Sunday, 30 November 2008

CoochBehar News

10-year RI to rapist

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 30: Additional district and sessions judge, Cooch Behar, Mr Bidyut Kumar Roy sentenced one Rajiv Banik alias Sadhu to ten years rigorous imprisonment for committing rape on a minor girl.

 

It was learnt that posing as a Tantrik cum exorcist, Banik, a resident of Pundibari, came to the house of the 14-year-old girl at Baro-rangros village and assured the family members of making her ailing father normal. On the night of 15 May 2006 he stayed in that house and convinced all about performing rituals under Tantra system and the need for a minor girl for the same. On that night he committed rape on her. On the next day a complaint had been lodged at Kotowali police station. Fifteen witnesses were examined in the court during the legal procedure.

 

Yesterday, the additional district and sessions judge, Cooch Behar, Mr Bidyut Kumar Roy sentenced the man under Section 376 IPC. The convicted man will have to suffer 10-year rigorous imprisonment (RI). He will have to suffer an additional RI for one year if he fails to submit Rs 5,000 that was imposed as fine on him. []

Convention

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 30: A political convention of the Trinamul Congress was held at Gosanimari High School premises in Dinhata today. District Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabi Ghosh, vice-president Mr Niranjan Dutta, Dinhata-I block unit president Mr Subal Roy and others spoke on the occasion. The speakers demanded construction of the much-awaited bridge at Adabari-ghat and supply of fertilisers and seeds against fair price to the farmers. []

Saturday, 29 November 2008

PHILATELY

Order to beef up security and check parcels in post offices 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 29: Director of Postal Services, North Bengal and Sikkim Region, Mr Sanjiv Ranjan inaugurated the first permanent pictorial cancellation centre of North Bengal at the Head Post Office in Cooch Behar today. It is the third such facility in West Bengal Postal Circle. The other two are situated at General Post Office in Kolkata and Cellular Jail in Andaman.

 

Replying a question Mr Sanjiv Ranjan said considering the recent spurt of terrorist and subversive activities the security measures in all head post offices were being beefed up. Armed guards are also being deployed. Instructions were issued to start checking of motorbikes and luggage of all visitors who come to post offices. The postmasters and other postal officials were asked to check contents of parcels prior to booking for despatch, he added.  

 

Unveiling the special pictorial album containing the picture of Cooch Behar Palace, Mr Sanjiv Ranjan said those interested in philately could get pictorial cancellation from these centre from now on. It may attract tourists too, he hoped. He presented the special album to a renowned philatelist Mr Nirmalendu Chakraborty and others. Cooch Behar ADM Mr KK Lohar and deputy director of Archeological Survey of India Dr S Ahmed too spoke explaining the importance of the newly launched centre.

 

An exhibition of rare postal stamps, first day covers and rare coins and currency notes was also held on the occasion at the Head Post Office. []

Friday, 28 November 2008

BHUTAN

Display of portraits of past and present kings of Royal Kingdom of Bhutan as a tribute to 100 years of Monarchy. On a building at Phuentsholing in Bhutan.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

ACTION

ISI agent rearrested

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 27: The ISI agent, Nazrul Islam, who escaped from Mekhliganj court lockup on 25 June in 2003 was rearrested by police from Kolkata recently and produced at the Mekhliganj court today. Hew will be produced at the court again on 10 December. Police sources said he was arrested from New Market area in Kolkata on 19 November.

 

In 2003, after the court proceedings at Mekhliganj, Nazrul wanted to go to the bathroom. He escaped from the bathroom by breaking a few rods of a window. He had used an iron bar for the purpose. His garments were also found in the bathroom. It was suspected that he had fled to Bangladesh by crossing the Indo-Bangladesh border. Four police personnel – a sub-inspector, an ASI and two constables were suspended following Nazrul's escapade.

 

It may be recalled that Nazrul, reportedly an ISI agent and a Bangladesh national, was arrested from Jaisalmer on 8 September in 2002, and was first produced in the Mekhliganj SDJM Court before the then SDJM, Mr Rabindranath Samanta, on 12 October. On 10 January 2003, Nazrul was offered a bail of Rs. 50,000 with two sureties of Rs. 25,000 each following a verbal prayer, but he failed to furnish the bail bond and has been remanded in judicial custody. The police failed to submit any charge-sheet against him within 90 days and so he was eligible to get bail from the court.  Meanwhile, he was produced in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Kamrup at Guwahati on 20 January 2003 in connection with another case and was remanded in judicial custody. Earlier, four of his aides who were arrested on 13 September 2002, were released on bail because of the police's failure to frame charge-sheet against them. []

SECURITY

 Luggage of passengers being checked at New Cooch Behar Railway Station following Wednesday night's Mumbai explosions.

RAIL ROKO

 Activists of the Aloo-Pat-Dhan Chashi Sangram Committee detain Sealdah bound Tista-Torsa Express at New Cooch Behar Railway Station on Thursday.

RAIL ROKO

Farmers stop train at New Cooch Behar

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 27: The Rail Roko movement sponsored by Aloo-Pat-Dhan Chashi Sangram Committee (APDCSC) passed off peacefully at New Cooch Behar Railway Station today. The running of Sealdah bound Tista-Torsa Express was disrupted for about 45-minute due to the agitation. The farmers' main demand was waiving of agricultural loans taken by farmers.

 

According to their scheduled programme the APDCSC activists gathered at New Cooch Behar Railway Station premises this noon. There was additional security arrangement at the station premises today following last night's Mumbai explosions. But, it did not affect the farmers' programme. They halted the New Alipurduar-Sealdah Tista-Torsa Express for about 45-minute. The plying of trains became normal after lifting of the blockade.

 

On the occasion of the APDCSC's movement its secretary Mr Nripen Karjee, ex-MP Mr Deben Barman, Mr Ajit Saha, Md Abdar Ali, Mr Rabi Barman and Md Abdus Sattar spoke at the gathering that was held at the station premises.

 

Mr Karjee alleged that smuggling of large quantity of fertilisers from Cooch Behar district to Bangladesh became a regular practice. The authorities concerned are not interested in taking action against the corrupt practice of the dishonest traders.

 

The secretary of the APDCSC, Mr Karjee alleged that when the indebted cultivators were suffering from artificial crisis of fertilisers and price hike of essential commodities, the branch managers of some banks are luring and even coercing the poor borrowing farmers to take up life insurance policies of different companies. Taking away of Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 from the indebted farmers in the name of life insurance premium is nothing but inhuman, illegal and economic offence, he said. He hinted that they might take legal action against the offending branch managers on behalf of the unwilling farmers.

 

When asked to comment over the demands and allegations raised by the APDCSC, the district magistrate of Cooch Behar Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha said they would talk with the banks concerned over the matter. He however made no comment over the Rail Roko movement of the farmers.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

RAAS MELA

Raas Mela on its official last day

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 26: The Raas Mela turned into the most crowd puller event of the year though only on its last day. Visitors from far and near places thronged into the fair ground and the Madan Mohan Temple from this noon. At the evening the gathering thickened. It became hard for anyone to move along the lanes and streets passed through the area.

 

The traders who were complaining till yesterday about poor business were found happy this evening. The sweet war over Jilabis of Bhetaguri and Baburhat was a luring event to many, till this night. Locals expect that the fair may roll for a few days though today is the official last day.

 

The government stalls and pavilions will not be found open tomorrow. The traders believe they may get some grace period to do their business, though unofficially.

 

Raas Mela is not only for the business community to highlight their products. The government departments too take the opportunity to come closer to the common people. Pavilions of information and cultural affairs department, sericulture, fair trade practice, consumer affairs, literacy, Sarva Shiksha Avijan, total sanitary campaign, health and family welfare department and handicrafts exhibition of district industries centre attracted curious visitors during the fortnight long fair.

 

At the pavilion of the information and cultural affairs department, a photographic exhibition on tourism in West Bengal was held. There were 93 photographs of different places of tourist interest.

 

The must-visit place during the festival is the Madan Mohan Temple. From here the visitors and devotees never get back without whirling the beautiful Raas Chakra. Today too, the place around the Raas Chakra and the nearby huge earthen idol of Putana Rakshashi was the most crowded venue. 

CLASH

Clash over cattle, 4 hurt

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 26: Following a clash between villagers and jawans of Border Security Force over allegation of cattle smuggling four villagers have injured at Krishnapur village in Tufanganj this evening. Among the injured Md Azahar Seikh (63) got serious injury on his head and he was shifted to MJN Hospital in Cooch Behar. The situation restored to normalcy after a tripartite meeting among BSF, police and villagers, police sources said.

 

It was learnt that when BSF jawans started seizing cattle from Krishnapur village alleging those brought for smuggling, the villagers resisted. A clash occurred when four villagers were injured. BSF sources claimed that two of their jawans too wounded. 

RAAS MELA

(1) Crowed at Madan Mohan Temple complex on the last day of Raas Mela. (2) Photographic exhibition on tourism at the pavilion of information and cultural affairs department, at Raas Mela in Cooch Behar on Wednesday.

ANGRY FARMERS

Farmers to stop trains at New Cooch Behar on Thursday

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 26: Aloo-Pat-Dhan Chashi Sangram Committee (APDCSC) - an organisation of farmers – will organise a Rail Roko programme at New Cooch Behar Railway Station tomorrow. Their main demand is waiving of agricultural loans taken by farmers. A large gathering is expected at New Cooch Behar Railway Station premises at tomorrow noon. The running of Tista Torsa Express and a few other trains is feared to be affected by the stir tomorrow.

 

Yesterday, the APDCSC activists had submitted memorandums to the additional district magistrate (general) and the regional manager of the Central Bank of India. The secretary of the APDCSC, Mr Nripen Karjee alleged that the indebted cultivators were suffering from artificial crisis of fertilisers and price hike of essential commodities. Moreover, the branch managers of some banks in Akrarhat, Chandamari and other places are luring and even coercing the poor borrowing farmers to take up life insurance policies of different companies, he alleged.

 

Mr Karjee alleged that the farmers are yet to receive the insured sums for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. Loan amounts were not waived for the farmers till 29 February of this year. Taking away of Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 from the indebted farmers in the name of life insurance premium is nothing but inhuman, illegal and economic offence, he said.

 

The APDCSC secretary said they were demanding immediate halt of coercing the borrowing farmers to adapt life insurance policies at all branches of nationalised and rural banks. They should pay back the premiums taken from unwilling farmers. He also demanded waiving of all agricultural loans for the 2007-2008 fiscal year, granting of new loans and payment of assured crop-insurance sums to the affected farmers.

 

If tomorrow's Rail Roko movement fails to yield any result they may organise greater movement in near future, Mr Karjee warned.

 

When asked about the demands and allegations raised by the APDCSC, the district magistrate of Cooch Behar Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha said they would talk with the banks concerned over the matter. He however made no comment over the Rail Roko plan of the farmers.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

DEATH OF A FRIEND

Grieved media persons of Cooch Behar and Alipurduar wait outside of the morgue to receive the body of their colleague, Shubhranil Dey. In Cooch Behar on Tuesday.

RAAS MELA

Grand Carnival – Raas Mela at night in Cooch Behar.

INQUIRY

IG (Prison) inquires 'slap' incident

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 25: Inspector general of prisons, Mr Bangshidhar Sharma and AIG-Prisons (North) Mr Panchanan Biswas visited the sub-divisional correctional home at Mathabhanga today. Here, they inquired into a serious complaint that was brought against the recently transferred sub-divisional officer of Mathabhanga, Mr Anindya Kar.

 

It may be recalled here that a warder of Mathabhanga Sub-divisional Correctional Home, Md Mobarak Ali had submitted a complaint of assault against the Mathabhanga SDO. In that complaint Ali had alleged that the SDO had brutally slapped and assaulted him in the latter's office chamber on 4 November. Considering his condition serious the warder was referred to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital for better treatment. On the otherhand, the SDO had denied the allegation brought against him.

 

Today, the IG (Prisons) talked with Md Mobarak Ali, the jailor Mr Tarak Das and other warders of the correctional home. After talking with the persons concerned, the IG (Prisons) commented that it was an unprecedented incident in this state. He however denied making any comment about the outcome of the inquiry. He said the state prisons department would shoulder the cost of treatment of Ali. The IG (Prisons) said he would talk with the SP of Cooch Behar about the complaint lodged by Ali to the police.

 

When asked the district magistrate of Cooch Behar, Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha expressed his unknowingness about the visit of the IG (Prisons) and the inquiry. He however confirmed that a new SDO was posted recently at Mathabhanga replacing Mr Kar. [END]

 

Scribe killed

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 25: Shubhranil Dey (28), a correspondent of a Bengali daily engaged at Alipurduar in Jalpaiguri district died of a road mishap that happened last night. Riding a motorbike he was returning to Alipurduar town last night when the bike rammed into a lamppost. He died at MJN Hospital in Cooch Behar this morning where he was brought in a serious condition. Members of Cooch Behar Press Club and Alipurduar Press Club mourned his death. [END]

Monday, 24 November 2008

JUDICIAL CUSTODY

2 Nigerians produced in court

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 24: The two Nigerian youths (identified as Mr Pius Emma and Mr Demian Ude), who were nabbed from a hotel yesterday, were produced at the court of the chief judicial magistrate Mr Manojyoti Bhattacharya today. They were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. Police detained the two yesterday as they failed to produce any valid document justifying their stay in India. []

POLICE FRIENDSHIP FOOTBALL

Friendship Football Tournament starts

 COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 24: The Police Friendship Football Tournament started today. State Home secretary Mr Ashok Mohan Chakraborty inaugurated the tournament at Police Line Maidan in Cooch Behar today. Several matches will be played under the tournament in Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts. The final match will be played between Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri. []

 

State Home secretary Mr Ashok Mohan Chakraborty inaugurates the Police Friendship Football Tournament while Cooch Behar SP Mr Devendra Prakash Singh looks on. In Cooch Behar on Monday. 

NORTH BENGAL

Home secretary reviews situation of north Bengal

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 24: State Home secretary Mr Ashok Mohan Chakraborty said a tripartite meeting was held over the Darjeeling Hills issue. Similar meetings will be held again. Before that all concerned were asked to maintain peace on the Hills. He believes that all concerned will come out to maintain peace during the interim period.

 

The Home secretary admitted that the movement on the Hills was affecting the Dooars area of north Bengal. The district administration and the police were asked to keep constant vigil over the situation.

 

Mr Chakraborty arrived in Cooch Behar on Sunday evening. He visited the Raas Mela and inquired about the security measures taken there. Today, he took a meeting at the Circuit House with senior officials like Divisional Commissioner, Jalpaiguri, Mr Beharilal Meena, IGP (Law and Order) Mr Raj Kanojia, IGP (North Bengal) Mr Kundanlal Tamta, IG-IB Mr Gaurav Dutta, Cooch Behar DM Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha and SP Mr Devendra Prakash Singh.

 

In the meeting the law and order situation of north Bengal was discussed. Ways and means to maintain peace were also discussed. The post-panchayat poll situations in Tufanganj and elsewhere also examined. The Home secretary advised the officials how to beef up security, said Mr Meena. It was decided that additional security forces are to arrive to this region to strengthen the existing forces. The volume of the extra forces is to be decided after an assessment made by the IGP (Law and Order), Mr Meena said.

 

The formation of village development committees was postponed recently in Cooch Behar district due to lack of policemen needed to be deployed during the meetings. This issue was also came up in today's meeting. It was decided that the process for committee formation might resume after assessing the situation. There exists no rule to complete the process by 30 November, the Cooch Behar DM said.

 

Today, a team of Trinamul Congress leaders met the Home minister and submitted a memorandum to him. Depicting some specific complaints they demanded stern action against some police officials who are working instigated by the CPI-M leadership. The Home secretary instructed the officials to look into the matters and take measures impartially. [END]

 

State Home secretary Mr Ashok Mohan Chakraborty talks with media persons while Divisional Commissioner (Jalpaiguri) Mr Beharilal Meena and Cooch Behar DM Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha look on. At Cooch Behar Circuit House on Monday.

LALGARH

Home secretary on Lalgarh issue

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 24: State Home secretary Mr Ashok Mohan Chakraborty said here today that the Midnapore district administration might accept the justifiable demands of the Adivasis of Lalgarh, Jhargram, Binpur, Belpahari and other adjoining areas. He was a replying question from the media persons on Lalgarh issue at Cooch Behar Circuit House today. But, there are some who are trying to keep alive disputes only to disturb the law and order situation, he opined.

 

The Home secretary said that an ADM level meeting was held yesterday to resolve the Lalgarh tangle. More meetings will be held at Midnapore or Jhargram. All concerned were asked to attend the meetings.

 

The administration will consider the grievances of the locals with proper importance, Mr Chakraborty said. At the same time he opined that the situation is now better than earlier days. Now, the local people are the worst sufferers due to the cut-off roads in that area, he said. []

Sunday, 23 November 2008

FOREIGNERS DETAINED

2 Nigerians nabbed

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 23: Acting on a tip-off police nabbed two Nigerian youths from a hotel in Cooch Behar today. They failed to produce any valid documents like passport or visa. The two detained Nigerians – Mr Piyus Omma and Mr Diom Uder - are now under interrogation. It was learnt that they arrived Cooch Behar today by train. They claimed themselves as cotton cloth merchants. If necessary the authorities may contact the High Commission of Nigeria to know their actual whereabouts, an official said. [END]

RAAS MELA

Tom-Tom maker Azahar's 66-year in Raas Mela

COOCH BEHAR : Mohammad Sheikh Azahar is now an old man of 86. He has been coming to Raas Mela since 1942. He was a young man of 20-years then. Sixty-six years have passed through the waters of Torsa but he is still attending the annual grand carnival. 

 

Azahar is a resident of Mungair in Bihar. He makes a toy named Tom-Tom. It is a red coloured cheap musical toy with two earthen wheels. Tom-Tom is a speciality of Raas Mela. The specific instrumental sound of the toy coming out from a house makes neighbours aware of their visit to the Raas Mela. Children are fond of this magic toy even in this modern age of electronics.

 

Visiting of Raas Mela turned a part and parcel of Azahar's life. He cannot think of not coming to this yearly event. Maharaja Jagaddipendra Narayan was the ruler of the erstwhile princely State of Cooch Behar when Azahar first came here. At that time the ruler king was 27 only.

 

Azahar can recall that the fair was then a three-day event. Later, it turned into a seven-day one and then into a ten-day affair. Presently, it runs for a fortnight.

 

Azahar buys thin plastic sheets and papers from Barobazar in Kolkata, earthen wheels and plates from Matigara in Siliguri and bamboos from Cooch Behar. These are the raw materials he needs to make the toy. During the Raas Mela he camps on the roadside in front of Nriperndra Narayan Memorial School and Victoria College (now ABN Seal College). As he turned into the wrong side of the life he now comes with his son and grandson to assist him to do the craft.

 

Raas Mela is a must-to-attend place for octogenarian Azahar. But, the advanced age is also a factor. He works unmindfully under the makeshift tent and recalls the good old days. He wants to come to Raas Mela for more years but it is unknown to him how long it can be possible for him. Surely, one day in future the grand fair may miss his presence as many other events and rituals got extinct. []

RAAS MELA

DAY OUT – A tiny boy enjoys a ride on a merry-go-round at Raas Mela. In Cooch Behar on Sunday.

AIYL against Police

Youth League's protest rally against police

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 23: Activists of the Cooch Behar district unit of the All India Youth League (AIYL) took out a protest rally in the town today. Later, they demonstrated in front of the Kotowali police station against the anti-people role of a section of police. They also submitted a memorandum containing a six-point charter of demands to the inspector-in-charge of the police station.

 

General secretary of the Cooch Behar district unit of the AIYL, Mr Gopal Dey alleged that trading of women-flesh has been going on in a number of hotels in the town. Police should take up strict measures to stop this nuisance. The policemen on night patrolling duty were very often found in an intoxicated state, he alleged. The IC, Mr Gautam Ghosal assured the AIYL leaders of taking stern steps against the policemen if found guilty.

 

In the memorandum, the AIYL demanded police to act impartially, winding up of the gambling dens, end of online-lottery draws, stern measures against anti-social elements ignoring political intervention and end of applying force to suppress democratic movements.

Friday, 21 November 2008

HERITAGE BUILDING

Heritage status demanded for Sabitri Lodge

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 21: Demands being risen from different quarters to declare the age-old Sabitri Lodge at Patakura in Cooch Behar as a heritage building and the government to renovate it. Heritage Society of Cooch Behar is getting ready to proceed with the demand. Once, the great patriot Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das stayed here for several days. Now, the decayed building is known to all as Bhoot Bungalow.

 

Sabitri Lodge was the residence of Kumar Gajendra Narayan (Senior), who was the great grandson of Maharaja Harendra Narayan. Kumar Gajendra Narayan was a barrister. He had gone to England with the then Maharaja Nripendra Narayan (at that time who was a minor boy) in 1878. After being qualified as Bar-at-Law at the age of 25 he joined Calcutta High Court in 1881. He had married the second daughter of Brahmananda Keshav Chandra Sen on 13 August 1881. The elder daughter, Sunity Devi was married to Maharaja Nripendra Narayan and following that marriage the Brahma society of Bengal got divided.

 

The construction of the residence began in 1885-86. Bangababu, a follower of Keshav Chandra Sen sent lime for the construction from Dhaka by waterway. Sabitri Devi wrote the story of the house building in her autobiography. Gajendra Narayan named the house after his beloved wife as Sabitri Lodge. There were a prayer hall and a dinning room on the first floor and living room and bathrooms in the ground floor.

 

A normal school was set up at Sabitri Lodge to teach moral education to the boys and girls. A technical school was established in 1908 for local womenfolk. Arya Naree Samaj and anti-liquor consumption society were also launched here. The building turned into a shelter for the preachers of Nava Bidhan sect of Brahma society.

 

After the demise of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan on 18 September 1911 the situation turned bad for Kumar Gajendra Narayan. He and his family members had to go on exile following a complaint of theft. On behalf of them renowned barrister Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das came to fight the legal battle. He had to stay at the lodge for many days. After four years the royal State government withdrew the charges but Gajendra Narayan never returned to this house.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

RAAS MELA

ETERNAL FIEND - This huge earthen idol of Putana Rakshashi is one of the main attractions to the children at the Raas Mela as in previous years. At Madan Mohan Temple premises on Thursday.

INDO_BANGLADESH BORDER

GOLDEN YIELD - Paddy being harvested on the both sides of the Indo-Bangladesh border in the dewy season. In Mekhliganj, Cooch Behar, on Thursday.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

RAAS MELA

Raas Mela secured but without crowd

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 19: The 196-year-old Raas Mela failed to draw visitors as it did in previous years. The presence of huge policemen and the ground covered with dust – these are worth of mentioning. Presence of a circus tent and different kinds of merry-go-round too failed to attract general visitors including school children.

 

Strict security measures at the entrance of the Madan Mohan Temple complex and adjacent areas turned the visitors and devotees aggrieved. It is hard to approach the temple to get a glance of the idol of Lord Madan Mohan during the ongoing Raas Yatra festival.

 

In the fair ground the traders are also unhappy. Transaction of business is yet to start in full swing. Bhutanese women traders came with their merchandise especially winter garments. Three stalls are there from Bangladesh. The womenfolk of the town are visiting these stalls to see real Dhakai and Jamdani sarees. Because of high prices of the items the trading is not satisfactory enough.

 

Besides the general stalls of various items as one may see in any fair the Raas Mela extended an opportunity to the government and other organisations to come closer to the general public. The stalls of the information and cultural affairs department and health department already attracted many visitors. The stall on literacy drive is also a mentionworthy one.

 

Dust is playing the role of the villain in Raas Mela, and the police too. The entire Raas Mela Maidan is covered with sandy dust. It was poured recently to develop the ground but before completion of the work the fair started. A criminal can escape without notice from the most alert team of policemen but it is impossible to get back without making one's feet dirty. []

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

RURAL POLITICS

Raas Mela : Formation of Village Development Committees postponed

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 18: Following large-scale violence over formation of Gram Unnayan Samitis (village development committees) the district magistrate of Cooch Behar issued an order to postpone the process. The DM, Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha however said that the formation of the GUSs have been postponed merely as a temporary measure.

 

Since the three-tier rural polls several political clashes occurred at different places in Cooch Behar district and it became a regular feature. When the formation of Gram Unnayan Samitis began the number of clashes rose. It became a headache to the administration to maintain peace during the process. As the district suffers from lack of adequate number of policemen it is hard to deploy police force at all the villages during the GUS formation.

 

A Gram Unnayan Samiti is formed at booth level with the candidate who won the gram panchayat seat concerned as chairman. The opposition candidate turns into a member. A few other members also join in the committee. The GUS is instrumental in adopting decisions about development works in the area concerned. As the rival political parties cannot reach into a consensus over formation of such committees and electing the members, clashes occur. Till now Mathabhanga sub-division is on the top of the list from where reports of violence arrived at district headquarters. Clashes also occurred in Dinhata and Tufanganj sub-divisions.

 

When asked, the district magistrate of Cooch Behar Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha said the process to constitute the GUSs have been differed temporarily as Raas Mela is going on in Cooch Behar. At this moment it is hard to send police forces to the villages to maintain peace during the GUS formation. The state government too advised the district administration to suspend the GUS formation process at the places where disturbances may occur, he admitted.

 

Reacting to the order, district CPI-M secretariat sources said it was against the state government's policy. The party termed it as an undemocratic move and opined that it may damage the development process. Secretary of the state committee of the Trinamul Congress, Md Abdul Jalil Ahmed too termed the order as undemocratic and anti-development. He declared that the Trinamul Congress would organise movement against it. 

Monday, 17 November 2008

COOCHBEHAR CALLING

National Legal Awareness Week ends

 

Observation of the National Legal Awareness Week that began on 9 November concluded on Sunday (16 November). A sensitisation programme was held at Cooch Behar Court premises on that day with the judges and the judicial magistrates engaged in Cooch Behar district. At the programme the aim and objective of observance of the week was explained.

 

Another programme was held at Lansdowne Hall for the physically challenged persons to aware all concerned about the legal rights offered to the physically challenged people. District Judge of Cooch Behar, KYS Manhas, principal magistrate cum secretary of the District Legal Services Authority, Manas Sanyal and other judicial magistrates mentioned the legal rights extended to the physically challenged people. The legal facilities, rights and other benefits offered to them were discussed elaborately. The speakers also explained the basic concept of observance of the week.

 

PHOTO : At the concluding ceremony of the National Legal Awareness Week at Lansdowne Hall in Cooch Behar on Sunday.

 

Achievers felicitated

 

Cooch Behar Sammilani, the organisation of the citizens of Cooch Behar who presently live in Kolkata, felicitated the students who achieved success in Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examinations this year, at a programme at the Zilla Parishad Hall in Cooch Behar on 15 November. State food and supplies minister Mr Paresh Chandra Adhikari was among the dignitaries who attended the programme. Secretary of Cooch Behar Sammilani, Samar Sengupta said they would arrange funds for poor meritorious students to continue their higher studies in Kolkata.

 

PHOTO : A successful student being awarded by the state food and supplies minister Paresh Chandra Adhikari at Zilla Parishad Hall in Cooch Behar on Saturday.

RAAS MELA

This huge earthen idol of Putana Rakshashi is one of the main attractions to the children at the Raas Mela as in previous years. At Madan Mohan Temple premises in Cooch Behar on Monday.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

RAAS YATRA FESTIVAL

Annual display of age-old idols of different incarnations of the God at the Madan Mohan Temple premises on the occasion of Raas Yatra festival of Lord Madan Mohan. In Cooch Behar on Sunday.

COOCHBEHAR NEWS

Housewife's body found

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 16: Kotowali Police recovered the slit-throat body of a housewife named Bithika Roy (46) from her residence at Taltala area of Khagrabari near Cooch Behar town this noon. The body was found lying in a pool of blood near the kitchen. Ornaments from her body were also found missing.

 

On being informed, senior police officials rushed to the spot. A sniffer dog was also pressed into service. The dog reportedly identified the route of escape of the culprit. The husband of the woman, a primary teacher in profession, was found absent in the house as he has gone for a government assignment. Their son stays in Siliguri for studies.

 

Though the brother and family members of the husband of the dead woman live in the same house in another part, they pleaded their ignorance about the incident to the police. After primary investigation the police suspected the incident as a case of murder but the motif is yet to be ascertained. Police sent the body for post-mortem.

Legal Awareness Week ends

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 16: Observation of the National Legal Awareness Week that began on 9 November concluded today. A sensitisation programme was held at Cooch Behar Court premises today with the judges and the judicial magistrates engaged in Cooch Behar district. At the programme the aim and objective of observance of the week was explained.

 

Another programme was held at Lansdowne Hall for the physically challenged persons to aware all concerned about the legal rights offered to the physically challenged people. District Judge Mr KYS Manhas, principal magistrate cum secretary of the District Legal Services Authority Mr Manas Sanyal and other judicial magistrates mentioned the legal rights extended to the physically challenged people. The legal facilities, rights and other benefits offered to them were discussed elaborately. The speakers also explained the basic concept of observance of the week.

GCDP meet

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 16: An urgent meeting of the central committee of the Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party (GCDP) was held today at an undisclosed place in Cooch Behar. In the meeting the party's next phase of movement was chalked out to attain a separate statehood for the region and recognition of Kamtapuri language. GCDP president Mr Ashutosh Barma, general secretary Mr Phanindra Nath Roy and other leaders attended the meeting. 

Friday, 14 November 2008

COOCHBEHAR NEWS

AIYL wants healthy system in hospitals

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 14: Cooch Behar district unit of the All India Youth League, the youth wing of the Forward Bloc, came out with a demand to set up of a medical college and hospital in Cooch Behar. Today, they organised a rally in Cooch Behar town and other sub-divisional towns like Dinhata, Mathabhanga, Mekhliganj and Tufanganj. Later, they submitted a memorandum to the authorities concerned.

 

General secretary of the Cooch Behar district unit of the AIYL, Mr Gopal Dey said they submitted a memorandum containing a 14-point charter of demands to the superintendent of Maharaja Jitendra Narayan Hospital in Cooch Behar today.

 

In the memorandum the AIYL demanded keeping of the blood bank at MJN Hospital open round-the-clock and eviction of the middlemen from the blood bank, introduction of CT Scan, MRI Scan and ICU facilities, filling up of all vacant posts of doctors, display of list of available medicines in the hospital concerned, revival of the telemedicine system and increasing of beds at MJN Hospital. 

PHOTO : AIYL activists demonstrate at MJN Hospital in Cooch Behar on Friday.

Co-operation Week

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 14: Observance of the 55-th All India Co-operation Week (14-20 November) began today through various programmes in Cooch Behar district and Alipurduar sub-division in Jalpaiguri district.

 

Raas Mela

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 14: The fortnight long Raas Mela began on Wednesday but it is yet to be a crowd puller event though there is a circus tent adjacent to the MJN Stadium this year as an added attraction.

 

On the inaugural ceremony of Raas Yatra festival at Madan Mohan Temple premises on Wednesday night there was a rush of devotees and curious visitors but that spirit failed to exert its influence over the fair ground till now. It's not a mad rush yet.

 

Many stalls in the fair are being constructed and decorated till today. Tight security arrangement and heavy deployment of policemen created a fear psychosis among the people, believe many. But, others expect that the fair may be a crowded one as in previous years within a few days.

 

A few bamboo-made watchtowers fitted with close circuit TV cameras have been erected at different places to keep watch on trouble mongers. A large contingent of armed policemen was also deployed to maintain peace.

 

Cultural programmes at the Rass Mela ground and religious ones at Madan Mohan temple premises are attracting locals. The mythological events displayed through clay models are also attracting visitors to the temple premises.

 

The Raas Chakra is the must-see for all. Md Altaf Mian made it as a hereditary job. On Wednesday night the district magistrate of Cooch Behar Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha inaugurated the Raas Yatra of Lord Madan Mohan by whirling it. Now, it is a sacred duty for all devotees and visitors to rotate it at least once during visit to the Rass Mela.

 

Felicitation

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 14: Cooch Behar Sammilani, the organisation of the citizens of Cooch Behar who presently live in Kolkata, will felicitate the students who achieved success in Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examinations this year, at a programme at the Zilla Parishad Hall in Cooch Behar tomorrow. Secretary of Cooch Behar Sammilani, Mr Samar Sengupta said they would arrange funds for poor meritorious students to continue their higher studies in Kolkata. 

PHOTO : You three, we three – School children at the Raas Mela Maidan to see circus animals. In Cooch Behar on Friday noon.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

WILDLIFE


WILDLIFE

Leopard skin seized, 1 held

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 13: Posing as wealthy buyers a team of forest department personnel arrested a man and seized a hide of a leopard from Dalsingpara in Dooars of Jalpaiguri district at the wee hours of today.

 

Forest department sources said that a local poacher, identified as Budhua Kharia, killed a leopard in the Basra forest area under Cooch Behar Wildlife Division about a week ago. He was trying to sell off the skin against a good price. Last night, acting on a tip-off a team of forest personnel in association with police appeared at his residence at Dalsingpara Tea Estate under Jaigaon police station posing as buyers and started bargaining. Kharia reportedly asked for Rs 20,000. During the fake trading the man was arrested. Today, the nabbed man was produced at Alipurduar court and his bail plea was rejected.

 

Forest department sources said they were trying to unearth the whereabouts of other members of the gang of poachers operational in Dooars and adjoining areas.

 

Expressing their sharp reaction over the incident the secretary of an environmentalist organisation, Nature and Adventure Study Group (NASG), Mr Arup Guha said mere observance of Wildlife Week or Forest Week was not enough to protect the wild animals. The forest department should beef up its vigilance in forests to save the wild animals from being poached. As the leopard was reportedly killed about a week ago it means it was killed during the Wildlife Week. He demanded stringent punishment for the offence. The forest department should start a massive campaign asking the people not to buy skins or other parts of the body of any wild animal, he opined. []

 

PHOTO : Two inmates in the deer park at Rasik-bil in Tufanganj, Cooch Behar.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

RAAS YATRA

Raas festival begins in Cooch Behar

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 12: The Raas Yatra festival of Lord Madan Mohan has started at the Madan Mohan Temple premises this night. The district magistrate of Cooch Behar Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha performed all religious rituals and Yajna at the temple premises. After this he inaugurated the Raas Yatra by whirling the specially decorated Raas Chakra constructed by Md Altaf Mian, who makes the Raas Chakra decorated with pictures of Hindu mythological events as a hereditary act.

 

After completion of all rituals the main gate of the temple complex had been opened for commoners. Hundreds of people and devotees rushed into the temple premises to get a sacred Tika of the Yajna and a glance of the well-ornamented idol of Lord Modan Mohan. And from that time the festival started for a fortnight. The Debottar Trust Board celebrates the Raas Yatra and the Cooch Behar Municipality conducts the Raas Mela.

 

The DM Mr Sinha also inaugurated the 196-year old Raas Mela by opening the main entrance of the fair ground this evening. Superintendent of police, Cooch Behar, Mr Devendra Prakash Singh lighted the sacred lamp at the ceremonial dais. Cooch Behar Municipality chairman Mr Biren Kundu, Cooch Behar Sadar SDO Mr Jayanta Maiti and other dignitaries were present at the Raas Mela inaugural ceremony at Raas Mela ground this evening. The festival will continue for a fortnight.

 

The Raas Mela is the biggest and oldest fair in north Bengal. During this fortnight various cultural programmes would be held on every evening at the Madan Mohan temple premises organised by the Debottar Trust Board. The Madan Mohan temple wore a fresh coat of paints and it has been decorated and illuminated attractively for the Raas Yatra of Lord Madan Mohan.

 

On the otherhand, district judge of Cooch Behar Mr KYS Manhas inaugurated the Raas festival of Lord Madan Mohan this evening at the Thakur Bari of Kumar Gajendra Narayan Estate at Bangchatra Road near the Raas Mela Maidan.

 

The first Raas Mela was organised in the regime of Maharaja Harendra Narayan in 1812. The Maharaja had moved into a new palace on Raas Purnima in that year and a Raas Mela was organised there on that occasion. In 1889, Maharaja Nripendra Narayan established the new Madan Mohan temple on the north bank of Bairagi Dighi. The austodhatoo-made idol of Lord Madan Mohan was shifted from the temple in palace complex to the new temple. From then on the Raas Mela is organised encircling the Madan Mohan temple, Bairagi Dighi and Raas Mela Maidan.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

COOCHBEHAR NEWS


Teacher held for molestation of minor girl

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 11: Police arrested a teacher of Jenkins School on yesterday night for his alleged attempt to rape to a girl child. The accused teacher, Ranjan Talukdar, was produced to the court today and he was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days. He will be produced again in the court on 25 November.

 

Cooch Behar SP Mr DP Singh said a teacher of Jenkins School, Mr Supriyo Barua had lodged a complaint to the police that his four-and-half-year old minor girl was sexually abused by Talukdar who is a colleague of him in the same school. An attempt-to-rape case under 376 (F)/511 IPC was initiated against the accused and he was arrested last night.

 

It was learnt that the two teachers from outside of Cooch Behar district used to live in a rented house at Chitrakar Para in Cooch Behar town. Talukdar allegedly tried to rape the child on 8 November. On the next day her father lodged a complaint. Yesterday the accused was arrested.

 

Activists of Chhatra Parishad organised a demonstration in front of the district court building this noon in protest against the incident. They demanded exemplary punishment to the accused teacher. []

 

Football tournament to better police-public relation

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 11: In a bid to improve the bitter relation of police with general public football tournaments will be organised in Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts. Announcing the plan the DIG of Jalpaiguri Range Mr Z Hasan said today in Cooch Behar that the matches would be held from police station level to district level. The final match will be played between the teams from Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri.

 

Mr Hasan expected that the tournament may begin from 22 November and it will continue for three weeks. Already 300 teams registered their names for the tournaments and this number may rise. The tournament will be organised at all the 13 police stations in Cooch Behar district and 17 police stations in Jalpaiguri district.

 

Explaining the aim of the friendship football tournament the DIG said, as there were misconceptions and fear in general people against the police the proposed tournament may better the relation. Taking advantage of the friendship football an effort will be taken to rub off the wrong conception. During the matches the players and others may learn the procedure of recruitment in police force. This may help them to stay away from dishonest middlemen and corrupt personnel for being recruited to the police force, the DIG believes. []

RAAS YATRA

Tight security plan for Raas Mela

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 11: Cooch Behar District Police will take no chance to make this year's Raas Mela a peaceful event. The 198-year-old and fortnight-long Raas Mela is scheduled to begin from tomorrow.

 

Deputy inspector general of police, Jalpaiguri Range, Mr Z Hasan released an informative booklet in presence of Cooch Behar SP Mr DP Singh and ASP Mr A Biswas on Raas Mela today. It contains a guide map of the fairground and surroundings to help the visitors.

 

The DIG said there would be 11 close circuit TV cameras (CCTV) in and around the Madan Mohan Temple and fair premises to keep watch on trouble-mongers. A dog squad will also be there. To ensure the fortnight long event a peaceful one 4 DSPs. 3 inspectors and 250 constables from outer districts will be deployed in addition to the district police force. Bomb disposal squad personnel are to stay in Cooch Behar during the Raas Mela, the DIG said.

 

Replying a question the Cooch Behar SP Mr DP Singh said there was no specific threat to the Rass Mela but security arrangements were being beefed up considering a general threat following the recent Kokrajhar incident.

 

The district magistrate of Cooch Behar Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha will inaugurate the Raas Yatra festival of Lord Madan Mohan by whirling the Raas Chakra at the temple premises after completion of Yagna and other religious rituals on Wednesday night. The DM Mr Sinha and the SP Mr Singh will inaugurate the traditional Raas Mela organised by Cooch Behar Municipality at Raas Mela Maidan on the same evening.

 

On the otherhand, district judge of Cooch Behar Mr KYS Manhas will inaugurate the Raas festival of Lord Madan Mohan tomorrow at the Thakur Bari of Kumar Gajendra Narayan Estate at Bangchatra Road near the Raas mela Maidan. []

 

PHOTO : DIG, Jalpaiguri Range, Mr Z Hasan releases a booklet containing guide map of Raas Mela while Cooch Behar SP Mr DP Singh looks on. In Cooch Behar on Tuesday. – DEBASHIS BHAUMIK.

Monday, 10 November 2008

NATIONAL LEGAL AWARENESS WEEK

PHOTO (1) : District Judge of Cooch Behar Mr KYS Manhas addresses at the inauguration of National Legal Awareness Week inside Cooch Behar District Correctional Home on Sunday. (2) : Inmates listen to the speakers at the inauguration of National Legal Awareness Week inside Cooch Behar District Correctional Home on Sunday.

SUNITY DEVI

Maharani Sunity Devi remembered

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 10: The 76-th death anniversary of Maharani Sunity Devi was remembered in Cooch Behar today. The Heritage Society of Cooch Behar (HSCB) organised a brief programme at Sunity Academy premises. On behalf of HSCB Mr Dipak Brahma, Mr Dipendra Chanda and Mr Nirmalendu Chakraborty and the teacher-in-charge of Sunity Academy Ms Banashri Dasgupta paid floral respect to the statue of Maharani.

 

It may be recalled that the Brahma Samaj had divided following the marriage of the then ruler of Cooch Behar State, Maharaja Nripendra Narayan with the frontrunner of Brahma sect, Kesab Chandra Sen's daughter, Sunity Devi on 6 March 1878. During the regime of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan, Maharani Sunity Devi had took a leading role in spreading of education among the women and many educational institutions including Sunity Academy were established in different areas in Cooch Behar. []

COME WINTER!

As the winter knocks the door the artisans busy in stitching quilts. At the Cooch Behar Palace complex on Monday.

NATIONAL LEGAL AWARENESS WEEK

Legal awareness campaign goes on

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 10: World Mental Health Day was observed at Cooch Behar District Court premises today. The programme was a part of the observance of National Legal Awareness Week that began in Cooch Behar yesterday. The observation of the week will be concluded on 16 November.

 

In today's sensitisation programme the legal facilities, rights and other benefits offered to the mentally retarded persons were discussed. District Judge of Cooch Behar Mr KYS Manhas was the chief speaker. A few other judges also spoke on different aspects of legal rights of the mentally retarded persons.

 

The inaugural programme of National Legal Awareness Week was organised inside Cooch Behar District Correctional Home (CDCH) with the undertrial inmates yesterday. Principal magistrate cum secretary of the District legal Services Authority Mr Manas Sanyal explained the basic concept of observance of the week. District Judge Mr KYS Manhas and three Additional District Judges – Mr DP Mallik, Md Amzad Hossain and Mr PK Bandyopadhyay spoke on the occasion. In the interactive session the judges answered a number of questions related to topics like human rights violation, legal facilities for undertrials, prevention of illegal detention and role of Legal Services Authority.

 

It was learnt that on the concluding day of the National Legal Awareness Week (16 November) a sensitisation programme would be held with the judges and the magistrates engaged in Cooch Behar district. Another programme will be held on that day for the physically challenged persons to aware all concerned about the legal rights of the physically challenged people. []

Sunday, 9 November 2008

WILDLIFE WEEK

During observance of Wildlife Week at Rasamati eco-tourism centre in Cooch Behar on Saturday.

BJP CONVENTION

BJP workers' meet held

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 9: Eyeing the ensuing Lok Sabha election the BJP organised a workers' convention at Uchcha Balika Vidyalaya in Cooch Behar today. The party's state vice-presidents Mr Amalesh Mishra and Mr Indra Mohan Rava, district president Mr Nityananda Munsi and secretary Mr Nikhil Ranjan Dey, Mr Utpal Deb and other leaders spoke on the occasion. Prior to the convention the BJP supporters took out a large procession in the town.

 

Mr Nikhil Ranjan Dey said the leaders asked the party workers to get ready for the Lok Sabha poll, as it would place candidates to contest the election. The anti-people policies of the Left Front run state government were also criticised at the convention, Mr Dey said. []

WILDLIFE WEEK

JOY RIDE - State forest minister Mr Ananta Roy, Cooch Behar DM Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha and others enjoy a boat ride after a programme on Wild Life Week observation. At Rasamati Eco-tourism Centre in Cooch Behar on Saturday.

EX-SERVICEMEN'S MEET

Ex-Servicemen's conference in Cooch Behar

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 9: Fifth triennial conference of District Ex-Servicemen's Association was held at Sukanta Mancha in Cooch Behar today. Sabhadhipati of Cooch Behar Zilla Parishad Mr Dilip Kumar Biswas inaugurated the conference. Commanding Officer of 15 Garohwal Rifles, Lt Col Joby Joseph and other dignitaries attended the inaugural session. District unit secretary Mr Tapan Choudhury delivered the welcome address and tabled the secretarial report. About 300 delegates participated in the daylong conference.

 

In his inaugural address the CZP sabhadhipati Mr Biswas mentioned the praiseworthy role of the soldiers and martyrs who dedicated their lives for maintaining the independence and sovereignty of the country. He called upon all to maintain national integration by combating the secessionist and divisive forces that are raising their heads in north Bengal and other parts of the country.

 

In the conference discussions were held over a 13-point charter of demands. It was decided that the association would organise movements demanding rehabilitation of all ex-servicemen by the government, formation of Zilla Sainik Board in Cooch Behar, provision of ex-gratia for festivals, housing facility for ex-servicemen in Cooch Behar town. []

PHOTO : Mr Tapan Choudhury delivers welcome address at the conference of District Ex-Servicemen's Association while CZP sabhadhipati Mr Dilip Kumar Biswas and others look on. At Sukanta Mancha in Cooch Behar on Sunday.

CORONATION 125

Maharaja Nripendra Narayan remembered

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 9: The 125-th anniversary of coronation of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan was observed in Cooch Behar yesterday. Association for Better Cooch Behar organised the programme in association with Cooch Behar Sanskritik Sanstha in front of the district court building on the northern bank of Sagardighi. A brief cultural programme was held on the occasion.

 

Maharaja Nripendra Narayan is considered the founder of modern Cooch Behar. During his regime the erstwhile princely state of Cooch Behar had stepped into the new era. All out development was initiated during his rule.

 

Representatives from different organisations and senior citizens attended the programme yesterday. Mrs Sabita Roy, Mr Ananda Jyoti Majumder, Mr Prasenjit Barman, Mr Shibendra Nath Roy, Mr Amiya Bakshi, Mr Tapan Choudhury, Mr Debabrata Chaki and others paid floral homage to the statue of the Maharaja.

 

During their address on the occasion the speakers resented over lack of care of the statue of the Maharaja and the garden inside which it is situated in front of the district court building. They demanded the administration to take adequate measures to keep the statue with full honour. Proper illumination and beautification of the garden was also demanded. []

PHOTO : Statue of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan being garlanded on the occasion of the Maharaja's 125-th anniversary of coronation. In Cooch Behar on Saturday.

Friday, 7 November 2008

ABTA CONFERENCE

2-day ABTA conference begins in Cooch Behar

 

COOCH BEHAR, Nov. 7: The two-day conference of the Cooch Behar district unit of the All Bengal Teachers' Association (ABTA) began at Rabindra Bhavan today. General secretary of the ABTA Mr Shibaprasad Mukhopadhyay inaugurated the conference. Prior to the delegate session a large colourful procession passed through the streets in the town.

 

Cooch Behar district unit president of the ABTA, Mr Samarendra Nath Saha and Mr Ranjit Roy presided over the conference. Among the speakers there was the sabhadhipati of Cooch Behar Zilla Parishad, Mr Dilip Biswas. Mr Bakul Dutta tabled the secretarial report.

 

In his inaugural address Mr Shibaprasad Mukhopadhyay came down heavily on the Congress run Central government for the ongoing economic crisis in the country.

 

In the secretarial report a three-phase charter of demands was tabled at the conference for discussion. Among the demands 15 were aimed to the Central government, 26 to the state government and 5 to the district inspector of schools.

 

In the conference resolutions were adopted demanding establishing of a regional office of School Service Commission for Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts and creation of new posts of teachers and non-teaching staffs for the sake of improvement of education scenario. Appointment of fulltime teachers in the schools instead of contractual or part-time teachers, setting up of an engineering college in Cooch Behar, appointment of a computer teacher in each school, fixation of pay scale for librarians according to their qualifications and introduction of democratic system in Higher Secondary Education Council and Madrasa Education Board have also been demanded by the delegates. []