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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Railways evict party squatters

Durgapur, Dec. 4: The railways have shut down an abandoned canteen in Asansol that had been turned into a Trinamul office and godown.

The Telegraph had reported on November 26 how a section of Trinamul workers held regular drinking sessions in the room, 1km from Asansol station. The room, where a railway canteen used to operate four years ago, had been used as Malay Ghatak’s election office before the Assembly polls last year.

Yesterday, the railways’ anti-encroachment officials removed the Trinamul flags and banners and a carrom board. They also removed the stocks of local fruit vendors from the makeshift godown in a corner of the room.

The Trinamul workers had allegedly rented out a portion of the room to vendors for Rs 400 a month.

“We have removed the encroachers from our property and also locked up the room. We will also conduct a drive to remove all encroachments from our land in the Asansol division,” said A.K. Shukla, the additional divisional railway manager of Asansol.

A senior railway official in Asansol said such a drive could not be conducted earlier because Trinamul used to run the ministry. “So we did not dare evict the party encroachers,” the official said.

Ghatak, the agriculture minister, said: “I do not want to comment on the matter. The railways did whatever they felt was lawful. However, the railway authorities should take steps to remove all encroachments from their land.”