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The City Diary

Arms found in train toilet at Howrah

Howrah railway police seized a consignment of 11 firearms on Jamalpur Express early on Monday. The arms, in a gunny bag, were found in the toilet of a compartment. No arrests were made. Preliminary investigation reveals that the arms were being smuggled to Calcutta from Munger, in Bihar. An officer said the GRP was tipped off that the consignment was being brought to Calcutta on the train. A GRP officer admitted that “arms are smuggled in from Bihar quite frequently”.

Bleach prayer for time

Purulia armsdrop accused Peter Bleach on Monday appeared before the metropolitan magistrate and prayed for adjournment to enable him to file his petition against the chargesheet filed against him on February 22, 2003, for assaulting another convict, Kamal Routh, on November 7, 2002. Deepak Prahladka, a legal activist, filed a petition against the investigating officer of the Hastings police station, the superintendent and jailor of Presidency jail and four other convicts, accusing them of making a “false statement” and “fabrication” of charges against Bleach.

Writers’ security

Three metal detectors have been installed at Writers’ Buildings as part of the government’s decision to tighten security in its offices. Earlier, a metal detector was installed only at the central gate. Officers said while two metal detectors were installed on Monday at gate 1, near the post office, another was set up at gate 6, opposite the Reserve Bank of India. Over 6,500 people reportedly enter the building every day.

CMC in contempt

Debashis Som, commissioner of Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), on Monday attended Calcutta High Court in a contempt case. Mayor Subrata Mukherjee failed to attend. Both had been directed to appear in court for not carrying out an order asking the civic body to restore the water connection of a building on Free School Street. The CMC had cut off water supply to the building for not paying property tax. The high court has granted time to the mayor to appear before it.

Students’ protest

The students’ union of Calcutta University’s law college on Hazra Road staged a demonstration on Monday, alleging irregularities in the department. Syed Chandan Hussain, general secretary of Calcutta University Students’ Union, Hazra Law Autonomous, alleged that the resolution passed by the CU faculty council for law, that an equal number of students from Ll.B and Ll.B (hons) will be admitted to the Ll.M course, was not being adhered to. Hussain also alleged that the authorities had not finished scrutinising the examination scripts though the due date was over. Students complained about the practice of giving “average” marks and irregular classes. N.K. Chakraborty, head of the department, said he would look into the matter.

Muharram rally

The seventh day Muharram procession will proceed from Khusro Manzil, on Karl Marx Sarani, in Kidderpore, from 3 pm on Tuesday.

Stop-work at mall

The CMC has slapped a stop-work notice on construction at a retail mall in south Calcutta on Monday. The CMC fiat comes a day after five construction workers were injured after the bamboo scaffolding gave way at the mall site. One of the workers injured on Sunday evening is in a critical condition at SSKM Hospital, while the others are “out of danger”, according to the retail plaza owners. A CMC team carried out an inspection of the site.

Power supply hit

Power supply was severely hit in parts of Howrah and central Calcutta from 11 am on Monday. CESC sources said two feeders of 6 KV each broke down in north Howrah and Park Lane. Power supply was restored in the afternoon.

Mill gutted

Barrackpore jute mill was gutted on Sunday night. Six fire engines battled the blaze through the night.

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