oppn parties An Arrest in Kolkata Shows Mamata Means Business

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  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
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  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
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  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
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  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
An Arrest in Kolkata Shows Mamata Means Business

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-07-13 13:02:32

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
A TMC councillor was running an extortion racket in Kolkata’s posh Salt Lake area, demanding money for any commercial or construction activity undertaken in wards under his jurisdiction. Some months ago, he demanded money from one Arunava Mukherjee for renovating his house. Little did councillor Anindya Chatterjee realize that Mukherjee was a friend of Bangladesh PM Sk. Hasina. Mukherjee told Hasina about his ordeal. The Bangladesh PM relayed the same to Mamata when she called her to commiserate with her when terror killings took place in Dhaka. That set the wheels rolling and the game was up for Chatterjee.

It now comes to light that Anindya Chatterjee and his hoodlums were not sparing anybody. They took ‘protection’ and ‘approval’ money from tea stalls, rickshaw pullers, food vendors and even the poor living in shanties on government land, ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 200 per month. The rate for anyone making renovations to his house or going for a new construction was anywhere between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. There were several complaints against him and he was finally arrested on an FIR against a complaint filed by businessman and Congress leader Santosh Lodh, who has suffered a stroke as a result of the extortion demand.

Chatterjee was asked to resign but he played for time. Ultimately, he was called to the police station for questioning and arrested. Chatterjee has had a unsavoury reputation for long but the party was turning a blind eye. But Mamata Banerjee post her superb showing in the recent elections is a different person. She has made her intentions known by speaking against corruption and highhandedness in recent times. The arrest of Chatterjee, albeit on Hasina’s intervention, shows that even partymen are not going to be spared if they cross certain limits.

Mamata Banerjee has a squeaky clean reputation as far as corruption is concerned. But the same cannot be said about the middle and lower rungs party leaders. Some at the top have also been accused of high handedness in the past, with Madan Mitra still in jail for his involvement in the Sharada scam. With this arrest, didi has shown that she is not going to tolerate corruption by party leaders anymore. This is a welcome development if it helps in checking the hooliganism prevalent on the ground in West Bengal. If this is checked, it will go a long way in paving the way for big business and investment to return to the state.