QKolkata: Cow Trouble at Visva Bharati; 2 More Dengue Deaths

Your daily lowdown on all things Kolkata.

6 min read
Photo of Visva Bharti University campus. 

1. Cowshed for Visva Bharati VC Job, Say Teachers

An organisation of Visva Bharati University teachers has written to Narendra Modi, saying the officiating vice-chancellor developed the defunct cowshed just to impress the Prime Minister to make his VC job permanent.

In its letter to the Prime Minister, who is also the chancellor of the university, the Visva- Bharati University Faculty Association called the bovine project unauthorised.

The association has opposed the officiating VC Swapan Kumar Datta's decision to buy over a dozen cows for Rs 5 lakh in June and reopening the virtually abandoned cowshed of the varsity after 26 years.

"Our officiating vice-chancellor (Swapan Kumar Datta) took the decision...He is trying to suggest that it is being done according to a direction of the Centre, even the prime minister himself," said the president of the association, Sudipta Bhattacharyya, quoting the letter.

(Source: The Telegraph)

2. Dengue Claims Two Lives

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

Two persons who had tested positive for dengue died in the city and on the northern fringe over the past 24 hours.

Abhishek Sarkar, a youth in his thirties who was a resident of Rajendra Lal Roy Road, off Anwar Shah Road, was declared dead on arrival at KPC Medical College and Hospital in Jadavpur on Tuesday afternoon.

At least 15 people have died in the Calcutta Municipal Corporation ( CMC) area after testing positive for dengue this year.

"Sarkar had been dead by the time he was brought to the hospital. Among the reports relatives were carrying was one that showed the youth had tested positive in the NS1 ( antigen) test for dengue," a source at the hospital said.

Sarkar, who a civic official said ran a paan shop, had been suffering from fever for three days. His condition suddenly deteriorated on Tuesday, prompting family members to take him to the private medical college.

(Source: The Telegraph)

3. New Dengue Strain Worries Experts

Dengue attacks have turned more virulent, indicating that a new sub-type, like the one detected in Mumbai last week, could be on the prowl in Kolkata, suspect experts. The proportion of cases turning serious, including fatalities, has been unusually high over the last two weeks. Barring 2012, when the city had an even bigger outbreak, Kolkata has never had so many severe cases.

During similar outbreaks in 2014 and 2015, an average dengue patient would suffer for 4-5 days and then recover, said Debashish Saha, consultant, AMRI Hospital. “But this year, almost every third patient has reported for treatment with severe symptoms. While scores have suffered a haemorrhage and platelet drop, others have been on the verge of a multi-organ failure. The classical dengue treatment protocol, that is paracetamol and fluids, has not worked in many cases,’’ said Saha.

Microbiologist Irfaan Akhtar agreed. A new sub-type of the serotypes II and IV could be the reason, he felt.“Mutating is a very common characteristic of viruses. They invariably alter their genetic structures after a few outbreaks. Going by the clinical symptoms of patients in Kolkata this season, this seems likely,’’ said Akhtar.

(Source: The Times Of India)

4. 17 Years With Bullet in Spine

Bijon Kundu, 49, has been living with a bullet lodged in his spine for 17 years.

In 2000, when Kundu had a flourishing real estate business, he was shot at for refusing an extortion bid in Behala's Parnasree where he lives.

Close to his house lives another realtor, Milan Chatterjee, who was apparently shot at on Sunday.

The bullet had pierced Kundu's shoulder and got lodged inside the thoracic vertebra when he was attacked inside his office.

Doctors found the position "too critical" to operate on, his family members said.

The result: Kundu became paralysed waist down.

(Source: The Telegraph)

5. Alimony in Old Notes Sent Him to Jail, Left Him Scarred

Old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Representational image.
Old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Representational image.
(Photo: Reuters)

It's been exactly a year since demonetisation, and the memories are still fresh: serpentine queues at banks and ATMs, the tentative steps into digital wallets, and the general air of uncertainty will probably take a long time to go. For Bijoy Seal, however, the notebandi scars are indelible. The septuagenarian was probably the only person who had to go to jail as a direct result of the ban on 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

Bijoy, a retired engineer at a private firm, was supposed to pay Rs 2.25 lakh alimony to his estranged wife Sumitra. The resident of Radhanath Mullick Lane near College Street had a long-standing legal battle, with Sumitra having moved family court saying she hadn't received alimony for four years. On the basis of the allegation, police arrested Bijoy on 8 November 2016, the evening the Centre announced demonetisation.

Bijoy had arranged for the entire amount in cash, but the entire amount had become invalid overnight. The court directed him to arrange for the amount in legal tender by November 15, but it proved to be a nearly insurmountable task for the Seal family , thanks to the note shortage. Bijoy even paid the amount in the invalid notes, which Sumitra refused. The court sent Bijoy to jail for contempt, giving him a month to arrange for legal notes. Bijoy's family members moved Calcutta high court against the family court verdict, and he was granted bail.

(Source: The Times Of India)

6. Vacant Seats: Status Quo at JU Engg Dept This Year

A government order asking all universities to fill up vacant seats and convert reserved seats into general ones has prompted the engineering department of Jadavpur University to call for a faculty council meeting on Tuesday. In the meeting, it has been decided that the university will maintain status quo and keep the remaining reserved and general seats vacant in both UG and PG courses for the current academic session.

However, two major decisions have been taken for the next session. Next year, the admission process will be over a period of 21 days or more. Also, the university will seek conversion of reserved seats into general ones as soon as they fail to find candidates in the category.“At the moment, we will wait for the admission process to complete and thereafter approach the appropriate body for conversion of seats,’’ said a source.

According to AICTE rules, the university has uploaded names of admitted candidates and the last date has gone past long. “Now if we take admission, names cannot be registered with AICTE and they will be treated as non-approved candidates,’’ explained the source.

(Source: The Times Of India)

7. A Year on, Forgers Get Their Groove Back

When the BSF arrested Ekramul Sk late on Monday, the irony was not lost on anyone. The man, from border village Chari Anantapur, was carrying fake currency of the face value of Rs 9.7 lakh even as the country was gearing to mark one year of demonetisation, aimed at -among others- reducing the circulation of fake notes.

Ekramul, it was learnt, was carrying the fake notes -all in 200-rupee denomination -from Bangladesh. He was handed over to the cops.

Apart from unearthing black money, demonetisation was aimed at stopping the smuggling of fake notes. It was thought that the banning of 500 and 1000-rupee notes would put a stop to the trade of fake notes across the border. The porous borders of Malda, Dinajpur and Murshidabad were particularly vulnerable in this regard, and often featured on India's fake notes route map. Even the National Investigating Agency (NIA) had taken this area in their radar.

In reality, however, the government's step did not work much, as after a respite of about two-three months, the fake notes racket became active once again in this part of the world. Even the sophistication, which was lacking earlier, is slowly building up, reaching its peak, as believed by intelligence officers.

(Source: The Times Of India)

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