Report notes injuries, skips cause
Ghosh’s family blames cops for test delay
Broken leg traps taxi driver in burning hut
Burglary in Posta office
Hawkers allege RPF harassment

 
 
REPORT NOTES INJURIES, SKIPS CAUSE 
 
 
OUR BUREAU
 
Calcutta, July 20: 
Kaushik Ganguly, the Rajabazar Science College lecturer who was arrested for his alleged People’s War connection, has injuries on his leg and has trouble standing without support.

This observation was made in a report by a team of physicians who examined Kaushik and two others arrested on the same charges in early-July. The report, submitted to the police as well as the home department, does not spell out the cause of the injury to Kaushik’s leg.

The three were brought from Midnapore to SSKM Hospital for a medical test on Saturday morning. A heavily escorted police ambulance, carrying the three men, drove into the hospital around 11 am. They were brought to the cardiology wing where a huge police contingent kept onlookers at bay. Even the family members of the arrested youths were also not allowed access to them.

The two other youths, Tinku Ghosh and Parashar Bhattacharya, were also examined by the team of six doctors to ascertain whether allegations of police excesses on them in custody were true or not. The report, however, does not mention any injuries to either of them.

All three of them are presently in judicial custody. Ganguly had been admitted to Midnapore district hospital after he complained of illness a few days ago.

“We received an order from the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) of Midnapore directing the police to get the three youths checked in Calcutta and, accordingly, we formed a medical team,” said D.D. Chattopadhyay, superintendent of SSKM.

The medical board comprised chief of medicine A. Majumdar, head of the physiotherapy department Amal Ballav, general surgeon Makhanlal Saha, orthopaedic surgeon Samar Gupta, and Bangur Institute of Neurology’s neuro-surgeon Parimal Tripathy and neuro-medicine expert Gautam Ganguly.

The superintendent said the examination continued for about three hours. “The doctors concluded that none of them required hospitalisation. We have asked them to have some clinical tests done in Midnapore,” Chattopadhyay added.

On July 11, the CJM of Midnapore rejected the police report on the youths’ physical condition and ordered a fresh examination. The CJM directed the police to conduct the tests either at SSKM Hospital or at Calcutta Medical College and ascertain the exact nature of their injuries.

The three were taken back to Midnapore amid tight security. They will appear before the CJM on July 25.

Biswas tirade

At a rally in Siliguri, CPM state secretary Anil Biswas said the government would not sit for talks with People’s War leaders, our correspondent in north Bengal reports. Biswas said the terms and conditions set by the Naxalite outfit in a recent media statement were not acceptable to the party and the government. The CPM, he announced, would devise new political means to fight PW.

Blaming the Trinamul Congress for allowing the People’s War to piggyback on it, Biswas said: “The group is active in parts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Hooghly which were, by and large, controlled by the Trinamul Congress before the Assembly elections in 2001.”

Biswas alleged that the extremists were being “incited” to commit acts of violence by the opposition parties, including the BJP, to destabilise the state.

   

 
 
GHOSH’S FAMILY BLAMES COPS FOR TEST DELAY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 20: 
Family members of Tinku Ghosh, who was arrested along with Rajabazar Science College lecturer Kaushik Ganguly on July 4, blamed the police for delaying his medical test at SSKM Hospital.

The family has decided to move court. “Tinku is a broken man today. He was tortured, yet he was denied necessary treatment. We will file a suit as soon as he recuperates,” said his mother Sobha. Tinku’s lawyer Indranil Rudra said he had seen injury marks on him “about a week ago”.

Following a court order a week ago, the Midnapore police brought Tinku to SSKM Hospital for a check-up on Saturday, 16 days after his arrest. Tinku’s mother rushed to SSKM Hospital to meet her son, who is the sole breadwinner of the family. “We could not meet Tinku as the police had thrown a security ring around him. My mother just managed to catch a glimpse of him,” said sister Juhi.

Tinku graduated in the science stream from a Dum Dum college in 1995. He used to market cosmetic products and occasionally pen poems for magazines and periodicals. On July 4, he was picked up along with Parashar Bhattacharya, Kaushik Ganguly and Abhijit Sinha on charges of links with People’s War. Sinha later committed suicide. “The Midnapore police barged into our house around 1.20 am and dragged Tinku out of bed. While he was being whisked away, he told me that he had not done anything wrong,” said Sobha.

Tinku’s mother met him at the Midnapore jail “a few times” and on one occasion, found him “on the verge of a breakdown”.

After Saturday’s medical examination, Tinku was taken back to Midnapore with the other accused. They will be produced in court on July 25. “We will continue to appeal for a bail order and then decide on the next course of action,” Rudra said.

   

 
 
BROKEN LEG TRAPS TAXI DRIVER IN BURNING HUT 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 20: 
For four months, his fractured left leg had confined him to bed without an income. On Saturday, it claimed his life.

Seventy-year-old taxi driver Sadashib Swami was trapped in a fire which broke out in a slum at Kalabagan, in the New Alipore police station area, on Saturday morning. His charred body was rescued an hour later by the local police and the fire brigade officials.

Police said Swami could not escape because of his broken leg. “He received serious injuries when his taxi collided with a lorry four months ago. His left leg was broken. Since then, Swami was under treatment and was advised bed rest,” said Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner of police, detective department.

Swami had been living in Kalabagan for several years. “His wife and daughter were not around when the fire broke out. So there was no one to rescue him,” added Mitra.

After conducting preliminary investigations, fire brigade officials said an electrical short-circuit might have caused the incident. Two dozen shanties were gutted and five fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames.

Residents said smoke was first seen billowing out of Swami’s house. “His shanty was closest to the lamp post where the short-circuit occurred. So it was the first to catch fire. Within a few minutes, the flames started to spread and soon Swami’s house was completely gutted,” said Ratan Mishra, a neighbour, whose house was also damaged.

As the flames engulfed one structure after another, the residents of the area vacated their houses.

“We shifted the women and children and then became involved in salvaging our belongings,” said Subrata Jha, another resident of the area. “It was too late by the time we realised that Swami was trapped inside. We tried to enter his house, but it was impossible,” he added.

The locals informed the fire brigade and the police officials about Swami as soon as the rescue team reached the spot. “We started spraying water on Swami’s house. It took us nearly 30 minutes to bring the flames under control and enter the hut. By then, Swami’s body was charred,” said a fire brigade official.

The police are conducting a probe into the incident. “We will also request the CESC to visit the site and check whether there was anything wrong with the lamp post from where the fire is believed to have originated,” said an officer of the New Alipore police station.

   

 
 
BURGLARY IN POSTA OFFICE 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 20: 
Miscreants raided the office of a businessman on Maharshi Debendra Road, in the Posta police station area, late on Friday and decamped with gold ornaments, three cell phones and Rs 28,000. An employee was injured in the attack. No arrests were made till late on Saturday.

Police sources said five men stormed the office when the employees were closing shop. “The miscreants whipped out revolvers and forced the owner to hand over the money kept in the cash-box. They also snatched gold ornaments from the employees,” said an official.

The miscreants hit Vijay Goyel, an employee, when he tried to resist them. “Goyel tried to stop one of the goons when they were leaving,” said a police officer.

Cop hurt in clash: A sub-inspector of the Ekbalpore police station was injured in a clash between two groups of anti-socials late on Friday. A couple of two-wheelers and three private cars were also damaged during the clash.

The fight took place in a lane where the goons had assembled in the evening. As soon as a police team arrived, they started pelting stones. An officer was injured in the melee. As the lawmen were outnumbered, they could not retaliate immediately. However, when reinforcements arrived, the miscreants took to their heels.

   

 
 
HAWKERS ALLEGE RPF HARASSMENT 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 20: 
Members of the Citu-controlled West Bengal Newspaper Hawkers’ Association submitted a memorandum to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Friday, alleging harassment by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) at Howrah station. As a mark of protest, the association has stopped selling evening dailies from July 13.

Uttam Lahiri, association president, said the RPF men were not only preventing hawkers from selling newspapers on the station premises but were also detaining them for hours though they possessed valid monthly tickets. “Cases are being filed against hawkers in court and they are sometimes being fined to the tune of Rs 700 to Rs 1,000,” he complained.

According to Lahiri, the harassment continued on Saturday even after the divisional railway manager promised to put a stop to such incidents.

The association president held some senior RPF officers responsible for the harassment which, he said, was taking place over the past 19 months.

“Though we were assured that members with valid monthly tickets could move around the station and sell newspapers at spots earmarked for them, the promise is not being kept despite several requests to the authorities,” he added.

Salt Lake flesh trade

Ten persons, including five women, were rounded up from IA block in Salt Lake during a raid late on Friday. Police said all the persons were arrested under the Immoral Trafficking Act. Three of the women are from Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. A businessman rented the flat a few days ago, saying he would open an office there. “But a series of late night parties made the residents suspicious,” said a police officer.

The trend of hiring prostitutes from other states was new in Salt Lake, police said.

   
 

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