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TMC supporters in Tripura seek CBI probe into Chitfund Scam in Left-ruled state

Over 6,000 TMC workers led by top party leaders, including West Bengal's Minister of State for Panchayat and Public Health Shyamal Santra and MLA (Salboni) Srikanto Mahato, participated in the agitation

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TMC agitation in Tripura (Representational image) VOA

Tripura, Feb 23, 2017: Four policemen were injured as opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday organised a civil disobedience movement here to demand a probe by the CBI and ED into the activities of illegal NBFCs and chit fund organisations in Left-ruled Tripura.

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Over 6,000 TMC workers led by top party leaders, including West Bengal’s Minister of State for Panchayat and Public Health Shyamal Santra and MLA (Salboni) Srikanto Mahato, participated in the agitation.

A large number of security forces, led by Deputy Inspector General of Police Uttam Majumder and West Tripura district police chief Abhijit Saptarshi, were deployed to deal with the agitation.

“Four policemen were injured in the scuffle with the agitators,” Saptarshi told IANS.

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TMC’s Tripura unit President Ashish Saha said over 14 lakh depositors were cheated by various Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and chit fund organisations, including Rose Valley.

“Without the probe by CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and ED (Enforcement Directorate) the actual irregularities and wrongdoing would not be unearthed,” Saha told reporters at the agitation spot near Raj Bhavan.

The opposition party held the civil disobedience movement in support of their 11 demands, including withdrawal of demonetisation of high-value notes, restoration of tribal sub-plan schemes by the Centre, an end to crime against women in Tripura and government jobs to unemployed youths in a transparent way.

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TMC legislator Sudip Roy Barman alleged that Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, his ministers and leaders of the ruling Left Front in Tripura are responsible for flourishing activities of these organisations.

“Sarkar promoted the business of Rose Valley; his party colleagues, including two ministers, are either involved or promoted the business of NBFCs and chit fund organisations,” Barman told reporters here.

He said: “The CBI and the ED are taking action against TMC parliamentarians and leaders in West Bengal but both the agencies are not acting in Tripura.”

He claimed a tacit understanding between the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government.

He said they will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask for CBI and ED probes.

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Denying the TMC charges, CPI-M state Secretary Bijan Dhar said Tripura was the first state to enact laws to curb unlawful activities of chit fund companies and NBFCs and had repeatedly asked the CBIto investigate.

“The TMC leaders have no issue. They are playing an old record just to misguide the people,” Dhar told reporters.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist is a dominant partner in the Left Front that comprises four parties.

The Tripura High Court last year asked the state government to set up a Special Investigation Team to probe illegal NBFCs and chit fund organisations.

Meanwhile, SIT head and Tripura’s Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) K.V. Sreejesh told the media that the SIT is now probing 78 cases involving 48 NBFCs and chit fund organisations and had arrested 112 persons.

“We have seized bank accounts and attached properties of most of these organisations. We will soon complete our probe,” the officer added.

In 2013, the Tripura government referred 37 cases relating to chit fund companies and NBFCs to the CBI. The central probe agency, however, took up only five cases. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Over 5,000 Plant Varieties in Last 3 Years sent in by Tribal Farmers to protect the species : Minister

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Tribal Farmers
tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years (representational Image). Wikimedia

New Delhi, June 8, 2017: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years through Krishi Vigyan Kendras for registration at the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority.

It will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future, he said at the National Workshop on Empowerment of Farmers of Tribal Areas here.

“New technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas but before taking such steps we must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas,” he said, as per an official release. (IANS)

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