Friday, 10 July 2009


A 'secret' museum in Cooch Behar

A unique museum came up in Cooch Behar but it is yet to be officially inaugurated. Barring a few lucky ones it is not possible for the citizens in general to have a glance of the historic articles kept in the museum. The state government is yet to issue the required approval to make the museum open to all.

Different organisations like the Heritage Society of Cooch Behar, the North East Development Academy and the Concern for Cooch Behar conveyed appeals to the state PWD minister, Mr Kshiti Goswami on several occasions to issue the required approval but due to some undisclosed reasons the approval is yet to be released.

The proponents of the museum opined that the PWD minister should come forward to take an initiative. Once opened the common people will be able to see the historic articles of the days of Maharajas of Cooch Behar. Sources in the PWD (Roads), Highway division, Cooch Behar, said, it is up to the PWD minister to decide the fate of the museum. Presently, the rich collection of rare historic articles is being kept in a room in the office of the PWD (Roads), Highway division, in Cooch Behar near Madan Mohan Thakurbari. There are two such museums of the PWD in the state – one at Kolkata and the other at Darjeeling.

A few years ago, replying a letter the Chief Engineer (Roads) reportedly requested the Executive Engineer of Cooch Behar Highway Division to keep the historical documents in a selected room of the Divisional Building with proper care till declaration of a "Sangrahashala" by the government.

The Public Works unit was set up in Cooch Behar in 1864 during the regime of Maharajas of Cooch Behar for construction of buildings, bridges, and roads. Before that the PW jobs were done under Baxikhana. The total length of roads was nine miles only before 1864. But, during the next 20-years 109-mile roads were constructed under royal PW unit. This department also constructed the railroad from Mogulhat (now in Bangladesh) to Buxa.

In the still unnamed museum there are age-old tools and instruments, maps, ledgers, documents, books on architecture, mileposts, drafts and designs of various buildings and bridges. They also collected a few copies of gazettes printed from Cooch Behar State Press in those Raj-days. When Cooch Behar was a princely state, lampposts and water stand-posts were brought from England. A few of these articles too found place in the proposed museum.

Concrete water-tubs placed on the side of roads for cattle in those good-old days, are also collected for the museum. Not only these, specimen of royal emblems, maps, furniture made with Burma-teak, bricks made by royal PW unit and documents of Cooch Behar Airport during second world war are also collected for the proposed museum. If these historic objects were displayed properly in a gallery it would enhance the tourist attraction of this heritage town, opined many.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009


Rebel FB ex-MP to join Trinamul on 21 July

The Forward Bloc is not ready to give any importance on the news of joining of its ex-MP Mr Hiten Barman to Trinamul Congress.

The general secretary of the district Forward Bloc Mr Udayan Guha said Mr Barman's desertion would make no difference in the organisational strength of the Forward Bloc. He said, "It is better for us to say nothing about him because he is no more a man of us."

The rebel Forward Bloc leader Mr Hiten Barman who had submitted his resignation from the party on the eve of the last Lok Sabha election is going to join the Trinamul Congress on 21 July. The aggrieved ex-MP left the Forward Bloc, as he was not re-nominated as a candidate in Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat.

Mr Guha said, "Mr Barman was the president of the party's district committee but he has no political connection with our party these days. We reported his activities and conveyed his anti-party statements to the state committee. Now, the state leadership are to decide about him. He may be going to be the 52-nd vice-president of the Trinamul Congress and we like to congratulate him in advance."

Mr Guha admitted that his party took no steps against Mr Barman after his submission of resignation letter. Neither he was expelled nor his resignation was accepted. A new executive committee including the president will be constituted during the party's district conference in December, the FB leader said.

President of Cooch Behar district Trinamul Congress Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh said Mr Barman recently met Trinamul chief Miss Mamata Bannerjee in New Delhi and talked over his joining to the Trinamul. Already a number of his followers joined Trinamul. His inclusion in the Trinamul Congress would be announced at the gathering in Kolkata that is to be organised to celebrate 'Vijay Divas'.

Mentionworthy, the Trinamul Congress observes 'Shahid Divas' on 21 July every year but this year the day is marked as 'Vijay Divas'.

Mr Ghosh hoped that the Trinamul Congress might be richer by getting an experienced Parliamentarian like Mr Hiten Barman. His joining may act as a booster to make the party stronger in Cooch Behar district.

Mr Barman was found hesitant to comment over his stance. He told reporters that he might join the Trinamul at the programme on 21 July where he was invited to attend. 

Sunday, 5 July 2009


CPI-M to thwart Trinamul's stir against its leaders

The CPI-M has decided to thwart all evil designs of the Trinamul Congress in Cooch Behar district. The decision was adopted following the Trinamul's recent demonstrations staged against the state forest minister Mr Ananta Roy and Natabari MLA Mr Tamser Ali.

The Natabari MLA had to face demonstrations several times recently at different places in Tufanganj. The women activists of the Trinamul Congress demonstrated against the minister at Mathabhanga on 28 June in a programme organised by the forest division. They had also thrown a saree to the minister. Yesterday, they again staged a black-flag demonstration and chanted 'go back' to him at Panchanan Morh in Mathabhanga while the minister was going to attend a programme.

Today, after the district secretariat meeting of the party the district CPI-M secretary Mr Chandi Pal said they would not allow similar unruly activities of the Trinamul anymore. He also criticised the police for its almost inactive role in controlling the miscreants.

The minister was however found in a softer attitude towards the police than before. Earlier, he reported of the Trinamul's activities and inadequate role of the police to the chief minister. Today he said, "I am a minister, so I should not see only the negative side of the police."

On the otherhand, district Trinamul Congress president Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh said that their supporters would demonstrate against the forest minister at everywhere they get him in Mathabhanga till construction of the much-awaited Sutunga bridge and completion of other half-done projects. If required, they may even organise movements against all the MLAs and ministers of the Forward Bloc and the CPI-M in Cooch Behar district, Mr Ghosh said.

It may be recalled that district Forward Bloc secretary Mr Udayan Guha already announced that they would not remain a silent spectator if the Trinamul Congress continues its unruly activities. Recalling the recent saree throwing towards the forest minister he threatened that if they dare to repeat such things again anywhere in the district it must be retaliated by similar way on the Trinamul MLA in Dinhata.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


A spar being constructed on the bank of Teesta near Jubilee Park in Jalpaiguri on Thursday.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Left Front stir disrupts traffic in Dinhata

Activists of the Left Front staged a roadblock at Dinhata today on Dinhata-Cooch Behar road in front of the Dinhata police station. Vehicular traffic has been disrupted due to the agitation for a long. It was learnt that no prior permission was taken from the administration to stage the programme on the street though the organisers claimed that they intimated of the programme to the authorities earlier. The agitation was however lifted at about 12-noon, about five hours prior to the scheduled plan.

The Left Front staged the roadblock demanding strict measures against the alleged hooliganism of the Trinamul Congress. The agitators demanded arrest of all the Trinamul activists involved in the recent clash that occurred at Kursahat in Dinhata. A large contingent of police force was deployed in Dinhata today to maintain law and order during the agitation.

Senior Left Front leaders like Mr Udayan Guha and Mr Hiralal Das of the Forward Bloc, Mr Pallab Chaudhury of the CPI and Mr Benu Badal Chakraborty and Mr Tarapada Barman of the CPI-M spoke at the gathering organised on the occasion.

District Forward Bloc secretary Mr Udayan Guha alleged that the Left Front would not remain a silent spectator if the Trinamul Congress continues its violent activities in the district. Citing different examples of attacks on Left Front partners in the district and demonstrations against Natabari MLA Mr Tamser Ali at Tufanganj and state forest minister Mr Ananta Roy at Mathabhanga Mr Guha said they will not allow these things any more. Referring the incident of throwing of a saree to the forest minister he threatened that they may retaliate it by similar acts on the MLAs of Dinhata (Trinamul Congress) and Sitai (Congress) if such things go on any more.

Mr Guha came down heavily on the role of a section of police. "They are not active enough and many of them working with a partisan attitude against us", he alleged. "If required, we may call bandhs in Dinhata as well as in the district to stage protest against the Trinamul's disruptive designs and the indifferent role of the police", he said.