Saturday, 30 August 2008


Senior BSF official killed


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 30: In an unfortunate incident a deputy commandant of Border Security Force was killed at Gitaldaha in Dinhata, Cooch Behar today.


BSF sources said the deputy commandant Vijay Bir Singh of 127-battalion went to visit the situation of Indo-Bangladesh border at Gitaldaha today. When he was returning his vehicle skid off into a roadside channel near the Dharala river at about 12-30 noon. The vehicle (Maruti Gypsy) was immediately flown away along the channel by floodwater. Two others in the vehicle, the driver and a constable, came back safely from the water but the vehicle and the deputy commandant went missing.


At about 3-30 p.m. the body of Vijay Bir Singh was recovered by the swimmers and locals after a hectic search. The vehicle was also recovered, BSF sources added. []

Friday, 29 August 2008

Water, water, water everywhere

Flood fear in Cooch Behar


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 29: Following heavy downpour on the upper catchments and also on the plains the water levels of three major rivers of the region crossed danger marks today. Water levels of other rivers are also showing an upward tendency.


In Mekhliganj, the Tista crossed the Red danger level. Red signal was flashed upto Bangladesh border. At Hasimara, Red danger signal was flashed on the Torsa. Yellow signal was flashed along the unprotected areas on the banks of the Mansai in Mathabhanga.


As the water levels of the rivers are increasing, the authorities alerted all the SDOs and the BDOs to keep constant watch on the situation. They were asked to get themselves ready to face any untoward situation if flood occurre.


Today, heavy downpour during the day disrupted normal life in Cooch Behar. Streets and a large number of dwellings in the lower areas in the town got waterlogged. Curious citizens gathered on the embankment of the Torsa to get a glance of the heavy water flow along the river. As this dyke is the sole saviour of this heritage town many aggrieved citizens were found criticising the authorities for their indifference in maintaining the dyke since its construction in 1952. []


Left warning


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 29: The Left Front run gram panchayats in Cooch Behar district will not disburse shelters under the Indira Awas Yojana till removal of all errors in the BPL list. Today, submitting a memorandum to the district magistrate the leaders of the Left Front made it clear that they were not ready to shoulder the blame related to the incorrect BPL list. The Left Front leadership did it following a decision adopted at the LF meeting.


District LF sources said, as the BPL list was erroneous the actual poor people were not getting the benefit of the Indira Awas Yojana. This cannot go forever. Till preparing of a faultless BPL list the LF run gram panchayats will not engage themselves in implementing the IAY scheme, they warned. []

Thursday, 28 August 2008


Furore over newborn's body


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 28: Body of a newborn baby was found in a drain near the Mathabhanga sub-divisional hospital in Cooch Behar district on Thursday morning. Following the recovery a commotion surfaced up in the locality. Though the locals alleged that the body of the newborn was thrown off from the hospital but no one was identified as its mother.


Trinamul Shramik Congress staged a demonstration at the hospital demanding an inquiry into the matter. They also demanded a stop into the irregular functioning in the hospital. []


'Thana gherao' stir


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 28: Trinamul Congress organised a 'thana gherao' programme at Baxirhat in Tufanganj on Thursday. At a huge gathering held on the occasion district Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabi Ghosh, vice-president Mr Niranjan Dutta, state Trinamul secretary Md Abdul Jalil Ahmed, Mr Rathin Mandal and other leaders demanded immediate measures against the CPI-M to stop the atrocities unleashed on Trinamul supporters. A large contingent of police was deployed to maintain peace at Baxirhat. []

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


Rain disrupts normal life in Cooch Behar


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 27: Following incessant downpour for the last twenty-four hours the normal life being disrupted in Cooch Behar.


In this heritage town the rainwater submerged more than 2,000 residences in wards like 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10 and 11. Fire service station, office of the superintendent of post offices, police lines, police station, Rasmela ground, minibus stand, Keshab Road and other places turned water logged. The street in front of the Cooch Behar Palace became almost a river. Today, the office goers and students had to face tough times to attend their destinations.


On the otherhand, the heavy rainfall at plains and upper catchments made the rivers inflated. Yellow signal was imposed on Tista in Mekhliganj. Alert was flashed from Domohani to Bangladesh border on its unprotected banks. The water level of Torsa is also showing an increasing trend.


Cooch Behar Municipality sources claimed that they distributed dry foods to the affected poor citizens in the waterlogged wards.


Flood control room sources said 229.60 mm rainfall was recorded in the past 24 hours in Cooch Behar. The rainfall was 148.40 mm in Mathabhanga and 175.40 mm in Tufanganj in the same period. Heavier downpour is predicted in the next 24 hours. []

For Healthy Healthcare System

Youth League's demonstration for a Medical College in Cooch Behar


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 27: Demanding setting up of a medical college in Cooch Behar, the Cooch Behar district unit of All India Youth League staged a sit-in demonstration at the office of the chief medical officer of health in Cooch Behar today. They also submitted a memorandum containing 12-point charter of demands to the state health minister through the district magistrate and the CMOH.


At the gathering organised on the occasion at the office premises of the CMOH, the general secretary of the Cooch Behar district unit of AIYL Mr Gopal Dey said the healthcare service system in Cooch Behar is almost on the verge of breakdown. There is a single medical college only for the six districts of north Bengal. Very often the patients have to depend on the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. A large section of the doctors in the government hospitals in the districts grew a practice to refer patients to the NBMCH to avoid their responsibilities. In this perspective a new medical college and hospital is needed in Cooch Behar, he argued.


The AIYL leader demanded introduction of CT scan facility at the MJN Hospital. The state government already approved the scheme and a fund was also allocated but there is no visible initiative to add this facility in the hospital, he complained. The CT scan facility should be made available against cheap rate to the economically weaker section of the people, he said.


Availability of blood bank facility in the sub-divisional hospitals for 24-hours, appointment of doctors in all vacant posts, halting of supplying of lower grade diet to the patients, appointment of gynaecologists in all block health centres, screening of all private pathological laboratories and x-ray clinics and discourage the middleman system in the blood banks are some of the other demands mentioned in the AIYL memorandum. []

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Bridge not too far

Far from the madding crowed. This beautiful bridge attracts visitors to Kholta in Cooch Behar-II block.


Hindi medium schools in problem


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 26: A large number of students, teachers and guardians of different Hindi medium schools took out a protest rally in Cooch Behar town on Tuesday demanding measures for betterment of the existing dismal condition the schools are suffering. They also submitted memorandums containing 14-point charter of demands to the district magistrate Mr RK Sinha and the chairman of district primary school council Md Nuruddin Mian. A gathering was also held in front of the district magistrate's office. Hindi Vikas Manch was the organiser of today's programme.


Citing their problems in the memorandum, the secretary of Hindi Vikas Manch, Mr RK Baid demanded filling up of all vacant posts of teachers in the Hindi primary schools. The teachers of Hindi primary schools must have passed school final examination with Hindi as a compulsory subject. He also demanded launching of a Hindi medium teachers training college in Cooch Behar.


The teaching and learning materials and reference books provided to the Hindi medium schools must be in Hindi so that they can be optimally used and at least fifteen new Hindi primary schools and three high schools should be launched in this district, the HVM memorandum says. They also demanded upgradation of Hindi high schools to higher secondary schools. In Cooch Behar town, at least two Hindi primary schools should be uplifted to junior high schools and a new Hindi girls' high school should be launched.


Mr Baid said that at the lone Hindi higher secondary school in Cooch Behar district (Sree Hindi Vidyalaya) arts and science streams should be added. Presently there exists commerce stream only. The DM and the DPSC chairman heard their problems and demands and assured all possible co-operations to solve the problems, Mr Baid said. []


Parents demand hanging of son's killers


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 25: Parents of deceased Debabrata Pramanik – Mr Shyamal Pramanik and Mrs Usha Praminik - demanded hanging of the persons who shot dead their son. They expressed their desire for capital punishment at a large gathering that was organised at Tufanganj on Monday on the occasion of 'thana gherao' programme of Trinamul Congress.


Debabrata, a student of Tufanganj College, was killed in a clash occurred between armed CPI-M and Trinamul Congress supporters at Nakkatigachh in Tufanganj on 11 June.


Trinamul Congress leader Mr Niranjan Dutta said they organised the Monday's programme (daylong blockade of Tufanganj police station) demanding a halt of CPI-M atrocities unleashed on Trinamul Congress supporters especially in Tufanganj sub-division. They also demanded arrest and punishment of all the accused involved with the killing of Debabrata Pramanik. []

Monday, 25 August 2008


GCDP's roadblock to get separate state


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 25: Demanding formation of a separate state within the framework of Indian Constitution the Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party organised an one-hour roadblock programme in Cooch Behar district today. The GCDP activists staged the roadblock at twenty-five places like Harichawra, Dinhata Choupathi, Jajna Narayaner Kuthi, Gopalpur, Harirhat, Balarampur, Sitai, Sitalkuchi, Haldibari and Nishiganj in different blocks from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Traffic movement was heavily disrupted during the agitation as it was held at the busy hour.


The GCDP also organised a mass gathering at Dinhata Choupathi during the roadblock programme where senior GCDP leaders spoke. The police tried to lift the roadblock but the GCDP supporters resisted the bid, party sources claimed.


President of the GCDP, Mr Ashutosh Barma said they organised today's programme to highlight their demand to get a separate state following the agreement signed between the Maharaja of Cooch Behar and Indian government before the merger of Cooch Behar State with Union of India.


At the gathering at Dinhata Choupathi, during his address, Mr Barma also demanded introduction of national holiday on the birthday of Roysaheb Thakur Panchanan Barma, inclusion of Cooch Behar's history in the curriculum of schools, setting up of a Central university in Cooch Behar and appointment of a senior representative of Cooch Behar royal family as the president of Debottar Trust Board (DTB). Mentionworthy, DTB is the guardian body of all religious places and temples of the erstwhile princely state of Cooch Behar.


The GCDP president said they would wait till 8 September for a positive response from the authorities concerned. Otherwise they will stage a massive roadblock along National Hoighway-31 on 9 September, on the death anniversary of Roysaheb Thakur Panchanan Barma. []

Sunday, 24 August 2008


NABARD's leadership programme for SHGs


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 24: A 20-day awareness and leadership programme for Self Help Groups (SHG) started yesterday in Cooch Behar district. National Agricultural Bank for Rural Development (NABARD) is the sponsor of the programme and Godhulibazar North East Society for Empowerment of the People (G-NESEP) is the organiser. The programmes are being held at Guriahati, Haribhanga, Ghughumari, Putimari, Matalhat, Okrabari, Gosanimari, Soulmari, Bhetaguri and other places in Cooch Behar district.


Today, at the awareness programme at Guriahati, the district development manager of the NABARD, Mr Debashis Ganguli explained the concept of SHG, its importance in improving rural economy and families' economical infrastructure. Unity, equality, co-operation and fellow feeling are some of the qualities needed to make a successful SHG, he said. He also replied questions raised by the participating rural women on manufacturing and marketing of products by SHGs.


During the session, a few women SHG members complained of indifference shown by several banks in issuing of loans to the SHGs. The DDM of NABARD assured them that he would look into the matter. Director of G-NESEP Mr Partha Pratim Sarkar, Mr Birendra Roy, Mrs Shikha Barman and Mr Parimal Sarkar too spoke on various aspects of SHG sector. []

Friday, 22 August 2008


Demand to stop ragging!


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 22: Activists of the SFI and the DYFI demonstrated today at the office of the superintendent of police in Cooch Behar demanding arrest of the accused in the recent mysterious death of a student (Sunil Murmu) of Cooch Behar Polytechnic. They also demanded immediate release of the post-mortem report. Students' Bloc supporters too submitted a memorandum to the SP. On the otherhand, demanding arrest of the offenders the AIDSO supporters submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate. They asked the DM to take measures to stop ragging at Cooch Behar Polytechnic and other educational institutions. []

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Cooch Behar News

Rehabilitation scheme for scavengers


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 21: State backward classes welfare minister Mr Jogesh Chandra Barman inaugurated a loan disbursement programme for rehabilitation of scavengers at the Lansdowne Hall in Cooch Behar on Thursday.


Under the Scavengers' Rehabilitation and Maintenance Scheme (SRMS) scheme 254 scavengers of Cooch Behar municipal area are to get loans for various rehabilitation schemes. Among the beneficiaries 78 were aided today. West Bengal Scheduled Castes and Tribes Development and Finance Corporation sources said 33 scavengers of Dinhata, 20 of Tufanganj, 19 of Mathabhanga, 17 of Mekhliganj and 12 of Haldibari will come under the SRMS scheme.


In his inaugural address, the minister said that the beneficiaries would be self employed under different schemes and they will get the loans through different banks. No one should misuse the fund allotted to them and the borrowers should act with a tendency to repay the money to the concerned banks, Mr Barman hoped.


Cooch Behar DM Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha, ADM (D) Mr Pannalal Mahapatra and district manager of WBSCTDFC Mr Sanjay Mukherjee attended the programme. []


Trinamul protest


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 21: The Trinamul Congress staged a roadblock at Ghugumari today to protest against CPI-M atrocities on Trinamul supporters. They also demonstrated at the District Police office on the south bank of Sagardighi in Cooch Behar today. []


Birthday observed


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 21: Cooch Behar district unit of the Biochemic Medical Association of India (BMAI) observed the 188th birthday of Dr WH Schussler at Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar today. Dr Schussler is considered as the founder of Biochemic System of Medicine. []

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Political clash!

Bandh : CPM-Trinamul clash in Cooch Behar


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 20: About fifty persons belonging to both CPI-M and Trinamul Congress were injured during clashes that occurred at four places in Tufanganj sub-division today. No one was however arrested in connection with the violence.


Except Tufanganj, the bandh was nearly total in Cooch Behar district. Up Tista-Torsa Express was detained at New Cooch Behar Railway Station during the bandh.  


The clashes occurred between Trinamul Congress and CPI-M supporters at Kasiabari and Jorai Morh under Baxirhat police station and Nakkatigachh and Saldanga under Tufanganj police station. Weapons like bow and arrow were used freely. A few vehicles also damaged during the melee. A large contingent of police led by Cooch Behar ASP Mr Ashesh Biswas and senior officials rushed to the troubled area to control the situation.


Condemning the CPI-M for the violence the Trinamul Congress demanded arrest of the CPI-M activists involved with the incidents. The CPI-M however blamed the Trinamul Congress for the violence. []

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Bangla Police entered India, opened fire, dragged one into Bangladesh


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 19: A team of Bangladesh Police – both in uniform and civil dress – entered in Indian territory without any official information and opened fire. They also dragged a man to Bangladesh side, who got injury in the firing.


It was learnt that a team of Bangladesh Police infiltrated into Indian side after crossing the Indo-Bangladesh border and entered Dighaltari village in Dinhata, Cooch Behar at about 12-30 a.m. today. They raided the residence of an Indian peasant couple - Md Hassan Mian (55) and Mrs Noorjahan Bibi. When they tried to nab the man, who is a resident of Dighaltari village, he tried to escape. At that time the BD cops opened fire and the man received gunshot injury. They then left the place with the injured man, as his wife Mrs Noorjahan Bibi told the police.


Cooch Behar SP Mr DP Singh said they initiated a probe into the matter. It is still not clear to them why the Bangladesh Police came here, opened fire and nabbed a man, he said. Considering the seriousness of the matter, Cooch Behar DM Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha is also inquiring into the incident. How can policemen from another country enter into the soil of an another country without any official permission, he astonished.


Meanwhile, unofficial sources said, the man may have criminal records in Bangladesh and as the Bangladesh Police failed to nab him inside their country they came here to arrest him.


Today, at about 11 a.m. a flag meeting was held between Border Security Force and Bangladesh Rifles. In that meeting the BSF termed the entry of Bangladesh Police as illegal and protested the incident, according to the DIG-BSF (Cooch Behar Sector), Mr VS Shikarwar. The BDR assured of inquiring into the matter. But, it is yet uncertain whether the injured man is still alive or died of gunshot. []

Monday, 18 August 2008


Student's 'unnatural death' in hostel


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 18: News of 'unnatural death' of a student of Cooch Behar Polytechnic created tension in Cooch Behar on Monday. As no complaint was submitted the police started a case of unnatural death into the matter, police sources said.


Suspecting the incident as a result of ragging the Cooch Behar unit of the All India Democratic Students' Organisation (AIDSO) submitted a memorandum to the Cooch Behar Sadar SDO demanding an inquiry into the matter and punitive measures against the persons involved with the incident.


It was learnt that after passing the Madhyamik examination Sunil Murmu (17) came from Kolaghat and took admission in the first year electrical trade in Cooch Behar Polytechnic. He started attending class from 21 July. He was from a very poor family.


The Naveen Baran Utsav (reception ceremony of fresher students) was organised in Cooch Behar Polytechnic on Saturday. It rolled till deep of the night. Naturally, on that night, the students of the hostel went to their beds late. Next noon, Sunil was found groaning in his room. At first, he was brought to a private hospital but they reportedly denied admitting him. Then he was shifted to MJN Hospital where he was declared brought dead. The body was sent to the hospital's morgue for post-mortem.


The principal of the institute, Mr Amulya Barman said he had no knowledge about any previous record of illness of the deceased student. He simply got astonished when he heard of the death of the student. A senior police official said the actual cause of death would be ascertained after conducting the post-mortem.


It was learnt that the deceased student's parents left for Cooch Behar from East Midnapore today and they may arrive here tomorrow. It is expected that the police may start a thorough inquiry after receiving a specific complaint from them. []

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


Special security for Independence Day functions


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 13. - The Cooch Behar District Police have stepped up vigilance along Assam-West Bengal and Indo-Bangladesh borders to ensure that no one can sneak into the district to disrupt the Independence Day functions.


Strict arrangements are being made to check all vehicles and individuals passing through the Assam-West Bengal border, even through the Cooch Behar - Jalpaiguri district border, so that no militant or illegal arms can enter into the district, said a senior officer of Cooch Behar District Police. Plainclothesmen are also being deployed in different areas to keep watch on movements of persons having links with suspicious outfits. Existing check-posts along the Assam-West Bengal border have also been alerted.


All police stations in the district have been asked to keep a strict watch on persons with criminal history to ensure the Independence Day celebrations undisturbed and peaceful.


Important rail and road bridges and installations are being watched round-the-clock. The Border Security Force and Army were also alerted. The BSF has beefed up security along the 522-kilometre long Indo-Bangladesh border in the district. Paramilitary and specially trained armed forces including the CRPF were also deployed in different areas of the district.


It was learnt that police would keep a strict watch on Independence Day celebrations including flag hoisting and cultural programmes in all the police station areas in the district. The district authorities are believed to be in no position to take any chance about maintaining peace on the Independence Day. []


PHOTO : Prior to the Independence Day passengers being checked by CRPF jawans over the Torsa Bridge at the entrance of Cooch Behar town on Wednesday.


Stoppage of 'Garibrath' demanded


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 13: The Cooch Behar district unit of Chhatra Parishad, the students' wing of the Congress, raised a demand to introduce a stoppage of Kolkata-Guwahati 'Garibrath' at New Cooch Behar Railway Station. Today, by sending a memorandum to the Union railway minister Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav they conveyed their demand.


Cooch Behar District Chhatra Parishad president Mr Rakesh Chowdhury said they had organised a 'Rail-roko' movement at New Cooch Behar Railway Station on 9 July to highlight their demand, but no measure was taken till now to introduce a stoppage.


In the memorandum Mr Chowdhury requested the Union railway minister to provide a regular scheduled stop of the Garibrath at New Cooch Behar for the benefit of the deprived people of this region. He mentioned that the UPA government had introduced the Garibrath for the benefit of the middle and lower income group of people. A sizeable number of common people of this district belong to SC, ST and minority communities and they are deprived of the facility of comfortable railway journey at affordable cost, he argued.


The introduction of a stoppage of the Garibrath at New Cooch Behar may also helpful in boosting of tourism industry, Mr Chowdhury believes.


Extension of plying of Uttarbanga Express upto Cooch Behar town railway station was also demanded in the Chhatra Parishad memorandum. []

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Roadblock by potato growers


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 12: A large number of potato growers led by District Trinamul Congress staged an one-hour roadblock at the Check Post of Kholta-Marichbari in Cooch Behar-II block along Cooch Behar-Alipurduar road on Tuesday noon. Vehicular traffic movement was disrupted for the agitation.


The potato growers who suffered a huge loss this season threw about 100-quintal potato on the road during their agitation.


District Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh, vice-president Mr Niranjan Dutta, Mr Arjun Das and Biswajit Ghosh were among the leaders who spoke at the gathering. The speakers demanded waiving of bank loans taken by the potato growers and waiving of cold storage charges. They also demanded the government to distribute fertilizers free of cost to the cultivators and strict measures to curb black-marketing of fertilizers.


Mr Niranjan Dutta said that the 41 cold storages in north Bengal have earned profits to the tune of Rs 300-crore in the past five years. The government should use that money to extend compensation to the affected potato growers, he opined. []


'Rail route should not affect industrial units'


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 12: Submitting a memorandum to the district magistrate, the Trinamul Congress demanded change of alignment of the proposed New Maynaguri-Jogighopa railway project as it may affect seven industrial units in Chakchaka Industrial Growth Centre.


In the memorandum it was mentioned that the authorities changed the previous plan and according to the new plan the railway route will go through the CIGC complex. It may also increase the length of the route. "We want the implementation of the railway project but that should not affect the operational units", a Trinamul leader explained.


District Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh, vice-president Mr Niranjan Dutta, state Trinamul secretary Md Abdul Jalil Ahmed, district Trinamul Youth Congress president Kumar Rajib Narayan and district Trinamul Mahila Congress chairperson Ms Kalyani Poddar were present during the submission of the memorandum. A large contingent of police was also deployed to maintain peace. []

Monday, 11 August 2008


One-day strike observed in tea gardens


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 11: A one-day symbolic strike was held at about 300 tea gardens of Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars today. About 3-lakh workers abstained from work during the strike.


Secretary of Jalpaiguri district unit of Dooars Cha-Bagan Workers' Union, Mr Nirmal Das said the workers observed the strike demanding a minimum daily wage of Rs 100, benefits like provident fund, gratuity and opening of the closed and abandoned tea gardens. Mr Das, who is also the Alipurduar MLA, said that they might start a continuous strike in the tea gardens from 19 August if the owners fail to meet their demands immediately.


Mr Das said seven tripartite meetings were held since July with the labour commissioner in Kolkata but all those failed to bear any fruit. The tea garden workers in north Bengal get wages much lower than in other states like Kerala and Assam. The Tea Board too admitted it but the tea garden owners are still reluctant to increase the rate of wage in this state. It cannot go forever.


Mr Das claimed that the price of tea this year is best compared to last twelve years. It is high time for the owners of the tea gardens to consider the legitimate demands of the workers, he argued. []


4 Bangladeshis nabbed


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 11: Jawans of Border Security Force of Seuti border outpost nabbed four Bangladeshi nationals from Sukarurkuthi area in Dinhata on Sunday evening. The four including a woman sneaked into Indian side by crossing the Indo-Bangladesh border. They are residents of Kurigram district in Bangladesh. The BSF handed over them to Dinhata Police for trespassing without any valid documents. []


ABN Seal College remembers Kshudiram Bose


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 11: Exactly one hundred years from today, in the early hours of 11 August, 1908, Kshudiram Bose, one of the greatest and pioneering revolutionary freedom fighters of Bengal was hanged till death at Mujaffarpur Jail on charges of mistakenly killing wife and daughter of one European barrister instead of Kingsford, the Calcutta Presidency Magistrate who earned notoriety by his vengeance against the freedom fighters.


Khudiram's friend and accomplice Prafulla Chaki killed himself even before British Police arrest him. Kshudiram's martyrdom at the age of 19 heralded the beginning of organised revolutionary armed freedom struggle in Bengal. Hundreds and thousands of freedom fighters followed his footsteps and embraced martyrdom for the cause of the country.


To commemorate the centenary of the martyrdom of this immortal symbol of revolutionary consciousness, the department of History, ABN Seal College, Cooch Behar organised a symposium at the Seminar Hall today and interacted on the issues of martyrdom of Kshudiram Bose and its consequences in the revolutionary freedom struggle of India.


Mr Natendranath Kundu, freedom fighter who hails from Cooch Behar, graced the symposium as the chief guest and Dr Nilay Ray, officer-in-charge of the college, presided over it. Mr Kundu was felicitated by the department of History.


In her inaugural speech, Prof Sanghamitra Das, head of the department of History, welcomed the chief guest and explained the purpose of the symposium. She elaborated how the path of revolution in Bengal for the freedom of the country unveiled by Kshudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki was carried forward till 1930-32 by Jatin Das, Gopinath Saha, Surya Sen, Pritilata Waddedar and many other freedom fighters.


Prof Dhananjay Bhattacharjee conducted the symposium. He set the tone of the symposium by elaborating in detail the life and sacrifice of Kshudiram Bose and perspective under which Kshudiram-Prafulla Chaki combine were forced to resort to armed revolutionary struggle.


A number of students of the department of History spoke on the life and martyrdom of Kshudiram Bose and how he conquered death and became an unforgettable adolescent hero. A large number of students and teachers of the college attended the symposium. []

Sunday, 10 August 2008


Initiative to develop folk culture of north Bengal


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 10: The state government took an initiative to save and develop the rich folk culture of north Bengal. Following the plan a body named Uttar Banga Loko-Sanskriti Parishad (UBLSP) was constituted under the backward classes welfare department. State BCW minister Mr Jogesh Chandra Barman declared the formation of the UBLSP today after its first executive committee meeting at Circuit House in Cooch Behar.


Mr Barman said a new building would be erected for the UBLSP's head quarter in Cooch Behar. Till construction of the new building the UBLSP will function from the Kalyan Bhavan, the office of the backward classes welfare department in Cooch Behar.


The minister, who is the chairman of the UBLSP, said that their aim is to save the rich heritage of folk culture of six districts of north Bengal, its resurrection and to attract the youths of new generation of this region to learn and understand the folk culture. It will also extend financial assistance to the poor artistes, the minister said. The UBLSP will also inspire youths to conduct research, collect information and make documentations on the folk culture of this region.


Mr Barman mentioned that tribal culture has an important role in the colourful folk cultures of north Bengal. It will also get its importance. Awards and felicitations will be introduced for developing it. At the same time he admitted that the state government has its limitations to do all the jobs on its own. And so, they will try to get funds from other sources like Central information and cultural affairs ministry and tribal welfare department.


The minister said another body named Pashchim Banga Santhali Academy was formed recently to develop Santhal language, preparing its dictionary and grammar and develop the Alchiki type. The state government approved learning of Santhali language in 176 primary schools from the ongoing academic session. The language will also be included in the curriculum of Burdwan University and Vidyasaga University, the minister said. []

Friday, 8 August 2008


Minister assures a new industrial growth centre in Cooch Behar


COOCH BEHAR, Aug. 8: State cottage and small-scale industries minister Mr Manabendra Mukherjee announced that a second industrial growth centre will be developed in Cooch Behar district.


The minister declared that considering the importance of Cooch Behar for industrialisation and shortage of vacant plots at the existing Chakchaka Industrial Growth Centre (CIGC), the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) would develop a second industrial growth centre in Cooch Behar district. If necessary, the proposed growth centre may be developed jointly with interested private parties. Site selection process is going on but no specific land was selected till now.


During a meeting in Cooch Behar on Friday the minister said that the principal approval for setting up the proposed Jute Park in Cooch Behar has been sanctioned by the Central government. He hoped that the work for setting up the proposed Jute Park might begin soon.


Secretary of Cooch Behar District Industrialists' Welfare Association Mr Depak Mundra welcomed the minister's announcement. The CDIWA secretary requested the minister to take an initiative to change the alignment of the proposed New Maynaguri-Jogighopa railway project through the CIGC because seven industrial units of CIGC may be affected by that project. In presence of officials concerned the minister assured that after the ongoing monsoon the matter will be reviewed, Mr Mundra said.


Mr Mukherjee, who is also the tourism minister, visited the recently renovated Victor Palace and the Sagardighi. He said that the renovated palace would be inaugurated shortly. He instructed the persons concerned to complete the ongoing beautification of Sagardighi. At the same time he assured that toy car scheme will be added to the Narendra Narayan Park to attract visitors. Presently there is toy train facility in that park.


The tourism minister also disclosed that there is a plan to beautify the Cooch Behar palace to attract tourists. Required permission for the job is awaited from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Replying a question the tourism minister said if the tourists express their reluctance to go to Darjeeling, there are many beautiful spots in north Bengal to satisfy them. []