Singer behind bars for wife-bashing
Money motive twist to Bypass murder case
Left promises sops for slums
Protests after boy�s death in accident
Minister sets JU talks date
Court calls for rally-ban committee
Rebels torch police post

Calcutta, June 9 
Singer Pramit Sen, son of late Rabindrasangeet exponent Sagar Sen, was arrested on Thursday night from his Golf Garden residence on charges of torturing wife Swastika, daughter of actor Santu Mukherjee.

Pramit was produced in court on Friday and remanded to police custody.

Mukherjee said his 21-year-old daughter got married to the singer nearly two years ago. Ever since then, Mukherjee alleged, Swastika was physically and mentally tortured by the singer.

Swastika had started staying with her parents for the past one year, �to escape further torture�.

Even though the couple had tried to reconcile, Pramit soon started ill-treating his wife, CID officials said.

�I was trying to avoid a police case hoping that peace in their family life will be restored. Besides, my daughter delivered a girl six months back. My son-in-law did not even come to see his new born... And now, we are left with no other alternative but to lodge a complaint,� Mukherjee said.

But Pramit told the police that Swastika�s �misbehaviour� had led to the problems in their marriage.

�My wife, being the daughter of an actor, suffers from a superiority complex. She used to insult me. This led to family problems,� the singer told the police.

He also denied having tortured his wife.

Officials said they were interrogating the singer to find out the cause of the trouble. �We may to have speak to Sen�s wife in this connection,� they said.

Mukherjee had also alleged that the �gold ornaments given to Swastika for her marriage were forcibly taken away� by Pramit. But CID officials could not find the ornaments after searching the singer�s bank locker and his house.

Fake marksheet racket busted: Three persons, including the kingpin of a fake marksheet racket, were arrested on Friday.

DC, south division, Ranjit Pachnanda, said policemen patrolling Victoria Memorial area in the afternoon, spotted nine people huddled together, as if striking a deal, on the lawns.

�They smelt a rat and chased them. The two persons, who were caught, confessed that they were selling marksheets of the Madhaymik examination,� Pachnanda said.

During interrogation at the Hastings police station, the arrested duo told the police that their gang leader, Chandrakant Singh, was operating from Naihati in North 24-Parganas.

The police were quick to pick up Singh�s trail. He was arrested in a raid conducted at Naihati.

Police seized several copies of forged marksheets from Singh�s possession.

Singh told the police that the gang demanded between Rs 2,000 and Rs 6,000 from students for the fake marksheets.

Body found: Tension gripped Canning in South 24-Parganas after the bullet-ridden body of an unidentified man was found. Police said at least 15 bullets had been pumped into the body.    

Calcutta, June 9 
Nantu Roy, prime accused in the Kunal Bose murder case, had planned to cheat the computer professional�s wife Aparajita, also known as Munmun, of lakhs of rupees.

During interrogation, Nantu confessed that he was even ready to murder Munmun, with whom he was having an affair, if she had come in his way.

Police said Kunal had been virtually forced to open a new Life Insurance policy of Rs 8 lakh recently by Nantu. Munmun was made the nominee.

�Thereafter, Nantu and Munmun opened a joint account in a nationalised bank so that the insurance money would be deposited in their account after Kunal�s death. Nantu would then have been in a position to withdraw the entire amount from the joint account,� said Dibyajyoti Ghosh, officer-in-charge of Parama Investigating Centre, an outpost of Tiljala police station.

Ghosh added that Nantu had planned to eliminate Munmun if she had tried to double-cross or dissuade him,

Nantu told the police that he had hatched the plot on the premise that Kunal�s death would be passed off as an accident on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

�I never thought that I�ll be caught on the charge of killing Kunal,� Nantu told the police.

Meanwhile, Munmun who was supposed to make a confessional statement in front of the magistrate at the Alipore court on Friday, backtracked at the last minute. She is now in jail custody.

Nantu was produced in court on Friday and remanded to police custody. �We wanted Nantu in our custody to interrogate him about several plots which he had hatched to cheat Kunal,� the officer-in-charge of Parama Investigating Centre said.

Minors killed: Deepak Gupta, 13, a resident of Goikunthanath Lane in north Calcutta, drowned while taking a bath in a nearby pond on Friday.

In another incident, Krishna Kumari, 13, was run over by a car near D.C. Dey Road in Tangra police station area late on Thursday.    

Calcutta, June 9 
A new model for slum development in the city is among the 20 sops the CPM-led Left Front has promised in its manifesto for the June 25 civic polls.

�We have many promises to keep, if voted to power for the next five years,� Left Front chairman Sailen Dasgupta said on Friday at the CPM party office after releasing the 16-page manifesto.

Dasgupta said the slum development package will help slum-dwellers improve their quality of life by constructing pucca buildings on the bustee land.

Observers view the Front�s move as a calculated attempt to woo the slum-dwellers, constituting 40 per cent of its vote bank who had backed the Trinamul Congress in the last Lok Sabha polls.

Quick to assert that the Front�s debacle in the just-concluded Panskura elections will have no bearing on the coming civic polls, Dasgupta said the Front will retain the board this time, despite the Trinamul Congress� �continuous propaganda against us.�

Dismissing the Trinamul�s chances, the Front chairman said the party has no �concrete programme� for the development of the city. �Besides, they won�t be able to unleash terror tactics here as they did in Panskura,� he added.

The Front leader said a special fund has been earmarked for the improvement of the Jadavpur-Behala belt, covering nearly 41 wards.

Front insiders feel the move is aimed at keeping the CPM�s votebank intact in the city�s outskirts, which also suffered reverses during the 1999 Lok Sabha polls.

The city�s age-old sewerage system will be overhauled through a new masterplan. Admitting lapses in the civic body�s garbage clearance process, the manifesto promises a more scientific method to keep the city clean.

The Front also promises more stringent steps against those engaged in illegal real estate business by filling up ponds.    

Calcutta, June 9 
Residents of Bishnupur in South 24-Parganas put up a blockade on Diamond Harbour Road for more than two hours on Friday morning after seven-year-old Samit Routh was run over and killed by a private bus on route SD 8.

The speeding bus was headed for Thakurpukur from Bibirhat, when around 8.10 am, it suddenly swerved to the right and knocked the boy over.

Kalyan Mallick, deputy superintendent of police (DSP), said Samit, a student of Class II, was returning home after tuition, when the bus hit him from behind. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The driver managed to escape.

Angry residents then put up a blockade on Diamond Harbour Road, demanding the arrest of the driver and setting up of a police picket to prevent such mishaps.

Officers rushed to the spot and assured the local residents that their demands will be met.    

Calcutta, June 9 
Bowing to pressure from the agitating teachers of Jadavpur University, the state government has finally decided to step in.

State higher education minister Satyasadhan Chakraborty will meet leaders of Jadavpur University Teachers� Association (JUTA) on June 16 to talk things over.

The minister sent a letter to Tarun Naskar, JUTA general secretary, on Friday, informing him about the meeting. Chakraborty had last met JUTA representatives on December 1, last year.

The state government has now shifted from its earlier stand that it would not negotiate with JUTA till the teachers resumed their examination duties.

�We have written six letters since March to the higher education minister, seeking appointments,� said Naskar.

He said the future course of agitation will be decided after the June 16 meeting. �But the proposed programmes of the JUTA, including a convention on June 19 and mass hunger-strike by teachers on June 23 have not been changed in the wake of today�s development,� Naskar added.

The JUTA began an indefinite work-to-rule movement in March protesting the failure of the state government to respond to their demands. All examinations except that of final-year students have been postponed indefinitely.

Midnapore jail stir

Behind bars at the Midnapore central jail for more than 125 days, 192 Bangladeshi nationals, including 102 women and 22 children, went on a hungerstrike on Friday protesting police negligence.

The Bangladeshi nationals had entered West Bengal through the Bangaon border and were stopped by the police in Panskura from where they were trying to board a Mumbai-bound train on January 22 in search of jobs, Manoj Chowdhury, superintendent of Midnapore central jail, said. They have been in jail since then. According to them, the police have failed to take up the matter of their �pushback� with the Border Security Force and the Bangladesh Rifles.

One of the prisoners, a young woman who had to be hospitalised, said: �We don�t have a single paisa. How can I save my ailing child unless we are allowed to return home?�

Midnapore SP Gourav Dutta said, �We have already processed the papers. But it will take some time as BSF and BDR are to be taken into consideration.�    

Calcutta, June 9 
The Calcutta High Court has directed the state government to constitute a high-power committee to chalk out a plan to prevent weekday rallies in city streets.

The division bench of Chief Justice A.K.Mathur and Justice Barin Ghosh also suggested in its order on Friday that the committee comprise representatives of political parties, the civil administration, police and intellectuals.

The judges ordered that a report on the high-power committee be submitted in court by July 7, the next date of hearing.

State additional government pleader Manik Das told the court that it was difficult for the government to ban rallies in the streets, unless a consensus was reached by the political parties.

Earlier, the division bench had directed the state government to explain why it was allowing political parties and other organisations to hold rallies �illegally� on city roads.

The court also wanted to know from the government what steps it had taken to ban such rallies, which infringed on the fundamental rights of citizens.

The bench had passed its interim directives on a public interest petition filed by a lawyer against the administration and political parties, seeking a ban on holding rallies and meetings on city roads and in parks on weekdays.

The petitioner, lawyer Supradip Roy, charged the state government, police, civil authorities and political parties with causing public inconvenience.

The PIL petition requested the court to direct chief minister Jyoti Basu to call a meeting of all political parties to adopt a scheme or make a law to ban rallies on city streets on weekdays. Roy urged the court to restrict political rallies to Sundays only.

�Let the meetings always be held at the Brigade Parade Grounds and no processions be allowed to march towards the venue of the rally through Chittaranjan Avenue, College Street, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Esplanade and Sealdah. These areas should be declared public utility areas,� the petition said.

Police blamed: The ripples created by the Left�s debacle in the Panskura bypoll has reached the courts. During a hearing of a case unrelated to the election, the chief justice of Calcutta High Court, A.K.Mathur, told state additional government pleader, Manik Das: �It is because of them (the police) you have paid the cost in Panskura.�

The hearing was on a case initiated by Tapas Bhanja. Bhanja has alleged that the police have not carried out orders of the court in the matter of custodial deaths in Panskura and Bawanipur.    

Shillong, June. 9 
Heavily-armed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council militants attacked the Pasteur beat house on the outskirts of the city at 8 pm last night and took away a cache of arms and ammunition before setting the police post on fire.

Four constables, who were guarding the beat house, were caught off-guard as approximately two dozen militants descended from the rear side of the building and attacked them, a source said.

Overpowering the guards, the militants torched the house and took away two carbines, two self-loading rifles and two .303 rifles. Fire tenders rushed to the spot and brought the blaze under control, the source added.

A massive search operation has been launched in the Mawlai and Jaiaw areas, where the militants were reported to have taken shelter.    


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