Wednesday, 31 March 2010


The first tiger that poses for picture at Buxa Tiger Reserve

The Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) came up in 1983 and for the first time since then the officials spotted a tiger directly. A beat officer Manindra Sarkar was able to a take two photographs of the tiger from close range. The deputy field director of the BTR, Subhankar Sengupta claimed it as an achievement because till now they would have to be satisfied with scats, pugmarks and sound of roaring.

Sengupta said they identified presence of 12 to 15 tigers in the reserve area during census done in 2007. Tiger census in all-India basis for 2010 is going on from February and it will be continued till the end of April. 83 samples like scat have been sent for DNA examination to Hyderebad and Guwahati. He hoped that this time the number of big cats might rise in this reserve.

It was learnt that a beat officer Manindra Sarkar spotted the tiger in Chunijhora beat of Hatipota range on 24 March when he was on his duty for the ongoing tiger census. "Sarkar saw the 5 to 6 year old tiger in a bush when it was walking away. He was able to take two snaps with his ordinary camera and it was the first direct evidence that the tigers exist in our reserve", said the DFD-BTR, Sengupta. 


Bangladeshi enclave women gave birth to a child at an Indian hospital

Asma Bibi (25), a resident of a Bangladeshi enclave named Madhya Masaldanga, gave birth to a male child at Dinhata sub-divisional hospital in Cooch Behar district on Monday evening. Such things happened many times earlier as Dinhata is a bordering sub-division. But, this time it became a news item because the women registered her original name and address in the hospital register. Her husband, Shajahan Sheikh brought her to the hospital on Monday when she was suffering from labour pain.

Shajahan Sheikh admitted that he shifted her wife when he found no alternative to help her. At first he contacted the leaders of the India-Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Co-ordination Committee and following their advice he took her to Dinhata hospital and admitted her at about 6 p.m. There she gave birth to a male child. They named the child as Jihad Hussein Obama, Sheikh said.

On behalf of India-Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Co-ordination Committee, Diptiman Sengupta said the authorities should issue a birth certificate to the newborn. Otherwise, they would initiate a movement over the issue. He however thanked the hospital authority for admitting the woman and extending necessary medical help to her.

Superintendent of Dinhata sub-divisional hospital Dr Nikhil Das said they admitted the woman on humanitarian grounds. They will be discharged soon as the mother and the child both are in doing well, he said.

Today, when asked about the controversy over admission of a Bangladeshi enclave resident to the government hospital the sub-divisional officer of Dinhata, Chiranjib Ghosh said that he was informed of the incident from the hospital authority. They had to do it on humanitarian grounds. Would it not been treated as an act of inhumanity if we refused her admission, he questioned. He however denied making any comment over possibility of the arrest of the couple for trespassing in India and issuing of official birth certificate to the newborn. The administration is yet to receive any complaint against the couple, he added.

Mentionworthy, there were 126 Indian enclaves (Chhitmahals) in Bangladesh and 96 Bangladeshi enclaves in India. 

Monday, 29 March 2010


BJP eager in alliance with Trinamul Congress 

The BJP is ready to contest in all the 59 wards in four municipalities in Cooch Behar district. They are also eager in making alliance with their old ally, the Trinamul Congress.

The newly appointed president of the party's Cooch Behar district unit Hemchandra Barman said that they were interested in seat adjustment with all political parties except the CPI-M. But, if they fail to reach an understanding with other parties they will field candidates in all the 59 seats in four municipalities.

Barman said they had doubt over any alliance between the Trinamul Congress and the Congress and they had no hesitation in reaching an alliance with the Trinamul Congress for the civic polls.

Clarifying their stand Barman said that the municipal election was different from Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. And so, they are eager to make seat adjustment with any political party except the CPI-M.

The district BJP president declared the new district committee of the BJP on Thursday. The party's state unit vice-president Malati Rava Roy was also present in the press conference.

In the 61-membered committee 21 have been included in the executive committee. Hemchandra Barman became president while Anil Kumar Malakar, Bimal Kumar Sarkar, Pranab Pal, Shikha Basak, Jagannath Biswas, Gayatri Kar, Ajit Kumar Roy and Kanika Rava became vice-presidents. Nikhil Ranjan Dey, Utpal Kanti Deb and Braja Gobinda Barman have been appointed as general secretaries. Gopinath Saha is the treasurer. The eight secretaries are: Sudhangshu Roy, Jatindra Nath Barman, Sanjib Kumar Dey, Avijit Barman, Nanibala Barman, Ujjwal Kanti Basak, Prabhat Pakhadhara and Lakshirani Barman.

President Hemchandra Barman, general secretary Nikhil Ranjan Dey and some other office bearers at the BJP office in Cooch Behar.


Demand to uplift Falimari's condition 

Two rivers – Sankosh and Raidak-II, encircle Falimari in Tufanganj sub-division of Cooch Behar district. The area is an underdeveloped and neglected one for a long. Demanding improvement of the chaotic condition of Falimari the Trinamul Congress staged a mass convention at Falimari Government Primary School ground recently. Vice-president of district Trinamul Congress Niranjan Dutta and secretary Tapan Pal, the party's Falimari unit president Palan Sarkar and other leaders spoke at the convention. During their addresses they highlighted the burning problems and demanded the government to take immediate measures to end the condition.

The Trinamul Congress also submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate. In the memorandum they mentioned a seven-point charter of demands. Vice-president of district Trinamul Congress Niranjan Dutta said in the memorandum they demanded construction of better roads, construction of embankments to save farmlands of Chhat-Falimari and Uttar-Falimari villages from the erosion of Sankosh river, extension of power supply facility to Chhat-Falimari village especially for the benefit of local students as eighty percent area was suffering from lack of electric connection. He also demanded speedy completion of the construction of the bridge over Gangadhar river between Rampur-II and Falimari Gram Panchayats and establishment of a primary health centre in the locality. In the memorandum the Trinamul Congress also demanded inclusion of all poor people in the BPL list and job facility for all persons having Job Cards under the NREGA scheme.


Hanuman puja 

The members of Byayam Bidyalaya organised the annual Hanuman puja at Mahamaya Pat in Dinhata on Monday. Secretary general of Byayam Bidyalaya Bibhu Ranjan Saha claimed that the puja attracted a large crowed at the puja pandal. As the members of Byayam Bidyalaya are engaged in bodybuilding and physical exercises they observe the puja annually to get blessings from Lord Hanuman, Saha said. 

Friday, 19 March 2010

Indo-Bangladesh Border

Section 144 along Bangladesh border to check smuggling

Aiming to prevent breach of peace and large scale smuggling of essential commodities into Bangladesh by miscreants and anti-social elements, the district magistrate of Cooch Behar, Ms Smaraki Mahapatra, has promulgated Section 144 CrPC along the entire Indo-Bangladesh border in Cooch Behar district. The said order shall remain in force for sixty days, said the District Information Officer Mr KK Sarkar. 

According to the order any person violating the order shall be liable for prosecution under Section 188 IPC. The order was issued on 18 March.
It was learnt that the prohibitory order was promulgated following information that there was serious apprehension of breach of peace in the International border areas of the district due to shortage of essential commodities caused by large scale smuggling into Bangladesh by miscreants and anti-social elements.
According to the order, no person shall carry twenty-four scheduled commodities within a distance of one-kilometre from the Bangladesh border in eight police stations in the district, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. without prior written permission of the DM or the SDO or the BDO concerned. These police stations are : Tufanganj, Mathabhanga, Mekhliganj, Kuchlibari, Dinhata, Sitai, Sitalkuchi and Haldibari.
By the same order, a ban was also clamped on the grazing of cattle within 300 metres of the Indo-Bangladesh border from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., Mr Sarkar added.
Following the order, the haats, bazaars and shops of the concerned zone shall not transact business from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The commodities restricted for carrying, described in Schedule-A in the order, are: rice and paddy, wheat and wheat products, kerosene, sugar, mustard oil, coconut oil, fertiliser, textile goods, iron and steel, bidi leaves, tobacco, machine parts, baby food, cycle parts, salt, tea, tyre and tubes, dry batteries, petrol and diesel, raw jute, pulses, cattle, cement and betel nuts. 

Monday, 15 March 2010


Workshop on bird flu

A two-day orientation cum sensitisation workshop on strengthening of cross border emergency preparedness and response mechanism for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has started at Mahal Conference Hall of Maharaja Tourist Complex in Cooch Behar on Monday. District magistrate of Cooch Behar Smaraki Mahapatra inaugurated the programme.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations Organisation organised the workshop in collaboration with Animal Resources Development of West Bengal government for Cooch Behar district and Alipurduar sub-division of Jalpaiguri district as a part of strengthening cross border activities among Bangladesh, Nepal and India to control possible cross border spread of HPAI.

District magistrate of Cooch Behar Ms Smaraki Mahapatra, deputy director of Animal Resources department Dr Tapan Kumar Roy and others spoke on the occasion. FAO's sub-regional manager, Emergency Centre for Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) unit (SAARC) Dr Mohindra Singh Oberoi conducted the workshop.

Saturday, 13 March 2010


Dipa Das munsi in Cooch Behar


An eminent Congress leader and also a Member of the Parliament, Mrs Dipa Dasmunsi said today that the Congress sent a letter to the Trinamul Congress asking them to name the leaders with which the Congress to talk over seat adjustment for the next civic elections. But, they are yet to receive any reply from the Trinamul Congress, she commented.

Mrs Dasmunsi came to Cooch Behar today to address a convention at Rabindra Bhavan and a public gathering at Shahid Baag organised by the Minority Cell of the Cooch Behar District Congress.

The Congress leader said they empowered the district unit presidents of the Congress to talk with their counterparts in Trinamul Congress and other like-minded parties over seat adjustment for the municipal polls.

When she was being reminded of the outcome of the alliance during formation of the board in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation she made it clear that the interest of the party is greater than any alliance. "We tried our best there but things went wrong", she clarified.

On the otherhand, president of the District Trinamul Congress Mr Rabindra Nath Ghosh said that the future of the proposed alliance would be clear after Mrs Dasmunsi's departure from Cooch Behar because she is known as an anti-alliance leader.

Senior Congress leaders like Mr SMH Haider, Dr Fozle Hoque, Mr Abdul Mannan, Mr Biren Kundu and Congress presidents of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts attended today's programme. 

Monday, 1 March 2010


IG-BSF Nand Kishor visits border

Nand Kishor, Inspector General of Border Security Force (North Bengal Frontier) recently visited India-Bangladesh border areas under Sahebganj and Durga Nagar Border Outposts in Dinhata. The areas are under supervision of 181-Bn BSF.

The IG-BSF inaugurated a medical camp organised by the 181-Bn BSF at Sahebganj village. It is to provide medical help to the poor and needy villagers living in border areas.

The IG-BSF met local Gram Panchayat pradhans, GP members and eminent villagers. He also witnessed a demonstration of martial arts (Judo and Karate) that was staged by local boys and trained by Assistant Commandant Jarnail Singh. The children of local schools staged a small cultural programme. BSF band also entertained the gathering.

Speaking on the occasion, Nand Kishor emphasised on the need to better relation between BSF and civil population of border areas. He assured the people that the BSF were there to help them in any contingency. He exhorted people to come out with their problems and assured that the BSF would try to sort them out. The IG-BSF desired that better working relation with civilians be developed and nurtured.

At the end of the programme, the IG-BSF distributed prizes to the locals who participated in the demonstration of martial arts skills.


Medical camp

A medical camp was organised recently by 46-Bn BSF at the local primary school campus in Paglimari village. At the camp, the Senior Medical Officer of 46-Bn BSF Dr Khurshid Alam examined more than 250 patients including children. TP Kushwaha distributed medicines free of cost among the needy and poor patients. The villagers welcomed the BSF's initiative and requested them to organise such free medical camp regularly in the area.


Cultural initiative

In a meeting of eminent citizens and intellectuals a new cultural platform was formed at Paromita Bhavan in Cooch Behar recently. Name of the new body is Nationalist Council for Culture and Literature (NCCL). Prasenjit Barman became the adviser while Dr Sukhbilas Barma became the president and Dr Ramaprasad Nag the convenor of the NCCL central committee. To conduct operations in Cooch Behar district Prof Ushakanto Dutta, Parbanando Das and Biswadeb Chattopadhyay were appointed as the president, working president and secretary respectively.

The NCCL will form committees in other districts very soon, said Dr Sukhbilas Barma. The aim of the newly formed body is to start an awareness drive among the people for a healthier nationalist cultural atmosphere against regionalism and communalism, he added. He urged the writers, authors, poets and other artistes to join the NCCL to strengthen the nationalist cultural initiative.


Rural health

Submitting a memorandum to the chief medical officer of health in Cooch Behar, the SPC Society of Rural Health demanded enlistment of rural medical practitioners by the government in all the blocks. General secretary of the SPCSRH Ashutosh Sen said the CMOH accepted their memorandum containing ten-point charter of demands and heard their arguments with patience. He also assured of all co-operation from his end, Sen said.

In the memorandum the SPCSRH demanded providing of short-term medical training to the rural practitioners in the government-run sub-divisional hospitals and primary health centres. They also demanded introduction of diploma medical course and setting of at least one village health clinic in every Gram Panchayat. They also sought protective measures to save rural practitioners from the 'illegal harassment' by drug control officials and the police.