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The City Diary

Ansari, associates before special court

Aftab Ansari, prime accused in the American Center attack, and eight associates were produced before a special court inside Presidency jail on Tuesday. They were first produced in court on April 11. A makeshift court has been set up in the jail following a plea by the state government, which cited security risks in holding the trial outside. City sessions court judge P.L. Dutta heard the case after Ansari and his associates were produced amid tight security. The case will be heard on Wednesday, too. Jail sources said Justice Dutta has asked the jail authorities to ensure a regular supply of drinking water and proper seating arrangements in the courtroom. He also criticised the way in which a crowd of people was allowed to gather in the jail during the trial.

Court reprieve for hotel TVs

Justice D.P. Kundu of Calcutta High Court extended his earlier interim order and restrained the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) from claiming amusement tax from hotels and restaurants for keeping television sets for entertainment of customers. Several owners of hotels and restaurants had filed cases against the decision. The hearing of the case will continue.

Tannery on fire

A tannery in Topsia was gutted in a fire on Tuesday. Fire brigade sources said the blaze broke out around 9.30 am and it took about three hours to bring it under control. The cause of the fire and the extent of damage were not known.

SARS suspect

A suspected SARS patient was admitted at the Beleghata ID Hospital on Tuesday afternoon. Director of health services Prabhakar Chatterjee said the patient, from North Bengal, had suspected symptoms. But doctors released him in the evening after his fever was found to have nothing to do with the virus spreading the disease.

Bail rejected

A division bench of Calcutta High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail application of Miraj Sheikh, arrested by Nadia police for a dacoity in a church in an area under the Tehatta police station jurisdiction. Miraz and 10 others had raided the church on December 25, 2002, while Christmas prayers were on, and robbed devotees of ornaments worth Rs 2 lakh.

Road mishap

Tarak Das, 22, of Behala, was run over on Tuesday by a bus on route S7. He died on the spot. He was declared ‘brought dead’ by the local Vidyasagar Hospital. Das’ death triggered a roadblock, as a result of which Behala witnessed prolonged traffic snarls. The mob tried to torch the killer bus, but police intervened.

Mill staff petition

Employees of Kanoria Jute Mill will submit a memorandum to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on May 11, seeking his intervention in breaking the impasse. The employees have stopped work since April 18 as the mill-owner allegedly refused to accept their demands.

Thumbs Up

To Netra Sevasram for performing surgery for cataract and glaucoma on 1,004 patients
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