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Stricter fines for parking at Maidan

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KOLKATA: Despite police challaning to keep the MaidanVictoria Memorial area free of parking after specific orders from the Calcutta high court, the winter has seen a rise in this illegal practice.

The traffic police -especially the south traffic guard -have decided to coordinate with Maidan police station to use tow vehicles and clamps on cars that park on these stretches in order to “send across a tough message.”

The cops say that while the entire area is prone to illegal parking, the Brigade side has major irregularities.

“Car owners are disembarking near Victoria Memorial for their morning walk. The drivers are expected to park either at the Tata Centre end or at Babughat. But taking advantage of the morning hours, when there are only a few traffic sergeants, drivers often refuse to comply with orders. We also found that several radio taxis and pool cars are parking in the area. Merely fining them is not serving the purpose. Hen ce, we have begun clamping vehicles. In the next step, we are going to tow the cars away . A couple of vehicles were towed to our Maidan office on Thursday . We plan to sustain this drive. The daily average infringement is nothing less than 8-12 cases every two hours,” an officer said.

But the cops are also planning on incentives. “We are actively in talks with KMC to try and give certain parking fee concessions to regulars.In addition, we want to raise the awareness about Maidan by roping in students. The idea is to involve the community and ensure that we do not pollute the Maidan,” explained another officer. Lalbazar officers said Maidan was on the top of the list.”At a time when plans are being formulated to relocate the Esplanade bus stand, we cannot allow illegal parking in this area,” explained a senior IPS officer.

The mounted police too have been asked to ensure that two-wheelers do not invade the Maidan in the evenings. “The police drive notwithstanding, there are still major infringements. We are trying to solve the issues,” the official admitted.

“Maidan is already out of bounds for car owners, as vehicles cannot be parked in and around the Maidan area.The only place where car owners can park comfortably is the stretch near Prinsep Ghat. This is why several morning and evening walkers throng the riverside walkway . There is no parking restriction there. The problem here for certain motorists is that they take traffic rules and restrictions casually unless fined,” admitted Ratan Lal, a regular at the Victoria Memorial.

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Source: TOI-Kol

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`Faith in self, God helped her sail through'

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KOLKATA: It was a usual Sunday Mass service at the Infant Jesus Church in Behala when an unusual face appeared among the regulars.Father Lucas D’Cruze, who has been holding the services for years, could not initially recognize her. She introduced herself to him: “Father, I am Suzette Katrina Jordan.” Suzette was struggling to start life afresh and sought the priest’s help. “What is disheartening is that people start judging you even if you are not responsible for something terrible happening to you. Same thing happened with Suzette,” Fr D’Cruze said. “She was looking for ways to come out of the trauma and renew life.”

Suzette refused to be bogged down by the assault and the stigma. Her family , which considered her “a lioness” stood by her. In her father’s words, she always “wanted everything and forever, in a rush. But she was never impatient after the incident.

“Her faith in herself and God helped her sail through troubled times,” said Fr D’cruze.”Why should people judge her? Even if a person has a bad character, we are not to judge him. We should rather support the person and show him the right way . I never met any rape survivor before. Most of the victims’ families don’t even support their children. But it was not the case with Suzette. The community stood by her as if nothing has happened and that helped her jump back to life.”

The priest recounted how Suzette once told him she had joined an organization that helped sexual assault victims. “She told me she could inspire the victims while they tried to come of the trauma,” he said.

Even as she went about her work, Suzette became regular at masses. “Suddenly , I found her missing. Her family was also not regular.I heard she was not well. A few days later, she passed away ,” Fr D’Cruze said. The priest, who attended her funeral service, felt she did not get justice while alive. “Society could not give her justice, but she has peace now.”

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Source: TOI-Kol

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Fleeing Kader in touch with cops?

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KOLKATA: Two years 10 months ago, a team of three IPS officers and another team of detective department sleuths set about trying to catch the main accused, Kader Khan, and his associate, Mohammad Ali. They are apparently still clueless about Kader’s wherabouts, even as a court on Thursday convicted three of the co-accused, including his brother Naseer.

Kader has managed to remain elusive maybe because he was a police informer and reportedly knows how the force functions, inside out.

A Lalbazar officer claimed his trail was a pointer that he had contacts within the force who helped him escape, but this claim could not be established. “The closest we came to catching him was at a hotel in Juhu but the cops missed him there. Again, he gave the police a slip when he was supposedly putting up in Nashik, where he stayed for a fortnight with a business associate, before moving to Madhubani in Bihar. But the cops apparently got a wrong lead and landed up a Motihari in Bihar, losing his trai or five days. By that time, Kader had ample time to flee to Patan in Nepal. When the DD team landed here, he was in Gangtok. The next things the police knew was hat he had crossed over to Bang adesh and finally to Dubai,” a de ective department officer said Echoing him, another officer po nted out that Kader always ma naged to stay a step ahead o hem. “Though his family said he severed tied with them, he did ry to contact them. We laid a trap outside the city after we learnt he might come to meet his father but he came to know about it Worse, he kept talking to his as sociates without revealing whe re he was. He merely put the pho ne on conference mode,” said the source.

Right through the first 10 months of the probe into the Park Street rape case in 2012, the police raided nine places across four states where Kader was said to be hiding. The police claimed they were “close to catching him but missed him by a whisker” at four places, while it turned out to be a wild goose chase in the other places. Even in 2014, the sleuths reportedly got two leads: One, Kader’s international accounts was still operational and that he was holed up either in Bangladesh or Saudi Arabia and secondly , he was spotted in Bengaluru. But the information did not seem to yield any result.

JCP (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh, under whom the chargesheet was submitted, insisted the force took all steps to nab Kader.”A warrant was issued. We made the proclamation attachment and issued a red corner notice against him, after approaching the CBI,” he said. But that remained merely an official procedure.

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Source: TOI-Kol

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