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Kolkata college student pushes for transgender-friendly toilets

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Tridhara toilets

Kolkata, Aug 12: With the discussion and execution of ideas around all-gender restrooms gathering steam across the world, a college student from West Bengal has taken it forward with the installation of innovative toilet signages for the transgender community here.

As many as four toilets next to Masterda Surya Sen Metro Station in south Kolkata now display ‘Tridhara’ stickers along with the symbol (interlocked male and female forms) for the community.

The idea was conceptualised by 21-year-old Sobhan Mukherjee.

“I was writing about the community and attended various programmes. I realised they felt discriminated when it came to pay-and-use toilets. When I proposed the concept of signages to the local councillor Anita Kar Majumdar, she readily agreed. It requires minimum investment… for printing the stickers. All it takes is social responsibility,” Mukherjee told IANS.

Mukherjee said the move falls in line with the Ministry of Sanitation’s guidelines stating that members of the third-gender community be allowed to use public toilets of their choice (men or women).

“Instead of creating separate washrooms, we decided to divide the existing spaces as male, female and ‘Tridhara’ toilets and put stickers on them,” the postgraduate student in geography said.

Transgender activist Ranjita Sinha has lauded the move.

“It is praiseworthy since he is a student. Often we are unable to push through and start something new but he has done it,” Sinha told IANS.

Mukherjee has now spoken to councillors in other wards to get the ball rolling in different locations of the city.

Last year, California in the US became the first state to adopt an all-gender restroom access law. This year Stanford University also increased the number of all-gender restrooms on campus. Panjab University in India will have a separate toilet for transgender people.

IANS

Disaster

BJP Lok Sabha member from Ladakh quits party

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BJP

Srinagar, Nov 15 : Thupstan Chhewang, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha member from Ladakh constituency, resigned from the party on Thursday.

In a letter addressed to Jammu and Kashmir BJP President Ravinder Raina, Chhewang said he was resigning from the basic membership of the party on health grounds.

Chhewang also told Raina that he was writing separately to the Lok Sabha speaker submitting his resignation from Parliament.

The BJP has three Lok Sabha members from Jammu and Kashmir including Chhewang.

The other two BJP Lok Sabha members are Jitendra Singh, MoS (PMO) and Jugal Kishore Sharma.

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India

Police officer, PDP activist killed by terrorists in Kashmir Valley

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Srinagar, Oct 28 : Terrorists carried out two deadly attacks in the troubled Kashmir Valley on Sunday, killing a middle-rung police officer and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) activist, Muhammad Amin, in Gangbugh.

An unknown number of terrorists intercepted a private vehicle driven by police sub-inspector Imtiyaz Ahmad Mir in Wahibugh area of Pulwama district.

Police said the officer was forcibly taken out of his vehicle, taken some distance away from the road and then shot dead from close range, killing him instantly.

Mir worked in the state intelligence department and was posted in Srinagar.

In another attack, militants targeted a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) activist, Muhammad Amin, in Gangbugh area on the outskirts of Srinagar district.

He was fired at from close range, leading to critical injuries.

He was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, a police officer said, adding that FIRs had been registered in both cases.

Sources in the intelligence department said the security forces have information about two groups of sniper shooters active in south Kashmir areas.

“Each group of sniper shooters comprises two terrorists each,” one officer said.

Security forces have been told to be vigilant about such sniper attacks that can be carried out from a long distance with pinpoint accuracy.

A special police officer (SPO) was critically injured after he was shot at by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Badgam district, authorities said on Sunday.

The incident took place in Charar-e-Sharif area on Saturday night.

“The injured SPO Muhammad Hafiz was shifted to Srinagar for specialised treatment,” police sources said.

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Cities

Mirwaiz Umer defies house arrest, shifted to police station

Another senior separatist leader, Muhammad Yasin Malik who had evaded arrest, appeared in Lal Chowk where the police took him into preventive custody.

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Mirwaiz Umer Farooq
Srinagar: Senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq defies his house arrest during a protest march against the deaths of seven civilians in an explosion in Kulgam district; in Srinagar, on Oct 23, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

Srinagar, Oct 23 : Senior Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq defied house arrest on Tuesday and tried to march towards the Lal Chowk area here.

According to the police, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq who was placed under house arrest in his residence on the city’s outskirts, tried to defy the order.

“He was taken into preventive custody and shifted to the Nigeen police station,” police sources said.

Another senior separatist leader, Muhammad Yasin Malik who had evaded arrest, appeared in Lal Chowk where the police took him into preventive custody.

The separatists had called for a protest march to Lal Chowk against the killings of seven civilians in an explosion in Kulgam district on Sunday.

Authorities have placed curbs on the movement of traffic to and through Lal Chowk.

Educational institutions have been closed in Srinagar as a precautionary measure.

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