Clinic call on death-right agenda
Trinamul duo plays dinner card to woo dissidents
Nepal PM lands for terror talks
Dum Dum bandh
CPM leader hacked
Indo-Bangla project to save tigers
Gangrape in Bolpur

Calcutta, March 23: 
In a bid to build a consensus in favour of euthanasia, regular visits will be undertaken to old-age homes and cancer hospitals to meet specialists and patients suffering from crippling diseases.

The Calcutta Society for Right to Die with Dignity (TCSRDD), a city-based organisation advocating legalisation of mercy killing in India, has resolved to take this up as its primary task.

TCSRDD secretary Uma Bhatia said on Saturday that efforts were being made at various levels to build up momentum in their campaign to legalise mercy killing.

“The support rendered to us from all walks of life has been overwhelming. People who are not even suffering from any disease, including college students, have joined us. They are doing a lot to motivate people to start campaigning for legalisation of euthanasia,” she added.

The society also organised a seminar in collaboration with the state department of science and technology on Saturday. Former Justice Bhagawati Prasad Banerjee, lawyer Gitanath Ganguly and leading oncologists of the country were among those present at the seminar.

Addressing the gathering, Justice Banerjee said like the right to live, the right to die should also be a basic right of a person. Speaking in favour of euthanasia for people suffering from fatal diseases, Justice Banerjee explained how “sick people in India were being abused”.

Members of TCSRDD said the landmark judgment in Britain, allowing a woman suffering from motor neuron disease to commit euthanasia, should motivate people in India to talk about euthanasia, too.

Leading oncologist Dr Arpita Bhattacharya and critical care specialist Dr A. Ghosh also spoke on the subject. While Dr Bhattacharya discussed the advantages and disadvantages of legalising euthanasia, Dr Ghosh explained how the “poor quality of life in India was linked to the ability of Indians to withstand extreme pain”.

Ganguly explained how mercy killing could be “misused” at various levels.

“The seminar was just the beginning of our battle. We have a number of activities lined up,” added TCSRDD president Suhita Chopra Chatterjee.

Earlier, eminent critical care specialist, Dr Subhas Todi told The Telegraph how he had often asked patient parties to allow a patient suffering from severe complications from acute diseases to “die peacefully”. He however felt there were high chances of misusing euthanasia if at all it is legalised in india.

Leading psychiatrists, however, felt that if a government-appointment medical board examines each euthanasia case, there should not be any problems in its implementation.


Calcutta, March 23: 
It’s a weekend of dinner politics for the Trinamul Congress. While mayor Subrata Mukherjee hosted a feast for aggrieved colleagues on Saturday, party leader Mamata Banerjee is planning one for her legislators on Sunday.

Mamata’s dinner meet at Maharashtra Niwas is reportedly aimed at ensuring support from her 60 MLAs for Rajya Sabha nominee Dinesh Trivedi. Some MPs and party functionaries will also attend the meet.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Pankaj Banerjee, however, said there was nothing to read into the proposed dinner. “The meeting is significant only because it is being convened to discuss the Rajya Sabha polls, to be held at the Assembly on March 27. We want all our MLAs to vote for the party nominee. The dinner is just a part of our meeting schedule,” Banerjee said on Saturday. Mamata is expected to issue a whip to party MLAs so that “disgruntled” legislators do not vote for the Congress nominee.

According to Banerjee, even though the Trinamul has 60 MLAs and Trivedi requires only 49 votes to sail through, the party has to ensure that the remaining votes do not go to the Congress nominee.

“We have already spotted a few of our MLAs secretly interacting with the Congress leaders. That is why we want Mamata to issue the whip,” said a key Trinamul functionary.

Refuting charges of trying to engineer a crossover, a PCC leader said: “Our candidate Arjun Sengupta is a renowned economist and we are depending on conscience votes to get him elected.”

Meanwhile, mayor Subrata Mukherjee organised a feast at a bungalow in South 24-Parganas on Saturday. His motive was to “placate the recalcitrant mayor-in-council members” and a host of Trinamul Congress councillors, particularly those from the added areas. The added areas comprise Behala, Garden Reach and Jadavpur.

According to sources, there is resentment among the mayor-in-council members over Mukherjee’s “autocratic ways”, especially his slashing the budget for the added areas.

Run over: A 16-year-old labourer was run over by a bus on route 241 in Metiabruz on Saturday. The accident occurred while the youth was on his way to work. He was brought to SSKM Hospital where he was declared dead. The driver fled the spot.


Calcutta, March 23: 
Alarmed at intelligence reports of the “invisible hand” of the Inter Services Intelligence in the recent Maoist strikes in Nepal and its alleged connection with north Bengal rebels, Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba will discuss strategies to combat terrorism with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Monday.

Deuba arrived in the city on Saturday morning for a two-day visit along with his wife and senior bureaucrats. Governor Viren J. Shah and senior officials of the Nepalese consulate received Deuba at the airport.

Writers’ Buildings sources said Monday’s meeting would centre on “the common link between Maoist rebels of Nepal and outfits such as Kamtapur Liberation Organisation in north Bengal.” State home secretary Amit Kiran Deb said issues involving mutual co-operation might figure in the discussion.

Deuba, who cancelled his visit to other parts of the state following threats, is expected to seek Bengal’s assistance in rounding up Maoist rebels on the run. The two leaders will also work for increased co-operation among the law-enforcing agencies to curb terrorism, officials said.

“The rebels have links with terrorist outfits of the Northeast, apart from Kamtapuris. The meeting, therefore, might prove to be significant,” a senior Intelligence Branch (IB) official said on Saturday.

On Sunday, Deuba will visit the Victoria Memorial, Science City and other places of tourist interest with his delegation. A special team of the city police has been assigned to provide him security cover.


Calcutta, March 23: 
The dawn-to-dusk bandh called by Jessop workers in Dum Dum passed off peacefully on Saturday. Most shops and educational institutions remained closed.

Train services were disrupted during the day after Jessop workers squatted on the tracks. Some men hurled banana leaves on overhead wires to stop trains, while others demonstrated at Dum Dum station to protest the Central government’s decision to “sell out” Jessop and Company.

A large police contingent was pressed into action to ensure law and order.


Diamond Harbour, March 23: 
Fifty-five-year-old Habibur Rahman Piada, a member of the CPM’s Kakdwip (north) local committee, was hacked to death last night at Surya Nagar village, 33 km from here.

The CPM leadership has called a 12-hour bandh tomorrow in protest. “This was the second incident in the district in which one of our party members was murdered,” said Jayanta Bhattacharya, a member of the CPM’s South 24-Parganas district secretariat.

Last year, just before the Assembly elections, Kalipada Haldar, a member of the Mathurapur local committee, was murdered in a similar manner.

Around 9.30 last night, when Piada was returning home from Kakdwip police station, six miscreants pounced on him and hacked him, Bhattacharya alleged.

Local CPM leaders today took out a procession to condemn the murder. Bhattacharya visited the area with senior party member and former party MLA from Kakdwip, Hrishikesh Maity.

“This must be handiwork of the Opposition Trinamul Congress since the party is fast losing ground in the Kakdwip area,” he alleged. Though the Trinamul wrested the Kakdwip Assembly and the Suryanagar gram panchayat this time, the party is getting isolated from the masses due to its “destructive policies”.

Additional superintendent of district police S. Panda said five persons were arrested today from different parts of the district. He, however, refused to comment on whether they were Trinamul supporters.

“We are carrying out raids in different hideouts to arrest those who are absconding,” he said.

District superintendent of police Deb Kumar Ganguly said elaborate police arrangements had been made to maintain peace in the area.

Ram Das, a CPM district committee member, alleged that a month ago miscreants had attacked Piada and tried to kill him but had failed. “At that time, the attackers were identified as the Trinamul men,” he claimed.

Trinamul, however, denied the charges, saying the murder was the result of inner-party rivalry.


Calcutta, March 23: 
The borders are vanishing for the Sunderbans tiger. Under a UNDP-sponsored project, India and Bangladesh have agreed to jointly manage, protect and monitor the mangrove forests spanning both sides of the international border.

“We are addressing conservation problems on both sides and some sort of trans-border mechanism will be evolved to counter poaching and smuggling,” said A.K. Raha, director Sunderbans biosphere reserve on Saturday.

Raha said a joint census would follow a common mechanism to determine the tiger population. Earlier this month, a team of UNDP officials and Bangladeshi foresters toured the Project Tiger area in South 24-Parganas.


Bolpur, March 23: 
A 17-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by four rickshaw-pullers who kept her boyfriend tied to a tree on a deserted road in Bolpur last night.

Birbhum additional superintendent of police Manoj Varma said the girl got off from Visva-Bharati Fast passenger around 8.30 pm yesterday and took a rickshaw with her boyfriend to her sister’s house in Sian. Soon, another rickshaw, with three people on board, started chasing them.

As they reached a lonely stretch, the rickshaw-puller took a different route from the one to Sian.

The four persons then dragged the girl and her boyfriend, Shyamal Kshetrapalin, out, tied Shyamal to a tree and raped the girl, Varma added.

“It was a deserted place. They beat up Shyamal mercilessly and asked him to keep quiet. Then they took him to a little distance and tied him to a tree,” the girl later said at Bolpur police station.

Police have arrested three members of a gang this morning while the fourth person is absconding. Varma said raids are being conducted at various hideouts to arrest the miscreants.

“Bamdeb Sahani, Laloo Das and Pintu Mondal have been arrested. We are getting some leads about the crime following interrogation of those arrested,” he said, adding that the fourth man has been identified as Mongal Sahani.

People gathered at the police station today demanding the arrest of the culprits.


Maintained by Web Development Company