Ambubachi Mela at Kamakhya
Lakhs of devotees are thronging the Kamakhya temple, perched atop the Nilachal hill in Guwahati, each day on the occasion of Ambubachi Mela. During the four-day annual fair, no religious activities are performed inside the temple as it remains shut. The historic temple has been spruced up by the authorities in view of the fair. A ‘baba’ from Varanasi, who claims he is aged 122 years, is the cynosure of all eyes. The holy man, Sivananda Baba, claims he was born on August 8, 1896. His Aadhaar card also says so! Sivananda says the secret of his long life is his disciplined lifestyle.
Human organ trade racket busted
The Guwahati police busted a human organ trade racket and arrested two people who had conned a man. The victim had contacted the accused on reading an advertisement in newspapers. He said as he badly needed some money, he struck a deal with the accused, Manab Kamal Sharma and Parag Sharma, to sell his kidney for C6 lakh. Following the kidney transplant in Kolkata in 2016, the victim was given the amount through a cheque but it bounced. The arrested duo was looking for a donor for an ailing woman. The police said the accused had taken C10 lakh from the woman’s family but gave nothing to the donor. A case under Sections 420, 406 and 34 of IPC was registered.
Officers dismissed from service
The Assam government has dismissed 13 officers of the police and civil administration from service in connection with the cash-for-jobs scam in the Assam Public Service Commission. They were among over 30 officers arrested earlier for allegedly buying the plum jobs by bribing the Commission’s former chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul. One of the accused, Vikash Kumar Pincha, lamented that they were dismissed from service even before their conviction.
Drive against eateries, restaurants
Assam Minister Piyush Hazarika has stolen the sleep of owners of outlets dealing in fruits, milk, sweets and food items in Guwahati. Accompanied by food safety officials, he is regularly conducting raids at the outlets to check if they are maintaining prescribed hygiene standards. On finding a number of them at fault, he directed them to maintain cleanliness and hygiene or face the music. The officials also caught a number of vendors dealing in adulterated milk and chemical-laced fruits. Some unscrupulous vendors use carbide for early ripening of fruits, particularly mangoes. Over the past few weeks, the food safety officials seized and destroyed 34,500 kg of such mangoes in six districts.
Our correspondent in Guwahati