Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Panchayat Elections

Left Front to follow 'one seat one candidate' policy

The Left Front constituent parties in Cooch Behar district have
decided to follow 'one seat one candidate' policy in the next
three-tier Panchayat elections. The decision has been adopted at the
meeting of the district Left Front committee. Leaders of the CPI-M,
the Forward Bloc, the CPI and the RSP attended the meeting that was
held at district CPI-M office. All the leaders arrived at a consensus
that the unity of the Left Front should be strengthened to fight
against the atrocities of the ruling Trinamul Congress.

District CPI-M secretary and an MP (Rajya Sabha), Tarini Roy said that
they will work for a stronger Left Front in Cooch Behar district. On
21 November they will stage a demonstration against the atrocities
sponsored by the Trinamul Congress and also against the growing
incidents of crime against women. On that day they will bring out a
large rally and submit memorandums to the district administration.

District Forward Bloc general secretary and also an MLA (Dinhata),
Udayan Guha also emphasised on the need for a strong and united Left
Front in the district. He said that in the Panchayat election the Left
Front parties will field one candidate in one seat to fight against
the Trinamul Congress candidates. At several places in the previous
elections the left parties fielded their own candidates against each
other. This time it will not happen as a united Left Front is the need
of the time, he said.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

ISI agents in Police net

3 suspected ISI agents arrested

Suspecting them as agents of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, Cooch
Behar Police arrested three persons including a Bangladesh national
from Mekhliganj today. The main suspect is Saidul Islam of Nilfamari
in Bangladesh. His two associates are residents of Cooch Behar
district. They are Mahabul Alam of Mekhliganj and Hossain Ali of
Pundibari. The police are now interrogating them to find out their
other associates.

Acting on a tip-off they arrested the three, the Cooch Behar SP Pranab
Kumar Das claimed. The arrested Bangladesh national has no valid
passport or visa, but he regularly visits India illegally. Keeping
regular watch on his activities the police turned suspicious. Keeping
a close watch on him the police were able to trace out his two Indian
associates too. After their arrest all the three are now under
thorough interrogation, the SP said.

Monday, 29 October 2012


Cooch Behar-Kolkata air service to resume soon

The abandoned air service between Cooch Behar and Kolkata will resume
soon. State Forest Minister Hiten Barman said that he talked with the
state Transport Department's secretary, BP Gopalika over the issue and
came to know that the air service will commence soon between Cooch
Behar and Kolkata via Bagdogra. At the beginning of the tourist season
in this region the air service will encourage tourists of the country
and abroad to visit North Bengal. Barman also said that the earlier
plan to press helicopter service in Cooch Behar –Bagdogra –Kolkata
route has been differed. According to the new plan a small aircraft is
going to fly in this route. The helicopter was to carry 11 passengers
only but the aircraft will carry 18 passengers, he said. The Forest
Minister said the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is also trying her
best to revive the air service in this region.

On the otherhand, the Cooch Behar MP, Nripendra Nath Roy said that he
raised the issue at the Lok Sabha at least 12 times. He also drew
attention of the Union Civil Aviation Minister to reintroduce the air
service between Cooch Behar and Kolkata. "I will raise the issue again
in the next session of the Parliament that is to commence on 21
November", he said. Criticising the Trinamul Congress led state
government the Forward Bloc MP said that the government promised that
the long abandoned air service will be resumed before the Puja
festival but they failed to translate the promise into reality. It is
nothing but a government of mere promises, Roy commented.

The general secretary of the Cooch Behar District Chamber of Commerce
and Industry, Rajendra Kumar Baid said that they already sent a
memorandum to the Union Civil Aviation Minister, Ajit Singh urging him
to revive the Cooch Behar Airport and the air service between Cooch
Behar and Kolkata. They will also organise a mass convention soon in
Cooch Behar over the issue.

It may be recalled here that the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
announced in Cooch Behar on 11 July that an assistance of Rs 25-crore
will be extended to widen the runway of the Cooch Behar Airport. On 25
July, a two-member team from The Pavanhans Helicopter Limited visited
Cooch Behar Airport and expressed their satisfaction examining its
infrastructure. On 11 September, the state Transport Department inked
an agreement with the Pavanhans Helicopter Limited over flight between
Cooch Behar and Kolkata via Bagdogra. It was then assured that the
service may revive before the Pujas but it is yet to gain momentum.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Death of a man

A mysterious death and aftermath

A mysterious and unnatural death of a person created a sensation in
Cooch Behar. At the same time it pointed out the poor condition of
health service in government hospitals.

One Gopinath Dey of Ashram Road in Cooch Behar got admitted at the
Maharaja Jitendra Narayan Hospital recently with some ailments. After
five days he has been released from the hospital on Friday. After
returning back to his residence he went to get a shave at a local
haircutting shop. Suddenly locals heard a cry from the shop and rushed
to the spot. They rescued Gopinath in a pool of blood with a deep cut
on his neck. In a serious condition he was shifted to the MJN Hospital
again from where he was released a few hours ago. How the man received
the fatal injury is yet a mystery as no one found the barber named
Bhupen Roy. He fled away since the incident.

The relatives and the neighbours alleged that the doctor on duty was
not found for a long. After death of Gopinath the doctor arrived but
he had nothing to do at that time. After this, the relatives and the
neighbours turned aggrieved and lodged complaints to the hospital

The brother of the deceased man, Gopal Dey and a nephew, Manab Dey
alleged that Gopinath died unattended at the hospital. How one can
expect medical care in a government hospital if the doctors get
themselves engaged at private nursing homes or private chambers, they
questioned. They held the poor health service system of the hospital
responsible for the death of Gopinath. On the otherhand, police
started a probe into the incident and trying to find out the barber.

Friday, 26 October 2012


Fake appointment bid in NBSTC

The problem-torn North Bengal State Transport Corporation received yet
another problem to deal with. It is a bid to appoint persons with fake
appointment letters. In the appointment letters the signatures of the
Managing Director of the corporation, C Murugan, have been forged. On
Thursday night, soon after learning of the matter, the MD lodged an
FIR at Cooch Behar Kotowali Police Station. The police initiated an
investigation following the complaint.

It was learnt that a senior official of the NBSTC drew attention of
the MD over the fake appointment letters on Thursday evening. The MD,
who is also the Additional District Magistrate (General) of Cooch
Behar, rushed to the Paribahan Bhavan, the head office of the
corporation, and examined a copy of the forged letter collected by the
officials. He immediately informed the matter to the secretary of the
state Transport Department, BP Gopalika and other members of the Board
of Directors of the corporation. Latter, he lodged an FIR at Kotowali
Police Station.

In the letter that was issued on 12 October, the MD reportedly
appointed 15 persons for contractual jobs. In the letters they were
asked to join on 2 November. It was intimated that they would get Rs
4,500 per month. When asked the MD, C Murugan said that no such letter
was issued by the NBSTC and the signatures in the letters were fake
ones. On inquiry he came to know that no one yet reported for the job
at any of the depots of the corporation. Only two persons reportedly
inquired about the appointment at Cooch Behar depot recently. Police
may find out the persons involved with the matter, he hoped.

Abdul Jalil Ahmed, the Chairman of the Selection Committee and a
Director of the NBSTC, said that he advised the MD to lodge the FIR to
find out the racket behind the incident. As the Chairman of the
Selection Committee he should know of all appointments in the
corporation as there is a legal procedure to appoint personnel,
contractual or permanent, Ahmed said.

NBSTC sources said that the plan behind the issuance of fake
appointment letters with forged signatures of the Managing Director is
nothing but a bid to undermine the image of the MD who is an IAS
officer. The police should try their best to unearth the racket behind
the incident, they urged.

Thursday, 25 October 2012


Transparent transfer policy in schools

The previous Left Front run state government practiced a politically
motivated policy in transfer of teachers in the government primary
schools. During that regime all the transfers were done with mere
political motivation prior to the Assembly elections. They transferred
the teachers associated with opposition parties only. The Left Front
did it as they used the loyal teachers as polling personnel and to
campaign in favour of the Left Front parties.

But, such practices will not the tolerated anymore. In the recently
organised meeting of the chairmen of the District Primary School
Councils held in Kolkata, the Education Minister Bratya Basu made the
new transfer policy adopted by the state government clear to them.
Various organisations like the Trinamul Congress Education Cell
welcomed the minister's announcement.

The new Trinamul Congress dominated state government has adopted a new
transfer policy in the government primary schools. According to the
new policy transfers will be done following 30:1 formula. Transfers
will be made considering the ratio of the students and the teachers in
the concerned schools. There should be one teacher for thirty

Depicting the new transfer policy and the arguments discussed at the
recent meeting convened by the Education Minister, the chairperson of
the Cooch Behar District Primary School Council Kalyani Poddar said
that they already initiated implementation of the policy in Cooch
Behar district. From now on all transfers will be done according to
the new transfer policy as instructed by the Education Minister, she

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Voice Against Animal Sacrifice

Call to stop 'religious' sacrifice of animals

A group of eminent persons of Cooch Behar came out to stop sacrifice
of animals in the name of religion. They submitted a memorandum to the
state Governor through the District magistrate of Cooch Behar urging
him to intervene into the matter. Among the signatories of the
memorandum there are Nikhil Ranjan Dey (BJP leader), Jagat Ranjan
Bhattacharya (Secretary of the District Sports Association) and
Shibendra Nath Roy (President of the district unit of the Trinamul
Lawyers' Cell).

In the memorandum it was mentioned that once human sacrifice was also
a practice but that has been stopped. Child marriage is also a thing
of the past. Now, the animal sacrifice at open place should be
stopped. It is an inhumane and unlawful act that is going on in the
name of religion. Sacrifice of animals done during the Durga Puja at
Baro Devi temple and Madan Mohan temple in Cooch Behar town and
Kamateswari temple at Gosanimari in Dinhata. These temples are under
Debottar Trust Board that is governed under the patronage of state
Tourism department. This practice should be stopped following the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 as amended by Central Act 26
of 1982, the signatories said.

The Nature and Adventure Study Group (NAS Group) is also trying to
aware the people and mobilize their opinion against animal sacrifice.
They started an awareness drive on and from 15 August. The secretary
of the NAS Group, Arup Guha said they already distributed about 50,000
leaflets and received wide response not only in Cooch Behar but also
in areas from Malda to Alipurduar. The 150-th birth anniversary of
Rabindranath Tagore and Maharaja Nripendra Narayan was celebrated but
no one mentioned that they were against the practice of animal
sacrifice, Guha said. He said that the system cannot be uprooted
immediately but continuous awareness drive against it may be fruitful
one day in future. So the NAS Group is campaigning among the students
in the schools, he added.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Cooch Behar News

Text books for primary students

The Cooch Behar District Primary School Council (DPSC) will make
arrangement to send text books in all primary schools in the district
by 1 January. The text books will be distributed among the students of
Class I to Class V. The Education Minister, Bratya Basu has instructed
all the DPSCs to send books to all the government run primary schools
by 1 January and following his instruction the DPSC in Cooch Behar
will start sending of the books after the Puja vacation. The
Chairperson of Cooch Behar DPSC, Kalyani Poddar said that a few books
of Class I, Class III and Class V will be changed according to new
syllabi but the books of Class II and Class IV will remain unchanged.
The Education Minister issued the instruction in a meeting of all the
DPSC chairmen that was held on Tuesday in Kolkata, Poddar said today.

Taking over the evaluation system, Poddar said this time the DPSC may
arrange question papers locally for external evaluation of the
students reading in Class II and III. Earlier the state council used
to send the questions from Kokkata, she said.

Handicrafts competition

The district level handicrafts competition was held at Cooch Behar
District Industries Centre (DIC). About 100 artisans participated in
the competition. Cooch Behar DM, Mohan Gandhi and DIC General manager,
Niranjan Biswas were among the distinguished persons that attended the

In the Shital Paati (cool mat) category the successful competitors are
Sanjib Dey (First), Sandip Dey (Second) and Narayan Chandra Pal
(Special award), In the Jute category the winners are Usha Barman
(First), Alpana Barman (Second) and Lakshmi Pal (Special). Sadhan
Chandra Barman (First), Haridas Sanyal (Second) and Jagmohan Barman
(Special) are the successful competitors in the Wood, Cane and Bamboo
category. In the Miscellaneous category Bipad Bhanjan Pal stood first
for his bag made of Paati. Nisha Rani Roy stood second for her doll
made of old cloths. The special prize winner is Md Abdul Samad. He
made a Cactus with ground-nuts.

DIC sources said the prize winning artworks will be send to Kolkat to
place in the exhibition to be held on the occasion of the state level
handicrafts fair.

Monday, 15 October 2012


Swimming competition in Tufanganj

In a bid to highlight the promising swimmers a swimming coming
competition was held at Tufanganj in Cooch Behar. The district level
competition was organised at the Tufanganj Swimming Pool. The
successful competitors will be able to participate in the state level

The District Youth Welfare Officer, Nilanjan Mandal said that they
organised the swimming competition to uplift the promising and budding
swimmers in the higher arena of sports. The successful swimmers of the
district level competition will be sent to participate in the state
level competition, he added.

A large number of curious sports loving people assembled at the
Tufanganj Swimming Pool to watch the swimmers' performance.

Kabadi tournament in Tufanganj

An one-day Kabadi Knockout Tournament for women was held at Tufanganj
in Cooch Behar district. The Northeast Club and Library has organised
the programme. The winning team was awarded with Sharodiya Preeti
Trophy. A large number of Kabadi lovers gathered at Ward No 3e of
Tufanganj town to witness the Kabadi tournament.

On behalf of the organisers, the president of the Northeast Club,
Kamalesh Barma said that women players from Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri
district and also for Assam participated in the one-day tournament.

A praiseworthy initiative

Owner of a small roadside eatery, Rathin Chakraborty came out to
spread bits of happiness among the poor and needy persons during the
Puja festival. Chakraborty runs a small eatery at Amtolla in
Tufanganj. His financial ability is not vast but he wants to share the
joy of Puja with the needy persons of the locality. He decided to
donate cloths and garments among the local poor and needy persons. "I
want to be happy with the others of the society by performing this
small effort", he said.

Sunday, 14 October 2012


NBSTC to reintroduce Double Decker bus on Mahalaya

An old double-decker bus of the North Bengal State Transport
Corporation is going to hit the road on the day of Mahalaya (Monday).
The decision to reintroduce the service was adopted in the last Board
meeting of the corporation that was held on 3 October in presence of
the chairman cum the North Bengal Development minister, Gautam Deb.

The Managing Director of the NBSTC, C Murugan said that an old
double-decker bus has been thoroughly renovated and painted. Earlier
these buses used to ply on Sonapur route. This time it will ply
between Cooch Behar and Alipurduar or Cooch Behar and Mathabhanga.

NBSTC's Cooch Behar Division sources said they will try to run the
renovated double-decker bus upto Jainti during the ensuing tourism
season. It may be considered a special attraction to the tourists, the
officials believe.

There was a proposal to buy two new double-decker buses for the NBSTC.
When asked the MD said that they heard that a legal bar was there in
manufacturing such buses. "We will look into the matter and then the
proposal to purchase two such buses may come up again", he added. He
also said that among the 35 new buses for which order was placed to
the manufacturing company in Bangalore, ten were delivered. These will
arrive very soon. Among the ten buses Siliguri will get two, Cooch
Behar three, Baharampore three and Raiganj will get two. Two new buses
of the Siliguri depot will run upto Kolkata, he said. The rest 25
buses will be distributed among the depots of the corporation after
receiving from the manufacturer, he informed.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Work resumes at Cooch Behar Palace

Nurturing of the garden at Cooch Behar Palace complex resumed on
Tuesday. The workers engaged with the job will now get job for 18 days
in a month. The Horticulture Assistant of the Archaeological Survey of
India (ASI), Hemen Medi, who is in charge of maintaining of the
garden, welcomed the workers to join their duty after about five
months. He said the work started following instructions from the
higher authorities.

The historical Cooch Behar Palace is under supervision of the ASI.
There are 13 casual workers who are engaged in maintenance of the
garden for many years. A few months ago the ASI notified that the
workers will get only 15 days of work in a month due to scarcity of
fund. Demanding at least 26 days job the workers started cease-work
since 5 May. During their agitation the ASI halted all work at all
sites due to financial crisis. By this order the garden workers turned
totally jobless.

After a long time the authorities asked its Horticulture division to
resume work as the bad condition of Cooch Behar Palace spread a wrong
signal to the outer world. The Horticulture Assistant, Medi said the
workers will get 18 days of work in a month from now on. The leader of
the workers, Arup Jyoti Dasgupta said that they agreed to the offer as
they want to see the palace in a good condition. But, they will not
leave their demand for 26 days work, he said. He also promised that
the workers will try their best to regain the clean condition of the
Palace garden before the Puja festival.

Medi said that after removing of the grass and bushes they will take
care of the plants that turned weak due to lack of care. After that
they will cultivate seasonal flowers to beatify the palace. The
President of the Cooch Behar palace Workers Union, Narayan Modak
welcomed the development. He hoped that the ASI authorities will take
initiative to restore the beauty of the palace to attract tourists and

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Mega Health Check-up Camp

A mega health check-up camp was organised by the Lions Club of Cooch
Behar Greater (LCCG) in association with Sonari Club at Sonari Primari
School campus on the outskirt of Cooch Behar town on Sunday. Five
renowned doctors attended the camp and examined the locals that
assembled there.

In the camp Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) was arranged by a renowned
drug manufacturer company (CIPLA). They conducted the PFT on 150
patients. Dr Angshuman Sen Sharma examined 205 persons with eye
ailments and identified 16 persons with acute cataract. The President
of the LCCG, Ms Dipanwita Roy said that they will arrange cataract
operation of the selected patients at the Lions Eye Hospital at free
of cost. Dr Debjani Sen Sharma examined 70 local women suffering from
gynaecological problems. Popular child specialists of Cooch Behar, Dr
Binayak Roy and Dr Arindam Boot conducted check-up of 280 children and
suggested required treatment. A renowned dental surgeon Dr Anirban Roy
attended the camp to examine the dental health of children and others.

President of the LCCG, Ms Dipanwita Roy said they organise such health
check-up camps as a part of their social commitment. Such camps will
be organised again in near future, she promised.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Cooch Behar News

Pensioners' agitation in Cooch Behar

The members of the NBSTC Pensioners Association staged a sit-in at the
Divisional Office complex of the corporation today. They shouted
slogans and delivered speeches from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Later, they
submitted a memorandum to the Divisional Manager.

The general secretary of the association, Mohanbanshi Barman said that
they organised the demonstration in support of their four point
charter of demands. They want regular disbursement of pension on the
beginning of a month, clearing of all due payments since last
November, retirement benefits and festival allowance. On Monday they
will stage a two-hour road block at Transport Chowpathi from 12 noon,
Barman said.

The Cooch Behar Divisional Manager of the corporation, Subrata Biswas
admitted that he received a memorandum from the association. As he has
nothing to do with the demands submitted by the pensioners, he
forwarded it to the Managing Director of the NBSTC for consideration,
Biswas said.

CPI-M prepares for Panchayat election

A four-day marathon meeting of the CPI-M was held recently in Cooch
Behar. A senior leader of the party's state unit, Madan Ghosh also
attended the meeting. Party sources said the objective of the four-day
meeting was to strengthen the party's organisational base in Cooch
Behar district.

The CPI-M is not in a happy mood in this district since the last
Panchayat election. They had to lose many seats in that election. In
the last Assembly election too they failed to secure any seat in Cooch
Behar district. Now, to regain their lost popularity they are trying
to reorganise the party's base in this district. At the same time they
want to strengthen the unity of the Left Front as a united force to
combat the 'atrocities' of the Trinamul Congress.

The secretary of the Cooch Behar district CPI-M, Tarini Roy, who is
also a Member of the Rajya Sabha, said today that they spent four days
discussing ways and means to strengthen the party's organisation. It
has nothing to do with the ensuing Panchayat election because they
consider the election as a part of movement. They are being engaged in
movements round the year and so they believe the people are the main
deciding force. If the people supports us and they come up to
participate the movements then the Left Front will be able to return
back in the next three-tier Panchayat election, Roy said.