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Since 1st March, 1999
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The City Diary

Cops net youth for extortion attempt

Sanket Sharma, a B.Com (honours) graduate from a reputed city college and a resident of Goabagan Street, was arrested by the anti-kidnapping and extortion cell of Calcutta Police on Tuesday evening. The 30-year-old had been trying to extort Rs 2 crore from a city businessman. Sanket said he had recently visited his native village Hadsa, in Bihar. On his way back, he bought a local Hindi journal, which contained detailed information on how criminals like Abu Salem and Babloo Srivastava operate. Sanket said he had tried to follow in their footsteps to make some quick money. He made threat calls to the trader from cellphones and several phone booths in the city. A driver, once employed by the businessman, provided Sanket with information. The police are on the lookout for the driver.

Buddha faces student flak

Two doctors and three medical students were rounded up on Tuesday evening after All India Democratic Students’ Organisation, Medical Service Centre and Haspatal O Janaswasthya Raksha Committee members, owing allegiance to the Suci, blocked chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s convoy at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital. He had gone there to inaugurate a new haematology unit and to declare the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology a “centre of excellence”. ust as the chief minister’s convoy was about to enter the main building at around 5.30 pm, several people, mostly medical students protesting the hike in tuition fees, jumped in front of the car, forcing it to a halt. Senior police officers swung into action, even resorting to a mild lathicharge. Later, five persons were arrested. After order was restored, Bhattacharjee proceeded with the function. Medical students blocked the College Street crossing for a while to protest the arrests. The Medical Service Centre has called a sit-in at all medical colleges in the city.

Officials suspended

Five assessment officials of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) were suspended on Tuesday on charges of harassing people by taking months to clear their applications for mutation. Applicants had complained to mayor Subrata Mukherjee that the officials demanded money from them, some of whom were NRIs. Of the five, three were attached to the Gariahat office.

Actress dies

Theatre personality Ketaki Dutta died late on Monday in the city. The 69-year-old Bengali stage actress had been suffering from cancer for the past four months. Daughter of actress Prova Devi and Tarakumar Bhaduri, Dutta won plaudits for several productions over the past few decades, including the most recent Mukti. She had starred in Barbodhu with Asim Chakraborty, which ran to full theatres for almost a year. She had started her career in the play Shahjahan, by Dwijendra Lal Roy.

Defalcation rap

Calcutta High Court on Tuesday rejected the anticipatory bail petition of an employee of State Bank of India, Behala branch, in a public money defalcation case. Abhijit Banerjee, a clerk, had allegedly shifted money deposited by customers to his wife Dipika’s account while making entries in the passbooks on the computer. Public prosecutor Kazi Safiullah told the court that during the period 2001-02 , the clerk had shifted a total sum of Rs 5.5 lakh to his wife’s account. The assistant general manager of SBI had lodged an FIR against the clerk at Behala police station, Safiullah said.

Road repair funds

The Centre has sanctioned Rs 10 crore for the repair of roads approaching Calcutta Port in the Taratala-Hyde Road area. PWD minister Amar Chowdhury said that a large stretch of roads in the area is in very bad shape and there had been an earlier request from industries minister Nirupam Sen to do something about it. “Offices and warehouses of some multinationals are located in that area and there have been repeated complaints about the dismal road condition. We had requested the Centre for funds and it has sanctioned Rs 10 crore. The Calcutta Port Trust, which was supposed to carry out the road repair, has promised us Rs 3 crore,” said Chowdhury.

Thumbs Up


TO Calcutta Municipal Corporation for bringing out a monthly newsletter, Purobarta, containing information for the public from July 17

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