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No more interviews for Class-III, IV jobs in govt from January 1: PM Modi

“I have not yet seen a psychologist who can assess a person in a two-minute interview,” Modi had said.

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A music festival on the India-China border

How musicians braved cold weather and bad roads to perform at a musical festival in Arunachal Pradesh.

Saradha scam: Madan Mitra’s judicial custody extended till December 31

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Mitra, former transport minister who was arrested on Decemnber 12, 2014, had surrendered before the court after his bail was cancelled by Calcutta High Court on November 20.

Mitra’s counsel did not press for bail but requested that he be treated as a Division-I prisone

The judicial custody of Trinamool Congress leader and former West Bengal minister Madan Mitra, an accused in the Saradha chit fund scam, was on Thursday extended by a city court by another 14 days till December 31. Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sougata Roy Chowdhury passed the order after Mitra’s counsel did not press for bail but requested that he be treated as a Division-I prisoner besides being extended all necessary medical assistance as he was suffering from various ailments.Mitra, former transport minister who was arrested on Decemnber 12, 2014, had surrendered before the court after his bail was cancelled by Calcutta High Court on November 20. Meanwhile, another accused city-based entrepreneur and chairman of the now-defunct Xenitis Group, Santunu Ghosh and Arindam Das, alias Bumba, a close aide of Saradha scam mastermind Sudipta Sen were also remanded to 14-day judicial custody. Ghosh, whose business included computer and computer components manufacturing and automobile business, is said to have taken a huge loan from Saradha group but did not return the money. Das was allegedly involved in operating the money spinning schemes of the ponzi company in the state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Chandan Mitra and the ‘bhakts’: Why BJP’s online support shouldn’t overreact

A place like Twitter can often be an echo chamber where people with similar outlook try to form pressure groups trending hashtags or hounding down people to make their point.

Chandan Mitra

What happens when you score a same-side goal? The crowd boos you, the coach may substitute you, but in the Twitter world, the bhakts troll you. Journalist and BJP MP Chandan Mitra were heckled massively on Twitter for saying that policy decisions were not made based solely on Twitter chatter and in a flippant way said that there are some people with nothing better to do on Twitter.This obviously irked the large BJP support group on Twitter who were hugely critical of the Rajya Sabha MP. In their self-righteousness, they decided that the jibe was intended at them. Even Mitra’s son was not spared and came in for a fair amount of abuse and ridicule. Many were also pissed off with the fact that Chandan spoke on NDTV, perceived to be biased against the right-wing and the present government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Now, there are two things that must be critically analysed. One is Chandan’s observation of people having nothing better to do or being ‘jobless’. To brand an entire class of supporters or Twitter users into one homogeneous entity is definitely not a wise decision, considering there are many who sacrificed their work to contribute to the cause of BJP, in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Their indignation with Mitra’s jibe is perfectly justified and reasonable. The second point which is the more important, is the one made by Pioneer editor that got lost in the high decibels— how much can a party listen to its volunteers after an election has been won?A place like Twitter can often be an echo chamber where people with a similar outlook try to form pressure groups, trend hashtags or hound people to make their point. But governance, is an art of deliberation, a work of great nuance. Obstructionism and absolute positions work well in opposition and almost all parties are guilty of that. But in power, parties tend to drift towards a middle ground so that decisions taken are palatable to the largest possible segment of the population and not just to its hard-core fans and supporters. It is a populist and a pragmatic decision at the same time.But it often leads to positions which may deem as a betrayal to the core support base, which can result in cognitive dissonance. Resumption of talks between India and Pakistan is one such issue where the government has no option but to dial down the rhetoric if it seeks to attain something meaningful in the future.Before Chandan Mitra, it was Anurag Thakur who said that Twitter is not necessarily the voice of the nation. This is a deep snub to many of the supporters who seek validation from this echo chamber. The Modi government to its credit has tried to preserve the line of conversation going with the supporters and people in general through forums like My gov.in.The PM recognises this support, as he met 150 social media influencers who played a prominent role before the elections. Leaders like Smriti Irani and Piyush Goyal have acknowledged the supporters in various forums. Yet, the growing sense of disenchantment is palpable. Maybe, because it is hard to believe but actually true that now the leaders they had supported are the Lutyens elite. It takes a Nitin Gadkari to be stuck in a traffic jam to understand the pitiable state of infrastructure in the National Highways.The elusive achhe din and the fact that none of the core issues have been resolved—from bringing black money back to no headway in Ram Temple formation—has increased despondency of the supporters. Many in Kashmir thought that joining hands with PDP was a ‘grand betrayal’ by the BJP which the party leadership didn’t pay heed to.Will the ‘nationalist’ supporters boycott the India-Pakistan cricket series if the government gives it a green signal? What about Modi’s visit to Pakistan, as announced by Sushma Swaraj? How will they react if India decides to make some concessions in Paris, as has been widely speculated? One suspects Chandan Mitra and his politically incorrect jibe may only be the tip of the iceberg. The bhakts may be in for similar heartbreaks in the future.

Mamata Banerjee says ‘individuals can be thieves, but not party’, Left claims ‘admission betrays her nervousness’

Former Transport Minister in West Bengal Government Mitra, an accused in Saradha chief fund scam, had surrendered before a court after his bail was cancelled by Calcutta High Court on November 20.

Mamata Banerjee

The CPI(M) on Thursday attacked Mamata Banerjee over her reported comments that “individuals can be thieves, but not party” in the wake of Madan Mitra’s arrest in the Saradha scam, and alleged the TMC chief’s “indirect” admission betrays her nervousness at the prospects of further revelations against her party and the state government.”After Mitra, her minister till recently, was sent to jail after his bail was cancelled and the CBI stepped up investigations, Banerjee had said — individuals can be thieves, but not a party.” “This indirect admission betrays nervousness at the prospects of further revelations against her party and government,” ex-CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat said in an editorial of forthcoming issue of party mouthpiece ‘People’s Democracy’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karat also accused TMC Government in West Bengal of repressing jathas (parades) organised by Left organisations against “misrule and terror tactics” of the Banerjee dispensation. Karat said the Bengal Platform of Mass Organisations (BPMO) covered over 60,000 booths by around 18,000 jathas which, he claimed, saw participation by 16 lakh people during November 14 and November 30.The communist leader said the jathas were attacked by TMC men in districts like West Midnapore, Burdwan, Murshidabad, Hooghly, Howrah and others. Notwithstanding the attacks, the jathas went ahead rallying supporters and connecting with people, he claimed.”Why has the TMC under Banerjee adopted such a repressive approach? The main purpose of these goonda attacks was to try and prevent Left mass organisations from forging links with people. The ruling party was also alarmed at the response these jathas were receiving from the people,” he added.Former Transport Minister in West Bengal Government Mitra, an accused in Saradha chief fund scam, had surrendered before a court after his bail was cancelled by Calcutta High Court on November 20. The TMC leader was earlier arrested on December 12, 2014. According to media reports, speaking at a public gathering in Howrah earlier this week, state Chief Minister Banerjee had stated that “individuals can be thieves, but not a party”.

From reservation to liberal politics: Thought leaders bring burning issues under the scanner

New Delhi: Is India truly liberal? Has reservation policy really helped those for whom it was meant? Is there any space for liberal politics? Is religious and cultural freedom in India too little?

Many such questions came up during brainstorming sessions at a day-long seminar on ‘Liberalism in India: Past, Present and Future’ in Delhi on Friday.

Organised by the Centre for Civil Society as a mark of tribute to SV Raju (1933-2015), former editor of Freedom First magazine, who was also the executive secretary of the Swatantra Party, which at one time was the second largest party in the Parliament — one that challenged the Nehruvian consensus prevalent at the time.

Rethinking reservations

Though RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment that “reservations system needs to be reviewed” had created a political storm during Bihar election, the key speaker on ‘Towards a liberal India: Rethinking reservation’, Surjit Bhalla said, “Mohan Bhagwat’s comment was surprisingly sensible. It was the media, Lalu Prasad and politicians of his ilk played it up and criticized it. In fact, what Bhagwat wanted to say whether reservations really helping those for whom it was meant?”

R Jagannathan at the seminar in Delhi on Friday. Firstpost/Naresh Sharma

R Jagannathan at the seminar in Delhi on Friday. Firstpost/Naresh Sharma

“Today, the question is whether reservation system really benefits as the Constitution claims and what happened to Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh OBCs?” questioned Bhalla, chairman and managing director, Oxus Investments, a Delhi-based economic research firm. Presenting NSSO data to justify his point, Bhalla said Muslims drastically lacked behind their counterpart Hindus on the index of education attainment in 2011, because the former were deprived of the benefits of reservation system.

Taking the discussion further, Geeta Gouri, former member, Competition Commission of India, added, “When a state benefits a particular group (say caste), it lays the basis of corruption. Corruption is always due to cartels. We’ve the policies so designed that benefits don’t trickle down and reach the beneficiary. State’s support and policy intervention is must to ensure that benefits do reach the target beneficiaries. Helping one small group won’t help the objective of welfare schemes. Like, the subsidies are for the politicians and not for the people who actually need it.”

She also emphasised strict monitoring of what “so-called civil society NGOs (are) doing and where the money goes”.

Religious and cultural freedom

Focussing on some of the recent controversies like religious conversions (Ghar wapsi), bans on books, Dadri lynching case, consuming beef, etc, the discussion on ‘Religious and cultural freedom in India: Both too little and too much’ questioned the ambit of the freedom of religion.

R Jagannathan, senior journalist and former editor-in-chief, Firstpost said that on one hand the basic individual freedoms are at stake, and on the other the religious freedoms are being interpreted by governments to mean that nothing should ever be done to offend any group or community. “Kowtowing to religious groups has resulted in a severe curtailment of fundamental rights, including rights of free speech and expression in which the derivative freedom of religion is rooted.”

“On the other hand, there is too much freedom – license, in fact—given in the name of religious freedom. Loud music and processions disrupt everyday life—religious events, azaans delivered on loud speakers, religious congregations spilling out into streets and encroachments on civic rights,” he pointed out.

Referring to recent Bihar election, Jagannathan added, “Electoral success coming to multi-religious parties by appeasing small groups. In Bihar, the Yadavs and the OBCs were the most benefited lot, whereas Muslims were the least. But, this time both the most benefitted and the least joined hands. Castes are used only to gain political mileage, and now-a-days due to this debate on majority-minority groups, everyone wants to be a minority. Now due to capturing of religious and cultural space by groups and cabals, the individual freedom is getting curbed.”

Sadanand Dhume, resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute questioned, “Why even in 70 years’ of Independence, could a uniform civil code not be implemented?”

Liberalism for whom?

Another key speaker Barun Mitra, founder-director, Liberty Institute, observed that liberalism has a strong intellectual root, with well thought out perspectives on economic, political and social spheres on the basis of individual rights and liberty. “Unfortunately, it has not been easy to translate these principles into effective political campaigns—to attract the wider population.”

Answering to why liberals didn’t succeed in making it at political platform, he said, “Do you think the ordinary people can understand liberal principles and economic freedom? In fact, the liberals failed to understand the mass, the common man, because, we the liberals think we’re ideals and we’ve the solution. There is a ‘dumb them down’ approach towards the common man.”

Citing Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha to reaching out to the millions, Mitra added, “If politics is anything, it’s mass marketing of ideas. As Mr Raju spent entire life in building liberal political idea, can we do it? For this we need empathy, credibility to win over reservation battle and ability to identify ourselves with the people at the receiving end.”

Discussant Gurcharan Das, former CEO, Procter and Gamble India and author, remarked, “A liberal talks about creation of investment climate, building of infrastructure, etc, whereas, a mainstream politician announces populist measures like promising free electricity, which makes immediate impact amongst the voters. Modi came to power with a landslide victory not due to Hindutva votes, but because average person from Tier-II and III town could connect to his appeal.”

Liberalism in India: Past, Present and FutureLiberalism in India: Past, Present and Future

Is decentralisation, a chimera?

“Everyone wants decentralisation, but not everybody likes it to happen” – was the opening statement of JP Narayan, former bureaucrat and founder of Lok Satta Party. Carrying the discussion forward, he said, “Horizontal and vertical decentralisation protects liberty, as opposed to a centralised, totalitarian system, with a single locus of power. Local decision making gives citizens greater control over their lives and allows effective participation in democracy and governance. And, yet our Constitution and state structure have created a highly centralised, largely ineffective governance process. The failure of our nation-builders to reconcile the dramatically opposing views of Gandhiji and Ambedkar has proved very costly.”

Subir Gokarn, former deputy governor, Reserve Bank of India added, “Putting more money in local government without building proper capacity is problematic. Funds need to be rightly utilised.”

Why liberal parties fail?

According to Jaithirth Rao, founder & former CEO, MphasiS, “The idea of freebies and doling out goodies by political parties always end up being more popular in comparison to liberal position that supports a minimalist non-interventionist state and agency for individuals. In India, where poverty and deprivation exist in large-scale, politics of freebies succeed. And, all parties in India are identity-based like the CPI (M) in West Bengal is a Bengali party.”

Rao added with a pessimistic note, “There seems no scope for a liberal party… not possible as of now.”

Arguing on how can we get at least a half-liberal party or a coalition with liberal content in it, senior journalist, Swaminathan Aiyar said, “Most important is to have a good supply of public goods; effective supply of good education, health and law & order at a local level and equality of opportunity, which is horribly discriminating in India, and equality of opportunity.”

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that Congress was a party with broad coalition of parties with different views and liberal socials. “Congress can accommodate different views,” added Tharoor.

Saradha scam: Madan Mitra surrenders in court

The Calcutta High Court had earlier on Thursday rejected Mitra’s bail petition.

Madan Mitra

PTI
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and former West Bengal minister Madan Mitra, who is an accused in the Saradha Chit-fund scam, surrendered before the Alipore Sessions Court on Thursday.”Saw on TV that the court ordered me to surrender, I am following that order. I am a law abiding citizen,”he told reporters outside the court premises. The Calcutta High Court had earlier on Thursday rejected Mitra’s bail petition.Mitra, who had on Wednesday resigned from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Cabinet, was asked to immediately surrender before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate. The High Court had on November 5 ordered Mitra to be kept under house arrest till November 17. The TMC leader had got a bail in this case by an Alipur court on October 31.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The High Court had also questioned the bail granted to Mitra by a lower court as the same had been refused to the TMC leader earlier in August. The CBI had arrested Mitra in connection with the scam in December last year.

Saradha scam: Calcutta HC rejects Madan Mitra’s bail plea

The High Court had on November 5 ordered Mitra to be kept under house arrest till November 17.

Madan Mitra

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday rejected the bail petition of former West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra, who is an accused in the Saradha chit fund scam.Mitra, who had on Wednesday resigned from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet, has been asked to immediately surrender before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.The High Court had on November 5 ordered Mitra to be kept under house arrest till November 17. The TMC leader had got a bail in this case by an Alipur court on October 31.The High Court had also questioned the bail granted to Mitra by a lower court as the same had been refused to the TMC leader earlierin August. The CBI had arrested Mitra in connection with the scam in December last year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Mamata Banerjee finally accepts Saradha scam-tainted Madan Mitra’s resignation

His resignation was long pending for close to a year, with the Chief Minister refusing to accept it.

File Photo

Hours before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the Saradha scam appears before the Calcutta High Court to pray for cancellation of bail of West Bengal cabinet minister Madan Mitra, his resignation was accepted by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday evening. Mitra, one of the prime accused in the multi-crore-rupee Saradha scam had submitted his resignation on December 12 last year, minutes before he was arrested by the CBI. His resignation was pending for close to a year, with the Chief Minister refusing to accept it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a late night development, Banerjee accepted his resignation and sent it to the Governor of West Bengal, Keshari Nath Tripathi. Madan’s bail has been turned down once by the Calcutta High Court and thrice by the trial court on the grounds of being influential and holding a position in the government as a cabinet minister. He was granted bail on October 31 by a sessions court here after which the CBI prayed for his bail cancellation at the Calcutta High Court.This resignation comes in the wake of the High Court’s hearing just a few hours away. While hearing the case on Wednesday, Justice Nishita Mhatre had commented that, “He is so influential that even his resignation is not being accepted.” Later, the court was adjourned and the same case will be heard on Thursday morning where counsels appearing for Mitra will pray for bail on the grounds that he has resigned from the post of the cabinet minister and does not remain an influential personality in the state government.

Saradha scam: Madan Mitra discharged from hospital, returns home

Mitra, who was admitted to Woodlands Hospital on November 3 after he complained of chest pain and uneasiness, was taken to his residence at Bhowanipore in south Kolkata soon after release, police officials said

Madan Mitra

Saradha chit fund scam accused and West Bengal minister Madan Mitra on Monday returned home after being discharged from a private hospital and was kept in house confinement under police surveillance as per an order of the Calcutta High Court.Mitra, who was admitted to Woodlands Hospital on November 3 after he complained of chest pain and uneasiness, was taken to his residence at Bhowanipore in south Kolkata soon after release, police officials said. “Mitra has been declared fit and was released this morning,” medical superintendent of Woodlands Hospital Dr Malati Purkait said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI had on November 3 moved the High Court seeking cancellation of his bail. The Calcutta High Court had directed that Mitra, an accused in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam, would remain in house confinement under police surveillance till disposal of the CBI plea for cancellation of his bail. Observing that Mitra is a Cabinet minister and has the power to influence witnesses if allowed to remain free, a division bench of justices Joymalyo Bagchi and Mir Dara Sheko directed that he remain confined to his residence once he is discharged from hospital.It further directed that Mitra shall not move out of his house unless there was a medical emergency or requirement for investigation purposes by CBI. Mitra was granted bail by an Alipore court on October 31.He had been undergoing treatment at the state-run SSKM Hospital since February 11 owing to various illnesses.He was declared fit and discharged from SSKM Hospital, a state-owned facility, a day after the bail was granted following his release order from the Alipore Correctional Home, from where he had been shifted to the hospital.Mitra was arrested by the CBI for alleged complicity in the Saradha scam in December, 2014. Woodlands Hospital sources had earlier said that Mitra had complained of chest discomfort, pain and sweating and was attended to by a cardiologist at home and was advised hospitalisation.

Saradha scam: HC orders Bengal minister Madan Mitra under house arrest

Kolkata: West Bengal Transport and Sports Minister Madan Mitra, an accused in the multi-billion rupee chit fund scandal, will be kept in house confinement under police watch till a CBI plea for cancellation of his bail was decided, the Calcutta High Court said on Thursday.

However, Mitra’s house confinement in his south Kolkata residence at Bhowanipore would start once he was released from hospital, where he is now under treatment.

Madan Mitra. PTIMadan Mitra. PTI

Madan Mitra. PTI

Hearing the Central Bureau of Investigation plea, a vacation division bench of justices Joymalya Bagchi and Mir Dara Sheko came up with the observation that Mitra – being a cabinet minister – was capable of influencing witnesses if he remained free.

The judges barred the minister from leaving his house, save for medical emergency or when the CBI needed him in connection with its ongoing investigation into the scam.

CBI counsel K Raghavacharyulu submitted that the Alipore Court had acted in haste to grant bail to the minister.

He argued the CBI was not sent any notice by the sessions court about the bail hearing on 31 October, which violated section 439 (1) (b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure that mandates serving of such notice to the public prosecutor. As such, the bail order was illegally passed.

The vacation judges said the matter needed to be heard on merit and so a regular bench, preferably one which had heard Mitra’s bail petition in the past, should hear the CBI’s plea, once the court reopens on 16 November.

Mitra was asked to file an affidavit on the CBI’s petition by 13 November, while the probe agency would file its counter by 17 November when a regular bench would hear the matter.

Indicted by the agency of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust in the multi-crore-rupee scam, Mitra, was granted bail by a lower court on Saturday, nearly 11 months after his arrest on December 12 last.

Mitra, who was under treatment in the state-run SSKM hospital where he had spent most of his incarceration period, left for home on Sunday after a medical board gave him a fit certificate.

On Tuesday, the CBI moved the Calcutta High Court seeking cancellation of the bail, and around the same time Mitra was admitted to a private hospital in the city.

A five member medical board has been constituted to look after the minister who has been admitted with complaints of chest pain, mild breathlessness and erratic sleep pattern, the hospital said in a statement.

According to jail authorities, Mitra spent less than 50 days in the prison since he was sent to judicial custody on December 19.

IANS

Saradha scam: CBI to appeal against Madan Mitra’s bail

Mitra was granted bail by ACJM (in-charge) of Alipore District and Sessions Court Partha Das on condition that he would furnish a bond of Rs two lakh, cannot leave the state, submit his passport and cooperate with the investigation process

Madan Mitra

West Bengal minister Madan Mitra who was arrested by the CBI in connection with the Saradha scam 10 months ago was on Saturday granted bail by a court, which the TMC said vindicated its stand that none of its members were involved in the scam while the investigation agency said it would move a higher court.Mitra was granted bail by ACJM (in-charge) of Alipore District and Sessions Court Partha Das on condition that he would furnish a bond of Rs two lakh, cannot leave the state, submit his passport and cooperate with the investigation process. Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee told a news conference that Mitra’s bail not only vindicated the party’s stand that none of its members were involved in the scam, but it brought a sense of relief as well.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”CBI had falsely implicated Mitra in the Saradha scam and his bail today is a testimony to that,” he said adding efforts to tarnish Trinamool Congress’ image would not fructify. On the other hand, CBI’s investigating officer dealing with the case told PTI that the agency would move a higher court next week seeking cancellation of Mitra’s bail.”The probe has reached an advanced stage and the bail may jeopardise the process”, the officer said. Mitra was named in the supplementary chargesheet submitted by CBI in court as a beneficiary. The minister was arrested in December 2014 and was in jail custody since then.

Saradha scam: Court turns down Madan Mitra’s bail plea

A Kolkata court on Thursday rejected the bail prayer of West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra who was arrested by CBI on the charge of being involved in the multi-crore rupee Saradha chit fund scam.

Madan Mitra

PTI
A Kolkata court on Thursday rejected the bail prayer of West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra who was arrested by CBI on the charge of being involved in the multi-crore rupee Saradha chit fund scam.Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Saugata Roy Chowdhury, Alipore, rejected the minister’s bail plea and extended his judicial custody till October 22. Praying for Mitra’s bail plea, his counsel Baishanar Chattopadhyay submitted that the minister has been in judicial remand following a stint in CBI custody for around 304 days after his arrest on December 12 last year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He submitted that CBI failed to make any headway in their probe into the scam and the agency was making a shoddy probe. The counsel also contended there was no surety when the trial would commence and there was no reason for keeping Mitra in custody.Opposing the bail prayer, CBI counsel Parthasarathi Dutta submitted that investigation into the larger conspiracy in the matter and into the money trail to discover where and how the huge amount of money was siphoned off was on.Describing Mitra as an influential person, Dutta also submitted that releasing the minister on bail at this stage would severely hamper the probe and sought rejection of the bail plea. Mitra, admitted at the state-run SSKM for the last few months, was not produced at the court on Thursday.

Saradha scam case: Court rejects Madan Mitra’s bail plea

Kolkata: A city court on Thursday rejected the bail prayer of West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra who was arrested by CBI on the charge of being involved in the multi-crore rupee Saradha chit fund scam.

Madan Mitra. PTI

Madan Mitra. PTI

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Saugata Roy Chowdhury, Alipore, rejected the minister’s bail plea and extended his judicial custody till 22 October.

Praying for Mitra’s bail plea, his counsel Baishanar Chattopadhyay submitted that the minister has been in judicial remand following a stint in CBI custody for around 304 days after his arrest on 12 December last year.

He submitted that CBI failed to make any headway in their probe into the scam and the agency was making a shoddy probe.

The counsel also contended there was no surety when the trial would commence and there was no reason for keeping Mitra in custody.

Opposing the bail prayer, CBI counsel Parthasarathi Dutta submitted that investigation into the larger conspiracy in the matter and into the money trail to discover where and how the huge amount of money was siphoned off was on.

Describing Mitra as an influential person, Dutta also submitted that releasing the minister on bail at this stage would severely hamper the probe and sought rejection of the bail plea.

Mitra, admitted at the state-run SSKM for the last few months, was not produced at the court on Thursday.

PTI

Domestic violence case: Supreme Court rejects Somnath Bharti’s bail plea, wife refuses to undergo mediation

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the bail plea of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti, who has been accused of domestic violence and attempt to murder by his wife Lipika Mitra, and directed him to approach a lower court.

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the bail plea of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti, who has been accused of domestic violence and attempt to murder by his wife Lipika Mitra, and directed him to approach a lower court.The apex court also directed the trial judge to consider any bail application moved by Bharti within a day and dispose it expeditiously.Meanwhile, the estranged wife of Somnath refused to undergo mediation in apex court.​A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu took note of the statement of Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra and disposed of the MLA’s petition saying that it has now become infructuous as the petitioner has already surrendered.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the hearing, the bench also comprising Justice Amitava Roy asked Lipika’s view on the issue of undergoing mediation at the Supreme Court itself.”We asked Lipika whether she was agreeable to mediation. Her answer is positive no…” the bench said. It then asked Vijay Aggarwal, counsel for Bharti, to approach the trial court with a fresh plea seeking regular bail.”It is now for the petitioner to move learned trial judge seeking regular bail. If an application is made, we direct the trial judge to consider the said application either on the day it is filed or on the next day,” the bench said.On Sunday, Somnath was sent to Tihar Jail for a day by a Delhi Court and asked the police to produce him before the concerned trial court tomorrow.During the hearing, Bharti alleged that the he was mentally harassed by the police in their custody.The AAP MLA was arrested in the wee hours on September 29 after the Supreme Court ordered him to surrender. Since then, he has been in police custody. Bharti had on September 23 moved the apex court seeking protection from arrest in the case and a direction to restrain Delhi Police from arresting him till his plea challenging the High Court order is decided.

Kolkata’s transgender women come together to organise special Durga puja

Kolkata: Transgender women here have come together this year to organise a special Durga puja in an “attempt to reclaim social space” in the face of “ostracism”.

Spurred by the discriminatory gaze they are subjected to during pandal visits, women of the transgender community have taken matters into their own hands.

AFPAFP

AF

Organised by Pratyay Gender Trust in association with a local club, all arrangements are being made by the transgender women from Kolkata and suburbs.

“Whenever we visit pandals, we are seen in a derogatory way. We are trying to end this discrimination and create scope for conversation between communities where we and our families live,” a member of the organising body told IANS.

“Every one is welcome to visit our pandal,” the member said.

They will also, apart from trying to carve a niche for themselves in the society, seek to dissolve gender disparity.

Activities that are traditionally male dominated, the theme, specifications about the idol, marquee decoration, collection of subscription, puja committee formation, will see the participation of transgender women.

Budgeted at Rs. 1.5 lakh, the celebrations will be held at Jay Mitra street (off Rabindra Sarani), near Sovabazar in north Kolkata.

A performance by troupe of a senior transgender artist will inaugurate the puja on October 18.

IANS

Somnath Bharti case: Former DCW chief Barkha Shukla welcomes SC decision

Bharti has been accused of domestic violence and attempt to murder by his wife Lipika Mitra.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Former Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) chairperson Barkha Shukla Singh on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision in the Somnath Bharti domestic violence case, saying that the former Delhi law minister should heed the apex court’s order and surrender. “I welcome the court’s decision. It has sent a positive message to the women of Delhi. The decision has shown that the court is above all, no matter who the perpetrator is,” Singh told ANI.”Somnath Bharti should be ashamed of himself and he should surrender,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday ordered Bharti to surrender before the Delhi police today failing which, they warned that they won’t hear his plea for bail on October 1. Bharti had moved the apex court seeking protection from arrest in the case and a direction to restrain the Delhi Police from arresting him till his plea challenging the high court order is decided. Bharti has been accused of domestic violence and attempt to murder by his wife Lipika Mitra.

Domestic violence case: Delhi HC reserves order on Somnath Bharti’s anticipatory bail

A Delhi Court had on Monday dismissed Bharti’s anticipatory bail plea in the domestic violence case filed against him by his wife Lipika Mitra.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Delhi HC has reserved order on anticipatory bail of Somnath Bharti in the domestic violence case filed against him by his wife Lipika Mitra. The high court also asked police not to take any coercive steps. The High Court had earlier on Tuesday granted interim relief to Bharti by staying his arrest till September 17.A Delhi Court had on Monday dismissed Bharti’s anticipatory bail plea in the domestic violence case filed against him by Mitra.Joint Commissioner (Southwestern Range) Deependra Pathak on Tuesday said that the non-baillable warrant that has been served on former AAP minister Somnath Bharti means that he should join the investigation of a domestic violence case filed against him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The anticipatory bail was dismissed on Tuesday. We have obtained a non-bailable warrant and we hope that he will join the investigation, and we are also trying to locate him. Till now, he has not joined the investigation, Pathak said.Wanted in a case of domestic abuse with charges that include attempt to murder, Somnath Bharti, the Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Law Minister of Delhi, has not been located so far by the city police.The complaint given by his wife (Lipika) was enquired through an investigative mechanism of the Crime Against Women (CAW) cell. The case was filed according to all the facts and circumstances. After that, reconsolidation and counselling was also done, and when Bharti failed in this, and under the insistence of his wife, the FIR was lodged,? he added. He further said, “The complaint does have the information about the particular day when she was almost strangulated by him and that he let the pet dog bite her. And, that is the part of her complaint and in the FIR. So, it is a cross reference. We are looking for various evidences.”Pathak said that jumping to any conclusion is neither advisable nor professional.Lipika had filed a complaint with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) in June, accusing Somnath of committing acts of domestic violence and mental torture since 2010.Bharti was earlier named in an FIR filed under several Sections of the Indian Penal code (IPC), including domestic violence and attempt to murder.Lipika has been married to Bharti since 2010, but has been living separately from him since 2012 along with the couple’s two children in a rented accommodation in Dwarka.

Stop blaming police, respect women: Delhi Police Commissioner Bassi tells Somnath Bharti

Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi on Wednesday said that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti must stop blaming the police, and instead, he should respect women.

Getty
Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi on Wednesday said that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti must stop blaming the police, and instead, he should respect women.There was no abetment from the police side. I advice Somnath Bharti that rather than putting allegations on his wife and the Delhi Police, he should respect women, Bassi told media here.Somnath Bharti is putting baseless allegations on the Delhi Police. This is a harassment case against him by his wife, he added.Bassi further said, “Our effort for mediation failed and the only way left is the course of law. If police had anything against Somnath Bharti, then it would have immediately filed an FIR against him.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Somnath Bharti on Wednesday rubbished the domestic violence case filed against him by his wife Lipika Mitra and said that he has audio and documentary evidence which would reveal the truth.Bharti further said that he was not hiding and added that he was only attempting to save himself from the Delhi Police which is acting on the orders of the Centre.The AAP MLA is facing a non-bailable warrant against him in a domestic violence and attempt to murder case filed by his wife.

Lipika calls me ‘sweetheart’ but files attempt to murder case: Somnath Bharti

Bharti said that he had audio evidence to back up whatever he was saying.

Somnath Bharti
File Photo

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti on Wednesday rubbished the domestic violence case filed against him by his wife Lipika Mitra and said that he has audio and documentary evidences, which would reveal the truth. “The allegation of attempt to murder has been put on me by the lady, who says ‘sweet heart’ when you will come home, I will take care of you in an SMS. This SMS was send to me by her (Lipika Mitra) on February 25, 2015. Can you imagine a wife calling her husband in such a way who is trying to murder her?” asked Bharti.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “I have audio and documentary evidences, which will bring out the truth and prove that all the allegations against me are false,” he added. Bharti further said that he was not hiding and added that he was only attempting to save himself from the Delhi Police which is acting on the orders of the Centre. “The police, interrogating my legal clients and supporters, have even admitted that they have come on the orders of the Union Home Ministry. I even heard that the ATS (Anti-Terrorist Squad) came looking for me. Do you think I am a terrorist?” Bharti added. The AAP MLA is facing a non-bailable warrant against him in a domestic violence and attempt to murder case filed by his wife.

Not going to reconcile with Bharti, says estranged wife Lipika Mitra

New Delhi: After AAP MLA and former Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti got protection from arrest for two days in a case of domestic violence and attempt to murder, estranged wife Lipika Mitra on Tuesday asked him to “come out of hiding” even as she ruled out any reconciliation with her husband.

“What I feel is that if this time I reconcile, you will see my dead body coming out of his home. Whatever I’m doing is for the welfare of my children. I’m not going to reconcile,” Mitra said.

Somnath Bharti's wife Lipika Bharti. PTISomnath Bharti's wife Lipika Bharti. PTI

Somnath Bharti’s wife Lipika Bharti. PTI

On Bharti having got interim relief from Delhi High Court which has restrained Delhi Police from arresting him till Thursday, Mitra said, “I think it’s good for Mr Bharti. He has got this respite, now he should come out of hiding; no reason for him to go into hiding for another two days.”

Delhi Police have registered an FIR against Bharti over a complaint of domestic violence and attempt to murder by Lipika.

The FIR was lodged after four attempts at mediation between the MLA and his wife failed to bear any result and Lipika insisted that the police should thence act against the AAP legislator.

A court had on July 7 dismissed an anticipatory bail plea moved by Bharti saying that the application was premature since no FIR had been lodged against him.

Lipika had filed a complaint of domestic violence with the Delhi Commission for Women on June 10 alleging that her husband had been abusing her ever since their marriage in 2010. She had also given a complaint to police in this regard.

Bharti on Tuesday was protected from arrest in connection with the case filed by his wife with high court asking the city police not to take any coercive steps against him till Thursday.

While passing the interim order, Justice Suresh Kait also issued a notice to police directing it to file a status report in the case by September 17, the next date of hearing.

PTI

Somnath Bharti faces arrest: Court issues non-bailable warrant against him

New Delhi: Former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti faces imminent arrest with a city court on Monday dismissing his anticipatory bail plea and another issuing Non Bailable Warrant (NBW) against him in a domestic violence and attempt to murder case filed by his wife.

Somnath Bharti. Image courtesy: Facebook

Somnath Bharti. Image courtesy: Facebook

Bharti’s plea for anticipatory bail was rejected by Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Sanjay Garg observing that it was the second complaint lodged against the MLA by his wife Lipika Mitra, who had alleged that he did not mend his conduct despite assurance before the Crime Against Women Cell.

Later in the day, the Delhi Police moved an application seeking issuance of NBW against Bharti before Metropolitan Magistrate Manika, which was allowed. The ASJ, while rejecting his anticipatory bail, said, “it is pertinent to observe that this is the second complaint lodged by the complainant (Lipika). The previous complaint dated October 17, 2011 was not pursued by her on the assurance given by the applicant (Bharti) before the CAW cell.

“It is alleged that the applicant did not mend his conduct and continued to subject the complainant to cruelty. Considering the totality of the facts and circumstances, the applicant is not entitled to grant of anticipatory bail. The application is accordingly dismissed.”

After dismissal of the anticipatory bail plea, the MLA’s counsel Vijay Aggarwal said he will approach Delhi High Court for the relief to his client. “We will move the high court shortly,” he said.

The Magistrate later issued the arrest warrant after the police moved an application contending that Bharti was not cooperating in the probe and had failed to appear for interrogation despite three summons issued to him.

The ASJ, while rejecting anticipatory bail to Bharti, accepted submissions of Special Public Prosecutor Shailendra Babbar that allegations against the lawmaker were serious and there was a possibility of his tampering with evidence.

The court rejected Bharti’s contention that attempt to murder charge was not made out, while saying the FIR had specific allegations of cruelty against him.

The judge said “as per the complainant, on March 19, 2013, when she (Lipika) asked Bharti to pay the rent, he not only tried to strangulate her, but also unleashed his dog on her despite knowing that she was in the seventh month of pregnancy.

“… Considering the allegation, the contention of Bharti’s counsel that commission of offence under section 307 (attempt to murder) is not made out, cannot be accepted at this stage…”

While seeking the anticipatory bail for Bharti, his counsel told the court that his client was a sitting MLA and there was no chance that he would flee from justice in the event of grant of bail.

He added that Bharti still wanted to support his wife and children and was ready for mediation.

“I (Bharti) am a lawyer, ex-Delhi law minister and a public servant and there is no chance that I will abscond,” the counsel said.

Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra, who was also present in the court room, alleged that her husband had tried to strangulate her and she was left to die in front of her kids.

“My small kids are suffering. I was left to die in front of them. I love my husband that is why I suffered the abuse for five years,” she said.

When court asked her if she was willing for mediation, Lipika refused, saying “no reconciliation is possible as all attempts made earlier have failed.”

While opposing the bail application, the prosecutor said the MLA is an influential person because of which nobody was coming forward to depose against him.

He said notices have already been issued to him by the olice for joining probe in the case but he was running away and not cooperating with the agency. The prosecutor said two FIRs were earlier lodged against Bharti, including one on alleged molestation of African women.

He also said the politician’s wife was called for mediation four times but it did not help.

Lipika had filed a complaint of domestic violence with the Delhi Commission for Women on June 10 alleging that her husband had been abusing her since their marriage in 2010. She had also given a complaint to police in this regard.

The Delhi Police had last week registered an FIR against Bharti under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 498A (cruelty towards partner in marriage), 324(voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 313 read with 511 (attempt to cause miscarriage without woman’s consent), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC.

PTI

Ready to face any consequence if charges against Somnath Bharti are proved wrong, says Lipika Mitra

He should come forward and cooperate with the Delhi Police. If he feels that any of the allegations made against him are wrong then he should come and give an explanation, she added.

Lipika Mitra, the wife of former law minister and AAP leader Somnath Bharti, on Sunday said that she is ready to face any consequence if accusations made by her are proved wrong.Bharti being a leader and a responsible citizen should not do whatever he is doing. If charges against him (Somnath Bharti) are proved wrong, I am ready to face any consequences, Mitra told ANI.He should come forward and cooperate with the Delhi Police. If he feels that any of the allegations made against him are wrong then he should come and give an explanation, she added.The Delhi Police had registered a case against the AAP MLA after he was accused of domestic violence and mental torture by his wife.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The case was registered against Bharti under Sections 307, 323 and 498A of the Indian Penal Code.Lipika has been married to Bharti since 2010, but has been living separately from him since 2012 along with the couple’s two children in a rented accommodation in Dwarka.

Another notice to be issued to Somnath Bharti

Police claimed that after being served the first notice, Bharti had agreed to come to Dwaraka North Police Station at 11 AM on Friday but he failed to fulfill his commitment.

Somnath Bharti
File Photo

Delhi Police on Saturday said it will issue a second notice to former Law Minister Somnath Bharti, who has been booked for attempt to murder, domestic violence and other criminal charges on his wife’s complaint, after he did not turn up for questioning before it. “Bharti is evading the probe and we will issue the second notice to him. He did not turn up for questioning yesterday despite being given a notice a night before,” said Dependra Pathak, Joint Commissioner of Police (South-West). Police claimed that after being served the first notice, Bharti had agreed to come to Dwaraka North Police Station at 11 AM on Friday but he failed to fulfill his commitment. “When later in the afternoon a police team was sent to his residence at Malviya Nagar it was found locked. Police then tried to track him throughout the day but failed,” Pathak said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “The second notice will be affixed at his residence today asking him to join the probe immediately,” he added. On Wednesday, Delhi Police had registered an FIR against the AAP leader, three months after his wife Lipika Mitra filed a case of domestic violence against him, levelling serious charges including that of “unleashing” dogs on her when she was pregnant. Mitra also told the police that on March 27 and 28, Bharti had allegedly subjected her to severe violence and also tried to slit her wrist.

Case against Somnath Bharti: AAP leader skips police questioning

On Wednesday, Delhi Police registered an FIR against Somnath Bharti, three months after his wife Lipika Mitra filed a case of domestic violence against him, levelling serious charges including that of “unleashing” dogs on her when she was pregnant.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti, who has been booked for attempt to murder, domestic violence and other criminal charges on his wife’s complaint, on Friday did not turn up for questioning before police which had sent a notice to him on Wednesday night.According to a senior police official, the notice was sent to the AAP leader’s Malviya Nagar residence last night and the legislator had agreed to come to the Dwarka North police station by 11 AM today. Bharti told the police that he would first go to the court and then head towards the police station. However, when Bharti did not turn up till 2 PM, a police official was sent to his residence. But he was not present there. His mobile phone was also found to be switched off, said a senior official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We had called Somnath Bharti and as per the latest information, he did not turn up. But I hope he will fully cooperate with the police, because it is utmost necessary to take his version in this case,” said Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi.”I don’t think that he will go against the law. If he doesn’t come, necessary action will be taken as per law,” he said.Responding to a question about whether Bharti will be arrested, Bassi said, “Our investigation is on. We will take all necessary steps that are to be taken in the course of the investigation.””I hope Bharti will cooperate with the police, like any other responsible citizen,” Bassi added.On Wednesday, Delhi Police registered an FIR against Somnath Bharti, three months after his wife Lipika Mitra filed a case of domestic violence against him, levelling serious charges including that of “unleashing” dogs on her when she was pregnant.Mitra also told the police that on March 27 and 28, Bharti had allegedly subjected her to severe violence and also tried to slit her wrist, said Joint Commissioner of Police (southwest) Devendra Pathak.”The FIR was registered at Dwarka North police station under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 498a (cruelty towards partner in marriage), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC,” said Pathak.Following the registration of the FIR, a Delhi court recorded the statement of Mitra before Metropolitan Magistrate Manu Goel Kharb in-chamber under Section 164 of CrPC.

Police statement backed by evidence: Lipika Mitra on allegations against husband Somnath Bharti

New Delhi: Lipika Mitra, who has registered a case of domestic violence against her husband, AAP leader Somnath Bharti, on Friday said her police statement was backed by evidence and documents.

She said she met police officers to thank them and that she decided to come out in the open after her husband “started pestering and making statements assassinating” her character.

Lipika Mitra.Lipika Mitra.

Lipika Mitra.

“It was then that I had to come out and speak. I have to stand for my own right,” Mitra told IANS.

She said her statement to the police in the case were backed by evidence and documents.

“He has slapped me, tried to strangulate me. Even when I was in that condition (pregnant) he tried to hurt me. Anything could have happened had the neighbours not been there,” she said.

The senior police officers have assured me of a thorough and speedy probe, she said.

On being asked if she wanted her husband to be arrested, she said: “Not that I am very happy with the development. I am very sad with whatever is happening. My children won’t see their father and I will lose my husband.

“What am I achieving out of all these. The double standards that these people (Delhi government) are showing are ridiculous. He is talking about women empowerment but he is not being fair to his own wife,” she said.

IANS

FIR against AAP leader Somnath Bharti: Did ‘all this’ to come out of abuse, says wife

Asked to comment on the attempt to murder charge in the FIR, Lipika said, “He (Bharti) had tried to strangulate me when I was pregnant. These are facts, and I have given enough evidence to police.”

Somnath Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra

A day after an FIR was registered against AAP MLA Somnath Bharti over a complaint of domestic violence and attempt to murder, his wife Lipika Mitra on Friday said that although she was “not happy with the development”, she had to do “all this” to come out of the alleged abuse.Accompanied by former DCW chairperson Barkha Shukla Singh, Lipika on Friday met Senior Special Commissioner of Police Deepak Mishra (Law and Order) at Delhi Police Headquarters. The purpose of the meeting, she said, was to thank the police for taking action on her complaint. However, she remarked after the meeting that she was “very sad with whatever is happening”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”What am I achieving ultimately; I will lose my husband, my children will lose their father. I am not happy with the development, but had to do all this to come out of the abuse,” Lipika said. “Even though it has taken three months for them to file an FIR, they have now done the needful. My husband is a powerful man and has the backing of the chief minister. But for the CM, Lipika Mitra doesn’t exist. So, I have come to express my gratitude to them (Delhi Police),” Lipika said, adding that police officials have assured her that they will hold a speedy probe.Asked to comment on the attempt to murder charge in the FIR, Lipika said, “He (Bharti) had tried to strangulate me when I was pregnant. These are facts, and I have given enough evidence to police.”The FIR was registered yesterday at Dwarka North police station under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 498(a)(cruelty towards partner in marriage), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC, Joint Commissioner of Police (South-West) Dependra Pathak had said.Delhi Police had sent a notice last night to Bharti asking him to come for questioning today to Dwarka North police station. Following the registration of the FIR, a Delhi court had yesterday recorded the statement of Lipika before Metropolitan Magistrate Manu Goel Kharb in-chamber under Section 164 of CrPC.

He fought the goons for 25 minutes with his bare hands

Armyman Ved Mitra Chaudhary bravely fought goons before being killed by goons who were teasing 21-year-old girl

(Left) Vikas Kumar, brother-in-law of deceased Ved Mitra Chaudhary is consoled by a family member; (right) File photo of Ved Mitra Chaudhary
B B Yadav
dna
On Monday afternoon, Vikas Kumar, brother-in-law of Ved Mitra Chaudhary, the armyman who was beaten to death when he tried to stop a group of six people from molesting a girl, hovered around the deceased’s s rented accommodation in Meerut’s Gokul Vihar.As he was busy packing clothes and some documents which belonged to Chaudhary, Krishan Pal, the father of the girl who Chaudhary had defended from being molested, walked in on Kumar. On seeing Pal enter the room, Kumar started weeping incessantly prompting the 48-year-old father to fold his hands, as if to apologise about what had happened.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chaudhary was posted as a Lance Naik with 416 Engineering Brigade in Meerut. “There used to be many thefts in the area and many criminals used to roam around but ever since Chaudhary came to stay here in June, not even a single robbery was reported. The younger ones would go to him to listen to stories and the elderly took pride in knowing him,” said his landlord Atish Tomar who too is an ex-serviceman. Chaudhary became a memory for those who knew on August 13, when he went to a newly constructed dairy in Hardev Nagar to purchase milk.Chaudhary’s timing coincided with that of dairy owner Krishan Pal’s 21-year-old daughter who had come to visit her father in Golabgarh where he stays with his two sons. Pal’s two daughters are currently preparing for Indian Administrative Services exams and stay in a rented room in Shastri Nagar.”My daughter came here for the first time on August 12 when she was noticed by the goons. We usually stay in Golabgarh but had come here for a night as our dairy is under construction. She was visiting and argued that she wanted to cook food for us before she leaves,” Pal said.When the girl came to the dairy on Thursday (August 13) evening the same group of people started teasing and tried touching her. This happened merely few feet away from her under construction dairy.”The armyman saw this and calmly parked his motor-cycle. He walked over to the place of commotion and told the men to stop what they were doing. One of the boys slapped him and it was then that Chaudhary started beating at least three of them with his bare hands. I and my sons joined in and chased the men away,” Pal told dna.According to him, the attackers left only to arrive with a group of nearly 30 people five minutes later. “All of them didn’t attack us but they served as a cushion for those who were actually hitting us,” Pal said.”He (Chaudhary) and my sons fought for around 25 minutes. He was tall and the attackers were trying to injure him on his head but failed to do so for a long time until one of them managed to him with an iron rod. Once he fell, my sons were overpowered too and it was then when they started throwing bricks and stones on them,” Pal added. Chaudhary later succumbed in a local hospital while one of Pal’s sons is undergoing treatment.While Pal’s family were lucky enough to see their loved ones safe at the end of the unfortunate day, Chaudhary’s continued to be inconsolable. He is survived by his wife, a son (7) and a nine-year-old daughter.”I am shattered. He was not only family but a dear friend too, I don’t know what fate awaits my sister and her children who lost their father at such a tender age,” said Kumar. He added that the family grieves, but they will one day feel proud about what Chaudhary had done.

Somnath Bharti cares for only ‘beautiful women’, says his wife Lipika Mitra

The controversial AAP leader has drawn flak from various quarters over his statement that beautiful women would be able to go out at midnight if the AAP Government takes over policing system in the national capital.

Lipika Mitra
File Photo
Photo Courtesy: ANI Twitter
Joining the chorus of outrage against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Somnath Bharti for his ‘beautiful women’ remark, his wife Lipika Mitra on Tuesday said that he cares for only beautiful women. “Somnath Bharti cares for only beautiful women, it seems like that. I’m an average looking woman, maybe that’s why I was ill treated by him,” Mitra, who has alleged that she has been facing violence at the hands of Bharti since 2010, told ANI. “Even in the assembly if he is talking about the security of beautiful women only, where will women like me go? We have no place to go. Nobody to think about our security,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The controversial AAP leader has drawn flak from various quarters over his statement that beautiful women would be able to go out at midnight if the AAP Government takes over policing system in the national capital.

Delhi Police provides security to Somnath Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra

Bharti’s wife, Lipika Mitra, had on Wednesday filed a complaint against the leader alleging “domestic violence” and “mental torture”.

Somnath Bharti

File Photo
Delhi Police has provided security to Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Somnath Bharti’s wife, following her apprehensions about her safety. “She had expressed her apprehensions to us. And, we had assured her that she will be provided full security. We have provided her security, as she was feeling a bit apprehensive,” said Delhi Police Commisoner BS Bassi. “Yesterday, she had met our Special Commissioner, Law and Order, and given her complaint. We have heard her out and we will act accordingly. If she gives a complaint in writing, then, it will make our work easier,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharti’s wife, Lipika Mitra, had on Wednesday filed a complaint against the leader alleging “domestic violence” and “mental torture”. Mitra also approached the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) for assistance, although she is yet to lodge a First Information Report (FIR) against Bharti. Mitra had alleged that the AAP leader has been abusing her ever since their marriage in 2010.However, Bharti, who has been summoned to appear before the DCW on June 26, has dismissed the allegations as ‘baseless’.

Saradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected by Kolkata court

Kolkata: A city court on Thursday rejected the bail plea of West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra, who was arrested by the CBI for alleged complicity in the Saradha chit fund scam.

The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alipore Court, rejected the bail prayer of the minister who is in jail custody since December last.

Madan Mitra. PTIMadan Mitra. PTI

Accused in the Saradha chit fund scam Madan Mitra. PTI

Mitra’s counsel Baishyanor Chattopadhyay submitted that he had been in CBI custody and subsequently judicial remand for 131 days and that a charge sheet had already been submitted in the case by the CBI.

He stated before judge Haradhan Mukhopadhyay that a supplementary charge sheet had also been filed in connection with the case and that it did not contain anything fresh on Mitra.

As such there was no need for his further detention and hence the minister be released on bail, his counsel submitted.

The CBI counsel opposed the bail prayer claiming that Mitra was a very influential person and that investigation could be hampered if he was released on bail.

Mitra is undergoing treatment at the state-run SSKM Hospital and was as such not produced before the court.

Mitra’s counsels had yesterday withdrawn a bail prayer that was pending before the Calcutta High Court and moved a fresh bail plea before the ACJM’s court today.

The Alipore court had earlier rejected his bail plea in February.

PTI

Mamata to leave for Delhi on 8 March to meet Modi on debt waiver

Kolkata: Setting aside her differences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will leave for Delhi on 8 March to meet him seeking a waiver of the huge debt her government is burdened with.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. ReutersPrime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. Reuters

The chief minister on Wednesday told reporters at the state secretariat that she would lead a 36-38 member delegation, which would comprise, among others, Finance Minister Amit Mitra and Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra.

“We have waited for over three-and-a-half years and had given a test of our patience. Already we paid about Rs 1 lakh crore debt so far. Now we are going to Delhi to secure our rights,” she said.

On 25 February, Banerjee had written to the Prime Minister seeking an appointment urging him to consider the debt waiver immediately.

“We have long been pursuing with the central government for a waiver of the huge debt burden left upon us by the previous government in West Bengal. We have waited for more than three-and-a-half years with no results,” Banerjee said.

She said the deduction of about Rs 28,000 crore every year towards repayment of loans taken by the previous government has been increasing.

“No other state in the country is as ‘debt-stressed’ as West Bengal because of the gross misrule of the previous Left Front government for 34 long years. Our state needs immediate relief from the debt burden so that growth and development efforts continue unhindered,” she said.

PTI

Court rejects Madan Mitra’s bail plea, remands Bengal minister to judicial custody

Kolkata: A city court today rejected the bail plea of West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra and remanded him in judicial custody till 16 January even as he claimed innocence saying he was ready to be hanged if found guilty.

Judicial magistrate of Alipore court Monikuntala Roy extended the judicial remand of Mitra, who was arrested on 12 December, by 14 days on a prayer by CBI.

West Bengal Minister Madan Mitra. PTI

“I will accept an order to be hanged if even a rupee is found to have been transferred to Madan Mitra’s fund from Saradha,” the minister told the court.

He has been charged under sections 420 and 406 of IPC, which can invite a maximum punishment of seven years in jail, if convicted.

Pleading innocence, Mitra said, “In 2009 I had no idea about NBFCs. Previous chit fund scams relating to ‘Sanchaita’ occurred when I was very young and was in school.”

“I was told by some youths in 2009 that Saradha was buying huge tracts of land in South 24-Parganas district from farmers, but was refusing payment to them,” Mitra claimed.

“Then I went to Saradha Garden to enquire on the issue and was told by the Saradha Group people that they were a small company and that it was difficult for them to pay.

“I told them that what is small today will become big someday, little drops of water make a river,” he said, seeking to explain the context of his controversial statement at a Saradha Group get together, which is being seen by certain sections as inviting people to invest in Saradha Group chit funds.

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“I also told them that as an MLA I will take care of any legal problem if and when it arises,” Mitra, who was then MLA of Bishnupur South Assembly constituency in South 24-Parganas district, said, adding that if he had uttered a single more word in this regard, then he was ready to accept any punishment.

Earlier during the hearing, Mitra’s counsel Ashok Mukherjee submitted before the magistrate that his client being a minister and a respectable person would neither abscond nor try to tamper with any evidence in regard to the case.

Mukherjee said that any condition imposed by the court for granting of bail was acceptable to them and claimed that Mitra was kept behind bars because of political vendetta.

CBI counsel Partha Sarathi Dutta opposed the bail prayer, claiming that huge funds were transferred to Mitra by the Saradha Group and that he had played an active part in connivance with the group’s chairman Sudipta Sen, the main accused in the case, in the multi-crore chit fund scam spread across several states.

Mitra was arrested on 12 December and following two installments of CBI custody, he was sent to judicial remand on 19 December.

He was, however, admitted to state-run SSKM Hospital on the same evening following complaints of chest pain and uneasiness and was there for most part of his judicial remand before he was shifted back to Alipore Central Jail on 28 December after the doctors gave the go-ahead for his release from hospital.

The magistrate today directed the jail authorities to ensure medical aid to Mitra.

PTI

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