Saturday, 28 February 2009


Bangladesh veterans won

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 28: A friendship football match was held at Dinhata on Saturday between Sonali Ateet Club of Manikganj, Bangladesh and Veterans XI of Dinhata, Cooch Behar. Dinhata Veterans Sports and Fitness Club was the organiser of the event.

The Bangladesh team won the match by 3-0 goals. Asiq Rahman and Sudeb Saha of Sonali Ateet Club scored one each and Dewan Barman of Dinhata did a suicidal goal.

Sudeb Saha of Sonali Ateet Club was adjudged as the best player of the match.

Friday, 27 February 2009


Policemen examine a ransacked house at Dawaguri in Cooch Behar on Friday.

Robbers' heydays in Cooch Behar

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 27: Two daring robberies held last night at Dawaguri area under Kotowali police station in Cooch Behar. Including these two, five such crimes have been committed in the last four days span. No one was arrested in connection with the incidents so far.

An armed gang of miscreants broke open into the house of Tarafdars at Kaler-par area of Dawaguri at deep of the night. They tied the owner of the house, Mr Bibhuti Ranjan Tarafdar and his son Apurba and looted away all the valuables including ornaments and cash worth Rs 2-lakh. In the same night a similar incident occurred at the house of Majumders at Baishyapara of Dawaguri. Here too the armed miscreants escaped with booties.

Earlier, a gang armed with bombs and firearms looted gold ornaments worth Rs 12-lakh from a jewellery shop at Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar on Wednesday evening. On the previous night a gang of about nine miscreants looted gold ornaments, camera and other valuable things alongwith Rs 40,000 in cash from the house of Mr Biswajit Dey at Dodearpar near Sonari BSF camp. On Monday night a gang of burglars looted gold ornaments worth Rs 20-lakh from a jewellery showroom in Tufanganj. The police are yet to arrest any one in connection with the incidents.

Observing the modus operandi of the crimes committed last night it is suspected that a certain gang committed the crimes, the superintendent of police, Cooch Behar, Mr DP Singh, said. The gang is a new one and it did the crimes with local help, he believes. No one was able to identify any miscreant from the file pictures of hardcore criminals, the SP added.

Mr Singh said the police identified the gang that committed the crime at Mathabhanga. Three persons have been detained for interrogation. It is suspected that they came from Jalpaiguri and they fled along the bank of Mansai river.

The police took an initiative to hold meetings with gram panchayat pradhans of the vulnerable areas to keep people alert. They would be requested to revive or make new village resistance groups (popularly known as RG Party) to check crimes. As the area under Cooch Behar Kotowali police station is a vast one of about 600 square-kilometre it is hard for the police to do all things without active co-operation of villagers. The situation turned worse due to recent transfer of a number of sub-inspectors, the SP admitted. 

Thursday, 26 February 2009


Alert BSF jawans on duty at Indo-Bangladesh border in Cooch Behar district.

Border situation normal in Cooch Behar

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 26: Mutiny in the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) prompted the district administration of Cooch Behar to ask the Border Security Force (BSF) to steep up its vigilance along the 523-km long Indo-Bangladesh border in this district.

Sources in the Cooch Behar Sector Headquarters of the BSF said patrolling along the border has been geared up though the situation was normal in this side of the border. As there are adequate personnel under Cooch Behar Sector Headquarters no additional force was brought from outside, the sources said.

The International Check Post (ICP) situated at Changrabandha in Mekhliganj sub-division turned defunct from this morning though officially it was not declared closed. The BDR reportedly left their position and so movement of vehicles and crossing of border by people turned difficult.

District magistrate of Cooch Behar Mr RK Sinha said people and vehicles have crossed the ICP at Changrabandha even yesterday but the movement has been stopped today. Officially it was not declared closed, he said. No vehicle approached the ICP from Bangladesh side today and there is no stranded vehicle in this side too, he added.

Meanwhile, villagers at Kuchlibari in Mekhliganj heard noise of firing coming from other side of the border today. The DM too said he learnt that firing was going on today in Lalmonirhat area in Bangladesh. Confirming this BSF sources added that infighting in BDR was going on but that did not affect the border situation.

The district magistrate said instructions were issued to officials to alert people residing near the border to keep a safe distance from the border.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009


A physically challenged boy takes his examination with the help of a writer. In Dinhata on Wednesday.


POLL CALL - People gather at the SDO office premises to get photographed for the electors' photo identity card (EPIC). In Dinhata, Cooch Behar on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


Rs 2 rice from Friday : Food minister

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 24: State finance minister Mr Asim Dasgupta, yesterday announced that the government will dole out rice at Rs 2 a kilogram to below poverty line (BPL) families. Today, state food and supplies minister Mr Paresah Adhikary said that the scheme would commence on and from Friday.

According to the minister, 1.90-crore people enlisted in BPL list and 73.83-lakh people under Antyodaya Annapurna Yojana will be able to get the subsidised rice through the public distribution system from 27 February. All BPL people in this state are eligible to buy rice at Rs 2 a kilogram from the modified ration shops. Mr Adhikary said there was adequate stock of rice to run the newly introduced scheme.

Presently, BPL cardholders buy rice from MR shops at Rs 6.15 per kilogram. Under Antyodaya Annapurna Yojana the price of rice is Rs 3 per kilogram. From now on all these rice may be available at Rs 2 per kilogram.

When asked, the food and supply minister assured that like other schemes the new one will not be discontinued after a certain period. It will continue round the year.

Dr Fazle Haque, a senior Congress MLA, who is also a former minister, said, the proposed scheme is nothing but a pre-poll stunt. "It is impossible for me to guess how the government will extend so much subsidy to run a politically motivated scheme. On the otherhand, I doubt its feasibility too. It will be good if poor people get benefit out of this scheme. But, the government will have to collect the vast fund out of other people's pockets." Feeding people with people's fund - if it is not a political gimmick what else, Dr Haque questioned.

Monday, 23 February 2009


Crowd at the Shiva Temple at Jalpesh in Jalpaiguri on Monday evening on the occasion of Shiva-ratri.


ANOTHER STONE - The plaque that was unveiled by the state PWD minister Mr Kshiti Goswami at Sagardighi-ghat near Gosanimari in Dinhata on Sunday.  

Foundation of a dream-bridge to cross the election

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 23: Opposition parties reacted sharply over yesterday's foundation laying ceremony of the proposed road-bridge over Singimari river to connect Sitai with Dinhata.

State PWD minister Mr Kshiti Goswami laid the foundation of the proposed bridge near Gosanimari in Dinhata while four other ministers – Mr Ananta Roy, Mr Paresh Adhikary, Mr Srikumar Mukherjee and Mr Manohar Tirkey were present.

Sitai is separated from Dinhata by Singimari river. Capsizing of boats in this river is an annual feature during the monsoon. The proposed bridge is still a distant dream. For many years it acted as an election issue to the political parties but promises have been flown through its water. Officials said the estimated cost of the 900-metre long bridge is about Rs 65-crore. There will be about 4.5-kilometre approach road in total on both sides of the bridge. Almost all the political parties have been demanding construction of this bridge for years especially prior to any election.

Sitai MLA (Congress) Dr Fozle Haque termed the foundation as a political one. As the proposed bridge is yet to get final approval from the finance department it is nothing but a bid to cross the ensuing election, he observed. Appearance of five Left Front ministers on the day at the proposed site of the bridge is a political circus, he said.

General secretary of district Trinamul Congress Mr Partha Nath Sarkar too criticised the gorgeous foundation laying ceremony. "For many years the people have been demanding the bridge but no initiative was ever taken. Now, as the poll is on the corner the Left Front came out to lure people with the dream of the long-awaited bridge", he alleged. Mr Sarkar said, "Seeing is believing and so we like to wait at least up to commencement of the construction. There is an example in this district that a bridge took 55 years to get completed."

President of Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party Mr Ashutosh Barma said the foundation of the bridge is an act of cheating the common people. "We demanded several times during the past years but no steps was taken to construct it. If truly a bridge ever comes up it will be as a result of people's movement. Who came here yesterday to play a skit have nothing to ask from the people as it is a right of the people to get the proposed bridge", Mr Barma said.

Sunday, 22 February 2009


 ELECTION AHEAD – State PWD minister Mr Kshiti Goswami addresses at a Left Front gathering after laying foundation of a long-dreamt road bridge over Singijani river near Gosanimari in Dinhata, Cooch Behar on Sunday.


After unveiling a statue the state backward classes welfare minister Mr Jogesh Chandra Barman felicitates Ms Budhu Oraon, the sister of late Lal Sukura Oraon, a leader of the historic Tebhaga movement. At Chalsa in Jalpaiguri on Saturday.


Border guards' initiative

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 22: In order to strengthen the cordial relation and mutual trust with the border population along the Indo-Bangladesh border, a free medical camp was organised by 113-Battalion of the Border Security Force under Cooch Behar Sector at Char Balabhut Middle School near Madhya Balabhut border outpost in Tufanganj, Cooch Behar on Friday. Free medicines were also distributed at the camp.

Commandant of 113 Bn BSF, Mr Ajit Sudevan inaugurated the medical camp that was organised under the Civic Action Plan.  About 750 people of bordering areas were examined and provided with medicines free of cost. Chief medical officer of BSF Dr AK Lakra and medical officer Dr Khurshid Alam did medical check up at the camp.

Friday, 20 February 2009


Snigdha (with her mother's picture) and her brother Bibhan alongwith other family members after announcement of judgement at Dinhata court premises on Friday.

Lifer to wife-killer

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 20: The additional district and sessions judge, second fast track court, Dinhata, Mr Golam Ambia today sentenced a man to life imprisonment for killing his wife in 2006.

The man, Babul Chandra Dey, a resident of Dinhata killed his wife Kuntala Dey on 7 May 2006. After committing the crime he had surrendered to the police. During the legal procedure 17 witnesses have been examined in the court. The main witnesses in the case were the son and daughter of the accused - Bibhan of Class III and Snigdha of Class V. In the court they narrated how their father killed their mother.

The judge also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 in default the convicted man will have to suffer an additional six months of imprisonment.


More staff for jails in state : Biswanath Chaudhury

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 20: State prison minister Mr Biswanath Chaudhury announced today in Cooch Behar that more personnel will be recruited in the jails in the state. A meeting was held recently with the chief minister over the issue. As the pattern of criminal activities are changing the jail authorities had to deploy policemen in different jails. For this reason more staffs are needed to maintain peace in the prisons, the minister clarified.

There is a plan under consideration to install scanners in the six central jails in the state. One may smuggle in weapons or objectionable things covertly hidden in food items or by other means in the prisons. To check this the scanner installation is needed, Mr Chaudhury explained.

Issues like ration for the jail warders and absorption of casual workers engaged for more than ten years are also under consideration, the minister said.

After a meeting with concerned officials the minister said they would start pisciculture in the pond situated inside Cooch Behar District Correctional Home. Once the plan implemented the prisoners may be able to consume more fish. The surplus fish will be sent to other jails and it may invite revenue too, the minister hoped.

Talking with media persons at the PWD bungalow here, the minister disclosed that initiative have been taken to extend the Jalpaiguri Jail and proposals invited from other jails for extension work. The Islampur Jail may be upgraded to a special jail, as there exists a vast unused space in that jail, he added.

Mr Chaudhury, who is also the social welfare minister, said, among the sanctioned 416 Anganwadi projects are running and 160 new projects are on the pipeline. 50,036 workers will be recruited for 25,018 Anganwadi centres. New centres will be set up at tribal populated areas, hilly and riverside areas. Priority will be given to the bordering areas, women trafficking prone areas and slum areas, he added. Additional facilities for the Anganwadi workers and improvement of foods for the children are also under consideration.

The minister also explained the Maintenance and Welfare of Senior Citizens Act by which neglected parents would be able to get justice and alimony from their able descendants.

Thursday, 19 February 2009


Farmers on warpath

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 19: Members of Aloo-Pat-Dhan Chashi Sangram Committee detained the Alipurduar-Bamanhat passenger train at Cooch Behar railway station today. They also staged a roadblocade at Station Morh. Later, the farmers demonstrated at the district agriculture office.

Secretary of APDCSC Mr Nripen Karjee said they organised today's programme to demand payment against crop insurance to the affected potato growers and waiving of agricultural loans.


Construction being done for the long awaited platform of Dinhata College Halt Station along Alipurduar-Bamanhat section of NF Railway. In Dinhata on Thursday.


Arrest minister, CPM secretary : Trinamul

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 19: Trinamul Congress decided to organise massive movement in support of their demand to arrest district CPI-M secretary Mr Chandi Pal and state forest minister Mr Ananta Roy and withdrawal of the 'false' cases lodged against district Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh and other 'innocent' activists. It was learnt that Trinamul party supremo Miss Mamata Banerjee might also come on 14 March to address at Raas Mela Maidan to boost up the morale of local Trinamul supporters.

Today, the Trinamul Congress organised a large rally of bicycles, motorbikes and horse-driven carts. The agitated Trinamul supporters demonstrated at the district police office and a public meeting was also held there at Shahid Baag. They submitted memorandums containing their demands to the SP and the district magistrate.

In the gathering that held today at Shahid Baag, on the south bank of Sagardighi, adjacent to the police office, Trinamul leaders like state Trinamul secretary Mr Abdul Jalil Ahmed, district president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh, vice-president Mr Niranjan Dutta and Mr Girindra Nath Barman, Mr Shibendra Nath Roy, district Trinamul Youth Congress president Kumar Rajib Narayan and other leaders came down heavily on the CPI-M for its provocative role to spread violence in the district.

District Trinamul president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh alleged that false cases have been initiated against him and several other Trinamul supporters in connection with a mere road accident in which district CPI-M secretary Mr Chandi Pal and his wife Mrs Jaba Pal allegedly wounded on 11 February. After that incident state forest minister Mr Ananta Roy addressed provocative speeches that spread violence in the district. He also led armed rally on 11 and 12 February. Taking a cue several Trinamul party offices have been ransacked and supporters were attacked at different areas. Houses of Trinamul supporters were blazed at Dhalpal in Tufanganj.  The police should arrest Mr Pal and Mr Roy otherwise the Trinamul Congress will organise massive movement in this district, he warned.

Interestingly, the district Left Front yesterday announced its stir plan against police for its failure in arresting Mr Ghosh. They even alleged of cordial relations between Mr Ghosh and police officials. Today, Mr Ghosh was found at several places in the town busy in controlling the rally of supporters. He was even present at the dais adjacent to the police office and addressed the gathering. A large contingent of police force was deployed at the area to contain the demonstration but no effort was taken to arrest Mr Ghosh. 

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


Deer death at new park, minister sought report

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 18: A full-grown spotted deer died yesterday at the recently inaugurated Deer Park at Kholta in Cooch Behar. Post-mortem of its body was also done at Rasik-bil Deer Rescue Centre. Though the forest officials tried their best to cover up the incident, it leaked out today.

It may be recalled that state forest minister Mr Ananta Roy had released seven deer at the Kholta Deer Park on 4 February. He also inaugurated a toy train facility there. Since inauguration it was feared that sound of toy train may be disastrous for the weak-hearted deer. On 9 February a newborn spotted deer calf died there. The second death incident occurred yesterday. After inauguration the minister had claimed that toy train and deer might co-exist without any problem as experts' opinions were taken.

Today, when contacted, the minister said from Kolkata that he will seek a report from the concerned officials how the deer died at Kholta Deer Park.


Victor Palace, a dilapidated heritage building situated on the west bank of Sagardighi in Cooch Behar, have been thoroughly renovated with a fund of Rs 75-lakh that was sanctioned by the Union government in 2005. It is now waits for inauguration. The palace was named after Prince Victor Nityendra Narayan. His parents - Maharaja Nripendra Narayan and Maharani Sunity Devi – are considered the founders of modern Cooch Behar. After the merger of the erstwhile princely state of Cooch Behar with Union of India and its transformation as a district of West Bengal in 1950, the government took over the properties and palaces of the erstwhile rulers.


Left Front leaders talk with media persons over the LF plan to organise stir against police inaction. In Cooch Behar on Wednesday. – Debashis Bhaumik.


Left Front stir plan against police

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 18: Cooch Behar District Left Front has decided to organise movements against police for its 'inactive role' in dealing complaints lodged against Trinamul Congress leaders and activists. This decision was adopted in the LF meeting held at district CPI-M office in Cooch Behar today.

The main agenda of the meeting was chalking out of ways and means to combat the 'hooliganism' unleashed by the Trinamul Congress.

Disclosing the resolutions adopted in the meeting, the Cooch Behar district LF convenor, also the district CPI-M secretary Mr Chandi Pal said they would organise demonstrations at all the police stations in this district on 1 March against the partisan attitude of the police. He alleged that though the Trinamul Congress activists have been practicing violent activities like attacks on party offices of Left Front partners, arson and damaging of police vehicles but the accused are still roaming scot-free. There are several cases pending against district Trinamul president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh but he is still maintaining close relations with police officials. His bail plea was rejected in the High Court but the police are yet to arrest him, Mr Pal alleged.

In the LF meeting it was decided that an informative memorandum would be submitted to the SP and even to the police minister. As a beginning of the movement, demonstration will be held at Tufanganj on 24 February. On 8 March a convention of the district Left Front workers will be held at Rabindra Bhavan.

Replying a question, the CPI-M leader admitted the failure of the administration in arresting the accused and offenders. "The failure in arresting Trinamul leader Mr Ghosh is an example of the administration's failure", he claimed. Though the state government is a Left Front run one the police are doing otherwise in this district, Mr Pal alleged.

In today's LF meeting another decision was adopted to form booth level committees of the Left Front to ensure unity among LF partners and defeat of opposition candidates in the ensuing Lok Sabha election.

The first convention of four youth organisations of LF partners was also held in Cooch Behar today. 

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


School children in a rally to aware people of traffic rules. In Cooch Behar on Tuesday.


Vote : Forward Bloc's workers convention

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 17: Keeping eye on the ensuing Lok Sabha election the Forward Bloc organised party workers conventions at all the seven Assembly constituencies in Cooch Behar district. The last one held at Sukanta Mancha in Cooch Behar today.

State Forward Bloc secretariat member and Cooch Behar (West) MLA Mr Akshay Thakur said the conventions have been organised to ensure Left Front unity down to the booth level and also to strengthen the party's organisation by boosting up the morale of the workers.

District Forward Bloc secretary Mr Udayan Guha said in the conventions they explained to the workers why they should keep fighting against Trinamul Congress and the need for a broad based Left Front unity in this district. Replying a question he said the FB started preparing for the polls so early as the LF candidate is of the Forward Bloc in Cooch Behar.


GCDP leaders meet Bangshi in jail

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 17: A team of leaders from the Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party (GCDP) met Mr Bangshi Badan Barman in Cooch Behar District Correctional Home (CDCH) today. GCDP president Mr Ashutosh Barma, secretary Mr Phanindra Nath Barman and treasurer Mr Ajit Barman were in the team.

Later, the GCDP president said, they discussed about the organisation of the party with Mr Bangshi Badan Barman, who is a senior leader of the Greater Cooch Behar movement. The strategy of the party that is to be taken for the ensuing Lok Sabha election was also discussed. Mr Barman too advised them how to run and strengthen the party.

It may be recalled here that the GCDP recently declared Mr Barman's name as the candidate for the Cooch Behar Lok Sabha constituency. Mr Barman is staying in the CDCH since he surrendered to the court on 25 May 2006. Seven cases are running against him at courts in Cooch Behar, Dinhata, Tufanganj and Mathabhanga. He was the president of The Greater Cooch Behar People's Association (GCPA) but after his surrender the GCPA got divided and his followers formed the GCDP. 


Left Front meet against Trinamul Congress

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 17: An urgent meeting of the Cooch Behar District Left Front will be held tomorrow. The main agenda of the meeting is chalking out of ways and means to combat the alleged hooliganism unleashed by the Trinamul Congress.

Cooch Behar district LF convenor, also the district CPI-M secretary Mr Chandi Pal said the meeting is to be held following demands raised by Left Front partners. The first convention of leftist youth organisations will also be held in Cooch Behar tomorrow.

Mr Pal, who was a victim of Trinamul Congress attack on 11 February at Chilakhana in Tufanganj, said, he had to stay in hospital till 14 February. He is still under medical treatment as pain was there in his head till now.

Mr Pal alleged that the Trinamul Congress unleashed hooliganism in Tufanganj and elsewhere following a college election. "They even attacked me, my wife and police personnel on last 11 February. My car and a police vehicle have been damaged in their attack", he recalled.

As the Trinamul Congress is practicing violence to disturb the peaceful situation, the Left Front should do something to resist them. Tomorrow's LF meeting is convened to find out ways and means to stop their unruly behaviour, Mr Pal said.

On the otherhand, district Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh said hundreds of Trinamul Congress supporters would stage a peaceful demonstration at the office of the Cooch Behar SP on 19 February demanding withdrawal of the false cases initiated against him and other Trinamul activists. Arrest of Mr Chandi Pal and forest minister Mr Ananta Roy will also be demanded as they brought false complaints against Trinamul leaders and activists in connection with the so-called attack on CPI-M leaders on 11 February. The Trinamul supporters will come with motorbikes and bicycles from different areas of the district. 

Monday, 16 February 2009


 At a flower show in Cooch Behar.


Anthrax panic in Mathabhanga

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 16: Sudden unnatural incidents of death of cattle spread anthrax panic at Kuktikata village under Bairagir-hat gram panchayat in Mathabhanga-I block.

It was learnt that cows, calves, goats and lambs in the village started dying about a week ago. Three cows, 13 goats, two lambs and a calf died so far.

The owners of the dead cattle – Mr Anil Barman, Mr Pulin Barman, Mr Chandra Sekhar Adhikari and others conveyed the matter to the block animal resources development department officials. The panic-stricken villagers demanded measures to prevent further death of cattle in the area.

Today, a team led by block livestock development officer (BLDO) of Mathabhanga-I, Dr Tapas Dasgupta visited the affected area. They collected blood samples from the dead cattle for examination. As a precaution, they asked the villagers to burry the carcasses of the cattle.

When contacted, the ARD deputy director Dr Tapan Kumar Roy said he instructed the ARD personnel concerned to keep watch on the affected area to study the situation. Before any laboratory test it is not possible to identify the cause of death of the cattle as anthrax, he said.

ADDRESS : Debashis Bhaumik, Maharaja Harendra Narayan Road, Patakura (Near Bundh), Cooch Behar-736101 (West Bengal). E-mail :


Dinhata Police Firing : First phase of hearing ends

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 16: The first phase of hearing of Justice Narayan C Sil Commission of Inquiry on Dinhata police firing ended today. The next phase of hearing will be held on 7, 8 and 9 March at Circuit House in Cooch Behar.

Commission sources said that the court adjourned today after fixing of the next dates of hearing by Justice Sil, the chairman of the Commission.

At the first phase of hearing that began on 14 February, six witnesses have been cross-examined. But, the Commission is yet to summon persons for the second phase of hearing. It may be announced from the Commission's Kolkata office, officials said.

It was learnt that cross-examination of a witness, Mr Kamal Chandra Barman was left incomplete yesterday. As there is a transport strike in Cooch Behar today an appeal was made to the Commission to complete the remaining part of cross-examination of Mr Barman during the next phase of hearing, said Forward Bloc leader Mr Shankar Dutta. The Justice Narayan C Sil Commission was constituted to do a judicial probe into the police firing that took place on 5 February last year in Dinhata during a law violation programme organised by the Forward Bloc.


Transport strike in Cooch Behar

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 16: A 12-hour Besarkari Paribahan Dharmaghat (non-government transport strike) was held in Cooch Behar today. Normal life in the district was disrupted during the strike. Joutho Sangram Committee (JSC) had called the strike. The JSC is a joint platform of different organisations of vehicle owners and transport workers.

JSC sources said they observed the strike to protest against using of Section 304 CrPC in cases brought against drivers following death in road mishaps.

When asked, a lawyer, Mr Subhas Mandal, said, Section 304 CrPC is a non-bailable Section generally used in murder cases. Under this Section one cannot get released on bail within 90 days.

Yesterday, the NBSTC declared that they would ply additional buses to meet the situation. Today, a few busses of the NBSTC were put on the road in the morning but later those were withdrawn. Private car owners, even doctors had to face problems during the strike today.

The JSC members organised a demonstration at the office of the district magistrate demanding not using of the Section 304 against drivers in road accident cases.

Sunday, 15 February 2009


Road blockade

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 15: Demanding lifting of false cases lodged against district Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh and other supporters in connection with the recent attack on CPI-M leaders the Trinamul Congress staged road blockades at different areas in Cooch Behar district today. They also demanded arrest of district CPI-M secretary Mr Chandi Pal and forest minister Mr Ananta Roy for bringing of false allegations against Trinamul men


Road blockade by Trinamul Congress supporters in Cooch Behar on Sunday


FB supports state govt stand on Dooars

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 15: Staying aside from being critical, the Forward Bloc extended it's all out support to the stand taken by the state government over Dooars issue.

State Forward Bloc secretariat member Mr Hafiz Alam Sairani told media persons in Cooch Behar today that the state government picked up the way of talks to pacify the situation and it was a right step. It is not possible to solve the problems by using the administration only. The GJMM has already lifted its hunger strike and it proved that the step taken by the state government was right, clarified Mr Sairani.

Mr Sairani, who is a former minister, suggested that the government should take initiatives to restore communal harmony among the people of the hills and the Dooars. It may be achieved through discussions over the table, not by administrative steps. After restoration of peace by talks the secessionists must become discouraged, he opined. Mr Sairani came here to attend the party's district secretariat meeting and workers' meets.

Today, the district secretariat meeting of the Forward Bloc was held in Cooch Behar. After the meeting, replying a question about the candidate for the ensuing Parliamentary election, district secretary of the party Mr Udayan Guha, who is also a state secretariat member, said, the state secretary of the party Mr Ashok Ghosh was entrusted for the selection of the candidates for Cooch Behar, Purulia and Barasat seats. The names of 42 Left Front candidates of the state will be released on the same date. The Forward Bloc will not release names of its own candidates separately, he said.

In today's meeting it was decided that efforts would be taken to achieve Left Front unity down to the booth level. Workers' conventions are being organised from today for three days in different areas of the district to achieve the unity, Mr Guha said.

State food and supply minister Mr Paresh Adhikary, Cooch Behar MP Mr Hiten Barman, Cooch Behar (North) MLA Mr Dipak Sarkar, Cooch Behar (West) MLA Mr Akshay Thakur and ex-MLA Mr Nripen Roy also attended the meeting today.


PHOTO : State Forward Bloc secretariat member Mr Hafiz Alam Sairani (centre) talks with media persons while district FB secretary Mr Udayan Guha and state food minister Mr Paresh Adhikary look on. In Cooch Behar on Sunday.


Dinhata Police Firing : CMOH report sought

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 15: Second day of hearing held at the Circuit House in Cooch Behar today in the court of Justice Narayan C Sil Commission of Inquiry on Dinhata police firing. The Commission was constituted to do a judicial probe into the police firing that was occurred on 5 February last year in Dinhata during a law violation programme organised by the Forward Bloc.

According to the secretary of the Commission Mr Bikash Chandra Basu, fifty persons have submitted affidavits so far and they may be summoned to attend the hearing. Mr Basu said the Commission received necessary reports from all concerned government officials but the then CMOH of Cooch Behar was yet to submit the report sought from him. It has been already brought to the attention of the state health secretary, he added.

According to a senior secretariat member of district Forward Bloc Mr Shankar Dutta, four witnesses were examined at the court today while two were examined yesterday. The four Forward Bloc supporters who were examined today were Mr Jugal Barman, Mr Abubakkar Mian, Mr Naren Chandra Barman and Mr Kamal Chandra Barman. Public Prosecutor Mr Ganesh Chandra Roy Karmakar questioned them. These four persons were arrested following the firing incident.

As the cross examination of the fourth man was not completed today he may be examined tomorrow. FB leader Mr Dutta said they would submit an appeal tomorrow to the Commission through their counsel Mr Jitendra Mohan Saha to conduct the rest part of cross-examination during the next phase of hearing. But, it is yet unknown when the second phase of the hearing would commence, Mr Dutta said.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


Dinhata Police Firing : Commission starts hearing


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 14: Hearing commenced today in the court of Justice Narayan C Sil Commission of Inquiry on Dinhata police firing at the Circuit House in Cooch Behar.

The one-man Commission was constituted to do a judicial probe into the police firing that was occurred on 5 February last year in Dinhata during a law violation programme organised by the Forward Bloc.

Two witnesses were examined at the court today while four are to attend tomorrow. The two Forward Bloc supporters who were examined today were Mr Sibsankar Chakraborty and Mr Nasiruddin Sarkar.

District Forward Bloc secretary Mr Udayan Guha expressed his desire to the Justice that he wants to represent Mr Nasiruddin Sarkar but the court refused his appeal.

Mr Guha told PTI that Mr Sarkar had received bullet injury during the police firing in Dinhata. But, neither he was named in the FIR nor he was arrested. It proves that the police have no allegation against him and he was an innocent person who received bullet injury, Mr Guha said.

Earlier, the district Forward Bloc secretary had expressed his desire to the Justice that he personally wants to appear before the Commission in Kolkata instead of Cooch Behar. But, he is yet to be summoned for the hearing.

The FB leader said he told Justice Sil that they would not be able to attend the inquiry proceedings once the Parliamentary election was declared. The hearing and cross examination of witnesses should be completed before declaring of the poll, he opined.

Commenting on the slow process in cross examination Mr Guha said that it may take more than two years to complete the process and it was known to all what may happen to the report submitted by the Inquiry Commission. "It may land into a cold storage for ever", he said.

Friday, 13 February 2009


Asok Bhattacharya in Dinhata

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 13: State urban development minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya laid foundation of the proposed Rs 86-lakh street widening, divider and beautification project at Dinhata today. At the first phase the work for the 2.5-km divider in Dinhata town is to begin with a fund of Rs 25-lakh.

Later, Mr Bhattacharya addressed a mass meeting of the Left Front at Dinhata Choupathi where leaders like Mr Udayan Guha (FB), Mr Benubadal Chakraborty (CPI-M), Mr Pallab Chaudhury (CPI) and Mr Gopal Chaki (RSP) also spoke.


Panchanan remembered

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 13: 143-rd birth anniversary of the legendary social reformer of the region, Panchanan Barma was observed at Panchanan Morh and Khalisamari in Mathabhanga today.

State backward classes welfare minister Mr Jogesh Barman inaugurated the programme while forest minister Mr Ananta Roy, Cooch Behar Zilla Parishad sabhadhipati Mr Dilip Biswas and other dignitaries attended. Memorial lectures and cultural programmes were also organised on the occasion.

Flower show

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 13: State forest minister Mr Ananta Roy inaugurated the 27-th annual competitive show of flowers, fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants at Narendra Narayan Park in Cooch Behar today.

Dinhata firing : hearing starts

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 13: The Justice Narayan C Sil Commission of Inquiry on Dinhata police firing is to start it's hearing at Circuit House in Cooch Behar from tomorrow. It was learnt that six witnesses have been summoned for the hearing tomorrow.

Earlier, district Forward Bloc secretary Mr Udayan Guha had expressed his desire to the Justice that he personally wants to appear before the Commission in Kolkata instead of Cooch Behar. He is yet to be summoned for the hearing. But, Mr Guha will attend the hearing tomorrow on behalf of a summoned person named Mr Nasiruddin Sarkar.


Trinamul bid to resist CPM slur, CPM to retaliate

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 13: Demanding lifting of the cases brought against its president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh and other Trinamul activists in connection with the alleged attack on CPI-M district secretary Mr Chandi Pal on Wednesday, the district Trinamul Congress submitted a memorandum to the Cooch Behar SP Mr DP Singh today.

State Trinamul Congress secretary Mr Abdul Jalil Ahmed, district Trinamul Congress vice-president Mr Niranjan Dutta, district Trinamul Youth Congress president Kumar Rajib Narayan and other leaders told the SP today that the CPI-M leader Mr Chandi Pal was a victim of a mere road accident that occurred near Bhairaber-tari Baxikuthi village on Wednesday but a false case was lodged against Mr Ghosh and other Trinamul supporters. As the case is a fabricated one this must be lifted immediately, they demanded.

The Trinamul leaders also told the SP that CPI-M goons did damage to Trinamul Congress offices at Sitalkuchi and other places. At Dhalpal the CPI-M goons have beaten five Trinamul supporters who are now in Tufanganj Hospital. Condition of one Jiban Das is serious and he was shifted to North Bengal Medical and Hospital, they said. The leaders demanded legal steps against the CPI-M miscreants.

On the otherhand, district Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh announced that they would organise a massive demonstration at the offices of the SP and the district magistrate on 19 February demanding withdrawal of the false cases initiated against him and others.

Mr Ghosh said, "The district CPI-M secretary Mr Chandi Pal and forest minister Mr Ananta Roy brought baseless and false allegations against the Trinamul Congress to malign our party's image. The police should arrest them to bring back normalcy in this district."

When contacted, state forest minister Mr Ananta Roy said, "People of this district know who are the actual wrongdoers. Trinamul Congress destroyed our party offices at different places and are creating trouble everywhere." About the proposed 19 February demonstration of the Trinamul Congress he said it was their party's agenda. The administration knows how to deal with such demonstrations, he opined.

District CPI-M sources said they lodged the complaint to the police and it was up to the police to do the right. The party would go as far as needed to get the offenders, including Mr Ghosh, arrested.

Asok visits Chandi Pal

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 13: Condition of Mr Chandi Pal is improving but it is yet uncertain when he is to be released from the hospital. This afternoon, state municipal affairs minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya appeared at MJN Hospital and inquired about the progress of recovery of Mr Pal. When asked about the proposed demonstration of Trinamul Congress to be held on 19 February he said the offenders should stay behind the bars. The CPI-M will also organise movement and mobilise people against their dirty politics, he added.

CPM MLA critical

COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 13: The condition of Natabari MLA and a resident of trouble-torn Tufanganj sub-division Mr Tamser Ali is still critical. He is under observation in the intensive care unit (ICU). He got admitted in a private nursing home in Cooch Behar yesterday following a massive cardiac attack. He is also a district secretariat member of the CPI-M. Senior leaders of the CPI-M, Forward Bloc and other parties have started visiting him since yesterday.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


During the Left Front sponsored bandh in Dinhata, Cooch Behar on Thursday.


During the CPI-M sponsored bandh in Cooch Behar on Thursday. (Below) The damaged Trinamul Congress office at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar on Thursday.


Bandh, party offices ransacked, Spl IG visited Tufanganj


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 12: Sixteen persons have been arrested so far in connection with the incident of attack on district CPI-M secretary Mr Chandi Pal that occurred at Chilakhana in Cooch Behar yesterday, according to the Special Inspector General of Police Mr DT Lepcha. The Special IG visited the trouble-torn areas in Tufanganj sub-division today. He also visited the injured CPI-M leader and three policemen at MJN Hospital here and inquired about their progress of recovery.


Replying a question, Mr Lepcha said an inquiry was going on into yesterday's incident. It is yet to be completed, he added. Three cases were lodged in connection with the incident, he said.


It was learnt that following yesterday's incident total four offices of both the CPI-M and the Trinamul Congress have been damaged at Sitalkuchi.


Today, the CPI-M sponsored 12-hour bandh passed off almost peacefully in the district. Tension was there at Sitalkuchi over taking out of two rallies by the CPI-M and the Trinamul Congress. The police took timely steps to avert any clash, claimed Cooch Behar SP Mr Devendra Prakash Singh.


District magistrate Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha said the bandh was peaceful. He received a primary report from the police on the attack on the CPI-M leader and passed it on to the higher authorities, Mr Sinha said. He however denied divulging the content of the report.


Today, ADM (General) Mr PK Pal had to face fury of bandh supporters when he was entering the office. He drove away from the place immediately and averted attack on him.


On the otherhand, state forest minister Mr Ananta Roy, who is also a CPI-M district secretariat member, alleged that a few CPI-M offices have been attacked and ransacked at Sitalkuchi and Natabari last night. District Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh instigated yesterday's attack on Mr Chandi Pal and attacks on party offices. He demanded immediate arrest of Mr Ghosh. "I shall talk with the chief minister again to instruct police to arrest the Trinamul leader", he said.


District Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh said the CPI-M was trying to get mileage from a mere road accident by painting it with political colours. The car in which Mr Chandi Pal was coming towards Cooch Behar town yesterday met a mishap when it tried to save a calf at a place between Bhairaber-tari and Baxiguri. The place is about a distance of 2.5-km from Natabari Bazar. The villagers, who were incidentally Trinamul supporters rescued him and his wife and helped them to board the police vehicle that was following the car. Trinamul Congress was not involved with the incident, he claimed.


Mr Ghosh said the CPI-M lost its control in Tufanganj sub-division since the panchayat elections and so it was trying to regain its lost power. But, it is not wise to pass a road accident by an attack, he opined. He alleged that the CPI-M lodged false complaints against him, as it was not possible for any absent man to lead any attack. He alleged that since yesterday CPI-M goons assaulted many Trinamul supporters. They even blazed a house at Dhalpal, he alleged.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


 Mr Chandi Pal at MJN Hospital in Cooch Behar on Wednesday. (2) State forest minister Mr Ananta Roy (sitting right) talking with chief minister over mobile phone while Mrs Jaba Pal and Mr Chandi Pal telling the incident to the doctors. At MJN Hospital in Cooch Behar on Wednesday.


The car of the CPI-M leader Mr Chandi Pal that was allegedly pushed off from the road. At Chilakhana in Cooch Behar on Wednesday. (2-3) : Roadblockade by Trinamul Congress in Tufanganj, Cooch Behar on Wednesday. 


Attack on CPM leaders


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 11: CPI-M district secretary Mr Chandi Pal and his wife Mr Jaba Pal, happened to be a district secretariat member, were allegedly assaulted by Trinamul Congress supporters today when they were coming to Cooch Behar town from Tufanganj. The two leaders are now undergoing medical care in MJN Hospital. Their two securitymen, driver of a police vehicle and another constable too received injury.


State forest minister Mr Ananta Roy reported the matter to the chief minister over phone. He also demanded immediate arrest of the Trinamul Congressmen involved in the attack.


District magistrate Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha talked over the situation with the SP Mr Devendra Praksh Singh. He sought a detailed report from the SP. He assured that arrest of the attackers will be made as early as possible.


The trouble occurred when Mr Pal, who is also the convenor of the district Left Front, was coming to Cooch Behar town with Mrs Pal to attend the district secretariat meeting of the party.


At Chilakhana, near the local Madrasa, a truck loaded with Trinamul Congress supporters pushed out their car from the road. The policemen in another vehicle that was escorting the car rescued the injured leaders and left the place with the leaders. Again, at Chilakhana Morh, some Trinamul Congress supporters attacked the police vehicle and assaulted the two leaders. When a securityman brandished his service revolver the agitators dispersed away. At Maruganj, Trinamul Congress supporters again attacked the police vehicle. Meanwhile, on being informed a large police force appeared at the spot and rescued the leaders.


As all the secretariat members of the party were present at the party office in Cooch Behar they immediately adopted a decision to call a 12-hour bandh in the district tomorrow. Accordingly, on behalf of district Left Front a bandh was declared condemning the attack.


Agitated Left Front activists staged a demonstration at the office of the SP and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits. Mr Chandi Pal too lodged an FIR against Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh and sixty other Trinamul activists. State food and supply minister Mr Paresh Adhimkary talked with the DM and SP and instructed them to arrest the attackers.


The SP Mr Devendra Prakash Sing assured the LF leaders of speedy steps. The DM Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha said he was awaiting a detailed report from the police.


Tufanganj tense, double bandh call


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 11: The Students' Union election in Tufanganj College was held yesterday in an atmosphere of tension and violence. Police had to lathicharge to maintain peace. At deep of the night the counting of ballots completed. In 23 seats, the SFI bagged 17 seats and Trinamul Congress and its allies won 4 seats. ABVP candidates won the rest two seats.


Terming the election a rigged one and a result of conspiracy of the CPI-M and police and also demanding re-poll the Trinamul Congress staged roadblocks at several places in Tufanganj today. Roadblock was also held at Suktabari on Mathabhanga-Cooch Behar road. They also called a 12-hour bandh in Tufanganj sub-division tomorrow condemning the police atrocities taken place yesterday.


Mentionworthy, till the recent panchayat elections Tufanganj was known as the red bastion of the CPI-M. But, in the panchayat election the Trinamul Congress and its allies snatched power in the two blocks of the sub-division. Since then on, the CPI-M has been trying to recapture power and the Trinamul Congress trying to retain the new gained power. The students' union election in Tufanganj College turned a prestige fight between the two warring parties.


Today, during the roadblock programme the district CPI-M secretary Mr Chandi Pal and his wife Mrs Jaba Pal were coming to Cooch Behar to attend their party's district secretariat meeting. They were attacked at Chilakhana and Maruganj.


District Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh denied involvement of Trinamul supporters in the incident. The car carrying the CPI-M leaders tried to avert a collision with a calf when it skidded out of the road. "With a political intension they are trying to involve Trinamul Congress", he said.


State forest minister Mr Ananta Roy held district Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh responsible for the attack. He alleged that the incident was occurred following instructions from Mr Ghosh. He told the matter in detail to the chief minister over phone. As there was a warrant pending against Mr Ghosh it is not impossible for the police to arrest him, Mr Roy told the CM. Mr Pal too named Mr Ghosh in the FIR.


CPM leaders in hospital


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 11: District CPI_M secretary Mr Chandi Pal received injuries on his shoulder and legs when attackers assaulted him with wooden sticks. They beat his wife, Mrs Jaba Pal too. Mr Pal told the incident to the attending doctors – Dr Subrata Haldar and Dr Sovaram Mandal - at MJN Hospital. ECG of the two leaders was done and they were asked to remain in the hospital for a few days. The doctors advised them to stay in the hospital for a few days.


Police constable Mr Khagen Singh, securitymen Mr Bindu Hansda and Mr Chandra Chhetry and driver of police vehicle Mr Gopal Kolay too received injuries during the melee.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009


GCDP general secretary Mr Phanindra Nath Barman addresses at the gathering at Samhati Maidan in Dinhata, Cooch Behar on Monday (9 February 2009).


Life is nothing but ups and downs. At a children's park in Kholta, Cooch Behar.


 After a hard day's work. At Murti forest in Dooars, Jalpaiguri.

Monday, 9 February 2009


GCDP to field Bangshi in Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 9: After its annual executive meeting that held last night, the Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party (GCDP) announced today that they will field three candidates in the ensuing Lok Sabha election.


The GCDP named Mr Bangshi Badan Barman in Cooch Behar seat while the candidates for the Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri seats will be named later. It may be mentioned here that Mr Barman is now in Cooch Behar District Correctional Home as an undertrial prisoner in connection with a few cases brought against him and several others. If the legal procedure was not complete before the poll the senior leader of 'Greater Cooch Behar' movement will submit his nomination from the jail, GCDP president Mr Ashutosh Barma said.


Mr Barma said in last night's meeting it was decided that they would raise demands to the government to take actions against infiltrators and illegal voters. "We shall submit memorandums within seven days to the President, the Prime Minister and the Election Commission of India to delete the names of the false voters from the voters' list and steps against the infiltrators. We shall request them to constitute a board to review the existing voters' lists for deletion of the names of ghost and illegal voters", he said. If no action was taken they are to start a fast-unto-death programme prior to the Lok Sabha election, the GCDP leader announced.


In the meeting the 128-member central committee was reduced to a 25-member one to run the organisation effectively, Mr Barma said.


Ex-servicemen's demonstration


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 9: Demanding engagement of ex-servicemen as security personnel in the government hospitals the members of District Ex-servicemen's Association (DESA) staged a demonstration at the office of the chief medical officer of health (CMOH) in Cooch Behar today.


General secretary of DESA Mr Tapan Chaudhury said there was a government directive to appointment ex-servicemen as security personnel in the government hospitals but it was being violated for a long. Inexperienced youths are being engaged in the posts of securitymen. He demanded immediate end of this step-motherly attitude.


Submitting a memorandum containing a four-point charter of demands the DESA has demanded Rs 3,500 as monthly wage to a casual ex-serviceman working as a securityman. They also demanded appointment of ex-servicemen in the casual posts of security personnel in the hospitals through the Ex-servicemen's Co-operative Society instead of inexperienced contractors.


Mr Chaudhury said the CMOH heard their points and assured them that he would consider their demands. []

Sunday, 8 February 2009


Inaugurating its two-day programme GCDP president Mr Ashutosh Barma hoisting party flag at Samhati Maidan in Dinhata, Cooch Behar on Sunday.


GCDP to fight in Lok Sabha poll


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 8: The Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party (GCDP) may field three candidates in the ensuing Lok Sabha election. They may field Mr Bangshi Badan Barman in Cooch Behar seat while the candidates for the Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri seats are yet to be decided. The final decision is to be adopted at the GCDP central committee meeting that starts this night.


In the meeting a few executive members might be replaced while the central committee may be expanded too, GCDP president Mr Ashutosh Barma said. Programmes for organising fresh movements to get a separate state will be adopted at the meeting, he said. All the decisions including fielding of candidates in the Lok Sabha election will be announced tomorrow at a public meeting that is to be held at Samhati Maidan in Dinhata, Mr Barma said.


This morning, Mr Barma inaugurated the two-day celebration of the great hero of Cooch Behar Royal dynasty, Chila Roy's 499-th birth anniversary by hoisting the GCDP flag at Samhati Maidan in Dinhata. Competitive performances of Bhawaiya song and Kushan dance are also being held. The annual meeting and gathering of the GCDP are being held on the occasion, Mr Barma said.


Demand to use of Nepali, Bengali in offices


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 8: The second state conference of the Pashchim Banga Gram Panchayat Sahayak Samiti (PBGPSS) concluded at Rabindra Bhavan today. Vice-president of State Co-ordination Committee (SCC) Mr Ashok Patra had inaugurated the three-day conference on Friday. Sabhadhipati of Cooch Behar Zilla Parishad Mr Dilip Biswas delivered the welcome address at the inaugural session of the conference attended by 390 delegates from 18 districts.


In the conference a number of resolutions on state-level demands were adopted. A resolution was adopted demanding introduction of Nepali language in the hill region and Bengali in the rest areas of the state in the offices of government departments. The delegates criticised the bureaucrats for their reluctance to introduce mother tongue in functioning of administration and issuing of official directives. The ministers too are not taking any visible initiative to implement the plan, they said.


Drawing an end to corruption and misuse of government fund and launching of steps to increase state exchequer were also demanded in another resolution. It demanded minimising of unnecessary use of government vehicles and telephones and hiring of private vehicles.


Though the PBGPSS is an affiliate of CPI-M dominated State Co-ordination Committee it criticised the Left Front government in several resolutions adopted in the conference. It suggested the state government to stop engaging of private agencies in the jobs of state administration and appointment of personnel on contract basis. The cabinet of ministers should take decisions after discussions with democratic organisations to maintain transparency, it advised.


The conference also demanded abolition of voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), bonus at the rate of Rs 8.33 to all employees, filling up of all vacant posts and jobs for the unemployed youths.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


Forward Bloc observed martyrs day in Dinhata


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 4: By organising a huge gathering in Dinhata today, the Forward Bloc tried to prove that its organisational base is still intact. Dinhata town wore a black look today with hundreds of heads and black flags. In a frantic bid the police too tried to outnumber the FB supporters. The party organised the gathering today to remember the five supporters who were killed in police firing on this day last year.


The five men died during a law violation programme and probably so the party held the first anniversary of the firing incident ignoring the law. They held the gathering on road in front of the SDO office in Dinhata without taking any permission from the administration. The administration too took no pains to enforce law. However, the meeting passed off peacefully and the police too heaved a sigh of relief.


When asked, Dinhata SDO Mr Indrajit Pal said he was not aware that the organisers might block the main gate and the main road for observing the programme. Following his order the closed main gate and the office gate were opened. He admitted that the FB sought no permission from him to hold today's programme. "I don't know whether they got it from the DM or not", he said.


Explaining their stand, district Forward Bloc secretary Mr Udayan Guha said they sought no permission because they took it granted that the administration would not extend it to them. "They had opened fire on our men last year and it is yet in dark who gave the permission to police to kill five of our men. Holding a meeting for some time is not a bigger crime than that", he claimed. "If ours is an illegal act, the more one can find at the DM office where corruption with NREGA fund is a regular practice", he fumed.


"We promised the people that Left Front government would never suppress any democratic movement with bullets but the irony is that we became the victim. From today's programme we like to alert the government not to repeat similar things in future", Mr Guha added.


Today, the Forward Bloc used a decorated truck as the dais and placed it in front of the main gate of the SDO office complex on the main road in Dinhata. A makeshift martyrs column was also placed there for paying floral tribute to the five martyrs. Starting from there hundreds of people sat on and along the road till end of the meeting that went on for more than an hour.


During his address in the gathering, Mr Guha said the judicial inquiry commission was yet to start hearing though one year has passed. "We don't know in which cold-storage they may dump the report of findings," he quipped.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009


Culling to continue for two more days


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 4: The culling drive in the avian flu affected areas in Cooch Behar will go on for two more days. Earlier, it was decided that the drive would be carried on till today. But, as the target is yet to be fulfilled the administration extended two days and it will go on till Friday, the Cooch Behar district magistrate, Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha, said.


Till this evening about 20,000 birds were culled in the villages in Mathabhanga and Dinhata sub-divisions, the DM claimed. The scheduled target is 45,000.


In Daribash area where the villagers resisted the RRT members till yesterday the drive going on smoothly from this morning, the DM said. In Dinhata, the time for the drive was changed from today following local demand. The culling is being held here from the afternoon till 10 p.m.


Toy train, deer park at Kholta


COOCH BEHAR, Feb. 4: In presence of a large curious crowd the state forest minister Mr Ananta Roy flagged off the inaugural journey of a toy train at Kholta in Cooch Behar today. He also inaugurated a deer park there. A children park already came up at the site.


After the inauguration the minister told the media persons that dredging of the adjacent Arhaikumari river has been done where boating facility will be added for tourists and visitors. Cottages will be built and sitting arrangements will be made for the visitors to spend some time at the lap of the nature. The total project area is 51-bigha and some more land will be purchased to make the projects full fledged ones. Talking about the viability of the projects Mr Roy said they earned Rs 13,000 on a day (Saraswati Puja) from the children's park.


The deer park where seven deer were set free today came up with a cost of Rs 25-lakh and the toy train project took Rs 75-lakh so far, Mr Roy said. The noise of the diesel-run toy train will not disturb the deer in the adjacent park, the minister believes. Today, it was found that there was lack of green grass and bush in the deer park. The dusty open area is under the shadows of large teak and other trees. When pointed out, the minister assured that fodder would be arranged for the captive seven deer.


Replying a question the forest minister admitted that required approval from finance department was yet to be attained. After submitting of reports it will not be difficult to get the approval, Mr Roy said.


PHOTO : Prior to the inauguration craze for photographing in front of the Toy Train. At Kholta in Cooch Behar on Wednesday. – DB.