SSKM new stop for urine ailment cure
Slit-throat body by railway tracks
Trinamul MLA son commits suicide
Women’s awareness through the lenses
Health plan for primary schools
Mamata piles protest pressure
Corruption kick to Cong leader
Pilgrims crushed under stone cargo
Chain idol raids lead police to tutor

 
 
SSKM NEW STOP FOR URINE AILMENT CURE 
 
 
BY BAPPA MAJUMDAR
 
Calcutta, July 27: 
After getting injured in a freak road accident a few weeks ago, Asish Sengupta, 55, was suffering from urine incontinence (leakage of urine), which prompted him to go in for treatment in either Mumbai or Vellore. A friend asked him to go to SSKM Hospital instead, where a new machine had been installed for conducting “urodynamic studies”. After undergoing treatment at “an extremely low cost”, Sengupta is now completely fit and has resumed work.

Sengupta is not the only case. More and more Calcuttans, who can afford treatment at super-speciality clinics in Mumbai and Delhi, are now heading for the urology department of SSKM Hospital for “urodynamic studies”.

The department has recently procured a machine for Rs 22 lakh from Denmark to conduct tests for all kinds of ailments related to urine incontinence, leading to prostrate or renal failure. SSKM is the first government hospital to have installed the machine.

Patients suffer from urine incontinence for various reasons, including stroke, trauma, head injuries, spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis.

All these ailments can now be cured properly with the help of urodynamic studies, which help doctors pinpoint the exact cause for urine incontinence and then plan treatment procedure accordingly.

“A normal urine reading is around 29.2 ml per second, while a person suffering from urine incontinence would be urinating at 10 ml or a little more. These cases need a complete study,” said Dr Dilip Karmakar, head of the urology department, SSKM Hospital.

Urodynamic studies involve a series of tests, including catheterisation, where an accurate record is kept of all fluids consumed and the volume of urine voided or lost due to incontinence for 24 hours by inserting a small catheter into the bladder.

The cystometrogram is another procedure, which evaluates bladder and sphincter pressures during filling and emptying with the help of the catheter.

“We often conduct stress tests to find out the level of incontinence. A person suffering from severe incontinence would not be able to hold urine even when he is asked to cough,” Karmakar added. Another test, known as cystoscopy, is performed with a small fibre-optic telescope, which is inserted into the bladder to look for abnormalities within the cavity.

The results of all these tests are shown on the computer monitor, which help the doctor decide on a prolonged medical treatment or surgery depending on the problem.

“The cost for urodynamic studies is very reasonable at SSKM Hospital. It ranges between Rs 250 and Rs 500 while private set-ups around the country may charge as much as several thousand rupees,” Dr Karmakar said. “Of late, we have been able to attract a number of patients who can easily afford treatment at Vellore or Mumbai,” he added.

   

 
 
SLIT-THROAT BODY BY RAILWAY TRACKS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 27: 
Barely 24 hours after the killing of a middle-aged man in Patipukur, the beheaded body of a 19-year-old youth was found in the same area on Saturday. The victim has been identified as Poltu Mallik.

Officers of Government Railway Police (GRP), the agency probing the case, found the body lying beside the railway tracks between Ultadanga and Dum Dum, on the Sealdah main section. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.

On Friday morning, Benarshi Jaiswal, 35, had been found murdered in the railway quarters at Dakshindari. His throat was slit. Officers of Ultadanga police station, who are probing the case, failed to track down the culprits till Saturday.

Police said both the victims were from the same locality. “Though we have not found any link between these two murders, the style of killing was almost the same in both the cases,” said a Dum Dum GRP official.

The Ultadanga police were conducting raids throughout Friday. “Poltu, who used to rent out generators, left home fearing a raid at night. Along with a friend, he took shelter in a local club,” said a resident.

On Saturday, the railway police interrogated the victim’s friend who stayed the night with him. After questioning the friend, whose name was not disclosed “for the sake of investigation”, the investigators came to know that around 1 am, Poltu had gone out of the clubroom to relieve himself.

When the friend woke up on Saturday morning and found Poltu missing, he informed local people. They noticed bloodstains in front of the club and finally found the beheaded body lying beside the railway tracks, a kilometre and a half away from the club. They immediately informed the Dum Dum GRP.

“We did not see any blood stains in front of the club as some of the locals had washed the spot before we reached,” said a police officer. Samples of the soil were collected for examination, he added.

The police, however, have failed to deduce the cause that led to the killing.

“Jaiswal and Poltu had some common acquaintances. We are probing whether the two murders are linked,” added an official.

Bangla smuggler shot

A Bangladeshi national was killed when Border Security Force jawans opened fire on Saturday.

Ashraf Mondol, 35, who used to smuggle fruits across the Indo-Bangla border, was trying to cross over along with three others in the early hours of Saturday, when BSF jawans asked him to identify himself. When he did not stop, the jawans opened fire, killing him on the spot. His associates, however, managed to flee.

   

 
 
TRINAMUL MLA SON COMMITS SUICIDE 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 27: 
The 22-year-old son of a Trinamul Congress MLA committed suicide at a Golabari hotel on Saturday morning.

Police said Shovon, son of Shital Sardar, Trinamul Congress MLA from Sankrail, hanged himself from the ceiling of a hotel room. The second-year zoology student from Santiniketan was taking his exams and had come home last week. He was supposed to sit for the remaining papers on Monday.

On Friday evening, Shovon told his family that he would leave for Bolpur to prepare for the remaining papers. “We thought he was bothered about his exams and, so, wanted to leave,” his father told the police on Saturday.

Shovon was seen boarding a train to Bolpur. “It seems he jumped off the train immediatetely afterwards and checked into a lodge,” said an officer. Soon after, Shovon had dinner and reportedly retired for the night.

On Saturday morning, he came out of his room for a short while, but locked himself in thereafter. “Since he did not take breakfast and was looking extremely restless, we became suspicious,” said a hotel employee. When Shovon did not respond to their calls, the hotel staff broke open the door around 11 am and found him hanging from the ceiling.

“We have reasons to believe that Shovon committed suicide because of some problems in Santiniketan,” said additional superintendent of police (town) Rajeev Mishra.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Shovan had not fared well in one of the papers and his parents had rebuked him. “Since then, he was upset and worried about the remaining papers,” added an officer. Shovon’s body was handed over to his parents after post-mortem.

Bombs in vat: Police recovered 35 bombs from a roadside vat in front of Rajabazar tram depot on Saturday afternoon. Locals noticed a gunny bag in the vat and informed the Amherst Street police. The bomb disposal squad later defused the bombs.

   

 
 
WOMEN’S AWARENESS THROUGH THE LENSES 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 27: 
Eighty-one years ago, the University Women’s Association of Calcutta (UWAC) was founded with the aim to promote education for women and further the efforts of John Drinkwater Bethune who set up Bethune School in 1849.

A photographic exhibition which the organisation put up in the city recently underlined the contribution of women in promoting this cause.

The show, which reflected the efforts of the UWAC in empowering and educating women in the state, paid tributes to women who had dedicated their lives to the improvement of women’s lot.

“The original aim and objective of the association was to establish a forum for intellectually alive women to explore avenues to improve the status of women and promote the cause of their education,” said Prathama Sen, the current president of the UWAC.

“This association is primarily an organisation of women graduates and over the years it has worked to promote awareness among women regarding their rights and involve them in furthering the cause of education,” said Sen.

To this end, the UWAC has been providing scholarships and grants to deserving candidates, holding legal awareness camps, setting up adult literacy centres for elderly illiterate women and involving intellectuals and educationists in their cause by holding seminars and conferences.

The keynote address at the inauguration of the exhibition was delivered by Surabhi Banerjee, vice-chancellor of Indira Gandhi Open University.

“We want more educated women to join us. This will strengthen our cause,” Sen added.

   

 
 
HEALTH PLAN FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 27: 
After introducing hygiene and environmental studies in the curriculum, the state government now plans to launch a Rs 6-crore project to improve sanitary facilities in primary schools from August.

Funded by an international agency, the project would ensure supply of safe drinking water to institutions, said Jyoti Prakash Ghosh, president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education. The Board will be in charge of overall implementation of the project. Around one crore students will be covered under the project. A bulk of the expenditure for implementing the remaining part of the project will be borne by the Central and state governments.

“A survey has revealed that 34 per cent of the schools lack safe drinking water facilities and more than 70 per cent do not have toilets,” Ghosh added.

The project will include training programmes for more than 1.25 lakh teachers in nearly 59,000 state-funded primary schools and several Sishu Siksha Kendras. A senior officer of the health department said the objective of the training is to enable teachers to conduct routine check-ups of students. For instance, they will be required to measure the weight and height of children once a month, examine their teeth, ear and eyesight, and maintain a record of the findings.

Working and retired doctors from government hospitals and private practitioners will be roped in to train the teachers.

   

 
 
MAMATA PILES PROTEST PRESSURE 
 
 
FROM RANJAN LAHIRI AND SOUMI BHATTACHARYA
 
Basapara (Nanoor), July 27: 
Barely a week after issuing a 72-hour bandh ultimatum, Mamata Banerjee today threatened a “bigger movement” if the Centre failed to break the impasse over Eastern Railway’s proposed bifurcation.

“We are awaiting a favourable response from Vajpayeeji. But if nothing materialises within a day or two, then get ready for a bigger movement across the state,” Mamata told a well-attended rally here, about 20 km from Bolpur.

The meeting was organised by the Trinamul Congress in memory of the 11 farmers who were allegedly killed by CPM activists on this day two years ago. Besides Mamata, key Trinamul functionaries, including party chief whip in the Assembly Shovandeb Chattopadhyay, spoke at the gathering.

A fiery Mamata had told a huge rally in Calcutta on July 21 that she would wait for two days, and if no response came from Delhi, she would announce a 72-hour Bengal bandh to put pressure on the Centre. She put her threat on hold after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee issued a statement, saying the matter was being reconsidered.

Again reposing faith in Vajpayee, a more sedate Mamata said here she still hoped the Prime Minister would take a “favourable decision” in Bengal’s interest. At the same time, she stated that her party would have to be ready with an action plan if the proposed bifurcation was not stalled.

Alleging that chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had reached a “backdoor understanding” with railway minister Nitish Kumar on the division, Mamata said: “I wonder whether those at the helm of affairs in Bengal hardly bother about the youth here who will not get jobs in the event of Eastern Railway’s bifurcation.”

Trinamul sources said Mamata has indicated that no decision on the rail row would emerge in the next two to three days. “That is why, she has asked us to chalk out a vigorous movement against the Centre in the coming days,” said a key Trinamul functionary.

Turning to the People’s War, Mamata described the outfit as the CPM’s own creation that has turned on it after the Assembly elections. “PW activists are either CPM dissidents or its expelled members who have now trained their guns on the communists to avenge the coercion perpetrated on them,” she said.

The Trinamul leader slammed the administration for harassing innocent Trinamul workers for their alleged links with the Naxalites. The CPM’s gameplan was to terrorise Opposition party workers before next year’s panchayat elections, she alleged.

   

 
 
CORRUPTION KICK TO CONG LEADER 
 
 
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
 
Behrampore, July 27: 
Corruption clouds hung heavy over the Congress in Murshidabad after Behrampore municipality chairman Akbar Kabeer, a close associate of Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury, was expelled from the party on charges of misappropriation of funds.

Only a few months ago, chairpersons of two other Congress-run municipalities in the same district — Murshidabad and Dhuliyan — had to resign on charges of corruption.

An FIR was lodged against Kabeer with the Behrampore police today, accusing him of siphoning off Rs 1 crore. The absconding Kabeer has been asked to resign from the post of chairman in the Congress-run civic body.

Chowdhury, president of the Murshidabad district Congress committee, said he was left with no option but to “expel one of my close associates” for his alleged involvement in the defalcation of municipality funds. “We cannot compromise with integrity and honesty. I used to give him Rs 12,000 every month to compensate the financial loss he incurs every month as legal practitioner by devoting time to the work of the municipality.

“It is unfortunate that Kabeer was a close friend of mine. And board members, knowing it well, did not dare touch him because he used to drop my name. Only a few days ago, some of them had told my wife about his activities,” he added.

State party president Pranab Mukherjee, who came to the district on a day’s visit, was informed of the development. “This is a step in the right direction,” he said.

But Chowdhury’s detractors are eager to make capital of his embarrassment. Dissidents apparently called on Mukherjee to “punish” the MP for not taking action against Kabeer earlier. “This will surely send a wrong signal to the party rank and file in the rural belt,” said a key party functionary. He also criticised Chowdhury for his “inept” handling of the party. “Adhir should have expelled Kabeer much earlier to stem the rot.”

Senior district Congress leaders felt the development would give the CPM a handle to campaign against the party, particularly at a time when the panchayat polls are drawing near.

District CPM leaders said the developments have exposed the Congress. “This shows that the Congress has lost its credibility,” they added.

Congress members said the FIR against Kabeer was lodged by none other than vice-chairperson Usharani Saha after a decision was taken jointly by 22 Congress commissioners yesterday.

No one has yet been nominated for the post of chairman, but two names — Ashim Nandi and Deepak Roy — are doing the rounds. “The final decision will be taken by Chowdhury,” said a commissioner. Chowdhury, however, declined to indicate his choice.

Behrampore sub-divisional officer Ashis Mukherjee said this afternoon that he was yet to receive any complaint against the chairman. “I shall initiate an inquiry once I get the complaint in writing,” he said.

   

 
 
PILGRIMS CRUSHED UNDER STONE CARGO 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 27: 
Six persons, including two children, were killed and five injured early this morning when a lorry skidded off the road and plunged into a ditch near Dhubulia in Nadia district. The injured were admitted to Shaktinagar hospital, where the condition of two was stated to be critical.

Patit Pavan Dutta, 45, and his two children Somenath, 12, and Riya, 9, were among the victims. But the children’s mother, Lakshmi, survived. Tapas Pal, 18, and Budo Pal, 46 were the others killed. The driver and his helper fled.

The accident occurred on National Highway 34 when 13 persons, all residents of Hanskhali and Badkulla, were returning from Tarapith after visiting the temple there. “While returning, the owner of the lorry, Patit Pavan, loaded his vehicle with stones from Rampurhat,” said an official of Dhubulia police station.

Initial investigation showed that the people travelling in the driver’s cabin escaped with injuries while those riding in the hold were crushed to death by the stones. “Apparently the vehicle ploughed into stone-chips dumped by the road and rolled into the ditch,” said an official.

Rescue operation was started one-and-a-half hour later. Though villagers rushed to the site on hearing the noise, they did not have the implements to clear the pile of stones. “It was too late when policemen from the local thana rushed to the spot. They found only two persons alive,” said a resident.

   

 
 
CHAIN IDOL RAIDS LEAD POLICE TO TUTOR 
 
 
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
 
Chinsurah, July 27: 
Six persons, including a private tutor, have been arrested for running an idol-smuggling racket. The ring spread across Bengal and Bihar was uncovered as the police recovered three antique idols valued at lakhs of rupees.

The tutor and kingpin, Satya Narayan Ghoshal, was held today after a chain of arrests. Ghoshal had broken a stone Krishna idol into several pieces and dumped it inside the safety tank of his house after learning that his arrested associates had spilled the beans. But the police found it.

The arrests started on July 19, when Bhadreswar police station officer in-charge Debasish Chakraborty received a tip-off that a jute mill worker from Telinipara was trying to sell a bronze Radha idol.

After consulting the Chinsurah police, a team reached Hasim Ali, posing as antique dealers. During sustained interrogation, Ali confessed that he and an associate, Abid Hussain, had got the idol from Dinesh Roy, another jute mill worker.

The team raided Roy’s house and found that he used to smuggle antiques with the help of his son-in-law, Sukumar Roy, a vegetable seller. They also recovered a stone Buddha idol. “We had stolen the idol from Tarakeswar and were planning to sell it for a lakh,” Roy confessed.

The smuggling trail then took the police to Uttarpara, where they got hold of the fifth person, Naragopal Dutta, who revealed Ghoshal’s link.

   
 

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