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Mamata Banerjee in damage control mode



Mamta Banerjee

In a damage control mode, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not only ordered the arrest of Trinamool Congress (TMC) block President Anirul Hossain for his involvement in the Birbhum violence incident but also slammed the local police for not acting in time.

Three hours after Banerjee ordered the arrest of Hossain while on a visit to the site of the violence at the Bagtui village in Birbhum district, the latter was taken into custody.

In her statement at the site, the Chief Minister said, “The kin of the victims said they telephoned Anirul and asked him to send police to Bagtui but he didn’t.”

“I want him (Hossain) arrested. He can surrender but, otherwise, I want him to be arrested immediately,” Banerjee told the state Director General of Police Manoj Malviya at Bagtui.

Hossain is the first TMC leader to be put behind bars for the gruesome violence that was allegedly triggered by the killing of local party member and reputed strongman, Bhadu Sheikh on Monday evening.

A resident of Sandhipur in Bengal’s Hooghly district, the TMC block President is said to have worked as a mason before he started his political career with the Congress.

In the Trinamool Congress, he is said to have been recognised for organising grassroots support for the party. He has been handling the block President’s post since 2018.

The Chief Minister also slammed the local police for not acting in time and said the problem could have been averted if the police responded to the calls.

“This incident could have been avoided if the police had gone immediately. They did not fulfill their responsibility. Action must be taken against those who knowingly did not perform their duty,” Banerjee said.

However, the TMC supremo refused to rule out the involvement of outsiders in the Birbhum violence.

She said, “Police officials are investigating all sides. They are probing who all are involved. Was it done locally or whether outsiders were involved in it? Police have to check all angles.”

“The Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) knew what was happening, the Inspector In-Charge (IC) knew what was happening but didn’t take any action,” Mamata Banerjee added.

“There is a larger conspiracy here. I want police picketing here continuously.”

Both the SDPO and IC have been suspended.

However, there are indications that the state administration is likely to take stricter action to instill confidence among the people.

There are strong speculations that Birbhum Superintendent of Police Nagendra Tripathy might be suspended soon and Dritiman Sarkar, who is presently posted in Bankura, could take over the charge of Birbhum.

National News

People steal beer bottles after truck overturns in Andhra




People stole beer bottles after a truck carrying alcohol cases overturned in Andhra Pradesh’s Anakapalli district.

The incident occurred on the national highway between Anakapalli and Bayyavaram on Monday evening.

As the entire load of 200 cases of beer bottles fell on the ground, locals in the area scurried to steal them instead of helping the truck driver and cleaner, who escaped the accident with minor injuries.

A footage of the incident has gone viral on social media.

Similar incidents of people stealing liquor bottles after road accidents involving alcohol-carrying trucks have been reported in the state in the past.

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Khagaria-Bhagalpur bridge collapse will affect water biodiversity in region




Collapse of Khagaria-Bhagalpur bridge over the Ganga river will have a long-lasting effect on the water biodiversity of the region, as per environmental experts.

Ashok Ghosh, the professor of Mahavir Cancer Institute and former chairman of Bihar state pollution control board told: “Such a big chunk of concrete structure falling into the Ganga will have a big environmental effect for a long time. It will deeply hurt the water biodiversity of the river in this region. The water-borne animals will be adversely affected by it.”

“Unlike silt, the concrete structures used in the making bridges are non biodegradable materials. Hence, there is no question of the concrete structures dissolving in water. The iron rods may turn into rust after coming in contact with water but it is a slow process which takes years. Also, the ongoing projects of cleaning the river will also suffer a big jolt due to the bridge collapse,” Ghosh said.

The concrete structures of such a massive amount change the flow of the river as well. It makes the river more shallow in the region which leads to flooding. Khagaria in particular is affected by floods in the monsoon sessions. The fresh structural disaster would create more trouble for people living in the region,” Ghosh said.

Bihar is located in the low lying area of Himalayan range. As a result, a large number of rivers like Kosi, Kamla Balan, Gandak, Parman, originate from Himalaya and its water cross various North Bihar districts to finally fall in Ganga river.

The biggest challenge of the state government is the silt carried by these rivers and its accumulation in the low-lying areas of North Bihar and in the Ganga river. It makes the rivers more shallow by disturbing the natural drains. It turned worse after the drainage system of various districts were developed in an unplanned manner. The water comes from the Himalayan range but does not return or exit to other sides due the ill drainage system.

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National News

President Murmu Is 1st Indian To Be Conferred With Suriname’s Highest Civilian Award




President Droupadi Murmu has been conferred with Suriname’s highest civilian award by President Chandrikapersad Santokhi to honour the deep-rooted bilateral ties. Murmu arrived in Suriname on Sunday on a three-day state visit – her first since assuming office in July last year.

“An honour reflective of the deep-rooted India-Suriname ties! President Droupadi Murmu @rashtrapatibhvn conferred with the ‘Grand Order of the Chain of the Yellow Star’, the highest civilian award of Suriname by President @CSantokhi,” the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted.

Presidemt Murmu’s statement

President Murmu said she was greatly honoured to receive Suriname’s highest distinction.

“This recognition holds tremendous significance, not only for me but also for the 1.4 billion people of India whom I represent,” she tweeted after receiving the award on Monday.

She dedicated the honour to the successive generations of the Indian-Surinamese community, who have played a stellar role in enriching the fraternal ties between our two countries.

PM Modi congratulates President Murmu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the President on receiving the award.

“Congratulations to Rashtrapati Ji on being conferred the highest civilian award of Suriname – Grand Order of the Chain of the Yellow Star. This special gesture from the Government and the people of Suriname symbolises the enduring friendship between our countries,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

Despite her many official engagements, President Murmu spent some time with a group of children who came to greet her in Paramaribo. She offered them India-made chocolates.

President also visited ‘Marinetrap’ where she witnessed the simulation and welcoming of the arrival of the First Indians in Suriname. She also inaugurated the simulated village at Independence Square.

Murmu’s visit to Surinam coincides with 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Suriname

On Monday, President Murmu met her Surinamese counterpart Chandrikapersad Santokhi and later led delegation-level talks between the two sides. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that she was happy to be in Suriname on her first State Visit as President of India when it is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Suriname.

She said that deep historical and cultural ties provide the foundation for the India-Suriname multifaceted and modern partnership.

Bilateral trade between India and Suriname

The President noted that bilateral trade between the two countries is well below potential. She said that there is a need to work together to expand bilateral trade for mutual benefit. She expressed confidence that the agreements signed during the visit would help boost the trade and economic ties. She said that there is scope for further collaboration in sectors like pharmaceuticals, Ayurveda, agriculture and defence, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a press release.

The President said that India is committed to enhancing technical cooperation and contributing to the capacity-building and skill development of Suriname’s human resources as per the country’s requirements. The two countries also signed three MoUs to enhance bilateral cooperation.

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