1. Mamata Should Come Forward to Lead Opposition: Hardik Patel
Describing the Congress and the Trinamool Congress as the two biggest Opposition parties currently in the country, Patidar quota activist Hardik Patel today opined West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should lead the opposition.
Patel, who met Banerjee at the state secretariat here tonight, also said she invited him to joined the TMC and manage its affairs in Gujarat, from where he hails.
"At the moment, the Congress and the Trinamool Congress are the two big Opposition parties in the country. But, if didi (as Banerjee is lovingly called) or the Congress and other parties sit together and decide something, that will be good. But if you ask my personal opinion, I will say she is an intelligent woman who has a history of being a revolutionary leader and she should come forward to be the leader (of opposition parties)," he said after the hour-and-half long meeting.
"But for those who are against her, it will be a matter of tension." He described the chief minister as "lady Gandhi".
2. Mamata to Recruit Club-Wielding Gorkhaland Volunteers as Civic Police; Move May Alienate Gurung
Initiating a move that could further alienate Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung, now a fugitive, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced that her government would recruit Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP) members as civic police volunteers.
GLP is the club-wielding force of volunteers that Gurung raised in 2008. It even had a brass band whose members used to wear colourful uniform.
On Thursday Banerjee held a meeting with political parties, members of the board of administrators of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and the 15 development boards at Raj Bhawan in Darjeeling. She said her government has plans to recruit GLP members who have a clean background.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
3. Dance Teacher Held for Molesting Class II Student in Kolkata
A dance teacher at a prominent convent school in Kolkata was arrested on Friday for allegedly sexually assaulting a Class II student over the past two months.
Soumen Rana, 27, was detained amid a violent protest by parents outside the school, which left two police officers injured. “The accused has been arrested under section 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC and the POCSO Act following a complaint by the victim’s father,” said Joint CP (crime) Praveen Tripathy. The girl’s parents have also alleged that the school principal did not believe their complaint initially.
State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee told a TV channel, “We have already set guidelines for schools to follow. We will see if the guidelines were followed or not in this case.”
(Source: Indian Express)
4. Extortion Case: Two Cops Posted in West Midnapore When Bharati Was SP Arrested
The state CID on Friday arrested two police officers, apparently close to retired IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, for their alleged involvement in misconduct and extortion at Daspur in West Midnapore. The arrests were made in connection with a complaint lodged by gold trader Chandan Majhi, who had accused several police officers in West Midnapore of extorting him when Ghosh was posted as the SP of the district.
Those arrested are Inspector Subhankar De and Sub-Inspector Chitta Pal, posted at Ghatal police station in West Midnapore. “While Pal was officer in-charge of Ghatal police station, De the circle inspector of the area at the time of the incident. They will be produced in court on Saturday,” CID (Operations) DIG Nishat Parvez said.
The CID seized approximately Rs 40 lakh cash and unaccounted wealth during raids at De’s residence and around Rs 16 lakh cash and unaccounted wealth from Pal, he added
(Source: Indian Express)
5. Calcutta HC Acquits 2 Death Row Convicts in Youth Murder Case
The Calcutta High Court on 9 February acquitted two death row inmates and commuted the capital sentence of six others to jail terms in connection with the murder of a youth in North 24 Parganas district in 2014.
Rejecting the prosecution's plea to uphold the capital sentence, awarded by a trial court in 2016, a division bench comprising Justice Nadira Patherya and Justice DP Dey acquitted Suman Sarkar and Amal Barui.
The bench also commuted the death sentence of Shyamal Karmakar to 30 years in prison and that of Ratan Samaddar, Tarak Das, Tapas Biswas, Somnath Sardar and Suman Das to life imprisonment.
The court, however, upheld the lower court's decision to award five-year prison term to two others, who were found guilty of harbouring the eight accused in the case.
6. Tea Workers' Unions Refuse Revised Wage
The tea workers' unions in the state have refused to accept an interim hike of Rs 17.50 on their daily wage, as notified by the Mamata Banerjee-led government.
The state government had recently issued a memorandum, raising the daily wage or talab of the tea workers from Rs 132.50 to Rs 150, with effect from 1 January 2018, in the wake of a delay over the finalisation of a wage agreement.
A joint forum comprising Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC, All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) among others has threatened to go on a protest if the wage agreement is not finalized soon.
The last agreement, which was valid for a three-year period, expired on 31 March 2017.
7. CPM in Burdwan Rents Out Party Office
The Communist Party (Marxist) in Bengal is facing a major crisis and being ousted from power it has now having fund crunch, for which in Burdwan which was one of the red bastions, it has decided to lease out one of is party office in Guskara in Burdwan district to a businessman for five years. Guskara which is part of Ausgram assembly constituency had been represented by CPM since 1971 and only in 2016 it lost to Trinamool.
The party office which is a two-storey building had been given on rent to a business man at Rs 15,000 a month and for which the party's sign board had been removed and instead of the pictures of Marx, Lenin, Mujaffar Ahmed and Jyoti Basu the party is donning pictures of various gods and goddesses like Ganesh and Lakshmi.
CPM local leaders said that with the party no more in power, there is difficulty in running the party office and moreover the party's organisation has been changed with the local committees and zonal committees being merged.
(Source: Times of India)
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