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Joydeep Thakur

Joydeep Thakur is a Special Correspondent based in Kolkata. He focuses on science, environment, wildlife, agriculture and other related issues.

Articles by Joydeep Thakur

Schools bear witness to violence that marred Bengal rural poll

At least 18 people were killed on the day of the three-tier panchayat polls on July 8 amid allegations of rigging and booth capturing

Violence marred the Panchayat election. (PTI)
Updated on Jul 19, 2023 09:00 AM IST

BJP names Greater Cooch Behar proponent as its Rajya Sabha candidate from Bengal

Ananta Rai heads a faction of the Greater Cooch Behar Peoples’ Association (GCPA), which has been demanding that a separate state of Greater Cooch Behar be carved out of West Bengal

The BJP made inroads in Rai’s stronghold of north Bengal in the 2019 national polls. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 12, 2023 02:58 PM IST

Life is more precious than a vote: Bengal poll violence victims

West Bengal poll violence victims recall the fateful day, adding that nothing seems to change and the violence still persists

People don’t understand life is more precious than a vote: Bengal poll violence victims
Updated on Jul 03, 2023 12:13 AM IST

Bengal government’s legal expenses mount, over 75 crore in 2022-23: RTI

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has repeatedly blamed the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the state having to move courts frequently and draining the state exchequer

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said a lot of money was being spent on fighting court cases. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 23, 2023 03:30 PM IST

13 years after train tragedy, a quest for closure

Families of victims from a rail accident that occurred in India in 2010 are still searching for closure as the bodies of 17 passengers remain unidentified.

Sneha Bhatra was in Class 12 at the time of the accident. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 14, 2023 05:29 PM IST
By, Kolkata

Struggle to trace 17 passengers of Jnanenswari Express lingers on even after 13 yrs

At least 148 passengers of the Mumbai-bound Jnaneswari Express were killed when the train derailed on May 28, 2010

A goods train coming from the opposite direction ploughed through the bogies within minutes. (AFP file photo)
Updated on Jun 13, 2023 05:29 PM IST

Odisha tragedy survivor: 'Man saved me from dead bodies' pile. Who was he?'

Malik was on Friday aboard a general compartment of the Coromandel Express, heading to Chennai where he works in a bottling plant.

Helaram Malik, Biswajit’s father said that rescuers who were bringing out bodies from the compartments thought he was dead. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 08, 2023 08:27 AM IST

Odisha train accident: Trains back on track, NDRF ends operation

Train services resumed on both lines at Balasore's Bahanaga Bazaar in India on Monday following a fatal train accident that killed 275 people. The first train ran on the "down line" at 10:40 pm on Sunday night, while the "up-line" resumed at 00:05 hours on Monday. Normal traffic movement has resumed but trains are travelling at low speeds of around 10 kilometres per hour. The restoration process was carried out by sleeper rakes, poclain machines, tower cranes and over a thousand personnel.

Porters carry goods collected from the mangled coaches at the triple train mishap site where over 270 people died and more than 1000 injured, near Bahanaga Bazar in Balasore district, Monday. (PTI)
Updated on Jun 06, 2023 12:41 AM IST
ByDebabrata Mohanty, , Balasore/kolkata

Calcutta high court: “Jobs are being sold like a commodity”

One year on, the probe into the West Bengal school recruitment scam remains mired in a political tussle. Will the victims find justice? An explainer

While cancelling the appointments of 32,000 primary school teachers recruited in 2016 by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education for allegedly violating recruitment norms, the Calcutta high court last week observed that “jobs were sold like a commodity.”(HT File Photo)
Published on May 22, 2023 03:36 PM IST

'Dream it, make it happen’

Smarajit Jana, a pioneering AIDS activist, mined the power of the collective to set up cooperatives. He died on May 8, 2021 due to Covid-19

Dr Smarajit Jana shaped the sex workers’ rights movement in the country and spearhead the first rights-based HIV intervention programmes(Rahulkepapa / Wikimedia Commons)
Published on May 17, 2023 08:07 PM IST

ED charge sheet: How TMC’s Anubrata Mondal acquired assets worth 48 crore

Anubrata Mondal, 64, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in August 2022 for his alleged involvement in the cattle smuggling case. ED arrested him in November 2022

Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Anubrata Mondal jailed in a cattle smuggling case being bought to ESI hospital for a checkup prior to being produced before Enforcement Directorate in Kolkata in March (ANI FILE)
Updated on May 09, 2023 09:11 PM IST

BSF detects new modus operandi of Phensedyl smugglers along Indo-Bangla border

The BSF apprehended a postman, who cloned the barcodes and consignment numbers and delivered the drug to smugglers living in villages along the Indo-Bangla border

BSF personnel intercepted a postman on April 20 while he was on the way to deliver a parcel that contained 38 bottles of Phensedyl. (Representative Image)
Updated on Apr 23, 2023 09:35 AM IST

Aizawl zoo grapples to keep exotic animals alive

Aizawl Zoo in India has a second list of rescued exotic animals and birds smuggled into India from Myanmar, but the zoo is running out of space and some of these animals are dying. Between July 2019 and September 2022, the zoo received 910 exotic animals, of which only 274 survived till the first week of December 2022. The zoo has all one visiting doctor, one veterinary field assistant, one range officer in charge of general administration, and two forest guards. The zoo has sent a proposal to the Union government for separate enclosures and a new rescue and rehab centre.

Mizoram has emerged as a hot spot for animal and bird smuggling. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 21, 2023 11:44 PM IST
By, , Guwahati/kolkata

Villages in WB’s Alipurduar gasp for air as pollution from Bhutan takes toll

Pasakha Industrial Estate (PIE) has been the epicentre of the growing pollution levels in the adjacent areas of the West Bengal district

Locals drink water from the same Singhi jhora (stream) where the Pasakha Industrial Estate discharges its waste water. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 17, 2023 01:46 PM IST

Plastic-rock found in Andamans’ Aves Island

Interestingly, according to the 2011 Census, there are just two people on Aves Island. Both are male.

Known as plastiglomerate, it is a rock composed of sand, rock fragments, shells and other materials held together by plastic. It is a new form of plastic pollution, which scientists described in 2014. (Photo courtesy: Prasun Goswami)
Published on Mar 27, 2023 12:36 AM IST

Plastic-rock hybrid discovered in Andaman’s Aves island

Known as Plastiglomerate, the rock is composed of sand, rock fragments, shells and other materials held together by plastic, resulting in a plastic-rock hybrid. It is a new form of plastic pollution described by scientists in 2014

Representative image of Plastiglomerate, a piece of rock made from plastic (Twitter Photo)
Published on Mar 25, 2023 07:33 PM IST

Drug-resistant bacteria found in fowls in remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Some strains of these bacteria are responsible for life-threatening diseases including Hemolytic uremic syndrome, pneumonia, diarrhoea and typhoid among others in humans

The scientists collected 199 cloacal swab samples from five breeds of fowls between November 2019 and January 2021 from three island districts. (Representative Image)
Updated on Feb 27, 2023 04:09 AM IST

Plot twist in Bengal: Guv heaps praise on govt as BJP walks out

On Wednesday, it was the BJP led by leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari, a former TMC leader once considered close to Banerjee, who said that they were disappointed that the governor made no departure from a speech that painted a “rosy picture” of the state’s affairs, even shouting slogans of “go back”.

Representational image
Updated on Feb 09, 2023 04:41 AM IST
By, Kolkata

Govt to update elephant corridors to mitigate human-animal conflict in 6 states

Ramesh Kumar Pandey, director of Project Elephant, which is a centrally sponsored scheme for elephant conservation, said the government has decided to redraw elephant corridors

In 2005, Wildlife Trust of India and Asian Nature Conservation Foundation in collaboration with state forest departments, Project Elephant and researchers had identified 88 elephant corridors. (Shutterstock)
Published on Jan 28, 2023 12:40 AM IST

Bereaved Modi opens train link, chairs meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the last rites of his mother Heeraben, who died early morning at the age of 99, and returned to work hours later, flagging off a key train link in West Bengal and chairing a meeting of the National Ganga Council via video conference.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi carries the body of his mother Heeraben at a crematorium in Gandhinagar, India, December 30, 2022. (REUTERS)
Updated on Dec 31, 2022 02:11 AM IST
ByAmit Cowper and Joydeep Thakur, Gandhinagar/kolkata

Mushrooming illegal call centres keep police in West Bengal’s IT hub on toes

The West Bengal police said at least 25 illegal call centres have been busted since September and 292 people have been arrested

Police said that in most of the cases the call centres have been found to be duping people either by promising jobs or by promising handsome returns. (Representative Image)
Published on Dec 25, 2022 02:45 PM IST

West Bengal recovers 52.3 lakh misappropriated NREGS fund

Kolkata: West Bengal has recovered around ₹52

West Bengal recovers <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>52.3 lakh misappropriated NREGS fund
Published on Dec 24, 2022 11:49 PM IST

Traffickers use govt portal to evade authorities while smuggling animals

Enforcement agencies have detected at least three to four cases in the last couple of months in which fake applications were submitted on the Parivesh portal to make illegal consignments appear legal

In June 2020, the Centre had issued an advisory on how to apply through Parivesh portal to import exotic species (HT FILE)
Published on Dec 11, 2022 03:24 PM IST

Five years on, Mamata’s Krishak Bazar project finds few takers

The Krishak Bazars (farmer markets) were a dream project of the Mamata Banerjee government which came to power in 2011 while championing the cause of farmers in Singur and Nandigram.

The Krishak Bazar in Gosaba in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district wears an empty look. (HT photo)
Updated on Nov 14, 2022 04:42 AM IST
By, Kolkata

Bengal recruitment scam: CBI court extends Partha Chatterjee’s judicial custody

The CBI court extended former West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee’s judicial custody by 14 days in the school recruitment scam case

Partha Chatterjee was physically produced in the special CBI court at Alipore on Monday morning. (ANI)
Published on Oct 31, 2022 08:08 PM IST

1 out of 10 Bangladeshis caught by BSF handed over to BGB as ‘goodwill gesture’

Every year, BSF hand over a few hundred men and women, who are intercepted along the India-Bangladesh international border, to the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) without arresting them

Around 11,750 people were intercepted by BSF in south Bengal along the Indo-Bangla border between 2017 and 2022. (Representative Image/HT Photo)
Published on Oct 18, 2022 01:47 PM IST

From St Peter’s Basilica to Altamira: Durga Puja amid politics, Unesco tag

Welcome to Kolkata during the Durga Puja, where the pandals compete to outdo each other, the only thing that matters almost as much as the festivities is politics, and often, both coalesce.

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Rome, is the Durga Puja pandal theme of Shree Bhumi Sporting Club’s puja in Kolkata. (Samir Jana/HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 03, 2022 11:52 AM IST
ByTanmay Chatterjee and Joydeep Thakur, Kolkata

No ex-gratia for kin of tipplers killed in elephant attack: Bengal advisory

The next of kin of any inebriated person killed by an elephant will not receive any compensation from the state forest department, according to a fresh advisory issued by forest officials in West Bengal’s Jhargram district

No ex-gratia for kin of tipplers killed in elephant attack: Bengal distt advisory
Updated on Sep 27, 2022 01:31 AM IST

WB gears for thermocol-free Durga Puja; draws mixed reactions from organisers

The Centre banned the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single use plastic items including thermocol, all across the country from July 1

The move has opened up several challenges for organisers ahead of the puja celebrations (File image)
Published on Sep 01, 2022 04:30 PM IST

After cattle, smuggling of phensedyl and yaba tablets spikes in eastern states

Smuggling of yaba tablets, a party drug that originated in Myanmar, has also gone up. This year more than 7,000 tablets have been seized in the first seven months

100 Battalion of Border Security Force (BSF) in a joint operation with Meghalaya police seized 3200 bottles of phensedyl cough syrup in the bordering area of South Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, on July 24 (ANI File)
Published on Aug 12, 2022 09:48 PM IST
ByJoydeep Thakur and Utpal Parashar
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