QKolkata: Thousands Protest Against CAA; Blast at Cracker Unit

Here is your roundup of the top stories from Kolkata.

3 min read
 TMC Supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee plays a musical instrument while leading a protest against CAA and NRC, in Kolkata. Representative image only.

1. Crowd, Communities Come as Solace for TMC

The 3.5km march led by Mamata Banerjee on Friday against the Centre’s citizenship thrust witnessed the presence of a large crowd comprising members of different communities. Over 35,000 people walked with the chief minister through prominent thoroughfares of the city, the longest march that Siliguri saw in recent times.

An equal number of people stood on either side of the route from Hill Cart Road to Baghajatin Park through Kutcheri Road, cheering and welcoming “Didi”. Slogans against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register rented the air. Along with the show of strength, Trinamul also managed to establish another major point through the meeting and the march — the presence of people of different communities.

(Source: The Telegraph)

2. Blast at Illegal Cracker Unit Kills Four

A blast ripped through an illegal firework manufacturing unit at a village near here on Friday morning, killing four workers and damaging several homes and trees nearby. The brick-walled factory with a roof made of corrugated sheet was completely destroyed in the blast at Devok-Mathpara village which, according to police, has around 250 unauthorised cracker units.

Sources said tremors of the blast were felt even 5km away. “Three fire tenders controlled the blaze after one hour,” said a police officer, adding that four bodies were found on the site. “Five workers with critical burns were admitted to Naihati State General Hospital. Another worker is battling for life at Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital in Kalyani,” the officer said.

(Source: The Telegraph)

3. Calcutta High Court Sets Aside No-Confidence Motion Against Bhatpara Civic Body Chief

The Trinamool Congress' trust vote triumph in the Bhatpara Municipality on Thursday was short-lived, as Calcutta High Court set aside the no-confidence motion, observing that it has been illegally convened. It was brought against the BJP chairman of Bhatpara Municipality, Sourav Singh, by the ruling TMC.

Justice Arindam Sinha also declared the meeting called for holding the no-confidence motion -- passed by a margin of 19-0 in the 35-member civic body -- null and void. Reacting to the court order, West Bengal Food and Supplies Minister and TMC North 24 Parganas district president Jyotipriyo Mullick said the party would look into further legal options.

(Source: The New Indian Express)

4. Bengal Governor Seeks More Inputs From State on Lynching, SC/ST Bills

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has sought more inputs from the state government and legislature for giving assent to two Bills - one to check incidents of mob assaults and lynching, and another for setting up a commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

"Further headway can be made only after inputs are made available by the state government and the state legislature, as such inputs are exclusively with them as regards the issues raised and it is expected that highest priority will be given so that legislative work does not suffer," a Raj Bhawan statement said on Friday.

(Source: The New Indian Express)

5. Token Swoop After Rape: Residents

Police shut down two hooch dens near Kulberia in North 24-Parganas where a woman was allegedly gang-raped in her rented home on New Year’s Eve night and assured residents of safety, an officer said. Residents, however, described the move as a token reaction that would fizzle out in no time.

The police said the three accused who have been arrested — Ratan Das, 29, alias Tota, Sougata Sarkar, 24, and Mrinal Biswas, 26 — had joined a year-end party on a ground in the locality before barging into the woman’s home. A youth who was in the group had told on condition of anonymity that the revellers were drinking on the ground. On Friday, a police team made several rounds of the locality and spoke to residents assuring them of safety.

(Source: The Telegraph)

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