Triangle twist to murder case
Panskura under security cloak
Minister tells Jadavpur V-C to hold exams at earli
Discrepancy in statement on Bagmari couple’s killi
Greens resist town on tea garden
Two killed in Assam bomb blast
Death for six in witch-hunt case

 
 
TRIANGLE TWIST TO MURDER CASE 
 
 
BY AVIJIT NANDI MAJUMDAR
 
Calcutta, June 3 
A triangular love affair could have led to the ghastly killing of a 27-year-old computer professional, Kunal Bose, in the Bypass area on the city’s eastern fringe.

Bose’s mutilated body was recovered near the Dhapa dumping ground, on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, on May 26 .

After almost a week, the police on Saturday arrested Nantu Roy, 26, from Behala and propounded the theory of a love triangle as a possible motive for the murder. Roy, a promoter, was picked up from his Adarshnagar residence in Behala.

“We are probing Nantu’s role in the crime and examining whether some others are involved in the killing,” said the officer-in charge of Tiljala police station, Jugal Kishore Mukherjee.

Mukherjee said the killers chopped up the victim’s body before tossing it in front of a speeding lorry on the Bypass to make it look as if he was killed in an accident.

On May 26, motorists passing along the Bypass informed the police that a man was lying in a pool of blood near the Dhapa dumping ground. The police set off for the spot and took the victim to nearby Chittaranjan Hospital.

“Kunal was alive when he was being treated in hospital. But he was not able to speak, nor was he carrying an identity card,” said Mukherjee.

The OC, who is heading the investigation, said Kunal, before succumbing to his injuries, gave a statement in which he mentioned what had happened to him.

“Although he could barely speak, we were able to glean the names of some assailants from the dying declaration,” said the OC, adding: “We have started the investigation picking up leads from what he had said minutes before his death.”

Preliminary investigations reveal that Kunal had left his Aswini Dutta Road home with Nantu at 6.30 pm on May 26. The two walked to Gariahat, where they got into Nantu’s car and sped off for the Bypass.

Kunal did not return home that night and his worried mother, Anuradha, registered a missing diary at Lake police station.

Officials said Kunal’s wife, Munmun, 24, is a salesgirl at a cellphone shop in Kidderpore. Married for eight years, Kunal and Munmun have two sons.

Police said Kunal was short- tempered and often ill-treated his wife. Neighbours corroborated the allegation, saying Kunal even assaulted Munmun on occasion after a quarrel. Munmun found a friend in Nantu, and they were often spotted together.

Munmun introduced Nantu to Kunal. In course of time, Kunal and Nantu became friends. Nantu became a frequent visitor to the couple’s house. Officials said Kunal cottoned on to the affair and started questioning his wife. “This must have led to strained relations ,” they added.    


 
 
PANSKURA UNDER SECURITY CLOAK 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 3 
The curtains came down on Saturday evening for campaigning for the Panskura Lok Sabha seat, putting in place a massive security arrangement for the June 5 poll.

Under instructions from chief election commissioner M.S. Gill, the constituency will be sealed off from the rest of Midnapore district and adjoining Bankura district on polling day. The police have been told to prevent any attempt at intrusion by non-voters into Panskura on polling day.

State chief electoral officer Sabyasachi Sen, who returned from Midnapore on Friday night, said all steps were being taken to ensure a peaceful polling.

Sen met the district magistrate, the superintendent of police and Election Commission observers during his visit to Midnapore and Panskura.

With violent clashes between rival parties claiming over 30 lives in the constituency during the past few months, more than 7,000 security men have been sent to ensure peace. However, no central para-military force is being deployed.

Sen said assistant superintendents of police from different districts would be in charge of each of the seven Assembly segments that make up the parliamentary constituency. Senior policemen have been asked to accompany the wireless patrols. The officers have been asked to be on the move during polling hours.

Each of the 1,310 polling booths will have armed policemen on duty. About 1,700 electronic voting machines have been installed.

Sen said on Saturday that no further complaints were lodged by any of the parties in the fray. “Our job now is to see that the elections are held in a free and peaceful manner,” Sen added.

Counting of votes will begin on June 8 at 8 am at four counting centres set up at Midnapore town, Kolaghat, Ghatal and Kharagpur. “We hope to complete counting the same evening,” the chief electoral officer said. Midnapore’s district magistrate M.B. Rao, who is also the returning officer, held a last round of talks with leaders of the three main parties in the fray — the Left Front, Congress and the Trinamul Congress.    


 
 
MINISTER TELLS JADAVPUR V-C TO HOLD EXAMS AT EARLI 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 3 
In a move to resolve the two-month impasse at Jadavpur University, higher education minister Satyasadhan Chakraborty on Saturday asked vice-chancellor A.N. Bose to conduct all pending examinations without further delay.

In a strongly-worded note to Bose, the minister said the examinations cannot be deferred for an indefinite period due to the prolonged agitation by teachers. The minister’s letter follows Governor Viren J.Shah’s instructions not to defer the examinations. Shah, in his capacity as chancellor of the university, intervened last week to resolve the impasse.

However, members of the Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association, who have been agitating for a pay hike and other financial benefits, appeared adamant.

Since March 7, the teachers has boycotted all examination duties and administrative work as part of their movement.

“Our demands are legitimate and we will not participate in the exams until and unless the minister personally takes the initiative to look into our grievances,” said the association’s secretary, Tarun Naskar.

He felt the university authorities’ “uncompromising attitude” was making the situation worse.    


 
 
DISCREPANCY IN STATEMENT ON BAGMARI COUPLE’S KILLI 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 3 
Police have found some anomalies in the statement given by the slain couple’s son, Atindra Chatterjee, during interrogation on Saturday.

Police said Chatterjee’s statements do not match those of the slain couple’s neighbours. The elderly couple, Amarnath Chatterjee, 69, and his wife, Latika, were murdered at Bagmari’s CIT housing complex.

Police on Saturday interrogated their only child, Atindra, an interior designer. Atindra lives in Salt Lake, separate from his parents, since his marriage.

Police said Atindra had informed the investigating officials that his last visit to his parents had been two years ago. But the couple’s neighbours told police that Atindra had come to his parents’ flat only six months ago.

Preliminary police investigation has revealed that Chatterjee, a former draftsman with Calcutta Improvement Trust, used to supply labourers for promoters. He was issued a cheque for Rs 4.5 lakh, drawn on ANZ Grindlays Bank, a few weeks ago.

As he was a labour contractor and had links with promoters, the police are trying to trace whether rivalry between promoters was behind the killing. No arrest has been made in this connection yet.    


 
 
GREENS RESIST TOWN ON TEA GARDEN 
 
 
FROM KESHAV PRADHAN IN SILIGURI
 
June 3 
Environment groups, undaunted by Calcutta High Court’s rejection of their plea, are marshalling forces for a fresh agitation against the government’s move to turn a portion of a tea estate near here into a hi-tech satellite township.

The Chandmoni Cha Bagan Uchchhed Birodhi Joint Sangram Committee also announced that it would move the Supreme Court against the verdict.

A statement issued by joint conveners Abhiranjan Bhaduri and Abhijit Mazumdar said the committee, which has been fighting against the project since 1997, would intensify its agitation. For starters, it will hold a protest rally in Siliguri on Monday, World Environment Day.

The committee and several other green bodies have been on the warpath since the government signed a memorandum of understanding with the owners of Chandmoni tea estate, two km west of Siliguri, on November 13, 1997.

The agreement says the garden will transfer 406.64 acres to the state for setting up the proposed town. The price agreed upon for the plot was Rs 13.92 crore.

Though opponents of the project accused the government of financial irregularities while striking the deal, the government announce on February 2 that it had entered into a partnership with Laxmi Township Company to build the proposed satellite town, with a share of 16 per cent.

Besides a housing complex, the government plans to build an industrial estate on the plot, with facilities for electronic and software production, garment-manufacturing, tea-blending, packaging and sorting. A couple of star hotels, too, is on the cards.

However, the committee and other opponents of the project claimed the destruction of the estate would have adverse effects on the environment of Siliguri.

They also expressed concern at the fate of the 220-odd garden workers and their families. The committee alleged that some of the labourers were shifted to Subalbhitta, which they claimed is a forest land, to facilitate transfer of the plot.

The agitators refuted claims by the garden management that Chandmoni is no longer fit for tea cultivation. They said tea is still grown in the plot earmarked for the satellite township.    


 
 
TWO KILLED IN ASSAM BOMB BLAST 
 
 
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
 
Guwahati, June 3 
An assistant sub-inspector of Assam Police and his driver were killed and five police personnel injured when a powerful bomb exploded at Sasangram under Borkhola police outpost in Abhyapuri sub-division of Bongaigaon district this morning.

Sources said the remote-controlled device was planted by suspected Ulfa militants.

Assistant sub-inspector of police Naushad Ali Talukdar, who was on patrol when the blast occurred, died on the spot. Driver Kalindra Bishya died on way to the hospital. The vehicle was badly damaged under the impact of the blast, which was audible for miles.

Two of the injured police personnel — havildar Bihnu Ram Boro and constable Dwijen Talukdar —have been shifted to the Guwahati Medical College Hospital in a critical condition. The others have been admitted to the Bongaigaon civil hospital.

Senior police officials have rushed to the spot. A combing operation has been launched to nab the culprits.

Ulfa rebel killed

Troops of the Jak Li regiment operating under 107 Mountain Brigade shot dead a hardcore Ulfa militant at Hati Naomati village under Nalbari police station in the wee hours today.

The slain militant has been identified as Upen Das. He was wanted in several cases of kidnapping, killing and extortion. A .303 pistol and ammunition were recovered from him. A defence source said the troops retaliated after the militant opened fire at them.    


 
 
DEATH FOR SIX IN WITCH-HUNT CASE 
 
 
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
 
Chaibasa, June 3 
Six persons were sentenced to death for killing six villagers accused of practising witchcraft in Raghoi village near here in 1986.

While six of the accused were sentenced to death by hanging, 15 were sentenced to life imprisonment in a landmark judgment delivered yesterday by the third additional district and sessions judge of Chaibasa. The 15 accused have also been ordered to pay a fine of Rs 3,000 each, in default of which they will have to serve two more years of imprisonment. The fines would have to be paid to the dependants of the deceased.

On July 19, 1986, the accused dragged the six victims of Raghoi village under Sonua police station to the centre of the village. The victims, including an infant, belonged to the same family. A mob beat up the victims with lathis and lethal weapons. After they succumbed to their injuries, the bodies were cut into pieces and thrown into a nearby river.

The victims were accused of practising witchcraft and causing the deaths of several persons in the village by inflicting diseases on them.

The persons sentenced to death are Munda Roy Singh Majhi, 55, Kalidas Majhi, 65, Kalu Majhi, 38, Dulraj Majhi, 62, Kalyan Majhi, 40 and Tarachand Majhi, 45.

Of the 27 accused in the case, four have died and charges have not been framed against two.    

 

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