’ in Mavunkal cheating case

Lakshman, who was arrested by the Crime Branch of the Kerala police in August on charges of conspiracy, cheating and forgery, is out on anticipatory bail approved by the Kerala high court

Gugulloth Lakshman, inspector general of police (training), was placed under suspension under Rule 3 (1) of All India Service (Discipline and Appeal Rules), 1969 with immediate effect for causing “disgrace to the police force and disruption of discipline. (HT Photo)
Published on Sep 09, 2023 01:24 AM IST
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