QKolkata: HC Asks If Mukul’s Phone Is Tapped; 1 More Dengue Death

Your daily lowdown on all things Kolkata.

6 min read
Mukul Roy. 

1. HC Asks Govts If Mukul Is Under Surveillance

The Delhi High Court Monday asked for an “unambiguous” answer from the Centre and the Bengal government on whether calls of BJP MP Mukul Roy were being intercepted or if his movements were being monitored.

This came after a plea filed by the former Trinamool Congress MP seeking a CBI probe into the alleged surveillance and tapping of his phone by the Bengal police. The plea has also sought directions to Roy’s telecom service providers MTNL and Vodafone to produce the orders, if any, issued by the Centre or the state government to intercept messages originating from or received by the leader or his relatives. Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the ministries of home affairs and information and broadcasting, West Bengal government and police, CBI, MTNL and Vodafone to file their responses in two weeks.

“Respondents to file counter-affidavits unambiguously stating whether the petitioner (Roy) is being monitored, or his calls are intercepted by any of the agencies. If so, they should also file the affidavits with reasons in sealed cover,” the court said and listed the matter for hearing on 7 December. Appearing for Roy, advocate Arvind Nigam told the court that his client had already made a representation to the Centre and the two governments must state on affidavit that they were not tapping his calls. The Centre opposed the petition and questioned the jurisdiction, saying if at all any cause of legal action arose, it should be in a court in West Bengal.

(Source: The Times Of India)

2. Dreaded Disease Claims One More in City Hospital

Dengue has gripped Kolkata.
Dengue has gripped Kolkata.
(Photo: iStock)

A 69-year-old woman from Penchar More in New Town died of dengue at a private hospital on EM Bypass on Monday evening. Minati Chakraborty, originally from Missionpara Road in Khardah, North 24 Parganas, started suffering from high fever five days ago. She was first admitted to the state-run Balaram Seva Mandir in Khardah. Her blood sample, tested at a private laboratory in Sodepur, came back NS1 positive, after which her son shifted her to a private hospital in Salt Lake.

Another blood test confirmed the earlier finding. “On Saturday, we shifted her to the hospital on Bypass after her condition deteriorated. On Monday evening, she was declared dead. She had recently started staying with her son and his family in New Town. She would visit Khardah from time to time and seems to have contracted the disease there. Doctors confirmed she died of multiorgan failure due to dengue,” a relative said.

This is the third resident of Khardah to have died of dengue in the last 10-odd days. On 10 November, Abhradeep Gupta, 28, died at Sagar Dutta Hospital in Kamarhati and on Saturday, Bhaskar Ghosh, a 36-year-old footballer from Rabindra Palli in Khardah, died at a private hospital in Belgharia. “Nearly 50 people at Rabindra Palli, Missionpara Road, Kulin Para and Surya Sen Palli have high fever. Most of them are actually suffering from dengue,” claimed Krishnendu Ghosh, a local.

(Source: The Times Of India)

3. Rain Shadow on Veggie Prices

Over the last few days, prices of cabbage and cauliflower have dropped sharply, thanks to the low-pressure triggered rain. Image used for representation.
Over the last few days, prices of cabbage and cauliflower have dropped sharply, thanks to the low-pressure triggered rain. Image used for representation.
(Photo: iStock)

Unseasonal rain that had hit Bengal last week may have receded but its impact is still being felt across Kolkata markets. While the showers are responsible for pulling down prices of a handful of vegetables, it has adversely affected the stocks of others, thereby burning a hole in consumers’ pockets.

Over the last few days, prices of cabbage and cauliflower have dropped sharply, thanks to the low-pressure triggered rain. Wholesalers have resorted to distress sale to clear the cabbage-cauliflower stock damaged by the rain. But buyers are not so lucky when it comes to other vegetables. Prices of some staple vegetables have remained consistently at or above Rs 50/kg. This is a bit unusual if you look at previous years. By this time last year, vegetable prices nosedived sharply.

According to sources, rain has delayed harvesting of winter vegetables in Bengal, forcing the state to depend on other states. Consumers, subsequently, are bearing the price burden. “Most of the winter vegetables we are now getting is coming from outside. Peyajkoli (Scallion), which is coming from Karimpur in Bangladesh, remains pricey. Tomato from Purulia has just started arriving. So, tomato price is likely to crash in two-three days,” said Kamal Dey, Koley Market vendors association president and Bengal government’s market task force member.

(Source: The Times Of India)

4. Exams Face Holiday Heat

Representational image of exam stress. 
Representational image of exam stress. 
(Photo: iStock)

The education department has asked state-aided Madhyamik schools to postpone their annual examinations because many such institutes in holiday-happy Bengal would otherwise be unable to achieve the mandatory target of 200 class days in an academic year.

The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education had recently issued a notice stating that no school should start its annual examination in November because that would reduce the number of teaching days. In the event of an examination having commenced before the notice arrived, the institute is required to keep the remaining papers on hold till the end of the month.

Several school heads told Metro that their examination dates were fixed at the beginning of the session in January.

In most schools, examinations were to commence 15 November onwards, accounting for the stipulated 200 class days.

(Source: The Telegraph)

5. Calcutta Connect in Memory-Device Leap

Scientists in Calcutta and Singapore have jointly developed a new type of memory device that promises to overcome limitations of current digital storage and data processing systems as well as bolster progress towards artificial intelligence.

The memory device developed by scientists at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science ( IACS), Jadavpur, and the National University of Singapore, is based on metal-organic complexes and consumes nearly a thousand times less energy than the existing oxide-based memory systems.

Memory devices form a core hardware component of modern digital electronics and are ubiquitous, be it in computer hard drives, pen drives or mobile phones.

Theoretical support for this work was provided by a team at Yale, led by professor Victor Batista, a theoretical chemist.

"Our device offers superior performance over existing devices," Sreebrata Goswami, an IACS scientist in the team, told Metro . He said the new memory device appeared to meet criteria for low-cost, improved durability and low energy consumption. These are key features that the computer industry is seeking in the next generation of memory systems to manage vast amounts of electronic data.

Sreebrata’s son Sreetosh is also part of the team that has worked at the National University of Singapore.

(Source: The Telegraph)

6. Passengers Run Riot

Passengers stormed the rooms of the stationmaster and ticket checkers in Baruipur and ransacked the furniture before setting them on fire around 7.30pm on Monday.

The reason – disrupted services in Sealdah south suburban section since 4.22pm when the RPF tried to evict settlers along the track, close to the station.

Eastern Railway spokesperson Ravi Mahapatra said no railway official was injured in the fire. But many passengers said they were injured when the RPF tried to disperse the protesters from the rooms.

The protesting passengers had broken down the collapsible gates and smashed furniture and computers before setting them on fire, a railway official said. Some passengers started demonstrating the disruption in services in Sealdah as well but the RPF didn’t let the situation spiral out of control, the official said.

Trains started running around 9pm but it took at least another hour for services to normalise.

(Source: The Telegraph)

7. Headmaster Kills Self After Molestation Charge

The Chandni crossing on the Howrah-Domjur main road witnessed sporadic clashes between locals and police on Monday after the headmaster of a local Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-run school, Vivekananda Sishu Mandir (VSM) at Jagatballavpur’s Ankurhati, committed suicide. Locals demanded arrest of those who allegedly forced the headmaster to kill himself.

Sujit Banerjee(44) hanged himself in a bamboo grove near his home at Shankarhati on Monday morning. In his suicide note, Banerjee mentioned the names of some members of the school’s managing committee, who had allegedly been harassing him for unearthing a Rs 19 lakh fraud. Banerjee was known for his honesty and dedication. “He would visit the homes of children to spread awareness on hygiene, use of clean drinking water and treatment of snake bite,” said Subal Halui, a local.

As the news spread, nearly 3,000 locals gathered on the road and blocked it. They fought pitched battles with the police. When the Howrah SP Gaurav Sharma intervened, the locals demanded immediate arrest of the accused. The mob also ransacked a few shops owned by members of the managing committee.

(Source: The Times Of India)

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