December 18, 2013

Demand for CBI probe into West Bengal chit fund scam

PTI,  December 18, 2013 17:06 IST
                       Left Party MPs stage a protest march demanding action in the Saradha                                          Chit Fund Scam at  Rajpath in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy
NEW DELHI: A demand for a CBI inquiry into the chit fund scam in West Bengal and adjoining states was made in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday amid protest by Trinamool Congress members that the matter, which is subjudice, cannot be taken up in the House.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Prashant Chatterjee (CPI-M) said chit fund companies in West Bengal have cheated residents of the state and no action has been initiated against them.
He said a member of the House Kunal Ghosh was also arrested in this connection and demanded that a CBI inquiry be conducted on the issue, which was strongly opposed by Trinamool members Derek O’Brien and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy.
“We demand a CBI inquiry into the issue of chit fund scam. A member of this House Kunal Ghosh has also been arrested in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam,” Mr. Chatterjee said amid the din created by TMC members.
Raising a Point of Order, Mr. Roy said, “A subjudice matter cannot be taken up in the House,” while objecting to reference of TMC member’s name in the House.
Rejecting the Point of Order, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said it has already been permitted by the Chairman but said he will expunge any remark which is against norms or is unparliamentary.

ANHAD exposes Modi’s wrongs in West Bengal, shows film on malnutrition and graft in Gujarat

By Zaidul Haque,
14th December, 2013

Kolkata: A press conference was held by Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) at Kolkata Press Club on December 10. It was presided over by Shabnam Hashmi and Dhruv Sangri.

The conference highlighted Narendra Modi’s miss-governance in his own state of Gujarat as he claims of bringing development to all of India. “People should know how are the people of Gujarat living now under Narendra Modi’s chief ministership. Gujarat ranks in worst position after Modi came to power. Every third day, a women is raped in Gujarat. Where is the development?” asked activist and chief functionary of ANHAD.

Shabnam Hashmi

Along with ANHAD member and Sufi singer Dhruv Sangari, Shabnam showed a short film titled `Kachcha Chittha’ an investigative series on Modi’s misdeeds. The film captures Modi’s expenditures for Sadbhavana Upvas. It also exposed the truth of Modi’s expenditure for his rallies.

Modi’s Sadbhavna Upvas cost was Rs. 50,000 excluding the costs of lightning was upto Rs. 1,80,000, Rs. 5,00,000 for hoardings, Rs. 20,00,000 for putting up tents.

While citing documentary evidence Shabnam said, “In 1995, when BJp’s government came to power in Gujarat 1995, the state loan was 10,000 cr which increased to Rs. 45,301 when Modi took office as CM in 2001. This whopping amount of loan increased to Rs. 2,00,765 cr upto 30 December 2012.”

“Out of 225 blocks in Gujarat, 57 are identified as undeveloped. In these blocks, 44.6 % infants in the category of below 5 years age are suffering due to lack of nutrition, 70 % suffer from Anemia and 40% are under weight. Moreover, out of 20 states with high anemia record Gujarat is at the top.” She is also said that the state of education is pathetic in Gujarat. In 8 districts of Gujarat vacancy of teachers has reached the number of 2494.

While quoting the census report of 2011 she also said that 29% people, which is upto Rs.1,75,00,000 of total population of Gujarat, do not get purified drinking water. Similarly, 32% of people were living under poverty line in 2001 which swelled to 39% by 2011, she said. She also mentioned the reports published by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), Shabnam said that from 2004 to 2010 Gujarat is consistently ranking an all-time low in alleviating poverty.

“Only 12% Muslims have bank accounts in Gujarat out of which only 2.6% get loans. According to NSSO report, the percentage of Muslim employees recruitment in the last 12 years is nearly zero,” said Shabnam. She also said that 1958 cases related to Gujarat massacre are still now pending in Supreme Court, but only 117 persons are arrested. As far as attendance in state assembly is concerned, they have hardly met for 30-32 days.

ANHAD exposes Modi’s wrongs in West Bengal, shows film on malnutrition and graft in Gujarat

West Bengal: Father to marry off daughter after losing in gambling

PTI : Malda, Fri Dec 13 2013, 16:30 hrs

MALDA: In a shocking incident, a gambler has fixed his 13-year-old daughter's marriage to his neighbour after losing to him during a marathon gambling session at Krishnapur - Buritala village in Malda district.

The father, a compulsive gambler, was locked in a gambling bout with local youth Sukumar Mandal on December 1. After losing everything, he put his girl at stake, and again lost.

The two families started making wedding plans immediately after that.

The marriage has been fixed for January 22 next and the engagement ceremony on December 9 was attended by villagers and relatives.

The girl, a Class VIII student, had stopped attending school after she was engaged to the man, who is double her age.

When contacted, Habibpur BDO Arnab Roy told PTI he had sent a team to the village, bordering Bangladesh, on Thursday to get the details.

The team will meet him on Friday and he has requested members of 'Çhildline', an NGO dedicated to children's welfare, to be present at the meeting.

The BDO has also informed the district social welfare officer about it.

The BDO said all out efforts would be made to stop the marriage as early marriage is a punishable offence.

Roy said illiteracy was the reason behind the incident and efforts would be made to make both the families aware about the drawbacks of child marriage and that it was a punishable offence.

Political insensitivity followed gangrape in West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee accused the protesters as being Maoist sympathisers
  • By Archisman Dinda, Correspondent
  • Published: 21:00 December 15, 2013

Kolkata: At a time when the Nirbhaya case was reaching its logical end in Delhi, the gangrape and murder of a 20-year-old girl returning home after appearing for a university examination at Kamduni village in North 24 Parganas district on June 7 shocked the state. West Bengal held the dubious record of the highest incidents of crime against women for the second consecutive year in 2012, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
This case was similar to the Nirbhaya case in many ways: the girl’s father, a rickshaw puller, insisted on educating his daughter and had even refused marriage proposals. He forced people to wake up to the alarming crime situation in the state, demanding justice and protection for women.
However, people were stunned by the reaction of West Bengal’s first woman chief minister Mamata Banerjee. They wanted to see that Banerjee who, as leader of opposition, was always the first to reach any spot and stand by people in the hour of crisis. When she finally made that “secret visit” to the victim’s house 10 days after the incident, Banerjee lost her cool with the women there who were shouting slogans demanding security and justice. She accused them of beings Maoist and Communist sympathisers and of trying to kill her during the visit. Political appeasement followed, as the victims’ brothers were offered jobs and other compensation. But they refused, demanding justice, making the government look more pathetic in the eyes of the public.
Banerjee promised justice in 30 days, and in trying to keep with the timetable, the police filed an incomplete chargesheet earning the wrath of the court. This gave the culprits more time and denied the victim swift justice. The main accused, Saiful Mollah, and the other seven — Ansar Ali, Shamimul Ali, Amirul, Bhola Naskar, Amin Ali, Nur Ali and Gopal Naskar — were eventually tried under sections that carry life imprisonment.