QKolkata: Hindu Body Shows ‘Ghar Wapsi’, Thrashes Journos & More

Your daily lowdown of all things Kolkata

5 min read
The Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. 

1. In a 1st for City, Hindu Body Exhibits ‘Ghar-Wapsi’ Cases

The first public display of “ghar wapsi” in the heart of Kolkata occurred on Wednesday when 16 members of a Muslim family, who were “re-converted to Hinduism”, were showcased on the dais of right-wing organisation Hindu Samhati at Esplanade.

Hindu Samhati founder Tapan Ghosh said his outfit had been organising this “ghar-wapsi” programme for some time but had only now decided to bring “re-converted people” onto the public stage as “the time was right”. He borrowed from the title of American political scientist Samuel P Huntington’s ‘The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order’ to explain why the “time was right”: “The world is witnessing a clash of civilisations,” he said.

But it soon became evident – painfully for a section of the media – that the organisers had not bargained for too much public scrutiny. Members of the outfit chased mediapersons and thrashed one of them for daring to talk to the family and asking them if they had “become Hindus again” under any pressure.

(Source: The Times Of India)

2. Enteric Claims First Victim, 33-Yr-Old Dies in S Kolkata

The enteric outbreak claimed its first victim on Wednesday with the death of 33-year-old Biswajit Das, who had come down to Bagha Jatin about two weeks ago for a wedding.

His family alleged Das would have survived had the authorities of Bagha Jatin State General Hospital admitted him, instead of treating him and letting him go, only for them to return to the hospital and being referred elsewhere in the evening.

Biswajit, a resident of Ichapore in North 24-Parganas, had come down to Kolkata with his family on 2 February to attend a wedding. Though the ceremony got over on 7 February, they decided to stay on for another week to visit relatives and friends. On hindsight, this decision proved fatal: he was one of several taken ill after consuming KMC-supplied water.

(Source: The Times of India)

3. On V-Day, Bengal Police Woos Online Abusers

A Raiganj locality woke up to the sounds of police boots, bagpipes and love on Wednesday.
Ukilpara, in Uttar Dinajpur district, was witness to a make-up session on Valentine’s Day — only the parties concerned were police and a resident who had roundly abused police on social media following road accidents on 9 February that had claimed two lives.

On Wednesday morning, police came knocking on the door of Bubul Chakraborty, a small trader. When he opened the door to the music of bagpipes, police, who included woman officials, handed him a bouquet, a teddy, a pot of sweet and a card that said ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’. Police officer Sandip Chakraborty said: “It is a small gift and message from our police super.”

(Source: The Times Of India)

4. City To Get Real-Time Pollution Study Devices

The World Bank will fund the environment department’s multipoint real-time air quality monitoring system and the methods to counter pollution. Apart from a few stationary air-quality monitoring devices, around 10 others mounted on government buses will generate area-specific real-time air quality data. This information will be analysed to ascertain the source of the pollution, as well as patterns, which will allow the government to adopt corrective measures, said an official.

Ideation Technology, the technology partner of Bengal’s transport department, has been entrusted with the job of developing a prototype of ambient air quality assessment devices, which can measure ambient air pollution on the move with the precise longitude and latitude of the place. Each monitoring device will measure sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxide (NO2) and particulate matters (PM10 and PM2.5).

In fact, in its South Asia Urban Air quality management briefing note 14, World Bank said that very little information is available on sources of fine particulate air pollution.

(Source: The Times Of India)

5. Vikram Case Inches Towards Trial

The case against actor Vikram Chatterjee for the car crash that killed model Sonika Singh Chauhan in April last year was "committed" to a sessions court on Wednesday by the chief judicial magistrate's court.

This means the legal proceedings in the case have moved a step forward towards the beginning of the trial.

In keeping with the law, Vikram was present before the chief judicial magistrate's court in Alipore on Wednesday before the case was transferred to the sessions court.

Vikram, clad in a white cotton shirt and black jeans, entered the courtroom around noon. All through the 45-minute hearing, he stood with his eyes glued to the floor and left once the case was committed.

(Source: The Telegraph)

6. Teacher Gets Partha Stick

Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday said the teacher who has accused a Trinamul student union leader of assaulting him was trying to give it a "political colour".

The minister advised Calcutta University chemical engineering teacher Bhaskar Chandra Das over the phone against speaking with the media since the syndicate would meet on Thursday.

"He is trying to give the matter a political colour. You (Das) are saying the accused student is a Trinamul student leader. If a student leader commits an offence, why would you use the platform of another political party in the name of protest," Chatterjee said while speaking to ABP Ananda.

"I called up the teacher to suggest he should speak to the authorities concerned. If I advise the university to take suitable action against the student leader, we must also ponder if it is proper of a teacher to use a political platform.... Why is he speaking to the media day in and day out even before the investigation is over."

(Source: The Telegraph)

7. 'Subscribe' To A Car, Ride & Rent It Out Too

Borrow a brand new car, drive it and rent it out when idle. Sounds too good to be true? A rental company for self-driven cars is soon going to offer customers the option of subscribing to cars.

Zoomcar Associate Programme (ZAP) will allow customers to subscribe to factory fresh cars on payment of a refundable security deposit and a monthly subscription fee.

"The subscriber can have a new car at his disposal without having to pay a hefty price, road tax or insurance. There will be no maintenance charges either," Greg Moran, the CEO of Zoomcar, told Metro. The road tax and insurance fee will be paid by Zoomcar.

The duration of the subscription will be flexible - six, 12 or 24 months. "The subscription fee will vary according to the model of the car. For a compact car, it is Rs 20,000, and it can go up to Rs 35,000 for an SUV," Moran said.

ZAP has already garnered 10,000 subscribers across the country, 1,000 of them in Calcutta. "Cars will be delivered from March," Moran said.

(Source: The Telegraph)

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