City caught in Trinamul jam
High admission cut-off sparks seat scramble
Law students slam ‘tough’ paper, force push-back
Mamata to flag off new SER stretch
Go-ahead for 5 tech colleges
Sailors’ saga of survival
Hospital probe into missing eye
Arrested tea executives denied bail

Calcutta, July 21 
Mamata Banerjee inspired Trinamul Congressmen to bring life in the city centre to a grinding halt on Friday.

The Trinamul rally at Esplanade threw traffic completely out of gear for over six hours.

According to the Lalbazar police control, the crowd crossed the one-lakh mark at Esplanade around 3 pm. Joint commissioner of police (traffic) A.K.Chatterjee admitted that traffic had come to a standstill in central Calcutta from noon till 4 pm.

Trinamul supporters, braving the rain, started streaming in from various corners of the city from 10 am. Traffic at Shyambazar, Bidhan Sarani, Girish Park, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, Lenin Sarani and S.N. Banerjee Road came to a standstill when the youth wing of the Trinamul Congress headed for Esplanade.

Processions also arrived from Hazra, Gol Park, Behala, Thakurpukur, Garden Reach, Kidderpore and AJC Bose Road in the southern and western part of the city.

A large number of Trinamul workers from the districts alighted from local trains at Howrah and Sealdah stations and took over the streets as they embarked for Esplanade.

“By noon, at least 50,000 Trinamul workers had arrived at Sealdah and Howrah stations from the neighbouring districts. Several thousand workers from far-flung districts were lodged at various dharamshalas and hotels in and around Calcutta since Wednesday,” said Tapas Dutta, Trinamul youth wing vice-president.

Trucks, private buses and vans carrying slogan-shouting Trinamul supporters added to the chaos.

Students and officegoers were left stranded. “I was going to Scottish Church College for the admission forms. But just look at the situation here, nothing is moving. I don’t know what to do,” said Dipak Bose, whose HS results were announced on Thursday, caught in traffic snarl on Chowringhee Road. School buses and even ambulances were seen struggling to find a way through the maze.

CPM men killed

Father and son, both said to be CPM supporters, were hacked to death and three other family members, including two women, were seriously injured when a group of alleged SUCI supporters attacked a house on Friday in Gabberia village in the Mandirbazar police station area of South 24-Parganas. Local CPM MLA, Nikunja Paik, said Lalu Sardar was a peasant leader while son Tarak was a party worker. Another of Lalu’s sons, Dilip, is among the injured.

The injured have been hospitalised.    

Calcutta, July 21 
The Higher Secondary results are out. So, it’s time to collect admission forms from colleges and chalk out future plans. But that’s easier said than done.

The day after the publication of HS results, reputed city colleges have started setting high cut-off marks for students.

The scramble for collecting admission forms started early on Friday morning at institutions quick to start the admission procedure. Long queues were seen in front of Bethune College and Ramakrishna Mission Narendrapur Residential College from the morning.

Institutions like Presidency College, Gokhale Memorial College, Goenka College, Ashutosh College and Jadavpur University will start distributing forms from Monday and forms will be available till July 28 at some places and August 1 at others.

Most reputed city colleges have fixed 55 per cent as the cut-off level for admission to the commerce and humanities streams, and 60 per cent to the science stream.

Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration will give out admission forms to students who have scored more than 60 per cent in aggregate. The minimum eligibility for collecting forms from Presidency College will depend on the choice of subject.

Applicants seeking admission to honours courses in chemistry, mathematics or physics in Bethune College will be required to show a minimum of 65 per cent marks in the subject concerned. At Narendrapur, the cut-off is 55 per cent for arts and 65 per cent for science. Some colleges will conduct separate admission tests for the final screening of the students.

Suicide by HS examinee: Mallika Halder, 19, of Canning hanged herself after she failed to pass in English in the Higher Secondary examination. The girl was a student of B S College.

In a suicidal note, Mallika requested her father to get the two English papers reviewed.    

Calcutta, July 21 
Calcutta University’s LlB examination was disrupted on Friday morning at Hazra Law College by a group of examinees protesting the “tough question paper”.

The authorities had to stop the Part-II paper as students refused to sit for the test. The exams, however, resumed after two hours.

A paper of Part-IV, scheduled to be held in the afternoon, was postponed in all four venues of the city. It has been rescheduled on August 7, Onkar Sadhan Adhikari, CU controller of examinations, said.

Sources in the college said trouble began within five minutes of the invigilators distributing question papers to students from Jogesh Chandra College and Surendranath College, at 10 am.

A group of students in one of the classrooms rose in protest and tried to return the question papers to the invigilators. Then, they stormed out of the hall and held angry demonstrations.

“They even threatened the willing examinees of dire consequences if they chose to continue with the paper,” an official of the college alleged.

The Hazra Law College teachers immediately informed CU officials at College Street. With roads clogged with Trinamul Congress supporters, the controller of examinations couldn’t reach Hazra Law College till 11.30 am. The students agreed to resume their paper at noon.

Jail order against leader

Calcutta High Court, on Friday, directed the court registrar general to approach the city sheriff to issue an arrest order against state Samajwadi Party leader Bijay Upadhay for not paying the fined amount of Rs 5,000 to the court. Upadhay, in a public meeting at the foot of Sahid Minar, had declared that he would not obey the decibel limit on loudspeakers set by the court.    

Calcutta, July 21 
Rail minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday will commission South Eastern Railway’s Howrah-Bargachia broad gauge line which has been extended to Mahendralal Nagar. The six-km stretch will cover two stations on the way — Pantihal and Munsirhat.

Initially, two pairs of trains will ply between Howrah and Mahendralal Nagar. “We will increase the service after gauging commuter response,” a railway official said. There are plans to extend the line to Amta in three year’s time, subject to availability of funds. The whole project is estimated at Rs 124 crore.    

Calcutta, July 21 
The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has granted approval to five new engineering colleges. With this, the number of private engineering colleges in the state goes up to 18 and the number of seats rises by 960.

The new colleges are St Thomas College of Engineering, Bengal Institute of Engineering, Dhapa, JIS College of Engineering, Kalyani, Gupta College of Engineering, Asansol, and Dr BC Roy College of Engineering, Durgapur. Admission to the colleges will be through the joint entrance examination.

An engineering degree course has also been introduced in Birbhum Institute of Technology, Suri and two new courses have been introduced in Jalpaiguri Engineering College. Some new streams have also been introduced at other engineering colleges, taking the total number of engineering seats in the state to 5,494.

According to sources, the state government may give recognition to some more private engineering colleges and technical institutions in the next academic session. Three new private engineering colleges are expected to come up in Calcutta in the next two years.

“Nowadays, more and more students are showing interest in technical education. As the number of seats in the state is too little, they are rushing off to Chennai and Bangalore. The government is taking steps to increase the opportunities of technical education,” said Pabitra Sarkar, vice-chairman of state higher education council.

Cop fined: DG, RPF, Rachpal Singh, and assistant security commissioner, Metro Railway, Maqbul Ahmed, were fined Rs 2000 each in default of three weeks’ rigorous imprisonment by Calcutta High Court on Friday for not complying with its order on the promotion of a sub-inspector.

Ramnarayan Rai, a sub-inspector of RPF (fire).    

Calcutta, July 21 
The 15 rescued sailors of MV Prime Value, which capsized near Upper Gasper, 15 nautical miles from Haldia Port on Wednesday, were brought to Calcutta on Friday.

The Filipino sailors appeared tired but relieved after a long night. “We are not only grateful to God but also to the local fishermen who have given us a new life,” beamed George Rogero, chief engineer of the Panamanian cargo ship coming from Singapore, which sank after striking sandheads with 21 men on board.

“We decided to abandon ship after it developed a leak and water started gushing in. The pumps of the ship stopped functioning and the ship was not responding to our commands,” added Rogero.

Frederick G. Garcia, 21, the youngest member of the crew who was sailing with his father Frederick G. Garcia, Sr. said: “I thought I had lost my father, who was in the other raft. It was dreadful in the dark, choppy waters with rain pelting down.”

It was a fishing trawler that first spotted the sailors adrift at sea. Dominga Darcia described the scene: “Everybody started jumping with joy after I spotted a fishing trawler approaching us. I thought about my wife and said to myself that she had just missed her chance of marrying again!”

Rogero and his mates can’t wait to get back home. Captain Tamix Spyrioon of Greece is trying to contact the government in Philippines in order to arrange for the safe passage as soon as possible.

PIL on Keshpur: Calcutta High Court on Friday directed state advocate general N.N. Gooptu to file a report on the situation in Keshpur and its adjoining areas within two weeks. Chief Justice A K Mathur and Justice Barin Ghosh passed the order on the basis of a public interest litigation filed by advocate Uttam Majumdar, seeking a court order directing the state to re-open schools and colleges in Keshpur and other parts of Midnapore district. Gooptu informed that since July 14, there had been no untoward incident in Keshpur.

and the situation was “completely under control”.    

Jamshedpur, July 21 
Tension prevailed at the Tata Main Hospital here today after the left eye of Bhabotosh Dutta, a resident of Bhalubasa, was found “missing”. Dutta, who died today, had been admitted to the hospital on Wednesday.

Dutta’s family members said he had complained of breathlessness on Wednesday and had been taken to hospital. Today, when Dutta’s relatives went to claim the body from the morgue, they were taken aback by the sight of blood oozing from the corner of his left eye. On a closer look, they found that the eyeball was missing.

The family members raised a hue and cry at the hospital and refused to accept the body. But the hospital authorities assured them that an inquiry would be held.

A fact-finding inquiry into the matter has been initiated by Tata Steel. A press release issued by the company said, “It has been brought to the notice of the management that one of the eyes of late B. Dutta was allegedly removed at the TMH after his expiry in the wee hours of July 21.

“The management is deeply concerned that such an incident has taken place and has ordered an inquiry into the matter and establish the circumstances of the unfortunate occurrence. The general manager, medical services, Tata Steel has also been advised to submit a report to the vice-president (town, medical and social services) within 48 hours.”

Company sources said the incident could be caused by rodents in the morgue. The sources ruled out the possibility of any doctor having extracted the eyeball.    

Jorhat, July 21 
Jorhat chief judicial magistrate P.K. Saikia today rejected the bail petitions of the four tea garden employees arrested on charges of providing medical and financial help to deceased Ulfa cadre Ratul Dutta.

Defence counsels Rintu Goswami and Subir Bharadwaj had argued that manager Ashwini Sharma, medical officer Gojen Gogoi and two other employees of the Williamson Magor-owned Moubandha tea estate had provided medical treatment to Dutta under duress.

The court conceded that there was “not enough evidence” to try the four accused under Sections 120B and 121 of the IPC. However, it ruled out the possibility of granting them bail without giving the police an opportunity to prove its charges.    


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