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The City Diary

Hunger strike at airport

Employees of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport began a relay hunger strike on Monday to protest the government plan to privatise airports. The agitation will continue till March 23 at all airports across the country. ervices, however, were not hit. 'Airlines services were normal and the agitation was peaceful,' said airport director Rajendra Pal. Leaders of Airport Authority of India Employees' Joint Forum (AAIEJF) alleged the Centre was going ahead with its privatisation plan despite protests from the employees. 'We had submitted an alternative plan for development and modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports. But the ministry is yet to examine it,' said Pathik Bhattacharya, vice-president of AAIEJF.

Restructure meeting

The transport department on Monday held a meeting with Consulting Engineering Services to prepare a report on the restructuring of five undertakings. Chaired by departmental secretary Sumantra Chowdhury, the meeting tried to work out a restructure map for the five ailing corporations. The discussion veered around rationalisation of the number of buses, routes and downsizing the staff strength. The government asked the consultant to suggest ways to improve transport services in the state. The report is likely to be submitted on March 10.

Theft arrest

Four middle-aged men were arrested in a bus on Monday afternoon and five stolen mobile phones were seized from them. The arrest followed a tip-off that the four had boarded the bus.

Minor raped

A minor was raped by a 20-year-old in Ashoknagar, on the northern fringes of the city, on Sunday. Police said Subodh Dey, son of CPM leader Niranjan Dey, visited neighbour Sisir Das's house in the evening. He offered to take out Das's three-year-old daughter, who was crying. As Subodh failed to return even after three hours, Das's wife went to the leader's house and found the baby lying in a pool of blood. Subodh is absconding.

Dacoity

A group of armed robbers raided six houses in Gangulipara, Domjur (Howrah) and looted cash and goods worth Rs 22,000 early on Monday. Two persons have been detained.

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