In Maharashtra, youth beaten for protesting bridal ‘virginity test’

first_imgThree young men from the Kanjarbhat community were badly beaten by members of their community’s ‘caste panchayat’ in the city’s Pimpri-Chinchwad area on Sunday night for voicing their opposition to the tribunal’s practice of conducting a bridal ‘virginity test’.A First Information Report (FIR) under Sections 143, 147, 149 (pertaining to rioting and unlawful assembly), Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), Section 506 (criminal intimidation), and Section 427 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was lodged against 40 persons at the Pimpri Police Station on Monday.Two persons have been arrested so far.The police acted on the complaint of Prashant Indrekar (25), who, along with his cousins Saurabh Machhle and Prashant Tamchikar, was roughed up for opposing the Panchayat’s practices.According to the police, the incident occurred around 11.30 p.m. on Sunday night.“A caste tribunal of the Kanjarbhat community assembled after a community marriage on Sunday night, with the tribunal ‘elders’ decreeing that the bride had to take a virginity test. A number of ‘panchayat’ members vented their ire against Indrekar and his friends, who were present on the occasion, for their campaign on social media speaking out against such practices,” said a senior official at the Pimpri Police Station.A gang of about 40 persons from the community inflicted injuries on the three young men using fists and blunt objects.In December last year, several progressive youth the Kanjarbhat community, including Mr. Indrekar, created a WhatsApp group titled ‘Stop the V-Ritual’ (the ‘V’ standing for virginity), which elicited an enthusiastic response.One of the creators of the group was Vivek Tamchikar, a student at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai (TISS). Their initiative has the backing of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), an organisation that fights superstitious beliefs.The regressive practice of a bridal ‘virginity test’ is rife in the Kanjarbhat community and forcibly imposed through the diktats of illegal caste tribunals. In it, a newly-married couple is generally taken to a hotel room and the groom is given a white bedsheet and asked to use it during consummation of the marriage. If the groom displays a bedsheet with blood stains on it, the bride has ‘passed’ the test. If the bedsheet has no blood stains, the bride is accused by the tribunal of having had sexual relationships in the past.“In many instances, ‘caste panchayat’ members actually sit outside the room during the act of sexual intercourse on the wedding night. It is to put an end to this degrading and demeaning practice and to preserve our dignity that we began this WhatsApp group,” said Mr. Indrekar.On November 25 last year, Siddhant Indrekar (21), a resident of Kanjarbhat Nagar in Yerwada, had lodged a complaint against the ‘caste panchayat’ at the Vishrantwadi police station.“Police are tardy in taking action in such cases despite ample proof of the activities of the ‘caste panchayats’, including demands of money for various rituals. But the police often do not register such cases under the Social Boycott Act [the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016]. How long must progressive members within such communities pay with their life and security before cases are lodged under the new law?” asked Nandini Jadhav of the MANS.last_img read more

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M.J. Akbar questions IQ of govt. critics on Doklam

first_imgUnion Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar said on Saturday that those criticising the government’s handling of the 2017 Doklam crisis had “no knowledge, understanding or IQ” about governance. Mr. Akbar, while speaking at a function at an educational institute in Mapusa, North Goa, said the silent manner in which the government had handled the crisis was noteworthy. Mr. Akbar’s comments assume significance in the context of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s comments during an interaction in London, where he criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the manner in which the government had handled the Doklam stand-off. Mr. Akbar, without naming Mr. Gandhi, said, “I seriously do not wish to use any harsh words because it may be inappropriate, but some people who have been talking have clearly proved over and over again that they have no knowledge, no understanding, no IQ of what governance is all about.” He said he wished the critics would not discuss Doklam and “betray their inability to understand our country and its values by words and thoughts that have been fed into their mouth”.Calling the stand-off between the Indian and Chinese armed forces as one of the most significant events in India’s foreign policy history, he said the two countries had decided to be “mature nations”. “We have differences, of course. Our largest differences are over the borders with China. That differences must not become disputes and disputes must not become confrontations,” he said. Even the most difficult problems can be resolved through diplomatic channels, Mr. Akbar said.Mr. Akbar also said that Naxal violence had declined. He said, “Look at the impact of Mudra scheme on some of the most important problems we are facing. It is a fact that Naxal violence has come down. Why has it come down? Because the people are seeing development come to their areas, which they have never seen before.”last_img read more

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Akhilesh Yadav, SP Ministers under CBI scanner in mining probe

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday said the role of mining Ministers in Uttar Pradesh between 2012 and 2016, which includes Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, may be probed in connection with a fresh case of alleged illegal mining of minor minerals registered on the direction of the Allahabad High Court.Mr. Yadav, then Chief Minister, had held the additional portfolio of Mining between 2012 and 2013.District Magistrate namedThe CBI has registered the FIR against 2008-batch IAS official and then Hamirpur District Magistrate B. Chandralekha and 10 other individuals, besides unknown officials and persons. Among those named in the FIR are SP Member of Legislative Council Ramesh Kumar Mishra and Sanjay Dixit, who had fought the 2017 election on a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket.“Acting on the Allahabad High Court directive in 2016, we had instituted seven preliminary enquiries on allegations of illegal mining in seven districts. Two of them (related to Kaushambi and Shamli) were earlier converted into regular cases, while the third pertaining to Hamirpur was registered on January 2,” said an agency official.The official said searches were carried out on Saturday on 14 premises of the accused persons in Delhi, Hamirpur, Lucknow, Kanpur and Jalaun.Violate NGT ordersThe FIR alleges that that public servants allowed illegal mining of minor mineral between 2012 and 2016 by the fraudulent granting of fresh or renewed leases. Officials also allegedly permitted mining by the existing lease-owners during the “obstructed period” when the National Green Tribunal had barred the activity. The leases were also issued in violation of a May 2012 order of the State government for e-tendering.“Other persons were allowed to excavate and steal minor minerals, extort money from the lease holders and drivers of the vehicles transporting minor minerals,” the CBI official said, adding that the alleged illegal activities caused wrongful loss to the exchequer and undue gain to the accused persons.The agency alleges that Ms. Chandrakala, as the then District Magistrate of Hamirpur, allowed mining in violation of the e-tendering order. She also issued and renewed leases during the “obstructed period”. During the searches on her premises in Lucknow and Noida, the CBI found details of a locker and two bank accounts, besides jewellery and documents.Others arraigned in the case include Adil Khan, a lease holder, who had allegedly got the licence on the recommendation of the then Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati; Moinuddin, the then geologist/mining officer of Hamirpur, from whose premises the CBI seized ₹12.5 lakh in cash and 1.8 kg of gold; Mr. Mishra’s businessman brother Dinesh; mining clerks Ram Ashrey Prajapati, Ambika Tiwari; retired mining clerk Ramavtar Singh. and Karan Singh.“Searches on the premises of Mr. Ramavtar Singh, who also held a mining lease in the name of another person, led to seizure of ₹2 crore in cash and about two kg of gold,” said the official.last_img read more

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Private Sector Entities Show Interest in Employing Teachers Following Job Fair

first_imgStory Highlights An increasing number of private sector entities are taking up the slack to employ teachers 300 resumes have been forwarded to eight private sector entities Teachers are being sought to fill a wide variety of jobs The Ministry of Education is reporting that following the hosting of a teachers’ job fair in August, some 300 resumes have been forwarded to eight private sector entities, which have expressed an interest in employing persons with teacher-training qualifications.This is in addition to about 1,000 teachers who registered with, or were screened by potential employers, many of whom were from the private sector.Participating organisations at the two-day fair included: the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), GoGSAT Limited, Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited, National Commercial Bank (NCB), Sandals Group, Kirk Distributors, Choices Career and Educational Services, Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).Speaking with JIS News, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Elaine Foster Allen, said an increasing number of private sector entities are taking up the slack to employ teachers that the public education system is unable to absorb within the current budgetary constraints.“Teachers are being sought to fill not only teaching vacancies, but a wide variety of jobs for which their skills set is suitable – financial advisors, sales/marketing representatives, hospitality industry workers, and military service,” she noted.Assistant Vice President for Sales and Distribution at Sagicor Life Jamaica, Mr. Merrick Plummer, who attended the job fair in search of financial advisors, said the training and experience of the teacher make him or her perform well in the field.The job of a financial advisor entails the sale and servicing of financial security products and Mr. Plummer believes teachers are potentially good at this job, because “the profession of teaching causes the individual to be well organized, a great listener, goal oriented and able to explain the (insurance) policies and provisions.”Resort chain, Sandals, also made 35 teachers happy during the job fair by interviewing and offering them jobs.“I came to the fair on the first day and I did not get an interview. I am so glad I returned on the second day,” an elated Physical Education (PE) teacher told JIS News.Sandals had expressed a preference for teachers with training in Human Ecology, who are suitable for employment in the areas of housekeeping and food services, but the resort chain also has a place for PE teachers in its recreational area.At the end of the job fair, Sandals requested additional resumes of teachers trained in Early Childhood Education for likely deployment to its family-oriented resort properties.According to Janelle deFreitas, Counsellor at Choices Career and Education Services, “understanding personality strengths and weaknesses puts persons at an advantage to finding out what they are good at and the natural skills they possess.”Ms. DeFreitas, who was one of several presenters at the job fair, counsels teachers to begin by taking a quiet moment with a pen and paper to identify their strengths and weaknesses. “Once they have identified their skills, teachers should market themselves  by networking,” she says.The Ministry of Education is also developing a data bank of unemployed teachers, which it will make available to potential employers.last_img read more

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Bahamas records 90th murder in Freeport

first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #SouthBahamia Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, August 25, 2017 – Grand Bahama – A man was shot and killed in Freeport overnight and a report says the gunman waited for the man at his home on Yorkshire Drive in #SouthBahamia and then killed the man.   The shooting took place around 10 Wednesday night and brings the murder toll for the country to 90; a 39% increase over last year.#MagneticMediaNewslast_img read more

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StubHub now lets you buy tickets using Apple Pay in your mobile

first_imgApplePay users can now pay for StubHub tickets on their mobile browsers.   StubHub Tired of too many apps on your iPhone? Good news: If you ever want to buy concert tickets on StubHub using Apple Pay, you can now just use your mobile browser, the company announced Thursday.Apple Pay is a digital wallet service that lets users make payments via their iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and even Mac laptop. As of June 2019, Apple Pay was available in 41 countries worldwide using near-field communication technology, which allows you to simply tap your phone to a terminal to complete a transaction. The new capability occurs at a time when fans are already using Apple Pay in about 20% purchases for which it is available, StubHub said. The company believes the feature will increase Apple Pay’s footprint for StubHub users in the US. StubHub said its latest move reflects its commitment to consumer privacy. Currently, Apple Pay requires authentication using TouchID fingerprint recognition, FaceID facial recognition or a PIN before a transaction takes place. “By expanding the security and convenience of Apple Pay to mobile web browsers, we’re making it even easier for fans to be a part of the live experiences they love,” said Jason Zhang, group product manager at StubHub. Competitor payment systems such as Samsung Pay and Google Pay also incorporate fingerprints as authentication features, but they boast less of a footprint worldwide. Samsung Pay covers 24 countries worldwide, while Google Pay covers 29. “We do anticipate that more fans will use Apple Pay for their ticket purchases, Brad Glasser, StubHub’s senior manager of global product and technology communications, said in an emailed statement. “Now that the method is available on more platforms, we’ll see an organic increase in traffic.” Tags 7:31 Originally published Aug. 1, 12:59 p.m. PT.Update, 1:18 p.m.: Adds comment from Glasser. Post a comment Mobile Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice 0 Apple Paylast_img read more

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85 families of lost ones cry for justice

first_imgParvez Hossain`s daughter Hridy holds up a picture of her missing father at a gathering held to demand the return of forced disapperance victimsSumi Akhter broke down while narrating how she found her husband Nurul Alam’s body in the Karnaphuli river.The police picked up Nurul Alam, a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader of Chattogram unit, from his home on 30 March 2017. The next day Nurul’s body was found in the river with bullet wounds in the head, and his hands and legs tied up.Sumi came to Dhaka with her 16-month-old child, demanding justice.Mohammed Ripon came from Jashore for his brother Rezwan. A school student, Rezwan, was picked by a group of people claiming to be policemen from Benapole Bazar area on 3 August, 2016. He has been missing since then.Masum’s mother Ayesha Ali was too choked with emotion to speak and failed to control her tears. Masum was abducted on 4 December 2013 with seven others from the capital’s Nakhalpara area. JCD leader Sajedul Islam. was among them.Families of Sajedul, Masum and others have been staging programmes in an effort to get them back.These families, along with the families of extrajudicial killing and abduction victims, formed an organisation, Mayer Dak. On Saturday, the platform organised a public hearing demanding justice for abduction, extrajudicial killings, and victims of torture by law enforcement agencies in the capital’s National Press Club.A total of 85 families attended the hearing. No one could hold back their tears as at the three-hour hearing as the speakers broke down in anguish.Chaired by Sajedul Islam’s mother Hajera Begum, the programme was attended by politicians, members of civil society, and human rights activists.The relatives of disappeared people urged prime minister Sheikh Hasina to rescue them or find out whether they were dead of alive.Badrul Alam, a businessman from Sylhet, shared his experience of police torture. The police picked him up three years ago on suspicion and broke one of his ankles. They also shot him and the bullet  remains lodged near his stomach.“I do not know why they picked me up. Police intercepted my motorbike while I was on my way home. They tortured me severely and said if I was killed, there would no longer be any arson in Sylhet. Believe me, I was not involved in politics and all the journalists of the city know this. I was saved by media reports,”, Badrul said, still limping when he moved.Minor girl Hridy Hossain, daughter of Bangshal Chhatra Dal leader Parvez Hossain,  wanted to know the whereabouts of her father. Parvez’s father Shafiuddin passed away in 2016 after going desperately searching for any trace of his son.Samiha Zaman, daughter of former ambassador Maruf Zaman who was abducted on 4 December last year, sat at a corner of the stage, holding up a photograph of her father. Rajab Ali Mandal, an aged person from Jhenidah, wept for his son. Police picked his son up from his home during Ramadan of 2016.“His body was found the next day with a bullet in his head. I still do not know what his fault was,” he said. Kushtia Islamic University student and leader of Islami Chhatra Shibir Al Mukaddas and Waliullah was picked up from a Kushtia bound Hanif Paribahan bus in Savar on 4 February, 2012. No trace of the then has been found as yet.Mukaddas’s uncle Abdul Hai said, “There is evidence that they were picked up at a RAB check post, but their whereabouts are still unknown. The families filed a writ in the High Court, which directed to bring them before the court. But the order is withheld now.”Freedom fighter Abdul Matin, father of Cumilla Chhatra League leader Shawon, asked, “Did we liberate the country for this?”Chhatra Dal leader Sajedul Islam’s sister Sanjida Islam said, my brother was picked by a RAB-1 vehicle. We have been all over, but no one even showed any sympathy. Only we know how we have been passing these endless nights. We filed a writ at the High Court, to no avail.”RAB was accused of killing Brahminbaria businessman Shahnur Rahman on 29 April 2014. His brother Hafez Mehedi Hasan said, “We filed a case but did not get any justice. My only question to that major of RAB is, what was my brother’s fault?”Political and civil society leadersNagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, “It seems fruitless to plead to the government to get your dear ones back . They just turn a deaf ear as they are unelected and not liable to the people.”Human rights organisation Odhikar president CR Abrar said, the officers who think that they would get indemnity on political consideration are wrong. They will have to face punishment.He also asked the families to keep a record of the officers involved in the incidents.Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal secretary Khalequzzaman said, everyone knows that law enforcers are killing in cold blood, but terming this as crossfire. Everyone except the government knows about it.Dhaka University teacher Asif Nazrul said, the agony of the missing person’s relatives is endless as they cannot even bury the body, they just wait endlessly.Ganashanghati Andolon’s Junaid Saki said, most of the cases of abduction are political and so the state would have to take responsibility.He also said, the ruling party politicians should understand they might face the same fate if the law enforcers remain unaccountable. Journalist Mahfuz Ullah, Jatiya Mukti Council secretary Faizul Hakim, former MP Nilufar Chowdhury, Communist party leader Ruhin Hossain Prince, Odhikar’s director Nasiruddin, among others, spoke at the programme.The programme ended amidst sobbing of the relatives. Presiding over the programme, Hazera Begum, an aging mother of a missing son, in her concluding speech said, “My days seen unending without my son. It is too painful.”*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Imam Hossain and Galib Ashraf.last_img
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High stakes in Myanmar as Suu Kyi to address Rohingya crisis

first_imgAung San Suu Kyi. Photo: AFPAs Rakhine state burns and Rohingya flee, Aung San Suu Kyi is preparing to address Myanmar on the crisis for the first time — a high wire act seeking to soothe global outrage without baiting an army that is again showing its teeth. Suu Kyi took office last year as Myanmar’s first civilian leader after 50 years of junta rule.She has since focused her energy on the delicate political dance between her civilian government and the generals who still hold many of the levers of power. On Tuesday the Nobel laureate will give the biggest speech of her time in office.The nationally-televised turn will break a near silence since the ulcerous ethnic and religious hatreds in western Rakhine state erupted into killings on 25 August, sending 400,000 Muslim minority Rohingya fleeing into Bangladesh. Some 30,000 ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Hindus have also been internally displaced.In an interview with the BBC, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the stakes were high for Tuesday’s speech, calling it a “last chance” to stop the unfolding humanitarian calamity.”If she does not reverse the situation now, then I think the tragedy will be absolutely horrible, and unfortunately then I don’t see how this can be reversed in the future,” he said.  ‘Ethnic cleansing’ – The latest violence was sparked by Rohingya militants’ raids on 30 police posts in Rakhine state.The UN calls the army fightback a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” with villages set ablaze to drive Rohingya civilians out.Many abroad are puzzled as to how rights can be flagrantly denied to a specific group by a people who once nobly demanded their own in the face of a junta.Suu Kyi’s televised address — likely at least in part to be in English — comes ahead of a meeting at the UN General Assembly in which Myanmar is expected to be hammered over the crisis.But analysts say her power to stay the military is limited, and her response thus far indicates she is choosing the lesser of two evils.”She’s signalling that her chief priority is the relationship between the government and military and that the pogrom is secondary to that,” Francis Wade, author of ‘Myanmar’s Enemy Within: Buddhist Violence and the Making of the Muslim ‘Other” told AFP.”This obviously raises questions about the quality of leadership she seeks to bring, but also that the political game in Myanmar is worth the sacrifice of entire communities.”‘Bengalis’ not Rohingya Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) swept the board when the military permitted elections in 2015.Before they loosened their chokehold on power, the generals wrote themselves into the constitution, embedding their political future with a bloc of legislative seats and total control over security.Over the last two years, Suu Kyi’s gradualism, and her refusal to upset the organisation that kept her under house arrest for almost two decades, has seen the sprouting of the first green shoots of the rule of law in Myanmar.But the eruption of violence in Rakhine and the pressure from the outside world for her to “do something about it” risks upsetting that balance. All the more so in a country where the majority of the population shares the military’s view that Rohingya Muslims — whom it disparagingly calls “Bengalis” — are interlopers bent on taking land and resources from Buddhists.  A leader who bends too far to international will could lose the support of the people she governs.In these circumstances, observers say, it is not hard to imagine another coup by an army that always used national security concerns to justify its iron-fisted rule. The General – From the ashes of Rakhine, commander-and-chief Min Aung Hlaing is emerging as an unexpectedly popular figure, defying deep mistrust of the military.Through Facebook and Twitter he has successfully pitched his once reviled institution as the defender of Myanmar’s territorial sovereignty and the Buddhist faith against “extremist Bengali terrorists”.On Saturday his Facebook feed repeated the widely-held domestic view that the Rohingya have “never been an ethnic group in Myanmar.”With the army flexing its muscles, Suu Kyi’s next steps have become increasingly treacherous.A complex swirl of ethnic and religious rivalries, incubated under five decades of military rule, has toxified all debate inside Myanmar around the Rohingya.The militant attacks of 25 August are seen by many Buddhists as confirmation of long-held fears that overseas-based Islamists are intent on taking over Rakhine state — the western gateway to wider Myanmar.Fear has overridden empathy for the Rohingya, who still trudge in wretched, hungry lines to Bangladesh.So far, and despite the global finger-pointing, Suu Kyi remains a galvanising force in Myanmar.Her reticence to publically defend the Rohingya has been applauded across the political divide — even by notorious Buddhist nationalist monks.”She is not your leader. She is OUR leader,” Mayzin Aye, a businesswoman renowned for supporting Suu Kyi, wrote on Facebook — where much of Myanmar’s discourse takes place.”She is not an icon for us. She is not a Saint for us. She is our country’s leader… She gives up everything for our freedom from military rulers.”last_img read more

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Bengal MPs to heighten glam factor in LS

first_imgKolkata: Bengal is set to raise the glam quotient in the upcoming Lok Sabha with a number of celebrity candidates sailing through the bitterly fought elections in the eastern state. Making their debut in the lower house of Parliament are two young Bengali actresses and Trinamool Congress winners — Nusrat Jahan (Basirhat) and Mimi Chakraborty (Jadavpur) — both famed for their oomph factor. Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee’s decision to nominate the two political greenhorns had created quite a sensation, and they even became the butt of distasteful trolls on the social media. When the TMC announced its decision, there was a flurry of memes, jokes and comments. There were reports that several netizens were disgruntled with the development and quoted someone saying that Mamata Banerjee should know that unlike the Indian Premier League, politics does not need cheerleaders. However, the counting of votes has proved otherwise and shown that Tollywood celebrities can not only make the audiences flock to the theatres, but can also get a sweeping victory on the political battlefield. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBanerjee’s gamble paid off as both actors defeated their BJP rivals by handsome margins. Chakraborty triumphed by a margin of 2,95,239 votes over Anupam Hazra, while Jahan left her nearest rival Sayantan Basu behind by 3,50,369 votes. Bollywood singer-actor-turned-politician Union minister Babul Supriyo retained his Asansol seat, but his victory robbed Parliament of the presence of yesteryear actress Moon Moon Sen, who lost out in the race. Bengali superstar Deepak Adhikari (Dev) retained the Ghatal seat for Trinamool, humbling BJP nominee and former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh. Deb’s winning margin was 1,07,973 votes. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAll the hard work of BJP’s Locket Chatterjee, who had failed to turn the tables on her opponents during the 2016 Assembly elections, brought cheer to the party as she won the Hooghly seat defeating Trinamool’s sitting MP Ratna De Nag by 73,362 votes. Another yesteryear actress and the Trinamool’s Birbhum candidate, Shatabdi Roy, posted a hat-trick of Lok Sabha wins by getting the better of BJP’s Dudh Kumar Mondal by 88,924 votes. However, theatre personality and Trinamool’s Lok Sabha sitting member Arpita Ghosh fell by the wayside in Balurghat, from where her BJP opponent Sukanta Majumdar won with a 33,293-vote margin.last_img read more

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