Seat ceiling sparks auto ambush
Rebel camp weans away CPM men
Two dead, shops razed in clash
Two persons commit suicide
Malaysia for Tagore tourism
Mayor�s unity call against SFI
Tripura rebels torture mute
Pamela on Orissa mission
Security beefed up in Ranchi

Calcutta, Nov.11: 
A day after Congress supporters disrupted traffic movement by putting up roadblocks in protest against the bus fare hike, hundreds of auto-rickshaw drivers on Saturday morning threw traffic out of gear by blocking roads at important junctions and fighting a pitched battle with the police.

Officials said the auto drivers were protesting the government�s decision not to allow them to carry more than three passengers. The government�s move is aimed at minimising accidents.

Agitated auto drivers demonstrated at the Park Circus seven-point crossing, the intersection of Darga Road and New Park Street, and on the western slope of No. 4 bridge, throwing traffic out of gear for hours.

According to the police, trouble started around 9 am at Park Circus as auto drivers blocked roads with around 800 vehicles. As a result, traffic movement on CIT Road, New Park Street, Syed Amir Ali Avenue and Theatre Road came to a standstill.

Police personnel from Beniapukur police station and Lalbazar headquarters rushed to the spot. But as soon as the police arrived, the situation took a turn for the worse with demonstrators pelting stones at policemen.

The Rapid Action Force (RAF) was also called in but failed to quell the violence. The police, then, resorted to lathicharge to bring the situation under control. However, no one was injured. Around 10.45 am, traffic movement became normal.

The auto drivers also squatted on the western slope of No. 4 bridge around 10 am. The blockade was lifted at 10.40 am at the intervention of senior police officials. The blockade at the intersection of Darga Road and New Park Street lasted for about half an hour.

Deputy commissioner, headquarters, Narayan Ghosh said the police will hold a meeting with state government officials on Monday to discuss restrictions on the plying of autos in the city. He said auto drivers will be asked to install fare metres.

The auto unions claimed it would not be profitable to carry only three passengers. �With the hike in prices of fuel, we have no option except taking extra passengers,� a driver said.

For the first time, the police have started to take down the licence numbers of auto-rickshaws flouting traffic norms.

�Auto drivers will be put on a tight leash. First, the errant drivers will be summoned for a hearing and asked to surrender the licence. If they refuse, they will be asked to show cause why their licences will not be confiscated. Prosecution will start soon,� DC, traffic, K. Harirajan said.    

Calcutta, Nov.11: 
The Saifuddin factor is casting a shadow over the CPM. About 53 party members and 200 members from different trade unions affiliated to Citu decided to join rebel leader Saifuddin Chowdhury�s new political party at a convention held in the city on Saturday.

Chowdhury and his associates, former CPM leader Subir Chowdhury and Tapas Bose, were present at the convention.

�We organised the convention to discuss how to make our mass convention on November 24 a success. The CPM members agreed to join us at the convention,� said Subir Chowdhury.

In a similar development in course of the past few days, 32 members of the CPM Murarai block unit in Birbhum resigned to join Saifuddin Chowdhury�s new political party.

The exodus is being attributed to the �unceremonious� expulsion of party district committee member Durgadas Ghosh in September.

In October, too, over a dozen youth leaders from the CPM�s Calcutta unit switched over to the Saifuddin camp.

All those defecting from the CPM will participate in the mass convention on November 24.    

Calcutta, Nov.11: 
Two persons were killed and 10 others injured when a clash between CPM and Congress activists broke out at Netra village in the Diamond Harbour police station area on Saturday.

The deceased were identified as Partha Halder, 19, and Shyamal Mondal, 22.

Ten shops in the local market and five houses were torched by the warring groups.

Denying any political connection, the police said the clash was the result of a long-standing rivalry between two groups of anti-socials.

Police said the incident took place on a paddy field near Netra railway station on Saturday night.

Additional police superintendent Gyanwant Singh said trouble began when Surun, a local gang-lord, raided Netra village with armed associates to kill his rival, Matal.

They hurled bombs and ransacked nearby huts. At this, Matal and his men started chasing them.

Near the Netra railway station, they caught up with Surun�s men. Shots were exchanged and two persons died in the crossfire.

Senior policemen visited the area on Saturday morning. A massive drive was conducted but no arrests have been made so far.

Move for milk supply/h3 The South Eastern Railway is undertaking measures to augment milk supply to the city to meet the shortfall in supply to city agencies like Mother Dairy, Central Dairy, Metro Dairy and others.

South Eastern Railway, along with National Dairy Development Board, is organising supplies from Andhra Pradesh and Bangalore. Visakhapatnam has emerged as a major milk loading point, from where about 80,000 litres of milk is loaded into tankers and transported via Tirupati-Howrah and Hyderabad-Howrah East Coast Express to Howrah every day.

Held for storing baby food: Moloy Saha, the owner of a shop in Kalighat, was arrested on Friday evening, after large stocks of baby food were found in his shop. The police found that he did not even have a licence, says a staff reporter. The seized baby food was sent for a test to determine whether it was adulterated.    

Calcutta, Nov.11: 
Manju Kharewal, a 14-year-old Class IX student of Adarsha Balika Vidyalaya in Paikpara, hanged herself from the ceiling at her residence on Kundu Lane, in the Ultadanga police station area, on Friday evening. Manju, reportedly suffering from depression, was declared brought dead at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital.

Bagla Charan Chhel, 39, a resident of Nitaibabu Lane in the Muchipara police station area, also hanged himself on Friday.    

Calcutta, Nov.11: 
The Malaysian government wants to set up a tourism circuit comprising Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and West Bengal, called the Tagore route.

Malaysian tourism and culture minister Abdul Kadir bin Haji Sheikh Fadzir met chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Saturday morning at Writers� Buildings and discussed tourism, cultural exchanges and economy.

The minister said his country was interested in tapping the tourism potential of the Calcutta-Kuala Lumpur route.

�We want to develop package tours along this route,� Sheikh Fadzir said.

Later, Bhattacharjee said they had discussed the possibility of introducing direct flights between Calcutta and Kuala Lumpur. �We will write to the Centre about the proposal as will the Malaysian government,� the chief minister said.

Sheikh Fadzir said his government was mulling over the opening of a visa office in Calcutta within three months. �Many people come to Malaysia from West Bengal and a visa office is required here,� he said.

Ways of improving tourism ties between Malaysia and West Bengal were also discussed, Bhattacharjee said.    

Calcutta, Nov.11: 
Mayor Subrata Mukherjee on Saturday urged members of the BJP-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) to forge alliances with the Congress-controlled Chhatra Parishad and other anti-Left students� unions in colleges across West Bengal to oust the CPM�s student wing Students� Federation of India.

He was addressing the ABVP�s state conference at the University Institute Hall.

, attended by over 500 delegates.    

Agartala, Nov. 11: 
A four-year-old deaf-and-dumb tribal child was tortured by militants of the National Liberation Front of Tripura recently.

Pradip Mog, the mute son of Patirai Reang, had been kidnapped by a group of NLFT rebels from Kalsi village under Baikhora police station of South Tripura on October 19. He was trussed and locked up at a remote hideout of the rebels at Haribratopara in a deep jungle under Natunbazar police station.

Mog shared the camp with another hostage � 22-year-old Dipak Mazumder, who had been abducted by the rebels from a bus on the Ghorakappa-Jatanbari route on October 17.

Both of them were subjected to third degree torture. But for some unknown reason the militants vent their wrath on the boy.

They refused to believe that the boy, who was actually deaf and dumb, could not speak. A daily session of caning was reserved for Mog, who could not properly cry out.

The NLFT base camp, located on the border with the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, was visited by two commanders of the outfit who were escorted by heavily-armed guards. When the commanders entered the hideout, they found an unpleasant odour for which Mog was held responsible. The order was issued that the deaf-and-dumb boy needed to be punished properly for disturbing the commanders. The subordinates obliged promptly by holding the hapless boy over a burning oven till the skin of his back and chest was sufficiently scorched.

They then dumped him in a corner of the hideout. He was not allowed to make any noises, even when in pain.

For two days, Mog and Dipak Mazumder lay still on the floor of the thatched hut, which was finally overrun by a crack unit of the state police led by additional superintendent of police Arindam Nath and circle inspector Debjan Chakma.

After hearing the sound of gunfire, Dipak Mazumder managed to roll out of the hut. However, he sustained a bullet injury on his left hand and fell into a shallow ditch. He as well as Pradip Mog were finally rescued by the police.

Militant rehabilitation: The Nagaland government, with the approval of the Centre, has announced a scheme for the rehabilitation of surrendered militants, reports UNI from Kohima.

The scheme is applicable to those militants who surrender at least one weapon. Sources said the persons eligible under the scheme will be lodged in a rehabilitation camp and trained in a trade or vocation of their liking.    

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 11: 
Former Baywatch sensation Pamela Anderson, one of the leading advocates of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) movement, may soon lead a campaign calling for tourist boycott in Orissa.

Enraged over the Orissa government�s apathy towards growing incidents of illegal cattle trafficking and cruelty to animals, Peta has dashed off letters to Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik and animal husbandry minister Biswabhusan Harichandan.

The letter is followed by a video film in which the Hollywood actress is seen narrating the cruelty meted out to animals all over the world. Peta, an international NGO working for animal rights, had issued similar threats to the Orissa government after the tiger deaths in Nandankanan.

The threat for the ban on tourists comes in the wake of a case, in which the Bhubaneswar police released a cattle transporter without penalty last week. Though the police stopped the truck carrying 52 animals for slaughter, it did not remove the animals from the truck. The Transport of Animal Rules, 1978 states that not more than six heads of cattle can be transported at a time in a goods vehicle.

�The mistreatment of cattle during transport to slaughter has forced international companies to end their contracts for Indian leather goods,� Peta investigations director Poorva Joshipura wrote to the chief minister.    

From our correspondent 
Security have been tightened in the city as final touches are being given for the formal creation of the new Jharkhand state on Tuesday night.

All borders of the neighbouring districts with Ranchi are being sealed and security forces are put on alert following threats by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha to form a parallel government headed by its supremo Shibu Soren. The Jharkhand Mukti Manch, a frontal organisation of the banned MCC, has also called a rally here on Wednesday.

Ranchi sub divisional officer Sunil Kumar Singh today said 40 companies of BSF and CRPF and seven companies of district police have been deployed to maintain law and order.

Official buildings are being renovated and other infrastructure in the city are being readied for the new state.

The Lenin Hall, which was badly damaged by JMM supporters last week, is expected to be ready before the first Assembly session slated for later this month.

Joint secretary R.K. Singh of the Union ministry of home affairs today flew in for an on the spot inspection. He held a review meeting with top administrative officials and Bihar buildings secretary Ashok Sinha.    


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