QKolkata: Oppn Awaits SC Order On Walk-Over Panchayat Seats & More

1. West Bengal Panchayat Elections: Opposition Awaits SC Verdict On 20,067 Seats TMC Won ‘Uncontested’

After the Trinamool Congress’s sweep of the panchayat elections, opposition parties are banking on a 3 July hearing in the Supreme Court in which the fate of 20,067 seats won “uncontested” by the TMC will be decided. In an interim order on 10 May, the Supreme Court had directed the State Election Commission to not announce the winners of the seats — 34.2 percent of the total in the three-tier structure — where Opposition candidates allegedly could not file nomination papers.

State Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee said that the situation is uncomfortable since the fate of these seats will be uncertain till the apex court gives its verdict. “We have no other option but to wait till the Supreme Court order comes,” Mukherjee said. However, Trinamool Congress leaders stated on condition of anonymity that they are not ruling out a fresh round of polls for the seats in question.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Bengal minister blames BJP for deaths in Panchayat poll violence

2. ‘Ballot Paper Snatching’: Three Days Later, Repolling In Two North Dinajpur Booths

Three days after the panchayat poll results were declared by the State Election Commission (SEC), repolling was held on Sunday in two booths of North Bengal after the poll panel received reports that ballot papers were snatched during counting of votes. According to the SEC, repolling was conducted peacefully at two booths in Phulbari 1 gram panchayat under Raiganj block of North Dinajpur district from 7 am to 5 pm. No electoral malpractices took place and the counting of votes will take place on Monday, officials said.

Meanwhile, re-counting was also held for a zilla parishad seat in Purulia district, where BJP candidate Ganesh Singh had initially been announced as the winner. The move followed a complaint lodged by the TMC with SEC that a “BJP agent” had “rigged” the counting process. Following the re-counting, SEC officials confirmed that the TMC candidate Anathbandhu Majhi had won by a margin of 1,029 votes.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Compensation for 14 killed in Bengal Panchayat polls

3. Two Teachers Arrested For Assaulting SDO During Road Blockade In Raiganj

Raiganj police in North Dinajpur arrested two teachers for allegedly assaulting a sub-divisional officer during a road blockade on 16 May. The blockade was held to protest the death of Rajkumar Roy, a presiding officer and teacher, who had gone missing from the polling booth on 14 May. Protesters claimed that Roy was killed as he refused to allow electoral malpractices in his booth. The accused, Manoj Bhowmik and Pradip Kumar Sinha, were produced in a court at Raiganj.

Raiganj Deputy Superintendent of Police Prasad Pradhan said the two accused were identified on the basis of video footage. Police have slapped charges of heckling government officers, creating obstruction in discharging government duty and illegal assembly, among others, against the accused.

(Source: The Indian Express)

4. Fire Shield for Presi Gate Move

Presidency University has told the state information commission that it had to replace the 144-year-old gate at the entrance to the campus on College Street and fell a banyan tree to comply with fire safety norms.

The gate was removed on 15 December 2016, to make way for the construction of a bigger one. It has since been installed at the entrance on PC Sarkar Street.

The banyan tree that was chopped off was more than 100 years old and arching over the gate.

Three former students of Presidency - Ajanta Dey, Maleni B Guha and Kathakali Jana - had moved the state information commission after their appeal to the registrar under the Right to Information Act to provide "all mandatory letters of permission" for making changes to the heritage structure but failed to elicit any response.

(Source: The Telegraph)

Also Read: With 85 Seats Vacant, Is Kolkata’s Presidency Losing Its Sheen? 

5. Rain Stokes Dengue Fear

Frequent spells of rain this summer has triggered the fear of an early outbreak of dengue.

Every spell of rain leads to accumulation of water in small pockets, which experts warn could act as ideal breeding grounds of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the primary carrier of the dengue virus.

Such mosquitoes breed in clear and stagnant water and it takes a week after eggs are laid for adult insects to emerge.

"Days of bright sunshine after one or two spells of rain cause the accumulated water to evaporate fast. But over the past week or so, spells of rain were not separated by prolonged dry phases. That may prove risky in regard to dengue outbreak," said an entomologist.

"The dengue outbreak in Calcutta usually starts towards the end of the monsoon. This year, like in 2017, the outbreak may start before that."

(Source: The Telegraph)

Also Read: Recovering From Dengue? Make Sure You Don’t Fall Sick Again

6. Youth Held for Molesting Woman At Shop

A youth allegedly entered a gift shop in Bansdroni run by a young woman and exposed himself before trying to grab her.

The accused, Prosen Das, 20, was arrested in Sonarpur, on the southern fringe of the city, on Sunday afternoon following a complaint lodged by the woman with Bansdroni police station on Friday.

"The woman cannot speak Bengali. From what she could make out – she later recounted to her friends some of the words the man had uttered – the accused had passed some lewd comments at her before exposing his private parts," a police officer said.

The woman mentioned in her complaint that the youth, who the police said was a resident of Renia under Sonarpur police station, had entered the gift shop around 6pm on Friday.

(Source: The Telegraph)

7. East-West Tunnels Designed for Evacuation

Crossover passages every 250m, passenger walkways and ventilation shafts – the underground tunnels of East-West Metro will have provisions for emergency evacuation, something the current Metro link lacks.

The East-West Metro route, from Howrah Maidan to Sector V, measures 16.5km. Around 11km of it is underground.

"Passenger safety is our first priority and we have kept provisions (for evacuation during emergency) according to fire and other safety standards," said Parshuram Singh, managing director, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), the implementing agency of the project.

Metro takes a look at the underground safety system.

(Source: The Telegraph)

. Read more on India by The Quint.QKolkata: Oppn Awaits SC Order On Walk-Over Panchayat Seats & MoreHow the Humble Ruskin Bond Welcomed Me Into His Home in the Hills  . Read more on India by The Quint.