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The City Diary

Bars, wine shops shut on Ashtami

lThe excise department on Friday issued a circular allowing all liquor off and on shops in the city to stay open during the Puja days, except on Ashtami. Earlier, the city police had initiated a move to keep all the off-shops and bars closed on all four Puja days in a bid to curb crime during the festival. But the excise department officials struck down the proposal, saying it would hamper tourism in the city. According to the circular, the off-shops in the city will remain open from 9 am to 10 pm and the bars from 11 am to 12 midnight. A bar can extend the time upto 2 am on prior approval of the authorities and paying late-closing fees to the excise department. No off-shop and bar will stay open on Ashtami. Shops and bars on Dashami will stay open from 9 am to 3 pm and the bars from 11 am to 12 midnight. The timing applies to off-shops and bars in Salt Lake as well. In the suburbs, off-shop and bar owners can extend the closing time by an hour.

Mange aide arrested

Pappu Singh, alias Pamua, 32, who had escaped from a jail in Bhuj during the 2001 earthquake was arrested from the Posta area on Friday. Singh, an associate of crimelord Manjit Singh, alias Mange, was picked up from a house near Kali Krishna Tagore Street, in north Calcutta, where he had been staying for the past few days. Three others —Michael, Manojia and Raja Sharma — who had escaped with Pappu, were also arrested and handed over to the Gujarat police. Preliminary investigations revealed that Singh arrived in the city a few days ago to plot the abduction of a businessman during the Pujas, said Zulfiquar Hasan, deputy commissioner of police, central division.

Recruitment freeze

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has indefinitely suspended recruitment by special regulation or of persons whose relatives have died in harness. Mayor Subrata Mukherjee issued a circular to this effect on October 8. The order has made uncertain the filling up of almost 300 posts. The CMC Workers’ Union has protested the decision. They will launch a movement after the Pujas, sources added.

Contest call

A Telekids sit-&-draw contest was held at Udayan – The Condoville, Sunny Park, on Friday, as part of The Telegraph Durga Puja Housing Complex Events, with 39 participants. The results are awaited. Creative writing and sit-&-draw competitions with 28 participants were held at Golf Green Natun Pally. Akash Sinha of Class I, Anirban Majumdar of Class VI and Arijita Ghosh of Class IX were the winners in groups A, B, and C respectively. Thirteen schoolkids participated in the creative writing contest, of which the results are awaited.

Lecturer rejoins

Kaushik Ganguly, the lecturer who was arrested by the Midnapore police for his alleged links with Naxalite outfit Peoples’ War and was later released on bail, rejoined work at Rajabazar Science College on Friday. Sources said Ganguly would resume classes after the Puja vacation.

Road mishap

Banshidhar Samal, an employee of Woodland Nursing Home, died in an accident on Friday. He was crushed between a taxi and a minibus on Alipore Road. The two vehicles were impounded but the drivers escaped.

CM in town

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will be in town during the Pujas. He will attend party office regularly. Former chief minister Jyoti Basu will also spend the Puja days in Calcutta. He will attend a meeting at the party office on Saturday.

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