Sincerity scripts success story
Tutors over TV for topper Ayan
Now, telephone bills on the Net
Curtains for Mother of all bashes
Missing lawyer back
Disarming, this Bengali debutant
Buddha signals 10 new police stations in city
Share scam busted, two in custody
Cop directive to blacklist killer drivers
CPM leader heads for PM hospital

 
 
SINCERITY SCRIPTS SUCCESS STORY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 5: 
Five students in the top 20, 440 first divisions out of 456 examinees, 12 students with over 90 per cent and 211 with star marks, not to forget a certain Sougata Basu, who came second with an aggregate of 950. So what’s the secret of South Point High School’s success?

“Hard work, dedication and discipline,” feels principal A.N. Banerjee, proud of his school’s Higher Secondary 2001 performance. “We have also sent 20 students to IITs all over the country,” he adds.

A run-through of the school’s Madhyamik results would reveal that the Higher Secondary success is no flash in the pan; of the 760 students who appeared for Madhyamik 2001, 727 got first division, with most managing to secure star marks.

The principal, however, feels the only reason behind his school’s success is the routine. “We make sure that all classes are held properly and the students find the classes interesting. We also believe in enforcing discipline among teachers and students alike,” says Banerjee.

The upswing in the fortunes of the country’s largest school was not brought about overnight.

Over the past several years, the authorities have tried to turn the institution into a “model school”. Sports and studies are given equal weightage and teachers agree that the administration has been responsible for the upswing.

In order to help students keep pace with the changing times, the school authorities recently introduced computer classes and made practical classes mandatory for students from Class VI.

The students are also specially coached for the Joint Entrance Examinations.

“It is mandatory for students to attend the coaching classes. It is a wonderful way of assessing the skills of the students. The classes also help students overcome their drawbacks and prepare for the fierce competition during Joint Entrance,” says a teacher.

“The students are moulded to tackle the world once they leave school,” added Banerjee.

This is reflected in the success story of Sougata Basu, who stood second in Higher Secondary 2001. “Although I failed to secure a rank in Madhyamik, I did not lose heart. I studied harder and today, I have realised my dream,” he said.

Junior students in this school see in Sougata their role model. But the boy from Santoshpur dismisses such talk. “I always tried to be different. I never had role models,” he says.

   

 
 
TUTORS OVER TV FOR TOPPER AYAN 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 5: 
He did not have a study table at home, he had to make do with a wooden platform, on which he also slept in a small room he shares with his father and brother.

Yet, Ayan Pal, son of an upper-division clerk, managed to top this year’s Higher Secondary examinations. In fact, he bettered his performance in the Madhyamik examinations, where he had stood 10th in the merit list.

Ayan does not watch television, either, for there is no TV set at home. So, he utilised this time to study and make it to the top. The only luxury he allowed himself were the six private tutors, who coached him on all his subjects.

“I never thought I would top,” says Ayan modestly. “I thought I would make it to the Top Ten, as I did in Madhyamik.”

Since the results were announced on Thursday morning, it has been a busy day for the topper from Howrah’s Zilla School. Posing before TV cameras, answering questions on the secret of his success, Ayan had his place in the sun on Thursday.

What of his plans now? What does he intend to do in future? “I want to become a computer engineer if I get admission in Jadavpur University,” said Ayan. “If I can’t manage, then physics is my next choice.”

His other love — the first, of course, is books — is listening to music. This is, perhaps, the only indulgence that has been permitted by his parents and his prized possession is his own small cassette recorder.

“I don’t play games, neither cricket nor football, though I watch them on TV at my neighbour’s house occasionally,” said Ayan. “But despite this and all the other limitations at home, I have no reason to complain and am happy with whatever we have.”

His tutors vouch for this. “He is a very gentle and sober boy,” said S.N. Jana, a private tutor. “And he is also an exceptional student. Though his handwriting may be a bit untidy, his perception is very clear about everything.”

   

 
 
NOW, TELEPHONE BILLS ON THE NET 
 
 
BY AVIJIT NANDI MAJUMDAR
 
Calcutta, July 5: 
Calcutta Telephones is going to introduce payment through the Internet. The decision follows growing complaints from subscribers that telephone bills are not reaching them in time. According to chief general manager of Calcutta Telephones, S.P. Chakraborty, the utility is currently holding discussions with several private banks. “We hope to introduce the service by October,” Chakraborty said.

A subscriber can download his phone bill from the site www.calcuttatelephones.com. The site will offer him the option of making the payment through the electronic clearing service on the Net (ECSN). The amount, bill date, bill number and cycle will be mentioned. The subscriber will have to type his account number, name of the bank, branch and double click on the ‘OK’ option.

He will have to inform the manager of the bank where he holds an account that he has opted for the scheme and that the bank authorities should debit the bill amount from his account on presentation of the bill by the Calcutta Telephone authorities, said general manager, computer, Tapas Sen, in charge of the project. Confirmation of the payment will take “a couple of days”.

   

 
 
CURTAINS FOR MOTHER OF ALL BASHES 
 
 
BY DEVADEEP PUROHIT
 
Calcutta, July 5: 
The occasion: Mother Teresa’s 91st Birthday Celebration and Millennium Awards Ceremony, on August 26, 2001. The venue: Netaji Indoor Stadium. The organisers: A special committee of the All India Minority and Weaker Sections Council, led by patron-in-chief Subhas Chakraborty.

It was billed as the ‘mother’ of all bashes — in true Subhas Chakraborty style — with a glittering show involving the best of Bollywood and Bengal. Now, the government has given the plans of a “song-and-dance tamasha” in the name of the Mother a “thumbs-down” and urged the organisers to put together “something more serious, in Science City”.

At a meeting in the Rotunda on Thursday evening — where Chakraborty was conspicuous by his absence — minister Naren De, who is also the reception committee head for the function, and others led the move to scrap the idea of a “Bollywood bonanza” in the stadium considered a bastion of the sports minister. They made it clear that the government would have “nothing to do” with such a show.

On Thursday afternoon, before the Writers’ meeting, the organisers had proudly rattled off a dream guest list — Jyoti Basu and Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, Lata Mangeshkar and Hrithik Roshan, Hema Malini and Leander Paes... “The President of India has been invited as chief guest,” added Anthony Arun Biswas, president of the Council.

Notable absentees amidst all the hype: Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity. “We are in no way aware of any such programme. This is the first time we are hearing of this,” said Sister Priscilla, when contacted on Thursday evening at Mother House. “We have not been approached by any organisation about such an event to mark the Mother’s birthday... But we wish the programme a grand success.”

Anthony Arun Biswas was quick to explain: “We haven’t approached the sisters yet. But once we get the President’s confirmation, we will inform Mother House.”

Jyoti Basu is to receive the 1st International Mother Teresa Award. “He has agreed to attend the function, at which he will be presented with Rs 2 lakh, a bronze bust of Mother Teresa and a gold medal. Forty other eminent personalities from the fields of art, culture, education and sports will be felicitated with gold-plated silver trophies and cash awards,” add the organisers.

“Former US President Bill Clinton is being considered for International Mother Teresa Award 2000. But we will honour him later, at another function,” concluded Biswas.

   

 
 
MISSING LAWYER BACK 
 
 
BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, July 5: 
Missing high court lawyer Suparna Ghosh surfaced at Writers’ Buildings on Thursday afternoon, raising questions that remained largely unanswered by officials and state minister for water resources Nandagopal Bhattacharya.

Ghosh was missing since June 28 and her mother, Supriya Ghosh, had lodged a missing persons report with Hare Street police station. Ghosh was last seen leaving Writers’ Buildings after meeting officials of the water resources department the same day.

The mother, police said, had last heard from her daughter on June 28, when she had called in the evening to say she was in Krishnagar and would return the next day. Ghosh was dropped off by her mother on the morning of June 28 at Salt Lake’s Jalasampad Bhavan. Ghosh, who was handling a department case in the high court, had then come to Writers’ Buildings with a joint secretary of the department.

Detective chief Banibrata Basu said Ghosh had stayed in a guest house run by the water resources directorate as “Shampa Choudhury” and had left on June 29. A police team from the city had even gone to Krishnagar to investigate the case.

At about 12.50 pm on Thursday, Ghosh came and met secretary of the water resources department Ranu Ghosh. The secretary immediately informed home secretary Sourin Roy. A team of women constables and officers was despatched to the state secretariat from Lalbazar.

Her mother was contacted at NRS Medical College Hospital, where she is a faculty member. She was reunited with her daughter in the secretary’s office.

Both Ghosh and her mother said little. While the daughter remained pensive and looked distraught, her mother had not much to say. “I have got my daughter back,” she sobbed. Both were taken to Lalbazar for questioning.

   

 
 
DISARMING, THIS BENGALI DEBUTANT 
 
 
BY MADHUMITA BHATTACHARYYA
 
Calcutta, July 5: 
He’s got bedroom eyes, a slow, sexy smile and a down-to-earth manner that disarms. He’s Bangali boy Priyanshu Chatterjee, and he’s hoping to set hearts (and the silverscreen) ablaze with his debut film, Tum Bin.

Hitting the halls on Friday, July 13, as Shekhar Malhotra, Priyanshu has entered homes across the country before as the face for Digjam, Santiago, Wills and Levi’s. But the strapping 28-year-old, born and brought up in Delhi, has been a regular in the city, visiting his “nani, maasis, nephews and nieces” in Ballygunge. In town on Thursday with director Anubhav Sinha, the promo stop was more “a homecoming”.

“I spent the morning with my nani and in the evening, all of little cousins are coming over. So I am expecting to have some serious fun,” smiles Priyanshu, who used to pay annual visit to Calcutta until his second-year of B. Com in Delhi. “Very attached” to his family, he is excited to be back after a long gap of four years. And he “won’t be at all surprised” if his folks in Calcutta turn up for “every single show of Tum Bin for the first seven days”.

After a stint on television show Khwaish, the model made for Bollywood two years ago. “I always knew I wanted to go into acting. So I dropped out of the modelling circuit and started taking acting and dance lessons,” he says. And though he claims he would need to brush up his Bengali (“ektu ektu boli”) before venturing into Tollygunge territory, he spoke one line flawlessly: “Ami Kolkatay beriye Bangla boli na. Juto marbe, juto.”

   

 
 
BUDDHA SIGNALS 10 NEW POLICE STATIONS IN CITY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 5: 
Calcutta will have 10 new police stations. This was announced by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in the Assembly on Thursday. The police stations will come up in areas with a high population and steep crime graph.

The new police stations include Tallah (by truncating the jurisdiction of Chitpur), Maidan (from Hastings, Rabindra Sadan and New Market from Taltala), Chetla (from Alipore), Girish Park (from Jorasanko), Sinthee (from Cossipore) and Kankurgachhi (from Ultadanga). Parts of Karaya and Ballygunge on the one hand and Maniktala and Ultadanga on the other will be brought under Bondel Gate and Vidyasagar police stations, respectively.

Welcoming the announcement, commissioner of police Sujoy Chakraborty said: “We definitely need more police stations to curb crime.” Chakraborty added that the police-population ratio in Calcutta was “dismal” compared to the three other metros. “In Calcutta, one constable looks after 400 persons. In Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, the figures are 250, 260, 250 and 300 per constable,” he said.

DC (headquarters) Raj Kanojia said metros like New Delhi and Bangalore were fast adding to the number of police stations. “In Delhi, 75 additional police stations have been added within a span of five years. The scenario is similar in Bangalore. We need to catch up with them,” said Kanojia.

Earlier, the chief minister announced the names of the new police stations in the Assembly in reply to questions raised by Trinamul Congress MLA Ashok Deb. Work on the new thanas will start during the current financial year and at least 22 policemen will be posted in each of them, he said. A number of new police stations have already been set up by bifurcating the existing ones, as the workload at the police stations are increasing, he added.

Bhattacharjee’s statement in the Assembly came immediately after Trinamul MLAs stormed out of the House, demanding a statement from the chief minister on the death of Satyajit Mondal in police lock-up on Wednesday. The MLAs started shouting in the House, demanding a statement from Bhattacharjee. They also displayed placards and banners.

Minister for parliamentary affairs Probodh Chandra Sinha later told the Assembly that Bhattacharjee would make a statement on the lock-up death on July 12.

The chief minister also said that the government planned to increase the number of police stations in districts like Purulia and Midnapore, where extremist forces like Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), were active.

   

 
 
SHARE SCAM BUSTED, TWO IN CUSTODY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 5: 
Two persons were arrested on charges of selling shares worth about Rs 12.5 lakh by forging the shareholder’s signature. Around Rs 8.33 lakh have been recovered from the duo, identified as Aloke Roy and Manabendra Bhattacharya. Sleuths are on the lookout for the third person, to whom they had sold some 700 shares of three companies. Roy, a resident of Hooghly, and Bhattacharya of Salt Lake, were sub-brokers.

Bimal Kumar Guha Neogi, the shareholder, lodged a complaint with the police on July 4, said Banibrata Basu, deputy commissioner, detective department, on Thursday. “They forged Guha Neogi’s signature on May 16 to transfer the shares to his demat account with a foreign bank. After receiving his complaint, police requested the sharebroker’s agency to freeze their accounts,” Basu said.

Roy and Bhattacharya were arrested from their B.B.D Bag office on July 4. They were then produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court and remanded in police custody till July 19. The detective chief said sleuths recovered some important documents, including a telephone index with names of those with whom the two had transactions. Sleuths are keeping a watch on some agencies engaged in trading fake shares. A few days ago, five persons were arrested in central Calcutta for transferring shares through false signatures, police sources said.

   

 
 
COP DIRECTIVE TO BLACKLIST KILLER DRIVERS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 5: 
The police have directed bus operators not to allow drivers involved in fatal accidents recently to be behind the wheels.

In a strongly-worded letter to the four private bus unions, deputy commissioner of police, traffic, K. Harirajan, has directed them “to discontinue the services of drivers who were piloting vehicles which killed people in the city streets during the past year.”

Harirajan said he would also write to the managing directors of CSTC and CTC.

According to the motor vehicles department, about 4,000 private buses ply in the city. Traffic control room sources said till June 30, 200 deaths have occurred in road accidents, of which bus drivers account for 38 per cent of the fatalities.

If the bus operators refuse to toe the line, the police will inform the insurance companies that the vehicles driven by the blacklisted drivers were of the “high-risk” category.

The traffic police chief hoped that punitive action would reduce accidents. “The drivers will be scared to lose their jobs,’’ he said.

According to the bus operators, the police directive is “unjustified”. Bengal Bus Syndicate president Ajit Saha said the driver is not always at fault.

“It is a question of life and death for the driver. Let the court decide whether or not he is guilty,’’ Saha said.

   

 
 
CPM LEADER HEADS FOR PM HOSPITAL 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 5: 
A communist from West Bengal needing a bypass surgery to repair an ailing heart doesn’t stay back in Calcutta for the operation. But he doesn’t head for Cuba. Neither does he go to China. He goes to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai instead.

In a telling commentary on the state of health services in this communist-ruled state, Sailen Dasgupta, West Bengal Left Front chairman and member of the CPM’s highest decision-making body — the Politburo — underwent a bypass surgery at the Mumbai hospital today to mend his heart.

Even more interesting is the list of persons who have accompanied Dasgupta to the hospital which has recently repaired a weak knee of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, leader of a party from the opposite end of the political spectrum. Dasgupta’s accompanists include state health minister Suryakanta Mishra, himself a doctor, who does not waste a meeting to chide government doctors and remind them of their responsibilities, and senior party functionary Aveek Dutta who is now in charge of a CPM-controlled private television channel.

Dasgupta, now in his mid-seventies, started having respiratory problems last month, a few days after his party returned to power for the sixth consecutive term. He was taken to supposedly the best government-run hospital in the state, SSKM Hospital, where leaders of every political party put up if they are not critical enough to be shifted away from Bengal.

Doctors at SSKM diagnosed a block in his heart and prescribed the cure as well; he would need a bypass surgery to get well, they told Dasgupta.

Dasgupta’s party, whose ministers have taken care of the health department since 1977 when the Left first came to power, immediately started searching for the best place where it could put up a leader of his stature: the cities on the first short-list included Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai, none of which has ever been ruled by the Left.

The CPM top-brass finally zeroed in on Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai which has Sudhansu Bhattacharyya, one of the finest hands doing bypass surgery in the country, on its doctors’ list. Bhattacharyya’s busy schedule did not allow him to come down to Calcutta and, hence, the decision to take Dasgupta to Mumbai, a senior CPM leader told The Telegraph.

Dasgupta left Calcutta on Monday and was admitted to hospital the next day. “The operation was successful and Dasgupta was in fine fettle,” CPM state secretary Anil Biswas quoted Dasgupta’s family members who have gone to Mumbai with the state health minister.

   
 

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