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Trinamul mikes blare in test time

Raniganj, Feb. 25: Loudspeakers blared at a Trinamul rally attended by minister Malay Ghatak barely 200m from a Raniganj police outpost yesterday, violating a circular against the use of mikes during the Madhyamik exams that began today.

The Burdwan administration had asked the police yesterday to ensure that loudspeakers were not used in residential areas during the month-long board exams. It had in a circular also urged decorators against renting out microphones.

The high court had in 1992 issued an order against the use of mikes during exams.

According to Raniganj residents, although policemen were deployed near the JK Nagar community hall where the annual meeting of the INTTUC-affiliated Koyla Khadan Shramik Congress was going on, they did nothing as 12 leaders spoke and patriotic songs followed through the day.

Other than agriculture minister Ghatak, state INTTUC president Dola Sen and Asansol mayor Tapas Banerjee were present at the rally.

The district police said they had “no idea” how the rally was allowed. “From February 22, the use of loudspeakers in public places has been prohibited because of the Madhyamik exams. I have no idea how the rally was allowed. I will seek a report from the local police,” said Suresh Kumar, the additional deputy commissioner of police (central division).

Sources said four loudspeakers were tied to poles in the JK Nagar market while two were placed near the community hall where the conference was being held.

“My son is appearing for his first big exam. But he could not concentrate on his studies yesterday because of the loudspeakers. At one point, I thought of protesting but could not gather the courage,” an Eastern Coalfields Ltd miner said in his quarters.

Ghatak, however, said loudspeakers were not placed in any residential area. “We did not use loudspeakers outside the conference hall. It is a conspiracy to malign us,” he said.

Breach at cop show

Loudspeakers were used last night at a police event inaugurated by Asansol-Durgapur police chief Ajay Nand in Neamatpur.

The officer said sound at the event was “within limits”.