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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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CIMA Gallary

Trinamul leader’s bandh step backfires

Raiganj, Feb. 21: The staff of Suryodaya Home, a residential school for hearing-impaired children, have complained to the North Dinajpur district magistrate that they were marked absent during yesterday’s strike by the chairman of the Child Welfare Committee, a political nominee.

All 18 staff had come to work but later than usual because they had been allowed a relaxation in reporting time because of the bandh.

Sunil Bhowmik, the child welfare committee chairman and a Trinamul leader, arrived in the school at 11.20am and marked the 18 staff members, including the principal, absent.

At the time Bhowmik was marking the staff absent, prinipal Parathasarathi Das had already reported for work. Bhowmik later marked the principal present.

An official with the district administration, who did not want to be named, said that Bhowmik, a political nominee, had no power to infringe into the administration of the state government home, which runs the school.

“Bhowmik was totally wrong in marking the staff absent.... I have asked the director of the social welfare department to inquire into the matter and see what action can be taken against him,” said Sabitri Mitra, the minister for social welfare.

“The government had passed instructions on attending work during the strike. When I saw that the principal was trying to shield absentees, I was forced to mark them absent,” Bhowmick said in his defence.