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The City Diary

Stall-owner shot at on Hazra Road

A 30-year-old owner of a roadside eatery, Prakash Saha, was shot at on Thursday night on Hazra Road in the Gariahat police station area by Pappu, a criminal operating in the area. Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner of police (detective department), said Pappu was on the run but had returned to the area on Thursday. He picked up a quarrel with Saha in front of his roadside stall to settle a personal dispute. Following a heated exchange, Pappu shot at Saha. The wounded man was moved to a private nursing home where doctors operated on his leg on Friday. According to Mitra, Pappu is still absconding.

Roadblock over waterlogging

Nearly 500 residents and businessmen of Belgachhia in Howrah put up a roadblock on Friday on Benaras Road, under Liluah police station, to protest waterlogging in the area. Police said traffic was disrupted for more than five hours from 11 am. Residents complained that the area was still flooded after heavy showers over the past few days as the drains were completely choked and the civic authorities were doing nothing about it. Congress workers also staged a protest as several areas in Howrah were waterlogged. They gheraoed the mayor’s office at the Howrah Municipal Corporation and handed over a deputation to district magistrate S. Kishore.

Buried under water

The Kidderpore, Bagmari and Sola Anna burial grounds remain under water on the eve of Shab-e-Baraat as the civic health department has failed to instal pumps to drain out the water accumulated over the past four days of incessant rains. “This is the first time that we are facing such a problem. We will have trouble observing the occasion because of waterlogging. It is part of our custom to light candles at the graveyards,” said Abul Kalam Munna of the Mohammedan burial board.

Car theft arrest

One person was arrested in Salt Lake’s IC block on Thursday night for allegedly being involved in a nationwide car-theft racket. Police said Arabinda Singh and his gang would steal cars and motorcycles from Calcutta and its neighbourhood, and take them to Bihar and other states. Police were searching for him in connection with a taxi theft bid in Hooghly’s Khanakul. On September 19, Arabinda and three others beat up the taxi driver and left him on the road. He was rescued by the police who chased the gang. The robbers deserted the taxi near Galsi in Burdwan and escaped. The cops picked up their trail from a mobile phone and other documents left in the taxi. On Thursday night, Arabinda was arrested from a government housing estate. Other gang members fled, police said.

Enteric alarm

Health department authorities in Howrah are fearing an enteric disease outbreak as 32 patients, including 16 children, have reportedly been admitted on Friday to the Howrah General Hospital. According to a health department official, the patients are mostly from the slums of Cows Ghat Road, Tikiapara and Dharsa. A medical team has been assigned the job of keeping a watch on the affected areas.

Bus fare hike

The fare hike for buses, minibuses, taxis and tramcars came into effect from Friday. The minimum fare for buses has been fixed at Rs 3 for the first 4 km, for minibuses Rs 3.50, for trams Rs 3 and Rs 2.50 for the two classes. The minimum fare for taxis is Rs 15.

Hooch haul

In a pre-Diwali drive on Friday, officers of Barasat police station seized 1,500 litres of illicit liquor and about 50 kg of raw material used for making banned firecrackers. Police also arrested 46 persons from different parts of Barasat.

Postal awards

In keeping with the objective of National Postal Week, 2003, the department of posts, West Bengal circle, gave away excellence awards to its employees on Friday. The Dak Seva award, Best Postman award and awards for premium services were handed out by chief postmaster-general S.K. Das.

Thumbs Up

Up

TO Eastern Railway for detecting 33,079 free-trippers during raids in September 2003 and realising fines amounting to more than Rs 43 lakh


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