Month: August 2019

China approves prisoner amnesty to mark WW II anniversary

first_imgChina will grant official pardon to thousands of war veterans besides juveniles, elderly and sick prisoners as part of its commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next week.The prisoner amnesty law, promulgated by President Xi Jinping on Saturday, comes 40 years after China granted an amnesty to war criminals in 1975 and 56 years after it granted its first pardon to non-war criminals in 1959.This is the eighth amnesty since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.The amnesty is designed to exclude people guilty of embezzlement and corruption as China continues a campaign against official corruption, said Li Shishi, director of the committee’s legislative affairs commission.last_img read more

Read More China approves prisoner amnesty to mark WW II anniversary

Paris attacks shift spotlight back on security

first_imgFriday’s attacks in Paris have once again put the spotlight on security in Europe, especially in France, as terror groups seem to be increasingly able to strike anywhere, anytime, at will.Despite a heightened security environment in preparation for the climate change summit – COP21 – later this month when several heads of state and government are expected to arrive in Paris, such an event occurred.There had been a lot of chatter heard by intelligence agencies here that the terrorists, suspected to be mainly from the Islamic State (IS), were planning something big, either just before or during the summit when over 40,000 persons, including around 50 heads of states would arrive from around the world. Also Read – Gateway of criminal justiceThe French government had visibly ramped up the security in Paris and the major cities of the country, with all important railway stations and airports being patrolled by army units.The surveillance of suspects within France, as well as outside, had been upped and borders were being monitored very closely. As many as 30,000 security personnel are believed to have been deployed in order to secure the French capital.Yet, the attackers managed to carry out a dramatic attack, duplicating the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, with similar elements of hostage-taking and random attacks on restaurants. Also Read – Turning a blind eyeThe 13/11 attacks were the bloodiest that the French capital has seen since the second World War and were different from the January attacks on the French weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, for many reasons.The first big change in the terrorists’ strategy is the target itself. The January attacks targeted a group of journalists, who the terrorists blamed for insulting Prophet Mohammed, through their caricatures. The second main target was a Jewish grocery store. But Friday’s attacks did not target any particular group. Instead, they were aimed at creating panic, fear and a sense of deep insecurity amongst the French. The attackers picked up venues where the young would be present in large numbers.And it looks that they have achieved their objective of a massive massacre. France has declared a state of emergency, tightened border controls and put greater pressure on its security apparatus.It is evident that the attacks were the handiwork of the IS, the terror group which wants to establish an Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East and parts of Europe.Nearly 2,000 French nationals, mainly Muslims, are believed to have gone to Syria and Iraq to join in the battle led by IS. Some of them may have gone there because of the hype built around the European and US intervention in Libya, Iraq, and Syria.The propaganda clearly swayed many Muslim youths in France who went to join the battle at a time when the French authorities did not really monitor the people going to these countries. Many of them have since returned to France as hardcore sympathisers and see themselves as continuing their jihad in Europe.The French security forces have been requesting additional means – manpower, equipment, and legal backing – to be able to monitor and control high-risk elements, but so far little has come of it.Friday’s attacks may change the equation and the French President Francois Hollande will be under severe pressure to bring in significant changes in the way the country’s security apparatus is run and the means that it has at its disposal.The carnage will also have deep political implications. France is headed for regional elections in less than three weeks and for the first time ever, the extreme right wing party, Front National (FN), led by Marine Le Pen is leading both the traditional parties, the Republicans led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialists led by President Hollande, in the recent pol.The attacks are bound to push more French voters towards Le Pen as some have come to believe that they cannot live in peace with the immigrants, especially the Muslim populace. The FN has been calling for stringent curbs on certain sections and certain practices, targeting mainly the Muslims in France who number about 10 percent of its 62 million people.More worryingly for the French political mainstream would be the impact of 13/11 attacks on the presidential elections, slated within 18 months. The divide in the French society is set to become deeper and perhaps more violent in the run-up to the elections.                 (Ranvir Nayar is a senior Paris-based journalist. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Read More Paris attacks shift spotlight back on security

Elderly couple roughed up by daughterinlaw in Malda

first_imgKolkata: An elderly couple was roughed up by their daughter-in-law. The incident took place at English Bazar in Malda.The victims Santosh and Santana Chowdhury received injuries in the incident. They lodged a complaint at the local police station on the basis of which the police have started a detailed probe.The couple was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. It was learnt that Santosh Chowdhury received an injury on his head. He is a retired government employee. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe victims told police that their son got married to the accused woman around seven years ago. For past three years, the woman has started mounting pressure on them over property issues. The accused woman wants their entire property. As they refused to do so, their daughter-in-law started abusing them.The incident turned ugly on Friday when the accused woman beat them up badly and tore their clothes.It was alleged that she also tried to steal some valuables from the house. The incident occurred when their son was away from home on Friday morning and triggered tension in Deshbandhu Nagar area of English Bazar.Locals rescued the elderly couple and sent them to hospital.They were later released. The police have assured the victims that a probe has been initiated and action will be taken against the woman who left her in-laws house immediately after the incident.last_img read more

Read More Elderly couple roughed up by daughterinlaw in Malda

Bidhannagar police mull online permission for Pujas in New Town

first_imgKolkata: Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate is considering a proposal to give online permission to hold Durga Puja in New Town.A meeting between senior officials of Housing Infrastructure development Corporation (HIDCO), New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA), Fire and Emergency Services department and Bidhannagar Police Commissionarate will be held in New Town on Wednesday to discuss the matter. For quite some time, officials of the Fire and Emergency Services department and NKDA officials had asked whether puja permission could be given online to the housing complexes and residents’ associations in blocks. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeDurga Puja in New Town is becoming quite popular and people from Kolkata and its neighbourhood are visiting the place to see the pandals.HIDCO is also considering a proposal to give prizes to the puja organisers online. A blockchain enabled company will look after the whole affair. As HIDCO is supporting blockchain and startups, it will be a new venture. From paying property tax to getting trade licence and birth certificates, HIDCO has gone digital.last_img read more

Read More Bidhannagar police mull online permission for Pujas in New Town

Three including two students held for possessing drugs

first_imgKolkata: Three persons including two students were arrested for allegedly selling and possessing drugs, in front of a hotel in the city. According to the police, they had brought the drugs from Delhi to sell at a party here.Sources informed that sleuths from the narcotics cell of Kolkata Police had a tip about some youths whose movements were found to be suspicious. For the last few days, members from the narcotics cell were keeping strict vigil on them. Recently, police got information about a party about to be organised in a hotel in Shakespeare Sarani, near a private nursing home. Based on the tip, a team from the narcotics cell kept an eye on the hotel on Saturday night. Around midnight, sleuths identified three youths whose movement looked suspicious. Later, some members from the team identified the trio. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeImmediately, they were intercepted. During their body search, 7 grams of MDMA, 4 blots of LSD and 3 grams of cocaine were found. Immediately, the trio, identified as Sankalp Singh, Aditya Majumder and Anupam Singh, were arrested.Later, a case was filed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act at the Shakespeare Sarani police station. Among the three accused, Manoj is a second year student in a South Kolkata College, while Majumdar is studying in Class XII.last_img read more

Read More Three including two students held for possessing drugs

Administration to slap Rs 1001 fine on those spitting inside Dakshineswar skywalk

first_imgKolkata: The North 24-Parganas district administration will slap a fine of Rs 1,001 on those who will spit inside the recently inaugurated Dakshineswar skywalk.The decision was taken after it was found that some visitors had spoiled some pillars inside the skywalk by spitting on them. The skywalk, which is the only of its kind in the country, has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 60 crore and was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on November 5. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe skywalk, having a length of 340 metres and width of 10 metres, will take the devotees straight to Dakshineswar Temple from the main road intersection. During her inaugural speech, Banerjee requested the visitors and the Dakshineswar temple management to keep the skywalk clean. She had instructed the Kamarhati municipality to engage workers under 100 days work, to keep it clean. But unfortunately, within 24 hours of its inauguration, it was found that some people had spit on the pillars. The photograph was uploaded on social media. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe officials of district administration are informing the people about the penalty through the public address system. The devotees welcomed the move taken up by the district administration and said that more stringent action should be taken against the habitual offenders. They said that those who chew tobacco, have a tendency to spit on walls. Senior officials of the district administration said workers will be posted inside the skywalk, who will request people not to spot on the walls or pillars and maintain it properly.last_img read more

Read More Administration to slap Rs 1001 fine on those spitting inside Dakshineswar skywalk

When Kathak meets philanthropy

first_imgIt is very rare to find people who think for others welfare and especially if they themselves are occupied by their work. But here is a person, who, with all her heart, is continuously working towards the welfare of underprivileged children and women. Dr Rekha Mehra is a trained classical dancer, who has acquired a unique style of her own. An exponent of Kathak Dance, Choreographer, Guru and social activist, she has skilfully blended Indian mythology with traditional dance style along Jaipur and Lucknow Gharana. From last five years she is teaching dance & music to underprivileged children. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShe has performed for several International festivals in India and abroad namely – Lucknow Mahotsav, Mahakhumbha, International Trade Fair, Khajuraho Festival, Festival of India, Common Wealth Games Programme, Sharjah festival, Onam festival in Maldives and many more. “I have been teaching and learning dance for the past 35 years and when I saw these girls from the underprivileged section of our society, I thought about helping them in any way I can. I thought it would be amazing if I could promote them in any way possible,” says Dr Mehra who has been previously associated and empanelled with Ministry of culture, Govt of India, ICCR, Zonal cultural centers, Sahitya Kala Parishad and Sangeet Natak Akademi. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveShe has choreographed few dance and thematic events for the promotion of physical, social and mental well-being of Women and children like HIV-AIDS ‘Nidaan,’ Global warming, Women empowerment, war and peace, Dhani, Chunaria, Road safety, Athithi devo bhava, Save girl child, Ladli, Bhagidari mela in front of National and International audience.Her performance on February 25 at CGO Complex, Scope convention is the first for the underprivileged children along with Dr Mehra on stage. It is a Kathak Dance recital and ballet on Buddha. “Why are people getting more inclined towards Buddhism and chanting? It is because we all live a stressed, unhealthy life and this is the reason why this performance is based on the teachings and the life of Buddha.”last_img read more

Read More When Kathak meets philanthropy

Glam up your work wear with right jewellery

first_imgJewellery constitutes an integral part of a women’s wardrobe and accessorizing oneself with the right ornaments for an occasion is very important to lift up your styling essence. Things get a little tricky when you have to pick the right pieces for work. Pearl earrings to white stone bracelets, experts list some options. Here are a few important tips to enhance your office look by selecting the right kind of jewellery:Choosing right pair of earrings for your office appearance is very important as it can make or break your entire look. Therefore one should pick elegant earrings in serene pearls or gemstones that can impart a sophisticated look with their attractive designs. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBold metallic rings look very stylish at workplace when they are worn with the smaller ones in the same finger, above the knuckle. To let them shine, keep rest of your fingers bare.Delicate chains or necklaces are more appropriate for office environment than big neckpieces. They add a hint of elegance to the attire without drawing much attention. Buying high-quality, timeless necklaces are considered a sound investment.One should never choose a bracelet with small tinkling bells as it can create a disturbance in the decorum of the office. Rather one should opt for chic and modish tennis bracelets embellished with Swarovski crystals and white stones that can instantly uplift your confidence.Take your boardroom look a notch higher by ditching your simple round studs. Break the monotony by opting for either bar shaped studs or small hoop earrings.Opt for diamond or gold delicate bracelets or bangles which will give you a more professional look rather than big, chunky cuffs or bracelets.last_img read more

Read More Glam up your work wear with right jewellery

Transport dept looks to retire all old buses to cut down on

first_imgKolkata: The state Transport department has started the process of phasing out buses which are over 15 years old, in a bid to check the pollution level in the city.According to the Transport department officials, as many as 3,000 buses would be taken off the roads in Kolkata gradually. The old buses and other vehicles contribute greatly to the pollution level, which in turn takes a heavy toll on the environment. It may be recalled that there has been a furore over the air quality of the city for the past few months. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseIt has been learnt from the sources that many school buses that have been plying in the city are also under scanner. The school buses that are more than 25 years old have been identified and they will soon be banned, keeping in mind the environmental concerns. It is expected that entry of all the old buses into the city will be restricted within the next two months. The process had begun in January this year. It is assumed that many buses and some trucks have no proper registration. According to sources, around 1.25 lakh commercial vehicles ply in the city every day. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMany in the city are apprehensive that the phasing out of a huge number of buses would have an impact on the passengers. The Transport department officials have, however, assured that the move would have no adverse effect on the transport system of the state. The state government had also submitted a report to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), detailing the steps it has taken to control vehicular pollution. Vehicular pollution has always been a cause of concern for experts dealing with air pollution, especially in the metros across India. The NGT had earlier observed that tail-pipe emission of vehicles and “re-suspension of road dust” had a direct correlation to the amount of particulate matter in the urban air. Various health experts and doctors in the city said that prolonged exposure to air pollutants can trigger a host of critical ailments, including lung cancer. State Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said that the process of phasing out the old vehicles has begun in January. “We will restrict the old vehicles that flout traffic norms,” he said.last_img read more

Read More Transport dept looks to retire all old buses to cut down on

BJP supporters attack police for stopping illegal bike rallies

first_imgKolkata: Police were heckled by BJP supporters across the state after their bike rallies in the name of ‘Sankalpa Yatra’ were stopped due to lack of permission. In multiple places, police personnel were injured after being attacked by BJP supporters.On Sunday, BJP supporters organised multiple bike rallies from various parts of Kolkata. However, as no permission had been taken for the same, police tried to stop the bike rallies. Despite repeated requests to stop, the BJP supporters tried to continue forcefully. Later, forces of Kolkata Police intervened and arrested 135 BJP supporters. 59 bikes were seized as well. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseApart from Kolkata, the incident also occurred in several districts. On Sunday morning, a bike rally led by Union minister Babul Supriyo commenced from Nuni Mor at Asansol. After the rally reached Amdiha, police stopped the rally. Immediately, the BJP supporters allegedly attacked on-duty police personnel. They resorted to hooliganism and used sticks and bamboos to beat up the police. The officer-in-charge of a local police station was injured in the scuffle. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMeanwhile, the situation turned worse when police stopped another bike rally at Goaltor in West Midnapore on Sunday. Immediately, police and BJP supporters got involved in a tussle. Soon, some BJP leaders started pelting bricks at the police. A brick hit Uttam Mitra, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Operations. Five more police personnel including an assistant sub-inspector were also injured. They were rushed to Goaltor Hopsital. Later, several BJP supporters were arrested in connection with the incident. In Birbhum, police stopped another bike rally organised by BJP. Several supporters were detained. Due to intervention by the police, BJP supporters failed to start their ‘illegal’ bike rally at Ashoknagar in North 24-Parganas. They put up a blockade on Jirat Road, which was cleared later. The party allegedly tried to create unrest in the name of their ‘Sankalpa Yatra’ in other states as well.last_img read more

Read More BJP supporters attack police for stopping illegal bike rallies