Kali poster row: Mahua Moitra distancing herself from TMC?

News Network
July 6, 2022

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Kolkata, July 6: Distancing herself further from her party, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member, Mahua Moitra, on Wednesday, reportedly unfollowed the official Twitter handle of the party. However, she has continued following the official Twitter handle of West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee.

The development is a likely fallout of her growing differences with the party leadership over her comments about goddess Kali at a recent media conclave in Kolkata.

While responding to a question on a controversial film poster showing a woman decked as goddess Kali smoking, Moitra said that for her Goddess Kali is a meat-eating and alcohol accepting goddess. In support of her arguments, she drew the reference of the iconic Tarapith Shakti Peeth temple in West Bengal's Birbhum district, where meat and alcohol are offered while worshipping Goddess Kali's "Maa Tara" version.
Her comments evoked strong criticism by the state BJP leaders who described Moitra's comments as an insult to the traditional Hindu religion. The BJP leaders even demanded Mamata Banerjee to take action against her party MP.

As things started getting serious, Trinamool Congress leadership distanced itself from the comments of the outspoken party MP and also issued a Twitter message condemning the comments of Moitra on this count.

In the Twitter message, the Trinamool Congress leadership said that views expressed by Moitra on Goddess Kali have been made in her personal capacity and not endorsed by the party in any manner or form. "All India Trinamool Congress condemns such comments," the Twitter message from the official handle of the party has read.

Moitra did not make any delay in reacting over the growing controversies. "To all you Sanghis lying will not make you better Hindus. I NEVER backed any film or poster or mentioned the work smoking. Suggest you visit my Maa Kali in Tarapith to see what food & drink is offered as bhog. Joy Ma Tara," Moitra said in a counter Twitter message.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, the leader of the opposition in West Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari demanded immediate arrest of Moitra for her controversial comments about Maa Kali. "I expect the police should react in a similar manner as they did by summoning suspended BJP leader, Nupur Sharma over the latter's controversial comments about Prophet Muhammad. We will wait for some more time and if police do not take action against Mohua Moitra, we will approach the Calcutta High Court against the Police," Adhikari said.

This is not the first time that there has been a subtle spat between Moitra and Trinamool Congress. Be it on the recent arrest of YouTuber and vlogger Roddur Roy or the recent rape and murder of a minor girl at Hanskhali in Nadia district in West Bengal, she had taken a stand against the party leadership and at times even Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee. 

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News Network
August 11,2022

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Bengaluru, Aug 11: BJP National General Secretary C T Ravi has dared Chamarajpet Congress MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan to prevent the efforts of Hindutva activists to install a Ganesha idol in Chamarajpet Idgah Maidan. 

“The Ganesha idol will be installed at the maidan if we make up our minds. The maidan isn’t the property of Zameer Ahmed Khan. We’ll install the Ganesha idol and celebrate the festival in a grand way. Let him stop us from installing the idol,” he told reporters.

“Why should we take his permission to install an idol at the maidan?” he asked, adding, “We are not installing the idol in Arab countries”.

Following the row, Khan visited the City Police Commissioner’s office and spoke to CH Pratap Reddy. Meanwhile, DCP (West) Laxman B Nimbargi held a peace meeting with leaders of Muslim religious organisations.

He instructed the leaders not to take any step that will disturb law and order. He also warned them that police will take serious action if anyone indulges in activities that disturb peace. 

On Tuesday, Nimbargi met leaders of Hindu organisations and told them the same. The police said they are focusing on the Independence Day celebrations at the maidan, later they will look into the Ganesha festival issue.

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News Network
August 5,2022

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Lucknow, Aug 5: A BJP leader allegedly beheaded his friend, a bullion trader and also a worker of the saffron party, in Uttar Pradesh's Agra town, about 350 kilometres from here.

According to the police sources here, Tinku Bhargava, who was an office bearer of the district unit of the BJP, allegedly beheaded the victim, identified as Naveen Verma, before shooting him dead on Thursday night.

Bhargava was caught by the cops in the wee hours of Friday while he, with the help of a friend of his, was looking for a place to dump the severed head and the body near the forested Sikandra Arsena area on the outskirts of the town, sources said.

Police officials in Agra said that the severed head and the body were recovered from the car of Bhargava, who, during questioning, confessed to perpetrating the crime.

Police said that Bhargava, who knew Verma well, called the latter on Thursday evening to join a liquor party. He later shot him dead and then allegedly severed his head. ''The assailants severed the victim's head and also stripped him to prevent his identification,'' said a senior police official in Agra on Friday.

The motive behind the gruesome killing was yet to be ascertained though sources said that the assailant had been having an affair with the victim's wife and wanted to eliminate him.

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News Network
August 7,2022

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Gaza Strip, Aug 7: The latest bout of airstrikes by the Israeli regime in the north and the south of the besieged Gaza Strip has claimed the lives of eight Palestinian children, and the second senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement.

In a statement on Sunday, Islamic Jihad confirmed that Khaled Mansour, its commander in the south of the Gaza Strip, had been killed in an Israeli raid on Saturday.

Mansour is the second high-ranking member of Islamic Jihad to be killed since Israel carried out airstrikes on Gaza on Friday when it assassinated Tayseer al-Jabari, a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad movement in the north.

Moreover, several children have been killed in the Gaza Strip as Israeli jets bombed the besieged enclave for a second day.

At least six children were killed in a blast in a residential area near the Jabaliya refugee camp north of the Gaza Strip on Saturday bringing the tally of children killed since Friday to eight. Among them are two brothers aged five and 11 in the Jabaliya refugee camp.

Medical sources in Gaza identified the two brothers killed in the Israeli assault as Moamen Al-Nayrab and Ahmed Al-Nayrab, with the Palestinian Health Ministry saying the regime’s brutal raid had since Friday left at least 34 people dead and 215 wounded.

"I can't even put to words what I have just witnessed, I'm still shaking," Ahamd Arafah, an eyewitness, said as he recounted the horrific scenes in an interview with the Middle East Eye.

"We were watching the news like everyone, then we heard screaming and went outside. I saw frightening scenes. Blood-covered children, body parts all over the street, people running around confused. It was literally a massacre. There are no other words to describe it. I'm still in shock at what I saw. They were just children. What is their crime?"

Tensions have soared across the coastal enclave and the occupied territories since Friday, when the Israeli regime carried out a massacre against the Gaza Strip, killing scores of people and hitting a series of what it said were military targets.

Palestinian authorities said that 650 housing units have been damaged in the first 24 hours of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, which has targeted several residential towers.

Israel stopped the planned transport of fuel into Gaza before it struck on Friday, crippling the territory's lone power plant and reducing electricity to around eight hours per day, and drawing warnings from health officials that hospitals would be severely impacted within days.

In response to the brutal Israeli airstrikes, Palestinian resistance forces fired more than 400 rockets at Israel, setting off air raid sirens and sending settlers running to bomb shelters.

The Islamic Jihad called the retaliatory barrage only an “initial response” to the Israeli bloodbath, with the Palestinian resistance movement's Secretary General Ziad al-Nakhalah saying the Israeli enemy must expect a "non-stop" confrontation in the wake of the aggression.

According to a report by Reuters Egypt said it was engaged in intensive talks to calm the situation.

An Egyptian intelligence delegation headed by Major General Ahmed Abdelkhaliq arrived in Israel on Saturday and would be traveling to Gaza for mediation talks, hoping to secure a day's ceasefire in order to carry out the talks, the report citing unnamed Egyptian security sources added.

Israel said on Saturday it is preparing for its aerial operation in Gaza to last a week, saying there are currently no discussions on a ceasefire with Islamic Jihad. The military “is preparing for the operation to last week" and is "not currently holding ceasefire negotiations,” it said.

Last May, Gaza’s resistance groups fired around 4,000 rockets during the 11-day Operation Sword of al-Quds after the Israeli regime initiated the war, which marked the fourth wholesale military campaign by the occupying regime against the densely-populated Palestinian enclave.

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