QKolkata: BJP Bike Rallies Stopped; Guv’s Message For ‘Snakes’

Your daily lowdown of all things Kolkata.

4 min read
West Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi.

1. BJP Bike Rallies Stopped

Police resorted to baton charges and arrested over 1,400 people across Bengal on Sunday when BJP activists took out bike rallies as part of the party’s outreach programme ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

The Bengal government had denied permission for the rallies citing higher secondary exams and traffic issues. The arrested BJP supporters were released later. A senior police officer said altogether 685 motorcycles had been seized across the state.

In Durgapur, BJP activists scuffled with police when bike rallies were stopped at Chitralay Maidan. The police arrested West Burdwan BJP president Lakshman Ghorui and a dozen party supporters.

(Source: The Telegraph)

2. ‘Snakes That Bite Shall Get Death, Not Milk’

Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Sunday lashed out at “people questioning the valour of the armed forces”.

Reciting a couplet, he said if the “snakes in our sleeves” bite us, they would not be fed milk, but death.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been a strident critic of the Modi government’s handling of the Pulwama terror attack. She said earlier the Centre had “ignored” intelligence warnings of a strike. Tripathi’s statement on Sunday echoed what many in the Modi government and senior BJP leaders have been saying.

(Source: The Times Of India)

3. Docu Filmmaker Hangs Self In South Kolkata Flat

Forty-eight-year-old documentary filmmaker and editor Arghya Basu, who was rescued by police from his Santoshpur home on Thursday, died en route to hospital.

Preliminary post-mortem findings hinted at hanging as the cause of death. The apartment, from which he was rescued, was locked from the inside, investigators said.

Basu’s name had cropped up during the MeToo campaign, with a film director accusing him on Facebook of sexual assault. Friends and family claimed a probe at had exonerated him, but he gradually slipped into depression, for which he sought medical help.

(Source: The Times Of India)

4. Flyers Told To Report 3 Hrs Early After Security Beef-Up

Passengers flying out of Kolkata have been advised to report at least three hours before the departure of the flight because of a sudden beef-up in manual frisking at the airport from Saturday evening after the home ministry issued a high alert following intelligence inputs on unspecified terror strike at Indian airports in the wake of the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan. On Saturday afternoon, senior officials at the airport and CISF personnel held an airport security committee meeting with representatives of all airline officials where they were informed about the tighter security measure that may hold up passengers in the security check area.

“We have started sending text messages to passengers to report at least three hours before flight departure,” said an official of a domestic airline.

(Source: The Times Of India)

5. JU Domicile Quota Opposed

The power engineering department of Jadavpur University has opposed the proposal for a domicile quota, breaking ranks with eight departments that want reservation for students from Bengal in engineering courses.

Last week, at a meeting of its board of studies, the department decided not to support the domicile quota demand.

The university should not shut its doors on deserving candidates in the name of reservation as it would go against its national character, the department has said.

Eight of the 16 engineering departments want the quota and have made their position clear before the Faculty Council for Engineering and Technology.

(Source: The Telegraph)

6. Loss Spurs Government To Focus On Insurance

The Mamata Banerjee government has shifted its focus from direct procurement of potato from farmers to compensation payment as the production could be hit hard in many south Bengal districts after rain damaged the crop in the midst of harvest.

“We are yet to ascertain the exact loss as potato grows beneath the ground. Until the harvesting is complete, the total damage cannot be calculated. But we are trying to ensure that all the 5 lakh potato farmers who have insured their crops submit claims by Monday,” said a senior government official.

The comment makes it clear that the government is not in a hurry to start procurement of potatoes. A notification was issued on 28 February, announcing that the government would buy 10 lakh tonnes of potato at Rs 5.50 a kg from farmers.

(Source: The Telegraph)

7. Sonagachhi ‘Babus’ Turn Protectors Of Sex Workers, Take Care Of Their Social Security

The nondescript yellow board at the door doesn’t give anything away about this group of men, aged between 40 and 65, who engage in serious discussion on the well-being and protection of sex workers at Sonagachhi – India’s largest red-light district – every evening.

“Kailash Kobiraj Lane Sathi Sangathan”, written in black at the entrance, doesn’t tell you that this is actually an organization of “babus” (as permanent customers at brothels are called at Sonagachhi) that has been working for the last 17 years to provide social security to sex workers. The organization has 2,500 members, who take turns to attend the meeting, inside their registered office located not far from the redlight area where 11,000 eke out a living from the world’s oldest profession.

(Source: The Times Of India)

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