Kolkata: Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Monday skipped questioning on the Saradha cheat fund scam, and instead sought seven days time from the CBI. Kumar was summoned for questioning at 10.30 a.m., but he sent a letter seeking a week’s time before he could present himself for the questioning, stating “personal reasons”. Two CID officials went to the Central Bureau of Investigation office at Salt Lake and delivered the letter. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist The development came hours after late on Sunday, the West Bengal government reinstated Kumar as CID Additional Director-General, a post from which he was shunted out by the Election Commission and sent on central deputation on May 15. The state government in a notification said Kumar was being reinstated as the model code of conduct had expired. The CBI on Sunday served notices on the former top cop at his residence and his office summoning him to be be present at its Salt Lake office at 10.30 a.m. on Monday for interrogation in connection with the Saradha ponzi scam. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France The CBI team issued the notices after they failed to locate him. It also issued a lookout notice for the senior IPS officer and alerted all airports to scuttle any effort on his part to escape abroad. The Supreme Court on May 17 had withdrawn the protection from arrest granted to Rajeev Kumar by its February 5 order. It, however, had given him seven days time to approach a competent court for relief. Kumar last Monday had moved the apex court seeking extension of the protection from arrest in view of the lawyers’ strike in Kolkata, but the court had rejected it.
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“Further escalation of violence will only serve the agendas of those who see military means as the only way forward, at the expense of the Syrian people who have suffered enough already,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.Mr. Ban has spoken out against the use of so-called “barrel bombs” – oil drums filled with explosives and shrapnel and dropped by aircraft – which he said are adding “yet another appalling dimension to the fighting.”“All parties to the conflict must adhere to international humanitarian and human rights law,” said today’s statement. “All civilians must be protected in any situation.”Well over 100,000 people have already been killed in Syria and 8 million driven from their homes, with 2 million of them seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, since the conflict first erupted in March 2011.Preparations are underway for the international conference in which the Syrian Government and the opposition will officially meet for the first time to discuss peace efforts. The conference, due to start in Montreux on 22 January 2014 and then continue in Geneva, is led by Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, and counterparts from the United States and Russia, with participants from more than 30 countries. The goal of the so-called “Geneva II” conference is to achieve a political solution to the conflict through a comprehensive agreement between the Government and the opposition for the full implementation of the Geneva communiqué, adopted after the first international meeting on the issue on 30 June 2012, which called for the creation of a transitional government that would lead to holding elections.Mr. Ban today reiterated his support for the talks, urging everyone involved in the fighting to “work immediately on reducing the levels of violence and focusing instead on a peaceful, political solution to the conflict.”He also appealed for all people detained and abducted as a result of the conflict to be freed, and for an end to the sieges, as well as humanitarian access to those in need.
Can’t ignore……Mother NatureIf there were any doubts about the fragility of our sojourn on this “Mosquito Coast” — as it was called by the Spanish, who passed it up — it should’ve been dispelled after what happened last Holi on the WCD. Who would’ve thought that waves could be hurled one hundred feet into the air after hitting our sea wall? Can we imagine the energy the wall had to withstand in the tons of water hurled onto it with such force and ferocity?The floods of 2005, which were concentrated on the ECD, was caused by over-topping of the “back dam” that holds back the conservancy when the rains just wouldn’t stop. This time it was the angry Atlantic which appeared determined to seize the land the Dutch had empoldered from her.Interestingly, it was Foreign Affairs Minister Greenidge – standing in for the Prime Minister – who visited the area, rather than the Public Infrastructure Minister. And he answered the question posed by an editorial of this newspaper – was the Government going to listen to Mother Nature and start planning to move to higher ground? And his answer was redolent of the do-nothing syndrome of which the entire PNC-led Government is seized: there will be no such movement!!It would seem that Greenidge wants to emulate King Canute of England, who’d ruled for so long that he believed he could command even the elements.As the story is told, “when Canute was at the height of his ascendancy, he ordered his chair to be placed on the sea-shore as the tide was coming in. Then he said to the rising tide, “You are subject to me, as the land on which I am sitting is mine, and no one has resisted my overlordship with impunity. I command you, therefore, not to rise on to my land, nor to presume to wet the clothing or limbs of your master.” But the sea came up as usual, and disrespectfully drenched the king’s feet and shins”!!It didn’t seem as though Greenidge had gone as close to the raging Atlantic as to get his feet wet, and maybe this explains why he could be so blasé about the threat from the oceans. Or maybe he was so focused on playing politics and ignoring the local NDC that he didn’t want to suggest there were things his Government couldn’t do by itself! But it would do him well to remember how King Canute’s story ended:Jumping back, the king cried, “Let all the world know that the power of kings is empty and worthless, and there’s no king worthy of the name save Him by whose will heaven, earth and sea obey eternal laws.”The people will speak in 2020!…the people’s roleThe sad thing is that no one expected Greenidge to lift up Georgetown and the coastal settlements and fly them into the interior – like those dramatic pictures of the Hindu Deity Hanuman doing something like that. God forbid!! But, like the PPP government in 2005, he could’ve used the power of government to regulate the activities of residents on the coast as well as hastening the construction of the highway to Lethem – after which folks will spontaneously move away from the Atlantic’s threat.An option isn’t an option if it isn’t an EXERCISABLE option!! And without a highway to Brazil, it isn’t an option for Coastlanders to move south. Greenidge could’ve also worked with the local NDCs to facilitate homeowners to raise their habitable living spaces at least four feet off the ground – as was mandated after 2005. And he could have assisted the NDCs to step into the shoes of the SILWFC and clear local drains.But then, the rural flooded areas aren’t Georgetown, and NDCs aren’t the Mayor and City Council, are they?…the daily grind of the DivaCan you imagine the recently departed diva Sri Devi made 300 movies in 29 years – from the age of 4 to 33, when she “retired”!That’s more than 10 movies per year!! Glamour or grind?? Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: Out of the mouth…October 18, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Visiting relationships…January 27, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS Baby…July 6, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”