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

The inner workings of the illegal economy of exotic animal trade

These seizures were just the tip of the iceberg, an official of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) said.
Between 2018 and 2020, at least 1,629 smugglers were apprehended along the Indo-Myanmar border. (HT PHOTO)
Between 2018 and 2020, at least 1,629 smugglers were apprehended along the Indo-Myanmar border. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 23, 2022 11:16 AM IST
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CBI files FIR in Bengal SSC recruitment case

The CBI FIR comes after the Calcutta high court earlier this week asked the central agency to probe into the alleged irregularities in the state School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) stated in its FIR that applications filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act were used to increase the marks of unsuccessful candidates so that the SSC recruitment could be justified. (PTI)
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) stated in its FIR that applications filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act were used to increase the marks of unsuccessful candidates so that the SSC recruitment could be justified. (PTI)
Updated on May 22, 2022 01:38 AM IST
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By, Kolkata

SSC scam in Bengal: How RTI was used to hike marks, ranks of unsuccessful candidates

The federal agency was ordered by the Calcutta high court earlier this week to probe the alleged irregularities in the state School Service Commission. The agency has already quizzed former education minister and senior TMC leader Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday.
West Bengal Police personnel try to reason with members of the All India Democratic Youth Organisation (AIDYO) and All India Democratic Students' Organisation (AIDSO) during their protest march towards Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's residence over state ministers' involvement in the SSC recruitment scam in Kolkata on Friday. (PTI PHOTO.)
West Bengal Police personnel try to reason with members of the All India Democratic Youth Organisation (AIDYO) and All India Democratic Students' Organisation (AIDSO) during their protest march towards Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's residence over state ministers' involvement in the SSC recruitment scam in Kolkata on Friday. (PTI PHOTO.)
Published on May 21, 2022 06:30 PM IST
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At Sunderbans, rise in cases of tigers straying

While the authorities have started a probe to find out the reasons behind the sharp increase, experts apprehend that with the sea level rising due to global warming and the delta being increasingly battered by cyclones, such straying is bound to increase in the future.
Although tigers often maul and kill humans when they enter the forest to fish or collect honey, there has been no incidents of attacks inside villages(HT file photo)
Although tigers often maul and kill humans when they enter the forest to fish or collect honey, there has been no incidents of attacks inside villages(HT file photo)
Updated on May 09, 2022 12:51 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, Kolkata

Sunderban records highest number of tiger straying incidents in recent years

Experts say the increase in the number of tiger straying incidents could hit conservation efforts. The authorities of the Sunderban Biosphere Reserve (SBR) have started a probe to find out the reasons behind the sharp increase in such cases.
The number of tiger straying cases shot up to seven in the Sunderbans in 2021-22. (HT File Photo)
The number of tiger straying cases shot up to seven in the Sunderbans in 2021-22. (HT File Photo)
Updated on May 08, 2022 12:27 AM IST
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Villagers turn to bees to check elephants from raiding crops in West Bengal

Wild honey from the tiger-infested mangrove forests of the Sunderbans in West Bengal is known for its purity and therapeutic uses
Apiculture would certainly help West Bengal villagers with an alternative employment avenue, thus preventing them from going inside the forest, experts said, but they were of a different opinion on warding off elephants with honey bees. (AP)
Apiculture would certainly help West Bengal villagers with an alternative employment avenue, thus preventing them from going inside the forest, experts said, but they were of a different opinion on warding off elephants with honey bees. (AP)
Updated on Apr 17, 2022 01:04 AM IST
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By, Kolkata

Honey bees to ward off elephants in north Bengal from raiding crops, reduce human deaths

West Bengal accounts for the second highest number of man-elephant conflict incidents in the country after Odisha. Between 2015-16 and 2019-20 at least 430 people have been killed by elephants in the West Bengal. Most of the deaths took place in north Bengal.
The beehives in the villages of north Bengal may also prevent elephants from entering the villages, thereby reducing man-elephant conflicts in the area. (HT PHOTO.)
The beehives in the villages of north Bengal may also prevent elephants from entering the villages, thereby reducing man-elephant conflicts in the area. (HT PHOTO.)
Updated on Apr 16, 2022 06:05 PM IST
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Siamangs rescued: Is illegal trade in exotic species booming in eastern states?

The move comes 12 days after three kangaroos were found wandering around in a forested patch near Jalpaiguri; the carcass of a fourth was found a day later.
A caged Siamang.(HT Photo)
A caged Siamang.(HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 14, 2022 11:25 AM IST
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ByBiswa Kalyan Purkayastha, , Silchar/kolkata

Nadda forms team to look into alleged gang rape in Bengal

A 14-year-old girl died hours after she returned from a birthday party, where she was given alcohol and then allegedly sexually assaulted
 (HT PHOTO (Representative))
(HT PHOTO (Representative))
Updated on Apr 14, 2022 05:17 AM IST
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By, Kolkata/new Delhi

Didi faces Oppn, families’ ire over Birbhum killings

The eight people – most of whom were women and children – were burnt to death in a house on Monday night in Bogtui village, hours after a local Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader was killed in a bomb attack in public.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee with the kin of the deceased in Birbhum on Thursday.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee with the kin of the deceased in Birbhum on Thursday.
Updated on Mar 25, 2022 01:08 AM IST
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ByTanmay Chatterjee and Joydeep Thakur, Birbhum/kolkata

To protect Bengal’s coastline from cyclones, forest staff to create bio-shield

In May 2021, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had set up a committee headed by river expert and chairman of the state pollution control board Kalyan Rudra, to suggest how plants could be used to protect coastal areas. The committee, however, has warned against using Vetiver.
In 2021, after Cyclone Yaas had inflicted severe damage in West Bengal, the state forest department had come up with a plan wherein various species of mangroves and grasses would be planted in layers and which would act as a vegetative shield for the villages against the direct brunt of cyclones. (Image used for representation). (HT PHOTO.)
In 2021, after Cyclone Yaas had inflicted severe damage in West Bengal, the state forest department had come up with a plan wherein various species of mangroves and grasses would be planted in layers and which would act as a vegetative shield for the villages against the direct brunt of cyclones. (Image used for representation). (HT PHOTO.)
Published on Mar 17, 2022 05:23 PM IST
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Pair of endangered turtles helps India, Bangladesh plan joint conservation program

In January this year, 10 Northern River Terrapins (Batagur Baska) - one of the most endangered species of turtles in the world - were released into the wild from a breeding centre in the Sunderbans. By February end, four of them had crossed the international boundary and swum hundreds of kilometres into Bangladeshi waters.
On February 24, experts from the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) which along with the STR was running the Batagur Baska conservation program got a call from some fishermen in Bangladesh saying that they had caught a turtle fitted with a GPS transmitter. (SCREENGRAB.)
On February 24, experts from the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) which along with the STR was running the Batagur Baska conservation program got a call from some fishermen in Bangladesh saying that they had caught a turtle fitted with a GPS transmitter. (SCREENGRAB.)
Published on Mar 12, 2022 11:25 PM IST
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Cyclone Amphan was largest source of displacement in 2020, says IPCC report

The cyclone intensified from a category 1 cyclonic storm to a category 5 super cyclone in less than 36 hours, before finally hitting the West Bengal coast on May 20, 2020. The IPCC report also hints that the lockdown, prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, may have played a role behind the formation and intensification of the cyclone.
Cyclone Amphan was the largest source of displacement in 2020, with 2.4 million displacements in India alone, the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicated. (PTI PHOTO.)
Cyclone Amphan was the largest source of displacement in 2020, with 2.4 million displacements in India alone, the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicated. (PTI PHOTO.)
Updated on Mar 03, 2022 08:35 PM IST
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Overnight celebrities of West Bengal

Bhuban Badyakar’s song changed his life when it was filmed and shared on a video-sharing platform in November 2021
Bhuban Badyakar and Ranu Mondal (HT PHOTO)
Bhuban Badyakar and Ranu Mondal (HT PHOTO)
Published on Mar 02, 2022 10:44 AM IST
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I’m here for Samajwadi Party’s victory, BJP’s defeat, says Mamata in Lucknow

This is not the first time Banerjee has visited Lucknow for the SP. Ahead of the 2017 UP assembly polls, she had come to support the SP when she held an anti-demonetisation public meeting at the 1090 crossing in Lucknow. Akhilesh was the UP chief minister then.
Samajwadi party national president Akhilesh Yadav welcomes West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as she arrives at Chowdhary Charan Singh International airport in Lucknow on Monday to campaign for the Samajwadi Party ahead of the UP assembly election 2022. (DEEPAK GUPTA/HT PHOTO.)
Samajwadi party national president Akhilesh Yadav welcomes West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as she arrives at Chowdhary Charan Singh International airport in Lucknow on Monday to campaign for the Samajwadi Party ahead of the UP assembly election 2022. (DEEPAK GUPTA/HT PHOTO.)
Published on Feb 07, 2022 11:40 PM IST
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ByPankaj Jaiswal & Joydeep Thakur

UP polls: Mamata Banerjee in Lucknow, says she is here for SP’s win, BJP’s defeat

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee will hold joint events with Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on Tuesday for the UP polls
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on Monday evening. (HT Photo)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on Monday evening. (HT Photo)
Updated on Feb 08, 2022 12:31 AM IST
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ByPankaj Jaiswal and Joydeep Thakur, Lucknow/kolkata

Fishing cats: Is Bengal doing enough to protect its state animal?

It is included as a Schedule I species in Wildlife (Protection) Act and hence enjoys the highest level of protection equal to that of tigers, lions and elephants
Three fishing cats found dead this month were poisoned. (HT Photo)
Three fishing cats found dead this month were poisoned. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 28, 2022 03:11 PM IST
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Palanquins carry women to hospital from remote, hilly Bengal villages

District magistrate Surendra Kumar Meena said every time a pregnant woman needed to reach the hospital for delivery, the locals would prepare a makeshift stretcher
Institutional deliveries were almost unheard of even a decade ago in the region. (HT Photo)
Institutional deliveries were almost unheard of even a decade ago in the region. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 19, 2022 12:38 PM IST
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Spectre of child marriage, trafficking looms large in Sunderbans

  • Subsequent investigations led to the arrest of six people, including prime suspect Nur Alam Khan, and a couple from the village of the two girls.
A file photo of the Sunderbans river delta. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A file photo of the Sunderbans river delta. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Jan 17, 2022 11:51 PM IST
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By, Gosaba (sunderbans)

West Bengal biodiversity board attempts to bring back traditional crop varieties

The West Bengal Biodiversity Board (WBBB) has prepared People’s Biodiversity Registers containing comprehensive account of local bio-resources along with related traditional knowledge and practices of the area. Efforts are now on to come up with at least five ‘seed banks’ across the state.
The revival of traditional crop varieties will not only help farmers to bring down dependency on chemical fertilisers and thereby increasing profit, but also help fight the vagaries of nature including flood, rising salinity and drought triggered by climate change and global warming. (Representational Image/HT File Photo)
The revival of traditional crop varieties will not only help farmers to bring down dependency on chemical fertilisers and thereby increasing profit, but also help fight the vagaries of nature including flood, rising salinity and drought triggered by climate change and global warming. (Representational Image/HT File Photo)
Published on Jan 17, 2022 10:38 AM IST
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Sunderbans losing its dense mangrove cover: Govt report

This is worrying because the mangrove forests acts a green buffer against cyclones, protecting Kolkata from bearing the direct brunt of storms that originate in the Bay of Bengal.
A file photo of the Sunderbans river delta. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A file photo of the Sunderbans river delta. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Jan 14, 2022 12:36 AM IST
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Sunderbans losing dense mangrove cover, reveals key government report

It comes as a concern because the mangrove cover acts a barrier against cyclones while protecting Bengal’s capital city of Kolkata from directly bearing the brunt of storms that originate in the Bay of Bengal
A representational image. (AFP/File)
A representational image. (AFP/File)
Published on Jan 13, 2022 03:24 PM IST
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The growing rift between the BJP and its Matua leaders

  • The quest to control the Matua vote, a scheduled caste group, largely hinges on the issue of identity and rights
Shantanu Thakur quit the WhatsApp groups of the party’s state units earlier this week(HT Photo/File)
Shantanu Thakur quit the WhatsApp groups of the party’s state units earlier this week(HT Photo/File)
Updated on Jan 06, 2022 07:29 PM IST
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No direct flights from the UK to land in Kolkata from Monday, orders West Bengal

West Bengal has reported 11 Omicron cases so far, and the new Covid-19 cases being reported every day have doubled over the past week. On Wednesday, the state government crossed the 1,000-mark.
Kolkata airport director C Pattabhi said the West Bengal government’s decision to suspend flights from the UK implies that the union civil aviation ministry will suspend them too since the state’s no-objection certificates (NOC) is also required. (Utpal Sarkar)
Kolkata airport director C Pattabhi said the West Bengal government’s decision to suspend flights from the UK implies that the union civil aviation ministry will suspend them too since the state’s no-objection certificates (NOC) is also required. (Utpal Sarkar)
Updated on Dec 30, 2021 07:38 PM IST
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Of those languishing in West Bengal jails for years without trial

According to Prisoners Statistics of India, 2019, 7,394 inmates in Indian jails are suffering from mental health issues and 1.5% of them are undertrials
Image for representation. (File photo)
Image for representation. (File photo)
Updated on Dec 19, 2021 04:14 PM IST
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Rising CO2 level taking toll on marine organisms in Sunderbans, say scientists

The rising carbon dioxide (CO2) level in the air is turning the water in the Sunderbans estuary more acidic and taking a toll on marine fish and animals, particularly those having shells such as oysters, clams, crabs and lobsters, say scientists
A file photo of the Sunderbans river delta. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A file photo of the Sunderbans river delta. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Nov 25, 2021 04:22 PM IST
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4,000 cyber-attacks on India’s Botanical Survey website in 2 months

Botanical Survey of India director AA Mao said most of the 4,000 cyber-attacks on its website appeared to originate from China.
There have been 4,000 incidents of cyber-attacks on the Botanical Survey of India website over the last two months, director AA Mao said. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
There have been 4,000 incidents of cyber-attacks on the Botanical Survey of India website over the last two months, director AA Mao said. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Nov 18, 2021 03:08 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, Kolkata

Heroes of our time: Meet Indians making a difference

You’ve seen the pictures. You’ve heard the names. Read on to see what some of the winners who have largely remained away from the spotlight achieved and how
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Padma Awardees at Rashtrapati Bhavan(Twitter)
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Padma Awardees at Rashtrapati Bhavan(Twitter)
Updated on Nov 15, 2021 06:27 AM IST
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ByMegha Sood, , Manasi Deshpande, , , Sharan Poovanna, , , Hindustan Times, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Kolkata, Bhopal, Hyderabad

Sunderban bears climate change brunt as world leaders negotiate at COP

  • In its latest state of the climate report, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said that sea levels between 2013 and 2021 had risen by a factor of two, meaning sea level rises have doubled in this period.
A man points towards a pond filled with saline water that has killed fresh water fish and was brought upstream due to Cyclone Amphan, at Kakdwip in the Sunderbans, South 24 Parganas district, West Bengal, India on Frisday, May 22, 2020. (Photo by Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)
A man points towards a pond filled with saline water that has killed fresh water fish and was brought upstream due to Cyclone Amphan, at Kakdwip in the Sunderbans, South 24 Parganas district, West Bengal, India on Frisday, May 22, 2020. (Photo by Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)
Updated on Nov 08, 2021 02:01 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Centre may allow private funding for wildlife conservation

A proposal for private and corporate funding for India’s wildlife conservation efforts is under consideration since the available budget is insufficient
Opinion will be sought from forest officials on the idea of generating private and corporate funding for wildlife conservation in India. (AP Photo/Representative use)
Opinion will be sought from forest officials on the idea of generating private and corporate funding for wildlife conservation in India. (AP Photo/Representative use)
Published on Oct 19, 2021 04:34 PM IST
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Tuesday, May 24, 2022