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Caught on camera: Rickshaw puller Raghu Yadav allegedly thrashed by Kolkata Police

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By Arnab Mitra

08 AUG 2015_M SAMANTA.jpg (5)Kolkata: On Saturday, two policemen in civil dress were seen allegedly lashing a rickshaw puller in the New Market area. According to the Police, “the rickshaw was illegally parked in that area”, however, they failed to give any valid reason behind their barbarous act.

The passers-by said that it is a common practice. The policemen earn their pocket money from these poor and helpless rickshaw pullers. If these rickshaw pullers refuse their demands, they are beaten without any explanation.

According to Mansoor Yadav, the president of the Rikshaw Puller Association, “The government is planning to ban hand-pulled rickshaws in the city and as a compensa08 AUG 2015_M SAMANTA.jpg (7)

tion they have promised to rehabilitate them. But till now we haven’t got any kind of cooperation from the government. Above all that, we are made to leave our profession by force and are often harassed.”

Raghu Yadav, the assaulted rickshaw puller said, “How will I work now? They have made me jobless. I don’t have money to get my rickshaw repaired.” The agony of every rickshaw puller is the same. “Don’t make us jobless to fulfill your hi-tech dream. Please make a proper rehabilitation plan for us, else we will die,” the rickshaw pullers said in unanimity.

Shovan Chatterjee, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s Mayor said, “We are thinking to rehabilitate them before Durga Puja, and we will also come up with a plan to ply hand-pulled rickshaws only in places of tourist interest.”

The Mayor, however, refused to comment on the incidence of brutality by policemen on rickshaw pullers.

08 AUG 2015_M SAMANTA.jpg (6)

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New Australia Bill Gives Police Power to Spy on WhatsApp Messages

The spying powers are limited to only "serious offences" such as preventing terrorism and tackling organised crime in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reported

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WhatsApp
New Australia bill gives police power to spy on WhatsApp messages.

Australia is mulling a strict law that gives enforcement agencies power to track messages on platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram that offer end-to-end encryption and also to force users to open their smartphones when demanded, a media report said.

The controversial encryption bill comes at a time amid allegations of encrypted platforms facilitating spread of rumours, hate speech and even criminal activities like child trafficking and drugs businesses.

In countries like India messages circulated in WhatsApp have been linked to several lynching cases, forcing the government to ask platform to take suitable preventive action.

But the new Australia bill also raises privacy concerns as under the proposed legislation, the Australian government agencies could compel companies to build spyware.

The proposed laws could force companies to remove electronic protections, assist government agencies in accessing material from a suspect’s device, and in getting technical information such as design specifications to help in an investigation, News.com.au reported on Wednesday.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Critics have slammed the bill for being broad in scope, vague and potentially damaging to the security of the global digital economy, the report said, adding that a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has been scrutinising the bill.

The laws will help security agencies nab terrorists, child sex offenders and other serious criminals, Australia’s Attorney-General Christian Porter was quoted as saying.

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About 95 per cent of people currently being surveilled by security agencies are using encrypted messages, he added.

The spying powers are limited to only “serious offences” such as preventing terrorism and tackling organised crime in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reported. (IANS)